How to create a bespoke wedding package

27 Jun 2016

When you leave your wedding to the professionals, make sure your package reflects you as a couple with this advice from The Leeds Club

Long gone are the days when a simple church wedding and a slice of cake would suffice; brides-to-be and their grooms are now looking for something different, to stand out from the crowds and most importantly, to be one of a kind.

As reality TV stars and celebrities continue to push the boundaries, sharing their increasingly lavish gatherings with the masses, blushing brides-to-be up and down the country are considering how they too can be a princess for the day.

Sarah-Louise Walker, general manager at The Leeds Club explains how an increasing need to be different has impacted on the wedding market and how she makes sure that her enquiries lead to ‘I do’.

Daring to be different

Sarah-Louise explains: “The wedding market has changed over recent years, with people increasingly looking for something more unusual, if not completely bespoke to them. Not content with a simple celebration, most people want to make the most of their wedding day; after all it is hoped it will be a once in a lifetime occasion.

“It used to be about the dress, but weddings have become so much more, with many guests taking the time to judge everything - from the choice of canapes to the cava, the food to the favours and beyond! There is no room for error when you are working with a happy couple who have their sights set on the perfect day.

“We have seen people follow the latest trends, such as large light-up letters, which seem to be popular at present, and more recently themed nuptials that in our experience can go from ‘alternative’ to Alice in Wonderland and everything in between.

“Venues have to be in a position to cater for these quirks in order for couples to choose them. If a venue is consistently saying that they can’t do this or that then couples will go elsewhere. We work in a fickle market and know that we need to change and adapt if we are to be recommended and favoured by customers.”

Added extras

As couples look to host ever more extravagant gatherings, and with a growing desire to create bigger and better events, which often go beyond a single day, venues can extend their offering through added extras, providing a further opportunity for sales. Sarah-Louise continues:

“People often have a budget in mind when they get married. It’s not an open cheque-book and here at The Leeds Club we start with a vision and then look at what exactly is required when we break it down. In some instances, people realise that certain added extras simply aren’t worth the expense and it’s our job, as a venue, to ask the question.

“In complete contrast, we have noticed that some people want to celebrate for longer than a day and will now follow more of an American approach which sees them have a wedding practice, a family meal beforehand and then the big day with all of the trimmings.

“With guests that want very specific themes, then of course a higher budget is required but we provide transparent pricing and couples can bring in their own props if necessary. There are also ways in which couples can choose to change things, as an example those that prefer not to have a sit down dinner but instead to have canapes throughout the day. This often works really well as it creates a less formal atmosphere and puts guests at ease and the budget is in the most part the same.”

All-time favourites

With so many different ideas when it comes to weddings – and increasingly elaborate dreams for the big day - there are still some trends that are standing the test of time. Sarah-Louise concludes:

“It doesn’t matter how excited the couple are when they come to visit, it is often the more traditional elements to a wedding that still capture their attention. Cakes continue to be popular even though they are now more likely to be made up of pork pies of cheese, and of course there is the disco that goes on until the early hours. In addition, it’s rare that a bride-to-be will not mention the something borrowed and something blue. I always think that’s lovely.

“Planning a wedding is without doubt challenging but trusting a venue that will take the stress and strain out of the organisation is a great starting point for any bride-to-be. In our experience it’s often family and friends who cause the upset. The trick is to rise above it and remember, it’s one day that marks the start of the rest of your life together.” 

What to look out for when choosing a wedding package: 

1. Negotiate a package that will include your favourite food and drinks. There are some really quirky things that you can do nowadays so don’t settle for melon, chicken and cheesecake unless that’s what you really want.

2. Consider prosecco for your toast rather than champagne, people usually prefer it as it’s not as dry.

3. With weddings taking place earlier in the day, make sure that you cater for your evening guests with a package that includes a light buffet.

4. The music that you choose could make or break a wedding party, so choose 10 songs from each decade so that there is something for everyone. A good DJ should be able to keep the dancefloor full right to the end of the evening.

5. Have one dedicated point of contact at your venue. This will keep things simple when you have any questions. If, for some reason, your contact can’t be there make sure you meet whoever will be looking after you beforehand.

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