Archive for the ‘Weddings’ Category

Last-minute Wedding Guide

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Why have a last-minute wedding? | Picking the perfect venue|

Type of Ceremony | Spread the news | Dress to impress |

So, your other half has popped the question! Firstly, congratulations from us all at The Manor. Secondly, what can we do to help?

For some, you have been awaiting, imagining and planning your wedding since you were little. For others, you have no idea where to start or what you want.

If you’re the planning sort and want to explore every possible detail, then setting a date for 1- or 2-years’ time might be for you. If you just want to get down that aisle and can’t wait to say ‘I do’, let us help you plan the ultimate last-minute wedding.

Taking into consideration time-restraints for a legal wedding, the ideal time frame you will be looking at is 8 weeks before your big day.

You will need this time to make sure you have a registrar booked. This needs to be done before anything else is booked, as Registrars can be limited, especially in the popular wedding months.

The other time restrictive task you will need to keep in mind is your final planning meeting 4 weeks before your big day. This is the time when you confirm final details with your wedding planner, from your final numbers to suppliers being used.

Why Wait? Practical reasons for booking a last-minute wedding

Wedding accessories

There are many practical reasons why people choose to not wait for your special date.

One of the most popular reasons being the pending addition to your soon-to-be family.

For some, tradition is very important, so you may want to get married before giving birth or the adoption process is finalised. The good news is you usually get at least 8 months’ notice before their arrival. For the ladies, fitting in your dress may be of importance, so an 8-week wedding would be ideal.

Perfect for civil servants

Armed forces wedding at Manor By The Lake

Civil servants such as teachers, armed forces and even those in the NHS are really restricted when it comes to holidays and time off. A last-minute wedding could be for you…

If you book your date when you know for sure that you will be off school or in the country, then this can all be planned before usual work duties resume.

You also have that holiday time to help plan and be involved, rather than only hearing the odd snippet of your special day during the planning process.

Picking the perfect time for your honeymoon

Honeymoon destinations

In the past few years, the wedding world has seen a shift in the importance of the honeymoon. Some are opting to spend less on the wedding day itself and more on their once-in-a-lifetime trip, whilst others ask for travel vouchers rather than wedding gifts.

If there is a specific location you are looking at for your honeymoon, the time of year you go can be of the essence, especially if good weather is on your ‘must-have’ list.

The most popular destinations for honeymoons include the likes of the Maldives, Thailand, Bali and Bora Bora, all absolutely stunning locations; but with all that beauty comes monsoon seasons.

If your chosen destination is in season now, you may not want to wait a whole year before going away with your new spouse.

In the same breath, maybe it’s not the honeymoon weather you are excited by; maybe it’s the beautiful UK seasons that you love.

Wedding seasons to adore

Manor By The Lake in different seasons

It could be the start of autumn, you’re looking around and falling deeper and deeper for the turning leaves and warm colours. It might be spring going into summer and there’s nothing you want more than a glass of fizz in the gardens with your friends and family with warmth radiating on your face.

You don’t have to wait a year for that season to come around again; get booking and embrace the beauty of your favourite season with a last-minute wedding.

The most prevalent reason for our guests deciding to book a last-minute wedding is cost. Like any industry, with a last-minute decision comes fabulous savings.

Not just with ourselves at Manor By The Lake, but if there is availability for bands, entertainment, photographers and other suppliers alike at this point in the year, they may also have some deals on offer.

Maybe there isn’t a reason, maybe there isn’t any practicality in your decision, maybe one day you just look at your other half and decide you no longer want to wait to become their husband or wife.

This is the time when a last-minute wedding can be so exciting and a pure whirlwind of emotion. Book today, make quick decisions and lose all the drama that comes with intricate planning and over-thinking.

We will help you with our last-minute wedding guide…

Picking the perfect last-minute wedding venue

Manor By The Lake Outside photo

Credit Dearest Love Photography

Your last-minute wedding can be made incredibly easy by purely choosing the right venue. It’s all down to the facilities available and services they provide. Picking the right venue can save you so much time, planning and admin work, helping keep things running smoothly.

Wedding Specialists

If we were to offer one main tip, when picking your last-minute venue, it would be to choose somewhere that specialises in weddings and events. These venues come with some facilities already in place from tables to cutlery and functioning bar.

Couple getting married Manor By The Lake

Credit Dearest Love Photography

Everything from their garden layouts to their internal décor will be dedicated to creating the perfect wedding environment, whether it’s a classic manor house setting, or a more modern, eclectic style.

One wedding, One Venue

A venue where you can get married and hold the reception would also be amazing. This takes away the worry of hiring wedding cars and trying to find a church or second venue last minute. Having just one venue all day will also save you heaps of money.

One venue will also save you buying two lots of décor, all your focus can be on making one venue stunning.

First Dance at Manor By The Lake

Credit Dearest Love Photography

Can you stay over?

When booking a tour around your final shortlist of venues its always worth asking if you can stay the night before and the night after. This saves so much time in the morning and allows your day to be that much calmer.

You can enjoy the luxury of arriving the night before and waking up in your chosen venue. Just imagine being able to get ready in a leisurely fashion, eating a delicious breakfast and when it’s time, just strolling across to your soon to be Husband/Wife.

The support of a wedding team

Another great tip would be to choose a venue that comes with a fully functioning wedding planning team. These wonderful people are the pros and they will talk you through every step, helping keep your head clear.

They will have a system in place which will help you plan to every little detail, ensuring that nothing is missed. They are experienced, creative and have enjoyed many weddings, so they know what needs to be done.

The great thing about having a wedding planning team is that they also know the latest wedding trends, so if you need to discuss ideas or in need of inspiration, they will be on hand.

If you find a wedding venue, with a team, also ask about their wedding collections and packages. All the basics will be covered within these collections from table linen to arrival drinks, giving you a great base to start adding your own personal touches.

Delicious food and drinks collections available

Food has become a huge part of weddings. Long gone are the days of basic dining and we have welcomed a whole new realm of exciting canapes, delicious food carts and even live cooking.

Food at Manor By The Lake

This style of dining may seem a little overwhelming if you are trying to plan things last minute, but if you chose a venue with internal caterers, it’s as simple as making an order and leaving the pros to it.

Having a venue with food and drink collections in place will be a huge help.  Giving you some food’spiration and covering all the basics when it comes to feeding and watering your guests. These collections generally include a welcome drink, wedding breakfast, a drink for toasts, evening food and a glass of wine for each guest. However, each venue varies.

Good connections with local suppliers

Last but not least, find a venue who has good connections with local suppliers. They can recommend people who they have worked with in the past, so they know the venue. This will also help with booking, as the venue can give you all the contact details and names that you need from photographers and entertainment to Love Letters and florists.

Flowers at Manor By The Lake

Credit Dearest Love Photography

When it comes to finding your perfect venue, choose a place that makes you fall in love all over again. Somewhere that makes your heart soar and makes you feel at home. If it suits your style, your budget and your dreams then it is the venue for you.

Seal the deal with the perfect ceremony

The beauty with modern day weddings is that there are so many ways that you can get married.  Whether you’re religious, spiritual or just want to be legally joined to your loved one.

In the UK, 28 days is the shortest time frame for you to be legally wed. If you wanted to do it sooner than that, VEGAS BABY!

Before booking your last-minute wedding, we would suggest checking the availability of your registrar or church. Without either of these, a legal wedding is not possible.

What is a civil wedding?

Civil ceremony at Manor By The Lake

A civil marriage is a ceremony with no religious affiliation. It is performed by a government or civil official and meets all the requirements needed for a legal wedding.

Civil ceremonies take place at a registered venue of your choice. This can be in a beautiful manor house, a rustic barn or even under a beautiful gazebo in your favourite gardens.

It’s important to check with the venue that the area you want to have your ceremony in or under is registered before booking.

If you’re not religious, then a civil ceremony is for you. They don’t include any hymns, religious readings or prayers. However, readings or songs of other styles can be included to make it beautifully personal.

To have a civil wedding, you will need to book a registrar. Each county is different, but during the busy wedding season, their availability can be quite limited. So, we would always advise booking them in at least 4 – 6 weeks in advance.

Can I book a church last minute?

Church wedding

Each parish is different, and a last-minute church wedding can be tricky, but can also be done.

To enjoy a religious ceremony in your local church you much attend the Sunday service for three consecutive weeks to have your banns read. This signifies that you wish to get married. It is possible to skip this process; however, you will need to apply for a common licence.

Each church differs; however, they generally request that you regularly attend the services. If you only visit now and again, or not at all the Vicar may request you join a wedding preparation class.

Churches can be booked months in advance, so it is worth talking to your local vicar ASAP to see if there is any availability during the time that you wish to get married if this is the style of wedding that you are looking for.

What is a celebrant wedding?

Celebrant wedding

A celebrant wedding is a non-official ceremony held by an officiant. They are relaxed, informal and can be held anywhere.

There are no restrictions when it comes to a celebrant wedding, meaning it can be 100% in your own style. This is perfect for those who differ in beliefs or want to get married in a specific place.

Your service can be as long, or as short as you like depending on the ceremony content you decide on.

To make your wedding official you will need to sign the register at your local registry office after (or before) the ceremony takes place. To do this, you will need to book the signing room, take along two witnesses and sign the documents.

The type of ceremony needs to reflect on your own beliefs and style. If you want to celebrate your faith as well as your marriage, don’t settle for anything less than a church ceremony. If you want your favourite songs playing, along with personal readings and poems, maybe a civil or celebrant marriage is more you.

Celebrate your love in your own special way and your personality will shine through beautifully.

Spread the news

Last-minute weddings come with time restraints. Your numbers and food choices need to be back in time for your final planning meeting so you need to get the good news of your pending nuptials out there ASAP.

There are many ways to make inviting your loved ones easier and quicker, which doesn’t involve hours of design, glueing and address label making (although that is always fun).

Why not use social media invitations

Manor By The Lake Whatsapp message

If you want to go the whole hog of save the dates, invitations and planning invites, then maybe start with a very 2018 WhatsApp group or Facebook event. This gets the date out there, so people can book in their diary.

Each of these electronic services offers read receipts when your invitee has received the message and they can quickly respond with a yes, no, or maybe with the tap of a finger.

For your actual invites, a more formal method might be required. There are many ways that you can create beautiful e-cards that give your guests all the information you would usually get in a normal invite.

Or an e-card…

Your e-card can then link to a wedding website. Within this website, you can include additional information including dietary requirements, local hotel information and menu choices.

Wedding websites can also offer an insight into your wedding design, helping you incorporate your wedding colours, design attributes and even pictures of you as a couple to really set the scene.

The fantastic thing with doing everything online is that it also saves printing costs and is more environmentally friendly. Perfect for those who hate paper waste and want to do their little bit to make our world a better place.

You can still keep to traditional invites!

Traditional Invitations

By Not on the High Street

If you want to keep with the traditional invite styles, we would suggest going high street or a simple print design.

Order invitations which are already designed and that you just need to add names and addresses. There are some stunning designs out there to enjoy, including a variety of different colours. It’s hard to not find styles that match your wedding design.

A simple one-page design can also be put together and printed in a very short space of time. Information needed on your design includes a space for names, wedding date, wedding time, the address for the ceremony and reception, as well as RSVP instructions.

If you use a couple of lovely fonts and some good quality paper, then this is easy to print, envelope and sent to your nearest and dearest.

Dress to impress…

With many wedding boutiques asking for 9-12 months to secure the dress of your dreams, finding the perfect wedding dress at short notice may be your biggest area of concern. However, we’ve done our research and have rounded up several fabulous options that are far more readily available for a last-minute wedding.

Hit the High Street – High Street Wedding Dresses

There is a growing trend for High Street stores offering ready-to-wear wedding attire for brides, grooms, and their attendants. Not only are these options easy to source; they are normally much more cost effective than a designer gown from a specialist boutique and you don’t need an appointment to try them on!

Phase Eight has clearly taken inspiration from some of the most popular wedding dress designers with their intricate beading, delicate lace, and romantic designs. With prices starting at just £275, they’re practically a steal!

Phase Eight wedding dresses

As seen on Phase Eight

As one of the first stores to offer an affordable bridal range, Monsoon offers stunning dresses from £229 in a wide range of styles, so whether you want a short and flirty number, or something more classical, this range is worth a look! They’re also a great place to go for bridesmaid and page boy outfits and fabulous accessories.

We think Debenhams is the ultimate one stop shop for wedding parties everywhere. Grooms, ushers and page boys will find everything they need to hire or buy from suits and waistcoats to cummerbunds and cufflinks.

There are gorgeous ranges for bridesmaids and flower girls as well as designer ranges for brides from Ben de Lisi and Savannah Miller. With underwear, shoes and wedding favours on offer too, you can kit out your entire event in one go!

Moss Bros wedding suit

As seen on Moss Bros

If the groom is keen to sort himself, then pack him and the boys off to Moss where they’ll find a huge range of options for both contemporary and traditional looks. As well as being able to hire everything; including shoes; there’s also the option to go down the tailoring route. So, if he’s in need of a new suit, this could be the perfect time to treat himself with something made to measure.

If you want to completely put your feet up and shop online, retailers such as ASOS, Boohoo and Missguided all have their own range of wedding dresses, including bridesmaid dresses and wedding accessories.

ASOS wedding dresses

As seen on ASOS

You may not be able to try before you buy, but you can shop and try on your dress in the comfort of your own home and send back if it’s not what you are looking for.

Dying for Designers – Designer Wedding Dresses

If your heart is set on a designer dress then there are still options available at short notice. Register your interest with all your favourite boutiques and brands so that you’ll be the first to be notified of any trunk or sample sales. You may just get lucky with an event in the lead up to your big day where you can snare your perfect outfit at a significant discount.

Another option is searching the buoyant second-hand market for your dream dress. With many popular designers such as Jenny Packham and Vera Wang charging thousands for their creations, there’s a healthy market for resale from brides hoping to claw back some of their very hefty investment.

We’ve seen £4,000 dresses sell for just over a quarter of their original price, so it’s definitely worth having a look at sites such as Still White and Pre-Loved for any bargains.

Make sure the sellers have included lots of photos and ideally, travel to see the dress and try it on in person rather than buying unseen. Dresses that have been professionally dry cleaned and have all their original tags and receipts, as well as spare buttons and beading, are a good buy.

If you’re limited by time rather than budget and you’ve set your heart on a very particular dress that you’ve seen in a boutique, then talk to them about the option of a priority order to secure your dream dress in the time you have available. Some designers can offer a speedy service, but may ask you to pay for the privilege.

Pretty Pumpkins or Gorgeous Ghouls | Beautiful Halloween Wedding Styles

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As children, there were always the two different types of trick or treater. The cute cat with delicate whiskers and painted on nose or the blood covered, crazy haired zombie.

It’s the same with weddings. Each year we look forward to the ultimate Halloween themed wedding, whether it’s a day adorned with pretty pumpkins and autumnal colours or a full-on ghoulish affair.

There are so many ways to create a Halloween theme wedding from your choice of stationery to your wedding decor. Let us help you decide what type of Halloween wedding would suit you with these fabulous Halloween wedding ideas.

Day of the Dead Wedding Theme

Day of the Dead style wedding

Since the release of Coco, Day of the Dead has increased in popularity. It’s the perfect theme to introduce intricate detailing, beautiful patterns and skull inspired accessories.

Day of the Dead, although creepy and spooky, it is also striking and colourful. It’s the perfect way to have all the traits of a Halloween style wedding with Mexican flavour.

Think delicious Mexican foods, lace table cloths, delicately designed invitations and feisty coloured bridesmaid dresses.

Pretty Pumpkin Wedding Accessories

Pumpkin Style Weddings

Floral Pumpkin Display: Kristina Curtis

Mr & Mrs Pumpkins: Kelly Lane Photography

Aisle Pumpkin Décor: Photo by Meaghan Elliot Photography


This trend is one for the autumnal loving couple. Pumpkins come in all shapes and sizes, lending themselves perfectly for wedding accessories.

They can be used instead of floral decor, as a vase for flowers, as center pieces, welcome signs and even as name places. They can be carved, painted or left natural to create a plethora of effects.

Align your aisle, welcome your guests and get creative with a simple pumpkin. You could also include it as part of your wedding menu for an autumnal finish.

Gorgeous Gothic Colours

Gothic Halloween weddings

Invitations – Etsy

Autumnal Flowers & Horse and Carriage credit – Noel Hibbert Cotswold Pictures

As autumn comes in colours start getting richer, warmer and darker. Giving us the ultimate opportunity to bring out our gothic side.

Gothic style weddings are filled with opulent colours, dramatic décor and incredible textures. You can be as bold as you like, incorporating the likes of jewels, lace and silks.

The style and architecture of The Manor offers itself perfectly for a gothic wedding, offering the perfect backdrop for your wedding photos. Go all out with your wedding attire, or keep it simple with hints of beautiful darkness.

Classic Halloween Wedding Style

Classic Halloween Weddings

Photography credit – Noel Hibbert Cotswold Pictures

When it comes to Halloween you can’t beat the classic use of cauldrons, witches’ hats and cobwebs. There is something so fun and enjoyable about a wedding that homes all of these elements.

We had a fabulous wedding with a lovely couple called Hayley and Claire back in October 2017 who had the most amazing Halloween themed wedding. Everything from their shoes to their transport oozed classic Halloween style. There was even a snowy white owl involved!

They had cute cauldrons as name settings, pumpkins as décor, stunning autumnal floral arrangements and crazy Halloween patterns on their shoes, cake and confetti. A perfect day to celebrate their love for each and this fabulously ghoulish holiday.

To hold your own Halloween style wedding at Manor By The Lake, call our team on 01242 245 071 or email

Film Themed Weddings You will Love

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Every couples wedding is different, especially when it comes to their wedding style. Some wedding themes are influenced by colour, others by an era, and more recently films.

Film themed weddings are increasing in popularity and why not! Many couples fall in love because of certain movies, whether it’s from what they watched on their first date, their shared love of a genre or the general romance associated with a certain flic.

Why not design your wedding day on one of these fairy tales for your happy ever after…?

Disney Themed Weddings

Disney Wedding Themed

Disney films are filled with the ultimate couple goals, romantic quotes and beautiful scenes. Everyone has a favourite moment, a favourite character and has grown up falling in deeper love with its nostalgic feel.

The great thing about Disney is that there is something for everyone, from the comedy and quick wit of Hercules to the classic romance of the Disney princesses.

Invite the likes of Belle, Cinderella, Mickey or Minnie to your wedding day, but beware their outfits may outdo yours.

Add a bit of Harry Potter Magic

Harry Potter Always Cake

Quotes such as ‘After all the time? Always’ and “You are protected, in short, by your ability to love” are just 2 of the reasons why Harry Potter is one of the best loved collections of all times.

The emotional connection and beautiful words included in the books and on screen has captured the heart and soul of many generations. Why wouldn’t you want the same magic, love and feel of the films included in your wedding day?

Let Star Wars take your Wedding to a Different Dimension

Star Wars Storm Troopers

Star Wars has been in our lives for many years, taking our imagination to a whole new world… literally. Many relationships have been built up and opinions divided by peoples love of the franchise.

Adding the look and feel of the Star Wars brand will give your wedding day an almost futuristic feel.

Imagine hiding R2D2 into your wedding cake, having a light saber archway to walk through or by having a customized runner quoting the start of your favourite Star Wars film?

Such a cool way to start your married life!

Make everything awesome with a Lego Movie Wedding

Lego style wedding Cake

Lego is loved by all kids big and small. It is colourful, fun and now a big hit on screen as well as in our children’s toy box.

One of our favourite wedding cakes this year must be this Lego cake. At first glance it’s a normal wedding cake, but as you turn the three-tier beauty around, you are greeted with the intricate detail of mini Lego bricks and much-loved Lego characters.

This theme can be incorporated in many areas of your wedding day, from centre pieces to entertainment for the children.

It really does prove, that your wedding day doesn’t have to be serious.

Style it out the Great Gatsby Way

1920s Wedding Stationery

Stationery by Not on the High Street

Go back to a time of elegance, sparkle and cigars, and be inspired by the Great Gatsby. Since Leo raised his fizz filled champagne saucer, couples love for the 1920s has grown.

Weddings of this style are filled with opulence, accents of gold and plenty of champagne. They are the perfect opportunity to incorporate Jazz, Blues and Broadway style entertainment giving guests the ultimate environment to have a dance.

Take the geometric patterns and beautiful fonts and create a world of sophistication and class, ready for you to walk down that all important aisle.

If you want to talk through your film themed wedding with our weddings team give them a call on 01242 245 071 or email

A Tail of True Love | Pet Friendly Venue

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As you walk through the arch of The Manor, it is very clear to see where (aside from weddings) our passions lie. From the attention to detail we give our gardens to the loving tender care we offer to our wildlife.

Ducks roam happily alongside the lake, squirrels jump from branch to branch and if you’re lucky you can find baby moorhens and rabbits running around on the grass.

Our love of animals and nature is why we pride ourselves as being a pet friendly venue.


Dog lovers will know that on Sunday, it’s National Dogs Day. A day to celebrate all breeds and sizes. From the loving companions to service gods who dedicate their lives to helping, saving and looking after us humans.

To celebrate this wonderful day, we thought we would invite

one of our friends, preferred photographer Dan Morris and his faithful side kick Sid in for a day of photography.

Sid is a stunning dachshund who has a girlfriend called Sasha. They’ve been together a couple years now and lucky for us, he has just popped the question!

Welcome to the wedding of Sid and Sasha…

A Tail of True Love

From the offset it was clear to see that Sid was the excitable groom for the day. He couldn’t wait to get his fiancé down the aisle.

Sid in The Manor gardens

Photo Credit: Dan Morris Photography

The couple broke tradition and spent the morning before their nuptials together (such rebels). However, they did spend a little separate time alone just before the ceremony.

Sasha took some time out to get ready in the library, straightening out her veil and spend some time with her humans before she walked the aisle.

Sasha the dog in a pet friendly venue

Photo Credit: Dan Morris Photography

Sid decided a drink in the Rock Bar was in order, so he picked out his favourite tunes on the Juke Box including Snoop Dog, ‘Who let the dogs out’ and his personal favourite ‘Hound Dog’.

He also challenged his human to a game of pool… didn’t go too well, no opposable thumbs, cheated a little… we won’t go into too much detail.

Dog with pool table

Photo Credit: Dan Morris Photography

We now pronounce you husband and woof!

The ceremony was a quiet affair, just family invited, and it took place in the Maximilian.

There was a classic moment when a guest boxer barked as the registrar said ‘if anyone has any reason why this …’ he was joking, the others howled and then the couple were pronounced husband and woof.

Dogs under The Manor Arches

Photo Credit: Dan Morris Photography

The wedding photo shoot

For their photo shoot, they went for a mix of posed and candid shots. Taking advantage of the beautiful architecture and gardens of The Manor.

Dogs with the Yew Trees

Photo Credit: Dan Morris Photography

They raised a glass of Pawsecco together in The Rock Bar…

Dogs in The Rock Bar at The Manor

Photo Credit: Dan Morris Photography

Sasha subtly let Sid know how this marriage was going to go…

Dogs in The Manors Rock Bar

Photo Credit: Dan Morris Photography

They lounged around in the library…

Pet friendly venue Library

Photo Credit: Dan Morris Photography

Enjoyed playing around with a few photo props… although these became more of a chew toy so had to be swiftly removed from the photo session. Some dogs just can’t handle their Pawsecco!

pet friendly venue in the library

Photo Credit: Dan Morris Photography

We also captured a beautiful moment of them gazing lovingly out of the window, reflecting on their very special day…

Dogs in a pet friendly venue

Photo Credit: Dan Morris Photography

The day came to a close and the couple decided to retreat to their room, to spend their first evening together as husband and woof.

Dogs in room 12 at The Manor

Photo Credit: Dan Morris Photography

I’m sure you will join us in congratulating them for the being the first pups to marry at The Manor and to wish them a life time of happiness together.

Here’s to you, Sid and Sasha Morris!

A pet friendly venue in Gloucestershire…

If you’re interested in having your fur baby as part of your day, then please talk to our team on 01242 245 071 or email

We would like to say a huge thank you to Dan Morris for not only letting us use Sid as a model, but for also taking such stunning photos. We would also like to say thank you to Sasha and Sasha’s lovely Humans for joining us for the day.

They say to never work with animals or humans… not the case for these beauties. They were absolute gems.

If you’re looking for a photographer for your wedding, please check out Dan’s website to look through his work. He can be contacted on for more information.

Wedding signs your guests will love

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Wedding days are about celebrating the start of your marriage and the love that you and your other half share.

The other side of weddings are that you also need to organise your friends and family into making sure they are in the right place, doing as you wish, without having a bridezilla moment…

We have worked out over time, that being clear about what you want from your guests really helps, especially when it comes to having a big wedding party.

There are many ways to do this from hiring a master of ceremonies to printing a time line on your wedding stationery. One of our favourite ways of doing this is via quirky wedding signs.

These are a great way to express your personality and humour, whilst politely organising your wedding party throughout your day.

Choose a seat, not a side

Navigation wedding signs

Photo Credit: The Wedding of my Dreams ; Rachel Hayton ; Mathew Irving Photography

A difficult moment, that some couples come across is the seating of their family and friends during the ceremony.

Whether it’s because one side of the family is bigger than the other, underlying family feuds or if the couple has lots of shared friends.

The best way to deal with this is by letting your guests mingle and not stick to the bride vs grooms’ side.

These can also extend into the evening, if you don’t want to organise a seating plan for your reception.

Here are some lines you can use…

‘Choose a seat, not a side, we’re all family of the Groom and Bride’

‘Choose a seat, not a side, we’re all family when the knot is tied’

‘Now that we are together forever. Please feel free to sit wherever’

‘Whether your relation is to the groom or the bride, their wish is for guests to choose a seat, not a side’

‘Family and Friends of the Bride and Groom. Please sit together, there’s plenty of room!’

Don’t run away, she’s on her way…

Here she comes wedding signs

Credit : Love my Dress ; Huffington Post

A great way to include your Mini VIP’s in your day is by giving them little jobs. One of these jobs could be to walk ahead of the bride down the aisle carrying the ‘here she comes sign’.

This can be done in a romantic or humorous fashion, depending on the style of the wedding.

In loving memory

In loving memory

Photo Credit : Etsy ; Etsy

The heart-breaking side of weddings is when your loved ones can’t be there. Whether they live too far away, have other plans which they can’t get out of, are too poorly to attend or have sadly passed on.

There are still ways that you can incorporate your missing loved ones into your ceremony.

Some choose to use a burning candle, others include them in their speech. A lovely poem in the reception room is also a perfect way to keep the missing, present.

Trust me, you can dance. – Alcohol

Fun wedding signs

Photo Credit : Lovers of Love Photography ; John Barwood ; Etsy

Weddings vary so much when it comes to how they are presented. Some couples like to keep their wedding day intimate concentrating on the tiny details, others go all out and focus heavily on the entertainment and evening shenanigans.

A simple sign can really set the scene and let your guests know what kind of party it is.

A little treat…

Wedding signs tired feet

Wedding favours have moved on from a little treat at the wedding breakfast, to little treats throughout the day.

Some weddings have flip flops by the dance floor, refresh pampering products in the bathrooms and emergency kits for the morning after. These little stations can be enhanced with a clever sign or message, to encourage guests to treat themselves.

Don’t be late for a very important date!

Time plan

Timing is of the essence at weddings. You want everyone to enjoy ever aspect of the day, so knowing what to do, where to go and what time it is happening is paramount.

Put together a timeline to match the style of your wedding. Those going for a rustic wedding have used pallets in the past, a more elegant style offers itself perfectly for a mirror with white writing.

And they lived happily ever after…

Happily ever after

Every fairy tale has a beautiful ending and what better way to finalise your day with a little line of ‘and they lived happily ever after…’

Talk to our team today about creative inspiration for organising your wedding day. You can call us on 01242 245 071 or email

Alternative Wedding Cakes

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Venue booked, invites sent… what’s next? THE WEDDING CAKE! Over the years, the traditional wedding cake of alcohol-soaked fruit has started to diminish, being replaced with a variety of flavours.

Recently, a new craze of cake has started appearing at weddings. Alternative wedding cakes!

These beautiful statement pieces are for those who aren’t a fan of the usual sponge and icing and want something a little bit different, going for ingredients more suited to their palate.

If you think about it, your wedding ‘cake’ can be made from anything. If it can be stacked and decorated to suit your colour scheme, all rules go out the window.

Here are a few inspirational alternative wedding cakes to get your creative juices flowing!

‘Cheese Cake? A Cake of Cheese?!’

Wedding cake of cheese

Wedding Cheese Cake Stack 1

Wedding Cheese Cake Stack 2

Wedding Cheese Cake Stack 3

Wedding Cheese Cake Stack 4

Wedding Cheese Cake Stack 5

If you are a cheese fan, you know the love is real. You watch videos of oozing cheese, can’t go without stealing a chunk or two whenever you open your fridge door and you have hour long conversations of various cheese that you have tasted in your life time.

There are so many different cheeses out there, offering different sizes, shapes, colours, smells and flavours, it’s the perfect way to treat your guests (unless they’re lactose intolerant’).

Either build one yourself by visiting your local farm shop or check out some of these delicious cheesy towers from high street retailers!

Cheese cake part 2

Cheesecake wedding cakes

Cake 1 – Sweet Obsession

Mini Cakes 2 – Shooting Hip Photography

Cake 3 – Credit Alisa Chapman Photography

Cake 4 – Chic Vintage Brides

Stepping towards a creamier cheese, why not indulge your guests with an actual cheesecake.

These have the versatility and the sweetness of a sponge wedding cake, but with extra creamy goodness.

Offering a slightly cheaper alternative, the wedding budget can stretch to a variety of cheese cakes for different tastes, giving you and your guests a choice of flavours.

Stacked Wedding Cakes

Alternative wedding cakes

Many brides and grooms have caught onto the fact that you can stack pretty much anything to create a tower of deliciousness. This started off with cute cupcakes but has progressed into some fabulous cakes!

This style is so much easier when it comes to handing out to guests. No cutting required, and friends and family can help themselves. Make sure you hold some back for yourself though, all is fair in love and cake.

This style of wedding cake suits itself to a variety of shapes including a colourful stack of doughnuts, glamorous Ferrero Rochers, delicate macaroons or an oozing stack of brownies.

Rice Crispy Wedding Cake

Alternative wedding cake style

Rice Crispy Wedding Cake 1 – Photo Credit : Kina Wicks Photography

Rice Crispy Wedding Cake 2

Rice Crispy Wedding Cake 3

Rice Crispy Wedding Cake 4

Since the childhood days of messy cake making and eating marshmallow off the spoon, these deliciously gooey chunks of goodness have been given an upgrade and turned into wedding cakes!

These can be created from multiple mini rice crispy cakes in a stacked fashion, or you can create 3 big cakes for a tiered wedding cake of dreams.

Pork Pie Wedding Cake

Pork Pie Wedding Cakes

Pork Pie Alternative Wedding Cake 1

Pork Pie Alternative Wedding Cake 2

Moving away from the sweet cakes, back onto something a little more savoury with Pork Pie Cake.

Ideal for a more rustic looking wedding, these can be accompanied with a selection of chutneys, coleslaw and pickles.

Classic, cool and utterly delicious.

The thing we adore about weddings today, is that they can be whatever you want them to be.

Long gone are the days where you were restricted by tradition. The choice is now based around you as a couple, with your tastes, hobbies and style being the focus.

If you are looking for some creative inspirations, feel free to give our team a call on 01242 245 071 or email

How to Keep Children Entertained at Weddings : The Ultimate Guide

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Couples who have many mini guests on their list, always have the same question of how to keep children entertained at weddings.

We love to see littles ones at weddings. Their cute outfits, their infectious energy and they do make the cutest wedding pics. But what happens when they get bored, fidgety or start running riot? Parents get anxious, guests get agitated and everything gets that little bit chaotic.

There are so many ways to make sure that this doesn’t happen, it’s just having the props and accessories to keep things running as planned.

It may take a little imagination and a small section of the wedding budget, but if you have lots of children attending your big day, it will be totally worth it.

Outdoor weddings…

Outdoor weddings are a godsend for little ones and their parents. It makes them feel less enclosed, their voices don’t carry as far and there is so much distraction when the ceremony just isn’t doing it for them.

outdoor weddings with kids

It does mean that you need to be a little prepared for the varying UK weather. This means sun cream stations if it’s a particularly hot day or umbrella’s if it decides to rain.

With outdoor weddings come the outdoor games! Set up an area where your guests can enjoy a spot of croquet, take part in an intense round of giant Jenga or even set up a simple grid for hopscotch.

Manor By The Lake offer a fantastic range of giant garden games, ready for guests big and small. A fantastic chance to enjoy the glorious British outdoors in all of its glory.

Get Bouncing!

Wedding bouncy castle

Nothing wears childr… we mean entertains children like a bouncy castle. Fantastic for letting off steam and creating excitement.

Children will spend hours on a bouncy castle and its also a great way for guests young and the young at heart to join in wedding activities together.

Playful Props Stations

Wedding props for children

Glow Sticks – Ebay 

Wedding Ribbons – Etsy

Bubbles – The Wedding of My Dreams

Children love a prop, they are also great for adding quirky fun photos to your wedding album.

Personalise them, make them creative and if you can, keep them colourful or within your wedding colour scheme.

Ideas for your children’s wedding station could include a bubble station, wedding ribbon wands, a hula hoop area and a glow sticks table.

You could even set up a competition of ‘I Spy’ with disposable cameras. Create a list of things that the children need to take a picture of and send them off to mingle with guests and enjoy the décor that you have spent so long creating.

When the weather is typically British… Indoor Fun

How to keep children entertained at a wedding

Wedding Bingo Etsy 

Wedding Colouring – Etsy 

The main time you ideally need the children to be at their calmest is during the wedding breakfast and speeches.

Why not give each child something creative to do. It could be something as simple as a colour in place mat, or colouring book. You could even provide them with a bowl of Lego as a center piece.

Table Bingo is also a great way to make the children interact with the speeches.

Create a grid of words you would typically hear in a speech and get them to mark down when one of their words is said. Once they have ticked off their words, they can shout BINGO! (Just make sure there is an obscure one right at the end, so you can raise your glass in peace.

The great thing with having an exclusive use venue like Manor By The Lake is that you have access to various rooms in The Manor, leaving plenty of room for activities.

Rooms can be used for drinks and rest stops, or you could set up a movie room. Project a film onto a white sheet and throw down some comfortable bean bags/pillows on the floor. Pick some classic films that kids of all ages can enjoy and there we have it, hours of fun!

Not forgetting the extra tiny ones, new parent’s will appreciate a cushioned playmat for the floor. Letting their little one stretch out and enjoy various colours and textures.

It’s the little things that count

Milk and doughnuts for weddings

The little extras at a wedding make all the difference. From flip flops for tired feet to goodie bags for children. Kids love to have silly things to play with, so why not set up their own photo prop box to use in front of the magic mirror?

Whilst we are all toasting the happy couple with champagne, hand out glasses of milk with cookies or fizzy squash with strawberry decoration. Just so they feel inclusive in the celebrations.

Give the parents some time off

As a parent, it’s lovely to spend time with your little one at weddings. They are precious memories that you will treasure forever. However, it is also nice to have some time to enjoy being dressed up and out with your family and friends.

Start the disco off a little earlier, whilst guests are enjoying their welcome drinks and make it kids hour! You can have Disney songs playing, party songs, party games. No adults allowed!

If you want your guests to have a truly child free afternoon/evening, bring in the professionals.

There are companies who offer registered childcare for your wedding day, meaning that no one must worry about a thing.

Keep them involved

Finally, get the little ones involved! Give them tasks to do during the day. The Bridesmaid and Paige boys will take their roles very seriously if you give them some responsibility.

Put someone in charge of the sweets table, to make sure everyone gets a treat. Have someone in charge of dancing, to make sure people get up and dance. Trust us, no one can round up a group of people for the cutting of the cake better than a bunch of ‘sugar starved children!’.

Contact our team to talk about ways to keep your reception stress free and how to create kid-friendly fun on 01242 245 071 or email

Green is the Wedding Colour Trend for 2019

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Harry and Megan’s wedding has set the focus colour for next year’s wedding scene, making green wedding colour trend for upcoming celebrations.

The amazing thing about this beautifully natural colour is that it has so many glorious shades. It looks great with a variety of skin tones and can be complemented by so many other colours.

Whether you are looking for the classic rustic look, or a more floral elegance, this colour fits perfectly with all different styles.

Fauna and Foliage

Many think that foliage offers a backdrop, where as flowers are the statement. What if you made the foliage the focus? There are so many statement leaves out there, offering strong shapes and stunning shades, it’s just a case of thinking outside the box.

Herb decoration at a wedding

Herbs in wedding decor

A trend returning to the wedding world is the use of herbs in a wedding.

Queen Victoria made floral arrangements poplar when she got married carrying a snowdrop bouquet, making the use of herbs less fashionable.

Lucky for us, they are back! There are so many types out there all offering their own unique beauty, it makes it very easy to incorporate a variety of herbs throughout your big day.

Some like to use them as delicate décor in their bouquet with a splash of rosemary or a scent of sage. Others prefer to make them a main feature by creating a herb garden garland, which can flow down your aisle.

If you are interested by symbolism, herbs are a great way to incorporate a deeper meaning into your wedding day.

Sage symbolises wisdom, long life and esteem, where as Rosemary represents remembrance, love, loyalty and fidelity.

Succulents and structure

Succulents in wedding decoration

Succulents are ideal for offering your wedding a modern twist. They have such a stunning way of adding a variety of shapes, textures and tones to your décor.

Wedding Cake image – Edible Art Cakes 

Succulent Favours image – Carlie Statsky – Via Bridebox 

They have been increasing in popularity over the past 5 years and are now a firm favourite in the world of wedding bouquets.

Succulents are pretty sturdy, which is important in a bouquet and they can survive longer without water. This gives your bouquet more life and can be re-potted, so you always have a reminder of your beautiful day.

Succulents symbolise enduring and timeless love, making them a poetic idea for a wedding favour. You can offer each of your guests a tiny succulent plant in a pot of your choice and add their name to each one. Name place setting, table décor and wedding favour all in one!

Add Ferns and Ivy to your day

Fern wedding decoration

The combination of a white linen table cloth, the warm glow of candle light and the rich colour of ferns and ivy creates the perfect wedding centrepiece. A beautiful choice for those looking for a more rustic or boho wedding.

Wedding invitation – Not on the Highstreet

This kind of greenery is ideal for garlands and foliage walls. Utterly idyllic for photography and additional décor whether you’re going for an indoor or outdoor wedding.

Like the succulents, foliage such as fern and ivy are structurally sound, they are also easy to manipulate making them easy to transport and work with when putting your wedding together.

Complementary Colours

Complementary colours for a green wedding

Making green your main colour opens so many options for complementary colours.

The Prince and The Duchess decided on a very simple white and green theme, with the bridesmaids wearing white dresses to match the bride.

Megan’s bouquet included a collection of Forget-me-nots, lily of the valley, jasmine, sweet peas and a sprig of myrtle. The wedding party all joined in the scheme by wearing either green or pastel shades. This created a wonderful feel of class and elegance.

If you are looking to add some glamour to your wedding day, why not add a splash of Gold?

This can be done with accents of gold in the table decorations including a glistening runner or you can add gold décor to the wedding cake.

The wedding party can include gold in their wedding attire, or gold sprayed flowers would look incredible in the bouquet.

Pastels have always been a popular choice in wedding decoration but keeping it simple with two complimenting colours offers additional zest without going overboard.

Two colour combos that work well include green and blush, or blue and green.

A clever way to incorporate these colours subtly into your green theme is via the flowers you use in your arrangements and via your bridesmaids/groomsmen attire.

Keep the main base colour green and offer a little hint of additional colour for a truly delicate finish.

Jump on the foliage trend and add your own unique twist to create the wedding of your dreams. Talk to our team today about creative ideas for your big day on 01242 245 071  or email





How to create the ultimate Festival Wedding Experience

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You may have heard about, or even attended, our Festival Wedding Open Day last weekend. It was a fantastic day, and it was so nice to meet so many excited couples!

We managed to showcase ways to create the ultimate festival wedding. For those who couldn’t attend, we thought we would share some great ways to incorporate the festival style into your big day.

Set the scene

The fabulous thing about festivals are that there are so many different types. From the classy vintage style to the bold and playful carnival. You could even glam it up and adopt a more Coachella vibe into your big day.

Once you have an idea of the style you want, you can build all your wedding stationery, décor and entertainment around it.

Having a focused theme for your festival wedding creates such a glorious impact, forming a world of colour, music and excitement whichever way your guests turn.


Outdoor ceremony

With the right decoration and accessories a festival wedding is possible indoors, however, this wedding theme really lends itself to an outdoor wedding.

We have some stunning outdoor licensed areas, choose from the beautiful ornate arches of the Manor house or the elegant Victorian Pavilion by the lake.

The important thing when creating a festival wedding is that should have lots of things going on. Whether it’s something as delicate as some colourful bunting in the trees or a more elaborate jamming session in the gardens.

Why not offer outdoor games and delicious carts of food, have floating lanterns being let off on the lake or sparklers in the evening? If your guests know what’s happening, your wedding day can be as chaotic as you like, because that is the festival way.

Raise your Photography game

When searching for a photographer, look for someone who enjoys taking candid shots. This theme isn’t made for the more serious wedding poses.

Have a few posed family/close friend’s wedding photos to add to your collection, but the more natural your images are, the more ‘festival’ they will be.

Create the perfect backdrop or frame for your silly or selfie photos. Flower rings, flower walls and vintage photo frames create the ultimate setting for your group pictures.

Think artistically when it comes to your props. This is the perfect opportunity to get playful with flower crowns, wellies, wristbands, colourful umbrellas and even fairy wings. The rules are that there are no rules, if it’s fun and fabulous, your photos will be spectacular.

It’s all about Festival Food

For some, the food is the best part of a festival. Think canape style, handheld cuisine which can be enjoyed whilst up and about, dancing or mingling.

This kind of wedding is perfect for featuring a selection of carts, where your guests can create themselves a pimped-up prosecco, or dainty fish n chip cone. You could even offer a Taco cart!

For the main event (food wise), you could enjoy a sharing banquet at your tables and then treat your guests to some dishes with a difference for the evening, including a New York Feast and Caribbean Grazing Station. The Festival Wedding menu can be so varied, dramatic, exciting and that little bit different!

Festival style Entertainment

You can’t have a festival without an abundance of music. This can really represent you as a couple and show off your own musical tastes.

The great thing about The Manor is that you can have music in many areas. The dream would be to have an acoustic set in The Rock Bar or a band in the gardens during drinks before your DJ in the ballroom to dance the night away.

You could always decide on a live vocalist during your ceremony whilst you and your new hubby/wife sign the register.

Other entertainment options can also be incorporated during a festival, from magicians or as we mentioned earlier, garden games. We have some great games available to hire at The Manor, which we can have set up ready for you and your party. We have a fantastic crazy golf ready to set up, which is perfect for the big kids as well as the small.

A broad selection of entertainment keeps the day flowing and the spirits up, creating a real buzz throughout your wedding day.

Festival Wedding Décor

Last but by no means least, we have the décor. From the wedding stationery to the table plans there are so many amazing ways to dress up your festival wedding.

Who needs formal invites when you can have lanyards, tickets or personalised wristbands!

Louise Rowles Designs

The set up for our more elegant weddings involve the giant round tables, however, for a festival wedding, we love to use the long table set up. These look great without a tablecloth and are perfect for guest’s interaction, even the shyest of your friends and family.

Be as random as possible with your wedding décor. Think layer upon layer of wonderful weirdness that you would find at Glastonbury.

We have recently added a selection of props that are ready to hire out. We now have flamingos, decorative frames, lanterns, Big Bertha bean bags and deck chairs, to name a few.

If you are thinking about hosting a festival wedding, give our team a call on 01242 245 071 or email and we can help you come up with some imaginative ways to make it happen.

Making the Manor a more Environmentally Friendly Wedding Venue

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As you step into the grounds at Manor By The Lake, you are surrounded by so much beauty and history.

You will also find all sorts of wildlife including squirrels, ducks, bunnies and birds in the gardens, enjoying the safe setting that we provide.

Looking at the natural beauty of the gardens and the lake, it’s hard to imagine why anyone would want to harm our world and the environment in which we live.

Being an environmentally friendly wedding venue is of utmost importance to Manor By The Lake. It’s crucial that we all do our bit to make sure that the beauty that surrounds us is preserved.

What steps we have made to be an environmentally friendly wedding venue…

If you visit the Manor, you will see that we have taken a few other steps to help towards improving the environment.

Electric charging stations provided

As people are becoming more aware of the dangers of pollution, hybrid and electric vehicles are becoming more popular.

We have applauded this movement and made steps to encourage the use of Electric Cars.

As you approach the Manor, you will find recently installed electric charging stations. Available for our guests to charge their vehicles ready to use when needed.

Recycling for a more eco-friendly venue

Along with many weddings and events comes a lot of food, packaging and props. To minimize the impact that this has we are tightening up our efforts to recycle any waste material.

The basics at the Manor are all covered, by making sure we separate all glass and cardboard before it is taken away.

Rather than throwing out any food waste, any excess goes to a local environmental business which processes it into energy.

A More Energy Efficient Manor

Manor By The Lake front view

As you can probably guess, keeping a house like Manor By The Lake heated and appropriately lit takes a lot of energy.

In response to this we have installed high efficiency boilers, making sure no heat energy is wasted. We also power down the Manor when the guests leave and for the occasional day when the Manor isn’t in use.

Water harvesting to help the gardens grow

Lakes and fountains at Manor By The Lake

As it is the UK, we obviously see quite a lot of rain. This is all gathered on our roof and piped into the lake for use on dry days to nourish the garden and support the wildlife.

Paper Straws to help save the environment

Paper Straws at Manor By The Lake

More recently, ahead of the proposed ban next year, we have already switched to using paper straws.

Plastic straws are listed as one of the top 10 items that effect our beaches, countryside and wildlife.

The straws that we use can be customized to suit our guests colour schemes. This will make sure they are in keeping with the fabulous weddings that we host. Our personal favorites have to be our striped carnival design and the oh so popular rose gold straws.

If everyone made these small changes it would lead to huge differences all over the world. We just hope other bars, restaurants, hotels and venues follow our lead

To find out more about booking an ethical and environmentally friendly venue, please contact our team on 01242 245 071 or

Vegan Weddings at The Manor

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The vegan way of life has become fiercely popular over the past 5 years, with more people switching to a more ethical, compassionate way of life. If you or your other half are vegan, it’s important that your wedding reflects your values throughout your big day. This switch to the vegan life style has seen a huge rise in people choosing to go for a vegan wedding.

Vegan bride walking down the aisle

Saying that, you may not be vegan, but have a variety of friends and family members who are. It’s always a good idea to cater your menu for an array of different tastes, allergies and beliefs so you and your guests can enjoy the day without any discomfort.

Here at The Manor we source all our ingredients locally and have great relationships with vegan friendly suppliers, so we know exactly where our produce come from. We do this, so we can guarantee the quality of all foods that are prepped in our kitchen.

 ‘I can’t believe it’s vegan’ moment

Vegan food

We truly believe that you shouldn’t be able to tell the difference between a vegan and non-vegan menu. The finish should be seamless, delicious and a real ‘I can’t believe it’s vegan’ moment.

Our dishes are out to impress, and there is so much variety to choose from. You should have a wide range of choices which is why we adapt our menu to suit your needs.

Once you have booked your wedding with us, you will be invited to a taste at The Manor. Ask your wedding co-ordinator for the vegan menu, so you can try out what we have to offer.

Our top vegan friendly dishes

Vegan deserts

So you can get an idea of the collection of vegan meals we have available, here are a few of our previous guests favourites.

Arancini stuffed with spinach and pine nuts, this is one of the options for our canapes. Perfect for guests as they enjoy a drink between the ceremony and wedding breakfast.

A very popular starter is our pressed English tomato tian, aubergine caviar, capers and aged balsamic. The perfect combination of flavours, perfect for a summer wedding.

There are so many delicious spices and flavours in our Moroccan butternut squash and chickpea tagine. It comes with wholegrain fruit couscous, sakura cress salad and minted soy yoghurt for added sweet notes and a hit of freshness.

One of our popular deserts includes our moist Apple and Pistachio Cake, served with a refreshing vegan sorbet, pleasing all the senses!

Very simple, but utterly effective our Coconut Custard Pie is always a winner. Loved by our vegan and non-vegan guests this desert is hugely popular choice throughout our weddings. You could even try creating this for yourself with this delicious recipe! Download here.

It’s not just about the food…

Vegan champagne

If you are planning an all-out vegan wedding, you know it’s not just about the food that you are serving for your guests. Everything requires attention to detail from using fair trade flowers to burning beeswax free candles.

Champagne and wine are the biggest shocks to most when looking to turn Vegan. Lots of wines and the fizzes have a mix of milk protein, egg whites and gelatine in them, making them a no go.

Our bar at The Manor stocks drinks to suit all, so we can switch our drinks to suit a vegan friendly crowd.

If you fancy it, you could serve Dom Pérignon for your guests to toast your celebrations, not only will they be impressed, but they will be non-the-wiser that it’s for ethical reasons!

Little extras like our environmentally friendly paper straws will finish off your day, helping you say ‘I do’ in the most ethical way possible.

To talk about your food choices and requirements for your big day contact our team on 01242 245 071 or email

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

Why you should choose a January Wedding

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January is the time to look back on the year before and start a fresh. New beginnings, an exciting new chapter and anticipation fueled feels for what is about to come.

Surely there is nothing more poetic than using this time to begin married life?

Weddings in January are generally not as popular, as people want a summer wedding. However, there are so many reasons to choose a January wedding…

Planning and pricing

Ok, so first off, let’s talk wedding budget.

Winter weddings generally come with better priced collections. The availability during January is plentiful, meaning prices can drop dramatically.

You get all the perks of a gorgeous venue, for so much less than what couples will pay during spring/summer. Save some money and put it towards an exotic honeymoon.

As there is more availability during January, you can also be selective of what day you get married. Whether it’s a weekend or a week day wedding, it’s more likely that you will get the day that you require.

Here at Manor By The Lake, we offer our 12 beautifully decorated rooms complimentary for the evening of your wedding during January. Great for you and perfect for a handful of your guests.

Bold Wedding Colours

Winter colours for January Weddings

Deep reds, royal blues and glittering golds are all colours that can adorn your wedding party and really make a statement during your special day.

These beautiful shades can be used in the summer, but the brighter and lighter shades are generally more appropriate.

Along with these gorgeous colours, you can be creative with your fabrics and textures. Push aside the chiffon and explore a world of silk, velvet and furs.

There is so much room for creativity this time of year and real chance for a glamorous do.

Comfort food feasts

For foody couples, January is ideal! You can get creative with your menu choosing a delicious array of comforting foods to fill your guests.

Just think of oozing fondues, comforting hot chocolate and even a possible s’mores table! Warming and satisfying, such a yummy time of year.

Give the weather man a break…

Summer weddings are glorious in the sun. Outdoor games, picturesque summer shots and champagne in the gardens… bliss.

However, the moment you check your phone app and realise that your idyllic summer wedding is going to be a washout can be devastating.

Eliminate this worry by planning for wintery weather. Your wedding shots can be filled with quirky umbrella’s, guests can be provided with indoor entertainment and bridesmaids can be wrapped up with fury shawls.

Winter weather can also be utterly stunning, so if you are lucky to have a sparkling frost, a white wedding or even a bright winters day, then this is a wonderful added bonus.

Romantic winter evenings

Sparklers at weddings

Evenings during January are so romantic. The early nights lend themselves perfectly to decorative lighting and candle lit evenings.

One spectacular idea, that a few couples have opted for, are sparklers with their friends and family. This can be done earlier with the younger members of your party before they fall asleep.

So many events, so little time

Towards the end of the summer, events can become a bit of a chore. There are so many all crammed in, it can feel like every weekend has a party, BBQ or celebration going on.

January weddings don’t have this effect. Everyone wants a reason to beat the January blues and what better reason than to attend a fabulous wedding!

Something a little bit different

Weddings during the winter gives the usual look and feel to a wedding a little bit of a tweak. The variance in colours, styles and ambiance offers an edge and really makes your special day stand out from the others.

Why follow the crowd? Be alternative and have some winter fun!

Interested in a wedding in January? Contact our team on 01242 245 071 or to discuss availability and find a collection to suit your budget.

Count down to the Perfect Last Minute Wedding

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The beautiful thing about weddings is, that every couple is different. They all have their own way of doing things from the style of the wedding to the day or season they want to get married.

Wedding Couple

Picture by Dan Morris

The average timeline for weddings is around 12 months from engagement to wedding. However, some may take a couple years to plan their celebration, others want to do it right away.

If you are looking to book a last-minute wedding, here is a guide line to follow, to help you organise towards your special day.

It’s decision time

A last-minute wedding can be a breath of fresh air. No time to over think decisions that can be made very quickly.

The main things you need to know at this time is where, when, who and …who?? Sit down with your better half and agree on the type of wedding you want, along with your ideal budget. You both need to be on the same page, so planning can run smoothly.

Where do you want to get married?

Couples generally have an idea of their wedding location, you just need to select a venue that suits your wedding size and character.

It’s always worth having an open mind regarding what day of the week you want to get married. Weekend weddings are usually booked way in advance. Mid-week weddings generally have more availability and can be more cost-effective

Book your venue

Just call/email your preferred venue with a list of dates in mind and get that beauty booked.

Once this has been done, leave the difficult bits to your wedding planner.

Manor By The Lake have a huge selection of preferred suppliers which handles everything from your food to flowers. Run through this list and check availability for the suppliers, as they already might have an event on that day.

Book your Registrar

The usual waiting time for a registrar is around 4-6 weeks. However it’s always risky with a last minute wedding to book the registrar last minute. Our suggestion would be to make it the first thing you do once you know where you are getting married and it’s all booked.

There is the option of booking a Celebrant wedding, which gives you more time. However with a celebrant wedding, it doesn’t make your marriage legal and you will have to make it official at a later date.

Who’s your Bridal Party?

This wonderful group of people, will be helping you prep for your day. There will be a lot to do in a short space of time so choose your bridesmaids and groomsmen wisely.

Create your Guest List

Aaaaahhh the guest list. Many couple’s nemesis. It’s always a good idea to keep a last minute a little more intimate. Invite your nearest and dearest to avoid too much stress.


Ok, so you’ve decided what you want, now it’s time to start making it happen.

Get Those Invitations Out

Once you have made a snap decision on who you want to come to your wedding, get those invitations designed and sent out. You will want a RSVP quickly, giving you an idea of numbers. State an RSVP deadline that works for you and the venue on the invite.

A great way to do this is by paperless invites. Design and send out your invitations all online, avoiding high costs on printing, envelopes and stamps.

Sort out the Fiddly Bits with one List

It’s time to book your preferred suppliers! If they are still available this late on in the year, this is the time to enjoy a cheeky deal.

Final Numbers for your guests

By now you would need to have received all your RSVP’s. Put together your final numbers count and do the final checks for dietary requirements etc. A smaller wedding party will make this easier, but it is possible for a larger party if you are super organised.

Shopping Time!

Now for the fun bit! Time for the wedding dress and suits. We would suggest choosing these now, as it can take a few weeks for alterations.

You can either book a couple visits to Bridal Shops in the week or if you want to be super chilled, find your dress/wedding suits online for home delivery.

Whilst you are shopping for your outfits, take a look at the jewellers for your wedding rings. This would be a great time to buy your wedding jewellery as well.

This is an important week, as it is the last chance for you to have a final planning meeting with your venue.

At this point you will need to finalise everything with your wedding planner to make sure everything is in place for your big day. Set up a meeting so you have this planned to perfection.

More Shopping

Bridesmaid dresses, these can obviously be purchased at anytime during the wedding planning process. However, with other legalities and time limited jobs to do, it’s probably better to do it when things have been decided and booked.

Party Time!

At this point, you can also find some time to spend with your bridal party and enjoy your hen/stag parties.

If you are doing anything activity based, it might be worth booking this for around week 6… you know… just in case.

Now it’s time to enjoy the finishing touches. Those little added extras that make your wedding that little bit more personal.

Get you creative juices flowing with extra decorations, favours and gifts for your bridal party.

It might be a good idea to start thinking about the speeches, give the best man time to think of all those funny moments that every groom wanted to forget.

You’ve made it through, all you have to do is beautify, any waxing, haircuts, tanning etc is now needed to make you feel extra special for your big day.

Oh, and one last thing… try and relax! Last minute weddings are so exciting and so quick fire, it’s impossible to get weighed down with silly details that in hindsight don’t really matter.

Make time to go for a walk or a meal out with your partner. Enjoy a sunset or relax with a movie, and avoid all wedding conversation. Remember, this is your last few days as an engaged couple so take some RnR time before the busy day.

Have a wonderful day and focus on the important things…. The start to your beautiful marriage.

Does this sound like your kind of wedding? Call our team to discuss last minute availability on 01242 245 071 or email 

5 Wedding Traditions and Superstitions

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Have you ever wondered where all those quirky wedding traditions and superstitions came from? Like the age-old ‘something borrowed, something blue’ rule that even today, most every bride partakes in on their wedding day. We’re taking a look back into the folklore behind these sometimes sweet, sometimes odd customs!

Something Old, New, Borrowed, and Blue

This wedding tradition is one that we are all well acquainted with, but what does it really mean? This British tradition took root from an Old English rhyme – “Something Olde, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue, A Sixpence in your Shoe”.

The four elements carried by the bride as she walks down the aisle all represent good luck charms for a happy marriage. The meaning of each charm has changed over the centuries to suit the modern era however the original connotations stem from the Victorian era.

During this period, The ‘something old’ was used to protect the bride against evil and the curse of infertility. Something new represents the journey you are about to embark on as a newly married couple. “Something borrowed” usually came from a woman who had already given birth to boost the chances of pregnancy which folklore claims will confuse the curse of the Evil Eye into thinking the bride was already with child and counter the misfortune. The “something blue” was often a garter which represented the purity of the bride.

Wedding Pin with lucky charms

Wearing a Veil

Often just thought of as an accessory for the modern bride, the tradition of wearing a veil is said to pre-date wearing white. Before religion, the ancient Greeks and Romans’ used veils to protect and disguise the bride for fear evil spirits and demons would bestow a curse before wedlock.

Wedding veil and its tradition

Seeing Each Other Before the Wedding

Following on from the tradition of wearing a veil comes the superstition that it’s bad luck for the groom to see the bride prior to the wedding. A veil hiding the bride’s face also ensured that the groom would not see her face until at the altar.

Unsurprisingly this tradition dates back to when arranged marriages were a common occurrence and the veil would shield the bride’s face until after the marriage ceremony had taken place.

Another reason behind the tradition of the father giving the bride away, other than the antiquated exchange for a dowry, was also to guide the soon-to-be betrothed down the aisle as the veil stopped the bride from being able to see! Today this tradition is solely symbolism for a sweet exchange between the bride and father.

Tossing the Garter

Dating back all the way to the 16th Century, the garter was presented to friends and family. This was evidence that the marriage had been consummated! Quite an embarrassing feat in today’s world.

It was also said to be good luck to receive a piece of the bride’s wedding dress. Close guests of the newlyweds would wait outside the bedchamber for the bride and groom to consummate the marriage. This is where the garter came in.

As the custom evolved the tradition became more of a fun wedding reception game. Guests would playfully acquire the piece of fabric. Tossing the garter into the crowd to a group of single men was a way to finish the game. Whoever catches the garter is believed to be the next to marry.

The female equivalent to this tradition is the tossing of the bouquet. Single women would group together and whoever caught the bouquet was next in line to get married.

Blue Garter image

Cake Topper

It’s no surprise that we take heed of the royals when it comes to our wedding day. It’s every bride’s dream to be a princess on her big day. So when Queen Victoria and Prince Albert opted for a miniature sculpture of themselves to top their wedding cake in 1840, the cake topper was born!


Wedding cake topper

In the midst of planning your wedding day? Get in touch with our expert wedding coordinators here at Manor by the Lake. We will be happy discuss your plans and help brainstorm more creative ideas for your big day!

Give us a call on 01242 245 071 or email


Top Tips for Selecting your Spring Wedding Flowers

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Just as the type of wedding venue sets the foundation for the theme of your day, the flower arrangements can set the tone and vibe of the atmosphere. From Kate Middleton’s simple lily of the valley bouquet to Princess Diana’s iconic cascading bloom, your floral arrangements can also double as beautiful symbolism for the bride and groom.

Get some inspirational tips on wedding flower power this spring wedding season and find out what the most popular blooms of the season are.


Finding the right florist who understands your style will you help narrow down the lengthy list of floral species. We all want everything to be just right for our wedding day and we often don’t realise just how much planning goes into it. Flowers are one element that we all usually underestimate.

You may have a very specific vision in your head about what you want your flower arrangement to look like or you may not have any idea where to start, whatever your status may be, a professional florist can be invaluable to bringing your dream bouquet to life.


When on the search for a florist, there are a few key important notes to have in mind. You want someone who understands your vision and style so they will be able to narrow down the long list of flower species to a manageable selection.

Before having your heart set on a specific bouquet such as Summer Freesias, make sure your desired bud is in season during the month of your wedding. It can be a very frustrating complication when you have everything planned around a lavender colour scheme and then realising the flowers you had your heart set on aren’t in season.

Symbolism also plays a part in flower arrangements. In Royal wedding tradition, a sprig of myrtle, grown from the original bush used by Queen Victoria on her wedding day, is included in every royal brides’ arrangement as a symbol of good luck in love and marriage.

All royal brides from Princess Diana to Kate Middleton have followed this charming custom. The Duchess of Cambridge opted for simple yet tasteful lily of the valleys. Many were curious as to her small and subtle choice, however, delving deeper we see that the bouquet was a beautiful metaphor for her marriage to the prince. With the Lillie’s representing trustworthiness, Sweet Williams symbolising gallantry (also a sweet gesture to her husband’s name) and Hyacinths, representing a playful and sporty nature – traits they both share.

With the royal wedding set in the budding season of May, Ms. Markle and Prince Harry will have plenty of options to choose from with some of the most colourful, blousy and romantic flowers in bloom. Some popular bouquet arrangements of the season include peonies, garden roses, snapdragons, freesias, and delphiniums.


Our own in-house Creative Designer based at Manor By The Lake can create beautiful wedding flowers and our expert wedding coordinators will be happy to discuss your plans and help brainstorm ideas for your spring wedding!

Give us a call on 01242 245071 or email

Flowers: Caroline Clements Flowers & Manor By The Lake, Creative Design Service

Photography: Courtney Louise Photography

Top 5 Perks of a Winter Honeymoon

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A winter wedding is truly a dreamy affair. With seasonal bouquets, indulgent cocktails and warm colour schemes, your wedding day is sure to be as magical as you imagined. After months of stressful wedding planning and nerves, next up is the much-anticipated honeymoon!

While traditional couples opt for a post-wedding getaway with sprawling beaches and palm trees, there are quite a few benefits to switching sand for snow. Check out our top 5 perks below.

Budget friendly

Summer is one of the most expensive months to travel with resorts and hotels packed with couples and beaches filled to the brim with families. Prices are significantly less during the winter months due to lower demand and can be more than 50% cheaper than honeymooning in prime holiday time. After tying the knot, it’s likely you spent a big sum of money on your big day, so it’s always a benefit to save on the honeymoon. During the winter season, many destinations have special packages and deals on offer to entice customers so this is the perfect time to take advantage!


Some may argue that a winter honeymoon is just as romantic, or even more so, than a tropical summer vacation. Picture you and your other half snuggled up by a roaring fireplace or enjoying a week spent wrapped up strolling city streets with a hot cup of cocoa in hand. A snowy destination offers plenty of romantic opportunities, whether you’re touring a new city in a horse and carriage or enjoying long walks on freshly fallen snow, it’s sure to make for an unforgettable getaway.

Winter Sports

Skiing, snowboarding, snowmobiling or even mountain climbing, if you and your partner are thrill seekers then a winter honeymoon is definitely for you. Why not put your stamina to the test by climbing one of the great monumental mountains together? It’s something you can check off your bucket list and will be a romantic and memorable story to tell for years to come. A number of other fun and fulfilling activities include ice skating, ice fishing, snowshoeing and sleighing. If this sounds a little intensive then why not try building an igloo together or perhaps getting silly in the snow by building a snowman. You could even enjoy a little friendly competition with a snowball fight!

Stunning Destination Options

From the Northern Lights to the Blue Lagoon, the options are endless when it comes to winter honeymoon options. Iceland’s beautiful vast landscape, canyons, and glaciers are not to be missed. Hire a 4×4 in Reykjavik and go exploring to see Iceland’s 800 miles of Route 1. There’s nothing better than escaping the cold in the beauty of a cosy hot spring. Visit Dunton Hot Springs in Colorado’s San Juan Mountains or travel to the Banff Upper Hot Springs in Alberta, Canada, and capture a glimpse of some of North America’s most awe-inspiring peaks.

Image: Chris Lambert

Escape with a Spa break

Can you think of any better way to spend your honeymoon than with a luxurious couple’s massage on a tranquil spa retreat? It’s the perfect way to melt away the stresses of wedding planning and a great way to begin your new life together as a couple. Plan a weekend getaway of rejuvenation and relaxation in one of the many spa resorts in Europe. It’s also a great aphrodisiac for you and your other half!

Get in touch with our expert wedding coordinators here at Manor by the Lake, we’ll be happy discuss your plans and help brainstorm ideas for your winter wedding! Give us a call on 01242 245071 or email