first fell in love with the wedding industry when I
worked in a bridal boutique in my home country of Australia. When the owner
would go to lunch I would try on gowns and veils and speak all day to customers
planning their own wedding. When I relocated
to Grand Cayman several years ago, my dream of becoming a wedding planner came
true. Working as a wedding planner for Parfait Weddings and Events there is
never a dull moment and I also get great satisfaction in being able to assist
clients create and enjoy their dream wedding or event.
In my monthly column for The
Observer on Sunday, I want to share with you my knowledge and experience in
planning a wedding and take some of the anxiety out of what can seem like a
list of never ending tasks. This week we start with the basics, where is your
wedding going to take place? Beginning the search for your perfect wedding
venue can be overwhelming. Having an idea of the type of venue you are looking
for can definitely make the process easier but you should also take into
account that each venue has advantages and disadvantages that need weighed up.
An up market hotel or resort can be
a great choice for an elegant and sophisticated wedding. Hotel venues are usually large enough to
cater for an extensive guest list, and offer an array of options for both the
ceremony and reception ie. beach, garden, pool deck, marquee or restaurant.
The advantages of this venue are
the ceremony and reception is held in the one location this reduces the hassle
of transportation between venues for you and your guests. Overseas guests can
stay in accommodation at the wedding venue. Hotels can offer great deals for
blocking out rooms for a large number of guests.
Most hotels are on, or near the
beach, which makes for a fantastic backdrop for your wedding.
The majority of hotels can offer a
backup plan for your outdoor wedding in the event that it rains on your big
Disadvantages are it is unlikely
that you will have exclusive use of the venue due to residents/guest of the
hotel or resort, and other functions may also be held at the venue on the same
day. If the décor provided by the hotel/resort is not to your taste, you may
need to completely transform the area, this can be costly. Your chosen hotel/resort
may have noise restrictions after a certain time in the evening which is an
important consideration to think about for your reception.
This location works with both small
and large weddings, and can also be a great way to incorporate a couple’s
favourite cuisine into the wedding. Some
restaurants have outdoor areas and many on this island overlook the ocean,
creating a perfect back drop without all the sand through your new Jimmy Choo
You have full control over picking
a restaurant that serves the type of cuisine that suits you and your guests
Most restaurants have their own
unique style when it comes to furniture and general decor. Selecting a restaurant
that has the style that fits your wedding can eliminate a huge cost when
designing your overall look with your planner.
Disadvantages are that table
configuration is a key factor to consider when selecting a restaurant. Guests
may need to be seated in different areas of the restaurant depending on the
size of the guest list and size of the restaurant.
A good size, and well positioned
dance floor could be the key to a successful reception. Ensure the restaurant allows for this space
and also discuss the policies for music during the evening.
In order to have a restaurant to
yourselves on your wedding day, there may be a minimum spend to “buy out” the
A beach or garden is the ultimate
venue for a casual and fun wedding. The natural beauty of a garden or having
the sand between your toes as you say “I do” makes for an amazing wedding
These venues are great for an “eco
friendly” wedding. Your designer can incorporate natural products such as
driftwood and sea shells into your décor to give that rustic, chic &
You can use the surroundings to
your advantage with outdoor weddings.
Hang lanterns between palm trees as extra lighting, have a barefoot
dance floor under the stars and beach barbecues are also becoming extremely
However if you are thinking of
having your ceremony on a public beach, bare in mind that the area is
“public”. No one can stop photos being
taken, screaming children or even other weddings taking place in the same area.
The sun can be brutal and very
uncomfortable for you and your guests.
Make sure you provide water and also shade and have a “plan B”as no one
can control the weather!
Rebecca Bateman Green is a Wedding
& Event planner with Parfait Weddings and Events Ltd wedding and event
planning company based in Grand Cayman.