When planning your wedding, there are things that are nice to know, and there are things you need to know—advice so essential any bride who’s lucky enough to hear it thinks, “I’m so glad someone told me that!” If you’re wondering whether there’s something you may have missed (or even if you’ve got everything under control), check out our indispensable planning secrets below.
Plan your Budget – Before you do anything else, you need to know what your limitations are. Yes I’m afraid you may not be able to have the horse drawn carriage…it all comes down to budget. You need to be realistic in terms of how much you want to spend and can afford to spend. The last thing you want in the months leading up to your big day is stress and anxiety about money. Here’s a great article on One Fab Day all about planning your budget: https://www.onefabday.com/ie/work-out-wedding-budget/
Guest List – Before you can look at venues you need to know what capacity you need and what venue will best suit your wedding size. You don’t want to be crammed into a room with little room for dancing and equally you don’t want it to look like your wedding is sparse. So first things first, get a rough list of how many guests you will be inviting. Rule of thumb is that 20% of the invited guests may have to decline for whatever reason, this is the average so you can base your numbers on this.
Find your Venue – Now its time to choose what kind of a venue you are looking for, the venue is one of the most important things on your wedding day. Are you looking for the comfort of a hotel venue where large numbers can be catered for, something more intimate, something different where none of your guests have experienced before? Here at Westport House & Hotel Westport we have three amazing venues to choose from, each one catering for those individual tastes and adding something magical to your big day:
- Westport House, rightly called the most beautiful house in Ireland, was built in 1730 and is enriched with old world charm and history. Have your ceremony on the west terrace overlooking the majestic lake and gardens, or in the breath-taking front hall with its Italian marble staircase. Then choose to dine and dance in the exquisite Drawing Room or Long Gallery. Photo opportunities are endless, with the beautiful outdoor woodland areas and over 30 rooms to choose from as your backdrop. Our venue is perfect for intimate parties of between 40-120 guests who are looking to be wowed by this truly distinctive venue.
- Looking for something a little more relaxed, then our beautiful rustic loft and garden venue The Farmyard is the venue for you. It’s beautiful boho-chic feel is ideal for that couple who want something a little different with its relaxed garden, exposed beams and authentic stone walls. Also, an ideal location for your day after celebrations, with its outdoor garden area.
- Have the best of both worlds with our award-winning Hotel Westport. Offering a more contemporary venue, with almost 50 years of experience in weddings you will be happy to know that our team can look after up to 350 of your guests to our exceptionally high standards.
- For more information click HERE
If you’re thinking about a civil ceremony, are you thinking registry office or would you like to get married at a venue? Do you want separate venues for your ceremony and reception or would you like them in the same place?
Would you like to get married outdoors? It can a bit tricky to get married outdoors in Ireland (it’s weather, location and celebrant-dependent), but lots of couples choose to have a civil ceremony for the legal bit, and then plan their own ceremony in the location of their choice. All of these options are available to you in our 3 Venues and we would be happy to talk you through these and help you make a decision.
Find an awesome band
People will remember good food and good music! You want to have the dance floor full all night. Ask your venue who they would recommend, they have seen so many weddings good bad or indifferent and they will be able to offer a great insight into what you are looking for. Also ask friends, family that have been to other weddings. If you have a band in mind check and see if the have your date free, then ask them have they any gigs or weddings coming up, head along and see them there’s nothing like seeing your band play first hand to get a feel for how they will be performing the night of your wedding.
Decide on Photographer / Videographer
When choosing a photographer, they obvious things to look out for is style of photos and quality. But one of the massive things brides often over look is how well you gel with your photographer. you need to make sure he knows what you want and what don’t want, especially in terms of the schedule of the day. If you only want a few photos after your ceremony with immediate family, make sure hes not pulling in Aunt Mary and your 15 cousins. Remember he will be with you throughout your whole wedding day!
The Legal Stuff
Okay so once you have the big stuff secured you need to start thinking about the legal bit. If your getting married in a church, your priest may want you to complete a pre-marriage course. you will also need to give the state 3 months notice. You must make this notification in person to any Registrar. For more information click HERE
Congratulations, you have the hardest part done! Now its time to take a quick breather before you complete the rest of your list!
Check in next week for Part 2 of your Wedding Planning Guide…..
Top Tip* Let one vendor lead you to another. Your wedding photographer can tell you which florist’s blooms really pop, and your wedding manager should know which band consistently packs the dance floor.