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Venue hunting – Wedding Planner tips by Kara.

Looking for a wedding venue in Dubai? It can be the most overwhelming process when you start planning your wedding. The past year has taught me a lot about the planning side of weddings. I’m decor obsessed so that’s my main focus and being a wedding stylist means I get to focus on the pretty stuff, while my sidekick Kara gets into nitty gritty contract negotiations, schedules and usually has an excel sheet open on her computer at all times. Planning your wedding is a full-time job, and the more weddings we plan and style together, the more respect I have for wedding planners in general.
So I asked Kara a few questions which I hope will be useful for you as a bride-to-be getting married in Dubai.
KARA - MY LOVELY WEDDING PLANNER - DUBAI Photography by Chloe Lodge. 
Whoooaaaa ! Venue hunting can be mind-boggling and stressful!  But its the by far the biggest (and most expensive) decision to spend the time to get it right! There are 100+ questions (I’m not joking!!) that you can and should ask but here are just a few that may help you with this important planning step. Detail is key so don’t be afraid to ask and keep asking until you get what you want. There will, of course, be a limit to what a venue can provide but have a reasonable list of “must haves” and don’t compromise – this will give you a great chance to ultimately have the best and perfect wedding day!  And if it gets a bit overwhelming let me know!  I’m here to help :))
Whats the first question you need to ask a venue when contacting them?

  • Are you available? And if they are available, do they have weddings day before or the day after as resources can be stretched and timings can be tight if they do.

What do you need to think about when booking a venue? (Sound and light?)

  • What is the look and feel of your wedding – some venues are better for rustic vibe, decorating, space, view, beach, guest numbers etc
  • Budget – the minimum spends vary hugely for different hotels. Regardless of guest numbers they will ask for a minimum amount so check that it’s affordable –
  • Guest numbers  – what spaces do they have that can accommodate your numbers?
  • Do they allow external suppliers to be hired (otherwise you have no choice to use in-house vendors and that can become expensive)
  • Is there rigging points?  If there aren’t any rigging points your lighting costs would be higher versus if they do.
  • Is valet parking important and can they accommodate?
  • Time restrictions for outdoor noise sometimes apply and can be as early as 10pm – if you want to party all night long make sure you chose a venue that has a generous noise policy or an area that they can offer you to move inside ( this will cost extra as sound and light and decor will need to be considered for a new area)
  • No one likes to think it could rain o their special day but bad weather happens sometimes – make sure there is a plan B for this.If special food or something traditional is important then check the chef can arrange it or that you can bring it yourself

When negotiating a contract what tips can you give a bride? 

  • Consult someone who has seen a lot of contracts so they can compare what his fair for your minimum spend and what extras you may be able to negotiate
  • What is important to you? And make sure its included, maybe it’s the bridal suite on the night of your wedding?cake being included?
  • Good rates for guests (if you are having a destination wedding or a lot of international guests)
  • A flexible payment structure?
  • If your guest numbers are not set and could move (both up or down) check that the contract has flexibility for this.

So if you need a little help with your wedding contact us today. We would love to hear from you!
Our emails are kara@mylovelywedding.com + joelle@mylovelywedding.com

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