West Weddings Autumn 2013

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Fall into autumn Kingswood School opens its doors for our beautiful seasonal photoshoot


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Anne Harding

Bristol’s only Bridal Specialist that offers you the option to hire, design or buy your designer wedding gown. Ask us for more information on our exclusive hire options and our interest free monthly payment plans. View our range of bridesmaids dresses and don’t forget our mens formal hire, offering the best service and styles for miles!

Find us on facebook

(Anne Harding Bristol)


NEW 2014 gowns now instore

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One of the largest showrooms in Bristol, with an endless choice on waistcoats, cravats and designer suits new for 2013 ur Book yo for e Suit Hir ugust A 2014 in e 10% eiv and rec on your t discoun ing!! book

If you are looking for the very best of service and the highest of standards – you need look no further! View our huge range of formal hire, from the traditional to the contemporary - look no further.

90-92 Shirehampton Road, Stoke Bishop, Bristol Tel. 0117 9683074 • www.anneharding.com

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THE TEAM Editor: Helen Dorritt Editorial Assistant: Ellie Pipe Blog Editor & Proofreader: Kate Hacker Writers and Contributors: Hannah Chapman, Madelaine Culver, Elena Hogg, Samantha Houston, Richard Jones, Matt Lewis, Jacqui Lewis, Zoe Lewis, Samantha Merritt, Rebecca Paddick, Gianina Turner and Carla Yorukoglu Design: Cath Evans, Dan Srokosz & Jack Blanchard Photoshoot Art Direction: Kirsten Butler Production Manager: Cath Evans Production Co-ordinators: Emma Gorton & Ruth Wood Commercial Director: Becky Davis ADVERTISING To advertise in future editions of West Weddings contact: Jacqui Lewis (Bristol customers) T: 0117 934 3136 E: jacqui.lewis@b-nm.co.uk Ellie Pipe (rest of region customers) T: 0117 934 3769 E: eleanor.pipe@b-nm.co.uk EDITORIAL To contribute to future editions of West Weddings contact: Helen Dorritt E: westweddings@venue.co.uk DISTRIBUTION To have a regular free delivery of the magazine to your business contact: Simon Butler T: 0117 934 3741 E: simon.butler@b-nm.co.uk PUBLISHER West Weddings magazine is published by Venue at Bristol News and Media, 2nd Floor, Temple Way, Bristol BS99 7HD T: 0117 942 8491 Follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/ westweddings, like us on Facebook & check out our blog at www.westweddings. blogspot.co.uk COVERING BATH, BRISTOL , GLOUCESTERSHIRE & SOMERSET AUTUMN 2013



Welcome to West Weddings autumn 2013

I can’t believe that I’ve been sitting in the editor’s chair for a year now – how time has flown! My love of weddings is stronger than ever, and we’re back in my favourite season, so I’m delighted to bring you the autumn 2013 issue of West Weddings. I am also extremely pleased to be writing this introduction after the passing of the Equal Marriage Bill, something that all of us at West Weddings have been in support of since the beginning. Marriage is a celebration of two people in love, and we’re thrilled that this institution is now open to any couple who wants to publicly declare their feelings for each other. We went back to school for our autumn photoshoot at the lovely Kingswood School in Bath. The architectural details of this venue, combined with its gorgeous grounds, all made for a fabulous photoshoot in the hands of our new creative director, Kirsten Butler. Kirsten wove her styling magic alongside Interlace Photography’s photographic skills to create images that are full of autumnal colours, hues and textures, sure to inspire you whatever the season. As always, we aim to bring you a wealth of information and expertise to help you plan your nuptials. From the cream of the West’s venues on p.74-83 and the best spas in the area on p.70, to a host of interesting features ranging from classical music, weddings on a budget and the always-controversial issue of whether or not to change your name, this issue is chock-full of ideas to inspire and delight you. So pour yourself a cup of tea, turn your phone off and indulge in some weddings, West Country style!





Helen Dorritt



Fall into autumn Kingswood School opens its doors for our beautiful seasonal photoshoot


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8 REGULARS 6 Wedding news A round up of the latest news 12 Ask the experts Your questions answered 20 Real weddings Five couples share their big day 45 Grooms Geek chic and Las Vegas stag dos 49 Budget and countdown Keep track of those facts and figures 84 Photo gallery Fantastic photography from the best in the West 88 Directory Lots of local contacts 90 Last word Should you wear a black dress?

FASHION 8 Autumn awakening Ways to use this season’s inspirations 34 Gown gallery A round up of this season’s new styles to delight and inspire! 51 Cover shoot We fall into autumn at our wedding shoot in the lovely Kingswood School


The right note Samantha Houston shares a guide for classical music on your big day In and out What’s hot and what’s not with our wedding wasp

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66 68 70 72


What’s in a name? Rebecca Paddick explores the issues of changing your surname Beauty bible Our round up of the best products for this season So near, so spa Ellie Pipe tests out the best of the west’s spas and health resorts Tying the knot on a shoestring We look at ways to keep your wedding purse-friendly

VENUES 74 A selection of the region’s best places to celebrate your “I do”

COMPETITIONS 18 Lots of goodies to be had including a wedding dress from Special Day and Appletons



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news News



After being made redundant from her job, Jacqueline McDonald took the chance to step away from what she knew and to try something a little different. After receiving a great response from family and friends to jewellery designs she’d done in the past, Jacqueline decided to create her own line of unique jewelled bouquets. With support from the North Somerset Enterprise Scheme in setting up as a business, she decided to trial these unique gemstone bouquets in a local bridal shop, Vanilla Beaus. The feedback she received was overwhelmingly positive and so Everlasting Keepsakes was born! A one-of-a-kind bouquet from Everlasting Keepsakes is the perfect piece to accessorise your wedding outfit. Previous designs have been made with stones such as amethyst, quartz and cultured pearls sealed on to silver plated wire; however, Jacqueline is also able to make them with costume beads to suit a bride with a budget. As well as looking stunning on your wedding day, these bouquets are guaranteed not to wilt and will be the perfect keepsake for you to keep as a memento of the day. As well as bouquets, Everlasting Keepsakes also has a range of jewellery for both for the bride and bridesmaids, including tiaras, necklaces and earrings. These would make perfect gifts for your maids as a thank you for their help, and you have the option to have items designed in your preferred colour to ensure a match with the rest of your wedding theme. Unique, bespoke and handcrafted – what better match for your wedding? EVERLASTING KEEPSAKES T: 07753 480400 W: WWW.EVERLASTINGKEEPSAKES.CO.UK



Ingleside House’s wedding fair is returning this autumn, on Sunday 6th October between 11am and 3.30pm. This free entry event will showcase many fantastic local suppliers who all have that something extra special to offer and who are sure to inspire you! Guests will be supplied with a free glass of bubbly and a goody bag, followed by a leisurely tour around the venue. The fair will be highly creative and visual, recreating wedding settings, including dining and ceremony set ups. You can preview the latest fashions on the mini catwalk, and the fair will also include a “girls only” bridal boutique, demonstrations, live music and experiences. Don’t miss your chance to ride on a beautiful vintage bus, which will be on hand to collect guests from around Cirencester and deliver them straight to the venue. There will also be the option to enter a competition to be in with a chance to win the venue for your wedding. After a yearlong refurbishment programme, Ingleside House has been converted from a former school to a stunning events, weddings and conference centre, while still maintaining all its original features. This Grade II listed stately home features a stunning private garden, has the capacity for up to 200 guests, and is perfect for those looking for a beautiful Cotswolds wedding. INGLESIDE HOUSE 5 BEECHES ROAD, CIRENCESTER GL7 1BN T: 01285 648230 W: WWW.INGLESIDETHEHOUSE.COM


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LoveActuallyweddings We will listen to your ideas and offer our ideas to help you create your dream individually styled beautiful wedding flowers. From a single bouquet to an army of bridesmaids and button holes. We will guide you through the whole experience and help you add the special details that make the difference between a good event and a fantastic unforgettable one. Friendly / experienced / helpful / professional staff that will take the stress away from you.

3 Chelford Grove Stoke Lodge Bristol BS34 6DD

Wedding Fayres

tel/fax 01454 856 737 email tina@tigerlilyflowers.wanadoo.co.uk www.tigerlilyflowers.co.uk


(11.30am - 4pm, unless specified) BRAND NEW Bristol, Anchor Road Sunday 1st September Evening Special - Holiday Inn Bristol City Centre Thursday 12th September (5.30pm - 8pm) Hatton Court, Gloucester Sunday 15th September Brand New - Junction 24, North Petherton Sunday 22nd September Tortworth Court, Nr Bristol Sunday 29th September

Sunday 27th October 11am - 3pm Free admission and gift bags for brides to be

Cotswold Water Park Hotel, Nr Cirencester Sunday 6th October


Thornbury Castle, South Glos Sunday 13th October

Thursday 29th August 2013 6pm - 8pm

Grand Thistle, Bristol Sunday 20th October

Free admission and gift bags for brides to be, tour of the venue including bedrooms & refreshments available.

(E) info@niche-events.co.uk (T) 07714168429

ADMISSION is always FREE with loveactually For information of all our events, please visit


Sydney Road, Bath, BA2 6JF 0844 879 9106 www.macdonaldhotels.co.uk www.niche-events.co.uk


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awakening Zoe Lewis shares her ideas for an inspirational autumn wedding.


utumn can seem like the hardest season to plan a wedding for, but with its wide palette of colours and textures to choose from, it’s actually one of the most magical seasons of the year. Take advantage of lingering summer warmth and indulge in the great outdoors. What could be prettier than saying “I do” amidst falling leaves? The time of the year shouldn’t have to decide whether or not you can enjoy the outdoors, and simple planning can go far to ensure this. Ceremonies can be held under a canopy or marquee to avoid any rain showers, and fairy lights and lanterns strung through trees will create a romantic glow over the event. Keep your guests warm with heartshaped heat packs for favours, and hand-held candles can also create an intimate feel to the ceremony. Once you’re married, entertain your guests in the evening with a spectacular firework show, taking advantage of the earlier 8 WEST WEDDINGS

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sunset at this time of year, and then leave for your honeymoon in a cosy, heated chauffeur-driven car. Halloween is a signature event during the autumn, and a great subtle theme to incorporate if your wedding date coincides. Set candles in carved pumpkins for table decorations, surrounded by autumn leaves and flowers such as dark red roses, sunflowers and dahlias. Give away small packets of sweets as favours, and incorporate orange hues into bouquets and table settings, or as the main colour theme for the bridesmaids’ dresses and men’s cravats. The arrival of autumn means one step further away from summer, and one step closer to winter. The time for knee-length dresses and sleeveless styles has been and gone; now is the time to embrace other alternatives. After Kate Middleton showcased full sleeves at her 2011 wedding the trend has continued to grow, and autumn is the perfect time to go for this style. Sleeved dresses come in a variety of lengths and materials to suit all shapes and sizes, whether you’d like sleeves to the elbows or full-length to your wrists. If you still want a sleeveless gown,

keep warm with a faux fur or feather wrap. Shoes should also be carefully considered during chillier months. Strappy heels or peep-toes won’t go far to keep your feet warm, so make sure to invest in a covered shoe to keep your feet from freezing. Everyone enjoys a hot cooked meal during the colder months, so take advantage of this when planning your menus. Wedding breakfasts are the perfect place to start, with hot cups of tea, coffee or chocolate bound to keep your guests happy. Treat them to autumnal snacks throughout the day, such as gingerbread biscuits, sweet nuts and candied apples. Serve mulled wine as an alternative to Champagne to fill your guests with warmth. For your evening meal start with a hearty soup, complete with plenty of soft breads for dipping. Pumpkin, minestrone or carrot and ginger are great flavours to keep in line with an autumn theme. For the main course you can’t go wrong with a classic roast dinner, complete with all the trimmings, and vegetarians will love a choice of a nut roast or root vegetable pie. Finish off with an indulgent dessert such as apple crumble with custard, and you’ll put a smile on everyone’s face. WEST WEDDINGS 9

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Choosing your dream dress, organising your honeymoon, picking a venue? You need to ask the experts!

YOU NEED TO ASK THE EXPERTS... These useful tips from our industry experts will leave you stress free.

Dress to impress I’ve just got engaged, booked my wedding venue and now I’m ready to look for my dream wedding dress. Where do I start? Laura Morris, Bath

Honeymoon heaven We want to relax on our honeymoon but also have a chance to get out and about and experience local culture and activities. Can an all-inclusive package offer both?

A sense of place We would like to book a venue that offers a complete wedding package but still want our day to feel personal. Is it possible to have both? Ruth Green, Cheltenham

Zoe Lovelock, Bristol

Krystle of Krystle Brides says:

Holly Barnett from Sandals says:

Lucie Medlin from Manor by the Lake says:

Firstly, keep calm. As long as you set yourself enough time, the search for a dream wedding dress can be enjoyable and rewarding. It’s a good idea to take your venue and theme into consideration when choosing a dress, and to envisage the look you are seeking to help decide which gown will best complement your day. Always make appointments at your chosen boutiques to guarantee a one to one service. Be sure to try on different styles, and try to stay open minded, as this is really the key to finding ‘the one’. No matter what size or shape you are there is a wedding gown to suit everyone. It’s best to rely on opinions from just one or two trusted people. Also decide on a budget so you can be guided and remember to consider hidden costs, alterations and cost of accessories. Most importantly, stay true to what makes you feel beautiful and reflects your individuality. Brides should wear something that they feel comfortable in, that captures their vision and that they can look back on many years later and still love.

Most definitely! One of the greatest misconceptions is that all-inclusive guests don’t leave the confines of the resort and are rarely interested in local culture. That couldn’t be further from the truth, so in 2009, Sandals introduced Island Routes Caribbean Adventure Tours, which offers premier excursions that showcase the culture, beauty and natural resources that define each destination. Island Routes offers visitors the opportunity to see famous hotspots such as Dunn’s River Falls in Jamaica, as well as more culture-based activity such as historical tours looking at the Jamaican Maroons and botanical climbs in Saint Lucia. In addition to this, we also obviously cater for those looking for romance and relaxation, and we have earned a worldwide reputation for providing couples with the most romantic holiday experience in the Caribbean. With ultra-luxurious accommodation, gourmet dining in up to 15 restaurants, stunning beaches and attentive and friendly staff, you can choose to as much or as little as you want!

The short answer is of course, yes. Your wedding day is your big day, and regardless of your budget or package option, there should be no reason for it to feel in any way compromised. The key is to find a venue that is flexible. A great way to make your day more personal is to choose a basic package and upgrade a couple of options to make it more bespoke. For example, if your chosen package includes a glass of sparkling wine for your reception drinks, why not change it to a cocktail that represents you? It’s these little touches that make the day personal. It’s also really important to choose a venue that can offer you a personal service. Finding a venue with an experience and dedicated wedding coordinator is invaluable, as a personal service is everything. Exclusive-use wedding venues are a great choice when it comes to feeling special on your big day. You can’t get more personal than having a venue that is yours only, giving you and your guests the freedom to relax in your own environment.





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Equality FOR ALL

History was made on 17th July 2013 when the Equal Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill finished its journey through Parliament and received Royal Assent, officially making it a law. The Act, which applies to England and Wales, means same sex couples will now be able to marry in civil ceremonies, along with religious ceremonies where the religious organisation and those involved in conducting the ceremony have agreed to ‘opt in’. The bill also protects religious organisations and their representatives who don’t wish to conduct

marriages of same-sex couples. It enables civil partners to convert their partnership to a marriage if they wish, as well as allowing married individuals to change their legal gender without having to end their marriage. The passing of the new law means that the first same sex wedding could take place as soon as summer 2014. Andy Wasley from Stonewall said: “We are absolutely delighted that tens of thousands of couples will now be looking forward to a very special day after the successful passage of equal marriage.”

The bill marks a historic moment in British society, although it faced some strong opposition throughout its journey across both the House of Commons and the House of Lords. Woman and Equalities Minister, Maria Miller said: “Making marriage available to all couples demonstrates our society’s respect for all individuals regardless of their sexuality. It demonstrates the importance we attach to being able to live freely. It says so much about the society that we are and the society that we want to live in.”

SHOW STOPPING! The journey to your big day should be as enjoyable and special as the day itself, so make sure you visit the Cheltenham Park Hotel wedding show on Sunday 13th October for fresh and fun ideas to help inspire you for your wedding plans. With a chance to find things you’ve been looking for, and many things you may not have thought of, the show is a great event to attend with friends and family, and a chance to speak with a variety of local businesses. The Cheltenham Park Hotel is a 4-star Georgian manor on the edge of Cheltenham in the beautiful Charlton Kings area. It has a number of function rooms, a leisure club plus its own stunning gardens and the Lilleybrook Golf Club. Fully licensed to hold civil ceremonies, the hotel can welcome up to 280 guests. The wedding show will feature over 40 exhibitors from a huge range of suppliers from fitness to fashion, cakes to cars,

photographers to favours and so much more. With a special policy limiting the number of suppliers of any one type, you’ll be able to browse a number of individual companies without finding lots of duplication. The show will feature fully decorated tables, information on church, civil and celebrant services and a host of entertainment, including catwalk shows throughout the day. All guests will also receive a free welcome drink and complimentary goodie bag. Hotel staff will also be on hand to show you around all the rooms of this pretty venue and discuss the variety of wedding packages on offer, as well as giving you the chance to taste a sample menu. CHELTENHAM PARK HOTEL CIRENCESTER ROAD, CHELTENHAM GL53 8EA T: 01242 222021 W: WWW.PUMAHOTELS. CO.UK/HOTELS/PARK-HOTELCHELTENHAM


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Tell us about your big day or wedding plans; let us know all about the gorgeous dress you discovered or about that perfect venue. Ask us any questions you have about planning for your nuptials or share some useful tips of your own. Email the editor at westweddings@venue.co.uk and you could be gracing the pages of our next edition.

MARK SIMMONS PHOTOGRAPHY Tel: 0117 9140999 Mobile: 07778 063 699

Natural Weddings “Mark Simmons has both the skilled eye and craftsmanship to make your wedding album come alive every time you turn the pages. Frozen action and classic art are merged to create an emotional trip down memory lane. Mark’s documentary style is energy filled, fun and delivered with an ever reassuring calmness for even the most camera shy family member. Moreover, Mark is a joy to work with and has a winning formula.” Tina and Garry Tabor

www.marksimmonsphotography.com 14 WEST WEDDINGS

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Class act

As well as offering weddings to remember, Berwick Lodge in Bristol also has a range of other events taking place to help you celebrate your nuptials! If you’re planning your hen do, ditch the cowboy hats and L-plates for an altogether classier hen party option at the venue. Bring the girls together for a sumptuous Champagne afternoon tea, where you’ll be served a selection of elegant sandwiches, homemade cakes and biscuits, local Lahloo teas and a glass of Champagne. Other imaginative hen party options at Berwick Lodge include a vintage-styled wedding craft, or for something really different, why not head to the venue’s cookery school for a scrumptious foodie afternoon? For an opportunity to see this stunning venue in all of its glory, visit on Sunday 29th September for its Autumn Leaves wedding open afternoon. Doors will be open from 3pm and brides to be are in for a real treat. The afternoon’s festivities include a tour of the venue, a taste of afternoon tea, talks on wedding make-up and hair styles, hen party inspiration and the chance to try on wedding dresses, or


even learn how to design your own. The event will run until 7pm, giving guests ample time to unwind by the log fire and let the inspiration soak in. While you’re at it, take the chance to enter the competition to win a stay in a deluxe suite at Berwick Lodge – it might just be your lucky day. BERWICK LODGE BERWICK DRIVE, BRISTOL BS10 7TD T: 0117 958 1590 W: WWW.BERWICKLODGE.CO.UK


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Party in THE PARK News

If you’d like the chance to have a look around beautiful venue, Farrington Park and chat to local suppliers, then the venue’s wedding showcase on Sunday 10th November is definitely a date for your diary! Held in the lovely Montgomerie Suite, with its panoramic views and overlooking wedding gardens from the private balcony, the showcase will feature Farrington Park’s preferred suppliers assuring you the very best choice of wedding services. As well as the chance to soak up the lovely surroundings and speak with exhibitors, you will also have the opportunity to attend a wedding dress show at 11.30am, with dresses supplied by Krystle Brides of Bath. Farrington Park is a picture-perfect wedding venue surrounded by stunning views, conveniently located just 20 minutes from Bristol and Bath. Its function rooms provide a relaxed and comfortable atmosphere, including licensed rooms for civil ceremonies. FARRINGTON PARK MARSH LANE, FARRINGTON GURNEY, BRISTOL BS39 6TS T: 01761 451596 W: WWW.FARRINGTONPARK.CO.UK


YOUR MOTHER It’s all change at All About Eve in Chepstow, as the shop launches its new look occasion wear department. This new first floor department, beautifully decorated in cool duck egg blue and elegant gold, offers a private dressing room and spacious display area for mothers of the bride and groom to browse a fantastic range of outfits from top designers including John Charles, Condici, Cabotine and Ispirato. Maureen from All About Eve says: “We are delighted with the response from our customers. They appreciate the private area and the vast choice of outfits, and everyone loves the new décor!” And it’s not just the ladies: men visiting All About Eve are happy too, due to the comfy chairs and refreshments on hand to enjoy while the dress trying on takes place! All About Eve provides a complete service for the bridal party. “When the

bride has chosen her dress, usually the mother of the bride and groom like to see what each designer has to offer, to enable them to co-ordinate the look and colours with the bridesmaids,” says Maureen. “We encourage the two mothers to shop together, so they can then compare outfits to make sure each one complements the other. They can also decide if they are going for a show-stopping hat or a trendy disc hatinator!” The new layout means that the whole of the ground floor is now dedicated to bridal wear and, with this extra space, the dresses can be fully appreciated. A bride can feel relaxed and at ease and enjoy refreshments in between trying on All About Eve’s amazing selection of gowns. ALL ABOUT EVE 28 HIGH STREET, CHEPSTOW, MONMOUTHSHIRE NP16 5LJ T: 01291 629338 W: WWW.ALLABOUTEVEBRIDAWEAR.COM


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BIRTHDAY CELEBRATIONS! To celebrate its third birthday, The Wedding Works in Bristol is holding its very own wedding showcase and fair. On Saturday 5th October 2013 from 11am–3pm, the shop will throw open its doors for couples to come and have a look at the services it offers, as well as having the chance to enter prize draws and enjoying canapés, cakes, fizz and goody bags. The idea of the fair was created by Jackie, one of the shop’s staff members, who is marrying this year. She thought that this interesting and original shop, that ‘speaks’ weddings and events, would be the ideal venue for a celebration of all things nuptial!

This original destination store for all things wedding opened its doors in October 2010 and then moved to larger premises on Gloucester Road in 2012. “We chose Gloucester Road for its eclectic mix of independent and unusual shops and, as our idea is unique within Bristol, we felt it was the best place in town to be!” says Peri, The Wedding Works’ owner and venue decorator. Moving to the new premises has really put this pretty shop on the map and this past year has seen a big increase in bookings and footfall. The move also saw suppliers to the shop gain momentum: the original

four companies have now grown to 13, including suppliers for chair covers and table centres, a photographer, bridal wear, shoes and tiaras, favours, stationery, candy buffet and cars. Within the shop, the suppliers can also create the look and feel of your big day, with the use of a full size table and chairs which can be decorated with your colour and theme. The Wedding Works truly is a feast of fabulous ideas for your big day! THE WEDDING WORKS 427 GLOUCESTER ROAD, BRISTOL BS7 8TZ T: 07931 859986 W: WWW.THEWEDDINGWORKSBRISTOL.CO.UK


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Interlace Photography is offering one lucky couple in 2014 the chance to win their wedding photography, worth £695! This fantastic prize includes coverage from the bridal preparations until you sit down for your wedding breakfast, along with a disc of hi-res images for you to reprint as you wish. Based in North Somerset, and run by Eleanor Saunders, Interlace covers weddings throughout the UK. Understanding the expectations a couple has for their wedding is very important and Eleanor creates stunning imagery that reflects you as a couple enjoying one of the most important days of your life. She carefully takes into account your tastes, then combines group photographs with a mixture of reportage shots to tell the story of your day. With packages to suit every taste and budget, prices start at just £500. You can see more of Eleanor’s work in our autumn cover shoot, starting on p.51. THE PRIZE One couple will win the Classic Contemporary Disc package. This includes up to 5 hours coverage plus a hi-res disc of all edited images (normally £695). Options to upgrade to evening coverage, along with albums and pre-wedding shoot, will be available. TO ENTER To be in with a chance of winning this amazing prize, please email westweddings@venue.co.uk with your name, your partner’s name, the date of your wedding and the venue, plus three words that sum up your wedding, by Friday 25th October 2013. Eleanor will then pick her favourite answer from the entries submitted. The winner will be chosen by Eleanor Saunders from Interlace Photography. The judge’s decision is final. The wedding must be taking place in the South West of England (covering one hour’s car journey from BS40 5JH) in 2014. Travel expenses of 40p per mile are payable for weddings further than one hour by car from BS40 5JH. There is no cash alternative. Entries must be received by 11.59pm on Friday 25th October 2013. The winnter will be notified by Friday 8th November 2013.


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wedding DRESS

Special Day and Appletons is giving away a wedding dress worth up to £1,000 to one lucky bride!


inning the competition, our blushing bride will be invited to an appointment with Special Day and Appletons’ first lady, Jackie Sweeting, to try on a selection of the shop’s beautiful dresses. The winner can choose any dress up to the value of £1,000 – although you can make up the value if you fall in love with a dress that costs a little more! Special Day and Appletons is based in Keynsham and offers a fabulous selection of gowns by designers such as Sottero and Midgeley, Ellis Bridal, Bonny Bridal, Bonny Unforgettable, Impression Bridal, Mark Lesley, Lou Lou and Opulence by Natalie M. Special Day has a wonderful reputation for warm hospitality, helpfulness and professionalism, and you can guarantee that you’ll walk away with the dress of your dreams.

HOW TO WIN To be in with a chance of winning a wedding dress up to the value of £1,000, follow these simple steps: • Answer the following question: Where is Special Day and Appletons based? • Fill in your details and the competition answer on the entry panel and send by post to: Win The Frills, Bristol News & Media, Temple Way, Bristol BS99 7HD. Alternatively, you can enter online at www.westweddings.co.uk or by emailing your answer plus details to westweddings@venue.co.uk - please mark your subject Competition Entry. • All entries must be received by FRIDAY 10TH JAN 2014. The prize winner will be notified by 31ST MARCH 2014. Winner’s wedding date must be 6 months after 31st March.

WIN YOUR DRESS ENTRY PANEL Bride’s name:................................................................................................................ Answer:......................................................................................................................... Address:........................................................................................................................ ..................................................................................................................................... ...........................................................................................Postcode: .......................... Email address: . ............................................................................................................ Telephone no: ............................................................................................................. Wedding date: ............................................................................................................. Terms and conditions apply. Please see page 89 for full terms and conditions or visit www.west-weddings.co.uk/competitionrules. The prize provider ONLY may contact entrants with offers or discounts. Please tick here if you do not wish to be contacted ❏


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Sweet Summer ROMANCE

When Gianina married Louis Turner, it was a day filled with love and romance. Gianina shares the details of her wedding day. 20 WEST WEDDINGS

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few weeks after moving to Bristol, I was introduced to Louis at a party and we instantly clicked. We had our first date on the Avon Gorge terrace, overlooking the lit-up Suspension Bridge. He charmed me with his smile and sense of humour and neither of us wanted the night to end. “I was attracted to her gorgeous looks and she was so lovely to chat with. The conversation just flowed nicely,” confesses Louis. Our engagement felt like a natural step after being together for almost five years. We had just arrived at our hotel in Mallorca, and the air felt warm as we stepped onto the balcony, where the full moon shone above us, reflected into the sea waves. I turned round and Louis was down on one knee with a diamond ring in his hands. When he asked me to marry him, I was lost for words. His romantic gesture took me by surprise but I was thrilled to say ‘Yes’! “I chose a platinum ring with a solitaire diamond because it’s bold and stands out,” explains Louis. Our wedding was perfect, with both our families united in celebrating our special day. My parents and aunt travelled from Romania to be there, which was their first chance to meet Louis’ parents. My sister Flori, along with her fiancé and a family friend, helped with translating the key parts of the day for my parents. The beaming smiles on everyone’s faces needed no translation, however, and the atmosphere was incredible until the very last dance. The start of the ceremony was captured beautifully by talented writer Emma Woodhouse, whose unique job is to record matrimonial ceremonies for couples as The Wedding Reporter. “With careful, slow steps, Ioan escorted his beaming daughter into the room with an expression of deep concentration. Her delicate lace gown pooled into an elegant, feminine train behind her. With the slow procession of the bridal party, Louis glanced over his shoulder as he turned to watch their progress. Whatever he had envisaged for this moment and however he had imagined his bride would look was completely eclipsed by the reality of the beautiful woman making her way towards him. Gianina absolutely mesmerised him as she smiled graciously at their guests.”

I thoroughly enjoyed planning every detail of the wedding, taking inspiration from the pages of West Weddings magazine and bridal blogs, and spending hours to get every detail right. Louis was happy to help with making the invitations, choosing venue decorations and liaising with the DJ and photographer. Our labour of love was equally matched in enthusiasm from our family and friends, which made our celebration unique and personal. My mum created beautiful bookmarks for the favours, Louis’ dad handwrote all names on the invitations and my friend Carly did a wonderful job in styling the venue. The wedding cake was made by my talented bridesmaid Emma and it looked exquisite - three immaculately iced tiers adorned with handcrafted pink roses. Inside, each layer had its own flavour: vanilla, lemon and chocolate sponge. My dress was a lace fishtail design, with delicate flower appliqué and scattered diamantes, which I bought from Brides at Home in Bristol. Jan, the boutique owner, was extremely helpful and friendly from the very first visit. With a few alterations, the dress fitted perfectly and she suggested a veil and chic hair comb to complement the look. I even found my Rainbow bridal shoes and heel caps there too, saving me a lot of stress. Louis went for elegant black tails with an ivory and pink patterned vest and a blush pink cravat. “My best man was my little brother Oliver and the ushers were my big brother Matt and best friend Rob,” says Louis. They all had matching tail suits with ivory cravats and so did the two dads - all hired from Special Day and Appletons, in Keynsham. I found the two bridesmaids’ blush pink dresses and matching shoes in Debenhams, and the flower girl Phoebe wore an ivory dress with pink sash from TK Maxx. Her cute dimpled smile and bouncy curls got everyone’s attention as she took small steps down the aisle, scattering rose petals for the arrival of the bride. Alveston House Hotel was the perfect venue for our intimate affair and the staff provided excellent services with a smile. The stunning images captured

by photographer Julian Willmott and the heartwarming words from writer Emma Woodhouse created a superb legacy of our wedding. The most vivid memory, for me, was the ceremony. Gazing into my groom’s eyes, I held back tears of joy as we exchanged vows. Louis loved “seeing my wife walk down the aisle – she looked so beautiful! Another favourite moment was our first dance as Mr and Mrs Turner.” My wedding dream was to have a ceremony without a hitch, with everyone getting on well and enjoying drinks outside in the elegant garden. Louis had similar wishes, and they all came true. “My bride made me the proudest man alive! Everything went to plan and we had glorious weather - we were so lucky to have a proper summer’s day. It was perfect and wonderful! Everyone else loved it too, which made us both happy as well,” he shares. 31st May was a day of love, promises, touching speeches and wholehearted wishes - by far the best day of our lives!

DETAILS Venue Alveston House Hotel, Alveston, Thornbury BS35 2LA T: 01454 415050 W: www.alvestonhousehotel.co.uk Photography Julian Willmott T: 0117 949 5522 W: www.julianwillmottphotography.co.uk Bride’s dress Bride at Home, 4 The Willow Centre, Downend Road, Downend, Bristol BS16 5UJ T: 0117 956 8068 W: www.brideathome.co.uk Groom’s outfit Special Day and Appletons, 12 High Street, Keynsham, Bristol BS31 1DQ T: 0117 986 0303 W: www.specialdayandappletons.co.uk Make-up Jessica Mills T: 07709 791116 W: www.jessicamillsmakeup.co.uk Flowers Sweet Lavender Blue W: www.sweetlavenderblue.co.uk Wedding report The Wedding Reporter W: www.theweddingreporter.co.uk WEST WEDDINGS 21

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A Fiesta


Lorena Fernandez and James Proctor tied the knot in Valencia after a Bristol-based courtship. Madelaine Culver reveals the details of this gorgeous Spanish wedding.


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t was love at first sight when Lorena and James finally set eyes on one another after meeting by chance online. Before meeting in person they spoke every night, and soon discovered a shared interest in music, film, cars and videogames. “The connection was even stronger in person,” explains Lorena. “Obviously there was a physical attraction too – we love each other’s blue eyes, and they were the first thing we noticed when we met.” Meeting Lorena’s family in Spain for the first time was an adventure the couple will never forget. After encountering an initial language barrier, James discovered a common ground in food, although struggled to explain when he’d had his fill. “The problem is my family are big eaters,” explains Lorena. “Every time we had lunch or dinner with them they expected James to eat everything they put on his plate. I’m pretty sure the first Spanish phrase he learned was ‘I’m full!’” The couple decided to settle in England, where Lorena has faced challenges of her own. Not only has she had to adjust to cultural differences such as earlier meal times and social etiquette, but the weather has also taken some getting used to. “When people ask me why I left sunny Spain,” says Lorena, “I tell them – ‘it’s one of those things that you do for love!’” It was during another visit to Spain at Christmas that James proposed while dining out at a favourite restaurant. “Just before dessert James dropped to one knee,” says Lorena. “He produced the beautiful ring and proposed in front of my whole family, and the whole restaurant – about seventy five to a hundred people!” Lorena did not hesitate to accept and, before dinner was over, had already chosen the date of the wedding, as well as the church and reception venue. As a self-confessed obsessive planner, Lorena took charge of making arrangements for the day. “Most things were my choice, even the boys’ suits,” says Lorena. “James just said ‘it’s your wedding, choose whatever you like’ – exactly a bride’s dream, bless him!” On a scorching day in July the happy couple were married in Real Basilica de Nuestra Señora de los Desamparados in Valencia, Lorena’s dream wedding venue since childhood, and the same cathedral where her parents were married thirty

years before. “I wanted it to be my dream fairytale,” says Lorena. The ceremony took place at 7.30pm – a Spanish tradition for high summer weddings. “I didn’t want to risk bad weather on my wedding day,” explains Lorena. “So the UK and any season other than summer were out of the question!” Lorena and James’ families provided a huge amount of support, both in the lead up to the wedding and on the day. “This wedding could not have happened without their help,” says Lorena. James’ sister, Victoria, is an opera singer and agreed to sing Ave Maria at the ceremony. “It was so beautiful she made me cry,” says Lorena. “That was the only time I cried during the whole ceremony.” With a mixture of Spanish and English guests to look after, Lorena’s bilingual brother, Raul, was on hand to ensure everyone made it to the right place at the right time. “This helped me to truly relax and enjoy my wedding,” says Lorena. “I knew I could let everything run smoothly in his capable hands.” The only downside to the day was that their pageboy – four year old Alfie – came down with chickenpox a couple of days before the wedding. As such, he was unable to attend the ceremony, and had to stay at the hotel with his grandmother. Luckily Lorena’s cousins, Javier and Ivan, stepped in to bear the rings, as well as the arras. “Arras are thirteen silver coins that are blessed and passed from the groom to the bride to symbolise the sharing of wealth,” explains Lorena. After a perfect ceremony (minus the priest getting his ring caught in Lorena’s veil!), everyone made their way to the luxury five-star Hotel Valencia Las Arenas. They celebrated till the early hours against the idyllic backdrop of the Mediterranean Sea – another childhood dream of Lorena’s. “Every time we see family and friends they mention how amazing our wedding was,” says Lorena. “With six courses of gorgeous food and a free bar all night nobody went hungry or thirsty.” The best part of the day for James was that

everyone had a great time. “No matter whether they spoke the same language or not, everybody enjoyed themselves,” he says. For Lorena, the day held extra significance because of the difficulty she and James had experienced in gaining permission to marry in Spain. “We had to jump through a lot of hoops, visiting embassies, consulates and registry offices,” explains Lorena. “The best part of my day was once we had exchanged the rings and signed the certificate. It meant it had all happened – we were married and nobody could take that from us.” As somebody who has dreamed of her perfect wedding since she was a child, Lorena’s hopes for the day were truly fulfilled. “I wanted a princess dress, a horse and carriage and a prince charming,” says Lorena. “Everything happened just as I’d hoped – who says you can’t have your cake and eat it?”

DETAILS Ceremony venue Real Basilica de Nuestra Señora de los Desamparados de Valencia, Plaza de la Virgen, Valencia 46001 T: 0034 963 919 214 W: www.basilicadesamparados.org Reception venue and catering Hotel Valencia Las Arenas, C/ Eugenia Viñes, 22-24 Valencia 46011 T: 0034 963 120 600 W: www.hotelvalencialasarenas.com Photographer Bookboda T: 0034 963 380 830 W: www.bookboda.com Wedding dress Demetrios, style number 1406 from Lucia Novias, Calle en En Sanz, Valencia 46001 Groom’s outfit Moss Bros W: www.mossbros.co.uk Flowers Stylish Stems W: www.stylish-stems.co.uk Wedding Rings The Perfect Ring Co T: 0800 292 2890 W: www.theperfectringcompany.co.uk WEST WEDDINGS 23

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Photography by Dominic Kerridge


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Going to the


Gianina Turner talks to Jess and Ed Lewis about their sunny Somerset wedding.


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n the 5th year of their relationship, after meeting at university - where Ed was attracted to Jess’ “youth and her bottom!” - teacher Jess took the decision to propose to Ed over a romantic dinner two days before Christmas. “Ed had constantly jokingly asked me to marry him throughout our relationship, but I decided after nearly five years I wasn’t going to wait for him to do it properly,” explains Jess. She arranged a romantic dinner at the Hotel Du Vin in Bristol, but her idea didn’t go to plan as Dave, a mutual friend of the couple, had already informed Ed about her intentions. Jess decided to wait until Christmas Day, but on the following morning, in response to a text Ed sent Dave saying “no, she didn’t!”, Jess says she couldn’t resist and “went down on one knee, with the words ‘to prove Dave wrong, will you marry me?’ I didn’t think either of us really thought this would be how it would happen, but it suited us down to the ground,” says Jess. “Jess has always had the last word,” adds Ed! After this unorthodox proposal, Jess presented Ed with a watch, and he gave her a white gold engagement ring. “I chose a chunky, tension set design because I find it terribly easy to split rings – and I wanted something that would take my students’ eyes out, as I tend to talk with my hands a lot!” The couple chose the stunning Orchardleigh House, just outside Frome, for their August wedding. Having a church ceremony was important to the bride, so Orchardleigh was ideal as there was a church in the grounds. “St Mary’s Church is quite small, and the lack of electricity created a more romantic candlelit atmosphere for our vows,” comments Jess. The reception followed shortly afterwards in the elegant surroundings of the estate, which offered exclusive use of Orchardleigh House for the wedding day and until the following morning.

Its accommodation was also useful for the guests, some of who had travelled from as far afield as Australia. “It was love at first sight for our venue,” says Jess. “There were plenty of fantastic photo opportunities and the colour scheme was quite neutral so I could do what I pleased.” Choosing the dress, however, was not quite as straightforward. After buying her lace dress from Just For You Bridal, Jess still wasn’t feeling it was “the one”, so used local seamstress Susan Gilby to have buttons and straps added. Her long cathedral veil complimented and elongated the dress’ mermaid silhouette. Ed hired his suit from Anne Harding, who were very accommodating, welcoming and friendly, “and who even worked round broken legs of both our best man and usher, as well as all five ushers needing measurements at different times and locations,” adds Jess. Over the rainy weeks leading to the wedding, colour coded umbrellas became a must on the checklist. The sun, however, made a glorious entrance, piercing through the thick grey clouds just as the bride arrived at church. Could this be a sign from above of the divine nod to their union? Possibly, but what became quite obvious is that they couldn’t have asked for a better day to tie the knot. Jess gladly took on board the responsibility for planning all the wedding details, while Ed “was quite happy to let Jess do all the planning and turn up to enjoy the day. It was good having a lot of surprises!” Alongside professional services from the florist, photographer and videographer, Jess added a personal touch in the form of DIY centrepieces efforts made out of silk flowers purchased from eBay. Her mum made the cake. “I loved every minute of the planning process and it was such a great feeling to see everything come together on the day. I really enjoyed creating all the black and white accessories and becoming a painter, stationer, florist and chef,” explains Jess.

The day was expertly recorded by Photodabek and White Villa films. “Both companies did a wonderful job capturing the essence of the day and melting into the background, producing a high quality work of art. It was great to be able to see what everyone else was doing, especially Ed when I was getting ready,” says Jess. Looking back, Jess particularly treasures “the whole process of being pampered and fussed around and the anticipation of my arrival at church.” For Ed, “when I arrived at church, I was really nervous and didn’t really know what to expect but when I saw that Jess was OK I was fine. The best bit really was when all the speeches were over and we could just have a drink and relax!” Jess sums up the day with a string of superlatives. “We had a stunning setting, fantastic suppliers, a mass of friends and family to share our day and I felt every inch a princess. Best of all, I get to be Mrs Lewis forever,” says Jess. Ed agrees. “It was the best wedding ever!”

DETAILS Venue Orchardleigh House, Orchardleigh Park, Frome, Somerset BA11 2PB T: 01373 472550 W: www.orchardleigh.net Photography Photodabek W: www.photodabek.co.uk Wedding dress Just For You Bridal W: www.justforyoubridal.co.uk Dress alterations Susan Gilby W: www.susangilby.com Groom’s outfit Anne Harding, 90-92 Shirehampton Road, Bristol BS9 2DR T: 0117 968 3074 W: www.anneharding.com Flowers Flowers on the Hill, 30 Catherine Hill, Frome, Somerset BA11 1BY T: 01373 469869 W: www.flowersonthehill.co.uk Videography White Villa W: www.whitevillaphotography.co.uk


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Laughing their way down

THE AISLE Samantha Merritt finds out about Heather and Feargus Dunlop’s spring wedding in beautiful Bath.


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eather and Feargus met through their mutual talent and passion of acting, a chance meeting when they were both working on the same pantomime project at the Theatre Royal in Bath, cracking jokes right from the get go. “I was expecting him to be a middle aged man with a couple of kids, so I was pleasantly surprised,” says Heather. “His height was an added bonus. He towered over me, not easy as I’m six foot myself.” Feargus popped the question in one of the most romantic hotspots in the world, Paris. Heather recalls: “He flew me over there for my birthday and got down on one knee in the freezing snow. Pulling out a paper ring he had made from the metro ticket we were using that day, it had to be a yes.” After their eventful trip the couple went to Nicholas Wylde jewellers in Bath for the engagement ring. Not sure about what she wanted at first, Heather finally found her dream ring. “I wear chunky jewellery and was worried nothing would suit me,” she explains. “Two hours later I’d found the perfect ring, and its unique shape meant I could fit my wedding ring around it when the time finally came.” Two years after the proposal Heather and Feargus were married at the exquisite Assembly Rooms in Bath on 12th May 2012. “We got married in the Tea Room - it was such a beautiful space,” explains Heather. “A lot of our friends and family were travelling long distance and we wanted to show them the fantastic buildings Bath has.” The reception venue then gave the bride the opportunity to show off her crafty side. Held at Camerton village hall just outside of Bath, Heather made her own origami boat party favours (all 120 of them) filled with their guests’ favourite sweets, plus 100 metres of bunting. “It was epic but worth it!” she says. “I had the support of my family and friends which made the making process easier.” The bride and groom wanted the wedding to represent them as a couple. Since they run their own theatre company (New Old Friends, www.

newoldfriends.co.uk), which is all about comedy and making people laugh, they really wanted that to come across on the day. Heather’s dress came from Perfect Day, based in the market town of Bradford on Avon. Going on her sister’s recommendation, the first dress she tried on turned out to be the one she walked down the aisle in. Feargus knew what he wanted to wear from the start. “He’s half Scottish and always said he wanted to get married wearing his kilt,” explains Heather. The transport was a less traditional way for both the wedding parties to arrive. Feargus’ father is a retired fire fighter so it was only fitting he decided to turn on the sirens and head to the wedding in style. Heather also wanted to make an impact; arriving in a roaring red retro vintage bus from the Bath Bus company, she was also able to fit her entire wedding party in there to get to the reception. The typical English weather didn’t give the couple much hope for a dry weekend. It rained heavily in the week prior to the wedding, and the couple were even receiving texts from family saying the roads were flooding. “We were prepared, all the venues were inside, but luckily the sun shone on the whole weekend,” explains Heather. “It was lovely, as we were able to spill out of the village hall onto the playing field. It was especially great for all the children to be able to play outside.” Eleanor Saunders from Interlace Photography was on hand to record the day. “She was friendly and made us all feel really relaxed,” says Heather, something she was a little worried about due to a disaster that had befallen Feargus the week before the big day. During a comedy performance, calamity struck when the groom introduced the final act to the stage, slipped on a rug and face planted on the arm of the chair. The audience erupted with laughter, thinking it was part of the performance, but soon went quiet when he stood back up, blood streaming from his lip. “Feargus was embarrassed and kept on apologising for

ruining the photos, but either it healed quickly or Eleanor is a dab hand with Photoshop because you can’t notice it at all!” laughs Heather. The honeymoon destination just had to be where Feargus decided to propose. “We decided to go back to Paris, it was lovely to just enjoy it and be with each other,” says Heather. Feargus just can’t find the words to describe his special day, “I have never been so filled with emotion; we have some fantastic memories. The best part for me has to be when Heather arrived. I thought to myself ‘Wow, I get to spend the rest of my life with her? Awesome!’” For the bride it was a similar mix of emotions. “It was just incredible, I couldn’t believe how quickly it went. When I walked into the Tea Room I heard the music play and had to fight the urge to cry. But then I saw Feargus and he made me feel OK, that nothing else mattered.”

DETAILS Ceremony venue Tea Rooms, Assembly Rooms, Bath BA1 1LZ T: 01225 477786 W: www.bathvenues.co.uk Reception venue Camerton Village Hall, Meadgate, Camerton, Bath, Somerset BA2 0NL T: 01761 471987 Photography Interlace Photography, 7 Westacre Rd, Cheddar, Somerset BS27 3LD T: 07870 811931 W: www.interlacephotography.co.uk Wedding dress Perfect Day, 4 Market St, Bradford on Avon BA15 1LH T: 01225 309309 W: www.perfectdaybridal.net Groom’s outfit Kinloch Anderson T: 01315 551390 W: kinlochanderson.com Flowers Myrtle Mee, Georges Place, Bath BA2 4EN T: 01225 484400 Transport Bath Bus Company, 6 North Way, Bath BA1 1LF T: 01225 330444 W: www.bathbuscompany.com Rings Nicholas Wylde Ltd, 12 Northumberland Place, Bath BA1 5AR T: 01225 462826 W: www.nicholaswylde.com


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gowns GownInspiration


A perfect fit Welsh shop All About Eve is just a hop, skip and a jump away across the bridge in Chepstow, and once there you’ll find an award-winning team of bridal specialists on hand to help you find the dress of your dreams. Having been established for over 11 years, the friendly and dedicated staff certainly know a thing or two about wedding dresses, and they’re very happy to share this knowledge with you! All About Eve is a stockist for exquisite dress designer Pronovias, who brings Spanish flare and delicate detailing to all its dresses. This season, the emphasis is all the neckline, as well as featuring Pronovias’ signature lace look, creating a range of gowns to dazzle and delight you! Other designers featured at All About Eve include Mark Lesley, Blue by Enzoani, Maggie Sottero and Mori Lee, as well as mother of the bride and groom outfits, bridesmaids’ dresses and a great range of accessories. ALL ABOUT EVE 28 High Street, Chepstow, Monmouthshire NP16 5LJ T: 01291 629338 W: www.allaboutevebridawear.com


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OPPOSITE PAGE Landel The Landel gown is made from petit pois tulle and guipure, accentuated with crystal embroidery, and features a stunning mermaid skirt flowing into a chapel length train with sweet scalloped edge. The sweetheart neckline with bateau neck camisole is demure, but the sheer back with guipure appliquĂŠs adds a modern edge. LEFT Laren A beautiful v neck flowing into cap sleeves and a semisheer back with appliquĂŠs makes the Laren a dress for the bride who believes less is definitely more! This beautiful gown looks as lovely from the back as the front, perfect for when you're saying your vows. ABOVE Leonde We love the camisole bodice and silver and pearl gemstone embroidery detail of the Leonde dress. Its mermaid shape will accentuate your curves in all the right places, and its sheer neckline creates a demure yet stunning choice.


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Show-stealing DESIGNS

Carla Yorukoglu shares the latest trends for bridal wear.


combination of traditional, modern and quirky designs hit the catwalk during New York’s Bridal Fashion Week in which designers showcased their spring/summer 2014 collections. Whether you need gown inspiration for your autumn wedding or are looking ahead to your spring or summer nuptials, now is the time to take a step out of your comfort zone and tap into the trends to find a dress that will make sure that you stand out from the crowd.


The style-stealer for spring/summer 2014 bridal fashion has to be Gatsby! If you are not familiar with either Fitzgerald’s masterpiece or Baz Luhrmann’s recent film adaptation (or our autumn 2012 shoot!), think drop-waist dresses, decadent material and plenty of shimmer. New York’s Bridal Fashion Week saw many designers opt for the high octane glamour of all-over beading. For example, one design by Theia Couture cleverly embodied the twenties style with embellished detailing, while maintaining a sleek and simple silhouette to ensure that the dress would not swamp the bride. Elsewhere on the catwalk, many designers incorporated the embellished look with another hit of the season – backless dresses. If showing a lot of skin is too daring for your wedding day, look no further than a gown that has an intricately designed back – a perfect way for all of your guests to admire your dress during your nuptials. Top tip: If beading and glitter are not to 36 WEST WEDDINGS

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your taste, think about wearing a statement piece of jewellery to pull your outfit together. A layered pearl necklace or vintage inspired piece will channel the fashion of the twenties perfectly. However, if you want to fully embrace the twenties style, experiment with a bridal shift dress for that full-on flapper girl chic!

sign, a classic pencil dress will give you a streamlined silhouette, stopping mid-calf to allow your shoes to take centre stage. Top tip: A short dress can exude both fun and frivolity. In order to channel a fresh spring vibe, don’t be afraid of adding some flower detailing into your hair perfect if you are tying the knot overseas.



New York’s Bridal Fashion Week saw an abundance of models flashing more flesh than would traditionally be expected. Some of the dresses that were paraded on the catwalk took the meaning of the word ‘short’ to a new level, which begs the question: is a bridal mini-dress fun and flirty or a daring disaster? Many of the thigh skimming designs were arguably more suited to a night on the tiles than a romantic wedding day. New York-based label Reem Acra showcased a number of daring styles including tutu skirts, nude bodices and barely-there bodycon lace slips. However, braving a shorter style needn’t be tacky. Take inspiration from Keira Knightley (far left) who pulled off an above-the-knee, blush pink and strapless Chanel gown for her spring wedding. Although she showed that a shorter design can be understatedly chic, a more flattering alternative to her choice of ballet pumps would have been an elegant heel which is both sophisticated and a perfect leg lengthener. For a slight variation on Keira’s style, experiment with a tea-length wedding dress. Although this can be an awkward length to pull off, the nipped in waist and A-line skirt flatters all figures and gives more than a subtle nod to the glamour of the fifties. For an equally beautiful alternative to the full-skirted de-

It appears that the fashion world’s love of monochrome is in no danger of waning as the trend also reared its head during Bridal Fashion Week. Known for her haute couture bridal designs, Vera Wang’s spring/summer 2014 collection was full of attention grabbing monochrome dresses that were accompanied by striking black leather full length gloves (left, above and bottom). Many of the designs screamed high fashion more than practicality, with the contrast of the black and white block panelling verging on the gothic. So, is it possible to incorporate the monochrome trend into your wedding day without resembling Cruella De Vil? If you want to take a more delicate approach to monochrome chic, forget the black leather gloves. Take inspiration from the more elegant designs that were showcased and look out for dresses that have subtle black lacework on the bodice. You can also introduce elements of black and white into your dress without overwhelming the overall look. For example, a thin band of black lace woven around the waistband will offset any white or cream dress, giving both a nod to the trend whilst maintaining the illusion of an hourglass silhouette. Top tip: If monochrome is too daring for your wedding dress, use this on-trend palette by including black and white in your room and table decorations. WEST WEDDINGS 37

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www.thegowerhotel.co.uk The Gower Hotel, 11 Church Lane, Bishopston, Swansea, SA3 3JT t: 01792 234111 e: info@thegowerhotel.co.uk

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West Country STYLE

With over 20 years’ experience, you know you’ll be in good hands when you visit Just For You Bridal in Bristol. Based in the heart of the city centre, the shop stocks a wide range of fantastic designers including Roland Joyce, Romantica, Phil Collins and Eternity. Just For You also carries the Grace Harrington Couture line of gowns, which is an exciting collection designed by Susan Byron and her son Walter, the owners of Just For You. After starting out as an in-house label in 2009, its success with local brides led to Susan and Walter launching the collection to a wider audience in 2011, and it’s now stocked in over 60 shops across the UK. Grace Harrington styles aren’t discontinued, either, so you don’t have to worry that something that’s caught your eye is no longer available. Proudly designed in Bristol, but with a global appeal, these dresses are a great way to fly the flag for the South West!

WORTHING With elegant flattering lines, this high collared pure Shantung silk fishtail dress has the perfect combination of simplicity and sophistication, which makes it easy to accessorise.

JUST FOR YOU BRIDAL York House, Bond Street, Bristol BS1 3LQ T: 0117 942 8900 W: www.justforyoubridal.co.uk


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KNIGHTSBRIDGE This beautiful dress is made from luxurious crepe chiffon and is cut in an A line style with a flattering sweetheart neckline. Available in ivory or white, Knightsbridge works perfectly for all brides and creates a gorgeous silhouette.

STAMFORD This all over French lace fishtail gown is subtly beaded with sequins and crystal. It's pictured here with straps and a high back, but can also come with a low back and sweetheart neckline.


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Solitaire 69 High Street Midsomer Norton Bath, Somerset BA3 2QD Tel/Fax: 01761 416699 www.solitairebrides.co.uk

Alison Miles Couture

Image courtesy of www.captureit.co.uk

Contemporary and Traditional Wedding Contemporary and traditional Wedding Gowns individually designed and made Gowns individually designed and made to measure in the most beautiful silks to measure in the most beautiful silks Enquiries/appointments Tel: 01225 336805

enquiries/appointments tel: 01225 336805 Email: alison@alisonmiles.co.uk www.alisonmiles.com www.alisonmiles.com WEST WEDDINGS 43

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Win the Wedding

of Your Dreams at Marriott Bristol Royal Hotel

Starts Tuesday, August 13 Bristol

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grooms Grooms

Rocking both the bow tie and tweed look, the eleventh doctor is a geek fashion icon

These Lego cufflinks will allow you to discreetly let your geeky personality shine through

Make like Jay Gatsby in a pair of polished brogues

Funky foxes make this Viyella bow tie a winner


C’EST CHIC Say no to traditional and add your own quirky touches to your wedding day outfit by unleashing your inner geek, advises Samantha Merritt.


here is a continuing trend in men’s fashion right now, which has been made even more popular by certain famous actors. Benedict Cumberbatch has brought Sherlock Holmes into the 21st century with his fitted tailored suits and checked shirts and it was Matt Smith’s portrayal of Doctor Who – the effortless quiff hair and velvet bow ties – that made being geeky cool. There is no rule to say you have to wear a traditional suit for your wedding day. You can let your personality shine through; after all, that’s what your bride will be doing with her choice in wedding dress. Be aware, though, that there is a definite difference between being a geek and a nerd. Your bride won’t appreciate you turning up with your favourite childhood Pokémon top tucked into your trousers, but she will love the fact you made an effort in looking your best for her and also letting your personality shine through. Here’s just a few ways you can release your inner geek in nuptial style.


As we’ve already mentioned, ‘bow ties are cool’ thanks to a certain TV doctor. For your wedding day they offer something different than the normal suit and tie combo. Try and pick the colour with the season, for winter, deeper colours will look amazing against a crisp white shirt; for summer time think pastels and lighter tones. They come in a range of fabrics, with our favourites being velvet and silk for the suave and seductive groom.


Living in this particular part of the country means this is a geeky trend you will actually be able to get away with. Teamed with suede or leather elbow patches you will look great waiting for your bride at the altar. (Of course, most tweed is made from thick wool so it may not be the best idea for an autumn wedding; however, if you think you can take the heat, this trendy alternative will make you stand out from the rest of the wedding party.)


This shoe type makes a great change to the just black most grooms will go for. Coming in a range of colours from the standard brown to the more outrageous black and cream you will be walking with confidence and making an impact on your wedding crowd. Think of the roaring 1920s and The Great Gatsby period, a film that was released in May. You could even team them with a dashing cravat.


Probably one of the most popular geek trends, the checked shirt can be seen everywhere and on all sorts of men. My granddad wears them with his trusty braces and my friends wear them buttoned all the way up teamed with chinos. For your wedding, you should aim for a fancier type of shirt rather than a lumberjack flannel model, so think pure crisp cotton or linen.


We’re not going to lie to you, this is a trend your bride might have bit of a problem with but we just had to show you some of the gadgets out there for you to add some flair to your outfit. Gadget ties were the most popular things we found: from a piano playing to computer circuit board ties, the internet is filled with accessories to get your geeky heart racing. Also consider a quirky pair of cufflinks. We love these Lego ones from Urban Eye (www.etsy.com/shops/ urbaneye).


For all the men who are conscious of wearing their glasses on their wedding day or just can’t bear putting a contact lens in their eye, retro glasses are the answer. Ray bans have been hot this season and their motto of ‘never hide’ is very apt for your wedding day - the best time for you to make a statement. WEST WEDDINGS 45

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OF THE STAG IN VEGAS It’s the entertainment capital of the world, and following the recent release of The Hangover Part III, UK stag parties are set to invade Las Vegas in unprecedented numbers. Richard Jones shares a rundown of the top 10 things for your own ‘wolf pack’ to do in Sin City.


Las Vegas was built on gambling, and every hotel on the Strip is specifically designed to relieve you of your hard-earned dollars. For a fun gambling experience head over to Flamingo and get your buddies together for a game of craps. Large parties can take over a table, and with the stakes relatively low ($10 minimum bet) and the drinks complimentary, you will be high-fiving and hollering into the early hours. Alternatively you could always try the Pussycat Dolls Party Pit over at Caesar’s Palace - but please try to concentrate on the cards, gentlemen.


You can’t visit Vegas without going to a show, and not all the productions here are aimed at 60-something middle Americans. Check out Absinthe at Caesar’s Palace - a bizarre and memorable mix of sexiness, laughter and circus performers which has been voted the Best Adult Show on the Strip. For those wanting to see some music, American Idol winner Taylor Hicks has just taken up residency at Paris. 46 WEST WEDDINGS

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Pools in Vegas are nothing like those in Mediterranean Europe. Here bikini-clad cocktail waitresses totter along with trays of lethal designer cocktails to cool you from the hot Nevada sun, while pumping or chilling music (depending on where you are) rings out over the speakers. For a good mix of rocking tunes and relaxation to ease you into the evening’s shenanigans, splash out on a Voodoo Beach pool cabana at Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino.

Rooftop (Rio) to avoid disappointment. Line your wallets though, as a one litre standard bottle of Absolut, Skyy or Grey Goose vodka with mixers will set you back a whopping $400, while a bottle of Dom Pérignon is a cool $50,000 in some joints.

4. FIRE AN AK-47

A trip to the gun range has become a staple of stag dos around the world. But this is Las Vegas, and Guns and Ammo Garage is no normal gun range. Owner Mark Cole carries all the biggest and baddest weapons out there - and his Zombie Apocalypse Experience gives stags the chance to fire a Glock, Uzi 9mm, AK-47 and pump action shotgun. There are currently no plans for a rocket-launcher package. Well, not yet.


Those few people who watched the muchmaligned Sky1 TV show Vegas will recognise downtown Las Vegas as the place where it all began. Jump in a cab from the Strip, cruise past the drive-through wedding chapels and ‘Elvis Slept Here’ motel signs and spend a day in this historic district. Marvel at the wonders of Fremont Street, tour the brand-new Mob Museum, book in for a steak at Triple George Bar and Grill and play retro games with beer in hand at video arcade-cum-bar Insert Coin(s).


Suit up, buckle up and prepare for the ride of your life with Dream Racing at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. After a safety video, tuition and a practice session on the simulator, it’s time for the stag and any other wannabe Michael Schumachers to climb into the cockpit of a red Ferrari F430GT for five laps of the legendary circuit. The instructors pull no punches and will make sure you are all pushing the non-street legal prancing horses to their absolute limits.


Vegas is a breathtaking sight during the day, but at night the place comes alive and is an assault on every sense. Such is the scale of the place, there is no better way to see all the sights than from the air. A narrated Night Strip helicopter flight from McCarron Airport with Heli USA takes groups over the bright lights of Las Vegas boulevard, looping above the downtown area, and back again. A cheaper, and by no means less spectacular, option is taking an elevator ride to the top of the Eiffel Tower to take some snaps.

8. EAT…

Some say “eating is cheating” on stag dos. But with food this good, wolf packs would be foolish not to line their stomachs. Gordon Ramsay now has his name above three restaurants in Sin City, and if you tell the staff at Sugar Factor American Brasserie in Paris that you have something to celebrate, they’ll push the boat out by preparing a special bachelor party menu and plying the groom-tobe with liquid-nitrogen infused cocktails.

9. … DRINK…

Despite the fact that there are many clubs scattered down the Strip, they still tend to be exclusive and difficult to get into. Book early and reserve a VIP table with bottle service at PURE (Caesar’s Palace), Chateau (Paris), Gallery (Planet Hollywood) or Voodoo


Stag party or not, if you do one thing when you are in Vegas, make sure you go to a pool party to enjoy a crazy Sunday morning-afternoon session, in beautiful surroundings, set against the soundtrack of pumping music courtesy of star DJs. Rehab at Hard Rock Hotel and Casino - the longest running of all the pool parties in Las Vegas, now celebrating its 10th year - is still the best.

DETAILS Four nights in Las Vegas from £855pp with Virgin Holidays, including scheduled flights with Virgin Atlantic from Manchester or London Gatwick direct to Las Vegas and accommodation at the Flamingo Hotel on a room only basis. Prices are per person based on two adults travelling and sharing a standard room, and include all applicable taxes and fuel surcharges, which are subject to change. Prices are based on departures on 20th January 2014. To book, visit www. virginholidays.co.uk, call the Late Offer Hotline on 0834 557 3870 or visit one of its 100 concessions in Debenhams, House of Fraser, Tesco or Sainsbury’s stores nationwide. WEST WEDDINGS 47

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Follow us on Twitter: www.twitter.com/westweddings, like us on Facebook & check out our blog at www.westweddings.blogspot.com


For that little bit extra... You can now get even more from West Weddings by visiting our website. Finding what you need for your special day couldn’t be easier with our online directory and easy to navigate sections. Check it out today!

VIEW IT ONLINE If you are loathe to lend your copy to friends and family, just point them in the direction of our website - not only can they view the latest edition online, but they can browse through our old editions, which means nobody has to miss out!

COMPETITIONS Entering our fantastic competition online is a piece of cake! Simply log on to www.westweddings.co.uk and click the competitions link which will take you to the great free prize draw. You can enter with just a click of a button. This issue we have a dress worth £1,000 to win, from Special Day and Appletons and a photography package from Interlace Photography.




Need advice on where to start? If our handy countdown and budget planner wasn’t enough, you can grab more helpful hints and ideas on speech planning, invitation etiquette, seating plans and much more.

If you’re ever in doubt about where you can pick up your next copy of West Weddings, help is at hand! Just log on to our home page and select your area from the drop down list to find a full list. It’s as easy as that!

Find what you’re looking for with minimum fuss. We’ve got everything you’ll need for your big day - and remember, it can all be found locally. Our directory even has a search facility so you can go straight to what you’re looking for.



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the essential...


GUIDE Use this page to plan your budget and organise the big day - without the stress of last minute panics. 1 YEAR TO GO

Decide on the date. Set your budget. Make an appointment to see the minister if you are marrying in a church, or the registrar if you’re having a civil marriage. Make a list of the guests. Book the florist and the photographer. Book the wedding reception and transport. Start looking for your dress. Decide on the best man, bridesmaids and the ushers. Confirm all bookings in writing.

6 MONTHS TO GO Order the wedding stationery. Send out the invitations. Arrange the first fitting for your wedding dress. Pick the bride’s wedding shoes and accessories. Choose outfits for the groom, best man, bridesmaids, fathers, mothers and ushers. Organise rings for the bride and groom. Look for a band or DJ to play at the reception. Take out wedding insurance. Book the honeymoon and check your passports. Consult your hairdresser about the day.

3 MONTHS TO GO Decide on your wedding list and circulate to guests. Order the cake. Confirm ceremony details with the registrar or minister. Buy gifts for the best man, ushers and bridesmaids. Discuss seating plan with the caterer. If your honeymoon is abroad, arrange necessary vaccinations.

Plan your hen and stag parties. Notify your bank, building society and relevant authorities of the date that your name will change.


Arrange for a final fitting of your wedding dress. Confirm the arrangements in writing with the reception venue, caterer, florist, photographer, transport provider and others. Confirm the honeymoon arrangements. Have hen and stag nights. Finalise the reception seating plan with the caterer. Anyone speaking at the wedding should write, time and practise their speeches.

1 WEEK TO GO Arrange a wedding rehearsal. Collect your dress. Wear your wedding shoes around the house to break them in. Complete your final beauty preparations. Pack for your honeymoon. Think through the logistics of the day so everyone is clear what is happening.

ON THE DAY Have a relaxing bath or shower. Eat breakfast. Bridesmaids and page boys arrive. Hair and make-up. Bride and bridesmaids get dressed. The photographer arrives. Wedding transport arrives. Relax and enjoy the day!

BUDGET PLANNER Keep tabs on what you’ve spent, what you will need and how much money is left in the piggy bank with this handy guide. PLANNER


Engagement ring Wedding ring (hers) Wedding ring (his) Dress Shoes Veil Lingerie Hair accessories Jewellery Hair trial and on the day Make-up trial and on the day Cosmetics Groom’s suit Groom’s shoes Attendants’ outfits Ceremony fees Flowers Reception venue Catering Drink Cake Entertainment Photography/video Transport Stationery Favours/attendants’ gifts First night hotel Honeymoon Going away outfit Honeymoon wardrobe Insurance Other


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the flower house wedding flowers by deborah clare

0117 373 1526 07587 009 200 www.theflowerhouse.org The flower house is an independent florist based in Bristol specialising in all aspects of wedding and civil ceremony flowers. With nearly 20 years experience as a fully qualified florist I can offer you a personal and individual service with flowers and prices tailored to meet your budget yet exceed your expectations.

Bespoke Wedding & Occasion Cakes Cupcake Delight enjoy creating unique and beautiful cakes that taste great.

Classic, Vintage, Ruffles, Floral or Lace A free taster and design consultation will ensure that your cake will taste as good as it looks. To book your free consultation contact Fiona Tel: 07970 781047 Email: cakes@cupcake-delight.co.uk



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FAL L I NTO AUT U M N We took inspiration from the new season’s colours and textures to create a stunning photoshoot at Kingswood School. Words: Gianina Turner      Photography: Eleanor Saunders of Interlace Photography

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ature’s richest colour palette was the starting point for our autumn photoshoot - burnt sienna, deep red, old gold and olive green. On the beautiful grounds of Kingswood School, our bride and groom stepped out of the vintage car like a glamorous couple from a bygone era. Rachel and Oliver displayed real chemistry as they moved from the venue’s imposing interiors to the gorgeous grounds. An army of suppliers was on hand to provide all the details – and also to keep an eye on the couple in case they tried to elope! With Sharon Traylor from Kingswood School as our host, we felt extremely welcome and well looked after throughout the day.

THE VENUE Kingswood School combines the grandeur of past times with all the delights of contemporary, award winning services. During term time its grounds are inundated with cheerful children, but in the school holidays it becomes a heaven of tranquillity and the ideal spot for your 'I do's. Situated on the northern edge of Bath, Kingswood School is set in a stunning 218 acre estate, which offers exquisite backdrops for your wedding photos. You’re spoilt with a choice of two different venues for wedding receptions, each with unique features and character, and both available on an exclusive basis. Should you choose to have your wedding breakfast in Summerhill Mansion, you’ll be impressed by this eighteenth century Georgian building. The venue boasts a high ornate ceiling with five chandeliers, a wide wooden staircase and the option of serving

drinks on the outdoor terrace overlooking the city. The second venue is the Dining Hall in the senior school. With its wooden panels and stained glass windows, there is a sense of timeless magic in the air, and the tables and benches would delight any Harry Potter fan! Having your wedding at Kingswood School means that you’ll also be guaranteed the services of Sharon Traylor, the dedicated wedding coordinator. With help from her team of professional and courteous waiters, she’ll make your day perfect. And it’s not just the venue’s looks that will impress you. “We have a team of award winning chefs using fresh produce, sourced from local suppliers, to create first class menus for each wedding,” explained Sharon. “Couples are invited to sample the choices and where possible meet the chefs in person before the day.” Great food and a stunning location – what more could you want to celebrate your marriage?

TH E PHOTOGR APHY Capturing these gorgeous pictures was Eleanor Saunders, the founder of Interlace Photography. Eleanor has been excelling at capturing weddings across the South West since 2006, and her love for these occasions simply shines through in her lovely images. The photoshoot for our autumn issue had a country, bohemian theme, which suited Eleanor’s signature photography style down to the ground! “I aimed to create a relaxed, natural look using backdrops such as the facade of buildings, the grass and wooded areas for the outside photos,” said Eleanor. “I loved experimenting with light when we took pictures with the staircase and stained glass

windows in the background. Autumn is one of my favourite time of the year for outside photos because the light is fantastic,” she added. So many couples choose Eleanor as their wedding photographer because she knows how to make people feel at ease and quietly blends in the background during the celebrations. She offers flexible packages to suit each couple’s needs and budget, as well as providing engagement shoots to celebrate each step of your wedding journey.

THE OUTFITS AND ACCESSORIES Our show-stopping gowns came from Solitaire Brides, a leading bridal boutique in Midsomer Norton. These were then accessorised with a selection of headpieces, jewellery and shoes from Bridezillas, the bridal accessories boutique based in Keynsham. For a boho daytime look, Rachel wore Olivia by Diane Harbridge, a high neck lace gown with a keyhole back and a scalloped edge. A headband sitting low on the forehead, made of crystals and diamantes, worked well with a pair of crystal drop earrings to complement the gown’s delicate lines. The second dress was by designer Phil Collins, style 1901. Its tea-length, A-line shape and intricate crochet pattern covering the shoulder line reveals a vintage influence. Rachel wore it with a classic birdcage veil and a beautiful rose flower by Lily Bella. “The delicate caramel rose in the middle of the headpiece ties well with the Vanessa caramel belt, also by Lily Bella,” explained Amanda Davis-Harrison, the owner of Bridezillas.


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Crystal and pearl drop earrings and a matching bracelet from Abigail Grace designs completed the look. When it came to a night time look, our bride wore two designs by Diane Harbridge. Any royal princess would be proud to marry in the elegant Lindsey gown, a dark ivory laser-cut satin, with a fully fitted corset and a long train. When you see the accessories chosen, you will be reaching for your notebook so you don’t forget the details - a Lois headpiece, simple stud Richmond earrings and pendant and Promise bracelet, all by Ivory & Co. The final dress, Becky, was the perfect choice for a red carpet style, as its delicate chiffon and intricate embroidery across the bodice embodied Hollywood glamour and timeless beauty. The Swarovski crystals on the waistband were enhanced by a Talia hair vine by Ivory & Co. This chic look was completed with Moonstruck earrings and a silver cuff

with flowers and rhodium crystals, to create a look fit for a film star as well as a bride! Pretty bridesmaid Ella wore two satin dresses from Bride at Home in Downend, Bristol. Jan Wright is the owner of this bridal boutique who, as well as selling a fantastic range of dresses from leading designers, also makes her own dresses for bridesmaids and brides. The first dress, Ella, was a Bride at Home original, with a satin bodice with sparkly organza overskirt and a taffeta sash. The look was accentuated with a Lena rhodium plated dark crystal and pearl tiara. The second dress was made of organza over-satin in champagne and gold, from the Hilary Morgan collection. It had eye-catching gold and coffee embroidery and beads, which worked well with the Charlie side tiara by Abigail Grace, which also nodded towards the vintage theme. The groom wore a brown Prince Edward suit, followed by a grey wool suit with tailcoat jacket,

over a Victorian collar shirt, waistcoat and ruched tie. Both looks were provided by the Cheltenham branch of Slaters, a store specialising in menswear, womenswear and formal hire. Slaters pride themselves in providing bespoke services and, with such a wide range of wedding and morning suits available, they are sure to be able to provide you with the perfect wedding day outfit.

THE HAIR We wanted our bride to look effortlessly romantic and classically elegant, so we turned to top hair salon David Maxwell Hairdressing in Widcombe to help us! Stylists Zara and Harriet provided an extremely professional service, changing the styles of our wedding party to suit each look. For her first two dresses, Rachel’s hair was prepped with curls and then gathered into a lower side loose knot, with the front


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Spacious 1920’s & 30’s cars for Weddings and film work WWW.KENSKARS.CO.UK Email: waynesmith78@hotmail.com

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THE MAKE-UP pulled gently back and the sides loosely pinned. Later on, Rachel modelled a softer hair style with a straight finish, incorporating a forward horizontal parting and with the rest of hair swept into a bow at the back. Ella had a similar bohemian look, with soft curls gathered in a loose bun shape and a flower head garland. For her second dress, she had her hair half up and half down, with a bow effect at the back. David Maxwell has been creating bridal looks for over eighteen months and offers a fantastic in-salon service, as well as offering the option of travelling to the bride’s home or venue. All you need to do is sit back, relax and watch your dream wedding hair be created!

Tracey Curnock is a freelance make-up artist from Wiltshire, with 20 years’ experience in the industry. Choosing from her arsenal of professional brushes, she applied and blended layers of soft, natural colours to create a gentle, barely-there make-up look for our bride. “I always make sure the make-up lasts from the moment it goes on until the lights go off, at the end of the night,” said Tracey, and we can testify that Rachel looked beautiful from start to finish! Tracey highlighted Rachel’s eyes by mixing hues of peachy pink and light brown, followed by a touch of brown eyeliner and two coats of black mascara. By blending a drop of highlighter on the brow of the eyebrows, our bride’s eyes looked

wide and bright. Tracey’s impressive collection of make-up, ranging from MAC and Daniel Sandler to Max Factor and Marks & Spencer, enables her to create the perfect bridal looks. She is also a freelance voluntary ambassador for Look Good, Feel Better, a charity which helps women who suffer from cancer by teaching them about skincare and make-up.

THE FLOWER S When Debbie from the Flower House arrived carrying flowers in different shapes and sizes - bouquets, a birdcage and a centrepiece - the whole room filled up with colour. Autumnal colours of gold, red, burnt orange and caramel added an instantly warm feel to the sunbathed reception room. WEST WEDDINGS 57

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The centrepiece had an array of dahlias, roses, orange alstroemeria and solidaster. The bride's shower and handtied bouquets featured hypericum berries, mango calla lilies and greenery, and the bridesmaid’s pomander was made of baby sunflowers, solidaster, spray roses and eucalyptus leaves. The flowers were complemented by a boho headpiece of roses, ivy and solidaster, worn by both bride and bridesmaid, and which was paired to great effect with a misty veil for our cover shot! “I’ve noticed a switch towards a more traditional, rustic look in wedding flowers, as opposed to set or styled,” advised Debbie. “Gold and dark oranges are set to be popular this autumn.” You saw it here first!

THE CAR The vintage burgundy and black 1928 American Studebaker Dictator car looked extremely stylish against the Kingswood School entrance. This is one of six unique styles owned by Ken’s Kars in Chipping Sodbury. A family business for thirty years, Ken’s Kars is currently owned by Wayne Smith, who took over from his granddad. “Traditional 1930s English cars are more popular with brides, whilst grooms prefer

American cars with a more ‘gangster’ look,” said Wayne. The burgundy Studebaker was certainly a favourite with all our models, including the young bridesmaid. Taking great pride in the services the company delivers, Wayne was happy to share a pleasant surprise he had recently. “As I was taking the bride and her dad to church, I realised that 26 years ago we had driven the dad himself on his wedding day.”

THE CAKE The two-tiered ruffled cake, made by cake design company Cupcake Delight, looked rustic and romantic on top of a vintage suitcase. With clusters of blackberries and pink and white ivy blossoms either side it matched the wooden panels from Kingswood’s dining hall. “The current trend for cakes is sponge cakes, with different flavours – vanilla, lemon and chocolate work well together,” says Fiona Hardy from Cupcake Delight. Fiona also provided some delicious cupcakes which also made their way into the photos! Baking bespoke cakes from her home in Thornbury, Fiona is passionate about creating unique designs for each couple. “I like using lace, ruffles, flowers and pearls as

embellishments.” Fiona’s tip for choosing a cake for your wedding? “Most brides try to tie in their cake to the day by incorporating an element of their dress," she said. "Look at the detailing or material and you can translate this into cake!"

THE STATIONERY Lavinia Jane Stationery is a new supplier of bespoke wedding invitations, favours and other stationery for your special day. Business is booming and, moving on from the company’s kitchen table origins, owner Nicky Wait has recently moved into a new office in Soundwell, Bristol. “I provide a bespoke service – each design is unique, based on the theme of your wedding,” explained Nicky. She enjoys printing on textures other than paper, such as cotton and silk organza. For our photo shoot, she used Scrabble letters for a vintage look, and natural papers to make the favour boxes, which she then decorated with delicate skeleton leaves.

THE VENUE STYLING Kirsten Butler has two impressive titles - award winning wedding stylist and West Weddings’


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creative director. For her first shoot in her new role, Kirsten used natural elements such as flowers, wood and wicker to create a relaxed, rustic theme. “It was also fun using the cupcakes and the apples!” added Kirsten. We can’t help but applaused her idea of using props – not only did they look good on camera, but they made for a tasty treat after the photo shoot!

THE MODELS Oliver Park was a natural in his role as a groom, having taken this role before for our sister magazine Folio. Away from the film cameras in London, where he features in an array of dramas, he looked every inch the dashing groom for our bride Rachel Harvey. Rachel enjoyed taking time off from her day job to try on the gorgeous gowns and accessories. When asked about her favourite look, Rachel found it hard to choose one. “I loved the teadress because I’m fond of vintage and the forehand band was a modern twist with a bit of sparkle,” she said. Ella Glynne-Jones, our young bridesmaid, charmed everyone with her cute smile and polite manner, making her mum Kirsten very proud!


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Farrington Park is set in a beautiful and peaceful rural location, making us a picture perfect wedding venue, surrounded by stunning views across the former Duchy of Cornwall estate.   We have two function suites both licensed for civil weddings. The larger Montgomerie Suite, with beautiful balcony over looking a private wedding garden, providing you & your guests great outside space, giving a relaxed and comfortable atmosphere.

Alternatively, for a more intimate gathering, we have the King Charles Hall. With naturally exposed oak beams, & oak floor, providing a truly stunning room for your special day. This also has a private wedding garden perfect for relaxing with your guests.   We are experienced at delivering weddings to a very high standard, call our wedding team today and start planning that special day with us.

Farrington Park Marsh Lane Farrington Gurney Nr Bristol BS39 6TS Telephone: 01761 451596 www.farringtonpark.co.uk

Ingleside House is the ideal country house wedding venue situated in the heart of The Cotswolds.



With a full licence for civil ceremonies, couples can share their day with friends and family in this stunning Grade II listed venue. Due to our late license this also allows the happy couples to say “I do” as the sun sets or “kiss the bride” in candle light with log fires burning during the wintery evenings. Our house can be hired exclusively for a party of 20 or for a reception of 200 offering total privacy and elegance to celebrate your special day. Whether you need a venue for a party or a corporate event our dedicated team can arrange everything to suit your requirements from the catering, entertainment, styling and planning. We believe that any event big or small should be personal to each couple, therefore all weddings are tailor made to your personal wishes with no attention to detail spared. We care as much about the success of your day as you do so please feel free to contact us for more information or to request our wedding brochure.

5 Beeches Road, Cirencester Gloucestershire GL7 1BN Contact: 01285 648230 info@inglesidecirencester.com 62 WEST WEDDINGS

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be inspired BeInspired

Hitting the right note Samantha Houston explains how classical music can enhance your special day.


lassical music has a funny reputation – it’s either screamingly elitist or ringtone fodder (Toreador, anyone?). When I tell people I’m an opera singer, eyes slowly glaze over and quiet prayers are sent up that they’re busy the night I have a concert. My job has been useful, however, to friends and family when they’ve asked me to sing at their weddings – a gift for them and a privilege for me! I recently decided to set up Wedding Music Consultation, a service helping couples select the perfect classical music and musicians for their ceremony – after all, I have many years of experience. I excitedly got online to do some research but it soon became clear that there is little to no information available. I should have felt like I’d found my niche, the only business out there providing a much needed facility, but instead I felt a little disheartened, as if I was trying to resurrect a dead art. Well, I am here to confirm that classical music is alive and well and, after chatting to several brides-to-be at a recent wedding fair, I want to dispel the two main reasons that – according to my less than official poll – put people off: 1. “Classical music isn’t for us” It is true that concerts are filled with older audiences but classical music is used daily in all media (remember The Flower Duet in the

BA advert?), making it much more accessible to all generations. When it comes to weddings, I understand why couples tend to go for the ‘standards’ for their ceremonies – and why not? Ave Maria is popular because people love it, but I really think that, with a little help, your ceremony music can be as unique as your dress, your flowers and your favours. As an example, I recently organised the music for a bride in Dublin. She sent me some details about herself, her fiancé and her church and we agreed that I would offer up choices for the church organist to play for her entrance, the signing of the register, Holy Communion and their exit at newlyweds. After reading about her church online, I looked into Irish classical composers around the time the church was rebuilt in 1802 (when I felt its history began) and found John Field, whose piano sonatas are both beautiful and peaceful – a wonderful accompaniment to Holy Communion and register signing. I then chose a warm French aria for her to walk in to and a section from an upbeat Handel Organ concerto to leave to – choices which met the bride’s requirements for Pachelbel’s Canon-like harmonies and a quirky, happy exit. My bride will now have her perfect ceremony music without lifting a finger! There was a time when classical music was just music and musicians always played at great celebrations – especially weddings, the greatest of them all. Don’t be afraid of what we call classical music, as songs from 40-50 years ago can be ‘classical’ to the modern ear. What music comes to mind when you think of your favourite film? More often than not, it’s a classical piece – why not walk down the aisle to that? My last bride requested Stevie Wonder’s You are the Sunshine of My Life as exit music – this was the a first for me but, after a little bit of work, I found an arrangement for her string trio to play and she and her husband left beaming! My initial advice would be to go to your venue

and stand by the entrance. What do you hear? Do you hear strings or trumpets? Do you hear one voice or a choir? Live music can enhance your special ceremony to no end, so be as bold as you dare. 2. “Classical musicians are too expensive” If only! We all train very hard for many years for not much financial reward but, honestly, it’s the passion that drives the majority of performers - not the cheque. If today’s statistics are true, and the average wedding does set couples back approximately £15,000–20,000, then the cost of live ceremony music will only be about 1-2% of the overall cost - a bargain, no? You can also book musicians to play on after your ceremony, entertaining your guests while they enjoy their first glass of Champagne! I understand that, without family or friends in the biz, you might feel it’s difficult to know who to book, not trusting the adverts you see in magazines or online. This is where Wedding Music Consultation can step in! All recommended singers and instrumentalists are professional musicians, so you can rest assured that your choice of music will be beautifully performed. So please remember that ceremony music can be as personal as possible to you and your groom on your special day – just don’t sacrifice the majesty of the moment because you don’t think classical music applies to you or you think we’re too expensive... it does and we’re not!

CONTACTS Wedding Music Consultation W: www.weddingmusicconsultation.com E: info@weddingmusicconsultation.com Tw: @WeddingMusicCon Fa: Wedding Music Consultation


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NT E M E T A T S , S R O T A IN C S A LOVING: F … S A L L E R B M U D N A K IC T S LIP BeInspired


Our waspish queen of style Sharon Diamond takes a look at what’s hot and what’s not this autumn.


o for gold Add a touch of timeless glamour to your special day with a choice of royal gold for your colour scheme. Take a side step from over worked ice cream pastels and go for this more sophisticated colour, especially if you want to create a vintage look. From bridesmaids’ dresses to your venue decorations and cake, embrace this beautiful autumn hue! Back to nature As temperature drops and wedding celebrations move indoors, you can still have a ‘secret garden’ theme for your special day, even inside a big manor house. Think birdcage centrepieces filled with flowers or berries, cones or leaves for place names and lanterns resting on tree logs scattered around the room. Autumn has such a wide spectrum of colours to choose from and, with a trip to the park and some DIY, you can save a fortune. Say yes to sleeves We’re seeing a return of the sleeved gowns this season, in a variety of styles and fabrics. A trend started by Kate Middleton’s gorgeous long sleeve McQueen dress for the royal wedding is now spreading across the world. Many designers including Izabel Zapardiez featured delicate lace, tulle or satin sleeve dresses on the catwalk. What better news could you wish for at this time of year? If you don’t want your arms showing or fancy the option of two different looks, we’ve found the solution! Should you find a strapless design you like, consider adding sleeves or a matching bolero that can take you from day to night and keep you warm. Fun with fascinators The summer Royal Ascot races may be over but fascinators are definitely staying in bridal fashion. Beautiful and elegant designs, as seen on the Jesus Peiro catwalk, are the perfect alternative for brides who don’t like the idea of a full cathedral veil.

Birdcage styles that cover part of the face add a subtle vintage touch, while if you go for lace, you can achieve a much softer look. As to hats, leave them for the guests as they distract from the main piece of your outfitthe dress. Under the umbrella Picture this: you’re stepping out of a classic car, with immaculate make-up and hair, beautiful dress and shoes, with everything how you’ve pictured it - except for the uninvited heavy shower. Well-organised brides are now taking precautions and making umbrellas a vital accessory. With so many different shapes and colours to choose from, there’s a style for everyone and they make great props for your photos. Statement lipstick Swap your nude glosses for richer, brighter colours on your lips. Choose a hydrating lipstick such as YSL Rouge Volupte Shine, a catwalk favourite. It’ll make you look great in photos and goes well with a natural eye make-up and soft curls. Fairy lights Do you dream of having rows of colourful, twinkling lights that add a bit of sparkle to your evening party? If the answer is ‘yes’, then you should invest in some fairy lights for your special day. These small decorations are not just for Christmas; many couples are replacing the classic candles with these little gems, as they give more flexibility. You can have them on tables, hanging from the ceiling or wrapped around the staircase – the possibilities are endless.


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ay no to fake tan If you’re anything like us, you’ve probably spent most of the summer holidays in your shorts and T-shirts, making the best of the sunny days and getting a glowing tan. As the season changes, it’s time to bin the fake tan bottle and swap your salon spray appointment for a relaxing massage. Your skin deserves a chance to breathe and regenerate before the wedding. Orange may be your favourite colour for wedding decorations or your bridesmaids’ dresses but it is not the best look for a bride. Hangover headaches Hen parties are a great opportunity for brides-to-be and their friends to spend some girly time together. Your hen party should be full of fun and laughter, not a drinking disaster in a string of loud and overcrowded clubs. Instead, try shoe decorating, pampering, vintage styling and cocktail making. Ice cream The sun tends to shy away and become more of a rarity in autumn, when thick dark clouds take its place. Even if you’re lucky enough to have the sun shining on your special day, your guests will be more impressed with a hot chocolate in the chilly evening than a cold ice-cream. With a selection of trimmings – marshmallows, whipped cream, sprinkles and even a cheeky shot of Baileys - you’re guaranteed everyone will want one. Sandals Unless you’re getting married on the beach, in a sunny setting, then the best choice for the autumn season is court shoes. So skip the sandals aisle and go straight to the glamorous bridal shoes, which come in so many different styles. Courts offer more protection from the elements of nature and a better grip, so you won’t lose your shoes on the dance floor; unless you choose to take them off yourself, off course. There is such an array of heel heights at your perusal: from flat to kitten, mid- or sky high stilettos, you’re bound to find a perfect pair. Cascading curls Take notes from the Downton Abbey cast when choosing your hair style for the wedding. Steer clear of the long and flowing waves we’ve seen

ED CAKES IC , N A T E K A F : G IN H T A LO AND SANDALS… cascading at this summer’s weddings. Instead, go for a stylish up-do, embellished with a simple diamante or pearl accessory. Exuberant cakes There is a growing trend towards simplicity and here is how you can embrace this: swap the tiered fruit cake for a more rustic cheese tower. It’s easy to do and it won’t break the bank; just stack a few truckles of cheese on top of each other and decorate with figs, grapes and berries.


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WHAT’S IN A NAME? The tradition of a woman automatically taking her husband’s surname after the wedding is in decline, with many women now deciding to keep their maiden name. But there are many other options available for couples nowadays, as Rebecca Paddick discovers.


hanging our name is a subject we all seem to have a strong opinion on. My mind was made up from a very young age that I was going to keep my surname if and when I married. I see my name as just that – mine, and I have always planned to hold on to it. But, while there is no doubt in my mind that this option is the right one for me, I have never believed that this should be a universal attitude, and I am intrigued by the numbers of options we have available to us, and why women make the choices they do.


Actress Demi Moore chose to keep her family name during her marriages to Bruce Willis and Ashton Kutcher, but Victoria Beckham dropped her maiden name of Adams when she tied the knot with David. Songstress Lily Allen also chose to take her husband’s name and is now Lily Rose Cooper, but when Jada Pinkett married Will Smith in the 90s, she opted for a double-barrelled surname. A new trend gaining momentum is the merging of two family names to create a new one. Television presenter Dawn Porter married actor Chris O’Dowd in 2012, and now goes by the name of Dawn O’Porter. Having a doublebarrelled surname or hyphenated surname was once seen as the best of both worlds and was particularly popular in the 80s and 90s. But the popularity of joint names has been on a steady slide since the 90s.


Taking the husband’s name has remained the most common option, but a recent Facebook survey has shown that one-third of women in their 20s keep their maiden names when they get married. The research found that more and more young women are deciding not to take their husband’s name because it doesn’t fit with modern attitudes to equality. And my, how times, and thankfully, attitudes have changed. “I was 15 when the equal opportunities act was passed, and thus I was part of a very large group of people who just

wanted to change the way women’s lives were impacted by societal pressure,” explains Dr Caroline Brown from Somerset.“I always, from as young as seven, questioned the rationale behind the cultural acceptance of women as firstly the property of their fathers, and then that of their husbands – this is inherent in us as having our father’s name and then our husband’s.” Convenience also helped Caroline make her decision, as she got married after taking her degree and doctorate. “I was awarded my PhD as Brown. My publications are in the name of Brown and to change it would have been very tedious and tiresome, so I just kept my own surname.”


Because of the many options available to us, women will have a number of reasons for making their decisions. “Growing up with my maiden name was frustrating. Melhuish was a difficult surname to spell and pronounce,” says Jenny Templar, from Bristol. “When friends could state their surnames and get the right pronunciation straight away, roll on marriage and change it was my motto.” Jenny feels a woman should take the man's surname at marriage, and thinks the trend is surviving. “Now that my sons are older I would like to see them married and continue the Templar line, but would I would not be upset if they decided to double-barrel the surname. But if they were to give it up altogether, I’m not too sure how I would feel about that. “A few couples choose to double-barrel their names and I am in favour of this if the names sound good together. Melhuish-Templar wouldn't have worked and I can just imagine the looks and questions if we had chosen to do this!”


West Wedding’s very own Helen Dorritt took another route, keeping her maiden name for

Victoria Beckham took her husband's name, Jada Pinkett-Smith double-barrelled hers and Dawn O'Porter created a brand new one

work and changing to her husband’s name for her private life. “I absolutely love my maiden name – it’s very unusual, and so I wanted to keep that distinctiveness. But the biggest reason to keep it was identity. After being Helen Dorritt for 28 years, I didn’t want to give that up. We live in a much more gender equal world these days and, as a feminist, I’ve always disliked the assumption that I would lose my identity to a man’s. “My husband, however, really wanted me to take his name so we could be a family. I understood that, but I also didn’t like the fact that he assumed I would take his name and not vice versa. Keeping Dorritt for work and changing to Webster for private was a happy compromise." It may feel like everyone has their own opinions about what you should or shouldn’t do, but ultimately the decision is yours to make. Like everything else connected with a wedding and marriage, it all comes down to personal choice.


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Ideal for weddings, private parties, corporate events, club nights and festivals!

Beautiful and delicious, wedding cakes, cupcakes & cookie favors, designed especially for you. Romantic florals or classic elegance with a sprinkle of vintage glamour ~ whatever your dream cake may be, we promise you a fabulous creation for your special day

Come and have tea & sample some delightful flavours To book your free consultation, call Anne

To hire our booth for your special day contact us at

0117 9243036 / 07791 208 754

or visiting our website itsyourbooth.com





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We round up the best bridal beauty products to get you wedding-ready this autumn.


When it comes to preparing your hands for the wedding you’ll probably just be thinking of buffing and manicuring your nails into perfection, but don’t forget the rest needs caring for as well! L’Occitane’s Shea Butter Hand Cream is the perfect solution to heal and protect dry or dehydrated skin, ensuring your hands and knuckles are in brilliant condition to show off your wedding ring. Ingredients include 20% shea butter, accompanied with a honey and sweet almond extract which will help to lock in moisture. Your hands will also smell great with alluring aromas of jasmine and ylang-ylang essence, and the cream itself comes as a lightweight balm which quickly absorbs into the skin. The best part is that it comes in a travel-size 30ml tube, so you can easily carry it in your hand luggage when you continue on to your honeymoon destination. W: WWW.LOCCITANE.COM


Ensuring your skin stays looking fresh and healthy can be a challenge, and the idea of trying out a new skincare regime can always seem daunting, but Liz Earle’s award-winning 3-step Daily Essentials skincare products are definitely worth the risk. The Cleanse and Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser clears all signs of dirt and grime from skin, and the thick creamy texture even works to remove stubborn make-up, such as mascara. Rinse it off with the pure muslin cloth which works to remove dead skin cells, leaving skin feeling super soft and looking radiant. Follow with alcohol-free Instant Boost Skin Tonic which is packed with refreshing ingredients such as cucumber and aloe vera, leaving your skin feeling revitalised. Last but not least, apply the Skin Repair Moisturiser which comes in three different types so you can pick the best one for your skin, to leave your face feeling softened, smoothed and definitely photo-ready. W: WWW.LIZEARLE.CO.UK


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We love make-up that’s sheer and light, so Estee Lauder’s new Pure Color Cello Shots became an instant favourite. This collection of soft gels and water-light finishes is used to give a sheer wash of colour to your skin, and comes as a cheek stain, lip shine and lip gloss. Available in a range of mouthwatering shades with equally delicious names – Techno Jam, anyone? - these tints are perfect for those brides who like a fresh, natural look. W: WWW.ESTEE-LAUDER.CO.UK


Before applying your makeup on the big day make sure to start with Clarins’ awardwinning Instant Smooth Perfecting Touch Primer. Unlike some primers, this has a light and creamy texture and glides easily onto skin. It’s easy to apply and you don’t need much more than a two-pence piece sized amount, meaning a whole tub will last you for a good part of the year. It acts as a perfect base for your foundation, smoothing lines and wrinkles and filling in pores. Your skin will be left ‘foundation ready’ giving your make-up a more even and flawless finish. W: WWW.CLARINS.CO.UK


You’ll have a bouquet of flowers in your hands, so why not match this with the perfect floral scent on your skin? Gucci’s Flora Eau De Parfum is the perfect sensual fragrance to keep you feeling gorgeous all day long, and will make your man want to kiss the bride before he’s even finished saying “I do”. Inspired by Gucci’s iconic flora pattern, it contains top notes of citrus mandarin accords and peony, a heart of rose and osmanthus flower, and base notes of pink pepper and sandalwood. If you prefer a lighter or more subtle scent, Gucci has the answer with its reworked version of Flora in the Glamorous Magnolia Eau De Toilette. Featuring top notes of freesia, green leaves and citrus zest, it gives a lighter and fresher scent than the original, and its base notes contain musk and warm chocolate accord paired with sandalwood which keep the fragrance from smelling too sweet. W: WWW.GUCCI.COM


To make your eyes really stand out, take a look at Barry M’s latest range of eye make-up. Its Wink Marker Pen is a chunkystyle eyeliner that makes creating those Audrey Hepburnesque flicks effortless. It’s also quick drying and smudge proof, so ideal if the emotion overtakes you at the altar! For lashes that seem to go on forever, try Barry M’s Lash Vegas mascara. We love the name, and we love the fact it defines, separates and lengthens even the smallest lashes. W: WWW.BARRYM.COM


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So near, so spa


Ellie Pipe uncovers the best local spa retreats for some essential pre-wedding pampering.


ou’re getting married; this is the happiest time of your life. Well, supposedly. The trouble is that in the midst of planning, around about the point when you discover the bridesmaid dresses don’t fit and the fourth re-draft of the seating plan still isn’t working out, it’s all too easy to forget why you started all of this in the first place. Never mind happily ever after, you’ll be lucky to get through the next three weeks without killing someone. This is just the time to take a step back, relax, gain some perspective and remember why you loved the idea of a wedding (and indeed your partner) in the first place. Easier said than done, you say? Not with the help of West Weddings. Our dedicated team has trawled the length and breadth of the West Country to bring you the ultimate guide to the perfect spa retreat - it’s a tough job but someone had to do it!


Planning a hen party can be almost as fraught as the wedding. Will it live up to the bride’s expectations? Can everyone afford it? How do you cater for a mixed group of ages and preferences? Impossible as it may seem, Tortworth Court Four Pillars is one spa destination that can actually tick every box. In the setting of a beautiful country house hotel, the Peels Spa has a range of facilities and treatments to suit everyone. There’s a swimming pool for a relaxing dip, a fully equipped gym for those who are that way inclined and the signature Decleor spa treatments to ensure that

any pre-wedding stresses will simply melt away. Expectant hens can more than make up for missing out on the boozy shenanigans by taking advantage of the special sumptuous ‘mother to be’ package. A top to toe day spa experience at Tortworth Court is available for £120.


There are occasions when a glass of wine just won’t cut it and only the bottle will do. The same goes for health spas; there are some situations when a stressed out mind needs more than a quick massage. For just such occasions (or really just if you want the excuse for a treat), the only recommendation is Cedar Falls. Based in the heart of Somerset, Cedar Falls is a unique, adult-only health farm set in over forty acres of fabulous landscaped grounds. The spa is dedicated to offering the best in health, relaxation and spa treatments with a fully trained team on hand to make the experience truly special. Facilities include pools, tennis courts, a gym, Jacuzzi, sauna, steam rooms and over 20 (yes 20) dedicated treatment rooms. An extensive range of traditional beauty/ body treatments, including makeovers, are available, or you can opt for one of the holistic, natural therapies to revive your frazzled self. With all that to work up an appetite, you can then indulge in the healthy fine dining that Cedar Falls is famed for. A full day spa is available for £69 (£89 weekends and bank holidays), or a half day for £39. A twilight package experience costs £39.


Weddings are a grand excuse for reminiscing and catching up with old friends. Remember the days of pre-teen sleepovers? Pyjamas, snacks and any film with Brad Pitt (or Ashton Kutcher or Sean Connery depending on your generation). Aztec Hotel and Spa has gone one better than a trip down memory lane and actually recreated the perfect girly sleepover, just with a few grown-up, luxury refinements. What more could a girl ask for? (Well, aside from Brad Pitt on hand to serve your drinks).

The classic girls’ night in package includes unlimited use of the extensive spa facilities, an overnight stay in 4-star luxury, a supper of delicious finger food served in your room, a goody bag for each guest and a selection of chick flick DVDs and popcorn. This is all for just £90 per person. Upgrade options include cocktails, a three course dinner and a £30 gift card to spend on fabulous ESPA products online (see website for further prices).


Some would call it indulgence; we prefer to call it essential couple therapy. Either way, a stay at the Mount Somerset Hotel and Spa will refresh, revive and rekindle that spark so often lost amidst fraught wedding planning. This beautiful, rural Somerset hotel exudes gentle elegance and luxury, with opulent décor, award-winning dining and outstanding spa facilities. Wonderfully reminiscent of a traditional Hamman bath house, the spa is a haven of peace and tranquillity. Spend some quality pampering time together in the ample facilities that include a sauna, steam room, foot spa, hydrotherapy pool and treatment rooms. If that all gets a bit too hot and steamy, pull the cord on the ‘kubel dusche,’ an elevated bucket of ice water. After all, what says ‘I love you’ better than an invigorating dousing of ice cold water? The ultimate luxurious ‘Indulge, Pamper and Romance’ package is available for £319 per couple (Sunday – Thursday only, available until 30th September 2013).


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With a million things on your plate, it may be that a spa retreat is out of the question. This doesn’t mean that you can’t take a couple of hours out, as even a small amount of quality relaxation can work wonders. Cadbury House is just a stone’s throw from central Bristol but is fully equipped with everything you need to get away from it all and re-charge the batteries in a rather scenic location. The Spa at Cadbury House offers a whole array of tailor-made spa packages, but one of the fabulously indulgent Elemis treatments should do the trick to get you back to your best. A traditional full body massage at Cadbury House is available for £55 (£60 Friday – Sunday).


Sometimes in stressful situations, the only way to relieve tension is by hitting something as hard as

you can. Before anyone gets in your punch line, take yourself down to Farrington Park and let it all out on the golf course. Set in the rolling Somerset countryside, Farrington Park is far more than just a golf course, as its state of the art health and fitness suite comes fully equipped with a gym and studio. After all of the stress-busting exercise, achieve a completely calm state of mind with a dip in the hydro-pool (boasting Olympic current technology). Then on to the sauna, the steam room and finally a splurge in the hot tub – utter bliss!


With its sparkling, re-furbished spa facilities on the edge of the idyllic Cotswolds, the Hallmark Hall Hotel Gloucester is the perfect venue for a blissful afternoon away from it all. Spa getaway and afternoon tea for two people is available for £54 per couple.


Boasting award winning spa facilities and 5 star luxury accommodation, the St David’s Hotel and Spa in Cardiff is well worth a trip over the bridge for a seriously relaxing getaway.



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BeInspired Bridesmaids’ necklace and hair pins hand-made by Sarah Sadler’s sister

Elena’s own hand-made wedding invitations

Tyingthe Knot

Elizabeth Smallman’s sweetpeas in lace vase

on a shoestring

Elena Hogg shares her ideas for keeping your wedding budget to a minimum.


whopping £18,000! Yep, you guessed it. That’s the average cost of weddings, according to the latest research. It’s no surprise, then, that the most anticipated day of your life can also be the most stressful. Finding the funds for a stately home setting or a designer dress isn’t always possible (in fact it’s usually outright impossible), but don’t despair. Here are some cost-cutting ideas for your big day.

Ge t crafty!

If you’re having a small wedding, then making the invitations and any other stationery yourself can prove cheapest and most fun. Head to places such as Hobby Craft and Paperchase for inspiration, then scour eBay for cheaper versions. For larger weddings, lack of time (and possibly patience) may rule out hand-making your stationery, but there are various DIY printing packages available online at places such as Wedding Crafter. Top tip: If you’re making your own, invest in a small guillotine as this will save time and your sanity for under £15. Decorations are another area where you can get creative for next to nothing. Make your own bunting (visit www.housetohome.co.uk for a how to) or scour websites such as www.casasugar. com and www.weddingcommunity.com (search bunting alternatives) for more quirky suggestions. For tabletops, dry your own petals or leaves, go down the minimalist route and use table runners for a bold splash of colour without breaking the bank, or collect small jars on the run-up to the wedding. A simple length of ribbon round the brim and a tea light dropped inside can create a rustic and intimate feel. Top tip: Brainstorm with friends – there’s lots of untapped talent out there and it’s a way to get your friends involved.

Food and drink

The tradition is to serve Champagne at weddings, but no-one is likely to care (or even know the

difference!) if you serve Cava or Prosecco instead. If you are opting for Champagne, buying in bulk from across the Channel may save you far more than the cost of the trip there. Top tip: Majestic Wine offers a sale or return policy, and offers free glasses too. Consider serving the wedding cake for dessert, as most people are too stuffed after three courses to enjoy wedding cake anyway. For super-tight budgets, ask guests to pay for their own meals as a wedding gift. Or find a beautiful open space for a BBQ or posh picnic with a bring-your-own policy. Top tip: Make your own wedding cake. And consider cupcakes as, unlike a tiered cake, if anything goes wrong you don’t have to start from scratch!

Do your research

Your local area can be more fruitful than you think. Find local vintage shops or secondhand stores for bargain buys with oodles of character. Look for local colleges (fashion design, photography, cookery) as students will offer cheap services in return for the work experience. Top tip: Don’t discount your local market or greengrocer for cut price but lovely flowers. Google is your friend. An hour or two’s concerted Google-ing can reap weighty financial rewards. Search for liquidation sales, where bridal dresses from bankrupt companies are sold heavily discounted, and off-the-beaten-track venues that are cheap but charming. Top tip: Consider package deals and a mid-week wedding, as this can shave thousands off your bill.

Think outside the box

Have your wedding favours double up as centrepieces: a bouquet of succulents can look stunning and are easy for guests to take home and plant for themselves. Top tip: Visit www.tinwaredirect.com for cheap favour tins, which you could fill with wholesale semi-precious stones from www.dhgate.

com or even just jelly beans. Use your friends. And their friends. Facebook and Twitter really come into their own when planning a wedding. Maybe a friend’s dad owns a classic car and would be delighted to ferry you about in return for a year’s subscription to a classic car magazine. Or someone’s cousin twice removed may be an art or graphic design student and could use your wedding for their coursework project. Top tip: Visit www.sellmywedding.com for wellloved second-hand wedding items.

BARGAIN-HUNTING BRIDES Elizabeth Smallman, who married in 2012: “We kept the flowers simple and colourful with 600 stems of sweetpeas. Sticking to one flower meant that we could buy them wholesale. We were also exceptionally lucky to have my parents’ garden for the reception. Having grown up there, it couldn’t have been more personal and with the church just three minutes away, we had a calm-ish walk there and a joyful parade through the village back for the reception.” Sarah Sadler, who married in 2008: “My sister is pretty handy, so made all my wedding stationery and jewelled hairpins for my hair. She even made matching necklaces for my bridesmaids. And my mum made the bridesmaids’ dresses with a wrap each to boot. That all saved us a small fortune, and made it seem even more special.” FOR EVEN MORE IDEAS FOR WEDDINGS ON A BUDGET, VISIT WWW. WESTWEDDINGS.BLOGSPOT.CO.UK AND LOOK FOR THE TAG 'PLANNING A WEDDING WITHOUT BREAKING THE BANK'


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2013 & 2014

Tortworth, Wotton-under-Edge South Gloucestershire GL12 8HH WEST WEDDINGS 73

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OF VENUES Ellie Pipe uncovers the charms of two unique sites in Bath.


hen it comes to beautiful buildings, there are few so spoilt as the good people of Bath. The historic city boasts a plethora of fine architecture, ranging from the famous Roman Baths and the Circus to the outstanding beauty of its surroundings. Still, finding a genuinely unique wedding venue that encompasses beauty, history and a great photo backdrop can still be a challenge. Step forward Kingswood School in Bath. This really is a one-of-a-kind venue (or rather two one-of-a-kind venues). With a certain scholarly gravitas, the grand buildings of the prep and senior school sit on top of Lansdown hill, affording guests truly magnificent views and free rein of the lush green lawns. A far cry from the bustle of an average school day, Kingswood School as a wedding venue is a peaceful haven. Each site is available on an exclusive basis, ensuring a wedding day that is completely private and stress-free. Summerhill Mansion is the most popular venue on the school premises and it’s not hard to see why. As the name would suggest, this Georgian house is grand but unimposing with a sun-soaked terrace (when the English weather permits). Framed by lush greenery and complemented with fresh floral gardens, the terrace is a splendid spot for a refreshing predining tipple and offers perfect, natural photo opportunities. Parties of between 60-100 people can be accommodated in the lower gallery for the wedding breakfast, while the upper gallery can be opened up for some post-dinner dancing. Upstairs, the large sash windows open out so

that the happy couple can dance the night away as the sun sets over their wedding day. With an irresistible resemblance to the great Hogwarts interior, the beautiful gothic dining hall is another of Kingswood School’s splendid reception venues. Rustic beams add a real sense of history while the huge stained glass windows reflect a romantic glow across the room. The great hall seats up to 160 guests and has space to accommodate a disco or band with plenty of room left for the obligatory wedding dancing. There is a third venue available, but it’s so exclusive we may only whisper about it! The Kingswood Memorial Chapel is a beautiful private chapel that ex-pupils and staff may get married in. The school chaplain is more than happy to discuss this option with the lucky few that are eligible. When it comes to the wedding breakfast, banish all thoughts of soggy school dinners and cold custard from your thoughts, as Kingswood School has a dedicated and professional team who are proud to serve the finest in locally sourced cuisine. Executive chef Adrian Fairlie and head chef Tami Fairlie are committed to providing a meal that is truly memorable for all the right reasons! Along with their talented chefs, the Fairlies work closely with local suppliers and promise a menu that is as inventive as it is delectable. An extensive selection of fine wines will also be carefully chosen to perfectly complement your food. And with dedicated wedding coordinator Sharon Traylor on hand to take care of all the finer details and ensure that your wedding day runs smoothly, Kingswood is one wedding venue that is certainly worthy of an A-star grade.



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Situated on Lansdown with magnificent views Tel: +44 1225 734430 Fax: +44 1225 734305

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THE COUNTRY The Regency splendor of the Mount Somerset Hotel and Spa charms Zoe Lewis.


t’s not hard to see why the Mount Somerset Hotel and Spa has a reputation for being one of the finest wedding venues in Somerset. This beautiful Regency house exudes elegance and sits proudly amongst spectacular countryside. A wedding at the Mount Somerset is completely personal and tailored to your exact requirements. The venue’s dedicated wedding coordinator and events team will work tirelessly behind the scenes, taking care of every little detail so you can sit back, relax and enjoy your magical day. This truly is a house in which to celebrate the day of your dreams. With civil weddings and partnerships becoming as popular as traditional church ceremonies, it’s good to know

that the Mount Somerset is fully licensed with three stunning ceremony rooms to choose from which hold from 50 to 100 guests. For a wedding on a larger scale, you can also choose to have a fabulous marquee set in the eight acres of grounds. Say your vows in front of friends and family, then sip a celebratory glass of Champagne while you wait to be seated for a magnificent wedding breakfast, planned to the last detail by the hotel’s Head Chef who will work with you to create your perfect menu, using locally sourced Somerset ingredients where possible. And for pre- or post-wedding pampering, the spa offers a range of indulgent treatments, ensuring you look and feel every inch the glowing bride and groom on your wedding day.



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Sunday 8th September & 17th November 2013 from 11am ‘til 2pm

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School’s out and happily ever after is in at Monkton Combe, finds Ellie Pipe.


utstanding surroundings, immaculate grounds, stylish buildings – and exclusive to you? Monkton Combe in Bath really is a dream wedding venue. This lovely venue overlooks the Limpley Stoke Valley, meaning it’s easily reached from Bristol and Bath, while also being the countryside venue of your dreams. By day Monkton Combe is a school, but once class is over for the day it’s transformed into a stunning place to celebrate being married! The two elegant oak panelled dining halls offer enchanting locations for either a small, intimate reception or a sumptuous banquet for up to 180 guests. With ornate high ceilings, huge windows and a beautiful arched entrance doorway, the halls is sure to provide you with some wonderful photographic opportunities. If you’d like to take advantage of the grounds, you can pitch a marquee and enjoy gorgeous views across the South West. Monkton Combe’s marquee site was once voted one of the top ten most picturesque locations in the Times, so you can guarantee that this is a view your guests will definitely

remember! Marquees are supplied locally, with bespoke interiors to suit your budget. The team at the venue knows that every wedding is a very personal occasion so will work very closely with you to ensure their services meet all your expectations. A wedding co-ordinator will be on hand to help with every aspect of your planning and can also provide any additional guidance on local services such photographers, cars or florists. You can tailor-make the reception to suit you as a couple, choosing from a fully inclusive package or a more bespoke approach, ensuring that this lovely venue is the setting for the wedding reception you’ve always dreamed of.



FINISH! Zoe Lewis enjoys the views from Bath Racecourse.


et high on Lansdown Hill with stunning views across Bath and Bristol, the picturesque setting of Bath Racecourse creates a gorgeous backdrop to your big day. Whether you’re looking to hold your wedding ceremony, reception or both in this stunning setting, you can guarantee that the venue will ensure you and your guests enjoy the very best day possible and leave with memories to treasure. Bath Racecourse is fully licensed for both civil weddings and partnership ceremonies. The

Silks Suite, where your ceremony will be held, offers couples a unique and intimate space with beautiful views across the racecourse. The venue also has a dedicated wedding coordinator who will be on hand to help you with your planning for every step of the way. Delicious food is also on the menu for the day, with a catering team passionate about the quality of food, wine and Champagne offered to you and your guests. Enjoy a Champagne reception on the lawns overlooking the Parade Ring and share in the equine magic of this fabulous venue!



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SECRET Matt and Jacqui Lewis sample the delights of Berwick Lodge in Bristol.


ave you been searching for your dream wedding venue? Have you been looking at all of the venues that you’ve been to before for friends’ weddings? Are you looking for somewhere that’s close to Bristol, yet feels a million miles away from the hustle and bustle of a big city? Somewhere that has an air of individuality that will ensure that you and your guests never forget your big day? If the answer to these questions is yes, then you need to visit Berwick Lodge. Berwick Lodge describes itself as “Bristol’s best kept secret” and it’s hard not to disagree after sampling its wonderful atmosphere and hospitality on a sweltering July weekend. The sun may have been shining brightly, but this hotel shone brighter with its charm, charisma and air of sheer indulgence. Unless you were actively looking for Berwick Lodge you would never find it, as it’s almost impossible to see from anywhere until you drive through the main gates and along the private driveway. And that’s after negotiating the winding lane that makes you believe that your sat nav has a sense of humour and is trying to say “let’s see if they go up here!” But as you begin to think you are nowhere near your dream destination, you suddenly turn a corner and realise that you are there. The first question you ask is, how on earth did I not know that this was here? You wouldn’t be the first to ask the same question! In 2003 Sarah and Fevzi Arikan were looking for the perfect location to create their dream hotel and after an extensive search came across

Berwick Lodge. They immediately fell in love with its charms and spent the next five years creating their vision for us to enjoy today. Their philosophy was simple: to create a luxurious, private and yet relaxed environment that can offer their guests the sense of a large country estate and yet keep the intimacy of a boutique hotel. Their dream was realised and Berwick Lodge opened in autumn 2009. Built in the late 1890s as a private manor house, Berwick Lodge is set in 18 acres of beautiful rose and woodland gardens. Fully licensed for weddings and civil partnerships, the venue can cater for up to 80 guests and evening parties of up to 150. A special marquee can also be placed on the lawns of the hotel for up to 400 people. Quality and detail in everything is key to the venue’s success and this is reflected in the ten beautifully appointed bedrooms, each uniquely decorated and named after ancient civilisations. This nod to the past, coupled with state of the art fittings and a wonderful mixture of old English and Ottoman style, makes any stay a truly memorable experience. Many of the staff have been with the hotel since it opened and this gives a wonderful homely atmosphere that is hard to find anywhere else. Whatever your wedding dreams are, Berwick Lodge will tailor your day to suit you. You can even have use of the hotel heli-pad if required, but for more down to earth needs the wedding coordinator will ensure that these will be met as well. If you want a truly private affair the whole hotel can be booked exclusively for the big day or even the big weekend.

Civil ceremonies are available in the restaurant, Summeria or Mesopotamia rooms, and if you want to relax before your celebrations, Berwick Lodge offers a number of packages that offer all of the pampering you could wish for. When it comes to weddings, everyone wants to eat, drink and be merry, and the standards of catering offered at Berwick Lodge are hard to beat, with fine dining available from the highly accomplished head chef, Ed Tatton, and his team. We can certainly attest to the quality of the food served as we experienced a wonderful meal in the beautifully furnished restaurant. As well as the standard three courses that you would expect, we were also served canapés, an amuse-bouche and even a pre-dessert as well as petit-fours with our coffee. It goes without saying that every wedding is unique and every menu is bespoke, but Berwick Lodge can make that special day even more special. So if you decide to make it your choice for your wedding day and people ask “where?”, you can reply “at Bristol’s best kept secret”.



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B er w ick L odge, B er w ick Dr ive, Br i st ol B S10 7 T D

www.berwicklodge.co.uk 0117 958 1590 @Berwicklodge www.facebook.com/BerwickLodge

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Set in 18 acres of garden and woodland, 19th century Berwick Lodge offers an exclusive, secluded and private venue for your very special day with service that’s second to none. The beautifully renovated building and grounds offer many unique features and what’s more, the food is to die for!

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Prince Street, Bristol BS1 4QF

Aztec West, Almondsbury, Bristol, BS32 4TS T: 01454 201090 E: aztec.events@shirehotels.com W: www.aztechotelbristol.com CAPACITY: Up to 150 for Wedding Breakfast and 250 for Evening Reception. FACILITIES: At the Aztec Hotel & Spa, we’re proud of our four-star approach to everything we do and we’re confident you won’t find a warmer reception anywhere in the South West. This stylish hotel is a clever mixture of old and new. Striking timber beams blend with contemporary artwork and stone flagged floors adorned by brightly coloured feature rugs. Our approach to events is a simple one - there is no one size fits all, every event is as unique as you are and the day of your dreams doesn’t have to cost the earth.


Ingleside House, 5 Beeches Road, Cirencester Gloucestershire, GL7 1BN T: 01285 648230 E: info@inglesidecirencester W:www.inglesidecirencester.com CAPACITY: Wedding breakfasts for up to 100 guests and evening party for up to 200 guests.

FACILITIES: The Grade II listed House in the heart of the Cotswolds offers an idyllic location for your big day. Ingleside House is an exceptional wedding venue set in its own grounds, and after a yearlong refurbishment the house offers versatile rooms with original features. With unique and stunning reception rooms each licensed for civil ceremonies this elegant property is available for exclusive use throughout the duration of the day.


Berwick Lodge, Henbury, Bristol, BS10 7TD T: 0117 958 1590 E: info@berwicklodge.co.uk W: www.berwicklodge.co.uk CAPACITY: From an intimate 20 guests up to 80 for a civil ceremony and reception. 150 for an evening party. Marquees available for larger numbers. FACILITIES: Set in 18 acres of garden and woodland, yet only minutes from the M4/M5, Berwick Lodge offers an exclusive, secluded and private venue for you and your guests with service that’s second to none. The beautifully renovated building and grounds offer 10 luxury individually styled bedrooms, many photo opportunities and food to die for! Exclusive hire available.


T: 0117 9230333 E: bristolevents@doylecollection.com W: www.doylecollection.com/bristol CAPACITY: Up to 280 for a Wedding Breakfast and 400 for an Evening Reception FACILITIES: Why look any further than The Bristol Hotel for arranging your dream wedding. With floor to ceiling windows overlooking the stunning Bristol Harbourside, and luxurious features such as rich deep carpets and Waterford Crystal chandeliers this is the most wonderful setting for your special day. Indulge your friends and family with delicious cuisine, memorable surroundings and a wealth of warm hospitality.


The Kendleshire, Henfield Road, Coalpit Heath, Bristol, BS36 2UY T: 01179567007 E:-cherie@thekendleshire.com W:-thekendleshire.com CAPACITY: Up to 130 guests for a civil ceremony and wedding breakfast, up to 210 guests for an evening reception. FACILITIES: The Kendleshire Golf Club has been welcoming happy couples for over a decade. Set in the heart of rolling countryside, within the grounds of one of the finest golf courses in the South West, The Kendleshire offers a stunning location with views to capture memories that will last a lifetime. Our dedicated Weddings Coordinator will guide you through every step of the preparation for your big day. We have easy transport links, extensive free parking and close ties with local hotels for accommodation.

Binley Farm, Kingscote, Tetbury, GL8 8YE T: 01453 861161 E: info@kingscotebarn.co.uk W: www.kingscotebarn.co.uk CAPACITY: Ceremony & receptions up to 150 guests with up to 180 guests for an evening reception. FACILITIES: The Kingscote Barn is a Cotswold Stone Barn which has been sympathetically restored to the highest possible standards nestled away in its own secret valley. The warm neutral décor allows you to decorate the barn with your own individual style and ideas. Exposed oak beams and soft lighting add to the romantic ambiance of this magical venue. Luxury onsite accommodation.


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Congresbury, Bristol, BS49 5AD


Eastington Park, Eastington, Nr Stonehouse, Gloucestershire GL10 3RY


Falfield, Gloucestershire GL12 8DA

T: 01453 827926 E: enquiries@eastingtonpark.co.uk W: www.eastingtonpark.co.uk

T: 01454 262805 W: www.eastwoodpark.co.uk

CAPACITY: From an intimate 20 guests to 350

CAPACITY: Ceremony and receptions for up to 150 guests.

CAPACITY: Wedding breakfast 110. Reception 180 (more with marquee).

FACILITIES: Beautiful 18th century house with a modern twist, offering first-class facilities for large or smaller intimate weddings with 132 bedrooms, health club, spa and hair salon on site. Licensed for civil ceremonies and partnerships.

FACILITIES: Eastington Park is a stunning 18th century manor house set in 8 acres of mature landscaped gardens with accommodation. Eastington Park is a fully exclusive use venue and our professional wedding planning team are on hand to help create your dream wedding day.

FACILITIES: Magnificent country house within 200-acre private estate with valley views. 69 bedrooms. Licensed for civil weddings and partnerships. Available exclusively.



T: 01934 834343 E: weddings@cadburyhouse.com W: www.cadburyhousebristol.co.uk


Manor By The Lake, Hatherley Lane, Cheltenham, GL51 6PN T: 01242 542 700 E: weddings@manorbythelake.co.uk W: www.manorbythelake.co.uk CAPACITY: Up to 200 for a wedding breakfast and up to 250 for an evening reception. FACILITIES: Set in the heart Cheltenham, it is a hidden gem. Being the only solely exclusive-use wedding venue in Cheltenham, Manor By The Lake offers you the chance to hire your own private Victorian manor house and gardens for your big day. Manor By The Lake boasts charming rooms full of ornate carved wooden panels, stained glass and grand marble fireplaces all overlooking seven acres of award-winning gardens, woodland, rolling lawns and a picturesque lake. Manor By The Lake’s location is a key asset, situated just off the M5 with Staverton Airport and Cheltenham Spa station close by. The Manor also boasts twelve luxury en-suite bedrooms featuring four-poster beds and roll top baths.

Foxholes Lane, Tockington, Bristol BS32 4PG T: 01454 414081 E: info@olddownmanor.co.uk W: www.olddownmanor.co.uk Capacity: Up to 120 for a wedding breakfast and 200 for evening reception Facilities: Unique brand new venue within the South West with an investment of £4million, Old Down Manor is an exceptional wedding venue, with the added benefit of being exclusive to your party. With 13 well appointed bedrooms, beautiful reception rooms and a license for civil ceremonies, the magnificent property is yours for the duration of your wedding day.

Tortworth, Wotton-under-Edge South Gloucestershire, GL12 8HH T: 01454 263000 E: Tortworth@four-pillars.co.uk W: www.four-pillars.co.uk/tortworth CAPACITY: Up to 280 FACILITIES: 190 bedrooms. Luxury country house hotel set in 30 acres of picturesque parkland, overlooking the lake. Also offers the 2 AA Rosette awarded Orangery Restaurant, spa and leisure club.


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photo gallery



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Interlace Photography Contact Eleanor Saunders Telephone 07870 811931 Email eleanor@interlacephotography.co.uk Website www.interlacephotography.co.uk


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Dean McLachlan Photography Contact Dean McLachlan Telephone 07875 315794 Email info@deanmclachlan.com Website www.deanmclachlan.com


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Call Jacqui Lewis 0117 934 3136 Ellie Pipe on Callon Jacqui Lewis onor 0117 934 3136 Call Jacqui Lewis on 0117 934 3136 0117 934 3769 to to advertise advertise in in the the next nextissue issueof ofWest WestWeddings Weddings



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Tell Tell us us about about your your big big day or wedding day or wedding plans; plans; let let us us know know all all about about the the gorgeous gorgeous dress dress you you discovered or about discovered or about that that perfect perfect venue. venue. Ask Ask us us any any questions questions you you have have about about planning planning for for your your nuptials nuptials or share some useful or share some useful tips tips of of your your own. own. Email Email the the editor editor at at westweddings@venue. westweddings@venue. co.uk co.uk and and you you could could be be gracing the pages gracing the pages of of our our next next edition. edition.

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Autumn Autumn2012 2013 DUE TO THE SEPTEMBER 2013 WEDDING COMPETITION TERMS & CONDITIONS SHOW BEING POSTPONED, ALL CURRENT The winner will be the first entry drawn at random, from all eligible entries. The draws will take place ENTRIES WILL REMANI ON FILE AND BE VALID

on the following dates and the winner will be contacted accordingly. The winner will be the first entry drawn at random, from all eligible entries. The draws will take place WIN A following WEDDING DRESS: on the dates and the winner will be contacted accordingly. Postal and online entries to be received by 1.02.13 Winner selected at West Weddings Show and notified before 1.03.13 WIN A WEDDING DRESS: Postal and online entries to be received by 10.01.14 Winner selected at West Weddings Show and notified before 31.03.14 The winner’s wedding date must be six months after 1.03.13 and within two years of the competition closing date. s wedding date must be six months after 31/03/2014 and within two years of the The winner’ Special Day and Appletons competition closing date. will award the winner a wedding dress to the value of £1,000. No other items (i.e suits, hats, shoes) can redeemed as part of this prize. Special Day and Appletons willbe award the winner a wedding dress to the value of £1,000. No other Only brides-to-be can qualifycan to win the competition entries can be made on behalf of a bride-to-be items (i.e suits, hats, shoes) be redeemed as partbut of this prize. by third parties. Only brides-to-be can qualify to win the competition but entries can be made on behalf of a bride-to-be

by third parties. Data protection: The data supplied to us will not be used for any other purpose than the administration of this protection: competitionThe anddata for the prize to suppliers to contact Data supplied us will not be usedyou. for any other purpose than the administration of this competition and for the prize suppliers to contact you. TERMS & CONDITIONS: TERMS & CONDITIONS: A. General terms and conditions relating to all competitions in West Weddings Autumn 2012 edition: A. General terms and conditions relating to all competitions in West Weddings Autumn 2013 edition: 1. No employees of Bristol News and Media or any company associated with a particular competition, promotions, game or any member of their family may enter. 1. No employees of Bristol News and Media or any company associated with a particular competition, 2. Unless otherwise specified, all entries must be made using the entry form(s) printed in West promotions, game or any member of their family may enter. Weddings or provided at our wedding fairs and shows or online at www.west-weddings.co.uk. 2. Unless otherwise specified, all entries must be made using the entry form(s) printed in West 3. No photocopies will be accepted. Only one entry per competition per person is permitted. Weddings or provided at our wedding fairs and shows or online at www.west-weddings.co.uk. 4. Prizes are as stated and no alternatives cash or otherwise are available. 3. No photocopies will be accepted. Only one entry per competition per person is permitted. 5. All entries must be received by the specified closing date (Please refer to relevant competition terms 4. Prizes are as stated and no alternatives cash or otherwise are available. and conditions). 5. All entries must be received by the specified closing date (Please refer to relevant competition terms 6. West Weddings accepts no liability for any loss, damage or injury caused by any prizes won. and conditions). 7. 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BLACK It’s tradition to walk down the aisle in white, but would you consider wearing the exact opposite and saying your vows in black? Zoe Lewis says she would, but Louise Jarndyce feels that this is one modern step too far.


The first time I thought of black as a possibility for a wedding dress was after seeing wedding photos of 90210 actress Shenae Grimes getting married in a gorgeous black Vera Wang gown in May. It seems that many other celebrities have also tried the trend for their own weddings, including fashion icon Sarah Jessica Parker, punk singer Avril Lavigne, and Grey’s Anatomy actress Ellen Pompeo. Many people have stepped away from the more traditional creams and whites before in favour of something a little more different for their wedding, such as reds and pinks, and now black is quickly paving its way to becoming the next big thing. Renowned fashion designers Vera Wang, Yves Saint Laurent and Monique Lhullier have all created gorgeous black dresses. Some include grey or cream highlights to lighten the gown while others stick to the one colour all over. Being an English rose myself, I have always worried that white or cream dresses would take away any bit of colour my skin had, and no one wants to look washed out at their own wedding. Black seems like it could be the perfect solution. Everyone has a favourite pair of black jeans or the perfect LBD stowed in their wardrobe, and we all know how perfect the colour is at giving you a slimmed-down look. Black is also extremely easy to accessorise, giving you the choice of picking any style of jewellery and type of flower to go with it. For those of you worrying that you could end up looking too gothic, why not lighten the gown up with cream shoes and flowers? If you’re getting married in the winter, imagine how magical it would look if you get married in black against the backdrop of a snow-covered church. Wearing black will also give you the chance to stand out from the crowd on your big day, and will certainly turn heads. It’s an opportunity for those daring to go ahead and try something different, and will give you a sophisticated, yet edgy look - which is a lot more fun than a virgin-white dress.


Although it’s a relatively recent tradition to wear white – Queen Victoria set the trend at her wedding to Albert in 1840 – there’s a reason it has stayed in fashion. It looks good. For me, a bride in anything other than a white or neutral shade just isn’t nuptial enough. And, let’s face it, when else are you going to have the chance to wear a white dress? Etiquette dictates that you don’t wear it to other people’s weddings, for obvious reasons, and wearing a white outfit except at the height of summer never looks or feels right. In the USA there’s even an unwritten rule that you don’t wear white in normal circumstances after Labor Day in September! You can wear a black or coloured dress on any other day of your life, but

there’s really only one chance to rock a white one without people giving you funny looks. It’s called a white wedding, but actually the shades available are huge: from creamy tints to pearlescent silvers, pure diamond whites to more muted ivories, there’s a shade to suit every skin tone out there. White makes you look fresh, and is the perfect backdrop for your flowers and accessories. If you want to have a pop of colour, you can always use your shoes or jewellery, or add a sash or coloured detail to the dress itself. Your wedding is the opportunity to do, say and wear things you normally wouldn’t, so enjoy the heck out of wearing white and revel in the fact that you’re continuing with a tradition. To paraphrase Billy Idol, it’s always a nice day for a white wedding!

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