Planning a wedding is much harder than people would expect. There are lists of things to work on, such as picking out the right wedding venue, organising invites, catering services, themes and decoration, wedding outfits, make-up, decorations, organising a honeymoon and most importantly calculating the total costs of the event. However, the planning process does not need to be stressful, or daunting.
With enough time for careful researching, there is no reason why you cannot have a trouble free and wonderful day. The key is to take each step at a time, planning what you will need to do first and allowing yourself plenty of time to perfect every little detail. You can start by looking for a wedding venue and deciding on what kind of a theme you would like for the wedding.
Some couples would prefer a traditional wedding venue, such as in a church or cathedral. Whereas others prefer to keep to an unconventional theme and take their celebration, further afield on a beach or a mountaintop. For those looking to plan on a budget, this may not be an option, but for others spending the extra cash this may mean a more memorable day.
Having researched some of the more popular wedding venues, I have devised a list of five of my personal preferences for a chosen wedding venue; just to give potential newlyweds a few ideas and inspiration.
At fifth place is the great outdoors of your own or public garden. This is a good venue for budget conscious people, looking to cut back and save. Many people are not likely to have large gardens, however, it is also possible to extend this across to a public garden or park, whereby you will have the luxury of having a good setting and not worry about overspending. The only thing you will need to search for is an external catering service.
In fourth place is a theatre or performance hall. This again is for people looking to keep within a budget, however, if you do your research you will find that some theatres will in fact cater for large weddings and charge you at a reasonable price. You will also enjoy the fact that you can have your wedding in a number of locations and rooms, at different floors and levels.
In third place for me is a luxury hotel. Coming from an Asian background, I have seen many weddings held in hotels, and have found this particular venue is great for catering and hosting a large number of people. Hotels have the facility of allowing the bride and the groom to use their rooms for preparation (make-up, dressing etc), as well as offering good quality service and inclusive catering packages. This also accommodates for couples with different religious and cultural backgrounds.
In second place for a venue is a castle or Chateau. Having visited Hedingham castle recently, I could not help but notice the large halls and the wonderful historical features, untouched throughout the years. There is nothing more satisfying than seeing your special day captured in a historical building, which also has the added bonus of being surrounded by plenty of space and lush greenery. This will take you back in time, making you feel like you are having a fairytale wedding.
Finally, in first place will have to be the great outdoors again, only this time on a mountaintop or beach abroad. These make for the most enjoyable and memorable wedding venues for those who enjoy travelling and want to literally feel like they are on top of the world when they say 'I do'. This can double up as a wonderful honeymoon destination, as well as being a relaxed evening wedding party.
For more security, it would be a good idea to choose a location that has the luxury of warm sunny weather all year round such as the Caribbean or Balearic islands. In addition, women, you would not need to worry about buying matching shoes for your dress if you marry on beach!
Anna Stenning is an expert on picking the right wedding venue, having helped to organise and attended plenty of weddings.