5 ways to make a small wedding extra-special

Need to plan for a more intimate wedding? Fewer people doesn’t mean any less of a celebration. You’ll get to spend more time with those closest to you and create an unforgettable experience for both you and your wedding party…

Toast prosecco


Celebrate your exclusive guest list with exclusive invitations. Wedding stationery can add to your budget with an extensive guest list. But, with a smaller group of friends and family, you can give people something to really look forward to with extra-special invites. Think about sending individually handwritten invitations on high-quality paper with a custom design to set the tone.


If you’ve had to trim down your guest list, it doesn’t mean you can’t go big in other ways. Fill your day with all the wedding traditions you love – whether it’s the fairy tale dress and stunning flowers, or a special first dance. Simply tailor these traditions to suit your day as you please. A smaller guest list can also allow you to leave out some of the wedding traditions you aren’t so enamoured with. Grab the opportunity for the taking!


The beauty of a small wedding means it’s easier to make it much more personal and make every guest feel that extra bit special. You could use your favourite photos of them as part of your theme. They can be part of your place settings, along with a personalised note, or as bunting around the venue. It will provide a great talking point!

You can also add some extra family traditions or heritage to the day to really up the special factor. Wear an item handed down the generations – a veil, brooch, or a tie, for example – or fill your venue with special family mementos. Perhaps your parents’, grandparents’ – even great grandparents’ wedding pictures – become part of the family story yourself.


An intimate ceremony can also allow you to add more meaning to the service without worrying about trying to please a larger group. Personalise your vows, involve your guests with readings and music choice. This will help to set the scene for the celebrations to come.

Intimate weddings don’t call for separate tables, either. Enjoy your wedding breakfast around a large round table to create a buzzy dinner party vibe that allows the conversation to flow freely.


Document your day to share with your wider family and friends – the guests you would have loved to share the day in person with. A videographer alongside a photographer is a great investment to look back on your wedding and makes the perfect keepsake to look back on.

Wedding Lavender Hotel

Book a Lavender wedding

Small and intimate wedding packages are available at Lavender Hotels. We’re on hand to help you plan all aspects to help you create your perfect day. Find out more HERE.

Find your perfect summer wedding venue

Summer wedding North West

With long, light evenings and flowers in bloom, summer is the peak wedding season. In normal circumstances, to make sure you secure your perfect summer wedding venue, you’ll want to book 12-18 months in advance. This summer may look a bit different, of course, and it may not be too late to snag your dream venue. Remember, though, it’s easy to get swept up in the romance of a place, so there are several questions you need to ask yourself and staff. This way helps to make sure you’re picking your venue with both your head and your heart.

What do you want from your summer wedding venue?

Start by picking three words that sum up what you want. Do you envision your day being intimate or raucous? The venue rustic or luxurious? Is your dream theme playful or formal?

Then, only visit the venues that – at first glance – seem to set the tone you’re looking for. That’s your heart taken care of. Once inside, it’s time to let your head take over by asking about all the important little details.

What’s your budget, and what’s already included?

While talks about finances aren’t the most romantic conversations, they’re vital. Have a ballpark idea of how much you’re willing to spend – all in – before you start visiting venues.

It’s not just about how much it’ll cost to hire an empty space. Ask what’s included for your money. Are you so busy and overwhelmed by the process that you’d like the venue to provide the complete package – the ceremony, the catering, the flowers, the DJ? Or are you hoping to be a hands-on bride? In which case, find a venue that can serve as a blank canvas for you to decorate with bouquets and trinkets you’ve sourced and bought yourself.

Is there space for everyone both inside and outside?

This is a fundamental question to ask to find the perfect venue for a summer wedding. British weather can be unpredictable! If it starts to rain, is there enough space inside for your guests? If the sun is scorching hot, are there enough shaded areas outside?

Much like with your budget, have an idea of how many guests you’d like to invite before visiting a venue, as its capacity will directly affect how relaxed your loved ones feel. Small spaces are a perfect choice for intimate gatherings but will become stuffy if everyone brings a plus one. A magnificent party atmosphere can be achieved when hundreds of people fill a huge space, but the same space can feel a little cold with fewer bodies.

Is the location convenient for your guests?

It might be the absolute perfect venue for your summer wedding once you’ve stepped onto the spectacular grounds, but it’s important that your guests don’t have trouble getting there. Is there ample parking? You don’t want people tiptoeing in halfway through your vows because they had to leave the car miles away. If the ceremony and reception are in different locations, make sure they’re no further than 25 minutes away from each other as you don’t want the celebratory mood to fall flat in transit. If the whole wedding day is taking place at one venue, is there another room for guests to gather while staff turn the ceremony space into a dancefloor? Is there accommodation nearby for those who want to enjoy the bar or have travelled from afar?

Have you asked all the little questions?

It’s all too easy to forget to ask how the practicalities of the day will be implemented. You’ve chosen a DJ, but does the venue provide a sound system? If you’re taking advantage of the sunshine with drinks in the garden, can the string quartet play outside? You’re happy for the ceremony space to be transformed into a dining hall for the wedding breakfast, but how long will staff take to flip it? How will you keep guests occupied? You dream of flickering candles warming the space as dusk falls, but does the venue allow open flames? Who will be troubleshooting on the day? Make sure you meet them – you’ll want to relax safe in the knowledge that you’re in good hands.

Finally, make sure you visit your chosen venue a second time. Walkthrough your day as you wander around the venue – this is when any problems with these little practicalities will come to light.

Take a look at Lavender for your summer wedding venue

Our exclusive wedding packages include extra-special Lavender touches. Our superb wedding suites are steeped in individual charm and character, which open out onto stunning grounds creating an ideal setting for your wedding. 

Together, we’ll help you create your perfect wedding day. Take a look at all our wedding venues.

Stables Country Club Terms and Conditions

Membership Details

Members of the Stables Country Club must as a condition of their membership comply with the regulations set out below and any changes/additions to policies and procedures thereafter. These have been drawn up by the Club with a view to ensuring that all facilities are properly and safely used, and that all members are able to take full advantage of them without interfering with the enjoyment of others. The management reserve the right to vary the conditions as necessary.

  1. Membership

It is a stipulation of membership that proof of identification must be produced upon joining the Club. Suitable identification is a full UK driving licence or passport. Failure to produce proof of identification will result in the application to join the club being refused.

1.1 Gold Membership

This is offered at a rate of £49.00 per month, with a minimum contract period of 12 months and a maximum period of 24 months. Please refer to your copy of the membership agreement for full terms and conditions. The Gold Membership permits you to use the club for the full opening times. Cash method is available if 12 months is paid up front, if you pay for the full 12 months this is non-refundable

1.2 Silver Membership

This is offered at the rate of £35.00 per month, with a minimum contract period of 12 months and a maximum period of 24 months. Please refer to your copy of the membership agreement for full terms and conditions. The Silver Membership permits you to use the club during the off-peak times (Please see section 19 for these times). Cash method is available if 12 months is paid up front, if you pay for the full 12 months this is non-refundable

1.3 Monthly Membership

This is offered at the rate of £57.00 per month, you are committed to a minimum of 2 months, where after you can cancel at any time giving one months notice in writing. The Monthly Membership permits you to use the club for the full opening times. Payment must be set up as a Direct Debit.

1.4 New Born-2 Years

This is offered free of charge until the child reaches the age of 3 years, you are not committed to any contract length and can cancel at any time giving one months notice in writing. The Child Membership permits the child to use the Club’s Leisure Pool during the set times (Please see section 19 for these times).

1.5 Child 3-15 Years

This is offered at the rate of £16.00 per month, you are committed to a minimum of 3 months, where you can cancel at any time giving one months notice in writing. The Child Membership permits the child to use the Club’s Leisure Pool and selected Classes during the set times (Please see section 19 for these times). Payment must be set up as a Direct Debit. Cash method is available if 12 months is paid up front, if you pay for the full 12 months this is non-refundable

1.6 School Leavers 16-21 Years

This is offered at the rate of £33.00 per month, where you are committed to a minimum of 3 months. The School Leaver Membership permits the member to use the Club’s Leisure Pool, Classes and Gymnasium during the Gold Membership times. (Please see section 19 for these times). Parents / Grandparents must be members to be able to take up this membership. Payment must be taken via a Direct Debit. Cash method is available if 12 months is paid up front, if you pay for the full 12 months this is non-refundable

        1.12 All Memberships are payable by direct debit or upfront in yearly payments. Cash method is available if 12 months is paid up front, if you pay for the full 12 months this is non-refundable

  1. Children
  1. Membership Cards
  1. Guests
  1. Smoking
  1. Dress
  1. Behaviour
  1. Food & Alcohol
  1. Admittance
  2. Transferring/Amending Membership

10.1 Any member who wishes to upgrade/downgrade their membership will be required to give 1 month’s notice 10.2 and this will incur a £15.00 administration charge.

10.3 Any member who wishes to transfer their membership to another person can do so, however 1 month notice is is required in writing and this will incur a £20.00 administration fee. The new member will be required to fill out a new Direct Debit mandate which must be in place before the original member cancels any payment instruction

  1. Termination of Membership
    1. .
  1. Suspension of Membership

12.1 Both Gold and Silver contracted Members are permitted to put their membership on suspension for a maximum six month period.

12.2 30 days written notification is required, you may email [email protected]. You must request a receipt to acknowledge your requests.

12.3 A charge of £7 is applied each month the membership is on suspension.

12.4 The length of suspension will affect the earliest date for notification of membership cancellation.

  1. Contract Offer Discounts
    1.  All contract offer discounts will be applied accordingly and when due to expiry will automatically lapse and your payment will be restored to its normal flat rate as detailed in paragraph 1. You will not receive written notification.

13.2 As written on the membership agreement form. After the Initial contract period the membership will automatically continue unless otherwise notified by the member.

  1. Gymnasium

14.1 Members are forbidden to enter the gym while wearing wet clothes.

14.2 Persons under the age of 16 are forbidden from entering the main gym and participating in any adult classes (unless stated otherwise).

14.3 Persons under the age of 16 are permitted to use the Leisure pool and selected classes.

14.4 For hygiene reasons a gym towel must be taken into the gym at all times, to wipe down equipment after use. If you do not posses one, then a gym towel can be purchased or hired at reception.

14.5 When leaving a machine ensure that it has fully come to a standstill and is switched off

14.6 When leaving a machine make sure that the sound system is switched off.

14.7 Mobile phones are not allowed to be used when in the gym.

14.8 The club will not charge members mobile phones and members are prohibited from charging their mobile phone in other areas of the club i.e. changing area.

14.9 The appropriate gym clothing must be worn at all times; this includes footwear and keeping items of clothing on at all times.

  1. Swimming Area
  2. Changing Area
  3. Car Parking
  1. Squash Courts
  1. Exercise Classes

19.1Gold/Monthly members can attend classes free of charge.

19.2 Silver members can attend classes free of charge between 9:00am-5:00pm weekdays

Silver members can attend classes outside their operating times at a rate of £3.00/£4.00

19.4 All Children’s classes are available to non-members at a rate of £4.00

19.5 Non-members can attend classes at a rate of £6.00/£8.00All classes require you to book in beforehand.

Mats must be provided by the member for hygiene purposes.

Cancellation of classes must be done with at least 24 hours notice.

  1. CCTV – Is in use throughout Stables Country Club. In the case of any potential security breach, this footage maybe used to prosecute and individual. Recordings will be kept for a period of one month.
  1. Opening Hours

Gold Membership:

Monday-Friday: 6:30am-10:00pm

Saturday-Sunday: 7:00am-10:00pm

 Bank Holidays: 7:00am-10:00pm

Silver Membership:

Monday-Friday: 9:00am-5:00pm


Bank Holidays: 7:00am-10:00pm

Leisure Club Child Members

Monday-Friday: 2:00pm-5:00pm

Saturday-Sunday: 9:00am-5:00pm                                   

Bank Holidays: 9:00am-5:00pm

Times may be subject to change over the Christmas/New Year Holiday period.

Management reserve the right to vary any of these rules or conditions at any time.

All-inclusive breaks at The Oaks

Settle in and settle down for a well-earned all-inclusive break at The Oaks. Situated within four acres of landscaped gardens on the outskirts of Burnley, our refurbished Victorian mansion boasts stately home charm with home-from-home hospitality.

The Oaks grand hallway

Our beautiful old building is the former home of a local tea merchant, lovingly restored to preserve the grand feel of a bygone era. Dark wood panelling and ornate ceilings feature in the main hall and reception area, flooded with natural light from the 25ft-high stained-glass window towering over the original sweeping staircase. Outside on the terrace, you can enjoy views towards Pendle Hill and relax with your favourite tipple.

Pendle, Burnley and beyond
The Oaks is the perfect base to venture out and explore this lovely part of England. The Pendle Way – a 45-mile circular route – is a firm favourite with our guests, with plenty of flora and fauna to discover.

Singing Ringing Tree

For a magnificent view of Burnley and beyond, The Singing Ringing Tree – a unique wind-powered musical sculpture at the top of Lancashire’s Crown Point is a must-see. The metal tree made from galvanised steel pipes emit haunting, musical notes as the wind blows through it.

Nearby, Pendle Hill offers impressive views of the Forest of Bowland and even further afield out to the Irish Sea. History fans will be fascinated by evidence of a Bronze Age burial site while Pendle is infamous for the 17th-century trial of the Pendle Witches, which you can learn more about on the Pendle Sculpture Trail. Pay a visit to the Pendle Heritage Centre and discover more about this area.

Leisure Club and Spa
Our Leisure Club is dedicated to your wellbeing – reap the benefits during your short stay with us. Make use of the fully equipped gym, enjoy a swim in our 10m pool, relax in the steam room or de-stress in one of the two Jacuzzis. Don’t forget, we’re also on-hand to work our magic with a variety of soothing treatments. Total bliss!

The Oaks Hotel, Burnley

Dine in style
You’re invited to enjoy a two-course dinner at Quills Restaurant, where you’ll find home-cooked, locally sourced produce on the menu. Choose from a hearty selection of traditional favourites or lighter bites, complemented by a global selection of wines. Situated in the old house with dark wood panelling and ornate ceilings, the floor-to-ceiling windows look out onto glorious views.

After dinner drinks
Our stylish Author’s Bar offers the perfect setting to enjoy some downtime to unwind with for the evening, with various alcoholic and soft drinks included in your package from 6pm-11pm. Enjoy your tipple in the stylish surroundings with high ceilings and original features.

Enjoy quality sleep
Relaxing days call for a perfect relaxing night’s sleep. Our rooms are traditionally designed with comfy beds, crisp cotton sheets, en suite bathrooms, large flatscreen TVs, and free internet. Wake up to a hearty Full English breakfast to set you up for the day.

Stay all-inclusive at The Oaks

An overnight stay at The Oaks costs from £149 per room based on two people sharing:
• Enjoy a Full English breakfast
• Stay in a Double or Twin Room
• Tuck into a two-course evening meal
• Includes drinks served from 6pm–11pm: choose from house wine, draught beers, house spirits and soft drinks

CLICK HERE for more details and discover our other great-value EXPERIENCES HERE.

Summer of Fun

Wedding planning for your perfect day

So you’ve said yes? Congratulations! A whole new world of excitement and wedding talk awaits. Before you dive into the deep end, follow these simple tips for the start of stress-free wedding planning…

Sharing your big news

It’s no surprise you’ll want the world to know your happy news but step away from social media – at least until you’ve had a chance to tell your nearest and dearest. No one’s mum or dad wants to be told by the neighbour who’s seen it on Facebook! Telling your loved ones face-to-face (if you can) or over the phone is much more personal, and, of course, you get to see or hear how thrilled they are for you. And, when you do press that post button, show off that gorgeous ring and watch the likes flood in!


Stables Country Club

Most people will want to see you and share your happiness, so try to get some close friends and family together for some celebratory drinks. It doesn’t have to be big or expensive, and it does give you a great opportunity to show off your ring in person!

Slow and steady

It’s tempting to start planning straight away but take your time – at least for the first few weeks. Don’t rush into anything! Even if you want to get married quickly, it’s still a good idea to take a few weeks to enjoy the moment and bask in your newly engaged bubble.

Listen… but don’t agree to anything

Everyone and anyone will want to give their well-intended advice and experiences on all things weddings. You may even get requests about who should be there, where it should be – even when! It can’t hurt to listen, but to avoid disappointment, don’t agree to anything yet. Remember, it’s your day!

Get inspired

When it comes to weddings, you’ll never be short of inspiration. Grab a few glossy magazines and browse Pinterest. Create your own boards, saving anything that inspires you – from themes, dresses, invites, cakes – you name it, it’s all there.

Take time out

It’s easy to get swept away in the plans and chaos that can come with even just thinking about planning a wedding. Take time out as a couple – maybe a weekend away, a spa day or a simple country walk. Check in with each other about your ideas, and make sure you’re both on the same page about what you want.

Get planning

Once you’ve given yourself time to think about all the different elements to your big day, let the real fun begin and start making some firm plans. Think about dates and take a look at some venues. Why not start by finding out more about our stunning wedding venues across the North West? From beautiful panoramic gardens and an ornate pagoda at Higher Trapp House to statement style at Stables Country Club, Lavender Hotels set the scene any time of year.

There’s plenty more to discover with weddings at Lavender Hotels. You can find out more here.