Sunday, 4 January 2015


Our New Year guest blog post comes from a fabulous local luxury venue, Homewood ParkSet in 10 acres of beautiful gardens and parklands, the hotel features an award winning restaurant, a luxury spa and (my idea of heaven) a heated outdoor swimming pool.  With foundations dating back to the 13th Century, the main part of the building is Georgian and retains many original features such as exposed wooden floors and roaring log fires, elegantly mixed with stylish contemporary furnishings. 

They happily accommodate children and even welcome dogs!  If you're looking for a perfect country house wedding venue Homewood Park can cater for large family affairs or small intimate events. 

Homewood Park have written their ultimate guide to wedding etiquette - and whether you're a stickler for detail or a wedding rebel, there are some not-to-be missed tips below:

If you’re attending a wedding, especially if it’s your first one, you might be experiencing some difficulty, not least because the protocol at such events can seem shrouded in mystery. You will have RSVP’d to an invitation, which stated the date, time, and venue details. But what else do you need to think about, both before and on the happy couple’s big day, so everything goes smoothly and you don’t inadvertently commit a faux pas?

Arrive on time
For most people, the wedding will be in an unfamiliar town or city, making getting there a bit of an unknown quantity. There are plenty of lavish wedding venues in Bath, Birmingham and Bristol, lots of historical churches in Manchester, Cardiff and Cornwall, but the venue might also be in a barn in Bournemouth, a field in Feltham or a pub in Penzance.

If you don’t know where you’re going and have a long-ish drive ahead of you, it can be a good idea to stay over the night before. You won’t have to worry about driving, or travelling a long distance by public transport on the day, and you can enjoy exploring the location while you’re there. Many modern weddings take place in hotels these days, and many more have their receptions following a church wedding at a hotel. If all or part of the wedding is due to happen in a local hotel, you might be able to get a preferential rate for your room for the night.  

Check out the dress code
If the invitation states a dress code, follow it. Black tie or white tie means just that, and if you don’t have the correct clothes in your wardrobe, you will need to take a trip to a dress hire shop for the appropriate attire. Not all invitations feature a dress code, and this can lead to uncertainty. Traditionally, morning dress for men and a seasonally-appropriate dress or suit for women is the accepted standard for weddings.

However, the modern wedding is becoming a less formal affair than it once was, and in many cases a man will be absolutely fine in his day suit with a nice tie. If in doubt, ask a member of the wedding party for advice before you go.

Dressed Table - Homewood Park

Give as generously as you can
Many couples register a wedding list at a particular retailer, which makes it easy for you to pick a gift in advance and pay for it. You shouldn’t spend more than you can comfortably afford, but do give generously to make this occasion special. Browse the list carefully, but don’t delay, because the less expensive gifts are likely to be bought early on.  

If there is no gift list and no indication of whether the couple are expecting presents or not, you’d do well to speak to a member of the wedding party for advice. Some couples ask for financial donations towards their honeymoon or a home improvement they want to make, whereas others request you give nothing at all.

Perform your function with aplomb
If you’re lucky enough to be one of the wedding party yourself, make sure you fulfil your special role with good grace. Whether you’ll be a bridesmaid, an usher, the best man or the maid of honour, understand your role and prepare for the big day, because you’re going to be an important cog in the clockwork of the event.

Bridesmaids should be on hand to provide emotional and practical support to the bride, both on the day and in the weeks leading up to the wedding. They may be involved with hosting the bridal shower, arranging the hen party, helping to send invitations and making favours for the guests.

Ushers are charged with directing guests to their seats at the ceremony, and co-ordinating parties for photographs. They should be on hand for general support too, such as assisting any older guests who have mobility problems.

The best man will usually co-ordinate the groom’s stag do, keep hold of the rings until they are exchanged, and make a speech at the reception. This should be humorous, but never offensive. The groom might share your sense of humour, but persons of a sensitive disposition will not appreciate lewd jokes, so consider the content of your speech carefully.
12th July Wedding - Homewood Park

Be on your best behaviour
Whether you’re a close friend, a distant relative or somewhere in between, be aware that the wedding day is all about the two people who are making that special commitment to each other for the rest of their lives. Act in a respectful manner at all times, and try to limit your alcohol intake to avoid any embarrassing situations.

Above all, remember this: you were invited because the couple wanted you to be there, so relax, be yourself, and don’t let your etiquette-related worries prevent you enjoying the wedding.

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