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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.

 

 

How to start planning your wedding day

Ideas for your wedding planning

Getting engaged is a wonderful time of life.  You’ve met the person of your dreams and you’ve made that commitment to spend the rest of your lives with each other. Congratulations, it’s definitely time to pop the champagne, celebrate and tell all your loved ones the great news.  Once the initial joy has settled, you’ll begin to turn your attention to making your plans for your wedding.  There are quite a few decisions to make, but if you take it step by step and have fun along the way, it will be part of the great memories you create.

Step 1  Style of wedding

Are you the intimate wedding type or the big is better type of person?  It’s such a personal choice and one that’s important to get right from the beginning.  Take some time discussing this with your partner before you do anything else.  Budget, of course, is a factor in what is affordable – but there are always ways to make your budget stretch a little bit more – call in favours from friends, for example and get them helping out.

Step 2  The Guest List

You’ve both lived a life separately and now you’re together – so your guest list needs to reflect this.  It can take a while to write your guest list, so we’d suggest working on it over a few weeks, until it feels right for you.  If you need some more tips, click here.

Step 3  Geographic Location

Did you once see a spectacular wedding venue in Norfolk, for example and ever since thought, that’s the place for me?  But maybe your family have always thought your wedding venue would be in Dorset, if that’s where you were born and brought up!  Add to the mix your partners wishes – perhaps their heart is set on a wedding in Sussex by the sea.  We know that many couples opt for a country house wedding venue in Devon because it gives a great west country weekend away feel to your wedding and perhaps can be the launch pad for your honeymoon – a week in trendy Polzeath, maybe?

As you can see there’s a lot to think about in terms of location.

The world is your oyster.  Tradition is no longer so strong in terms of being married near the family home and many couples now pay for the wedding themselves, so quite rightly, feel entitled to make the decision themselves and go for a region that feels right for them.

Step 4  Choosing your Venue

Once you’ve chosen the area you want to get married in, you can start to look at all the interesting and varied venues that are available.  There are so many possibilities, it’s really exciting.  We can’t advise you on all the alternatives, but we are experts in the country house wedding weekend and we have 2 venues for weddings in Somerset!  We think this is a great way to get married, if you are looking for a relaxed few days, centred around your wedding day, but with a day either side to enjoy the company of your family and friends.

At Widcombe Grange, a festival style wedding works particularly well.  It allows you to make the most of the 22 acres of grounds, lakes and woodlands, while providing your guests with a unique place to stay the night – yards from the party.

Or, at Tone Dale House you have the luxury hot-tub on the terrace, where you could enjoy some chill out time and a bbq the day after your wedding – so much more enjoyable than packing up and leaving the morning after your big day!

Step 5  Wedding day food

Choosing your wedding food is as individual as the rest of your plans.  We think the number one priority is to feel relaxed and confident in who you choose, so that on the day, you are enjoying yourself, not worrying about the food or service, our past couples tell us they prize this highly.  We can recommend chefs who we know, trust and work closely with, but we also spent some time sharing some more tips about choosing your wedding caterer on this blog too.

Wherever you choose to have your wedding day, have a wonderful time.  Enjoy the planning of it and make sure you do it your way!