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Summer weddings: 8 reasons it’s best to tie the knot during the summer

Posted in Weddings

With the summer finally approaching, you probably have a wedding or two to attend.

You may also be planning your own wedding, and if you’re wondering whether or not you too should opt for one during the summer months, here’s ten reasons it might be the best decision you make:

1. The days are long (and, usually, warm)

You have a lot to pack into a wedding day, and if the day is short, you’ll miss the best light for those all important photos.

Equally, there’s nothing worse than shivering guests, and at least they’ll be able to stay out longer partying if the day stays warm long into the night.

2. More people can probably attend

Pick the right date during the summer, and you should be able to avoid losing too many people from the guest list.

Weddings that are held during school terms or when people are particularly busy at work can be troublesome for the people you invite, which is why most prefer to attend a summer wedding.

3. You can host it outside (if you’re feeling brave)

Although the British weather isn’t what you’d call predictable, you do at least have a greater chance of staging your big day outdoors if you hold it during the summer.

That opens up a wealth of options, including marquees or ceremonies that take place without any cover whatsoever, and the results can be far more romantic than being cooped up in a registry office.

4. You’ll get a better selection of flowers

summer-wedding-flowers

This one is pretty simple; if you hold your wedding during the summer months (i.e. between June and August), you’ll get your pick of the best flowers.

5. Brides have a wider choice of dress options

Get married in the winter and the wedding dress choice will need to take into account lower temperatures.

Get married in the summer, and you don’t need to worry about this at all. A dress without sleeves or straps, and no need for emergency coats or scarves suddenly become real options.

6. You’re blessed with colour

Summer is full of beautiful colours, which makes your choice of flowers and decorations eminently easier.

summer-bride-holding-flowers

Whether you hold your summer wedding indoors or outdoors, the abundance of colour will make for a bright, cheerful backdrop.

7. You’ll have plenty of time to plan

Before summer comes long winter months, when you’ll be stuck inside during the evening with little more to do than plan your wedding.

With no summer sun to tempt you outside, that means you’ll have a boat load of time to plan the perfect summer wedding.

8. Home honeymoons become an option

Sure, there’s nothing better than the thought of flying off to a far-flung honeymoon destination, but if you fancy something closer to your doorstep, a summer wedding opens up the possibility of taking yours in the UK.

This can save big time on the overall cost of the wedding, and with so many wonderful, romantic places to explore in this country, why not?

Wrapping up

Have we convinced you to have your wedding during the summer? If you’ve enjoyed reading the reasons above, it could be the perfect season to tie the knot!

winter

20 winter wedding tips

Posted in Weddings

There are no rules when it comes to choosing a date for your wedding. Fancy putting Mother Nature to the test and booking it in the middle of summer in the hope of a beautifully hot day? Go for it!

What about combining the festivities of Christmas with the most important day of your life?

Today, we’re going to focus on winter weddings, because it’s a time of the year that can make for an utterly magic, romantic day that you’ll remember for the rest of your lives together. Without further ado, here are twenty simple but highly effective tips for ensuring your winter wedding is as perfect as it should be:

1. Pick just the one venue

It’s common for marriages to take place in two venues; perhaps a church for the ceremony and then a hotel or purpose-built venue for the reception.

In winter, however, the less travel the better. To avoid your guests having to deal with bad weather too often, see if you can pick a venue in which you can get married and celebrate afterwards.

2. Allow for extra travel time

Winter weather is never particularly kind when it comes to travel, therefore allow plenty of extra travel time for everyone to get to the venue, no matter how close or far it happens to be.

3. Add extra candles for light and romance

Candles are a common fixture at weddings, but with nights drawing in and darkness arriving sooner, extra candles are a must.

The trade off is that your wedding will be even more romantic than it might have otherwise been; you can never have enough candles, after all!

4. Choose winter wedding colours

Dark, warm tones such as Burgundy, red, black and gold will add a rich feel to your big day.

Try and mix the above with extra wintry colours such as natural greenery. A hint of tartan won’t go a miss, either.

5. Make someone the master of coats

This might sound a bit odd, but remember that almost everyone will arrive wearing a coat. They all need to end up somewhere, and to avoid the coats being left haphazardly everywhere, it’ll need a bit of organisation.

The master of coats’ job will be to ensure they’re safely filed away somewhere at the venue (you could even add name tags into the mix if you’re feeling brave).

6. Keep guests warm

Readily available hot drinks and an agreement with the venue that the heating will be regularly checked and maintained at an optimal temperature will help keep guests warm.

Also, if you’ve opted for a marquee, don’t skimp on the heating!

7. Invest in winter wedding favours

Pashminas, sparklers, blankets, mulled wine, cookies and candy canes are great examples of winter wedding favours guests will love.

If Christmas is just around the corner, a miniature bottle of Baileys on the table for every adult guest will go down a storm, too.

8. Don’t be afraid to schedule outdoor activities

Just because it’s winter doesn’t mean you have to forgo outdoor activities.

Providing people have somewhere warm to retreat to afterwards, there’s nothing wrong with staging outdoor games or winter BBQs to get them outside for a bit.

9. Check the venue for Xmas decorations

If Christmas is nearby, you might want to check the venue for Christmas decorations.

Unless you want that kind of theme for your wedding, the presence of festive decorations and trees may detract from your big day. Ask nicely if they can be removed during your time there.

10. Buy winter accessories

Faux fur veils, capes and chic cardies are great options when it comes to winter accessories for the bride.

Don’t forget long-sleeved wedding dresses, either – a great option for this time of year.

11. Think velvet blazers for the men

The guys need to keep warm too!

When it comes to the groom, pageboys and ushers, opt for velvet blazers or similar. Basically, anything that is on-trend and features thick fabric to keep them warm and looking stylish.

12. Don’t forget winter beauty prep

wedding-ring

Mother Nature has a habit of being rather unkind to our beauty regime when winter hits, so make sure you’re prepared for her wrath.

Chapped skin and dry lips are inevitable, so keep a chapstick handy and use plenty of face moisturiser throughout the day (this goes for both the bride and the groom).

13. Remember tights!

There’s no getting away from it – beneath that dress you’re probably going to need to wear thick tights to keep yourself warm.

The good news? No-one will ever know!

14. Opt for stylish winter footwear

Footwear plays a huge role on the wedding day, but it’s also one of the most practical considerations you’ll have to think about.

During winter, boots are a great choice, but don’t be afraid to go flat if the terrain demands it. The last thing you want is sore feat on or after your wedding day.

15. Go mad with glitter

What’s more festive or wintry than glitter?

Weddings usually feature glitter, but during the winter, you really can go mad. Opt for sequin or glitter dresses that will chime perfectly with the season and look fabulous in the photos.

16. Keep bridesmaids warm

Bridesmaids tend to do a fair bit of standing around during the service – particularly when it comes to the photos, so make sure they’re nicely covered up whenever they have to brave the elements.

Cover-ups are easy to hide during the photos and just as easy to slip on when having to wait around.

17. Be careful with photography timing

Winter means long nights, and that can be something of a problem for photography.

This means you’ll probably have to get your photos done as early as possible. Speak to your photographer; they’ll want to shoot them during the ‘golden hour’ most likely (the hour before sunset), so plan the day as much as you can around those all-important snaps.

18. Watch those heels!

If you decide to opt for heels on the day, make sure you keep another option handy (remember the boots we mentioned in tip 14?).

Bad weather might result in treacherous pathways, and if your photographer wants to get some snaps of you against a wintry field backdrop, the last thing you want is your heels sinking into the mud.

19. Keep those hands toasty

Gloves. Don’t forget gloves.

Perished hands never look particularly nice in wedding photos, so opt for stylish gloves to keep you both warm and looking fabulous.

20. Always have a brolly (or two) nearby

umbrella

Beyond the cold, there’s usually plenty of rain to contend with in the winter.

But don’t fret – there’s nothing you can do about this almost inevitable part of a winter wedding. Instead, be prepared and have a brolly or two on standby. You won’t regret it.

Wrapping up

Winter weddings are fabulous, and with our tips above, you’ll ensure yours goes off without a hitch and results in memories that will stay with you forever.

You may not need every tip we’ve listed, but keep a close eye on the weather, survey your intended venue and make a list of the things you’ll need to do come your big wintry day.

How to handle the guest list for your wedding

Posted in Weddings

It’s one of the hardest things you’ll encounter during the planning phase for your wedding: the guest list.

It starts off a relatively fun task; who are you going to invite? Imagine that room full of people you know and love, all celebrating your big day! How exciting!

Soon, however, realisation dawns – you’re going to have to make cuts; the catering budget will only stretch so far and that means you’re going to have to disappoint certain people.

Fear not, for we’ve got the ultimate, pocket-sized guide to handling the guest list for your wedding!

 

Divide and conquer

Wedding guest lists only get messy if you dive head first into them without a plan. And the best plan for a list of this kind is to start divvying it up before you write any names down.

Broadly speaking, you can categorise the people who will be there:

  • Close family
  • Close friends
  • Distant family
  • ‘Loose’ friendships
  • Work colleagues
  • Friends-of-friends

With that list in hand, you can start assigning names to each category – and it’s easier than you might think.

Do it together

wedding-band

Don’t undertake the guest list on your own. Whether you’re the bride or groom, you need significant input from your partner if you’re to get this right and avoid upsetting one another.

It’ll probably cause a few arguments, but that’s healthy – it’ll help you whittle the list down properly.

Be realistic

Keep that budget in mind. You’re not made of money and one shouldn’t forget that the day is about the couple getting married.

It’s up to you who makes the guest list, and that calls from some pretty robust thinking about the people you want to spend a significant amount of money on during the day in order to keep them fed and watered.

Set some rules for cuts

wedding-cake

Some people aren’t going to receive an invite to the ceremony. Some won’t even receive an invite to the day at all.

Sucks, eh?

To make this process fair and structured, set some rules for cuts. Look at your categorised list and decide if the following can sway your decision:

  • When was the last time you spoke to the potential invitee?
  • Do you want young children to make up a significant portion of the guest list?
  • Does one of you have an intense dislike for someone in particular?
  • Are you inviting someone because you feel you should (i.e. you went to their wedding)?
  • Are you inviting someone out of guilt for a misdemeanour?

Go on – make those tough choices (the list will never decrease, otherwise).

Don’t let others wear you down

bride

While the wedding list is something you should create collaboratively, you must avoid involving third parties – even if they’re extremely close to you.

There’s nothing worse than bowing to the whims of a parent or sibling who insists that Mr and Mrs X must attend your wedding. You’ll regret it – trust us.

Final thought

wedding-party

Remember – this is your list. You create it, which means you make the decisions and tough choices.

You’ll never keep everyone happy – it’s impossible – but if you use our tips above, you’ll end up with a wedding guest list that is fair, realistic and designed to create the best possible celebration come the big day.

How to choose the perfect wedding venue – 20 tips

Posted in Weddings

As venue choices go, picking the best one for your wedding is probably the most important of the lot. But how do you find the right one? And, more importantly, how do you do so without upsetting your partner or any of the key people you wish to invite?

Consider this the ultimate guide to choosing the perfect wedding venue, for we’ve picked out twenty tried-and-tested tips that will solve all of your worries:

1. Get a good feel for attendance numbers

How many people are coming to the wedding? Do you have a solid idea or more of a hunch (hint: the former is what you need when venue shopping!).

If you have an approximate number to hand, you’ll quickly be able to filter out a shortlist of venues that can at least accommodate that number of people and avoid overspending on places that are simply too big.

2. Decide on a budget

Wedding venues range dramatically in price. From small barns loaned by friendly farmers to sprawling castles, the amount you spend depends on one thing – the budget.

This might sound obvious, but you’d be surprised by how many couples dive head first into a venue choice without first discussing their budget. Sit down with your fiancé and figure out how much you’re willing to spend and ensure there’s plenty left over for everything else.

3. Take a look at real photos of shortlisted venues

If you head to the website of a venue you have your eye on, you’ll be met with gorgeous imagery that will convince you to part with your hard earned money. Stop!

 

flowers

 

It might look fab on their website (why wouldn’t it?), but by checking out real photos of the venue on photographer websites and those belonging to wedding planners, you’ll get an unfiltered view of what it looks like.

4. Pick a date

Choose a date for your wedding as soon as you can, because if you’re armed with that crucial piece of information, you’ll be able to whittle down the shortlisted venues far quicker. There’s nothing worse than getting your heart set on somewhere only to find that it’s booked up for the foreseeable future, so pick a date and stick to it.

5. Decide on the style of your wedding

Weddings were once rather standard affairs, whereas these days they come in a huge range of styles. Decide early on what you want the style of your wedding to be, and you’ll be able to focus your venue search on places that befit your vision.

6. Make your colour choice work for the venue

Sometimes, you may have to settle for your second choice venue, but if that’s the case, don’t despair.

wolverhampton-wedding

There’s a good chance you’ll have already considered a colour scheme for the number one choice, but if you instead let yourself be led by the venue you’ve booked as an alternative, you can still create the perfect space for your big day.

7. Don’t look past rustic venues

As alluded to earlier, barns are a popular wedding venue choice for the more creative and adventurous couples, and even if you don’t consider yourself among that crowd, you shouldn’t look past rustic venues. They’re generally cheaper than their country house alternatives and may just offer an experience that is unusual enough to become one of the most memorable weddings for you and your guests .

8. Going fairytale?

If you’re the kind of bride who wants that classic fairytale wedding, it’s probably best to look past the more unusual venues and focus your search instead on hotels that offer a classic feel.

9. Go eclectic

Do fairytale weddings fill you with dread? If so, what about going for something entirely non-traditional?

wedding

Plenty of marriages now take place in eclectic venues such as zoos, on top of mountains or go-kart tracks. Think about what really makes you both tick as a couple – what do you love doing? If it sounds bonkers enough and you’re that way inclined – go for it!

10. Consider renting a holiday home

If you’re planning a small wedding to which you’ll only be inviting a selection of family and very close friends, you could do a lot worse than whisk them all away to a private holiday home. No one says you have to hold a wedding in a public venue, and if you’d much rather get away from it all and get married in a homely setting – this could be the perfect option for you both.

11. Request a full walk-through

You really need to get a feel for your wedding venue before signing on the dotted line. For that reason, it’s essential that you request a full walk-through of the building and grounds. There are very few venues that won’t let you do this multiple times, either – so treat it like buying a new house and make sure you return to the venues that struck a chord the first time you visited them.

12. Don’t fall in love straight away

Your partner may have been love at first sight, but make sure you don’t take the same approach with your wedding venue.

weddings-ramada-park-hall-wolverhampton-750x351

Falling for the first place you see is a common mistake made by soon-to-be-married couples. And it’s understandable due to the levels of excitement – but make sure you take your time and avoid being swept off your feet by somewhere that is too big, small or expensive.

13. Factor in every element of the wedding

Where will the band go? What about the DJ? Is there enough room for the buffet you have planned for the evening? Take into account every element of your wedding, because most will need to occupy some space within the venue itself. Make sure you have room for everything (and room to spare!).

14. Take a photographer along

If you’ve already booked your photographer and they’re willing, take them along to your shortlisted venues. The photos from your big day will stay with you forever, therefore if you can get some professional advice on the venue that will offer the best photo opportunities, you’ll be one step ahead of the game.

15. Document your visits to venues

Smartphone in hand, take photos of the venues you visit and document the parts you love (and dislike). This will enable you to sit back and review your research at your leisure and away from the eyes of the person who is attempting to sell you the space. Does it still look like ‘the one’ when you look back at those images from the comfort of your couch?

Bride Holding Bouquet

16. Speak to past customers

Ask the venues in which you’re most interest for referrals or testimonials. Most should be able to put you in touch with willing couples who married there previously, and there’s nothing quite like hearing it from the horse’s mouth, as it were.

17. Take notes and make sure you revisit them

As your shortlist starts to decrease, you’ll need to revisit the promises and claims made by each venue. You can only do this if you take notes to remind yourself of what you were told during the visit. Revisit those notes and ask for the venue owners to confirm they’re correct. Even the smallest of details should be ticked off at this stage.

18. Consider travel for you and the guests

The perfect wedding venue isn’t the one which takes days to reach for the people you most want to be there. Make sure you take into account travel arrangements when looking at venues that are further afield. If you’re heading aboard, think about who might not be able to come due to a fear of flying or health issues. Do you really want certain people to miss out because you’ve picked somewhere that is inaccessible for them?

19. Think about travel from church to venue

If you’re getting married in church, consider the distance between it and the reception venue. The day is long enough without guests having to travel for hours to reach the party location. As a general rule of thumb, try and keep the travel distance between the two venues to a minimum of forty minutes. Any longer, and you might end up with some very tired guests come dancing time.

20. Have a contingency plan for poor weather

One thing you can’t control come the big day is Mother Nature. For this reason, you should work hard to find a venue that offers a contingency plan in the event of poor weather. Is there adequate cover outside? Is there enough room inside if everyone has to suddenly rush indoors to escape the hail storm? There are no rules to wedding venue shopping. Get creative, be bold, think of others, but – most importantly – pick the venue that is right for the two of you. It’s your day, after all!

ramada hotel perfect wedding venue

For more information visit our wedding venues page.