Picking the perfect wine for your wedding

Much like wedding planning, selecting the perfect wine for your reception is influenced heavily by your taste. So while you may think the menu or season always informs what is in your glass, we are delighted to report that if you love reds, whites or rosés, all three are always in fashion.Oenophiles don’t have any problem selecting their favourite wines for dinner parties–but on a bigger, wedding reception scale, wine experts and beginners alike may not know the intricacies of serving vino for hundreds of guests. We would like to take the opportunity to thank Phil Harris from The Cardiff Wedding Photographer for providing the images for this blog.

From menu and temperature pairings into the much-debated question of the number of bottles to purchase, follow these expert ideas to pulling off a perfect pour with each glass. But full disclosure: you must always select varietals you and your fiancé like, because wine may say something about you–even better if it is a part of your love story.

Traditionally, the premise is that a fall or winter wedding automatically signifies red wine, much like a spring or summer party is identical to white wine. But actually, it doesn’t matter what time of year it’s, just so long as it fits in with your menu. “Most individuals want to drink what they like whenever they need to, which demonstrates why rosé has sprung from a springtime sipper to a year-round Showstopper,” says Anthony Giglio, wine executive at The Centurion Lounge. “People like how it connects white and red as a half way house in between.”You don’t need a seasoned sommelier to suggest great wine and food pairings; it’s as simple as understanding that wines and dishes that carry similar flavours will complement each other. Eater Drinks editor Kat Odell suggests the following pairings:

Chicken – A red or white that’s on the medium to the lighter side is a safe bet.

Fish – Greek wines or other lighters, mineral-y whites go well with seafood.

Beef – A dominant Grenache or pinot noir (both reds) complements steak.

Pork – Go for a bolder white with pork, like a white Burgundy.In general, choosing reliable, trustworthy wines which can be paired with various dishes will provide you one less headache, and your visitors will enjoy their meals even more.

“A bottle of white, a bottle of red, maybe a bottle of rosé instead” is not just verses from a Billy Joel song! They are also words to live by as you pick the wines you’ll serve at the party (save the rosé, which you might choose to swap for a bubbly beverage). “You don’t need to make it too complex,” says Gillian Sciaretta, associate examining coordinator at Wine Spectator. “Just choosing a white, red and sparkling is a fantastic way to go; people who have very distinct inclinations will still enjoy the wine.” To keep it simple, select a white wine that’s light and stimulating (similar to a sauvignon blanc or even a pinot grigio), and stick with a red that’s a little bit on the cool and fruity side (such as a pinot noir) since both can go well with various food.

Then decide on a mild champagne or prosecco to hit the bubbly note. “As long as the wines provide pleasant flavours that attract a large crowd, you should be good to go,” Sciarretta states. “People are always just pleased to have a great glass of wine in their hand”Even when you have your wedding reception in addition to a snowy mountain in the dead of winter, serve all your wine cold–which goes for red too. “Whites and sparkling ought to be served on ice.

Even reds–particularly lighter ones–can benefit from 30 minutes in the fridge before service,” says Nicholas Jackson, Sotheby’s wine buyer. “While the wine that’s too cold can warm up, hot wine is a loss from the start.” Sciaretta agrees that temperature control is essential, remarking that red wine should be held at 55 degrees and white wine around the high 40s. (If the bottle doesn’t need to breathe, keep it unopened until the last second, so the flavour isn’t wasted.)

If you’re looking for some good deals on wine for your wedding day we recommend Majestic Wines or Berry Bros, both have a superb collection of wines at a range of price points perfect for your big day!

What wedding guests actually want from your big day!

A few of the things which you agonise over – such as the nail-bitingly bothersome reception seating program – are not entirely required. By way of instance, guests prefer to be allocated a desk and select themselves in which to sit. Surprised? Here are a couple more items your wedding guests secretly expect to find if they connect you to celebrate your wedding.

One photographer who’s seen it all is Chris Dawe from Callisto Wedding Photography Bristol and we’ve asked Chris to give us some insite into what guests are really looking for!

If your invite asks visitors to ‘dress to the nines’ or to come in ‘shore chic’, you’ll have plenty of people scratching their heads and possibly even stressing about exactly what that means. To provide guests with a crystal clear dress code, adhere with the reliable cocktail, black and formal tie.

Supplying clear instructions or even organising a car to collect visitors from a set pickup stage and convince them to and from your wedding requires a whole lot of the planning strain from the day to your guests. Additionally, it means they’ll arrive relaxed and can enjoy themselves knowing they have a tool to get home safely.

People attend many weddings in the course of their life, and the odds are, they’re probably aware of the routine of a traditional wedding. If you mix this up, your visitors are likely to be nicely surprised and won’t try their best to hide a yawn as they hear the “I Paul, take you Jade…” routine for the umpteenth time. If you’re a particularly traditional pair and you’d like to follow a more standard format, then we’d advise maybe writing your own wedding vows to be traditional but also a little different at the same time.

Length can be something you can’t change if you’re deciding on a religious wedding ceremony, but if you aren’t very religious, then we’d recommend having a ceremony which is short and sweet so that your guests can move onto their favourite part of the wedding – the reception celebrations.

Guests that are arriving at your wedding sans date don’t wish to get set up with potential mates at the occasion. Sitting them strategically next to a few different singles doesn’t mean fireworks will go off and they’ll leave as a happy couple.

If you were zipping out for a few hours to have those gorgeous wedding photos taken, guests would like to be entertained and not left there standing around. The form that entertainment can take is your decision.

Guests would rather spend their time enjoying a night of free alcohol and laughs, rather than worrying that they have to pay for themselves. Should you decide to go the money bar option, make sure that you let your visitors know beforehand!

When it comes to drinking, little nibbles always go down a treat with wedding guests and helps them to soak up any alcohol from the open bar. These don’t need to be too extravagant, think mini hot dogs, hot chips and pizza. Party food is definitely in order as the reception advances.

Ditch the lengthy speeches and consider a more informal standing reception with scattered chairs so guests can snack and easily mingle with each other. It gives your wedding a true party atmosphere.

My Top 5 Wedding Venues in Norfolk

Picking a wedding venue can be tricky!

Even if you have a theme picking a venue that represents you and your wedding can be a stressful job! To help you out I asked my old pal over in Norfolk Wedding Photographer Steven Brooks to help us narrow down our top 5 wedding venues over in his home county of Norfolk.

These are our top picks so if you think we missed something or you would like to recommend your own top wedding venues then please let us know or comment in the blog below.

Brasted’s is the charming and special venue with its very own events and catering company. Set deep in the heart of the picturesque Norfolk countryside just a few miles from Norwich. They offer a diverse assortment of services comprising of a multi-award winning 2 AA Rosette fine dining restaurant, boutique B&B and event venue. Brasted’s also specialises in outdoor event catering, private dinner parties, corporate lunches, conferences and seminars, canapé receptions and parties.

They have over 30 years experience in the organising and hosting of weddings of all sizes, and they pride us on offering a personal and bespoke service! This ensures that each facet of your day is going to be taken care of by our exceptionally attentive and skilled staff, who will attend to every detail so you can relax and enjoy your day.

Hunters Hall is located set on an isolated farm in the centre of Norfolk. It offers the ideal setting for a passionate and unforgettable wedding. With a selection of function spaces, excellent accommodation for your visitors, and a truly incredible backdrop, Hunters Hall presents all you could need for your big day.

The beautiful, unspoilt countryside location provides exceptional backdrops for your all-important photographs.

Snuggled in the centre of gorgeous Norfolk countryside, Barnham Broom Hotel is an unblemished Wedding venue. Authorised to host Civil Ceremonies and Partnerships, you may choose to have the ceremony and your wedding breakfast at the house, or simply the reception. From the moment you and your guests arrive, you’ll get a red carpet welcome, together with a cordial and attentive service from the staff.

Their four luxurious banqueting suites can hold from 10 to 150 guests in comfortable, tranquil settings. The ground floor Barford and Colton suites have their gardens and face the River Yare Valley. Here you can experience Champagne and canapés with your guests, while the Kimberley suite located on the first floor, boasts a large balcony with spectacular views of the surrounding countryside.

The Old Rectory Hotel has gained an impressive 25 years’ worth of experience in holding incredible weddings and civil ceremonies. The Norwich venue is excellent for your wedding celebrations, and your big day might be the next held at this charming hotel. We supply the hotel for weddings on an exclusive basis, allowing you and your guests to enjoy private celebration while benefiting from the undivided attention of our excellent staff. As a family-run business, we take pride in our friendly and personal service throughout your wedding preparations. From your very first warm welcome to your final dance on your wedding night, our dedicated wedding co-ordinator will be on hand to provide help and support at each stage. We supply bespoke menus and a fantastic experienced in-house catering team who will enable you to gather your ideal wedding day.

The large conservatory, with its beautiful high vaulted ceiling, is a perfect room for your special occasion. The room boasts gorgeous views across the acres of glorious gardens. With ample natural light, the room has a bright and airy feel, which makes it the ideal backdrop for a ceremony or reception. For your evening celebrations, the room has disco lighting, built-in sound system and a dance floor. Additionally, there is an adjoining bar and direct access to the charming gardens and a patio area.

The Maids Head Hotel happens to be the oldest hotel in the UK and produces a unique venue for your wedding. Located in the traditional Tombland area of the city, it’s the best setting for your special day.

Boasting gorgeous reception rooms, mouth watering catering and offering the most caring, attentive and professional wedding coordinators. What more do you have to create your special day the most memorable?

From a standard grand Wedding to a private civil ceremony The Maids Head hotel will make the perfect day for you. Near Norwich’s Norman Cathedral, we offer the chance to get photos taken within their grounds adding further memories that will last forever.

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