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10 tips for throwing a London wedding

City Wedding Planners, the team behind The London Wedding Workbook, share their advice for the stress-free way of saying 'I do' in the capital

1. Inject some London glamour

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If there’s any city in the world that knows how to do a good wedding, it’s London. Whether it’s an imposing, industrial space or a beautiful and historic stately home you’re after, you’ll be spoilt for choice on where to host your big day. A grand historic stately home may not need much decoration, but the impressive 1930s structural design of the West Reservoir Centre, for example, would come alive with an additional production budget for lighting and decor. Think carefully about the space you choose and how best to maximise your venue within your budget.

2. Dig a little deeper

London’s a grand old city, with lots of quirky, unusual venues and interesting spaces. If a Grade I listed house or a historic city chamber isn’t your thing, scratch beneath the surface to hunt out the city’s more eclectic venues. Places such as London Zoo, London Transport Museum and the Cutty Sark are just some of the different spaces with ultimate wow-factor already ingrained to blow your guests away.

Book a live animal encounter to greet your guests, sip champagne amidst a spectacular backdrop of iconic vintage red London buses, or party the night away on-board one of the world’s most famous ships, moored on the shores of the River Thames. Or what about the Bleeding Heart Tavern, a restaurant, bistro and tavern with its own 600-year-old crypt where Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon hosted a five-day banquet in 1531? Take the time to do your research and find the perfect venue for your wedding.

3. Travel

London’s a big place – if you’re having separate venues for your ceremony and reception, make sure you know the distance between the two and think about travel logistics for you and your guests. Even if you decide to put transport on, you don’t want to waste precious time being stuck in traffic while trying to cart your wedding party across the city. Keep an eye on TFL travel updates and keep your guests informed.

4. Consider a weekday wedding

If money’s no object, you can take your pick out of London’s impressive wedding venue repertoire; but if like most couples you have a budget, be open-minded when choosing your date. Most venues offer much cheaper packages on weekdays and Sundays, leaving you with more cash to spend on exciting things like the dress, bridesmaids, groomsmen and entertainment. Not forgetting the honeymoon!

5. Go off-season

While it’s lovely to have a beautiful summer wedding, don’t rule out going off-season and looking at a late autumn or winter do. If your venue has outdoor space, you’ll have a colourful backdrop of red and orange as the trees shed their leaves, and winter weddings can be especially romantic inside a warm and cosy venue. You’ll be surprised at how much you could save if you get hitched between October and March in most venues across the city.

6. Recycle/upcycle

Don’t think that you have to spend a fortune buying brand new decorations for your venue – a few hours scouring youandyourwedding.co.uk’s Swap and Sale forum should allow you to gather the necessities for a fraction of the price. After all, most of these decorations were only used for one day!

7. Go bespoke

If you’re having trouble finding the perfect dress, why not find a dressmaker and go bespoke? Having a custom-made wedding gown just for you, that no other bride has worn or tried on before, is a wonderful and magical thing. You can forget having to shell out extra for alterations and fittings, and get everything done all under one roof, by one pair of hands – and possibly save a fortune.

8. Be a budget geek

Set up a spreadsheet of quotes, costs and expenditures for all of your wedding outgoings, including everything from the dress to the drinks. The online Budget Planning Tool from City Wedding Planners is already pre-populated with everything you’ll need to budget for, and is quick and easy to amend and use, with predicted cost and actual cost columns so you can plan approximate costs before obtaining final quotes. Keeping track of the costs is crucial to planning your perfect London wedding.

9. Choose your photographer wisely

There are thousands of talented photographers in London who offer various wedding packages for different budgets. Whatever you spend, remember that these are your memories for life, so choose your photographer wisely and tell them what you want.
It’s a good idea to meet beforehand for an engagement shoot if you have the budget – you can then familiarise yourself with each other and find out what works to relax in front of the camera.

10. Don’t forget to smile

The biggest tip of all is to enjoy it!

Click here to buy The London Wedding Workbook: Make It Meaningful, Make It Yours, Make It Happen by City Wedding Planners for £17

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