With the holiday season (aka: engagement season!) quickly approaching, now is the perfect time to get a head-start on planning your 2019/2020 wedding.
We recently shared our top wedding trends for 2019 on the blog, but this week we wanted to talk about some practical tips to help you with the very first step of your wedding planning: researching and booking your wedding venue and suppliers!
Choosing your wedding venue and dream team can definitely feel overwhelming. From finding the perfect space to host your celebration, to connecting with suppliers who align with your vision, it can be a time-consuming process if you’re not sure where to start.
However, booking the right venue and suppliers is a pretty important task, as they’ll be responsible for helping you create one of the most important events of your entire life. Keep reading for some quick tips to help you secure the perfect dream team for your day!
Image via Kyle Richardson
Check out reviews, testimonials & awards
Finding reputable suppliers is key when it comes to stress-free wedding planning, so take some time to dig deeper into the reputation of different venues and suppliers as you start to do your research. First, you should always read through reviews and testimonials from previous couples to help you find trustworthy providers. There’s nothing quite as helpful as hearing from a recently married couple sharing their genuine thoughts and experiences.
Along with reading the Facebook and website reviews of the different venues and suppliers you’re considering, make sure you check out third-party review sites such as Easy Weddings, too (check out our own Easy Wedding reviews right here.). This will give you a great indication of what working with each business is actually like, and the kind of experience other couples have had with them.
You can also keep an eye out for different awards, titles and recognition your suppliers may have earned through votes or reviews from previous couples. For example, here at Coolibah Downs we were recently awarded the title of #1 Best Gold Coast Garden Wedding Venue as voted by couples for the Brides Choice Awards.
Image via Camilla Kirk
Ask suppliers for recommendations
As well as checking out testimonials from other couples, ask any existing suppliers you may have already booked for their personal recommendations, too. Remember, each wedding venue and wedding supplier has worked with countless other suppliers to produce hundreds of weddings, and will be able to give you their top referrals based on their previous experiences. This can also be really helpful when it comes to finding suppliers that work well together and have experience at your chosen venue.
Image via Two People by Agi Davis
Browse real weddings and galleries
Another place you can look to for your research is any “Real Wedding” blogs or photo galleries from the venues and suppliers you’re considering. Seeing photos from actual weddings will show you the standard of each supplier and the style of their work, while also providing you with ideas and inspiration for your own big day.
Images via Ivy Road Photography
Book a site visit or consultation
After compiling a short-list of venues and suppliers, it’s time to start the enquiry process. While the initial point of contact is usually over phone or email, we highly recommend booking in for a site visit (for venues) or consultations (for suppliers) to help you narrow down your options and find the perfect fit for your requirements.
When it comes to your wedding, it’s so important to work with a venue and suppliers you have a great relationship with and can trust. Meeting with suppliers in person and seeing venues in real life will allow you to start building connections and getting a true sense of how your day could look and feel.
We also recommend batching these appointments to save time. Mark 1 or 2 days in your calendar to schedule all of your necessary consultations or tours so you can get this done in a shorter timeframe and tick those decisions off your list! During these appointments, don’t forget to ask about any special offers or promotions your venue or suppliers may be running. For example, here at Coolibah Downs, we currently have some Summer specials for 2019 couples to take advantage of.
Image 2: Camilla Kirk
Be mindful of timelines
Finally, it’s important to give yourself enough time to book in your key suppliers before the big day. Remember that the wedding industry here on the Gold Coast can get extremely busy, especially during peak season. The last thing you want to do is leave your enquiries to the last minute, only to find that all of your dream suppliers are fully booked on your chosen date!
Instead, give yourself at least 12 months to start the research process and try to book in your absolute key vendors (like your venue, photographer, planner and celebrant) first to ensure you don’t miss out on your number one preferences.
Image via Ivory and Rose Photography
Currently looking to get married here on the Gold Coast and searching for the perfect wedding venue? Get in touch to arrange a bridal appointment, download our wedding collections or see more of our real weddings on the blog – we’d love to host your special day. Don’t forget you can also join us for our next Wedding Showcase coming up in February for an interactive experience at our Gold Coast hinterland venue.
You can also read some of our latest testimonials below or check out more love letters from past couples right here!
“The staff at Coolibah Downs made the whole planning experience leading up to the wedding stress-free, and on the day every detail was looked after. The venue was just beautiful and made for a great backdrop for our photos. All of our guests raved about the food and loved the convenience of having the ceremony and reception in the same location.” -Danielle
“Coolibah Downs brought our vision of a reception under the stars to life. They were organised, helpful and total wedding experts. What a beautiful wedding, we couldn’t be happier!” -Karla