Your Bristol & Somerset Wedding - August/September 2023 (Issue 96)

WIN! A honeymoon in Thailand Meet the region’s wedding entertainers HOT TOPIC The great outdoors Honeymoon HOTSPOTS We explore the Maldives and Northern Ireland TIMES ROLL! AUG/SEP 2023 £3.55 Let the good

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 53 HOT TOPIC: THE GREAT OUTDOORS Local experts offer stellar wedmin advice 89 COMPETITION Win a romantic getaway to the upscale Avani+ Samui Resort in Thailand CONTENTS AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2023 VENUES 15 SPOTLIGHT ON... Bath and Mendip 21 IN THE COUNTRY Get away from it all and tie the knot at one of these serene countryside havens On the cover This issue’s oh-so romantic cover was captured by Bo Leray Photography ( at No.15 Bath by GuestHouse. It comes from this issue’s glorious Pink-city romance shoot, which you can enjoy in full from page 45. 39 9 FEATURES 45 PINK-CITY ROMANCE Inspired by the city of Bath and this year’s Pantone colour of the year, Viva Magenta, this team put together a shoot that made our jaws hit the ground 49 LET THE GOOD TIMES ROLL Whether you’re looking for a relaxed vibe, a riproaring time or something completely different, Bristol and Somerset’s wedding entertainers have you covered 67 SPEND, SPLASH, SPLURGE The perfect item of jewellery or accessory piece can elevate a bridal look into the stratosphere, so don’t let budget hold you back, we have some ideas for every purse 3

REAL WEDDINGS 26 I CAPTURE THE CASTLE Charvi and Josh had their hearts set on marrying at a castle venue as a nod to their first date 33 AISLE ALWAYS LOVE YOU Ellen and Alex’s love story took them from the supermarket aisle to the church aisle 39 LOVE IN LILAC Kayleigh and Elliott styled their rustic wedding day in a pretty palette of lilac HONEYMOONS 82 HONEYMOON NEWS Our travel editor reveals the newest openings and honeymoon essentials 84 MY FIRST, MY LAST, MY EVERYTHING Discover five-star, desert island luxury at Conrad Maldives Rangali Island 86 A CELTIC HAVEN Peace and tranquillity await honeymooners at Galgorm in Northern Ireland 88 DO NOT DISTURB We head to Staffordshire to check out the spa mini-moon options at Moddershall Oaks FASHION & BEAUTY 56 FASHION FOCUS The latest bridal fashion news, buys and launches 57 IT’S AN ILLUSION These bridal dresses with barely-there detail are sheer perfection 62 FRUIT PASTELS The mama figure in your life will love these stylish muted dresses teamed with delicate gold accessories 63 LOOK SHARP Nothing says girl power like a tailored bridal suit or jumpsuit 76 BEAUTY Q&A: SUMMER SPECIAL Look and feel your big-day best with help from the professionals 78 BEAUTY BUZZ Get the look with the latest must-haves 80 BEING SOPHIE Sophie Stonehouse on body positivity, self-love and flawless skin 26 15 86 GROOMS 70 GROOMS’ NEWS The latest best buys and product launches 73 DRESSED TO IMPRESS The team at Colour Me Beautiful share their fashion advice for the groom-to-be 74 NOT JUST ANOTHER KEN Stand out from the crowd with these pink and white menswear options inspired by this summer’s hot new Barbie film 67 80 © James Rudland 4

BAILBROOK HOUSE HOTEL BATH, SOMERSET To keep your planning simple we have created the Brunel Package to cover all the key elements of your day. This is by no means exhaustive so if you prefer, we would be delighted to tailor-make a proposal to suit your bespoke requirements. PACKAGE INCLUDES: Complimentary menu tasting for the wedding couple A member of our expert team to act as Toast Master for the day A glass of sparkling wine reception drink A selection of three canapés per guest Hire of the Brunel suite for the wedding meal and evening reception Three course wedding meal with tea, coffee and petit fours Half a bottle of house wine per guest A glass of sparkling wine for the toast per guest Your own private bar and dancefloor Evening wedding reception food Complimentary Suite for the wedding couple on the night of the wedding The Brunel Package 01225 855100 or 0845 072 7515 | | EVELEIGH AVENUE, LONDON ROAD WEST, BATH, SOMERSET BA1 7JD © A Tall Long Legged Bird

I cannot believe that my dear friends Melissa and Dave have just celebrated their first anniversary! Where on earth did that year go? For those of you who are new to the magazine and, possibly happily for you, missed my endless and excited rambles about preparing to be a bridesmaid for fellow CWM editor Melissa, I hope you’ll indulge me as I reminisce! Not wanting to start out on a negative note, but hands up: I hate the summer. It’s just too hot! Many a time I’ve contemplated taking a summer home in Iceland, but alas the budget doesn’t permit. But in 2022, my season horribilis was made all the merrier by the excitement of a wedding. Sage green and blush pink was the palette of choice, while the vibe was rustic. Still on trend this year, I would hazard to say that it’s a timeless theme. On 22nd July, we’d just about made it through the hottest days of the year, when thank goodness, the temperatures started to cool to a bearable level. An al fresco ceremony, a reception with the venues’ folding doors flung open, and some memorable moments for the newlyweds spent with their photographer in the nearby cornfields during golden hour: It was all a summer wedding should be, and more. I’ll admit to liking one thing about the season though, and it came into play on Melissa and Dave’s big day, as indeed it would at any wonderful summer wedding. First and foremost, it’s the long days. Making the best of the great outdoors is something we can do to the max at this time of year. There are no more hours in the day, of course, but somehow it feels like there are, which is a huge plus when you’re celebrating such a momentous occasion. So, if you’re thinking about hosting your entire day outside, you won’t want to miss the advice of our experts over in Hot Topic from page 53. Or if you want to at least have the option to spill out of your venue and into some glorious surroundings, check out our country havens venue feature from page 21. I hope you find inspiration aplenty among the pages of our summer issue. And, as ever, enjoy and keeeep planning! Kelly Andrews, editor Walking on sunshine 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! 89 WIN! A honeymoon in Koh Samui, Thailand 33 GIDDY UP! It’d been a childhood dream for bride Ellen to have a horsedrawn carriage at her wedding. “Riding through the village and having people wave to us like royalty was such a special touch,” she says. 45 WHAT A STUNNER I can’t get enough of the images from this issue’s stunning styled shoot. The fashion-forward dresses, the multi-tonal pink palette... it’s everything! 26 DANCING IN THE MOONLIGHT Charvi and Josh’s DJ played a combination of Western and Indian hits keeping the dancefloor packed. “The Indian contingent enjoyed teaching the English guests a thing or two about dancing!” the bride told us. ADVERTISING Account Manager Rebecca Cane | 01376 538 479 @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

How to do it The Oakhouse Hotel Adam Rumble Photography The Old Milking Parlour at Cavokay House Our fabulous venues are really something else. We have over 110 locations across the region licensed for civil ceremonies, and there is something for every style and budget. Country houses and historic castles, rustic farms and boho barns, cosy inns and boutique hotels. What takes your fancy? There are some really quirky gems too, like Secret World Animal Sanctuary, Haynes Motor Museum, Wookey Hole Caves and the iconic piers at Weston and Clevedon. Browse the full list in our online directory to make sure you don't miss out on that perfect spot, and check our supplier directory for all the extras that will complete your day. Booking is really simple. Just fill in a request form on our website when you know when and where you want to have your celebrations. We'll call you back to check the details and run through next steps. Even better, our fees are simple and straightforward too - no hidden extras like cancellation fees, amendment charges or non-refundable deposits. We understand how complicated organising a wedding day can be, so we aim to make it as easy as possible. Say I Do In Somerset We really do. Which is lucky, because we conduct around 3000 every year. With a team of over 100 registrars, ceremony officers and support staff, you can relax knowing the essential "I Do" part of your day is covered. Each of our 6 districts across Somerset & North Somerset has its very own ceremony team, so we all get to know our local venues and how they like to run their events. Our professional celebrants are fully trained to make sure all the legal aspects of your ceremony are carried out. Not only that, they also adapt our beautiful ceremony script to add those special personalised elements that will make your day unique. You want to be given away by your mum, pause for a moment of remembrance for a loved one who can't be there, or exchange necklaces instead of rings? No problem - it's your day and we want it to be truly memorable. We get so many queries about what to do and where to start - don't worry! Most people have never done this before either, and we're happy to walk you through it all. Marriage or Civil Partnership - work out which one is the right fit for you. We are happy to perform either ceremony, and there's more info about the differences on our website if you're unsure. Choose your venue. This really is key. You'll need to book a registrar in the district where the venue is, even if you live elsewhere. We'll need to know exactly where the venue is to book the right team. Pick a date and time. We do normally have teams available, even on our busiest days, but it might need to be a little earlier or later than you were planning. That said, the vast majority of our couples do get their first choice Book that registrar! We take bookings up to 2 years in advance here in Somerset, though other districts may vary. Fill in our request form online and we'll phone you back to make sure it's in the diary and you know what to do next. We know you'll be busy contacting florists and bakers and DJs and caterers for a while but put a reminder on your calendar to give notice a bit nearer the big day. This is the appointment where you visit your local registrar in your home district with your ID documents to sort out the legal stuff. It needs to happen at least 28 days in advance, but we recommend between 3 and 6 months before. If it's with us, you can book your own appointment on our website. If it's in another district, just get in touch with the registration service through your local council website and they will send us the paperwork when it's all done, ready for your ceremony. Ceremony planning is the final step. We need your choices around 1 month before the big day so we can get to work personalising your ceremony. Readings, music, vows and any special requests - just download the form along with our guidance pack and email it back to us. It really is simple. Our main requirement is that there can't be any religious content at all. There's just a couple of lines that you have to include to make it all legal, but otherwise you can get creative with your own ring vows. Turn up on the day and say yes - Congratulations!!! We love weddings! Farleigh House Venetia Norrington Photography

NEWS Nearlywed Catch up on the latest from around the county A NEW LEASE OF LIFE Montigo Resorts, Somerset, at Charlton House has opened in the idyllic market town of Shepton Mallet, in the Mendip District of Somerset. Mere moments away from the rolling hills of Frome, Wells and Glastonbury, the hotel is a discreet country retreat with a relaxed, informal vibe. The opening ceremony was graced by the likes of the Mayor of Glastonbury, Cllr Indra Donfrancesco, Chairman of The Street Parish Council, Cllr Bryan Knickerbocker, and team Your Bristol & Somerset Wedding! We were super-excited to roll into town to check out this stunning Regency-period estate, featuring the historical 28-room country house hotel and spa, three restaurants, and stunning gardens. The venue is currently heralding a new future following its recent acquisition by luxury hospitality experts KOP Limited, and it was an honour to celebrate with the team. Speaking at the opening, Ms Chih Ching ONG, executive chairman and executive director of KOP Limited, said: “We’re thrilled to be introducing Montigo Resorts’ warm, welcoming blend of excellence in Asian hospitality to Somerset, where our guests will feel cherished, and pampered for generations to come. Charlton House is an impressive property of distinction, and we’re committed to honouring its history, and working with the local community to thoughtfully restore the estate to its full potential.” Indeed, it’s just this commitment to working with and for the local Shepton Mallet and wider Somerset communities that really struck me during the event, as well as at the incredible Celebration Showcase the following day, packed with local wedding aficionados. Every effort has been made by the new owners to bring Charlton House back to the locals, and I can report that the hospitality is second to none. Since purchasing the estate in March, considerable investment, and effort to improve the facilities has already been made by KOP Limited, using nearby businesses and materials wherever possible with even more stunning restorative refurbishments still to come. Music to my ears was the fact that the new owners are all-in when it comes to hosting weddings at Charlton House, and it’s such an unbelievably idyllic rural oasis that it would be a waste not to be. With exclusive or non-exclusive use available, we were assured that whatever you want for your wedding here, it’s yours! The glorious Regency Orangery has spectacularly grand iron windows, stunning chandeliers and elegant parquet flooring, and to see it decorated to its full breathtaking glory by Sage and Belle at the Showcase was a real wow moment. What’s more, the oh-so pretty and gloriously romantic orchard has created a natural aisle, recognised by the weddings and events team who have set up the dreamy al fresco ceremony area at the end of it. We wandered along kooky hallways, peeked into sumptuously furnished lounges, and stood in awe of the fabulous bridal suite. Additional on-site experiences include a thermal spa and bathhouse, spa treatments and fitness facilities. You’ll also find effortless access to Somerset’s finest, most creative local artisans for additional distinctive touches for your big day, many of whom we met at the Showcase. These charming folks couldn’t be more supportive and enthusiastic about the new direction Charlton House is taking. Final refurbishments to the spa are expected to complete by early 2024, and further exciting programmes are in the pipeline including a dog grooming spa in association with dog groomer, Kelly Davis. I for one can’t wait to be back. Find out more about tying the knot at Montigo Resorts, Somerset, at Charlton House in our Spotlight on... Bath & Mendip feature this issue. Also, check out Scan to view video 9 LOCAL NEWS HAPPY ANNIVERSARY This summer, husband and wife team Victoria Collins and chef Alasdair Clifford are celebrating five years since taking over the reins of their critically-acclaimed restaurant and pub with rooms, The Barrington Boar. The team recently acquired a large site for development adjacent to the venue and are celebrating the anniversary by commencing work on it. Baker’s Farm, a 3,000 plus sq ft period farmhouse is set on a plot of approximately 0.38 acres of South Somerset land and features a large garden and several outbuildings including a former cider barn and hayloft. Subject to planning, the couple hope to build a bakery, further accommodation and a market garden, which will supply Clifford’s kitchen. The Barrington Boar loves to host weddings and its new Private Dining Room is perfect for rehearsal dinners. Complete with its own small events bars, this versatile space is ideal for pre-wedding get-togethers and can seat up to 24 guests. You’ll be treated to a meal to remember as the restaurant and pub has recently featured in The Michelin Guide United Kingdom 2023, Harden’s Guide, and Top 100 Gastro Pubs. It was also a finalist at the 2023 Trencherman’s Awards for Best Pub. Find out more at

RING IN THE HENS Based in the centre of Bristol, Silver and Steel Studios is now offering tailor-made workshops for groups, including hen parties, to create precious pieces for the big day. From delicate pearl earrings to chunky silver pieces, the team loves to embrace everyone’s personal style. There are two workshop options to choose from, either a half day at £74 per person (10am to 1pm) or full day at £130 per person (10am to 4pm), both working in silver. Additional options and services include welcome drinks of prosecco or a non-alcoholic alternative, lunch if you’re on the full day workshop with additional prosecco, upgrade to working in gold, or add pearls or precious stones. You can choose to make band rings, hooped earrings, pearl earrings, drop or stud earrings, bangles, signet rings, or pendants, so get your creative juices flowing! The workshops are suitable for all abilities and no experience is necessary. If you’re a group of particularly crafty hens though you can make more than one item of jewellery in the allotted time frame at no extra charge. Enjoy a personal, fun and tailor-made experience in a beautiful setting. Find out more at GIFTED! With wedding season in full swing, leading Bath-based jewellery brand, Abbott Lyon, has the answer to all your wedding party gift woes. The locally-based brand has curated a superb selection of personalised and pearl pieces, perfect for bridesmaids. Whether you’re searching for a sentimental gift for your best gals, or for the perfect accessory to add to your own bridal look, Abbott Lyon is on hand to help. Boasting elegant pearls and thoughtful personalisation options, Abbott Lyon’s hero pieces include Stacey Solomon Charm Builder Necklace (from £69), Custom Name Bracelet (£85), Pearl Mini Initial Bracelet (£49), Pearl Signature Name Necklace (£85), and Mini Raffia Pearl Resort Bag (£105). There’s even an option to add luxury personalised gift packaging, which brings an extra special and thoughtful element to your pressie. Check out the full wedding edit online at 10 TALK OF THE TOWN Be prepared for the ultimate wedding day out as The Big Southwest Wedding Fair rolls into town once more on 21st and 22nd October, 2023, at the Bath & West Showground. The Fair is renowned for its catwalk shows featuring real women and men of all ages, shapes and sizes. This is your chance to see the latest bridal, menswear, mother-of-the-bride/groom, bridesmaids and flowergirl attire. There’s also the option to try on wedding dresses, you never you know, you might find the one. You’re sure to find inspiration aplenty though, not to mention heaps of exclusive show offers and friendly, trusted wedding suppliers. You’ll also have the opportunity to chat to local suppliers throughout the weekend in the Wedding Style Hub. From make-up and skincare tips to finding the perfect dress, these guys will be sharing a wealth of wedding wisdom. Check out the show guide when you arrive for the weekend’s schedule. Why not celebrate your engagement in style with VIP tickets? With only a limited amount of these available for VIP queens and kings, be sure to snap yours up quickly! What’s more, you might be in for an extra treat as 10 deluxe goodie bags are handed out at random – it could be you! Finally, don’t forget to pop along to see team Your Bristol & Somerset Wedding on our stand. Learn how to get your wedding day featured in the our e-magazine and enter our latest competition. Find out more about The Big South West Wedding Fair and book tickets at See you there! SUMMER IN THE CITY Bristol buzzes all year round, but there’s something special about summer in this city! This year we’ve seen the return of Bristol’s famous festivals and some new ones too. We’re particularly excited about the Bristol Cocktail Weekend taking place from 28th September to 1st October. With a selection of Bristol’s world-class bars each serving up a signature cocktail, all for £6 each, the event is exclusively for wristband wearers and also includes food offers. What a fabulous idea for a hen or stag party – it’s a pub crawl that’s gone upmarket! For foodies, there are two new culinary tours, which have recently started from GOOD Stories in Food including Bristol Hotspots and Hidden Treasures, and Wine and Cheese Tasting in the Cheddar Valley. Join local expert Florence as you discover the stories of Bristol and Somerset’s amazing food and drink scene. From producers, to restaurants, to retailers and all in between, Florence focuses on independents creating the most delicious flavours in an ethical, sustainable way. Learn more about these events and more at Image courtesy of Visit Bristol

Unique. Elegant. Romantic Contact Sarah to book your consultation to discuss your bespoke wedding cake | 07940 166979 | Sarah’s Sugarcraft | sarah’s_sugarcraft We also stock: Jumpsuits • Bridal accessories • Shoes • Tiaras Veils • Biker Jackets • Bow ties • Pocket squares and cufflinks Jacqueline Louise Multiway dresses for bridesmaids and prom dresses. Top designers including: Bianco Evento • LQ Designs • Angela Bianca Lilly • Kotapska • Monica Loretti • Allure • Grace Harrington. WWW.JUSTFORYOUBRIDAL.CO.UK 0117 3293759 • BOND STREET • BRISTOL • BS1 3LU Images: Isobel Buxton Photography Bridal sizes from size 6 to 24 plus off-the-peg and orderable sizes.

ENTER ONLINE AT WWW.YOURBRISTOLSOMERSET.WEDDING BEFORE 30TH SEPTEMBER 2023. Great giveaways and discounts up for grabs FREE! 24 WEDDING 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 31st October, 2023. To claim, get in touch with Sarah to book your consultation via and quote “wedmagb&s5/23.” WIN A STAY IN THE LAKE DISTRICT Lakeside Hotel & Spa blends country house character with contemporary four-star luxury set within the stunning panoramic views of Lake Windermere – part of the spectacular Lake District World Heritage Site. With its unique location and choice of reception rooms and private suites, the hotel can cater for intimate wedding parties, larger weddings of up to 80 guests and even secret escape weddings just for two, making it the ideal setting and venue for an unforgettable Lake District wedding. The winner of this fantastic prize will be greeted with a glass of Lanson Champagne upon arrival and enjoy a three-course dinner for two before settling down for a good night’s sleep in a double room. The following morning, the winner can enjoy a delicious full English breakfast or Continental version. Classic Lodges is a nationwide collection of exclusive hotels that all have exceptional charm and character, whether that’s a peaceful country getaway or a city centre stay. Each of the hotels provides a friendly, relaxing atmosphere while maintaining Classic Lodges’ signature style, comfort and luxury. Steeped in history, all of the hotels have equally stunning views to accompany the suites and rooms. Visit to book a stay. For your chance to win, visit our website. Terms and conditions apply. Freebies& OFFERS ©With My Little Camera FREEBIES & OFFERS 13

Paxton & Brown are an award winning independent wedding caterer serving Bristol and the surrounding areas. We create menus specifically for you that surpass expectations, matching your passion for food with ours. Our food is freshly prepared from scratch using locally sourced ingredients. We create innovative and inspiring dishes just the way you want. Contact us via email at to discuss your wedding catering or request a copy of our brochure. Email: Insta: @paxtonandbrown 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

Spotlight on... BATH AND MENDIP Tie the knot in a local hotspot MONTIGO RESORTS AT CHARLTON HOUSE 01749 342 008 | Charlton House in Shepton Mallet, complete with its Regency grandeur, has greeted many a guest in the years following its conversion from a former family home in the 1960s, including royalty in the shape of the King of Thailand and the Duke of Edinburgh. This history of the building is just as much tied up with the vision of its proprietors, and Montigo Resorts, now at the helm, is working hard to take the venue to even greater heights. The Regency Orangery boasts spectacularly grand iron window frames and as such it makes a fine backdrop for all parts of your wedding day. However, if al fresco “I dos” are on the cards, the dappled light of the orchard lends itself beautifully to this part of the day. Meanwhile, TIIGO provides a welcome air of informality for barbecues and hog roasts, while the bright and botanical conservatory represents a strong choice for the wedding breakfast. The team would love nothing more than to lay on a feast for your guests, which maximises the immense potential of locally-sourced ingredients. Just give them a sense of the direction you’d like to take and they’ll take the reins. Best known for their modern European fare, the team are happy to try their hand at anything from Asian fusion dishes to flamegrilled exotic meats. And don’t even get us started on the talents of the amazing pastry chef! Exclusive use of the venue is available and when they say “exclusive use,” they mean it! You can turn the venue’s spaces around to suit the various stages of your big day and have family and friends to stay. You can even make use of the spa, wellness, and fitness facilities. Charlton House doesn’t believe in prescriptive packages. There’s only one thing that matters, and that’s you! So, you can have your wedding, your way. Once your guests leave, why not treat yourselves to a spot of rest and recuperation with a quiet mini-moon at the hotel. Then, if you so desire, you can be whisked away to one of Montigo Resorts’ locations in Asia. Picture yourselves reclining on a beach in picturesque Bali, or watching the sun set on Singapore across the straight of Malacca. 15 LOCAL VENUES

NO.1 ROYAL CRESCENT 01225 460 705 | This iconic wedding venue in Bath offers you the opportunity to tie the knot surrounded by a collection of 18th-century art and furnishings. The Grade I listed museum is a wonderful choice for couples seeking a special, historical venue in which to celebrate your love and commitment. There are licensed indoor and outdoor spaces to choose from, which can comfortably accommodate up to 40 nearest and dearest. Choose from a range of museum rooms, or the stunning outdoor courtyard with a sweeping view of the Royal Crescent as your backdrop. The very first house on the iconic Royal Crescent in Bath, No.1 looks out onto the sweeping green expanse of Victoria Park, belying its city-centre location. The Parlour lies at the heart of the historical home, and was traditionally used as a family room. Decorated in neutral tones and located on the ground floor, it’s perfect for intimate ceremonies with up to 20 guests. The Withdrawing Room is the venue’s most opulent and elegant space, filled with historical art and furniture, in fact it represents the height of fashion and taste from the 18th century. It once served as a place to take tea and socialise after dinner. Here, you can host 15 guests for the “I dos.” Finally, The Courtyard, which offers sweeping views of the Royal Crescent, is ideal for a picture-perfect outdoor ceremony. It can also be hired for drinks and canapé receptions. Maximum capacity is 35 guests. Furniture for the ceremony is included in your hire cost and you’ll be allocated a dedicated wedding co-ordinator on site for the duration of your booking. On-site parking is available by arrangement for an additional charge. 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. 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 super-romantic place to exchange your vows. Lit purely by candlelight, St Mary’s Church is situated on an island at the heart of the estate. The terrace and gardens offer a breath-taking spot for reception drinks and offer 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. 16 • • 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. A unique, bridal-themed cocktail box based on the traditional rhyme. Ideal for hen-dos, bridesmaid gifts and wedding presents! P E N T H O U S E C O C K T A I L S

T: 01225 477234 | E: weddingsinbath The Guildhall, High Street, Bath, BA1 5AW Sa t D e WEDDING SHOWCASE Sunday 22nd October | 10am - 2pm Photography: Amber Louise Photography Explore our ceremony suite including the Jane Austen Room, the Alkmaar Room, the Abbey View Room and the Georgian Room. Discover our licensed wedding venues and meet our local suppliers. Your celebration, your way. ©Freya Steele Photography 07967 006362 @JenWhitworthCelebrant jenwhitworth_celebrant THE UNITED KINGDOM SOCIETY OF CELEBRANTS THE UNIT SOCIETY 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 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! The Bishop's Palace and Gardens, Wells Steeped in over 800 years of history For a personal tour of this special venue contact Imogen via

THE HOLCOMBE 01761 232 478 | Located in the heart of Somerset, just 30 minutes from Bath, The Holcombe is simply stunning, overlooking rolling countryside. The award-winning 17th-century restaurant has 11 contemporary guest rooms and is set on the highest point of a small parish in the north east of the Mendip Hills. Hiring The Holcombe for a wedding includes exclusive-use of all bedrooms, the bar, restaurant, snug and all of the grounds, including the gorgeous new Mediterranean garden. It offers a wonderful blank canvas for those looking to tailor their special day from scratch. The Holcombe is owned and run by Alan Lucas and Caroline Gardiner, both trained chefs passionate about growing food, sourcing locally from artisan producers and protecting the environment. Both Caroline and Alan are available to discuss suitable menus and venue decoration with you to make your day the best is can possibly be. What’s more, the whole team is passionate about sustainability and is focused on reducing food waste, and sourcing local, free-range produce; as well as working with suppliers to reduce the use of plastic packaging as much as possible. The venue doesn’t currently hold a ceremony licence, but has recently opened a gorgeous new Mediterranean garden, which offers views across to Downside Abbey, and offers and idyllic spot for wedding celebrations. It boasts custom-built tables, which sit beneath a charming stretch tent and can seat 60 nearest and dearest. Alternatively, if you’d rather stay indoors, The Restaurant can accommodation both summer and winter weddings, and has an open fire to keep the chill off. It too can host 60 loved ones. For the evening do you can invite up to 120 guests. A free menu tasting is offered for the nearlyweds. Also check out... Bailbrook House Roman Baths & Pump Room BATH RACECOURSE 01225 424 609 | THE BISHOP’S PALACE AND GARDEN, WELLS 01749 988 111 | COURT FARM 07974 739 832 | MACDONALD BATH SPA HOTEL 0344 879 9106 | PARISH’S HOUSE | PENNARD HILL FARM 07795 806 858 | ROMAN BATHS & PUMP ROOM 01225 477 786 | THE ROYAL CRESCENT HOTEL AND SPA 01225 823 333 | LOCAL VENUES 19

Countryside havens Our roundup of the region’s gorgeous rural venues OLD BRIDGE 01460 240 855 | This 16th-century manor and 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. The gardens, available for guests to enjoy, 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. 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.” 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 big day to set up and also the day after to clear away. 21 COUNTRYSIDE VENUES

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. The house is surrounded by large lush gardens with endless places for photo opportunities and drinks receptions. 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. 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 croquet 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. 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 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 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. 22

Elmhay Park Three day Eldon package includes Castle stay the night before your wedding for up to 12 including hot tub. Lewis Lodge for your partner sleeping up to 7. Exclusive use of Italian Veranda, Walled Gardens and Stunning Orangery, Exquisite Wedding breakfast, unlimited reception and wedding breakfast drinks, Late License - drink and dance until Dawn, Accommodation for up to 75 for your guests in the adjacent Elmhay Park Village, Newlywed retreat at the secluded Church Lodge with hot tub for the night after. Package prices from £7,875. Exclusive Three Day Wedding packages Tailored to you, for the unforgettable day you say 'I Do' Tel: 01373472550 Email: Elmhay Park, Orchardleigh Estate, Frome, BA11 2PB Elmhay Park Weddings Orchardleigh Estate Orchardleigh House Three day Bonita package includes Castle stay the night before your wedding for up to 12 including hot tub. Murtry Lodge for your partner sleeping up to 6. Exclusive use of Victorian mansion and grounds, Exquisite Wedding breakfast, unlimited reception and wedding breakfast drinks, late license - drink and dance until dawn, 41 opulent rooms sleeping up to 95 for your guests, Newlywed retreat at the lakeside palladium Boathouse with hot tub for the night after. Package prices from £8,699. Exclusive Three Day Wedding packages Tailored to you, for the unforgettable day you say 'I Do' Tel: 01373472550 Email: Orchardleigh Estate, Frome, BA11 2PB Orchardleigh House

A BESPOKE EXPERIENCE Award-winning Bath, Somerset Photographers 01225 251 958 | 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 The Old Milking Parlour at Cavokay House Beautiful rustic wedding venue Henstridge, Somerset, BA8 0TQ

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. 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 on 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 “I dos” witnessed by 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. The Bampfylde Hall is also home to receptions at Hestercombe and can seat 112 guests for the 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, perfect for smaller wedding parties. All of the venue’s newlyweds are given a full membership for a year and are invited back for a celebratory afternoon tea on their anniversary. THE BLUEBELL BARN 01278 783 250 | Located on the site of Secret World Wildlife Rescue in the beautiful Somerset countryside, Bluebell Barn is a 17th-century renovation full of character. Its rustic atmosphere is brought to life by its exposed wooden framework and a log-burning furnace. As you celebrate in warm weather, take full advantage of the large double doors and wildlife garden. Any wedding held here makes a real difference, leaving a meaningful legacy. A venue for wildlife lovers, all funds from your event will go to the rescue, rehabilitation and release of orphaned and injured British Wildlife through the Secret World Wildlife Rescue charity, helping around 5,000 animals per year. Ceremonies are hosted in the main room, where there’s space to gather 50 nearest and dearest. Then you can party and dance the night away once the main room is turned around and spill out into a marquee or onto the lawn where there’s also room for 50 guests. 25 COUNTRYSIDE VENUES

castle Charvi and Josh had their hearts set on marrying at a castle venue as a nod to their first date Images courtesy of Jon Warr Photography I CAPTURE THE 26

Charvi and Josh met online and soon after organised a first date at Cardiff Castle. They both felt an instant connection that day, enjoying each other’s company and laughing the whole time. “It was like meeting an old friend,” Charvi explains. We fast forward to 2022, and the couple had booked a May Bank Holiday break in Southend-on-Sea, Essex. Charvi had actually asked Josh if he was planning to propose, but he managed to throw her off the scent by bending down on one knee to pick something up, then later to tie his shoelace. Having convinced her it wasn’t going to happen after all, he finally got down on one knee for real back at the AirBnB, and brought out the ring. By this time, Charvi thought it was a joke and was in utter disbelief. He had to physically give her the ring before she’d accept it was real! As a nod to their first date, the couple decided early on that they wanted to get married in a castle, but were later forced to give up on this dream due to the cost. However, they drove past Branwell Castle one day and immediately fell in love with it. Nestled in the hills of Somerset complete with breathtaking views, it was more intimate than most and they discovered it fit within their budget. Here, Charvi tells us all about the wonderful wedding day – 13th May, 2023... SETTING THE SCENE As Charvi is Indian the couple were keen to represent her heritage in their wedding day. On a trip to India in late 2022, they created small boxes in keeping with their blue colour palette and filled them with incense cones. “They worked really well, as when we burnt some of them in the evening, they filled the courtyard with the fragrance of India,” Charvi remembers. The bride’s mum also made table runners and brought them over. There were sashes for the ceremony chair backs too in the same fabric, as well as bags to hold the confetti. The centrepieces were composed of a range of cut glassware collected from charity shops during the preceding months. These were used to hold candles and flowers, and were surrounded by pebbles. The tables were all named after castles the couple have visited together. The day’s florals featured a range of blue hues, with the focal points being a beautiful light shade. These ones were silk roses allowing the newlyweds to keep them forever as a memento of the day. Each bridesmaid carried a mini bouquet, while Charvi’s was the main showstopper. Each groomsman wore a buttonhole as did Josh. Flowers were also arranged on the reception tables and ceremony aisle, as well as crowning the wedding arch, beneath which the couple said “I do.” Also adorning the ceremony space were floral displays placed on plinths framing the two at the all-important moment. As a wedding gift, Josh’s sister baked the wedding cake. It featured three tiers, one of Biscoff, one of salted caramel and one of vegan Oreo for Josh. To accompany it, Charvi and Josh set up bride and groom Beanie Babies in the positions they sit on the sofa at home. The newlyweds and their guests dined on a wedding breakfast of roast lamb and nut roast. “We felt this fit with the castle banqueting feel we were going for,” Charvi explains. 27 REAL WEDDINGS

FESTIVAL Weddings WWW.LOUDHIRE.CO.UK SOUND LIGHTING STAGING 0117 214 1470 YALHAM HAYES FLOWER FARM DIY WEDDING FLOWERS FLOWERS SOLD BY THE BUCKET £65 PER 50 STEMS OF MIXED FLOWERS MAY TO OCTOBER AIZEL@YALHAMHAYES.COM 07769 816 629 TAUNTON, SOMERSET WWW.YALHAMHAYES.COM | 01749 860700 | @pennardhouse An English Manor House, in a beautiful village setting, exclusively yours for your wedding