With all the excitement of becoming engaged, planning a wedding can seem like an impossible task. With so much to do and so much to think about, it can very quickly become a stressful and daunting process; which one of the happiest days of your life shouldn’t be!

To help you make wedding planning as stress free as possible, Shilstone House has put together a wedding planning guide to assist in getting you to your dream day as easily as possible.

Initial Planning

As we all know, weddings can be expensive. To make sure your dream day doesn’t break the bank, setting a budget is planning priority number one! When planning a budget, the following factors will need to be accounted for:

  • Guest Numbers: When it comes to your wedding day, you want to invite everybody to celebrate with you, but making sure you have accurate guest numbers and knowing when you want them to attend is important to your budget and planning. At Shilstone House, we split the day into two parts: The day event, where you have your ceremony and sit-down meal, and the evening event, where you have your function, drinks and dancing! The cost of your Drinks Package and Wedding Breakfast will apply to those with you all day, and those joining in the evening considered for Evening Food.
  • Wedding Date: When picking your perfect wedding date, you need to consider the time of year you would like to get married; would you like a Spring wedding? Or does the idea of getting married in the snow sound magical? When it comes to the budget, wedding days, as with holidays, have peak times and off-peak times; with the cost of venue hire usually increasing or decreasing based on which the day is. Venue hire at Shilstone starts from £4,250.00 + VAT. If you don’t want to wait for your wedding, Shilstone House also has a lot of dates currently discounted due to their proximity!

Once you have an idea of your budget limit, a guest list, and thoughts as to when you want your wedding, you’re now on the road to planning with a clear view as to what you are aiming for. At Shilstone House, we endeavour to meet all our couple’s budgets and will discuss through all different avenues to make your dream day happen!

Photograph Courtesy of Andy Mac Photography.

Finding your Dream Venue

What do you envisage for your big day? Do you imagine a reception in an iconic Georgian Manor House? How about a Rustic Civil Ceremony Barn? Maybe you dream of an outdoor wedding in a stunning Courtyard, or a Two-Tiered Mughal Marquee situated in an idyllic Walled Garden for the Wedding Breakfast? At Shilstone House, we can provide all the above, situated in 500 acres of untouched countryside, setting your wedding day in the heart of rolling hills, lakes and rivers of the South West of England!

Looking for your dream wedding venue is one of the most fun parts of planning a wedding; but prioritising what is important for you is a must. You need to think about what you want from your big day, and, what you do not want. Once you have made a list of your must have’s and must have nots, you can start to make the list of potential wedding venues a bit shorter. Our Shilstone Team also advise bringing as many questions as possible when you come to view a wedding venue, as this will help to work out aspects such as whether you will have a dedicated Venue Coordinator, internal catering, a drinks package or accommodation. At Shilstone, we are proud to be able to provide all the above and more, with our committed team going the extra mile to make sure your day is perfect.

Photograph Courtesy of Andy Mac Photography.

So, the big day is booked! What next?

The next step to your big day is booking either a registrar or your church wedding. These tend to get booked quickly, so we always advise our couples to do this as soon as they have their wedding date secured. If you are unsure whether you want a civil or church ceremony, you can ask your wedding venue. Our dedicated team at Shilstone House are happy to make sure our couples have all the information they need to make an informed decision about their ceremony! We have a Rustic Ceremony Barn for inside ceremonies and a stunning East Courtyard for outside ceremonies. Shilstone House is set in the heart of the South West and rolling countryside, so we also have lots of churches nearby that we love to recommend!

Finishing the “To Do List”

So, you have now completed the big tasks! This means the rest of the to do list is mainly finding wedding attire, a cake, evening entertainment, wedding photographers and florists. To help take the stress off, our dedicated team at Shilstone House have put together a list of tried and tested suppliers which we have compiled into a recommended suppliers page, allowing you to have easy to contact people that we are happy to recommend to all our couples. When you are ready to start looking, speak to your dedicated Venue Coordinator to find out more!

Photograph Courtesy of Clare Kinchin Photography.

Bouquets by Hollyhocks Florist.

The Finishing Touches

Depending on your theme and colour scheme, you will want to complement your venue with decorations and personal touches. At Shilstone House, our Spring and Summer weddings are already bursting with beautiful flowers, creating a colourful setting ready and waiting for you to enjoy; while our Winter weddings are surrounded by twinkling lights and stunning winter views. If you need some inspiration for how to decorate the venue for your dream day, you can follow our Instagram page and view our Gallery to see how our other couples have decorated the venue for their dream day.

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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