Considering a mid-week wedding? Louise Burchfield, Events coordinator at the beautiful country house hotel Ellenbrough Park gives her top tips for choosing when to marry.
Tell us about Ellenborough Park and the wedding services you offer…
At Ellenborough Park we are able to offer significant discounts for mid-week weddings on both venue hire and the cost of bedrooms - we have actually created a special package which includes the venue hire, food and beverage as well as some of the county's top suppliers for things such as flowers and wedding DJ in the evening. We are also able to make use of the fact that the hotel is quieter by offering out areas within the main manor house itself for couples who wish to utilise the beautiful 17th Century interior of our Restaurant and private dining rooms.
Many couples are considering mid-week weddings - have you seen an increase of mid-week wedding enquiries at Ellenborough Park?
We have definitely seen an increase in midweek weddings - with the current financial situation not showing any real signs of change, couples are getting smarter and realising that you can still have the wedding at the venue of your dreams if you are flexible on dates!
Why are couples considering marrying mid-week?
Apart from the immediate cost implications, there are other benefits to holding your wedding midweek - the main reason hotels sell weddings cheaper midweek is because it's less popular for not only weddings but leisure guests - get married on a Saturday and you will be sharing the grounds and public areas with a full hotel of leisure guests, but get married midweek, and the chances are you'll have the run of the hotel grounds! You will also find that you have the pick of the best suppliers, as again, most of the can be booked up for years in advance for weekends but free midweek - again, many suppliers like DJs and photographers, who may not get booked otherwise, also offer discounts on their rates for these dates.
What are the pro's & con's of a mid-week wedding?
Pros include reduced rates or special packages on venue hire; reduced rates and better availability on rooms; quieter venues; greater choice of dates - there are only four Saturdays each month and these can get booked years in advance, but with 16+ midweek dates each month you should be able to find the perfect date to suit you easily!
The obvious con is that you and your guests will probably have to take time off work, and this could cause some guests to be unable to attend your wedding - especially if they have to travel as most mid-week weddings will involve two days away from work in order to travel home the next day. However, given enough notice (this is where Save-The-Date cards come into their own!) most guests will be able to book the holiday, and this can also have spin to become a pro - the chances are that your nearest and dearest will move heaven and earth to come to your wedding and the fact that it's on a weekday won't stop them. However, your second-cousin-twice-removed who you have to invite for political reasons may not be quite as willing to book the time off - the result: one less person (who you didn't really want there anyway) attending!
Ellenborough Park can now be hired out exclusively as a venue - could you tell us more about this?
We are very excited to be able to offer guests the option of hiring out the entire hotel - essentially this gives you your own private staffed 60 bedroom country house for the day and night! We close the gates to the public, meaning that you and your guests can relax in the grounds and lounges without any other guests in attendance. Exclusive Hire gives couples the freedom to put their personal stamp on the property - furniture and decorations can be changed or added; restaurants can become lounges or games rooms, and the bar can be turned into a cocktail bar with high stools, decorations and cocktail mixologists! Areas that are usually solely public areas such as our historic Great Hall can become part of their event - this stunning area is one of the most loved areas in the hotel, and could be used for a civil ceremony, drinks reception, dining space or even for your evening dancing! The Exclusive hire doesn't stop at the hotel building - the fact that the grounds are yours and yours alone means they can be used for outdoor events such as pool parties, barbeques, picnics and croquet tournaments, and this privacy means that our beautiful Gazebo can be used for an outdoor wedding - an option only available to guests to hire out the entire property.
Finally, what sets Ellenborough Park apart from other county house hotels?
Parts of Ellenborough Park date back to the 16th Century, and the main building and immediate façade reflect the magnificence of this era. However, the hotel was fully renovated only five years ago and opened just two years ago, meaning the interiors have state-of-the art mod-cons. Nina Campbell designed the interiors, which reflect the history of the house whilst still feeling up-to-date, and of course our 3-star rosette food and award winning wine list add to the experience.
Ellenborough Park Hotel; Call 01242 807 508 or visit mantiscollection.com/ellenborough-park-hotel-spa