Few moments in life are so magical as a beautifully planned wedding, unfolding with finesse. For those who have only been guests, it’s a spectacle of design, ambience, timings, and sound that appear to effortlessly blend. They get to enjoy themselves and burn the midnight oil, without having lifted a finger.
The planning of a dream wedding is an intense, exciting, and sometimes stressful process—with much to think about. Most people have little experience of arranging events, and their wedding serves as a crash course. From table décor, to food, and everything in between. Each wedding feature has a tide of options. Picking a venue is just the start.
Here at Bowood, we fully understand the planning process and how unknown it feels to begin with. Therefore, we’d like to introduce you to our experienced and talented wedding coordinator, Ella Lee, and answer some of our frequently asked wedding questions. Our pastoral country estate in the heart of rural Wiltshire is a gorgeous location to host your wedding and with Ella’s help, planning will far more relaxed for you.
Some of us are lucky enough to have a calling. For our wedding coordinator Ella, this is weddings. For almost a decade she has been translating the imagination of happy couples into reality and has been the organisational rock of many a dream wedding. Her warmth, empathy, and genuineness are a positive and calming influence on couples planning their big day. It’s a busy, fast paced position, and hats off to Ella—she does a fantastic job.
Ella is a country girl, who grew up only a stone’s throw from Bowood. Our estate played a big part in her childhood—and it was her dream to join the Bowood wedding team one day. It’s touching to be a part of someone’s lifelong aspirations, and it seems like fate she should be here with us now. When Ella’s not hard at work on weddings she can be found walking (or being walked by) her two cherished dogs. She’s also a film fan, with diverse interests, ranging from Disney classics to spooky flicks. Which we’re told, go well with bourbons and ice cold Dr. Pepper. Sounds good to us.
Let’s find out more about Ella and weddings at Bowood.
I studied media and photography at college, where we were assigned a project to create our own event, ticket it, and run the day. This gave me a little insight into the hospitality and events industry, and I could see myself making a career out of it.
Talking with a couple and helping visualise ideas is always great. Decorations are fun too—and I love the ‘drop off’ meeting when I finally get to see all the planning come to life.
Personalise, personalise, and personalise—and involve your guests as much as possible. Perhaps with a big photo collage, having their favourite sweets as favours, or you could include all your memories together as table names. A real ‘wow factor’ for me would be to organise fireworks – this makes a fantastic surprise for your guests!
Think outside the box. I would say that traditional elements are important but make it yours. If you have seen something online or dreamt of an idea, let us know.
It’s good to know what you want your wedding to be, but also be open to new trends and outside suggestions. Sometimes by playing around with ideas, you can create something fun and unique.
Easy. The Golden Gates. They are so iconic – it is a must! It’s lovely to head up there with your photographer and have five minutes to yourselves, away from your guests, taking it all in. You may even want to ride a golf buggy up there. Why not, hey?
There are so many moments I love. From the bride walking down the aisle, the arrival after church, the drinks reception, the entertainment, to the speeches and walking around a room filled with happy faces and clean plates. But I must say, my favourite moment is when we announce the wedding party into the room and all the guest’s faces light up and all you can hear is “wow”, “this looks amazing”, and “what a lovely venue”.
We offer a corkage service where we charge a fee to bring in your own alcohol. This is based on the amount you consume on property; however, we have an extensive drinks list and can also personalise this offering.
Yes, from cake makers to discos, to room décor and photobooths, you can use whatever supplier you wish. Just make sure they have the correct documentation and a good reputation. It’s important to choose a company you trust. For ease, we have an amazing list of recommended suppliers we’ve worked with for years, who deliver the best service.
We permit outside vendors such as sweet and ice cream carts but provide everything else. If you have a favourite dish, or a vision you want to come to life, let us know and we’re sure we can accommodate. Our talented chef is endlessly creative.
We have many beautiful spaces to take advantage of. The entrance ‘Golden Gates’ is extremely popular and an iconic backdrop. There’s also our tree lined driveway, the hotel flower beds, the original farmhouse building, and the private Kerry Suite terrace, perfect for group shots. In spring, with blankets of bluebells and in autumn with fiery leaves—anywhere on the grounds is truly cinematic. We can also head over to the House and Gardens between April and October, please ask for more details.
Unfortunately, no dogs are allowed in the Resort, but there are public paths to enjoy what Bowood has to offer.
You’ll have a dedicated wedding coordinator to assist in the planning of your big day, and a toastmaster to attend to your every need on the day.
A drop off meeting will be organised on the week of your wedding, where you deliver all your decorations to us. These are securely stored in a cloakroom until the Kerry Suite becomes available. This could be the night before or may be in the early hours on the day of your wedding, upon which our dedicated team will professionally dress the room for you. We do everything from putting favours out, to dressing the gift table and positioning your centre pieces. Before your wedding starts, you’ll have an opportunity to check you’re happy with everything and your wedding coordinator will be on hand for final touches. The team will then de-rig the room and store all your belongings in the cloakroom for you to collect the next day.
Requests can be noted, and we will do our best to allocate the ready rooms for you and your wedding guests, but we do not guarantee anything. Check in is from 3pm and check out is at 11am.
The more the merrier for a show around. Please do invite anyone you wish. Or it can be just the two of you, and you can introduce others to the venue at your leisure.
Menu tasting is complimentary for you as part of our wedding packages, but others can join, and there is a supplementary price to do so.
If you are planning an intimate gathering, we do have a range of rooms we can offer, such as The Old Dairy & The Fitzmaurice. The Kerry Suite also partitions into three different rooms making it feel cosier. There is also the opportunity of having an outside ceremony on our Pavilion Terrace or even having a blessing at the Bowood House and Gardens private chapel, or Queenwood Lodge.