Tuesday, 6 March 2018

The Ultimate Guide To...Speeches

Every few months we will be featuring an ‘Ultimate Guide to…’ post. These will range from dress picking to slashing your guest list and so on.

This month we are dealing with the Wedding Speeches.

The traditional format for wedding speeches is that the Father of the Bride speaks first, thanking guests for coming and toasting his daughter and her new husband. The Groom follows, thanking everyone who has helped with his special day, and toasting the Bridesmaids. Finally, the Best Man speaks about the groom, often regaling amusing and embarrassing stories.

It is most common that speeches happen after the wedding breakfast. However, some couples will choose to have them before, or even dotted between courses.

Although traditions have a very important place during a wedding, sometimes it can be nice to go ‘off piste”. Here are some quirky ideas to mix it up a little:

-          Why not do a song or a rap if you are musically gifted? One of the most famous examples is Tom Fletcher (McFly) whose 15 minute song speech is a YouTube sensation. Check it out for inspiration! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=27WufdasQYs

-          A flash dance. Persuade your bridal party to perform an energetic dance routine – that’s sure to get the party started.

-          A Bride’s speech – it is still considered unusual and is a lovely surprise for your guests. It is also rather nice to have a ‘female’ voice where you can thank who you would like to thank, rather than someone doing it on ‘your behalf’.  Your husband will love it too as it takes the pressure off him, and he will be full of pride when you can get his mates giggling, and his mother teary-eyed!

-          Props – these can be a great addition to a speech and be incredibly entertaining for your guests. A flip chart of photos (from cute baby pics to embarrassing stag do photos) or even a video link to guests that can’t be there are great ideas.

-          Host an interactive ‘game show’ style speech…asking the audience to participate is a fun way to keep everyone interested.

Monday, 5 February 2018

Will you be my Valentine?

The history of Valentine’s Day is a mystery that has yet to be solved. However, we do know that February has long been celebrated as a month of romance. In Great Britain, Valentine’s Day began to be popularly celebrated around the 17th century. By the middle of the 18th, it was common for friends and lovers of all social classes to exchange small tokens of affection or handwritten notes, and by 1900 printed cards began to replace written letters due to improvements in printing technology.

Did you know that approximately 150 million Valentine's Day cards are exchanged annually, making Valentine's Day the second most popular card-sending celebration after Christmas?
Although celebrating a wedding on 14th February is less popular these days (due to the day it falls on – often during the week – or because people are averse to the commercialisation of the day), it can create a wonderfully romantic day for a Bride & Groom. Here are some reasons why a Valentines wedding is actually a great idea:
         No-one wants to spend Valentines alone so you will give all your friends and family the perfect opportunity to enjoy an amazing party surrounded by everyone you love.

         Marrying your soul mate is the best possible way to celebrate the day of love. It could not be more romantic.
         Forgetful Grooms will never have to worry about missing their wedding anniversary.
         You can go overboard with heart-shaped decorations. Who doesn’t love carefully placed love hearts at a wedding. Keep it elegant using stone or metal or why not have heart shaped cookies for favours?
         It is a great excuse to have red velvet cake - this flavour is more and more popular and could not be better suited than at a valentine wedding.
         There are fabulous colour theme options for your day from bright vintage reds, to soft blush pinks. The more flowers the better for a Valentine wedding – roses are a must!
         Stay on trend with a romantic dessert table full of sweet treats like pink rock candy and cake pops.
         You can treat your guests to the perfect valentine cocktail hour with drinks such as True Love’s Kiss sure to be a hit.

Friday, 19 January 2018

How to be 'on trend' in 2018

With our New Years’ Resolutions sorted (or completely binned!) it is now time to look ahead at what is trending in 2018. If you need a little inspiration for your big day, look no further.
o     The colour to look out for this year is ultra violet. From floral displays to stationary, and even linen, purple will be the colour choice for many of our 2018 brides.


o      For brides who would like to make a statement, black is the new white! Monochrome details on bridal wear will be a big trend this year.


o     Let’s not forget the Grooms. Velvet is having a major come-back at the moment and a statement velvet jacket will go down a treat this year. Why not go completely wild and choose purple velvet to be ‘bang on trend’!


o      The Bridesmaid dress will soon be a thing of the past as ladies are now opting for separates. This gives your bridesmaids much more flexibility as they are able to choose a neckline that suits them best, or a skirt length that accentuates their curves. Bridesmaid strops will be a thing of the past!


o      The Metallic look will be staying with us in 2018, but we will be seeing a move from rose gold to copper accessories. Why not chose some beautiful copper candle holders or lanterns to decorate your table?


o      Forget about the traditional pudding, this year we will be seeing an explosion of wonderful dessert ideas from donut walls, macaroon stacks and whole desert tables filled with meringues, cookies and other sweet treats.


o     It is not only desserts that are going ‘off piste” this year. Gone are the days of the 3-course meal, now Brides and Grooms are thinking outside the box and opting for more imaginative food such as sharing platters, paellas and Pie Master! A great way to entertain your guests during your wedding breakfast.

o      Marbled wedding cakes will be huge this year, literally and metaphorically! These simple yet elegant designs are the perfect choice to fit any theme or colour scheme.


o    To really wow your guests this year, why not consider an animal encounter? Alpacas, peacocks and even turtles will be a fun addition to any wedding in 2018. Alternatively, if you have a special pet, bring it along to your drinks reception so they can be included in your special photos.

Monday, 8 January 2018

New Year Wedding Resolutions

Although the New Year is well and truly under way it’s not too late to make some New Year’s Resolutions. 
Here are our top 5 “Wedding Resolutions” every bride should consider for 2018. 

1.    I Will Get Organized...with a Wedding To-Do List

There are so many things involved in putting together a wedding, so it's important to make sure you've got your act together.  Create a ‘master list’ of things to do, take a step back and figure out when they need to be done and which ones you can delegate to others. This will help you manage your time and keep you from feeling overwhelmed. Once you start crossing things off that list, you'll feel a whole lot better about everything.


2.    I will not be afraid to ask for help

When it comes to planning your own wedding, of course you want to be in control but sometimes you have got to trust and hand stuff over. Delegate planning tasks to your helpful hubby-to-be (after all it is his wedding too), and use your bridesmaids’ skills to their full potential. After all, what are bridesmaids for?  When people genuinely ask “is there anything I can do to help?” check your ‘master list’ and give them something to do. 


3.    I will trust my wedding suppliers

Have faith!  You have chosen and hired some fantastic suppliers to do a professional job – let them do it.  Communicate well and trust that they will do a great job, you do not need to take on extra stresses. 


4.    I will make time for no-planning time
Of course you want your big day to be perfect but give yourself a break! Make sure to schedule in a regular date night with your fiancé so that the only relationship you have is not just between you and your wedding planning book.



5.    I will Help Others...with a Charitable Wedding

What better way to celebrate your love than to share it with everyone else? It doesn't take much to make a difference in the world and there are so many ways you can do it. Interested in saving the environment? Print your invitations on recycled paper or hire a stationer that uses ethically sourced products. If you are passionate about a particular charity, why not give wedding favours that benefit your favourite organisation. Don't want to be wasteful? Why not donate your flowers to a hospital or care home after the big day. With a little creativity and thought, your special day will have a lasting effect for a very long time.



       6. But …… above all …… I will not become a bridezilla

Last but certainly not least, spare yourself, your husband, your family and your friends and don’t become a bridezilla. Following the above resolutions will help. Be calm, be positive, be happy!

Friday, 22 September 2017

Autumn & Winter at the Castle

As we approach the winter season, we can once more look forward to a totally different wedding at the Castle. With the roaring fires, mulled wine and beautifully lit candles adorning our Great Hall, the autumn/winter season is a romantic and magical time of year.

As the leaves begin to fall, and the days become shorter and shorter, the Castle transforms into a rich and vibrant venue, the perfect place to share your dream wedding.
Gone are the days when summer weddings are the most sought after, indeed we now find our autumn months just as popular. The vivid autumnal colours, and the stark white frosts of winter create a magical setting to say ‘I do’.
Here are some reasons why we love our upcoming season at the Castle:
         Without the pressures of needing a perfect sunny day (as is often the way in the summer), you can relax knowing that The Great Hall and Drawing Rooms are just as spectacular as our Grounds & Gardens. The huge roaring fires in all our rooms create a beautifully cosy and intimate setting.
         The catering choices for autumn and winter are endless with stews, dumplings, pies and soups being a fabulous and warming treat for your guests. Why not try mulled cider, or toffee apples for extra fun!
         The smells of cinnamon and spice heighten the autumnal ambience and create a cosy and comforting feel to your special day.
         Why not consider a dusk wedding, creating a wonderfully atmospheric experience for you and your guests. Choose warm candles and fairy lights to enhance the mood.
         Branches, twigs and even small trees can make fantastic decorative centre pieces, using russet leaves and berries to really make a statement.
         The Castle is a photographer’s dream, and with the cold frosts and magical mists that descend, they are sure to capture some breath-taking shots for you to treasure forever.
         The festive period is always a popular time to get married and the Castle is the most splendid venue for a Christmassy experience with our 12 ft tree decorating the Great Hall.

For more information regarding weddings at Berkeley Castle, please see our website www.berkeleycastleweddings.co.uk or email us at weddings@berkeley-castle.com

Monday, 3 July 2017

Ever wondered why the bride wears a veil...?

The British love their traditions, and this is no more apparent than during a wedding. It would seem that many of the little details that make up your special day actually have an historic reason and are rituals that have spanned centuries. Here are a few traditions, some you may not even be aware of.

Your father ‘giving you away’
This significant part of your day stems back to the Ancient Romans where arranged marriages were the norm, and fathers literally handed their daughters over to their new husbands. Usually a dowry was given as exchange for the bride. These days, it is still seen as a symbolic and highly emotive part of the ceremony.

Wearing a veil
While many people believe that wearing a veil was seen to ward off evil spirits (and this is a correct assumption), there is actually another far more controversial explanation. It is thought that a veil was worn to cover the bride’s face so her groom could not be ‘put off’ by her potentially unfortunate looks and refuse to marry her. It does beg the question as to why the groom didn’t have to wear a veil too!!

Where to stand
The groom traditionally stands to the right of the bride so that he can draw his sword at a moment’s notice to defend his love. Thankfully, this rarely happens in the 21st Century!

Throwing confetti over the bride & groom is a fun part of the wedding day and can make for brilliant photos, but it was originally thought to encourage fertility and prosperity. Top tip: make sure the confetti throwing happens before you serve the bubbly, as you may find yourself covered in champagne!

The threshold
There are two reasons to explain the tradition of carrying the bride over the threshold. The first is that the groom is protecting his love from any evil spirits which may be lurking in the house. The second, and rather more sinister story, is that the bride was occasionally reluctant to leave her family home, and so had to be dragged over the threshold into her new abode! Thankfully today it is just for fun!

These days, your bridesmaids are your best friends and family members who help you prepare for your special day.  However, in the Roman times the bride would have up to 10 ladies, all dressed identically to her, and they would act as a decoy to any evil spirits who wanted to harm the bride. They were also seen as extra protection in case anyone tried to kidnap her!


Nowadays, a bouquet is simply a beautiful bunch of flowers which decorate the bride and can be a lovely keepsake. However, centuries ago brides would carry aromatic bunches of herbs, spices and garlic to ward off evil spirits. Each herb had a different significance, for example, sage stood for wisdom. Flowers then replaced herbs, but they continued to have a significant meaning: Ivy stood for fertility, lilies for purity and orange blossom for happiness. It is also thought that the beautiful smells from the flowers disguised the potentially unsanitary odours coming from the bride!


Come visit us at the Castle or have a look at our website www.berkeleycastleweddings.co.uk

Friday, 16 June 2017

Trends to look out for in 2017

It is hard to believe that we are almost half way through our 2017 season but for those brides who need a little inspiration, here are the fashions and themes that are trending this year
2017 is all about soft sensuality for our brides. Mystery has prevailed over blatant sex appeal, as seen in previous years. Translucent fabrics such as tulle and organza, textured with embroidery and lace are the key looks this year.

If you are a Groom who likes to wow, you will love this new trend for 2017. Pattern and prints are huge this year, giving our men a chance to experiment with a different style, and stand out amongst the guests. Look out for 3D-effect and floral motifs.


It’s good news for all bridesmaids out there, mix and match is a key style in 2017 with different colours and styles to suit each individual.


2017 is seeing a big rise in the use of orchids and succulents. The deep green of a cactus, contrasting with the vivid colour of an orchid makes a real statement.


Ever heard of a drip wedding cake? Well you soon will, with these stunning creations being high on the most wanted list at a 2017 wedding. These creative cakes look sensational and add a real wow to your wedding.

Gin is the booze of choice for 2017 with gin tasting and cocktails featuring at many weddings this year. Did you know there was a gin called ‘Berkeley Square’ – with its unusual botanical flavours, it is perfect when making a martini!

Wedding Invites
Greenery is huge this year, and that isn’t just when it comes to floral arrangements. Simple, illustrated leaves decorating invitations is a huge trend in 2017.

Drones are a must for high-end wedding films this year, creating magnificent footage for any bride and groom hoping to keep their wedding memories alive.


Creating a memorable entrance or exit at your wedding is a big trend this year, with unexpected transport such as horse & carriage, supercars or even helicopters being a popular choice.

Whatever style or theme you would like, Berkeley Castle can cater for almost everything. Book a viewing at the Castle and begin your journey towards your perfect day.



Request a brochure

For more information, +44 (0)1453 512999. You can also email us, or use our simple enquiry form.


Find out more

For more information, +44 (0)1453 512999. You can also email us, or use our simple enquiry form.


Berkeley Castle

Discover the amazing history behind Berkeley Castle and experience its special atmosphere.

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