EXPERT ADVICE

FAQs and expert advice about venues

Here is a selection of Q&As from Your Hampshire and Dorset Wedding magazine whether it be about flowers, hair and makeup, fashion, wedding themes, health & beauty, cakes, stationery, legal advice. If you would like your question answered by our experts, please email it to editor@yourhampshiredorset.wedding

Dashing Through The Snow

Dashing Through The Snow

Q We want to extend our wedding festivities; what advice can you share with us?
A Ruth Mundy says: In recent years, the world of weddings has transformed as couples opt for a three-day extravaganza – redefining the traditional one-day affair by offering a more immersive and personalised experience for couples and their guests. Day one is where the build-up begins with pre-wedding rituals and festivities, often incorporating customs that reflect the couples' heritage and love story. Day two is the heart of the celebrations, where lovebirds take centre stage. Day three is post-wedding bliss, where everyone can unwind and connect. We're talking brunches, pool parties or relaxed outings so everyone reminisces the joy of the big day. Here are some top tips to help the planning process…
•Detailed itinerary: Outline each day and share this itinerary with your guests in advance so they can plan accordingly. Be sure to build in some downtime!
•Budget wisely: Set a clear budget early on and allocate funds for each event. Prioritise what aspects of the wedding are most important to you.
•Accommodation planning: Arrange accommodation for your guests, considering the convenience of proximity to venues and providing options for various budgets.
•Guest experience: Plan activities and entertainment to keep guests engaged throughout the event.
•Delegate and seek help: Delegate tasks to trusted friends and family members or hire a wedding planner specialising in multi-day events!

Ruth Mundy, Balmer Lawn Hotel

The perfect setting

The perfect setting

Q We're just starting our big day journey; what should we look for when booking a venue?
A Ruth Mundy says: If you're considering a venue not close to home, check if the property has accommodation for your guests and even yourself if you need to stay the night before the big day. If not, ask the venue for a list of recommended accommodations nearby and if they offer discounted rates for your guests.

Some venues will have a minimum amount of guests needed, which is difficult if you have limited numbers. A better option would then be to find a flexible property with a minimum spend regardless of numbers.

Ask for a full breakdown of what's included in the price so there are no unexpected additional fees at a later date! Packages with supplier services included can save you so much time and make your planning process less stressful.

Consider the type of cuisine you'd like to offer and see what venue caterers provide this. Check to see if you can have a menu tasting session to preview what will be offered on the day.

It's essential to check if you're held to the venue's suppliers or if you may enlist your own. Some venues have a list of recommended suppliers that are often familiar with the property – they'll know what works well and are the most reliable.

Ruth Mundy, Balmer Lawn Hotel & Spa

The perfect setting

The perfect setting

Q We're about to start searching for a wedding venue, what advice can you share with us to help the process?
A Annabel Oman says: Booking viewings with your shortlisted venues is a great starting point. Each tour will allow you to fully appreciate the spaces and get a good idea of the type of service offered.

You can then discuss the options available to personalise your day with the event organiser. The team will want to learn all about you both and the special day. Take this opportunity to share your vision as much as possible, including likes, dislikes, must-haves and more. The experienced team will discuss what can be achieved and may inspire you with further suggestions.

Here are some essential questions to ask when visiting venues...

- What catering options are available, and can special dietaries be catered for?

- What's the venue's maximum capacity, and do minimum numbers apply?

- Are there any additional services on offer, such as a DJ?

Annabel Oman, The Novotel Southampton

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