When it comes to catering for your wedding you may find yourselves struggling with too many choices. So, how do you make your life simple, ensure your wedding is memorable but also environmentally friendly.
Firstly, go local. This will avoid unnecessary travel requirements and vans for suppliers further afield. Ask them where they buy their ingredients and choose a menu that is locally sourced and seasonal. It will be fresher, tastier and greener in more ways than one.
Without doubt, the biggest wastage at a wedding is left over food. It can be horrifying just how much food is thrown away at the end of a wedding. However, with the right menu and caterers this can be avoided entirely.
To achieve a fabulous looking buffet requires more food than you can possibly eat if you want to ensure it looks tempting but this means wastage. I am pretty sure none of us would want to be the last guest served at a portion controlled buffet - finding yourself staring at a solitary piece of quiche on a huge platter. By having your food plated in the kitchen, and served at the table, ensures very little, if any, wastage and avoid more than one choice unless there are dietary requirements.
Alternatively, hog and lamb roasts are an inexpensive but great choice. For smaller wedding parties lamb roasts are the perfect size and can be served with delicious salads or vegetables. Not being too time dependant keeps things relaxed and can be served in both the summer or winter equally well. Sadly, this is often an evening food choice rather than as the wedding breakfast itself, but this is where food waste will creep in. This is really due to the question of how many times your guests need, and expect, to be fed? In reality daytime guests are still pretty full if an evening buffet is served. It is normally just the evening guests who are hungry, so by keeping your wedding smaller, the evening buffet and all the associate waste such as disposable plates and napkins will vanish into thin air - along with the evening guest list and associated costs.
Instead, feed your nearest and dearest once, but feed them well. There is no doubt about it, if you want your reception to kick off with a bang, you need plenty to drink and plenty to eat. At The Pilgrims Rest we do not charge corkage which means your guests are not limited to one solitary glass of Prosecco as part of a drinks package for the drinks reception. To keep your guests happy bring out some canapés and plenty of them. Call me old fashioned, but who doesn’t love these little mouthfuls of scrumptiousness to go alongside your glass (or two, or three) of bubbly? By choosing the right canapés that are really tasty your wastage should be as tiny as they are.
For me, old favourites are unbeatable - sticky honey and mustard chipolatas and rare roast beef and horseradish Yorkshire puds are rarely (excuse the pun) left sadly on a tray going round (and round) a drinks reception. This route doesn’t need to break the bank as you can opt to sit down to your main course and not skip the starter. By this point your guests will have had a few drinks, delicious nibbles, plenty of chat and lots of laughter. They will be happy, you will be happy and, even better, the environment will be happy - so what’s not to love?
The Pilgrims Rest is a stunning 600 year old wedding venue full of rustic charm and historic soul. Perfect for small weddings and those a little larger - needing little, if any decoration - but still one you can make your own. If you would like to speak to a member of our wedding team please call 07552873448.
Photography: Jenny Appleton Photography
On a wintery mid December day, Jo and Ronnie became husband and wife at The Pilgrims Rest.
December, despite it’s cold and wintery weather, was an idyllic time for Jo and Ronnie to say their vows in front of their friends and family for it was a time of year that held importance to them. The couple, who had enquired, and booked just over a month before their wedding, chose December as “Christmas is my favourite time of year and it felt right because I proposed to Jo Jo on Christmas Eve” Ronnie explained.
Ronnie popped the question at their home surrounded by tea light candles spelling out “Will you marry me?”. He got down on one knee, ring in hand; their dog, Yoda, promptly nipped him. “I think he sensed Ronnie’s nerves! It was funny at the time as it was so typical of Yoda to do something like this”. Jo laughed.
Following their Christmas engagement, Jo and Ronnie began their wedding planning.“We visited many venues, narrowing it down to accommodate our wishes and our guests. We considered the time of year in terms of potential weather, light, flowers and the atmosphere we would like.”
The couple stumbled across The Pilgrims Rest on Instagram in November and instantly knew it would be the perfect venue for their winter wedding. The Pilgrims Rest is a 600 year old Wealden Hall House which provides a timeless setting for weddings throughout the year. With the fires burning and candles lit, this historic gem creates a cosy and intimate space to tie the knot.
“We loved how idyllic it was for a winter wedding and it had a lovely feel to it. Little extra decoration is needed to make it feel cozy and festive and we were able to tailor our wedding vendors. Unlike other venues, The Pilgrims Rest gave us the flexibility to have what we really wanted.”
As a dry-hire venue, The Pilgrims Rest gives couples the freedom to choose their own suppliers to suit their day but at the same time offers a list of tried, tested and trusted ones who have worked at the venue.
“Some of our suppliers were familiar with The Pilgrims Rest which helped with the planning as they knew how everything ran. Our photographer was recommended and we chose him because his style was relaxed and creative. Our wedding cake maker popped up on social media and we were drawn to her work. We cannot thank them all enough for helping us with such a last-minute wedding”.
Plenty of food and drink were the must-haves for Jo and Ronnie’s wedding. The best piece of advice the couple received whilst planning their wedding was to be minimal with decorations and wedding favours and to focus on the more important elements such as food, drink, photography and music.
Connie & Cooper produced delicious food, arrived on the morning of the wedding to lay the tables while Jo and Ronnie got ready photographed by Monkeychops Photography who captured the whole day perfectly from pre-wedding shots in the dressing rooms to the sheer joy of having a good boogie on the dance floor after so many restrictions.
As much as they both loved the dancing, it was the ceremony that was the most important part of Jo and Ronnie’s day. “It felt very special and was long awaited due to Covid hiccups.”
This beautiful wedding, put together in just a few weeks, shows that an impromptu wedding is both possible, magical and stunning. A few words of wisdom from the couple, “Think about what is most important to you both and make that a focal point. Go with your gut feelings”.
We are so delighted that their journey as husband and wife began at The Pilgrims Rest. Our team would like to thank them for letting us share their incredible day in this blog and wish them the
very best of luck in their new life together!
Venue: The Pilgrims Rest Photographer: Monkeychops Caterers: Connie & Cooper Cake: Sylvia’s Kitchen Bar: TK Mobile Bars
The length of an engagement can vary hugely. There are those who plan their wedding day two years in advance and those who opt for just two months. As we have seen in recent months, many couples have found that their weddings have taken many more months to take place than originally planned.
Last minute bookings happen for a multitude of reasons. More recently, Covid related but often it could be a more normal reason such as a move abroad or perhaps a light bulb moment to “Go for it” after years of being together. Our very first wedding at The Pilgrims Rest was unexpectedly brought forward an entire year - this amazing couple managed to plan and execute their wedding beautifully in less than a month.
We have designed The Pilgrims Rest to ensure a last minute wedding is both possible and beautiful for those wanting to tie the knot in a short time period. With no restrictions on suppliers and no corkage charges we try to offer as much flexibility as possible to make your wedding day a reality.
The cosy, intimate nature of the venue means that you can surround yourselves with your friends and family, making this 600 year old Wealden hall house your own for the day. With its inglenook fires, changing rooms and vaulted ceremony room in The Great Hall, The Pilgrims Rest is pretty hard to beat. No wonder it was voted as the best wedding venue in Sussex.
Fashionable months of the year to get married do not apply at the Pilgrims Rest. As far as we are concerned, every month is a wonderful month to marry which is why we style the venue seasonally so it always looks it's best, leaving you free to add your own personal touches.
We have some last minute availability at The Pilgrims Rest for the first quarter of 2022 so if you find an engagement ring in your Christmas Cracker or are planning a proposal, you might not want to wait too long to say “I do”.
If you would like more information about having a wedding at our award winning venue then please contact one of our friendly and professional wedding team for more information on 07552873448 or email us at email@example.com .
Image 1 - Hayley Rose Photography
Image 2- Jessica Bevan Photography