Though couples marry all the year through, summer remains peak wedding season with brides and grooms pinning their hopes on warm and dry weather for their special day.
And as we’re just on the cusp of official British summer beginning, we thought what better way to see in the new season (and hopefully the sunshine) than with some top tips for those of you planning summer celebrations.
Today’s words of wisdom come courtesy of our fabulous Sponsor, award winning hospitality and event management company Dine. Established in 1998, Yorkshire-based Dine caters for more 200 weddings a year as well as offering exclusive private dining. Through its stunning portfolio of venues, the team provide event services for organisations ranging from English Heritage and the National Trust to the owners of some of the UK’s most notable private houses, providing a varied choice of beautiful big day settings.
For this afternoon’s post, we’re welcoming Dine’s managing director, Matt Jones, to the blog to share some of his pro pointers on planning a wedding in the season of blue skies and sunshine…
venue & suppliers
Matt says: If a summer wedding is something you have been dreaming of, Yorkshire is the perfect county in which to realise your dreams. With Dine’s impressive portfolio of stunning venues, from historic castles and magical gardens to spectacular deer parks and unique marquees, if planned properly a summer wedding can be truly breath-taking.
Make sure to start booking both venues and suppliers months, or sometimes years, in advance – a longer engagement is more sensible for a summer wedding. While it can be helpful to have several venues and suppliers in mind, if you plan ahead more options will be available. Flexibility is important for a successful summer wedding, but that still doesn’t mean that you should settle for options that won’t make you happy. Hiring an experienced event planner like Dine ensures that your most cherished dreams can become your reality on the day.
A marquee can make a stunning backdrop to your celebrations and offer the ultimate flexibility. They can accommodate as many or as few guests as you choose and are available in a vast range of styles – from tipis and vintage army tents to on trend sailcloth. If you don’t have enough room in your garden, Dine offers a number of stunning sites which make the most of Yorkshire’s breath-taking countryside. Choose from panoramic views at Bolton Abbey, lakeside settings at historic Ripley Castle and the Gothic-style Carlton Towers, or the quintessentially English Dalton Hall walled garden.
A well-chosen indoor venue can be equally impressive however – providing picturesque views over gardens through large picture windows and respite from whatever the weather might throw at you.
Dine’s flagship venue The Mansion is perfect for any bride-to-be looking for the best of both worlds. Set in Roundhay Park, Leeds, one of the largest urban parks in Europe, the Greek Palladian style building offers several ceremony and reception rooms of varying sizes all with large windows overlooking the park and modern, luxurious décor.
Other exciting Dine venues include the magnificent Wentworth Woodhouse with a façade longer than Buckingham Palace, the chic city venue New Craven Hall and the glorious 18th century Palladian mansion Nostell Priory set in enchanting gardens.
While you can have a fantastic wedding breakfast in any season of the year, there’s so much more variety during the summer months. The sheer choice makes choosing (and tasting) your menu a lot of fun. With such an extensive range of choice available, it is reassuring to choose a specialist caterer and events manager such as Dine which can recommend what will work best and help you narrow down your menu choices.
The warmer summer months are the perfect opportunity to incorporate light and spicy foods from around the world. Canapés can be a fantastic way of incorporating small elements of international cuisine into your wedding breakfast without intimidating your more traditional guests. A ‘shot’ of Teriyaki beef, giant tiger prawns, and wild mushroom and truffle arancini are only a small selection of global ingredients available in summer.
The great weather also means that more informal, outdoor dining experiences are perfect for a wedding with a twist. Dine can offer a wide range of interesting and relaxed dining options including carnival themes, barbecues, picnic hampers, bowl and street food that take advantage of the fantastic weather and produce that is available. A more casual wedding breakfast can be a unique experience and a great conversation starter.
Dine can also cater for you if you’re concerned about veering too far from the traditional wedding food route. Traditional British food, such as mini sausage and mash, mini roast dinners and lobster ‘n’ chips, ensure that some time-honoured seasonal Yorkshire produce is incorporated into your wedding breakfast.
budget and planning
With summer being the season of romance and the most popular period for weddings, demand always exceeds supply and costs reflect this. If budget is a concern, consider holding your wedding at a quieter time of the year when you’ll have more choice on dates.
Hiring an experienced events planner such as Dine is a must for your big day. Whatever your budget, small or large, we can help you to achieve your aspirations. We can advise on how best to stay on budget and where it is worth splurging. We can even recommend some great specialist suppliers from florists to photographers to suit both your budget and your style.
We always recommend having a contingency plan in case of any setbacks. Designing and creating your own decorations are a wonderful way to keep the costs down while maintaining a more personal element to your wedding. Encouraging the involvement of friends and family to help with decorations and flowers can increase excitement for the big day and give guests the feeling that they’re really involved in the wedding.
theme and flowers
Summer is the perfect season to incorporate bright and dazzling colours into your wedding. Vibrant hues like lemon, azure and cherry are sure to turn heads while green – the pantone colour of 2017 – is a great way to bring the outdoors in if you’ve chosen an indoor venue.
While flowers are often the focal point of wedding day decorations, it is important not to forget tableware. Cutlery, crockery and glassware are just as important when setting the seasonal tone and combined with floral colour palettes make for spectacular table displays.
The warmer weather gives you the option of assorted colour palettes. Cool tones like blue and white symbolise golden beaches and azure seas, while warmer tones of orange and red provide a rich and tropical feel. Either way summer is the season of the holiday and bringing this into your wedding is sure to excite your guests and add to the celebration vibe. Look to Instagram and Pinterest for summer trends and how you can use flowers, food and décor to incorporate seasonal colours into your wedding.
While there are a multitude of bright and colourful flowers available during summer, such as Hydrangeas, Sweet Peas and Roses, many brides often forget the luscious greenery which is easy to source. Combine the fantastic hues of seasonal flowers with lots of foliage and succulents to create a tropical oasis and add texture, ensuring your bouquets and other flower arrangements incorporate a modern twist.
For more information about Dine, and to view some menu examples, visit www.dine.co.uk