The Silverholme Wedding Blog
by Rachel Joyce
When it comes to getting married at Silverholme Manor there’s only one thing we have in mind, relaxing! Our long weekend wedding package, commencing 3pm Friday and coming to a close for 10am Monday, means there’s plenty of time to settle in before the big day and to recover after the big night!
We appreciate that a relaxed wedding is not always as simple as it sounds however, and so we have teamed up with a whole host of our wonderful recommended suppliers to create The Silverholme Wedding Blog.
For the next two months we’ll be publishing our top tips and insights into the big day. Our aim is to highlight all the little things you can do in the run up to ensure your day is as relaxed as possible and to point out all the little things you sometimes miss on the day itself, to ensure you make the most of every minute of the big day!
So, without furtherado here is our first instalment from the wonderful Rachel Joyce, enjoy!
Hi, I’m Rachel. I’m a wedding photographer based in the North West and I’m lucky enough to shoot lots of weddings in the Lake District. I visited Silverholme for a wedding for the first time this year and now I’m absolutely smitten! It’s my idea of the perfect wedding venue.
I love working with relaxed couples who are planning something a little bit different for their wedding day and that’s why Silverholme appeals to me so much. I love that it works just as well for smaller weddings as larger ones – my couple, Emily and Michael, tied the knot in the sitting room, surrounded by their friends and family and it was so cosy and intimate! With everyone staying in the house or the nearby cottages the whole day had a holiday vibe!
Planning the Perfect Timeline
Wedding timelines – doesnt sound like the most exciting bit of wedding planning that you’re ever going to do but my biggest tip for couples planning their big day is to put together the perfect timeline in advance. It’s something that most couples don’t really start thinking about early in their wedding planning journey but after photographing 200+ weddings I know a well thought out timeline can help make your wedding day run smoothly and achieve that perfect relaxed vibe.
The alternative – a wedding day that feels rushed, or one with huge lulls where your guests starting feeling a bit fed up and the energy seeps away. (We’ve all been to weddings like that!) They also help make sure all your suppliers are on the same page so we can work together like a well oiled machine.
Wherever you’re holding your wedding, a well planned out timeline is super important but even more so when you’ve chosen a venue as beautiful as Silverholme for your wedding day. It’d be a crime to miss out on all the amazing photo opportunities or not to have the time to enjoy your amazing surroundings because you were rushing through your day.
Here’s my top tips for planning the perfect wedding timeline.
Check with your hair and make up team what time they need to start on the morning. Brides if you’ve chosen a big bridal squad be prepared for an early start! Silverholme is such a perfect venue for getting ready on the morning of your wedding. The bridal suite is huge – big enough for operation hair and makeup. What’s more it’s beautifully lit – with two huge windows filling the room with natural light. Photographers and make up artists LOVE natural light. It makes everything look better!
If you don’t fancy everyone in the room with you there’s also sitting rooms downstairs you can use for getting ready too and you can sneak off to the bridal suite for a bit of peace and quiet!
It’s very important to choose a good time for your wedding ceremony. Too early and the day feels dragged out. Too late and you’ll find everything is smushed into a few hours and is over before you know it! If you’re having the whole day in the same venue then a ceremony time of 1 or 2 p.m. is perfect. If you’re travelling between church and venue then you might want to go for a slightly earlier ceremony to accommodate for the extra travelling time.
It’s really important to get to your ceremony on time. The whole ‘it’s the bride’s prerogative to be late’ doesn’t cut it any more I’m afraid! Registrars in particular will have more than one ceremony to perform on a day so they don’t take kindly to be kept waiting for no reason. If you’ve chosen to get ready at Silverholme and you’re holding your ceremony there too (and why wouldn’t you – it’s bloody gorgeous!) then you really don’t need to worry about this too much. A short walk down the stunning staircase and you’re there! But if you’ve decided on a church venue then make sure you leave ample to time to get there.
Plan to be ready 30 minutes before you need to set off and plan on setting off early too. The last thing you want is last minute panic and fluster because time has run away from you. Check to make sure there’s no events or planned road closures on your route that might affect your timings. If you find yourself with time to spare it’s the perfect opportunity for a glass of fizz with everyone before you head out.
After the ceremony
This is the first danger zone for wedding timings going astray. If you’re having a church wedding you might be planning to head out of church and dash straight to your wedding venue for the drinks reception. This WILL NOT HAPPEN! Unless you are completely militant and ignore everyone, you will find that all your guests want to hug you, kiss you and congratulate you at this time. It often turns into something of an impromptu receiving line as you greet guests as they leave church and this can easily add another 20 minutes onto your timeline. If that’s not been factored in it can knock everything out of schedule.
My tip – add this into your timeline and ENJOY it. It’s one of my favourite parts of a wedding day – you’ve just got married! Emotions are running high, everyone is beaming and hugging you and each other. It’s an absolute treat to photograph and some of my favourite natural wedding images usually come from this part of the day.
The good news is, if you’re planning to hold your wedding ceremony at Silverholme, then this part of the day naturally becomes part of your drinks reception which makes it even smoother. All the above happens – the kissing, the hugs, the smiles – it just takes place whilst everyone has a glass of fizz in their hands!
Before Your Meal (also known as the drinks reception)
This is a busy busy part of the day for your wedding photographer. During this time we’ve usually got a lot of images to tick off the list – your family group shots, your portraits, lots of lovely natural and relaxed images of your guests enjoying themselves and some pictures of your wedding breakfast room all set up. All these shots are important to you – we know that – which is why you must make sure you’ve factored enough time into your timeline to make sure they happen.
I always advise my couples to make sure there is at least an hour and a half set aside for the drinks reception when you arrive at your wedding venue (or from when your ceremony finishes if you’re having everything in one place). The last thing I want to do is rush you off straightaway for portraits and group shots. I want you to mingle with your guests on the lawn overlooking the lake, I want to wander the round the beautiful house, capturing images of your friends and family enjoying the beautiful interiors of Silverholme, I want to grab pictures of your guests playing lawn games or the kids swinging in the trees. If you want beautiful, natural, informal shots of you and your guests at your wedding, this is where a lot of them will happen. Make sure you factor in enough time for this. Not only do you get a lot of beautiful images – you also get the chance to actually enjoying spending time with your guests!
The Group Shots
Back in t’day, wedding photography was dominated by formal and stuffy portraits. No more! Hooray. But group shots and family shots are still an important part of your day for sure. Although I advise my couples to keep them to a minimum (we’ve all been to those weddings where the group shots take 2 hours – snoreville!) I do still encourage them to have a few important ones. As a wedding photographer, group shots can cause some logistical issues – especially due to the weather!
One of the wonderful things about Silverholme is that there are beautiful spots both inside and out for group shots. On a dry day you can choose from pictures in front of the house which is stunning or on the lawn with the lake in the background but the good news is that if it’s raining (as it quite often does in the Lakes!) you’ve still got so many interior spots for group pictures meaning you don’t have to compromise.
If you’re planning 6-8 different groups (which is ample) then make sure you put aside around 30 minutes for those. To make sure they get some quickly and smoothly pre-warn people that they will be needed for pictures so they don’t disappear just when they are needed and ask your bridesmaids or groomsmen to be on hand to help round people up. Quick as a flash, you’ll be finished and back to enjoying your day with your friends and family.
If you book a wedding venue as beautiful as Silverholme then I imagine you’re already planning some pictures around the grounds to take advantage of that backdrop! Most of my couples want some cracking pictures of just the two of them, but don’t want to turn the day into a huge and elaborate photoshoot.
I ask for two 15 minute sessions with my couples to create some magic! One just after we’ve finished group shots and one in the evening. 15 minutes does not feel like a huge amount of time, but because Silverholme is so self contained and has so many beautiful spots for pictures within a stones throw of each other you can really take advantage of the backdrops and scenery and the interior of the house too. Having a second photo session in the evening means being able to enjoy the gorgeous evening light, perhaps with a trip down to the jetty or with a little wander in the woods as the sunlight steams through the trees. (I’m a wedding photographer – I get excited by delicious light!)
Portraits might be your ideal of hell – I mean it’s not the type of thing most couples do naturally! But having that 15 minutes away from your guests, just the two of you, is wonderful. The day is so busy that you’ll barely get chance to speak to each otherwise. Making sure you’ve factored some time into your timeline for portraits is super important. If we’re rushing for time, you’ll feel rushed and that will reflect in your images. Give me 15 minutes and you’ll get images of you both looking chilled, relaxed, love up and having a great time on your wedding day.
The ceremony, drinks reception, groups shots and portraits are done, the meal has been demolished, speeches have been spoken. Everyone is fed, watered and ready to dive into the evening. Timings at this point are still important. You want to leave enough of a gap between the end of the meal and the start of the first dance to allow guests to go and refresh themselves, the staff at the venue to prepare the room, the DJ or band to set up and for that second set of portraits to happen. But you don’t want to leave toooooo long that people start feeling dozy or the energy seeps away.
Aim to have your first dance at around 8 p.m ish so that guests can get on the dance floor straight after and the party will start! If you’ve booked a full day of wedding photography this means that most photographers will stay for a while after the first dance to get some cracking images of your guests partying.
I hope you find this post useful!