Recently engaged? Tips from one of Devon’s most popular wedding venues

 

You’re engaged! From all of us here at Rockbeare Manor, huge congratulations – you must be over the moon.  From now until the big day it will be a whirlwind of excitement, planning, celebrations and fun, and as one of Devon’s most popular wedding venues, we hope to give you a steer in the right direction as to where to start on your journey to becoming a married couple.

Celebrate and share the news!

Once the question has been ‘popped’ you’ll no doubt be dying to tell your parents, friends and family.  Visit those that you can, get on the phone, or arrange a Face Time chat, and spread the amazing news!  Don’t be too quick to announce it on social media though – whilst it will seem tempting, it’s always best to make sure that you have told all of your nearest and dearest first, rather than them finding out about the up coming wedding on the grapevine! 

This is also the perfect time to start giving some thought to who you may ask to be your Best Man, Ushers and Bridesmaids.  Relish in the moment and take it all in (and enjoy drinking lots of celebration bubbly!!).

Daydream!

Perhaps you have been planning this day for years, and who knows, you may even have some Pinterest boards at the ready, but either way just enjoy the initial weeks and months of the engagement. It’s always nice to spend these moments with your partner; go out for long walks, chat ‘weddings’ over dinner somewhere special and explore each others ideas and vision for how the day might be.  Nothing needs to be set in stone straight away so relax and have fun with it.  A key subject to think about is the date and time of year for your wedding…do you see yourself having an romantic winter affair with open fires and candlelight, or would you prefer an outdoorsy wedding with Pimms, Prosecco and good food flowing?  It’s going to be hard not to get carried away, dreaming big, and thinking about all the possible things that you could incorporate into the day (we’ve all done it!!) – and there is no harm in doing so in these early ‘daydreaming days’ – make the most of it, and enjoy!

Engaged couple by the lake at Rockbeare Manor, Exeter, Devon

 

Think about who you’d like to share your special day with

Dare we say it…. It’s one of the things that will be at the root of many a wedding planning discussion and does have the potential to trigger some debate, but your guest list is an important thing to consider all the same.  The number of guests that you choose to share your wedding day with will having a bearing on many other things further down the line such as the venue (as you need to make sure that it is big enough!), what you choose for the wedding breakfast and what style of catering that you go for, and it will also affect overall costs too of course.  Some key questions to ask yourselves at this stage…

1/ Are we inviting immediate family only, or extended family too? 

2/ Will children be welcome to the wedding as well?

3/ Should we invite certain people to the evening reception only? (This is an easy way to reduce numbers for the main part of the wedding if needed)

4/ Are our parents expecting to invite some of their friends or relations?

The first guest list that you write will probably be as long as your arm, but it’s best to put everyone’s name on it and then, if necessary, you can whittle it down from there. If you are finding it hard to narrow the list down, think about the last time that you saw that person, and how important they are to you both. If them being there will make the wedding day more special for you, then their name should probably stay.

The million dollar question

How much is the wedding going to cost?  Having a realistic budget is essential and so it’s definitely worth giving it some thought.  Hopefully you will have some idea of whether or not parents or family members are contributing to your wedding day, and of course you must think about how much you are prepared to spend too.  Opening a wedding savings account is a great way to put money aside each month. Most wedding suppliers will only ask for a small deposit on booking, and so you won’t ever be expected to pay for everything upfront .  If you are worried that the financial commitment will put too much pressure on you both, perhaps think about planning the wedding a year or two ahead to give you more time to save.  

Pick the venue!

So now you know roughly how many people are attending your wedding, you have an idea of potential month and year, and you have also given budget some thought – now it’s the fun part! Go out there and look for a potential venue for your big celebration.  You can do a lot of the leg-work online and you are likely to get a feel for the venue just by browsing their website, as it should tell you all the key information that you are looking for, and give you a really good selection of gallery images to scroll though as well.  There is no harm in requesting brochures from a wide variety of wedding venues.  How responsive they are to your enquiry, and the quality of the brochure that they send through are all clues as to how they will look after you if you book their venue.

At Rockbeare Manor we think that we have something quite unique, and really very special.  We’re dedicated to making sure that if you choose our venue for your wedding day, we’ll go the extra mile to make things as smooth as they can possibly be, so that when the day comes around you enjoy every minute!  Our wedding venue in Devon is always exclusive use for you and your wedding guests, and as our beautiful Ballroom seats between 50 and 160 guests we can host either an intimate or large scale affair!  Our grade I listed Regency Manor house is brimming with period features, it has unbelievably breathtaking views across the Devon countryside, beyond Exeter, up to Dartmoor and beyond. The setting is just perfect for weddings.

Rockbeare Manor, Exclusive Wedding Venue in Exeter, Devon   Wedding Ceremony at Rockbeare Manor, Exeter, Devon.

To book an appointment to see our lovely Devon wedding venue, please call us on 01392 797444 and we’d love to talk about everything weddings with you!

www.rockbearemanor.co.uk Rockbeare Manor, Near Exeter, Devon, EX5 2FE

 

 

 

How To Navigate The Top 5 Wedding Planning Minefields

Wedding Place Setting

Throughout our years of experience in planning weddings, we’ve learnt a thing or two about navigating the various ‘etiquette issues’ that have the potential to cause family and friend fallouts on the big day. By fact that Rockbeare Manor is an exclusive wedding venue deep in the Devon countryside means you have so much freedom in how you want your wedding day that ultimately, we believe, this can help ease pressures to do things a certain way.

However for those issues that a bride and groom struggle with here’s our advice on how to manage them:

  1. Guest list

One of the first steps for any newly engaged couple is to plan the guest list. This in itself is a minefield, as you have to find the balance between inviting every acquaintance that you both know, because you feel duty bound to do so, and only inviting the people who you really want to be there. An easy way to simplify your guest list is to consider if you are likely to share a future relationship with the person in mind? Or perhaps ask yourself hypothetically if you would happily take them out to dinner – if the answer is yes then they may well be ones to go on the invite list.

A tactic we see many couples adopt is to make a provisional guest list nice and early in the planning of your wedding which can then be revisited later down the line.  It’s really important when choosing a venue to check that the dining capacity fits in with your potential guest numbers. At Rockbeare Manor we can host wedding breakfasts for 50 to 160 guests in our beautiful Ballroom which gives you lots of flexibility to have a guest list which evolves over time.  Final numbers don’t need to be confirmed until 4 weeks before the day itself.

  1. Children

Another important aspect to consider is whether you want to make your ceremony or even your wedding a child-free zone. It’s important to remember, no matter how many people protest, that it’s your decision.

There are ups and downs to consider with having children present. They can be very cute in photos and liven up the dance floor in the evening, however some may feel them to be a distraction at the wrong times throughout the day. If you do not want children present it’s important to let your guests know as early as possible so that they can make arrangements, and it is equally important to hold your ground if that’s what you would prefer for your wedding.  

However, for those couples that do invite children we’d suggest thinking about how to make their day fun too – a wedding is a long day, and so it’s a great idea to provide some activities for the children such as garden games, colouring books, and activity packs to keep them occupied. We can also put you in touch with children’s entertainers and event crèche’s.  

Whatever you decide, Rockbeare Manor is accommodating either way.

  1. Social Media

We’re now better connected than ever before due to social media. If you want your wedding to be social media free then it’s not unreasonable to ask your guests to refrain from posting pictures or other content about your wedding online until after the celebrations have ended. But if you like the idea of embracing social media you could actively encourage your guests to post online content about your wedding. Why not specify a personal hashtag that is for your wedding only?

Rockbeare Manor has WIFI throughout our venue in case you prefer the latter option.   

  1. Money for gifts

There’s some debate over whether it is acceptable to ask your guests for money instead of a more traditional wedding gift. And the trend of asking for money is on the increase with the average age of couples marrying now at 32 years old.

What research suggests is that wedding guests are more open to giving money as a gift if it has a clear goal attached, such as going towards a honeymoon or a significant item. If you’re going to ask your guests for money towards your honeymoon, then it may be a good idea to give them an idea of where you plan to go or the name of the travel agent you are going with so that they can purchase travel vouchers for you.

  1. Table plans

Arguably the most socially stressful part of a wedding because of course you want everyone to have a blast, and avoid any possible tension between guests that may not get on.

The traditional rule of thumb is to sit close family and friends nearest to the top table, with couples sat together and, if children are present, a children’s table where they can all sit together.

But, if having a top table is too complicated or causing worry (usually due to separated parents) don’t feel that you have got to have one.  Why not have ‘sweetheart table’ with just the two of you, or, sit with your bridesmaids and ushers and ask your parents to each host other tables. It’s your day, and you can think creatively about how to mix up guests based on common interests, geography and family branches.

At Rockbeare Manor we understand how challenging planning a wedding can be, and we are here to help and support you to achieve the day that you’ve always envisaged. Ultimately, one of the best things about Rockbeare Manor being an exclusive wedding venue in Devon is that the events team will work with you to create a day that is as individual as you both are.

Autumn & Winter Weddings

‘What date shall we get married?’ is one of the first questions for any couple once the all important question has been ‘popped’. It’s something that is also bound to influence the type of venue that you choose for your Devon wedding.

Everyone is different, perhaps you’ve always dreamt of a beach wedding in the height of the summer, or a marquee perched on top of a hill-top somewhere with an amazing view, but if you are unsure, it’s well worth exploring the idea of an autumn or winter wedding – and we’ve a feeling you won’t look back!

In autumn you get a magnificent and ever-changing backdrop, full of the rich colours that this time of year brings. At Rockbeare Manor in Devon, we are spoilt by the acres beyond acres of listed parkland that surround us, and the long established trees of many varieties which add to the splendour of the landscape where we’re situated in the beautiful South West.  Then there’s Winter – crisp frosty mornings (and maybe even snow!) can create such a magical feeling among you and your guests, and your photographer will relish every opportunity to capture your day in an altogether different way leaving you with amazing memories.

Rockbeare Manor Devon, lake wedding venue

The lake at Rockbeare Manor, near Exeter, Devon.

 

Even if the weather isn’t entirely behaving it would be very rare not to be able to capture some images outside and a beautiful bridal umbrella is going to compliment any exterior shot.  But, there is always inside and that’s where Rockbeare Manor comes into it’s own…roaring fires, glowing candlelight, always warm and welcoming. Very importantly, the house flows beautifully so there is plenty of room to host the various elements of your day, using the principle rooms, without any uncomfortable turn-arounds.  Your civil ceremony, drinks reception and wedding breakfast will all flow seamlessly.

 

Wedding in the rain

Photography by www.photographybyjd-weddings.co.uk

 

One of our most striking, but incredibly serene rooms can seat up to 100 guests for a ceremony – with magnificent original crystal chandelier and ornate cornicing throughout.  As is the case throughout the whole house, the views from this room are immense, and  the light that pours through the windows even on an overcast day still ceases to amaze us.

 

Ceremony hall Rockbeare Manor

Photography by www.hollycollingsphotography.com

 

 

And don’t forget the fantastic winter accessories that you can use to style your day…beautiful cosy blankets displayed for your guests to use, hurricane lanterns surrounded by ferns and berries, twinkling lights that can be incorporated into your table centres and around the venue…and for the Bride how about a feather or fur bolero partnered with a stylish woollen suit for the Groom.  The list really does go on but some of our favourite ideas are here on our Pinterest page.

 

Wedding cake winter autumn

Photography by www.photographybyjd-weddings.co.uk

We still have some wonderful dates available throughout the autumn and winter season in 2016/17 so we’d love to talk to you more about how your wedding day could be at Rockbeare Manor. Please do let us know if we can be of any help on 01392 797 444 or take a look at our website www.rockbearemanor.co.uk.

 

P.s. Keep an eye out for our next blog which will introduce one of the dedicated members of our team…

 

 

Medics Ball – Our first event!

We’re all still very much on a high from such an amazing first event.  Saturday 11th June was the night that we had all been building up to and it certainly didn’t disappoint!  The event was organised by the social committee for a group of junior medics, across three hospitals based in the South West.  Rockbeare Manor had been chosen as the venue to host their Summer Ball – a well earned celebration for them all.

Rockbeare Manor party venue near Exeter

Greeted by our welcoming team

140 guests arrived from 6.45pm, greeted by the Rockbeare Manor team (and of course a chilled glass of Prosecco!). A close-up Magician wandered from group to group, captivating them all, whilst a harpist played under the archway of the South Pavilion.

Drinks Reception Rockbeare Manor party venue Devon

Prosecco Awaits!

It had been a bit cloudy all day with some showers, and so we were all so relieved that the guests could enjoy the drinks reception outside by the fountain. At the call for dinner you could see the excitement on everyone’s faces, keen to see what they were going to be eating that evening and they certainly seemed impressed when the starters arrived, a real feast, created by our dedicated kitchen team lead up by Head Chef Ben Upton, along with Troy Johnson.   All the food at Rockbeare Manor is sourced locally in Devon, Somerset and the South West – always fresh, and organic where possible and prepared in our brand new fully equipped professional kitchen.

The menu for the evening:

Antipasti Sharing Boards

Milano salami, mortadella, prosciutto, chorizo, smoked chicken, Quickes Vintage Cheddar, basil pesto bocconcini, asparagus, marinated artichoke hearts, mixed olives and ciabatta

~oooo~

Dartmoor Ale marinated beef, Lyonnaise potato, roasted shallot and buttered spinach

or

Puff pastry tart stuffed with mozzarella, sun blushed tomatoes, pesto and pine nuts with a rocket salad

~oooo~

Trio of milk chocolate brûlée, dark chocolate brownie and white chocolate mousse

 

Exclusive venues Devon

Stunning Ballroom at Rockbeare Manor

Dining Cuisine Wedding Catering Devon

Guests enjoying a scrummy three course dinner

During dinner an artist created hilarious caricatures of those at the party – the atmosphere throughout the event was brilliant. Everyone was so friendly – a really fun bunch, and they all very much enjoyed themselves (our Strawberry Mojito’s and or Gin and Elderflower Fizz seemed to go down very well!).

Soon after dessert, and before the rest of the evening’s entertainment commenced, all the guests were invited to go around to the front of the house for a group photograph. Rockbeare Manor, and the acres of private parkland in front of it make the most memorable backdrops for any special occasion.

Rockbeare Manor Party Venue DevonLandscape Countryside Manor House Devon Parkland

Then it was time to party!! The DJ began and from the start the dancefloor was packed, and the great tunes just kept on coming.  Not only that, there was a chocolate fountain, stand up comedian, bucking bronco in the garden, and ‘Alfie’ the Black Cab Photo Booth which was busy all night capturing funny poses of those that jumped in!

Entertainment at Rockbeare Manor Devon

‘Alfie’ Photo booth

So all in all – a huge success and so there are lots of smiling faces here at Rockbeare Manor.  We love nothing more that welcoming people into a venue which we are very proud of, and at the heart of it, for us, it’s about listening to our clients in order to help them create an event that is extraordinary, that far exceeds any expectation that they had, and leaves all who attend positively ‘wowed’!

 

“I just want to say a really big thank you for Saturday night! Everyone had such a great time and really enjoyed themselves. Thank you for all of your effort and hard work and making sure that the night ran as smoothly and as stress-free as possible. I really did appreciate it greatly! Rockbeare Manor is a beautiful venue combined with such an incredible team!”

– Gabriella, Organiser.  

 

Rockbeare Manor Event Wedding Venue Exeter, Devon

Rockbeare Manor