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Finding your wedding venue: Expert Q&A with Practical Ever After

Wedding bloggers are the holy grail of wedding planning knowledge, especially when it comes to choosing your venue. So if you've got capacity chaos or accommodation conundrums, read on...

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Wedding blogger Karis (with h2b David) knows a thing or two about finding the dream wedding venue

When it comes to the ins and outs of wedding planning, you can’t get a more honest opinion than hearing things straight from the bride (and groom’s) mouth. That’s why we jumped at the chance to chat to super-bloggers Karis and Sharlene, aka, Practical Ever After.

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Many heads make light work, and that’s certainly the case for this bridal duo. Karis and Sharlene have been friends since the year dot – and they’re tying the knot within a month of each other later this year, too!

So, what did Practical Ever After have to say when we invited them to You & Your Wedding HQ, and quizzed them on all things blogs, venues, and weddings?

Do you think choosing a venue is the biggest decision you can make when it comes to your wedding?

Sharlene: It was without doubt one of the most important decisions we made. We didn’t really plan much else until we’d settled on a venue.

Karis: Yes, but every step along the way seems as important as the last. They are all equally stressful in their own containers!

When it came to finding your venues, how did you begin the search?

Karis: I used google maps, going on the distance from the church.

Sharlene: Mine was a bit more complicated; I was torn between marrying in London or in Norfolk. It just began with searching online though.

Karis: I looked at wedding photographers’ sites; they’re a great source of inspiration.

Karis, you confessed on your blog that ‘searching for a wedding venue is one of the most stressful things I’ve ever experienced’. In a nutshell, why was that?

Karis: Because it was just so hard to cater for all our guests. You think of your dream venue, but then think ‘what about the children?’; ‘what about the old people?’; ‘where will people stay?’. It’s also really stressful finding somewhere within budget.

Sharlene: I think the major decision for us was whether it would be in Norfolk or London. We also really needed a venue with accommodation on-site to cater for our Greek family. But, at our chosen venue, there are hotels nearby… so it’s all about finding what you’re prepared to compromise on.

Karis: Yes, the hardest thing about finding a venue is finding one that will work for all your guests.

Sharlene: And we found that just by visiting venues, we were able to learn what we did and didn’t want.

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Sharlene, here with fiance Dinos, are planning a rustic Norfolk wedding

Do you feel any pressure to be different from your friends’ weddings?

Karis: No… we both find other people’s weddings really inspiring! 

Or from each other’s weddings…?

Karis: I think in the beginning, we thought ‘hmm, we both like the same stuff.’

Sharlene: And we’re both getting married really close to each other. It’s a coincidence though!

What made you decide to start a wedding blog – would you recommend it to other brides-to-be?

Sharlene: We both had our own blogs before we created Practical Ever After: we just love blogging! We thought about incorporating the wedding stuff into our own blogs, but because we were getting married a month apart we thought we’d do it together. The blog is for us really, but it’s great that people read and enjoy it. Starting a wedding blog is definitely something we’d recommend to other brides-to-be… it’s very cathartic!

Have either of you had any Bridezilla moments…?

Sharlene: No… not yet. Other people do stress me out though  – with their questions. My best advice is to try not to listen to anyone else’s questions. People will ask me: ‘oh have you not done this?; have you not done that?’. But take no notice!

Karis: It is very stressful… but it’s definitely all worth it when it comes together.

Are you thinking or beginning the quest for your wedding venue, or, in the depths of the hunt for the perfect location?

If you need honest dress advice, down-to-earth beauty chats, or just fancy a damn good read, visiting Practical Ever After will calm any bridal woes. So grab yourself a cuppa, and log on to practicaleverafter.co.uk.

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It’s time to streamline the search with the help of youandyourwedding.co.uk/venues. Not only can you scroll through hundreds of beautiful wedding venues, you can also shortlist your favourites, and contact them directly. Desktop, laptop, tablet, or mobile – The Y&YW Venue Finder is ready whenever you are.