Your Bristol & Somerset Wedding - December/January 2023/2024 (Issue 98)

WIN! A mini-moon in Rhodes Eight-page grooms' special OH, GO ON THEN! Big-day bakes DEC 23/JAN 24 £3.55 LET'S HEAR IT FOR THE BOY BRISTOL SOMERSET & WEDDING In vogue 2024’s bridalwear trends Once and Floral Bouquets to centrepieces and beyond.

An award winning bridal boutique based in central Bath offering affordable designer gowns and bridal accessories. Featuring gowns by Enzoani, Blue by Enzoani, Ellis Bridals, Maggie Sottero, Ronald Joyce and Mia Mia. Krystle Brides 11 St James’s Parade, Bath, BA1 1UL 01225 446844

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 51 HOT TOPIC: WINTER VIBES Local experts offer stellar advice on creating your own winter wonderland wedding 89 COMPETITION Win a mini-moon in Rhodes worth £1,300 CONTENTS DECEMBER 2023/JANUARY 2024 VENUES 15 SPOTLIGHT ON... Tie the knot in a Bristol hotspot 18 COMFY AND COSY ARE WE We round up the region’s cosiest venues, each one a dream for a winter wonderland wedding On the cover This issue’s cover shot of real wedding couple Emily and Joe was captured at their venue, Old Oak Farm (, by Simon and Kiana Photography ( Turn to page 28 for the story of their day. 43 33 FEATURES 39 DREAMY DAYS Captured at Waterside Country Barn in Taunton, this local shoot evokes the warmth of balmy summer days 43 ONCE AND FLORAL Bunches of wedding flower inspiration from bouquets to centrepieces and beyond 47 OH, GO ON THEN! Discover what’s hot for 2024 in the wonderful world of wedding cakes 3

REAL WEDDINGS 22 HERE COMES THE SUN Despite the showers, Hannah and Ben enjoyed every moment of their vintage-themed celebrations to the full 28 YOU’RE TIMELESS TO ME Emily and Joe adopted a minimalist and chic approach for their big day style, with a nod to the natural world 33 SOULMATES Emilene and Mark said “I do” at Batch Country House in August 2023 HONEYMOONS 82 HONEYMOON NEWS Our travel editor reveals the newest openings and honeymoon essentials 84 THE ITALIAN DREAM Discover the delights of Sardinia with a stay at the impressive Forte Village 86 AN ICONIC ISLAND A honeymooners’ paradise, Grand Palladium Hotels & Resorts in Montego Bay have it all 88 WHAT A TREAT! The stylish Retreat at Elcot Park is country-house comfort at its best FASHION & BEAUTY 54 FASHION FOCUS The latest bridal fashion news, buys and launches 55 PARTY PIECES Dazzle at a Christmas or winter wedding in stunning silver and crystal accessories 57 A TOUCH OF COLOUR Winter isn’t about wearing a white wedding dress, pick a fruit-pastel inspired shade or something a little bolder 61 IN VOGUE These model looks showcase the hottest bridal trends for 2024, with delicate details, texture takeovers and playful shorter styles 66 BEAUTY BUZZ Get the look with the latest must-haves 68 BEAUTY QUEEN We chat to Hannah Martin about her new book, Makeup, and all things bridal beauty 70 WELL GROUNDED If wedding planning stress is getting the better of you, take this time-out with Ground Wellbeing’s Peigin Crowley 39 73 22 GROOMS 73 THE BOYS ARE BACK IN TOWN This Peaky Blinders inspired grooms’ shoot shows off Crowcombe Court’s new Gallery Room in showstopping style 77 GROOMS’ NEWS The latest best buys and product launches 78 BEAUTY Q&A: GROOMS’ SPECIAL Look and feel your big-day best with help from the professionals 79 MANE ATTRACTION Influencer Eyal Booker and his brother Ariel reveal their top hair care tips for grooms-to-be 80 DRESSED TO KILL Channel your inner James Bond with these black-tie options for the groom-to-be 28 66 4

Let us treat your pet to a pamper session with Kelly Davis before you walk them up the aisle. Let us lay on a distinct, art-curated table or ceremony arrangement which reflects your quirks. Let us reward the bridal party with a spot of Balinese spa therapy as you prepare for the big event. Defy convention. Celebrate your day your way with a bespoke wedding at the historic Charlton House. Charlton Rd, Shepton Mallet, BA4 4PR details at Let us bring your creative vision to life.

Well, here we are at the end of the another year. Is it me, or did 2023 fly by faster than usual? Mind you, with the pandemic growing more and more distant in our rear view mirrors as weddings embrace a sense of back to normality, it’s no wonder really. The highlights for me were the Coronation and Carlos Alcaraz’s brilliant win at Wimbledon, as well as getting to see some more of Europe and, of course, celebrating Your Bristol & Somerset Wedding’s shiny new website! When you’ve read this issue, why not have a look around? There’s plenty on offer to keep you ahead of the curve with your wedding planning. Autumn was unseasonably warm, so I have everything crossed from some chilly weather this winter; especially for those of you with cosy December or January nuptials in store. Summer’s all well and good, but the time comes when it’s great to just snuggle up in your favourite jumper and curl up with your spouse-to-be in front of your favourite Netflix show, or better still, with your tablet and favourite wedding magazine! This issue we’ve created an entire section dedicated to all you gorgeous grooms out there! From a Q&A special looking into your grooming and fashion worries, to an oh-so cool Peaky Blinders-inspired shoot, you won’t want to miss a page. Finally, for a touch of winter magic, check out our Hot Topic pages where the region’s experts tell us how to bring the joy of the season to your nuptials. So as ever, enjoy and keeeep planning! Kelly Andrews, editor Winte warmer Ke y 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 Rhodes 43 FLORAL FANTASY I’m bloomin’ obsessed with flowers, so our annual feature dedicated to the topic is one of my favourites to put together. This time out we’re offering oodles of inspiration on ceremony and reception flowers, plus accessories for the wedding party. 39 DRESS DREAMS Just because it’s cold outside, doesn’t mean it can’t be summer in our hearts! Bring a little brightness into your life with this cute shoot inspired by dreamy days. And can I just mention this stunning dress? 28 BOUNCE BACK Emily and Joe had an absolute riot on their bouncy castle, particularly with their wedding party who all ended up in a heap at one point. So... much... fun! @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

LA BONNE CRÊPE MAKES THE BEST CRÊPES AND GALETTES ON THIS SIDE OF THE CHANNEL ! Feeding the carnivorous, the vegans, and those with an insatiable sweet tooth from breakfast until late at night. We make our crêpes and galettes deliciously tasty and your special day even more special! LA BONNE CRÊPE TRULY MAKES THE BEST PANCAKES ON THIS SIDE OF THE CHANNEL ! Freshly made to order using the finest buckwheat and wheat flour, our crêpes and galettes are filled with love and flavour. We believe in sustainability and we cook authentic traditional crêpes and galettes with fair-trade, organic, ethical, locally sourced ingredients. We also cater for wheat/gluten/dairy/egg free diets. Get in Touch! | | 07947 457814 | Facebook: La Bonne Crepe 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.

NEWS Nearlywed Catch up on the latest from around the county IT MAKES PERFECT SCENTS Bristol-based Scents of Humour was born out of the Covid-19 chaos when founder Jack was unemployed due to the pandemic. At the time, and having just become a father to baby Henry, he and good friend Aaron hatched a plan to design and make candles in their kitchens. The two have been friends since school and always joked about making products together. Following a successful launch in 2020, Aaron took a step away from the business due to work commitments, leaving Jack and his wife Katie to run Scents of Humour. Although Jack has since gone back to work full time, he and Katie have kept the company going in their spare time. “Running the business gives us so much enjoyment – making candles and trying to come up with funny new names for them,” Jack says. As well as the hand-poured soy candles, which would make fab gifts for your bridal party, Scents of Humour is now also offering candle-making kits: Make Scents. Priced at £40, these include everything you need to make two 220g candles and are available in several fragrance options including Mums N’ Roses, Bruce Spring Clean and Better Latte Than Never. We think these are a lovely idea for a fun and crafty hen do activity. Find out more at TIME TO DINE Based in Wincanton, Somerset, the team at Dorset Fine Dining have been looking forward to the new year and putting together some new and exciting ideas to bring to weddings. Recognising that sharing and relaxed weddings are on the increase, the team will be offering live chef stations, where they’ll put together a large Pavlova for guests to help themselves to, as well as other offerings. We love the idea of this piece of spectacle and theatre for a wedding day! Spider crab croquettes are new to the menu, a lovely canapé with hollandaise sauce, as well as potato and chocolate gnocchi lolly pops. Chef Nick Holt says, “Your wedding food should be remembered long after the big day, using British ingredients of distinction we’ll create an eye-catching and mouthwatering menu prepared with skill.” You can choose each dish from the extensive menus or allow Nick and his team to create your own bespoke menu – anything is possible! You’re also offered a tasting at Dorset Fine Dining HQ, where you’ll have the opportunity, alongside Nick, to go through everything you need to think about for the lead up to the day. A bar service is also on offer should you require. Find out more at 9 LOCAL NEWS OOH LA LA! La Bonne Crêpe makes some of the finest crêpes and galettes on this side of the channel and, new in town, is now available to cater your Bristol or Somerset wedding. Freshly made to order using the finest buckwheat and wheat flower, these delicious crêpes and galettes are filled with love and flavour. Owner Florence believes in sustainability and she and her team cook these authentic, traditional treats with Fairtrade, organic, ethical, and locally-sourced ingredients. They also cater for wheat-, gluten-, dairy-, and egg-free diets, feeding everyone from breakfast until late whatever their dietary requirements. “We make our food deliciously tasty and your special day even more special,” says Florence. Find out more at

HEALING WATERS The Gainsborough Bath Spa has announced a new wellness partnership with innovative Hungarian skincare brand Omorovicza. The collaboration will see five new mineral cure rituals added to the hotel’s Spa Village menu, which already benefits from exclusive access to Bath’s natural thermal springs, celebrated since Roman times for their remarkable wellness properties. In perfect harmony with this, Omorovicza encapsulates the healing minerals of Budapest’s thermal waters by harnessing their curative powers to reach the deepest layers of the skin. The new, powerful mineral-based treatments boast a range of benefits that stem from the healing properties of the thermal waters, such as assisting with inflammation, detoxifying the body and unlocking youthful vitality. The mineral cure rituals will range from full body massages and mineral mud scrubs to revitalising and hydrating facials. The new Omorovicza Mineral Cure Ritual Treatments are available to book at The Gainsborough Bath Spa now for both day and overnight guests, starting from £175. To find out more and book head over to SOMERSET’S BOUNTY Located between the vibrant market towns of Bruton and Castle Cary, The Newt in Somerset is a working estate in the heart of the West Country. Now, thanks to its expanding online shop, it’s bringing the bounties of its landscape direct to your door, with the promise of convenient, reliable two-day door-to-door delivery available to most postcodes across the South West. The Newt’s online shop first launched during lockdown in 2020 and has since amassed a loyal following for its fresh and nutritious produce. The estate’s food philosophy is rooted in putting more into the land than it takes out. Combining traditional practices with modern facilities, farming and thinking, this results in a range of products offering a true taste of this ageold landscape crafted by the people who care for it. The team are now baking, butchering and harvesting to order – reducing waste and ensuring the freshest possible items are prepared or picked individually for each customer. Plus, alongside products from the estate’s farmland, orchards, kitchens, bakery, butchery, creamery and cydery, The Newt in Somerset also works closely with neighbouring suppliers championing British growers and producers, with a focus on the South West, and spotlighting partners who share the same approach to quality and sustainability. Check out Scan to view video 10 CHEERS TO YOU The Gilchrist Collection’s CEO Samantha Gilchrist has conducted a survey of 2,000 UK adults to learn about their wedding drinking habits. Sober guests said they were often left feeling uncomfortable sipping a soft drink, as 35 per cent of respondents said they’re questioned about it. In response to the lack of non-alcoholic options available at venues, The Gilchrist Collection has partnered with star barman Merlin Griffiths from Channel 4’s First Dates to add to the venues’ existing menu, providing sober guests with three new grown-up and celebration-worthy options. Each recipe is perfectly suited to various key moments during the celebrations. Samantha says, “Rather than mimic existing cocktails or simply mix together some fruit juices, each of the new drinks has been designed to give the happy couple and their guests the chance to experience all the wonderful flavours a cocktail has, but without the alcohol. For more, head over to Your local Gilchrist Collection venue is TO EXCITING OPPORTUNITIES Barrels and orchards, boats and jetties, trains and steam... and you thought weddings could only take place in grand houses! From cider orchards to local waterways, and railways Jackie and Deb at Just Ceremonies are raising a toast to exciting new partnerships. The ladies are thrilled to have embarked on plans to conduct celebrant-led weddings in some unique and unusual locations such as in the Orchard at Sheppy’s Cider, near Taunton. Did you know, a small, intimate wedding can take place inside an actual cider barrel? In spring, the venue can even provide natural confetti in the form of apple blossom as your celebration unfolds. In a hectic world, Jackie and Deb have refined how they approach cherished moments. “Every moment is worth savouring and every story worth telling,” they tell us. Find out more at

With our expertise and passion for producing great food, we will work with you to create a unique menu to suit your requirements. Professional catering for all occasions. ADRIAN PRITCHARD — Close Up Magician — Some of the clients I have had the pleasure of performing for include: The Annual Charity Ball for The Lord Mayor of Bristol, Vodafone, Carphone Warehouse, Glow corporate events, The Roman Baths and BBC Bristol Radio, as well as many hotels and clubs around the country. I also have a residency at Steak of the Art restaurant in Bristol. If you are looking to book a magician to add a touch of sparkle to your wedding, I guarantee to offer your guests an experience they’ll never forget. aidimagic | aidimagic | 07306 804202 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

eye do! by Jane Dare Wedding Makeup Artist Mobile service in the south west Call Jane 07971 298490 @eyedomakeup_janedare68 | 07889 669 529 | Timeless Documentary Style Wedding Photography Based in Somerset Scan Me

Great giveaways and discounts up for grabs THE STORY OF US Deb Stodgell and Jackie Aldrich are the celebrants behind Somerset-based Just Ceremonies. Both have many years of experience working within the wedding industry, and love nothing more than bringing their couples’ and families’ stories to life via the the celebrant-led ceremonies they create and conduct, putting you and your loved ones at the heart of the day. After all, whatever’s important to you is what really matters to them. Deb and Jackie will work collaboratively with you to craft a bespoke ceremony that truly reflects the two of you as a couple, whatever your hopes and dreams are for this all-important part of the day – the reason everyone has gathered. The ladies say, “We will work in a supportive, warm and friendly manner and offer time-honoured values of good manners, reliability, care, compassion and the utmost professionalism because, even in this modern world, we believe that these ethics are just as important as they ever were. For us, our time with you isn’t just about writing a script or delivering it but helping to create a memory with you at the centre that will last for years to come.” We’re delighted to partner with Just Ceremonies to offer readers a 10% discount off the usual fee when you book your 2024 wedding ceremony with Jackie or Deb. To claim, simply get in touch via and quote JD10/2023 by 31st January, 2024. WIN TWO STRIKING ACCURIST WATCHES WORTH UP TO £538! County Wedding Magazines has teamed up with British heritage watch brand Accurist to offer readers the chance to win this ultimate prize package for nearlyweds. Brides-to-be have the choice of a stunning set from Accurist and Sarah Alexander collaboration ( Priced from £209 to £289. This curation of nine unique giftsets, combines Sarah Alexander jewellery with Accurists best-selling, vintage-inspired Rectangle and Jewellery collections. All gift sets have been hand curated to showcase a coordinated look, featuring bangles, bracelets, earrings and necklaces with a wide variety of unique gemstones such as Rose Quartz, Mother of Pearl and Blue Kyanite − winners will be hard-pressed to choose! Grooms-to-be have the tough choice of selecting a dashing watch from one of Accurists men’s collection ( Priced from £119 to £249. Whether you go for a 1950s-inspired ‘Classic’ collection or the bold design of its ‘70s bestseller ‘Origin’ collection, all of Accurists’ collections have taken inspiration from 77 years of British watchmaking. Each watch comes with quick-release interchangeable straps, a five-year extended warranty and unique features in each collection. What’s more, whether you require the above two sets, or two brides or grooms, both come presented in Accurists watch roll gift packaging and can be personalised with engraving on the case back − perfect for the happy day. Check out Enter online via the website by 31st January, 2024. Terms and conditions apply. Freebies& OFFERS WIN! FREEBIES & OFFERS 13

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 Founded in 1818, The Clifton Club provides unrivalled hospitality in luxurious regency surroundings. Overlooking the beautiful Mall Gardens and just a stone’s throw away from the Clifton Suspension Bridge, this magnificent, historic Club radiates comfort, luxury and charm and is the perfect setting for weddings and civil partnerships in the most breathtaking surroundings. The Club is perfectly situated in the heart of Clifton Village, which boasts of pebbled streets, Georgian architecture and Clifton Down common with over 400 acres of parks overlooking the Avon Gorge. Bespoke Wedding Service | Luxurious Heritage Interiors | Dedicated Events Team | Free Wedding Menu Tasting | Exceptional Service Guaranteed | Exclusively Yours | Ceremony Only Options Available If you would like to discuss your perfect wedding day, please do get in touch and a member of our dedicated team: Nestled in the heart of Clifton Village, overlooking The Mall Gardens, The Clifton Club is fully licensed to hold wedding ceremonies and civil partnerships in one of three beautiful rooms within our grand Georgian building. From intimate ceremonies to grand occasions, The Clifton Club is the perfect wedding venue choice. Fine Dining is prepared in house by our Head Chef, with a complimentary Wedding Menu Tasting provided for the Bride & Groom. Bespoke Wedding Service • Luxurious Heritage Interiors • Dedicated Events Team Exceptional Service Guaranteed • Exclusively Yours • Ceremony Only Options Available For further information or for a copy of our Wedding Brochure, please get in touch 0117 9745039 | | Instagram: @TheCliftonClub / @CliftonClubWeddings | Facebook: The Clifton Club The Clifton Club, 22 The Mall, Clifton, Bristol BS8 4DS The Clifton Club is best known for its traditional heritage, opulent interiors, and reputation for providing the highest quality, fine dining food, with locally sourced ingredients by our resident Head Chef, who brings vast experience and creativity to every meal. The Clifton Club can accommodate up to 100 guests seated for a wedding breakfast, with a maximum capacity of 120 for an evening reception.

Spotlight on... BRISTOL Tie the knot in a local hotspot ARMADA HOUSE 0117 235 5167 | Lovingly restored and located in the heart of Bristol, Armada House is a captivating wedding venue exuding charm and elegance. Housed in a beautiful historical building, it offers the perfect blend of classic architecture and modern amenities. The stunning interiors with their high ceilings, ornate details and abundant natural light create a romantic and enchanting atmosphere that sets the stage for an unforgettable wedding celebration. The Elizabeth Suite is a regal space with parquet flooring, large windows and stunning period features. Light, airy and elegant, it’s the quintessential place for a wedding. The largest of the three wedding spaces, it has a capacity of 120 seated or 170 standing. The Wallace Suite too boasts plenty of natural light and period features. With gorgeous chandeliers, a private bar, and beautiful décor, this room is ideal for a luxurious and sophisticated event. The Brunel with its original flooring and magnificent 17th-century fireplace offers modern comforts with a historical atmosphere. Enjoy floods of natural light in this space, ideal for intimate occasions. The venue offers three packages: Ceremony Only hire between 10am to 5pm, Full Wedding including ceremony, wedding breakfast and evening reception; and Bespoke allowing you the opportunity to create your perfect day. 15 LOCAL VENUES

PAINTWORKS EVENT SPACE 0117 971 4320 | Paintworks Event Space is an impressive industrial venue offering a rare mix of intimacy for ceremonies, with amazing scope for receptions. This striking blank canvas space is perfect for bespoke weddings in an original urban setting. The scale of the venue with its high ceilings, exposed brick and stonework makes it a perfect backdrop for a contemporary wedding. Stylish, upbeat and effortlessly cool, the space works best for those who want to create a look and feel that’s true to them. Two stylish outside courtyards adjoin the venue and hidden industrial alleyways all over the site provide limitless striking and quirky photo opportunities. The venue is one large space and can be divided into different areas without the need to change the layout during the day. With the 140-guest horseshoe setup that the ceremony space allows, the team can create intimate and close “I dos” for you. The industrial gallery with brick walls and steel beams offers several layout options and plenty of opportunities to dress the room in a way that’s personal to you. The lighting and AV supplier, Pytch, will also help you transform the space with any lighting and ceiling décor your want. Since two-day hire is standard, you’ll have plenty of time too for dressing and decorating the room. Overall the space can accommodate 250 for the wedding breakfast and evening reception. MERCHANTS’ HALL 0117 973 8058 | Steeped in history and located in spacious private grounds just a short walk from picturesque Clifton Village, the magnificent Merchants’ Hall is a grand, detached house that offers a memorable venue for your big day. Whether you decide to hire a particular function room or the entire Hall for exclusive use, the venue’s professional events team will provide an outstanding service alongside meticulous planning to ensure your wedding is perfect in every way. Merchants’ Hall boasts a variety of impressive function rooms, each with its own ambience. The spacious Reception Room features a Steinway piano, gilt-framed paintings and antique furniture. Large windows flood the room with natural light, while glittering chandeliers illuminate the space by night. The space can host 120 standing, 104 for the wedding breakfast or 80 seated theatre style. The Dining Room is an impressive space providing a memorable setting for a wedding breakfast. Comfortably seating up to 100 guests, the 18thcentury Georgian chandeliers are a striking feature of the room. There are a number of different seating options and the team will work with you to design the ideal arrangement. French doors lead from the Dining Room onto an elegant, raised stone terrace overlooking beautifully landscaped gardens. The perfect spot to enjoy a relaxing drink on the lawn with your guests during the warmer months, and a stunning setting for those all-important photographs. No grand Victorian hall would be complete without the services of a butler, so Merchants’ Hall will kindly provide one for your big day, who also acts as toastmaster ensuring events unfold seamlessly. A footman dressed in the finest red livery is available too, if required, to greet your guests and direct car parking. 16

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

Snowstopper We round up the region’s cosiest venues, each one a dream for a winter wonderland wedding BATCH COUNTRY HOUSE 01934 750 371 | A comfortable home with a traditional farmhouse feel, Batch Country House boasts cosy lounge areas and ample space. An exclusive-use venue it only hosts one wedding per day. The venue’s beautiful, awardwinning landscaped gardens overlook the Mendip Hills, and you’ll find plenty of water features dotted around including ponds, waterfalls and fountains. Plus, the outdoor photo opportunities are endless. Batch Country House is licensed for indoor and outdoor civil ceremonies. Outside, the garden gazebo is available and can seat up to 130 loved ones. Indoor ceremonies are held in the Somerset Suite, the venue’s wonderful converted barn, complete with beams, minster fireplace and hand-crafted oak doors. It can seat up to 120 for the ceremony. Receptions are most often hosted in the Ivory Suite for a maximum of 250 guests. It’s a permanent building decorated in a marquee style with ivory drapes, chandeliers, starlit dancefloor and canopy. There’s also a full working bar, air conditioning and central heating so you’ll be comfortable whatever the weather. The venue offers a complimentary overnight stay in the bridal suite on the night of the wedding. 18

BAILBROOK HOUSE HOTEL 01225 855 100 | Set on a hillside, Bailbrook House Hotel overlooks the glorious landscapes of Bath and the Avon Valley. With its beautiful period features and warm, welcoming atmosphere, it offers the ultimate countryhouse wedding experience. Dating back to the 1790s it retains all the characterful glory of its bygone years with striking original features including delicate cornicing, crystal chandeliers and dramatic feature fireplaces. The Hotel’s 20 acres of private grounds, landscaped gardens and parkland offer picture-perfect locations for those all-important photographs, complete with a lovers’ bench and views across the city of Bath in the distance. Bailbrook House has five licensed ceremony rooms offering you the choice of intimate Georgian mansion house splendour (Princess Elizabeth, Duke of Clarence, and Queen Charlotte Rooms) through to larger and more contemporary spaces (Landsdown and Brunel Suites) hosting up to 130 loved ones. There’s also a wealth of beautiful spots to choose from for your drinks reception. Cloisters is the basement restaurant with access to the front terrace and gorgeous views. It can host 60. The Royal Lounges situated in the house can accommodate 90; while the front terrace overlooking the Avon Valley and Bath, and the Conservatory Bar with its own lounge area, patio, and access to lawns can both host 120. The Duke of Clarence Georgian dining room (30 guests), Queen Charlotte Georgian dining room (45 guests), Cloisters fine-dining restaurant (65 guests), Landsdown Restaurant (70 guests) and Brunel Suite with self-contained bar, WCs, and a private entrance (120 guests) are all available for a wedding breakfast to remember. Maximum capacity for the evening do is 200. 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 you guests, which maximises the immense potential of locallysourced 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 flame grilled 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. 19 WINTER 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 breathtaking 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. LITTLE THEATRE CINEMA 01225 330 803 | Tucked away in Bath’s spa quarter is a characterful little venue full of 1930s style and charm. Offering a range of packages from the vintage extravaganza to the more simple and modest affair, Little Theatre Cinema’s experienced wedding team will guide you through every step of the way to help you create a truly unforgettable day. One of the most exciting reasons to have a Little Wedding is the use of the cinema’s projection and sound facilities to bring that personal touch. From starring in your own short film to walking down the aisle to your favourite piece of music, you and your guests will experience a wedding like no other. After the “I dos,” drinks are served in the courtyard, and included in your wedding package are mini popcorn cartons served from vintage popcorn trays. But don’t worry, if the weather doesn’t hold out, drinks can be served inside the auditorium. You may opt for Screen 1 for your ceremony – the grand auditorium with a 110 guest capacity. You’re offered a two-hour slot for arrivals, ceremony, drinks, popcorn and photos, and there are a whole host of super-special inclusions with your wedding package. The highlights for us are the red carpet experience with large red banners, a beautiful floral archway, roped bollards, white rose entwined bay trees and two frames for your own bespoke film posters. Then, once inside as well as a beautifully-dressed venue, you also get to enjoy a confetti fan experience on exit, which billows out over the balcony. For more intimate “I dos,” Screen 2 is your best option. For cosy nuptials with 65 guests, you’re also offered a two-hour slot including your drinks, popcorn and photos served in the foyer bar area. This Screen too comes with a package full of fabulous touches that you’ll love for your big day. And there’s more, as whatever package you opt for the venue will also gift you a hand-painted cinema clapper board with your names and wedding date, two complimentary cinema tickets for you to return and reminisce after the big day, plus personalised cinema tickets, which can be sent out as save-the-dates or handed out on the day of the wedding. Scan to view video 20

LEIGH COURT 01275 373 393 | Leigh Court is a beautiful 19th-century Palladian Mansion in a gorgeous historical setting. Surrounded by 27 acres of ancient wooded grounds and lush green lawns, located on the edge of Bristol it’s a perfect location for an exclusive countryside wedding. Impressive period décor adorns the Great Hall, with many of the original Greek revival-style features retained, this is the ideal area for a ceremony or drinks reception while guests marvel at the striking ceiling and original pipe organ. The Hall was recently featured in Netflix’s Bridgerton and Sanditon among other period dramas, so we’re sure that its classic backdrop will impress. Depending on the number of guests you wish to accommodate, the house has five individually decorated rooms to choose from. The Library is the most popular with space to seat up to 109 guests; and if you’d like to dance the night away, the dining tables can quickly disappear and be replaced with a shimmering dancefloor. During the warmer months, the doors of the Library open directly onto the rolling, manicured lawn, the ideal spot for your outdoor food and entertainment. The Tapestry Room also provides a beautiful setting for your ceremony and wedding breakfast, with space for up to 60 guests. In the evening, up to 200 guests can enjoy music and dancing using all the rooms on the ground floor. The gardens meanwhile are a perfect setting for serving tasty street food, as guests relax, watching the sunset from the comfortable outdoor furniture under the stretch tent. The venue’s award-winning caterer will be on hand to assist you every step of the way to deliver your dream day, creating beautiful food using seasonal and locally-produced ingredients, the menus can be designed to suit. Sustainability is at the heart of Leigh Court offsetting emissions for weddings with electricity created from 100 per cent renewable sources. For every wedding that takes place a tree is planted as a gift to the couple, and the venue has even banned plastic as much as possible so rest assured, you’ll be leaving a positive impact on the surrounding area when your day is done. BERWICK LODGE 0117 450 7605 | Berwick Lodge offers a warm and welcoming ambience; everything you’d expect from a lodge. It’s surrounded by timeless features such as original wood panelling and stone fireplaces adorned with cosy fires. A gorgeous sweeping staircase leads to 14 bedrooms, all uniquely designed and named after ancient civilizations of the Anatolian period, flaunting a subtle flare of East-meets-West; a tribute to the Turkish and British heritage of the independent owners. The Lodge is nestled within 18 acres of glorious gardens and woodland and offers views that reach across to Wales. From the ornate fountain, apple orchard and a breathtaking archway leading to the striking Aphrodite’s Dome the gardens make a wonderful backdrop for those allimportant photos. Hosting up to 100 guests for a legal ceremony the Mews, a converted stable block, is home to Mesopotamia, with its sparkling chandeliers and large sky windows, which offer a peaceful view of the woodland and countryside beyond. In the eaves of the Mews, is an elegant and understated room named the Summeria holding up to 30 nearest and dearest, its skylight views and stained-glass window entrance create a sophisticated setting for a special day. For those looking to tie the knot in the sunshine of the dreamy gardens, the venue offers three scenic locations: Aphrodite’s Dome, The Fountain, and The Archway. The venue caters for any type of wedding from an intimate elopement to grand exclusive parties for up to 150 guests. The dining room, Hattusa, can host a wedding breakfast for up to 100 guests and evening reception of up to 150 guests. Bursting with character, Hattusa features a quirky old London bar, rich wooden furniture and a flamboyant pulpit ideal for speeches. Floor-to-ceiling windows frame this bright and airy room that overlooks the quaint Summerhouse and stunning gardens. The original wooden flooring is the perfect dancefloor, and the snug lounge was made for enjoying those quieter moments. 21 WINTER VENUES

THE SUN Here comes Despite the showers, Hannah and Ben enjoyed every moment of their vintage-themed celebrations to the full Images courtesy of Shell Lawrence Photography 22

Ben winked at me while ice-skating on our first date, and in that exact moment I knew I’d found something special in this person,” says Hannah. It was remembering this special moment that made Ben book ice-skating for them again at the same rink while on a weekend away together in Bath a few years later. On the same spot where they took their first photo together, he got down on one knee and asked Hannah to marry him. “It was absolutely beautiful, the sky was dark, the air was crisp and the lights around the rink were glistening,” Hannah remembers. Hannah grew up in the village of East Coker. She was christened and her parents were married at East Coker Church, plus she spent every primary school year attending school plays and ceremonies there at Christmas. From a young age, she dreamed of getting married at the church, so the choice of ceremony location was an easy one. Ben grew up very close to Old Bridge, so the couple arranged a visit to the venue and within seconds of arriving had completely fallen in love with it. “John, Liz and Ariane have worked so hard to create such a magical space, and allow you to use it as a blank canvas,” Hannah explains. “Plus, the grounds and gardens are so well kept, even the simplest weddings look outstanding.” And thus the reception venue was chosen too, with the date set for 8th July, 2023. Read on as bride Hannah tells us all about it... SETTING THE SCENE The couple settled on a gorgeous colour palette of emerald green, gold and blush pink, with a boho and vintage theme. Hannah created the centrepieces using metal lampshades and stands, which she sprayed gold. She then used faux flowers and pampas grass in shades complementing the palette to create floral displays to sit alongside them. Kim’s Bridal Bouquets in Radstock created the bouquets and corsages. “I sent a variety of ideas to Kim and asked her to include greens, blush pink and some gold in each one. The end result was absolutely beautiful,” Hannah shares. Hannah’s dad, Martin, made a 6ft wooden arch, which together with Hannah’s mum, Kate, he sanded and stained. The bride then used the large pampas from her grandparents’ garden she’d be drying out for the past 18 months to create a magnificent floral display to decorate it. It served as a fabulous photo opportunity with guests at the reception. They also purchased some old whisky barrels, which again Martin set to work on. He sanded these down and treated them, after which Hannah’s sign-painter grandad adorned them with the couple’s initials. “This made the venue look personal and provided guests with tables to set their drinks down on while gathering in the grounds,” Hannah says. Martin owns a 1964 VW split screen Campervan, which he’s spent many years rebuilding to make it exactly as he wants. In fact, Hannah has grown up with it in her life, so she asked for her dad to drive her to her wedding in this, his pride and joy. “This was one of the most special moments for me,” she says. “Not only was my dad able to give me away, but he was able to share a big joy in his life with me.” “We felt so in love and joyful to have our families and friends around us. It really is a feeling you can’t explain.” – Hannah “ 23 REAL WEDDINGS • • 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 CARS OF CLASS CARRIAGES FOR MARRIAGES ROLLS ROYCE | JAGUAR MERCEDES | 4 & 6 DOOR LIMOUSINES WWW.CARSOFCLASS.CO.UK 01823 480898 - 07733 362762 SAWYERS COTTAGE, CURLAND, NR. TAUNTON TA3 55A Paxton & Brown are an award winning independent caterer serving Bristol and surrounding areas. Email: Insta: @paxtonandbrown Dates still available for 2024 and now taking bookings for 2025 - get in touch at

SWEET AND SAVOURY Instead of favours Hannah and Ben decided on a large sweet cart. “We are big sweet lovers and it’s a little personal joke between us that makes us smile. So we wanted it to be part of our day,” Hannah explains. The couple’s cake was made by an old work colleague. Hannah supplied her with some of their flowers and simply told her to use her imagination! “We decided we wanted one caterer for the day to cover both the wedding breakfast and the evening food, and were very quick to choose our options,” Hannah shares. They kept it simple and opted for pâté, chutney and bread, or wild arancini balls to start. This was followed by tarragon chicken open pie, steak and ale open pie or beetroot pie as the vegetarian option, all served with mash and seasonal vegetables. Then, instead of a seated final course, a dessert table was laid out, which featured brownie and blondie stacks, banoffee pies, and strawberries and cream, allowing guests to help themselves to pudding when they were ready. Hannah and Ben were both astounded by Somerset Mobile Bars. Mark went above and beyond for them on the day to ensure guests’ drink requirements were catered for. “His communication leading up to the wedding was fantastic, and covered every detail,” Hannah says. During the evening, everyone enjoyed a hearty spread of pulled pork baps, apple sausage, and goats cheese and pepper tarts. LOOKING THE PART Hannah looked stunning in her Ronald Joyce gown. She didn’t have any idea of style or shape when she started shopping, and tried on more than 20 gowns before she was able to narrow it down. Her dress was the last she tried on and she fell instantly in love, although it did require some tweaks to adapt it more to her taste. Ben, the couple’s son, and the groomsmen all wore a navy blue three-piece Limehause suit with a gold pin stripe. These were complemented with dark emerald green ties and personalised gold tie clips for each of the groomsmen. The three bridesmaids wore stunning emerald green, off-theshoulder, floor-length dresses.“ The quality and comfort of them was wonderful,” Hannah remembers. CELEBRATE IN STYLE The couple hired local band The IOUs, who began entertaining guests from the moment they arrived. Band member Nick played an acoustic set during the welcome drinks. The complete band played two 90-minute sets later on in the evening, keeping the dancefloor packed. “They were great at keeping everyone on their feet, singing and dancing away,” Hannah remembers. “They performed a variety of music for all ages and even had a few moments duirng the evening where they got the groomsmen, myself and Ben up on the stage to sing!” Nick even learned the couple’s first dance song at their request. The tune they chose, Universe by Coldplay, was sentimental to them as it was the first one to play just after Ben proposed on the ice. “He did a fantastic cover and it really made the moment special and intimate for us.” REAL WEDDINGS 25