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How to plan your wedding reception for a stress-free day

Wedding venue Somerset

Wedding venues Somerset

Your big day has finally arrived and you’re looking forward to all the fun and great times about to happen – and that’s how it should be. You can pretty much guarantee yourself a stress-free wedding day if you have thought about and planned in advance the time line of your wedding reception and communicated that to everyone involved. It’s definitely worth the effort and can be part of the fun in the build up to your wedding day. It gives you the opportunity to think in detail about what you really want to happen and when, plus highlighting any areas that might have been forgotten.

Here are a few pointers to consider when you making your plans:-

Cocktail time

The ceremony is over and you’ve exchanged your vows, this is the moment the emphasis switches from the wedding ceremony to the wedding reception. If you’ve chosen an unusual wedding venue in Somerset, you may like to consider having drinks outside, making the most of your quirky venue or enjoying the wonderful countryside views. Discuss with the venue organiser when you would like the drinks served and how, for example, by waiting staff mingling or from serving tables. Have a time limit for your guests to chat and then your MC will invite everyone into the main reception area.

Making an entrance

Once all your guests have found their seats, this is the moment you can make your entrance. Perhaps you’ll be sweeping down a grand staircase at a wedding venue in Somerset, or entering the marquee in the beloved garden of your family home –  your entrance can be as personalised as your choice of venue. Maybe have a favourite song playing, some instrumental music, or even a fanfare! On the other hand, be casual and simply stroll in.

The wedding meal

You’ve probably spent a great deal of time thinking about the menu, so enjoy it and the company of your guests at the top table – there will be plenty of opportunity to spend time with your other family and friends later. If you would like more tips on choosing your wedding food and caterer, please click here.

Speeches

This is often a much anticipated moment at a wedding. But, if for you, it’s nerve wrecking, perhaps consider having the speeches earlier in the day, or part way through the meal. Traditionally the father of the bride speaks first, followed by the groom, the bride and then the best man. It’s good for everyone speaking to have a time allocation, particularly if this is during the meal – the quality of the food may suffer if there is a long over-run. Ideally, the speeches should be held, while your guests are sitting down. They will enjoy them to the max, if they are comfortable and relaxed.

Cut the cake

And make a wish! Ask your MC to announce this if you’d like an audience, but it’s ok too, to make it a private moment and don’t forget to add this to the photographer’s list, if you want a special keep sake. Ensure you have enlisted someone’s help to look after any cake not eaten at the wedding, especially if you are hoping to celebrate your first anniversary with the top layer.

Let’s dance

Once you’ve had a chance to circulate among your guests it’s time to have your first dance as a married couple. With the music selected, just get someone to give you the nod at a chosen time and then strut your stuff. Thereafter, it’s party time on the dance floor and all ages will be having a great time together. Give the band a list of all your favourites and spare a thought for making sure they have some food and drink provided for them, you will gain enormous goodwill.

And finally….

Don’t forget to consider when you are going to throw your bouquet. This usually happens towards the end of the reception and if you’d rather not be parted from your bouquet, a fake one provides the fun while you can still keep the original! Let your MC know the time for last orders at the bar and he can announce this to your guests. So with glasses refreshed it’s time for the last dance to be declared – one last opportunity for grooving and then your departure. Organise a trusted friend to ensure that all the keep sakes from the reception are put somewhere safe for you.

If you are still in the early stages of your planning and are looking for wedding venues in Somerset, then do have a look at our 2 wedding venues in Somerset, that offer huge flexibility and are great for a house party weekend wedding where your celebrations carry on for the whole weekend.

 

 

Think BIG for 2019?

It’s that time of year, when the Christmas panic hasn’t yet descended (or are we in denial!), and there’s the anticipation of the next year approaching. Exciting plans come to mind, things that we’ve always wanted to do, family events that are to be celebrated, milestone birthdays and just general good stuff that sounds fun and seizing the moment seems the right thing to do. Let’s make 2019 a year to remember, no more same old…..

If you’ve got one of these coming up in 2019, a BIG house offers lots of possibilities….

A stag do or a luxury hen party weekend

The big, fun event, before the even bigger event! We’re seeing the dynamic for stag and hen groups getting older and an increase in the number of requests for something a bit more chilled and luxurious. A big house to rent in the country can be an ideal way of getting all your friends together under one roof, in a very special and memorable location. Hen do houses give you lots of opportunity for pampering, such as enjoying lounging in the hot tub at Tone Dale House, having some beauty sessions organised for you and making the most of the party room for some after dinner dancing. 

For stag do accommodation, one of the big advantages of booking your stay in a BIG house is the flexibility it offers. There is no timetable to follow and you can design your own itinerary, entirely to suit yourselves. Activities are often really popular with UK based stag weekends and Berry House offers an ideal location for some surf action at some of North Devon’s finest beaches. Lessons and equipment are easy to book, and there’s the added bonus of a hot tub at the end of the day to soak any aching muscles.

A family / group staycation in the UK

Whatever your politics, 2019 might prove the ultimate year for a staycation, given continued uncertainty over Brexit. A holiday in the UK is certainly proving good value for money with the pound falling against other currencies.

However, there are lots of great reasons to hire a large holiday house. Travelling from different parts of the country to a central destination for all your group can be easier and less stressful for families with young children, than the hassles of the airport. Once you’re in your BIG house, it’s exclusively yours, no other guests or hotel timetables to limit your plans and it will really feel like your own home for your large family holiday. That informality creates a very relaxed atmosphere – chilled out breakfasts that merge into lunch, evenings spent soaking in the hot tub, space for everyone to be together and cosy corners for a little quiet time too.

Having plenty to do at a large house is a ideal for families with children.  Then there isn’t always the need to load up in the car and go out for a day trip. A wonderful large country house to rent in Somerset is Tatham House, with an indoor pool, games area, tennis court and hot tub. You might find you never leave it! Although that would be a shame, given the steam railway line just down the road and all the other delights that Somerset has to offer.

A special wedding day

A BIG house makes an unusual wedding venue in Somerset and because you hire the entire property you can create the atmosphere you have always dreamed of and set the pace to match – relaxed picnic hampers on the lawn or fully served meals in a marquee. You stay in the house for the entire weekend with close friends or family and the rest of your guests join you for the wedding day.

One of the beauties of the weekend house party wedding is that come the morning after the wedding, you’re not saying your goodbyes and heading home. The fun carries on all weekend. You could have a “chill out brunch party” the following day with volleyball and croquet competitions, hot tubs and head massage in the garden. Widcombe Grange works very well for a boho themed wedding with a tented village for guests in the extensive grounds and a swimming pool for fun during the weekend. 

A corporate away day

Team building days can be challenging for the organiser to come up with an original idea that suits the goals of the event and meets the budget. Hiring a BIG house can be a great solution that’s not a hotel and therefore provides a different experience, something unique and a creative atmosphere.

The flexibility of staying at your own big house means the only schedule you follow, is your own and your entire stay can be a team building exercise, if you want it to be. Everything about having a large group of people staying together requires co-operation, even making the tea! But a total DIY event might not be entirely your thing and that’s where a big house gives you the best of both worlds – catering and a wide range of activities can all be arranged for you, if required.  Tone Dale House is a great example of this, where the concierge service can tailor an event to your needs. It’s a very popular house for corporate parties in Somerset.

2019 is fast approaching, so spare some time to think BIG about what your wish list is for the next year and whatever you end up doing, have a great time!

Weddings – Widcombe Grange style

 

Widcombe Grange is great if you’re looking for a relaxed, chilled vibe to your country house party wedding weekend, with your ceremony at the heart of it. Set within 22 acres of private grounds, with heated pool and hot-tub, you have exclusive use for your entire stay.

Festival style house party weekend weddings

Weekend house party weddings at Widcombe Grange

The lakeside gazebo is particularly appealing for an outdoor wedding ceremony. Afterwards choose between a marquee reception, the rural barn or the characterful coach house. Within the beautiful grounds there are several positions that are wonderful for your marquee and you might want to consider a fabulous festival style wedding if you’d like more of your guests staying onsite over the weekend in a tipi village.

When you choose a house party weekend wedding you’ll be able to enjoy so much more than just a one day event.  You’ll usually arrive on a Friday afternoon and perhaps crack open a bottle of champagne to kick off your celebrations, or maybe you’ve decided to add a very personal touch by decorating your marquee with the help of some of your friends.  By evening, the hot tub will probably be central, giving you a fun, relaxing night before your big day.  Don’t forget, if you want a hand with supper, we can put you in touch with a local chef – Michelin star or homely comfort food, the choice is yours.

 

Channel your Glastonbury at your festival style wedding

Tipi village at a festival style wedding at Widcombe Grange

Saturday, you’ll wake up feeling like you’re getting married in your own home, not a hotel where you follow their timetable.  Pad downstairs in your pj’s and have breakfast whenever you want, wherever you want it – perhaps arrange something fun for the morning, like clay shooting, or relax with an indulgent massage.  As your ceremony approaches, our team start to discreetly do their thing, making sure you have your dream day just how you want it.  During the months leading up to your wedding, you’ll have had several meetings with us and a menu tasting, so you know the only surprises will be good ones!

Part of the beauty of the wedding weekend is that the day after, the fun still isn’t over, you won’t be packing up and saying your good-byes. Sunday allows you to carry on for one more day.  Reminiscing, laughing, relaxing by the pool.  Maybe a barbecue; get your friends and family to pitch in, or we’ll be happy to arrange help.  However you decide to spend your weekend here, you’ll have so many memories to cherish – it won’t feel like it’s over in a flash, it will feel like you’ve had the best weekend of your life and married the love of your life.

 

House party wedding weekends at Widcombe Grange

Charming views from the marquee towards the tipi village at Widcombe Grange

 

Four Reasons Why Hiring A Big House Is Frankly Brilliant

 

When hiring a big house your entire stay is tailored to fit your exact requirements. Here are four examples that demonstrate how hiring one of our houses can be an unforgettable and frankly brilliant experience!

Bride And Groom With Bridesmaid At Wedding Reception

The Wedding That Everyone Remembers

Time and time again, you will hear people say that they could not believe how quickly their wedding day went by, so what better way to maximise the experience and your memories of your special day than to hire a country house for your wedding and spread the occasion out over a few days?

One of the best things about weddings is the opportunity to have all of your favourite people in the same place at the same time, an opportunity that sadly does not present itself often in life. Hiring a big house for your event allows you to spend quality time with your guests in a luxurious environment where you can reconnect, bond and enjoy each other’s company at your own pace; making your big day even more intimate, enjoyable and memorable.

Widcome Grange, near Taunton in Somerset is a popular choice for country house wedding. Situated in the heart of the Blackdown Hills, an area of outstanding natural beauty, it is easy to see what makes this large and spectacular property with its beautiful grounds and lakeside setting the perfect choice for a very special event.

Organise A Large Group Holiday

Families and friends tend to find themselves spread out across the country and abroad these days, as people move and establish new lives for themselves elsewhere due to new relationships, career opportunities or the basic desire for travel. This can make it incredibly difficult to maintain relationships because of the difficulty in getting everybody together in the same place at the same time.

Getting everybody together under the same roof for a group break, far from the stress of your usual busy schedules gives everyone plenty of time to reconnect, whilst enjoying the luxury of extended mealtimes and shared activities.

With a weekend or longer together in a large property of your choice, you have oodles of time to relax and enjoy your own space, as well as the opportunity to catch up with everyone in your group at your own pace during your stay.

Celebration Time

Have you got a milestone celebration like a birthday or anniversary on the calendar or are you simply planning to hold a large party? Either way, entertaining your guests in a large character property is a great way to create a unique event that will be remembered for years to come!

Corporate Events With A Wow Factor

Hiring a big house for your corporate events gives you absolute flexibility to plan your event, your way.

With full exclusive access to one of our properties and grounds, you have the opportunity to create unique experiences for your staff training days, meetings, teambuilding events and conferences, free from any of the typical restrictions that are associated with hiring hotels and conference centres.

So forget about hiring another identikit drab venue and go for something with some personality and originality that’ll reflect well on your company and brand. If you start with an inspiring location then you’re half way to creating a buzzing event that’ll have people lining up to attend next year.