Farnham Castle

Expert Wedding Planning Tips for Your Farnham Castle Wedding Day – Part 2

 

We asked creative wedding planners Pocketful of Dreams to share their expert tips on styling a castle wedding venue. Here’s what they had to say:

You want to think about how each space within your venue will be used throughout the day and then style them according to the mood you want to create. So a ceremony space warrants a calm, serene and momentous mood, whilst the cocktail reception should be more upbeat, fun and lively. It’s the small and simple touches that bring an occasion to life, all the little details will help to set the tone for your wedding day and elevate it from ordinary to extraordinary.

Expert styling at Farnham Castle

Expert Styling at Farnham Castle

Expert Styling at Farnham Castle

Expert Styling at Farnham Castle

Expert Styling at Farnham Castle

 

The I do’s

This element of the day is the most memorable and emotion filled so any styling is about ensuring the main focal point is the two of you saying “I do”:

  • Look around the venue to determine the best place to hold your ceremony – some may offer more than one choice so go with the one that makes your heart flutter
  • Play around with layouts of the room to choose the best spot to stand and exchange your vows, this is your big moment so choose a spot that looks great, has a nice backdrop and is free of obstructions so your guests can see you
  • It may be that a different seating configuration gives you an entirely unique look so don’t be afraid to ask your venue, think about having guests seated in U-shapes or circular configurations for something new
  • Frame the ‘altar’ space with huge swags of floral garlands, oversized flower displays on tall pedestals, an archway draping in foliage or keep it simple and atmospheric with candles used en masse
  • A carpeted aisle runner can heighten the drama of your entrance into the space or simply line the aisle with flower petals or candles. For a really modern twist place handmade paper flowers, like these by Things by Laura, along the aisle for an enchanted feel
  • Don’t forget the signing table, it’s where you seal the deal so make it special and add some show-stopping blooms
  • For any florals that feature in your ceremony space, you want to ensure there is a thread of familiarity to the blooms used elsewhere in your day. They don’t all have to be exactly the same but some continuity such as colours will give a sense of uniformity

Expert Styling at Farnham Castle
Expert Styling at Farnham Castle
Expert Styling at Farnham Castle
Expert Styling at Farnham Castle
Expert Styling at Farnham Castle
Expert Styling at Farnham Castle

 

Sip and celebrate

This is the fun and lively part of your day where the congratulations and hugs flow:

  • Create a welcoming ambience by ensuring the cocktail space is ready to receive guests with music playing, lights dimmed (if inside) and drinks at the ready
  • You don’t have to go for a typical fizz option, why not serve up mouth-watering custom cocktails designed by the two of you. From a tipple that has some significance to you, to ones that simply match your colour scheme, get creative about how you serve up those enticing elixirs
  • Also offer guests a selection of canapes to whet their appetite for the feast that’s coming up. Small bites are best served by roaming waiters or set-up styled food stations for a unique twist
  • Sparkly linens add a sense of festivity, pop these over the cocktail tables for that added level of style
  • When it comes to decorating the cocktail area think fun and fresh, bespoke paper garlands add a modern twist or go for reams and reams of fabric bunting
  • Don’t forget the flowers here too, a couple of posies in vases is all that’s needed to make the space feel dressed
  • Bespoke signage adds detail and interest and is your chance to let guests know what’s happening and when. Keep them in the know with a printed welcome sign that outlines the running order of the day
  • It’s also a great idea to have the table plan on show at this point as guests will be eagerly anticipating who they are seated with

Expert Styling at Farnham Castle
Expert Styling at Farnham Castle
Expert Styling at Farnham Castle
Expert Styling at Farnham Castle
Expert Styling at Farnham Castle

 

Gorgeous gardens

It may be that your venue has fabulous gardens and grounds to explore, providing a beautiful backdrop for your drinks reception:

  • We always tell our couples to sneak off during this point to have some alone time before the day sweeps you away, it’s the perfect moment for portrait shots too
  • You may not need to do much to embellish the outdoor wedding spaces at all, but a few well-chosen decor pieces can elevate the space even further and really make it personal to you
  • Look for those little-hidden corners such as elegant entryways and beautiful old doors then add your own twist with paper decor, garlands or candle lanterns
  • Signage can be functional as well as pretty, keep it in your colour scheme, use a font that matches your stationery and dress with fresh or paper flowers
  • A well-chosen prop, such as this glittery gold love sign from Pocketful of Dreams Prop Shop, looks fab when placed against something natural and organic like a centuries old tree. It’s these small touches in unexpected places that give each occasion a story

Expert Styling at Farnham Castle
Expert Styling at Farnham Castle
Expert Styling at Farnham Castle
Expert Styling at Farnham Castle
Expert Styling at Farnham Castle
Expert Styling at Farnham Castle
Expert Styling at Farnham Castle

 

The wedding feast

They call it the wedding breakfast as it is your first meal together as a married couple, so give it that real sense of occasion with fabulous details:

  • Starting with any key features within the space, think about how you can embellish them to really make them pop. Farnham Castle has a grand old fireplace, as well as a lovely wooden balcony, both are just crying out to be draped in delicious floral garlands. Here we used faux floral garlands by Friend of Faux which worked beautifully alongside the fresh flowers
  • When it comes to your tables you want to think of them in layers. The base layer being your linens. Classic and crisp white linens offer an elegant look and are the perfect blank slate, there are also many textured, patterned and colourful varieties available too if you want something a little different. Just make sure the colour or pattern is not too overpowering, if you want a hint of detail then consider adding just a fabric runner over the top of white linens
  • The florals will typically be the focal point of the tables and the type of centrepiece you could go for really depends on the space within which they are being used. A grand room with tall ceilings like the Great Hall at Farnham Castle needs something tall and decadent like these overflowing stem vases that have been mixed with lower-level arrangements for a pleasing aesthetic
  • The florals, created by Jay Archer Floral Design feature a mixture of roses, antique carnations and trailing amaranthus for a perfect marsala colour match, with added waxflower, snapdragons, stocks, astrantia and grasses to blend in blush, nude and ivory tones. Jay says “Creating loose, natural arrangements lends itself well to a venue with bags of character such as Farnham Castle, especially with all the paintings and ornate, carved wood. Mixing them with beautiful glassware and vases makes a real statement which suits both contemporary and more traditional tastes. Using lots of foliage helps with the budget too”
  • The vessels you choose are just as much a part of the design as the flowers so think about antique gold and brass for an elegant look, wood for a rustic feel or clear glass for a contemporary look
  • A great way to add pattern and colour to your tables is through the table stationery. A printed menu and matching place card at each setting looks beautiful as well as being functional, like these designed by Pocketful of Dreams, whilst the table names or numbers should be displayed high and proud in tall holders so guests can easily see them upon entering the space
  • Candlelight will cast a warm and romantic glow across your wedding reception and you can never have too much, add in tall candelabras, candlesticks with tapered dinner candles and low-level votives. Find out what’s allowed at your venue as some will not allow naked flames, so you may have to use LED candles instead, just ensure they are warm white not cool so you get that warm, romantic glow

Expert Styling at Farnham Castle
Expert Styling at Farnham Castle
Expert Styling at Farnham Castle
Expert Styling at Farnham Castle

 

Fancy food

  • Your menu should be planned so that if flows beautifully from one course to the next so work with your catering team to devise the perfect menu
  • Pick foods that have some personal significance to the two of you, from your favourite dish to cuisines that represent your heritage or places you have travelled to
  • Think about the type of food-service that appeals to you most, do you want formal dining or something more casual and laid-back like food stations where people can pick and choose?
  • Also look to the seasons for inspiration, a winter wedding warrants heartier fare such as soups, stews and roasted dishes whilst in summer you want to be serving light and lean options such as salads, fish and grilled meats
  • That old adage really does ring true that you eat with your eyes, so work with your caterer to create a menu that is visually appealing and impeccably presented
  • The team at Galloping Gourmet took our mood board and created a 3-course feast for the eyes, using ingredients that complemented our pinky-red colour palette such as a bordelaise sauce and shellfish foam atop Cornish crab ravioli to start, followed by saddle of venison, spiced red cabbage with a juniper jus and finished off in show-stopping style with a rhubarb pannacotta with raspberry ice-cream

Expert Styling at Farnham Castle

 

Cutting the cake

Your wedding cake is a great showpiece to have on display throughout the wedding breakfast so think about how to add a little panache to the grand finale.

  • Work with your cake designer to design something entirely unique to you, they can pick out details from your wedding dress, colour palette and stationery designs for a coordinated aesthetic
  • When it comes to flavours go with your heart, there’re no rules to say you have to have a traditional wedding cake flavour beneath that pretty icing, if a few flavours float your boat then choose a range, one for each tier
  • Freya’s Fancy Cakes designed this beautiful cake to complement the scheme picking out the floral details on the stationery and hand-painting them onto the cake. She said “there’s plenty of choices when it comes to icing, leave it bare for a rustic naked-cake look, thick fondant icing will provide an elegant and smooth finish and allows for a creative technique to be applied such as hand painting or applique. Or keep it simple with a buttercream frosting cleverly toned to match your palette”
  • Use a bespoke linen for the cake table like this one from Table to Dine For, sparkly and sequined for something a little fun, lace for a romantic look or a rich damask for elegance. You could also have raw silk table runners specially dyed to match your scheme by Kate Cullen Styling
  • Decorate with real flowers, this offers an understated and chic alternative to sugar flowers, just make sure they are non-toxic if being added to your cake
  • One simple and clever way to add floral decoration to this table is to have a range of vases ready and waiting for you and your bridesmaids to pop your bouquets into as you sit down to dine

Expert Styling at Farnham Castle

 

Party time

  • It’s time to relax, dance and have fun. Create an intimate space where your guests can mix and mingle all night long, lounge furniture and soft candlelight will help to set the tone in a bar space
  • Work with your venue to ensure the bar is dressed with a few floral elements from earlier in the day, this will keep the space looking cohesive
  • Consider adding fun decor details here like glitter topped drinks stirrers and straws
  • For the evening food service think simple yet tasty snacks that have a sense of nostalgia to them like fish and chips, mini slider burgers or pulled pork buns
  • As a final little touch, place a helpful sign near the exit with a list of local taxi numbers to make your guests departure an easy and safe one

All images in this article were expertly captured by wedding photography duo: Weddings by Nicola and Glen.