Few experiences in life are as magical as a beautifully planned wedding that unfolds with grace. It’s a spectacle of design, ambience, timings, and sound that appear to blend seamlessly for those who have only been guests. They get to have fun and burn the midnight oil without having to lift a finger.
The process of planning a dream wedding is intense, exciting, and sometimes stressful, with a lot to think about. Most people have little event planning experience, and their wedding serves as a crash course. Everything from the table setting to the food and everything in between. Each wedding feature offers a plethora of options. Choosing a location is only the beginning.
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, Ellen Ford, 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 Ellen’s help, planning will be far more relaxed for you.
Ellen has always loved Weddings. Her first taste in event planning was when she was working in the theatre industry, where she was fascinated by the stage management and set design.
To her, a wedding is just like putting on a show, with the stunning gowns and suits serving as the costumes and the beautifully decorated venue being the set design. And with that, the stage is set for everyone to come together and share a magical day.
Moving into the world of Event Management 10 years ago, Ellen’s experience has given her an understanding of the intricacies of organising and producing personalised Weddings and Events.
Ellen loves to see everyone’s hard work come together to create something truly wonderful.
Let’s find out more about Ellen and weddings at Bowood…
From the biggest of plans to the tiniest details, personalised touches and special surprises, these are just a few of the things that Georgina loves about organising weddings.
With over 25 years of experience in the hospitality industry, Georgina has learnt the art of understanding the unique needs of couples. Her background working with some of the finest 5-star luxury hotels has equipped her with a keen eye for meticulous planning and an ability to execute events flawlessly.
Georgina’s ability to combine her industry knowledge with a personal touch and her genuine love for the wedding planning process shines through in her work.
Her ultimate goal is to turn each couple’s vision into a ‘dream come true’ wedding day, making it truly special and unforgettable for them.
Ellen – I really enjoy meeting with all of these wonderful couples for the first time and then seeing them walking down the aisle.
Georgina – Seeing all the planning come together is very exciting. The first look at the bride and the excitement in her face, the groom’s expression as she enters the room, and I know it sounds funny but the relief on both faces after the ceremony.
Georgina – I love seeing all the planning come together and then turning into reality, it is so satisfying and rewarding especially when seeing the look on the couples face.
Ellen – At Bowood, I would say it was the uniqueness of our Outdoor Wedding Pavilion.
Created using Oak from the Bowood Estate it sits perfectly with the landscape providing the perfect backdrop to outdoor wedding ceremonies.
The view is stunning and if you are lucky you may even see some of Bowood’s wildlife passing by.
Georgina – The Lansdowne Entrance Door to the Old Farm House, it’s so romantic and has a beautiful arch, the perfect backdrop for those intimate photographs.
Ellen – Honestly, it’s seeing the couples with small budgets who are worried about what they can achieve pull together their perfect day and loving every second of it. It brings me so much joy to see people happy.
Lots of food throughout the day – guests get hungry quick.
Somewhere for cards to go – whether it’s a card box or a post box
A Table plan – it’s always best to arrange where guests are going to sit for them.
Find your perfect venue and then really trust their wedding coordinator. They do this every day and see so many different weddings that they are always going to be able to help you bring your vision forward. So, tell them everything and let them help you!
Ellen – I am a romantic at heart, so it has to be seeing the groom’s face when the bride walks down that aisle. It’s pure love and joy every time.
Buffet or 3-course? – 3 course meal
DJ or live band? – DJ
Summer wedding or Winter wedding? – Winter Wedding
Outside ceremony or inside ceremony? – Inside – You don’t have to worry about the English weather
Local or destination? – Destination
Large wedding or small wedding? – Small wedding
Digital invitation or physical invitation? – digital invitation – environmentally friendly
Presents or money? – Money
Simple or extravagant? – Simple but luxury.
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.
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 the Bride and Groom as part of your wedding package. Others can join you 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. Our Kerry Suite can partitions into three different rooms making it feel cosier and there is also the opportunity of having an outside ceremony using Wedding Pavilion.