Top 5 Historical Asian Wedding Venues in Central London

Wedding Venues in Central London often offer a level of opulence and grandeur, in particular the venues with significant historical background.   In this blog we share with you 5 of our favourites.  If you are looking for a venue in London be sure to check these out!

1 – De Vere Grand Connaught Rooms

Set in the bustling and vibrant Covent Garden this grand venue is perfect for those who want to hold a wedding and reception on the same day.  This venue has history dating back to 1775.  The Grand Connaught Rooms turned into a hotel in 1909 and the architecture of the Arched ornate ceilings and impressive chandeliers will add significant glamour to your wedding without the need of hiring expensive Decor.  We love that it also offers the option to select any caterer you like i.e. you are not restricted to their in house ones only.

Capacity: Grand Rooms – 750 guests,  Drawing Bar – 250 guests

Additional Info:  Allows private catering, Free Wifi throughout the building, 5 min walk to Covent Garden / Holborn Station

2 – 8 Northumberland

OK – So I am a little biased towards this one, and favour it massively because this is where I got married 🙂   8 Northumberland is a stones throw away from Trafalgar Square!   This venue has beautiful displays and a well maintained architecture from the Victorian times.  The ceilings are high and grand with intricate designs.   8 Northumberland has also built in some cutting edge technology, which is absolutely fantastic.  For example you can change the lighting to what ever colour you want to help create the perfect atmosphere at no additional cost.

Capacity: The Ball Room – 500, The Old Billiard Room – 260.

Additional Info:  Private Catering Allowed, 2 min walk to Charing Cross Station,  Hotel Rooms available for wedding guests

3 – One Whitehall Place (The Royal Horseguards Hotel )

One Whitehall Place at The Royal Horseguards Hotel is a Grade II listed building, which provides a prestigious and majestic venue in central London.   There are four large rooms all boasting beautiful Victorian architecture.   There is a grand marble staircase where you will able to stunning and romantic wedding photos.   It is also located on the Victoria Embankment with great views of the Thames and the London Eye…. more amazing photo opportunities!  This is a great venue for those who want to have a Registry, Wedding & Reception all in one day.

Capacity: The Gladstone Library – 250,  The Reading & Writing Room – 250,  The River Room – 30-70, The whitehall Suite – 250

Additional Info: Licensed for Civil Ceremonies, A few minutes walk from Embankment Station

4 – Natural History Museum

I never considered having my Asian wedding and reception at the Natural History museum.   We most often think of wedding venues being in beautiful hotels or out of London in stately homes but if I could go back, I would definitely give the Natural History Museum a chance.   First of all, the venue is grand with large Romanesque arches.  There is a beautiful stone staircase giving a more unique castle like feel venue.   When dressed with lighting and decor, this venue becomes truly magical!

Capacity: Hintze Hall – 650, North Hall – 250, Fossil Way – 250, Earth Hall – 250

Additional Info: This venue has a wide range of caterers on their list,  2 min from Kensington Station

5 – One Marylebone

One Marylebone was built in 1826 and after being elegantly refurbished in 2008 the venue opened it’s doors to host beautiful weddings.   This venue is situated just across from Regents park and has its very own private off road entrance (something you dont find with many venues in Central London).   The East & West galleries both offer a bright, contemporary and intimate rooms to hold wedding.  With its beautiful stained glass windows, the Sloane Hall is the perfect space to hold a reception and dance the night away!

Capacity: Sloane Hall – 350, East & West Gallery – 170

Additional Info: Limited choice of one caterer,  2 min from Great Portland or Warren Street stations.

Wedding Insurance for Asian Weddings

Your parents have been looking forward to your wedding since the day you were born and so when you find your soul mate and feel like the happiest person ever, everyone is ready to celebrate your wedding in style.

But there is one amazing fact – did you know that the average cost of an Asian Wedding in the UK is  £60000!!  …….Yes that right 60 Thousand Pounds!! That cost is just for the wedding and reception, so what about when you add on the Mehndi Night and the Meet & Greet evening and the pre-wedding ceremonies??!!

I have always believed that your wedding should be the most beautiful process that you go through (alongside having a baby!). All your family and friends around you celebrating the start of your new life – you can’t really put a cost on that.  The thing is whilst enjoying this celebratory time it is always good to have a reality check now and again – Money is Money and you and your parents would have worked really hard to build up that budget and so you really need to take care of it and manage it in the right way.

I guess I never thought too much about Wedding Insurance before – in all honesty it didn’t even cross my mind for my own wedding!   But recently I have been thinking about this – we insure our expensive cars, we make sure our pricey wedding rings is covered with insurance and we even insure our £1000 holidays but why on earth did I not manage to insure my wedding, which cost more than all of the above!

I have recently been in touch with Alpen Patel from Commercial Direct.  Alpen sells a wedding insurance plan specifically created for Asian Weddings.  Unlike traditional wedding insurance, Alpen’s plan at Commercial Direct,  covers multiple events over a 90 day period.   This is great, because for a small price you can cover all your events leading up to the wedding.

We asked Alpen some questions to give you more insight into Wedding Insurance.  See his responses below:

Q1 – What is wedding insurance and why should a couple planning an Asian Wedding get it? 

Wedding Insurance provides financial protection in case things do not go to plan on your big day. This includes cancellation and rearrangement of your wedding due to circumstances beyond your control. This policy will give you peace of mind with regards to loss or damage to ceremonial attire, wedding gifts, rings, cars, photography, failure of suppliers and stationery.  With the average Asian wedding insurance costing in excess of £60,000 we recommend that all couples purchase this policy just in case.  Our Product covers up to 5 events over a 90 day period which you would not get from a traditional wedding insurance policy.

Q2 – How easy is it to sign up and get insured? 

Yes it is very easy.  Brides and Grooms can either email a request for quotation or simply give us a call.  The average response time from Commercial Direct is no longer than 2 hours.

Q3 – How much does it cost to insure your wedding?

Policy prices can vary depending on the extent of cover required, these range from £65 to £300.  This is a one off policy and payment.   If the standard policy is not sufficient we can arrange a bespoke offer, please call to discuss your requirements.

Q4 – In what situations would you be able to claim back on insurance? And how far in advance of the wedding will the bride and grooms insurance be applicable? 

Should a supplier fail, a venue become unusable or a member of your immediate family become serious ill (not pre-existing conditions) you will be able to fall back on this policy to provide you with cover for rearrangement or cancellation.

Q5 – Are there different levels of coverage?  And what will the insurance cover if a wedding was cancelled or rescheduled? 

Yes there are varying levels of coverage for either cancelling or rescheduling a wedding.  The plan that you select will determine how much your insurance policy will pay out in an unforeseen event.

Q6 – What information does the Bride and Grooms need to provide to get insured?

The policy requires only basic information about the couple such as:  Names, Address, Date of Birth, and Contact Details.  We also accept non UK Residents where one of the couple is based in the UK.

Q7 – When is the best time for Brides and Grooms to get insured? i.e. When they begin their wedding planning or, after they have booked their suppliers? 

We always recommend that a couple purchases a policy as soon as they book and pay deposits to any wedding suppliers

Q8 – What does the wedding insurance not cover? 

In relation to illness or death of an immediate family member the policy will not cover pre-existing medical conditions. As with any insurance policy it is the customers duty to take care in choosing a wedding supplier.  Insurers will not provide cover if the couple was aware of any potential problems with a wedding supplier.

Hopefully Alpen has managed to clarify a few things about wedding insurance.  It’s the kind of stuff that is not ultra exciting about your wedding, like buying your wedding outfits or finding your perfect wedding venue but you know what – but you’ll get piece of mind and this can really help reduce stress levels – which is always good when planning your wedding!!

If you are interested in purchasing a wedding insurance plan or would just like some more information, contact Alpen Patel at: asianwedding@commercialdirect.co.uk or via phone at 02086582888.

Ways to Save on Your Wedding Costs

If you are on tight budget for your wedding or wish to not spend all your savings on one day 🙂  So read below on how you can save wedding costs and still have a great day without losing that touch of glam.  

Asian Wedding can be very expensive but at the same time there are plenty of ways to save your money.  Budgeting well is very important so keep on top of that.   But in addition to budgeting  this blog highlights some tips on how and where you can save on wedding costs and still have an amazing day!

InvitationsAsian Wedding Invitations and Stationary London UK

The invitation that your guests receive will be the first glimpse of celebration that is yet to come for your wedding.  Although this is the case it will be one of several pieces of stationary that wont stay around for very long… unless your guests are hoarders!!  Lets be realistic here.  How many invitations have you kept over the years.  This is one area I strongly advise not to splurge.  If you do have the desire to buy an exclusive designer invitation perhaps you can buy a few for your close family however for the rest of your guests, perhaps opt for a more simple invitation.

If you are going to be sending invitation via post you may want to get familiar with the Royal Mail Sizing & Pricing Chart.   The larger your invitation by length, depth and weight the more it is going to cost you more to send invitations to your guests.  Keeping to the Letter Size parameters you will save a lot of money especially when you are posting hundreds.  Also send your invited a few weeks early and take advantage of cost savings using second class stamps.

If you want to spend next to nothing on your invites, send e-invites to your guests!  Here are some companies that offer this service:

Greenvelope

Paperless Post

Indian Wedding Card

Flowers

Fresh flowers are beautiful!!  Flowers just make any space look more elegant and during your wedding you may wish to have lots around you! Just remember flowers for weddings are EXPENSIVE! This is one sure way you can save on costs!

Make sure you select a Mandap that doesn’t require flowers on the top! This can save you an additional £600 or so.  There are so many Mandaps with beautiful engraved structures that do not require flowers.

If you would like to use flowers in your decoration, choose more greenery and select flowers that are in season to lower the costs of arrangements.

One look

Go for one look throughout your wedding and reception.  By only having one look you will save a lot.  You will save on the extra cost for hiring a hair & make up artist for your second look, a second expensive dress, jewellery, shoes etc.  This approach can save you approx £2000.   You could make a subtle less expensing change between your wedding and ceremony i.e keep you hair up for the wedding and have it down for the reception.   My friend wore a traditional chanya choli for her wedding and for the evening she removed her chundhri and changed her top and dropped her hair from an up do, to loose and flowey.  It’s was enough to make the look different for the evening and saved money on a brand new dress and accessories!

Reception Decor

Table settings for a reception can really add up! If you have 300 guests at your reception and 10 guests per table, that is 30 tables that you need to decorate.  Table decor does give a great first impression when you walk into the a venue for a fun reception evening, however it is one of things that your guests will also forget very quickly.  Remember most guests will be busy chatting with family friends, watching entertainment on stage and up dancing away on the dance floor.   So this is another place you can save a lot on wedding expenses.  Make the Name Cards, Table Name Cards and Seating Chart your self.  Companies charge a lot of money to do something that you could do very quickly yourself.    I designed my seating chart and got it printed at staples for £25.  It looked sophisticated and did the job!

If you are looking to spend less on table centerpieces avoid fresh flowers or go for a small and simple fresh flower arrangement.  As I mentioned above flowers can increase your costs.  Instead go for a setting that incorporates candles & jewel pieces.

Guests

This is a sensitive topic when planning an indian wedding, but let me be frank.  The more guests you invite, the more the catering, venue and decor costs will be.  To keep costs down and with the exception of your close family and friends, invite different guests to the wedding and reception.  That way you do not have to hire the biggest venue around but everyone on your guest list feels part of the wedding.

Off Season

Get married off season when venue prices, catering costs etc are not at its peak.  Most UK couples want to get married during the summers season June, July and August.  Suppliers raise there prices during this time.  To save money on your overall wedding expenses, get married in May or October.  There may be more chance of rain but unless you are planning an outdoor wedding, remember you will be mostly indoors.

Prosecco v ChampagneWedding Bar Services London UK

Champagne is the sign of a happy celebration, however selecting a good quality champagne for hundreds of people can really make a dent in your  bank balance.   Going for a cheaper champagne is an option – but cheap champagne is really not that great!  In the place of Champagne go for prosecco – It is lighter, sweeter and has all the bubbles you are looking for in champagne 🙂  And more importantly cheaper then champagne!

Wedding Cake

Grand Wedding Cakes can costs almost £1000.   If you are looking for a grand wedding cake but have a small budget, you can ask your baker to make two real layers of cake (the one you are going to cut into) and the rest can be fake.  This will save you can have your big beautiful tiered cake but for half the price.   For my wedding, I had cupcakes as wedding favours.  I noticed at weddings I had been to, that many guests didnt eat the dessert because they were on the dance floor and having drinks.  So giving everyone a cupcake already packaged to take away worked well – and I didn’t  have to buy wedding reception favours either 😉

The Food Tasting

You have shortlisted the caterers that you would like for your events and then they start to invite you for food tasting – no doubted this is up there with one of the best things that you have to do for your wedding preparations….especially for foodies like me!   First bit of advice – make sure you wear some clothes with a bit of give…you are going to be fed like you have never been fed before!  It’s not good for the wedding diet but hey…we all deserve a cheat day!

But lets get down to the serious stuff.  If you think about it the food tasting is the one opportunity for the caterer to seal the deal.  This is why they may go all out to try and impress you.  Excuse the pun but this is why you should always take food tasting with a pinch of salt!  Food tasting is normally for a few people but the wedding and reception will be for 100s so it may be difficult to replicate the same quality.

Here are some general tips on how to navigate through your food tasting session and ultimately pick the perfect caterer for your wedding:

1 – Food Options

The best thing about going to a food tasting is that you are able to taste a wide range of food that is offered by the caterer.  Try all the different food available and see what complements each other.  Make notes about your favourite combinations and this will simplify your decision making process.

2 – Presentation

When the caterer presents the food to you, make sure you are happy with how it is being served and the way the food actually looks.  Check and make note of the cleanliness of the area where the food is being served because this give you an idea of the standard that the caterer is working to.  Catering will be one of your biggest expenses along with your venue so make sure you are diligent in checking on all the details.   3 – Your time

Your time should be considered valuable to the caterer because you have selected them out of many other caterers.   It is also one of the most important days of your life so make sure the caterer welcomes you in and gives you a lot of attention.  If the caterer is inattentive now then they are more than likely to continue in the same manner as your wedding planning process continues.

Whilst you are food tasting and making comments, the caterer should be taking notes of your discussion.  If they are not – they will almost certainly forget the.  Make sure they email you the notes they have taken so you can reconfirm that they have captured everything correctly.   On the day of your food tasting there may be other families there.  Make sure there is always one person from the catering company assigned to you to explain to you how the food is made, the ingredients and how it will be presented (plus any questions you may have).  Remember you will be paying a lot of money for wedding caterer and they will need to please a lot of people.Although the food tasting session can not give you a direct indication of what the service is like, if things are poorly organized or the service at the food tasting is below par it may be an indicator of what is to come.

Other ways to find out more about caterers outside of the food tasting include:

1 – Catering at other Weddings

The next time you go to a wedding/reception find out who the caterers are and keep a close eye on the service and quality of food.  This is where you will see first hand what it will be like to be a guest if you were to have these particular caterers.

2 – Recommendations

Ask your friends and relatives who they used for their weddings and grab their feedback regarding quality of service leading up to the event.  For example:

– Did the caterer respond quickly to e-mails/messages

– Were they accommodating/flexible to the Brides & Grooms requirements

– How was their service on the day? were they efficient and well organized

– How was the quality of the food and service served to the guests

As I mentioned above, catering is going to be one of the bigger expenses for your wedding and its also one of the things that will determine how much your guests enjoy the wedding too.  So don’t rush into any decisions and be confident that the supplier will deliver on all your requirements before signing on that dotted line!