Romantic, English Touches for W-DayWords by Tanith Wesson
Photos courtesy of Belvoir Castle
If you’ve seen any of Richard Curtis’ films (Love Actually, Notting Hill), you’ll be au fait with the traditional English wedding. We might have moved on from the Hugh Grant of the nineties, but bringing a touch of quintessentially British grandeur is easy.
Tanith Wesson, who leads the wedding team at Belvoir Castle in England, shares her top tips for a day that Her Majesty would be proud of.
It’s often the little touches that make all the difference, so to decorate your venue, consider flowers native to the UK. Whether it’s whatever you can find foraging in hedgerows, adding a vintage touch with jam jar posies or beautiful varieties such as pansies, wallflowers and bluebells – the opportunities are endless.
A Piece of Cake
The Wedding Breakfast is the perfect occasion to bring a touch of English tradition to the table. Though historically this would be an elaborate wedding cake with fruitcake layers to be kept for future anniversaries, why not consider the latest trend in British weddings and opt for a cheese cake? With tiers of hard cheeses such as Double Gloucester or English Cheddar, it’s sure to be a firm favorite with your guests and a wonderful savory alternative. At Belvoir Castle, you can even cut the cake with the Duke’s sword.
The Royal Touch
Whether you choose a location steeped in history, classic architecture or famous residents, ensure a real ‘wow’ factor by splashing out on a dream venue with a bounty of English grandeur. Set in the heart of the countryside, Belvoir Castle makes for stunning photography and is incredibly popular with our international guests to evoke that ‘Downton Abbey’ feel on their big day. At Belvoir Castle we can fire the Duke of Rutland’s cannons, organize a Scottish piper and arrange transport by London Bus – whatever you wish to make your day even more memorable.
Pick Your Day Wisely
According to English tradition, Wednesday is considered the "best day" to marry, although Monday is for wealth and Tuesday is for health. Don’t opt for a Saturday if you can help it, as that is said to be the unluckiest wedding day, though funnily enough this is the most popular day of the week to marry in the UK. The 29th of February (in a leap year) is said to be the one day (coming round only once every four years) when a woman can propose to her partner, according to English folklore.
Dress for the Occasion
If you find a spider in your wedding dress, be happy! The English believe this means nothing but good luck. Did you know? Queen Victoria started the Western world's white wedding dress trend in 1840 and before then, brides simply wore their best dress.
Something Borrowed, Something Blue
Another Victorian tradition is for brides to wear or carry "something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue” throughout the day. It could be a borrowed pair of shoes or a blue brooch, for example – all it takes is a little imagination.
Time for Tea
If the English are known for anything, it’s their love of a good cup of tea. Bring a sense of this tradition to your big day with a selection of teas, including of course, the favorite blend of English Breakfast. Serve in pots with milk, sugar, honey and lemon to really go all out.
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