Venues

Charlie & Stu’s Barnsdale Hall Hotel Wedding

I have been planning on doing a real wedding series for a while now, so I thought there was no better way to start than with my best friends wedding.

Charlie and Stu had been together for 5 years, when they got engaged on 1st July 2010. It was something lots of us thought would never happen, including Charlie. They had already been living together for 4 years and had just had their second son. Having almost a 2 year engagement before the big day in May 2012. Charlie decided to book the wedding on Stu’s birthday so he would not be able to forget their anniversaries in the future!

Barnsdale Hall Hotel Wedding

The Venue

Barnsdale Hall Hotel Wedding

Having chosen Barnsdale Hall Hotel, a beautiful location right on the edge of Rutland water. They opted for a civil ceremony that took place in the Edith Weston Suite, within the grounds of the Hall. With the beautiful sounds of a violin and a flute, playing Pachelbel’s Canon in D, as Charlie walked down the aisle. Accompanied by her Dad, Maid of honour (which just so happened to be me) and Mia, her 6 year old flower girl.

 

Barnsdale Hall Hotel Wedding

Barnsdale Hall Hotel Wedding

The Wedding Dress

Charlie wore a stunning fit and flare lace gown by designer Maggie Sottero. The gown was lined with a champagne coloured taffeta and had a beautiful ivory lace overlay, with a long tulle train. Along with ivory shoes and a crystal hair brooch that sat along side her vintage style up do. Make-up was completed by a lovely local make up artist, who also completed make up for Charlie’s Mum and me.

Barnsdale Hall Hotel Wedding

Barnsdale Hall Hotel Wedding

The Bridal Party

Charlie’s bridal party was made up of her maid of honour and a flower girl. I wore a stunning cornflower blue full length dress. I carried a posey of peach Vendela roses with ivory flowers that were hand tied with beautiful lace. Mia her 6 year old flower girl wore a Next ‘Occassion’ dress with floating petals layered into the dress. Mia carried a mini posey of blue hydrangeas and peach roses that matched Charlie’s.

Barnsdale Hall Hotel Wedding

The Grooms Party

Stu opted for 2 best men, Matt and Richard, they had all been best friends since childhood. Stu’s Brothers were both Ushers for the day, along with Stu and Charlie’s Dads completing the grooms party. They wore matching black morning suits with cornflower blue cravats and ivory waist coats, their button-holes were made of ivory roses.

Barnsdale Hall Hotel Wedding

The Colour Scheme

Charlie and Stu opted for a cornflower blue and ivory theme, with a vintage feel. Setting the tone of the wedding with an ivory and blue invitation. The flowers were blue hydrangeas and ivory and peach Vendela roses. Along with candelabras as the table centres with blue and clear crystals scattered on the tables. Each of the tables were named after different types of roses. The top table being Vendela which was the rose used in the bouquets and button holes. The name place cards were hand written by Charlie, they all had little blue roses on them, tying to the colour scheme. The children were kept entertained with personalised activity packs.

Barnsdale Hall Hotel WeddingBarnsdale-Hall-Hotel-Wedding

The Wedding Breakfast

The Wedding breakfast was a 3 course sit down meal consisting of smoked salmon and prawns, Charlie’s favourite starter. Followed by a main course of roast beef and all the trimmings and a delicious cheesecake for pudding, Stu’s favourite. Guest sat at round tables of 8 people with a traditional top table, of parents, maid of honour, best men and of course the bride and groom.

Barnsdale Hall Hotel Wedding

The beautiful wedding cake was made up of 3 tiers, each tier being a different flavour. One fruit, one chocolate and one lemon. It was covered in ivory icing, topped with roses and trailing cornflower blue petals. The style of the cake complimented the look of the wedding and tasted delicious, it was even served at a BBQ the following day.

As it was Stu’s birthday he was given a transformers birthday cake during the speeches and everyone sang Happy Birthday to him. Charlie and Stu finished off the lovely speeches giving out gifts. The groomsmen where all given transformers cufflinks. While the mothers were given beautiful floral bouquets. I was given a lovely rose pandora charm for my bracelet while Mia was given a charm for her nominations bracelet.

The Evening Do

Their evening guests where welcomed with a yummy hog roast, that was cooked all day outside, along with drinks and a great disco. To keep the children entertained throughout the day and into the evening there was a bouncy castle, which was a brilliant idea. It kept the children busy and allowed the parents to sit around it on the outside tables and enjoy the day.

Barnsdale Hall Hotel Wedding

The Honeymoon

Charlie and Stu spent a week in Sorento in Italy. Opting for a stay in a luxury hotel for a child free week, while their children stayed at home with the Grandparents. They are hoping to return for their 10th wedding anniversary.

Barnsdale Hall Hotel Wedding

 

Wedding by the water

Weddings take a lot of planning – the catering, the guest list, the flowers, and more. Perhaps one of the most difficult decisions to make is the venue. After all, everything else on the wedding list can be affected by your choice of setting. If you’re outdoors, you need reliable weather or a good marquee company! And if you’re indoors, you need to know that the room for your reception will be the most beautiful space in the building.

Of course, some people are determined to include incredible landscape backdrops for their wedding photography. It makes sense. The couple in the photo look stunning, so they should be somewhere that is equally amazing. This is one of the reasons why destination weddings are so popular. It’s quite handy to already be at your honeymoon destination as well!

Gorgeous scenery

Wedding By The Water

So what are your options for a stunning landscape? You might marry on top of a mountain with far reaching views of the country. Or you might prefer rolling hills and fields of wildflowers as your backdrop. For many, the allure and the romance of the water calls. A beach wedding or even a wedding on the water can be one of the most beautiful and idyllic places to marry.

The allure of water side weddings

There are many places around the world to choose from. Of course, few beat Venice if you wish to marry on the water. The water in Venice is mostly still, easily accessible, and offers some stunning shots for your wedding photos. Have a look at the Vittore Buzzi Photographer website to get some ideas about your own choice of wedding pictures. You’ll see that Venice can offer beautiful architecture, romantic gondola rides for the happy couple and incredible waterways for that perfect wedding venue.

Wedding-By-The-Water

Picking a European destination like Venice offers you far more than just the chance to enjoy your wedding on the water. The ancient buildings of Italy are so incredibly ornate. The detail in each one will look amazing in your wedding photos. Then, of course, is all that gorgeous Italian antique furniture! Who wouldn’t want a photo of the bride sat in such an incredible chair or stood upon a cast iron balcony above the water?

Ceremony of reception

So what should you consider if you want to have a ceremony or reception on the water? Each destination is different. In some places, you must wear a life preserver by law. This can be tricky to deal with in a wedding gown! And heels and boats don’t always work well together. A floating platform might be a better way to deal with this situation. In some places, you can find a good sized decking area at the end of a short pier. This gives you the illusion of being out on the water, but you’re not all at sea. Speak to your wedding planner to see what precautions must be taken.

Beach

What about a beach wedding? Again, in some places, there are restrictions. Still, they can be easily overcome if you know what you need to do. For example, in most parts of the UK, you must legally marry within the four walls of a registered building. That doesn’t stop you performing a ceremony before (or after) the legal part, anywhere you like. This might be considered a renewal of vows, or simply a public affirmation of love. It means you can still have photos of your both on the banks of the lakes in Cumbria or even Loch Ness.

Boats

Cruise ships are well known for offering weddings and honeymoons. Most cruise ship chapels are very small so would suit a small guest list. You would most likely be married by the ship’s Captain, but this doesn’t mean your ceremony can’t be religious. The Captain may have restrictions about where the ship should be during the legal part of the ceremony. You might also find you have to book quite far in advance to ensure you get the wedding you’re hoping for.

As you and your guests will be at sea, you will probably enjoy your honeymoon on board. There is plenty of choice for entertainment with the other ship’s guests, but if you want a more private venue, you may have to pay quite a bit extra. Food and drink, of course, will never be a problem. The service is often second to none, and you will have a good choice of accommodation and extras while you are onboard.

Is it legal?

In some places, you can hire a private yacht and the Captain there can perform the legal part of your ceremony for you. Some advertise this as a special service in different parts of the world. It’s best to check if the ceremony is legally binding or if you need to have a registrar service at your local courthouse before hand. You can usually only legally marry the person you are married to once. But you can renew your vows or indulge in an affirmation ceremony that has no legal bearing at all. It can be just as romantic as the real thing, and there is nothing stopping you from getting dressed up and exchanging rings.

Don’t forget – every legally binding marriage must be witnessed, so make sure your witnesses don’t get seasick! While receptions on the water can be lots of fun and a great theme for the event, there needs to be safety precautions too. Alcohol and the water don’t mix, so make sure everyone is well looked after. As for romantic photos? Imagine the moonlight reflected on the water behind you and your new spouse. What about a photo of you both dipping your toes in the foam as the wave reaches the beach? What ideas might you have?

A wedding on the water can be wonderfully romantic, and it can offer some of the best backdrops for your wedding photography. There are plenty of ways to make the most of your watery theme too. While most guest lists on board boats might be quite small, a beach wedding or pier venue can offer all the space you need for everyone. Enjoy your beautiful day.

 

Dreaming of a Castle Wedding…

Every little girl dreams of getting married in a big castle, with a horse drawn carriage to carry her and prince charming off into the sunset.

In the UK we are blessed to have some stunning wedding venues. Included in that are many beautiful castles. Which means your childhood dreams can come true. Although some of these venues are not for everyone’s budget, they are all stunning in their individual ways.

See my top 5 picks from across the UK.

Hever Castle – Kent

Castle Wedding - Hever CastleHever Castle was built in 1270 it was home to Anne Boleyn, King Henry VIII’s second wife. It is now privately owned by the Guthrie family. Hever Castle offers varying different options for wedding packages. The Castle, the Astor Wing, the Italian Garden or Marquee set in the grounds. There are 28 bedrooms to hire, perfect for guests wanting to stay over. Prices start from £165 per person.

Peckforton Castle – Cheshire

Castle Wedding - Peckforton Castle

Peckforton Castle was built in 1851 by John Tollemach, in a medieval style, taking 9 years to complete the build. Home to numerous TV and film sets. They proudly offer many different wedding options. The Great Hall, Hexagonal Room, Drawing Room, the Wine Cellar and the Chapel that offers blessings only. There are 48 bedrooms for hire fitting in family and friends for almost any size wedding. Prices are on quotation only, as they provide a price plan to meet your requirements.

Hensol Castle – Vale of Glamorgan

Castle Wedding - Hensol Castle

Hensol Castle was built in the 17th Century. Set in 650 acres of Welsh Countryside its a beautiful setting for your dream wedding. It has been used as the set for many TV shows. Hensol Castle offers 6 different functions rooms with its newly built Courtyard Hall. There is also the Oak Room set aside for ceremonies. The castle is adjacent to Vale Resort, a luxury spa resort, perfect for all of your guests to stay in. They offer discounts for people attending weddings. Prices start at £2750 for Castle hire, then packages start for 42.95 per person.

Dalhousie Castle – Edinburgh

Castle Wedding - Dalhousie Castle

Dalhousie Castle was built in the 13th Century it is proudly Scotland’s oldest inhabited castle. They offer various different wedding packages with prices starting from £1000 for 30 people, making it possible to have a castle wedding on a smaller budget. There is even a beautiful chapel that is perfect for your ceremony. It is a unique and romantic venue that offers extras that I haven’t seen in many other venues. Like the falconry package. Where an owl delivers the rings during ceremony…… perfect for any Harry Potter fans out there!

A castle wedding might not be for everyone but they are magical. Keep your eye out for future posts. Including weddings on a budget.

What would be your dream wedding venue?