Ask the experts part 3 | Wedding Album

Ask the experts part 3: Karen Short, Founder of By Word of Mouth

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Don’t have your own wedding co-ordinator? No problem. We bring you three professional wedding planners with all the expert answers. Next up is Karen of By Word of Mouth

Wedding Album | Ask the experts

We both come from large families and our parents are contributing to the wedding. How do we accommodate everyone’s wishes with regard to the guest list?
A fair split is to give each set of parents a quarter of the total guest list and for the couple to be allocated half. For example, a 200-strong wedding would see his parents invite 50 guests, her parents invite 50 and the couple inviting 100.

What should I look out for when choosing a venue?
Look out for these things: does the venue suit your theme? Are there photographic opportunities? What does the venue hire fee include? What time will the music be turned off? Is there a place for the bridal party to get ready, or accommodation?

What makes for the most memorable reception?
Personal touches. It is important for you not to reproduce a formula: you should love absolutely everything, from the church ceremony to the very last dance.

How do I prioritise where to spend money?
Make a list of your top 10 priorities, in order of importance to you and your partner, and spend your money accordingly. For some, it’s the food, for others the music or photographs. The other elements don’t have to fall away – for instance, the decor can be stunning even if kept simple – but if you know what is most important to you, it will make the spending decisions so much easier.

What are some of the hidden costs we should be prepared for?
Staffing, which is usually charged hourly, breakages and damage to a venue.

Any ideas to keep guests entertained while we’re having photos taken?
One trend is to play garden games like croquet or bowls. You could also set up a photo booth for your guests to take fun pictures. Set up food stations so they don’t go hungry.

Wedding Album | Ask the experts

How should we schedule the speeches?
Speeches are best staggered throughout the evening and those making speeches should be given a time limit!

Photography Jess Barfield Southern Wedding Photography, Courtesy

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