woodland weddings

When your friends and family have been a big part of your wedding, you definitely need to say thank you. Giving a gift to show someone how much you appreciate their help is always a good idea. Whatever your budget, there’s a wonderful choice of wedding thank you gifts out there and here are some of our favourites.

Ideas for wedding thank you gifts

The traditional wedding thank you gifts include hipflasks, cufflinks and jewellery and these are still great for bridesmaids and groomsmen. Search out gifts that can be personalised to make them even more special. You could also think about personalised key rings or collar stiffeners.

wedding thank you gifts for groomsmen

If you think that your recipient ‘has it all’, how about giving them an experience instead of a physical gift? You could send them to the theatre or booking them a glam dinner or afternoon tea. Perhaps you’ll arrange for them to spend the day as a zookeeper, trialling cocktails or learning how to bake. If your budget is stretched, give your friends homemade vouchers that entitle them to call upon you to babysit for example.

fun wedding thank you gifts

When you’re planning gifts for your parents, it’s ok to get emotional. You could give them a copy of the book they always read to you at bedtime, a framed print from your engagement shoot or a gift that includes a special message. If you move them to tears, your gift is a hit!

For flowergirls and page boys, any gift that makes them feel like a grown up is always going to be popular. Jewellery is always popular with flowergirls, particularly if it’s something that can ‘grow’ with them such as a charm bracelet. That said, who could resist a personalised teddy bear or a book that features them as the star?

wedding gifts for flower girls

Personal wedding thank you gifts

Bridesmaid gifts can be cool as well as practical. We loved personalised leather clutch bags, compact mirrors, candles and jewellery dishes. For the guys, how about a fun survival kit, a tech-related present or even a personalised print? Don’t be afraid to do something different!

bridesmaid thank you gifts

We also love gifts that last. Trees or plants make brilliant presents as they can be planted and will grow and bloom over many years. These gifts are perfect for parents as are gifts that celebrate their role on the day. Father of the bride handkerchiefs, little pouches for tissues or even a ‘mother of the groom’ mug will all make your parents feel special.

However, there’s one thing that will always be a great gift and that’s a personal, handwritten note. Tell your friends or family why they’re so special to you and why you’re thrilled they’re with you on the day. Pour your heart out. Write them a note they’ll keep forever and make sure they know just how important they are to you. Knowing you’re loved is the best gift ever.

ideas for wedding thank you gifts

Top tips for wedding thank you gifts

  1. Think about when you’ll give your gift. If the recipient needs the gift for the day, find the right moment in the morning or even before the day. If you don’t want your speeches to seem like an award ceremony, think about giving your gifts in private.
  2. A great gift is always made better with great wrapping. Put as much effort into wrapping your present as you did in choosing it.
  3. Don’t forget the practical element. If you’re giving a plant or flowers, think whether the recipient will be able to get them home in good time. You want your gift to last as long as possible.



One: left Dust & Things | top Rosie Willet Designs | centre Gillian Arnold | bottom Nicola Crawford

Two: left Charnwood Forest Alpacas | centre The Indytute Experiences | right School of Wok

Three: left Mini Bloom | centre FromLucy | right Warner’s End

Four: left White Rain Designs | centre Suede&Co | right Bloom Boutique

Five: top left Just For You | top centre Kismet Designs | top right Handmade at Poshyarns | centre left norma&dorothy | centre The Glutonous Gardener | centre right Slice of Pie Designs | bottom left Mr Teacup | bottom centre Rosie Willet Designs | bottom right No Ordinary Gift


GreenAcres woodland weddings

Planning your wedding is a lot of fun. You get to try on dresses, taste cake and create a day that really reflects you. However, there are always a few things that crop up and these dilemmas are more common than you might think. So, if you’re wrestling with your table plan, don’t worry because you’re not alone! We’ve solved four wedding planning dilemmas for you so that you can get back to the good stuff as soon as possible.

One of the most important things to keep in mind during the whole wedding planning whirl is that things will happen. You might end up answering LOTS of questions from guests or dashing out on last-minute shopping trips. You could come down with a cold or order the wrong size shoes for your flowergirl. Whatever obstacles get in your way, don’t worry. Yes, they might be tricky to navigate in the short-term, but you’ll still make it to your wedding day, and you’ll love every minute.

But, if we can help you have a smoother run-up to the big day, we’d love to do just that. Read on for the solutions to four wedding planning dilemmas.

wedding planning dilemmas solved

Answers to your wedding planning dilemmas

1. Everything surrounding invitations can be tricky. When do you send them and what do you include? And what happens with RSVPs? Well, we suggest sending your invitations sooner rather than later, especially if you’ve not sent save the date cards. Your guests might be planning holidays, or they might need some notice to take time of work or arrange accommodation. Everyone will appreciate having plenty of time to plan and if any guest declines, you’ll also have time to invite someone else.

Include any information that you want with your invitations – gift list details, timings, local hotels and taxi firms for example. The more you can tell guests, the fewer questions you’ll receive! As for RSVPS, you’re sure to have some that are late so set your RSVP date to be a fortnight or so before you actually want final numbers. This gives you some wiggle room and will cut the stress around tardy replies.

planning your wedding

2. When it comes to weddings, money can be an uncomfortable subject. You know what style of wedding you’d like but you also know how much you can afford. We’re not here to tell you how much you should spend on your big day, but we would always urge you to be open and honest about your finances. If you set yourselves a budget, try really hard to stick to it. Record honestly how much you’re spending and remember to include everything from stamps and thank you gifts to favours and decorations. Our top tip is to include a 10-15% contingency in your budget so when you know how much you’ve got to spend, aim to spend less than this. This means that if any unexpected costs arise, you can cover them without cutting back in other areas or worrying how you’ll pay the bill.

More wedding planning dilemmas solved

3. If you’re wondering who to include in your day, you’re not alone! Deciding who to include in your wedding party can be a really tough decision. You want people who you know will be utterly reliable, but you might also be under pressure to choose certain family members. Our advice is to think really carefully about who you want with you on the day and don’t issue any invitations until you’re absolutely sure. It’s really easy to get carried away and suddenly find that you’ve got eight bridesmaids and four people giving readings!

There are lots of ways that you can include people in your day.  So, think about the roles and responsibilities and choose friends and family who you know will be able to do the job. That said, remember that you can move away from tradition if you want. If the groom’s best friend just has to be the best man but hates the thought of public speaking, ask the groomsmen to give a speech or scrap it altogether. It’s you day so include who and what you like!

woodland wedding

Family wedding planning dilemmas

4. Finally, what should you do about family pressures and expectations? You’ll know that as soon as you announce your engagement, everyone will be telling you what to do or what to include. However, it’s important to remember that this is your wedding and you can create the day that works best for you. If you would like your mum to give you away, do it. If you’d like speeches before your meal, do it. In fact, whatever you’d like to do, we say ‘do it’!

One way around being stressed out by family expectations is to not tell them everything about your day. They might not like the thought of your theme or decorations but on the day, they’ll love them. If you don’t want to hear everyone’s opinions, don’t ask. Keep your plans to yourself and tell anyone who asks that you just want to surprise them on the day. Weddings are unique, personal and individual – sometimes that can be tough but it’s always worth it.

The teams at Colney, Chiltern and Rainford are always happy to help with any wedding planning dilemmas so come and visit us and know that we’re always on your side.


Images: Hannah Duffy


woodland weddings

There are lots of reasons for choosing a woodland wedding. You might love the feeling of being close to nature or the thought of doing something different. It could be that you’ve fallen for Beech Dell or perhaps an outdoor wedding has always been your dream. Whatever your reasons for choosing to take your vows among the trees, we want it to be fabulous. Here are our top tips for woodland weddings and if you’re planning your big day, you won’t want to miss these.

tips for woodland weddings and ceremonies

Great tips for woodland weddings

  • Think about your footwear. Paths can be a little muddy after long periods of rain so plan ahead. Maybe you want sturdier shoes for your ceremony or perhaps having a second pair of shoes for photos and your reception is a good idea.
  • Don’t forget your guests! Heel protectors are great as they make it easy to walk on uneven paths in even the highest heels. You might want to hand these out to guests as they arrive.
  • Walking through the woodland on your wedding day is super romantic. However, you need to make sure that you look after your gown during these strolls. Ask your boutique to add a loop to your train so that you can carry it to avoid snagging.
  • Adding rugs to your ceremony area is a great idea. Not only does it look fab but you’ll also keep your dress clean when you stand on them!
  • If you’re disappearing into the woods for photos, you might also want to take something to stand on. A plain white sheet works perfectly.
  • Think about securing anything that might blow away in the wind. Even a light breeze can send papers or decorations flying. Hold readings and paperwork down with small stones and be sure that larger decorations are also secure.

wedding in the woods

Practical tips for woodland weddings

  • Outdoor weddings can be affected by changes in the weather. Providing umbrellas or cosy blankets might be necessary, even during summer.
  • Covering wooden seats or benches with rugs or blankets will definitely help to protect guests’ outfits and this is also a great way to bring colour to your ceremony.
  • Be prepared to adjust things on the day if necessary. You might have hoped for a confetti shot as you leave the ceremony but if it’s raining or if the breeze is blowing in the wrong direction, you need to be adaptable. Sticking to your plan, whatever happens, isn’t always the best thing to do.
  • If you’re playing music during your woodland wedding, experiment to find the right volume so that it can be heard properly.
  • Similarly, anyone giving a reading should definitely practice so that they can be heard. You might want to consider microphones if you’re worried about guests missing parts of your ceremony.

wedding ceremony at beech dell

At GreenAcres, we’re experts in woodland weddings so if you’ve got a question or query, just ask the team! We’re always happy to help and we’ll do everything we can to make sure your day is just how you imagined. Get in touch for our brochure or to arrange a visit to one of our woodland wedding venues.

Images: Rebecca Goddard