Wedding Brochure 2016 - Easthampstead Park Conference Centre

It is the Register Office for Bracknell and therefore the only fees payable are .... consider a wedding bank account. - start going to ...... mini raisin scone with apple.
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the brochure & magazine for your special day

at Easthampstead Park, Wokingham

April 2015 - March 2017


Welcome to our wedding magazine W

elcome to the magazine and brochure for your special day at Easthampstead Park near Wokingham. Congratulations on your forthcoming wedding – the time leading up to a wedding can be fantastic: trying on dresses, choosing a venue, deciding on a theme or wandering around wedding fayres. It should be a fun and exciting experience, but can often leave you feeling a bit tired and stressed – this magazine has been designed to help guide you along your journey – with the emphasis on YOU! The magazine has plenty of hints and tips to make your wedding unique and special, whilst including all of the packages and options available at Easthampstead Park. Sit back, relax and enjoy! 3

difference Whichever venue you choose for your wedding, you want to know that you will be looked after - whilst receiving good value for money. So what differentiates Easthampstead Park from other venues?

Simple, Straightforward Pricing Just select a daytime package and add an evening buffet. Unlike most venues, our packages also include a choice of starters and a choice of desserts. Try asking other venues to give you their prices until March 2015!

No Ceremony Hire Charge Many venues will make an extra room hire charge for the ceremony - anything upwards of £400 - we are happy to include this room as part of our standard packages. You just pay the Registrar for their services.

Open Feedback A wedding brochure or website are a marketing dream for a venue - an opportunity to sell themselves in the best light - but what about reality? We actively encourage feedback from our clients, both positive and negative. Visit our Facebook page for real world reviews: This magazine includes several articles and photography to help you plan your wedding in whichever venue you choose, however if you are considering Easthampstead Park then the following pages will assist you: Civil ceremony rooms

page 13

Drink and canapé options

page 39

Packages and prices pages 45-52 Evening buffets pages 67-69


Bedrooms for your guests

pages 74-75

The Park Suite upgrade

page 76

Booking and deposits

page 79











Romantic WINTER



The Terrace Room set with optional chair covers and sparkly star backdrop / walkway (supplied by Innovents) 12

a very

civil ceremony Tmarriage he rules and regulations for a civil ceremony can be a little

confusing – with questions such as: what music are you allowed, what do you say to each other and can the bride be “traditionally” late? In the article, we’ve spoken directly to the Registrars Service to get you all the answers...

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The marriage ceremony can be a very nervous time for both the bride and groom as all the anticipation of the wedding comes to a climax in a relatively short period of time. LOCATION Civil wedding ceremonies can only take place in premises which have been legally licensed for marriage ceremonies. The venues can include a District Register Office or the Registrars will attend at an Approved Premises (such as hotels, stately homes or castles). Unfortunately these constraints do somewhat limit the options for your ceremony, for example you normally cannot get married in your own home or garden. CEREMONY VENUE COSTS A wedding can easily turn into a very expensive day. Even if you have a reasonably high budget, there are savings to be made when arranging a civil ceremony.

a very

civil ceremony Wherever you choose to get married, you will need to pay to give notice - this charge is currently £33.50 per person (£67 total). After paying this fee, you will be faced with two main charges: the Registrars fee and the venue fee. If you choose to get married in a Register Office, you will pay one fee to cover the Registrars’ attendance and the venue charge. If you select an external venue (known as Approved Premises), you will need to budget more money for the Registrars charges and will usually need to pay the venue a room hire charge for the ceremony (which can be upwards of £400). Easthampstead Park actually has both options - the Syrett Suite* at the end of the building is the Register Office for Bracknell. This room takes up to 56 guests and has it’s own separate entrance. 14

Alternatively, within the mansion itself, Easthampstead Park has two rooms licensed for a civil marriage ceremony - the Terrace Room will take up to 112 guests, whilst the Tawney/Orangery Room will take up to 80 people. The important thing to note, is that unlike most venues, there is no additional room hire charge** for your civil marriage ceremony. GIVING NOTICE Once you decide where you would like to get married, you will need to make a provisional booking with the venue and registrar involved. “Giving notice” formally registers your intention to marry and is a legal statement showing details of your identity, marital status and the venue for your ceremony.

This notice must be signed in the presence of the registration officer and cannot be given more than one year in advance (although you can make a provisional booking with most Registrars).

“...have your own choice of words...” The country is divided up into Registration Districts - if either of you live in a different district to your venue then you will need to give notice in your own district. Equally, there are special rules involved if either the bride or groom

Ceremony Fees and Charges Giving Notice

Registrar Fees

Venue Fees

Total Costs

Register Office

£35p.p. £123-370 included £193-440

External Venues

£35p.p. £300-430

Easthampstead Park

£35p.p. £300-430 included £370-500

*The Syrett Suite must be booked directly with Bracknell Forest Registrars



External venue prices for comparison only

are subject to immigration controls: it is best to discuss these with the Registrar in your district.

Points to Consider We are all individuals and enjoy things that are personal to us - and your civil marriage ceremony should be no different. A few small enhancements can make the wedding individual to you. Before you visit the Registrar, consider the following questions:


Will you be arriving together? Will you be interviewed together?


Will you enter the room:- together? with family? with another guest? one after another? will your attendants be in front or behind?


Will you enhance the ceremony with special music? Times to consider playing music: Whilst the guests assemble For your entrance When you sign the register As you both depart (married!)


Are you exchanging rings? Are they to be placed on a cushion or handed over by a guest? What would you like to say to each other as you exchange rings


Are you using a professional photographer? Do you want guests to be invited to take photos? Will you have a video of the ceremony? Who will be making the video recording? Remember - there can be no religious content in a civil ceremony

** No ceremony room hire charge is made providing the full wedding package is taken

A civil marriage ceremony can be very romantic and relaxed, however you do need to be careful not to include any religious content, whether in the readings, poetry or music. It is always best to confirm the content of these in advance with the Registrar. It is possible to have your own choice of words for the vows, something personal to you - although these will be in addition to the statutory declaration required by law. BRIDE’S ARRIVAL We have all been to a wedding where the bride arrives a little late how do the Registrars view this? Although many would see this as a “tradition”, unfortunately it is not recommended for a civil marriage ceremony – although the Registrars are very friendly and amenable, they will often have another ceremony or appointment to attend after your wedding - meaning you risk there being no wedding if you are late!

a very

civil ceremony Prices on these pages correct at time of going to press


The Marriage Declaration Two registration staff will be present at your ceremony. The Superintendent Registrar will say some words of welcome and talk about the meaning of marriage the the marriage ceremony. You will then be asked to confirm your full names. You will be asked to declare that you know of no lawful reason why you should not be married to each other. You can say either:

“I do solemnly declare that I know not of any lawful impediment why I ............ may not be joined matrimony to ............”

“I declare that I know of no legal reason why I ............ may not be joined in marriage to ............”

Or by replying “I am” to the question “Are you ............ free lawfully to marry to ............”

You will then be asked to make your marriage contract. Again you have a choice of either:

“I call upon these persons here present to witness that I ............ do take thee ............ to be my lawful wedded husband / wife”

“I ............ take thee ............ to be my wedded husband / wife”

“I ............ take you ............ to be my wedded husband / wife”

The rings are then exchanged - you can choose our traditional words for this, or you can write your own. Some popular choices are:

“I give you this ring as a sign of our marriage and as a symbol of our friendship and loyalty. I promise to love, respect and care for you, through good times and bad, completely and forever.”

“I give you this ring as a sign of our future together”

“I promise to love, honour and respect you and be true to you always.”

“I will be loving, faithful and loyal to you in our married life together.”

“I give you this ring, a circle with no end, as a sign of our marriage and as a symbol of our friendship and loyalty.”

“I give you this ring as a symbol of my love, and as evidence of the vows we have made together. May it forever signify the love we have for each other.”

Readings or poems can be added at three places in the ceremony. The Registrars have a booklet of suitable prose, or you can choose to create your own, but it must have no religious content. Two witnesses, who must be over the age of 16, will be invited to sign the register with you. The ceremony is completed when the Registrar presents the bride with a copy of the marriage certificate. At this point, the photographers are invited to take whatever photos they wish, but close up shots of the marriage register are not permitted. Finally, the Registrar will ask your guests to stand and congratulate “Mr and Mrs ..........”, before your both walk up the aisle hand-in-hand as a married couple!


Ceremony Room Options at Easthampstead Park The Syrett Suite This room has its own separate section of the mansion and has its own entrance. It is the Register Office for Bracknell and therefore the only fees payable are those to the Registrar. This is the most cost-effective option for your civil marriage ceremony. The actual room is tastefully decorated in a light blue colour with large windows facing towards the sundial lawn. The room has a seating capacity of 56 people. This room must be booked directly with Bracknell Registrars Service (and you must meet the Registrar in the Syrett Suite prior to the ceremony, rather than in a bedroom at Easthampstead Park).

The Tawney/Orangery Room This room is split in two, with the actual ceremony taking place in the Orangery Room, and further guests in the Tawney Room. The room has views out to the croquet lawn with a door directly out into the gardens. Total capacity of 80 guests in these rooms, with 30 in the Orangery Room and a further 50 in the Tawney Room. There is no room hire fee for the ceremony (only Registrar charges).

The Terrace Room This room is located adjacent to the main lounge which has access directly onto the back terrace area. The room has a traditional wooden floor, light airy decor and views out onto the formal gardens and fountain. Maximum capacity for this room is 112 guests. There is no room hire fee for the ceremony (only Registrar charges).


The Terrace Room at Easthampstead Park 18





Play Child’s

Children: for some couples, they are an integral part of the family and wedding experience; for others, the thought of young children crying during the wedding ceremony or running round the reception is a step too far. Whether to invite children is a

sensitive and emotive decision, so it is important for any couple to make it very early on. ADULTS ONLY RECEPTION If you decide not to have any children at your wedding, then you need to make it clear to your guests from the start. If you just omit their

names from the invitations, then you will probably receive several calls to clarify the situation. The general etiquette is to have “Adults Only Reception” printed on your invitations – avoid writing this by hand (have it put on by the printer) - or your guests may feel that they have been singled out! It is also best 23

to avoid using words like “No Kids” or “No Children”, as people can take offence at this.

“...integrate them into each part of the day...”

It is also normal that if you exclude some children, then you need to exclude all children – no one wants to think that you are singling their family out or hinting at poor parenting skills! If you are having an “Adults Only Reception”, then you may also want to consider what you will do if someone does arrive with little Johnnie in tow... Like we said, this is an emotional subject with many pitfalls! CHILDREN AT WEDDINGS If you are having children at your wedding, then these pages will help give you a few ideas that may minimise any issues and enhance the experience for you, the children and their parents. When choosing the wedding venue, check that they are “child-friendly” – as somewhere with expensive antiques may not be quite so open to children as other locations. Having plenty of outdoor space for the little ones to run around in is also a good move. Once you’ve selected your venue, start by thinking about the different 24


“...think about different ages...”

“...part of the wedding experience...”

Kids Menu One

Melon with Strawberries Chicken Nuggets, Chips and Peas Ice Cream Orange Juice on arrival & during meal £17.50 each (under 12’s only)

Kids Menu Two

Half-portion of adults meal (at half price)

Play Child’s


their parents, give all the children their own separate table or consider giving them their own separate room, along with an entertainer and a special meal. Whichever option you choose, consider decorating the child settings differently to the adults – perhaps some masks, hats, balloons and bubbles to create a party atmosphere. If you are only expecting one or two children to come, then options such as Children’s Activity Packs are a cheap solution to keep the little ones entertained, perhaps with a small toy picked out for each individual.

ages of the children who will be attending your wedding and how you can integrate them into each part of the day – involving them, amusing them, keeping them occupied and feeding them. Bear in mind that even the most well-behaved children can start to be irritable at a wedding when they are a bit bored or hungry, so make them feel special and involved. THE CEREMONY If you are expecting babies or toddlers for your wedding ceremony, then arrange for your ushers to set aside some chairs at the back of the room for families - this will allow them to sneak out if the child

becomes disruptive or needs a feed without ruining your marriage vows. Leave them a little bag with a game or puzzle in it to keep them amused for the duration of the ceremony. THE PHOTOGRAPHS Try to get any photos with children done early (and quickly), whilst they are still excited (and interested). Once the photos are out of the way, then arrange a mini treasure hunt in the gardens - time to make use of those ushers again! THE RECEPTION When it comes to the meal you have three main choices – either leave children sat with


When more children are involved, it can be beneficial to provide some entertainment that is specific to them - this will also help the parents feel relaxed and they will go away having thoroughly enjoyed the day. Ideas that we have seen include a bouncy castle*, face painting, children’s entertainer and a balloonist. Or how about something different like fairground stalls, a clown or a fresh popcorn machine?

“ about a fresh popcorn machine...” Think back to when you were a child – if you were given lots of presents at once, you probably opened them all up very quickly and moved from one to another in a very short space of time. Consider having little presents or games to give the children at intervals throughout the day – a little at a time is more likely to keep them occupied for longer. Whichever options you choose, it is likely that there be a small tantrum at some point in the day - just try to relax and enjoy yourself!

Play Child’s

Play Child’s

* Bouncy Castles at Easthampstead Park must include a trained supervisor 27


The Downshire Room at Easthampstead Park (shown with optional chair covers)


i give you this


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from “i will” to “i do”

your 18 month plan to a successful wedding 35


- organise wedding insurance - church or civil ceremony - time to decide - view reception venues and book as soon as possible - discuss the budget with any contributors - consider a wedding bank account - start going to wedding shows for ideas

book the church / registrar begin shopping for your wedding dress book the entertainment and find a cake maker book a photographer (and videographer if required) compile a guest list and send “save the date” cards include accommodation details for your guests -





- order the dress and choose the groom’s outfit - book your honeymoon and check passports! - book the florist - order the cake and stationery - Start your seating plan - choose your best man and chief bridesmaid

organise and book transport organise the bridal make-up and hair choose bridesmaid dresses select outfits for the best man and ushers book fireworks (if budget permits) have an initial dress fitting -


12 6


- select your readings for the ceremony - send out invitations - make your gift list - buy the wedding rings - have an initial hair and make-up trial - think through table decorations and ancillary items

visit for the next Wedding Fayre date 36

choose ceremony music (confirm with registrar) make sure disco/band have your first dance buy a guest book and nice pen finalise your seating plan tally up number of adults and children make sure you know of any special diets -





- confirm your menu with your reception venue - confirm everything - registrar, suppliers, venue - buy wedding lingerie - go through duties with best man and ushers - buy presents for those who have helped you - if budget permits, splash out on special touches

create a “must-take” shots list for photographer start breaking-in your wedding shoes at home time for your final dress fitting send placecard names to the printer/stationer have your stag or hen parties write your ceremony vows -


8 4


- have your final hair and make-up trial - send the groom out for a hair cut - reconfirm photographer, transport, cake, etc - have a spa treatment - order travellers cheques for your honeymoon - confirm final numbers to venue, pay them & relax!

pack your holiday bags take favours, decorations, placecards to the venue arrange for the cake to be delivered to the venue have a manicure and pedicure pack an overnight bag for your first night relax and enjoy it all - try not to stress too much! -



visit for assistance in finding a supplier 37

The beautiful stained glass window at Easthampstead Park 38

drinks and canapés

Whether you get married in a church or have a civil wedding, it is great to follow the ceremony with some time to relax with friends, family and loved ones. Some drinks, perhaps with a few canapés or nibbles are perfect whilst photographs are taken to capture lasting memories of the special day. The next two pages show you the options at Easthampstead Park. 39

As the bride, you’ve probably been busy all morning getting ready and prepared. As the groom, you’ve probably been running around dealing with all the last minute details (usually under strict instructions from your brideto-be). Now, you are married and it is time to unwind, relax and take time out. Enjoy a glass of bubbly, grab five minutes with your new partner and savour the moment - in a matter of minutes you will be smiling from ear-to-ear in a never ending pose for photographs!

drinks and canapés

At Easthampstead Park, all of the packages include an arrival drink for your guests - with options including Bucks Fizz, Sparkling Wine, Champagne or Pimms. You also have the option of providing your guests with something to nibble - perhaps chocolate-dipped strawberries or canapés?




Fresh & Flavoursome

Nibble Platters

Traditional & Tasty

Canapé Trays

A modern way to indulge your guests whilst you are having photos are fresh strawberries dipped in thick chocolate £3.00 per person

Placed around the lounge for guests to help themselves: Houmous, olives, feta, tomato, pitta, crudites, nuts, crisps and dips £6.00 per person

Smoked salmon with lemon mayonnaise; Baby Yorkshire pudding with beef and horseradish; Smoked chicken paté; Sun-dried tomato bruschetta; Asparagus with parma ham £9.00 per person 41

Set in 60 acres of stunning grounds and parkland






Over the next few pages you will see the standard wedding packages available at Easthampstead Park.

adults for the daytime package, which are displayed on the website (

These will give you a feel for the packages that are on offer and the prices, although you can discuss any alternative ideas you may have.

INSURANCE All weddings at Easthampstead Park must take out insurance cover (minimum £2m public liability cover). Most wedding insurance policies include this level of cover and may also protect you (or the

Due to the popularity of the centre, there are minimum numbers of


main bill payer) against compulsory redundancy. Be sure to take out the policy early though to ensure that you entitled to all the benefits! PACKAGE ELEMENTS All weddings at Easthampstead Park must take an evening buffet or barbeque in addition to the daytime package. 45


& prices

countess package

£70.00 per adult

arrival drink: a choice of bucks fizz or orange juice wine with the meal: half a bottle of house wine per person to toast: one glass of sparkling wine per person

Menu choice of starters: creamy leek and potato soup finished with garlic croutons or

fanned seasonal melon with poached red fruits & lemon sorbet ****** select one main course for all guests (excluding special diets): supreme of chicken with fondant potatoes, wilted greens and a mushroom-tarragon sauce grilled supreme of salmon on crushed new potatoes with baby spinach and prawn bisque ****** choice of desserts: raspberry crème brûlée served with sable biscuits or

baked chocolate tart with white chocolate shavings ****** coffee with minted chocolates

Package includes room hire plus a bedroom for the bride and groom Further options and details on page 50 46

marquess package



& prices

per adult

arrival drink: a choice of sparkling wine or cranberry juice wine with the meal: half a bottle of house wine per person to toast: one glass of sparkling wine per person

Menu choice of starters: woodland mushroom soup flavoured with tarragon or

goats cheese and roasted vegetable parcels with rocket and red pesto ****** select one main course for all guests (excluding special diets): whole baby chicken with sage and onion stuffing, roasted potatoes, seasonal vegetables and red wine jus roasted rib of beef served with roast potatoes, Yorkshire pudding and seasonal vegetables ****** choice of desserts: New York style vanilla cheesecake with blueberry compote or

glazed chocolate profiteroles with grand marnier cream ****** coffee with minted chocolates

Package includes room hire plus a bedroom for the bride and groom Further options and details on page 50 47


& prices

downshire package

£80.00 per adult

arrival drink: a choice of kir royale or fruit punch wine with the meal: half a bottle of house wine per person to toast: one glass of champagne per person

Menu choice of starters: traditional minestrone soup with freshly grated parmesan or

gravadlax of salmon on a cucumber-dill salad with wholegrain mustard ****** select one main course for all guests (excluding special diets): chargrilled sirloin steak on a bubble and squeak rosti with a wild mushroom jus saddle of lamb filled with apricot and thyme farce with dauphinoise potato & sautèed vegetables ****** choice of desserts: classic Baked Alaska with strawberry and vanilla infused compote or

triple layered chocolate torte topped with praline and honeycomb ****** coffee with petit fours

Package includes room hire plus a bedroom for the bride and groom Further options and details on page 50 48

viscount package



& prices

per adult

arrival drink: a choice of traditional pimms or fruit punch wine with the meal: half a bottle of house wine per person to toast: one glass of champagne per person

Full Dressed Buffet* nibble platter (on each table): houmous, taramasalata, olives, tomato, feta, pitta, rustic breads, crudités, nuts seafood display: whole dressed salmon; shellfish and smoked fish platter cold meats, pies and paté: cold roasted meat platter of ham, beef and turkey gala pie; cherry-tomato ploughmans pie; smoked duck paté hot selection: beef bourguignon with baby roasts; spinach and ricotta mushroom tortellini salads: bacon, avocado and pine nut; mixed green leaf; caesar salad; dressed tomato and cucumber; potato, chive and mustard vegetarian: roasted red pepper roulade; spiced aubergine & tomato terrine cheese and bread: display of english cheese; garnish of celery, apples, grapes, nuts; biscuits & assorted pickles; selection of rustic breads desserts: caramelised banana and irish cream mousse; rich chocolate marquis with an amaretto anglaise; exotic fruit brochette with chilli and lime syrup coffee with petit fours Package includes room hire plus a bedroom for the bride and groom Further options and details on page 50

* A minimum of 40 adults applies to this package 49

Upgrade to Park Suite The preceding four packages at Easthampstead Park all include a bedroom for the bride and groom to stay on the night of their wedding, complete with a basket of fresh fruit and a bottle of Champagne. For a small supplement, you can upgrade this bedroom to the Park Suite. Further details on page 76.

Minimum Numbers We have a minimum number of daytime guests for the most popular dates - these are displayed on our website.

Choice of Starter/Dessert Most venues will insist that you select one starter, one main course and one dessert for all of your guests. We like to be a little bit different - offering your guests a choice of




two starters (must be soup plus one other) and a choice of two desserts (plus fruit salad). In addition, there is the option of offering your guests a choice of a second main course for a small supplement (plus a vegetarian option).

Choice of Main Course For all packages (except the Viscount buffet) we request that you choose one main course for all of your guests (with the exception of special diets - i.e. vegetarians). If you would like to offer your guests a choice of main course, we charge a supplement of £10.00 per person (charge applicable to all guests). If you are selecting this option then we highly recommend that you organise a pre-order with your guests.

Vegetarian Options All of the packages include vegetarian starter choices. Below are a selection of vegetarian main course options for you to choose from - please select one choice for all of your vegetarian guests: potato gnocchi with Mediterranean vegetables and basil pesto or

wild mushroom risotto with parmesan & crème fraiche or

chargrilled vegetable lasagne with mixed leaf salad or

vegetable strudel with basil mash and a tomato & red pepper coulis or

tomato, rocket & olive bread and butter pudding on a bubble & squeak potato cake 50

Swapping Menu Items

Evening Buffet

The preceding packages will give you a feel for the style of food that we offer and the package prices, however if you have any other thoughts and ideas then please email: [email protected]

All weddings must take an evening buffet or barbeque in addition to the daytime package - see page 67.

If you would like to swap menu items, then you can move items from a cheaper package onto a more expensive package (i.e. you can move starter options from the Countess menu onto Marquess and pay for the Marquess package).

Children For younger children, there is a menu listed on page 25 charged at £17.50. For older children, or those with a larger appetite, we can do half-portions of the packages (charged at half price).

Suppliers At Easthampstead Park, we understand that every wedding is individual and unique. We do not tie you down to any specific suppliers - instead leaving you choose your own so that you get the wedding that you want. However, we also understand that some assistance in finding suitable suppliers can be of great help when you are making your plans. Our website has a list of suppliers that we see on a regular basis.

Corkage Our standard packages all include arrival drinks, wine with the meal and a glass of bubbly to toast the bride and groom. We believe that our prices are very competitive and therefore do not allow guests to bring their own wine or alcohol. Current bar prices are listed on our website.

Room Hire We do not make any additional charges for room hire - not even for the civil marriage ceremony - this charge is included in all packages.

Insurance Please note that all weddings at Easthampstead Park must take out public liability insurance (minimum £2m cover). Most wedding insurance policies include this cover as part of a larger package. We highly recommend that you take this out immediately, as it may cover the main bill payer against compulsory redundancy. Wedding insurance usually costs around £3060 depending on cover.




Exclusive-Use As a venue, we only ever run one wedding at a time. However, we do sometimes have weekend conferences taking place. Rest assured that even when these are taking place, we are very experienced in managing the events so as to have a minimal impact upon a wedding party. To enquire about exclusive-use, please contact the Sales Manager.

Download the supplier list from our website: 51

The Downshire Room


Round Tables:

Long Tables:

Maximum Capacity: 100 Top table x10 Nine round tables x10

Maximum Capacity: 112 Top table x12 Nine long tables x10-12

review: styles of speeches

Make them


for you!

best man:

do’s and

don’ts! etiquette:

traditional or modern?







aking a speech, or toast, has been a part of wedding tradition since the days of ancient Greece. Over the years, these traditions have changed and been adapted throughout the world. During Victorian times, only men were expected to speak, so the typical custom is for the bride’s father to start with a few words, followed by the groom and then finishing up with the best man.

best man

In more recent years, the bridal couple often fit the speeches into a format that suits them, including a speech by the bride and sometimes the maid of honour.




l rsona be pe g assin r r a b be em

The timing of speeches has also become more flexible in recent years, although the vast majority still choose to have their speeches at the end of the wedding meal. Use this article to make the speeches work for you.

review: styles of speeches BEFORE THE RECEPTION MEAL:

If we are honest, most of us have some kind of fear when it comes to public speaking. By putting the speeches at the beginning of the meal it lets you get them out of the way quickly! But there are pitfalls - your guests will be hungry and have a tendency to be thinking about the meal rather than concentrating on your speech. Timings also need to be carefully considered, as you do not want your meal overcooked because one speech has taken longer than expected. verdict: good to get them over with, but unlikely to be remembered


This is traditionally the most popular time for the speeches - and with good reason. By this time, all of your guests have been fed and “watered”, so they are happy to sit back and listen. Your guests are also more relaxed, as they’ve had an opportunity to get to know everyone around them. The downside - those giving the speeches are best to be careful about their alcohol intake if they want to be remembered for the right reasons! verdict: nervous for those speaking, but memorable for those listening


In recent years, there has been a trend for weddings to become more relaxed - designed around the wishes of the bride and groom rather than sticking to tradition. If you are a confident public speaker, then giving a less formal (“off the cuff”) speech may work well. Due to the nature of the speech, it may be difficult to ensure that all of your guests are watching and listening. Try combining this style of speech with the more formal options above. verdict: informal & relaxed, but confidence is needed to pull it off well 54

DO: try to rela x before sp eaking DON’T: dr ink too m uch

FATHER OF THE BRIDE The Bride’s Father has traditionally paid for the wedding and as such, gave the first speech to thank everyone for coming and to welcome the groom and his parents into the family. Make sure that you say how beautiful the bride looks, and perhaps recount a story about her childhood. This is the time when “Dad” is handing over his daughter - so it is often used as an opportunity to give a few words of advice about married life (perhaps with a joke or two). The Father of the Bride would personally thank anyone who has made the day special (florist, cake maker, etc) before finishing by proposing a toast to the bride and groom.

BEST MAN Most wedding speeches are quite formal in nature, however the best man’s speech is typically humorous, light-hearted and amusing. This is the speech that everyone will be looking forward to, and the one that everyone will remember afterwards.

Complimenting the bride’s parents for raising such a nice daughter is always a good thing, as is complimenting the bride! Traditionally, the groom proposes a toast to the bridesmaids and thanks the best man for coming, as well as saying a few words about him.

He will normally thank the groom for asking him to be his best man, and then start to tell a few funny stories about the groom. If he knows the bride well, then the best man may get away with saying a story or two about her - but he should tread very carefully here!

BRIDE Traditionally a bride doesn’t give a speech - although it can be a wonderful opportunity for her to say some words from her heart to the people that she loves. If a bride does give a speech, then she will often thank everyone for coming and mention anyone who was unable to come, perhaps due to ill-health.

Traditionally, the best man reads out a few cards from anyone who couldn’t attend, but most try to be brief as this bit can be boring for the audience.

Sometimes the bride will tell the story of how she met the groom and may tell an amusing story about their relationship.

best man

best man

Speeches probably create the most anxiety for many members of the bridal party. The normal structure of each speech has been similar for a number of years, but everything should be about you, so make sure that the speeches fit around your personal choices.


The best man would normally finish by proposing a final toast to the bride and groom, before wishing them every happiness in their future life together. make a joke or two : joke about th e bride (or her mother!



BRIDE-GROOM The groom’s speech is usually fairly short and relatively straight-forward, primarily thanking people and saying how beautiful the bride is.

best man


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A good start is to welcome everyone into the family and make a special point to thank anyone who has travelled a long way to be present.

work for you!

best man

Make them

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contemporary wedding dresses A stunning collection of eight contemporary bridal gowns that will make you feel like a princess Dresses supplied by Crystal Boutique (

Beautiful simple-shaped “A” lined aurora taffeta dress with pleated detail on the bodice. A lace up back and a lovely train Style: Elizabeth


A stunning fairy tale bridal dress in satin and tulle, with a beautiful ornate boned bodice and lace up back. This dress comes in several different colours, with or without train Style: Natasha


contemporary wedding dresses A lovely update on a classic silhouette, this full length duchess satin dress, has a fully boned bodice with beaded detail front and back Style: Alice


This beautiful fish tale bridal dress comes in duchess satin with beaded detail under the bust, also featuring a corset lace up back Style: Anakin

Dresses supplied by Crystal Boutique (


A striking fish tale dress in Aurora Taffeta with a beautiful pick-up-skirt which comes in several different colours Style: May

Dresses supplied by Crystal Boutique ( 60

contemporary wedding dresses Show off your figure in this stunning mermaid style dress, with a simple side detail and train Style: Kyra


A beautifully ornate princess-style dress in duchess satin and tulle, featuring a lovely detailed sweetheart neckline, this comes in several different colours and with or without a train Style: Leanne


contemporary wedding dresses Wow everyone with this stunning taffeta dress a beautifully designed gown with a crystal detail on sweetheart neckline and side of dress Style: Melissa

Dresses supplied by Crystal Boutique (


Photographer Professional or Friend?



o you are getting married, and would like to capture some brilliant images of the day. Now, do you spend upwards of £1,000 on a professional photographer or do you get ‘Uncle Bob’ to do them, as he has a “pretty good” camera? The photographs will be the most significant lasting memory that you will have of your special day - do you want to put that pressure and burden on ‘Uncle Bob’, or choose a professional who has many years of experience and knowledge to fall back on? A professional photographer will have seen numerous different scenarios during a wedding day and will excel at managing time and stress, as well as having excellent people skills. They will be able to adapt to changing situations during the day and will have the experience to plan the day to the last detail what time should they be at the bride’s house to capture those special moments as she prepares; when should they get the men together; how should they manage the groups? And they need to be able to do all this before they even pick up their

expensive camera equipment. Talking of equipment, ‘Uncle Bob’s’ camera might look good, but is that enough? A professional will always have at least two decent camera bodies along with a variety of high quality lenses, allowing them to capture a variety of shots at a moments notice. A professional will be able to cope with photographing an entire wedding, even if their main camera gets dropped and breaks. Those “decent camera bodies” that they carry - they have duplicate memory card slots, in case one card fails. And once the photographer gets home, they will create multiple backup’s of their original shots. The last thing you want is to lose all those amazing shots because the photographers equipment fails! Once the photographer picks up their expensive equipment, you want to be confident that they know how to use it - they will be able to make the bride and women look stunning and make the men look handsome. Professionals know about proper lighting, posing and angles to capture your special day. Do you still really want to put all that pressure on ‘Uncle Bob’?

Article from our blog


Don’t fancy a disco for your evening entertainment? Try these great alternatives - a bubbleologist or morris dancing


ty r a p e tim The ceremony is complete you are married! You’ve enjoyed

a wonderful meal and the speeches are over - it’s now time to relax and party! The recipe for the perfect evening party is all about creating the right atmosphere, with entertainment that shows off your personal character whether that be a big band, salsa dancing or disco dancing. FIRST DANCE Once any additional guests have arrived and everyone is settled, it’s time for the bride and groom to perform their first dance together as husband and wife (sometimes referred to as the “Bridal Waltz”).

This is usually followed by a second song which includes the entire bridal party and encourages the entire guest list to start the party.

a chocolate fountain, table magician, karaoke or fireworks.


Easthampstead Park has a choice of buffets to accompany your evening party. These range from a simple option of sandwiches and nibbles through to a full barbeque, including sirloin steak and desserts.

Music is easily the most popular form of entertainment for any wedding party - creating a fabulous atmosphere all through the evening. Whether you choose a live band or a disco is down to personal preference and budget! If you go down the route of selecting a live band there are a couple of things to consider. The first is to make sure that there will be a DJ to play music whilst the band have a break, and make sure you have checked the band contract carefully - you may be liable to supply food and drink for them all evening. If budget allows, you can expand the evening party with a variety of ideas such as: special theming, a fun casino,


These buffets are only available in conjunction with the main wedding packages and a minimum of 75% of total evening guests must be catered for. BARBEQUE On a warm summer evening there is no better way to finish off your special day than with a barbeque on the terrace. As with the buffet options, these are only available in conjunction with Pg.70

Evening Buffet and Barbeque Menus.....


ts e f f bu and qs bb

evening buffet one* selection of sandwiches and rolls cajun chicken drumstick onion bhaji with mango chutney crispy prawn purses cheese and tomato tartlet ham & pineapple ciabbatta pizza crisps and nuts

£14.00 per person

evening buffet two* selection of sandwiches and rolls tandoori chicken veg. samosa with cucumber & mint oriental king prawns in pastry mini lamb kofta kebabs baby sausage Yorkshire puddings cumberland chipolatas mango and brie parcels tortillas and nuts

£16.00 per person

evening buffet three* rustic breads honey roast ham sliced peppered beef mature english cheddar traditional stilton somerset brie houmous chutneys & pickles crisps and olives

£18.00 per person 68

evening barbeque one* tandoori chicken fillet beefburgers with onions lincolnshire sausage marinated lamb koftas vegetarian burgers

mixed green leaf salad tomato and cucumber salad mediterranean pasta salad

£20.00 per person

evening barbeque two* 4oz rump steak barbeque spare ribs cumberland sausage thai chicken fillet minted lamb steak vegetarian sausages mixed green leaf salad tomato and cucumber salad mediterranean pasta salad

£22.50 per person

evening barbeque three* 4oz sirloin steak marinated chicken fillet pork and leek sausages moroccan spiced lamb king prawn skewer vegetarian burgers vegetable skewer mixed green leaf salad tomato and cucumber salad mediterranean pasta salad

£25.00 per person

*Minimum numbers and terms apply See page 70 for dessert options 69

ty r a p e tim

the main wedding packages and a minimum of 75% of total evening guests must be catered for. In the case of inclement weather, barbeque menus will be cooked and served indoors. FREE BAR? Many weddings decide to extend their hospitality further by providing a free bar for their guests during the evening entertainment. Many of your guests will, of course, love this idea - but beware the pitfalls!

Unfortunately it is inevitable that some guests may overindulge in your generosity. It may work better to have a drinks table with a limited selection of options, or perhaps to give some money to each of the main bridal party to buy their own friends a drink? Whatever you choose for your evening party, being surrounded by friends and family will be a fun and loving occasion that you will remember for years to come!

evening desserts Add a selection of desserts to your evening buffet or barbeque: mini chocolate eclair delicate strawberry tartlet mini raisin scone with apple supplement of

£3.00 per person


Always a favourite - create a sweet stall for your guests



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Save the Date

When you confirm your booking with Easthampstead Park, we will send you some “Save the Date” cards so that you can tell your guests the wonderful news! On the back of these cards are bedroom rates and contact details for our reception team. 74


Dreams Bedrooms for your guests at Easthampstead Park

Bedroom Type


Single £60.00 Double £80.00 Twin £80.00 (Two single beds)

Family of Three


(One double bed and one single bed)

Family of Four


(One double bed and two single beds)

Family of Six

(One double bed and two double sofa beds)


Rate includes breakfast and vat* Please note that family rooms are only suitable for a maximum of two adults

Our Booking Policy:

We do not “hold” any bedrooms for your guests. We highly recommend that you give our details to your guests and encourage them to book early to avoid disappointment (we also think that you probably have enough to do without organising accommodation for all of your guests!) * VAT included up to 20%. Bedroom rates subject to change


The Park Suite All of the main wedding packages at Easthampstead Park include a bedroom for the bride and groom for the night of your wedding. For a small charge of £50, you can upgrade this to The Park Suite



you We would like to sincerely thank the following suppliers for their assistance in providing photography for this magazine:

Clearmoments Photography Mark Lawrence Photography Simon O’Sullivan Photography Crystal Boutique - Wedding Dresses Jason Charles Jewellery Easthampstead Park do not endorse the products or services of any specific supplier and you are welcome to use your own contacts if you wish - however, we also understand that some assistance and direction can be useful when you are planning your wedding. We therefore have a full list of suppliers who we have seen on a regular basis listed on our website. Many of these also exhibit at our Wedding Fayres. 78

next? To arrange a visit to Easthampstead Park at a mutually convenient time, please contact reception on 0118 9 74 75 76 who will arrange an appointment. Once you have viewed the venue, we are happy to hold a date for you for up to two weeks - allowing you to organise other services such as the Registrar. After this two week hold, a non-refundable deposit of £800 is required to secure your chosen date. An interim, non-refundable deposit of £1,150 is required six months prior to the wedding date. Around 4-6 weeks prior to the date, the Manager running your wedding will meet you to discuss and finalise the details. A final invoice is prepared at this time based on these discussions (payable prior to the wedding). If you have questions at any time, you can email them to [email protected] Please note that all prices in this brochure include VAT up to 20% We have two websites that you can use to assist you in your plans.

Our main website: Our Facebook page A final “thank you” for perusing through our bridal magazine and wedding brochure. We very much look forward to hearing from you, showing you our wonderful building and having the opportunity to be a part of your big day! Kind Regards, The Team at Easthampstead Park 79



The bridal magazine and wedding brochure for Easthampstead Park, near Wokingham

Children at Weddings Wedding Rings

Bridal Gowns & Hair

Easthampstead Park Conference Centre Off Peacock Lane, Wokingham, Berkshire, RG40 3DF