Discover Wedding Planning Tips from Signature’s Events Specialist Ciara Martin

A Signature Wedding is one of a kind. The care and attention put into organising your big day by our incredible wedding team ensures that everything, from the stunning bridal decorations to your first steps on a beautiful dance floor, are remembered and cherished forever.

For every wedding we host, our Wedding Specialist Ciara Martin supports soon-to-be wed couples through their magical journey. With her Signature smile and never-say-no attitude, she’ll be your best friend throughout the build-up to your wedding, on the big day, and beyond.

Ciara has worked at Signature for over two and a half years, making sure every wedding is an unforgettable day for the couple and their guests.

We sat down with her to get some top tips on planning your dream day and find out why you should start your Signature journey with her today…

wedding planning tips
Signature’s Wedding Specialist, Ciara Martin
What’s the number one thing everyone forgets while planning the big day?

“The one thing we always have to remind people about is actually legally booking your wedding! That normally takes place in St George’s Hall in town. That’s the one thing I can’t do for you and people always forget that.”

“I think they also tend to forget planning the evening of the wedding: what they want, if they want a DJ, what dance floor to have and all those extra bits and pieces. Couples try and do the most sensible things first, like booking a photographer, finding the perfect dress, sourcing suits, so then all the fun bits get a bit lost. You should be asking yourself ‘do we want a selfie mirror!’.”

What would you recommend couples do so they don’t forget anything?

“I always recommend that they make a list of ‘necessities’ and ‘desirables’. And under ‘necessities’, you would be writing things like registrar, your license, your dress – all the things that you definitely need for the wedding to go ahead.”

“Then, under desirables are the things that you really want, but aren’t necessary. Like a huge, light-up ‘love’ sign at your reception.”

“Once you’ve done that, you can work out what fits into your budget and make sure you’ve sorted all the necessities first.”

wedding planning tips
Credit: Matthew Rycraft
What would be your five top tips for planning a wedding?

“Firstly, organisation! Write those lists. Be organised.”

“A great thing to do is work out as a couple what you do not want at your wedding. Ask yourself what you would not like your wedding to be, because it’s so much easier to answer that. Make a big list of things you definitely don’t want and from there, you can work out what you want on the day.”

“Thirdly,  pick your Maid of Honour well. Make sure she’s organised and you trust her to sort your hen-do. She needs to be able to take the stress off. Pick well.”

“Fourth: research. You should be shopping round for the best prices on everything. Look around to see what you can get for less. You don’t want to be spending an arm and a leg on everything.”

“And finally, get Pinterest! Look for ideas on it, for designs you like and how you might be able to do some things yourself. It’s always more affordable to do that.”

wedding planning tips
Credit: Matthew Rycraft
What makes a Signature wedding so special?

“We don’t ever say no! We’ve hung cakes from the ceiling, we’ve had stilt-walkers, we’ve had fire-breathers. We can do barbecues or hog roasts. I’ve even put ponies up on the beautiful roof terrace at The Shankly. We’ve had all sorts.”

“And because we never, ever say no, each Signature wedding is completely unique. No wedding is ever the same. And they’re never mundane and boring. I’ve had six weddings in one week before and they’ve all been completely different. And they’re always fun.”

wedding planning tips
One of our happy couples celebrating at The Shankly | Credit: Andy J Photography
Which is your favourite Signature venue?

“I shouldn’t answer this so quickly, but it’s Eden at The Shankly Hotel. That’s my baby. I think that venue just allows you to be so different. It’s traditional, but its also got a modern twist. I know I’m a bit mental and I would want a mental wedding. Eden weddings are always just so fun.”

30 James Street is stunning, it’s absolutely beautiful and it’s very traditional. I love all the venues and depending on what you are looking for from your wedding, Signature will have something that suits you.”

wedding planning tips
The roof-top terrace at Eden is perfect for a stunning wedding photo | Credit: Matthew Rycraft
What was your favourite-ever wedding to work on?

“It was probably also one of the most stressful to organise, but it has to be the wedding of our very own Katie Kenwright’s brother which was completely amazing. It was the biggest one we’d ever done. It had so much happening, it was like two weddings in one but it was the most enjoyable to see on the day.”

“But for every wedding, it’s such a special moment for me. I make a lot of connections with the couples I work with. I’ve ended up spending a long time with them during the planning process and I get an emotional connection with them. When they go down the aisle, it feels like my friends are getting married.”

“I have a couple who got married two years ago and they just had a baby, so they brought it in for me to say hello and we’ve kept in touch.”

“For me, planning a couple’s weddings is about forming a personal connection.”

wedding planning tips
Ciara enjoying a special moment with Bride Vicky at her favourite Signature wedding.
And for Liverpool hen and stag parties what do you recommend?

“Signature Living, of course!”

“In terms of where to stay, it’s too hard to chose between them all. But I definitely recommend staying in a venue that’s not where your wedding will be held. If you’re going to have the big day at The Shankly, don’t stay there for your hen-do.”

“Keep your wedding venue special. Stay at 30 James Street or Arthouse. Actually, the Arthouse Hotel is great for a hen-do.”

wedding planning tips
Our beautiful Garden of Eden Suites are perfect for hen parties | Credit: Instagram, @lucya_brown

“And the one thing I would recommend is to go and have afternoon tea at Alma de Cuba on your hen-do. I absolutely love that samba afternoon tea.”

“If you’re involving older relatives, treat yourself to some spa-time at Morgan’s Spa in 30 James Street. It’s OK to combine activities and have two different types of hen-dos put together. But I would always recommend that you have a party.”

“We always ask the Maid of Honour to get in touch with us. And when she does, we’ll pass her over to our party specialists in the reservations team, because they can advise her of all the best packages and most exciting suites.”

What’s your favourite part planning the wedding?

“Probably the evening. The day-part of the wedding is often quite structured. But it’s the evening when you see the couple’s personality come through and their ideas come alive.”

“Planning the evening is always fun because you get to know the couple and get to find out what will truly suit them.”

“I’ve got a couple getting married in New York soon, but they’re having their evening with us when they fly back. There’s a special reason why they’re getting married there so we’ve customized everything.”

“Their food is going to be New York-themed, with hot-dogs, nachos, tacos, things like that. And they’re going to have a balloon wall of the American flag. Everything can be personlised for you at Signature.”

wedding planning tips
Nighttime at our Eden venue is always a magical occasion
So, is that why a future couple-to-be should chose a Signature Wedding?

“Yes! Because we have the best venues in the city and we never say no to anything. We always deliver and our weddings are always out of this world.”

“The idea of a Signature wedding is that everyone enjoys it – even the staff have a brilliant night!”

To see some of her favourite Signature Weddings, follow Ciara on Instagram @signature_ciara.

For more information on our stunning venues, or to get in touch with Ciara and start planning your perfect day, contact us today on 0151 305 3753.