A Place To Call Your Own
Tie the Knot Scotland|January - February 2020
The biggest piece in the wedding planning jigsaw is the venue, but with 100s of potential locations to choose from, just where do you begin?
Claire Muir

Festive engagement?

Huge congratulations, and welcome to the world of wedding planning! Is there any better way to start the new year? We don’t think so! If your excitement is tinged with a little anxiety, however, we understand – pretty much everyone feels clueless at the start. To set you off on the right road, we have had a chat with a bunch of people who know the wedding industry inside out. Every one of them says you should begin by finding a venue. Why? Read on…

IN THE RIGHT PLACE

When couples set out to plan a wedding, most factors are inevitably determined by where they want to host it and the style of day they lean towards. “Once you know your venue and how it will work for you, all the other details simply slot into place,” promises Helen McCann, hospitality sales executive at the magnificent Culzean Castle on the Ayrshire coast. “Your venue has to be your top priority.”

Susan Spence, group wedding and events manager at luxury brand Manorview Hotels, backs that view: “It’s a major part of your wedding. Finding the right venue for you is like falling in love – you just get a good feeling about it. It should feel special and become a place you’ll want to return to for all of life’s celebrations, making it almost a part of your family for years after your wedding.”

Sounds dreamy… but a long way off, right? So, let’s rewind.

CLARIFYING THE CRITERIA

Even the briefest online search will throw up fairytale castles and dazzling blank canvases, making it very easy to get carried away and start obsessing about a place that would never actually work for you. For that reason, most coordinators recommend looking at your numbers first – that means finances and rough head count – followed by a few other key factors.

“The first priority should be to set a budget,” advises Helen Knowles, who’s in charge of marketing and events at Ballogie Estate, an exclusive-use venue in Royal Deeside, Aberdeenshire. “Don’t start looking until you know how much you can spend.”

According to Louize Hollywood, wedding co-ordinator at opulent city-centre venue 29 Glasgow, “The basics are the capacity (not too big or too small for the number of people you want to invite) and if it ticks your boxes in terms of packages, location and style.”

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