Formby Village
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Formby Village
Wedding, Party & Function rooms for Formby, Southport, Ainsdale, Birkdale, Liverpool & Merseyside

 
The Latin Lounge
Southport


'hailed by the cognoscenti as the best restaurant in Southport'

Read More

 
 
Wedding Venues
The Royal Clifton Hotel & Spa, The Promenade, Southport
Royal Clifton Hotel & Spa
The Promenade, Southport
http://www.royalclifton.co.uk/
01704 533771
 
Meols Hall
The Tithe Barn
Weddings, Parties & Events
 Churchtown, Southport
01704 228326
http://www.meolshall.co.uk/gallery.htm
 

 

 

Formby Hall Golf Club
Southport Old Road Formby Merseyside
01704 875699

 
 
Eloise Fashions Ltd., 33 Church Road, Formby. L37 8BQ
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A brand new location for the purchase of the best designer labels in North West England.
Eloise Fashions Ltd., 33 Church Road, Formby. L37 8BQ
In a purposely built high quality showroom you will find fashion from such well known names as 'DESIGUAL', 'ELISA CAVALETTI', 'EVA TRALAVA', 'JOVANNA', 'KELLY EWING', 'AFTERSHOCK', 'PRECIOUS FORMALS', 'ROBINS JEANS', 'SOO LEE' AND 'SUPERTRASH'.
In addition this superb fashion house contains the exquisite jewellery created by KELEVRA
Read More
 
 

Planning the perfect party or wedding - selecting the venue

So you're getting married, or maybe a big birthday party, or an important corporate event. Lots to think about, where do you start? These pages are here to help you get it all into perspective. It's not that difficult, relax and enjoy the planning as part of the event itself. These pages have been designed by professionals, we've been in the business for years and worked in all sorts of places some good and some bad; so from all that experience here's the guide to selecting the perfect venue for the perfect party or wedding.

Wedding Venue Questions

Is the venue available on the required date?


What are the options and costs for the various packages that they offer?


Are they licensed to carry out civil weddings?


If they do hold a license for civil ceremonies, what authority do they come under and can they supply names and contact details for the registrar?


Is your wedding the only wedding at the venue on our wedding day and will they guarantee that you will be the only wedding party on that date?


How many people can they accommodate in the reception room?


How many car parking spaces are available for guests?


Will they reserve car parking spaces for the bridal party


Do they allow confetti to be thrown at the wedding venue?


Do they allow candles to be lit in the wedding reception room?


Do they provide maps or any other help on getting to the venue?


Do they allow professional firework displays at the venue?


Do they offer the option of a marquee?

Room Questions
Are there separate rooms provided for the wedding, reception, meal, evening reception, etc?


Is there a room provided for the use of "bride and groom' for the day?


Is there a dressing room that the bride and bridesmaids can use prior to the ceremony?


From what time will the room be available for setting up with regard to flowers balloons and other décor?


If the evening reception is being held in a room that is being used for something else earlier in the day, do they require the DJ/Band to set-up their equipment beforehand?


Is there an area that could be used as a crèche if needed or do you provide crèche facilities?


Is there a quieter area for older guests to get away from the noise of a band/DJ?


If rooms are available for overnight accommodation,

How many?
What are the costs for overnight accommodation?
Is breakfast included?
What is the checkout time the following day?
Do you have a room where you are able to store wedding presents until you are able to collect them and are you insured for any loss or damage to these presents?
Can we book a block of rooms and when will you need confirmation and deposit?

Remember if you book hotel rooms online and by telephone that the more rooms you book the more expensive they are- it sounds strange but its true. Haggle over the price of rooms- you do have a bargaining tool, you're bringing thousands of pounds to that venue.

It may be that a wedding planner has an entry to that venue and can get rooms cheaper.

CHECK THE PRICE OF ROOMS CLOSELY

 
Catering Questions


Do they have internal catering or can we bring our own? -it's a good idea to speak to as many people as possible about the catering. Do you now people who've eaten there? What is the reputation? It can be that in house is not so good and a reputable company may have a contract to provide additional catering, this other company is usually a lot better.

Get references or some names of people who have used the venue recently.


Can they supply examples of suggested menus along with prices?


Do they include a cake stand and knife if required?


Can we choose the order of service (when and where we cut the cake)?


What time do they close the bar?

 

Free Bars
Free drinks for your guests with you paying the bar bill is not a good idea for many reasons.
- guests drink too much too quickly and problems ensue.
-Because they're not paying for the drinks, guests are careless, they put drinks down then wander off and can't be bothered to find them again so they just get another drink from the bar.
-How do you decide how much to pay, say a set amount of £3,000 for the day or do you simply pay whatever the bill is, remember in most cases the venue will have your credit card details. Do you trust the venue to give you value for money....... think again...........
they won't.
 
Two ways you can pay over the odd's
1. If you set a limit for the free bar- expecting it to last 2-3 hours it invariably won't, the venue will make sure that it is spent very quickly, do we need to spell it out! The thing is how do you argue with them, with your guests being so extravagant with your money, leaving full and half  full glasses all over the room and garden.
 
2. If you set the limit on the free bar,  establish what the bar prices would be- then frequently check them throughout the event because if you don't that gin & tonic that was quoted as £2.40 will suddenly be £3.40 or £4.40.
Free bars are not a good idea for a wedding or any event.
Think of something else if you want to buy your friends a drink-how about giving them tokens
 ( cloak room tickets) that when handed in at the bar entitles them to 50p off their bill. That way you're being generous, they're having to be careful with their drinks ( they won't leave them lying around) and they'll be keeping an eye on what the venue is charging.
 


Is there a time that the event must finish by?


Do you insist on supplying the wine and champagne and if not what are your corkage costs?

 

Who will be in charge on the day and at the end of the event- is it the person you're talking to? If it's some other person make sure you meet them. Far too many venues are unpleasant at the end of the night- fair enough they don't want you hanging about in the room for hours, they have to clear up and go home but there are ways of doing these things.

Extra Questions

Do you have a Public Address (PA) system that can be used for speeches?

What happens if it rains?

What locations are available for the wedding photographs?

Can they have exclusive use of this area for as long as we need?

Do they supply or can you recommend a DJ or Band and can we have a demo disk to listen to?

Do you have special arrangements with, or details of local hotels for guests to stay at?

Do they have any arrangements with local cab companies that offer a reasonably priced and reliable service?

Where can you put any entertainment during the void between the afternoon and evening receptions (casino, magician, etc)?

What decoration do you supply for the reception?

If you begin to run late, how will the staff help us to ensure we are still able to make the most of our big day?

Is it OK for your services to visit the venue beforehand to get an idea of what they can expect on the day
 

Wedding Receptions

Why follow the crowd, more and more brides are looking outside the box for a unique wedding and just maybe a way of saving money and still having a memorable day.
 

First and foremost, when choosing the type of reception you want,

do something you like,

do something that means something to you both

do something that plays a part in your life

Have a wedding party at a grand prix track if you're F1 fans-make it a fancy dress event

A wedding reception at a football stadium if you're football fans-get your friends to come as famous footballers and wags

Think about a themed wedding at a golf course a white wedding is not for everyone so make it your day, make it personal. By doing this, you and your guests will relax and have a much better time.


Many brides these days are choosing a theme to make their reception different. From cowboy themes, right through to gothic themes there’s a theme for you.

Here's some more idea's


- Beach theme: either have your reception on the beach, or bring the beach to your reception. Money-saving tip: go to the beach, you’ll save a fortune.

- Country theme: hay bails, a barn dance and casks of ale a great way to bring the country to your reception. Great if you have a garden to do it in too. Money-saving tip: The casks of ale are a cheap way to go and you can borrow the bails of hay from a local farmer.

- Garden theme: picnic, BBQ or champagne and canapés on the lawn, marquee or even a Bedouin tent! Money-saving tip: A BBQ is a good way to feed your guests cheaply. Generally limiting the number of dishes and complexity of food will save you money.

- Gothic theme: some girls just like the darkside, red and black are the colours here for dresses, accessories and decorations. Money-saving tip: You don’t have to have a traditional ‘white' wedding. You can easily find a suitable coloured dress for less than £250 and it will still be special.

- Medieval theme: old castles, hog roasts and goblets for the wine. A pretty expensive way to go! Money-saving tip: The National Trust will have suitable venues and some of them will be cheap, a great place to start looking.

- Cowboy theme: bring a western theme to your wedding with cowboy hats, line dancing and some more hay bails. Money-saving tip: You can easily deck out a village hall with this theme and they’re one of the cheapest venues around!

- Hawaiian theme: recreate a luau in your venue. Flower leis, straw skirts, sand and punch. Money-saving tip: Hawaiian parties are family orientated parties, so get the family to help out too.


Choose your dress, venue, flowers, favours and décor to suit your theme. You can really have some fun with some of these wedding reception ideas – just make sure you stick to your budget!

 

 

 
Beware!
 
Wine on the tables
Remember if you're having wine on the tables say a bottle per guest- you need a way to keep track of how many the table actually gets. We know of brides who asked the venue to keep the corks so she could count them later- these venues have dustbins full of corks round the back, so they are able to give you as many corks as they like. There are venues like this who are proud of the fact the bride didn't get what she paid for and the way 'they had her over'.
 
 
Free Bars
Free drinks for your guests with you paying the bar bill is not a good idea for many reasons.
- guests drink too much too quickly and problems ensue.
-Because they're not paying for the drinks, guests are careless, they put drinks down then wander off and can't be bothered to find them again so they just get another drink from the bar.
-How do you decide how much to pay, say a set amount of £3,000 for the day or do you simply pay whatever the bill is, remember in most cases the venue will have your credit card details. Do you trust the venue to give you value for money....... think again...........
they won't.
 
Two ways you can pay over the odd's
1. If you set a limit for the free bar- expecting it to last 2-3 hours it invariably won't, the venue will make sure that it is spent very quickly, do we need to spell it out! The thing is how do you argue with them, with your guests being so extravagant with your money, leaving full and half  full glasses all over the room and garden.
 
2. If you set the limit on the free bar,  establish what the bar prices would be- then frequently check them throughout the event because if you don't that gin & tonic that was quoted as £2.40 will suddenly be £3.40 or £4.40.
Free bars are not a good idea for a wedding or any event.
Think of something else if you want to buy your friends a drink-how about giving them tokens
 ( cloak room tickets) that when handed in at the bar entitles them to 50p off their bill. That way you're being generous, they're having to be careful with their drinks ( they won't leave them lying around) and they'll be keeping an eye on what the venue is charging.
 
 
 
How to have a cheap wedding but make it look like a million dollars
Here's a few idea's from the professionals on how to have  a cheap wedding reception.
The reception is one of the highest costs within your budget and keeping that in check is paramount. With this in mind, it can be hard to choose a venue that fits your style and your budget.
Save on the room but make sure everyone has plenty to eat and drink is a sure fire way to success.
Your venue says a lot about the style of your big day and with so many options available, it can be quite bewildering. From all inclusive hotel packages to tying the knot abroad, or a party in the village hall to doing it yourself with a marquee in the garden, there are lots of ways to do something different and at a low cost.

The Best Cheap
Wedding Venues
Considering cheap wedding venues is one of the best ways to keep your costs down. There are plenty of ideas out there that cater for the tightest of budgets, but also give you the flexibility to make your day special.
 
Local Authority Buildings
Believe it or not, your local council may have some gems hidden up its sleeve when it comes to wedding venues. They often have old stately homes that have been turned into local authority centres for training or education.

Village Halls
Since the Millennium there have been a number of new village halls built in sleepy villages around the country. Some are beautifully designed with airy glass ceilings
or outside patio areas that can make a beautiful venue.

The benefit of village halls is that they often have catering facilities and equipment. Most village halls can be hired for a couple of hundred pounds, and normally include all your tables, chairs and equipment too.

Local Sports Clubs
From rugby to rowing, most sports played locally have a club house and if you have a friend or relative who’s a member then you’ll probably be able to use it. Even if you don't know a member, ask the club anyway as they may be able to accommodate you.

As with village halls, the hire charge will be very low. You’ll probably also find that they may offer low cost catering too. Start asking around.

Public Houses
There are hundreds of pubs up and down the country that have lovely gardens, idyllic riverside settings or great function rooms which can be the perfect setting for a unique or casual wedding.

They’ll also be able to do your catering at great prices.
 
National Trust and local charitable trusts.
The National Trust has so many buildings in all the strangest places, tucked away where you wouldn't know in cities as well as countryside. So seek them out and check out the costs.
Remember hotels and banqueting rooms are going to be the most expensive so anything else may well be cheaper and with the National Trust buildings you're guaranteed a place full of character and atmosphere.
 
Million Dollar Wedding Receptions
for Under £5000
There are plenty of venues for wedding receptions up and down the country desperate to fill their beautiful rooms and there are ways to get it at a bargain price.
 
 £5000 may sound like a lot of money for a wedding reception, but if you find a good deal for a set a price, it’s worth snapping up.

Here’s a summary of how to get the best bargains:
Last minute bargains
Most brides book their venues well in advance, but if you’re willing to wait then you can find a discounted venue for your wedding reception. Most of the offers become available about 3 months in advance – which conveniently gives you enough time to send out your invitations and book the other essentials. Many of the venues have a wedding planner or event organiser who’ll be able to sort out all the little details as well, so you don’t have to worry.


5 Star hotel packages
A carefully thought out wedding can only cost £5000 at a 5 star hotel.
It’s possible to pick and choose the elements you want of a package to make it fit within your budget – so you can spend as little or as much as you like. And if you choose a fancy hotel, you don’t have to leave it to the last minute – you can book months, even years in advance.  Start thinking creatively – there are lots of cool, boutique hotels out there too.

Weekdays will save you a fortune
Many brides these days choose to get married on a weekday. It’s an easy way to save up to third on your wedding. This is simply because most suppliers are booked up at weekends and will offer heavily discounted rates for events held during the week. Why not consider a Friday and save yourself a fortune on your wedding reception?
 
 Essential Questions for All Inclusive Wedding Packages
When planning the perfect wedding make sure that you ask the right questions of the hotel package deal.

What kinds of packages are available?
There will probably be numerous package options available at each wedding venue. Make sure you find out what’s available, and more importantly what’s included (and excluded) in all of the packages. It will help you compare them like-for-like.

Do they have a marriage licence?
If you want to be married in the same venue as your reception, it’s best to check this upfront. Many hotels do not have marriage licences, so it’s worth checking.

Are there minimum numbers that need to attend?
Some venues set a minimum number of guests for all inclusive wedding packages. This ensures that the hotel can maintain revenue levels. So if you’re planning a cosy 40 guest reception you may not be able to do this as an all inclusive wedding package without being charged for the minimum number of guests, which may be set at 100.

Is there a minimum fee that will be charged?
Some venues will charge you for all the facilities, even if you don’t use them. For example, you only have 75 guests which fit nicely into the main function room; the venue may then charge you for the marquee extension as well (as this is lost revenue for them). This could add thousands to your bill, so watch out!

How are the costs broken down for your all inclusive wedding packages?
If the costs aren’t clear, ask for them to be broken down. Don’t just accept what you see on the bottom line. There maybe elements included within in the package that you don’t need. Ask for a break down and double-check all quotes. Some questions to ask here:
- Is there a charge for the room?
- Is there a service charge included?
- Is VAT included?
- Is insurance included?

Are there additional costs for use of the venue’s equipment?
Most hotels will charge you a ‘per head’ cost for each guest; however some hotels or venues will also charge you a cost for using their equipment. So you may get charged for the use of and the washing up of each fork, spoon, plate, glass etc.

Always ask! It could add 20% to your bill- that they don't mention until its too late.

Can the wedding planner manage my reception budget?
With all inclusive wedding packages you often get a wedding planner to help you with your decisions. Some wedding planners will also manage your budget, and some even stick to it. Others may try and ‘up-sell’ services to you all the time. Ask them if they will honour your wedding budget to help you control your costs.

How many staff will be waiting on?
Sometimes the costs can be lowered by reducing the number of people serving during the reception. Some venues may have one server to five guests, others as few as one server to twenty. Simply put, reducing the number of people serving reduces the wage bill.

This may be a good one to ask if you need to lower the costs a little, particularly if you don’t mind a slightly slower service. Bear in mind that some hotels may state that they have a reputation to uphold and may not budge, others will.

Is it possible to try the foods and wines on the sample menus?
Most hotels will offer this service free of charge to help you select your wedding menu. It’s always worth checking, as you shouldn’t assume the food is any good, just because it’s a 4 or 5 star hotel.

Doing a tasting session is great fun, particularly if you happen to be having a reception in a 5* hotel and the restaurant has a Michelin chef!
 
Wine on the tables
Remember if you're having wine on the tables say a bottle per guest- you need a way to keep track of how many the table actually gets. We know of brides who asked the venue to keep the corks so she could count them later- these venues have dustbins full of corks round the back, so they are able to give you as many corks as they like. There are venues like this who are proud of the fact the bride didn't get what she paid for and the way 'they had her over'.

Is there a set amount we must spend in the bar?
Some hotels will set a minimum spend on the bar for their all inclusive wedding packages. If this level is not met, then you’ll foot the bill. Best to ask beforehand, so you don’t get any nasty surprises. Failing that, only invite your booziest friends!
 
Free Bars
Free drinks for your guests with you paying the bar bill is not a good idea for many reasons.
- guests drink too much too quickly and problems ensue.
-Because they're not paying for the drinks, guests are careless, they put drinks down then wander off and can't be bothered to find them again so they just get another drink from the bar.
-How do you decide how much to pay, say a set amount of £3,000 for the day or do you simply pay whatever the bill is, remember in most cases the venue will have your credit card details. Do you trust the venue to give you value for money....... think again...........
they won't.
 
Two ways you can pay over the odd's
1. If you set a limit for the free bar- expecting it to last 2-3 hours it invariably won't, the venue will make sure that it is spent very quickly, do we need to spell it out! The thing is how do you argue with them, with your guests being so extravagant with your money, leaving full and half  full glasses all over the room and garden.
 
2. If you set the limit on the free bar,  establish what the bar prices would be- then frequently check them throughout the event because if you don't that gin & tonic that was quoted as £2.40 will suddenly be £3.40 or £4.40.
Free bars are not a good idea for a wedding or any event.
Think of something else if you want to buy your friends a drink-how about giving them tokens
 ( cloak room tickets) that when handed in at the bar entitles them to 50p off their bill. That way you're being generous, they're having to be careful with their drinks ( they won't leave them lying around) and they'll be keeping an eye on what the venue is charging.

Is it possible to supply our own alcohol?
Some wedding venues will allow you to supply your own alcoholic drinks, but since much of their profit is made on food and beverages, you’ll be charged a hefty corkage fee. It’s worth making sure you know this upfront, just in case you were planning a booze cruise. Also worth noting, that corkage costs maybe negotiated in some venues.

Will we have exclusive access to the venue?
Some venues pack them in and pile them high. You may find that there are three other weddings in the hotel on your big day. Ask in advance you will be the only wedding on the day, so you can consider this when choosing your venue.

If you have your heart set on a particular hotel and inclusive package, perhaps they can dedicate a floor to you, so that it feels exclusive and you get some privacy. This very much depends on the set up of the hotel though.

Do you have a music policy?
Make sure you ask if there are any policies with regard to music. The last thing you want is your disco finishing at 11.30pm, just as everyone is getting into the 80´s classics. Ask if the music needs to stop at a particular time or do you have to use certain musicians, bands or DJs?

Is there outdoor space available to use?
Some hotels have very well maintained gardens, which make a perfect overflow or additional space to your wedding reception. Check if you can use this space, if the use is exclusive and if there’s an additional cost for the use.

Do you offer special discounts if guests stay in the hotel?
Many hotels will offer special room rates for guests staying overnight in the hotel. It’s always good to try and negotiate this as it’s a nice perk for the guests that decide to stay. Remember hotels charge more, the more rooms you book.

What complementary elements are there for the bride and groom?
Many hotels offer special privileges to the happy couple, including free spa access, free accommodation, free parking, free champagne all day/night and much more. If free stuff is important to you, then it’s worth asking.

 

 

 
 

 

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