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Newly engaged, here are my tips... Part 1

So you're newly engaged, what do you do now?!?! We're very much in the midst of engagement season and the vast majority of engaged couples won't have planned a wedding before, so hopefully today's blog will help to make your planning a little easier. In this list of tips we will focus on what your initial decision making needs to be and how to narrow down your venue options.

Winter wedding, bridal party in green at Quantock Lakes Somerset wedding venue
Simon and Kiana Photography

There are a few things you need to consider before you even start looking at venues.

  1. Identify when you want to get married. Have you always dreamed of a Christmas wedding, or does saying your vows in the sunshine feel more you? Working out a time of year will help you narrow down your venue choices.

  2. Decide whether you're open to a weekday wedding. This will help you when it comes to your budget. You don't want to fall in love with a venue, to find that either their weekend availability is very limited or your budget won't stretch to a weekend date.

  3. Work out how many people you want to have at your wedding, for the ceremony, sit down meal and in the evening. If you have high numbers (80+) then this could easily rule out some venues and will save you time and effort viewing venues that logistically can't work for you.

  4. Head to a couple of wedding fairs. Have some chats with suppliers, take business cards and follow them on social media, but hold fire on booking anyone until your venue is confirmed.

  5. Decide on your budget. Is anyone prepared to help you out financially? Make a spreadsheet and make allowances for everything you will need to pay for. Try to be as realistic as you can. Costs varying widely and remember you get what you pay for, but knowing what matters most to you, will help you align the larger proportion of the budget in the right places. See list below... (there are ways of reducing your budget, but that's for another blog post)



Registrar / Celebrant / Church Venue

Food and drink


Hair and Make-up



Decoration / styling

Dress, shoes and accessories (don't forget alterations)

Bridesmaid dresses and shoes

Suits and shoes

Music / Band / DJ

Stationary / invites




Wedding planner

Anything else... sweet cart, magician, photobooth, content creator etc

Bride putting earrings in,wearing white pjamas
Make-up by Kamila

Looking at venues

  1. Decide what's important to you when it comes to your venue. Is it the grandeur, is it the outside space, is it accomodation on site, the location or maybe it's all about the food. Deciding what factor really matters to you will help you narrow down your choices.

  2. Give your self a rough radius of areas you want to look at

  3. Read reviews. Not just on their website and directories, head to Google too. If you can't find any reviews then this should be a red flag.

  4. Suss out rough costings. This could be easy to access on their website, or you may need to request a brochure or quote.

  5. Book some viewings, give yourselves a day or 2 to visit your short list.

  6. Have a list of questions to ask each venue. Here are a few suggestions... (you may be able decipher some of this in advance)

a) What are their available dates?

b) Can you bring in your own catering?

c) Where can you get ready? I.e do they have an onsite space for this?

d) What time can you access the getting ready space?

e) When can you get in to decorate?

d) Will you be assigned a dedicated coordinator on the day?

e) If there's onsite accommodation, what time is check in and check out for guests?

f) Can you bring your own booze for the morning celebrations?

g) Is there different parking available for suppliers?

h) If you have to use onsite caterers, are you able to give your guests some form of choice?

i) Do they offer corkage as opposed to using their wine / champagne?

j) What's their cancellation policy?

k) How long can you provisionally hold a date for?

l) Is the venue available for exclusive hire? I.e will there be public access or even maybe another wedding going on the same day?

m) Ask for their recommended suppliers list, this is a good place to start with hunting for suppliers.

n) Can you have confetti?

o) Are corckery and linen included in the price?

p) Is there a cake cutting fee? Do we need to provide a knife for the official cake cutting?

q)What time does music have to finish?

r) Do you have public liability insurance? This is key for EVERY supplier you work with.

Make-up artist completing finishing touches on brunette bride with red lip
Make-up by Jen

So this is the end of part 1 of my blog for the newly engaged. Hopefully this will keep you going for a few weeks while I compile my next batch of tips.

Thanks for reading

Emily xxx

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