Archive for the ‘Wedding venues’ Category:

How much wine at a wedding?

A very common question when planning your wedding is ‘how much wine do we need?’. 

There are many factors to consider; starting with, where is your venue and will they allow you to bring your own wine and beverages? Many hotels will supply their own, whilst others and similar venues or even some caterers will charge a corkage fee. This is one to watch out for as some corkage fees are extremely high and more than the wine itself.

What time of year are you planning to get married? For summer weddings, you may find that more white wine will be consumed and Rose is always a good option, whereas in the winter months, red wine may be more popular.

What is your menu? Again, this may dictate what colour and grape you choose.

Budget is obviously of huge consideration also. Are you planning to supply wine and beverages for the entire day and evening or have a pay-for bar after the meal?

When buying your wines, you may wish to consider purchasing them in bulk from a large retailer. You will need to check first but some retailers will allow you to bring back boxes that are unopened.

The main issue is that you at all costs, need to avoid running out! This would be a disaster, so it’s always better to over estimate.

Consider your guests. Are they all drinkers?

As a rule of thumb and using a conservative estimate you would work out the following;

For champagne toasts (not drinks reception)

100 guests at 2 glasses per guest = 200 glasses

200 glasses at 6 glasses per bottle = 34 bottles

For Wine

100 guests for a four hour evening reception (dinner and early evening) at 1 glass per hour = 400 glasses

400 glasses at 5 glasses per bottle = 80 bottles

Extra charges for weddings

It’s a well known fact that weddings are an expensive affair. That’s not to say that you can’t have a wonderful wedding on budget; of course you can, but they will still set you back. There is a plethora of fantastic suppliers out there who are keen to help make your day just perfect. However, sadly not all venues and suppliers have your best interests at the forefront of their minds.

An article from the Mail on June 21st 2013, describes couples being hit with extra charges, simply because they have included the word ‘wedding’ into the mix. Consumer watchdog Which? also found a venue that wanted to charge four times as much to hold a wedding as they did a party. Obviously this is outrageous and should be stopped.

There are exceptions however, as weddings are a great deal of work. Some venues may consider an extra fee is necessary to cover for wear and tear and extra time required to ensure exclusivity for setting up, the day itself and the clear up operation. Where suppliers are concerned, there is a lot of work in organising a wedding. Planners like ourselves may charge more to organise a wedding compared to that of a party as there are many more time consuming elements. Suppliers should strive to deliver their best work whatever the occasion, however, the pressure of being responsible for someones big day and the possible extra work involved, may sometimes incur a higher price compared to a ‘non-wedding’ job.

Our advice to couples looking at venues and suppliers is to shop around to find the best deal (it may not always be the cheapest – always look into why it is as there may be a good reason)! We are on hand to help you too. At Only Weddings we strive to find you the best possible rates. Through our relationships with suppliers, we can negotiate prices on your behalf and all discounts will passed directly to you. Using a planner can really have many benefits, including; taking all the stress away from you so you can enjoy your engagement and your big day, having a team of experts ensure your wedding plan will run like clockwork and the creative know-how to give your day that ‘wow’ factor. Wedding planners are not just for couples who have a large budget. We offer a personalised service  that will suit most budgets. Most importantly however, we can often save you a lot of time and money by negotiating discounts with venues and vendors.

Good luck and happy planning!

Celebrating Marriage in Beautiful Lake Como, Italy

It was such a privilege to attend the tenth wedding anniversary of my brother and sister-in-law at the Grand Tremezzo Palace, Lake Como earlier this month. Ten years ago they honeymooned in Lake Como and thus always dreamed of celebrating this amazing milestone in their marriage with their nearest and dearest at this stunning hotel in this most magnificent location. A plethora of opulent Italian villas, architecture to feast your eyes upon and a backdrop including the deepest of the Italian Lakes and mountains, to include the snow caped glaciers of the Swiss Alps, only 20 minutes away. Venetian river taxis ferried us around (I have to admit that this is one of the most stylish methods of transportation which only could have been topped if we were serenaded by a handsome tenor!) on trips to the beautiful town of Bellagio, (even the names sound romantic) and to respective restaurants. Yes, we ate our way through the holiday. This is definitely a destination for fanes of gastronomy! 

The hotel itself, certainly does its’ name justice. A majestic palatial building dating back to early c1900’s whereby the staff live by an ethos of ‘anything is possible’. This family owned hotel was not just luxurious in every possible sense but as a family owned establishment, it looses any pretensions that some hotels of this standard may have and instead exuded a warm, friendly charm.

The evening of the actual anniversary was started off by our wonderful waiter and mixologist Max, serving drinks and canapés in one of the hotel’s roof top suites, overlooking the lake and mountains. When everyone had had their fill of bellini’s and the like, we made our way downstairs to a private dining room, so elaborate, yet intimate for our sumptuous feast. The table was adorned with roast petals, candles and stunning centrepieces and the picture was simply breathtaking.

With a fantastic team, lead by the wonderful Alberto (events), this is certainly a venue and destination that will leave you with the most wonderful memories. The perfect place to renew vows, celebrate special occasions, honeymoon or get married… no excuse is required to be perfectly frank, but for those looking for an idyllic location, this has to be it. Well if it’s good enough for George Clooney and Richard Branson…!

Wed at Beaulieu

We are very blessed with a wonderful and exciting selection of wedding venues in the UK. Often the challenge can be in choosing the right one for you. However, after visiting Beaulieu in the heart of the New Forest, Hampshire last week, I was so inspired by its beautiful setting and fascinating history that I wanted to write a blog about it to offer some inspiration to couples planning their wedding

The translation of Beaulieu is ‘beautiful place’, and this is by no means an exaggeration. The 13th century palace overlooks magnificent grounds and the Beaulieu River, whilst the Abbey, dating back to 1204, was home to the Cistercian Monks and whilst much was destroyed by Henry V111 during his reign, part still stands. There is also the infamous car museum, home to well known cars from the movies as well as the first cars made to futuristic ones. For the motor enthusiast, this is definitely one to look at. One  could argue that it has something for everyone.

Beaulieu as a wedding venues offers much choice, catering for intimate weddings and holding a license to marry in the Palace to much larger ceremonies and receptions in the Abbey or the museum.

Our team at Only Weddings will be very happy to discuss any plans to hold your wedding here, especially as it gives us a great excuse to go back!

Paradise Found – Top Five Most Beautiful Places to Get Married

The day you get married should be the most special day of your life and the location of the ceremony can be the most important part of the occasion. If you have the perfect setting to exchange vows it can not only make beautiful pictures but can set the mood and tone for your future life together. Here we will look at five gorgeous places to say ‘I do’.

1. Castle Wedding

The best way to make sure your wedding feels like the fairytale you’ve always dreamed of is to have it in your very own castle! England is home of some of the most beautiful castles and manor houses in the world, often located in sprawling countryside. If you have found Prince Charming and you want to make sure you feel like a true princess, castles like Leeds Castle and Rowton Castle offer bespoke wedding packages. Or if you are looking to wed your Heathcliff in an Austen-esque ceremony, a quick Google search will show you hundreds of gorgeous country mansions that will cater to every need.

2. Boat Wedding

Having the majestic, sprawling ocean as the backdrop to your wedding is a fantastic way of adding the wow factor to the day and will create a day you and your guests will never forget. Many cruise liner holiday companies will have packages you can choose from, sometimes with discount prices for large bookings, so you can be sure all your family and friends can attend. Alternatively, for a more intimate occasion, you could hire a small yacht or sailboat to take you out to sea at sunset. There are many types of small boat available for wedding parties and it is a really interesting way to celebrate. Decorate with a few fairy lights and enjoy the open sky above you; a truly magical atmosphere.

3. Beach Wedding

In keeping with the ocean theme, beach weddings continue to be an extremely popular choice for couples. Places like Thailand and the Caribbean have some of the most gorgeous coastline in the world and with white sands, sunshine and clear skies; this type of setting can make the perfect metaphorical start to your wedded life together. It can be expensive flying family and friends out to far distant lands but you will find many all-inclusive resorts have great deals on group bookings, particularly for something as special as a wedding and you can be sure that if you do end up having to spend a little extra, it will ensure you have the perfect day. Young couples love beach weddings for the simplicity; the surroundings speak for themselves and you and your partner get a chance to witness natural beauty as well as each other’s.

4. Disney Wedding

If you have children or are still a big kid yourself, Disneyworld could be the perfect choice for you. Its famous Wedding Pavilion is lavish and will really add some fun and sparkle to your day with great photo opportunities for you and all the family. Packages often include the chance for guests to go on the rides and a sumptuous reception so you can be sure you will be taken care of. This is a great choice for people who have large extended family or those who want to turn your special day into a great family holiday too.

5. Extreme Wedding

If you are a thrill-seeker or adrenaline junkie, maybe this is the choice for you. If you love extreme sports or have a wild hobby that you share with your one true love, why not incorporate that into your big day? There have been skydiving weddings where couples have exchanged vows mid-fall in full wedding attire, or perhaps you like mountain climbing; why not scale one and have a private ceremony at the top. These may sound like crazy ideas but a little research can go a long way.

You will find that somewhere in the world there is someone who can marry you anywhere and there are thousands of bespoke packages available if you know where to look. If you can’t find what you are looking for, you could incorporate your passion into your wedding using theme and decoration. Your guests will get a chance to be part of you day in a special way, helping them really celebrate for you in a fun way.

There are so many gorgeous places all over the world to suit your tastes and expectations for the most important day in your life and you can be sure to find something to suit your budget. You will remember it forever so picking an interesting and unexpected location can make the day that little bit extra special.

Images via Flickr