If you’re at the stage of wedding planning where you have one eye on the budget and the other firmly focused on your dream wedding venue, then this could be the best article for you to read. We’ve come up with the top 10 myths when it comes to booking a wedding venue, so if you think you can’t afford the location you’d hoped for, think again as we set to dispel these wedding myths.
Wedding Myth : Sit down meals will cost me a fortune.
You need to be a bit creative if you’re planning your budget and want a sit down meal for all your guests. Wedding trends are changing, and silver-service is no longer expected from your guests, even at the prettiest of wedding venues. Old favourites can still go down well at a wedding, bangers and mash are reasonably priced and would be a popular choice, plus add some fun to the occasion. Other ideas for reducing the costs of a sit down meal could be to serve canapés with pre-dinner drinks instead of starters, or maybe serve slices of your wedding cake as the dessert. A popular new idea is known as a serviced buffet where waiting staff bring sharing platters to each table, mixing up a buffet with a sit down meal.
Wedding Myth : Wedding venues won’t budge with their set packages
Most wedding venues in Essex will offer you a set package, and on the face of it they can be great deals, but if you’re looking for real value for money, you need to dust of your negotiation skills a little. (Read our article on Negotiating a Discount with your Wedding Venue )
Package deals can sometimes lead you into thinking you’ve bagged a great deal, when in fact you may end up paying for some things that you didn’t really want to begin with. Decide what is important for you and then ask the venue’s co-ordinator for the individual prices, then you can compare that with the set package they’re offering.
Wedding Myth : You have to spend a fortune decorating the wedding venue
Flowers, balloons, favours, chair covers, all very pretty, but if you’re on a budget are they really what you want to spend your money on ? Most of the wedding venues in Essex are architecturally stunning anyway, they have wonderful gardens and provide a delightful backdrop for your special day. Venues will provide quality table linen to make your tables look the part, as them if anything else is included, they may well have their own table centrepieces. You could ask your wedding DJ to provide one or two mood lights to change the venue’s look with some attractive back lighting, little things could mean less is more when it comes to decorating your wedding venue.
Wedding Myth : Booking your wedding venue early is essential
Some brides have a set date in their mind, and won’t compromise, but if you’re willing to take a little risk on a venue’s availability then you can find some brilliant deals for short notice weddings. Some venues in Essex advertise their last minute availabilities, and they would rather drop their charges than have an empty venue for the day. Of course a midweek wedding off-season will naturally be more likely to be available than a Saturday in July, so late bookings really do require flexibility on your behalf, but you will find yourself in a great position when it comes to bookings with photographers, discos and other suppliers too. Just bear in mind how you’ll manage to get all your guests to attend at short notice.
Wedding Myth : You have to use your venue’s recommended suppliers
If you’ve chosen a wedding venue in Essex that provides food and drinks, then you need to expect them to insist on using their catering and bar, however any venue that presents you with a list of recommended suppliers such as florists or resident DJs, don’t feel like you have to use them. Finding the best deals requires some research, take a look around our Essex wedding directory to find lots of local suppliers and services, get plenty of quotes and seek references from others. Any venue that provides a resident service will be taking a slice of your money for that booking too, so shop around and see what you can get.
Wedding Myth : Exclusive wedding venues have extortionate prices
If you’ve decided that you don’t want to risk bumping into another bride at your venue on your special day, then you’ll be looking at exclusive wedding venues in Essex, these properties will ensure that only you and your guests will be in attendance on your big day. Booking a wedding venue and having ownership for the day certainly has a “wow factor” about it, but it needn’t necessarily cost you the earth. Venues have discounted prices for off-peak dates, or midweek days, perhaps even aim for a bank holiday Monday, all your guests will have the day off, and if some have to go to work the next day you may save a little on the bar costs too.
Wedding Myth : Hiring a wedding planner will cost a fortune
Wedding planners are only for celebrities right ? Wrong. The best wedding planners will save you more than their fees alone. Good wedding planners in Essex will know the best suppliers and can negotiate some great discounts, as they’ll use them regularly. Over the years the wedding planners will of struck up good relationships with the big wedding venues in Essex, and they’ll know how to negotiate with them.
Sit down with a wedding planner and explain what you want, and then ask how much they think they could organise your wedding for, get all quotes in writing and do a little investigation on the costs yourself.
Wedding Myth : An evening reception will double your costs
Planning an evening reception may feel like an expensive cost for your wedding day, but most venues will include an area or sepearate room for a party if you’ve booked your afternoon reception with them. Quite often you’ll find the afternoon meal and speeches wind up just as your evening guests are arriving, so don’t go mad when it comes to spending on the evening food bill. How many weddings have you been to, and eaten during the day, you won’t want too much a few hours later, so consider catering for around 70% of your guests when you look at costs per head on a buffet. Set a limit on the drinks at the bar, or better still give everyone a special “thank you for coming voucher” that allows them one free drink at the bar, it’s a nice way to show your appreciation without anyone taking advantage. No one expects a free bar at a wedding these days anyway……
Wedding Myth : You have to provide a free bar
As we just mentioned, does anyone expect the bride and groom to provide a free bar at their wedding reception ? If you’re worried about your friends going mad and drinking the bar dry, then either tell your venue it’s a pay bar, or find a venue that can cater for you to provide your own drinks, or simply charge a corkage fee.
Supermarkets have offers on beers and wines, and who will know if you substitute champagne for sparkling wine ? If you just want to cut down booze costs at your venue, ask for welcome drinks to be something less expensive, perhaps Pimms and lemonade or a glass of wine instead of champagne.
Wedding Myth : The more wedding guests you invite, the more you’ll spend
It is possible to get married in Essex at a delightful venue on a small budget, more and more people are opting for a relaxed wedding. If you have large families and a big circle of friends and you want everyone to be there then you’ll need to look at options that are a little inexpensive. A buffet or barbeque will be significantly cheaper than a sit down meal, so too would a hog-roast that can easily be catered for. Another option would be to plan your wedding ceremony to take place later in the day, then invite everyone to the ceremony and only have one meal instead of two, straight into the disco after the speeches.
So if you’re planning your wedding in Essex and think some of our top venues are only for those with deep pockets, then think of the things that are really important for you, and discuss areas that you can compromise on. You’ll be amazed at what you can afford if you plan it well.