What inspired you to create Coco Wedding Venues as a guide to the most exclusive wedding venues?

Coco Wedding Venues is a style focused wedding venue directory aimed at the discerning Bride & Groom and it was born from the frustration of my own wedding planning journey.  

When I first got engaged I was so excited to start the planning but when it came to that first step of finding a wedding venue, it suddenly dawned on me that planning a wedding might not be as much fun as I’d once thought.

Our natural first step was to search the internet, but the wedding venue websites we came across didn’t excite and inspire us. I’m a very visual person but no-one seemed to capture the essence of the wedding venues for me in this way. 

Blogs on the other-hand were full of W-day pretty, but it wasn’t until about 3 months into the planning that I suddenly came across this plethora of inspiration. By that stage, and with just 4 months left to the wedding, it was a little to late for me to reap the real benefits of these beautiful blogs.

So, to help couples like us I created Coco Wedding Venues. Our USP is very much our Six Style Categories; Couples can search for their wedding venue by exploring the kind of wedding that suits their individual tastes and style – Rustic Romance, Classic Elegance, Bohemian Beats, City Chic, Modern Vintage and Coastal Cool. We also have an affiliated wedding blog where we showcase our wedding venues, news and events, beautiful real weddings and fabulous wedding suppliers who work with our venues. 

Coco now has a carefully curated collection of over 190 wedding venues which is growing on a daily basis.

 



What are your tips for choosing a wedding venue?

I think it's really important that before couples start to look for their wedding venue they discuss what is they want from their day and get a feel for the budget. 

Questions to think about are; What are the important factors of your day...? How many guests do you want to invite...? What kind of style reflects you as a couple...? 

From there, you can think about seasons, locations and really start to research actual wedding venues.

On Coco Wedding Venues, we give you lots of yummy photos of the venue to give you a really good idea of the surroundings but I there's nothing quite like getting in the car and going on road trips to view! Only then, will you really get an idea of what you're looking for and what feels right.

Once you start viewings here are 5 simple tips;

Check the fine print - Try to take a copy of the venues T&C’s away with you on the first visit so you can consider the venue with your heart and your head.

Venues Costs - Ensure you both understand the costs for the venue before signing on the pretty dotted line.

Create a spreadsheet of venues to visit - I think 4 in one day is the max as it can become overwhelming. 

Be careful not to take an entourage on the venue visits - remember this day is about two people.

However feel free to talk to people - it’s a great way of sorting through your own thoughts about each delicious venue you’ve seen!

It's a man's world - The venue decision should absolutely be a joint task. Let’s face it, unless you have a super creative, organized and stylish husband-to-be, most men will probably leave the aesthetics and other decisions about the day up to you. However, I think every Groom wants to be involved in this part of the wedding planning process. So enjoy these precious moments and have fun on your super romantic road trips!



What important questions do couples tend to overlook, that you should definitely ask the wedding venue provider before booking?

When you are viewing venues it's really important to discuss whether they have a Preferred Suppliers list and how strict this is. 

For some couples, this is a dream! Knowing your venue can assist with certain areas of planning by recommending suppliers for you to work with, cuts down the planning time. 

 But for Brides & Grooms who want a little more creative freedom, it's important to understand whether or not your venue can accommodate this. So have some ideas in mind, discuss with the venue and ensure you ask about their Preferred Suppliers. If there's a list take it away and research what the recommended suppliers can offer you and it fits in with your vision. 



How does the choice of wedding dress inspire the wedding venue, and vice versa? Does it at all?

Oh it absolutely does!

The venue will be one of the first choices you make. So if you've chosen a beautiful garden location with a marquee, a fairy-tale ballgown might not be the right style statement.

Equally if you've chosen a dreamy bohemian dress, have visions of flowers in your hair and walking barefoot down the aisle, a grand castle probably isn't going to be the right venue choice for you! So the two decisions should absolutely marry, excuse the pun. 

Whichever comes first, dress or venue, it's important you go back to those very first discussions about your wedding day; the overall style, the important factors for you and your guests and of course the preferred season. It's easy to have Magpie tendencies when planning a wedding, so having a clear vision from the start will help you to make consistent stylistic choices.



What was the most popular wedding style you have seen over the past few years? Any predictions for 2016?

There's been lots of popular trends over the last few years... 

Rustic Romance giving us jam jars and hay bales, City Chic with it's minimalism and industrial vibes, Bohemian Beats with it's camp fires and feathers and of course Modern Vintage with it's Art Deco renaissance. 

 I think all of these style choices will be staying for the foreseeable future but each year Brides & Grooms will add their own personal touches and the trends will naturally develop. 

 You can read our Wedding Trends Report for 2015, but for me 2016 will see more geometric shapes and bright pops of colour, watercolour will be traded in for marbling, jam jars of Pimms will finally be replaced with serious cocktails and there will be a return to elegance and luxe.

If you're at the very beginning of your wedding planning journey then first congratulations! Secondly, I'm absolutely here to help you with finding your wedding venue. So take a little spin around Coco and contact me if you need any assistance or advice.

Thank you so much to Les Trois Souers for having me on their beautiful blog...

 

Thank you to Rebecca Goddard Photography and Dales Weeks Photography.