Here at Stowe we love opening our doors to our fabulous couples, the House was purpose built for entertaining, so running events, such as weddings, means that the rooms are able to re-live their glittering past in a 21st century fashion!
There are many pros to hiring a Stately Home for your wedding day.
1. Stunning Scenery and architecture
As Stowe is set within National Trust grounds, we are lucky to have a host of temples, lakes and bridges that act as the perfect backdrop for photos. The architecture and unique rooms inside the House offer your guests something different to your ordinary hotel and they will have a truly memorable day.
Stowe is steeped in a rich history, historical figures such as Queen Victoria have dined and stayed at Stowe. Hiring a Stately Home means you are contributing to the sites History and means you can pretend to be royalty of times past for the day!
3. Exclusive Use
Here at Stowe we offer exclusive wedding hire, so you will be the only couple onsite throughout your hire. This often isn’t the case when hiring somewhere like a hotel that may have multiple weddings across the site. This will often mean that the service you receive is of an extremely high standard as the onsite team have the time to dedicate to the planning of your day.
There are a number of things to consider when hiring a Stately Home, as they are very different to a hotel or purpose-built venue, and so we thought we would share some top tips and considerations for anyone thinking about getting married at Stowe, or indeed any other Stately Home.
Many Stately Homes are multipurpose, they often act as visitor attraction, or as in Stowe’s case, a Private Boarding School. This means that dates may be limited, so it is always good to book in advance if you have a particular date in mind.
2. Venue restrictions
As a listed building, Stowe House does have some restrictions in place in order to protect the fabric of the building.
Due to the risk of fire Stowe, and most Stately Homes, do not allow the use of naked flames in any of theirs rooms, with the exception of a mandap ceremony. Luckily battery powered alternatives are all the rage now and you are able to get some realistic looking candles that make a good alternative.
Stately Homes were not built with accessibility in mind, here at Stowe we are lucky to be fully wheel chair accessible. However, at some historical venues you may find that accessibility can be an issue. Always check with your Event Planner what the options are for guests with disabilities.
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.
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.
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.
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.
To contact us please email email@example.com or call 01280 818282