Top 10 Tips For Planning a Memorable Wedding

top-10-tips-for-planning1We talk to Nigel Davis, head of Chez Vous bespoke events based on the Costa del Sol, about his top tips for a wedding that you and your guests will never forget!

BE CRAFTY
You don’t need to buy expensive things to make a statement. Sometimes simple things from the countryside speak more than complicated and costly bling!

LIGHTING is key to a good-looking wedding. Focus lighting only onto the areas where you need light. The football stadium effect will not enhance an elegant setting. Think spotlights on table centres and bars, ambient lighting/fairy lights in the surrounding trees; this is a sure fire way to create a wonderland!

BUDGET
Make sensible choices, especially at the start when you’ve decided on what to spend. You need to spread out your budget evenly. There is no point in buying those expensive invitations from New York and making the rest of your wedding look low-budget. The job of a good planner is to advise you on where to spend your money wisely; there are a million and one things one doesn’t think about when hosting a party. Don’t be afraid to tell people your budget from the start. There are so many different levels of weddings - some are big budget spectaculars, while other couples want to save a bit for the honeymoon. Whatever the case be open and trust your planner, you can always get a comparable quote elsewhere once you have been given an itemized budget; ask questions. If you’re thinking of cutting items from your budget it is vital that you bear in mind the negative impact this could have on other areas of the wedding budget. What you need to get to the bottom of is value for money and not how cheap something is. Nine times out of 10 you get what you pay for. I recommend keeping a contingency budget of at least 3000 euros for those ‘just in case’ situations. Also insist that your planner gives you a copy of their Public Liability Insurance (responsabilidad), make sure they are a legal entity here in Spain and that their insurance is paid up to date. If you don’t you could run the risk of not only losing your budget entirely, but also finding yourself in trouble with the authorities.

top-10-tips-for-planning2CREATE SURPRISES It’s important to keep your guests entertained. If you have different areas at your venue, keep your invitees guessing. Close off the dinner area and the party area if you can. For example, if you book a solo singer for dinner, have them appear from a balcony or from behind some trees. These small pieces of theatre are the things that guests generally remember…and they cost nothing!

ENTERTAINMENT
It is important to book the right entertainment. Think of all of your guests when choosing the music. The older generation will generally leave earlier than the young ones. If you have a band or DJ ask them to play the classics first so that everyone gets to dance to the music that they like. If you bring a band from abroad (your home country, for example) bear in mind that you will need to pay for their transport and their hotels and food. Meeting their technical requirements – unless they drive down in their own truck – could be as expensive as their booking fee. Drums, keyboards, DJ decks, amplifiers, microphones and speakers will all need to be hired at this end and bands will generally be quite nervous about playing abroad and will more often than not insist on the best and most expensive equipment. Insist on seeing your venue’s music license. If you make excessive noise and an angry neighbour calls the police you run the risk of your music being turned off completely!

CHURCH SERVICE

Regarding church weddings, remember that it is not as simple here in Spain as in other parts of the world. The Catholic Church in Spain can be quite strict. In some parishes you and your partner will need to attend mass and make regular visits before you’re permitted to wed. You are also obliged to attend a marriage course either here or in your own country. If either bride or groom has been married before this will also be a problem. A good wedding planner will help guide you through this stage but be sure to leave a lot of time before the wedding date to complete paperwork, since this is a very slow process!

MENU
When choosing your menu again don’t blow all your money in one area. Choose a caterer which best suits your pocket. Your guests need to be fed and looked after but they are there to see you and not to experience haute cuisine. Don’t forget to have late snacks during the party; carbs are best when there’s alcohol involved as they help everyone sober up or carry on partying!

TIMINGS
Make sure you arrive on time at the ceremony. Guests in suits cooking in the sun are not a great start to the day. Being late will also have a negative impact on the rest of the services, especially the caterers. Give yourself plenty of time to get ready and make sure hair and make-up arrives with at least half an hour to spare. Plan your speeches well and be strict beforehand on their length and who will speak when. This is vital to the success of the meal.

WEATHER
Apart from its beauty, most people who decide to get married here on the Costa del Sol do so for the climate and reliable weather. Saying that, during the months of April, May and even early June, September and October the night-time temperatures can fall quite dramatically, in which case you will need to leave some budget for patio heaters. Try and go for the pyramid-style ones with the glass tube as the flame will give off a nice effect at night. It can also rain here during these months so a Plan B budget needs to be set aside. Tents will need to be reserved with a holding deposit in advance. During May, June, July and August it is feria time here in Spain, so a lot of the local marquee companies will have their tents booked out, so yours could arrive very late as every other event planner, bar and restaurant will want to book theirs too. September and October are much easier months to book marquees.

BE A PATIENT BRIDE
Try not to get hung up on the smallest details. Stand back and look at the bigger picture, you will only kick yourself after the wedding day and realize that it was unnecessary. Remember, everyone is doing their best to make your day as special as humanly possible. If something doesn’t work out and your planner/provider is a legal entity you have every right to ask for a refund for the part which was lacking or substandard (and spend it on your honeymoon!) Whether you are religious or not, the day is simply about you and your partner declaring your love for each other and your family and friends are there to bear witness to this and to offer their support to you both for the rest of your lives together.

Nigel is head of Chez Vous events, the leading production and catering supplier on the Costa Del Sol for all special events. Send him an email to discuss any wedding requirements you might have This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 
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