Archive for June, 2016

Top 10 Tips for a Successful Wedding Speech

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If you or anyone in your wedding party is nervous about speaking in public, here are our foolproof Top 10 Tips to give the perfect wedding speech.

For many of us, speaking in public is a daunting prospect – add the presence of close friends and family into the mix, and the pressure can feel greater than ever.

So how do you make sure that everyone involved can relax and enjoy your wedding, without fearing the prospect of making their wedding speech?

Simple. Here are Manor By The Lake’s Top Tips for a Successful Wedding Speech.

  1. Break from tradition and consider delivering speeches earlier in the day to prevent nerves building up for hours. Why not give the speeches immediately after your ceremony? People are relaxed and happy, (and have a drink in hand!), so it’s a perfect opportunity to get the formalities out of the way, so everyone can then relax and enjoy the rest of the celebrations.
  1. Set a limit! It’s a wedding, not a conference, so keep the speeches short and sweet. Suggest all speakers write no more than 1000 words if they’re planning on writing their speech out in full, and if not, a reasonable time limit is somewhere between 5 and 10 minutes maximum. For people who aren’t professional public speakers, this is plenty of time to tell a couple of funny tales, speak from the heart, and propose a toast. 
  1. Plan, plan, plan. If you’re one of the wedding speech givers, the best advice you’ll ever receive is to think about what you’d like to say, and make some notes. Very few people can stand and speak off the cuff without any prior thought – unless you do it for a living, this is not the time to try! 
  1. Follow a structure. Once you’ve planned what you want to say, it’s a good idea to organise your notes into sections covering the areas you need to cover – thanking people, sharing memories, and congratulating the happy couple. Concentrate on a strong opening line that will capture everyone’s attention, and always end on a high. A funny tale that leads neatly into a toast always works well. 
  1. Practice. Once you have your wedding speech noted down, practice saying it out loud, as this will give you confidence, and it’s also a good test of how long you’ll be speaking for. If it’s way too long when you say it out loud – now is the time for some serious editing. Find a kind friend who can act as your guinea pig audience, and ask them for their honest feedback. 
  1. Always have a back up. Once you’ve made your notes and are happy with your final version, then make a copy. In fact, make 3 or 4 copies! There’s nothing worse than a last minute panic when you realise that your notes are sitting on the bar in the pub down the road, and you’re sitting at the top table, sweating. Give a copy to a friend, and keep a spare copy at the venue so you can’t possibly be caught out. 
  1. Make eye contact. One of the most daunting parts of making a wedding speech is the moment when you stand up to face your audience, and see a room of eager faces all looking at you! It’s a good idea to spot friendly faces early on and then speak directly to them, making eye contact as if they are the only ones in the room. Do look around the room as you speak, but try and focus on one person at a time. 
  1. Prop anyone? If you’re really nervous about simply standing and speaking, then a great distraction is the introduction of a prop or visual aid. Who doesn’t love an unexpected slide show of embarrassing photos, or proof of the groom’s dubious taste in fashion when you produce his long forgotten leather trousers… 
  1. Let the girls get a look in. The tradition is that the father of the bride speaks first, followed by the groom, and finally, the best man. However, if the bride, or chief bridesmaid would like to say a few words, this makes a lovely break from tradition, and gets the girls firmly back centre stage, which can’t be a bad thing… 
  1. And breathe… Before you speak, take a deep breath, and remember, everyone is willing you on. It’s a joyous occasion and even though you may think they’re a tough crowd, the room will be full of love and no one wants to see you slip up.


For more expert advice and guidance on planning your perfect Cotswolds wedding, call Tina at Manor By The Lake on 01242 245 071.

“I Do”  Take Two – Second time around?

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Are you looking to marry for a second time? Read on for some fantastic tips for planning your perfect wedding day.

Weddings are traditionally a source of huge joy and excitement for all concerned, but if it’s the second time around for either one of the couple, or even both, it can sometimes be a more complicated affair. With the possibility of stepchildren to include, a new set of in-laws, not to mention the fact that many of the guests may have seen you marry the first time, how do you avoid a replay of your first wedding, and ensure your day is completely different, and unique to you?

Whatever the circumstances, every couple deserves a memorable and magical day to start their married life. There are wonderful benefits to doing it all again, and you’re certainly not alone – one in four weddings in the UK are couples taking the plunge for the second time. Whether you’ve been widowed or divorced, a second marriage brings the benefit of wisdom and experience – this is the moment to have the day that you, not your Mum, always wanted.

It’s likely you’ll feel less obliged to stick to certain traditions and will enjoy the freedom to personalise the day to you and your other half’s taste. Perhaps you’ll do away with the stuffy line up, or maybe the speeches will be given before you eat, or maybe abandoned altogether in favour of simple toasts? Why not do away with a sit down meal and instead offer your guests al fresco food stations, to create a truly relaxed atmosphere, rejecting any sense of formality.

For the woman, it’s an opportunity to abandon the expected white dress and go for all out glamour and colour. We attended the wedding of a stunning bride, marrying for the third (and hopefully last!) time, who was drop dead gorgeous in black Vera Wang. Or maybe you feel that your white frou frou number from your first wedding was a total fashion fail, and you’d like to do it right this time, and opt for a classic and elegant white dress. Either way, the pressure is off and it’s completely up to you.

Maybe you’ve been putting off getting married, or feared making the commitment for a second time? Whatever the reason, when you decide to take the plunge, you may not want to wait for 12-18 months for your big day as many first time couples do. At Manor By The Lake we offer ‘last-minute’ weddings; a great opportunity to secure our fantastic venue without having to pay for the privilege of a height of summer Saturday date. If you’re prepared to be flexible, why not consider a midweek wedding? This is another way you can book a specific month that may otherwise be out of your budget.

For couples who previously married in church, a civil ceremony may be the natural option, and this brings the huge advantage of being able to hold your entire celebration under one roof. Be pampered and get ready with your closest friends and family, have your vows witnessed in stunning surroundings – you could even opt for an outdoor ceremony – and then party the night away, all at the same location. Why not book the venue exclusively and enjoy the freedom to really let your hair down and make it a 24 or even 48 hour affair?

If all the above still makes you quake with fear, don’t worry, your wedding day can be as small and restrained as you wish. Manor By The Lake plays host to many intimate weddings, where couples involve just a handful of close friends and family, to celebrate their commitment to one another. For some, a simple ceremony followed by an exquisite meal in gorgeous surroundings is everything they dream of.

So the secret to a successful second time wedding? Do it your way. Talk to a wedding planner and create a list of the elements that are really important to you. And don’t be afraid to step away from the norm. This is your day.

For expert advice and guidance on intimate and exclusive use weddings, call Tina at Manor By The Lake on 01242 245 071.