seasonal wedding considerations

OK so lets start off by assuming that you’ve already decided on the date, church or registry office and reception venue for your wedding. That’s great, but there are a few seasonal considerations you may want to take into account:

Flowers

First and probably the most obvious is the flowers. Your choice of flowers can help set the scene for the church, reception and the day overall.  Now I’m not suggesting that just because you get married in March you walk down the aisle clutching a bunch of daffodils, however if you get married in church and the area where the photographs will be taken has daffodils you may want to consider incorporating them into the the flower theme for the day. After all you might look a bit odd stood surrounded by Daff’s and clutching onto a selection of roses or even worse, something tropical. That being said if you were to get married in a tropical setting the Daffodils would look equally out of place. Here are a few examples of seasonal flowers for each season but it’s best to take a look at a few examples of wedding flowers before you decide:

Spring:daffodil bunch of flowers

Carnations – although a classic they are very long lasting and always look appropriate
Forget me nots – short stemmed flowers with delicate blue blooms
Lisianthus – If you buy these out of season they can be rther pricey

Summer:

Dahlias – available in a range of vivid colours to complement your chosen colour scheme
Hydrangeas – particularly large flower heads
Phlox – is ideral for a country cottage feel

Autumn:

Canna Lillies – a striking flower although the available colours will vary during the season
Iris – a popular choice despite it’s relatively short season
Marigolds – looks just like a big coloured daisy

Winter:

Amarillys – a flower traditionally grown during the winter in the UK
Freesias – have a particularly strong scent
Peony – can be found growing right into November

Catering

If you are matching your big day with the seasons, you probably want to consider matching the wedding breakfast with the season too. Many caterers will be able to advise you on what great produce is available at the time of the wedding. This is also an environmental consideration too, because if you provide out of season products, they have probably travelled quite some distance to reach your plates. Plus you need to bear in mind that serving up salad in December or sprouts in spring may have your guests brussels sproutsdiscussing the food at your wedding for quite a while after the event, for all the wrong reasons!

Entertainment

You’re probably thinking that everything above makes perfect sense, or at least I hope you are, but what does the entertainment have to do with the seasons? Well, unlike with the flowers and catering, the band or DJ that you want for the evening entertainment is probably going to play pretty much the same thing regardless if you book them in spring, summer, autumn or winter.  But will they be available? Remember there are many more weddings and balls etc happening during the summer months and plenty of office parties in the run up to christmas, so just remember that during their busiest times all the best bands and DJ’s are probably booked up well in advance, so it’s best to get in there and book them as quickly as possible after setting the date.

Entertainment

Being in the immediate run up to Christmas I see a degree of the organisation involved in putting on a wide range of events, typically at this time of year it’s Christmas parties and Balls, however as the year progresses (or passes) this really is just the tip of the iceberg. The evening event management side of things is a bit of a standard formula, the venue, the band plus PA and lighting rig, there is internal decor to consider and of course, the all important bar and catering. But regardless if it’s a military ball, company Christmas party or a corporate event, the formula is essentially the same, the main decisions involved in making the event a success seem to revolve around which providers to use for the individual components which comprise the whole event.

The obvious solution to this, assuming you’ve put on previous events, is to simply use the same suppliers that you used before if they did a good job last time, particularly for the catering, as getting the food right can be quite a challenge when either the team has to use an unfamiliar kitchen or has to transport food to a location already prepared. It’s easy enough for a professional outfit to provide different menus, but what about the other services?  After all you don’t want the event to be the same as the last one, particularly if it’s for the same set of people, a common problem for company events such as conferences and christmas parties.

party bandBooking the band is another easy choice if you’ve had them before, as they will undoubtedly vary their set for you, and probably have done anyway if it’s another year along for the works Christmas party.

The key to getting both of these right is to watch your guests, are they enjoying the food? Are they dancing to the band? Make sure you ask people afterwards too, and emphasise that you really do value their opinion and won’t be offended if they say something negative. In fact, what you want are the negative comments, too much rock and roll, or too many sprouts on your plate, these are the kind of comments, which if they come up a few times, can very easily be rectified at the next event.

But what if you’ve never put an event on before?

Now, this depends very much what you want and how much money you have to spend. If thee budget is tight and it’s a birthday party, or even to a lesser degree a wedding, you can afford a few hiccups, provided they aren’t big ones. So ask around, go and see the band you want to book, ask the caterers for a tasting, visit the decor company and see exactly what they have available.

If however you are putting on a large corporate event, you probably have a larger budget, but also want to play it safe, if money allows, you could pass tthe whole event over to a professional event organiser, they will have plenty of experience co-coordinating events like yours (unless, of course, you are planning to hire Wembley arena or the O2!) and will have tried and tested suppliers, who will always (Oops sorry, SHOULD always) do a good job, because they want their regular repeat business.

The middle ground is to use agencies, you may have to pay a bit more as they will be taking a cut, however it gives you another layer of recourse should something go wrong.

Hiring a Marquee for Your Wedding

With the increasingly bizarre antics of the English weather, having a wet weather option at your wedding is fast becoming a must.  It provides you with shelter if necessary and a dry place to have some photos taken if the heavens have opened outside.  It also generally means that guests are free to grind wedding cake underfoot and gesticulate with a glass of red in hand without landing you with a massive cleaning bill afterwards.

Does Size Matter?

Even if you’re keeping your wedding to a select number, you will probably end up needing more space than you thought.  Whether this is for your massive wedding cake to have its own table, to allow waiters to move around or just to make sure kids can get out quickly when they ‘neeeeed a weeeee!’, you’ll quickly find your small wedding of 30 people needs rather a lot of space.

Full Control

Choosing a marquee instead of a venue room gives you a unique edge: you can choose exactly how it’s going to look.  Given that most standard marquees are white and relatively uncomplicated, you can have full control over how the flowers are arranged, where the tables are placed and even wrap pretty ribbons around any unsightly metal poles.

Help Where It’s Needed

If you use a professional marquee rental service, they will offer you plenty of help if you need it.  They can advise on the style and size of marquee that will fit your needs, the kind of decoration that will work with your marquee and theme and many other niggling details that you probably hadn’t even thought of.  For example, do you want full length windows or small, arched windows?  How many entrances/exits do you require?  Where is the best location for your marquee?  Do you need flooring?  Some companies will even visit your planned reception site and inspect it for appropriateness.

How Much will it Cost?

Well it will of course vary according to how much space you need and how many guests you have.  It will also hinge on your research and haggling skills.  With so many hire companies out there, you will probably be able to shop around and find the best deal just by using the internet, you could visit my local one, Richardson Marquees (I’d like to add I havent used them myself, so can’t comment on them, they are just the company which I know because I saw their vans a couple of times, so I found them on Google to get you started, I’m nice like that!).

A very general guide is that if you have 150 guests, to hire a marquee big enough you will probably need to spend somewhere in the region of £4,000.  This would include full construction, heating, lighting, flooring, doors, dismantling and linings.  However, you’ll find a much lower price if you’re willing to forgo some of those touches.

If you go for a full-service rental agency, you can build your dream venue pretty much from the ground up, picking lighting themes, colours, furnishings and props that fit in with the rest of your day.  This service won’t be cheap but it will take a lot of the stress away.

It’s also worth remembering that hiring a marquee can be a lot more affordable than going for a larger venue such as a hotel.  If you have a large garden at your disposal, it’s the best choice in terms of budgeting. Just remember not to blow the budget, you still need the wedding photography, band, caterers, as everyone will need something to soak up all that drink with, the band plus all the little extras which people forget to include in the initial budget.