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small wedding venues in Essex

5 Benefits of Holding a Midweek Wedding

Midweek weddings are becoming increasingly popular due to a rise in couples choosing quieter, cheaper wedding ceremonies and receptions than they have in years gone by. It’s easy to see why - the average cost of a wedding is around £27,000! So why have a midweek wedding?

Keep Your Costs Down

As we said, weddings are expensive - so why not save your cash and put it toward a house, your family or your honeymoon? Midweek weddings are cheaper than midweek weddings as venue hire is so much cheaper during the week. For example, at The Arlington our Friday venue hire is £450, and Saturday is £600 - but midweek is just £350. That’s £250 you could put elsewhere!

Small Midweek Wedding at The Arlington Ballroom Southend-on-Sea

Be Selective With Your Guests… Which Keeps Costs Down!

You don’t really want your great aunt’s son-in-law and his children at your wedding, do you? A midweek wedding is the perfect excuse to trim your guest list down to those who really matter - the people you know will make the effort to be there. Oh, and a smaller guest list will mean fewer mouths to feed at the wedding reception, fewer complimentary drinks, a smaller cake and possibly even a smaller venue! So you’ll be saving money as well!

That being said, if you send out your save the dates early enough, your guests will have more than enough time to book a day or two'’s holiday!

Have Your Pick of Suppliers… and Pay a Bit Less for Them!

All good suppliers, from photographers to make up artists to venue stylists, will be booked up every weekend for months in advance. But their Wednesdays or their Thursdays are probably free - and cheaper than the weekends! Why not use the money you saved on your venue hire to get in the very best venue stylist, or to splash out on the dress or cake of your dreams?

Save Your Guests Money

B&B, hotel and often travel costs are cheaper during the week than at the weekend. Your guests might not feel as ‘festive’ during the week as they might on a weekend, but they’ll be grateful for the reduced costs associated with your big day!

Marry On a Special Day

It’s not all about saving money! Did you get engaged on an anniversary, or meet on a special day? With a midweek wedding, you have greater choice of wedding dates, so you can take advantage and get married on a date that really means something to you!

Have we persuaded you that a midweek wedding is a good idea? Get in touch with us on 01702 711 350 or email info@thearlingtonballroom.co.uk to book a consultation. Browse our wedding page and options here.

What is a Humanist Wedding? A Guide for Secular Couples

Humanist+Weddings+in+Essex

Humanist weddings are increasingly popular, as non-religious or multi-faith couples wish to celebrate their wedding somewhere other than a religious building or a simple registry office. But what exactly is a humanist wedding? Simply put, humanist weddings are non-religious, or secular. There aren’t any rules per se, so couples can tailor their wedding to their exact specifications!

Are Humanist Weddings Legally Binding?

As of 2018, humanist weddings are not legally binding in England and Wales and couples require a civil ceremony as well as or alongside their humanist ceremony. Humanist weddings are legally binding in Scotland and Northern Ireland, and activists are pressing the UK government for change in England and Wales.

Are Wedding Vows Allowed? Is Music Allowed? What is Allowed at a Humanist Wedding?

Anything is allowed! You can have poetry readings, live music, a speech from a friend or loved one. You can write your own vows, incorporating your favourite music or poetry, or even incorporating something from a religious text that you do like. You can include elements of ‘traditional’ weddings - the white dress, bridesmaids, a bouquet… or not! It’s really up to you and what you want: a big appeal of humanist weddings is the bespoke element. Whether you’re an LGBT couple, a multi-faith couple or simply looking for something that isn’t ‘a church wedding’ or ‘a ceremony at a registry office’, you can tailor your wedding to you, as a couple.

What is a Celebrant?

Although popular in countries like Australia, the term ‘celebrant’ isn’t very well known in the UK. A celebrant is the person who conducts the ceremony, often writing or creating the ceremony. You can find a celebrant using Humanist.org.uk’s interactive map. You can also learn more about what celebrants are with Humanist.org.uk’s guide.

Can a Humanist Wedding Take Place Outside?

Yes! As we said, humanist weddings are not legally binding in England so you will have to have a civil ceremony as well.

Where Can I Have a Humanist Wedding in Essex?

Pretty much anywhere! Some people choose the beach, some choose their front room, some choose a traditional wedding venue. At the Arlington Ballroom, we’re always happy to host a humanist wedding! We’re also licensed for civil ceremonies, so you can always have a registrar conduct your legally-binding ceremony alongside all your preferred ‘humanist’ elements. We also host wedding receptions, so you can hold your wedding underneath one roof! You can learn about our wedding packages and what we offer on our Weddings page.

Humanist Wedding Ceremony at The Arlington Ballroom, Southend-on-Sea

LGBT Weddings for Essex at The Arlington Ballroom, Southend-on-Sea

You’ve just got engaged. Congratulations! Now you’ve got to start planning a wedding… At the Arlington Ballroom, we do a lot of weddings, from huge parties to intimate ceremonies, for a diverse range of couples. We know your wedding is one of the most special days of your life, and our team works hard to ensure everything runs smoothly and to your plan. So why hold your wedding at The Arlington?

Jodie and Nicole’s wedding, December 2018.  Photograph by Boutique Wedding Films & Photography.

Jodie and Nicole’s wedding, December 2018. Photograph by Boutique Wedding Films & Photography.

Hold Your Wedding Ceremony & Evening Reception Under One Roof

We’re fully licensed, so you can hold your civil ceremony and your evening reception here! No faffing about with cars or moving your guests and less stress for you and your guests!

LGBT Wedding Reception Southend-on-Sea

Fabulous Art Deco Wedding Venue in the Heart of Southend

Completely renovated in 2012, our Art Deco ballroom is an elegant, sophisticated venue perfect for the discerning couple! It fits between 80-250 people and we can arrange a live band, a DJ, sweet carts, a dance floor and literally roll out a red carpet! We offer buffets and sit-down meals, and have two bars - so you can allocate one as a cocktail, Champagne or gin bar! We can also help organise professional cocktail demonstrations - just ask.

Small Weddings & Midweek Weddings Welcome

We know that not everyone wants a blowout Gatsby-style wedding (although we can do those!). Our venue has a maximum capacity of 250 people, so your day will be intimate. We also offer midweek weddings, as we’re mindful that many couples plan a wedding on a budget or would prefer a quiet ceremony.

LGBT Wedding Ceremony in Southend-on-Sea, Essex
Wedding Breakfast at The Arlington Ballroom, Southend-on-Sea

Interested in looking around our ballroom to discuss wedding options? Give us a call on 01702 711 350 (10am-4pm), or email info@thearlingtonballroom.co.uk. Learn more about our wedding packages on our Weddings page. You can view our cocktail menu here.

How to Save Money on Your Wedding (Without Compromising Quality)

The average wedding in the UK costs £32,000. That’s a staggering amount when you consider that the money could go toward a house deposit, renovation or holiday instead of a single day. Here are our tips for keeping wedding costs down!

Work out your budget before you plan anything

Sit down with your fiance and work out what you’ve got to spend, or what you’ll have to spend in total. Then add 10 per cent, because unexpected costs sneak up on you! Make a spreadsheet and note down every quote, price and detail you’ll be paying for, from the venue and dress to invitations.

Decide what’s really important to you

Do you have a very specific venue, dress or flower arrangement in mind? Talk to your fiance and decide the five things you absolutely don’t want to compromise on. Then decide the five things you don’t mind doing ‘on the cheap’. For example, it’s very easy to save money on wedding favours by simply buying 50 Love Heart sweets and organza bags from eBay for about £10. On the other hand, if you’ve always wanted hand-painted ceramic plaques for each of your 50 guests then you should ensure that you make a note of the potential costs!

One of the biggest expenses will be the guests themselves, as more guests means a larger venue and more mouths to feed. Par down your list to the people you really want at your ceremony and/or reception (is it really important that your mum’s aunt’s in-laws witness your special day?), then look for venues accordingly. Bear in mind that a handful of people won’t turn up or bring a plus-one, and remember that a buffet is probably going to cost less than a 5-course seated meal.

Work out what can be done cheaply (but remember that ‘cheap’ doesn’t have to mean ‘bad’)

As we said with the wedding favours, it’s possible to make a little bit of cash go a long way. We’ve known brides who have bought tea sets from second hand shops, used them in the floral arrangements, then told guests to help themselves to the arrangements as favours… oh, and the tables looked BEAUTIFUL. Do you mind having a wedding midweek instead of a Saturday? You could save a lot on the venue hire just by swapping days! If you’re planning an open bar, specify that you want prosecco instead of Champagne; do your wedding dress shopping in clearance sales or on classy second hand sites like Brides Do Good (oh, and help end child marriage while you’re at it!), buy a pretty cake from M&S and add some flowers to it instead of commissioning a wedding cake… we could go on.

Use your imagination, ask married friends and family what they’ve done for their wedding and what they would change if they could have their wedding day again.

Intimate Wedding Ceremony at The Arlington Ballroom. Southend-on-Sea

Keep track of everything

Yes, everything. All of it. Every penny. The VAT. Postage costs. Cancellation fees. Who’s RSVP’d. Who hasn’t. Your wedding should be one of the highlights of your life, not a stressful experience that leaves you in debt. Keep an eye on everything, keep communicating with your fiance (and your parents or family, if they’re paying for anything) and remember to enjoy the process!

Are you thinking of having a wedding in Southend-on-Sea? At The Arlington Ballroom we’re a fully licensed venue - and we offer midweek weddings!

Why Hold Your Wedding at The Arlington Ballroom in Essex?

When it comes to wedding venues in the South East of England, there is a lot of choice. From country homes and hotels to barns and actual castles, it can be difficult to know where to choose. So why should you choose The Arlington Ballroom?

Jodie and Nicole Winter Wedding Reception at The Arlington Ballroom Essex

We’re in the Heart of Essex

Snug in Leigh-on-Sea (part of the borough of Southend-on-Sea) in Essex, The Arlington Ballroom is tucked along London Road. We can recommend several brilliant local hotels for you and your guests, and there's so much to do in Southend, from visiting the ancient Hadleigh Castle to taking a stroll along the promenade and down Southend Pier.

Excellent Transport Links to Essex and London

Our nearest train station is Chalkwell, on the C2C Fenchurch Street Line. It's easy for guests to arrive from London and Essex (Leigh is around 40 minutes from London!).

Elegant Art Deco Venue Licensed for Civil Ceremonies

Pink and Blue Wedding Ceremony at The Arlington Ballroom Essex

Our opulent ballroom was renovated in 2012 to include high ceilings, black granite mirrored pillars and a mezzanine level with a Grand Piano. We were even part of an Art Deco wedding photoshoot that was featured in An Essex Wedding Magazine! We are fully licensed for civil ceremonies, so you can hold both your wedding ceremony and your wedding reception with us if you'd like! 

Bespoke Themes and Menus Available

We can offer customisable coloured downlighting, a projector and various add-ons including a dance floor, sweet carts a dedicated Champagne bar and a DJ. Our menu can be entirely catered to your needs and desires; our excellent chef can whip up free-from, vegan, national cuisine... just name it. We can offer 3-course meals, 5-course meals, buffets and more. One of our weddings this year includes a barbecue!

What are you waiting for? Call 01702 711 350 or email info@thearlingtonballroom.co.uk to book a free consultation with our excellent Events Team, and see our Weddings page for more information and packages.