Hiring a wedding planner...

Weddingcharlotte twells
Barn wedding

Ask a bride what a wedding planner does and images of Jennifer Lopez spring to mind for most. Brides know that they want help in any form, either from friends or family but many don't consider hiring a wedding planner. Ask a wedding planner what they do and they might tell you things you hadn't even considered, loading your boot full of decor, checking out that the correct licences are in place or fixing a broken dress with a ceremony looming. So would you consider hiring one? 

Once you know the basic services offered from a wedding planner it is easier to find one that is most suited to you. Now is the time to talk about the specific options you're looking for. Most planners offer a varying level of service based on price and what a bride is after, some brides need the full wedding planning service, others require 'on the day' help. A huge factor when choosing your planner is knowing that they can give you what you're after, thorough conversations will help you with this. 

When choosing a wedding planner, it is important to ask if they have catered for an event like the one you are planning. Maybe it's in an unusual location, on a tight timescale or has a huge number of guests attending. Some planners may not have the backup available to help them, so ask early on in the process to find this out. 

Finding out if your planner has a network of suppliers they work with is a huge plus point, this is based on the fact that if there are suppliers that work with them on occasions, they will probably be trusted to do a good job. 

Finally, do they fit into your budget? Some brides see planners as an added expense, but many wedding planners save money in the long run so are often a good money saving tool Don't base everything on money though, find a planner that gets you, that you trust and that fits with the style you're after. That may seem impossible but it can be done. Remember you can ask about payment plans, smaller package options more tailored to you and many wedding planners may refer you on to somebody if they cant help - it's all part of the service :)

Charlotte x

Image David Guenther via Ruffled

20 cake toppers under £25...

Weddingcharlotte twells

Many wedding cakes are truly beautiful creations, often adorned with real or sugar flowers, or some other traditional style of topper. But can you go one better and top off your cake with something personal too? 

We've scoured the web to find 20 of our favourite toppers, hopefully they will give you some inspiration, plus they're all under £25 too - bonus! 

Laura Long

Laura Long

Charlotte x

Quiz your wedding venue...

Weddingcharlotte twells
Rustic Farm wedding

When you're looking for your wedding avenue I always recommend narrowing it down to between three and five and going to visit them all. Asking basic questions such as "are you available on the day we need?" is the key to narrowing them down further so once you have your final few, we recommend asking these nine important questions...

1.  Do you have a cut off time or a time limit on our celebrations?  Many venues have a cut off time of around 11pm, this could be due to permits, restrictions or neighbours. If you want the party to continue long into the night, you might have to consider somewhere else or see what they can do to accommodate your request.

2. What is the parking like for your guests? Some venues don't have as much allocated parking as you would expect, especially in a remote location. If it's been raining and the parking is on grass, how will your guests feel walking through mud in their Sunday best? Just something to consider.

3. What are the loos like? Nobody likes a portaloo!

4. Can we use the suppliers we want? I've spoken to many brides who aren't happy with the fact their venue told them after they had signed up that they couldn't use external suppliers and had to use the 'recommended list' provided by the venue itself.

5.  Can we bring our own alcohol or do you charge a corkage fee? Sometimes with the corkage added it's not worth it to buy externally.

6.  Where will everyone eat and can you accommodate the number we have in mind? Will dancing be in another room of will it all be contained in one space? This helps to know if you have to decorate any further rooms adding to the cost.

7. Can you throw in any freebies? Always worth a shot! 

8.  Do you have any hidden costs? Sometimes the ceremony can cost extra and you don't find out until afterwards. Ask about the service, VAT and any other bits that you would expect to be included in the overall cost. 

9.  Do you have a minimum spend? You would be surprised how many venues want you to spend a certain amount behind the bar in order to have your wedding there. Always check the small print.

Charlotte x 

Image Brad Claypool via Green Wedding Shoes