Your Bristol & Somerset Wedding - April/May 2023 (Issue 94) £3.55 HONEYMOONS, BEAUTY, FASHION, GROOMS, EXPERT ADVICE, FREEBIES AND MORE APR/MAY 2023 WIN! Fall in love with ruffles and layers Frill--seeker fashion A four-night break in Tuscany A TIME FOR love Snaps that celebrate the seasons GARDENER'S WORLD Venues with glorious grounds ONE STEP AT A TIME A stress-free guide to planning your wedding

REGULARS 7 EDITOR’S LETTER A warm welcome from Kelly 8 NEARLYWED NEWS Catch up on news from around the region 13 FREEBIES & OFFERS Great giveaways and discounts up for grabs 61 HOT TOPIC: SPRINGTIME SPECIAL Stellar wedmin advice from those in the know 97 COMPETITION Win a four-night break in Tuscany CONTENTS APRIL/MAY 2023 VENUES 14 SPOTLIGHT ON... South Somerset 19 THE GREEN, GREEN GRASS OF HOME We take a look at local venues blessed with glorious gardens On the cover This issue’s stunning cover has been sponsored by Wells-based The Bishop’s Palace ( -hire/weddings | @bishopspalaceweddings_events_). It was taken from a styled shoot created by stylist Imogen Martin of Luck & Lace ( | @luck.and.lace) and captured on camera by Gem Hicks of Gem Hicks Photography ( @gem_hicks_photography). In the image are models Maxwell James (@1maxwelljames) and Gwendolen Nelson (@gwendolennelson). 22 35 FEATURES 41 BRING ON SPRING Captured at Cadbury House in Somerset, this shoot ushers in the freshness of the new season 45 A TIME FOR LOVE Local photographers showcase weddings throughout the seasons 50 BE MY VALENTINE Complete with a touch of Viva Magenta, this local shoot showcases the grandeur of local treasure, Prior Park College 55 ONE STEP AT A TIME An indispensable experts’ guide to planning your wedding 92 SOOTHING SELF-CARE Gracie Leader finds out if Reki can help you to remain calm in the lead up to your big day 3

REAL WEDDINGS 22 FORAGING FOR LOVE Lucy and Tom sourced as much of their wedding elements as they could from the natural local environment 29 LOVE AT FIRST SWIPE Abbey and Andrew said “I do” on 5th November, 2022 at Pennard House 35 PASTEL-Y PERFECT IN EVERY WAY Jess and Pete styled their day in a delicate palette of pastels inspired by an English country garden. HONEYMOONS 86 HONEYMOON NEWS The newest openings and honeymoon destinations 88 A GRAND AFFAIR Experience ultimate luxury combined with traditional Greek appeal at Rhodes-based Ixian Grand & All Suites 90 FLY AWAY WITH ME We’ve rounded up some of our favourite city escapes 94 SANTA NEEDS A SPA DAY The Runnymede on Thames set the scene for a much-needed pre-Christmas break FASHION & BEAUTY 64 FASHION FOCUS The latest bridal fashion news, buys and launches 65 HEAD OVER HEELS Walk down the aisle in style this season with our hand-picked edit of the best bridal shoes and bags 67 FRILL SEEKERS This season’s bridal dresses enjoy tiers of ruffled tulle, silky satin layers and subtle pleats 73 IN LOVE WITH LACE This timeless fabric never goes out of fashion 80 BEAUTY Q&A Our local professionals solve your problems 82 BEAUTY BUZZ Get the look with these must-haves for the bride-to-be 85 BAN THE BLOAT Professional nutritionists at Wedding Wellness explain how to avoid untimely bloating on your wedding day 8 85 67 45 GROOMS 76 GROOMS’ NEWS The latest best buys and product launches 77 SUITED AND BOOTED Styling advice for the groom-to-be 78 IT’S ONLY NATURAL With neutral colour palettes on the rise, we’ve rounded up some of our favourite products to ensure you look on-trend this season 55 50 4

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 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 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 Cemetery BATH ROAD, BRISTOL BS4 3EW Step into 45 acres of magical woodland in the heart of Bristol. Mix and match our three unique venues for your ceremony, wedding breakfast and evening celebrations. For more information and to book an appointment to view our venues, please scan the QR code A UNIQUE EXPERIENCE AT YOUR WEDDING 07719 958237 @paella_caluciano Authentic Valencian Paella Surprise your guests with the taste of Spain. We’re five-star caterers cooking the tastiest paellas using high-quality ingredients. We’re self-sufficient and discreet meanwhile cooking delightfully for you.

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

To quote one of my favourite movies, Miss Congeniality, and Rhode Island’s Cheryl, when asked to describe her perfect date: “I’d have to say April 25th. Because it’s not too hot, not too cold, all you need is a light jacket.” While hilarious in the context of the film, I do have to agree with her, because she’s perfectly described how I’ve always felt about spring. Anyone who knows me is well aware that I hate, hate, hate hot weather; and while I love the winter, the dark nights can get you down. So, for me spring is the ideal happy medium: not too hot, not too cold. And that’s before we even get started on everything else it brings such as the beauty of new life and the joy of Easter. In short, what a wonderful time of year for a wedding! We’re particularly blessed in Britain with definition in our seasons so we get to experience spring in all it’s glory where so many countries around the world don’t get to enjoy its subtleties in quite the same way. This is when British blooms come into their own. Think of the oh-so on trend loose wildflower style of bouquet bursting with anemones, tulips, sweet peas, narcissi and ranuculus, not forgetting the eternally popular wedding flower, peonies. Aisle runners featuring the same create the ambience of walking barefoot through a meadow and when transferred to the reception tables they create that wonderful soft English country garden feel. Why not take inspiration for your wedding palette from the hues found in nature throughout the spring months? Lemon, blush, peach, lavender, sage green... the list goes on. What’s more, this year’s Pantone colour of the year Viva Magenta is so versatile it works beautifully alongside pastels as a bold accent. I could go on, but I’ll leave it to the local professionals as they share their springtime wedding ideas over in Hot Topic from page 61. Plus, when I think of spring weddings, I think of al fresco vows and glorious gardens. It’s fortunate then that we’re taking a look at local venues featuring just that from page 19. Enjoy and keeeep planning! Kelly Andrews, editor The joys of spring Kelly x ISSN 1755-4756 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. cwe COUNTY WEDDING EVENTS WIN! A four-night break in Tuscany. 97 19 22 61 Where could be more romantic for a springtime wedding than an English country garden? I fell in love with this beautiful bake the moment I saw it. Local cake maker Claire Hansen explains how to infuse your own with the spirit of spring over in Hot Topic. Your wedding, your way – Bride Lucy opted for white DMs for her big day. “It was the best decision ever,” she says. ADVERTISING Account Manager Lorraine Whitehead | 01376 535 607 @CountyWeddingMagazines @CountyWeddings @countyweddingmagazines Visit us online at and DESIGN 01376 535 616 ACCOUNTS 01376 535 616 MANAGING DIRECTOR Sarah Ellis | 01376 535 602 EDITORIAL Deputy Managing Editor Kelly Andrews | 01376 535 611 EDITOR’S LETTER 7

NEWS Nearlywed Catch up on the latest from around the region IT’S SHOWTIME! A handful of Somerset wedding businesses have collaborated with award-winning musician Lucy Harvey to create a new music showreel at the beginning of March. The video features popular wedding cover songs performed on the saxophone with vocals from Ruelle, Sam Smith and more. The video showcases a spectrum of diverse suppliers from around the region, with wedding venue South Sands Hotel ( and surrounding Sand Bay Beach providing the stunning scenery. Meanwhile, driftwood artist Dan Wakeman ( installed a two-metre high love heart on the beach, and Enhanced Entertainment ( provided love letters and uplighters to transform the venue. Expertly filmed and edited by Kien from KB Wedding Videography (, and supported by LIKE Photography’s Lisa (, the day was a huge success. You can check out the finished video at MMM, DOUGHNUTS! Crosstown has recently opened the doors to its fourth permanent location outside of London, at 21 Queens Street, Bristol. Best known for creating the world’s first sourdough doughnuts, Crosstown has established itself as an award-winning premium sweet treat destination. Having recently sampled some of its delicious bakes here at CWM HQ, we can see how. The even more exciting news, if that’s possible, is that Crosstown Bristol will be offering a wedding catering service. Options include such joys as a freestanding doughnut wall capable of holding 260 of the delicious bakes, a tabletop display holding 100 or its towers, available in three sizes of three, five and seven tiers holding between 12 and 80 doughnuts. You also have the option to customise your desserts with personalised packing and decoration, from edible ink toppers to gift boxes featuring your guests’ names or wedding motif. That’s not all, as Crosstown can also offer a coffee cart, horse box trailer or gazebo for more festival-style catering vibes, again including more doughnuts than you can shake a stick at! It doesn’t end there, as Crosstown can also bring an ice cream scoop bar to your wedding. It holds up to 10 flavours and can cater for hundreds of guests. Select the bottomless ice cream and toppings option allowing your loved ones to revisit as many times as they please! Find out more at CHARMED Bath-based jewellery and accessories brand Abbott Lyon has recently launched its second collection in collaboration with TV personality and social media star Stacey Solomon. The Stories Collection is the first jewellery range to be designed from start to finish by the nation’s sweetheart herself. Boasting a range of beautiful dainty charms that can be added to necklaces, bracelets and earrings, each piece has been thoughtfully designed to mirror and celebrate our own unique life stories. Plus, your bridesmaids will love them! Shop the full collection at 8

NEW IN TOWN After 15 years of styling gorgeous weddings in the Midlands, Sage and Belle Styling has relocated to Somerset and is now offering its services to couples tying the knot in and around Somerset. Head stylist Vickie is excited to announce the opening of the new styling showroom, just five minutes from the Bath and West Showground. Visits are by appointment only, so you’re sure to get the VIP treatment while you’re there. It’s a fabulous space where you can meet Vickie, talk through your plans and ideas, have a look at everything Sage and Belle have to offer, and actually have a tablescape designed for you. They promise to be an incredibly fun, interactive sessions that will give you a clear idea of what your venue styling will actually look like on the big day. With a huge range of stock, décor, props and pretties, plus a wealth of experience styling hundreds of weddings, Sage and Belle can offer you beautifully bespoke services to bring your wedding dreams to life. Find out more at JESS JORDAN FROM COURT FARM Jess runs Court Farm’s weddings along with her husband and family. Before it became their family home, she ran a wide variety of events across the globe. So, she’s definitely well versed in the field and absolutely loves being part of so many lovely couples’ beautiful days. Tell us about the venue Court Farm is a lovingly-restored 16th-century farmhouse set in 10 acres of gardens situated in the heart of the countryside on Somerset’s border with Wiltshire. Here, you have the flexibility to create the day of your dreams. You can choose all of your suppliers, including the bar offering and we don’t even charge corkage! This means you can decide how you spend your budget, from a three-course sitdown meal to a ceilidh and hog roast. The venue is so versatile, the choice is yours. What does a typical wedding day look like? We invite you to make Court Farm your home for the weekend. So, arriving Friday morning, you’ll enjoy a day styling the venue, the perfect blank canvas, before spending the evening with 14 of your closest family and friends staying in our exquisite boutique accommodation. On Saturday, start your wedding day exchanging vows with an al fresco ceremony in the charming English courtyard, or tie the knot at one of our lovely local churches. Then, when you’re wed, enjoy your reception bubbles and canapés in the courtyard among the fig trees, lavender and white roses. Meander towards the miniature pony meadow and The Woolshed; a spectacular industrial-chic space to host a wedding breakfast, and a great alternative to a marquee. It seats up to 108 and is furnished with rustic trestle tables, antique chairs, elegant floral hoops and festival festoon lighting. After you’ve eaten, escort your guests to the vaulted Rustic Barn nestled among the grounds with exposed brick walls and a high beamed roof overlooking the apple orchard and duck pond. It’s the ideal setting for post speech dancing, live entertainment and bar! Finish the evening by dancing the night away beneath the vintage chandeliers, and between your favourite songs, toast a marshmallow under the stars at the firepit. What’s your favourite part of the venue? It’s overall vibe: we’re charmingly rustic, a mix of country and industrial, where bohemian meets classic and modern meets vintage. We’re simple, elegant and romantic, and most importantly, relaxed. I also love the Aladdin’s Cave Prop Store. To make your planning even easier, we have an on-site wedding styling and props store. With a great catalogue of striking items to help you create a look completely tailored your individual style. What’s next? Can you let us into any secrets?! We have new boutique-hotel style signage around the venue, adding another element of luxury, and this summer we’re adding even more festoon lighting, we love illuminating Court Farm! Find out more at 5 MINUTES WITH... LOCAL NEWS 9

CELEBRATE THE SUMMER The Newt in Somerset offers more than its traditional country house hotel, as its guests can also enjoy access to 1,000 acres complete with elegant gardens, wild woodland, rolling valleys and picturesque apple orchards. It also offers a wealth of activities to immerse yourself in year-round, with a seasonal programme of workshops and events. The bucolic setting has also inspired a garden-to-table menu in the hotel’s trio of restaurants, as well as botanical-based treatments in its world-class spa. Plus, a choice of extraordinary experiences use state-of-the-art technology to surround guests in the history of the estate across 16 centuries; from The Story of Gardening – a journey through the history of horticulture, to a full-sized reimagining of a 4th-century Roman Villa, the inhabitants of which once called this idyllic setting home. Highlights approaching this summer include Beekeeping: Respecting the Hive. Head beekeeper and honey sommelier Paula Carnell will be on hand in this workshop to educate attendees on the importance of bees, offering a deep dive into the hive mind. There’s also a Home Grown Floristry Course with The Newt’s resident flower growers and arrangers who’ll lead guests through the cut-flower beds of the farmyard, teaching how to select the blooms, where to cut and how to tidy and prepare before creating stunning floral displays. Finally, as we reach the end of the summer and head into autumn in celebration of harvest weekend, the estate will host an American-inspired barbecue, drawing on the flavours of the Deep South and traditional country boils with a Somerset spin. For further information, check out HOT TO TROT Ashwell & Co, based in Bristol, is now offering a personal styling service. This bookable, appointment-based experience is designed to help and guide anyone looking for some style advice or for a special outfit for a specific event. So, if your mums are struggling to find something to suit for your big day, or your nearest and dearest are feeling a bit lost in terms of inspiration, it’s worth pointing them in the direction of this local lovely. The styling sessions last 75 minutes and cost £20, which is redeemable against any purchases, but we’re assured there’s no pressure to buy. Attendees will be asked to complete a short questionnaire before they arrive so that the team can tailor their appointment and find pieces they think will work for them. This helps the experts to provide the best experience possible and if necessary, source items especially for their customers. Find out more at Getty Images THE GIFT OF KINDNESS If you’re looking for a wild gift list idea giving you an environmentallyconscious way of celebrating your nuptials, Heal Somerset can help. Your guests can sponsor, in your names, a three-metre by three-metre square of land being rewilded by the environmental charity, near Bruton. The idea originally came about when two of Heal’s supporters got in touch regarding their own wedding list. Lucy Johnson and Joe Swords wanted to offer their family and friends an option that seemed natural to them – giving money to Heal Rewilding to support land being given back to nature. The Heal team were so thrilled by the idea that they created a special set of wedding gift donation options for the couple. Every £20 donation given through a wedding list sponsors a Heal 3 x 3 square of land, which will be brought back to life through rewilding, and multiple squares can be supported. After a year, an optional £3 per year upkeep fee can be paid to keep the sponsor’s name linked to their square. For £100, people can sponsor a Heal 3 x 3 Lifetime square, which maintains their sponsorship in perpetuity. Each donation is a positive step toward paying for Heal’s foundation rewilding site in Somerset. Find out more at 10

FOR YOUR CHANCE TO WIN ENTER ONLINE VIA OUR WEBSITE WWW.YOURBRISTOLSOMERSET.WEDDING FREE! PERSONALISED TOPPER SET WORTH £150 Kerry Hemms, is the face behind Cheddar-based Angel’s Kitchen. An award-winning cake artist, she specialises in beautiful and delicious wedding bakes using local, natural and organic ingredients. What’s more, they can be enjoyed by all assembled at your wedding as she offers vegan, gluten and dairy-free alternatives too. This multi-tasking cake ninja also offers online cake classes should you fancy yourself as a future Great British Bake Off contestant. Recently Kerry appeared on the Food Network’s The Big Bake where she and her team were challenged to make a 5ft by 4ft cake with dynamic moving elements. We’ve partnered with Angel’s Kitchen to offer a free personalised topper set to the first five Your Bristol & Somerset Wedding readers to book a minimum of a three-tier wedding cake with her. Each topper set is personalised and comes with its own free four-inch cake dummy. To take advantage of this fabulous offer, get in touch with Kerry today and quote Ref AKFT23. Find Angel’s Kitchen online at, or get in touch via WhatsApp on 07854 274 202. Great giveaways and discounts up for grabs WIN A PAIR OF STEVE MADDEN BRIDAL SHOES The hunt for the perfect bridal shoe ends here with the chance to win the ultimate pair for your special day from Steve Madden. The shimmering Bridal Collection is not only amazing for brides but bridesmaids too, ensuring a picture-perfect look on the big day. For everyone who loves to shine you can choose from rose gold, silver, nude and white with finishes that include satin, rhinestone, leather and clear materials. If the shoe fits… be your own Cinderella! Check out County Wedding Magazine readers have the chance to win a pair of bridal shoes to the value of £150 from For your chance to win enter online via our website Freebies & OFFERS FREEBIES & OFFERS 13

SOUTH SOMERSET Spotlight on... Tie the knot in a local hotspot THE OLD MILKING PARLOUR AT CAVOKAY HOUSE 07759 504 110 | The Old Milking Parlour lies in an idyllic rural setting in the grounds of Cavokay House, near the village of Henstridge, Somerset, which also puts it within easy reach of Dorset and Wiltshire. The venue is, as the name implies, an old farm milking parlour. Parts of the building date back to around 1730 and cow chains still hang from the stone walls helping it to retain its old world, rustic charm. The team also have a large and ever-growing selection of styling props available to their couples at no extra cost. But that’s not all as they also offer planning support, venue visits for planning purposes and onthe-day coordination. Twelve acres of private grounds make up the venue’s surroundings. The land features lawns, paddocks, a stream and five acres of private woods containing a mysterious door for photographs. WHERE TO WED The interior is carpeted and cosy with a friendly, mellow atmosphere, while the whole wedding room is festooned with fairylights, elegant chandeliers and gorgeous drapes. All of this makes for a romantic ambience as well as providing a relaxing place to sit and chat when you’re not dancing. The Wedding Room can seat 100 loved ones for the “I dos.” Alternatively, you may wish to exchange vows on the lawn or in the romantic woodland glade in the private woods. A SPACE TO CELEBRATE The Wedding Room can seat 100 guests, and tables chairs and tablecloths are included. For your peace of mind when it comes to the bar and catering, the venue has a list of approved suppliers who’ve been chosen for their professionalism, skill, honesty and value for money. Plus, there are excellent kitchen and bar facilities available for these suppliers to use. For the evening revelries you can invite an additional 20 guests, and you’ll be glad to find everything you need including the permanent dancefloor and stage with their own digitally-controlled professional lighting system, which creates a memorable atmosphere for the celebrations. Included in the price of your wedding here is a fabulous evening bash provided by TJ’s Disco. Rich and Paul, TJ’s friendly, experienced and totally professional DJs, will keep the dancefloor full and your guests bopping away all evening long. Getty Images Scan to view video 14

NORTH DOWN ORCHARD 07946 378 203 | North Down Orchard is a third generation cider farm situated in South Somerset. The Mangles family have been growing cider apples here for almost 50 years. Being a working farm, the venue offers you the chance to have a truly authentic rustic backdrop for your big day. Alongside acres of orchards, you’ll also find wildflower meadows along with barns and a farmyard. Set among lush, green, rolling hills with plenty of natural charm, there’s also a river running through the lower paddock, which lends an idyllic air to any wedding. With so many couples embracing the trend for relaxed and informal weddings, North Down Orchard thrives on festival, country garden and natural boho style celebrations. Think shabby-chic styling with natural flower arrangements and soft wooden furnishings here. However, if something more formal is to your taste, the team is equally happy to work with you to help you achieve this. Including offering space for a marquee in the fields with the stunning orchards as a backdrop. A SPACE TO CELEBRATE Receptions take place in the Middle Barn, with 100 guests seated. This large barn offers you the flexibility to have open or filled in ends, with plenty of bare wood and concrete to decorate. The Cider Barn, a much more intimate space, has space for 30 seated nearest and dearest. With a cosy, snug feeling it has wooden panels, muted lighting and a wood burner. THE BARN AT COTT FARM 01935 864 211 | With stunning views across the Somerset countryside, the barn is surrounded by informal gardens teeming with cottage-garden flowers. Over the footbridge lies the venue’s camping field where guests can stay overnight in luxury furnished bell tents. The Barn at Cott Farm combines a rustic and informal charm with style and comfort. To the front of the venue is a large outdoor area, which offers plenty of seating and is covered with sail shade canopies to protect loved ones from the sun and rain. Inside, the blend between rustic and opulence continues. The original wooden beams are strewn with fairylights and the coir carpet, handmade wooden tables and apple crate bar create a natural, elegant blank canvas. Windows and skylights allow natural light to flood the barn during the day, while at night the fairylights and dimmable paper lanterns bring a romantic vibe. WHERE TO WED The pergola is a majestic handmade wooden structure for outdoor ceremonies with 150 guests seated on wooden chairs on the lawn. Alternatively, the barn provides an enchanting setting for indoor “I dos” with its original beams, natural light and twinkling fairylights. This space too can accommodate 150 loved ones. A SPACE TO CELEBRATE Inside the barn there’s space for 150 seated guests for the wedding breakfast, with a capacity of up to 250 for the evening do. Here, you can enjoy a stocked, staffed and licensed bar until midnight, plus you can all take advantage of The Snug, a comfy lounge area. The venue is available for exclusive-use and guests can enjoy the ample outdoor space during the day for garden games. At night, a large firepit offers the ideal spot for relaxing with friends and toasting marshmallows. Packages include bespoke menus from sharing platters to three-course meals featuring locally-sourced, seasonal ingredients, so you can be sure everyone will be ready for the dancefloor with full bellies! Meanwhile, the outdoor kitchen complete with wood-fired pizza oven, sets the scene for country-themed weddings. 15 LOCAL VENUES

BRYMPTON HOUSE 01935 862 528 | DAIRYHOUSE FARM 07969 362 812 | FORDE ABBEY 01460 221 290 | HOLBROOK MANOR 01963 824 466 | HORNSBURY MILL 01460 63317 | MIDELNEY MANOR 01458 252 377 | NORTHOVER MANOR 01935 840 447 | OLD OAK FARM 01458 259 197 | Also check out... NORTH CADBURY COURT 01963 441 238 | A luxury stately home, North Cadbury Court is set in 1,500 acres of the stunning Somerset countryside, featuring lawns, trees and fabulous vistas. From the south side there’s an outstanding view of the private lake and down to Cadbury Hill, thought to have been King Arthur’s Court of Camelot. The venue is known for its focus on comfort and fun, as well as historical rooms restored to five-star luxury status. The house also features a spa wing with heated indoor swimming pool and Jacuzzi, a secret underground casino and disco, and a memorable rooftop golf tee. If you want more, there’s also a snooker room, three tennis courts and croquet. Plus, included in your booking is access to the lovely Yacht Club by the lake. If you need more accommodation, a self-contained flat that sleeps seven is also available to hire in the East Wing, and the Yacht Club has a double bedroom too, with further space for camping in the grounds. The venue now boasts four gorgeous B&B cottages in the converted Coach House, which can sleep a total of 32 guests, taking the number who can rest their heads here for the night to 82. The venue is exclusive use and you’ll have a completely personalised experience allowing you to do things your way. WHERE TO WED The Ballroom overlooks the countryside views and can seat 300 for the ceremonies. It’s a wonderfully flexible space, working for different room layouts and is as perfect for dancing as you’d expect. The wood-panelled North Hall can seat 150. It offers a beautiful backdrop for the vows and is equally flexible. Alternatively, if you prefer a church wedding, St Michael’s Church lies next to the venue and can accommodate 250 loved ones. If al fresco vows are your thing, you have the choice of the Lake Gazebo and the Garden Gazebo. The former is an idyllic waterside setting for 150 guests with adjacent Yacht Club for drinks. The latter can seat 300 and is located on the lawn just off the morning room. A SPACE TO CELEBRATE Receptions are hosted in The North Hall for up to 200 guests. It has a lovely alcove area among its wood-panelled walls, which is the perfect size for bar counters. It’s most often used for drinks receptions, and there’s also an adjacent Sitting Room with beautiful old refectory tables, which can be used to set up an alternative bar area. The Morning Room and Library can accommodate up to 100 nearest and dearest. Using these two rooms together allows guests to easily spill out onto the lawns when the weather permits, and log fires really add to the cosy atmosphere in the winter. Plus, there’s unlimited late-night music in the basement disco. Scan to view video 16

The Bishop's Palace and Gardens, Wells Steeped in over 800 years of history Located in the heart of medieval Wells, The Bishop's Palace and Gardens is a truly unique wedding reception venue. From the remains of the Great Hall to the 14 acres of beautiful RHS partner gardens, to the Palace buildings themselves - your wedding reception will be truly enchanting and a memory which will last a lifetime. Discounts available on selected 2023 dates! For a personal tour of this special venue contact Imogen on E: Tel: 01749 988111, ext 217 • • 01460 240855 Create Your Perfect Day • Licensed for weddings all year in the Great Hall or outside • Exclusive use of marquee and gardens from May to September • Ample adjacent level parking for guests • Freedom to arrange your food, drinks and entertainment • No corkage or VAT Your Party, Done Your Way • Ceremony room sits up to 75, unlimited numbers if outside • Marquee seats up to 200 people • Dance floor, tables and chairs lighting and heating included • Discreet equipped catering area and fully staffed bar provided • In between Yeovil and Taunton with easy access to the A303 The Ideal Venue for Wedding Receptions Batch Country House, Lympsham, Nr. Weston-super-Mare, Somerset BS24 0EX Tel: 01934 750371 Email: The Batch Country House specialises in weddings due to its beautiful location. The landscaped gardens offer the perfect backdrop to your photographs.

BAILBROOK HOUSE HOTEL BATH, SOMERSET Sunday 30th April 11am - 3pm Held in the beautiful Mansion House our open day is the perfect event to help you collect inspiration and information for your celebration. The team will be on hand to answer any questions and to discuss your requirements * Price shown based on 40 guests, Sunday to Thursday, October to March Wedding & Celebrations Open Day 01225 855100 or 0845 072 7515 | | EVELEIGH AVENUE, LONDON ROAD WEST, BATH, SOMERSET BA1 7JD To register for this event Scan the QR code or call 01225 855 100

THE BISHOP’S PALACE GARDENS, WELLS 01749 988 111 | Steeped in history, The Bishop’s Palace and Gardens sits at the heart of the Medieval city of Wells, Somerset. Whether your arrival is by car or a relaxed stroll across the drawbridge, you’ll be greeted with breathtaking views of the stunning, 800-year-old Medieval building. GLORIOUS GARDENS The venue offers 14 acres of perfectly-kept gardens to enjoy, and there’s something quite magical about them. With the moat surrounding the Palace offering the tranquil sounds of flowing water, the stunning backdrop of Wells Cathedral, picturesque willow bridge and seasonal flowers and plants all year round, this is a beautiful place for you and your loved ones to gather after the “I dos” elsewhere. THE CELEBRATIONS Receptions can be hosted in one of two locations, both able to accommodate 105 guests. The Undercroft seats your nearest and dearest at bespoke wooden banqueting tables, and you can welcome a further 50 for the evening. The space is wonderfully versatile, and the team work closely with a local catering partner to ensure quality dining with locally-sourced ingredients. Following the speeches and cake cutting, you can retire to the Portrait Gallery for coffee. Here, you can relax and take time to enjoy this more informal time with your loved ones, while the team transforms the Undercroft ready for your first dance followed by live music or DJ. grass of home Our roundup of the region’s venues that you’ll find to be blessed with glorious gardens OLD BRIDGE 01460 240 855 | This 16th-century manor and its mature gardens provide a glorious backdrop to your special day. Built in the local honey-coloured ham stone, the house is close to the venue’s marquee and is integral to the whole ambience. GLORIOUS GARDENS The gardens are dominated by a massive 400-year-old sweet chestnut tree, from which there hangs a triple seat swing where you can capture some memorable photos with your photographer. The venue is also blessed with formal lawns, rose beds and colourful borders. Plus, there’s a wooded area with gravel paths and a small stream flowing past weeping willows. The woodland is uplit at night, making a wonderful place for the two of you to go for a romantic stroll if you wish to grab some alone time for a few minutes. You can even use the gardens for lawn games, a bouncy castle, street food, an ice cream van, garden furniture and more. THE “I DOS” Ceremonies take place throughout the year in the Great Hall, seating 75. If the weather smiles on you, the front porch is also licensed, so any number of guests could be outside with you witnessing the formalities as you say “I do.” THE CELEBRATIONS Receptions are hosted in the marquee, complete with its own bar, from May to September – it has a capacity of 200. The venue offers you complete freedom to arrange your own catering, music and décor. You’ll also benefit from having access at least one day before the main event to set up and also the day after to clear away. THE GREEN, GREEN 19 GLORIOUS GARDENS

BAILBROOK HOUSE HOTEL 01225 855 100 | Set on a hillside, Bailbrook House Hotel overlooks the glorious landscapes of Bath and the Avon Valley. With its beautiful period features and warm, welcoming atmosphere, it offers the ultimate country-house wedding experience. Dating back to the 1790s it retains all the characterful glory of its bygone years with striking original features including delicate cornicing, crystal chandeliers and dramatic feature fireplaces. GLORIOUS GARDENS The Hotel’s 20 acres of private grounds, landscaped gardens and parkland offer picture-perfect locations for those all-important photographs, complete with a lovers’ bench and views across the city of Bath in the distance. THE “I DOS” Bailbrook House has five licensed ceremony rooms offering you the choice of intimate Georgian mansion house splendour (Princess Elizabeth, Duke of Clarence, and Queen Charlotte Rooms) through to larger and more contemporary spaces (Landsdown and Brunel Suites) hosting up to 130 loved ones THE CELEBRATIONS There’s also a wealth of beautiful spots to choose from for your drinks reception. Cloisters is the basement restaurant with access to the front terrace and gorgeous views. It can host 60. The Royal Lounges situated in the house can accommodate 90; while the front terrace overlooking the Avon Valley and Bath, and the Conservatory Bar with its own lounge area, patio, and access to lawns can both host 120. The Duke of Clarence Georgian dining room (30 guests), Queen Charlotte Georgian dining room (45 guests), Cloisters fine-dining restaurant (65 guests), Landsdown Restaurant (70 guests) and Brunel Suite with self-contained bar, WCs, and a private entrance (120 guests) are all available for a wedding breakfast to remember. Maximum capacity for the evening do is 200. BARLEY WOOD 01934 861 215 | A stunning 19th-century house located on the very edge of Bristol in rural Wrington, the venue boasts nine beautifully decorated bedrooms, five bathrooms – each with roll-top baths, and a kitchen and dining space for a relaxing stay over the course of your wedding weekend. With exclusive use of the house from Friday to Sunday, you can really take in the history and charm of Barley Wood in your own time. GLORIOUS GARDENS Benefiting from 11 acres of grounds with remarkable views across to the Mendip Hills, Barley Wood offers an incredible backdrop to your big day. From exploring the woodland to taking in the vista, this is a wonderful place to enjoy the great outdoors. THE “I DOS” Each of the venue’s ceremony spaces can host 100 nearest and dearest. The beautiful Morning Room is a fully-accesible, bright, airy and welcoming spot, which gives your “I dos” an intimate feel. The Dorothy Lillie Hall on the other hand is a grand space, large and inviting, with tall ceilings and panelled walls. For al fresco vows the Summer House is the place to be offering views right across to the Mendip Hills. Ceremonies take place sheltered by the raised structure, overlooking the patio and gardens where guests are seated. THE CELEBRATIONS Receptions for 120 guests are held throughout the house, which is entirely yours for the weekend. From a drinks reception on the patio, to a disco in the Morning Room the choice is yours and there’s plenty of room for everyone to celebrate. 20

PARISH’S HOUSE Parish’s House is a Regency property set in 22 acres of beautifully manicured lawns, tended gardens and parkland near Bath. The house dates back to 1816 and has been the family home of the present owners for more than a decade. There are two onsite cottages for wedding parties, which have been decorated in keeping with the style of the period. GLORIOUS GARDENS The gardens here have always been the venue’s crowing glory, capturing many hearts over the years. A walk through the grounds will take you on a journey past beautiful blooms, trees that have stood for hundreds of years, views of the rolling Somerset hills, woodland and the venue’s very own kitchen garden. THE “I DOS” Parish’s House boasts three beautiful outdoor ceremony locations. The front of the House is a great spot as the grand doorway creates an altar that frames the two of you perfectly. There’s plenty of room for seating 150 loved ones along the aisle. The Woodlands can seat the same number and is a clearing surrounded by trees offering shade and an intimate atmosphere. The gazebo is ideal the for altar as it’s the focal point here. The Archway is located along one of the cobblestone paths and again frames you beautifully. The path leads to the Bridal Suite making the entry of your bridal party seamless and there’s seating for 80 nearest and dearest either side. THE CELEBRATIONS For larger celebrations with 150 guests The Copper Beach is the perfect place. The stretch of lawn here in the tree’s shadow is a fabulous spot for a marquee and offers an idyllic view of the House. The steps to the lawn offer easy access from the House allowing the day to flow seamlessly. The Kitchen Garden Lawn can host 80 loved ones seated or 150 standing, and can be used with or without a marquee. PENNARD HOUSE 01749 860 700 | Pennard House is a family-owned wedding venue located in a small village near Shepton Mallet, Somerset. It offers couples exclusive use and boasts a relaxed, family home feel. With 10 comfortable bedrooms there’s plenty of space to enjoy the morning preparations. Accommodation is available for up to 24 guests and can be booked for two nights. GLORIOUS GARDENS The house is surrounded by large lush gardens with endless perfect spots for photos and drinks receptions. THE “I DOS” The Napier Room is a large, bright space with high ceilings, large windows and antique mirrors adorning the walls. Here, 85 nearest and dearest can witness your ceremony. Alternatively, available for al fresco “I dos,” the Garden Pavilion, which is located in the grounds, can host 120. THE CELEBRATIONS Receptions can be held on the south-facing lawns with terraces available for drinks receptions. It’s also the perfect place for a spot of crochet and snapping some pictures in the rose gardens. If you’d rather be inside, the 18C Coach House and stables can accommodate 120 loved ones, and has been converted to provide a memorable space for wedding breakfasts and evening celebrations. There’s a large, bright dining space upstairs and downstairs there’s a private bar, dancefloor and cosy seating booths, opening up onto an outside space with further seating and a firepit. Scan to view video 21 GLORIOUS GARDENS

for love Lucy and Tom sourced as much of their wedding elements as they could from the local natural environment Images courtesy of Carmel McCabe Photography FORAGING 22

Lucy and Tom met on Tinder back in 2014 and went on a first date in Aberdeen where they were both working at the time. They discovered that they’d both lived in Australia and Germany at the same times and shared an interest in crafting and the outdoors – it seemed like they were meant to be together. Tom hadn’t divulged his exact height prior to their first meeting, having only said he’s “quite tall,” so petite 5ft 3 Lucy was quite surprised to see the 6ft 11 gentlemen walking through the bar towards her! Tom proposed while they were on their first holiday postCovid. Having spent the week in Iceland, adventuring in icy, stormy weather and seeing the sights, they were waiting for a good night to see the Northern Lights. Eventually, they booked a trip for their last night with the forecast being 50/50. Lucy remembers, “We wrapped up in every layer we had for the -18 degree temperatures, and got lucky with a sighting half an hour into the journey.” She was taking a photo when Tom called out her name. She turned around to find him down on one knee and he popped the question. It was midnight and dark so Lucy couldn’t see the ring, plus Tom had always made it quite clear that marriage wasn’t on the cards, so her first response was a surprised: “Are you joking?” Having reassured her that he was completely serious, she of course, said “Yes.” Their sights were then soon set on finding a venue. Read on as Lucy tells us more... LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION With family spread out all over the country, it made sense to look for a venue closest to the majority, which was near Tom’s home town. So, with a clear idea of budget and guest numbers in mind, they set off to explore Somerset and Devon. They found themselves immediately taken with the gorgeous setting and original features of Crowcombe Court. “There was an element of understated grandeur about it and the staff were really friendly. We would have the whole place to ourselves, and the bridal getting-ready room was the icing on the cake,” Lucy explains. So, the date was set for 17th September, 2002, with the legal ceremony taking place the day before at Taunton Vivary Room. “WE DO” The couple were both quite relaxed on the day as they’d been lucky enough to get in and set up the day before, so were good to go. “I worked the entire weekend around reducing anxiety and emotional aspects that were sure to come with the day, and this worked well,” Lucy explains. “We’d already been married in an intimate ceremony the day before and went for a miniwedding breakfast that evening with our bridal party. “We plumped for a first look on the Saturday morning, so that we could reduce the emotions during the ceremony in front of our guests. We also decided to have our couple photos after that, so we could spend more time with our guests at the reception. This also meant there was a 45-minute space between the first look, photos and ceremony, so we could relax and not be rushed. We got some pasties sneaked in for lunch too, but I had to wear a dressing gown over the top of my dress to protect it!” The ceremony, conducted by Jen the Celebrant, was a big hit with the couple and guests alike, and Lucy found herself delighted with how it all went. She says, “Jen took all of our bespoke requests and created a beautiful ceremony from ring warming to hand fasting, and a reading from my twin sister. We really appreciated her help and support, and joyous delivery. “We’re so glad we decided not to have children at the REAL WEDDINGS 23

HAPPY, FUN, BOLD & COLOURFUL PHOTOGRAPHY FOR THE FUN SEEKERS & UNCONVENTIONAL ROMANTICS INSTAGRAM: @carmelteresaphoto FACEBOOK: @carmelmccabephotography Mobile service in the south west Call Jane 07971 298490 @eyedomakeup_janedare68 eye do! by Jane Dare Wedding Makeup Artist

wedding. We did make an exception for babes in arms, but asked parents to step out if they got agitated. But as it happened it was our dog Harley who caused the biggest commotion! When he saw me coming down the aisle he spent the next ten minutes trying to say, ‘Hi,’ with squeals and whimpers.” The bride walked down the aisle to the theme from Jurassic Park, played by the string quartet. “It was fun to hear anecdotes from guests when they recognised the tune, having previously not been able to place it, while others caught on quickly,” Lucy tells us. SETTING THE SCENE Lucy and Tom decided on a foraged theme for their wedding styling and chose creative elements reflecting this throughout. The wedding favours were homemade limoncello and Surreyforaged sloe gin. The centrepieces featured green vases of various different shapes and sizes with foraged ivy wreaths to maintain an outdoorsy feel without too much structure. The couple like to carve wooden spoons and displayed some of these on the tables beneath glass domes. The flowers were all locally-grown native English flowers, purchased from a nearby flower farm. Lucy’s best friend and bridesmaid, Sallie, arranged them into two large vases in the Great Hall and the bridal bouquet was placed in a vase on the top table as its centrepiece. The place names were made using branches, foraged from the woods near the couple’s home, cut through at the ends to hold the name cards. Lucy hand wrote the guests’ names onto naturallycoloured card. The table names meanwhile, were crafted from Y-shaped twigs. These were placed into log bases, also foraged from a fallen tree. The tables were all named after wild plants, with the reverse side showing information about each one. The table plan was made from the back of a broken picture frame and bordered with fresh ivy. The venue provided the catering for the day, but the newlyweds decided to opt out of dessert in favour of serving their cheese tower. “The chefs were really great and sourced biscuits and chutney for us. It all looked fantastic,” Lucy says. LOOKING THE PART Lucy originally had in mind a rustic wedding with an understated boho-style dress, but once they’d booked Crowcombe Court, it seemed a little more grandeur was required! As she was limited on time, the bride began shopping for an off-the-peg gown, and fell in love with a princess silhouette in a sleek and elegant Mikado fabric. “Tom is 6ft 11, so there was no chance of heels giving me the right amount of height, so I opted for white DMs instead – the best decision ever,” Lucy tells us. She later changed into a second dress for the evening’s ceilidh, which had been gifted by another bride via a Facebook group. Lucy just needed to sort out dry cleaning and alterations. Tom wore a Skopes suit from, which was altered for him by their local tailor. His best woman, sister Jenna, wore a very similar suit and the same pair of brown brogues. The rest of the groomsmen wore their own blue suits, and were gifted matching ties, cufflinks and socks. The bridesmaids sourced their own dresses and were given four colours to work with. In the end though, they all chose the same Delphine maxi dress from Ghost, in an emerald green satin. It suited all of the ladies beautifully despite them all having different body shapes. TIME TO CELEBRATE Lucy and Tom set just the right atmosphere with a string quartet “We loved every bit of our day and only wish we could attend again as guests to enjoy all the elements we put together!” 25 REAL WEDDINGS