Rectangular or Round Tables? - Guest Wedding Blog - Love from Mwai

You have already asked or answered the first big question however it's now time to answer the next!

Whether you’re going for an intimate setting or lavish affair, your wedding reception seating has the ability to transform a venue but the question is rectangular or round tables?

RECTANGULAR TABLES

Pros

  • On-trend. The start of 2016 has shown that banquet tables are in this year, and likely become even more popular. Plus, they make for stunning photos!
  • More style options. Rectangular tables come in standard form (intended to be covered by décor), but they also offer more variety in style. Set the tone for your reception with organic wood farm tables or elegantly dark-stained banquet tables.
  • Cost. With fewer tables to drape, cut costs on linens and centrepieces. Line the table with floral boughs and greenery, accented by big blooms and twinkling votives.

Cons:

  • Cost. On the flip side of lower linen and centrepiece costs, rectangular tables can be pricier to rent and transport. At Hedsor round tables are included in your venue hire however rectangular tables would need to be hired in.
  • Space saving. At Hedsor you can seat more guests (up to 150) on Round tables opposed to up to 120 on rectangular / banquet seating.
  • Strict seating. If you are assigning each place setting, be wary of rectangular tables. If a guest cancels last-minute or your best friend suddenly asks to bring her new beau, an entire table of carefully calculated seating will be thrown off. We recommend leaving the head and foot of the table unassigned, so you can more easily shuffle guests if someone unexpected arrives.
  • Reception flow: rectangular tables don’t allow as much movement if space is limited, since guests have to squeeze in between two people. This makes rectangular tables ideal for smaller, intimate receptions and seated dinners where guests are not expected to frequently move about the venue.

ROUND TABLES

Pros:

  • A classic, traditional choice. Round tables have long been a staple of wedding décor, so you can’t go wrong with a classic seating layout.
  • Conversation. With smaller round tables, guests can more easily converse across tabletops with their entire group. This works best if most of your guests are well-acquainted and will likely be enthusiastic to chat.
  • Flexible seating. Adding or removing guests is much easier with round tables. Be prepared to handle any unexpected changes in guest list seamlessly. You can also mix table sizes to accommodate different groups of guests.
  • Easier flow. Round tables often make reception flow a little easier—guests don’t have to walk around each other’s chairs quite as much as with rectangular tables.
  • Cost. Round tables are typically less expensive to rent and transport and at Hedsor are included in your venue hire fee. Since the tables will be covered with your pretty wedding décor, you don’t have to worry as much about the look of the table itself; you may be able to get away with an inexpensive table, topped with all-out décor.

Cons:

  • Cost. On the other hand, round tables can be expensive to accessorise. Multiple centrepieces, linens, chair drapings, etc. can add up if you’re not careful.
  • Space. Round tables take up more space than rectangular tables, so plan carefully to make sure you’ll have ample space at your wedding reception venue.

If you’re unsure which table fits your wedding style, there’s no reason you can’t have both at your reception. No matter which style you choose, don’t worry too much; I seen countless successful weddings with either option. Being informed about your options certainly helps make a wise choice on this key decision, but I assure you that either option can turn out beautifully Choose what works for you!

Join me next time as I talk about all things ‘Wedding Cake’. Until next time!

Happy Planning.

Love from Mwai x

 

FOUR REASONS TO HAVE A MID WEEK CORPORATE CHRISTMAS PARTY

Check out our latest blog post about planning your Christmas party and why booking a midweek celebration is the new big thing...

Available Dates

Unless you're super organised you're probably only just getting around to booking your office Christmas party. Don't worry you're not alone and Hedsor House is excited to say we still have a few exclusive hire midweek dates available! Give us a call to chat through your options. 

More Cash Behind the Bar...

We're currently offering special rates on our Gatsby packages on Mondays and Tuesdays meaning you'll save some money and be able to put this behind the bar. Just don't blame us the next morning!

Keep Your Main Social Diary Clear...

December is the ultimate month for social events in terms of catching up with the most important people in your life. Save your Thursday to Saturdays for friends & family and schedule your corporate party for the week to maximise being a social butterfly! 

Office Etiquette

The best thing about having a midweek office party means ordering pizza or takeaway to the office is absolutely acceptable the next day. 

 

To speak to us about a potential Christmas Party please call Alexis Awtrey at 01628 819050

Groom Style Tips - Guest Blog Love From Mwai

Over the last few years I have seen Grooms becoming more and more confident regarding their choice of wedding fashion and style. Grooms are now paying attention to accessories, colour and how his style will fit in with the whole wedding theme.

Tri-tone brogues and sterling silver cufflinks

I must admit that it's been a lot harder to write a blog on men’s fashion - the Bride's seem to completely steal the show when it comes to dressing at the wedding!

But not anymore - I have spoken to some of my male clients and together we will take you through some of the key looks that are currently trending.

Trend 1: The English Groom

This look embraces geek chic and some adventurous colour combinations. Anything goes with this look and you can add colour contrast slacks. This is definitely for the daring grooms amongst you.

English country wedding

Trend 2: The Quirky Groom

The quirky look can be a two or three piece suit and it’s all about what you decide to add or takeaway. Perhaps lose the jacket and go for the shirt and waistcoat look?

Trend 3: The Tux
 

Tuxedos are the traditional choice for a wedding, but over the decades they have evolved. They can now be found a variety of colours and shades like black, dark or light grey, and navy, and in fits from classic to slim. A range of sizes lets you outfit everyone from the smallest ring bearer to the big & tall men in your group. With everyone in tuxes, your wedding party will have a cohesive, polished look. 

Trend 4: The Suit
This is usually a preferred option for the grooms. You can achieve this look by adding a vest or taking non-traditionalist approach by pairing it with a fun bow tie or braces. Perfect for the modern look.

Otherwise know as 'The Cool Groom'

 

Trend 5: The Blue Hues
A blue tuxedo offers an unexpected alternative to the classic black. Equally elegant, this suit is ideal for the groom who wants to add a pop of color with a bold hued ensemble that's anything but basic. 

I adore this suit texture and colour!

And there you have it, some Groom’s fashion style that are on trend. Join me next month as I discuss one of my favourite wedding topics “Round tables vs long tables”.

Until next time.

Be Inspired!

Love from Mwai

X

Photo credits: http://www.amandakarenphotography.co.uk/

 

Guest Blog - Love From Mwai

Wedding Dress Trends

Spring has sprung! And for Spring 2016 I have to share the top trends I noticed from some of my favourite bridal wear designers. From dramatic headpieces to soft capelets and tulle ball gowns, take a look at the wedding dress trends have wowed me and my favourite picks. 

Tiered skirts have come back in a big way with flowing layers of tulle, silk and organza creating a grand finale for many of the designers' collections.

Many of the new details focused on creating layers and adding dimension to the gowns. The Illusion Neckline, this peek-a-boo design takes sheer to a new level. Giving the bride the option to show some skin while keeping her secure.

 

Amsale

Over-skirts have resurfaced as a play on popular silhouettes, creating the illusion of various shapes. They volume and intrigue to your wedding day look with an over-skirt. The dramatic add-on is perfect for making a gasp-worthy entrance.

BERTA Bridal

Thigh-high slits, this sultry look is ideal for the bride who isn't afraid to show a little leg. Sexy but classy, thigh-high splits are heating up the spring collections.

Alon LivneDennis Basso

Left;

Barely There Gowns, dare to go nude in the trending naked gown.

The super sheer design is only for a bride who isn't afraid to break tradition.

Right;

Fit to Flare Minis, this dress is fun and flirtatious.

The easy style is perfect for a casual ceremony and rocking reception.

Inbal Dror

Statement Headpiece are the new veils. Putting a modern twist on a classic tradition, statement headpieces range from lace accessories to ornate crowns.
viktoria novak. 

There you have it! The Spring bridal wear trend has a modern twist, meeting that happy medium between fashion forward and tradition. Join me next month when I discuss all things men’s wear and my favourite groom looks!

Until next time…

Happy Planning! X

Guest Blog - NOTORiOUS KiDS at Hedsor House

NOTORiOUS KiDS recently visited the stunning Hedsor House and we were blown away by the venue and the infinite possibilities that the building and its surroundings have to offer for all types of events. Incredible spaces invite creativity and we couldn’t resist getting our heads together to conjure up some thoughts on the endless possibilities.

As children’s party planners we are always looking for new and amazing venues and spaces to offer our clients and Hedsor House is definitely one of them. When looking at venues we look for the size of the rooms, easy access to adjoining rooms and outdoor space. Hedsor House has all of this and more!

Here are a few ideas for different occasions and how to entertain your guests

WEDDiNGS

To invite children or not to invite children – that is the question. Here at NOTORiOUS KiDS we always say YES!!! Having children at your wedding can make it that extra bit magical and there are many ways to keep them entertained without having them tugging on your trouser leg mid speech. A summer wedding at Hedsor House lends itself to garden games out on the stunning South Lawn where children can run freely with our entertainers, or how about creating a Crèche area in the Boudoir or Drawing Room just off the Centre Hall with storytelling and crafts. Knowing the KiDS are being looked after and entertained will allow your guests to relax and ensure everyone is happy.

SUMMER PARTiES

With the stunning South Lawn Hedsor House screams summer parties and why not make it a family affair? Giant Garden Games to entertain old and young, adventurous treasure hunts led around the gardens by magical characters, Stalls with Traditional Games such as Hook a Duck, Hoopla and a Coconut Shy! Themes such as a Magical Midsummer Party with Fairy Folk, Traditional English Fair or a Summer Carnival would be perfect! So many fun possibilities!

BAT & BAR MITZVAH’S

Special occasions such as Bat/Bar Mitzvahs are perfect to host at Hedsor House. The stunning entrance and Centre Hall can be themed and dressed with so many possibilities. How about a Circus Extravaganza with Circus acts and a Ring Master welcoming guests as they arrive, fun ideas such as the Drawing Room used as a transformation studio where guests can get made over and come out via the Boudoir transformed, a hall of mirrors created in the staircase hall before entering the Ballroom would be so much fun! Or how about a Spy Party or Movie Mystery (a spin on Murder Mystery) where guests all have characters and they have missions to solve! Make up stations with makeup artists and nail technicians are always a hit at these events too as well as dancers on the dance floor encouraging guests to dance and teaching them funky moves!

BiRTHDAY PARTiES

We love a birthday party and adore creating tailor-made and bespoke experiences for our clients. Watching as the children grow up year after year and the different themes we can create for their new interest always excites us. The beautiful mezzanine in the Centre Hall is perfect to use to drape themed props and dressing off such as fishing nets with jellyfish to create an underwater party and life rings attached to the bannister as sea level. Sweetie tables as a special feature and themed costume characters can really bring the theme to life.

SEASONAL PARTiES

Seasonal parties are so much fun to create, occasions such as Easter with Egg hunts on the South Lawn with the Easter bunny, Halloween and a Wizards and Witches School in the Centre Hall, Christmas and a Winter Wonderland full of magical goings on! We cannot wait to start planning!

 

Victoria Pearce – Managing & Creative Director of NOTORiOUS KiDS

Looking for help with your next family event at Hedsor House then get in touch

NOTORiOUS KiDS

w. www.notoriouskids.com

E: [email protected]

T: 020 7326 0210

Guest Blog: 9 Ways To Cut Down Your Wedding Guest List written by carriages weddings & events

The lovely team from CARRIAGES Wedding & Events are gurus when it comes to Asian Weddings and beyond, emphasising individuality and styling to reflect your personality. Read their tips below on how to manage a BIG wedding guest list. 

It’s a tough job organising an Indian wedding, we totally get it! One of the hardest things about wedding planning is to coordinate your guest list. Most venues aren’t equipped to deal with more than 300-400 people indoors, and even if they are, do you really need 600  people plus at your wedding? When will you ever get the time to speak to them all and if you do, when will you get the time to do anything else?

Everyone will have had a close friend or family member tie the knot at some point and will understand if they’ve not quite made guest list cut (ok, some people won’t but your time is better spent worrying about other actual necessities). Family guest list discussions can sometimes get a little heated so if you’re trying to persuade your other half or your parents to reduce their numbers, here’s a good base to start from.

1. The one year rule

If you have any friends or family members who you have had NO communication with over the last year then chances are you probably don’t need them at your wedding. By communication, we’re talking social media, phone, email and even WhatsApp. There may be one or two overseas cousins who might be an exception, but on the whole you get our drift..

2. The numbers game

If you’re close to someone then you’ll probably have their number saved on your phone. Most of us will probably have far more numbers in our contacts list (which we don’t even need), so think of it this way, if you don’t have their number, you’re not really friends and therefore they don’t need to be sent an invite.

3. Face to face

We might be stating the obvious here, but if you’ve never actually met some of your potential guests, why would you call them to your wedding? Yes, he or she may be your mum’s sister’s daughter’s cousin but what has that got to do with you? If a relative is that distant to have never even shown you their face then there’s no reason you need to suddenly see them while you’re sitting in the mandap.

5. Friends

Your friends are one thing but do you really need to have your parents’ or siblings’ friends there too? It’s fine if you’ve got enough room but if not, just explain this to them and we’re sure they’ll understand. After all, if you haven’t got enough room for your own friends at your wedding, then why should anyone else’s be there?

6. Multiple functions

We understand that due to the nature of Indian families it can sometimes be difficult to simply say no to certain guests, and one way to avoid family tension is to have separate functions for your ‘extra’ guests. Look to organise a larger sangeet or mehendi night where you can invite extra people who then don’t need to be called to the wedding.

7. Mr & Mrs

A great way to get rid of any extra guests is to keep your invite as couples-only. Sure there may be certain close family members who need to be there, along with one or two who have young children they aren’t able to leave behind, but on the whole keep it as Mr & Mrs and you’ll be fine.

8. Co-workers

Even though you may want them present, it may not be practical to invite your co-workers due to numbers getting out of hand. If you have one bestie at work that’s fine, but what if you’re equally as close to 20 people? If your list is getting too long then perhaps have a separate wedding celebration lunch or meal with them instead.

9. Plus ones

If there are any singletons attending, though it is normal wedding etiquette to let them bring along a plus one, don’t feel pressurised to do this. It’s absolutely fine to invite people on their own, as long as they’re going to know someone else at the wedding who they can mingle with. If for example they’re a complete outsider, then consider letting them bring someone along, but otherwise – its okay. 

Want to avoid the the 9 things your guests will most likely complain about OR read the perfect guide on how to handle your in-laws head across to the brilliant CARRIAGES blog

Hedsor House Summer Party with Mahiki At Home

BOOK YOUR TICKET TO The Summer party of the year...

Summer is fast approaching, and the Hedsor team are all patiently awaiting a few consecutive days of sunshine to convince us that its time to dust off our BBQs, update our summer wardrobes and sunbathe on the South Lawn.

We're super excited to be hosting our Annual Summer Party on Sunday 24th July 2016 in partnership with Mahiki at Home.

The Mahiki pop up’s have travelled the world bringing a little bit of paradise to the most prestigious fashion, music and lifestyle events and venues for the last decade. This summer we are opening our doors for the first ever Hedsor House Summer Party with Mahiki at Home

Hedsor House holds a reputation for being a playground for partygoers with many famous stars choosing to hold their bashes here. Mark Ronson's 33rd Birthday party was a particular favourite of ours! The 'blank canvas', creative and flexible approach to event management will allow the space to be transformed in to a wild, tropical oasis of fun. Expect delicious fresh fruit cocktails served from Tiki style bars, Hawaiian dressed staff, Polynesian inspired décor with tropical flowers adorning every corner.  

This very special garden party promises to be a little slice of paradise right on our south lawn at the exquisite Hedsor House with press and celebrities attending. Chill out on the South Lawn and enjoy the summer vibes... 

Don't miss out book your tickets....

 

For those wishing to re-create a ‘Mahiki at Hedsor House’ party for themselves taking complete ownership of the event, Hedsor is available for exclusive hire and will work with ‘Mahiki At Home’ to bring to life individual clients’ wishes. Our eleven guestrooms complete the package, meaning partygoers can now stay the night and need only to stagger up the grand staircase to bed in the early hours…

 

 

Throughout Hedsor House’s past it has always been a place to gather, celebrate, see and be seen. The owners mission is to deliver innovative experiences that are grand but not formal, to avoid country house clichés and to ensure events continue to be trend-setting and, above all, fun. We are able to pull off outstanding, and often unusual events, ensuring a memorable experience for our clients and their guests.

Guest Blog - Ellie Sanderson 2017 Bridal Trends

ELLIE SANDERSON TALKS 2017 BRIDAL TRENDS AND ADVICE FOR CHOOSING YOUR GOWN

Summer is an exciting time in bridal, it’s when the new collections for next year start to hit the catwalk!

Separates have landed in a big way; we love the flexibility of picking exactly the right top with exactly the right skirt. You can even swap into something different for the evening. Plus, we’re sure you’ll be able to find an excuse to wear these gorgeous little pieces again!

It’s been impossible to miss the huge love of lace in bridal over the past few years. And whilst there’s nothing quite like a delicate, romantic scattering of lace, it’s starting to get a bit of competition. There’s a new trend for plain, clean fabrics that’s just started to emerge – all the girls here at Ellie Sanderson are sure it’s going to just keep growing and growing. So why do we love a plain dress? It just lets you shine! No busy detailing to distract from how glowing you look! Don’t think we’re turning our back on lace all together though; statement lace veil, clean contemporary dress = pure match made in heaven.

What to keep in mind when shopping for your dress....

Buying your wedding dress can be as stressful as it is exciting, so make sure you follow our tips for a stress-free, smooth shopping experience!

Use the internet – with caution! It can be so helpful to create a Pinterest board to brainstorm ideas for your dress, but it can’t show you how the fabric feels, how the colour brings out the warmth in your skin tone and how a dress makes you feel ready to take on the world! Remember that like all clothes, wedding dresses look different on everybody, so don’t rule anything out until you’ve tried it on. Maybe you overlooked a designer because you didn’t like the theme of their photoshoot? Maybe the model had awful hair so you didn’t focus on the amazing dress! Don’t be the bride who overlooks the dress that’s perfect for her, just because it’s not the picture she liked best online.

Stay true to your style - Never feel like you should wear a long, ivory ball gown because it’s the done thing. It’s YOUR wedding. Wear the dress which makes you feel like the best version of you! Do you ALWAYS wear pink? A couple of Ellie’s girls here wouldn’t be seen dead without a little rose tint to their outfits, so why would you want to leave behind your signature colour from your wedding outfit? A subtle blush colour is so romantic, so flattering and so on trend for 2017. For the less girlie amongst us, how about a warm cappuccino, a subtle soft blue or even a head turning metallic? We have the most beautiful bronzes, silvers and golds.

Don’t overthink it! And this is the real bottom line. Although it’s nice to consider how the neckline will sit with your grandmother’s necklace and to take into account the opinions of your bridesmaids, the only real question to consider is ‘Do I want to get married in this dress?’ – a question only you can answer.

Ellie Sanderson has boutiques in both Beaconsfield and Oxford, with an unrivalled collection of designers from both the UK and further afield. Be spoilt rotten trying on the most beautiful and exclusive dresses across the home counties, find out more and book your appointment at www.elliesanderson.co.uk

 

Canapé Challenge // Team Building

WARNING - THIS BLOG MAY MAKE YOUR TUMMY RUMBLE!  

Melissa Webb our corporate catering partner has creatively pulled together a great team challenge that you and your colleagues are bound to love.....and it involves one of our favourite subjects - FOOD!   

What is a Canapé? 

We're sure most of you know what a canapé is but for those of us that aren't quite too sure - a canapé is a French catch-all name for small, pretty finger foods served with drinks before a meal or at a cocktail party, able to be swallowed in two bites.

 So how does it work? 

You'll be divided into two teams (six people in a team works well) and given 90 minutes to create your mini masterpieces.

This team building exercise is about;

Observation – through the eyes, nose and mouth.

Creation – through styling the canapés.

Organisation – preparing, cooking, tidying and timing.   

 

Rules

  • 8 canapés will be presented to the teams by Melissa Webb to observe and taste.
  • Each team will then have to re-create at least 4 of the different canapés they have tasted from memory.
  • The more selection they do, the more points are scored and the more canapés the group has to eat at the tasting and awards.
  • Different canapés have degrees of difficulty and steps – therefore are scored differently.
  • There are no recipes provided so you will have to spend time in the pantry looking for what you believe to be the right ingredients.
  • You will have to present 15 of each canapé.
  • You will need to replicate taste as best as you can.
  • The canapés tasted wont be styled but presentation is a big part – plates and décor add points.
  • There are also bonus points if you create your own canapé on top of the 4 or more made from memory.

Tips

  •  Look at the canapé before you eat it!
  • What can you see?
  • How will I remember what it looks like?
  • How do I present it?
  • What can I smell?
  • What can I taste?
  • Should we divide jobs up or everyone do everything?
  • Push yourselves to use all the time up – no points for standing around
  • Choose canapés wisely

 

 

Book Hedsor House for your corporate team building away day by contacting Nick on [email protected] . Canapé Challenge by Melissa Webb based on 12 guests at a cost £1,500 + VAT and includes all ingredients.

Guests to be given personalised apron, book and recipes, contact Melissa on [email protected] to book your Canapé Challenge at Hedsor House. 

SUMMER WEDDING SHOWCASE 'Through the looking glass'

On Tuesday 17th May Hedsor House was dressed for a glorious Lewis Carroll inspired 'Through the Looking Glass' wedding. Step inside to explore our magical night...

We recommend that you take 2 minutes and 47 seconds out of your day to watch the beautiful video by The Wedding Filmmakers of our Wedding Showcase! If you enjoyed it keep scrolling down to view the stunning photos by Nigel Chapman.

The Centre Hall looked magical with inwater flowers creating a stunning backdrop to the ceremonial set-up by hanging white wisteria from the balcony at the end of the white aisle provided by Bespoke Events London

The evening was a perfect opportunity to explore all of our elegant rooms including the grand reveal of our newly refurbished oak panelled Ballroom. The lighter carpet and sparkling chandeliers complimented rhubarb's silver and grey table set-ups.   

The Boudoir was transformed into an enchanted woodland forest filled with a dessert buffet thanks to rhubarb's pastry chefs and their clever arrangements. 

The details and final touches are what differentiates your wedding from others, Papeterie Eugenie blessed us with her creative stationary throughout our entrance hall and Ballroom.  

We all love a wine tasting and thanks to Jascots  the attendees were treated to a few of the best, the fizz didnt stop flowing by the award winning Nyetimber  - all available on the Hedsor Wine list. 

The Photo Lounge and "The Blind Tigers" from Sternberg Clarke provided entertainment between the talks from a few of the industries best such as Love From Mwai with 'Top Tips on How to Plan Your Wedding'. The Cake was provided by Rosalind Miller Cakes.  


The best bridal event we have ever attended
— Shimmering Ivory

Heading upstairs we found a brilliant display of pink and white teapot balloons from Bubblegum Balloons. The ‘Grooms Room’ was a hit with Clements and Church offering free suit fittings throughout the evening. 

The ladies were spoilt and pampered in the Bridal Lounge by Mach Management and then had the chance to chat to Sian from Shimmering Ivory who creates bespoke wedding dress. The Bridal Bathroom walls heard a lot of 'wows' as they moved towards the Bridal bedroom and were greeted by Georgia's beautiful smile form Pompadour Couture Lingerie. 

Loving the vibe and look of our Wedding Showcase? Keep clicking through the slideshow below to view the entire evening ....

Thank you to all the suppliers that came together to create this amazing event...we can't wait for our October Wedding Showcase! Stay tuned!...

Easy & Effective CHRISTMAS PARTY Planning

8 THINGS to consider WHEN PLANNING YOUR work CHRISTMAS PARTY

If you’re reading this and Christmas seems a bit far away, let’s just start by saying it’s never too early to organise the office Christmas party! The pressure of organising an event that all your colleagues will enjoy can be a stressful and scary prospect.  Yes you are probably thinking it’s a tad early to start getting into the festive spirit but if you want to pull of your work celebration then organisation is key! After all it's only 215 days away...

Whatever your level of experience we hope you will find our pointers below helpful so that you are one step closer to delivering a real Christmas cracker of a party!

#1  The date – pencil it into everyone’s calendars  

Just to complicate the process, when it comes to social events around Christmas everyone diaries fill up fast. This means you want people to pencil in a date as soon as possible. Get your management diaries and travel schedules aligned and set a date.

If you work in a smaller office you always have the option of sending an email around with a few date options. We suggest heading to Doodle and asking people to choose which day’s suits them then go with ‘majority rules’.

 #2 ££ – Find out the budget

Although this could potentially be the most contentious element, it ultimately has a huge impact on the type of Christmas party you will organise, determining everything from food to alcohol to entertainment and choice of venue.

Find out how much cash you are able to spend as soon as possible – then allocate the money towards the main focus of the event. 

  #3 Source the venue  

Good venues go quickly – the earlier you look around for a venue the better.  

A quick guide to choose the Venue  

Ask capacity and availability

 ££ - does it fit in your budget?

Location

Do they offer a package?

Organise a site visit

Put a date on provisional hold

Is accommodation available?

Confirm venue and pay deposit

Inform your guests

 

#4  What type of Christmas party will it be?  

 

There is almost endless variety when it comes to the type of Christmas party you plan to have. Ask the venue of your choice is they are offering a themed package, this will then give you a starting point.   

 

#5  The Food & Drink 

Getting everyone in the party spirit is very reliant on the food and drink you serve your guests.

Don’t feel like you have to stick to the traditional Christmas turkey, the theming, venue choice and  what you believe your guests think is important are key factors to consider.  

We suggest you head to a menu tasting with a few of your colleagues, the more opinions you get the more confident you will be with the end decision.  

#6 Entertainment & Music

We believe choosing the right music and entertainment can either ‘make or break’ your party. You want to ensure people are occupied, having a boogie and letting their hair down.  We recommend you choose both of these around your theme, venue and what would suit your team and company culture.

A few inspirational ideas; live performers such as comedians, jugglers, stunt shows, circus acts. You could choose games such as casino tables, murder mystery, giant Jenga, air hockey, pool, arcade machines. Other hits include cocktail flaring demonstrations, wine tasting and karaoke. Fireworks always help a party go with a bang too. Hedsor are transforming the house into the Gatsby Mansion this Christmas complete with cabaret entertainment, a fully immersive theatrical experience and 1920's theming!

#7   Transportation

Mini buses and taxis will be a necessity to ensure that your guests have a hassle-free evening, advising them to plan ahead and providing them with details in advance will really help you at the end of your night.

#8   Speeches & Awards  

We're 99% certain that you will be asked to schedule in a slot for speeches and/or awards, the timing for this to take place must be planned in advance. Depending on the numbers attending a microphone might be needed – just make sure these don’t go on for too long as short and sweet are always best. After all people are there to celebrate the end of a successful year and let off some steam...

Looking for a fully immersive experience? Hedsor House offers four different Gatsby themed Christmas 2016 Festive Party Options which include exclusive hire of Hedsor House & Grounds, DJ & Dance Floor. December & January dates still available. Download the Gatsby flyer here.

By Grace Lloyd-Jones, Marketing Executive and Wedding Aficionado

Guest Blog - Love From Mwai

Mwai's Top Wedding Flower Tips  

Wedding flowers are one of the most crucial visual elements that enhance the style and theme of your wedding day. The floral arrangements you choose help set the tone of your day, from the wedding bouquet you carry down the aisle to the centre-pieces at the wedding breakfast tables choosing your wedding flowers can be a daunting process. 

When it comes to choosing your wedding-day flowers, remember, it’s all about complementing not only the wedding dress and setting, but also your personal preferences.
— Mwai

As with every other aspect of the wedding, your wedding flowers are an opportunity to add an individual touch to your celebration or to include something meaningful like accessorizing your blooms with a vintage brooch or hankie.
Choosing wedding flowers that fit your style and petals that match your colour palette isn't always easy—especially if you don't know a dahlia from a daisy.

 

Some people may even enjoy the symbolism associated with certain flowers - Lily of the Valley is linked to happiness and sweetness, roses are equated with love and beauty and sweet peas stand for delicate bliss.

Below are a few points to consider when choosing flowers for your wedding day.


What do you need to know before you start planning the flowers for a wedding?

The venue and date are obviously important so that your florist has an idea of what will work stylistically and the flowers that will be available. It’s also helpful to know what the dress looks like, but that shouldn’t be rushed

What do you need to bring to your first appointment with your florist?

Before the first meeting, make sure you have images that might inspire the palette and mood. .. One thing that’s extremely helpful is creating an inspirational mood board on Pinterest.


What are your favourite bouquets to pair with different dress silhouettes?

There are no rules, but I personally love the way a cascading bouquet echoes the long lines of a sheath dress. If the gown is really modern and clean, a minimalist, single-flower bouquet, such as tightly clustered mini calla lilies or French ranunculus, can also look stunning. With a ball gown, I prefer a traditional, round bouquet that mimics the shape and proportions of the skirt. A-line and empire silhouettes are simpler and can work with any bouquet. The thing to keep in mind is the level of embellishment. If the dress is ornate, I’d go with fewer varieties of flowers and maybe a matte duchess satin or sheer silk organza wrap. If the gown is on the plain side, you might want more texture in the bouquet and some sort of beaded fabric or embroidered lace trim. Think of the bouquet as an accessory that complements, but doesn’t overshadow, the dress.

Consider your budget

The average reception is up top 4 to 6 hours, so I think centerpieces are key. At the ceremony, I would concentrate on a couple of fabulous arrangements flanking the area where you’ll exchange vows.. Ask your florist to leave some extra vases to pop the bouquets in after the ceremony. I would forgo pew or chair decorations at the ceremony because so many venues are beautiful on their own. In general, you can save about 20 percent per florist is charging you.


Use seasonal blooms?

Seasonal wedding flowers tend to be better value and more available than flowers not in season, your florist should also present you with all the options so you can make informed decisions and get the best value.

I hope this information has been useful in those flower making decisions for your big day.

Join me next month when I discuss the latest wedding dress trends!

Happy planning!

xx

Exclusive interview with Sue Barnes from Lavender Green Flowers

Lavender Green Flowers founder and leading floral designer Sue Barnes talks all things Wedding Flowers in an exclusive interview with Hedsor House

 

Lavender Green Flowers have been working at Hedsor House for many years now, based 10 minutes away in the centre of Windsor, there really isn't much they don’t know about when it comes to dressing this venue.

With a team of over 40, many of the guys and girls who work there live just minutes away from Hedsor, and word has it that it is definitely one of the favourite venues that they work in.

 

What do you think makes Hedsor a different venue in comparison to other venues you have previously worked at?

Hedsor House just gets better and better with constant improvements both to the house and grounds. The drive is grand, the house, impressive, imposing and welcoming and it is a gorgeous combination of classic design that has a timeless quality. Unlike many venues, when you decide to hire Hedsor House, the whole place is ALL yours! There are no members of the public drifting through, no other events going on at the same time and so many different parts of the house and garden to explore.

What is your favourite British growing flower?

This kind of changes with the seasons so I like heavenly scented Hyacinths in Spring, Sweet Peas and garden Roses in summer, Dahlias in the autumn and Hellebores in the bleak winter months.

What’s your favourite part of Hedsor House to dress in terms of floristry? Why?

I like to decorate the entrance hall really well as I think that first impressions count enormously. If you get this part right, it will have set the scene, creating excitement and very definitely, the wow factor.

How early should I book my florist?

I like to see Brides when they decided upon their dress, typically six months to a year before the date of the wedding. This is because I design and sketch the bouquet against the Bride in her chosen dress. I love to do this as it teaches me so much about the style of the wedding and Brides love it as it shows them exactly what they will look like on the day!

What service do Lavender Green Flowers offer brides? And what makes them different to other florists?

What was your favourite Hedsor House Wedding? -“the next one!”
— Sue Barnes

So many years experience working with flowers in both the wedding and events industry has allowed us to build up a wealth of information and expertise across all areas. We can make suggestions and offer helpful advice that is backed by years of experience of trends, the industry and Hedsor House.

When it comes to our services specifically for weddings, I would say that ability to sketch bouquets, table centre and concepts is probably our biggest USP. It allows us to create unique designs and to communicate these to clients.

What would your dream wedding look like at Hedsor House in terms of floristry?  

It would a summer wedding, completely filled with Peonies and Sweet Peas. It would be naturally beautiful and appear effortlessly glamorous.

Is there anything that brides and groom forget to include when budgeting for wedding flowers?

That less is sometimes more! A few gorgeous, large and impressive designs in a venue the size of Hedsor House are far more important, and sometimes less expensive, than lots of small designs that, when the house is filled with guests, cannot be seen.

Would you have any specific recommendations for couples looking to get married at Hedsor House?  

Book it quickly! 

 

Guest Blog from Papeterie Eugenie Stationery - A Beautiful Nod To China

The talented Eugenie from Papeterie Eugenie Stationery sent us through a lovely little description on a current Bride and Groom's stationary designs for their wedding.  

"A lovely couple marrying at Hedsor House this summer, had a very specific stationery brief.  It was very important for the bride to bring elements of her Chinese heritage to their traditional English wedding.  

She loved purple, gold and delicate design.  It was important to include orange blossom somewhere.  As red is lucky and the traditional colour for Chinese weddings, it was essential to include this too.  Being drawn to hand-crafting we created beautiful little bundles, containing the invitation, information and RSVP card.  Each card was illustrated with orange blossom and a pair of lovebirds, in red and gold, representing the Bride and Groom.  A bespoke illustration was the perfect way to link everything together.

To make the invitation complete, the Bride provided beautifully scented red envelopes, all the way from China.  These are used at Chinese weddings where it is traditional to offer gifts of money - and will be posted in a stunning, hand-crafted post-box on their big day. 

I can’t wait to share the final vision in June…"

Guest Blog from rhubarb - Choosing your Wedding Cuisine

At rhubarb we are always thrilled when we receive a wedding enquiry – there is something very special about offering food crafted with love to the happiest of days.  Whether planning a small intimate wedding in a garden marquee or celebrating in an iconic London location, our team of expert event planners create bespoke food and design, tailored to brides and grooms.

From all the planning so far this year, the team have built a bank of amazing insights and ideas for summer weddings. They predict the wedding colour combination this summer will be cornflour blues and shades of yellow. By introducing some colour into your celebration you can change the whole feel – imagine soft blue tablecloths, crisp white linen napkins with tiny detailed blue stitching around the edge, white china and beautiful white peonies and roses to finish it off; effortlessly elegant.

“Serve afternoon tea inspired bites for guests when they leave the ceremony”
— Sarah Hammond

For the ultimate wedding tips, we call upon our wedding guru Sarah Hammond…

Up until now canapés have been a favourite choice for couples however this year afternoon tea is proving to be a popular alternative, think mini crumpets and bite-size scones- something different for afternoon receptions and perfect with Champagne.

“Serve a delicious main course with a twist”
— Sarah Hammond

Clients are currently loving the suggestion of meat cooked two ways for their main, for example, our two-bone rack of lamb with a herb crust and a cannelloni of slow cooked shoulder of lamb. This is delicious whilst being elegantly presented with edible flowers and bright, fresh vegetables as if you have just picked them from the garden.

 

 

Offer guests a decadent pudding stall filled with all your favourite desserts after the speeches instead of before.  This allows the nervous speakers to deliver their speech earlier and allows guests the opportunity to move around, socialise and graze for the rest of the evening.

“Ease the pressure on the speech makers by serving pudding after they have spoken”

— Sarah Hammond

And…if you still have room after all that then finish off the night with some toasted cheese served from a whole raclette wheel, so light it is almost soufflé like. Served with choice of truffle oil, mustards, caramelised onions and Worcestershire sauce to pack a flavour punch!

 

A TEAM OFFSITE WITH A DIFFERENCE

Lets be frank, team building exercises can sometimes be a little arduous therefore it's no surprise that businesses are constantly on the hunt for activities that are fresh and exciting. The reason team building activities exist are to increase morale, improve team cohesion and reward great results. 

Not only has the Hedsor House team found an event that does all of the above but this one also provides an exhilarating experience, develops trust, enhances problem solving skills and bonds your team. Hedsor House in partnership with KDM Events is very proud to launch our Hunger Games inspired team-building event. 

The Hungry Games

Inspired by the Hunger Games phenomenon, this event allows your teams to step into the world of arena survival! Pitted against your colleagues, can your team members muster all their target, combat and bush survival skills to triumph for their district? In order to win, your teams (or districts) must assemble the best Hungry Games team camp possible consisting of waterproof shelters, live fires and eating utensils for all the team. To do this, each team will compete in a live Archery Combat Tournament to try to win everything necessary for camp life! 

Played with specially designed bows, facemasks and patented foam-tipped arrows, this is not only static target practice. This archery challenge pits you against moving targets...that shoot back at you! Teams will scramble to earn as many points as possible to then spend on their choice of equipment and instructions for constructing their working camp.  Using the items won, teams must now create a structure to keep them dry during a downpour (water included!), achieve a sustainable fire using one of three traditional methods and carve a set of team eating utensils from lime wood blocks. To the best completed camp go the victor’s spoils. For a longer event, you can even upgrade to include bread baking or raft building as part of the challenge. A unique and exhilarating experience, this event will definitely leave you hungry for more! 

To speak to the team about booking The Hungry Games team building or another corporate activity call or email Nick Gardner, Corporate Relationship Executive ([email protected])  

By Grace Lloyd-Jones, Marketing Executive and Wedding Aficionado

 

SENSORY STORYTELLING AT HEDSOR HOUSE

The Power of Scent

We couldn't resist sharing with you what the stunning Design in Scent team has to offer your event at Hedsor House. They call it Sensory Storytelling – we call it FABULOUS. Their objective is to take your guests on a memorable journey from the moment they receive their invitation to long after your event is over. It’s proven that smell is the only sense with direct links to our memories, imagination and emotions, so why do we so often overlook this important aspect when organising an event?

As recently featured in the Channel 4 documentary series 'Millionaire's' Mansions - creating your own unique scent is becoming an exciting new luxury. Fragrance reaches us in ways that eludes sight and sound but conjures imagination in all its sensuality.  For your summer party treat everyone to floral top notes and for your masked gala dinner send out dark grounding spice tones to get everyone in a decadent mood.  See below for more ideas on how to incorporate fragrance into your event at Hedsor...

“Smell is a potent wizard that transports you thousands of miles and all the years you have lived”
— Helen Keller

How to Incorporate Scents into your Event

Home & Lifestyle

Once you've chosen your very own bespoke scent for an event - incorporate it back into every day life to keep the memories alive.

Burn your candles and instantly invoke the memories of your special wedding or celebration and be transported back - after all everyone does say the day goes far too quickly!

Match Your Brand

Want to stand out and add that extra special element to your corporate event, whether it's a product launch, business development or reward dinner add a specific scent to match the occasion? Give your guests a matching signature candle as a thank you for attending. An occasion scent can be inspired by the look and feel of your brand, values or even your own unique personality.

The addition of scent into a creative event can enrich the visual environment, stir nostagia and trigger guests unique memories and emotions, thereby setting the scene in a more realistic way
— Design In Scent

Weddings

Scenting your wedding enhances the mood and forges a lasting connection to the day for you and your guests. Create your very own couture fragrance and evocatively remember your wedding for years to come.

Whether it is candles on the tables, beside your guest book, outside in the gardens, down the aisle, diffusions in the toilets, in the guest bedrooms or beside the cake - romance and drama will be added to your day.  Give your guests candles, perfume bottles or diffusions as favours to continue the theme and transport them to your special day every time they smell your scent even once the day has formally ended.

Chat to Gemma Hopkins from Design In Scent if you'd like to have a chat regarding sensory storytelling at your forthcoming Hedsor House event.

By Grace Lloyd-Jones, Marketing Executive and Wedding Aficionado

Guest Blog - Love From Mwai

Mwai's 'Victorious Tips' on Finding Your Dream Wedding Venue  

I’m so honoured to have been asked by the wonderful team at Hedsor House to blog on all things weddings. I’m excited to share my love for weddings, advice and hopefully inspire all the wonderful couples as they plan what I would like say is one of the most important days of a person's life! No pressure!

A little about myself, my name is Mwai, I am the owner and creative director of Love from Mwai.  I love all things weddings so much that I planned my entire wedding on my own four years ago. I understand the intricacies of a wedding and that it is more than just walking down the aisle and reciting vows. To me, a wedding is about telling a story of who the two of you are as a couple, which is told in the many minute details of the day.

Join me on my monthly blog as I discuss all the wonderful, interesting and of course worries of the wedding world. I thought it is only right for my first blog to be about “finding the perfect wedding venue” especially as the venue is the backbone a wedding and planning only starts once you have found the perfect venue...

Factors to consider when finding the perfect venue

Once the initial excitement of your engagement settles down, it is time to get down to business. As a wedding specialist, I have seen so many beautiful venues I remember. When I walk into my dream wedding venue, it is always love at first sight.

In an ideal world that’s the way everyone’s venue search would go. But when looking for your own dream wedding venue,  you may not have that “ah-ha” moment right away. In fact, it can become very overwhelming and frustrating. But by narrowing down the type of wedding you would like to have, your venue search can be virtually stress-free and a lot of fun! So here are my “Victorious Tips” for choosing the perfect wedding venue:

1. Budget – Cost is often the main factor people use when considering or ruling out venues, and of course the price tag of hiring the venue must fit within your event budget.

2. Space specifications – This would include things like space/room capacity, load in/out amenities; and technical capabilities (like lighting, electrical, A/V, etc.).

3. Day/time availability – This factor almost goes without saying, but it’s a good rule of thumb to have several day/time options in mind (or at least be somewhat flexible with day/time of the event) before you start reviewing venues so you don’t immediately limit the number of venues you can consider.

4. Appropriateness for type of wedding you want – This may be the most subjective, but it may well be the most important. And it first requires you to know precisely the needs and what type of wedding you want in order to match up a venue with those specifications.

5. Other groups using the venue at the same time as your event – If you are planning an intimate wedding, you probably don’t want a loud function going on in the next room so make sure any simultaneous events at the venue (or even nearby) won’t conflict with or interrupt yours. Even better - choose an exclusive hire venue to make sure the space is all yours.

6. Customer service – Not only does the venue need to be responsive to your needs prior to your wedding, but it also needs to have adequate support staff on site during the event to respond to the needs and requests of you and your guests.

7. Travel convenience – The location of the venue needs to be conveniently located for your guests and within a reasonable distance so as not to require excessive travel; otherwise your guests will spend most of the time on the road travelling to your wedding venue.

8. Parking and proximity to transportation options – Onsite or nearby parking options for your guests are important (and cost of parking for your guests can be a deciding factor here). In addition, proximity to airports and public transit is also important if you have many guests who aren’t driving their own car to your wedding..

9. Reputation – Ask other event planners/ vendors regarding their experiences with the venues you are considering. In addition, look at online reviews in forums to round out your assessment of a venue’s reputation and track record.

10. Vendor restrictions – Some venues have a list of exclusive vendors that they will allow to perform work in their venue, so make sure if you are using outside vendors that you can bring them into the venue and that the venue will amicably work alongside them.

And there you have it folks, I hope these tips will be as useful as they were to me when I was searching for my dream wedding venue. Bonus points for Hedsor House as they definitely meet all the above criteria.

Stay tuned for my next blog post where I’ll be talking about how to choose your wedding flowers. Until next time!

Happy Planning!

Love from Mwai

 

A Big Hello from Jennie - Our New Award Winning Wedding Specialist

 

Hello I'm Jennie and I'm delighted to have joined Hedsor House as the In House Wedding Specialist.  On the 11th of July 2015 I organised my 250th wedding and have joined Hedsor from another luxury venue where I held the position of wedding coordinator for the previous nine years. Just typing those numbers gives me goose bumps as I can’t believe I've already had the honour of being part of so many special events!

 

I adore all things wedding and am in love with my career. I am incredibly proud to have won some major awards in the process including two National Awards and three Regional Awards at The Wedding Industry Awards. http://www.the-wedding-industry-awards.co.uk/

In terms of my personal life - I have an unbelievably amazing family, partner and friends around me and consider myself a very lucky girl indeed.

I have already been at Hedsor for a month and I feel so privileged to be working at one of the UK's most prestigious wedding venues. The grounds and the house are incredible and look stunning no matter the weather. I have been enjoying looking at lots of pictures from previous weddings and feel inspired for the many more to come.

For those who have already booked your wedding with us, I hope all your wedding plans are coming together nicely and I am hugely looking forward to meeting you in the next few months ahead.

Hopefully you are registered to attend the Bridal Wedding Showcase on May 17th 2016. I would love to meet you then!

For all of those considering Hedsor - please do get in touch. I'd love to chat about your dream wedding...

Warmest regards, 

Jennie Hopcroft ([email protected]

Why Sundays are the new Saturdays

When planning your important nuptials, most people automatically veer towards choosing a Saturday when getting married. Considering a Bride & Groom can maximise time over an entire weekend and guests can avoid that potential ‘morning-after’ feeling (probably best reserved for a day when you don’t have to be in the office) this does, after all, make complete sense.

So why are Sundays suddenly becoming the preferred day of the week to get married? The Hedsor team talk about our observations on this hot new booking trend….

For the majority of us Sunday is the day of the week when we get to relax, catch up with friends and family enjoying some all-important time out from our hectic schedules. This naturally slower and more casual pace of life on a Sunday provides our first clue. Here are some other reasons why Sundays are proving to be so popular; 

  •  A relaxed and casual vibe - having a Sunday wedding ensures guests and suppliers are relaxed, prepared and organised for the day. If the majority of guests are travelling a distance to the venue this provides them that extra day to make sure they arrived and rested. Your nearest and dearest have Saturday to make sure they’re ready and set to support you on your special day. With a naturally calmer atmosphere, the ceremony becomes even more meaningful with everyone more focused on the vows rather than waiting for a raucous party to start*
  •  Spoilt for choice – despite Sunday becoming an increasingly popular day to get married, they are surprisingly budget friendly. By choosing a Sunday and saving some money, you can focus on other aspects of creating your dream wedding. (Jimmy Choo here you come!)
  •  Unique and memorable – Stand out from the crowd and create a wedding that’s different to all you've attended before. Your guests will remember your wedding and the meaning of it not the day of the week it falls on.
  •  Make your day last longer - if you decide to celebrate your wedding on a Sunday, go for an earlier ceremony and reception so that you and your guests can enjoy an extended day. Those guests that do need to leave earlier are free to do so after a wonderful day spent celebrating. Your remaining guests can use the opportunity to book a Monday off work* and enjoy an extended weekend.

*Please note - raucous parties can and do still happen on Sundays! #SundayFunday