Wedding days create memories and moments to last a lifetime, but the planning behind the scenes can take months of meticulous planning and attention to detail. To help de-mystify the multitude of questions any couple faces, Alice Sibley – Head of Weddings at Restaurant Associate Venues – lends her ten top tips to create a day like no other.
Number One – be flexible when it comes to choosing both your venue and date. Mid-week weddings can be the perfect excuse to extend the celebrations with family and friends. Choose a venue based on availability and even consider booking a different day of the week to secure your ideal venue. Those closest to you won’t mind if you don’t lock in a weekend date, if they get to spend the special day with you.
Number Two – Restaurant Associates have spectacular venues throughout the UK, partnering with some of the country’s most awe-inspiring spaces to make choosing the perfect location that bit easier. Many venues allow both the ceremony and reception to be held at the same place – making it easier for guests to save on precious travel time to kickstart the celebrations even sooner.
Number Three – ensuring the wedding day is personalised is one of the most important factors to ensure the day reflects the love of the couple. Pull out the most important elements of every love story, from the first date menu weaved into the culinary offering to the playlist featuring your favourite songs. A photo memory wall can even be created to share a snapshot of memories to reflect on fun times shared.
Number Four – although certain Venues in the Restaurant Associates portfolio can hold up to 10,000 guests, don’t feel like the guest list has to include everyone you have ever met. Weddings are about cherishing precious times with those that really matter to you. Some of Restaurant Associates most popular venues include the more intimate Salisbury Cathedral and Beaulieu – as well as the showstopping grounds of Hatfield House for an outdoor affair.
Number Five – once you have booked your wedding venue it’s never too early to book your wedding suppliers – it is advised to cherry pick the suppliers that share your wedding vision and create the experience that you are looking sooner rather than later.
Number Six – planning a wedding is time-consuming and trying to arrange in person meetings can often be difficult to co-ordinate at the best of times. Remote planning can elevate time pressures, leaning on 360-degree online tours to provide all you need to know about a potential venue.
Number Seven – there are so many ways that a wedding can be made more sustainable. From travelling to deliveries, choose suppliers that use recycled materials or re-plantable paper to make it interactive for guests – the invite can include seeds which can be planted after the wedding and act as a memento of the day.
Number Eight – historically, weddings have been seen as boozy affairs, but they don’t necessarily need to be. With so many people now choosing to reduce their alcohol intake for wellness reasons, avoid the hangover and highlight both delicious and non-alcoholic alternatives. It will be a refreshing surprise for guests to be welcomed with your chosen signature mocktail or more unique alcohol-free drinks, such as REAL Kombucha.
Number Nine – post pandemic guests may still be cautious of sharing, but Restaurant Associate Venue caterers are well equipped to serve a range of alternative culinary options. Canapes can be served as mini bites pre wedding breakfast and pre-plated evening food can be circulated around the dancefloor.
Number Ten – keep the celebrations going and make a whole weekend of it. After almost two years of limited socialising, enjoy the setting and plan around the formal wedding day with breakfast, brunches, and dinners. Soak up the atmosphere, enjoy the company of your loved ones and relive the special moments of the day before.
More information on both the planning and venues available with Restaurant Associates can be found online, here.