Monday, 16 July 2018

How to make your wedding unique


 
 
It is all very well seeking ideas from Instagram and Pinterest, and we actively encourage our clients to do so, however, why not step away from all the ‘latest trends’ and create a day that is exclusively about you and your partner. Here are some suggestions to help you create a completely unique wedding.
If you have decided to have readings during your Ceremony why not take inspiration from your favourite children’s book, or maybe a much-loved poem. And consider writing your own vows where you can include promises that mean the most to the two of you.
 
 
 
 

When selecting your music, choose particular songs that evoke certain memories, or that even make you laugh. Are you a huge Disney fan, or is there a classic pop song that people would associate with you? Think outside the box.

 


Choosing your drinks is also a great chance to express your individualism. Have you got a favourite drink that everyone knows you love? Maybe a Cosmopolitan, or a particular cider is your tipple of choice. Your guests will love these individual touches.

 



When deciding upon favours, you could take each guest and think of something that is personal to them. Is there a private joke between you that you can use as a little gift? If one of your guests is known for loving a certain type of crisp, for example, you could put a bag of them on their seat. You can guarantee that your guests will enjoy both your humour and thoughtfulness.

 
Speeches also offer the perfect opportunity to get really personal. You can share your memorable moments with your guests, and the funny little oddities which made you fall head over heels for your partner. Having the traditional Father of the Bride, Groom and Best Man speeches means that every angle of your lives together can be captured. It is now more and more common that the Bride or a bridesmaid will speak too.


 

If you are very creative, you can use your skills to design your own ‘wedding brand’. This could be a symbol or image that you can print on all your stationary from the invitations to the name places and table plan. You could add objects to your flower arrangement, or even onto your cake, which can all tie into one specific design. If you love pineapples, for example, you can find a print that you love which shouts tropical, or if butterflies are your thing, why not find a species that matches your colour theme and go from there. 
 
 
 
 

Friday, 29 June 2018

The Ultimate Guide to Looking Amazing in your Wedding Photos


Your wedding photos are some of the most important keepsakes from your big day, and will be the constant reminder of such a special event in your life. Although we all love the ‘natural’ shots, which capture the fun and spontaneous moments, it is always good to be fully prepared for your big day so that each and every photo makes you go “wow”! Here are a few tips to capture that perfect shot:

 

Before the wedding:

©       Practice your smile. I know this sounds a little ridiculous but the more your practice, the more natural your smile will be and you will feel completely comfortable when the camera is pointing your way.
 
 

©       Research your photographer. Have a look at their gallery and see which of their photos stand out. Each photographer has their own style so it is good to be prepared.

©       Have a hair and makeup trial. It is really important that you feel comfortable on your special day so you need to ensure you are happy with how your hair and makeup looks and feels. Take some photos to see how your ‘look’ translates into digital pictures.


©       Book a manicure. Your rings deserve a photo too so make sure your fingers as pretty as possible!


 

On the big day:

©       Achieve the best pose. Like all celebrities on the red carpet, you can make sure you show off your best side and strike the most flattering pose. Try angling your body so you are not straight on to the camera, and put your weight on your back foot. This creates a slimmer profile.
 
 

©       Smile with your eyes. Make sure you connect and engage with the camera.
 
 

©       Elongate your neck to avoid slouching, and lift your chin slightly. This will lengthen your body and produce a beautiful silhouette.

©       Hold your bouquet at your hip. This will ensure your dress is in full view and by keeping your forearms at a 45 degree angle, you will make your body look long and lean.
 
 
 

©       Most importantly, enjoy every minute of your special day and your love and happiness will create the best possible photos to appreciate for a lifetime. 
 
 

Friday, 8 June 2018

Day in the life of a Wedding Co-ordinator



Being a wedding co-ordinator is a truly brilliant job. We are able to be part of one of the most important days of someone’s life. We are involved in the minutest detail and are witness to the happiest of moments. However, it is not all glamour and giggles…there are many jobs we are required to do, some are mundane, others send our stress levels over the edge, and many which you would never even imagine!

 
Before we meet a potential couple, we will have corresponded with them via email, and most probably sent them a brochure in the post. A viewing is the next step and finding an available spot in our diary can be more challenging than you’d think! There will be much toing and froing until a date is decided. Once we meet a couple, we can show off the Castle and really get to know the people and what they are looking for. The average couple will visit 3 venues in person so the conversion rate to booking is quite high.
 
 
 
 
One of the most important aspects of our job is in the lead up to the big day. Making sure we are in constant communication with each couple, reassuring them that we are here when they need us, answering all sorts of questions (reminding them that there is no silly question) is all integral to the job. Every bride & groom are different – we have couples that need a lot of support and will meet with us a number of times, and those who are happy to take charge and organise everything without assistance.
 
 
On the day itself, we will be on site to manage the entire day. It is our responsibility that each element of the wedding and reception are held on time and that guests are where they need to be. It is a very long day and can be exhausting, but watching a couple say ‘I do’, surrounded by those that love them most, will never get boring.  The team we work with are incredibly important and without their support, our job would be impossible.
 
 
As with any job, there are good days and bad days but working in the wedding industry is unbelievably positive and full of joy and I wouldn’t want to do anything else.
 

 
Some of the more interesting requests we’ve had at the Castle:
 
-          Camel racing on the Lower Lawns (the answer is yes FYI – what a great Instagram opportunity!).
-          Owls delivering rings (again, the answer is yes…just make sure you have no one who is ornithophobic!).
-          Real ducks to scatter petals for the bride’s arrival (yes, real ducks!).
-          Topiary (if you bring your own bushes!).
-          Dancing Chinese dragons with fire breathing acrobats – quite sensational in the Courtyard.
-          Singing waiters (yes yes yes, we love this idea).




 
 
 
 
 
 

Friday, 11 May 2018

Royal Weddings


With the highly anticipated royal wedding taking place in just over a week’s time between Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, we thought we would look back on royal weddings through the years.

 


Royal weddings have always caused great excitement for the British public. People line the streets to watch the bridal vehicles drive by, waving flags and cheering. The feeling of patriotism is overwhelming, creating a nationwide party!

 
 


On February 10th 1840, Queen Victoria walked down the aisle to marry Prince Albert. She has been credited with starting the trend for white wedding dresses, this meant that she was much easier to spot as she paraded through London. She chose a cream silk satin gown trimmed with lace, a lace veil and an orange blossom headdress. The dress was designed and made by British designers and suppliers.

 


The first royal wedding to be captured on film was the marriage of Prince Albert to Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon (aka the Queen’s Mother) on April 26 1923. It was thought that making the wedding a more public affair would lift the gloomy post-war spirit. Their wedding broke the royal tradition by being held at Westminster Abbey, rather than a Royal chapel.

 


The wedding of Princess Elizabeth to Philip Mountbatten in 1947 was a hugely celebrated affair, and despite the wet November weather, people waited for up to 19 hours to watch the Princess make her way from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Abbey. The service was the first royal wedding to be broadcast on live radio. The Princess had to save up her clothing rations in order to pay for her wedding dress, and women all over the country sent their coupons to the Princess to help. The dress designer was a leading British fashion designer, Norman Hartnell, and the silk was woven at Lullingstone Castle in Kent.

 
 
 
 


The Prince of Wales wed Lady Diana Spencer on 29 July 1981 and it was the royal wedding to trump all royal weddings. Around 750 million people watched the marriage take place, making it the most viewed television broadcast of all time. Princess Diana wore a gown designed by David & Elizabeth Emanuel and was valued then at £9,000. With a 25ft train, made from ivory silk taffeta and antique lace, it became one of the most famous dresses in the world.

 
 


The wedding of Prince William to Catherine Middleton on 29 April 2011 was on a similar scale to that of his parents. The occasion was a national holiday in the UK and celebrations were held around the commonwealth. Over 5,000 street parties were hosted in the United Kingdom and around one million people lined the route between Westminster Abbey and Buckingham Palace.  The ceremony was viewed live by tens of millions around the world, including 72 million live streams on YouTube. Princess Catherine wore a bridal dress designed by London-based designers Sarah Burton and Alexander McQueen.
 
 
 
 

Tuesday, 17 April 2018

Looking after your wedding suppliers.


Planning a wedding is a big deal. It requires multi-tasking, negotiating and major organisational skills. This may be the first time you have ever had to plan a large event and it can be quite daunting. Do not panic, we are here to help!

This post will guide you through the process of managing wedding suppliers so you can get the most out of the people you are working with. With such high stakes, it is important that each element of your wedding planning goes as smoothly as possible.

 

Communication is key. There will be a lot of moving parts on the lead up to your wedding, and on the day itself. By making sure you are in frequent contact with your suppliers, and informing them of changes straight away, you will feel more in control and the people you have hired will have no last minute surprises to deal with. We always recommend creating a Running Order of your day which details when and where each element is happening. You can then forward this to all your suppliers so they know exactly what will be happening.

 
 
 


Get organised. The more organised you are, the easier it will be for everyone. We would recommend creating spreadsheets for all aspects of your day. Start with your guest list, which can detail when each individual has RSVP’d, any dietary requirements or special requests (e.g. high chair needed). You can then forward this to your caterers so they can plan accordingly. It is also a good idea to create a spreadsheet detailing all your suppliers, their contact details, and when payments are due. You can add notifications to your diary so you don’t miss a date.

 

Mutual respect is hugely important and will ensure that your suppliers are as excited about your wedding as you are. You may be thinking, “Well I am paying them, that should be enough?” but I can assure you it isn’t. Simple things, such as making sure they are fed and watered, will help your suppliers feel appreciated and will create the best atmosphere on the day.  

 

Above all, try and enjoy the planning process. Although it may seem stressful at times, this will (hopefully) be the only wedding you will organise and it is an incredibly special time. Remember, ask for help from friends and family who will probably be dying to get involved, and your wedding venue should always be on hand to offer that extra support.  
 
To see 'behind the scenes' photos at Berkeley Castle, head to our Instagram page @berkeleycastle

Monday, 26 March 2018

Spring

With the daffodils popping up, and the days getting longer, spring is always a lovely time of year. And it seems our Brides & Grooms agree, with March to May weddings being some of our most popular.
 

The warmer days see a move to the gardens where we once again enjoy drinks receptions on the Gun Terrace and down by our beautiful Lily Pond. The warmer air and the sheltered lower lawns create the perfect ambience for a springtime reception.
  

Our guests enjoy a selection of seasonal canapes, whilst drinking a wonderfully cold prosecco or Pimms. The beautifully tended terraces which lead down to the Lily Pond are starting to flower, with the scent of roses in the air and the sound of bees floating on the breeze.
 

 
The Great Hall is adorned with hundreds of pale pastel blooms with flickering candles dotted between the budding flowers. The warm sun shines through the large windows, creating a soft golden hue. There is a hint of promise in the air, making it the perfect time to say I do.
  
 
With the longer evenings, our guests can enjoy a beautiful sunset from the Gun Terrace, whilst enjoying a post-dinner coffee or perhaps an espresso martini. The music drifts through the air from the Great Hall creating a wonderful party atmosphere both inside and out. And as the sun sets, the evening reception continues in earnest.

 


Tuesday, 6 March 2018

The Ultimate Guide To...Speeches


Every few months we will be featuring an ‘Ultimate Guide to…’ post. These will range from dress picking to slashing your guest list and so on.
 

This month we are dealing with the Wedding Speeches.
 

The traditional format for wedding speeches is that the Father of the Bride speaks first, thanking guests for coming and toasting his daughter and her new husband. The Groom follows, thanking everyone who has helped with his special day, and toasting the Bridesmaids. Finally, the Best Man speaks about the groom, often regaling amusing and embarrassing stories.
 
 

It is most common that speeches happen after the wedding breakfast. However, some couples will choose to have them before, or even dotted between courses.
 

Although traditions have a very important place during a wedding, sometimes it can be nice to go ‘off piste”. Here are some quirky ideas to mix it up a little:
 

-          Why not do a song or a rap if you are musically gifted? One of the most famous examples is Tom Fletcher (McFly) whose 15 minute song speech is a YouTube sensation. Check it out for inspiration! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=27WufdasQYs

-          A flash dance. Persuade your bridal party to perform an energetic dance routine – that’s sure to get the party started.



-          A Bride’s speech – it is still considered unusual and is a lovely surprise for your guests. It is also rather nice to have a ‘female’ voice where you can thank who you would like to thank, rather than someone doing it on ‘your behalf’.  Your husband will love it too as it takes the pressure off him, and he will be full of pride when you can get his mates giggling, and his mother teary-eyed!
 
 

-          Props – these can be a great addition to a speech and be incredibly entertaining for your guests. A flip chart of photos (from cute baby pics to embarrassing stag do photos) or even a video link to guests that can’t be there are great ideas.
 
 

-          Host an interactive ‘game show’ style speech…asking the audience to participate is a fun way to keep everyone interested.
 
 

 

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For more information, +44 (0)1453 512999. You can also email us, or use our simple enquiry form.

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