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Colette's top tips for planning your wedding


You’ve decided to tie the knot - now it’s time to start planning the big day.


Planning a wedding is exciting but, with so many decisions to make, it can be stressful too. Head of weddings at The Exchange 1856, Colette Malik has been in the wedding industry for more than a decade and understands the process of planning a wedding inside-out.


Here’s Colette’s top 3 tips to ease the stress and help you organise a truly magical day.


1 Start with a vision.


Sit down with your partner and decide what your dream wedding looks like. Do you like traditional weddings? Do you want a religious ceremony? Is formal or informal more your style? Do you want to get married close to home or somewhere different? Narrowing down your ideal location is an important first step. Also think about themes, colours and styles which resonate with you both. Having a strong vision will help guide your decisions and keep you on track.


2. Set a budget.


The cost of a wedding can mount up. Before diving into details, establish a realistic budget that works for you. Setting a budget allows you to make informed decisions about venue, catering, photography etc, and prioritise spending accordingly.  It will also help you decide how many guests you can invite. Knowing numbers enables you to identify the perfect venue to accommodate your wedding.


3. Choose the right venue


Getting married in the right place, can make a huge difference to your big day.


Whether you envision a grand ballroom setting or a more intimate, boutique space, choosing the right venue that aligns with your vision and style is key.


Consider factors like capacity, location, ambiance, and amenities when making your decision. Remember, this is where memories will be made and cherished for a lifetime, so take your time.


 When booking a venue, couples should be asking questions such as: Are you flexible on formal/informal options? Do you have a wedding licence? Do you have minimum guest numbers?


Flexibility from the venue, allows couples to have the day they want rather than adhering to strict guidelines. So, make sure you suss out how flexible the venue is before booking.

At The Exchange 1856, we’ll bend over backwards to accommodate all your wishes.


We hold a wedding licence so couples can choose to get marred here in one of three beautiful locations: our light and dreamy loft space, with views out to sea, the historic and intimate, Thomas Brown room, or our large auditorium, where you’ll be the star of the show on our stage. 


As well as a choice of three stunning spaces for your wedding ceremony, we offer both informal and formal dining options, which is a great bonus for many couples.

We provide a variety of breath-taking, historic indoor spaces at The Exchange 1856 for drinks, canapés, and your wedding breakfast. This setup allows your guests to freely explore and experience the unique ambiance of different areas. Additionally, we offer a gorgeous private outdoor courtyard, located at the heart of the building, which serves as a tranquil outdoor oasis for those who prefer it.

If you’re interested in a tour of the building or want to find out more about The Exchange 1856’s wide range of wedding options, please email Colette at





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