Your Bristol & Somerset Wedding - February/March 2023 (Issue 93) £3.55 HONEYMOONS, BEAUTY, FASHION, GROOMS, EXPERT ADVICE, FREEBIES AND MORE FEB/MAR 2023 WIN! Find the way to your guests hearts via your wedding catering Love at first bite A fairytale escape in Northern Ireland IN WITH THE NEW! 2023 trends special Striking SILHOUETTES Showstopping gowns SQUAD GOALS Your hen and stag A-Z

REGULARS 7 EDITOR’S LETTER A warm welcome from Kelly 9 NEARLYWED NEWS Catch up on news from around the region 13 FREEBIES & OFFERS Great giveaways and discounts up for grabs 55 HOT TOPIC Stellar wedmin advice from those in the know 89 COMPETITION A fairytale escape awaits at Ballygally Castle in Northern Ireland CONTENTS FEBRUARY/MARCH 2023 VENUES 15 SPOTLIGHT ON... Taunton Deane and West Somerset 19 SWEPT AWAY The region’s waterside and coastal venue highlights On the cover This issue’s chic cover was captured by Old Blue Photography ( at Parish’s House in Bath ( You can find more from this elegant shoot from page 41. 35 9 FEATURES 41 YOU LOOK WONDERFUL TONIGHT Going for glam doesn’t have to be formal and starched – this local team show us how 45 LOVE AT FIRST BITE Wedding catering ideas to suit your vibe 49 SQUAD GOALS Your hen and stag A-Z 52 CALLING ALL ANIMAL LOVERS We’ve put together the ultimate guide to pets at weddings to help you create the perfect day 3

REAL WEDDINGS 22 YOU ARE MY SUNSHINE Elizabeth and Ben said “I do” on a bright summer’s day at Holbrook House 29 IT’S ONLY NATURAL Claire and Thomas allowed the beauty of Batch Country House and its surroundings shine through with an understated wedding theme 35 ON TOP OF THE WORLD Sammy and Liam included plenty of special personal touches in their wedding day HONEYMOONS 82 HONEYMOON NEWS The newest openings and honeymoon destinations 84 THE PERFECT GETAWAY We’ve rounded up some of the best mini-moon destinations in Europe 86 ON THE DOCK OF THE BAY Sample a taste of the Mediterranean on the dreamy island of Crete 88 DOWN BY THE RIVER Discover The Great House in Sonning, part of the Coppa Club collection of hotels and restaurants FASHION & BEAUTY 58 FASHION FOCUS The latest bridal fashion news, buys and launches 59 BRIGHT AND BOLD Bridesmaids will love the colourful dresses and accessories in store this season 61 STRIKING SILHOUETTES Make your entrance in style in a fabulous fishtail dress, a fairytale-inspired ballgown or a slinky little number 67 SUSTAINABLE STYLES These designers offer something green as they promote their latest collections created using eco-friendly fabrics 75 BEAUTY Q&A Our local professionals solve your problems 76 BEAUTY BUZZ Get the look with these must-haves for the bride-to-be 78 THE HAIR NECESSITIES Achieve wedding-ready locks with multi-awardwinning celebrity hair stylist and TV hair expert Vicki Lord 81 THE TRUTH ABOUT SUGAR Find your way to wedding wellness by managing that sweet tooth with help from expert nutritionists 22 29 81 45 GROOMS 70 GROOMS’ NEWS The latest best buys and product launches 72 MIDNIGHT MAGIC With celestial-themed weddings becoming all the rage, we’ve rounded up some of our favourite out-of-this-world products 52 41 4

07557 958033 rusticrentalsuk Creative decor and styling for couples who want their day to be as special and unique as they are Des i gn , décor h i re & s t y l i ng across Br i s tol , Somer set and the Cot swolds . 07771 61 33 75 | TopikkiStationery | @Topikki1 BEAUTIFUL HANDMADE WEDDING STATIONERY • WEDDING • SPECIAL OCCASION • • BESPOKE • DESIGNER & STUDIO RANGES • DIY Workshops and kits available for couples who want to make their own

C A R S O F C L A S S C A R R I A G E S F O R M A R R I A G E S R O L L S R O Y C E | J A G U A R M E R C E D E S | 4 & 6 D O O R L I M O U S I N E S W W W . C A R S O F C L A S S . C O . U K ruper t@carsof c l ass . 01823 480898 - 07733 362762 S A W Y E R S C O T T A G E , C U R L A N D , N R . T A U N T O N T A 3 5 5 A Visit your local F.Hinds store or scan the QR code to start browsing • Premium quality wedding rings • A large selection of styles from plain and traditional to modern and stone set • Multiple precious metals available including 9ct, 18ct and 22ct gold, white gold, platinum and palladium • Perfect fit bridal sets with an engagement ring and a wedding ring • Free bespoke wedding ring design service • With a lifetime guarantee*, free ring sizing, free valuation and free annual inspection • Beautiful wedding jewellery and gifts are also available Find Your Forever Wedding Rings *Excludes wear & tear and accidental damage We have always had a passion for weddings and planning weddings. The look on the couples faces when they have the wedding of their dreams is priceless and helping them to reach their vision is very rewarding for us. We enjoy getting to know you and finding out your likes and dislikes so we can help you to have the special day you deserve. We can help you with full planning or managing the day only. We offer a free, no obligation initial consultation so we can get to know each other and see what we can plan together. WWW.WEDDINGREGENCY.COM 07517127703 | Instagram@wedding_regency | Facebook @weddingregency1

Well, first things first: Happy New Year. Is it still OK to say that in February? The last time I spoke to you was in December, so I think so! Now, safely in 2023 you’re either on your next milestone to W-day or finally, you’re only months away. And, of course, there are those of you with a shiny, new ring on you finger – massive congratulations to you. Allow me to welcome you to the wonderful world of wedding planning. It’ll be a riot, you’re gonna love it! So, whether you’re putting your best foot forward and making your first tentative steps into the world of weddings, or you’re well on your way and looking to refine the finer points, we’ve got something for you this issue. The region’s wedding suppliers have got their fingers on the pulse of 2023’s wedding trends and have shared their predictions with us in our Hot Topic and Beauty Q&A specials. Plus, an early and ohso important element you’ll be excited to think about is food! Whether you’ve got your eyes on a traditional and elegant affair or a relaxed and rustic shindig Bristol and Somerset’s wedding caterers have plenty of ideas for you. Those who’ve been there, done that and bought the T-shirt never fail to inspire. That’s why we’ve brought you another bevvy of beautiful real weddings to marvel at. Quite apart from the fabulous ideas they’re sure to offer, if you’re anything like me you’ll equally enjoy the genuine love stories they share. They never fail to make me smile. Without any further ado I’ll leave you to dive in to this, our first issue of 2023. I’m incredibly excited to be presenting you with another year of wedspiration. Enjoy and keeeep planning! Kelly Andrews, editor Onwards and upwards Kelly x ISSN 1755-4756 EDITORIAL 01376 535 611 Danielle Harvey | Managing Editor Kelly Andrews | Deputy Managing Editor and Beauty Editor Melissa Cullen | Senior Editor, Grooms and Travel Editor Claire Ridley | Fashion Editor DESIGN 01376 535 616 Graphic Designers Stephanie Hodder | Vicky O’Connor Artwork & Content Coordinator Lorna Butcher Digital Marketing Coordinator Katie Laley Web Development Manager Stuart Weatherley ADVERTISING Sales & Events Director Sarah Ellis | 01376 538 490 Account Manager Lorraine Whitehead | 01376 535607 ACCOUNTS 01376 535 616 Accounting Manager | Derrick James Your Bristol & Somerset Wedding is solely owned, published and designed by KD Events & Publishing Ltd. Whilst every effort was made to ensure the information in this magazine was correct at the time of going to press, the publishers cannot accept legal responsibility for any errors or omissions, nor can they accept responsibility for advert content, or of the standing of advertisers or by the editorial contributions. The views expressed do not necessarily reflect those of the publisher. Your Bristol & Somerset Wedding is published six times a year. @CountyWeddingMagazines @CountyWeddings @countyweddingmagazines Visit us online at and cwe COUNTY WEDDING EVENTS WIN A fairytale escape at Ballygally Castle in Northern Ireland 89 9 35 41 Bristol is celebrating no less than 650 years of being a city in 2023! There’s a whole host of events planned to mark the occasion throughout the year. Find out more in Nearlywed News. Speaking of 2023 trends here’s one of our own tips for the top! With sustainability a topic on many a couple’s lips nowadays, dried flowers are becoming popular. Bride Sammy was surprised to find them in a vibrant enough palette to fit her vision. With the cost of living crisis having an impact on all our lives, nearlyweds are looking to celebrate in style while getting the most from their budget. One way to do this is to choose ceremony decorations that can be repurposed for the reception. Claire and Tom’s gorgeous moon arch served both as ceremony and top table backdrop on their big day. EDITOR’S LETTER 7

Arnos Vale Cemetery Step into 45 acres of magical woodland in the heart of Bristol Mix and match our three unique venues for your ceremony, wedding breakfast or evening celebrations To arrange an appointment to view our venues please email Arnos Vale Ce etery Step into 45 acres of magical woodland in the heart of Bristol Mix and match our three unique venues for your ceremony, wedding breakfast or evening c lebrations To arrange an appointment to view our venues please email Arnos Vale Cemetery Step into 45 acres of magical woodland in the heart of Bristol Mix and match our thr e unique venues for your ceremony, wedding breakfast or eve ing celebrations To arrange an appointment to view our venues please email Arnos Vale Cemetery B A T H R O A D , B R I S T O L B S 4 3 E W Step into 45 acres of magical woodland in the heart of Bristol. Mix and match our three unique venues for your ce mony, wedding breakfast and vening celebratio s. For more information and to book an appoi tment to view ur venues, please scan the QR code www.arnosval Avenue White Photography Avenue White Photography Naomi Kenton Photography DSKPhotography Plan the wedding of your dreams at our magnificent Grade II* listed mansion house ARE YOU LOOKING TO HOST YOUR WEDDING IN 2023? Take a look at our latest offers. For further details and to check availability please contact our wedding coordinator. 01275 373 373 | | BW Wedding Advert 26.01.23.indd 1 26/01/2023 12:00

NEWS Nearlywed Catch up on the latest from around th region YOUR OWN ROYAL WEDDING The wonderful Bailbrook House in Bath has announced the 2023 prices for its Royal Package. It promises an occasion like no other, with every part of your wedding held at the beautiful, historical mansion house. The package includes a wedding suite on the night of the wedding plus 12 bedrooms for your guests, a dedicated wedding coordinator, a master of ceremonies, two arrival reception drinks per person following the “I dos,” six canapés per person during the reception drinks, five course wedding breakfast in the Cloisters Restaurant, half a bottle of house wine per person or the equivalent value towards a wine of your choosing, a glass of champagne per person to toast, and evening food served to a private lounge. The Royal Package is priced at £8,000 for weddings held January to March and October to December, Sunday to Thursday, based on 26 guests, with extra guests charged at £307.69 per person. For April to September, Sunday to Thursday, again based on 26 guests, the cost is £8,500, with extra guests charged at £326.92 per person. Head to to find out more. A WELL-DESERVED WIN Bath Mill Lodge Retreat is celebrating being crowned Best in Britain at the 2022 Hoseasons Awards, with the title showcasing the Somerset venue’s excellence in hospitality and facilities. At an event in Newport, the retreat won first honours in the Lodges and Parks – Large Park category. Owned and operated by Darwin Escapes, the retreat and adjacent function room, are blessed with a location boasting rare natural beauty. Nestled between the trees and on the banks of a picturesque brook, it’s easy for guests to forget they’re only three miles from the historical centre of Bath. Another string to the venue’s bow is the function room, tucked inside the 350-year-old mill house. The Newton Suite has an elegant, yet versatile atmosphere that makes it the ideal location for a wedding. Plus, the retreat’s award-winning luxury lodges are conveniently placed for guests to stay in. Hosting up to 70 nearest and dearest, the well-furnished room can be adapted to suit any theme. To find out more, check out https://darwinescapes. STARDOM BECKONS Did you catch Kerry from Cheddar-based Angel’s Kitchen on TV recently? She went over to Canada to take part in a Food Network competition, which involved building a 5ft by 4ft cake with dynamic moving elements. She competed with two other talented cake makers from the South West, Dusica Roberts and Verity Malinowska. To see how she and her team got on, head over to for the ITVx player and search: The Big Bake. The episode you’re looking for is number seven, Bone Appetit. To talk to Kerry about making your show-stopping big-day bake find her on social media at or, or get in touch via WhatsApp on 07854 274 202. LOCAL NEWS 9

A LANDMARK YEAR As Bristol marks its 650th anniversary of becoming a city and county in 2023 with major celebrations in the pipeline, this year sees a whole host of vibrant, world-renowned festivals and events. Here are some of our highlights to look out for: We the Curious is reopening We the Curious science museum and wedding venue was forced to close in April 2022 following a devastating fire on its roof. Repairs to resulting water damage are under way and the plan is to reopen in 2023. Brimming with exhibits to inspire and home to the UK’s only 3D planetarium, this is the place to ask questions and get creative. Bristol International Balloon Fiesta, 10th-13th August Europe’s largest hot air balloon event will once again stun visitors with its mass ascents when more than 100 hot air balloons take off and fly over the city at dawn and dusk. The free-to-visit fiesta also has daytime aerial displays, fairground rides, entertainment, music and food stalls. 200 years of Bristol Museum & Art Gallery Another iconic city-centre wedding venue makes waves this year as it celebrates its the bi-centenary of its forerunner, The Bristol Institution for the Advancement of Science, Literature and the Arts. BI200 will bring together amazing objects and stories from the museum’s collections through a series of themed seasons taking place throughout the year. To discover more about the myriad of events happening in Bristol to mark its 650th year as a city visit PUT ON YOUR DANCING SHOES Easton Social Dancing offers a free, zero obligation, 45-minute wedding dance consultation. Keen to know more, we chatted to experienced teacher Tannith Perry... What can couples expect from their free consultation? We’ll discuss the various things you need to consider: music, style of dance, how your dress could impact your dance, the venue and more. Then, based on these factors we’ll start learning one or more styles of dance. What do you teach your couples? There are many different approaches to the first dance. Some of my past clients wanted to wow their guests by performing a choreographed routine, others wanted the ability to dance to their favourite song with a simple grace and ease. Learning some basic patterns and lead and follow techniques takes a huge amount of stress off of both partners so you can enjoy your special moment without anxiety as well as leaving a lasting impression on your family and friends. What do couples need to think about when preparing their dream dance? Firstly, the music. There are a couple of approaches. One is to pick a song you love. The upside to this is you get your favourite tune, but the downside is that it might not work with many, or indeed any, dance styles meaning you’re limited in choice. The second option is to choose a couple of songs you really like and bring them to your dance teacher, who can then advise you on the dances that’ll work for each. The broader your tutor’s experience, the more likely you are to find something that works. The other important consideration is your attire. The dress can have a huge impact on how much you can move and your ability to move without stepping on it. The higher the hem the easier it is. You can always have the dress tailored to barely kiss the floor, have it bustled or have a wrist loop. The latter will limit your ability to lift your arm beyond a certain point, but that’s still easier to accommodate than a very long gown. Another option is to have a second dress specifically for the dance. Whatever you choose, it’s important to practice the dance in a dress and shoes that are as similar to the wedding gown as possible. Discover more at and for an exclusive dicsount on wedding packages, turn to page 13. NEW VENUE ALERT! Located in the heart of Somerset, just 30 minutes from Bath, The Holcombe is a beautiful new wedding reception venue, overlooking rolling countryside. The 17th-century restaurant with 11 contemporary guest rooms is set on the highest point of a small parish in the north east of the Mendip Hills with views across to Downside Abbey. Hiring The Holcombe for a wedding celebration includes exclusive use of all 11 bedrooms, the bar, restaurant, snug and grounds – including the gorgeous new Mediterranean garden. The venue is now taking bookings for 2023 and offers a blank canvas for couples looking to tailor their special day from scratch. To find out more, head over to Scan to view video 5 MINUTES WITH... 10

Capturing memories on your big day in a friendly, creative and unobtrusive way. Bespoke coverage from a few hours, a half day or a full day in the South West and South Wales. Simon Goodwin 07379 469669 Tel: 01823 331053 48 Bridge St, Taunton TA1 1UD Glamourous gowns in REAL sizes for REAL women Call us for your FREE consultation 01934 245242

Your celebration, your way. @JenWhitworthCelebrant jenwhitworth_celebrant 07967 006362 - THE UNITED KINGDOM SOCIETY OF CELEBRANTS ©Freya Steele Photography @lucyhsax @lucyharveysax 07764 740162 Share your love story through the magic of music. Stunning live performance creating the perfect atmosphere for your: • CEREMONY • DR I NKS RECEPT I ON • WEDD I NG BREAKFAST • F I RST DANCE Plus live electrifying evening performance alongside your DJ! AWA R D - W I N N I N G W E D D I N G S I N G E R & S A X O P H O N E P L AY E R 10-11 MARCH @ THE LOCAL FOLK 2ND/F BELL TOWER, WELLINGTON TA21 0AW about Suitable for complete beginners in flower seasonal and arranging. classy and on bouquets Learn more! simple, make flowers trend wedding and book Contact us to 10th March 10am to 1pm: FREE Open Morning, come and see us and see our British grown spring flowers on display. Refereshments provided. 1:30pm to 3pm: Hand tied bouquet workshops £55/person 3pm to 4pm: Discussion and taking orders for Wedding Flower Buckets 11th March 10:30am to 12pm: Hand tied bouquet workshops £55/person 1:30pm to 3pm: Buttonhole & Corsage arranging workshop £55/person 3pm to 4pm: Discussion and taking orders for Wedding Flower Buckets

FOR YOUR CHANCE TO WIN ENTER ONLINE VIA OUR WEBSITE WWW.YOURBRISTOLSOMERSET.WEDDING FREE! 24WEDDING CUPCAKES Based in Wick, near Bristol, Sarah Churchill at Sarah’s Sugarcraft has been creating beautiful, handmade wedding cakes for more than 20 years. For her, baking started as a hobby, but 12 years ago she decided to turn her passion into a business and has never looked back. “I’m extremely passionate about what I do, and understand that a beautiful cake can make all the difference to a wedding. It’s for this reason that I take great care with every one I create, ensuring it not only looks fantastic, but is the perfect consistency throughout, even before it’s delivered,” Sarah says. She has spent many years learning her craft and is now experienced in many different techniques as well as being a member of the British Sugarcraft Guild. So, you can certainly be sure your big-day bake will taste as amazing as it looks. We’re delighted to partner with Sarah’s Sugarcraft to offer readers 24 wedding cupcakes to match your cake as a free gift, applicable to wedding orders placed before 30th June, 2023. To claim, get in touch with Sarah to book your consultation via and quote “wedmagb&s5/23.” Great giveaways and discounts up for grabs EXCLUSIVE DISCOUNT! 10% OFF WEDDING DANCE PACKAGES No matter the style of wedding Tannith Perry at Easton Social Dancing in Bristol can help to make your special day unforgettable for your guests and even more enjoyable for the two of you. Unlike many wedding expenses, private dance lessons for your first dance can give you pleasure for the rest of your life. Whether you want to wow the crowds or simply glide with ease across the dancefloor, learning some basic patterns, as well as lead and follow techniques takes a huge amount of stress away, leaving you to enjoy this special moment anxiety-free. Tannith says, “If you can walk, you can learn to dance! I’ve never had a student leave a lesson without at least being able to do one pattern nor without having a laugh.” Easton Social Dancing offers a free, zero obligation, 45-minute wedding dance consultation, where you’ll be able to learn about your options and start moving around the dancefloor. Plus, we’ve teamed up with this local lovely to offer readers 10% off all wedding packages booked before 31st March, 2023. To claim, get in touch via and quote “Your Bristol and Somerset Wedding.” WIN A TEAM HEN BUNDLE Fresh to Team Hen’s digital shelves are these new bride-to-be must-haves. The new Bride Make Up Bag (£14), complete with gold and chenille sewn-on patches, is ideal for stashing all those daily make up essentials in – and will look pictureperfect in the getting ready snaps on the big day! The matching Bride Weekend Bag (£38) is your new go-to holdall for both the hen do and honeymoon and can be paired with the coordinating Bride Travel Pouch (£16). All of the items are available to order in the brand’s blue Wifey design too! Check out County Wedding Magazine readers have the chance to win a Team Hen Bride bag bundle including a make up bag, weekend bag and travel bag worth £68! Freebies &OFFERS FREEBIES & OFFERS 13

BAILBROOK HOUSE HOTEL BATH, SOMERSET From £8,000* The Royal Package promises a unique occasion, with every part of your wedding being held within the beautiful historic Mansion House. Package includes: Wedding Suite on the night of the wedding plus 12 Mansion House bedrooms for your guests A dedicated Wedding Co-ordinator Master of Ceremonies to take care of your every need on your wedding day Two arrival reception drinks per person following your church service or civil ceremony at the hotel Six canapés per person during your reception drinks Five course wedding meal in the Cloisters Restaurant Half a bottle of house wine per person or the equivalent value towards a wine of your choosing A glass of Champagne per person to toast Evening food served to a private lounge *Based on 26 guests, Sunday to Thursday, January - March or October - December. Additional guests from £307.69 per person * Price shown based on 40 guests, Sunday to Thursday, October to March Royal Package 01225 855100 or 0845 072 7515 | | E V E L E I G H A V E N U E , L O N D O N R O A D W E S T , B A T H , S O M E R S E T B A 1 7 J D

TAUNTON DEANE AND WEST SOMERSET Spotlight on... Tie the knot in a local hotspot HESTERCOMBE GARDENS 01823 413 923 | The historical buildings at Hestercombe have plenty of wow factor and offer unrivalled views across the glorious Edwardian gardens and beyond to the imposing Blackdown Hills. The venue features no less than 50 acres of lovingly-restored gardens, representing three centuries of work and featuring lakes, cascades, temples, rills, shade-dappled pathways, and romantic corners. The beautiful scenery is tended by a team of skilled gardeners all year round providing a very special setting indeed for any big day. THE “I DOS” Ceremonies can be held in The Orangery for up to 90 loved ones. A beautiful light-filled setting, this iconic ham-stone building was designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens, and offers the ideal backdrop whatever your theme. Guests can spill out onto the Orangery Lawn and enjoy a drinks reception post vows. The Bampfylde Hall meanwhile, dates back to 1680 and with its high ceilings and dramatic timber beams it provides a memorable space for your vows. There’s space here for 150 nearest and dearest. Alternatively, if you’d prefer to exchange vows al fresco, truly making the most of the gorgeous gardens, the Temple Arbour, dating from the 1750s and perched high above the Pear Pond, can seat up to 112. CELEBRATE IN STYLE The Bampfylde Hall is also home to wedding receptions at Hestercombe and can seat 112 guests for a wedding breakfast and can accommodate 150 for the evening do. With a lovely fairylight canopy it offers a charming and romantic atmosphere as you dine and dance the night away. Hestercombe House too can host intimate ceremonies and receptions in its period rooms. LOCAL VENUES 15

CROWCOMBE COURT 01984 618 752 | Crowcombe Court is a Grade I listed squire’s mansion located in the village of Crowcombe, around eight miles west of Taunton. The magnificent English Baroque-style house was built in the 1730s from beautiful amber-coloured bricks with Bath stone for the pilasters and frontispiece. Set in the foothills of the Quantock Hills, the beautiful grounds boast many a stunning photographic backdrop from the lake to the croquet lawn. There’s also a wild woodland and guests are welcome to explore throughout the wedding celebrations. THE “I DOS” The Great Hall is a beautiful room for a civil ceremony and can seat up to 100 of your nearest and dearest. The intricate, original Italian plasterwork provides a grand and luxurious backdrop to your vows. What’s more, with flexibility in the room’s configuration you can set up the space just as you’d like it. The Carew Room is ideal for more intimate nuptials and is a wonderful option if adverse weather conditions render an outdoor ceremony impossible. However, if the sun is shining, the Gazebo is an option, overlooked by the Quantocks it offers a spectacular backdrop indeed. THE CELEBRATIONS The Victorian Ballroom offers a showstopping setting for your formal wedding breakfast and can seat up to 100 of your loved ones. With its high ceilings and stunning chandeliers, it’s a beautiful space. The venue’s maximum capacity for an evening do is 150. Crowcombe has 11 bedrooms available for you and your guests with king-size beds and Edwardian furniture, each has its own ensuite bathroom with a variety of roll-top baths, baths and showers. The combination of bespoke in-house catering, a reasonably priced wine list, the bar and dancing in the Vaulted Undercroft gives you plenty of exciting options when planning your big day. ST AUDRIES PARK 01984 633 633 | St Audries Park is a hidden gem nestled between the rolling Quantock Hills and the glorious Somerset coastline. An elegant retreat for those those wanting to tie the knot in Somerset, there’s a 100-acre deer park enveloping the grounds, breath-taking views and well-manicured gardens maintained all year round. The panoramic views stretch as far as the Bristol Channel. This exclusive-use wedding venue boasts a rich history, which is evident as you walk around, with a winding driveway that leads to the dramatic Gothic entrance. Inside, you’ll find an imposing feature fireplace, ornate solid-oak, hand-carved dining table, a gilded drawing room with baby grand piano and ornate ceiling. The outstanding accommodation here is able to sleep more than 100 guests on the night of your wedding across the estate. You’re even offered the opportunity to extend your celebrations beyond the one day with a Party At Peregrine, which provides accommodation and a private meal and drinks facilities for you and your nearest and dearest the night before. THE “I DOS” The Orangery offers a picturesque setting for your nuptials. Flooded with natural light throughout the year, providing a bright, airy and neutral space that complements any colour palette. It can host 130 for the ceremony including the two of you. St Etheldreda’s Church sits atop the St Audries Park Estate. Owned and operated by the Church of England, it’s ideal for those wishing to be wed in a religious ceremony and is located just a short stroll away from the main house. CELEBRATE IN STYLE Receptions take place in The Great Hall for 250 evening guests, which boasts a vaulted ceiling with mezzanine level, offering loved ones a place to dance the night away as well as two bars. The venue can also accommodate 130 for a seated wedding breakfast. Scan to view video 16

COMBE HOUSE 01278 741 382 | DAIRYHOUSE FARM 07969 362 812 | KNOWLE MANOR 01643 841 130 | OLD OAK FARM 01458 259 197 | PORLOCK VILLAGE HALL 01643 863 117 | TAUNTON SCHOOL 01823 703 111 | Also check out... LITTLE QUARME 01643 841 249 | Little Quarme is located in the heart of Exmoor National Park and boasts spectacular views from the outdoor wedding gazebo. The grounds too are particularly photogenic with their ornamental lily pond. The giant barbecue, indoor barn and six cosy cottages ready to sleep 22 guests are ready and waiting for you too. There’s also a sheltered and fairly flat camping lawn, which can host up to seven tents on the night of the wedding. The venue offers exclusive use with the freedom and flexibility to design your perfect wedding day. There are no packages as every big day is bespoke – DIY or organised. Many previous couples have been looking for a relaxed and informal day; some embrace the festival vibe with fire pits, flags and florals; others go vintage with retro props and styling. The choice is yours! THE “I DOS” The handmade Douglas fir gazebo with slate roof overlooks what must be one of the most incredible views around. As you take your vows, 60 nearest and dearest can look on from their vantage point just feet away on the gentle grassed slope, which creates a natural amphitheatre on the south-facing lawns. There’s no need to worry about the weather as the venue can provide a marquee to shelter guests in the event of rain. Alternatively, you have the choice to hold your ceremony in The Barn, which has seating for 55 loved ones. CELEBRATE IN STYLE The Barn is a flexible space and can serve in many capacities. It’s a great idea for wedding preparations, a tea station, post-ceremony drinks, children’s activities or a chill-out zone. Nearby is a large barbecue area, which is yours for the weekend and the flat gravelled space can be used for the wedding car, additional catering or entertainment. The reception lawns, complete with entrance steps and arches, sit at the south end of the venue and are large enough to suit all sizes of marquee depending on your plans, but up to 80 guests is a comfortable number. You can also have a catering tent, mobile bar, dancefloor, DJ and/or other live music here. For any reception, the entire venue including grounds and gardens, is exclusively yours for the duration of your booking (minimum two nights). And as the only neighbours are of the four-legged variety dancing into the early hours won’t be a problem! Scan to view video 17 LOCAL VENUES

Swept away Our roundup of the region’s gorgeous waterside venues BRUNEL’S SS GREAT BRITAIN 0117 926 0680 | For a one-of-a-kind, memorable celebration, the SS Great Britain is one to consider. Designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel and launched in 1843, the beautifully restored ship lies in the heart of Bristol’s harbourside, and offers spectacular views. Steeped in history, with versatile spaces both above and below deck, the ship is available for you and your loved ones to enjoy exclusively on your big day. THE “I DOS” At almost 30 metres in length with mirrors and elegant wooden flooring, the Promenade Deck makes for an impressive aisle. Imagine exchanging your vows beneath the circular skylight, surrounded by 100 of your nearest and dearest, as natural light floods in creating a romantic ambience. RAISE A GLASS Following the ceremony, you can all enjoy a drinks reception on the Weather or Promenade Decks. The former boasts one of the region’s most striking waterside vistas, surrounded by hills, with views of Brandon Hill and Cabot Tower. The deck provides a wonderful space for drinks, canapés and musicians. It can play host to 160 loved ones. DINE IN STYLE Enjoy delicious food and fine wines in the luxurious First Class Dining Saloon, once admired by a young Queen Victoria. Here, you’ll be enchanted by the best in early Victorian design, with marble-style pillars, Rococo mirrors and candle lanterns. But don’t be fooled, the space cleverly hides all the mod-cons you could wish for including flexible aircooling and a PA system for speeches. The Saloon can host 160 loved ones for the wedding breakfast. The chief catering steward will strive to ensure every dining request is met. Delicious food is freshly cooked on board by people passionate about quality produce and dining. DANCE THE NIGHT AWAY Below deck is the Hayward Saloon, a versatile space with a dancefloor and bar area. After the wedding breakfast guests can stay seated, explore the ship and enjoy a talk or guided tour, or continue the party in the Hayward Saloon. Plus, you can choose to decorate this space however you wish. © Martins Kikulis WATERSIDE VENUES 19

ORCHARDLEIGH ESTATE 01373 472 550 | Nestled amidst 500 acres of parkland and lakes, Orchardleigh is a family-owned country estate in Somerset. The estate boasts a beautiful 19th-century stately home, romantic island church, 18-hole golf course and plenty of luxurious accommodation. Orchardleigh House and grounds will be exclusively yours for the duration of your day complete with plenty of stunning backdrops for your photographs. THE “I DOS” Ceremonies can be held in The Ballroom (up to 100 guests), The Great Hall (up to 144 guests), The Belvedere (up to 144 guests, or The Pergola (unlimited numbers). Alternatively, the estate’s island church is a superromantic place to exchange your vows. Lit purely by candlelight, St Mary’s Church is situated on an island at the heart of the estate. CELEBRATE IN STYLE The terrace and gardens offer a breath-taking spot for reception drinks and offers sweeping views across the estate. The Ballroom has a capacity of 165 for a memorable wedding breakfast, bursting with elegance it boasts high ceilings and feature windows. What’s more, because Orchardleigh is a private house, residents and guests can celebrate until dawn! The house can sleep 85 guests within 41 opulent bedrooms, with further accommodation available in the estate cottages if required. QUANTOCK LAKES 07879 812 516 | Quantock Lakes is an exclusive-use barn wedding venue in Somerset, hidden on a 200-acre farm in Nether Stowey close to the Quantock Hills. A family-run, multi award-winning venue with accommodation like no other, it offers a wonderful location for your dream wedding. As you drive down the tree-lined driveway, you start to feel a whole world away from the hustle and bustle of normal life. Arrive, relax and celebrate with loved ones and take the time over two nights to see everyone who’s important to you. THE “I DOS” The venue’s most popular place to marry is the romantic Rustic Barn with fairylit beams and bi-fold doors with views acros the lakes and famous Quantock Hills. There’s space here for up to 100 nearest and dearest. Alternatively, the magnificent Quantock Barn boasts tall ceilings, inglenook fireplace and fabulous views. Suitable for larger gatherings, it can accommodate up to 250 guests. For al fresco “I dos” the picturesque lake pontoon is available in perfect weather conditions. THE CELEBRATIONS Dine in the elegant Meadow Barn with its bi-fold doors, beneath a quartet of chandeliers. Here, the Quantock Hills offer a view to remember. Then, party the night away in Quantock Barn with a hand-crafted oak bar cosy sung and fairylit beams. The morning after your wedding, enjoy a full English breakfast at Kitchen before saying farewell to your guests. 20

ROMAN BATHS & PUMP ROOM 01225 477 786 | Located at the heart of the World Heritage Site, the Roman Baths & Pump Room is without doubt one of the most distinctive buildings in the country. The award-winning complex is steeped in history, with its origins dating back 2,000 years. The hot baths, which yield around 1,200,000 litres of water daily at a constant 46 degrees are surrounded by the original ancient paving and it’s here that sunrise and sunset ceremonies take place, overlooked by the beautiful Bath Abbey. The Great Bath area is part of the vast ancient monument; while the adjoining Georgian Pump Room, an elegant building with tall windows and Corinthian columns, frequented by Jane Austen, is accessed from the Abbey churchyard. THE “I DOS” The enchanting Roman Baths offer the perfect combination of stunning outdoor and indoor space in a prime location for small weddings. Despite being open to the elements it’s is still safe for ceremonies as shelter is provided by the soffits of the terrace above. Vows can be exchanged on the surrounding Roman pavement in the morning or the evening. What could be more magical than saying “I do” then sipping champagne with flaming torches reflected in the thermal waters? Whichever you choose, a sunrise or sunset wedding will provide a truly romantic start to your married life. You can choose to enjoy the elopement package or have a larger celebration surrounded by loved ones. CELEBRATE IN STYLE Sunrise ceremonies take place at 8.30am and may be followed by a champagne breakfast in the Grand Pump Room Restaurant. Sunset ceremonies on the other hand are held at 7.30pm and can be followed by drinks beside the Great Bath with further celebrations in the Terrace and Reception hall for 40 to 160 guests. Alternatively, you may hire the whole venue with a capacity of 290. Evening hire isn’t available from mid-June to the end of August. YARLINGTON BARN 07871 368 819 | Located in the heart of Somerset on a cider farm, Yarlington Barn is a family-run venue surrounded by apple orchards and lakes. A versatile space for weddings, the picturesque lake and large outside terrace offer glorious photographic opportunities. CLEVEDON HALL 01275 795 895 | Set in the heart of North Somerset, just 15 minutes from Bristol, this lavish mansion house boasts extensive grounds complete with lake and bridge, meadow and wilderness walk all overlooked by Hebe’s fountain. Clevedon Pier and the sea too are only a couple of minutes away. 21 WATERSIDE VENUES

sunshine Elizabeth and Ben said “I do” on a bright summer’s day at Holbrook House Images courtesy of Studio H Photography YOU ARE MY 22

When Elizabeth was working as a nanny in central London, she barely had time to herself, let alone to meet a potential partner. But school friend Phillipa had someone in mind for her and gave Elizabeth her colleague Ben’s number suggesting they should meet up. We fast forward eight years to 2021 when Ben got down on one knee during a weekend break in Tetbury and asked Elizabeth to marry him. “I was so surprised I thought he was joking,” she remembers. As she’d always wanted to get married in her home county, Somerset, Elizabeth began scouring the area for their dream venue and found Holbrook Manor. “A beautiful building in a rural setting, it doesn’t do as many weddings as other venues and when we visited there was a real sense that our day was important to them,” she explains. Read on as the bride tells us all about W-day, 29th July, 2022... SETTING THE SCENE The heat was quite a factor on Elizabeth and Ben’s summertime wedding day. In fact, at 27 degrees the bride found herself sweltering in her tiered dress and was slightly worried about fainting! They were, nevertheless, glorious conditions for such a celebration and the couple counted themselves lucky, even if the bride did struggle to get her groom’s wedding band on his finger, again thanks to the heat. In a slight departure from tradition the newlyweds were joined on the top table by the best man and maid-of-honour plus their partners. Holbrook had arranged an oval-shaped top table meaning conversation between the six companions was much easier. The parents sat together with their close friends and family on another table. The tables were decorated with blush pink candles, which surrounded the floral centrepieces. Flowers were important to Elizabeth who wanted to have as many as she could and chose blush pinks and purples for a seasonal, rustic, countryside vibe. The beautiful pink place names were scribed in gold calligraphy and the tables were all named after places the couple had been to on holiday as well as the village they now call home. “Fran at Hunter Gatherings who made our stationery was so brilliant, she managed to do our designs at the last minute,” Elizabeth says. To add a bit more colour to the tablescapes they also hired oh-so elegant gold cutlery and napkins. “Holly Miller was incredibly helpful in suggesting options for our wedding cake,” Elizabeth tells us. “We chose a different flavour for each of our four tiers – traditional fruit; champagne; orange blossom, almond and thyme; and red velvet.” It was adorned in gold leaf and fresh roses with a hexagonal stencil print on the bottom tier. The catering was all provided by the venue and the couple chose to serve two of each course allowing guests to swap dishes with each other if they wished. What’s more, espresso Martinis were enjoyed by all as the evening began. LOOKING THE PART Elizabeth wore a stunning Sassi Holford gown. “I loved how different it was with the polka dot pattern,” she shares. The bride accessorised with a headband by Dolecka and shoes by Jimmy Choo. The groom wore the same suit as his groomsmen, with a different tie from Salvatorre Ferragamo in keeping with the day’s 23 REAL WEDDINGS

Situated in beautiful Somerset and surrounded by the Mendip Hills, this stunning country retreat can be Exclusively yours for your special day. Our grade 2 listed building is full of wonderful delights, making it the perfect wedding setting and gives plenty of charm and character to every photo. Charlton Road, Shepton Mallet, Somerset, BA4 4PR Contact us via email events.charltonhousehotel or call 01749 342008 to organise a time to suit you Our exquisite Orangery is beautifully decorated in the 18th century style and has huge windows with views of the gardens and doors that lead straight onto a private terrace. The lounge spaces can be used to relax or for dancing, and when the evening is over all 28 bedrooms are yours for your guests to stay overnight. Get in touch and discuss your wedding dreams in detail with our experienced Wedding Team. CHARLTON HOUSE HOTEL

pink palette. The groomsmen were dressed in navy tails with grey pin-stripe trousers and ivory waistcoats. They all paired the outfit with pink ties from Reiss, to complement the colour of the bridesmaids dresses. Their pageboy, the six-year-old youngster Elizabeth is nanny to, wore a smaller version of the usher’s outfits with colourmatching tie. The bridesmaids looked beautiful in pink full-length dresses and accessorised with their own pearl earrings. TIME TO CELEBRATE Elizabeth and Ben decided against wedding favours instead hiring an artist who cut silhouettes of their guests for them to take home. “Many had never heard of a silhouette artist before and were thrilled with their cuttings,” Elizabeth says. “One of our guests said: ‘It’s like magic!’” There was also musical entertainment in the shape of a pianist who played during the welcome drinks and wedding breakfast. Plus, guests were able to enjoy a game or two of croquet thanks to the set the couple bought and laid out on the lawn at Holbrook. THE GETAWAY The newlyweds spent two nights at Calcot & Spa, where they got engaged, following the big day and set off for Puglia, Italy a few weeks later. “We both love Italy and Puglia was a part we’d heard so may good things about that neither of us had been to before. Staying in Trullo was quite an experience, one we’ll always remember, it was incredibly cute and secluded. We visited beautiful small towns and ate very well the whole week!” Elizabeth remembers. “We hired a Land Rover Defender for the ushers and bridesmaids, while we were driven away in a Rolls Royce Silver Cloud III.” – Elizabeth 25 REAL WEDDINGS

ROLL CREDITS Venue and catering, Holbrook Manor, | Photographer, Studio H Photography, Dress, jewellery and accessories, Carina Baverstock Couture, | Hair stylist, Bridal Hair by Jodie via Abigail Constanza Bridal, and | Make-up artist, Powder & Paint, Bridesmaids’ dresses, ASOS | Suits, Stephen Bishop Suiting, | Groom’s accessories, Salvatore Ferragamo Groomsmen’s accessories, Reiss | Cake, Cake Design by Holly Miller, | Flowers, Abundiflora, | Transport, RR Elite Weddings Cars, | The Wedding Defender, Stationery, Hunter Gatherings, | Silhouette artist, Megumi Biddle via Find a Performer, Entertainment, Prescott Entertainment, | Sally Rowley, | Cutlery hire, Crystal Hire, | Napkin hire, Just 4 Linen, “We’re so pleased that we chose a photographer who knew the venue so well.We had every confidence in him, which is important as all you’re left with at the end of the day are the photos and your rings.” – Elizabeth 26

Beautiful, bespoke flowers for yourWedding Day and celebrations 01454 416 111 | | BRIDAL BOUQUETS VENUE FLOWERS THE LITTLE TOUCHES

The Ideal Venue for Wedding Receptions Batch Country House, Lympsham, Nr. Weston-super-Mare, Somerset BS24 0EX Tel: 01934 750371 Email: WEDDING SHOW - Sunday 5th February 2023 - 11.30am - 3.00pm Take a look around our beautiful country house and meet some fantastic local suppliers The Batch Country House specialises in weddings due to its beautiful location. The landscaped gardens offer the perfect backdrop to your photographs. A BESPOKE EXPERIENCE Award-winning Bath, Somerset Photographers 01225 251 958 | Rookery Bridal Boutique, located in The Stables Business Park, Rooksbridge, is an independent boutique with an extensive selection of designer dresses to suit all shapes, styles and budgets. Customer service is key! We want to make you feel a welcome and comfortable as we can so you can relax and enjoy your bridal experience with us. We are also stockists for bridesmaid gowns for Tiffany’s. Dessy and Onlyway with beautiful flower girl dresses to match along with a selection of accessories too! 01934 751111

IT’S ONLY natural Claire and Thomas allowed the beauty of Batch Country House and its surroundings shine through with an understated wedding theme Images courtesy of Shutter Bliss Photography Claire and Thomas met in their secondary school geography class aged 15. They instantly became friends and for a few months spent as much time in each other’s company as possible before Thomas asked Claire out. Let’s jump ahead to 2019, the day the couple were all set to head off on holiday. Thomas offered to make Claire breakfast in bed and while he was downstairs he sent their dog up with a note on his collar that read: “I have a surprise for you, come and find me. Thomas X.” So, she made her way down and found him in the front room on one knee surrounded by lit candles. “I was in total shock! It took me a good minute to reply,” Claire remembers. Having been to many a function at Batch Country House during the course of the past decade, Claire knew it was the place she wanted to say, “I do.” She explains, “I love the atmosphere, and the grounds are particularly beautiful with so many great photo opportunities. From my previous experience I also knew the food was fantastic, which was important to us. We also loved how many rooms you have use of on the day, allowing everything to flow amazingly well as there’s so much space.” Join us as Claire shares her memories of the wedding day, 16th October, 2022... 29 REAL WEDDINGS