Archive for May, 2018

Winter Wedding Ideas

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If you have your heart set on our beautiful wedding venue in Cheltenham this winter, let us help you with some creative Winter Wedding Ideas!

At Manor By The Lake we are great fans of this time of year as couples have the chance to get creative. This season is an increasingly popular one and offers many benefits, so we’ve listed some things you can do to make it extra special!

 1. Get creative with your winter wedding dress code

Winter wedding dresses

Winter weddings are a great time for brides to do something very different, creating an oportunity to take some fantastic photographs. Beautiful wedding dresses featuring faux fur stoles and creative wraps, along with some distinctive winter shoes will look fantastic whilst also keeping you nice and warm.

Use a stronger signature colour through your bridal theme; make your bridesmaid’s dresses more dramatic and use this opportunity to encourage the groom, best man and the ushers to make a bold colour statement too. If you’re struggling with your winter wedding ideas ask to view some of our wedding albums or talk to one of our team to help give you some direction.

2. A warm welcome

Winter wedding food ideas

As your guests arrive, instead of bubbly, greet them with mulled wine for that extra special twist. Yes, often reserved for Christmas parties with friends, mulled wine on a winter wedding day is one of our most popular winter wedding ideas which will warm their hearts as they arrive. Break from tradition and have a cheese cake instead of a regular wedding cake, and offer your canapés fresh from the oven too, it will bring a smile to everyone’s face as they realise you’ve taken their comfort on arrival into account.

3. A seasonal wedding theme

Winter wedding themes
Last year, at Manor By The Lake, we offered a winter wonderland theme option for our couples – it was so popular it was still in demand all the way through to March. With a fabulous ballroom, decorations, sparkling lights and decorated winter trees, guests felt they were in a seasonal paradise.

Don’t feel restrained, explore your own winter wedding ideas; remember this is the season of parties and fun. Whilst many now theme their wedding breakfast from the movies or famous novels, there’s nothing to say you can’t take it a stage further with treasure hunts and competitions, just like Christmas!

4. Unique photographic opportunities

Outdoor winter wedding photographs

A lot of people get hung up on our British weather, but to be honest, we do quite well in winter. Outdoor light has a softer hue which allows the detail in the white of your dress to show through making your photographs look fantastic.

Some of our photographers’ most striking work has taken place during the clear winter nights, with deep blue skies and warm lighting around the gardens and the venue itself they’re never stuck for winter wedding ideas.

The Manor By The Lake team can decorate the paths around the lake with festoon lights and outdoor candles and lanterns, which can make shimmering reflections in the water, giving the approach to the Manor a truly magical feel. If you’re lucky to have snow, what more beautiful way to arrive at the manor than a horse drawn carriage surrounded by gardens of white.

5. Personalise the manor

Let’s face it, Manor By The Lake is a superb venue due mainly to its splendid rooms, many of which feature impressive Victorian fireplaces and amazing period décor. All through the cooler months we light log fires which brighten up rooms and make the atmosphere pleasantly warm and welcoming. Why not have a selection of photographs of the bride and groom placed around the fireplaces, the grand piano and the rest of the Manor to make it feel like it’s your very own luxury home. These could feature family, friends, special occasions and loved ones who can’t be there on the day.

6. A winter paradise honeymoon

There are other great benefits for choosing the winter months. There is more availability during November through to March so you can chose a day in the week that suits you and your families better. Because of this it can also be significantly more cost-effective allowing you the option of making savings which could be put towards an exotic honeymoon in a warmer part of the world. Fly to the Caribbean, Maldives or even Australia, the weather there will be nice and warm allowing you to take an extra ‘summer’ break, just when you need it.


If you need help with your own winter wedding ideas, let us know, we have a great deal of experience.



We also have a number of last-minute and cancellation dates still available, it’s always worth getting in touch to see how we can help.


or call 01242 245 071.

Weddings for foodies… how do you eat yours?

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Something that has become increasingly popular when planning a wedding is the shift in catering towards specific tastes, styles and hobbies. Gone are the days of the static wedding, we now celebrate the couples personalities and style.

One of the biggest movements is the flexibility of the wedding menu, offering a whole host of delicious dining options ready to wow and excite.

There is so much choice when it comes to wedding food, from the traditional sit down three course meals to sociable bowl foods (thanks Meghan and Harry).

So, how are you going to feed your guests? What food excites you? What delicacies do you truly love?

Let’s look and see what options are available and get our mouths watering!

Themed weddings – Prep for your honeymoon!

International wedding menus

Themed weddings are huge this year, largely focusing on foods associated to the couple’s honeymoon destination. It’s such a nice way to seamlessly move through your wedding celebrations.

The most popular destinations for honeymoons include the Maldives, Santorini, Thailand and Bali.

All these stunning locations have equally stunning local cuisine, which can be incorporated into your wedding menu.

Whether you include these flavours in your canapes, your wedding breakfast or as part of your evening food, it will add such a personal touch to your festivities.

Street food to celebrate your journey

Street food has been part of weddings and events for years, but this was always limited to the traditional hog roast. Everyone loves a hog roast with all the trimmings, the apple sauce, the soft buns and the aromatic stuffing… you can’t beat it.

What about those who aren’t a fan of pork, or meat in fact. Why not step outside the box and think about the places you have traveled together as a couple.

Have you spent the evening eating Phad Thai in a street market? Indulged in fish n chips during a glorious beach sunset? Or enjoyed the fresh hit of lime during your Mexican adventure? This is a time that you can really explore your journey as a couple and share it with your friends and family.

Live cooking for excitement and dramatics

Live cooking sessions

Live cooking isn’t just about the delicious food finale, but also about entertainment. Fresh food being spectacularly created in front of you and your guests.

This is all about excitement and drama (in a good way), really adding some zest to your evening.

There is so much choice from curries to paella, chilli to stir fry Hong Kong style. Great way to really incorporate your favourite meals or heritage into your big day.

The Friendly Wedding Breakfast

Locally sourced wedding breakfast

The wedding breakfast is the perfect time to take a load off and relax with good food and delicious wine.

One thing that is becoming more popular with couple’s and their food choices is the knowledge of where the food has come from.

Local, organic and farm to table food is being required as the generation becomes more aware of the treatment of animals and the methods being used to mass produce crops.

There has been a huge shift towards more vegan/vegetarian friendly recipes, always worth thinking about when picking choices for your menu.

Cute Canapes to accompany pre-drinks

Canapes for weddings

Social eating has become very popular during weddings. Allowing you to mix with guests, enjoy a glass of champagne and still be able to tuck into some tiny treats.

These miniature mouthfuls can be as elegant or as quirky as you like, giving the perfect opportunity to create a talking point whilst waiting for the wedding breakfast.

Take cuisine from countries all over the world, from juicy US sliders to satay-style chicken, giving your event a real international edge.

Creative carts and stands

Drinks stands and carts

Carts and stands not only offer decoration and choice, but they are also socially exciting, Pinterest and Instagram love a cart!

2018 has seen a huge rise in gin carts, rum carts and pimp your prosecco stands. Offering guests to move from the bar and create their own style drinks.

The carts can also be seasonal. If you are looking for a true summer vibe, an ice cream cart would be ideal. Winter weddings lend themselves to a s’mores cart, allowing guests to build their own tower of chocolaty, gooey goodness.

Here at Manor By The Lake, we love to help our guests create the perfect wedding menu. Sourcing local food and delivering a taste sensation. Get in touch, so we can help you wow at your pending nuptials. Simply call 01242 245 071 or email

The Royal Wedding Guest List…

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In the lead up to the Royal Wedding, we have seen a huge array of press around Prince Harry and his soon to be bride, Meghan Markle.

Harry and Meghan wedding

Exciting announcements like the Queen agreeing to the marriage (phew!), the decision to have Prince George and Princess Charlotte as Paige boy and Bridesmaid, and discussions of what the newlyweds official title will be.

There have been a couple of dramatic moments with on-going rocky relations between the Markle family and Kensington Palace. Questions around who will walk Meghan down the aisle, press sticking their noses in and paid poses for the tabloids.

It’s not just the guests of Meghan’s that is causing a stir though, Prince Harry is causing controversy of his own.

Prince Harry is inviting two of his ex-girlfriends, Chelsy Davy and Cressida Bonas.

Looking into past Royal weddings, it seems that it is a common thing to invite former partners to big events, especially if they are part of the Royal circle.

Chelsy and Cressida have been friends with the Royals for years, so in their world it seems that this is normal practice.

How about us muggles though, is it ok for your other half to invite their ex to your pending nuptials?

If you are debating this very question, we might be able to help you decide…

The rules behind inviting an ex-girlfriend/boyfriend to your wedding lies heavily around how it will make your soon to be Husband/Wife feel.

If they are not 100% happy with the thought of having your ex there, it’s not worth even moving on to the next few points.  Your wedding is about you two as a couple and making it the happiest of starts to your future marriage.

Are they part of your social world?

If you don’t see this person on a regular basis, do they really need to be part of the next chapter of your life? Leave the past in the past and look forward to a fresh future.

Are kids involved?

If you have children with your ex-partner, you have an on-going responsibility to maintain a family unit. Even if you just invite your ex to the evening, it’s always nice to show a united front for the children.

What is their situation?

The ideal scenario is that your ex is in a relationship themselves and that you all get on as two couples. If this is the case, they will have no problem raising a glass with you to celebrate.

What kind of ex are you?

Some childhood sweet hearts end up being great friends as they grow up, leaving their time together as a happy memory. These kinds of exes are fine to invite.

You share a history, but the idea of you being together now is just laughable. If it’s more of a recent relationship where embers burn, whether it’s anger or passion, then avoid even thinking of sending them an invite. It’s not worth the drama.

Are they going to say yes?

If the family are badgering you to invite an ex, because they are family friends. Maybe leave it until last minute to send that invite out… you know… it would be a shame if they had something else on that day…

Wedding Guests

The debate of the guest list is one that has been going on for centuries. Everyone has an opinion, there is always someone who will be offended, and you are probably going to have to let someone down.

The important thing to remember is that the only people who really matter are you and your other half. Your wedding is about celebrating your future together with those who you want to support you throughout your marriage.

Say thank you to the past and raise a glass to the future, here is to a wonderful start as a married couple.

Contact our wedding team today to discuss possibilities and creative ideas for your big day at Manor By The Lake on 01242 245 071.

Why you should have an Outdoor Wedding at Manor By The Lake

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Wandering around the Manor By The Lake grounds, it’s hard to decipher why you wouldn’t want an outdoor wedding.

The stunning gardens offers multiple areas for weddings and the grandeur of the Manor House offers the most incredible backdrop.

Let us take you on a journey and see what could be of your special day…

Outdoor areas for your perfect ceremony

There are three main outdoor areas for your wedding ceremony at Manor By The Lake, each holding their own unique features.

Pavillion at Manor By The Lake for an outdoor wedding

You will find two licenced areas including The Pavilion and The Arches.

The Pavilion runs just alongside the lake, giving you all the peace and tranquility of its water features and greenery.

Here you can hold your ceremony under the ornate bandstand with your guests lining the aisle.

The Arches at Manor By The Lake for an Outdoor Wedding

Another licenced area incorporates the elaborate architecture of the Manor House, with a ceremony under the Four Arches.

This area also offers some protection from the weather. Giving you shade if it’s a hot day or protection from light wind and rain.

If you are happy to get your marriage made official on another day, a ceremony in the Italian Gardens would be perfect.

These impeccably manicured gardens are updated throughout the year giving you all the beautiful colours of the seasons. Such an idyllic way to incorporate seasonal colours into your wedding photos.

Picture Perfect Backdrops

Once the ceremony is over, you are free to wander the grounds, giving you the opportunity to have your group shots in various areas in the gardens.

Photographic moments on the Bride at Manor By The Lake

A popular photographic moment includes the bridge over the lake. Perfect for a quiet moment for you and your new spouse.

Another popular area for photography is on Yew Tree Walk. Lined spectacularly by our domed yew trees and surrounded by our beautifully manicured lawn.  You can have shots from the balcony, or looking towards the Manor.

Wedding Couple with wedding umbrella

The Environment for a more relaxing day

Outdoor weddings at the Manor give you room to breathe and provides more space to relax.

Italian Gardens at Manor by The Lake for an Outdoor Wedding

Being outdoors in the fresh air is more family friendly as the children don’t feel as confined. Parents can relax more as noises from the little ones don’t carry as far and it gives an all round more enjoyable experience.

Everyone feels happier when they are out and about surrounded by nature and the natural lighting lends itself to showing off your better side.

Natural lighting, natural beauty

Throughout the day the natural light changes, providing a shift in ambiance as you go from sun rise to sunset.

Married Couple in the Sunset at Manor By The Lake

Some may prefer the brightness of the early afternoon sun, perfect for a lighter/brighter wedding. This can then lead on to a late afternoon wedding breakfast.

Holding your ceremony later in the day can provide a more calming atmosphere. Such a gorgeous time for photos and can be a little cooler for those in suits during the summer months.

Dusk weddings are incredibly romantic, complete with sunset and twinkle lights, the possibilities are endless.

The beauty of an outdoor wedding also lends itself to spending less on décor. You can add your own personal touches to the chairs and aisle, but other than that your wedding decoration is provided by Mother Nature.

The option of moving your outdoor wedding indoors last minute

As, it is the UK and the weather doesn’t always behave, outdoor weddings can be moved indoors last minute.

The grounds are exclusively there just for you, so you have the freedom to move your wedding to suit the weather.

Talk to our team about your creative ideas with an outdoor wedding at Manor By The Lake by calling on 01242 245 071 or via email on