The Country House Weddings Perfect Wedding Checklist
The Groom got down on one knee and asked the question the Bride had dreamt of hearing since she was a little girl. “Yes!” she gasped in total joy! The celebrations continued in to the early hours and family and friends could not be happier for them. The following morning, the bride awakens with an uneasy feeling. She turns to her Groom and says “I’m no wedding expert, where do we begin in creating our dream?”
Enter Country House Weddings Perfect Wedding Checklist!
Once upon a time a wedding was a Church, a glass of bubbly and a knees up in the local pub! Now a wedding is the event of the year and the options available are vast. Couples have been asking Country House Weddings this same question for over 25 years “Where do we begin?” and fortunately for them we have been able to use our experience to put together the following Perfect Wedding Checklist. Some couples take years to plan and others just a matter of weeks, whatever the time frame, these step by step guidelines should keep you on track.
1. Book Your Wedding Venue
This is arguably the most important part of planning a wedding and a number of the key decisions that follow are determined by the setting that you choose and the date that you book. The fabulous grounds at Leez Priory would be picture perfect in the summer in a shade of gold, the magnificent Clearwell Castle looks staggering in a rich burgundy for a winter theme, beautiful St Audries Park shines in the summer sun and looks pretty in pink and gorgeous Gosfield Hall is breath taking in its royal blue. So, start by choosing your backdrop and hurry to secure the date that is right for you.
2. Book the Ceremony and Inform the Local Registrars
Once you have booked a wedding venue you will need to book the ceremony. If you are having a civil ceremony, contact the venue’s local Registrars to arrange a time for them to come out and perform the ceremony on your day. If you would prefer a church wedding then you will need to arrange this with your church. Book the ceremony time and inform the Registrars as soon as you can and all four Country House Wedding venues can help you do this.
3. Send out your Save the Date Cards and Order Your Invitations
You have the setting, now you need your family and friends. Save the date cards come in many shapes and sizes these days such as emails, text messages, facebook messages and tweets. Or for the more traditional among you, Country House Wedding venues do create their own unique range of stationery including beautiful save the date cards that can be sent in the post.
4. Compile a Gift Register
Many couples now place their wedding lists with stores that cater for online shopping to make it easy for your guests to shop for your wedding presents. Popular shops for wedding lists include John Lewis, Debenhams, Argos and Next. It is often a good idea to include details of your gift register with your invitations.
5. Choose and Purchase Your Wedding and Bridesmaid’s Dresses and Accessories
The moment you have been waiting for… the dress! Try on as many as you can and make a day of it with your closest friends. Different shades, different styles, different designers, there really is so much choice available to you. Think outside the box when it comes to your Bridesmaids dresses, they don’t all have to be exactly the same, very rarely are all Bridesmaids the same shape, size and colouring. Make sure you keep in mind the big picture though as the images from your day will be your lasting memories. Shoes, jewellery and beauty all come under this category too so go pamper yourself! Whether you are hiring suits or buying them, force him to get out there now and shop around! Make sure you give him some guidance though as the choice for him is equally as vast these days!
6. Book Your Photographer
Once the magical day has been and gone the photographs will be all that is left so make sure you take your time with this one. Leez Priory and Gosfield Hall have a list of recommended photographers in the Essex area and St Audries Park and Clearwell Castle can recommend the best from the South West. Ask to see some albums before committing and ensure that your chosen photographer visits the venue before the big day to scope out the best opportunities.
7. Order Your Cake
Once again the opportunities to personalise your cake are endless. Traditional sponge or fruit cake can now be combined with different flavour sponges and, of course, chocolate! Cake toppers can be fun and quirky too to really inject your character! All four Country House Wedding venues are able to create amazing cakes to suit your needs, you just need to ask! Rest assured that our chefs are in the kitchen on the day and not stuck on the M25!
8. Book Your Flowers
The beauty of our venues is that you don’t necessarily need hundreds of flowers as they are so stunning in themselves. However you are going to need bouquets and button holes and maybe the odd bouquet to give away during the speeches. There are florists out there that specialise in weddings so shop around. Our venues all recommend one florist each who cares for the delicate silk flowers in the house. Ask the venue for more details as these are the florists that know our venues intimately.
9. Buy Your Wedding Rings
Don’t forget these! Places like Ernest Jones, and Wedding Rings UK will be able to provide you with some ideas.
10. Book Accommodation for the Night of Your Wedding
All Country House Wedding venues can provide overnight accommodation for the Bride and Groom and guests for the night of the wedding and possibly the night before too! Gosfield Hall has 21 stunning bedrooms that can accommodate 61 guests, Leez Priory has 15 lovely bedrooms that can accommodate 34 guests, St Audries Park has 22 gorgeous suites in the main house plus Holly Cottage, Peregrine House, the Old Rectory and Church Lodge in the grounds and Clearwell Castle has 15 bedrooms plus Keeper’s Cottage, North Lodge and Portcullis View Studio in the grounds. Please enquire with the venues for full details. The venues can also offer lists of nearby accommodation and the names of reputable taxi firms to get people there if needs be!
11. Meet with the Venue to Plan Catering and Timings for Your Day
All four Country House Wedding venues have designated Front of House Managers who will meet with you before your day to help plan menus, timings and running of events on your special day. They will also be present on the wedding day to ensure your day goes exactly as planned.
12. Book Your Honeymoon
Get in touch with tour operators to help organise your honeymoon. Companies such as Kuoni, Sandals and Thomson are great for honeymoons.
13. Arrange Your Hen and Stag Parties
Give your Bridesmaids and Best Man their jobs of organising your Hen and Stag do’s- one less job for the Bride and Groom. Maybe a few rules would be a good idea!
14. Get in the Mood by Surfing Wedding Websites
Wedding websites are great for picking up last minute tips or just online chatting with like-minded Bride and Grooms. Look at www.weddingideasmagazine.co.uk, www.hitched.co.uk or www.guidesforbrides.co.uk for other inspirational touches to finish off your day.
15. Enjoy Your Day
Maybe one day is not enough? In which case you should visit our Page on Two Day weddings!
If you haven’t found a venue yet, have a look at our hand picked venues by clicking on the links below, or go to www.countryhouseweddings.co.uk, and contact the venue directly for more information, to arrange a viewing or to book a date. Remember, there’s wedding venues and then there’s Country House Weddings…