August 12th, 2015 | Julia Braime
Today’s bride and groom didn’t let Britain’s unpredictable weather put them off taking their September wedding outdoors.
Natalie and Joe chose to say their ‘I dos’ in the stunning grounds of Ringwood Hall before enjoying their reception in a marquee within the gardens.
Thankfully blue skies appeared on the big day, which was beautifully styled in a chic & simple way using a base palette of white and then pops of vibrant pinks and orange. Just stunning!
Image by One Wedding Photography.
natalie says: We got engaged on 30th June 2012. We had been travelling together the year previous for six months and then came back and moved into our first home together. Joe proposed in our apartment. I had been out with my best friend for some food and a few drinks and got home about 11.30pm. I opened the door to a hallway full of candles and Train’s Marry Me playing. Joe was waiting in the living room with roses and champagne and the ring! Joe chose our apartment to propose as it was a special place for us.
Our wedding date was 12th September 2014. September always seems to be a lovely month weather wise and we first got together in September so it naturally seemed the best month for us.
We picked Ringwood Hall in Derbyshire, as our venue and decided on a modern, bright travelling theme. We wanted a relaxed but intimate wedding and therefore had an outdoor ceremony in the gardens of Ringwood Hall followed by a reception in the garden marquee. We felt that the whole day was relaxed and as the majority of the celebrations took place outside, it just had a lovely informal feel about it.
Our colour scheme was pretty varied. All our table/chair covers were white while our flowers were a mixture of coral, pinks and oranges with green succulents with pink tips. The groom and ushers/father of the brides were in navy suits and the bridesmaids were in pale taupe dresses.
My dress was a Mori Lee by Madeline Gardner design. I found it difficult finding a dress as I had an image in my head of what I wanted, but even when I found ‘that’ dress it didn’t feel like it was ‘the one’. I wanted something fitted but as I’m not that tall most fishtail dresses made my legs look really small so I loved how the dress I picked kicked out mid-thigh to make me look a little taller. I also loved the neckline and the fact that my niece’s dress, who was my flower girl, actually mirrored my dress.
As we wanted a relaxed and informal wedding we were looking for photographers who could capture this feel on the day. Tom and Mike from One Wedding Photography did just that, they are chilled out but very professional and the photos they produced were excellent. All our guests made comments that a great thing about our wedding was that lots of time wasn’t taken up with photos and this is due to One Wedding being so subtle and capturing relaxed and natural shots. In addition, whenever we needed to ask One Wedding a question, they were always on the other end of the phone/email, nothing was ever too much trouble for them. We were over the moon with our photos when we received them and they brought back all the memories of our special day. One Wedding are two fantastic and very talented guys.
We made the name tags ourselves to look like old fashioned travel tickets with a penny attached to the front and a scratch card favour inside. We also made our table names; these were a photo of us both in a place we visited during our travels and the table name was of the country where the photo was taken. For the kids we made goodie bags filled with sticker books, sweets and bubbles.
Strides provided our ceremony and marquee dressings and did a fantastic job. Both the outside pavilion, where we had our ceremony, and the marquee, where we held our wedding breakfast and celebrations, looked stunning.
We chose a ladies and gents’ menu for the wedding breakfast and in the evening we had a hog roast with all the trimmings. We also made our own sweetie table and served up part of our cake for guests. As entertainment we had Tropicana DJ, supplied through Ringwood Hall.
Without a doubt we would recommend Ringwood Hall to others, mainly due to its beautiful grounds and the staff went over and above what we would have expected from them. They made sure that the day ran so smoothly, nothing was an issue.
Seeing all our friends and family happy and having a great time together on the day was definitely our favourite part of the wedding.
For our honeymoon we went to Crete straight after the wedding as were really needed a rest and a couple of weeks to relax. We stayed in a beautiful hotel near to Elounda. We have now just returned from Italy which was where we originally wanted to go for our honeymoon but as we wanted to do a bit of travelling we knew it wouldn’t be a complete chilled out holiday which is what we needed straight after the wedding. We spent four nights in Rome then 11 nights travelling up the Amalfi Coast and Sorrento.
My top tip to other Brides Up North would be try not to get stressed about the planning, the day is a fantastic day regardless. We tried to stay relaxed throughout the whole planning process and didn’t worry too much about little details on the day. We just enjoyed and had the best time.
The only thing we regret is not having a video done of the wedding. At the time we were thinking of budget but in the grand scheme of things we should have just gone for it.
July 15th, 2015 | Julia Braime
This morning on the blog we’re thrilled to introduce you to dream venue Chatsworth House, which is located in the heart of the Peak District.
The perfect setting for a wedding (as well as a period drama) the stately house has been home to the Cavendish family since 1549. Keen not to keep its beauty all to themselves, the family opened the venue up to the public and has since become known as one of the UK’s favourite country houses.
Brides and grooms have been able to say their ‘I dos’ at Chatsworth for the past six years in the stable courtyard area, though only recently has the Painted Hall in the main house been licensed for civil ceremonies, which we are most excited about!
Outside the house is surrounded by beautifully manicured gardens and parkland while on the inside it’s brimming with character, history and unique treasures, making for truly stunning backdrop to couples’ big days. Oh and if the house looks familiar that might be because a number of scenes for the Pride and Prejudice movie starring Kiera Knightly were filmed here. Impressive!
So let’s hear more about weddings at this stunning house and have a nosey at that fabulous Painted Hall.
With images by Shoot Lifestyle Wedding Photography.
Tell Brides Up North about the venue, what is its history?
Chatsworth House is steeped in history, home to the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire it has been handed down 16 generations of the Cavendish family. It is a family home, a working farm and a living landscape that is stunning inside and out.
How does Chatsworth House cater for weddings?
We host small intimate weddings and large lavish ones too! Numbers vary from just four to 150! With three licensed spaces to hold civil ceremonies and civil partnerships, a beautiful church very close by, small private dining rooms and the majestic carriage house restaurant there really is something for everyone. Chatsworth weddings are planned and created by our warm and welcoming team, our catering is created by our award-winning chefs fresh on the day of the wedding and the event is delivered by expert operators. We have an amazing team!
The Painted Hall at Chatsworth has recently become licensed for civil ceremonies, why did you want to open up the venue to brides and grooms?
Although we have been licensed to hold weddings in the stables courtyard area for six years, we were not able to offer couples anything in the house. Every time I visited the Painted Hall I could imagine a bride and groom on the Great Stairs delivering their vows, it really is something very special.
What makes Chatsworth House a special wedding venue and sets it apart from others?
The house is known as the Palace of the Peaks and it certainly lives up to this title! The gardens, and surrounding parkland, make the most amazing backdrops for photographs but if I’m honest, I think it’s the team that sets the venue apart from others. The dedication and commitment to every single wedding, large or small, from every member of the team is simply astonishing.
What sort of bride would be a Chatsworth House bride?
Anyone that has a passion for history and heritage. Lots of our brides have loved Chatsworth since they were small children and have dreamed of getting married here. We’re thrilled that we can make such wishes come true.
How can your staff help to make the planning process easier and the big day amazing?
We work closely with the brides on all aspects of the wedding day and can offer our help and advice from the experience we have gathered over the years. We do work with trusted suppliers but we do not enforce them on to our couples and we are always on the lookout for new and exciting wedding partners.
Can guests stay over at your venue?
We have lots of good quality hotels within five to ten minutes of Chatsworth and we also have wonderful holiday cottages spread across the estate which can accommodate guests.
Tell us about your catering services and what makes them special?
Our catering is delivered by our award winning in house team of expert chefs and bakers who are always happy to discuss menu requirements with our couples. We can offer help and advice when picking wines to complement the chosen wedding breakfast. Laurent Perrier is our pouring champagne adding a touch of class to our welcoming receptions and toasts.
Can you give Bride Up North an idea on price?
Weddings start from £800 up to around £15,000 in the stables courtyard areas. Weddings in Chatsworth House start at around £50,000 depending on numbers and requirements, as do our marquee weddings.
We often add special packages to our website incorporating some of our other events. The concert-wedding package is always very popular. If we have any late availability dates we can sometimes offer all-inclusive packages enabling couples to pick up an amazing value for money wedding.
Do you have any open days coming up that our readers might be interested in?
We will be hosting an open day on Saturday 8th August in the stables courtyard area. Chatsworth House is such a special venue that makes wonderful memories, we would love couples to come and experience it for themselves.
To find out more about Chatsworth House and its facilities contact 01246 565366 and speak to Kay or Laine. Alternatively visit the Chatsworth House website.
June 23rd, 2015 | Julia Braime
We just adore this small but perfectly formed wedding carefully put together by today’s bride and groom.
Rather than caving in to ‘the norm’, Hannah and Callum did things their own way, and on their own budget, to create the intimate wedding day that they desired with their very nearest and dearest.
The styling and setting are gorgeous and we love that the bride and groom went down their own independent routes when it came to their wedding attire; Callum in his traditional Scottish dress and Hannah in her short Tory Burch dress, complete with a fabulous Eugenia Kim hair bow! The girl’s got style!
With images by Firsthand Photography.
hannah says: We had been talking about getting married for a while, then one evening in October 2014 we said “let’s do it!”
We didn’t want a long engagement so we chose September 2015 to get married. We had a budget to stick to, so picking Tuesday 9th rather than a weekend allowed us to save on costs without compromising on our venue.
I wanted to get married at Langar Hall in Nottingham as I knew that it would be perfect for our intimate and informal wedding. Callum had never been before so we went for lunch one Saturday and at 5pm we had to tear ourselves away. That sealed it. We planned to marry there with 12 guests, and have a larger reception party elsewhere for family and friends the following Saturday. We married at 3pm in the Indian Room, with dinner in the Garden Room at 5pm and most of our guests stayed overnight.
We didn’t have a theme as such, but we wanted to incorporate certain visual elements – an eclectic mix of traditional and modern, such as neon script on our invites and our pop art cake topper, which seemed suited to Langar Hall. It was also important to reference our shared Scottish heritage.
We didn’t want a matchy-matchy colour scheme, but Callum’s tartan gave us a starting point and a palette emerged. Somehow everything coordinated with the strong, sherbet-y colours of my bouquet, offset by creams and greens.
I knew that a traditional dress wasn’t for me. My mum and I took a trip to London and I found my dress in Tory Burch at Selfridges. The short length was modern but the textural fabric made it special – I felt like a bride. A few weeks later I bought shoes and a clutch but the ultimate finishing touch was my hair bow from Eugenia Kim at Fenwick Bond Street.
I did my own make-up, but had a lesson with the girls at Bobbi Brown in John Lewis in Nottingham, who gave great advice. My regular hairdresser, Anna Jones at Solos Nottingham did my hair as she always gets it right.
There was never any doubt that Callum would wear traditional Scottish dress, including a custom-made kilt in McNab tartan (a gift from his brother) – plus Paul Smith brogues. Callum was supported by his brother Aly as best man, and father who both wore Scottish dress.
I was supported by my friend Mhairi who wore a Whistles dress in blue.
Jack from Firsthand Photography took our photos. A friend had noticed that whenever she saw nice wedding pictures on Facebook, Jack was responsible. Her reportage style and informal groups were just what we wanted – and she’s Scottish! She captured our day perfectly.
For my wedding flowers I worked with Vaas who created my mixed bouquet of heritage roses, dahlias, eryngium, berries and mint.
My mum made our cake and we added a topper from Miss Cake at Not on the High Street. It was a traditional fruitcake with marzipan and icing and there were a lot of prototypes and taste tests which, went down well in the office! The cake stand was by Jansen & Co.
Luckily as there were just 14 of us, we were able to choose from the menu at Langar Hall so everyone could have the food that they wanted. 4
Our parents prepared a couple of surprises for us on the day. We were given a photobook titled, ‘Callum & Hannah – The Early Years’, featuring corresponding photos from our childhood. We also received a letter from the McNab chief, welcoming me to the clan, and I was given a silver brooch featuring the crest by my new in-laws.
The Nottingham-based jeweller Loree Bologna designed and made all of our rings. It was fantastic to find someone locally who understood exactly what we wanted.
We wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Langar Hall – a beautiful place, with fantastic food in a great setting. Everything is done properly, but with ease and a lack of stuffiness. Avishek guided us through the planning and tailored the day to our individual needs.
My favourite moment of the day was walking out of the Indian room, looking at Callum and saying “we did it!” There was a glass of champagne waiting for us and we stood and greeted all of our guests.
For our honeymoon we took a mini tour of Scotland – first stop Killin, home of the McNab clan. Then we spent two nights in Stonefield castle in Argyll, where my grandparents come from, before finishing off in Blythswood Square Hotel, Glasgow.
My top tip to other Brides Up North would be to invest in a good photographer. It was important for us to stick to our budget, so we had a strong set of priorities. Although it can seem expensive, the right photographer is worth every penny. The images of our day will give us, our family and friends a great deal of pleasure for years to come.
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May 20th, 2015 | Rachel Parry
We may be supposed to be heading into high summer right now (although as I’m writing this there is hail beating on the window outside) but here at Brides Up North HQ just the very sight of a winter wedding makes us dream of mulled wine and mince pies, getting us excited about the chillier months to come.
If you’re in the middle of planning your Christmas wedding, Rachel and Gareth’s seasonal celebration has it all – stunning wreaths complete with red berries and mistletoe, warm comforting food and a classic red colour scheme.
So forget about the (lack of) sunshine – an easy ask for us northerners – wrap up warm and let’s head to the stunning Peak District to relive this gorgeous couple’s big day.
With images by Richmond Pictures.
rachel says: We got engaged in London. We had given a voucher for a meal for two in the Apex Hotel at Tower Bridge as a Christmas present. We booked the meal for 8th February 2014 and decided to make a night of it by booking a room there too. Gareth proposed in the hotel room as we were getting ready to go down to dinner. It was a bit of a shock but I couldn’t have been happier!
We got married on 13th December 2014. We both really wanted a winter wedding, there’s something romantic about that time of the year and the run up to Christmas. The crisp, frosty days and (hopefully) blue skies outside while we cosy up inside, perfect!
We got married at Fulwood Old Chapel in Sheffield. We picked this as we wanted to get married somewhere close to where I was brought up. The chapel is small and intimate so it was perfect for our numbers and we felt it would be nice to have our family and friends fill the whole place and really feel like a part of the ceremony.
Our reception was held at The Maynard in Grindleford, Derbyshire. We went to a wedding fair there and knew straight away it was the perfect venue for us. There are stunning views from the rooms looking out across the Peak District.
As it was coming up to Christmas we played a little on that and had a snowflake theme. We had snowflake Christmas tree decorations as wedding favours, the cake was decorated with snowflakes and our stationery and table confetti was snowflake themed too.
We picked red and silver for our colours. Again because of the time of the year. The bridesmaids had red dresses which looked stunning and vibrant in the winter light.
I chose a dress by Ronald Joyce from Brides by Losners in Stamford Hill, London. I picked this one because my mum and my bridesmaid cried when I put it on – so I was pretty sure this was the dress for me! It was the complete opposite of what I’d imagined for myself as it was quite fitted, but I loved it from the first time I tried it on.
On the wedding day my makeup was done by Lisa Kirby in Sheffield and my hair was styled by Kirstine Allott of Kutz in Dore, Sheffield, both of whom I would recommend.
I travelled from my parents’ house with my dad in a vintage Jaguar while my bridesmaids travelled to the chapel in another vintage jaguar. These were provided by a family friend.
Karina and Tom Lax of Richmond Pictures were our photographers. We would highly recommend them to anyone looking for a wedding photographer. They were so professional but also fun and friendly and made us feel totally at ease throughout the whole day. Karina and Tom really did their homework before our big day and found an amazing place for us to have some pictures taken after the ceremony; it was like something out of Wuthering Heights! We are absolutely over the moon with our photos, a perfect reminder of our special day for us to look back on.
Our flowers were provided by Vikki Baxter at Jo Price Flowers in Sheffield. I had a bouquet of red roses, mistletoe, red berries and Christmas tree twigs.
Vikki also provided the flowers for the chapel and reception. We had a heart shaped wreath above the door at the Chapel and arrangements around the inside with the same flowers and foliage as the bridal bouquet and also cinnamon sticks, orange slices and nuts to make it really Christmassy. We also had Christmas wreath style table centre pieces around hurricane lamps, lots of tea lights and a twinkle curtain as a back drop behind the top table, which were provided by Weddings by Dragonfly.
My mum, my bridesmaid and I made snowflake Christmas tree decorations as wedding favours using snowflake wire form beads and ribbon. These also doubled as place names as we threaded name tags on the ribbon with our guests’ names on one side and our names and the date on the reverse.
We chose a three tiered cake iced in white and decorated with snowflakes. Each layer was different flavour – vanilla sponge, chocolate sponge and a fruit cake. The fruit cake was made by my mum and the rest by a family friend.
For our wedding menu we picked winter warming food – chicken with bubble and squeak and a sticky toffee pudding dessert. We had champagne for our toasts so we could celebrate in style!
We really wanted our guests to have a great time and leave thinking ‘wow’ so we hired a magician for the drinks reception and a photo booth for the evening reception, provided by Rhythm of Your Choice. My parents also booked some singing waiters who performed during the meal. This was a complete to surprise to the both of us and also to all our guests. One of the waitresses dropped a whole tray of cutlery which got everyone’s attention, and then started singing ‘Let it go’ from Frozen as she got up from the floor! It was such a shock but soon everyone was joining in, dancing and waving napkins in the air! We had a band in the evening called Banzai and a DJ provided by Rhythm of Your Choice.
We would recommend both the chapel and The Maynard to other couples. Janet and Peter at the chapel were so friendly and helpful from the minute we booked our ceremony with them. It’s perfect for smaller weddings. I would recommend The Maynard for its setting. There are so many beautiful places for photos and stunning views from the venue. The food, drink and service on the day were all excellent.
The ceremony itself was our favourite part of the day. Having all our family and friends in one place at the same time who were all there to support us and celebrate with us was so touching.
We went to Kuramathi Island Resort in the Maldives for our two week honeymoon. We had a month between our wedding and honeymoon so we could enjoy Christmas at home with our families. The resort was fantastic and just what we wanted. White sandy beaches, beautiful blue seas, excellent food and drink, and stunning sea life on the house reef where we went snorkelling every day.
My top tip for other Brides Up North would be – try to relax and enjoy the day! Look around and see all your friends and family who are there for you.
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March 2nd, 2015 | Rachel Parry
Today’s real wedding is one classy do. Laura and Giles chose a traditional church wedding followed by a reception and the stately Hassop Hall.
Their big day is brimming with elegance, from the bride’s wedding attire to the beautiful blooms and transportation in the form of a horse-drawn carriage.
Though clearly a sophisticated couple, they didn’t take all elements too seriously as their wedding album features a rather unusual image. Their photographer Kate Cooper explains: “Giles and Laura requested a shot that I’ve seen online where a dinosaur is superimposed on a photo of a screaming bridal party – I joked that I could superimpose whatever I liked, cue the giant hamster artwork from the Beastie Boys Intergalactic single.”
Images by Kate Cooper Photography.
laura says: We were on a walk in the countryside near one of our favourite pubs when Giles suddenly asked me to marry him on the first warm day of spring 2013. Although I’d hoped he would propose sooner or later, it was a complete surprise and I was very touched that he’d secretly asked my father for my hand in marriage the day before.
We both really love the month of September, so thought it would be a good time to get married – we set the date for 20th September 2014.
We had our ceremony at St Giles Church in Great Longstone, Derbyshire, and the reception was held at Hassop Hall which is about 1.5 miles away. Although we live in London, we decided to get married in the Peak District which is where Giles grew up and where a lot of his family live. It was important to us to get married in a church. St Giles is the parish church in the village in which Giles’ mother lives. It is a beautiful medieval church and we also liked its name! Once we’d chosen the church, we started looking at reception venues. We were absolutely thrilled to have our reception at Hassop Hall which we cannot praise highly enough.
We didn’t have a theme as such, it was just a complete jumble of stuff that we liked. For the reception stationery we had a loose travel theme (a seating plan map, luggage tag name cards etc) but this theme wasn’t reflected in our save the dates or wedding invitations. We didn’t have a colour scheme as such either, although I was quite keen on the idea of having muted dusky shades in the girls’ dresses and the flowers because I thought they’d look nice together.
I wore a Maggie Sottero lace and tulle dress called Bronwyn which was customised by a local seamstress who removed the top of the keyhole back to make a low v back and altered the sleeves. I bought it from Allison Jayne in Clifton, Bristol, which is where one of my sisters lives. To be honest, in the run up to our wedding, the dress felt like a real compromise. I chose it because it was comfortable, in budget and I liked the warm ivory colour. In my heart I would have liked a Jenny Packham dress but we needed a new boiler so I was determined to be good! However, on our actual wedding day I loved my dress, especially when it was combined with all my lovely accessories.
I wore Rachel Simpson shoes, a veil that was custom made to match the dress by Ali Rouse at Unique Dress and pearl drop earrings that were a gift from Giles. In the evening, I wore art deco style earrings, headband and a matching belt. I also wore a faux fur stole which was borrowed from a friend.
One of my sisters lives in Sheffield so she was able to winkle out some fabulous contacts for us. She recommended Jenn Edwards and her team who did hair and makeup for me, the bridesmaids and my mother on the day of the wedding. I’d wholeheartedly recommend Jenn and her team. They were very funny, incredibly talented and we all felt like more beautiful versions of ourselves.
The bridesmaids wore mismatched dresses in dusky shades – blue, green and grey – cream cardigans and nude shoes. I wanted them to have a romantic country feel, but wear colours that they liked and styles that they might feasibly wear again. The mismatched dresses were much more difficult to find than I had envisaged. After many hours of trawling the internet and a thorough search of the high street we bought the dresses from Ariella (available at House of Fraser), Debenhams and Monsoon. The cardigans were from Boden and the girls wore their own shoes. The groomsmen wore their own suits and ties to tone in with the girls’ dresses.
My mother-in-law hired a horse drawn carriage for the travel to and from the church. I was initially a bit apprehensive as I was worried it might be a bit Big Fat Gypsy Wedding but it was a really thoughtful touch and one of my favourite parts of the day. It was wonderful travelling in the carriage with my father from the cottage that we had hired in Little Longstone to St Giles Church and hearing the wedding bells ring across the fields.
Kate Cooper was our photographer. She was recommended by one of my sisters who met her through friends. I would 100 per cent recommend Kate – she’s very good at catching little intimate moments and managed to take some lovely photos of two people who don’t really like having their photo taken. We felt very relaxed and laughed a lot when Kate was taking our photos and I think that shows in the end results.
My vintage style bouquet was made by Swallows & Damsons, based in Sheffield. It was made up of dusky pink roses, pepita spray roses, ivory waxflower, steel berries, astilbe, dusky pink astrantia and purple veronica and eucalyptus. I loved it so much but was still happy to throw my bouquet at the end of the evening!
We had lots of flowers from Swallows & Damsons at our reception too – similar to the flowers in my bouquet. The urns and small vases were at the church to begin with, as pedestals and pew ends, and were then transported to Hassop Hall for the reception. Before the wedding day I also spent hours writing names on luggage tags in straggling calligraphy then tying these on to rolled napkins with ribbons and lavender sprigs for the tables.
Instead of giving out favours we made a donation to the Disasters Emergency Commission.
My lovely sisters and mother made our wedding cake. Extra special thanks go to my sister Miranda who made hundreds of sugar flowers to match our wedding flowers which cascaded down the side of the cake. I’m not a huge fan of fruit cake, so we had a chocolate tier, an orange and almond tier and a coffee tier. It was delicious!
For our wedding meal we had a smoked chicken and bacon salad with a honey and orange dressing, followed by onion soup, then roast pork with all the trimmings and to finish, individual summer puddings. We went to Hassop Hall for Sunday lunch with our parents so we could taste different menu options. It was a difficult choice as they were all delicious but these were our favourite dishes.
Giles’ school friend Emlyn, was kind enough to arrange a pair of jazz musicians for us as a wedding present to provide entertainment. They played during the drinks reception. We also had a disco provided by Spirits High after dinner.
I can’t praise Hassop Hall enough. We live in London so weren’t able to visit the venue very often but Helen thought of every last detail and ensured that the day ran absolutely seamlessly. The service was excellent and the wedding breakfast was one of the best mass catered meals that I have ever eaten.
My favourite part of the wedding would be the horse and carriage ride with my new husband from the church to Hassop Hall, it was really lovely to be able to have ten minutes to take everything in together. I also enjoyed the impromptu midnight feast that Hassop Hall rustled up for a hungry bride at the end of the night.
For our honeymoon we went to Scotland for ten days, breaking our journey in the Lake District. We were blessed with good weather so enjoyed lots of wonderful walks together in the stunning scenery as well as some fabulous food. Our favourite places that we stayed were The Gilpin and Monarchyle Mhor.
My top tips for other Brides Up North would be to outsource where possible – the less you have to do in the days before the wedding, the better, as there will always be last minute issues. Spend some time working out the logistics of the wedding day and the days either side. We had a plan of who was doing what when and how things (flowers that were re-used, luggage etc) were moving from one venue to the other. We circulated this plan to the bridesmaids and groomsmen and think it really helped the day to go without a hitch.
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