I am working on a number of weddings at the moment which will be held in a stately home or a building of grandeur status. They can be spectacular wedding venues, and will truly allow you to feel like a princess for the day! Nothing is too over the top here, so they are the perfect backdrop for your fairytale wedding. When considering your decor, I would advise "the bigger the better"! In fact, anything too small can be at risk of being overpowered by it's surroundings. It's important to make an impact, make the most of any historic large opulent features... Hello candle flooded fireplace!!
Banqueting rooms often offer high ceilings, and are crying out for oversized (and tall) centrepieces to make the most of the space. Crisp white table linen often looks best, but don't be afraid to experiment with colour if the venue surroundings would suit this look. Grey or navy linen look spectacular with pink and white florals, but remember to just select two or three colours to create an elegant look - any more will look messy. Using gold rimmed or decorative crockery and glassware with gold cutlery will really enhance the historic grandeur (Helene Millot Furnishings have a beautiful range of these).
If there isn't enough natural light in the dining space, it will give you the perfect excuse to fill the room with candles (always make sure the venue are happy for you to do this first!), but if the room already has plenty of natural light flooding in through beautiful large windows, allow the light to take over, and save the candles for your evening reception.
Timeless and classic stationery styles work best with historic buildings, such as letterpress printed onto luxury paper stock, and paired with an essence of calligraphy throughout the design. If budget allows, offer a personalised menu for each place setting, along with beautiful calligraphy place names. Be creative with your table plan...is there a feature within the house which you love, and could be used for hanging escort cards or table plan cards from?
When it comes to your menu, opt for a traditional 3 or 4 course meal. But that doesn't mean you need to stick to traditional dishes - work with your caterer to come up with some creative options to really impress your guests. Perhaps an amouse-bouche between courses, a Heston Blumenthal style chocolate dessert with dry ice smoke when guests lift the lid, or offering a different wine to complement each course. All of these have gone down very well at previous Vanilla Rose weddings!
Here are a few of my favourite stately home venues:
Fetcham Park, Surrey
Cornbury Park, Oxfordshire
Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire
Sezincote House, Gloucestershire
Cliveden House, Buckinghamshire
I hope that has given you some ideas for using the space within a stately home to its full potential, but if you're planning a wedding in a historic building and would like a little extra help, I would love to hear from you!