Weddings are special occasions that have a profound meaning for the happy couple, their families and their friends, which is why they tend to draw a crowd. It almost goes without saying that if you are expecting 200 guests or more on your big day, you need to plan your celebration very carefully.
While most wedding venues have limited capacities, Crockwell Farm in Daventry has enough space for all your ceremony and reception needs. We can offer a relaxing rural setting that is perfect for large weddings. You should consider our idyllic Northampton venue as a blank canvas on which you can plan the wedding of your dreams.
Here are some tips on planning large weddings and entertaining guests.
1. Check the wedding venue
It is always advisable to visit the venue first before you make a booking. This will give you an idea of where your guests will sit and how they will be able to mingle comfortably. It is important to find out the venue’s seating capacity so you can finalise the number of guests you can invite. You should also check out the dance floor and the reception area to make sure they will match your requirements.
Although stunning photographs and positive word of mouth may promote an excellent reputation, it is still wise to visit the venue personally before you reserve a date.
2. Decide where to hold your wedding ceremony
With a farm wedding, you have the option of conducting the ceremony in a church, a barn or an outdoor garden. If you choose Crockwell Farm as your venue, you can have the religious ceremony in St Nicolas, a lovely and popular church in nearby Eydon. When the service is over, you can make the short trip to us for your reception.
Alternatively, you can have the ceremony and exchange your wedding vows at Crockwell Farm. The barn and the gardens are both excellent options.
3. Plan the layout
At Crockwell Farm, our barn interior offers plenty of space so you can use it for both your ceremony and reception. However, you will still need to consider the layout in relation to:
● Chairs and tables
● Dance floor
● Photo booth
● Buffet tables
You should try and imagine how your day or evening will proceed when people are dancing or queuing for the buffet. Fortunately, we can arrange it so that the barn will comfortably accommodate all your guests. With more than ten years’ experience in this industry, we are well-accustomed to planning large weddings.
Compared to other wedding venues, Crockwell Farm offers much more than space. Our natural aesthetics and beautiful surroundings will provide respite from the daily city grind.
4. Reserve a date and book the registrar
Once you have visited Crockwell Farm, you will understand why it is easy to fall in love with the place. After making your decision, the next step is to book your big day. We can guarantee that you and your party will have exclusive use of our venue for two whole days. You can even spend your honeymoon here and enjoy our fabulous accommodation.
You can check the available dates at Crockwell Farm on our calendar. Let us know the date you want and we will hold it for a week for free. This will give you time to book the registrar and contact your family.
The next step is to book the wedding with the Daventry Registry Office. We highly recommend having your ceremony at around 2pm as this will give you ample time for all your planned activities. You can check the registrar’s availability by visiting this site.
5. Travel time
You will need to carefully plan the logistics if you decide to hold your ceremony and reception in two different locations. This is especially true if you have people arriving from out of town. Remember to give directions to your guests whether they are using their own cars or public transport.
6. It is good to interact and mingle
Interacting with over a hundred guests is a challenge for the newlyweds. Even if your reception goes on for five hours or more, it may prove difficult to spend some quality time with each of your guests. You are less likely to enjoy your wedding day if you were to spend most of your time just trying to navigate your way through the crowd.
Fortunately, you can maximise your time with other people by taking some photos before the wedding. This will enable you to attend the cocktail hour when you can freely mingle with your friends and family.
A casual, welcoming party or a rehearsal dinner are also excellent ways of greeting guests from out of town. You may also wish to consider setting up a pre-plated dinner to speed up the placing of people at their tables. This will make it so much easier to reach your family and friends at their tables.
Another good way of engaging your wedding guests is to create multiple small parties at the reception. Besides having photo booths, you can spice up the celebrations by organising fun activities such as craft tables.
Even if you are having a formal dinner event, you can still divide it into two or three courses. Perhaps you could encourage people to dance between courses? Alternatively, you may plan a unique third course – something that will delight your guests’ taste buds.
Consider inviting fewer guests
The more guests you invite, the merrier your wedding will be … but also the more expensive! For this reason, it is vital that you carefully consider each and every invitation. You can decide who to invite by using certain rules, such as the ‘five-year’ rule or the ‘five-minute’ rule. For example, it is very unlikely that you will invite people you haven’t seen for five years or more. And, if you cannot see yourself spending at least five minutes with someone, it is probably best not to invite them.
Another way to trim your guest list is to limit the number of co-workers you will invite. Perhaps only invite those you consider as friends.