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Wedding Tips at Donnington Valley

When planning for your wedding day, catering will be one of the biggest decisions you will make. The food is one of the main things your guests will remember from the day, what they had, was there enough, was there too little and how did the food reflect you as a couple? Here are our best tips.

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When it comes to deciding on catering for your big day there are a number of choices: a traditional three course wedding breakfast; a relaxed summer barbecue or even a Champagne afternoon tea. Try and be different – and think about the best bits from previous weddings you would have attended. Make it more about you and your partner.

Upon arrival following your ceremony, guests might be a little peckish; the perfect little appetiser would be individually handmade canapés. Time of year is key as to what this might entail – hot, cold, heavy or fresh. You might want the freedom to choose, some venues are more flexible here than others.

Drinks are also a very important part of the day and not everyone wants to drink, though some do! A range of beverages for your reception depending on the time of year including a Summer Pimms or hot winter cider toddy will go down well and don’t have to break the bank.

The main meal, often called the wedding breakfast, can come in a variety of guises – and our Head Chef, Kelvin Johnson, is happy to design a menu for our guests’ wedding day. Kelvin’s menus are influenced by the seasons, using the freshest ingredients from our local suppliers. Importantly for many, wines to compliment your menu sounds like a minefield but needn’t – our award winning wine sommelier, Chris Neeves would assist on selecting exactly what went with your chosen dish. Whatever you choose though, again consider what you and your partner like.

It is also nice to cater for others for example the vegetarians and children who might need something different to the rest. At Donnington we create ‘Little Meals’ – mini fish & chip cones or mini burgers and chips . If you have a large number of evening guests attending or have a family with a large appetite, a finger buffet is perfect, and we are able to customise to suit any dietary requirements. If you fancy something simple; a bacon, egg or sausage roll will go down a treat too and once the party starts can often be the saving grace!

And throughout the evening, something fun will keep everyone entertained and energy levels high! How about going for your favourite retro sweets, a popcorn machine or even candy floss! A great Summer treat is a slush machine which you can make alcoholic, adults only or even an ice cream stand- everyone loves ice cream!

It can be overwhelming trying to accommodate all of your family and friends’ needs. But most importantly remember the day is your day, and if you choose to have it at Donnington, we are here to make your day as special and memorable for you as possible.

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

Join the Zumba Party

Created in the 90’s by celebrity fitness trainer and choreographer Alberto Perez from Colombia. Zumba, which means ‘ to move fast and have fun’ in Spanish, was created taking inspiration from traditional salsa, meringue and samba dance styles, combined with intense Latin music tracks.

Zumba has been one of the fastest growing fitness classes all around especially in the USA and is now taking the UK by storm. It is a fun, energetic and easy to follow class with body benefits that everyone will love.

With classes now starting at Donnington Valley Hotel & Spa Zumba is right on your doorstep. It is a perfect class to come along with your friends and family and have fun for an hour whilst having a work out at the same time.

5 reasons to do Zumba:

One: It is a fitness class like no other. One hour that will make you smile and laugh with a routine is easy to follow without becoming boring as the steps and moves are so varied.

Two: It’s a fitness class which works your body but feels like fun. Whilst with friends and family having fun, this class can seriously change and sculpture your body. Bring on the Bikini’s!

Three: Build up your stamina. Want to get stronger? Zumba classes will strengthen your core and it exercises all parts of your body.

Four: It is perfect for people with all levels of fitness. You can manage the class at your own pace and build up your strength and stamina class after class.

Five: Want to move your hips like the ladies in strictly come dancing? As Zumba is based on salsa, merengue and samba you will enjoy a class full of Latin rhythms. Shaking your hips from side to side before you know it, it will become part of your life!

So come on down to Donnington Valley hotel & Spa and enjoy some party time!

http://www.donningtonvalley.co.uk/spa_membership.asp