If you are aware of New Craven Hall’s story, you will know it is a unique one. At the heart of this venue are owners Jane and Ben Corkhill, who married on 12th May 2018 at (you guessed it) New Craven Hall.

With many years of combined wedding and events experience, they thought they knew it all: the ups and downs of events and everything in between, but after planning their very own wedding, even they learned a few things which they can now pass onto brides- and grooms-to-be.

Jane’s top tips for brides

I have always said I am glad I worked in the wedding industry before actually being a bride myself, I feel it has allowed me to see it from all angles and keep an open mind. I hope my top 5 tips will help future brides with their wedding planning!

The dress – Having worked in bridal before opening the venue, I was lucky enough to have tried on plenty of wedding dresses already. Keep an open mind – what you picture yourself looking like on your big day might not actually be right. Don’t worry, what you do find will look even better! Do your research, try not visit more than a few boutiques, you will end up trying on way too many dresses and confusing yourself. There might always be something better out there, but you’d be searching forever if you kept looking.

The photography – Find a photographer you feel comfortable with, someone who is invested in getting to know you as a couple and your personalities. Don’t spend too long on the posed photos, just pick the main wedding party (parents, bridesmaids & groomsmen) get some of you both alone and then leave it to the photographers to capture the action shot, these are always the best ones!

Decorations – My favourite bit! Be creative and trust your ideas; if you love them, everyone else will too. A theme or colour scheme always helps, as well as a couple of main features. Our colour scheme was navy and gold and our main features were candles (360 to be precise) and flowers.


Friends and family – Keep your close family and friends involved. It’s so fun to share it with them, but always keep in mind your special day is about the two of you. Make all your decisions together and everyone will be happy.

Don’t stress! It doesn’t need to be stressful and not every second of your day needs to be planned to a tee. Stay relaxed, enjoy it together. Grooms, act interested and enthusiastic, you only get to do it once!

 

Ben’s top tips for grooms

Now, unless you’re part of a small percentage of grooms, chances are you haven’t had to make many decisions about the wedding yet. Sorry gents, but that seems to be the way it is! Nevertheless, there are a few pearls of groom-specific wisdom I can pass on, so here are my top tips…

Plan and practice your speech – Most sensible people get nervous about speaking to a room, even if it is full of friends and family, but you need to remember that everyone is rooting for you. A few wise cracks won’t go amiss, as long as there’s a good balance of humour and sentimentality throughout. Don’t fret too much about the length; it’s the content that matters.

Use your groomsmen – Need something dropping off at your venue at 9am on the day of the wedding? Send the Best Man. Need family members rounding up for photos? Crack the whip and get your ushers on the job. You’ve chosen your groomsmen for a reason, and they should be there throughout the day to make sure anything that needs doing gets done, but moreover to make sure you can relax and enjoy yourself without worrying about the details.

Make sure your bride feels amazing – Let’s face it, this day is not about you. Your partner has probably been dreaming about this wedding since they were very little, so do your best to let them know how happy you are to be marrying them, how perfect the day is, and of course how incredible they look!

Choose a suit that stands out – I’m not talking yellow polka-dot, but a few little things can go a long way. My groomsmen all had navy suits with grey tweed ties and pocket squares, whereas I had a navy suit with a subtle check pattern and a grey tweed waistcoat and navy tie. These touches will essentially let your guests know who’s boss.

Prepare for last-minute spending – I thought it was just me, but from speaking to friends and clients, it seems to happen to a lot of us! Think your better half is going to be using her regular cosmetics and products for the wedding? Think again. Add a little extra to the budget for the little (but many) things she might not realise she needs…