Tips and tricks for planning the perfect wedding from Slaley Hall

Tips and tricks for planning the perfect wedding from Slaley Hall

Slaley Hall Weddings 2015 back of couple

Planning your wedding can seem like a full-time job. From the initial research to the finer details further down the line, how can you ensure that you’re making the right choices?

Here are some handy tips and tricks for brides and grooms-to-be from the expert wedding coordinators, Jemma Bufton and Hannah Wallis, at Northumberland’s Slaley Hall.

  1. Do your research

Research is so important when planning for the big day, but it’s hard to know where to begin.

There are so many different ways to get inspiration, from attending wedding fairs to getting recommendations from friends, and apps such as Pinterest, the tools available are endless!

As well as wedding magazines, don’t underestimate how useful blogs are, especially local ones. Local wedding bloggers are likely to have a great understanding of venues and suppliers in your area – and their photography will be a great way to see venues from an outsider’s perspective in the early stages of research.

You can also use Pinterest, not just for inspiration and ideas, but also to search for local suppliers, as many vendors will have boards with examples of their own work.

  1. Be savvy

Remember, you don’t have to settle for the first quote you receive from a supplier. Shop around and see what other options are available before agreeing to anything.

We’d also advise asking your venue for their recommended contacts. At Slaley Hall, we always suggest partners we know are reliable and can offer the best quality and value. Plus, customers sometimes get a special discount because they have gone through us and benefit from their supplier knowing the venue inside and out.

Wedding fairs are also a great opportunity to meet face-to-face with suppliers and get some great deals, and if you find a supplier you really like but the costs are coming in over budget, don’t be afraid to haggle.

The key is not to book all of your suppliers at once. If you can spread the deposit costs out in the run up to the wedding, this could help with managing your budget. It’s also fairly common for suppliers to require payment in several instalments, so make a note of when these need to be paid and try to stagger them.

  1. Have a vision and stick to it

Creating a theme is perhaps the most exciting part of planning a wedding for many engaged couples. There are so many different ways you can get creative and add personality to your day, but it can be difficult making these choices early on.

First and foremost, we suggest viewing lots of venues. You’ll know ‘the one’ when you see it. Once you’ve got the venue booked, you can start to visualise how different ideas and looks might work, and that’s where the ‘theme’ planning really starts.

Remember to keep your theme consistent across the whole of the wedding. It’s easy to get caught up in lots of different trends, so we would advise you stick with what you like and what works with the style of the venue.

We recommend searching for your wedding venue online to see how other couples have used the space for inspiration. You can look at what has worked well and what suits your taste.

You obviously want your big day to be personal and unique to you, so while inspiration from previous weddings is a good place to start, make sure your wedding co-ordinator is on-board to help tailor your dream day to suit you both!

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  1. Figure out what’s important to you

There are so many elements involved in a wedding that it can be daunting to know which areas you should prioritise.

Our advice is to decide what is most important to you. Is it the flowers? Entertainment? Food? Or perhaps it’s the perfect cake? When you know what this is, you can begin prioritising everything and managing your budget to allow for those things.

Don’t forget that there are plenty of hacks that can make the things that are less important, less costly. You can create your own invitations, swap a DJ for a tablet with personalised playlists and even get a family member to bake your cake. There are so many ways to cut costs, whilst still having everything you desire to make it special.

  1. Have a plan b

Ensure you have done a thorough recce of your venue beforehand and briefed your photographer on the different options available, come rain or shine.

For example, should the British weather take a turn for the worst, Slaley Hall has indoor spaces and the flexibility to move the party under cover. This just takes the pressure off if you spot any stray clouds on the morning of your wedding!

For more information about weddings at Slaley Hall, go to