Stowe House Weddings - Top 10 tips for Weddings on a budget

June 2022

Let’s face it, Weddings can be expensive, but if funds are short it doesn’t mean you can’t have the wedding of your dreams. We have summarised some top tips to keep your costs down and still have a wonderful wedding day.

1. Consider a Weekday Wedding

Here at Stowe, although our weekend costs maybe out of your budget, we do offer reduced week day costs and also Winter Wedding packages. These options are perfect for those couples on a tight budget, but looking for the splendour that Stowe has to offer.

2. Be strict with your guest list

Weddings can cause many a family drama, but remember it is your day. The more guests you have the more your costs increase, think carefully about who you really want with you on the day, do you need to invite your work colleagues or your parents’ best friends? Unless your parents are offering a large contribution to your day, don’t be afraid to say no. You could opt for a very small intimate day guest list and then invite more to the evening for a big blow out.

3. Make use of your family and friends

Instead of gifts, ask your talented friends to contribute to your day. If you have a friend who is a budding photographer, or a sibling who is great at makeup and an aunt who can make a pretty good cake…. get them all involved! They will be more than happy to help and be honoured to contribute to your big day!

4. Get rid of tradition

There are many aspects to a wedding that tradition dictates you should have, but we have found that many couples are ditching tradition and doing the day their own way, by doing this they have saved themselves hundreds of pounds. For example, you don’t need to have a wedding cake, cakes can be extremely expensive if using a professional wedding cake maker, and if you don’t intend to serve this it can be seen as a big waste of money, ditch the cake cutting and put that money towards something else on the day. Many couples are also foregoing wedding favours, these were extremely popular 10 years ago, however are now seen as an unnecessary cost.

5. Menu choices

Think carefully about your menu choices. Opting for an afternoon tea or BBQ will significantly cut your catering costs down.

6. Serve your wedding cake as dessert

Whilst it might be nice to have a trio of puddings, you might have spent a lot of money on your wedding cake, which in our experience often goes to waste. If you cut your cake before your wedding breakfast you caterers can cut this up and serve it as dessert.

7. Re-use your flowers

Flowers are a great addition to your day and really bring out the features of your venue, however they can add thousands to your budget. Save money by moving flowers around the venue throughout the day. Move your ceremony flowers into the room you are having your wedding breakfast and then again into your evening reception room. You can also save on flowers by opting for more foliage and less flowering buds. Speak with your florist, who will be able to recommend what flowers are in season and therefore more cost effective than those that need to be artificially gown.

8. Wedding Dress

Although it is so lovely to be able to splurge on a designer wedding dress, many high street stores now stock their own beautiful wedding dresses that will still make a statement on your big day. Save your money for something you’ll wear more than once! If you do want the big designer dress, there are now many pre-loved sites that sell or rent wedding dresses, which will offer a much more affordable option. 

9. Bridal Accessories

When it comes to accessories, beg, borrow and steal from friends and family. This gives you a good opportunity to add to your ‘something borrowed’ and will save you a couple of hundred pounds on accessories you probably won't wear again. 

10. Entertainment

Consider hiring student musicians from your local Arts School. They will be half the price of a pro and will value the experience you are giving them. For the day time just create a Spotify playlist and bring your own speaker.

Stowe House Weddings - Top Tips for your Wedding Photos

May 2022

Here at Stowe House we are lucky enough to work closely with the National Trust Gardens, who we share our site with. When getting married at Stowe, our couples are able to have use of the stunning grounds for their wedding photos, most choose to hire the buggy from the Trust in order to get these done quickly… but these make a great photo op…

 

Our Events team have come up with some top tips for getting the most out of your photos and how/ where to go to get the best shots.

  1. We recommend going straight off for your couple photos as soon as you arrive at Stowe, or straight after your ceremony if getting married onsite. This means that you can ensure you have got those all-important shots done, but will also give you time to come back and enjoy some drinks and canapes with your guests. It is so important that you get to experience the day as well as getting those lifelong photos.
  2. Come to Stowe to have an ‘engagement shoot’ with your photographer, if you can. This will ensure that you know exactly what shots you want on the day and will speed up the process, it will also ensure that your photographer knows the site if they have not been here before. If this isn’t possible, take a look at our Instagram and get some ideas and a list of shots you want and send them to your photographer before the big day.
  3. If you can, keep family shots to a minimum, although you may want everyone to feel included, you could spend the entire drinks reception taking group photos that will probably just sit in your album for years to come. Narrow down your list to the most important group shots and leave yourself time to enjoy your day. If you did want small group shots with everyone it would be a good idea to split these between your drinks reception and after your wedding breakfast so that you are given a break.
  4. Ask your photographer to take natural, un-posed shots throughout the day, these will often be the best and will capture the happiness of the day.
  5. Pick a photographer that you get on with. Of course, it is important that you love the images they produce but we recommend also giving them a call and having a chat or zoom with them before you book. This is why an engagement shoot is also a good idea, remember they are going to be spending the entire day by your side, so you want someone with you that you feel comfortable with and who can enjoy the day with you.
  6. Share your schedule with your photographer before the big day, this ensures they can plan their day and shots that they would like to take, they can also help to keep you running to time.
  7. Don’t forget to look after your photographer! It may sound silly but they are going to be with you for the majority of your day, they will need feeding and time for short breaks throughout the day, this will ensure they can get the best possible shots when they are in the zone.

At Stowe, we have an abundance of locations to pick from for your wedding photographer, here are a few of our personal favourites.

The South Portico is perfect for your group shots, with plenty of light and views that go for miles this area offers lots of space and the perfect lighting.

 

For those all important couple shots, here are a selection of our favourite locations. In order of appearance: Chandos House, the Grotto, The Temple of Ancient Virtue, The Temple of British Worthys, Temple of Concorde and Victory, The Palladian Bridge, Temple of Concorde and Victory. 

For some stunning night time/ sunset shots, the colonnades are the ideal location.

For those looking for some extra sparkle firework shots are just incredible from the South Portico. 

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