Wedding socks

Hints and tips from the wedding planner

Having had the privilege of helping and witnessing many marriages over many years we have a wealth of knowledge and tips that we’d like to share. So, sit back with a cuppa and take in our top 10…

 

1.      What kind of day do you want?

At the very beginning you need to decide what type of day it is that you want. Ensure that you talk to your partner about your “dream day” and what you envisage. You may find that you are at the opposite side of the scale in which case compromise would be needed from the both of you.

Try and decide what is important to you as a couple. Could it be the fairy-tale castle, or maybe your favourite band playing in the evening, a Caribbean beach venue, or at the church that you met. Each of you will have different priorities – and that is OK. Once you have a brief outline of an idea move on to the next step.

 

2.      Budget

Talking money is always a sensitive subject. We would urge you to talk about this early as it will save you headaches and heartache further down the line when decisions need to be made. You may not have a fixed budget, but you’ll have an idea of what is sensible to you. I.e. does £20,000 sound like too much? or does £40,000 sound ludicrously expensive?

Each couples’ budget will be unique to them and their life choices. Once you have a figure in mind there is a “rule of thumb” that suggests 50% of your budget be spent on the venue, food and drink. So, if your total budget is £20,000 then £10,000 would be spent on the wedding reception / evening reception / venue costs and any drinks that you want to include. Of course, this will not stringently apply to all couples, but can possibly help when looking at different types of venues and their charges.

 

Bluebell wedding ceremony

 

3.      Theme or Vibe

Your theme or vibe may come about quite easily, especially if you’re venue is quirky, or you have certain passions as a couple that you must incorporate in the day. It is not necessary to have a theme that you adhere to in a strict manner. The bridesmaid’s dresses don’t have to be the same mauve colour as the napkins and flowers on the tables. We find it’s more important to have a cohesive vibe flowing through the day instead of being too “matchy”.

Generally, less is more. Should you find the ultimate 7-armed candelabra in satin black that you absolutely love it may not fit into your beach vibe for the day – in which case you must be brave and leave them well alone.

 

4.      Suppliers

Our suggestions on what order to book your suppliers would be as follows: –

  • Venue along with church, chapel or registrar
  • Photographer
  • Florist
  • Cake
  • The dress

The best people tend to get booked quite early and many do one wedding a day. Wedding suppliers and services should fit-in to the budget that you’ve previously talked about and are also on-board with your theme or vibe.

For us, photographers are key… Think about it… once everything is over and you’re back from honeymoon what you’ll have is your memories and photo’s (and possibly videos) of your day. Make sure that your photographer knows what your expectations are – remember though to be realistic based on your budget. If something looks too good to be true it most likely will be.

Get lots of quotes from different people and get a feel for them. A photographer will spend all day with you and so you must be comfortable standing in front of them. Whereas a florist you may see once in the morning.

 

Wedding letters

 

5.      Emergency fund

As a side-line to your budget is an emergency fund. We would suggest that 10% of your budget be put to one side. I.e. if your total budget is £20,000 take £2,000 out of the pot and don’t allocate this to any of the big-ticket items.

It is common, as your wedding date approaches, for unexpected costs to crop up. Or you may find that lastminute something that would totally make your day perfect. Your emergency fund could prove crucial in this situation.

 

6.      Insurance

The best planned wedding can still have things go wrong through no fault of your own. These situations are unlikely, however, devastating should it happen to you. As soon as you’ve bought or put a deposit on one service you can purchase insurance for your day. We would highly recommend that all bridal parties take out some sort of event/wedding insurance. At least be compensated for a service that you did not receive through being insured.

Look at Martin Lewis’ website for hints & tips of what cover you may need for your day. The website is very clear to note that insurance covers supplier cancellations, failure to deliver services, key persons falling ill – but not cold feet!

 

Cadi and Grace

 

7.      Make your budget go further

A couple of pointers to help your budget go further: –

  • Do you really need to send out both “save the date” cards and invites? Maybe save some money (and trees) by phoning, texting, Facebook messaging your nearest and dearest rather than sending out Save the Date cards.
  • Use your church or ceremony flowers within your reception venue. Pre-plan that someone from the bridal party (possibly the ushers) brings the flowers with them once everyone has left the ceremony.
  • Ask your bridesmaids to place their flowers on the cake or gift table.
  • Should your dream be a 6-tier wedding cake extravaganza ask your cake supplier whether 3 of the tiers can be “dummy cakes”. These look very real from the outside and are usually polystyrene on the inside.

 

8.      Ignore traditions

Don’t get caught up in traditions – unless you want to!

20 years ago, favours for the table consisted of 5 sugared almonds in a pretty bag, each having its own meaning. Move forward to today and this tradition is no longer followed. What we’re trying to say is that traditions change and evolve and are not necessarily what you want to do. Traditional top table seating arrangements do not allow for modern day families which is why a new tradition is emerging for sweetheart tables (a table only for the bride and groom).

You may want to do the speeches before food – get them out of the way – not a problem. You may want to cut the cake during your evening reception – this shouldn’t be an issue for any venue. Remember that it is your day, and you do not have to follow a set pattern.

 

Bridal make-up

 

9.      Social media

Have a thought about social media and whether you are pro / anti / or don’t really care whether your guests post pictures of your wedding throughout the day.

PRO – Encourage guests to take as many photo’s as possible and post them on specific pages, or even on their own pages. Encourage the use of a hashtag so that you can track and collate the pictures afterwards.

ANTI – By putting up discreet notices or a blackboard you can politely ask guests not to post pictures of the wedding day allowing you the opportunity to post your own official photo’s first.

Should you not have an opinion – then it doesn’t matter.

Be wary when you are researching certain items, i.e. flowers / cakes etc. Many photos on sites such as Pinterest are manipulated, the colours altered and are very likely to look different in “normal” lighting situations. Creating mood boards for your chosen wedding supplier is a good idea, but please be realistic as to what your finished product will be.

 

10. Who is the wedding for?

Finally, please remember that the wedding is for you as a couple and should be what you want. Pressure can be felt from parents, other family members and friends and it can be stressful managing their expectations as well as yours. The key gauge is whether you look back in 5- or 10-years’ time and can honestly say that you had the wedding you wanted.

 

Bridal car

 

Weddings at The Falcondale

Should you be interested in viewing the Falcondale as your dream wedding venue, please get in touch to find out more.

Peek at our Wedding page for details on packages.

To book a showaround give us a call on 01570 422910 or email weddings@thefalcondale.co.uk

WEDDINGS

 

Wedding socks
Lampeter Wedding fayre

Why go to a Wedding fayre?

Wedding Fayre and Bridal Showcases

Many wedding venues will very likely organise a wedding fayre / bridal showcase or maybe even an open day once a year at their location. The question is what’s the difference between them and why should you attend?

Falcondale wedding car

WEDDING FAYRE

Having flicked through bridal magazines and created your own Pinterest board it’s now time to put these ideas into action. A wedding fayre implies that there’ll be local wedding services and suppliers on hand at the venue. A perfect opportunity to discuss your ideas and vision with experts from the local area who very likely know the venue and will be able to deliver and set-up for you.

These are experts in their fields and have a wealth of knowledge and talent that can help you create your special day. Your wedding co-ordinator from the venue can point you in the right direction for reliable and well-regarded wedding services and suppliers.

Lampeter wedding fayre

BRIDAL SHOWCASE

At a bridal showcase you should expect to see a fashion show or catwalk of bridal dresses, and possibly bridesmaids, groomsmen and even mother of the bride outfits. At Falcondale’s bridal showcase in February 2019 the catwalk will feature Chez Louise Bridal.

These events can be useful for you to see what the dresses look like in real life rather than the glamorous glossy images seen in professional photo’s. Bridal shops require pre-booking for fittings and if you have an idea of things you do (or don’t) like, it allows the shop assistant to choose appropriate dresses. Providing you a positive experience is their aim.

Bridal dress

OPEN DAY

An open day is more about the venue and far less about the services and suppliers of others. Expect to see tables laid-up as if ready for a wedding party, and possibly even the civil ceremony room dressed. Occasionally you may get a venue dresser who would showcase their skills with various adornments, table centres and decorations. A perfect opportunity to visualise how your day could look, especially if the venue is a little unusual or not run-of-the-mill.

Be wary though! If you’re expecting to talk to wedding suppliers you will be disappointed, as this is not about them – it’s about the venue.

Afternoon tea wedding

 

Falcondale Wedding Showcase

At The Falcondale on the 17th February we are very lucky to have many of the local wedding services and suppliers present to help plan your day. Look at our dedicated page: –

INFORMATION

Chez Louise Bridal will be showcasing her dresses

Free Entry

As always, our wedding fayres are FREE, with a glass of fizz for the bride to be, and goody bags.

Peek at our Wedding page for details on packages.

To book a showaround give us a call on 01570 422910 or email weddings@thefalcondale.co.uk

WEDDINGS

 

Tony 2AA rosettes 2018

Into the frying pan with head chef Tony

Weddings from a chef’s point of view

Our head chef Tony has been in his current position at The Falcondale since October 2017 and has over 20 years’ experience within hotels / restaurants and event catering. We thought we’d fire some questions at him and share his experience of the industry with you – especially when it comes to catering for weddings.

Weddings at The Falcondale

Your advice to brides and grooms when choosing their menus?

Prioritise your desires. If the food element of your wedding is high up on your list, then allocate your wedding budget accordingly. It could be that you’d prefer to spend more on “the dress” and that 8-piece band you absolutely love. Let us know, as we can alter dishes and presentation to suit your day and budget. This does not mean that the quality of the food or service will be compromised, only the realism that an Oyster bar will more expensive than standard canapes.

Choose a menu for you, what you like to eat, and let your guests know your reasonings for your choices. They are far more likely to get on board your train of thought and accept that the day is about you, and not them.

 

Canapes

 

What are your biggest likes and dislikes when it comes to catering for a wedding?

The most amazing feeling is receiving feedback from the bride and groom after the event is over. By the time we get to the wedding day itself we would have spent hours fine tuning and preparing – including taster sessions / pictures of the dishes / reading and re-reading the menu etc. etc. To hear that the effort was worthwhile is amazing.

My biggest dislike (which I’m sure many other chefs would agree with me), is guests not telling the bride and groom or even the venue about their dietary requirements. There are many situations involving people’s health that require a specific diet and I have no problem in accommodating these requests. However, trying to conjure a vegan dairy free dessert at the 11th hour whilst feeding 120 guests is quite a tall order. I kindly request that we are made aware of these dietary requirements in advance (at least a week in advance – please).

 

What are your thoughts on the latest trends of Grazing or Feasting tables?

For me it’s just fancy words for a buffet, would you agree? Maybe I’m being a little harsh on this point.

With a buffet you’ll have a selection of options from a buffet table which include carved meats, bowls of salads, dressings, dips, coleslaw, maybe some hot options and a bread roll – all individual elements which when brought together makes a complete plate of food.

A grazing table would be a large display table full of dishes, such as mini fish & chip cones with tartare sauce, mini brioche buns filled with a Welsh beef patty and red onion marmalade, softly poached quail egg with an asparagus sprig, falafel and cous cous food bowls. Portions that are a little bigger than canapes and be picked up by the guests haphazardly over a longer period of time.

A feasting table is what you’d expect to see at Harry Potter, all the food in the middle of the table where the guests are sat with platters of food to share in the middle. Kind of like a private buffet for each individual table, which gets people talking and mingling with each other naturally.

What I like to do (especially for the evening part of the weddings), are food platters. Such as Welsh cheese with oatcakes, chutneys, apples, celery and grapes. Alongside this serve a charcuterie platter of salami’s, pepperoni, bresaola with olives, gherkins, roasted nuts and artisan breads.

Afternoon tea wedding

 

What is your food philosophy?

Local & seasonal – whenever and wherever possible.

No matter your budget or what dishes you choose I try and source these locally to The Falcondale. There is such a vast array of producers within the county of Ceredigion and its neighbour’s in Carmarthenshire / Pembrokeshire and Powys that we would be amiss to ignore them.

There is an expectation to provide menus within a wedding brochure, which is quite ridiculous really when at that stage you don’t even know what time of year the wedding will take place. This results in generic menus that sounds the same as any other venue. When I have the opportunity, I would prefer to offer specific seasonal options to brides and grooms that could also strengthen their vibe and hopes for their day.

 

Anything else you’d like to add?

Come up for a tasting of your dishes before you make your final decisions on a menu. I make a judgement call on what I think would look good dependant on your choice. This may not always match with your expectations and so please be honest about your feedback. Do you want it to look differently? Maybe it wasn’t what you thought? Do you want a different garnish on the side?

Once you are happy and you’ve made your decision we will put the wheels in motion and start planning the ordering of produce.

Wedding tables

 

Weddings at The Falcondale

Our aim has been to offer suggestions that could be applied to The Falcondale hotel & restaurant, a four-star country house hotel located just outside Lampeter in Mid Wales.

 

Peek at our Wedding page for details on packages.

 

To book a showaround give us a call on 01570 422910 or email weddings@thefalcondale.co.uk

 

WEDDINGS

Chloe and Huw at The Falcondale

Happy Couples – Chloe and Huw

Your Wedding Story

Huw and I met 8 years ago at our family home as he was friends with my brother. Immediately I knew we would be together! During my pregnancy with our first son he proposed one evening over dinner, I was ecstatic!

VENUE

I have always said from a young age I would want to hold our wedding reception at The Falcondale so after meeting Caroline for the first time at The Falcondale, we booked. We did have a browse at other local venues but nothing beat The Falcondale for us.

WEDDING RECEPTION

We decided on a vintage theme and wanted to be different so decided on an afternoon tea for the afternoon followed with an ox roast when the evening guests arrived. The afternoon tea was amazing, all the guests commented on the great variety and everything being homemade. The ox roast was also a big hit along with wedges and sauces.

 

THE DRESS

Finding my dress was the highlight of all the wedding planning. After visiting one shop I was left disheartened, there was nothing I liked enough to buy for the biggest day of our lives! Immediately after visiting the second shop I fell in love with a beautiful lace dress, it was exactly what I had in mind – and on the day I had endless compliments!

THE DECORATING

We had a bouncy castle for the children to enjoy and a sparkly dance floor from Pretty Seats and Bows in the evening, it looked amazing!

 

THE FLOWERS

Cadi and Grace sorted all of our flowers and I can’t thank them enough! The flowers were outstanding and exactly what I was looking for with our pastel/vintage theme. They suited all of our hessian/lace decor.

THE PHOTOGRAPHER

Susanne Ryder was our photographer, again we couldn’t fault her. She has been our photographer since having children and I wouldn’t have anyone else. She knows exactly what we like, taking the most natural photos, especially of the children.

We thank The Falcondale so much, nothing was ever too much and we wouldn’t have changed a thing! The day went so fast but we had the best day ever.

Chloe and Huw x

 

Weddings at The Falcondale

Peek at our Wedding page for details on packages.

To book a showaround give us a call on 01570 422910 or email weddings@thefalcondale.co.uk

 

WEDDINGS

Wedding sparklers

Wedding After Party

After Party

You’ve done the official ceremony and had the formal wedding reception of your dreams. It is then time to blow-out with friends and family!

But, how do you take the late-night fun to the next level…

bride and groom first dance

 

EVENING RECEPTION

Shake up your evening reception by having an informal contrast to the days event. Any day guests that want to hang around for the evening revelry can do so. Invite your party animal friends from University and any friends who are important to you.

 

Food

It is probably best to provide food for your evening reception, especially if alcohol is involved. It’ll be a way of thanking your guests for joining you. Think about timings carefully, if you’ve eaten your wedding reception around 2pm your guests will probably need something around 7 or 8pm. If you ate at around 5pm, then maybe you arrange snacks at 11pm.

  • Food bar
  • Buffet
  • Burgers
  • Pizzas
  • Cheese and biscuits

Or how about some midnight snack boxes, complete with a drink, something sweet (maybe a piece of your wedding cake), and something salty (pistachios, salt & pepper popcorn). These can be placed on a side table for guests to help themselves.

Canapes  Food boxes

Setting the scene

You could alter the decorations (with help from the venue, or maybe some friends) to create an evening atmosphere. Think about using fairy lights, tealights and candles to add a bit of sparkle. Your new theme could be the start of your honeymoon. Jam jars filled with sand and shells, hessian table runners and rope knots for those going to a beach destination. Maybe crystal jewels, snowflake lanterns and fern cones for a skiing or Winter destination.

As the evening tends to be darker fireworks or/and sparklers could be organised. Have a picture-perfect moment with your friends holding sparklers as a guard of honour for you and your spouse.

Wedding sparklers

 

Entertainment

What kind of entertainment do you and your spouse like? Here’s a few ideas to get you thinking about the kind of entertainment that is possible: –

  • Live band
  • Casino with roulette and black jack tables
  • Cocktail bar
  • Mariachi band
  • Karaoke
  • Photo booth

Should your official photographer not be available for the after party, arm your guests with polaroid cameras. Informal photos for a fun night.

Casino hire at The Falcondale

 

ENDING THE AFTER PARTY

Celebrate the end of a perfect night with hangover kits to those who made it to the end. Include items such as: –

  • Gum
  • Tic tacs
  • Paracetamol
  • Coffee sachet
  • Alka Seltzer
  • Lip balm
Hangover kit

 

OUR ADVICE

Whatever you choose to do for your after party be sure that it is authentic to you as newlyweds. It is the sentimental details that matter.

Evening reception

 

Weddings at The Falcondale

Our aim has been to offer suggestions that could be applied to The Falcondale hotel & restaurant, a four-star country house hotel located just outside Lampeter in Mid Wales.

Peek at our Wedding page for details on packages.

To book a showaround give us a call on 01570 422910 or email weddings@thefalcondale.co.uk

 

WEDDINGS