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Decisions, decisions: Things to consider when planning your perfect wedding

PUBLISHED: 11:29 18 October 2018 | UPDATED: 10:48 15 November 2018

Venues like the Ivy House Country Hotel can provide facilities to allow both the wedding and the reception to be held under one roof. Photo: Ivy House Country Hotel

Venues like the Ivy House Country Hotel can provide facilities to allow both the wedding and the reception to be held under one roof. Photo: Ivy House Country Hotel


You want everything to go smoothly, you want everyone to be happy, you want your wedding day to be perfect. Hannah Marks, wedding co-ordinator, at the Ivy House Country Hotel, has some tips to make sure that your big day goes smoothly

Getting engaged and planning the wedding should be a joyous time for any couple but with so much choice and so many decisions to make, preparing for the big day can, all too easily, become an anxious and confusing time.

Questions like: “What sort of wedding do we want?” loom large. “Do we want a traditional wedding? Do we want a country wedding? A church wedding or a barn wedding? Do we want the reception in a large marquee or should everything happen under one roof in a fully catered hotel wedding?”

Today, the options for a wedding are seemingly limitless, dictated only by budget and imagination.

Venue will clearly play a large part in creating the tone and atmosphere for the celebrations and finding the right venue for you is hugely important.

Even when you have picked a venue, questions about decoration, colour schemes, flowers, menu and evening entertainment still need addressing.

Hannah Marks, wedding co-ordinator, at the picturesque Ivy House Country Hotel in Oulton Broad, Lowestoft, offers some advice about things for couples to consider when planning a wedding and choosing a venue.

Clearly, cost plays a huge part in the decision-making process and a winter wedding, from November to April, can be significantly cheaper and yet still provide a unique experience for everyone gathering together to celebrate the marriage of the bride and groom.

“Winter and mid-week is a cheaper time to get married.. Christmas and February/October school holidays are popular with teachers because they don’t get the opportunity to take time off during the rest of the year.

Hannah said that any good venue does everything in their power to be accommodating and provide a tailor-made service. She added that the benefit of having a wedding at Ivy House Country Hotel wasthat they could offer a host of different experiences in their six licensed rooms within their venue, including the much sort after The Ivy Hall which can seat up to 250 guests. “People want a venue to not only to be accommodating but also provide a wonderful backdrop for their celebrations and wedding photography. We have wonderful gardens here which offer some picturesque views and are regarded as something of a hidden gem.

“People want somewhere where they can celebrate with friends and family in a relaxed, quiet setting. A lot of people these days are looking at Barn Wedding venues, and our Crooked Barn is very popular.”

She adds that the best venues are flexible and will do everything they can to deliver the couple’s vision for their big day and provide a timeless memory of a wonderful day. “That includes food and drink packages. Couples want different things and a good venue will have several different options available. For example: even something as simple as wine. We have other drinks available to go with the meal because not everyone drinks wine. Also we have some couples who want a traditional wedding breakfast while others prefer to go for a relaxed barbecue. “Photographs are increasingly important because social media has become such a big part of people’s lives. They are looking for that impressive backdrop, that beautiful photo which encapsulates a memory which they can post online and share with their friends.”

The other advantage of having a wedding in a licensed premises is that the wedding and the reception can all happen under one roof. “People don’t need to travel between venues and we can offer rooms for those who wish to stay overnight. I would say 80% of our weddings cater for the whole day including the ceremony, that’s a bit of a change in culture and many brides will stay at the hotel with their bridal party the night before so that they can pop open the Prosecco and wake up feeling relaxed with plenty of time to prepare for the big day ahead.”

Ivy House Country Hotel can be contacted on 01502 501353 or email: -

Details of wedding packages can be found online

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