Your Bristol & Somerset Wedding - October/November 2023 (Issue 97)

WIN! A Yorkshire break worth £1,000 The region’s experts offer advice on planning an intimate wedding HOT TOPIC This time it’s personal! PICTURE PERFECT What to expect from your wedding photographer OCT/NOV 2023 £3.55 SMALL YET MIGHTY on health and wellbeing BRISTOL SOMERSET & WEDDING Lub Mushtu

CLEARWELL CASTLE FOREST OF DEAN GLOUCESTERSHIRE 01594 832320 ST AudRIes PaRK ST. AUDRIES PARK TAUNTON SOMERSET 01984 633633 ClEARwEll CAStlE Country HousE weddings Exclusively Weddings, Exclusively Yours

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 60 HOT TOPIC This time it’s personal! Find out how to personalise your wedding 97 COMPETITION Win a romantic break in Yorkshire worth £1,000 CONTENTS OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2023 VENUES 15 SPOTLIGHT ON... Sedgemoor and North Somerset 19 A NEW CHAPTER For a wedding vibe that’s straight out of the pages of a literary epic, check out these local beauties On the cover This issue’s cover is sponsored by Montigo Resorts, Somerset at Charlton House ( It was captured by Dave Merritt Creative ( at the entrance to this beautiful venue on Julie and Alex’s big day. 24 31 FEATURES 43 THE MAGIC OF A MEADOW This local team created a floral fantasy at Yalham Hayes’ flower farm in Taunton 47 MODERN PASTELS Guildhall in Bath provided the showstopping backdrop for this romantic shoot 51 PICTURE PERFECT Some of the region’s finest wedding photographers tell us what to expect from the process at every stage of your wedding journey 55 SMALL BUT PERFECTLY FORMED Local experts tells us how to plan a memorable intimate wedding day 64 WISHING HUE A WONDERFUL WEDDING DAY Check out our wedspirational guide to palette perfection whatever the season 3

REAL WEDDINGS 24 SIMPLY ELEGANT Anna and Mat celebrated their marriage at St Audries Park creating plenty of magical memories along the way 31 SENTIMENTAL JOURNEY Michelle and Paul said “I do” at the breathtaking Leigh Court and added a touch of travel to their styling 37 MODERN LUXURY Hannah and Tom’s wedding was brimming with modern luxury and oh-so chic vibes HONEYMOONS 90 HONEYMOON NEWS Our travel editor reveals the newest openings and honeymoon essentials 92 RURAL ROMANCE Discover the delights of Provence at Hôtel Crillon le Brave 94 MAGICAL MAURITIUS Explore this year-round honeymoon hotspot for a taste of the local cuisine, lush scenery and sustainable hotel choices 96 TOTAL BODY BLISS Experience a weekend of wellness and total body bliss at Warwickshire’s Ardencote Spa FASHION & BEAUTY 66 FASHION FOCUS The latest bridal fashion news, buys and launches 67 STYLE ALERT Burnt orange, green, and champagne colours are trending for bridesmaids this season 68 ALL DRESSED UP The new season bridal edit of dreamy dresses features delicate details, fairytale-inspired florals and flowing fabrics 73 STANDOUT SLEEVES Make your entrance in style wearing statement sleeves that will take you from day to dancefloor 83 BEAUTY Q&A Our local professionals solve your problems 84 BEAUTY BUZZ Get the look with the latest must-haves 86 BEST FACE FORWARD We investigate the much-discussed bridal musthave treatment, HydraFacial 88 LADY OF THE DANCE Strictly’s Luba Mushtuk talks health, wellbeing and the all-important first dance 60 51 43 GROOMS 77 GROOMS’ NEWS The latest best buys and product launches 78 SOMETHING BLUE We’ve rounded up some of the latest products for the groom-to-be 80 SKIN DEEP WarPaint For Men shares its make-up and skincare tips for grooms-to-be 88 55 @lubamushtuk 4

Cornwall, a county of beauty and magic; a place of wedding dreams. | 0300 1234 181 | @MyCornwallWedding Image Credit: omas Frost Photography My Cornwall Wedding: O cially Yours - the only source of bespoke, legal, celebrant-led civil weddings in Cornwall. | 07889 669 529 | Timeless Documentary Style Wedding Photography Based in Somerset Scan Me

Yes, I successfully survived the summer – hurrah! To be fair, I don’t know if we can even describe the last few months as summer, but never mind, it suited me down to the ground! Now, here we are in autumn already. This season is growing enormously in popularity for weddings and is one of my favourites as I love to see couples getting super-creative with their themes and colour palettes. Think rich jewel tones, which are stunning on their own or used with pastels as an accent colour. Rust is huge at the moment. Oh-so modern, it comes into its own during the autumn months. More so than any other season, autumn immediately conjures up associated colours typified by nature at this time of year, such as the reds and oranges of turning leaves. It’s also ideal timing if you fancy something a bit quirky. With Halloween on the horizon, add plenty of pumpkins to your styling. What about carving your own romantic scenes into them to represent your unique love story and using as illuminated centrepieces? Gothic and enchanted forest vibes also work particularly well at this time of year. What’s more, the much-loved rustic feel really comes into it’s own when given a harvest-time twist. September and October are also awash with wedding fairs, so as well as being a lush time to get married, it’s the ideal time to flesh out your vision with supplier soul mates! This issue we’ve got the usual blend of stunning real weddings and local shoots for you, offering a whole heap of wedspiration. Meanwhile, the county’s photographers give us the benefit of their wisdom and we take a peek into the world of intimate weddings. So, as ever, enjoy and keeeep planning! Kelly Andrews, editor Autumnal creations 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! 97 WIN! A romantic break in Yorkshire worth £1,000 24 STAR OF THE SHOW This shot of bride Anna and her gorgeous little daughter really melts the heart. The young lady, age five, performed a word-perfect reading during her parents’ ceremony after just one practice. 43 SWEET SUCCESS The theme for this local shoot was inspired by a meadow. Its big-day bake by Claire Hansen Cakes, decorated with flowers grown at Yalham Hayes’ flower farm, fits in beautifully and is quite the showstopper. 37 PICTURE PERFECT I’m obsessed with Tom and Hannah’s couple shots. They’re so full of fun as well as elegance. @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 ADVERTISING Account Manager Lorraine Whitehead | 01376 535 607 EDITOR’S LETTER 7

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 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.

NEWS Nearlywed Catch up the latest from around the region WHAT’S IN STORE? Rookery Bridal has been hard at work over the last few months improving its social media, looking at new ways to help its brides and boosting the experience it offers when you visit. The team will also be attending two big wedding fairs this October: The UWE Wedding Fair and The Big Southwest Wedding Fair. Owner Sarah Hackett says, “We’re going to be busy bees looking after you all in the boutique and meeting you all outside of it!” It’s that gown ordering time of year at the boutique too, so do keep an eye out for lots of new dresses arriving over the coming months. “We will be recruiting as well,” Sarah continues. “Being so busy means we have a need for more lovely staff to join us and we are looking forward to finding new team members for the Rookery Bridal family.” Check out ART OF THE CITY The UK is brimming with creativity, inspiration, arts and innovation but Bristol has been named the number one must-see for creative types. Aura Print ( ranked the most creative and artistic UK cities, taking into the account the number of art galleries, museums, theatres, comedy clubs, and street art, as well as the top universities for art and design courses and this was the conclusion they reached. So, if you’re looking for a city that’s thriving with culture, arts and creativity, look no further than our beloved Bristol. Bristol is one of the leading UK cities for street art, boasting more than 153k Instagram posts capturing the colourful streets of the city. With sites and events such as The Mild Mild West, an early Banksy mural, to Upfest, Europe’s largest street art and graffiti festival, you’ll never be short of a perfect culture moment to shower you with inspiration, or of a memorable wedding-day photo backdrop. The vibrant streets of Bristol are not the only spots for creatives to take in the local artistry, there’s also 27 art galleries, 15 theatres and eight comedy clubs to immerse yourself in. With all of the showstopping real weddings and shoots we get to feature in Your Bristol & Somerset Wedding, we reckon the creative flair of the city has rubbed off on its couples and talented wedding suppliers! Getty Images 9 LOCAL NEWS BACK TO NATURE Mud + Bloom is an independent, small but perfectly-formed brand creating products that aim to connect children aged three to eight years old with nature. Best of all, the company’s products are ethically sourced, reusable or recyclable and hand-packed in Bristol, UK. These little bags of fun are great to give to flowergirls and pageboys, or even to keep other young guests at your wedding entertained. One, two or four activity party bags are priced from £3.95 with free postage. Each of the pre-filled, nature-inspired, eco-friendly party bags contain seasonal gardening and craft activities. Mud + Bloom’s autumn-themed party bags are now available. Find out more at

CHEERS! Penthouse Cocktails recently celebrated its first birthday and has released an all-new Bridal Cocktail Box to celebrate. Containing four cocktails, it’s inspired by the traditional rhyme something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue. Each box contains pre-mixed ingredients to make the cocktails, with bridal-themed garnishes and instruction cards. All you need are glasses, ice and a shaker. Each one is bar-quality and includes gin, tequila, vodka and rum, as well as amazing flavours such as cucumber and watermelon, coconut and chocolate. Ideal for spicing up a hen-do or as a quirky wedding gift. Instead of popping open the wine with your girls on the night before the big day, why not make it a memorable night with themed cocktails? Find out more at REST THOSE PARTY FEET If you’re looking for somewhere for guests in town for your wedding to stay, we have the place for you! Introducing Bristol’s newest pub with rooms, Hort’s Townhouse. Located in the heart of the city and a short walk from Bristol’s bustling shopping district, it reopens following an extensive refurbishment. Located on Broad Street, this stunning Grade II listed Young’s pub has been beautifully redesigned into a glorious townhouse, serving up a menu that champions British produce, craft beers and cask ales, while upstairs you’ll find 19 boutique bedrooms. No two rooms are quite the same, from the cosy (perfect for a snug stay) to the loft (for something a little different). Some boast expansive windows and high ceilings, others feature quirky corners and separate free-standing bathtubs, but all come complete with an uber-comfy Hypnos bed, a rainfall shower, carefully curated mini bar stocked to the brim with treats and tipples, and a Nespresso coffee machine. With interconnecting rooms, sofa beds and space for cots, there’s somewhere for everyone to stay from wedding party guests and couple retreats, to families and groups. Plus, there are some dog-friendly rooms available, so no one gets left behind! Find out more at 10 BON APPÉTIT The Francis Hotel in Bath has launched a new menu with a French twist, curated by new head chef Cyril Royer. Hotel guests and local residents are invited to travel to France on a plate with Boho Marché’s new menus, which are a true celebration of the restaurant’s varied culinary inspirations. Originally from Limoges, Cyril has created a selection of dishes that combine classic French cuisine with a gourmet twist. The new menu includes French favourites such as moule-frites, confit of duck cassoulet and côte de boeuf to share, as well as delicious options such as slow roasted cauliflower steak and beetroot tarte tatin. For starters, guests will be stuck for choice with delicious offerings including lamb rossini, twice-baked cheese souffle and crab rémoulade. A meal isn’t complete without dessert, and the new Boho Marché menus offer tempting options such as chocolate fondant or St Honoré, with caramel diplomat cream. Head chef Cyril brings his culinary skills to The Francis Hotel’s kitchen in the centre of regency Bath with more than 14 years of experience as a head chef. This includes a myriad of fine-dining establishments such as The Corran Resort & Spa and Gravetye Manor, which holds a Michelin Star. Discover more at NAILED IT! Townhouse, the ultimate destination for luxurious nail care, has recently opened Townhouse Clifton. This signifies an important milestone for the brand as it doubles its presence in Bristol, alongside Townhouse Cribbs Causeway, located in H Beauty at The Mall. The new salon nestled in the heart of Clifton, just a short stroll from The Ivy Clifton, brings Townhouse’s industry-leading technology, chic interiors, and impeccable manicures and pedicures to the area. With a loyal following that includes Grammy award-winning singers and leading cast members from popular TV shows like Game of Thrones, Sex and the City, and Made in Chelsea, the new branch is set to become the go-to destination for celebrity-worthy nail treatments. The treatment menu ranges from quick express treatments starting at £30 for customers on the go, to ultra-indulgent experiences for a more luxurious touch worthy of your big day. Customers can also maintain radiant nails with the Townhouse Cuticle Oil, available for £7 including unlimited top-ups at the sustainable Cuticle Oil Refill Station. To find out more and book your treatment visit

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 BESPOKE WEDDING SIGNAGE WWW.URBANFRAME.CO.UK ENQUIRE VIA OUR WEBSITE FOR REMAINING 2023 & 2024 AVAILABILITY @URBANFRAME_ HAPPY, FUN, BOLD & COLOURFUL PHOTOGRAPHY FOR THE FUN SEEKERS & UNCONVENTIONAL ROMANTICS INSTAGRAM: @carmelteresaphoto FACEBOOK: @carmelmccabephotography

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. Hummingbird Events are wedding and event planners based in Bristol. We provide a personalised and stress-free approach to wedding and events planning. With a variety of packages to choose from, we strive to alleviate any worries or stress that can come with planning a milestone event! We take pride in collaborating with you to plan the wedding of your dreams. We also offer an On the day Coordination service for those needing an extra pair of hands to make sure your wedding goes without a hitch! 07778680032 | UNIQUE AND STUNNING TIPI HIRE for weddings and events in the Cotswolds and throughout the UK. WWW.FIREFLOWERTIPIS.COM | 07814684424

Great giveaways and discounts up for grabs WIN PERSONALISED BRACELETS Are you dreaming of making your special day even more memorable for your beloved bridesmaids? Look no further! We have an exciting opportunity for you to win personalised bracelets for each of your bridesmaids, courtesy of Merci Maman. Merci Maman understand the importance of thoughtful and meaningful gifts, especially when it comes to your bridesmaids. Its handcrafted Personalised Pastille Chain Bracelet is a bestseller, a timeless and beloved piece testament to the elegance and charm that the brand’s jewellery carries. Crafted with love and attention to detail, these bracelets will serve as treasured keepsakes for your bridesmaids, a symbol of your lasting friendship and gratitude. Visit County Wedding Magazines has teamed up with Merci Maman to give readers the chance to win two personalised pastille chain bracelets worth £237. For your chance to win enter via our website, Freebies& OFFERS FIT FOR A QUEEN Inspired by organic shapes and capturing fluid elements in motion, Lucy Quartermaine creates stunning jewellery from remarkable designs that will transform your bridal style. Originally produced to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, the Royal Pearl collection complements 925 silver with freshwater pearls for a timeless design perfect for a wedding day. Visit County Wedding Magazines has teamed up with Lucy Quartermaine to give readers the chance to win a three-piece set of Royal Pearl pieces worth £237. For your chance to win enter via our website, FREEBIES & OFFERS 13

MODERN, RELAXED, EDITORIAL WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY for adventurous couples @bolerayphotography WWW.LERAYIMAGES.COM 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 stunning lakeside barn in the heart of Somerset Unique & Exclusive Yarlington Barn

Spotlight on... SEDGEMOOR AND NORTH SOMERSET Tie the knot in a local hotspot YARLINGTON BARN 07871 368 819 | Set in the heart of rural Somerset, Yarlington Barn is a gorgeous, familyrun wedding venue located on a cider farm. This wonderful lakeside venue with a woodland backdrop and gorgeous rose-clad gazebo is the most beautiful spot for breathtaking wedding day photographs. Be it the frost of winter, the apple blossom of spring, the smell of cut grass in the summer or the colours of autumn, Yarlington Barn is an oh-so romantic and exclusive venue for all seasons. Inside the rustic barn, exposed beams and wrought iron chandeliers create a touch of countryside magic, while the unusual barrel bar reflects its heritage as a cider farm. The Barn is fully licensed for civil ceremonies, so from beginning to end you can host your perfect day right here. The Ceremony Room can seat up to 80 loved ones for the “I dos.” The main function space, the Lakeview Room, can seat up to 80 for a formal seated wedding breakfast at round tables of eight or 10. It has a fully-stocked bar and being a cider farm the team can certainly provide you with plenty of Somerset’s favourite tipple! For the evening revelries, the venue can accommodate up to 160 guests for a hog roast or buffet with a disco and dancing. 15 LOCAL VENUES

GREENWAY FARM 01278 425 853 | Greenway Farm is a charming, rustic venue situated within easy reach of Bridgwater, Taunton and junctions 23 and 24 of the M5. Family run, it particularly lends itself to smaller weddings and receptions with the option of a converted barn setting or marquee. Owners Martin and Sue are on hand throughout to help with the planning, for which nothing is too much trouble. Couples especially enjoy the relaxed, friendly yet attentive service offered, while enjoying the lovely surroundings and delightful animals. Set in eight acres of mixed pasture and paddocks, Greenway’s peaceful and relaxed countryside vibe belies its well-linked location. With extensive lawns to the front and orchards to the rear, there are myriad photo and entertainment possibilities here. Say “I do” in the main barn as 80 of your nearest and dearest look on. A converted cart barn, this room, with its tall ceilings and exposed wooden beams, boasts an eclectic décor full of antiquities and vintage bric-a-brac. It seats up to 80 with ease, but is equally suitable for smaller ceremonies, with a hugely attractive conservatory to the side, and a cosy snug to the rear, both of which lead out onto attractive patio areas with seating. It can host 60 for your reception. Separate from the main barn, the stone stable holds up to 45 and leads out onto a patio with an attractive wildlife pond alongside it and an orchard view. It has an adjoining bar and, for marquee receptions, it forms the location for evening music and dancing. Erected next to the stone stable and fully-stocked bespoke wedding bar, the marquee is available for larger receptions. It comes fully lined, with carpets, chandeliers, a pea light ceiling and uplighters, leaving you with endless possibilities to work your magic on the rest of the décor. There’s room here for 100 of your nearest and dearest. NAILSEA TITHE BARN 01275 855 277 | Nailsea Tithe Barn is a characterful 15th-century wedding venue licensed for civil marriage ceremonies nestled in the quiet west end of Nailsea. Thought to date from 1480, it was built for use by a hamlet of 28 subsistence farmers in the area recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086. Having been a school for more than 200 years, established by poet, playwright, educator and anti-slavery campaigner Hannah More for children of impoverished families in the 18th century, it has now been fully restored to its Medieval origins. The Barn has many special features contributing to its overall charm such as impressive high-vaulted ceilings, exposed timber frames, soft grey stone, and hidden owl holes, along with all the modern facilities you could need. Ceremonies take place in the Tithe Hall. This large open space is enhanced by its stunning vaulted ceiling and stone walls. Here, you can be joined by 120 loved ones. The space will also host your wedding breakfast and revelries, again for 120 guests. There are no ties to suppliers, so you have complete creative freedom to design your wedding however you wish. 16

HOLY MOLY! YOU’RE GETTING MARRIED! Whether you’re making plans to get hitched in a church, in the woods, a beautiful grand house or on a pier, Em & Woz would love to work with you to capture YOUR amazing wedding. We capture beautiful weddings all over the South West that tell a unique love story by using an unobtrusive, discreet and calm approach. T: 07805 904 412 E: WWW.EMWOZ.CO EM & WOZ DOCUMENTARY WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHERS A LIFELONG SYMBOL OF YOUR MARRIAGE should be as unique as your relationship Specialising in bespoke handcrafted jewellery made in the heart of Hatton Garden. We realise your exact vision for you to cherish forever. 07825 615403

The Old Milking Parlour at Cavokay House Beautiful rustic wedding venue Henstridge, Somerset, BA8 0TQ

A new chapter begins For a wedding vibe straight from the pages of a literary epic, check out these local beauties THE BISHOP’S PALACE AND GARDENS, WELLS 01749 988 111 | Steeped in history, The Bishop’s Palace and Gardens sits at the heart of the Medieval city of Wells in Somerset. Whether your arrival is by car or a relaxed stroll across the drawbridge, as you make your way through the arch of the ancient gatehouse you’ll be greeted by breathtaking views of this stunning, 800-year-old building. The Bishop’s Palace boasts 14 acres of perfectly-kept gardens for you and your guests to enjoy, and they really do have something magical about them. With the moat surrounding the Palace, offering the tranquil sounds of flowing water, the dramatic backdrop of Wells Cathedral, picturesque willow bridge and seasonal flowers and plants all year round, this is a glorious space to gather with your loved ones. A friendly welcome awaits you here as does a glass of champagne and as you make your way onto the garden terrace overlooking the South Lawn and ramparts, simply relax and take in your surroundings. Later, you can take your seats for a memorable wedding breakfast in the atmospheric banqueting hall, which boasts a magnificent vaulted ceiling and stained-glass windows. Lit with candles, the Undercroft provides the ideal intimate atmosphere for your special day. Seating 108 at maximum capacity along stunning bespoke wooden banqueting tables, with a further 52 guests accommodated for the evening, the space is versatile and offers a fabulous way to enjoy good food surrounded by friends and family. The team work closely with a local catering partner to ensure quality, locally-sourced ingredients and an extremely high level of service. Following speeches and cake cutting, you can retire to the Portrait Gallery for coffee and cake. Relax and take time to enjoy a more informal time with your guests, while the team transform the Undercroft for the evening, whether you choose live music or a DJ. The space can accommodate 105 standing. A marquee reception overlooking the ruins of The Great Hall, provides the most spectacular alternative celebration space. You’ll enjoy exclusive hire of the site, which includes The Palace building and RHS partner gardens. A marquee in the style of your choice will be erected overlooking the majestic ruins of Bishop Burnell’s splendid dining and entertaining hall, built in the 1280s. Here, you can host 260 guests and a bespoke quote will be provided on request. 19 STORYBOOK VENUES

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 along with 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. THE CASTLE AT TAUNTON 01823 328 303 | The Castle Hotel is a historical landmark in the centre of Taunton. The existing building dates to the 1300s and has retained many original features. The wisteria that grows on its exterior is 200 years old and bursts into beautiful bloom twice a year in May and August. The interior is very traditional, befitting a British castle, with tapestries on the walls and a winding staircase to the top floor with a decorated ceiling. On the roof, you’ll find the former apartment of the Chapman family, who still owns the hotel. Following their retirement, it was converted into two Castle Suites and the Penthouse function room, which is available for both ceremonies and wedding breakfast. The outside roof terrace is also perfect for post-ceremony drinks and canapés, offering views across the Quantock Hills. The Norman Gardens lay alongside the Castle and showcase the footprint of the original Norman structure. Among the grounds you can also see one of only two square Norman wells in the UK. Both the walls and well were constructed circa 1160. The hotel looks onto the Castle Green, which is a pedestrianised area home to Mackenzie’s Wine Bar and the Somerset Museum. All of the venue’s function rooms are licensed for ceremonies and are also available for your big-day bash. They are: the Wisteria Room (50 ceremony, 30 reception guests), Music Room (90 ceremony, 120 reception guests), Penthouse (20 ceremony, 30 reception guests), and Garden Room (70 ceremony and reception guests). As a further option the Garden and Wisteria Rooms can be combined for the revelries hosting 85 loved ones. The venue offers a complimentary night’s stay in the Castle Suite for the newlyweds’ wedding night on all three of its packages. You’ll also be treated to a free anniversary stay as part of the diamond package. 20

Your celebration, your way. ©Freya Steele Photography 07967 006362 @JenWhitworthCelebrant jenwhitworth_celebrant THE UNITED KINGDOM SOCIETY OF CELEBRANTS THE UNITED KINGDOM SOCIETY OF CELEBRANTS FESTIVAL Weddings WWW.LOUDHIRE.CO.UK SOUND LIGHTING STAGING 0117 214 1470 Located in the heart of medieval Wells is your 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. The Bishop's Palace and Gardens, Wells Steeped in over 800 years of history For a personal tour of this special venue, including exploring the option of marquee weddings on the South Lawn, contact Imogen via

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 I started my business 5 years ago, starting with make-up, and I’ve covered a lot of weddings, parties and even Halloween make-up. Make-up has always been a passion of mine and I’ve met some amazing clients along the way. Since starting my business I have also qualified in a variety of beauty treatments including Aesthetics, BBL and Hair Extensions. I’m based in a lovely salon in the heart of corsham called L.A.B offering all my services. Follow me on my socials. Portia x makeup_beauty_portia 07800 500 766 Weddings with Waggs ‘n’ Woofs The Pet Chaperone with the Personal Touch Tel: 07866 588 920 Would you love to have your pet be your ring bearer, guest of honour, or simply have some forever photographs with them? We specialise in making your dream come true! Regional Finalists Weddings Business Awards

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. 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 venue 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. For larger celebrations with 150 guests The Copper Beach is the perfect place for a reception. The stretch of lawn here in the tree’s shadow is a fabulous spot for a marquee with an idyllic view of the House. The Kitchen Garden Lawn on the other hand can host 80 loved ones seated or 150 standing, and can be used for your reception with or without a marquee. LEIGH COURT 01275 373 393 | The Leigh Court Estate has a rich history as a religious sanctuary, a family home, and hospital and has been conquered by, gifted to and used as a safe haven by kings for thousands of years. Shielded from the hustle and bustle of the city by Leigh Woods, the beautiful Leigh Court was designed by architect Thomas Hopper in 1814. You may recognise it more recently from various TV productions including Poldark and Bridgerton. The design of this graceful Grade II listed mansion combines elegant Palladian architecture with opulent Greek revival interiors and lavish 19thcentury décor. You can choose to hold your ceremony in any of the five tastefully decorated rooms, depending on the size and style of your wedding, or in a marquee on the extensive lawns. All of the stunning ground-floor rooms are licensed for wedding ceremonies. The fairytale staircase, 40 skylights and working pipe organ in the Great Hall (120 ceremony guests) makes it a popular choice, but the blush-coloured Morning Room (65 ceremony guests) and exquisite golden Tapestry Room (65 ceremony guests) are also favoured by couples looking for an intimate location. Meanwhile, the Library and Salon (65 ceremony guests) are perfect if you’re hoping for a ceremony room that opens directly onto the lawns. When it comes to receptions, you’re spoilt for choice, as they can be hosted in one or all of the ground-floor rooms including the Tapestry Room (56 seated dining guests), the Library (109 seated dining guests), the Salon (56 seated dining guests), the Outer Hall, the Morning Room (56 seated dining guests), and the bar and lounge. When the weather is too good to stay indoors, guests can spill out onto the lawns directly from the Library and Salon. The venue also has a stretch tent located on the lawn, which you’re welcome to use. Overall, Leigh Court can hold up to 400 for the evening reception if you choose to hire a marquee. 23 STORYBOOK VENUES

SIMPLYelegant Anna and Mat celebrated their marriage at St Audries Park creating plenty of magical memories along the way Images courtesy of Hannah Barnes Photography 24

Anna met Mat in her home town of Minehead in 2014, while he was in town for a stag do at Butlins. She was sitting outside a local pub when Mat and his mates walked in. Anna’s friend caught their eye and they went over to join her table. Anna and Mat hit if off that night and kept in touch after he’d returned home. They continued a long-distance relationship for a while with Anna travelling to Stroud every three weeks to see Mat, until they eventually moved in together in 2015. “We both fell for each other and were best friends from the beginning,” Anna says. Mat proposed on Christmas Day with a Haribo ring! It was 2020 so he told Anna that he hadn’t been able to get out and choose a real one. But lo and behold, when she opened her present neatly wrapped beneath the tree, it was a real, shiny engagement ring! Anna remembers: “I started crying and our three-year-old said, ‘I will marry you mummy,’ as she thought I was sad! Bless her.” Since the couple met in Somerset, it felt only right that they should get married there and fell for the orangery at St Audries Park. They’d have a lot of friends travelling from Stroud, so they wanted somewhere that offered accommodation and St Audries also fulfilled this part of the brief. Read on as bride Anna tells us more about the big day: 29th April, 2023... SETTING THE SCENE For wedding favours, the couple bought scratch cards and gave them to guests with a sixpence. “This went down well and quite a few won!” says Anna. “I liked the idea of the sixpence rather than a penny due to the link with weddings and luck.” Guests were also gifted toiletry boxes full of useful things such as mints, sewing kit, deodorant and more. We’re told these were a real hit! The bride also made her own wedding newspapers, which contained the order of the day, in-memory-of section, and the couple’s love story. These were laid out in the bar and guest bedrooms. Anna wanted the table plan to be personal, so each one was named after the train stop between Stroud and Taunton. This featured the guests’ full names, whereas the place cards bore their nicknames. The bride designed the centrepieces herself. Each one featured a log slice with three vases on top, each a different shape and size. The flowers were provided by their wedding florist, but Anna arranged them the night before. Gypsophila filled two of the vases, while the other held a single cream rose. “The venue was fantastic and laying out the tables exactly as I wanted them. I also added some advice-for-the-bride cards I’d had made,” Anna tells us. St Audries Park provides in-house floral displays for use throughout, but the couple added their own signing table arrangement for the orangery, which was then moved to the top table for the reception. There were also beautiful blooms for the bride and her bridesmaids, including a toss bouquet, buttonholes and a cake arrangement. Anna added a charm containing a picture of her late nan to her bouquet. The couple enlisted the help of Homemade Cakes by Juliet for the big-day bake. They knew her creations well as she’d also 25 REAL WEDDINGS

FLORISTRY, FLOWER PRESERVATION AND BESPOKE BOTANICAL JEWELLERY “Sometimes you do not know the value of a moment, until it becomes a memory” — Dr Seuss At Olive & Ivy, I o er bespoke ower preservation services which are unique and tailored to each individual. Whether you want to display your owers in a frame, or have it turned into a piece of jewellery such as a necklace or earrings, I can create something beautiful that can always remind you of your special day. Studio Flo ist helping you create your flower vision. I treat each wedding personally, addressing the couples individual tastes to bring their flower vision to life. _moonsblooms THE HOG ROAST CATERER Quality Catering Throughout The UK The Hog Roast Caterer is an established family run business, specialising in Hog Roasts, Lamb Roasts, Mixed Meats Roasts (Carvery) and Gourmet Barbecues with a diverse selection of sides and accompaniments available. We use only the finest produce available, we prepare and cook onsite to achieve maximum freshness and we promise to make your special event a memorable experience and remembered for the right reasons. Call us today to discuss your requirements Mobile: 07817 728244 OVER 30 YEARS’ EXPERIENCE Professional Photographer with a BA (Hons) Photomedia WWW.CELESTENOURSE.CO.UK Experienced in portraits, landscape, fine art, architecture, and social documentary style photography; and working with colour, black and white, and digitally enhanced images. I provide an online password protected gallery to all my couples as well as a CD for viewing on a computer ot DVD player Cel te N r PHOTOGRAPHY

made their daughter’s Christening cake. For the wedding she made lemon and elderflower, and salted caramel tiers. It received great acclaim with guests commenting on how delicious it was. The venue provided the catering, which was outstanding and delighted all assembled. An acrylic welcome sign was decorated by local company Balloons & Ribbons to complement the colour palette. Anna was lucky enough to win the hire of the flower wall and neon sign from a competition on Instagram. LOOKING THE PART Anna wore a Sophia Tolli gown. “When deciding what to wear, I was very drawn to the Italian style of tight-fitting, lace dresses and particularly wanted long sleeves,” she explains. She tried on many gowns in various boutiques across Somerset and Gloucestershire, eventually coming across Sophia Tolli on Instagram. So, she found a boutique that stocked her designs and fell in love with Finley. “It was lacey, elegant with a slight boho twist and the back was gorgeous. I had alterations made so it fit me like a glove. By the end of the night it was ripped to shreds but I was having too much of a good time to care!” Mat wore a Marc Darcy suit, while his groomsmen’s attire in a similar dark blue tweed was hired. The groom’s stood out, but was complementary enough that it was perfectly set off. The gents all wore ties and pocket squares to match the bridesmaids’ outfits. The bride tribe was dressed in long nude chiffon dresses. “I found a gorgeous cowl neck style that suited everyone,” Anna says. The flowergirl meanwhile wore a beautiful mini wedding dress in ivory with a cute heart detail on the back. “Our guests haven’t stopped talking about it being the best wedding they’ve ever been to!” – Anna TIME TO CELEBRATE Anna and Mat arranged for a personal song to be written and performed by Jamie Mathias at the wedding breakfast as a surprise for their guests. It was a huge success and loved ones cried “encore,” so he performed two more songs. The room was alive by 6pm. To add to the festivities the bridesmaids organised a game of Mr & Mrs, where the newlyweds needed to answer questions on who was better at certain things and raced to drink a shot. They also hired a sax player for the evening reception. He entered via the balcony during the first dance, also a surprise for the guests. The first dance started to Tom Walker and mixed into Jubel by Klingande. The saxophonist then continued to play throughout the evening alongside the DJ. MEMORABLE MOMENTS On wedding morn, the bride woke up to a robin singing outside her window. This was significant to her as her grandad always told her he’d come back as one. “At every milestone in my life there’s been a robin there,” she says. The couple’s daughter who is five did a reading during the ceremony. One of Anna’s friends was due to do the honours but gallantly stepped aside after she witnessed the couple discussing it one evening, at which point little Eva piped up: “I’ll read it mummy!” How could anyone say “no” to that? Anna remembers: “On the day, after only one practice, she stood up and read it so beautifully. It’s a moment that really stands out to me.” REAL WEDDINGS 27

ROLL CREDITS Venue, St Audries Park, | Photography, Hannah Barnes Photography, | Bride’s dress and accessories, Taffeta & Lace, | Groom’s suit, Famous On The Prom, | Bridesmaids’ dresses, David’s Bridal Birmingham |Groomsmen’s attire, Tuxedo Junction, | Wedding rings, Goldsmiths | Hair stylist, Hair by Georgie, Make-up artist, Charlotte Tillyer Hair & Make up Artist, | Cake, Home Made Cakes by Juliet, | Flowers, Loolabells, | Stationery, Abbie Worton Design, | Entertainment, Somerset Wedding Services, | Jamie Mathias, | Joe Glynn Sax, | Balloons, Balloons & Ribbons, | Nails, Emma Nails, | Flower wall, Diamond Event Styling, | Acrylic sign, Rose Signage Co, 28

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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

JOURNEY Sentimental Michelle and Paul said “I do” at the breathtaking Leigh Court and added a touch of travel to their styling Images courtesy of Interlace Photography Michelle and Paul found each other online and met up in Bath for their first date. It was intended to be coffee, but it soon turned into a small walking tour of the city followed by dinner. “From the outset, I liked Paul’s positive demeanour and confidence,” Michelle says. We fast forward and find the couple on holiday in Barbados. They were invited to Michelle’s best friend’s wedding there, but decided to turn it into a longer trip since they’d been cooped up for so long thanks to Covid. They hired a car and decided to explore the island, picking Farely Hill National Park to visit, which offered incredible views over the Atlantic and the East Coast. Paul suggested they take advantage of this remarkable photo opportunity and when Michelle turned around to face the camera, she found him on one knee. “My initial thought was that he’d somehow fallen over, but then I noticed the ring. It was a total surprise! He’d bought a temporary one and I received the real engagement ring when we got home. He’d worked with a company to design it. It’s so special,” Michelle shares. The couple decided on Leigh Court as their location for the big day, a stunning venue bursting with history and elegance. “The ceremony room is beautiful and gave us the wow factor we were looking for when we first saw it,” Michelle explains. So, the date was set for 20th May, 2023. Read on as the bride tells us more... 31 REAL WEDDINGS