Planning your dream wedding
With Valentines Day on the horizon, more than 100,000 people are expected to share the happy news that they are engaged.
And so begins the planning for the big day. What kind of wedding? How much will it cost? Where should the celebrations take place?
Jen Braithwaite, is the weddings co-ordinator at North Lakes Hotel & Spa, Penrith, and has been helping people plan their special occasion for over 20 years. Here she shares her top tips and insider knowledge...
What are your top tips when choosing a wedding venue?
I would always plan at least two visits to a venue.
It’s good to wander in unannounced and see how they deal with your enquiry at the desk – do they seem geared up to welcome potential wedding couples? If there isn’t anyone on hand to show you the facilities do they take some information and offer to contact you to arrange a suitable time?
I would then make sure I had a pre-booked appointment with the wedding specialist – you’re going to be trusting them to deliver the day of your dreams, so a good rapport with them is essential if you want to feel at ease during the build-up and on the big day.
It’s also good to know who will run your event on the day – some venues will have a separate operational manager, while at others it will be your wedding manager who has been with you through the planning stages.
What type of venue should you choose?
You should be looking for a wedding venue that is aligned with your vision for the day.
Think about how much time and effort you have available or want to put into it yourself – big empty barn spaces are fantastic blank canvasses, but it will be down to you and an army of helpers to set things up pre-wedding and then clear down after the celebrations.
Using a hotel like North Lakes Hotel & Spa means you have a dedicated team with lots of experience to take on that stress.
Where to spend the money and where to save it?
Spend your money on the things that really matter to you - if flowers are your thing, have flowers!
A useful tip if you are looking to save on costs is to ask your venue about off-peak days – if you pick a day that is less in demand so you can get some great discounts.
And for celebrations, venues often have bin-end wines (where a bottle is no longer on the list, but they still have some stock left) that you can buy at a discounted price.
Find out more information about our other wedding venues.