Firstly, huge congratulations on your engagement and how exciting that you’re now planning your wedding day! Arguably, one of the most important aspects of planning a wedding is choosing the perfect wedding venue, so you’ll likely want to sort this straight away – particularly as many venues can get booked up years in advance. Everyone’s needs and wants for the perfect wedding venue are different, but hopefully they can help you in your journey to finding the right wedding venue for you.
When planning your wedding, you’ll probably want to visit different venues to help you decide on the venue for you. There are so many different types of wedding venues to choose from – rustic tipis to historic manor houses or elegant marquees to farmyard barns! It can be quite daunting with so much choice and variety, and of course you can never guarantee the weather!
At Stockton House they meet couples from all over the country looking for a unique countryside escape. They have put together some of their most frequently asked questions from couples who are seeking out the perfect location to host their big day.
1. How many guests can you have at the venue?
This is an important question, as you don’t want to fall in love with a wedding venue but then find out they can’t host the number of guests you’d like to invite for your big day. At this point, you’ll already have a rough idea on the number of guests, so the answer to this question could be a deal breaker.
However, there are different ways to look at this so don’t feel defeated if the numbers don’t quite work straight away. For example, you could celebrate the day before and host a BBQ or dinner building up to your celebrations. For the evening of your wedding, it could be that you’re able to invite more guests or that it works out more affordable for evening food catering with larger numbers. Then of course there’s the day after too. They are going to be hosting lots of lovely day-after brunches and lunches bringing guests back to their venue to celebrate longer and make the most of the weekend.
At Stockton House you can host up to one hundred guests in their amazing secret walled garden dining room – it’s truly breathtaking and has that wow factor! However, if you’re looking for a smaller, more intimate wedding you could host your wedding breakfast in the private dining room in the main house – this space is perfect for up to 30 people.
Alternatively, if you’re looking for an outdoor wedding you can also get married next to their unique Victorian Turning House. Imagine yourself walking out the beautiful house and across the terrace to greet your guests seated on the lawns waiting for you to exchange your vows.
2. Is there accommodation on-site?
When putting together your criteria for your wedding venue, you’ll need to consider the location and also the travel for your guests. If you’re looking for venues in the countryside, then the travel time for your guests could be longer. If you’re in a city it could be that parking is a bit more challenging. Ask the venue what accommodation they have on-site, and also about any hotels, B&Bs and guest houses near to the venue. Finding a venue that can host you and your guests for your wedding day, and provide accommodation for guests to stay over could be the perfect place!
At Stockton House you’ll have exclusive use of all seven luxurious bedrooms within the house, which are available for you and your guests to use – this is included within the cost of the venue. Their amazing chefs will also provide a delicious breakfast for you and your bridal party the day after the wedding.
Nearby there are the beautiful historic towns of Ironbridge, Shifnal and Bridgnorth all within three miles. Each have a great selection of guest houses and hotels. The town of Telford is just five miles away with large hotels just a short taxi ride away.
3. When can we arrive and when do we need to leave?
These times can vary depending on the individual wedding venues, but it is definitely something to consider as not all venues allow you to stay the night before your wedding day and could have weddings booked the day before and the day after your big day.
Ask if you’re able to set up your dining room and style elements of the venue the day before. Some places might not allow this and so you may have less time to prepare than you would have imagined. Also check when you need to vacate the venue as it might be worth adding another day if you have to leave early.
A great thing about Stockton House is that you can stay as long as you like. Whether you decide to celebrate for a weekend or a week (longer if you wish!) it’s completely your choice. At a minimum you can arrive the day before your wedding day to set everything up, stay the night of your wedding day, enjoy breakfast or brunch with us the next day and then head home at your leisure. One thing is for sure, however long you stay you won’t want to leave.
4. Do I need to bring my own food and drink?
Some venues provide both the food and drink, others have preferred catering suppliers which they use for every wedding they host, or some allow you to bring your own food and drink to the venue. It can be a bit of a minefield, as you have so many different options, but as a couple you should discuss exactly what’s right for you both.
When it comes to planning your wedding day there can be so much to think about, plan and make arrangements for. The more you can tick off your list and not have to think about the better! You’re about to plan one of the biggest parties of your lives and feed more people than you’ll probably ever feed again.
They take care of all the food and drink catering here at Stockton House. You can create your own bespoke menu for your wedding breakfast, working alongside our amazing chefs. If you’re a foodie couple, you’ll love Stockton. They like to speak to our couples from the get-go and discuss your likes and dislikes, favourite food and drink and the food you like to cook at home. Their chefs will then use this information and knowledge to craft your own unique wedding breakfast menu. They also provide a private menu tasting experience before your wedding day, which gives you the opportunity to taste the food and make any tweaks to your menu before your special day.
5. What access and extra facilities do you offer?
This is a question Stockton House have a lot! Many of their clients have elderly relatives and when you have so many guests, people will enjoy your venue and your day in so many different ways. Think about some quiet spaces for young or elderly people. Sometimes the occasion can be overwhelming or tiring and having a space available to escape the excitement for a short while can make all the difference. Also ask about facilities and bedrooms with access to ensure your venue accommodates all different requirements. Add dietary requirements to this too and see how they approach this for your menu and wedding breakfast. If you’re a dog lover, you may want to ensure your dogs can join you on your special day (after all they’re part of the family right?). There are many venues that are pet friendly, so add this to your list of questions to ask up-front.
Stockton House has been designed as a unique venue that is all about experiences. They love creating moments and memories, and this goes for your guests as well as you as a couple on your wedding day. They have separate rooms where guests can enjoy a quiet glass of wine or cup of tea. Disabled access and a bedroom with facilities for babies too. One of their co-founders is plant-based and so when it comes to dietary requirements, they put a lot of focus on ensuring every guest enjoys the food and drink on offer. Furthermore, they are a dog-friendly venue, and love having four-legged friends around the house and grounds. They want every one of our couples to plan their perfect wedding day, and give you the opportunity to invite whoever you like to share your special day.
Are you now ready to go and discover your perfect wedding venue? Hopefully this blog has given you a helping hand with the type of questions to ask and things to look for. They know choosing the perfect wedding venue can be a challenge, but their advice would be to shortlist a few venues to begin with and ask the venues lots of questions! Remember to enjoy the process, after all you’ll only be doing this once!
Arrange an exclusive viewing with them and they will share with you all of the plans, designs and ideas they have for opening Stockton House for the first time in 2022. They still have availability for Summer 2022 and are exhibiting at the National Wedding Show in Birmingham, so you can chat to them to find out more!
To find out more about Stockton House, check out their website www.stocktonhouseweddings.co.uk or follow them on Instagram @stockton_house for some great wedding inspiration.