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Venue Showcase: Woodlands Park

Woodlands Park is a magnificent mansion, set in beautiful landscaped grounds provides the perfect venue for your wedding reception. Frequented at the turn of the century by the then Prince of Wales and the famous actress Lillie Langtry, Woodlands Park continues to radiate a warm and welcoming atmosphere.

We talked to Cheyenne Crombie the Events Manager at Woodlands Park to find out more about this stunning venue.

Tell us about yourself!

I have worked at Woodlands for about 3 years now. I do not have any human children but I do have a fur baby called Duchess who is a cat and my best friend, I am a bit of a crazy cat lady. I enjoy travelling, I lived in Australia for a year on the Gold Coast and I also volunteered in South Africa at and elephant reserve which was incredible, highly recommend.

What drew you to the wedding world?

I have always loved customer service and weddings take that to a whole new level. There is nothing more exciting than planning a wedding day, it’s the best event to plan because the client is always excited and you can get excited with them and I love that. As weddings take a while to plan, I get a longer period of time to build a relationship with my couples so then it’s so rewarding to see the final event on the day.

What do you think makes Woodlands Park special?

I think the people we have here at Woodlands Park make our venue unique, they really care about delivering a flawless day for our couples so everyone’s attentiveness is amazing. Not to toot my own horn but I am a bit of a perfectionist and I think that is really important for couples as they know they will have someone who is going to ensure all the finer details are correct. I have to mention the building itself – the first sight of Woodlands Park is always a ‘wow’ moment. The venue is beautiful both inside and outside with extensive gardens and grounds. The history of the building is also something which our couples love to hear about, it dates back to 1885. Lastly, we do operate on a one bride policy because we believe that full attention should be solely on that wedding. Our focus for the day is to deliver a completely personal experience from the get go.

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How do you get to know your couples before the big day?

Nothing beats meeting people in person, it’s always nice to put a face to a name. With weddings I get to meet with my couples regularly but there are also lots and lots of emails and phone calls that go back and forth. I just try to make them a bit more relaxed as opposed to formal emails but it all depends on how my couples want to communicate. The first stage is upon enquiry from the couple, my response always mirrors their initial enquiry which is usually via email. At this point I will encourage couples to book an appointment straight away so I get to chat with them as early as possible. At the first appointment I run through all the most important information and show the couple around the wedding spaces. We will talk about package inclusions that are available or discuss a more bespoke package if that is what the couple prefer. Once we have agreed on all the details we will get everything signed off and provide the couple with their wedding handbook. I love this document as it details the timeline for planning and helps couples when thinking of things they need to do before the big day. It becomes their wedding bible! I will also invite my couples to visit their venue as much as possible by attending showcase events. This is so couples can come and see the rooms set up for inspiration. We post all of our showcase dates on Facebook. When it starts to get close to the date of the wedding the couple will attend their menu tasting and meet with the Chef to ensure everything is perfect for their wedding meal. Couples really enjoy this part as it’s a little preview of part of their day and they can even make a night of it by staying with us too.

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What do you think makes for the perfect wedding?

I think a lot of people forget that a wedding isn’t just about the partying, it is ultimately about the couple getting married and as long as you are able to do that surrounded by the people you love, you’ll have the best day! My best advice would be to make your day as personal as you want to – it’s a day all about you and it is a day where all the people you both love are celebrating you. The best weddings are the ones where everyone enjoys themselves so I tell my couples to try to keep things relaxed and not to over-plan and aim for a day that flows, even with the photos, moments captured are often the nicest.

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What is your #1 wedding planning tip for couples?

Most importantly, remember that it is your wedding day so choose the things that you like and which are important to you. And create a couple’s email address just for the wedding!! It will help you keep track of everything and allow you to keep your wedding planning in one place.

What do you love about Bridebook?

Many of our wedding couples find us via Bridebook. I think it’s great that this platform gives couples so much relevant information in a clear way but for me I think the reviews are really important. For us as venue it’s lovely to read such happy words from newlyweds and for potential couples I think it builds real excitement about their own day.

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What’s the most memorable wedding you’ve had at Woodlands Park?

This is a very hard question to answer as every wedding is completely different and they are all memorable in their own way. It’s not always the biggest weddings with lots of embellishments which are the most memorable – intimate and really special ceremonies can be very emotional, in a good way! One wedding that we are fond of was an Exclusive use wedding at Christmas time. The couple had a gingerbread house which was actually a replica of Woodlands Park and it almost filled a 5ft table! The wedding was a winter wonderland theme so this focal piece was a spectacular addition.

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Why should a couple book Woodlands Park?

There are plenty of reasons why Woodlands Park is an amazing wedding venue. We offer exclusive use which means you can take the whole hotel, the grounds, the bedrooms, the restaurant – everything – as your own for the duration of your wedding. We also offer non-exclusive options too so we are flexible to give couples the day they are dreaming of. We have a one wedding policy which means no other wedding will take place at the same time so couples can be sure they have our undivided attention on the day. The feedback we regularly receive from our wedding couples and their guests is that they experienced brilliant service from all staff. We pride ourselves on being a team of people who are professional and friendly which will make all the difference to your day. Plus we have great relationships with recommended suppliers which all our couples have access to. Not only that, the extensive ground and gardens provide an amazing backdrop for wedding photos during all seasons. Woodlands Park is located in Surrey so the surrounding countryside is spectacular. The venue is close to the M25 and airports which means guests who are travelling can reach the venue easily. All your guests are welcome to stay with us during the period of your wedding, whether that is the night before to be prepared for an early start or the night of your wedding.

What’s the best photo spot at Woodlands Park?

I will have to give an indoor and outdoor spot in order to cater for all seasons… The love seat swing in the garden which hangs from one of the large oak trees is beautiful for an intimate picture of the newlyweds. Inside, the Grand Hall balcony has our stained glass ceiling in the background and this is truly special to capture.

What part of your business are you most proud of?

I’m really proud to be a part of the Woodlands Park team and I believe the service we deliver as a team is impeccable. We all have a vital part to play in every wedding that takes place here and without everyone doing their bit it just would not be the same. Being part of a team of people who all love what they do and who are experts in their roles makes me proud.

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How do you feel technology is changing the industry?

I think the wedding industry has adapted alongside technology however I feel every venue or wedding professional experiences it differently. For our venue we find that couples still choose to visit the venue in person as they want to spend as much time here as possible. Virtual appointments are available and are key at certain times but nothing beats seeing something or someone in real life. We don’t currently instant message with our couples are we practice a more personal approach. Obviously technology has had the biggest impact online as couples are now able to search far and wide for venues in a really short space of time and watch online tours, read reviews and look through pictures on Instagram or Pinterest to make their own opinion on whether the venue is what they are looking for before even making an enquiry.

What is the one piece of advice you would give to couples that are currently struggling amidst the COVID-19 crisis?

Continue to plan your wedding! Don’t get disenchanted and push things to the sidelines if your date has been postponed. Time flies by and the last thing you want to do is rush when you get closer to the day. The process of planning a wedding can be stressful but it should be enjoyable and even though your wedding day may not be happening when you thought it would be you should still make the most of the process and focus on the good things that come with it.

A huge thank you to Cheyenne Crombie for answering our questions. Check out Woodlands Park on Bridebook!
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