Your Bristol & Somerset Wedding - February/March 2024 (Issue 99)

HOT TOPIC first steps This issue we asked our experts to offer those of you just starting out on your wedding planning journey some advice as you take those first tentative steps “WE DO” Amber Packer-Hughes from Somerset Wedding Service ( says: Location, location, location! Where you want to marry dictates everything else. Decide if you want a church or civil wedding, then go venue hunting. If you’ve opted for a civil ceremony, next you’ll need to book the registrars to actually marry you. Get in touch as soon as you know your date and venue. We normally take bookings up to two years ahead and summer Saturdays get filled up pretty fast. This really is crucial and we panic on behalf of the couples we meet who’ve got everything else nailed down but haven’t booked the official stuff with only a few months to go! For the most up-to-date info on all licensed ceremony venues, you should check council websites. Since we licence the venues, we list very single one in our districts. You’ll find some hidden gems that don’t crop up on the usual sources, from barns and inns, to castles and country houses in Somerset and North Somerset. AL-FRESCO FUN Caz Champman, co-owner of Fireflower Tipis (, says: A tipi wedding is a fun experience for couples and guests alike. If this is your vibe, when you start planning, find a location that allows tipis and can accommodate their size. It’s also useful to consider the access, power supply and availability of toilets, although we can organise these for you. Have an idea of budget, and particularly the amount of guests, as this allows us to work out how many hats you’ll need. Research tipi companies and find one that’s reputable and that you get on with. They’ll be on hand throughout your entire planning process. Book a site visit so you can meet the team building your tipis and discuss layout, access and so on. Then, start thinking about your theme and all the smaller details. Consider your furniture options and how you want your day to flow, as well as the catering and whether this affects your choice of furniture and layout. The tipis are fabulous lit up with fairylights and festoons, and do lend themselves to being a really flexible wedding venue. If you’re celebrating your big day in the slightly colder months we can add heaters, firepits and throws to add to the atmosphere and keep you all warm. We can fully enclose the tipis in the winter too, so they’re versatile all year round. FLOWER POWER Sky Roantree from The Roantree ( says: Don’t underestimate the power of flowers! They can magically transform any space with their beauty, and we love to use the Secret Language of Flowers to add hidden meaning to your bouquets and displays. Think centrepieces, clouds, arches, pedestals and more when planning your vision. Your wedding is a once-in-a-lifetime occasion, so make it stand out with memorable floral landscapes. Wedding flowers are an investment. They’re luxurious and often more expensive than you might expect. Take this into account when budgeting for your big day and remember that they’ll be a major feature, living on forever in your photographs and memories. Finally, choose a florist that inspires you. There are many styles of floristry out there so pick a florist whose designs you love. Beyond the florals, the team putting it all together is equally as important. You’re going to be working with them for the next however many months, so make sure you like and trust them. Most offer free wedding consultations so use this to find the best match for you and your big day. 51 EXPERT ADVICE