Ever dreamed of a Wedding Venue that ticks all the boxes inside and out? Look no further than Manor By The Lake in the Cotswolds. It’s stunning! Here’s why!!!
Listen to Tina on the Wedding Espresso Awesome DIY Wedding Planning Podcast…
Tina Nicol, Weddings & Events Coordinator at Manor By The Lake, The Cotswolds
James [00:00:05] Hello Tina. It’s our extreme pleasure to welcome you to Wedding Espresso and have the chance to chat to you about your fantastic wedding venue.
Tina [00:00:14] Hi, fantastic thank you.
James [00:00:16] So you’re Tina Nicol from Manor by The Lake in the Cotswolds and we found your wedding venue and literally just fell in love.
I can’t believe how amazing Manor by the Lake is, truly stunning!
I mean we went on to the image gallery on the website and we were just like wow..wow…wow! Every single image is just absolutely incredible, what a beautiful place. And I know from your website you do actually describe it as one of the most beautiful wedding venues in the Cotswolds and I think that’s very, very, very fair. So do you want to tell us a little bit about the venue and the facilities that you have on site.
Yes so we are an exclusive use venue. So the great thing for the couples is it’s only them and their guests here on the wedding day.
And they can really bespoke the wedding, bring their own theme, styles, personalities into the venue. We give ideas and suggestions to couples during our tour, and booking, and in the lead up to their wedding. But ultimately what we want to do for every single wedding is make it unique and bespoke, to make it that dream that the couple were looking for.
James [00:01:33] That’s great. I read in your blurb actually that you provide for couples a really beautiful wedding journal. And I’ve never heard of this before. I think it’s an incredible idea. So tell us a little bit about that. What is it, how does it work?
Tina [00:01:53] Well it’s works really well for us. So we came up with the idea that actually couples haven’t got married before.
So what we wanted to do is give them a tool to help them in the lead up to their wedding.
To answer some of those questions that might be easier having some different examples and ideas laid down for them. So as it goes through it takes them through what to think about at what stage. Who to book, who they need to be booking, what they need to be thinking about. Ideas from our side… suggested menus from the chef, suggested food menus, suggested for day and evening, suggested drink menus from a bar manager. Lots of different decoration ideas.
Tina [00:02:42] A lot of it came from feedback that we had from couples and we kind of just enhanced and enhanced it and worked on it to produce what we find is a really, really helpful document for couples. And on the back of that we actually invite our couples along to a planning Showcase evening where we showcase items for them. They get to come along, see the items, talk to us further about their wedding day. On that one to one aspect, meet our preferred suppliers so that they get to have that face to face contact rather than trawling through the Internet.
And also our chef does some live cooking for them to experience. So it’s something that’s quite different, that’s quite popular, particularly for evening food.
So at that event they actually get to try it, experience everything and of course, meet the chef, which everyone loves.
James [00:03:35] I love it. So not only are you an exclusive use venue, which Rachel and I really really buzz about, it’s kind of one of our big loves, and that’s actually the direction we chose to go down for our wedding. So that’s a big tick in our book. But by the sounds of it you’re really, really welcoming as a wedding venue, and it seems like you’re engaging couples on a very personal level. And I think it’s fantastic that you give them that level of service.
Tina [00:04:02] Yeah that’s what we absolutely try to do.
And the first thing I do when I meet couples is I ask them “what are you looking for on your wedding day?”
Because from mine and my team’s point of view, it’s very much about the couple and what they’re looking for, rather than what we do and what we offer. Because, yes there’s an element of that. We’ve of course got to have the offering here, but it’s very much about looking at new ideas and making it bespoke and personal for that couple. I think the team love it as well because every Wedding is so different. So the team really thrive from it as well which is fantastic from my point of view.
James [00:04:43] Awesome. So drilling into that concept then…
what would you say that Manor By The Lake couples typically ask you when they come to look round? What are the conversations that take place?
Tina [00:04:54] Definite top of the list is always around photographs and where they can have photographs and how many options are there? As we walk around on the tour they can definitely see that there’s unlimited photo opportunities. And because they get exclusive use of the whole seven acres of the grounds that we’ve got here, they can use so many different areas and get so many different aspects of photos. Whether it be in the grounds or whether it be around the lake or using the manor house as a backdrop which is absolutely beautiful. That’s definitely up there as the top one. And then I’d say also around an outdoor ceremony. So many couples are looking for that outdoor ceremony option. We’re really lucky to have three different licensed outdoor ceremony spaces. So again the great thing is with having the three completely different spaces is that usually one of them at least would suit couples tastes. And it be what they’re looking for, for the day and for it to be personal and kind of show their personalities on the wedding day which is really, really nice.
James [00:06:12] I’ve got to say that when we were looking for a wedding venue up in Scotland we had a criteria list and we were trying to find something that ticked all the boxes. And it was a challenge because nothing quite got all the way there. There were ups and downs, pros and cons to most places. And in the end we found somewhere that we just fell in love with because it was most of the things that we wanted. I’m looking again at the gallery on your website and all the inspiration that’s on there and thinking you know what? I think at your place, Manor by the Lake, I don’t think there is that level of compromise. It’s such a rare find because like you said, you’ve got so much range.
And I think one of the really, really important things is if you are planning to get married anywhere in the UK, you’ve got to think about the weather haven’t you?
It’s one of the big things you’ve got to consider. And so even if you’re planning an outside wedding it’s really, really important to be able to shift gears and go inside if necessary.
Tina [00:07:15] I always say to couples that you absolutely need to love the indoor space, your indoor ceremony option. You need to love that just as much as the outdoor space.
James [00:07:24] Yes.
Tina [00:07:26] Because we live in the UK and whatever time of year, you can never guarantee the weather. And that’s the first thing I always say to couples when I’m showing them around. They’ve got to fall in love with the indoor space. We’re really lucky with our indoor space, it has lots of different bright areas for them to get married in indoors. And lots of photo opportunities inside as well, so it works very well at Manor by The Lake.
James [00:07:55] Incredible. One of the pieces of advice that we always tell people is Weather Happens! And sometimes you’ve got this dream idea of this beautiful outside ceremony.
And that’s our story, we dreamt of this beautiful garden setting, a big floral arch. And on the day it was basically grey and raining, and you know, what are you going to do?
But we had that backup where, like you say, it was just as good inside. And after we’d settled on the idea that maybe we would have to have it inside, after about two minutes of agony, it’s just gone. And then you’re looking forward to this next bit. The plan B, which is just as good as Plan A. So I think that’s really, really important.
Tina [00:08:40] Yeah absolutely.
James [00:08:42] Cool. So speaking of inside, the thing that caught my eye was the Rock Bar.
Tina [00:08:48] Yeah.
James [00:08:49] Do you want to tell us a little bit about that.
Tina [00:08:51] Yeah absolutely. It’s definitely a talking point for a lot of couples when they come and have a look around. It’s got a few elements to it and different times of the day that couples use it. So to start with it’s often one of the places that the couple get ready in the morning. Or for one of the couple to actually get ready in the morning. So it’s a great space to meet your wedding party and have some of those preparations. Through the wedding day, particularly if they are inside for the day due to weather, as a drinks reception space, it’s a great, fun drinks reception space. Particularly because it’s got the pool table, foosball table, flat screen TV, a great, fun area to be in.
One of my favourite aspects of it is that it actually becomes the residents bar. So when their celebrations finish with their evening reception, the residents can actually go back there and continue celebrating and have a nightcap together and just have a good chat about the wedding day.
And continue their party to whatever time they wish, which is absolutely fantastic. So it does work very well and the couples absolutely love it.
James [00:10:07] I do. I must say again I really love that kind of exclusive use weekend vibe. So how many guests can you welcome.? At any one time?
Tina [00:10:20] We we can do intimate weddings for around 24 guests, but we can do all the way up to 300 guests which is absolutely fantastic. Because of the different spaces it does mean that we can accommodate guests to different numbers. And when we have intimate weddings and it’s 24 guests, they never feel lost here. The spaces that they use particularly work very well for them. So it’s really nice…
we’ve got twelve bedrooms here as well so guests can stay overnight, which is really lovely to have some of your closest friends and family stay with you.
And then within walking distance there are other Hotels as well. Everybody can relax and enjoy the evening as well which is really good.
James [00:11:04] Brilliant. So just just to recap on the inside space because I know we’ve talked a lot about the outside space. What would you say the brides and grooms looking round particularly get excited about inside?
Tina [00:11:18] I mean you’ve already touched on the Rock Bar, that’s definitely absolutely a favourite space. We’ve got two suites here in terms of the bedrooms so couples absolutely love those. We’ve got a rolltop bath in one of them, a double Jacuzzi bath in the other. We’ve themed them very differently so that couples can choose the suite of their choice for the evening of the wedding. So again it’s personal to their tastes.
And then all of our bedrooms are themed and styled completely differently. The couples love it because they can allocate their guests based on their taste to the bedrooms, so it’s just special to them, and they get that whole experience together which is absolutely wonderful.
James [00:12:00] Fantastic. So just to kind of wrap things up, do you have any general tips from the perspective of Wedding Coordinator that you might like to share with the brides and grooms to be out there planning their weddings right now?
Tina [00:12:13] Yeah. I mean it’s very much making it personal to you on your wedding day. That’s the most important thing, making your dream come true. With the day I always say the food is so important. I always try and get that across to my couples particularly at our food tasting event where they get to meet the chef. I’m actually talking about their favourite dishes and trying to incorporate that in the day. Whether it be during the meal, through the day, or maybe their evening food later on.
So it’s very much making it personal and bringing your personal favourites into the day. I think it’s really important and I’m making sure that you absolutely enjoy the day because it does go quite fast.
James [00:12:56] I guess from your perspective it wouldn’t be right to close without asking you this but, from your perspective, what do you think are the key main benefits of being exclusive use? Just so we can rattle them off for people.
Tina [00:13:12] Absolutely. Definitely all the staff are focused on you because there’s so many different scenarios I’ve been in. And there’s so many other things going on and I think on your wedding day it needs to be you, and you are the only focus. The great thing about exclusive use is the staff are there only for you and your guests. So from my point of view I think that’s absolutely key.
James [00:13:39] Brilliant. So Tina as well as your website are there any social media channels that people should go and follow if they want to see more weddings from Manor by the Lake?
Tina [00:13:49] Absolutely. Social media wise I’d say Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, follow us on all those, you can see some of our weddings… some of the photos from the weddings that have taken place to get some inspiration and ideas, to see what suits your tastes and themes really.
James [00:14:08] Awesome. Well Tina, thank you so much for sparing the time to share that with us today. It’s always a joy to chat to somebody who manages such a beautiful, stunning opportunity for brides and grooms. So thank you it’s been absolute pleasure talking to you!
Tina [00:14:25] You’re welcome it was a pleasure speaking to you too. Thank you.
James [00:14:28] Great. Thanks Tina. We’ll speak to you soon. Thank you.
Tina [00:14:31] Bye.
James [00:14:31] Bye for now.