A guide to planning a wedding in Staffordshire
Having photographed lots of weddings around the country, including my home county of Staffordshire, and also planning my very own Staffordshire Wedding, I’ve created this guide to help you plan your wedding in Stafford.
I should say, I’m not a wedding planner, I’ve just used my experience from being part of many weddings to provide you with what I consider some of the best choices that can be made, and some of the main things to consider when planning your wedding day to make it the best, and importantly, stress free day it can be.
I’m Simon Dixey, and I’ve lived in Staffordshire my whole life, it’s the place that I will always call home. I photographed my first wedding in 2014 and I’ve not looked back since. From my first wedding I’ve been taking notes and keeping the very best ideas stored, (mainly because I have four daughters who will probably want to get married in the future), but also so that I can share this information with my couples.
If you’re reading this and know someone that’s recently, or soon to be engaged, then please do share with them. As my daughter, Evie, continues to point out, ‘sharing’s caring’.
First Things First-Set a Date!
You may already know the date you are going to marry on. It could be the date that you first met each other, or it might be the same day that your Grandparents got married many years ago. You may be able to be flexible with your date, as it's securing your dream venue that is the most important thing to you.
If you do have a certain date that you would like for your Wedding, you may need to be open to a couple of different venues. Wanting to get married on the 1st Saturday in August in the most popular wedding venue might not be possible for the next 3-4 years. Luckily Staffordshire has many beautiful wedding venues to choose from.
If you are open to a few dates, or even, don't mind what date you are to say 'I do' , you could save yourself a lot of stress! The best venues (as well as photographers) are booked for popular dates and seasons anything up to 4 years in advance. It might be worth while taking this into account when setting your wedding date!
The Best Wedding Venues in and Around Stafford
Stafford, and the wider area of Staffordshire, is blessed with so many beautiful venues it was hard to narrow it down to a few of my favourites. But I gave it a good go.
The following venues are, what I believe to be, some of the best wedding venues that are easily accessible to Stafford. No doubt about it, they are all stunning locations, and each one a location that I would choose when we renew our wedding vows in the future (aka: have a big party).
I set out to compile a list of the top 5 venues, but I struggled to get it down to 7, never mind 5, so here they are, my ‘Magnificent 7 Wedding Venues’.
On a side note, one of these venues was the location for my own wedding back in 2011!
Weston Hall Wedding Venue is stunning. It's a Grade II* listed building set on the doorstep of Stafford surrounded by 20 acres of beautiful scenery. Grand Elizabethan architecture and traditional features give this ever popular venue the Wow factor ,without a doubt. With ample room for large wedding parties then this could be the venue for you.
The Moat House-Acton Trussel
If you're writing a list of your favourite venues, there's a very good chance this one would be near the top! You'll no doubt know that The Lewis Partnership has an amazing reputation for restaurants and bars, so it will come as no surprise that their flag ship wedding venue is so popular. As short drive outside of Stafford with great access to the M6 for those guests travelling to your big day.
Somerford Hall is an elegant mansion set amongst beautifully landscaped parkland. There is no doubt the Somerford Hall wedding venue will provide a true sense of occasion for your wedding day.
I love the exclusive, private nature of weddings at Somerford Hall, if you are looking for somewhere to hold a wedding for just over 100 guests with fantastic access to Stafford and Wolverhampton, beautiful grounds-perfect for your wedding photos then this could be the venue for you.
The Upper House
If you head towards the north of the county, you'll find The Upper House at Barlaston, inbetween Stoke-on-Trent and Stone.
Oak Farm Hotel/Sandon Hall
And if you want to get married in the centre of Stafford…
Staffordshire Place - Stafford Registry Office
The County Buildings
Stafford Rangers Social Club
The Polish Club
Where to take photos in Stafford
One of the many benefits of choosing one of ‘The Magnificant 7’ for your wedding is that you don’t have to leave the venue’s grounds for stunning photography locations, each one boasting perfect locations for your wedding party, family and couple photographs.
If you’d like some more ideas for photo locations, or maybe ideas for engagement photo locations, my favourite spots in Stafford are:
Slap bang in the middle of town. Large variety of architecture form the ancient high house to the modern council building, all within easy walking distance to the beautiful Victoria Park.
Outside of the town, I love the Balancing Lakes at Aston Fields, or Stafford Castle, both perfect places for a stroll and lovely places for photographs!
Planning Your Wedding Day Timeline
Your venue will be able to help with your official timing of your day. This is likely to be influenced by where your ceremony is taking place.
I hope this helps make some of your decisions easier. There are so many choices, so many brilliant options for you to choose from, sometimes it’s hard to make a decision. Making the right choices for the both of you is what is important for a wedding day you will remember for the rest of you lives.
If you have any questions then please do send me a message. I’d love to hear from you!