Category Archives: Weddings

Wedding Fair

Wedding Fair at Donnington Valley Hotel

Last weekend we hosted our second wedding of the year so far at Donnington Valley. January also saw us hold a wedding fair and what a wedding fair it was!

With 21 stands of local suppliers we had a wonderful time with lots of new brides along with some familiar faces. Brides and suppliers alike enjoyed chatting through ideas, sharing plans and catching up with me throughout the day. Karen Harrison of Harrison and Green florists had my favourite stand of the show displaying too many different ideas to mention. She even came with vintage ladder to help her show off some beautiful flowers.

The whole fair was brought to life with a variety of musical performances throughout the day from two very different, but equally talented sets of musicians. Richard Sully (local pianist and regular at The Vineyard) provided a beautiful and sophisticated sound as a back drop to our suppliers on the mezzanine and somehow manages to play and talk at the same time!
Meanwhile in the Cromwell Suite, alongside a mock set up for a wedding breakfast, ‘Got it covered’ provided a fabulous alternative to a disco. They literally did have it covered with cover versions of songs to keep everyone from your niece to your Nan happy.

Special mention to all suppliers who attended: Helen Sarah pictures, Oceanic videos, Rev Akasha Lonsdale, Elegance Chair Covers, Harrison & Green Florists, Fuschia Designs, Cakes by Cocochoux, West Berkshire hair and makeup, Newbury Registrars, Holly Hotcakes, Lush Hair, Richard Sully, Richard Lister Cars, The Vineyard, Cakes by Katie B, Bonappasweet, Acorn Furniture Hire and Got it covered.
Thank you everyone for your time and support and here’s to the next one!

Trends for 2013

Lots of new things are starting to emerge for weddings in 2013, with the tipped colour to be dark blue. Lace is something that has been part of wedding dress styles for centuries, but it seems to be having a surge in popularity right now. And its not just on the dress. We’ve seen lace being used for table coverings, on the wedding stationery, for the bridesmaid gowns and many more besides. Finally something that we have seen time and again at Donnington Valley is the popularity of late night nibbles. Many of our couples are choosing to move away from providing a buffet at the evening reception choosing instead to have a late night cheese board or even bacon rolls to fuel the evening fun.

And Finally

If you have not seen it yet our new wedding brochure is hot off the press. You can download a copy from our website  or if you’d prefer pick up a copy of the brochure and at the same time have a tour of the hotel, please give me a call on 01635 568106 to arrange a date and time to come and see me.


Beth Willis
Wedding Co-ordinator

Top Wedding Trends for 2012

As the wedding season is fast approaching I have put together some of my top wedding trends for 2012.

• Lace, from trimmings, round cakes and on dresses Katherine Middleton has made the lace bolero a must have for a 2012 wedding

• Sweetie bars and candy carts: these could be outside for a summer wedding or inside in the evening. Catering for all kinds of budgets, these can be a really fun thing for your wedding and keep the kids happy too! Try the new local company bonappasweet.

• Brightly coloured bridesmaids. Gone are the pastel colours for bridesmaids, letting 
them have something lovely and bright helps bring a splash of colour to your photos

• Bands are back! Although Djs are still a popular choice more and more of my brides are opting to add a set or two of a local band. A great group to try are: Got it covered: 07886 361088

• Brollies and wellies, come rain or shine you will have super photos in the shade or the shelter. Get something fun and make it part of the day – you can’t change the weather after all so work with it.

These are just a few of the top trends for 2012. If you are planning your wedding for this year or next do not hesitate to come to Donnington Valley Hotel & Spa and meet me.

Beth Willis
Senior Events Co-ordinator
Donnington Valley Hotel & Spa

Wedding Planning Tips

  1.  Work out your budget, and stick to it or you will fall in love with all the things you can’t have!
  2.  Think about your guest list – who do you really have to have, who would you like if possible and who will be happy with an evening invite. It will make finding a suitable room at  your prospective venues much easier if you have a minimum number
  3. Make a list of things you think you want and don’t want in a venue – there is no point looking around a venue for a candle lit wedding breakfast if they don’t allow candles
  4. Make a list of all the parts of the wedding package or items that you will want on your day, you don’t want to be paying for elements you don’t want
  5. Ask for a bespoke quote based on your items so you can see the full costs of your plans and don’t be afraid to ask to have it re-calculated if you want to add items in or take them  out
  6. When trying on your dress sit down – you need to be able to eat that amazing 3 course meal you have paid for 
  7.  Try the food at your venue, you cannot be expected to pay for food for all your guests without having either eaten in the restaurant or had a menu tasting
  8. Tailor your menu to what you want, you have every right to change it to make it perfect for you and your guests tastes
  9. Don’t stress about the weather! If the forecast isn’t bright sunshine then be prepared to work with it and have fun – have some pretty umbrellas at the ready and some wellies for some fun photos – your photographer doesn’t need to stay dry!
  10.  Remember that if you are having a civil ceremony or partnership, that the venue is not allowed to book the registrar. You should contact them as soon as possible to book this directly with them, without them it is not legal!

If you are searching for a wedding venue in Berkshire why not call 01635 568106 and book an appointment with Beth Willis, our wedding co-ordinator at Donnington Valley Hotel & Spa.

Donnington Valley Hotel Wedding Fair – Sunday 25th September – FREE

Meet Beth, over 25 wedding experts and be treated to a VIP tour of the venue. For further information, please visit:

The Royal Wedding

What wonderful weather we have had for weddings! Over my last 4 years here I have seen it all from snow covered roof tops to waterlogged locations.  So how lovely that so far all our spring weddings have been able to enjoy this wonderful sunshine. Luckily we have plenty of space to cater for all eventualities, but if only I could help order the weather my brides would like!

I am of course keeping my fingers crossed for the most high profile Royal wedding of my generation to get the same weather. Kate and William are bucking several royal wedding traditions, which only proves to all the couples out there, that they have the control over their big days and that being flexible to get the day that they want is key.

Of course the royal wedding theme has expanded in more than that of Kate and Williams attitudes, large ranges of street party memorabilia has been released mostly in the traditional red, white and blue for those wanting a true British feel. The real details of the wedding of course are still under wraps but it is anticipated that she will be keeping things simple, sleek and elegant, something that will be swiftly fashionable and duplicated after the 29th.

Dress and cake makers are poised at the ready to help couples with replicas as soon as they can. To celebrate at Donnington Valley Hotel & Spa we will be showing the ceremony on the Mezzanine at 11am and for those who want to make a weekend of it, we have created a special Royal wedding celebration package please take a look at our website for details.

So to all those brides out there trying to stick to tradition, keep everyone happy and do it all themselves, remind yourself that Kate and William have managed to have what they wanted and kept some of the most demanding parents on the planet happy. With their own wedding planner Lady Elizabeth helping them with the logistics and pressures, I am glad in my own downsized way to be able to do the same for our brides and grooms in the effort to make all our brides, the princess of their very own weddings.

Beth Willis
Senior Events Co-coordinator Donnington Valley Hotel & Spa