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Celebrate Valentine’s with a difference at Sandon Hall this year…

Celebrate Valentine’s with a difference at Sandon Hall this year…

Stately Sandon Hall is offering an alternative to the traditional romantic meal for two this Valentine’s – with an evening event taking place at the hall on Saturday, 17th February.

The first in a series of exclusive ‘Sandon Socials’, this ‘Valentine’s Edition’ will see couples, groups and singles all welcomed for an evening of good food, great music and dancing until midnight.

Revellers will be expected to dress to impress and will be welcomed by Valentine’s cocktails and canapés on arrival, in the hall’s elegant Victorian conservatory. They will then enjoy an informal ‘bowl meal’, with award-winning caterers Vanilla in Allseasons’ waiting staff presenting a selection of plated starters, main courses and desserts from which guests can choose and enjoy at their table, with entertainment during dinner courtesy of a Michael Bublé tribute artist.

Once the dining is done, it will be time to dance with a live DJ playing the very best in Motown and funk soul to keep the dancefloor filled until midnight. General Manager at Sandon Hall, Cheryl Millward, says:

“Valentine’s day isn’t for everyone, so we thought we’d offer an alternative way to celebrate with an evening that promises to be great fun. From large groups of friends to couples and those looking for love, this event will have a fantastic atmosphere is a beautiful setting.”

Tickets to Sandon Socials: Valentine’s Edition are priced at £40pp or £350 for a table of 10.

To book you can either call 01889 508004 or email [email protected] or head to our What’s On page:


Click here to read more

January 23, 2018
  • Events

  • Valentine's Day

  • Whats On

Wedding Traditions with surprising origins

Wedding Traditions with surprising origins

Many classic wedding traditions have, through the years, changed dramatically from their original meaning or purpose. Bouquets used to be garlic, tin cans on cars were pots and pans and veils kept the bride safe from the devil!

At Sandon Hall we love seeing what traditions the couples choose for their special day. It’s also interesting to wonder where they came from.



Once upon a time, the bridesmaids’ dresses would have been identical to the bride’s. But if they all looked similar, couldn’t you risk a terrible incident of mistaken identity with the groom kissing very much the wrong bride?

Unlikely. However, this mistaken identity masquerade was actually the purpose of the outfits. Bridesmaids were put in similar dresses to the bride to act as decoys meant to fool any meddling spirits that were keen on making mischief.

Over the years however, superstition waned and the bridesmaid’s veils got shorter as the bride’s grew longer. Eventually the common placed brightly coloured bridesmaids dresses came to life with the invention of new dyes, to some bridesmaid’s dismay!



The same troublesome spirits that caused the bridesmaids to dress in the same outfits as the bride were also the reason for the veil. The Romans used fiery looking veils to give the ghouls a real fright.

The veil also symbolised humility but eventually became an emblem of status in the Victorian era. The Victorians thought that the bigger the veil, the higher the status. This still applies to some extent today. The long, dramatic veil makes an impact and can look aristocratic. A shorter veil looks demure, symbolising the “blushing bride”.



The clamouring of tins attached to a car’s bumper, bouncing along the road as the newlyweds drive away, swoons with classic movie romance. It, began as a French tradition of standing under a groom’s window, making a ruckus.

It was called a charivari. When an out of town groom had taken a wife from a village, thus taking them away from the local boys, the villagers would shout outside his window at midnight until he gave them some compensation – a meal.

This tradition was brought over to America in the 1600s and became the norm in some places regardless of whether or not the groom was from out of town. Eventually though, it seems that brides and grooms lost patience with having their wedding night interrupted and the pots and pans became tins and cans on car bumpers as an announcement to everyone around of a happy union.



Have you even wondered how the tradition of carrying a bouquet started? Well, this is how. At a time when diseases like the black plague were around, people would carry garlic and rosemary bunches hoping the pungent smells would protect them from illness.

This in turn became a symbol of good luck and thus, because of the well wishing that comes with celebrating the union between two people, it found its way into weddings.

Over time people started adding other fragrant smells and appealing looking flowers to the bouquet.the garlic, dill or rosemary fading out of fashion. Different herbs have varying symbolic meanings and thus the idea of a lucky bouquet gained a firm foothold in weddings.

January 26, 2017
  • Weddings

Sandon Hall’s Guide to Styling Your Wedding

Sandon Hall’s Guide to Styling Your Wedding

With your spring wedding just around the corner, you’ll no doubt be looking to finalise. But even if you’re made lots of the big location and dining decisions, there’s still time to make the most of what is best about spring.

Sandon Hall are here to help you tie up those loose ends and place those finishing touches with a guide to styling your spring wedding, including flowers, colour co-ordinating and watching out for wetter weather.




Spring means rejuvenation and rebirth. As the ground thaws towards the end of January, the first spring flowers begin to appear. Daffodils are one of the first to emerge, sprouting it seems earlier each year. Inspired by their bright yellow petals, they marry beautifully with a spring country wedding.


Daffodils can be featured in a couple of unconventional ways such as in wellington boots or tied in bunches with twine to be held by bridesmaids. More conventionally, they can be the table decorations or simply feature in photos in the country setting.


Sandon Hall’s in-house florist Breige says that “cherry blossom for spring weddings that are later in the season are great for high impact displays. Alternatively, tulips with their many beautiful varieties make for lovely bouquets, especially when paired with scented narcissi”.




Nature’s dominant colour is green – from leaves on trees and bushes to lily pads and wild grasses. But, while the darkness of evergreens and verdant new grass suggests life, they aren’t the ideal colours for your wedding.


Instead, look for accents in teal or chartreuse. This can come in ribbons for the flower girls or in the bowties for the groomsmen. Various shades of green that also match well with greens are gold, ivory and lemony yellows.




For the new year’s revival of life must come the key ingredients for growth, namely water and sunshine. Plenty of rain will come in the spring, especially in the country parts of England, nurturing the plants and flora.


If you’re hoping to enjoy a spring wedding outdoors, perhaps to make the most of your venue with some memorable photos or the backdrop of luscious gardens, then you need a rainy day contingency plan.


This means umbrellas.


Obvious but simple, having enough umbrellas for your guests is a necessity if the forecast suggests even a spatter of rain. However, boring black umbrellas could look a bit corporate. Instead choose colourful umbrellas, matching your wedding theme or spring surroundings.


If the rain does come down then you can make umbrellas a fun feature of your wedding, such as with an umbrella canopy.




Sandon Hall, for example, with its ivory stone walls and period building is the perfect rustic setting to make the most of quintessential British flowers in its grounds and gardens. The period, neutral tones of the building allow it to pair with any colour theme you select.


Additionally, a country wedding is the ideal spot to embrace the ever popular trend of revived vintage. From flower crowns to lace wedding gowns, Sandon Hall’s historical setting perfectly complements these spring time touches that also suit a spring wedding.


With flowers in bloom and the sun (hopefully) shining, your wedding will truly feel like the celebratory start of a new beginning.

January 26, 2017
  • Spring

  • Wedding

  • Wedding Styling

The Wedding Speech: How to make it memorable

The Wedding Speech: How to make it memorable

Speeches are imperative at weddings. Whether you are a guest of honor, father of the bride, best man or bridesmaid, its a ceremonial must to make a toast for the newlyweds.

The purpose of wedding speeches is to wish the married couple good luck for their future together. But delivering a toast for hundreds of wedding guests can be nerve racking. Public speaking is a common fear and the pressure to deliver a hilarious or emotionally heart-wrenching successful speech is high. Really high.

To help ease your nerves and hit all the right notes, here are seven tips for making a memorable wedding speech – for all the right reasons.



Preparing your speech, writing and practicing it ahead of time, is a must. Especially if you get nervous, practicing and knowing your lines will help you to feel more confident.

Write flash cards with notes or a word by word script to help you deliver a coherent speech and follow your original line of thought if you get lost.



A good toast entails balancing a suitable amount of jokes with more personal and sentimental details, while engaging the audience and keeping them interested.

But time is also a crucial factor to keep in mind. No one wants to hear someone talk for more than ten minutes, much less over an hour long. A wedding is still a party and people want to have fun and celebrate, not sit in their chairs listening to a rambling speech.

A 5-8 minute length is sufficient to convey any message and keep the momentum of the day going.



Start your speech by introducing yourself and describing your relationship to the bride or groom. Weddings have hundreds of guests, so some attendees may not know who you are.

Thank everyone who played a part in the ceremony, the bride and groom’s parents particularly. You should also comment on how lovely the bride looks, how lucky the groom is and how proud the parents must be, for example.



Taking into consideration your audience, tell some funny details or stories about the bride, groom or couple. How they first met, humorous characteristics about their personalities or brief references to their childhood.

Bear in mind, a wedding reception is not the place for inappropriate jokes or foul language. Keep the humour suitable for all guests and do not offend the bride or groom with embarrassing or crude material.



Giving a speech is almost like telling a story. It should have a beginning, middle and end. Each line should be connected to the previous one to give your speech a good flow. This will also keep the guests focused on what you are saying, following your thought process.



Try not to copy or use examples of wedding speeches found online. Even though they are great for inspiration, using your own material is preferable. It is always better to speak from the heart and express yourself in your own words.

If you have good songwriting skills, replace the lyrics to same famous tunes and sing your wedding speech. It takes a bit more dedication and work but the result is extremely entertaining.



Finish your speech by proposing a toast to the new couple and wishing them all the best for their journey together. Ask everyone to raise their glasses and drink to the groom and bride’s happiness.

December 7, 2016
  • Speech

  • Wedding

Any questions?

Tel. 01889 508 004 | Email. [email protected]