Are weddings out of control? Here’s to less superfluity and more love!

With wedding season in full swing, Country Life has declared that modern day celebrations are getting out of hand.

Couples have turned weddings into “the nuptial equivalent of an arms race”, say the rural magazine, with three-day bashes, exotic hen and stag parties and customised hashtags.

“Quality over quantity” pleads the magazine’s Giles Kime. Extravagant weddings, he suggests, need to step away from the frills and flounces and get back to basics. “However simple or lavish the modern British wedding,” comments Kime, “the only essential ingredient is a big helping of sincerity – and a little less triviality.”


Back in 2014, Fetcham Park’s Laura Caudery touched on a similar theme when she launched #ShareTheHonestLove, an engaging social media campaign that reminded couples not to get caught up in the superficial aspects of planning a wedding. Its sole aim was to show through authentic, honest and raw images those special moments that capture the real significance of a wedding.


Screenshot 2017-05-18 13.55.25

Photo credit: Eddie Judd Photography


Writing on her blog, Laura said, “I regularly warn our couples against obsessing too much over the ‘pretty’,” “and this wedding (pictured, captured by Eddie Judd) is the perfect example of what a wedding day is really all about: the love that’s celebrated, shared and felt on a wedding day.”

The campaign struck a chord. Its enduring emotional context resonated with the wedding industry and captured the nation’s attention, receiving extensive media exposure and engaging with thousands on social media.

As director of an award-winning wedding venue, and a bride whose own wedding started with disaster (heavy snowfall, delays and travel cancellations), Laura uses her experience to guide couples through their big day.

Knowing all too well how that the planning process can distract from the meaning of the day itself, here she shares her thoughts and advice on what a wedding is really all about.


Wedding Day – What’s Important?

·      Plan a ceremony that means something to you – One of the first questions I ask clients is what’s important to them on their wedding day and I can’t tell you how happy it makes me when they say the ceremony. It’s easy to get carried away with the ‘fun’ elements of planning a wedding but don’t overlook the significance of the vows you’re about to make because this is the bit that it’s really all about. Research celebrants – some of the most beautiful, and meaningful, ceremonies I’ve been privileged to share have been led by celebrants.

G - Friend of Faux by Lizzie Mayson

Photo credit: Lizzie Mayson

·      Hire a brilliant photographer – Everyone likes something different when it comes to style but for me, the thing I’m looking for is a real and honest relationship between the photographer and the couple. I love it when a photographer connects me to a couple and I can feel the emotion of the day.  Yes, posed portraits have their place – and maybe I’m cynical thanks to an unhealthy Instagram obsession! – but I want to see, and feel, the love.  This is about capturing you and the essence of your relationship, surrounded by everyone you love.  Not an opportunity to create the ultimate Facebook profile photo.


I - Emma Sekhon Photography

Photo credit: Emma Sekhon Photography

·      Work with the right venue – I believe a venue’s role is to get to the heart of what a couple really want from their day. Sometimes they might not know, or be able to express it, but that’s why our job is to ask the right questions and guide them in the right direction. And it’s why we’ll *never* have a recommended supplier list: no two couples are the same and no two weddings are the same so how could a ‘one size fits all’ approach ever work?

·      Be present in the moment – a wedding is one of the few times when all your loved ones are gathered in the same place. Take time during the day to soak up the atmosphere; hug, laugh, cry, dance…don’t worry if your make-up smudges or your dress gets dirty. Enjoy each and every moment. And hire a videographer.  Trust me, it’s the best thing I ever did!


What You Can Live Without

·      Going OTT with the entertainment – choose a band OR a DJ, even a playlist of your favourite music. Don’t feel pressured to provide a full line-up of entertainment for guests. With all the feasting and fun, nobody expects a full-blown festival of entertainment, so don’t stress over it.

·      Obsessing over Pinterest – Pinterest is a wonderful source of inspiration, but time and time again I’ve seen brides obsessing over a pretty detail, constantly changing their mind and losing perspective on everything else.  Whilst it’s great to do something if it makes you happy, you don’t *need* the pretty.  Love. Happiness. Hope. Those are the things I remember the most from my wedding day.  Not what colour the ribbon was on the napkins!


Weddings at Fetcham Park

F - Emma Wyatt Photography

Photo credit: Emma Wyatt

At Fetcham Park, our aim is to act as a wedding matchmaker, pairing you with the right suppliers; whether that’s style, budget or availability.  And it’s important it works both ways, just like any successful relationship!

We hope to guide and inspire our couples but at the end of the day, it’s their vision that matters and our job is to exceed all their expectations.

To find out more about weddings at the award-winning Fetcham Park visit:



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