Archive for October, 2017

Autumn Inspired Wedding Favours

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If you’re looking for seasonal inspiration for your wedding favours then look no further. This week, our fabulous Manor By The Lake wedding planners have put their heads together and come up with some great ideas for autumnal wedding favours. What’s better, many can be homemade to save you money in the run-up to your big day.


Homemade Chutney

With fruit and vegetables in abundance this season, there’s a great opportunity to get creative in your kitchen and make homemade chutney for your guests. There are plenty of easy to follow recipes for everyday ingredients such as tomato, onion, beetroot, parsnip, pear and apple.

Glass jars can be bought cheaply in bulk online, or if you’re really organised, save any jam jars and ask family and friends to do the same and you may just have enough to go around.

A handwritten label adds an authentic and personal touch and if you’re feeling creative, decorate with ribbon or a lid topper in keeping with your overall theme.


Grow Your Own Christmas Tree

For weddings in the run up to Christmas, why not spread a little fun with a grow your own Christmas tree kit? A pack of Norway Spruce seeds will set you back around £2 for 25 and then you can simply add a plastic plant pot and some printed care instructions.

Wrap your plant pot in hessian and tie with festive ribbon for a really Christmassy feel and if you’re feeling optimistic, you could always also gift a bauble ready for that fully fledged Christmas tree!


Toffee Apples

Be honest, who doesn’t love a toffee apple? It’s the perfect seasonal sweet treat at an autumn wedding. With windfalls around everywhere, you can gather super fresh fruit for free, then it’s just a matter of making your toffee, dipping and inserting sticks.

Leave to set, and then wrap in cellophane and decorate with ribbon and a handwritten tag.


Mini Pumpkins

For weddings around Halloween, we love the idea of creating mini lanterns for guests to take away with them. Tiny pumpkins are available in most supermarkets and farm shops so simply scoop out the seeds and add a tealight. If you’re blessed with time, a steady hand and creative flair you could even carve patterns in each pumpkin!

The beauty of these wedding favours is that they can double as decorations at your venue. They’ll look magical on the tables or dotted around on windowsills and mantelpieces saving you money on additional decorations or floral arrangements.


Tipple Treats

Some of the most popular wedding favours we see are miniatures of booze that are always a hugely welcome gift amongst wedding guests. Some make it home, others don’t see it past the dinner table, but all are greatly appreciated.

For a boozy favour with an autumnal twist, what about miniatures of sloe gin, blackberry or damson vodka? Make early in large batches then simply decant into miniature bottles and label. You could always select different tipples for the male and female guests if you’re looking for a memorable favour option.


Hopefully, we’ve given you some seasonal inspiration for favours for your autumn wedding. Our truly talented wedding planners at Manor By The Lake can give you stacks of inspiration and advice to help plan your big day.

Why not give them a call today on 01242 245 071 or email to book a private tour of our stunning Manor house.

Autumn Wedding Beauty

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This week we’ve set our sights on fabulous autumn beauty looks for your wedding day. Our Manor By The Lake wedding planners have selected their favourite looks, tips and products to help you achieve a flawless seasonal look for your autumn wedding.



Very Berry

For us, the perfect autumnal bridal beauty look is achieved with a rich, stunning berry lip colour. It makes a statement, but isn’t as brash as a pillar box red, and is completely in sync with the season’s key colours.

We Love:

Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution Glastonberry £24

This is a hot favourite with bloggers right now and is the perfect muted purple tone. It’s a matte formula so it glides on easily, looks gorgeous and will stay put all day.


Fairly Flush

A flushed cheek is the ideal way to give brides a warm look that is both radiant and romantic. Choose a blush with warm autumnal shades and give a definite sweep across the apples of cheeks, then finish with a hint of shimmer.

We Love:

Bobbi Brown Brightening Brick in Cranberry £35

This is the best all in one product as it gives that glorious autumnal berry colour but with the added shimmer to help brighten your skin.


Lusciously Lined

If you opt for a bold lip then we highly recommend neutral tones of bone, bronze and soft brown eyeshadows. Accent these with liquid eyeliner on the upper lid and lashings and lashings of mascara… ideally waterproof!

We Love:

Kat Von D Tattoo Liner £16

We absolutely can’t live without this magic liner. The fine tip means you can create dramatic cat’s eye flicks or elegant thin lines with ease. And, as an absolute bonus, it’s also waterproof which frankly is a godsend with all those emotions flying around!


Nude Nails

Call us old-fashioned but we think a simple nude nail is the way to go on your wedding day. You want all eyes on your latest piece of jewellery, not the nails! Either a very pale pink or a milky coffee shade will look elegant and won’t draw attention away from your wedding ring.


We like to think we’re fully clued up on all the latest wedding trends to hopefully we’ve given you some food for thought for your wedding beauty look. For more hints and tips, give our Manor By The Lake wedding planners a call on  01242 245 071 and talk all things weddings!

Inspiring Autumn Wedding Cakes

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Calling all those with a sweet tooth as this week we take a look at some of the most tantalisingly tempting wedding cakes with an autumnal theme!

Our fabulous wedding planners at Manor By The Lake see their fair share of wedding cake creations, so here are just some of the ideas that they love for autumn weddings.



Traditional with a Twist

If you want to stick to a traditional tiered, white iced wedding cake, then there are plenty of creative touches you can add for an autumnal twist.

Why not drape your tiers with delicately crafted fondant icing leaves to create an autumnal trail from top to bottom? We love this version that includes tiny edible acorns – you could also achieve a similar effect with icing berries and twigs.

If you dare to go a little further off-piste, we love this traditional style square cake that’s been designed to appear as if it’s positioned in a barrel of apples. This is definitely a design to get people talking!


Dark and Gold

If your autumnal wedding palette includes rich purples and plum colours with gold accents then this could be the exact style of cake to match your theme. A rich chocolate cake is seen in all its glory with unctuous oozing chocolate icing seeping from each layer.

A scattering of blackberries and figs adds to the rich colour palette and will provide some welcome palate cleansing from all that rich cocoa. As a final touch, two majestic gold deer represent the couple standing proudly on top of this stunning creation.


Delicately Dripped

The dripped cake is still proving extremely popular with brides and grooms and is quite an artistic and decadent style. We love this single layer cake with its generous toffee topping dripping gracefully down the sides.

The mouthwatering heap of fruit and leaves is a clever nod to the season, again using berries for a rich purple accent colour as a wonderful contrast to the white icing.


Pumpkin Tastic

For an October wedding and particularly any date around Halloween, this pumpkin cake would be amazing. Creating the illusion of a stack of real pumpkins, we love the shape and colour of this quirky design and think it would create the most dramatic centrepiece to a wedding reception this autumn.


Marvellous Macaroons 

Finally, if you’re looking for a complete alternative to a traditional wedding cake, why not give your guests dainty macaroons in autumnal colours? We love these gift bags of orange and chocolate macaroons that could also double up as wedding favours as well as making a wonderful sweet treat to serve with after-dinner coffee.


So there you have our favourite options for your autumn inspired wedding cake. At Manor By The Lake, we love everything about autumn weddings and would love to help you plan yours.  Please give our fabulous wedding planners a call today on 01242 245 071 or email to book a private tour of our stunning country Manor.


Autumn Wedding Dress Trends

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The leaves are falling, the nights are drawing in and there’s a distinct chill in the air. Autumn is most definitely here so if you’re planning an Autumn wedding, we’ve rounded up the most useful trends and tips for picking your Autumn wedding dress.

Here’s what the Manor By The Lake wedding planners have learned!



We love the new trend for bridal separates which is being championed by bridal designers everywhere. Big, swooshy ballgown inspired skirts are being paired with crop tops, jackets and even sweaters to create an individual bridal style in abundance.

This is also a really practical way to layer your wedding day outfit by choosing a bodice or cami style top for dancing in, but marrying it with a shrug, jacket or sleeved top for your ceremony.



Wedding dresses featuring sleeves aren’t exactly new but they are given a new lease of life at this time of year as the temperature justifies the desire for a bride to cover her arms.

Whether you opt for dainty lace that provides decorative coverage rather than warmth, or a cashmere sleeve for total cosiness, you’re bang on trend with a sleeve this Autumn. We’ve also picked up on the trend for an extra long sleeve this season so if you’re looking for added drama, this could be the look for you with a delicate sleeve that extends beyond your wrist.



A couple of years ago it seemed impossible to spot a wedding dress that didn’t feature sequins, beads or crystals. This season, the bridal style has gone all upmarket with a tendency towards pearls featuring heavily in new designs.

Pearls offer a slightly less blingy effect due to their more subtle shimmer. So, for brides who are looking for a more understated look, dresses embellished with pearls are definitely the way forward.


High Neck

Possibly first brought to the world’s attention by Pippa Middleton, the high necked dress is hugely popular at the moment. It’s a great look if you want to look elegant, demure and sophisticated, and it works well with a short cap sleeve or a full-length arm.

By drawing the eye higher up the body you create an illusion of an elongated body and accentuated waist which is no bad thing! With your neck covered, there’s no chance to wear a necklace so why not take the opportunity to invest in statement earrings instead?



We’ve long lusted after heavily embellished dresses and gowns that boast decadent lace and embroidery but this season, there’s a key new trend that goes all out for minimalism. Rejecting all bling, a number of designers have gone back to basics with sleek, elegant gowns that use stunning cuts, beautiful seams and divine unadulterated fabrics.



So there you have our top trends for choosing your Autumn wedding dress. At Manor By The Lake we love everything about weddings and are experts in all the latest Autumn trends.  We’d love to help you plan an Autumn wedding so please 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.


Why Choose an Autumn Wedding?

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With Summer something of a distant memory, it’s time to embrace chillier mornings, autumnal colours and misty mellowness. Autumn is a gorgeous season to tie the knot for lots of reasons and to help you make up your mind, we’ve picked a few of our favourites to share with you.

So, read on for Manor By The Lake’s top reasons for choosing an Autumn wedding.


Autumn Colours

Turn to mother nature and drink in the fabulous natural palette that sums up this magical time of year. Think burnt orange, deep red, bright yellow and rich chocolate that are synonymous with autumn. These colours are rich, deep and given their tonal qualities, blend beautifully together. Whether you work these into your decor, flowers, or even your outfits, these distinctive colours will add a fabulous look to your autumn nuptials.


Natural Elements

As well as autumnal colours, there is plenty of inspiration to be taken from nature when it comes to the styling of your Autumn wedding. There are lots of wonderful elements you can add which can be gathered for free from around hedgerows and woodlands. We love the idea of using conkers, pine cones and leaves to enhance your arrangements.

There’s also an abundance of homegrown fruit at this time of year so why not feature apples, pears and blackberries in your decor. For large dramatic arrangements, there’s wonderful scope to use pumpkins and squashes. You could really go to town with carved pumpkins and tealights or simply scoop out the flesh and use as a makeshift vase and fill with seasonal flowers.


Autumn Flowers

There are plenty of options for you to choose between but for us, Autumn wedding flowers should be all about colour. Pick up the rustic colours of the season and choose orange, burgundy, red, purple and plum as your palette. Add interest with berries, seed heads and seasonal foliage for extra texture.

In September calla lilies are plentiful and available in a wealth of colours including a stunning burnt orange – perfect for an Autumn Bride.


Rustic Woodland Theme

With the plentiful supply of twigs, leaves and cones it’s easy to create your entire theme around the season. Invitations can be created from kraft paper with leaf and wreath motifs and why not use rustic looking twine to add to the down to earth feel.

Cut wood trunk sections make wonderful plinths for cakes or table centrepieces and mini wood blocks can form the base for place settings and menus.

We’ve seen some stunning wedding cakes with leaf designs and edible cascading vines and twigs, or what about opting for an on-trend naked wedding cake that’s decorated with seasonal berries?

Hopefully, we’ve started to whet your appetite for an Autumn wedding but don’t worry, there’s plenty more to come! Next week, we’ll be giving our top tips on what to wear for your Autumn wedding.


We think our gorgeous Manor House looks beautiful at all times of the year, but if you’re drawn to all the fabulous qualities of Autumn, then talk to our wedding planners today to find out how we can make your Autumn dream a reality. We’d be happy to arrange a private tour of Manor By The Lake, so call 01242 245 071 or email to make an appointment.

Top 10 Questions to Ask Your Wedding Venue

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Yay! – We’re getting married!

The first thing many couples do after the proposal is start looking for their beautiful wedding venue. Many rush the process without having given any thought of what they really want. Many times we have experienced completely blank faces when couples are asked the very first questions.

‘Have you got a date?’
‘Maybe next year-ish?’

‘How many people are you inviting?’
‘Well, there’s two sets of parents and ermmm?’

‘Are you getting married at the venue or at church?’
‘Oh, what’s normal now?’

It’s a very good idea to have some of these questions prepared as it can save lots of embarrassment when you realise you’ve arrived at the venue totally unprepared. Here’s 10 of our most essential questions with some guidance if you’re stuck.


What the venue should ask you…

calendar11. When are you planning to get married?

Believe it or not, many people haven’t a clue. Most dream of a white wedding in the beautiful summer months of July, August and September, but do remember there is a huge demand for these months, especially on the most popular days of Friday, Saturday and Sunday. School holidays make it easier for families to travel so these dates are in great demand. Why not choose a day earlier in the week? Many venues offer better value on these days and it’s very flexible for young families. Alternatively go for bank holidays and half terms. Winter weddings can be just as magical, if you’ve got a lovely venue why not do something a bit different and use all of their indoor space creatively.

2. How many people are you inviting?

Unless you have a reasonably good idea of your guest list the venue won’t be able to give you a firm costing for the date. There’s always going to be a bit of wiggle room for those you forgot or people who just can’t make it. Allow for 10% either way and you should be okay. A clever venue will be able to offer revised floorplan layouts based on firm numbers nearer to the day which will ensure there aren’t empty spaces or overcrowding. At the Manor we have several different sized venue rooms which allows for a lot of flexibility. Do discuss it with your families just in case someone insists on inviting all your relatives over from America!

3. Will it be a civil service or a church wedding?

The venue staff need to know this so as to prepare the wedding service room for you. It’s an obvious question but surprisingly overlooked. It’s good to check what’s included as many venues aren’t licensed to perform a ceremony and it can be a shock if its left too late. At Manor By The Lake we’re fortunate to have licenses for inside the Manor and outside in the gardens as well, so you can enjoy the summer sunshine when you take your vows.

4. Do any of your guests have special requirements?

Again, sometimes overlooked but if you have elderly guests or someone arrives in a wheelchair it’s important that your wedding venue has easy access. Can people be dropped off at the door? Is there a nice room they can relax if they get tired? Are there rooms on the ground floor for overnight guests who can’t climb stairs? If you book your wedding venue and then realise its unsuitable for many of your guests you may find you’ll lose your deposit if you try and change. It’s best to check.

5. What time of day would you like the wedding to start?

The wedding service is often determined by the time of the wedding breakfast. Many don’t even think of this as being too important, but if you have guests travelling a good distance on the day to join you they will be hungry …and sometimes grumpy. It’s always a good idea to plan for everyone, if you would like to make snacks available for those who have travelled, let the venue know well in advance and the chef can make pre-wedding snacks available to keep everyone happy.


What you need to ask…

exclusively-yours1. Is the venue ‘Exclusive-use’

Sometimes at a hotel, a busy restaurant can put demands on a catering team which could compromise your wedding breakfast. I’ve also been to weddings where hotel guests have tried to join an evening wedding reception or deliberately spoilt the photographs – shocking but it does happen. In an exclusive-use wedding venue all of these fears are put to one side as it’s your wedding, your day and your venue. The only people at your wedding should be the guests that you invited and our attentive staff who will give you 100% undivided attention.

2. How much is the deposit and what are your terms?

Wedding venues typically take a non-refundable deposit, typically £500. Quality venues will consider a refund if there’s changes due to severe illness, bereavement or when there’s other major changes of circumstance. Sometimes if there is demand for your chosen date and you have to cancel, a good wedding venue will refund you as the deposit will be covered by the new party. It’s all about understanding, a wedding venue that cares is always appreciated.

3. What is included in the price?

Any trustworthy wedding venue should give you a detailed list of what is included in your day before you place a deposit. No one appreciates unpleasant surprises which will spoil how you feel about your wedding. Of course you may wish to add extras on to your wish list as you go along, but that’s your choice. If a venue is at all vague right from the start with their details, you really shouldn’t be considering them.

4. Can I add any extra features and decorate the rooms myself?

We believe your wedding day is YOUR wedding day. At the Manor the ballroom is decorated deliberately in muted shades so that you can dress it in your own style. We can make suggestions to help and even offer a number of creative effects, props and lighting to make it very special for you.  But ultimately the venue is yours to dress as you wish.

5. Is your food prepared by in-house chefs?

It is surprising how many wedding venues bring in outside caterers to prepare wedding food. Sometimes, you don’t really know which chef or what quality of food you are going to get until the day. In our opinion, that’s no way to look after over a hundred people on their very special day. We have 3 award-winning chefs at the Manor who can tell you exactly where our food is sourced, how it should be prepared and how it is best served. They know our kitchens inside-out and have a reputation for quality which is noted throughout the county. Your guests will be remembering your day for a very long time, make sure it’s for the right reasons!