Planning your same-sex wedding? - Here's some insider tips from one of our Gay Friendly Wedding Co-ordinators...
Katy Rushby is a wedding Co-ordinator who works for Durham Marriott Royal County Hotel. These guys are also one of our Gay Friendly Venues whom is proud to feature across Pink Wedding Venues. Katy has very kindly provided some advice for couples to think about when planning their same-sex wedding.
Katy speaks of her own experiences drawn from booking her own wedding and also what to look out for when booking yours!
I’ve wanted to be a Wedding Co-ordinator for as long as I can remember (Well either a wedding co-ordinator or Jlo!) As it turns out I was actually engaged before I ended up working in the role, this is really handy when I’m giving advice to couples, because I’m going through it myself!
The trouble is I pick up too many ideas for my own wedding; after my first two months in the role my wedding budget was looking a bit too similar to Kim and Kanye’s! So we decided to scale things down a bit - I had to start thinking about the things that matter on your big day.
Looking back at some of the weddings I've attended it’s difficult to remember everything, so what are the things that we do remember? The very last one I went to was only 2 years ago but I don't remember much, like what the rooms looked like or how the food tasted, I remember one thing and that was the Toastmaster, he was really quite fantastic and he made the day (slicing the neck of a champagne bottle off with a big sword was my personal favourite!)
TOP TIP: Judge a venue on its staff as well as anything else. Your guests won't comment on the colour of the function room carpet, but they will comment on the service!
That brings me on to the topic of food...I'm a self-confessed foodie so it's bound to be the thing I concern myself with most but it is such a big part of your wedding day and a big part of your budget goes towards it! Would you serve food at a dinner party that you hadn't tasted? No! Then don't do it for a wedding, if you’re not offered a menu tasting, ask for one! Our Chef meets with you during your wedding tasting to discuss any changes you would like to make and it’s my favourite part because I get to sit there drooling while he talks about food!
TOP TIP: Try your food and don't be shy if you don't like it!
I have a motto when it comes to weddings that I’m sticking by for my own: "You are not getting married to impress a bunch of people; you are getting married to make the man you love your husband!" Obviously this applies the other way round, or for same-sex couples, it’s about making a partnership not splashing the cash! Look at the money Britney and Kevin Federline spent on their wedding? I think we would have had a much happier life if she’d stayed with the bloke she married in Vegas (which cost a fraction of her second wedding!) and I did like the spontaneity of it!
A question I got asked recently is “How far in advance do I need to book my wedding?” and this really can vary. The shortest notice I’ve had has been about 8 months and I’m also getting enquiries for 2017 at the moment so this really can depend. If you want a peak date (i.e. May-August) you will usually have to give up to 2 years notice for this as they can get booked up really fast. I’d be interested to see what percentage of UK weddings take place during those few months! But still, you don’t know until you ask! I think lots of people are too scared to check availability in case the venue hounds them for days afterwards but I can honestly say that’s not something I do.
Another question I get asked, as the Wedding Co-ordinator, is “Will you be there on the day?”
Technically, I don’t need to be. From the first appointment, through to the day prior I am your main point of contact and do all of the organising for you but I don’t run the day itself. I do attend most just to make sure everything is okay and to wish the happy couple well but everything else is left in the very capable hands of our events team.
We have a fantastic guy called Mark who runs our weddings and he ensures the event runs smoothly, supervises the staff on the day and acts as your toastmaster. (Announcing speeches etc.) he probably gets just as excited about the wedding as the happy couple themselves if I’m honest! .
One of the things that I like it that every couple is different, some people are excited, some are more nervous and everyone has a different idea of what makes a good wedding! I’ve seen all different colour schemes and lots of favour ideas. My personal favourite was Pease Pudding from a civil partnership we did last year – but my partner vetoed it straight away, spoilsport!!
Pink Wedding Venues team would like to say a huge "Thanks" to Katy for sharing some "insider" tips. If you would like to contact Katy, please don't hesitate by using the contact details below.
Durham Marriott Hotel, Royal County
(0191) 375 3606
Follow us on Twitter @DurhamRCWedding