A Guide On Wedding Planning In The South East
What kind of wedding do you want?
Your wedding day is a once-in-a-lifetime occasion. Is it a casual or a formal day? An intimate affair or lavish celebration? Rustic or classic? Or even themed?
Struggling for inspiration – check Instagram, google & bridal magazines. Create a vision, a personal reflection of you both as a couple. Don’t be afraid to be a little different instead of the tradition. Let us inspire you with our knowledge of the industry.
Did you know it takes the average couple 400 hours of planning, designing, setting up, and coordinating for a wedding? This level of dedication isn’t realistic around full-time jobs, children, and lives. Daniel Lay Event Services can save you time and stress by taking away the admin and some of the research. We create shortlists of options and deal with the logistics. Our packages are bespoke and tailored to suit you as a couple. We create events that your guests will be talking about for years. No wedding is too big or too small!
Draw Up A Budget
There are no rules on what a wedding should cost. It’s simply what you can afford and want to spend. Our advice is to be open about your budget. Have a clear understanding of what your total budget is and make a priority list. We can help you to avoid making costly mistakes. Alternative options that suit your budget are given.
- First, list your venue requirements.
- Next, work out your expected numbers.
Write a guest list and get an idea of how many people you would like to invite. Ask yourself, would you buy that person a £80 dinner, for example? Do you want children there? A popular idea is to have daytime guests, and more guests in the evening.
At Daniel Lay Events, we specialise in weddings in the South East and London; we will also travel if required.
We have worked at the best wedding venues in the South East; here is a list of some of them to pick from. Next to some of these venues, you will notice a preferred supplier label. We are the preferred supplier at these venues:
Wedding Venues In Kent
- Donnington Manor – Sevenoaks, Kent (Preferred Supplier)
- Westerham Golf Club – Westerham, Kent (Preferred Supplier)
- Park Wood Golf Club – Westerham, Kent (Preferred Supplier)
- The Beaverwood – Chislehurst, Kent (Preferred Supplier)
- Club Langley – Beckenham (Preferred Supplier)
- Glebe Football Club – Chislehurst, Kent (Preferred Supplier)
Wedding Venues in Surrey:
- Surrey National Golf Club – Chaldon, Surrey (Preferred Supplier)
- Lingfield Park Racecourse & Resort – Lingfield, Surrey (Preferred Supplier)
- Bespoke at Hartswood Eastate – Reigate, Surrey (Preferred Supplier)
- Bespoke at Littleton Manor Farm – Reigate, Surrey (Preferred Supplier)
Wedding Venues in East and West Sussex:
Wedding Venues in London:
- Greenwich Yacht Club – Greenwich, London (Preferred Supplier)
- Pembrooke Lodge – Richmond, London
- Church House – Westminster, London (Preferred Supplier)
- The Honourable Artillery Company – East London
- The Corinthia – London
- The Drum At Wembley – Wembley, London
Blank canvas or pre-styled?
Blank canvas venues include marquees or teepees but can also be purpose-built venues. A blank canvas venue includes only the building itself and no extras such as decor or furniture. This allows you to pick exactly what you want. The downside is sometimes, this can be more costly and requires more planning.
By visiting various venues, you will soon determine if you prefer a blank canvas or a pre-styled venue.
Whether you go for a rustic look, glamorous luxury or simple classic. Think about your flower arrangements and decorations that show your style.
How do you want to say I do?
If you would like a religious ceremony, this must occur in a church or place of worship. This, in turn, means the reception will need to take place elsewhere. The downside is your guests will need transport between the ceremony and reception.
If you want to have your ceremony and reception in one place, you must check if your venue has a civil ceremony licence. The benefit of this is you will save time from transporting guests. The downside is some venues have room turnaround times. This is often due to the ceremony and reception taking place in the same room.
Choosing a Date
If you have a date in mind, think about the seasons; England can be a wet country in some months and warm in others. Weekdays tend to be cheaper, but some venues only work at the weekends. Weekends tend to be easier for guests to attend due to work restrictions. If you dream of partying till sunrise or over a weekend, it is worth checking venue licence restrictions. The same applies for finish times, some venues have residential noise restrictions. This means an 11 or 12-midnight finish may be in place.
Some venues have specific suppliers they ask you to choose from and don’t allow you to deviate from. We work with both specific venues, but we are also available to work with your venue on things they may not provide. Ensuring all vendors arrive on time and follow a schedule can be stressful. Daniel Lay Events can manage this if required.
It takes a lot of time and effort to go through Google’s endless lists of suppliers. It is often hard to know whether they are any good. We have strong relationships with tried and tested vendors. We also offer a wide range of products in-house, saving booking with many suppliers.
Some of the products we offer in-house include:
This is very important to some. Do you want to use your venue’s bar, or will you bring in your own? At Daniel Lay Events, we can provide a dry hire bar complete with staff if required. We offer a range of bar equipment and allow you to supply your own drink, which often saves a good amount.
Treat your guests to a feast, leaving lasting memories. Working with venues can give you a choice of menus. Some venues allow you to choose a menu or external caterer. This could be a pizza van, paella stand, doughnut wall or a cheese board cake. A wedding cake is also very important. Some of the caterers we work with are:
Dough N’ Go Pizzas (Pop-Up Pizza Caterers)
Connexions Cuisine (Traditional Catering offering any type of cuisine you can think of).
Paella Fella – Traditional paellas perfect for self-service wedding breakfasts
Cakes & Sweet Treats
Create a wedding entertainment that dazzles your guests. Consider hiring a talented, live band or versatile DJ. Or even one live musician.
Photo booths and interactive games can add fun and laughter to the celebration. Outdoor giant garden games or fireworks and sparklers work well too.
Lastly, a magician should also be considered for close-up magic. This breaks the ice and can help fill in time between courses.
Photographers and videographers ensure no precious moment goes unnoticed. Encourage shots to capture genuine emotions and interactions between you as a couple and guests. They will serve as a memory for your special day.
Accommodation on site or nearby?
If it is important that you and your guests stay at the venue, then check your numbers and make sure there is room for all. If not, then you should ensure there are hotels or Airbnb nearby. This is particularly important for remote venues where taxis are few and far between. Having a venue with plenty of accommodation can be a driving decision in picking a venue. This allows guests to relax knowing they are a short walk away and can party until the early hours if they wish.
How to personalise your big day
Serve signature drinks – make his and hers cocktails or a shot on the table for your guests to toast. Or make a cocktail name out of your names.
Photo wall of memories or a very creative table plan. Tell a story with your tables – the countries you visited as a couple or films you both like or quotes.
Photo booth – A selfie photo booth provides a great way to get fun and lasting memories. This works particularly well if your photographer finishes after your first dance.
Involve your friends with speeches & readings, holding rings and having bridesmaids and groomsmen.
Make a wedding website.
Planning your wedding should be a fun and enjoyable experience. Here at Daniel Lay Events, we can do just that. We know what the latest trends are as well as old traditions. We can take the stress away, looking at the bigger picture and making the process more manageable. A few years later, when you look back to this day, you will be glad to have taken those extra steps.
Our last tips:
- Be flexible and don’t be afraid to ask for help
- Take breaks from planning and remember why you are doing it
- Don’t compare your wedding to others
- Involve your partner in decision-making, especially fun elements of the wedding such as food, drinks and entertainment
- Have fun and enjoy the planning!