Archive for September, 2017

Celebrity Officiants

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One way of adding a touch of celebrity magic to your wedding would be to ask one of them to officiate. And no, we’re not joking! Did you realise, many of the world’s most recognisable stars have taken on the role of the officiant to legally perform the wedding ceremony for their friends or family.

This week, the Manor By The Lake wedding planners have rounded up their favourite celebrity officiants for you to enjoy.


Emma Stone

Not content with being an Oscar-winning actress, the multi-talented Ms Stone is also an authorised officiant. Having introduced publicist Holly Shankoor to her future husband Ruben Fleischer, it was fitting that it was Emma who eventually married the couple.

Kris Jenner

You’d think she has her hands full as ‘momager’ of one of the world’s most famous families but Kris Jenner, the matriarch of the Kardashian clan, has apparently also officiated at a number of weddings. Most recently, the reality star hosted the wedding of her good friend Faye Resnick at Jenner’s LA home and also officiated the ceremony.

Sir Ian McKellen

If you’re going to ask an actor to officiate your wedding, it makes sense to appoint a Shakespearean thespian and all round A-lister. For his performance as Gandalf in the Lord of the Rings trilogy, Sir Ian was Oscar-nominated, so we suspect it was another crowd-pleasing performance when he officiated at the wedding of his friend and fellow actor Patrick Stewart to singer Sunny Ozell.

Joan Rivers

With her acerbic wit and sharp one-liners, we can only imagine how hilarious the ceremony was when the late, great Joan Rivers acted as officiant. The couple in question had met Joan at a book signing and due to some legal irregularities, Joan ended officiating not once, but twice for the happy couple!

Bill Clinton

When you hold the role of Commander in Chief and US President, you’re generally considered to be the most powerful man in the world. However, not content with his weighty job titles, Clinton turned officiant in 2010 when New York politician Anthony Weiner married Hillary Clinton’s aide, Huma Abedin.

Kris Jenner

You’d think she has her hands full as ‘momager’ of one of the world’s most famous families but Kris Jenner, the matriarch of the Kardashian clan, has apparently also officiated at a number of weddings. Most recently, the reality star hosted the wedding of her good friend Faye Resnick at Jenner’s LA home and also officiated the ceremony.

Tom Hanks

One of our all-time favourite actors Tom Hanks is also available to officiate if you fancy an alternative to a vicar or registrar. Hanks was ordained specifically in order to conduct the wedding ceremony of friends Allison Williams and Ricky Van Veen. In a quirky twist, Hank’s wife Rita Wilson plays Williams’s character’s mum in the hit tv show, Girls.

So, if you’re hoping to add a little celebrity to your ceremony, you just need to pick your star and contact their agent. We’re sure their rates are very favourable!


We can’t offer to conduct your ceremony for you, but we can offer to help with every other detail involved in planning your dream wedding day. Contact the Manor By The Lake wedding planners to ask their advice or to arrange a private tour of our gorgeous country Manor house. Give us a call on 01242 245 071 to find out more about Manor By The Lake.


The Most Popular Celebrity Wedding Venues

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We’re really on a roll with our series of blogs about celebrity weddings, so this week we’re taking a peek at the most popular wedding venues for all those A-listers with money to burn! Us mere mortals may not be able to afford the deposits on these places, but it doesn’t stop us loving them.

Read on for our all-time favourite celebrity wedding venues.


1 Babington House

Babington House must rate as the most popular celebrity wedding venues EVER with everyone from Fatboy Slim to James Corden tying the knot here. Part of the super exclusive Soho House group that boasts private member clubs all over the globe, Babington is their super cool country hangout in beautiful Somerset.

The 18-acre site boasts a Georgian house and private chapel as well as a Cowshed spa, indoor and outdoor pools, lake, tennis courts, croquet lawn and of course, a private cinema. Weddings are on an exclusive use basis meaning you have the run of the entire estate including the 33 gorgeous guest rooms, as well as the library, bar, restaurant and orangery.

Perfect for London dwellers, Babington gives you all the country luxe you require and is just a mere two hours from the city. You can make your arrival by helicopter if you really want to live like a celebrity and both OK! and Hello magazines have been here enough times so if you’re inviting them, they know their way around!

Celebrity Weddings: Eddie & Hannah Redmayne, Zoe Ball & Norman Cook, James & Julia Corden, Millie Mackintosh & Professor Green


2 Blenheim Palace

For a grand, opulent and elegant wedding, celebrity favourite Blenheim Palace is the ideal choice. Currently home to the 12th Duke of Marlborough, Sir Winston Churchill was born here in 1874 and the grand surroundings and sheer scale make it the perfect place for large wedding celebrations.

With more than six venues within the estate, the palace can host weddings of up to 2000 guests! The estate includes 90 acres of formal gardens including water terraces, a rose garden and formal Italian gardens so there’s no shortage of photo opportunities.

Inside, grand reception spaces include the Orangery and Marlborough room with double height vaulted ceilings, huge fireplaces and decadent chandeliers. If all that fails to impress, there’s plenty of scope (and space) for a marquee.

Celebrity Weddings: Marvin & Rochelle Humes, John & Toni Terry


3 Woburn Abbey

With an estate that includes a 3000-acre deer park, Woburn Abbey is an unusual venue with plenty of celebrity appeal. There are three venues to choose between including the famous Sculpture Gallery which boasts a private garden overlooking the Camelia lake. Built by Henry Holland in 1789 for the Duke of Bedford, this stunning venue is one of the most majestic settings we’ve ever seen.

There’s the luxury Woburn Hotel for a traditional wedding venue or the wonderfully quirky Safari Lodge for those couples opting for a more informal day. Where else can you do a safari park trip with your guests just hours before you tie the knot?

For intimate celebrations, there’s plenty of style and class to be had here but if the guest list is a little larger, the estate can accommodate lavish receptions for up to 250 guests.

Celebrity Weddings: Christian Horner & Geri Halliwell, Wayne & Frankie Bridge


4 Kew Gardens

The Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew is London’s largest UNESCO World Heritage site offering a plethora of outstanding landscapes, vistas and architecture as well as the most extensive selection of formal and ornamental gardens.

A real escape from the outside world, the atmosphere at Kew is unique and private and therefore the perfect option for a celebrity wedding. Its location in London also makes it popular with those who can’t bear the thought of venturing away from the capital!

There are numerous wedding venues including plenty of options to take your vows both indoors and out. From the intimacy of Cambridge cottage to the grand scale and spectacle of the Orangery, this glorious venue would certainly be a memorable choice. We love the idea of a cocktail reception in the stunning Princess of Wales conservatory where ten zones are climatically controlled to aid the growth of exotic and tropical plant life.

Celebrity Weddings: Fearne Cotton & Jesse Wood, Katie Melua & James Toseland


5 Amberley Castle

For celebrities who’ve always dreamed of a fairytale wedding then Amberley Castle surely ticks all the boxes. From the moment you sweep through the portcullis, you’re transported back to days of old where dashing knights rescued dainty damsels. A classic English castle with over 900 years of history, Amberley can house weddings of up to 56 within the castle itself, whilst larger celebrations can be accommodated in a marquee on the lawns.

Guest can mingle among peacocks while medieval stonework, suits of armour and coats of arms make a wonderful backdrop for all your photography. We can see why so many celebrities have opted for Amberley Castle for their nuptials – we’d jump at the chance!

Celebrity Weddings: Dan Baldwin & Holly Willoughby, Dermot & Dee O’Leary.


So there you have it… our favourite all-time celebrity wedding venues. But which one would you choose? If you’re still searching for your own perfect venue, we’d love to help! Give our lovely wedding planners a call to arrange a private tour of our stunning country Manor house.

Call on 01242 245 071 or email to find out all you need to know about Manor By The Lake.

How To Host Your Own Celebrity Wedding

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So with our minds firmly focused on all things A-list over the past couple of weeks, this week we give you our Top Tips for hosting your own celebrity wedding.

Our Manor By The Lake wedding planners have all the (tongue in cheek) knowledge you need for your celebrity inspired day.


1 Get engaged with a rock the size of Gibraltar

All celebrity weddings start with a celebrity engagement and these tend to set the scene for the style of nuptials that will follow. Ideally, you’re looking to snare an engagement ring that costs more than the average house in the Cotswolds, something that weighs heavy on your hand so that mere waving becomes a workout.

Celebrity Wedding Inspiration: Kim Kardashian (engagements 2 & 3), Mariah Carey, Angelina Jolie


2 Privacy please

Next, talk about the importance of holding an intimate, private wedding ceremony for close friends and family only…then rapidly sign on the dotted line when OK! or Hello magazine offer you a mega money deal to cover the big day!

Celebrity Wedding Inspiration: All footballers, soap stars & reality tv ‘celebrities’


3 Familiar faces

Make your wedding super appealing to the paparazzi by asking other fellow celebs to join the wedding party. There’s nothing better than a celebrity bridesmaid or three to really ramp up the interest. It helps if celebrity runs in the family as that way, you guarantee they’re going to show up as well as boosting your column inches!

Celebrity Inspiration: Paris Hilton (bridesmaid for sister Nicky), Cara Delevingne (bridesmaid for sister Poppy), Beyonce (bridesmaid for bandmate Kelly Rowland).



4 Extravagant attire

Why go classic and elegant when you can steal the show with the most outlandish outfit ever seen? Go huge, go colourful, or go for a mind boggling head piece, but whatever you do, make sure you get noticed!

Celebrity Wedding Inspiration: Gwen Stefani’s ombre pink gown, Anne Hathaway’s bizarre head piece, Angelina Jolie’s wedding dress covered in her children’s’ scribblings!


5 Big budget

Surely the easiest way to get your nuptials noticed is to seriously flash the cash. Fly your guests to the wedding on private jets, rent out every establishment in the area, and why not enforce a no fly zone just to get the point across that yes, money really can buy most things!

Celebrity Wedding Inspiration: The Duke & Duchess of Cambridge – wedding budget £31 million, Kim Kardashian & Kris Humphries – wedding budget £4 million – a truly eye watering investment for a union that lasted a mere 72 days!


6 Star studded guest list

If you’re not content with your celebrity packed wedding party, then it’s time to invite your nearest and dearest fellow celebs to join you for your knees up. It really helps if you’re truly A-list as your pulling power is so much stronger, but don’t let that stop you if you’re not! Time to scroll through your iPhone for everyone you’ve ever air kissed!

Celebrity Wedding Inspiration: Paul McCartney & Heather Mills – guests included Ringo Starr, Sir Elton John and Eric Clapton. David Gest & Liza Minnelli – guests included Stevie Wonder, Natalie Cole and Tony Bennett. Tom Cruise & Katie Holmes – guests included Will Smith, Jim Carrey, Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony with music provided by Andrea Bocelli.


If you want some inspiration for your own wedding day, then why not talk to our fabulous wedding planners who trust us, have seen pretty much everything! Whether you want to celebrate with an ostentatious bash or prefer a simpler and more stylish affair, we promise the Manor By The Lake team will give you all the help and support you need. We love helping couples plan their own magical day and we’d love to offer you a private tour of our stunning country Manor House.

Give us a call on 01242 245 071 or email to find out more about Manor By The Lake.

The Most Beautiful Celebrity Wedding Dress

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Last week we took a peek at some of the most awesome celebrity engagement rings we’ve swooned over and this week we’re shifting our attention to dresses.

For all you brides-to-be looking for some inspiration in finding ‘The Dress’, here is Manor By The Lake’s guide to the most beautiful celebrity wedding dresses of all time.


1 Grace Kelly

This dress has inspired thousands, if not millions of brides thanks to its classic, elegant and timeless design. When actress Grace Kelly married her real life prince in 1956, the world was enchanted by this real life fairy tale.


The iconic wedding dress was a gift from the film studios MGM who employed the stunning star and had been designed by their head of costume, Helen Rose. With its lace bodice, long sleeves, high collar and full silk skirt the dress was absolutely stunning and had taken 30 seamstresses 6 weeks to create. To this day the dress still looks stunning thanks to its timeless design.


2 Princess Diana

Who can forget the moment that a young Lady Diana Spencer stepped out of her fairy tale carriage at St Paul’s Cathedral and the world got a first glance at her show stopping wedding gown?  The voluminous dress was made by husband and wife team David and Elizabeth Emanuel and marked their first major commission.


With its 25 ft train, the silk taffeta creation was hand embroidered with thousands of tiny pearls and sequins and featured large puffed sleeves that were so fashionable in the 80s. Within hours, wedding dress designers were inundated with requests to copy Diana’s dress.


3 Ivanka Trump

When you hear the name ‘Trump’ you usually think big, bold, brash and over the top, but when Donald’s daughter Ivanka married Jared Kushner in 2009, her dress was one of the most elegantly restrained we’ve seen.


Turning to Vera Wang, bridal designer to the stars, for a customised creation, Ivanka took inspiration from Grace Kelly opting for delicate lace sleeves and saying she wanted a classic, elegant look. The sophisticated design featured multiple layers of Chantilly and Lyon lace and was designed with comfort in mind with the bride declaring she needed a dress in which she could “dance all night”.


4 Amal Clooney

With money no object and the world’s designers clamouring to dress her, the new Mrs Clooney was not short of options when she commissioned her wedding dress. Opting for Oscar de la Renta, the bespoke creation was an off the shoulder dress made from French lace and hand embroidered with pearls.


Of de la Renta, Amal declared, “He’s such an elegant designer and such an elegant man.” We couldn’t agree more. We loved the sweeping train and the stunning neckline coupled with a hand embroidered veil.


5 Kate Moss

There was no secret around who would design party girl Kate’s wedding dress with her long time friend and designer John Galliano asked to do the honours. The three-day event in the Cotswolds was dubbed Moss-stock in reference to the couple’s rock and roll lifestyle so the dress was never going to be a conventional affair.


Instead, we were treated to a vintage inspired dress that drew on influences from the 20s and 30s with its bias cut and heavy embellishment. The slip dress had a sheer overlay embroidered with gold sequins and beads with sheer straps and see through skirt befitting the original supermodel.


So, these are our favourite celebrity wedding dresses but which is yours? Hopefully, we’ve given you some inspiration when it comes to selecting your own wedding dress. As expert wedding planners, we love helping couples plan their own magical day and we’d love to offer you a private tour of our stunning country Manor House. Give us a call on 01242 245 071 or email to find out more about Manor By The Lake.

The most awesome celebrity engagement rings

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Maybe you’ve just got engaged, or perhaps you’re patiently waiting (or not so patiently dropping hints!) Are you a man who’s all ready to pop the question but doesn’t have a clue about what ring to buy? Whatever your status, who can resist the lure of other people’s engagement rings.


The Manor By The Lake wedding planners have rounded up their pick of the most awesome celebrity engagement rings ever. Warning: drop dead gorgeous diamonds this way!



1 Kim Kardashian


She’s not known for being the shy, retiring type, so it’s no surprise that Kim Kardashian’s (current) engagement ring is a bold and blingy statement. Her other half Kanye West collaborated with Hollywood jeweller to the stars Lorraine Schwartz to create the perfect ring for his now wife.

The stone is a completely flawless cushion cut diamond weighing an incredible 15 carats and set on a thin diamond band. Apparently Kanye wanted to create the illusion that the diamond was floating in the air and worked with Schwartz to create the perfect interpretation of his vision. When it comes to things floating, we reckon even the demanding Kim must have been floating on air when she saw the size of this rock!

Value: The ring is reputedly worth a cool $1.6 million


2 Pippa Middleton


Having once achieved worldwide fame thanks to her remarkably pert posterior, Pippa made headlines once again last year when she accepted a proposal from her hedge funder boyfriend, James Matthews. The pair were holidaying in the Lake District when James popped the question with a stunning art deco style ring.

The ring features a 3 carat Asscher cut diamond surrounded by round brilliant stones in an octagonal setting and set in platinum. James helped design the ring, working with a London based jeweller to create the unique piece. Stylish and show-stopping – we reckon he did a pretty good job.

Value: Pippa’s bling cost an estimated £200,000.


3 Lady Gaga


She’s recently starred in a campaign for upmarket jeweller Tiffany & Co, but we’re not sure whether Lady Gaga’s beau managed to get a discount when he bought her huge engagement ring.

Taylor Kinney presented Gaga with a truly exceptional heart shaped stone when he proposed on Valentine’s Day 2015. The stone is set on a delicate diamond band, barely visible beneath the huge stone. It’s not exactly our cup of tea but is undeniably the most outwardly romantic ring we’ve ever seen.

Value: To get a ring like Gaga’s will set you back a cool $500,000.


4 Kim Sears


Andy Murray’s leading lady Kim Sears waited for nine years before her tennis ace popped the question but we reckon that the wait was definitely worth it if the diamond is anything to go by! Andy chose the ring himself before proposing to Kim and selected a classic round diamond solitaire surrounded by a halo of tiny round diamonds all set on a diamond band.

The central stone is around 3 carats and due to the prominent high setting, is difficult to miss! With a personal fortune of around £30 million, the pair live in a £5.7 million house in Surrey so at least there’s no doubt that Andy can afford such a blingy ring!

Value: This statement piece likely set Andy back around £200,000.


5 Blake Lively


One of our absolute favourite rings ever, Blake’s gorgeous hubby Ryan Reynolds proposed with a truly stunning pink diamond ring made once again by the talented (and popular) Lorraine Schwartz.

The ring feature a central 12 carat delicate pink stone is set in supremely fashionable rose gold and features pave and micro diamond bands that give it an art deco look. Given the rarity of this coloured diamond coupled with its awesome size, this is one of the most expensive engagement rings we’ve ever swooned over.

Value: Ryan parted with around $2 million dollars when wooing Blake with this ring.


6 Catherine Zeta Jones


Many were surprised when Welsh darling Catherine Zeta Jones accepted a marriage proposal from the much older Hollywood actor Michael Douglas back in 1999. The proposal took place on New Year’s Eve with Michael presenting his sweetheart with a 1920’s antique ring by Fred Leighton.

The huge and unusual ring features a 10 carat marquise cut diamond surrounded by 28 smaller stones and set in platinum.

Value: This antique gem is valued at around $1 million.


7 Mariah Carey


The last time diva Mariah was engaged sadly didn’t result in a trip down the aisle but it did at least provide plenty of media coverage due to the massive engagement ring presented by her one time fiance James Packer.

At 35 carats, this emerald cut stone is so large it’s hard to see how Mariah managed to raise her hand! There are single side stones on each shoulder, and it’s set on a plain platinum band – there’s really no need for any more detail as the central stone distracts the eye from everything else! To put it into perspective, this ring is larger than the combined weight of Beyonce’s engagement ring and Kim Kardashian’s sparkler!

Value: Hard to pin down exactly but likely to be in the region of $10 million.



8 Amal Clooney


We imagine Amal must be a seriously special lady, I mean who else would be able to tempt long term bachelor George Clooney into marriage? So, this sophisticated lady deserves a sophisticated ring and George did not disappoint. Given Amal’s job as a human rights lawyer, George purchased a stunning ethically sourced diamond for his fiancee.

The emerald cut stone is around 7 carats and has a classic side stone setting of tapered baguettes set on a platinum band. Rumour has it the new Mrs Clooney thinks her engagement ring is too distracting to wear at work and only wears the rock when she’s with her husband. We’re not sure we could ever take off a ring that’s this gorgeous!

Value: George will have parted with around $750,000 for this stunner.


So, there you have it, Manor By The Lake’s round up of the most awesome engagement rings worn by the great and the good! Even if you don’t have the mega millions budget, we’ve hopefully given you some ideas and inspiration when choosing your own engagement ring. 

If you are recently engaged then why not give our super wedding planners a call today on 01242 245 071 or email to book a private tour of our stunning country Manor house.