Happy New Year from all of us at GreenAcres! We hope that the coming year is nothing but kind and wonderful to you. If you’re newly engaged – congratulations and welcome to a super exciting time as you plan your wedding. Whatever the date of your big day and however many months of planning you have ahead of you, here are a few wedding planning resolutions that should see you through 2019 with a smile.

GreenAcres bride

  • Give your budget a health-check – if you’ve been planning for a while, you should definitely start the year by giving your budget a health check. Are you on track with payments and savings? Have you gone over your budget in one or two areas and need to cut back elsewhere? Have you dipped into your contingency fund? Knowing exactly where you are with your money is super important so that you don’t hit problems further along the line so if things aren’t looking too healthy right now, don’t panic. Make the adjustments that you need to sooner rather than later.
  • Overhaul your to-do list – give your list an early spring clean so it’s super clear what you need to do as you hit the new year. Update deadlines, remove anything from your list that doesn’t need to be there anymore and add more details wherever possible so that you know exactly what you need to do and when.
  • Contact your suppliers – if you’ve had your major suppliers booked for a while, it can be a good idea to re-contact them. You might need to update them on your plans or timings for the day, it might be that your ideas have developed (or changed) or you might just have a couple of questions that you’d like them to answer. Whatever the reason, reconnecting at this time of year is definitely the right thing to do.
  • Give yourself a little more time – one of the things that causes more wedding stress is time and more specifically, the lack of it. If you’re planning out when you’ll do your wedding DIY or shop for your dress, give yourself more time than you think you’ll need. This way, if things take longer than you expected, you’ll still be on schedule. Similarly, when it comes to your wedding day schedule, give yourself extra time. Build in extra time to get ready, extra time with your guests and definitely extra time to just enjoy the day – you’ll be glad you did!

woodland wedding

  • Be kind to yourself – it’s easy to put lots of pressure on yourself when you’re planning your wedding day so if there’s one thing we’d urge you to do this year, it’s be kind to yourself. No-one has super-human planning powers so be realistic and always remember that you’re only human and whatever happens, you’re doing your best.
  • Include a few eco-friendly touches – your wedding day absolutely doesn’t have to cost the earth so why not try to include a few environmentally friendly details in your day? If everyone just did something, think of the positive impact this would have. We’ve got some sustainable and ethical wedding ideas for you here so why not take a look and make a change?
  • Put together your post-wedding plan – it’s easy to forget that there’s a life post-wedding day too and if you want to avoid feeling a bit down after the big day, it’s important to plan ahead. Make sure that you’ve got things to look forward to, think about seeing friends and family again and even getting back into those hobbies that you might have let slip whilst you were planning. Also, think about the practical things that need to be done once you’re married. There’s lots to do including writing your thank you cards, arranging for gifts to be delivered, dealing with all the change-of-name admin and even deciding on the photos for your album.
  • Don’t forget to date – always remember, throughout your wedding planning, why you’re doing all of this. It’s because you love your partner so keep dating, keep having fun together, keep doing all of the things that make you both you. Then, when it comes to the big day, you’ll be more in love than ever.


If your wedding planning to do list still has ‘find perfect venue’ at the top, why not come and find out more about woodland weddings at GreenAcres? Our woodlands at Chiltern, Colney, Heatherley Wood and Rainford all have their own unique charms and we’d love to show you around. Click here for more information or to arrange a visit.



Images by Hannah Duffy


woodland wedding

As the days get even shorter, there’s no doubting the fact that winter is here. However, this is still a wonderful time for weddings and our woodlands feel fabulously festive too. So, if you love the thought of a winter wedding among the trees, we’ve got a whole host of seasonal ideas for you right here. From decorations and details to food, drink and the best winter wedding outfits, it’s all here for you to unwrap. Enjoy our wintery ideas because it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas at GreenAcres

woodland wedding

Winter is all about romance in the woodlands and the trees are the perfect backdrop for photos at this time of year. It’s definitely worth talking to your photographer and checking the sunset time on your big day so that you can be sure you’ll get enough light for your post-ceremony shoot.

winter wedding bride

Winter weddings are a little easier for guys because suits are lovely and warm when the temperatures fall. If you’re a bride, look out for a gown with sleeves or one that’s made from a thicker, heaver fabric. Alternatively, add a shawl or cardigan to your ensemble and don’t be afraid to add a little colour here either.

winter wedding drinks

Serving delicious, warm drinks at your winter wedding will keep your guests cosy and happy! Mulled wines and ciders work really well and spiced apple is a fab option for non-drinkers. We also LOVE hot chocolate bars – let your guests add extras such as marshmallows, cream or even crushed candy canes. For a grown-up twist, why not add a cheeky dash of alcohol?

lighting for a winter wedding

When the sun sets so early, lighting your winter wedding is super important. Fairy lights and candles are the best options so fill you venue with gorgeous, glowing lights. Also, adding a few lights to the outside of your venue provides a lovely welcome to any evening guests.

ideas for a winter wedding

Using traditional wintery motifs across your wedding brings the season into your decorations in a really fantastic way. Little sprigs of fir trees couldn’t be better for a woodland wedding – use them to decorate stationery and place settings or create your own place cards.

wooden wedding decorations

Including wooden details is always a good idea and this look is perfect if you’re planning a rustic wedding. Use wood slices as place mats, cake stands, menus, guest books and even as wedding signage.

winter wedding reception

Winter weddings definitely need a fabulous feast so spend a little time making sure that your guest tables look their best. Candles, seasonal flowers and foliage, wintery details and a mix of fabrics and textures create the best look.

favours for a winter wedding

When you start planning your decorations, why not include plenty of details that your guests will link to winter? Gingerbread favours are an easy DIY or you could put together little jars of hot chocolate mix. Add a sprinkle of fake snow to items such as your table plan and don’t forget the wedding signage – you don’t want anyone to miss a moment!

wedding cake ideas

We all associate cake with Christmas and wedding so a Christmassy wedding cake has to be a real showstopper. Include layers with richer flavours, use more dark chocolate, opt for a darker icing with golden gilding or keep things simple with a woodland inspired cake topper.

woodland wedding details

Finally, don’t forget to bring lots of colour to your day and jewel tones look stunning in winter. Snuggly blankets, flowers and velvet ring boxes all work really well. Or, do something different and choose a coloured wedding dress – it’s your wedding day after all.

To find out more about weddings in any season at GreenAcres, just get in touch to find out more. If you’d like to arrange a time to visit our woodlands at ChilternColney, Heatherley Wood and Rainford, contact us here. We look forward to welcoming you.



Image 1: top left  Kirsty Mackenzie Photography on Whimsical Wonderland Weddings | top right via Georgia Miller Photography on Hey Wedding Lady | bottom left Nicole Colwell Photography on Hey Wedding Lady | bottom right Nick Plus Danee on Junebug Weddings

Image 2: left Amy Faith Photography on Rock My Wedding | top right The Hendrys Photography on Love My Dress | bottom right Wesley & Emma on 100 Layer Cake

Image 3: top left Sam Gibson Weddings on Bridal Musings | top right The Spruce Eats | bottom left Scuffins Photography on Rock My Wedding| bottom right Project Nursery

Image 4: left via Elegant Wedding Invites | top right Chloe Browne on You & Your Wedding| bottom right Caro Weiss on Rock My Wedding

Image 5: top left A Fist Full Of Bolts on Ruffled | top right Jessica Lorren on Martha Stewart Weddings | bottom left Kate Osborne on Martha Stewart Weddings | bottom right Jacque Lynn on Hey Wedding Lady

Image 6: left Chloe Lee Photography on Whimsical Wonderland Weddings | top right Rosie Windsor Photography on Bride| bottom right via Pinterest

Image 7: left Studio Castillero on 100 Layer Cake | top right Henry + Mac on Style Me Pretty | bottom right Kristin Moore Photography on Rustic Wedding Chic

Image 8: top left Richard Skins on Rock My Wedding | top right via Bridal Guide | bottom left Ashley Dru on Ruffled | bottom right O & C Photography on Rock My Wedding

Image 9: left Frances Carlisle Photography on Whimsical Wonderland Weddings | top right Wedding Rustic Deco on Etsy | bottom right Rebecca Hollis Photography on Ruffled

Image 10: left Stacy Paul Photography on Whimsical Wonderland Weddings | top right on Oobaloos Photography on Rock My Wedding | bottom right Rosie Windsor Photography on Bride


greenacres real wedding

Of all the important parts of your wedding day, your ceremony is definitely the highlight. This is the moment when you take your vows and commit yourselves to each other so it’s the perfect time to tell your partner exactly how you feel. Writing your own vows can be special, moving and it adds lots of individuality to your wedding ceremony. If you’re writing your own vows or if you’re wondering whether you should, here’s all you need to know.


The first thing to mention is that if you’re holding a civil ceremony on your wedding day, there are certain words that you have to say for the ceremony to be legally binding. Your registrar will provide you with details of these and, usually, you’ll have a choice of a few acceptable options. However, most registrars will also give you the opportunity to write your own ‘vows’ that you can say at another point in the ceremony. This usually takes place during the ring exchange as this isn’t the legally binding part of the ceremony. Your registrar will probably want to give your words the ok before the big day so do check with them if they need to approve things ahead of time.


On the other hand, if you decide to work with an independent celebrant, you’ll have free reign to say or do exactly what you want. Yes, you’ll still have to go through an official ceremony if you want your marriage to be legally recognised but you can do this before the big day, which is then all about you. You can choose to celebrate wherever, whenever and however you like and you can include any religious or non-religious elements you like or you can mix the two.

So, we spoke to wedding celebrant Tamryn Lawrence of Wild & Oak to find out how to write your wedding vows, whether you’ve opted for a civil or celebrant-led ceremony. Here are Tamryn’s top writing tips:

  • Give yourself plenty of time to write your vows because trying to write something so important under pressure isn’t a good idea. This is something to really enjoy so give yourself time to do just that.
  • Talk to your partner before you start writing and decide if you’ll share your vows with each other before the big day or whether you’ll keep them secret.
  • Note down anything that you feel is important in marriage or anything that you really want to say to your partner. You’ll probably notice similar themes in your notes and these are the areas to concentrate on.
  • Don’t be afraid of emotion or humour in your vows – you’re writing from the heart, you’re not prepping a presentation for work.
  • If there’s a snippet of poetry or a line from a book or film that sums up how you feel, use it. There’s lots of fabulous writing out there that’s perfect for a wedding.
  • That said, make sure that there’s still plenty of ‘you’ in your vows. This is your moment to really say what you feel so avoid borrowing everything or relying too much on those old romantic clichés we’ve all heard hundreds of times.


  • Remember your audience – they want to feel part of your ceremony too so try to avoid anything that they won’t understand and definitely ditch anything that might embarrass anyone.
  • If you’re working with a celebrant, your ceremony starts as a blank piece of paper so ask for some example vows so you can see what formats and styles you like.
  • They’re called vows for a reason so you should make some promises or commitments to your partner. Some couples don’t like to use the phrase ‘I promise’ and will opt for ‘I’ll always try to…’ or ‘I will’ instead. Say whatever feels right to you.
  • Before you write too much, think about how you might feel on the big day. If you feel you might be emotional or nervous, don’t give yourself too much to read or say. I’ve worked with couples where we’ve had two versions of vows prepared so the bride could choose on the day which one she wanted to use depending on how she felt. This can be a good idea so you’re not under any pressure.
  • Write your vows and practice them – things that looked good on paper might be tricky to say or sound too clunky when you read them out loud. If you can learn your vows, so much the better because you’ll be able to look at your partner as you speak rather than looking down to read. However, even if you think you’ve learned every word off by heart, still have a copy with you on the day in case of nerves.
  • Your photographer will definitely be taking photos of this moment so print yourself a nice copy of your vows or pop them inside a special vows book that you can keep. I always have extra copies of vows and readings with me at ceremonies I conduct, just in case!

If you’d like to take your wedding vows at GreenAcres, do get in touch for a brochure or to arrange a time to visit us so that the wedding planning can begin!



Images by Hannah Duffy with vows written by Tamryn Lawrence of Wild & Oak