Five Top Tips from the Shilstone Team!

The dedicated team here at Shilstone, our exclusive wedding venue just outside of Modbury in Devon, have been unbelievably lucky in helping so many couples to get married since we started hosting weddings in 2012.

Now heading into our ninth season, we have witnessed a variety of weddings at our stunning venue, from I do’s in our Rustic Ceremony Barn, to delicious Wedding Breakfasts for up to 220 in our very own Mughal Marquee. Whilst we cannot guarantee the weather, outdoor Ceremonies in past seasons have always been popular, and our manicured East Garden, with Rugosa Roses and entrance to our Georgian Manor House make for the perfect backdrop.

As with any once in a lifetime purchase, we understand just how important the budget can be. The team here at Shilstone, therefore, has come up with a few handy cost saving tips that you may find helpful in planning your dream wedding day!

Weekday Weddings

Traditionally, weddings have been hosted on Saturdays, however, more and more couples are organising to tie the knot during the week! Weekday venue hire is often much cheaper than weekend hire, yet you can still secure yourself the same stunning, exclusive wedding venue with exceptional service, for a fraction of the price.

Our mid-week venue hire rate is £1,500 less than a Saturday and Fridays will see you make a £1,000 saving too! Whatever the day, you will find that your loved ones will want to be there! You can help guarantee this by circulating your Save the Dates as soon as possible, giving those invited plenty of time to organise their diary. Hopefully, they will cherish the chance to celebrate with you and totally understand you are trying to take care of the all-important budget.

Another advantage of hosting your dream day during the week, is in requesting leave, it may encourage some guests to extend the occasion and grab themselves a few extra days in Devon! Situated in the heart of the South Hams, guests visiting the area for your Shilstone wedding will be spoilt for choice between the Dartmoor National Park, neighbouring coastal spots such as Mothecombe, Bigbury and Salcombe, as well as the convenience of historic towns and city centre such as Totnes and Plymouth. 

Photograph Courtesy of Clare Kinchin Photography


We completely appreciate how music adds to the atmosphere, and with so many elements to your wedding day journey, we understand the temptation to organise a different musical extravaganza from the Ceremony, to the Reception and then the Evening Party!

The cost, however, of organising a Classical Crossover duet, a String Quartet and six-piece tribute band can soon add up. We, therefore, encourage you to consider where in the list of your wedding day priorities does music sit. If the absolute key is having guests dance the night away, therefore, the majority of your music budget is for the evening entertainment, then perhaps during the Ceremony and Reception you can utilise our PA system, which is included as part of your exclusive venue hire. It is a rather pleasant personal touch to create you own playlist of favourite tunes and incorporate them into your day.

Photograph Courtesy of Nova Wedding Photography


Now, we know, despite every couple’s best efforts, that planning your wedding can be a little stressful at times. We aren’t, therefore, suggesting you add crazy tasks to your to-do list such as channelling your inner seamstress to fashion your own dress! There are, however, certain jobs that you or your entourage might have the skills and time for. Wedding stationery is a fantastic way to engage your creative side, so why not consider designing your own Save the Dates, Invites and Place Name Cards?!

Not only does DIY take the pressure off the budget, but if you are able to involve others, it allows them to make an extra special contribution to the day, and overall, adds a wonderfully personal touch.

At Shilstone, we are fortunate enough to experience totally unique weddings every week, with their very own style and colour scheme. We’re often asked by our couples, “what works well?” “What colours stand out and do you have a favourite look?!” In short, we always highlight what a wonderful canvas Shilstone is, suiting a huge variety of personal decoration tastes, from elegantly simple to multi-coloured explosions!

At Shilstone, we have our very own Props and Extras, offering items to hire at a reasonable cost. We have a palace of gin bottles filled with fairy lights, perfect for table centre pieces. A gorgeous rustic ladder, which can be used to display family photos, or perhaps your table plan.

Shilstone alone is totally beautiful; its unique combination of traditional and contemporary style providing the perfect setting to deliver the wedding day of your dreams. So, if you do not wish to commit a huge amount of your budget (or time) to decoration, it doesn’t matter one bit!


Photograph Courtesy of Rik Pennington

Food and Drink

Our super talented Kitchen Team, led by Head Chef, Liz have created scrumptious Wedding Breakfast Menus for our Shilstone couples since 2013. With three courses starting from a seriously competitive £35.00 + VAT per head, the advantage of a venue with a dedicated in-house team is that your day can be full of delicious dishes, less the hassle of you having to organise an external caterer, hoping they use reliable and locally sourced producers.

Similarly, to our Menus, our in-house Drinks Packages are unbelievably good value for money too! There is often the perception that sourcing your own fizz and wine and paying corkage is the most cost-effective approach. However, with venues charging around £10.00 per bottle corkage, plus the cost of purchasing your drink and the time and effort it takes, it isn’t necessarily the best approach.

Starting at just £16.95 + VAT per head, our in-house Drinks Package offers a Shilstone Cocktail, Prosecco and Sparkling Elderflower on an unlimited basis for the duration of the Drinks and Canape Reception, plus half a bottle of wine (red and white) per person during the Wedding Breakfast and finally a toast of Prosecco per person!

What a perfect way to quench everyone’s thirst without breaking the budget!!

Photograph Courtesy of Liberty Pearl Photo and Film Collective


We are increasingly hosting Ceremonies onsite at Shilstone, which we love, as we are fully licensed and have beautiful inside and outside options for your I do’s! An advantage of holding your Ceremony at Shilstone is that you do not necessarily need to organise a convoy of transport.

If, however, you are still in search of an extra special arrival, perhaps you have a family car that will look perfect decorated in traditional ribbon and bows!! Maybe it just so happens you have a handful of friends who are VW enthusiasts and they would love for their classic Camper or Bug to be used!

Similarly, to DIY tasks, there are certain favours you shouldn’t be afraid to ask, as usually, friends and family love to be involved and contribute something to your dream day!

Photograph Courtesy of Clare Kinchin Photography

We hope this article has been both enjoyable and informative. If you require further information, please give one of our dedicated team a call on 01548 830 888 or fill out a contact form here to get the ball rolling for your dream day!

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Are you interested in booking a wedding and want to know more?  Fill out the below form and one of our Dedicated Venue Coordinators will contact you!