FAQs about your Wedding at Gildredge Manor

FAQs about your Wedding at Gildredge Manor

Your wedding day has to be perfect. We know you’ll have lots of questions to ask us, whether you’ve booked or are thinking about booking. So we’ve put together some frequently asked questions – you might be able to find some of the answers you’re looking for.

What time should the groom/bride come?

The groom: an hour before the ceremony. If the bride is not getting ready here, she should come at the latest half an hour before the ceremony. The registrar will see the groom around 30-45 mins before the ceremony and the bride 15- 20 mins before.

When should guests arrive?

For guests the ideal time for them to come is 30-45 mins before the ceremony. The bar will be open until 10 minutes before the ceremony starts. Alternatively, we are very happy to serve your guests some welcome drinks e.g. Bucks Fizz. Please ask your ushers or someone from your families to be here from an hour-45 mins beforehand to greet guests.

Can my Mum/bridesmaids etc. get ready here?

Yes of course. It is a totally personal choice who you would like with you during that time. Remember to bring some snacks and drinks although we’ll be very happy to serve you teas, coffees and water.

Can we bring our own food?

You can bring your own cakes and sweets but all other catering must be through our approved caterer who adheres to all public health & hygiene regs, as well as understanding our venue-specific logistical, service etc. requirements. Having said that you can have an ice cream cart for example if you wish. If you’re doing your own sweetie cart or DIY photo booth for example don’t forget tablecloths.

Can we park at the venue?

Unfortunately, parking in the back courtyard is limited to the caterers and for deliveries to be unloaded. Of course, when you come to bring your decorations, by all means park in the courtyard. For guests, there is lots of free parking on the residential streets nearby and there aren’t any meters.

Can I bring my dog?

You are more than welcome to bring your dog to be at the ceremony and in the initial photos. Although, due to health and hygiene, your pooch must be collected before the meal! Please note, however well behaved, your dog must be kept on a lead and accompanied at all times.

Can we have fireworks/sparklers?

For health and safety/insurance purposes we can’t have fireworks but you can certainly have sparklers. What is really nice is if you can designate someone to hand round a metal pot of some sort to collect the sparklers in afterwards as otherwise they end up all over the garden and might be stood on in bare feet, break our lawnmower etc.!

Where are good places for flowers?

On the mantelpiece in the Garden Room. On the landing up the stairs. On the stone plinth in the hall. On the table in the hall and other little tables around the venue.

The best thing is to get your displays to multi-task so e.g. flowers from the aisle can go on tables or be dotted around the venue later on. Ceremony displays can move to the Long Gallery for the meal and then downstairs. If you get fed up of holding your bouquet, we’ve got vases you can borrow. Don’t forget to take your bouquet home if you want! Nb. If you have lots of flowers and you don’t want to give them away to guests or you don’t want them as you are going away, we will gladly donate them to the care home opposite.

Where shall we put the cake?

Usually in the Ladies Morning Room unless you are cutting it as part of the meal for pudding. If you can’t check the cake yourself once it’s in situ, please nominate someone to check it to make sure you’re happy with it. Also, please let us know if you’d like to take your leftover cake home on the night e.g. if you’re not collecting your things until Monday morning.

Do you have a PA system?

We have speakers, which you can plug an iPod, iPad or phone into with your playlist on for the ceremony and if you want background music for your meal etc. Don’t forget to nominate someone to press stop and start for your ceremony music (& they will need to sit near the speaker in the alcove in the middle of the room.)

What can we put our table plan on?

We have an easel, which usually goes in the hallway so people can peruse the table plan during drinks. A top tip is to allocate people a table but not specify which seat they sit in. That makes your life a lot easier and also means people can sit with whom they like and generally that creates a relaxed atmosphere.

Why do we need heel protectors?

Like in all National Trust properties, high heels (with a heel base smaller than a 5p coin) are banned as they can ruin wooden floors forever. A lot of blood, sweat and tears have gone into the restoration of this beautiful house and we obviously wish to preserve our historic features as best as possible. Please pass on our letter to guests (and also to your evening guests) as we will check heels on the day and ask guests to put heel protectors on if necessary. These will then be charged to you at £3/pair (or of course you can source some yourself and provide them to your guests – please ask us for the best brand and deal.)

Can we have candles?

The registrars do not allow any real flames even in enclosed lanterns in the ceremony room. You can have candles on the tables during the meal as they are ‘supervised’ the whole time and can easily be put out if necessary. Anything you wish to dot around the venue needs to be in an enclosed lantern. LED candles are preferable to be on the safe side.

What have you got for the garden?

We have wooden benches and wooden tables and chairs, a gazebo (when it’s very hot or rainy in the summer), outdoor lights, table lanterns, lanterns by the doors. We also have giant Jenga and giant Connect 4 we can loan you for the afternoon before the meal.

Any other no-nos?

  • No scatter crystals please as they get stuck between floorboards and scratch the floor.
  • No propping doors and windows open or hanging decorations on doors/windows, which will need to be opened and shut. Also no decs on radiators or floors where they are in the way or likely to get knocked over.
  • No sticking things onto/into walls etc without asking us first. We should have plenty of hooks around the place for hanging things or might be able to put more up for you if required.

What’s in the drinks package?

One of the owners is a qualified wine expert and retains links to the trade so is able to source really good quality wines at a good price. We are therefore able to offer you a good selection of wines (no plonk here!) at great value. We will deal with all orders, delivery, storage, chilling, glassware and serving and before you choose the package we will discuss options, as well as let you take a selection of wines home to try before you choose!

Do you take card payments?

Yes we can accept debit card payments behind the bar. If you wish to pay for any of your venue hire fee instalments by card unfortunately you’ll need to come and see us in person.

When do we need to leave?

Unless your wedding is on a Sun-Thursday, it’s 11.30pm for the music to be off and the bar will also close at this point. That allows half an hour to drink up and for people to go. Please note that taxis can take up to an hour on a Saturday night so do ask guests to pre-book their taxis home (for pick up outside Waitrose no later than midnight.)

Can we come and have another look round?

Yes of course! We will always contact you to arrange a detailed meeting around 4-6 weeks before the wedding to run through arrivals, logistics, etc. and will happily answer all your queries by phone and email in the meantime.

You are also very welcome to come for another couple of planning meetings but as you can appreciate we are not open or staffed all the time so if you can coordinate this with e.g. the photographer or florist or key family/friends who need to see the venue, that would be appreciated.

If you look on Facebook and our website, we will keep this updated with new additions to furnishings and recent wedding pics. You can also see how the rooms look with different table/chair arrangements on our website under Venue Guide: e.g. Long Gallery/Garden Room.

Any other questions you have, please do just get in touch. We would be more than happy to help. If you haven’t seen our wedding venue in Eastbourne yet, we would love to show you around! Learn more about weddings at Gildredge and see our venue guide.

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Contact

Gildredge Manor
11 Borough Lane,
Eastbourne
East Sussex, BN20 8BB

Tel: 01323 438 944
Email: info@gildredgemanor.co.uk