So after months (or should I say years!) of wedding planning, it’s all over. What a fantastic day! One we’ll most certainly remember forever. If only we could do it all again! (Well… the day, that is… not all the planning… ha ha).
Because there really is a lot to planning a wedding. I know everyone tells you how quickly it’ll come around, but you don’t quite realise at the time quite how quickly. And getting married is a really big deal; a day that a lot of girls (and guys) have been dreaming about for a long time. And ensuring it goes without a ‘hitch’ (excuse the pun) takes a huge amount of planning and organisation.
I think having worked in the wedding industry for as long as we have, we were always aware that choosing the right suppliers for our day would be key to ensuring the day ran smoothly. But the problem that we found was that we had worked with so many professional, high quality businesses – how would we choose!
Our first step was to sit down and consider what was really important to us on our special day. And I mean REALLY important. Everyone has a budget (excusing Wills and Kate – Ellie Goulding was WELL outside ours!), and so unfortunately there were times throughout the process where we did really need to prioritise.
We soon realised that our top four ‘biggies’ were; guests, location, catering, band. The band, of course, had to be….well, nothing short of SPECTACULAR. But I’ll come on to that later….!
Of course, we wanted as many of our friends and family there as possible, so that was how we came to our budget; how many people can we afford to feed without re-mortgaging the house, which then helped us narrow down location choices.
But when it came to actually picking a venue, and visiting… well, we’ve been to so many with the band! So it boiled down to ‘who do we feel would give us fantastic service and make us feel the most special’?
And that is why we chose De Courceys Manor in Cardiff.
Can I just say at this point that Session have played so many fabulous hotels, with amazing staff and fantastic food. All we can say about De Courceys is that they are incredibly helpful, supportive and professional when hosting a wedding, and when performing with a band! We considered many other venues, but it was the staff at De Courceys who really won us over… so it just goes to show that ‘word of mouth’ applies in every walk of life; if we hadn’t played there as a band, we’d never have got to see what a great team they are, and how they really do go the extra mile. And that’s not to mention the beautiful décor and gorgeous food (if you haven’t been there for Sunday lunch, book now!).
There was a dress, vows, a meal, a cake, tears, speeches; the day was absolutely amazing. It was so strange being on the ‘other’ side of it all! It was the band that I was most nervous about (well, walking down the aisle was a tad nerve-wracking too!). Now, someone once said ‘Don’t shy away from booking a band without seeing them’ (what idiot said that – see previous blog ha), but, If I’m honest, I’m not sure I had truly bought in to that idea. I mean, I know we’re professional and reliable (sounds a little boastful I’ll admit, but it is true), however this doesn’t mean that all bands are. What if they don’t turn up on the day? What if they turn up and play heavy metal music? (my Nan would love it but that’s another story). And worse still, what if they played 500 Miles by the Proclaimers?! (Still our most requested song by the way!).
And yet, despite all of the above, we booked a band without having seen and heard them play. And here are the reasons why. Firstly, they came highly recommended by a friend of a friend of a cousin of a friend of a neighbour (or something like that), so we checked them out. Their website was incredibly impressive (not even Session can boast playing Jim Carey’s Boat Party). Their testimonials were fantastic – real couples giving such good feedback really was a must for us. And their communication with us was superb. We asked A LOT of questions, partly because of the type of band they are (which I’ll explain a little more about shortly) and partly because we were intrigued as to how another band dealt with such queries. They were really helpful from start to finish, and we wouldn’t hesitate to recommend them.
If anyone wants to know what kind of band they are, above is a photo of Cam and I singing our first ‘dance’… if you’ve seen either Cam or I dance, you’ll know our singing is a little better than our dancing ha ha.
Actually, we wouldn’t hesitate to recommend any of the suppliers we used. David and his team at Chair Covers & Bows made De Courceys look even more glam than it already did. And Nicky at Creation Hair made me look even more glam than I ever have (not hard). Not to mention Leonie at Perfection Bridal Cardiff, who actually chose my dress for me.
And the cherry on top were Snap Photo Booth, who captured some of the funniest pictures of our family and friends I’ve ever seen, plus Andrew Hazard our Welsh wedding photographer who captured the real essence and atmosphere of the day.
So, now we’ve both been through the frenzy that is planning a wedding, we both feel like we’re even more equipped than ever before to deal with any queries you have as an engaged couple planning your own big day. It has even encouraged me to take up a course in Wedding Planning!
It is such a special time, but with a lot going on it can get stressful – just remember, we are always at the other end of the phone or on email to assist, even if it isn’t something band-related! You never know, we might just be able to help… ☺
Take care, and happy wedding planning!
Ceri Stewart AKA Ceri Stingl x