Engaged and dreaming about the big day? Congrats! But wait—is the prospect of planning all those tiny little details making you dizzy? We know there are lots of things to consider to make your wedding the swoonworthy day you want for you and your guests. The good news: we’ve got you covered with on-point advice from our banquet manager, Kelly Donahue.
Before we get started: Stop, and take a deep breath. There will be some hectic days, but it all works out in the end, especially when you seek an event pro for advice and assistance. Most venues have a point person (or team!) to advise and handle the details so your focus remains on fun. Read on to learn Kelly’s top five wedding planning tips.
Prepared with questions, that is! Bring a list with you whenever you tour a venue or talk to vendors. Pro tip: Don’t reinvent the wheel. There are many websites with questionnaires (like this one) to get you started.
“I love questions,” Kelly said. “Talking things through is very helpful for both the venue and the couple. And remember: No question is silly! Ask away.”
2. Get some face time.
Emails, texts and calls are great ways to connect, but sometimes, you just need the personal touch. If at any point you begin to feel overwhelmed, schedule a time to sit down for a face-to-face meeting with your venue’s event planner.
“You can’t beat being at the venue, walking through and talking to your event planner,” Kelly added. “Wondering if your seating idea will work? Concerned about what type of bar setup to offer? Heart set on an outdoor wedding, but afraid it will rain? It doesn’t matter if the wedding is a month away or a year away. If you need a little hand-holding, make the appointment.”
3. Ask for help.
Never hesitate to reach out to your vendors. They’ve walked the walk many times and know what works (and what doesn’t work!). They also know other trustworthy vendors. For example, ask your videographer for a photographer recommendation, or vice versa. Most venues have preferred vendor lists and can point you in the right direction, too.
“Choosing invitations, flowers, the cake and even a photo booth vendor should be fun,” Kelly said. “Once chosen, those vendors should be your partners to make the big day memorable. Reach out—they’re happy to help.”
Renting things the venue doesn’t provide—especially those important decorating touches—is a good way to keep costs down. Don’t need 30 mason jars, shepherd hooks or lanterns after the wedding? Your event planner can help you find the right place for the right items.
“At The Gables at Chadds Ford, we provide a document that has pricing and photos for many popular decorations and extras,” Kelly explained.
5. Remember: It is all about you.
Family and friends are fantastic, but don’t forget that this is your day to celebrate your special love. You’ll find advice will be freely given (and given, and given!), but the final decision is yours.
“Consider including family and friends in the early discussions,” Kelly suggested. “This makes them feel a part of everything—but you’re deciding what part. Remember, everyone is excited and has good intentions. They love you!”
The Gables at Chadds Ford is nestled in the heart of the historic Brandywine Valley. Our combination of fresh seasonal cuisine, rustic yet elegant charm and enchanting outdoor dining will keep you coming back time and time again. The Gables is also the perfect venue to host your next special event, whether you are planning a wedding, rehearsal dinner, baby shower or corporate event.
Photos: Allison Barto