Archive for August, 2016

Wedding Gifts – The Alternative Wedding List

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In the days before couples lived together before marriage, a list of wedding gifts was a wonderful opportunity for newlyweds to suggest what they needed to set up home together.

So, with few couples today needing a kettle or toaster, what’s the alternative to traditional wedding gifts? Our wedding planners have rounded up their favourite options for alternative wedding gifts just for you.


Help with the Honeymoon

shutterstock_381139831One popular option for wedding gifts is for couples to ask for contributions towards their honeymoon. With the cost of the wedding, rings, honeymoon and all the extras now costing anything over £20,000, it’s no surprise that some couples struggle to pay for everything themselves. Many holiday companies such as Kuoni will provide cards to slip in with your invites asking guests to make contributions and leave gift messages on their dedicated site. This way, you still get your dream holiday, but hopefully, it won’t cost you as much as you’d thought.

Or what about asking for some of the honeymoon treats that you couldn’t afford to book for yourselves? Spa treatments and excursions can normally be booked in advance, and will provide memorable moments for and your new spouse. For guests who don’t want to simply contribute to a fund, this is also a nice compromise as they can pick a tangible treat to buy for you.

Monthly Treats

shutterstock_47675383We love the idea of wedding gifts that keep on giving. Many companies allow you to subscribe to a regular gifting service delivering everything from cheese to chocolate on a monthly basis. Try Hotel Chocolat and The Cheese Society for tasting gift inspiration, or if you love the scent of fresh flowers in your home maybe Bloom and Wild would be more up your street? Suggesting these as options for your guests can provide a unique option to the traditional gift list, and mean you receive something that you’ll really appreciate.

Homes & Gardens 

When you’re saving for a wedding, home upgrades and renovation projects normally need to take a back seat. If you dream of a new kitchen, or a landscaped garden, then maybe your wedding is exactly the right moment to ask for help. It may not seem exciting, but vouchers from high street DIY chains such as B&Q could give you the financial boost you need to create your ideal home and, after the excitement and fun of planning your wedding is over, you’ll have the funds to start on your next big project!

The Charitable Option

Many couples feel strongly that they don’t need any wedding gifts and would far prefer that their special day helps benefit others instead. With that in mind The Alternative Wedding List is a fabulous site that allows guests to donate money to charities that you feel strongly about. Whether you want to support cancer care, children or animals, you can select your favourite cause and let your guests donate on your behalf. If this is your choice, Manor By The Lake has introduced a wonderful offer called Wednesday Weddings where we will donate 10% of the collection price to the charity of your choice!

As always, our talented wedding planners are always on hand to guide and advise you with any aspect of your wedding preparations and also give direction on cost-effective alternatives.

Give Tina a call at Manor By The Lake on 01242 245 071 to experience our helpful service as well as discovering our stunning wedding venue.

The Engagement Photoshoot – A Rising Trend

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Have you recently got engaged and started to discuss wedding photographers? Our experienced wedding planners at Manor By The Lake share their thoughts on the rising popularity of the engagement photoshoot.


Choosing your wedding photographer is a huge decision – your photographs will be your lasting memory of your big day long after the cake has been cut and the champagne drunk. It’s also a significant investment, so you need to feel completely comfortable in your choice of photographer. shutterstock_146600498_smOne trend gathering pace to alleviate your fears is the engagement photoshoot.

Some would argue this is just another way for photographers to extract more money from couples but at Manor By The Lake, we believe that far from being a costly extra, a pre-wedding or engagement photoshoot is an excellent idea. Few people are truly relaxed in front of a camera, particularly when there are others watching, so having a shoot before the big day is a great opportunity to practice, and hopefully relax and maybe even enjoy the experience…

If it’s the first time you’ve met with your photographer face to face, it’s a chance to discuss your preferred style that suits you and your partner, and you can talk through any concerns you may have for the big day itself. It gives you the opportunity to try different poses and options, taking on board your photographer’s advice. You’ll almost certainly have fewer time constraints at a pre-wedding shoot, so embrace the freedom of time and use it to create images you’re completely happy with.

shutterstock_120861400_smAs well as providing a lovely memento of your engagement, you could consider using the photos for save the date cards, or maybe even your invitations. Framed photos from your shoot also make a gorgeous gift for family members and will be treasured by everyone.

Many couples choose to have their engagement shoot at their wedding venue, or the place where they got engaged. We encourage all our couples to come to Manor By The Lake to capture special images as we are lucky to be blessed with stunning gardens, as well as the gorgeous interiors of our Manor House.

If you’re holding a winter wedding, booking a engagement photoshoot at the same venue but in the summer months will give you a completely different set of images, allowing you to take advantage of differing light and weather conditions, as well as the contrast between the outdoor landscapes of different seasons.

If you’re considering an engagement photoshoot, we have the contact details many excellent photographers who we would gladly recommend. Why not give us a call on 01242 245 071 and find out more about booking your shoot at Manor By The Lake.

For more creative wedding ideas visit our inspiration page regularly.