The Royal wedding effect
It’s always a nice day for a white wedding at Stanley House
Nestled in Lancashire’s Ribble Valley countryside is an ever-evolving hotel and spa which is seeing a major change in wedding trends.
The wedding team from Mellor’s Stanley House Hotel and Spa have reported a huge rise in wedding bookings and a step-change in ceremonial trends.
Over the last few years, the venue has witnessed a 55 per cent rise in couples wanting to celebrate their wedding at Stanley House. So much so, that staff are having to recommend that those who wish to secure it as a wedding venue in 2015, make enquiries as soon as possible.
The Royal Wedding sparked a surge in wedding bookings across the nation, despite 2013 being a superstitious year for some but with a new world-class spa and 18 new bedrooms available, Stanley House believes demand for a wedding destination of choice is on the rise.
Wendy Hope, sales and marketing manager at Stanley House Hotel and Spa, commented:
“Over the last five years we have seen wedding trends change and as a result, a surge in bookings.
“We put this down to our continuous commitment in giving our clients what they need. Our facilities are now recognised as resort-standard and are attracting visitors from across the nation making it an even more desirable location.
“A major part of the wedding experience at Stanley House has been enhanced by our new Spa, allowing brides to start their wedding journey the right way, looking after the inside and out.”
The Spa at Stanley House was the vision of international spa consultants, Howard Spa Consulting who has served hotels including; London’s Dorchester, L’Oreal Luxe, Paris and Armani spas across the globe. It houses lavish treatment rooms, relaxation rooms, thermal suite and hydro pool with mood lighting, purpose-built double treatment suite with Rasul or private steam room, Finnish sauna with panoramic rural views, Pilates studio and gymnasium.
Wendy continued: “With weddings being a major element of our business it was imperative that we offered something for every budget. We completed an overhaul of the Stanley House Hotel wedding offering and now have two comprehensive packages ‘ultimate’ and ‘intimate’ while also offering a flexible, bespoke service.
As a direct result of the changes, Stanley House secured an extra 44 weddings on the 2011/2012 season on the previous year. It’s been a record year for weddings in 2013 and it is also seeing outstanding booking figures for 2014.
It’s not just the new facilities and packages contributing to the rise in wedding bookings either, with new trends taking over the more traditional methods of booking a wedding.
Wendy explains: “Not only are people paying more attention to themes, arriving by helicopter instead of car and photo booths replacing the traditional guest book but the lead-in times have certainly altered.
“Bride and grooms-to-be don’t place as much emphasis on having a summer wedding at the popular times of year and this year we have a winter wedding every weekend throughout December. We’ve witnessed fantastic New Year’s Eve wedding celebrations which allows close friends and families the option of celebrating, while a couple brings in the new year as man and wife.
“We have an unrivalled list of partners too which are available to help make a couple’s day picture perfect. Couples are also making the most of our outdoor space, naming trees in our orchard to signify their commitment to each other and conducting receptions in the picturesque gardens.”
Another trend which has contributed to additional bookings is the renewal of vows. Celebrities including Beyonce and Jay Z have been pledging their commitment to each other with renewal ceremonies while Mariah Carey and America’s Got Talent presenter Nick Cannon renew their wedding vows every year. Since 2008, they’ve enjoyed re-runs at venues including the Eiffel Tower, Las Vegas, and a hospital room after Mariah had given birth to their twins, Monroe and Morocco.
Renewing vows allows a couple who may not have celebrated in style the first time round, the opportunity to plan a dream wedding, or it can simply signify a big milestone to family and friends.
Sara and Gwam Rajiah recently renewed their vows at an intimate celebration at Stanley House having reached their tenth anniversary.
Sara said: “So much has changed since we married in 2003 – we’ve had a beautiful little boy, we moved house and we set up our own business.
“What hasn’t changed is our love for each other and we always promised to renew our vows when we reached ten years together.
“We’ve been to a number of events at Stanley House and are huge fans of the grounds and the location and the team really help you put your personal stamp on things.
“At our original wedding ceremony Gwam’s family were unable to travel from Mauritius but this time they booked to stay over and join in the celebrations which was fantastic.
“From the moment we booked the renewal of vows ceremony, I liaised with the team to plan a black tie themed ceremony with fun and laughter.
“I wore a nude coloured lace full-length dress and my three bridesmaids wore gorgeous purple dresses. Everyone else was asked to wear black, and white.
“We didn’t want proceedings to be too formal as it was a celebration of our lives together so after canapés and fizz we drafted in the Singing Waiters and their act made sure the atmosphere was fun.
“My 9-year old, Myles, delivered a brilliant speech as he is the one who knows us both best and everyone had an unbelievable time.”
“I wouldn’t say I follow what the celebrities do but I’ve definitely noticed a rise in popularity of these types of ceremonies and believe it a great way to commemorate your initial promises to each other.”
Additional wedding bookings at Stanley House Hotel and Spa have also been fuelled by a surge in middle-aged couples deciding to book intimate and bespoke weddings with a fine dining menu.
If figures and emerging trends are anything to go by then future wedding figures are sure to remain consistent, if not grow further.
Stanley House will no doubt benefit from its ability to cater for all types of celebrations and its close focus to continually evolve is the formula for success and continued growth!
For more information contact Stanley House Hotel & Spa, Mellor, Lancashire, 01254 769200, www.stanleyhouse.co.uk