Planning your Big Day? Top tips from the wedding experts

Category: Celtic Manor Bride Blog, Events

Your wedding day could be the biggest single event in your life and can be a huge challenge for any couple.

Whatever the size and scale of your plans, Celtic Manor Resort Wedding Fayre is the perfect opportunity to hone these down to your final ideas, or even provide inspiration for areas you may not have considered yet.

A little guidance is always a useful thing, especially from those with years of experience in wedding planning, and so we’ve asked a number of our specially selected exhibitors for their top tips to ensuring your planning is as effective as possible, and that your dream day goes smoothly…

The Look of Love

Keira from One1Bridal has some very wise words of advice for all brides to consider… ‘One thing you realise when meeting so many women is that we definitely all come in different shapes and sizes - which is the way it is meant to be! We girls are extremely harsh on ourselves, none more so than when we feel all eyes are on us, but please remember your fiancé has asked you to spend the rest of your life with them just the way you are. As a bridal shop it is our job to find the perfect dress to suit your shape and make you feel amazing, so go to your appointment feeling excited and confident.’

Weddings - flowers 

Nathan from Nathan Marks Photography says, “Photography is an important part of your day, booking a professional ensures the real drama & emotion will be captured, allowing your story to be told for generations to come.  Your photographer is also likely to be the one person whom you see the most on your day, so it is essential that you click. An engagement shoot is a great opportunity to get to know your photographer, it allows you to practice and have some great shots which can be created into a guest book/signing frame, but also gives you time to discuss and create a shared vision for your big day.”

Some brides cry, some shriek and others may only show a glimmer of a smile but when you do find a dress that you absolutely love, have confidence in your choice and say yes! It is very tempting to keep looking and wondering if there is something out there you have missed but you will more than likely end up going back for your original love and could have spent those precious Saturday’s on other “wedmin” or at the spa sipping cocktails with your maids. Helen from One1 Bridal

Those magical touches

Alexander from Eric James Ltd advises considering your wedding theme when choosing transport, “Whatever your wedding theme, choosing the right style of transport, that reflects your personality, is guaranteed to turn heads. Your family and friends will be reaching for their cameras to snap a few photos and capture the moment. Take care to choose a vehicle that is not only suited to your personality, but your dress. Classic cars are great, but may pose a few issues for brides with larger dresses. Remember; you should enjoy your journey to your wedding venue, you could request that your chauffer plays a certain song / album, take photos in the car, and relax.”

wedding - dove release - BBQ Terrace 

Lynne from Lovey Dovey UK suggests, “When looking to book a White Dove Release for your wedding, your first thoughts should be toward the welfare of the doves. The doves used MUST only be a rock dove, as it is only this breed has the ability to home. You should be invited to visit where the doves live, so you can see they are kept in fit for purpose lofts - not in a garden shed, and that these lofts are situated away from busy roads so the doves can fly out safely and freely daily. The doves need to be trained to home, vaccinated and in pristine condition, as any marks on feathers will show up on your photographs. Use an experienced and well established business, especially important if booking 12 months or more in advance. Lastly, check for recommendations from your wedding venue and trusted suppliers, as these will have seen the doves and the people at work.”

Simon from Stretched Out says, “Wedding cars, whether you’re choosing modern or vintage, make sure that you view the vehicle beforehand as cars can vary vastly in condition. There are many brokers offering vehicles that you, or they have never seen, you could see it for the first time on your wedding day, at which point it might be too late. The presentation of the vehicle on viewing is a true indication of the standard for the big day. Photos may not be recent, viewing your car is the only sure way of judging the vehicle is to your satisfaction, it will also give you an insight into the company and will let you know if they can they give the personal touch you require.” 

It’s all about you!

“My best advice I could give any bride is to start a scrap book of colours, pictures and flowers that they like, don't be afraid to be different. And lastly once you have decided on a date, book a florist of your choice as soon as possible, as many florists can be booked as much as 2 years in advance.” Natalie from Hearts and Flowers

“We recommend you book a complimentary consultation possibly two to three months prior to your big day and then have a trial with one of our stylists who will evaluate your hair’s capabilities and discuss a bridal look to complement your dress, head-dress, jewellery and general theme of your wedding. Make sure to discuss your evening hair requirements with your stylist at the trial to ensure you look spectacular the whole day!  We recommend that you book no less than 12 weeks before your wedding date.” Rhys from Rhys Giles Hairdressing

Sabrina and the team from Willow and Lace really appreciate that choosing wedding accessories can be a little overwhelming. “We always recommend going with your gut instinct over anything else. Your accessories are what complete your bridal outfit and you should be overjoyed to wear them. Stay true to yourself….after all, you want to be comfortable and confident on your big day.  Never purchase your accessory purely because it matches your dress and “it will do” because it’s a last minute thought…. purchase it because you love it just as much as the dress.  As experts we often find that the problem isn’t finding something you love, it’s narrowing down all the options you love to just one single piece.”

Alex McWhirter, Wedding Make-up artist from the Forum Spa at Celtic Manor Resort says, “When you go to have your make-up test done, wear your make-up as you would normally, so that your make-up artist can see if you have a specific way of applying a certain product. Make sure you wear a white t-shirt, or a colour that is similar to your dress, so that you can see how the make-up looks against it. A handy tip for brides is to leave the make up on for a few hours as the foundation will oxidise with the heat from your skin over time and can sometimes appear slightly different than when first applied. Once your trial is complete, take a photo of yourself in daylight to see how you look before you purchase anything - there's nothing better than natural light for seeing how you look.”

Dance the Night Away

Matt, from Lush! Events says: ‘When it comes to picking a wedding DJ, your choice couldn't be more important.  The evening wedding party is what you and your guests will remember for years to come. The choice of DJ's out there seems endless, but you want an experienced DJ who has a passion for music and knows exactly what songs to play and when.  It sounds silly, but there's a science behind creating a certain mood on the dance floor and keeping the flow of music at exactly the right pace and tempo.

Here are the ideal qualities your wedding DJ should have:

  • Broad music knowledge
  • A likeable persona
  • Good organisation skills
  • Great equipment

Plan to perfection

Our Wedding Co-ordinator, Bethan says, “It’s always so important during the planning of your perfect day to remember that it is just that - YOUR perfect day! Though it is always lovely to think of your guests, if you want blue flowers and a yellow dress then go for it! Your wedding day represents you both as a couple, so we always want our brides and grooms to put themselves first, and to remember that we are here for any guidance you may need (or even just for a coffee to catch up!)”

Our Wedding Co-ordinator Nicola says, “In terms of the all-important brides’ entrance, make sure you have planned the order of who goes down the aisle first! All too often it’s decided minutes before the grand entrance which can cause a bit of chaos at a moment which should be calm, composed and cherished.”   

At the end of the day

Karen from LaVida Travel suggests getting your honeymoon booked nice and early. “Whether you seek total serenity on a far flung beach, or a culture infused adventurous island hop, a honeymoon is meant to be full of blissful days spent unwinding as a newly married couple. Think about any extra little details you may want to add from spa treatments to excursions whilst you are away to make sure everything is perfectly organised for you when you arrive at your dreamy destination. Also if you would like a little help towards the payment of your honeymoon, consider setting up a wedding list where your guests will be able to purchase special holiday vouchers to go towards the payment of your holiday.” 

Join us on Sunday 12th February for our Wedding Fayre to gather plenty of inspiration for your big day from our specially selected exhibitors and wedding suppliers. 


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