OK, if you don’t know, your first question maybe what is a cookie cutter wedding and why would I want to avoid one when planning my wedding?
Well firstly a cookie cutter wedding may appeal to you and there is nothing wrong if that’s your style, but if you want your wedding to stand out amongst the crowd, be more memorable for guests and be a little bit of yourselves then you will need to know how to avoid this potential trap.
So lets cut to the chase, just like a tray of cookies, a cookie cutter wedding is one made the same way, the same style, same food, same DJ as every other standard wedding it just lacks something and that something is typically YOU and who YOU are!
5 Ways to spot the signs and avoid losing your individuality in your wedding
- The rule book of wedding etiquette, Our advice don’t worry and feel free to throw away the rules, not happy with speeches, then ditch them. Want Aunty Lucy to walk you down the aisle or you want to ditch the aisle altogether and parachute in, its your day, it should be your way. For both you and your guests in our experience its the unexpected parts of your day that create the biggest memories.
- Wedding Planners – Some wedding planners work to a very specific style and can sometimes be heard turning down clients that don’t quite match their expectations, if you have a style in mind such as Festival, Modern Chic, Classic Formal and you find a planner that excels in that area then that’s fantastic. We would suggest that you look for a planner that has a wide portfolio and experience like ourselves whom recognise the most important people are the Bride and Groom, it’s your dream we bring to life.
- OK, so you’re engaged and thoughts turn to planning, you’ve heard all about this superb venue, you may already have been to see it, no matter how much your heart is set on that venue, speak to a Wedding Planner first, you may be surprised what insights can be had or little details that seem insignificant but will impact the rest of your plans.
- A wedding is the single most important day of your life, don’t buy a package wedding, leave that for the package holiday honeymoon if you have to.
- Now this is the biggie and not that we needed convincing after 15 years Wedding Planning but two recent weddings we’ve done really struck this home being at either end of the scale. I’m going to say the words most “hushed” in the wedding industry, “Factory Wedding”…! As a Wedding planner we see many many wedding venues all over the country and for the most part venues recognise the value in working with planners but some shudder at the mere thought and here’s why….
Wedding venues fall into several categories, on one hand we have high end or exclusive use venues, by exclusive use we mean a venue where you are the only wedding they have that weekend, this allows you to really take the time to play with the venue space, bringing in a different style, different suppliers and ensuring every detail is 110% – Ladies these are the venues that hold show stopper weddings and they work tirelessly to attract Wedding Planners such as ourselves as they know each and every wedding they hold will be both individual and spectacular, they also know through experience that working with a planner is.. well its just easier for any good supplier as seen in one of our previous blog posts here.
On the flip side however, we have the wedding venue that whilst both beautiful and popular that popularity somehow over time morphs in to a venue that aims to squeeze in as many weddings as they can in any given week, you will often find you can’t even begin setting up until the morning of your wedding and you are often waiting for yesterdays bride to finish removing their last items. The main issue with this sort of wedding is that they are well practiced, well oiled and highly efficient machines run with precise but inflexible military precision – now this may be your thing and thats OK but every wedding pretty much runs exactly the same, its efficient, its easy and lets be honest, its profitable. The downside is should you dare to try and step outside of their predefined parameters, they just cant handle it and you have such a very limited time to do anything extraordinary.
And this is why folks a minority of popular venues can be anti planner because guess what, the weddings we produce are anything but ordinary….!
So how do you avoid the factory venue?:
- Look out for wedding venues that say their coordinator is a planner – this can be your first indication (The best way for a venue to avoid working with a planner is making you think they can do it for you, check out our wedding planning services blog for info on why this isn’t the case)
- Take a show round, the minute the venue ‘tell you’ where and when you are cutting the cake and ‘when’ the first dance will be… run, run and hide…
- When will you have access? look for an exclusive use venue where you have access from Friday through to Sunday, this will vastly increase your choice of suppliers and will open up a whole new world of potential wedding styling concepts because your suppliers have the time required to style, decorate and set up your wedding
- Preferred over recommended supplier lists – in some cases such as listed buildings its normal that you might only be allowed a choice of 1 or 2 DJ’s but look out for a venue that pushes you down a list of specific suppliers – this is a sure sign that your wedding will be a repeat run of yesterdays and the days before that. (Where a venue operate a recommended supplier list, ask if they are true recommendations or if suppliers pay to be on the list, if suppliers pay to be on the list then they may not be the best suppliers available. You shouldn’t find many many venues that operate a supplier paid list as its a very outdated and ethically frowned upon practice by any professional in the wedding industry.
In reality the vast majority of venues work very closely with us and hold regular wedding planner familiarisation events where they go all out to attract the best planners in the country, but in some rare cases the venue will go as far as being deliberately disruptive if they feel a planner is going to make them work outside of their tried and tested efficient yet inflexible, cookie cutter factory style.
For more top wedding tips check out our friends over at The Wedding Wire where you can find Top Tips on just about everything Wedding related