How To Be A Bride With No Wedding Regrets

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No Wedding Regrets


// Dream Wedding Venues // Kilworth House, Leicestershire

As part of our Dream Wedding Venues feature, we have decided to begin with Kilworth House Hotel in the lovely rural surroundings of Kilworth in South Leicestershire.

They say:

With thirty-eight acres of landscaped South Leicestershire parkland, this grade II listed hotel features period furnishings, four-poster bedrooms, and muntjac deer darting across woodland trails! The bedrooms are palatial, the food is superb and you don't even need to worry about separate wedding and reception venues as the hotel has its own Civil Wedding Licence. You can enjoy an entire fairytale day, from exchange of vows through to secluded late-night romance, within the luxury and the privacy of a country-house estate.

We say:

Many friends and family members have chosen Kilworth House Hotel and have had beautiful weddings there. The staff are friendly and the atmosphere is very laid back.

3 Best Things...

We’ve pretty much covered these already but, in short: the bedrooms are out of this world, the views are fantastic and the Orangery is a beautiful place to have a lovely wedding breakfast.

3 Not So Good Things...

Our brides tell us that they can be a little bit pushy when it comes to using their recommended suppliers (as opposed to a bride being able to use her own choice of wedding entertainment, florist etc), the evening reception has to be downstairs in the cellar [unless you have a substantial budget for exclusive hire] (thus ruling out the possibility of having a Live Big Band – the Adam Thomas solo show is the largest that we can offer in there) and some of your guests may find that the bedrooms are too pricey.


Our Thoughts

As always, choosing a venue is a very personal thing - plus things that are a priority for one bride might not be at all important for another. If nice bedrooms, gardens and food are at the top of your list then you may find that Kilworth House is the place for you! If a live band, free reign over your choice of suppliers and having all of your family stay overnight are important to you then you may need to look elsewhere. Remember there isn’t a one-size-fits-all venue – the ‘perfect venue’ doesn’t exist... there is, however, such a thing as a perfect venue for you!

Weighing up your priorities and the pros and cons of each of your shortlisted venues is the first step. Visiting the venues and deciding if they ‘feel’ right is next... who cares if it ticks all of the boxes but you don’t feel at ease there! Lastly, do you feel comfortable with the wedding coordinator? You’ll have to deal with them a lot throughout your planning so your relationship will become very important. Trust your instincts, ask all of the right questions and take your time – once you have chosen your wedding venue everything else will follow on from there!

The Midlands has many stunning venues to choose from so take your time and look at as many as you need to...

LE17 6JE
TEL 01858 880058
FAX 01858 880349

Whether you need a Solo Singer, Soul Band or a Swing & Jazz Big Band, Adam Thomas is your complete Wedding Entertainment solution.


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Wedding Ceremony Tips

The choice between a civil and religious ceremony is a very personal one and, in reality, is usually very clear cut for the majority of people.  Wherever and however you choose to say your vows, the important thing is that you both want to say them isn’t it?



More and more venues are able to offer couples the opportunity to get married either in their grounds or within one or more of their rooms. This has really opened up the options available when choosing where to hold your wedding and often means that the ceremony and reception take place in the same location - making transport and travel problems a thing of the past! The main thing to watch out for with civil ceremonies is that the atmosphere can sometimes be lost if the preparation has been neglected: special care and thought needs to go into making a day-to-day room feel like a magical place. To really transform the room, think about the 5 senses and make sure that all of them are covered:

1)  Sight: using chair covers, creative lighting and a little bit of thought no-one will even recognise the room! Ensure that unsightly items (such as projectors or whiteboards if it’s a conference room) are removed or hidden.

2)  Hearing: you’ll no doubt have music played at various points so ensure that you know how this will be played and who is controlling it! This may sound pedantic but you should hear your registrar prior to booking them if possible as there are a few with dreadful accents that will ruin the feel of your ceremony!

3)  Touch: your chair covers will automatically help with this one and perhaps a pretty order of service on every other chair too.

4)  Smell: add a drop of scent to the candles to add to the room’s atmosphere. Your flowers will provide a lovely fresh smell too.

5)  Taste: OK, so you’re not going to hand out sweets but let’s use taste in its other sense! A classy, tasteful room that makes people tingle as they walk in... that’s what you’re aiming for!

With care and attention, a civil ceremony can be stunning and moving... you can even write your own vows!


Religious ceremonies are still extremely popular and couples have various reasons for choosing this option: some opt for it because of tradition, some to please a family member, some because religion and God play a real part in their lives. Whatever your reason for choosing to marry in church, you will find the organisation side less stressful than a civil ceremony in that the building itself is probably already magical and atmospheric. My top 5 tips for a religious ceremony are:

1)  Meet the priest/vicar in person and also hear him ‘in action’ – you need to like him/her if you’re going to buy into what he/she says during the ceremony.

2)  Check the church rules i.e. is confetti allowed, can the ceremony be videoed and/or photographed? If a video of the service is important to you but the church doesn’t allow it then you may want to look elsewhere.

3)  Find ways around things! Although you are supposed to marry in your parish church, there are ways around this! If you find that your priest/vicar is very awkward (or that their rules are unfair) then take your business elsewhere: it may seem harsh to call it ‘business’ but when you see the price that churches charge you’ll appreciate that it really is. I speak from experience here!

4)  Add candles, flowers, scent and floral pew ends to really create something special.

5) Choose hymns wisely: there is no point choosing something obscure that no-one knows as it will simply result in quiet mumbling throughout the song. Choose something that people will be comfortable singing aloud and, if you’re worried that your guests will chicken out, invite the church choir or even a few of the parish regulars to pump up the volume!

The best thing to do is close your eyes and picture the way that you’d like to feel when standing at the altar... that should tell you if your choices are right.


Enjoy It!

Whichever type of ceremony you opt for, be sure that you’ve chosen for yourself and that you’ve thought through the details... they’re over in a flash! Whether it’s a church, a hotel conference room, a beach or a conservatory you’ll enter as a single girl and exit as a married woman... make it special!


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// NO WEDDING REGRETS // Make A Budget

Make A Budget

It doesn’t matter how much or how little you and your partner earn (or how hard-up or rich your friends and family are!), there is always a budget of some kind to stick to. “Budget” has to be the most un-romantic word associated with a wedding and, because we all tend to ignore the things that we don’t like in life, wedding budgets often get missed out or, at best, get completed half-heartedly!


Why Do A Budget?

Although putting a budget together doesn’t seem like an exciting job, it can actually be quite fun if you approach it in the right way! There are so many small things that get overlooked: petrol for the shopping days out... and of course the lunches once you’re there; dyeing those bridesmaid shoes to match the dresses; fancy pens for people to sign the Guest Book with... and the list goes on! Try to underestimate your budget so that you have a buffer zone which allows for this added expenditure: the last thing that you want is to cause money worries and extra stress just before your big day so plan ahead, be realistic and, most importantly, be flexible...

Budget Calculator

The first step is to source a wedding budget calculator and this seems to be one of the best out there:  AOL's Wedding Budget Calculator

  1. Type in your overall budget: this is decided upon by looking at what you can realistically afford in the timeframe that you’ve allowed yourselves and also takes into account any outside donations that may have been offered too
  2. The calculator will now give you the average prices for each of the items on the planner! You can then click and drag the dials to see how spending more or less on each of the items will affect your overall funds, therefore personalising your budget to reflect your own priorities
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  4. Once you’ve paid for something, you can select the 'Payments' tab to input how much you've spent on that particular item and then use the 'Save' button to keep a record or printout!


The most important thing to remember about budgets is that you can still have what you want (even with a very limited budget) so long as you are clear on your priorities: let’s face it, if the most important thing to you both is that £3,000 dress that you’ve set your heart on (but the overall budget is £7,000) this IS still possible but you’ll have to make big sacrifices elsewhere: maybe you won’t need cars because the ceremony and reception are in the same place, maybe having a Saturday wedding is not important and therefore you can qualify for weekday venue discounts, perhaps neither or you want to invite too many people... each couple has different priorities.

I used to cringe when suppliers asked me what my budget was because, in reality, most people will base their choices on their gut reaction rather than their budget. I have had brides spend around £1,000 on booking Adam Thomas for their wedding entertainment when they had originally set aside £300 for a disco – sometimes you see something that, although you hadn’t planned for, you know will just make your day... something that you feel was the missing link.

Once again, the best thing about a budget planner is that you can then foresee any problems caused by this ‘overspending’ and adjust your budget for other items accordingly... you’ll know in advance where you will need to make the sacrifices (rather than being disappointed when the money runs out half way through your planning!) Get what you want by simply knowing your priorities and planning ahead… the world is your oyster!