Featured, Wedding Planning

Q&A With Dearborn Estates

If you’re at the stage of venue hunting for your wedding, the three stylish Dearborn Estates houses are perfect for a classic English country wedding. Based in Surrey, the Cotswolds and Wiltshire, each one has its own style and personality.

We sat down with the lovely Natasha to find out why spaces created by Dearborn Estates are the perfect place to celebrate your wedding and got some of her planning tips and tricks too!

Photograph by Owen Gale

How many venues are there and how are they suited to different wedding styles?

We have three unique wedding and event spaces. The beauty with our venues is that all the key event spaces are stylishly designed, yet have an element of a blank canvas so our couples can go all in or keep it simple with their styling.

Kin House is a versatile property that is ideal for couples who want to extend their celebrations over multiple days. This includes everything from rehearsal dinners, hearty recovery brunches, bespoke activities, workouts, movie nights or al fresco fare from our wood-fired oven, the possibilities are endless.

Millbridge Court is our modern take on a barn, with a relaxed home-away-from-home vibe combining character with style. The oak beams and vaulted roof complement the floor-to-ceiling windows, allowing natural light to flood the spaces in the Halls.

Hyde House is our original venue, developed from a traditional hotel to create a truly picturesque setting for weddings, with spectacular views over the rolling Cotswolds countryside.

Photograph by Jason Mark Harris

When do you recommend starting the venue search?

As soon as you get engaged! Once you have picked the venue, everything else starts to fall in place. Discuss your style with your venue and definitely take a look at the suppliers your venue recommends, they are well loved for a reason.

What are your top three tips when searching for your wedding venue?

  1. Decide your ideals (together) before you start searching, for example guest numbers, time of year and what is important to you for the celebration.
  1. Make a shortlist from researching online, you’ll be able to rule out venues with the information from their websites or venue portals such as Coco or Bridebook
  1. Enjoy yourself! Being engaged is such an incredible feeling so make sure you take the time to really soak up the experience and enjoy the complimentary glasses of fizz!

What is your favourite feature out of all the venues? 

Tough choice so I’m going to have to give you one for each!

Kin House – The pink-hued Shell Grotto feature, created by decorative artist Mel Campion

Millbridge Court – Our honeymoon suite is a Hideaway cabin, nestled in a secret fern garden at the end of the grounds, complete with a copper, roll top bath.

Hyde House – The Pudding Parlour, I’ve sampled each mini dessert and can say the mini banana and biscoff milkshakes are absolutely delicious.

Do you have any do’s & don’ts for the planning process?

Do keep a track of all the information you receive from suppliers and create yourself a timeline with payments and deadlines, in future you will be grateful! A spreadsheet will be your best friend.

Don’t worry if your style changes throughout your wedding journey, this is what final meetings are for and it will develop as suppliers fall into place.

Do trust your suppliers, there is a reason they do what they do for a living.

Photograph by Eloise & Mitch

Any advice for navigating the guest list and table plans?

Ahhh wedding politics. When it comes to a guest list you want to ensure that everyone you love is in that room. Personally I used the rule “would I take them out for dinner and pick up the full bill” along with “do I see them in our future married life.” If yes to both they were a firm yes on the guest list. Table plans are definitely a complicated matter as you want everyone to have a fantastic time. I would ensure that you’ve thought about having guests seated in a way to ensure there is a common thread between tables. It can be hard if the guest doesn’t know anyone else in attendance so you will want to sit them with someone that can hold a conversation.

Photograph by Maja Tsolo

What is the best wedding hack you’ve ever come across?

There are so many hacks and tips out there it is hard to choose the very best, so I’ll give you three as that seems to be how I work.

  1. If I ask my inner wedding planner and event manager it would be to have what I call my ‘It Kit,’ still as a wedding guest I tend to have one with me. It includes things that may be needed, such as tissues, sewing kit, plasters, mints, a tape measure (I’ve had to purchase and sew a new veil onto a Bride’s veil comb before!), safety pins, the lot.
  1. If I ask my inner bridesmaid / guest, focus on what really adds to guest experience. Food, drink and comfort.
  1. Finally, my inner Bride, I would say trust your gut, with all the advice coming from friends, family and wedding planning platforms just stay true to you and have the day you want!

Visit https://dearbornestates.co.uk for more information!