EXPERT ADVICE

FAQs and expert advice about venues

Here is a selection of Q&As from Your Midlands Wedding magazine whether it be about flowers, hair and makeup, fashion, wedding themes, health & beauty, cakes, stationery, legal advice. If you would like your question answered by our experts, please email it to editor@yourmidlands.wedding

A grand setting

A grand setting

Q What questions should we be asking a venue before booking?
A The team at Safari Venues says: There is a lot to think about when booking a wedding venue. These are some of the questions that we recommend you ask prospective properties:

Do you allow outdoor ceremonies? Getting married outside is a great option and can often offer a fantastic backdrop for the ceremony and great photo opportunities. Couples can get married with us in the gardens of Spring Grove House, which look spectacular.

Do you have accommodation? It's worth finding out if they have any rooms for guests and if there is the option to stay the night before the wedding. For example, we have the option for couples to stay in our fantastic Safari Lodges.

Is there a minimum/maximum number of guests required? A venue may only be able to cater for a certain number of guests, or may have different options for the ceremony, wedding breakfast and reception.

Do you allow external suppliers? Some venues prefer to do everything in house, whereas others might completely rely on external suppliers, or a mix of in-house and external. For example, we cater in house for food, but we do allow external caterers on occasion.

What are the photo opportunities within the venue? Many photographers may know the venue, especially if they are local, but it might be worth noting some stand-out locations, which will save time on the big day.

Do you offer exclusive hire of the venue? Some properties may be open to the public, so it's worth finding out if you will be sharing your day with another pre-planned event, or whether members of the public will have access to the grounds.

The team at Safari Venues, Safari Venues

The perfect choice

The perfect choice

Q I've just started planning and want to find the perfect venue. What should we take into consideration before booking?
A Jenny Dodd says: Not knowing where to start may seem daunting and sometimes even challenging but try and take the time to enjoy the planning process. Start by doing your research and creating a visual moodboard for your big day. This will help you understand what sort of venues to look for and give you an idea of the cost.

Next, create a plan for your nuptials and prepare a list of questions based on this before visiting each venue. You may have a large party and need to know crucial details such as capacities, or whether the property can hold civil ceremonies or evening celebrations. Keep in mind how you can utilise each space to save you from having to book more than one venue.

Jenny Dodd, Weston Hall

Rest and relaxation

Rest and relaxation

Q My anxiety has been bad recently and my bridesmaids want to organise a spa trip to help me relax. I'm nervous as I've never visited one before, do you have any tips?
A Penny Weston says: Whether it's your first time in the spa or your 100th, we can all struggle to switch off our minds and get out of our heads from time to time. Here are my top tips on how to stay grounded and confident in the moment:

Celebrate your body – If body confidence is your weak point, instead of judging yourself for the negative thoughts you have, pivot your mind to recognising the role that your body plays in your overall wellbeing. As you look at yourself, appreciate every part of you (even the bits you sometimes don't love) and celebrate all that it does for you. It's important to remind yourself that you don't have to do anything you don't want to do. If, when at the spa, you prefer to wear a more covered swimming costume over a bikini, then do! Whatever you choose, wear it with confidence for your beautiful body.

Finding a treatment that works for you – Spas are more accommodating than ever before, with each offering menus that can often be tailored to your needs. If you're nervous, perhaps build some initial confidence with a facial treatment, and on your next trip, you might surprise yourself and want to book in for a whole-body massage!

Switching off during a treatment – One of my favourite ways to switch off is by reciting a mantra and sticking to it. If you're still struggling to switch off, move your focus to the sounds around you. Listen to what you can hear, maybe it's the birds chirping outside or the calming music.

Ensure you're well-rested – When we're tired, the mind will usually work overtime, and it's harder to calm our thoughts down. So, the night before coming to the spa, it's important to get a good night's sleep. Try switching off your phone before you get into bed, and instead have a relaxing bath or read your favourite book. If you wake up and still aren't feeling as well-rested as you'd like, try doing a quick meditation.

Plan your trip with people who empower you – While going to the spa alone can be just what you need, often spending the day with the people who empower can allow you to enjoy it that bit more. This quality time with someone else can boost both of your confidence and bring you to a state of mutual relaxation.

Penny Weston, Moddershall Oaks Health Spa

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