Tor Dashwood’s Top Tips for Wedding Planning
Tor’s family have lived on The West Wycombe Estate for over 300 years and she sure knows a thing or two about parties! Founder of the House of Party Planning, Tor spoke to us about her top tips for anyone setting out on their event planning journey and why The West Wycombe Estate might be the perfect venue for you.
Top Tips for wedding planning in 2022
What is the most important advice you can give for a bride and groom at the start of their wedding planning journey?
Bring in the right professionals! This will be dictated of course by your budget, style & personality but doing the research at the beginning will mean you have a great team of suppliers that work together and ultimately make the whole process less stressful and enjoyable. Remember – wedding planning is meant to be fun – obviously the wedding day is the most important but the lead up should be fun too. There are lots of moving parts so make sure that someone is in charge and has authority that isn’t you – whether this is a planner, a competent caterer or a freelancer who you hand over to in the lead up to the wedding. It also cannot not be mentioned that if you are planning a wedding in the UK plan it for the worst weather ever – it should be a bonus if it is a lovely sunny day not something you are basing your whole day on.
What are the key questions a client should ask on a site visit?
How does the flow of guests work?
Are there any noise issues with neighbours to consider?
Which suppliers do you recommend?
The history of The West Wycombe Estate
Can you tell us a little about the history of West Wycombe?
West Wycombe was built by my ancestor, Sir Francis Dashwood in the 18th century to be his ‘pleasure palace’ The house is particularly special as every façade was designed to be front-facing & has a spectacular double colonnade. The house is set in beautiful landscaped parkland with many temples and follies. Sir Francis was extremely eccentric and apparently use to have a frigate ship on the lake to have mock battles as after lunch entertainment with his friends! To read more about the history please click here.
The West Wycombe Estate is one of the most popular wedding and events venues close to London
What sets West Wycombe apart from other wedding and events venues in the London area?
There are so many reasons that make West Wycombe special so I will highlight just my top 5:
- No wedding or event is the same; West Wycombe is dry hire and therefore clients and planners can imagine and create their own magical world. Starting with the marquee choice is always a good idea and we always tell clients they need to come and see the house and gardens to fully understand how many opportunities there are and get inspired.
- The parkland is full of stunning follies, temples & bridges- perfect as a backdrop to your photos – there is even an island that can only be accessed by boat! (for small guest numbers can get married on the island).
- 45 mins from London – you can uber from West Wycombe!
- Getting married next to water is pretty special and the magnificent lake reflects the light beautifully.
- West Wycombe is a hidden gem – as there are only a select number of weddings every year it is a very exclusive venue.
How your wedding day or event might look
Can you talk us through an event and describe some of the locations that are available at West Wycombe?
I will describe the perfect wedding!
Depending on your religion clients can do a ceremony in the house for 100, outside, or in a marquee (there is also a church walking distance that fits 300 guests). Guests can then enjoy a lovely drinks reception on the South Colonnade or spread throughout the formal rooms of the house. Following that dinner and dancing in a marquee either on the East Colonnade or in one of the lakeside locations.
Weddings are back without restrictions!
How have the last few years affected West Wycombe and how does it feel now large events and weddings are back with no restrictions?
Of course the past 2 years have affected West Wycombe but it has given a chance to recalibrate and look to the future. We are really excited for the future ahead and working with fantastic suppliers such as Barny Lee Marquees.
Barny Lee Marquees is The West Wycome Estate’s preferred supplier
You have created a preferred suppliers list for West Wycombe, what are the advantages of this for your clients/events?
Having our preferred list means that all the suppliers know the guidelines – where not to face the speakers, the load ins, etc and this makes the planning process easier for clients. It also protects the house and grounds from any damage. It also means they know they are working with trusted suppliers who have been vetted and are reliable.
Thoughts on Themed Weddings?
What is the most interesting, themed wedding, event, or private party that you have hosted at West Wycombe?
Recently West Wycombe was the venue for a 3 day Indian wedding- it was particularly fun as they used different locations each day, full of colour and imagination and in the photos you wouldn’t have even realised was all the same venue!
We also have loved hosting intimate events & weddings on the island https://www.thetempleonthelake.com/home.
Final top wedding planning tips from Tor!
Any final party planning tips for our clients?
- Work out what your priorities are and focus the budget there
- Try and use as few supplier as possible to keep the process smooth and make sure they all liaise & speak to each other
- Make sure someone is in charge that isn’t you!
- Here is a handy checklist to help with the process https://houseofpartyplanning.com/newsletter/wedding-checklist