How to perfect your wedding planning

20 Jul 2016

Planning your wedding can seem like a full-time job. There’s so much to do and think about, so how can you ensure that you’re making the right choices for you?

Here are some handy tips and tricks for brides and grooms-to-be from Oulton Hall’s expert wedding coordinator, Adele Jamookeeah, to make wedding planning that little bit easier.

1. Do your research

Research is so important when planning for the big day, but it’s hard to know where to begin. There are so many different ways to get inspiration, from attending wedding fairs to recommendations from friends and a simple online search, the tools available are endless.

Pinterest is one of my personal favourites, as it stores thousands of wedding ideas, themes and nice little touches all in one place. The fact that you can place each of the ideas into your own virtual mood board, puts wedding planning literally at your fingertips. It’s really easy to use and can help separate your ideas into different areas, such as bridesmaid dresses, room themes, wedding rings and ceremony styles. Take a look at Bride magazine's Pinterest board.

You can also use Pinterest to search for local suppliers, as many vendors will have boards with examples of their own work.

2. Be savvy

Couples often make the mistake of settling for the first quote they receive from a supplier. Shop around and see what other options are available before agreeing to anything.

I also always recommend asking your venue for their contacts. At Oulton Hall, we always suggest partners we know are reliable and can offer the best value for money. Plus, customers sometimes get a special discount because they have gone through us.

Wedding fairs are also a great opportunity to meet face-to-face with suppliers and get some great deals. And if you find a supplier you really like but the costs are coming in over budget, don’t be afraid to haggle. There’s almost always room for manoeuvre!

Try not to book all of your suppliers at once. If you can spread the costs out in the run up to the wedding, this could help with managing your budget. It’s also fairly common for suppliers to require payment in several instalments, so make a note of when these need to be paid and try to stagger them.

3. Have a vision and stick to it

Creating a theme is perhaps the most exciting part of planning your wedding. There are so many different ways you can get creative and add personality to your day, but it can be difficult making these choices early on.

First and foremost, we suggest viewing lots of venues. You’ll know ‘the one’ when you see it. Once you’ve got the venue booked, you can start to visualise how different ideas and looks might work, and that’s where the ‘theme’ planning really starts.

We provide lots of ideas of how you can make your wedding dreams come to life at Oulton Hall, from vintage weddings to fairy-tale themes, but we recommend searching for your wedding venue online to see how other couples have used the space. You can look at what has worked and what suits your taste. Our main tip here is to keep your theme consistent across the whole of the wedding. It’s easy to get caught up in lots of different trends, so we would advise you stick with what you like and what works with the whole wedding day. Keep it simple.

4. Figure out what’s important to you

There are so many elements involved in a wedding that it can be daunting to know which areas you should prioritise.

Our advice is to decide what is most important to you. Is it the food? The flowers? The entertainment? Or perhaps it’s the perfect cake? When you know what this is, you can begin prioritising everything else and managing your budget to allow for those things.

Don’t forget that there are plenty of hacks that can make the things that are less important, less costly. You can create your own invitations, swap a DJ for a tablet with personalised playlists and even get a family member to bake your cake. There are so many ways to cut costs, whilst still having everything you desire to make it special.

5. Have a 'plan b'

When planning outdoor weddings, we always advise couples to have a 'plan b' option, should anything happen on the day. For example, should the typical Yorkshire weather take a turn for the worst, Oulton Hall has indoor spaces and the flexibility to move the party under cover.

Ensure you have done a thorough recce of your venue beforehand and briefed your photographer on the different options available, come rain or shine.

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