Despite his busy schedule planning all of the fabulous events here at Rylands Farmhouse, including weddings, birthdays and office parties, we managed to pin Luis down to tell us all about his top tips, wedding hacks and all things Rylands..
What's the history of Rylands Farmhouse?
We are quite a new venue in terms of weddings and events, as our tipi was only built in 2021. However, we have been an operational family-run B&B for over 30 years! The idea came about as our owner, Jonathan, could see a gap for an events venue in Cheshire; we are in a great location in Wilmslow as we're only 4 miles to Hale and 3 miles to Alderley Edge, whilst we also have that countryside/rural aspect. If people wanted a hotel style wedding in Cheshire but something a little bit different and unique, it was difficult to find... until now!
What do you love most about planning a wedding?
I'd say its the people you meet and getting to watch the couple's experience evolve, from when they are freshly engaged and originally come to see us as a venue, right through to saying "I do"!
What is the first thing couples love when they come to Rylands?
Of course they love our Rylands wedding tipi, but I think couples really enjoy our exclusivity aspect; all the hotel rooms come as part of the wedding package and we can actually sleep 29 on site, which means you get that retreat feel with just your guests here. The whole site is just you and your guests and we're so accommodating that some people may want to get ready in our snug area with their bridesmaids, for example, or some may want to set up a small table for their younger guests in our conservatory. As an event team we really work with you to make the most of the venue and make it perfect for your big day.
How do most weddings tend to happen on the day at Rylands?
We are actually licensed to get married on site in the tipi, so you can have your whole wedding experience here with us! Usually, the bride and her bridesmaids would stay over in our hotel the night before and then they can get ready here the morning of the wedding. The ceremony would take place in the tipi, then guests sometimes have an acoustic singer throughout the drinks reception. We'd then turn the tipi around for either a formal sit-down or our classic benches and tables. However, every wedding is different; a lot of couples now are preferring the informal food options with rustic tables or hot bowls circulating around the room before the evening party gets underway!
Who is your most famous guest you've had at Rylands Farmhouse?
We're not actually allowed to name names (sorry!), but we have had quite a few really high profile business people visit Rylands in the past, as well as both Manchester City and Manchester United footballers. Obviously, given that we're located very close to Manchester, we are a really popular and convenient venue for them.
What is the most unique thing you’ve seen at a wedding?
I once saw a couple have their dog carry their rings down the aisle to them in a little bag on his collar! He was the in all their pictures and they did a small box of gifts for the ‘furry friends who stayed at home’, so guests could take a cat toy or dog toy home with them. This wasn't at Rylands unfortunately, although our tipi is actually dog friendly, as well as a few of our hotel rooms which guests absolutely love.
What are some of the wedding trends you are seeing? We are actually seeing a lot of people really coming away from the formal sit-down tradition. The couples want to mingle and have more flexibility, as sometimes they can end up not having enough time with all their guests when they have the formal sit-down style set-up. Things like having a high-end BBQ or street food as a catering option is proving more and more popular, as well as couples creating their own cocktails - that's a really nice touch. How much should couples budget for their venue?
My advice would be to really sit and work out your budget in relation to your guest numbers, as sometimes that extra welcome drink, extra chair, chair cover, meal, etc, really can increase the cost. Your venue would typically be around 50% of your budget, and then food and drink on top of that. I also advise looking at alternative days to Saturdays; at Rylands Farmhouse we actually offer a different price for a weekday, as well as in off-peak periods. This means you can still get your dream day, but it may be more budget-friendly if cost is a little bit of a concern. Furthermore, if you had a Thursday wedding, for example, you are likely to get a better price for food, a band, a photographer, etc, if you negotiate, as it's likely they may not be booked.
If you're thinking about getting married in Cheshire and would like to find out more about our wedding packages, or would even like to be shown around our gorgeous tipi venue, please feel free to get in touch via the contact form at the bottom of the page!