2014 wedding offer!

 

If you’re looking to get married this year then you’re in luck because here at Osterley Park and House we still have a number of possible key summer dates available. And to top this we are introducing a seasonal offer on all civil ceremonies held in the entrance hall during 2014.

 

 

THE OFFER

Up to 25% off civil ceremonies held in the Entrance Hall when holding your wedding in 2014.

 

WHEN IT STARTS

Now!

 

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A listed Georgian mansion and a party house for the high society, the entrance hall at Osterley Park is the perfect setting for your special and magical day. Marry in the elegant but minimalist striking room where visitors to the house during Tudor times were welcomed and treated to after dinner dancing and music ensembles.

 

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To find out some more information about this limited offer download our information sheet. Or to find out some more about the entrance hall including capacity download our wedding brochure.

 

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With some key dates still remaining this season, contact us today for availability!

 

 

 

 

Is this your year?

 

“When you realise you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible”

 

- Nora Ephron, When Harry met Sally

 

As we leave behind 2013 the year of ‘selfies’, photo-bombing and ‘twerking’ the New Year brings with it more fad diets, ‘dry-January’, a broke bank balance and bad weather! However, along with all these clichés and hard-to-stick-to tests, the start of the New Year also brings us an over-excited bunch (mainly brides-to-be) of newly engaged couples looking for their perfect venue.

 

Maybe it was a Christmas Eve treat to kick-start the holiday, a romantic proposal on Christmas day in front of all you’ve loved ones or a New Year surprise which came at 12 o’clock which got you planning your wedding. But whatever got him (or her) to ‘put a ring on it’ as Bey say’s, you’re January is all about finding that ideal date.  So here it starts the excessive google searches, frantic venue calling and wedding brochures becoming the new cool thing to read on your tube journey every morning.

 

At Osterley Park in January its closed season for us, no house open to visitors, no tea rooms to give of their sweet-smelling aromas (making us part with out money) and staff mainly busy working on projects and conservation work for open season on March 1. However, closed season doesn’t really happen for all us wedding coordinators. January is a busy time sending our brochures, carrying out viewings and helping couples prepare for their up-coming 2014 nuptials. 

 

We still have dates throughout the summer period that we hope to fill shortly and so far this year the Entrance Hall has been the most popular ceremony venue. So with 2014 hoping to bring us eternal happiness and make us half a stone lighter, here’s to welcoming prospective couples to Osterley Park and House in 2014 for what we hope is the best day of their life.

 

Entrance hall set up for a wedding

What I like about photographs is that they capture a moment that’s gone forever, impossible to reproduce.”

 

-Karl Largerfield

 

You spend all that effort planning a wedding, thousands of pounds splurged, crying mothers, drunken uncles and endless hours (minutes really) talking to relatives you didn’t want to invite and what do you have to show you’re your wedding day…the photos!

 

At Osterley Park and House, we are lucky to have such beautiful surroundings and phenomenal backdrops for wedding photos. Couples who marry here really are spoilt for choice.

 

We keep the grounds at Osterley Park exclusive to wedding couples only allowing the few privileged ones each year the use of the 357 acre site for their own personal shots.

 

From the sweeping double staircase to the overgrown meadow, the ornate walled garden to the milieu of the small Temple, you really can capture a variety of shots to suit all style weddings and personal interest.

 

My favourite thing to do once the season is over is contact all couples who have married at Osterley Park and ask for a sneak peek at their wedding photos. Following is a collection of my favourite images from the past two years at Osterley Park.

 

Please do click on the photographer’s link to find out more about their style of photography.

 

 

Wedding: Stacy & Mark 20th July 2013

Photographer: Adam Szczepanski

 

Front Lawn view from Portico steps

Front Lawn view from Portico steps

 

 

The Temple of Pan located in the formal gardens and shot on a glorious day.

The Temple of Pan located in the formal gardens and shot on a glorious day.

 

 

Inside the Brewhouse, Stacy & Mark's reception area.

Inside the Brewhouse, Stacy & Mark’s reception area. We all love cake in the face!

 

 

Wedding: Vanessa & Tristan 21st May 2012

Photographer: Matt Penberthy

 

Bride leaving her carriage and arriving at the venue.

Bride leaving her carriage and arriving at the venue.

 

 

Bride and her bridesmaid having that last minute hug and words of encouragement.

Bride and her bridesmaid having that last minute hug and words of encouragement.

 

 

Leaving the Brewhouse reception room

Leaving the Brewhouse reception room. The brickwork in this shot really stands out and compliments the picture.

 

 

Wedding: Gail & Michael 8th September 2012

Photographer: Ian Baker

 

Guests gathered on the Portico steps for a champagne reception.

Guests gathered on the Portico steps for a champagne reception. You can really see how impressive the pillars are in size in relation to the wedding guests.

 

 

 

Picture taken facing the west steps, marquee reception in the distance.

Picture taken facing the west steps, marquee reception in the distance. The romantic landscape of the great meadow can be seen here.

 

 

 

Bride and groom arriving.

Bride and groom arriving via the portico steps which is the way guests would have entered when visiting the family.

 

 

Wedding: Kate & Tim 25th May 2013

Photographer: Joanna Brown

 

 

Bride awaiting her carraige on the portico steps.

Bride awaiting her carraige on the portico steps.

 

 

 

Bride and groom in the formal gardens

Bride and groom in the formal gardens

 

 

 

Shot in the formal gardens, you would never know you was only a short distance from Central London.

Shot in the formal gardens, you would never know you was only a short distance from Central London.

 

 

Wedding: Sindu & Peraveenan 14th July 2012

Photographer: Adam Szcsepanski

 

 

A wonderful moment of pure happiness captured on camera.

A wonderful moment of pure happiness captured on camera.

 

 

 

Bride and groom enjoying their wedding day together, a fun shot which they will have forever.

Bride and groom enjoying their wedding day together, a fun shot which they will have forever.

 

 

 

Bride on her own, immersed between the portico pillars. A wonderful shot.

Bride on her own, immersed between the portico pillars. A wonderful shot.

 

 

 

Lastly…a link to my new fave wedding photographer. Her name is Emilie and unfortunately we were unable to post any of her previous work from Osterley on the blog  however her online work can be viewed here http://www.emiliewhite.com and her style of photography is brilliant. We hope to see her a lot more at OsterleyPark!

Moving forward…

 

“ We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because were curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths”

 

Walt Disney

 

So you’ve already been introduced to “rhubarb” but what does that mean for our existing offer?

 

We will still be offering:

  • Civil ceremonies in the entrance hall
  • Civil ceremonies in the Temple of Pan 
  • Marquee receptions 
  • Asian weddings 

Now we just have a little extra help!

 

Working together with “rhubarb” (with the exclusion of Asian receptions) they are now our exclusive event caterers and manage all events at Osterley Park and House which require catering. This means that the customer is given the best quality service by an experience and thriving company within a beautiful and unique venue that is owned by the National Trust. What we hope is a winning combination, and let’s face it you have to trust us, it’s in our name.

 

 

 

Going forward we will be working very closely with the event planners at “rhubarb” to develop further opportunities of increasing our profile and engaging in joint ventures which highlights our presence within the surrounding community and is profitable and sustainable for the property. With the capacity to ‘go bigger’ than we currently do, but forever in our minds our main goal of conservation, we have to embrace the idea that hospitality and functions provide commercial viability and enable us to continue to bring places to life.

 

With 6 weddings already confirmed for next year, all taking place within the entrance hall of the house, we again see a change in pattern from this year. Reporting in earlier posts how the Temple of Pan had outshone the entrance hall in 2013 with more weddings, it seems that 2014 is looking the opposite, with the larger weddings back in full force. Of course, its early days and this could all change, so watch this space!

 

Now in the middle of the low season, it has been the perfect time to adapt to the change and embrace new marketing collateral, update our website and grow the relationship between the face of “rhubarb” and ourselves.

Click on the picture below to visit our new site.

 

weddings page

 

 

With the prospect of hosting a mixture of events in 2014 onwards, we hope to see the property open its doors to a wider range of companies and individuals, whilst still maintaining its current demeanour  in the immediate area of being the local place of historic interest with a beautiful setting for weddings. This is important for our local couples who choose to marry here for that reason. It’s all about going local – but with a wider scope in mind! 

marrying local sign 

 

Introducing “rhubarb”…

 

September sees the start of a new partnership between “rhubarb” the event and catering specialists and the National Trust. With years of high-end event management and catering services under their belt, “rhubarb” is now joining forces with a selection of properties to encourage the use of our historic houses and gardens for special occasions.

 

rhubarb catering

 

The partnership means that’s both corporations will work together on events at the selected properties in a bid to raise money for the restoration and preservation of the historic landmarks including Osterley Park and House, Petworth House, and Stowe.

 

Room view of the Long Gallery showing flowers on the mantelpiece at Osterley Park, Middlesex

 

At Osterley we hope that “rhubarb” will enhance on our already successful and commercially viable wedding business by opening up the grounds to a new clientele and delivering an exceptional service that we know their capable of.

 

large marquee

 

Our offering will very much remain the same by hosting civil marriages and partnerships in both the entrance hall and temple of pan. An event planner from “rhubarb” will then take on all the catering aspects of our offering and guide the client through their perfect menu and table settings held within their personalised marquee.

 

At Osterley Park and House we look forward to this new journey…

 

A night with the Jerseys

 

 

This month at Osterley Park and House on Saturday 17th August, The Earl and Countess of Jersey celebrated their 10th anniversary with us. Along with 35 of their closest friends they were all treated to a world-class 3 course dinner in our long gallery followed by dancing, formula one racing cars, Clay Pigeon shooting and cocktails in a marquee on the West Lawn.

Marquee on the West Lawn

The current Lord and Lady Jersey have a very close connection to the house at Osterley Park and were delighted to welcome their guests to their former family’s pied-a-terre for a night of celebration.

 

 

Portico steps entrance to the house

The flowers were courtesy of Lisa Roberts, from ‘Bella Design’ a close personal friend of the countess and created a touch of elegance and sophistication to the table dressings. These were complemented by the house flowers which are picked and arranged every Wednesday by our dedicated team of flower volunteers.

 

 

Flowers to compliment the occasion

Flowers to compliment the occasion

The food was prepared by one of our highly recommended catering suppliers ‘Party Ingredients’ who took care of everything from presentation, set-up, mood lighting and of course the 3 course dinner followed by coffee. They also set up a specialised cocktail bar within the marquee where guests were treated to Lord and Lady Jerseys favourite cocktails including Bellini’s and Margaritas.

 

Party Ingredients catering van set up for preparation before the event

Party Ingredients catering van set up for preparation before the event

 

However, the most exciting part of the night (apart from the free bar) was the array of interactive games guests were treated to before and after dinner. Stepping into the marquee guests were spoilt for choice with a real life size Formula 1 racing car where you could ‘beat your time’, a batak wall where guests could test their reactions, a roulette table complete with chips to bet with, laser clay pigeon shooting (far away from the house) and finally a caricaturist who entertained guests with cartoon drawings which they could take away. 

 

 

This was a special night as the house at Osterley Park was brought back to life for the first time in a long time where it was used as it was originally intended back in the 18th C. The entrance hall welcomed its guests up the portico steps and through the double doors. Guests were then treated to a private tour of the house by our premises and collections manager, Claire Reed and Judith Evans, ours House Steward. They concentrated on the principle floor followed by the Estate apartments. Dinner was soon served in the long gallery which was filled with laughter, good food and a very heart-felt and moving speech from Lord Jersey himself.

 

The table set for dinner in the Long Gallery

The table set for dinner in the Long Gallery

How important is food and drink at a wedding?

 

If you really want to make a friend, go to someone’s house and eat with him… the people who give you their food give you their heart.

- Cesar Chavez

 

6 weddings in this season I’ve really started noticing the difference in importance of food and drink at weddings. It varies from each couple how high up the list it is. Everyone has a different idea of what the perfect wedding is. Some may think it’s the location, others may think it’s the entertainment but regardless the food you serve and the drinks you offer are a hot issue.

 

Food and drink is always undoubtedly one of the largest expenses of a wedding, which is why you’re forced quite early on to think about whether you want a sit-down meal or a buffet. Can you afford a free bar or do you opt for paid one? What about the before or after dinner food? Will there be a chocolate fountain for people to indulge in or an endless cheese board? Will you serve cocktails and go for the top-shelf options?

 

 

 

As a wedding guest you will also have your expectations of the perfect wedding. If you know the couple really well you can guess they will be serving only grey goose vodka because that’s all the bride likes to drink. Or maybe the groom is a big foodie. Either way perceptions are always different.

 

National Trust Images/Arnhel De Serra

National Trust Images/Arnhel De Serra

 

Entertaining your guests throughout the day and evening is always done through serving food and drink– I mean this is what we all enjoy about being a guest at a wedding isn’t it?

 

Some couples choose what they would like to eat; others try and satisfy a range of dietary requirements. It all depends what suits your day best but if asked how important would you class food and drink?

 

National Trust Images/ William Shaw

National Trust Images/ William Shaw

 

I say – if food is there is will be eaten and if drink is offered it will be drunk!

 

Would you get married in wellies?

 

So I recently met up with our registrars that hold our civil marriages at Osterley Park who enlightened us on a pervious vision that was once described to them.

 

“The bride would be given a pair of white wellies as she walks the 5 minute journey to the Temple of Pan, and in the case of rain, she would be provided with an umbrella”.

 

 

How does that sound to you? Would you be happy with this offering on your wedding day or like many of our previous brides, would you enjoy the luxury of being driven down the private drive (brides only) and escorted directly to your wedding venue without the worry of tripping up or getting your hair messed up?

 

 

I would think that for many future brides it would be the latter, considering your wedding day is only meant to happen once, do you want to spend the first half of the day in a pair of wellies, even if they are white?

 

 

 

But then it also got me thinking, well maybe there are some brides who would enjoy this? I mean they are marrying at a National Trust property and we are known for our great outdoors!

 

 

 

When doing some research for this post I came across an untold amount of pictures just by looking through Google and on different wedding blogs of brides and bridal parties all wearing wellies for the big day. I thought I would share a fab few with you!

 

 

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I think it’s a personal choice not just for the bride but for the couple. It’s a kind of glam with an eco-twist, not completely original but can make for great wedding photos!

 

 

 

At Osterley Park we will continue to offer the bride the lavishness of being escorted directly to their wedding in the luxury of a classic car, but welcome the idea of the ‘country-esque’ backdrop of spitting rain, pebble pathways and a pair of Wellington boots! 

 

10 unique National Trust properties to get married or hold your reception

As you all know I love to promote the advantages of marrying at Osterley Park but we are not the only National Trust property which can hold a wedding. There are many located throughout the country, which like us, have licensed rooms for marriages. As much as I would love to persuade you all to look no further and pick Osterley, I thought it would be nice to look at some our other properties and what they can offer.

Every one of us is unique and many of you like to pick a venue which reflects your personality. We have stately homes, towers, abbeys, castles and ruins, pubs, homes of former Prime Ministers, and even a dairy available for hire. Or how would you feel about marrying on a film set? And all of these properties are unique in themselves just like you!

 

So here it goes! A list of 10 different National Trust properties to get married or hold your reception…

 

heart2a_orange_2001. Steam yacht Gondola, Cumbria

 

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Rebuilt Victorian steam-powered yacht on Coniston water, ideal for romantic wedding receptions. Treat you guests to a private charter on the Coniston lake.

 

heart2a_orange_2002. Fountains Abbey, North Yorkshire

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Cistercian abbey, elegant Georgian water garden and medieval deer park. Immerse yourself in British history and one of the finest remaining examples of 18th-century landscaping.

 

heart2a_orange_2003. Basildon Park, West Berkshire

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Basildon Park is an impressive Georgian mansion, surrounded by glorious parkland, which was lovingly rescued from ruin by Lord and Lady Iliffe in the mid 1950s.

 

heart2a_orange_2004. The Kymin, Wales

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One of the highest points in Wales, it commands views stretching all the way to the summits of the Brecon Beacons.

 

heart2a_orange_2005. Aberdulais Tin works and Waterfall, Swansea

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What could make your wedding day more romantic and dramatic than set against the backdrop of a fabulous waterfall?

 

heart2a_orange_2006. Stowe, Buckingham

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One of the most remarkable creations of Georgian England, Stowe was created by a family once so powerful they were richer than the king. Today enjoy the scale, grandeur and beauty that Stowe still has to offer!

 

heart2a_orange_2007. Smallhythe Place, Kent

Smallythe Place

Get married on stage in the charming 17th-cenutry thatched Barn Theatre which was added to the 16th-century cottage by renowned Victorian actress Ellen Terry.

 

heart2a_orange_2008. Waddesdon Manor, Buckinghamshire

waddesdon manor

Originally commissioned to house the 19th-cenutry Baron’s prize winning cattle, the Dairy is now a licensed room set amidst glorious gardens for your wedding.

 

heart2a_orange_2009. Scotney Castle, Kent

Scotney castle

Voted one of the most romantic gardens in England, Scotney castle allows you to marry within the medieval Old castle or outside under the white wisteria archway.

 

heart2a_orange_20010. Calke Abbey Riding School, Derbyshire

Calke Abbey

Set in the rolling hills of the Calke estate, the Riding school is now a place for celebrations and marriages.

 

I’m sure wherever you choose, your day will be just as special as the locations shown in these pics!

Osterley Park!

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‘April is a promise that May is bound to keep’ – Hal Borland

The month of April is vastly shaping up to one of the busiest for me so far this year. What with Easter Bank Holiday and the end of financial year for most places, it’s always a wonder why everything seems to happen at once. Here at Osterley with Easter Trails, Easter egg giveaways, longer opening hours and unpredictable weather, we truly feel like were getting into the swing of the open season here! However, none of the latter is what is taking up my time. Instead I am faced with an abundant amount of household tasks, pre-planning, and checklists!

With April being the start of our seasonal wedding period (April-Sept) it is no wonder things have started to pick up in the wedding & Functions department. In this months blog post I will talk about 5 individual happenings, developments or just something of interest for the month of April.

1)

 

Spring Clean! So keeping in tradition with the seasonal spring clean which happens in most homes this time of year, we went with that initiative at Osterley too! However, instead of throwing out unwanted clothes or dusting of our summer attire, we got on our yellow rubber gloves and armed with a bucket and some ‘extra sensitive’ boots washing up liquid; we headed for the Temple of Pan for our spring clean. The Temple of Pan set in our formal gardens was treated to some TLC. Our ‘Premises & Collections’ Manager, Claire Reed, ‘House Steward’, Judith Evans and ‘Commercial Manager’, Megan Tanner all assisted me with the prep clean for our first wedding due to take place next week. At the start of season the walls get a wipe down, the cob webs pulled away which build up during the winter period and a few sparkles can be seen in the glittering sunlight (when we have sun). We must say we were very pleased with our work, with compliments from our Head Gardener the next day!

Myself, cleaning the Temple of Pan, armed with protective yellow rubber gloves!

Myself, cleaning the Temple of Pan, armed with protective yellow rubber gloves!

Myself and our 'House Steward' Judith, really trying to scrub all the dirt out of the small corners, being careful to protect all the fine paint and plaster work.

Myself and our ‘House Steward’ Judith, really trying to scrub all the dirt out of the small corners, being careful to protect all the fine paint and plaster work.

A close up of the artwork and detail found in the Temple of Pan.

A close up of the artwork and detail found in the Temple of Pan.

2)

The whole spring clean was preparation for our first 2013 wedding. The first to take place will be happening in the Temple of Pan and is the first of many, 8 to be exact and were still counting! It has been a daunting feeling for me in the office, not carrying out a wedding for 6 months; I’m questioning whether I will remember everything. I’m sure it will all come back to me on the day – that’s the mindset I am relying on anyhow!

This will hopefully be a nice smooth transition back into the busy period, with things picking up even more in May.The Temple of Pan has proved to be our most popular venue room this year with an increase from 3 weddings in 2012 to 8 this year, as you can see more than double. With 6 remaining ceremonies taking place in the house, compared to the 13 last year, you can see the dramatic decrease in effect that weddings will have on the house. The remaining 4 events taking place will be receptions only.

Inside the Temple of Pan.

Inside the Temple of Pan.

3)

 

Thinking about the 2013 season and how busy we are going to be led to the advertisement of a seasonal position . We are looking for some extra hands on help, offering a part-time position for those interested in learning something about the industry. It will be a 1-2 day role that will play a vital part in helping us carry out and execute all our weddings, functions and receptions we have for 2013. The National Trust is in a great position to offer these seasonal roles which are often perfect for those still studying, who have family commitments or generally want to broaden their range on skills.

This is exactly how I started with the Trust, and it just goes to show where things can lead for individuals afterwards. So to add to my work load I am collating CV’s, planning interview questions and intending to carry out formal training sessions all within the month of April! (Recruitment period ends 19th April 2013)

 4)

 

The above point coincides with preparing for 2013 season! With trips to Ikea planned (not just for the meatballs – I promise!), more cleaning of ceremony rooms, testing of equipment, ironing of tablecloths and moving of furniture, not to mention actually attending all ceremonies and receptions we have planned this year, I have got a very busy time ahead! With menu choices to be made, layout ideas discussed and finer details to consider, it is always an ongoing process.

This year we have a bigger team to support the wedding business here at Osterley, an exciting time for them all to be part of someone’s special day. With a ‘Front of House Supervisor’ to oversee catering, a new chef to assist the Catering Manager in preparing canapés and the seasonal role which will support the execution of ceremonies at Osterley as well as set-up, it will be a big team effort.

5)

Oh and by the way were already taking bookings for 2014! So forget 2013, it’s not as if it’s just getting started or anything, there are a whole other bunch of couples getting engaged and planning their 2014 weddings! In the month of April I also took my first deposit payment for a summer wedding next year, it made me realise about all the pre-planning in this industry and why we have to continually think about the next step, the next stage and the next year!

With 2014 prices sorted, brochures being updated, catering menus being extended and new suppliers coming on board we are very much in full swing for 2014 as well! It’s sometimes hard to remember what year you are working in, when thinking about past weddings, preparing for current weddings and carrying out viewings for future weddings; I think I can be forgiven for forgetting what year I am currently in!

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And let’s just look at the date…its only the 9th April…!

 

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Something Sweet…

 

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