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Great night out:




How to plan a wedding while pregnant





Clifton College is the location for our spring wedding showcase GOWNS | MENSWEAR | PHOTOGRAPHY | VENUES | JEWELLERY | INSPIRATION Spring2013 _Cover.indd 19

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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)



– Amazing Gowns from as little as £300 – Including Sincerity Bridal, Justin Alexander and Essense Gowns

Call now to book an appointment during FEBRUARY

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One of the largest showrooms in Bristol, with an endless choice on waistcoats, cravats and designer suits new for 2013 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 •

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THE TEAM CONTRIBUTORS Editor: Helen Dorritt Writers: Gianina Baba, Rachel Barnett, Annie Campbell, Francesca Clifford, Jo Golding, Jacqui Lewis and Coral Williamson Design: Sarah Malone, Dan Srokosz and Cath Evans Commercial Director: Becky Davis ADVERTISING To advertise in future editions of West Weddings contact: Jacqui Lewis T: 0117 934 3136 E: EDITORIAL To contribute to future editions of West Weddings contact: Helen Dorritt T: 0117 934 3742 E: DISTRIBUTION To have a regular free delivery of the magazine to your business contact: Simon Butler T: 0117 934 3741 E: PUBLISHER West Weddings magazine is published by Venue at Bristol News and Media, 4th Floor, BN&M, Temple Way, Bristol BS99 7HD Telephone: 0117 942 8491

Follow us on Twitter at westweddings, like us on Facebook and check out our blog at www. westweddings.blogspot. com.


Welcome to West Weddings Spring 2013

As the days start to get longer and the sun makes a tentative appearance, spring is a great time to start planning your wedding. We’ve brought together the best of what the season has to offer for an edition that’s bursting with fresh ideas for your nuptials. On a chilly January day we had a warm welcome from Clifton College for our cover photoshoot. We’re thrilled to introduce new business Krystle Brides to our pages, who provided us with some fabulous dresses – we had a hard time deciding which ones to use! And with our usual brilliant team of wedding suppliers from the West, it all came together to create a shoot that is light, bright and full of springtime hues. For more seasonal creativity check out our style feature on p.8-9, and our beauty bible on p.66-67 for the best products to see you into the warmer weather. Also in this edition, Rachel Barnett shares her thoughts on being a pregnant bride (p.69), and Gianina Baba guides you through choosing a wedding dress on p.38. And we haven’t forgotten the grooms: we look at ways to impress with your suit, as well as tips on how to navigate the tricky minefield that can be your in-laws. Our real weddings section is even bigger this edition, with five couples kindly sharing the details of their special day. From ice creams in Wells to a Chinese lion dance in Bristol, we hope these weddings provide you with inspiration for your own celebration. Let there be light…


Helen Dorritt Editor


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contents SPRING 2013





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 43 Grooms Keeping on side with the in-laws! 46 Online Our presence on the web 47 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 marry in church?

FASHION 18 Spring awakening Ways to use this season’s inspirations 33 Gown gallery Top designers including Ellis Bridals and Aruna Seth 38 Lace, romance and mermaid silhouettes Gianina Baba on her search for a dress 44 Double oh heaven! How to look good from top to toe 49 Cover shoot Clifton College is the perfect backdrop for our spring wedding



BE INSPIRED 61 It’s a kind of magic Hen and stag dos at the Aztec Hotel 64 In and out What’s up and what’s down with our wedding wasp 66 Beauty bible The latest products for bridal beauty# 69 Bride to be, mum to be Rachel Barnett on being a pregnant bride

VENUES 72 A selection of the region’s best places to celebrate your “I do”

COMPETITION 17 WIN a wedding dress At Special Day and Appletons


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Save the date! Back for another year of inspiring fun, the Bristol Vintage wedding fair will be taking place on Sunday 10th March from 10am to 4pm at the elegant Clifton Pavilion in Bristol Zoo Gardens. As ever, there will be a mix of original vintage and vintage-inspired pieces, with every item on display being truly unique. Whether you want the full vintage experience, or are just looking for something special for your ‘something old’, you’ll pick up plenty of ideas at the fair, which is aimed at long time vintage aficionados and newcomers alike. Exhibitors confirmed so far include Meticulous Ink, whose very own Athena Cauley-Yu designed this year’s poster; Your Unique Scrapbook, who creates beautiful one-off guestbooks and Flo-Jo Boutique who offers knicker-making hen parties. Photography comes courtesy of Dawn Wilkins and Jo Hansford, you can swoon over the beautiful floral arrangements of the Wilde Bunch, try vintage make-up and hair with Beehive Brides, and sample Chocolate Delores’ delicious creations. Kirsten Butler, aka The Little Wedding Helper, will be there to showcase her wedding styling, and will also be offering one lucky attendee the chance to win her services for their wedding. Bristol Vintage co-founders Ali Cook and Katie Daniels have over 10 years of event planning experience between them, and will be using their vintage expertise to bring you the very best exhibitors in the South West, meaning the Bristol Vintage wedding fair is definitely not to be missed. THE BRISTOL VINTAGE WEDDING FAIR W: WWW. BRISTOLVINTAGEWEDDINGFAIR.BLOGSPOT.CO.UK

SPELL IT OUT Weddings are personal celebrations, so when it comes to planning and choosing the decorations, why not make them personal as well? Whether you want a colour to match your wedding theme, or something a bit more patterned, Bristol based Clifton Bunting has a wide variety of styles to choose from. All of the bunting from this company is handmade by owner Eirlys Evans, using the best quality fabrics, and Eirlys is happy to discuss your needs to come up with something truly personal for you. For something a little different, why not consider having white triangles with text added on – popular choices include the names of the bride and

groom, or a favourite quote. And if triangles aren’t your favourite shape, don’t worry – Clifton Bunting still has something for you too. Padded lettering is a new way to decorate your big day with words of warmth, from “Happily ever after” to “All you need is love”. As with the bunting, there’s a wide range of colours and patterns to choose from, so you can make it match the rest of your wedding perfectly. And the best thing is that these hanging decorations can be reused after the wedding for years to come, making it the perfect reminder of your special day. CLIFTON BUNTING T: 07971 224261 W: WWW.CLIFTONBUNTING.CO.UK


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Bon and

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Francesca Clifford looks for seasonal inspiration as she plans a spring wedding.


he last traces of the winter months have faded, and spring has finally arrived. Buds are blossoming, lambs are bouncing in the fields and the breeze is bringing in with it new beginnings, proof that spring is the season of growth and renewal. Spring weddings have a unique and special feel, in which the tone can be closely interwoven with the natural surroundings. Take advantage of all that nature has to offer and be inspired by the colours, foods and smells of the season.


Vintage china has a delicacy that modern crockery struggles to achieve; intricate patterns and dainty handles demonstrate an era of great craftsmanship and artistry. You can hire a large selection of vintage china from companies such as Bristol Vintage, or scour charity shops for vintage china, which can often be found in complete sets. W: WWW.BRISTOLVINTAGE.CO.UK


Spring is one of the best times to take advantage of the food that is naturally in season. Fresh salmon, sea trout and plaice are at their best, boasting light, fresh flavours which are well suited to citrus pairings. Asparagus, along with other vibrant greens such as spinach, watercress and purple sprouting broccoli are delightfully fresh and combine well with fish. Add Jersey Royal new potatoes to create a complete seasonal and flavoursome dish. Focus on light ingredients that will be filling but won’t make you feel as though you have had a hefty, rich meal.



You can hire/buy from local companies such as Clifton Bunting who can customise the design to match your colour scheme and theme. Or for a simple DIY option, use pretty doilies - fold them in half, drape them over a piece of ribbon and fasten firmly for a delicate and weddingappropriate look. W: WWW.CLIFTONBUNTING.CO.UK


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Spring is a bright season with vivid and delicate hues, but if you want to add depth and a richness of colour, chartreuse is the shade to choose. It can be paired with lighter tones of yellow, green and white for a lift, and can be relied upon to give intense opulence to any bouquet. Pair robust and chunky peonies and viburnum with delicate daises, daffodils and spiky chrysanthemums, and wrap with trailing green ribbon. Take inspiration from seasonal wild flowers like snowdrops if you would like to tie in a more traditional white theme.

0 pt


A popular addition to a reception is a beautiful sweet shop style table. Offer your guests a selection of sweet treats in delicious spring hues of baby pink, pistachio green, powder blue and creamy white. Have some custom made pick’n’mix bags, perhaps designed by the same company as your stationary, to stash the treasure in. This will be a charming alternative for those who do not like traditional wedding cakes but would still like to end the meal on something sweet. It is also perfect for your younger guests who may well be itching to get away from the formality of the dinner table


Sparklers aren’t just for Bonfire Night - ask your guests to pick up a sparkler on their way out to wave you off with. It will provide a fairy-tale end to a magical day, as you wave goodbye to your friends and family through a haze of light.



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Wedding Fayres (11.30am - 4pm, unless specified) Thornbury Castle South Glos - 17th February Cotswold Water Park Hotel Nr Cirencester - 24th February Tortworth Court Nr Bristol - 3rd March Hollywood Estate (Brand New) Bristol - 17th March Evening Special - Holiday Inn Bristol City Centre - Thursday 25th April (5pm - 8.30pm)

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

Bridal Wedding Fayres at some of the Finest Venues in The Cotswolds Dates For Your Diary ..... ALWAYS * FREE ADMISSION* & * FREE GOODIE BAG* Arrival Drink upon Registration 11am - 3pm

Many Wedding Fayre Specials on the Day Exhibiting Everything from the Necessity to the Unique ..... The Only Limit is Your Imagination !

Sunday, 24th February The Hallmark Hotel Gloucester Robinswood, Gloucester Sunday, 3rd March Manor by the Lake Hatherley Lane, Cheltenham Sunday, 10th March The Royal George Hotel Birdlip, Cheltenham Wednesday, 28th March - 5.30pm - 8pm - Open Evening The Hallmark Hotel Gloucester Robinswood, Gloucester Proud to Support Macmillan Cancer Support

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All under one ROOF

Back with a bang and even better than before, the West Weddings show is taking place on Sunday 10th February from 10.30am to 4pm, at the Dolman Exhibition Ground at Bristol City football club. The West Weddings show is one of the biggest events of its kind in the West, and is the perfect opportunity for you to find everything under one roof. With exhibitors including florists, dress shops, suit hire, cars, entertainment and photographers, you’ll have the opportunity to meet local wedding suppliers and chat to them about your needs. Confirmed exhibitors include Lee Hatherall Photography, Sposa

Elegante and the Rose Shed Florist. There will also be a catwalk show with this season’s latest wedding dresses, organised by Lucy from Solitaire Bridal, plus flowergirl dresses from Cissie Designs. The “win a dress” competition from Special Day and Appletons (see p.17) will also be drawn at the show. Entry is just £3 per person or £5 per couple, and there’s plenty of parking available at the venue which is handily located just outside Bristol city centre. WEST WEDDINGS SHOW W: WWW.WEST-WEDDINGS.CO.UK

LISA VAN HALLWYL AND KISMET PHOTOGRAPHY In the winter edition of West Weddings we ran a feature on Lisa von Hallwyl millinery (p.62), where we unfortunately didn’t credit the photos used in the article to Kismet Photography (ww. We apologise to both Lisa and Kismet Photography for this error.

FLOWERGIRL POWER These days, increasing numbers of people are becoming conscious of their carbon footprint, and keeping it local is a phrase we’re hearing a lot more. When looking for clothes to dress your bridal party in it can sometimes be tricky to do this, however, but with the launch of Cissie Designs you have the perfect opportunity to “buy British”. Cissie Designs’ range of flowergirl dresses is all handmade right here in Bristol by Angela Knowlson from her shop in Kingswood. Angela set up Cissie Designs last year with the aim of providing a professional yet personal service to make quality dresses, both for weddings and also for First Communions. Cissie Designs offers dresses for

newborns up to a child’s size 8 (approximately age 10-11), and has a great range of styles for you to choose from. The designs can be customised to your wedding colours or season, with sashes available in a variety of colours and sleeves able to be added to most dresses. Angela can also design a completely exclusive dress for your wedding. And with prices ranging between £35 and £85 for most of the Cissie Designs’ range, this means they are easy on your purse as well as your carbon footprint. CISSIE DESIGNS 254 SOUNDWELL ROAD, KINGSWOOD, BRISTOL BS15 1PN T: 0117 967 1888 W: WWW.CISSIEDESIGNS.CO.UK WEST WEDDINGS 11

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you need to ask the experts... These useful tips from our industry experts will leave you stress free.

Arrive in style What do I need to consider when booking transport to the wedding? Stephanie McCarthy, Bradford on Avon

Do me a favour I’d like to have favours that will be enjoyed by the male guests as well as the female guests, as I’ve been to too many weddings where the men just leave theirs behind! What can you suggest?

There are so many photographers out there with differing styles and prices that my fiancée and I are really confused! How do we decide which photographer to go with?

Jacqueline Reardon, Cirencester

Robert Green, Bristol

Paul Williams from Williams Executive Drives says:

Leanne from Piece of Cake says:

Ideally once you have the venue booked you need to think about your transport. Prior to making the call you need to think of who is going to be transported from the various locations. For example will the groom need to be taken to the venue? Another thing to check is if you have young bridesmaids or page boys that will need transporting. When you call to discuss your booking discuss this with the owner of the vehicle you have selected and ask how they suggest utilising the car to make sure that not only you but your nearest and dearest also experience luxury travel. Another thing to discuss is your colour theme, as ribbons and flowers for the car can be co-ordinated to make your journey on your special day even more sophisticated.

Men generally aren’t as sentimental as women and so little mementos and keepsakes more often than not go to waste. That said, anything edible or drinkable seem to go down well! Miniature bottles of Jaegermeister and whisky, combined with a gorgeous name tag, can look great. Another option, either personalised or left plain, are shot glasses. For something less alcohol related, chocolate or sweets never fail. Try simple little boxes with your choice of sweets inside. Or for something more practical you could give metal bottle openers - men love gadgets and they are always useful. FFI: WWW.PIECEOFCAKEHQ.CO.UK

FFI: 07553 125718

Picture perfect

David Brewin from David J Brewin Photography says: The very first thing to do is meet any photographer in person, as you need to

see how you get on with them. There are a lot of photographers with great skills who take amazing pictures, but if you don’t gel with them then your photos will reflect this. If you’re relaxed and comfortable with your photographer, it will lead to a much nicer experience, and will be something that will show through in the photos. It’s also a good idea to see several albums of complete wedding days, not just the best shots from one or two. And finally, if guests in the formal group shots you see also have relaxed and happy faces, then you know you’ve found a good photographer. FFI: WWW.DAVIDJBREWIN.CO.UK


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Alison Miles Couture

It’s your day... not ours!

The Wedding Works Imagine the amazing day to come, your Wedding Day! Then imagine all that has to be organised... phew, where do you begin?

At The Wedding Works of course!

• Chair Covers, Sashes & Centre Pieces • Bay Trees & Brompton Lanterns • Wedding & Table Stationery • Photography & Videography • Wedding Cakes & Wedding Flowers • Candy Buffet & Favours • Balloons, Bunting & Afternoon Tea • Stunning Jewellery • Tiara’s • First Dance Choreography & Bridal Wear

All Under One Roof

Image courtesy of

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

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The Wedding Works 427 Gloucester Road Bristol BS7 8TZ T: 07931 859986 W: E:

Open Tues – Thurs 10am – 5pm Fri 10am - 3pm Sat by appointment only Sun & Mon Closed

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Fancy winning Ingleside House in Cirencester as your wedding day venue? Well, on Sunday 3rd March you’ll have the opportunity to do just that at the venue’s first ever bespoke wedding fair. Ingleside House will be working together with the best local suppliers to create a wedding fair to remember. The function rooms and marquee will be set up to recreate wedding settings, both ceremony and dining, so the services of the exhibitors come to life for guests. There will also be event and wedding planners styling three of the rooms, while complimentary suppliers such as a florist and vintage hire are creating beautiful tables to enthuse all couples. The day will include Champagne and goodie bags for guests with information about suppliers, plus magazines and treats. The fair will give guests the ability to tour around the venue exploring different suppliers, through live music, tasters, demonstrations and workshops. If you decide that the venue is the one for you then there will be the chance to win Ingleside House for your wedding day. All you need to do is register at the fair to be entered into the free prize draw. The prize includes exclusive use of the house on any day of the year (subject to availability), with all silverware, glassware, staff, tables and chairs included. INGLESIDE HOUSE 5 BEECHES ROAD, CIRENCESTER GL7 1BN T: 01285 648230 W: WWWW.INGLESIDECIRENCESTER.COM

A PRICELESS GUIDE Newly engaged? Struggling to know where to start when planning your big day? A new book by popular wedding blogger Sara Cotner could be just the thing you’re looking for! A Priceless Wedding covers all the must-haves when planning a wedding, from ceremony to reception and everything in between. Over nine chapters such as “planning the ceremony”, “attire, hair, make up and rings” and “getting it all done and staying sane”, Sara guides you through the process of your wedding day. There’s even the “ever after” chapter to help you post-wedding, from changing your name to sending the thank you cards. Although the book has an American focus (sadly hav-

ing a legal ceremony outdoors under a tree is still out of reach to us Brits!), there are plenty of ideas that work on this side of the Atlantic. A Priceless Wedding also goes beyond the elements of planning a “traditional” wedding to help you create a celebration that is truly about you and your partner. Whether this is eco-friendly, budget conscious, DIY, homemade or luxurious, this book will be an invaluable resource to ensure you have a day that your guests will instantly know as yours. TO ORDER A COPY OF A PRICELESS WEDDING BY SARA COTNER (RRP £14.99) FOR £12, INCLUDING FREE P&P IN THE UK, TELEPHONE 01206 255800 QUOTING OFFER CODE QUA035 AND THE BOOK ISBN CODE 9780760341421


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Bon and


Italy comes to

THE WEST COUNTRY West Country company County Marquees were thrilled to work with celebrity interior designer Julia Kendell (interior designer, presenter, writer and of DIY SOS fame) on a beautiful wedding marquee for BBC TV presenter Nick Knowles and his beautiful bride Jessica Rose Moor. The Italian inspired marquee was set in the grounds of the stunning Maunsel House in Somerset. Using ivory pleated linings combined with flat ivory pelmets around the marquee and ivory starlight lining over the dance-floor the perfect back-drop was created. A specialist lighting company was brought on board to create Julia’s vision of beams of sunlight – typical of so many Italianate churches. Large crystal chandeliers were hung above the dining area and projections created pretty silhouettes on the floor and walls of the marquee adding texture and depth. The tables were dressed with gold rimmed glasses and vintage tableware and the heavy brocade cloths added to the feeling of grandeur and glamour. The dining tables were dripping with flowers, candles and

accessories and the overall effect was one of romantic Italian decadence. The couple had been kept in the dark about the interior design until the day of their wedding so on the day were absolutely delighted! This project shows the versatility of marquees for your wedding day and how they can be transformed into the venue you’ve always dreamed of. COUNTY MARQUEES UNIT 8 ELM TREE BUSINESS PARK, SHEEPWAY, PORTBURY, BRISTOL BS20 7TF T: 01275 372237 W: WWW.COUNTYMARQUEES.CO.UK

WEDDING WORTHY CAUSE After Naomi Thomas found out she had secondary breast cancer, she had to cancel her wedding for financial reasons. Thanks to the generosity of a local wedding planner and other businesses, however, she and her partner Graham were given a dream wedding that enabled them to tie the knot. Determined to give others in a similar situation the chance to have the wedding of their dreams, Naomi set up the Wedding Wishing Well Foundation which helps to organise weddings for terminally ill people. To raise money for the foundation, Jo Robbins from wedding and event planners Jo & Co is organising a wedding fair on Sunday 3rd March. This is running from 11am to 4.30pm at the Bakers & Cutlers Halls next to Brasserie Blanc in Cabot Circus, Bristol, with exhibitors including Beehive Brides, Bridezillas, Piece of Cake, Slate Boutique and the Little Wedding Helper. Entry to

the fair is free but donations will be welcomed. Another aspect to the day is asking people who are already married to donate their preloved dresses, suits and accessories to the foundation, so Naomi can use them for the work of the foundation. The foundation is also looking for help from wedding industry suppliers. If you can offer your services for free or at a reduced rate, the Wedding Wishing Well Foundation would love to hear from you. Whatever your niche or specialism, with your help you will be supporting this inspirational organisation, be it through cake decoration, wedding dress supplies, food distribution, venue hire, stationery, floristry or car hire. Any wedding products, services or support are always welcome and the foundation continually searches for enthusiastic people to generate vital funds too; through donation, sponsorship or

fundraising. As Naomi says, “We cannot continue with this fantastic project without the generous incoming funds, so any help is always gratefully received and very much appreciated.” WEDDING WISHING WELL WEDDING FAIR T: 07989 974736 W: WWW.WEDDINGWISHINGWELL.ORG.UK


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A ROYAL AFFAIR This March, the Royal British Legion in Staple Hill is throwing open its doors and hosting a wedding fair for all prospective brides and grooms in the area. From 10am to 3pm on Sunday 3rd March, couples will have the opportunity to look around this wedding and party venue, which is handily situated just outside the centre of Bristol. A glass of wine and goodie bag on arrival will ensure your visits gets off to the best start. The fair will be showcasing a large selection of professional companies including photographers and caterers who all have your best interests in mind to organise your special day. As a wedding venue, the Royal British Legion building can hold up to 140 guests, so there’s no need to panic about missing anyone off the invitation list. The RBL has continued to upgrade the building over the years including the ballroom, lounge and skittle complex, to keep it looking wedding wonderful. A bar and imaginative catering is available for your day, if required, and the venue’s aim is to provide you with a dream wedding that doesn’t break the bank. For more information on both the fair and on hiring the building, fair organiser Madeleine Bills is on hand to discuss your needs in more detail ROYAL BRITISH LEGION WEDDING FAIR T: 0117 956 0806/0117 956 8129 E: RBL45@YAHOO.COM

BATH’S NEW BRIDAL BOUTIQUE A stylish new bridal boutique, Krystle Brides, has opened its doors on St James Parade in Bath. The store hosted its launch party on 27th October last year to welcome all brides-to-be and their families. The luxurious launch got off to a great start with Olympic skeleton champion Amy Williams popping along to celebrate the opening. A former student at the University of Bath and a woman with an inspirational career, Amy was given the job of cutting the ribbon to officially open the new shop. Krystle Brides stocks a gorgeous selection of wedding and bridesmaid dresses from many popular designers, with designs from Augusta Jones, Benjamin Roberts, Ellis Bridals, Mark Lesley and Ronald Joyce. They have a beautiful selection of shoes, veils and headdresses from Rainbow Club, as well as tiaras and other headpieces from Ivory & Co. Krystal Brides are pleased to announce

four special designer events coming up this year: Ronald Joyce on Friday 22nd and Saturday 23rd February; Augusta Jones on Friday 15th and Saturday 16th March; Benjamin Roberts on Friday 5th and Saturday 6th April; and Ivory & Co on Friday 19th and Saturday 20th April. This gives brides the opportunity to view a whole collection of dresses from one designer, which is great if you have one particular designer in mind. In addition to this, Krystle Brides also offers 10% off any orders made at a designer event. So with a chic new store and plenty of dresses and accessories to choose from, Krystle Brides is the place to visit to purchase that perfect wedding dress you have always dreamt of. KRYSTLE BRIDES 11 ST JAMES PARADE, BATH, SOMERSET BA1 1UL T: 01225 446844 W: WWW. KRYSTLEBRIDES.CO.UK


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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.



To be in with a chance of winning a wedding dress up to the value of £1,000, follow these simple steps:

Bride’s name:................................................................................................................

• 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 or by emailing your answer plus details to please mark your subject Competition Entry. • All entries must be received by FRIDAY 1ST FEBRUARY 2013. The prize winner will be notified by FRIDAY 1ST MARCH 2013


..................................................................................................................................... ...........................................................................................Postcode: .......................... Email address: . ............................................................................................................ Telephone no: ............................................................................................................. Wedding date: ............................................................................................................. Terms and conditions apply. Please see page 89 for full terms and conditions or visit 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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The Beatles, ice cream, vintage china and bunting all featured in Sian and Jamie Taylor’s Somerset spring wedding. Helen Dorritt finds out more.


lthough Sian and Jamie met while at Cardiff University, love didn’t blossom until afterwards when Jamie had moved to Sheffield to do a postgraduate course. “We used to write each other letters and send presents in the post like mixtapes and silly things we’d found,” says Sian. “Jamie made me laugh a lot and so I think our shared sense of humour meant we got on well from the start. We are both massive fans of The Office so reciting quotes at each other was a way in which we became close, and we still enjoy watching the odd episode now and again!” Jamie’s nickname for Sian is also from the world of comedy, after their first holiday together. “At our hotel, I went out to see what the view from the balcony was like and as I came back inside, pulling the door towards to me, the handle came off in my hand! To stop myself falling backwards, I instinctively grabbed onto the curtains but also pulled them off. I landed on the corner of the bed, causing that to swing out across the room and hit the ground, with the door handle still in one hand and the curtains in the other. Jamie looked at me and said it was like going on holiday


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Realweddings Realweddings

MADE WITH LOVE Sian and Jamie’s day was filled with personal touches

with Frank Spencer. He’s called me Frank Spencer ever since.” Jamie’s proposal came after Sian had been away for a fortnight in Goa with her family, and was a complete surprise. “Jamie had planned some things for us during the day, ending with a meal that he’d cooked at home, and after we’d finished he proposed. I was so surprised that I didn’t say yes immediately, causing him to panic at first!” After spending a long time deciding on a location that would suit their friends and family in Somerset and South Wales, the couple chose Wells Town Hall for the ceremony, followed by a marquee reception at Wells Cathedral School. “We’re both originally from Somerset, so we thought it would be nice to do it there and would also mean that our families wouldn’t have too far to travel,” explains Sian. “The Town Hall manager, Kevin, was always there to answer our questions and we were really grateful for all the help he gave us in the lead up to the big day. The Cathedral School were also really helpful and accommodating, finding ways to allow us to do everything that we wanted – even put up a bouncy castle on the lawn!” Both venues were within walking distance of each other which meant guests could follow a scenic route taking them through the Penniless Porch, past Wells Cathedral and up through Vicar’s Close. Sian’s pale pink gown was a customised Monsoon dress. “When I tried it on I knew it was the sort of style and shape I wanted – an elegant 1930s style dress with lots of flowing fabric to the floor. I also knew I would be able to customise it by adding more detail. I wanted a train so I bought a second dress to use to ensure a perfect colour match for the material.” A dressmaker from Frome added the train, altered the neckline and sewed Swarovski crystals and tiny pearl beads all the way down the front and the back of the dress. Sian accessorised it with a birdcage veil attached to a crystal hairpiece, plus gifts she received - a silver bracelet from her mum, freshwater pearl earrings and necklace from Jamie’s nan who couldn’t be there on the day, and a silver and diamond bracelet from the groom. Jamie looked sophisticated in a mod-influenced Ben Sherman suit, and the two bridesmaids wore midnight blue knee-length dresses with peacock feather and crystal hairpieces. Peacock feathers were also incorporated into the floral arrangements for the day, done by friend of the family Jen Nolan. The personal touch was important to Sian and Jamie, to have a wedding that their guests would enjoy as much as them. “I wanted to make it as personal as possible without conforming too much to a typical wedding format,” explains Sian. “I also wanted it to be a stylish wedding,” adds Jamie. “We didn’t have a theme as such but I think the way we

guest vocals for She’s Electric! Needless to say,

dressed, how we decorated the marquee, the car we used, all contributed to making the day more memorable.” The couple were keen to involve friends and family, who enthusiastically offered their talents. Bunting and stuffed hearts were made by the bride’s mother; Jamie’s band played at the ceremony and reception; other friends and family made the cakes for the dessert table, created the playlist, and filmed the ceremony. Jamie’s mum and her partner are professional photographers, so the couple received their photos as a gift. Other personal touches included using Jamie’s 1962 Morris Minor as the transport, and Sian spending the months before the wedding collecting vintage china to use on the tables and for the flowers. On arrival at the marquee, guests enjoyed ice creams served from a 1920s tricycle, complete with server dressed in a striped blazer and boater – a real hit with people posing for photos! The wedding breakfast was a delicious buffet from Cafe Piano in Wells, with a hog roast in the evening, and a local carnival club ran the bar.” They really went the extra mile to make sure everything ran smoothly on the alcohol front, even sourcing local Roger Wilkins cider which went down a treat during the evening!” As a massive music fan, Jamie was keen to have lots of music throughout the day. His band played some songs at the Town Hall, and also sang (including the groom!) while guests were enjoying their ice creams. The tables were named after Beatles’ songs and in the evening there was a Beatles tribute band. The next music part didn’t quite go to plan, however. “After the band had finished we were meant to be having a disco,” says Sian. “My brother Dean, though, had managed to convince the band’s guitarist to let him use his guitar to do a cover of Wonderwall, and he roped Jamie in too. Unfortunately, a mixture of alcohol and the attention they’d received from their song convinced them it’d be a good idea to carry on playing - eventually doing half of Oasis’s back catalogue. I was even persuaded to join them on

DETAILS Ceremony venue Wells Town Hall, Market Place, Wells, Somerset BA5 2RB T: 01749 673091 W: Reception venue Wells Cathedral School, 15 The Liberty, Wells, Somerset BA5 2ST T: 01749 834200 W: Photographer Eyeon Photography T: 07979 495 071 W: Wedding dress Monsoon W: Dress alterations Assunta Style T: 07773 053388 Groom’s outfit Ben Sherman W: Catering Café Piano, 9 Heritage Courtyard, Sadler Street, Wells, Somerset BA5 2RR T: 01749 677772 W: Icicle Tricycle T: 01844 860055 W: Entertainment All You Need is the Beatles E: W: the disco never happened but it was fine as it was amazing to have our guests singing along to some classic songs!” All the months of planning contributed to a day the couple both describe as “perfect”. “Seeing Sian walk down the aisle was a huge highlight,” says Jamie. “I’d also spent a good part of the day - and the preceding weeks - worrying about my speech but once I was on my feet, the teacher and attention seeker in me kicked in and I didn’t want to sit down again, so I’d say that was a particular highlight too!” For Sian, “the best part was those moments when Jamie and I were together and able to step back from it all and take in the excitement. It was the best day of my life.” WEST WEDDINGS 19

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Love in a cold

CLIMATE Who would have thought that a routine event such as a central heating installation would be the start of an enduring romance? Francesca Clifford finds out about Tracy Herbert and Richard Wilcox’s wedding.


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KEEPING IT LOCAL Tracy used West Weddings to plan her entire day


t was a chance meeting that sparked love between Tracy and Richard after he came to her house to fit her central heating. The temperature rose in more ways than one; Tracy was impressed by Richard’s DIY skills and his kindness to her two children, Esme and Carly, and the two quickly became an item. Richard immediately fitted in with Tracy’s family. He first met her parents when he offered to help fit their new bathroom, and found that an ice-breaker in the form of Tracy’s dad falling out of the loft onto the landing did the trick, as he was found unconscious following an almighty crash! All was well in the end, and Richard and her parents spent the rest of the day giggling about it. When Tracy returned home that evening it was clear that Richard had cemented his place in their family. After five years together, Tracy and Richard enjoyed an anniversary meal at The Old House at Home. The evening passed without any unexpected surprises until the pair returned home, where Richard bent down on one knee as Tracy fumbled for the keys at their front door. Richard had planned to propose at dinner but was just so nervous that he decided to wait for a more personal setting. Tracy was completely taken aback, as “‘I didn’t think he would ever ask me!” Richard’s choice of a simple but classically designed diamond solitaire ring, and himself, of course, prompted Tracy to exclaim, “Yes!” and their front door was now home to one of the pair’s most cherished memories. Tracy and Richard chose the historic building of Poole Court in Yate as the picturesque setting for their intimate wedding of only very close friends and family. The building has a rich history as a wartime base and family home to a number of families, and is now Yate Council’s registry office where the couple were married on Saturday 30th June. The wedding had a truly personal feel; after the ceremony friends and family headed back to the newlywed’s home for a delicious buffet prepared by local chef Jack Bain. The wedding party then made their way to Kendleshire Golf Club to continue their reception into the evening. The couple’s family and friends contributed to the day to make it more of an intimate affair. Tracy was driven to the venue in her best friend’s car, her mum made the bridesmaids’ dresses and the photography was taken by friends and family.

Tracy found West Weddings invaluable in planning the wedding, after finding a copy when she first visited the registry office. “All of the businesses are local so it makes planning your wedding much easier,” explains Tracy. She also found it useful “seeing the photos of the other weddings to get ideas on dresses, hair and make-up”. Tracy’s dress was chosen from Anne Harding in Bristol after she saw an advert in West Weddings. “The shop had been in business for 12 years and was offering a 12% discount in December 2011,” says Tracy. She also chose her jewellery from the same place, but added some extra sparkle from Swarovski and H Samuel as well. Richard’s outfit plus the page boys’ suits came from Special Day and Appletons in Keynsham, and Flowers by Melissa designed a beautiful selection of arrangements especially for the couple. For Tracy, the day was extra special because it represented the joining of two families. “Our wedding day was a celebration of our family becoming complete. Carly sang ‘When You Wish Upon a Star’ as we entered the register office, Esme read a poem called ‘Serendipity’ - appropriate since that was the name of the house where Rich installed the heating! - and Jessie stole the show as our flower girl.” The couple also loved being able to celebrate with the people they loved. “We were with our closest family and our nearest and dearest friends,” says Tracy. “It was a magical day.”

DETAILS Ceremony venue Poole Court, Yate, Poole Court Drive, Yate, South Gloucestershire BS37 5PP T: 01454 866506 W: www.yatetowncouncil. Reception venue Kendleshire Golf Club, Henfield Road, Coalpit Heath, Bristol BS36 2UY T: 0117 956 7007 W: Dress Anne Harding 90- 92 Shirehampton Road, Stoke Bishop, Bristol BS9 2DR T: 0117 968 3074 W: Groom and page boys’ outfits Special Day and Appletons, 12 High Street, Keynsham, Bristol BS31 1DQ T: 0117 986 0303 W: www. Flowers Flowers by Melissa T: 07973 190851 Hair Charlotte at Centre of Attention, 282 Lodge Causeway, Bristol BS16 3RD T: 0117 965 3248


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Alove for all


Becky and Ashley Moyce began their wedding journey over Christmas dinner preparations and ended it in high summer surrounded by their family. Annie Campbell finds out more.


ecky and Ashley met at their local pub, The Sportsman, in Bristol. Both played for Bristol County Pool team, and they became good friends long before realising that they felt something more for one another. “Unfortunately this ‘revelation’ coincided with my moving to Oxford to start a new job,” says Becky. “So we spent our first 18 months as a couple living in two different cities. However, I soon moved back to be with Ash and we haven’t looked back since.” Ash proposed on Christmas day 2011, almost ten years and two daughters after he and Becky had first met. “I proposed on Christmas day, having a smoochie dance in the kitchen whilst dinner was cooking,” explains Ash. “I had planned to propose on New Year’s Eve but in that moment everything felt perfect and it was topped off when she said ‘yes’.” Almost nine months pregnant with their second child, Becky had come to think that she and Ash might never get married, and so Ash’s surprise proposal caught her completely off-guard. “I was so shocked I think my reply was ‘Huh?’ so he ➻ WEST WEDDINGS 23

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PURPLE HAZE Accents of Cadbury purple were a perfect accompaniment to this summer wedding

asked again and I replied ‘Are you serious?’. He of course said that he was and I of course said yes.” The wedding took place on August 12th 2012 at Coombe Lodge in Blagdon. Of the venue, the bride and groom could only say “It blew us away! We had researched a lot of venues and shortlisted three others but none of them were quite right.” They say that they knew Coombe Lodge was “the one” as soon as they got there. “It’s beautiful and grand without being too pretentious. It felt warm and welcoming. The staff were all amazing, professional but personable and it just felt right.” Becky and Ash knew people would be travelling long distances to be with them on their special day, especially Ash’s family, and so from the start it was important for them to keep the ceremony and reception in one place. “We just wanted people to be able to relax and enjoy the day,” says Becky, and Coombe Lodge proved to be the perfect location. Becky and Ash wanted to add personal touches to their wedding day that would make it all the more special. They wrote their own wedding vows and brought a little of St Helena to Bristol by having an evening curry buffet. Coombe Lodge provided the food for the day, and Becky says that they were brilliant. “Everyone complimented the food, which was delicious, although I was still too excited to eat much of the wedding breakfast! They were very accommodating with our request that they prepare a traditional Saint Helenian curry for our evening buffet. We sourced the curry powder, they did a special tasting and the chef was great at listening to Ash and creating a delicious, authentic dish for our family and friends.” Becky’s dress came from Galateia Gowns, in Bristol, a specialist in “pre-loved gowns”. Having just had her second child, Becky was feeling a little body-conscious, but Christina of Galateia Gowns was understanding and helpful, and recommended a seamstress who could help make Becky’s dream dress fit her perfectly. Becky’s accessories were also extra special, and didn’t cost the world to get. “My marcasite hair accessory was originally a tie clip, bought from eBay for £2.50!” She had it converted into a hairband by Sodbury Jewellers, who also made her wedding ring. “My earrings and bracelet I already owned, and my necklace was originally my nana’s and I borrowed it from my mum for the wedding day.” For Ash, the best part of the day was seeing

Becky walking down the aisle towards him. “She looked amazing; she looked so, so happy, a little nervous but really happy. It just made me feel overwhelmed with love for her.” The couple’s daughters, Leah and Erin, were their flower girls. Four year old Leah took to the role beautifully, sprinkling silk petals down the aisle for her mother to walk over, and running after the couple as they left the ceremony, showering them with flowers. Little Erin was only seven months old at the time of the wedding, but she made her entrance in style, carrying the ring cushion down the aisle on her lap while her nana pushed the pram! Of course, there were a few weather worries on the day, but the happy couple were more than a little lucky. “Despite vicious thunder storms at 4am on the morning of the wedding, the sun shone for us!” says Becky. Only a few showers fell whilst they were tying the knot, and they were able to get almost all of the photographs they wanted. The photographers, Bob and Wayne from John Holbrook Photography, were fun and flexible, and were even willing to stay on a little later than anticipated to get some snaps of the speeches. For Becky and Ash, the day was perfect, and Ash sums it up beautifully. “It felt special in many ways: a sense of completeness to our family, my lovely new wife and our darling daughters. Sharing the day with so many people that are dear to us and clearly very happy for us gave the whole day a warm glow; everything felt just right.”

DETAILS Venue Coombe Lodge, Blagdon, Bristol BS40 7RE T: 01761 463355 W: Photographer John Holbrook Photography, Studio One, Harts Lane, Hallatrow BS39 6EA T: 01761 451462 W: Gown Galateia Gowns T: 0117 9830528 W: Cake Keryn’s Kitchen, 2 Blackthorn Drive, Bristol BS32 8BY T: 01454 610083 M: 07799 516018 W: Flowers Tiger Lily Flowers, 3 Chelford Grove, Stoke Lodge, Bristol BS34 6DD T: 01454 856737 W: www. Transport Bath and Chew Valley Wedding Cars, Beach Tree Barn, Priston Lane, Marksbury, Bath BA2 9HQ T: 07768 740929 M: 07710 056818 W: www. Entertainment The Celebration Roadshow T: 08000 242492W: www.celebrationroadshow.


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Bristol & West major stockist of Maggie Sottero Pronovias Ian Stuart Justin Alexander Mark Lesley Intuzuri 47 Queens Road The Triangle, Clifton Bristol, BS8 4RN 0117 9349426 p25.indd 1

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East meets


Chinese traditions mingled with Irish celebrations for Sylvia and Michael McAleer’s summer wedding. Coral Williamson talks to the happy couple.


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Realweddings Realweddings

TWO DRESS WEDDING Sylvia had two gorgeous gowns for her fusion wedding


espite scuppering Michael’s plan A to propose at the top of Mt Carrantuohill in County Kerry, by refusing to hike in wet and windy weather (though Michael describes it more as a “drizzle”), Sylvia said yes to his proposal plan B at a restaurant in Killarney. The couple met in 2003 after working for the same company, but they didn’t start dating until 2008 when they met up again in China. Michael says, “We spent 10 days together travelling and I got on with Sylvia really well – like a best friend. I knew from then there was something special about her.” As Sylvia is Chinese, it was important to both of them to have a wedding that incorporated elements of her culture and gave Michael’s Irish family the chance to experience this. It was also important to Michael that everyone was invited to both the ceremony and reception. “Many of my family were travelling across the water, so it didn’t seem fair that they would only come for an evening reception,” explains Michael. Having fallen in love with the Council Chamber and booking it for the ceremony, disaster seemed imminent when, four days before the wedding, Sylvia and Michael were told that the annual Pride festival had moved from Castle Park to College Green – opposite the venue. After looking at alternative venues, the couple realised their only option was to change the time of the ceremony, as they couldn’t bear to do it anywhere else. Unfortunately this meant some family and friends travelling from London couldn’t make it, and the couple were in for even more stress making sure all the guests knew about the last-minute change. Luckily, “the events team handled the situation very well and it all fell into place in the end,” recalls Sylvia. Sylvia’s Chinese heritage was celebrated in a number of ways. After wearing a traditional Western dress for the ceremony, Sylvia changed into a red Chinese wedding gown for the evening reception at Bristol restaurant Water Sky. The Yi Quin Lion Dance Group performed a Chinese lion dance, heralding the entrance of the couple. Water Sky put on a fantastic Chinese banquet, and Sylvia is sure that “no one left hungry!” Their cake, a gift from friend Ellie McCutchion, was also designed to incorporate Chinese culture, matching the theme of ‘double happiness’, a Chinese symbol used in weddings. Sylvia says: “Not only did it look fantastic but tasted great – all three layers of lemon, fruit and

DETAILS Ceremony venue Council Chamber, City Hall, College Green, Bristol BS1 5TR T: 0117 922 4737 W: Reception venue Water Sky, Eden House, Eastgate Road, Bristol BS5 6XY T: 0117 951 2888 W: www. Photographer PhotoDabek T: 0117 350 1032 W: Co-ordination services Carmen Weddings T: 0845 604 8388 W: Wedding dress Romantica of Devon T: 01823 674412 W:; Chinese wedding dress purchased from Hong Kong Groom’s outfit Moss Bros W: Flowers 1st Choice Florist, 246b Stapleton Road, Bristol BS5 0NT T: 0117 951 8070 W: Transport De Gournay Motor Car Company T: 01761 451142 W: Entertainment Yi Quin Lion Dance Troupe W: The Amplified T: 07964 335657 W: chocolate.” As a final touch, the wedding favours included personalised chopsticks with the couple’s names and wedding date on. When it came to planning everything, Sylvia took charge while “Michael was pretty laid back – but he was adamant on certain things, such as getting a videographer and getting two lions for the lion dance. I had to give in in the end!” she laughs. On the day, Carmen from Carmen Weddings provided co-ordination services. “She understands fusion weddings as she is also Chinese herself, and hence was able to understand how both cultures were bought into the day,” explains Sylvia. Having Carmen was invaluable to ensure the smooth running of the day across two venues. Martin

from PhotoDabek captured the day with “fantastic photos in a non-intrusive style – he was brilliant,” says the couple. When Sylvia woke up on the morning of the wedding, the grey weather was a little disappointing, but her mood quickly changed when she received a surprise card, flowers, and diamond necklace and earrings from Michael. “Within the card, he wrote that whatever the weather, it didn’t matter to him as long as I said ‘I do’ on the day – that made me cry!” Sylvia says. “It meant so much to us both seeing over 200 people make a massive effort to share our special day with us,” says Michael. Sylvia agrees. “It sounds clichéd but it was the best day of my life and I loved every minute of it!” WEST WEDDINGS 27

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Keeping it in


Coral Williamson reports on Vanessa and Sean McBride’s Bristolian autumn wedding.


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FULL STEAM AHEAD After a city centre ceremony, Vanessa and Sean travelled up river to their reception


t was clear, even before they started planning the big day, that family was going to be involved in a big way for Vanessa and Sean’s wedding. When Sean proposed, after a meal in one of their favourite restaurants, he used the engagement ring of Vanessa’s 103-year-old grandmother, who had offered it to Sean after hearing of his proposal plans. Vanessa says: “I was so touched and genuinely surprised, and wear it every day, along with her 1930s wedding ring that she also passed on to me”. Carrying the rings on the day was Vanessa’s 8-year-old son, Isaac, while her younger daughter Evie was a flower girl. The ring cushion was made by Vanessa’s mum, using her grandmother’s vintage fabric, which had the couple’s names and the wedding date on it. Vanessa’s mum also made polka dot bunting to decorate the marquee and decking of Beeses Tea Gardens, where the reception was held. “We had a very clear idea that we wanted the whole day to be fun and enjoyable for everyone, including children,” explains Vanessa, especially important since the couple’s three children, including one year old Rafferty, would be attending the wedding. “We wanted it to be informal and relaxed so Beeses was perfect. It is a beautiful setting and you would never believe you were 10 minutes from the city centre. The staff at Beeses were so helpful and accommodating.” After a ceremony at the Lantern Room in Bristol Register Office, the wedding party boarded 1920s pleasure cruiser, Tower Belle, to reach the reception. “En route we stopped off at one of our favourite places to eat, Source, where we collected homemade sausage rolls, scotch eggs and cheese croquettes to eat on the boat. We also got some of their amazing brownies and cakes to supplement our wedding cake,” says Vanessa. The tables at the reception were named after films the couple enjoyed together, and were decorated with wildflowers in jam jars that Vanessa had collected over the previous months, with the floral arrangements put together by Xanthe at Ivory Flowers. “Discovering Xanthe was one of the best things about the whole planning process. She creates the kind of floral arrangements and combinations that I had in my mind but didn’t know how to articulate,” says Vanessa. “With Xanthe I didn’t have to explain too much as she totally ‘got’ what I wanted. She has an in-depth knowledge of flowers and is genuinely passionate and excited about flowers! I couldn’t have been happier with the flowers she put together for our wedding. The fact that her shop is in

a vintage clothes shop with a café is also an obvious bonus!” Sean and Vanessa offer this piece of advice to other couples planning a wedding. “We used people who we knew or who we felt totally understood what we wanted. It made the whole thing so much more personal and individual.” Included in that list of people is photographer Ellie Gillard. Vanessa describes her as “the photographer we always wanted but didn’t know it – she was definitely one of the best choices we made, financially and for the beautiful record of our special day.” Vanessa’s dress also had that personal touch, being made by Somerset-based Alexandra King, who she met at the Bristol Vintage wedding fair. She says: “Together we came up with the idea of a ‘wiggle dress’ in white corded lace. I really wanted something that was a similar shape to dresses I would normally wear. Alexandra was so helpful and took on board everything I said to make my dress perfect for me. Going to her wonderful studio full of vintage dresses, shoes and handbags, surrounded by beautiful fabric and creations was such a treat. She offers a really personal enjoyable way of getting the dress you want and was happy to listen to me wittering on about all my wedding plans! And when I saw on her website that she had started a range of glittery bow clutch bags, of course I had to have one.” Friends helped out too, with Vanessa’s friend Isabel While making her headpiece and also doing her make up on the day. Another friend did the music for the evening part of the reception, which Vanessa says “flew by too quickly!” The day might have flown by, but the couple still have many memorable moments from their wedding, including stopping off for an impromptu bottle of Champagne after the ceremony, riding in a vintage blue Hillman Minx and dancing with their three children. Vanessa and Sean then enjoyed a one night honeymoon at the Old Post Office in Abergavenny, before returning to their family life. “Remember, it’s a big day but it’s just a day,” advises Vanessa. “Enjoy it all and plan some good things to do after the wedding. Putting too much emphasis on one day is never a good idea; the real fun starts after you’re married!”

DETAILS Ceremony venue Bristol Register Office, The Old Council House, Corn Street, Bristol BS1 1JG T: 0117 922 2800 W: Reception venue Beeses Bar and Tea Gardens, Wyndham Crescent, Bristol BS4 4SX T: 0117 977 7412 W: Additional Food Source T: 0117 9272998 W: Photography Ellie Gillard T: 07740 359844 W: Wedding dress Alexandra King W: Groom’s outfit The Kooples W: Flowers Ivory Flowers, 32 Alma Vale Road, Bristol BS8 2HY T: 07971 165021 W: WEST WEDDINGS 29

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Chepstow Showroom

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‘Essense designer day - Saturday 20th April’

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10% off Bridal gowns and Mother of the Bride & Groom outfits throughout February and March. Book an appointment in either of our stores and present this advert with your toll bridge receipt and we will reimburse your toll charge.

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Plus size Wedding Dresses now available!

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The Bridal Room For further information please ring 0117 908 9010. Or visit our website Appointments recommended 40 High Street, Westbury-on-Trym, Bristol DESIGNER BRIDAL WEAR | BRIDESMAIDS DRESSES | ACCESSORIES & SHOES | EVENING & PROM WEAR

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gowns GownInspiration



HEAVEN Aruna Seth, shoe designer to the stars, has launched a brand new website. The new site is slick, sassy and designed to make shoe shopping easy, ensuring you can look for specific colours, heel heights and styles – perfect when looking for your all-important wedding day pair. Aruna Seth shoes are handmade in small quantities in Italy by craftsmen with years of experience, with price-points starting from £200. Or if you fancy going all out, you can choose a pair covered completely in Swarovski crystals for the ultimate bridal bling for £2,500. A-list stars spotted wearing Aruna’s designs include Katherine Jenkins, Goldie Hawn and Kate Hudson. Aruna Seth shoes were also famously worn by Pippa Middleton with her iconic green Temperley dress on the day of the Royal Wedding, so if you choose a pair of her shoes for your wedding day you’ll be in good company! ARUNA SETH W: WWW.ARUNASETH.COM



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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 and you could be gracing the pages of our next edition.

Hear from you_HP.indd 1

11/27/2012 2:47:03 PM



ll About Eve Bridal was delighted to win three awards in the recent Welsh National Wedding Awards, at a glittering ceremony at the beautiful Brangwyn Hall in Swansea. For the second year running All About Eve was awarded Best Bridal Retailer in Cardiff and East, as well as Best Jewellery in Cardiff. The shop then also took home the National Award for Best Bridal Retailer in the whole of Wales. These awards are voted by brides and customers, which makes them even more special. All About Eve dedicates the awards to its hard-working team of staff. Vicki, the owner of the shop, would also like to thank their fabulous designers who provide the shop with the most stunning dresses for their brides. ALL ABOUT EVE 3 CLYTHA PARK ROAD, NEWPORT, GWENT, NP20 4NZ T: 01633 243943 W: WWW.ALLABOUTEVEBRIDALWEAR.COM WEST WEDDINGS 35

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LACE, ROMANCE AND MERMAID SILHOUETTES Gianina Baba dresses to impress at Bride at Home in Bristol.


s a hopeless romantic, I dreamt of finding a dress that would make me feel like a fairytale princess for our wedding day. I would describe my fashion style as chic and sophisticated, combining classic structures and modern features. Inspired by Kate Middleton’s regal look, I wanted a gown with the perfect balance between simplicity and statement. The search for my wedding dress was, without a doubt, a very exciting experience. After spending a few good weeks looking through magazines and browsing websites of famous designers, I felt slightly overwhelmed by the wide range of designs. One thing became quite obvious though: the more I researched, the more I felt drawn to the vintage look of luxurious lace gowns. I therefore finally decided to visit a bridal boutique and try on a few different styles to get a better idea of what suited my body shape. On a typically wet November afternoon I arrived for my appointment at the Bride at Home exclusive salon in Downend, Bristol. Jan Wright, the owner and her team of friendly consultants, welcomed me into the elegant, stylish boutique and talked me through the process. “When I meet a bride,” Jan said, “I try to find out a few things about the wedding –whether it is a church or civil ceremony, home or abroad - so that I can suggest a few designs and then let them choose some that catch their eye.” Bride at Home’s gowns are carefully selected from suppliers such as Jasmine, La Sposa and Eternity and the shops also offers a variety of shoes and accessories. To my delight, Jan offered me her

Gianina tries on a dress from the White One collection


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Bride at Home offers a friendly service with a wide selection of dresses

undivided attention throughout my appointment as she helped me choose a few different gowns to try on and accessories to match. Feeling a bit like what Cinderella might have felt as she prepared for the ball, I picked a princess design and a few unique lace gowns. Just like a Fairy Godmother, Jan helped me try them on by fitting the intricate lacing on the back and suggesting tiaras and veils to complement each one. I chose the first satin and lace number, by Jade Bridal, as it had a beautiful bodice scattered with sparkly diamante and sequins and a fishtail train. I loved how the mermaid shape accentuated and lengthened my silhouette, whilst the contrasting silk satin waistband with delicate peach blossoms gave it an elegant and luxurious feel. The final touch - sheer straps with delicate embroidery - made me love it so much that I didn’t want to take it off. My second choice was a La Sposa princess style dress with strapless sweetheart neckline. Even though it was a couple of sizes bigger, with the help of a few pins I was able to get an idea of what it looked like on me. The fitted bodice emphasised my waist but I was not keen on the bouffant layers of tulle skirt. The strapless A-line design of the next outfit by Alfred Sung had a more traditional feel than the previous two. Made of embroidered tulle over satin, with a full skirt, it looked simply chic. When I tried it on, I found the long, heavy train made it harder to move around in, but I liked the option of adding straps for extra support. The final dress was a lovely lace over satin

from the White One collection, with buttoned back and a cute bow detail on the empire line. It also came with a matching lace bolero jacket, which offered a change of look and the bonus of extra warmth for those outside photos. Despite its appealing features, I already knew which dress was my favourite and it wasn’t this one. I tried once again the Jade fishtail gown and felt like a real bride - extremely happy, confident, and comfortable. With tremendous patience and a polite manner, Jan helped me choose the right veil and hairpiece for the dress. Seeing her passion for bridal gowns, I couldn’t resist asking her about her own wedding. “I didn’t have a wedding dress myself, which is why I would like to make everyone else’s dream come true. I am currently making a dress for my sister, who is getting married at the beginning of 2013,” replied a smiling Jan. My afternoon at Bride at Home was a very enjoyable, personal and emotional experience. I left the shop feeling much more relaxed and happy knowing that I had found the dress I wanted and it would be well looked after. Also, with 25 years’ experience as a qualified designer, patternmaker and seamstress, I was confident Jan could make my wedding dress fit perfectly and my fairytale dream would finally become real.


Gianina’s DOs and DON’Ts of wedding dress shopping DO take a close friend with you; they can advise which dress suits you best and their reaction will speak for itself DON’T wear a black or dark coloured bra for the fitting; choose white or beige, preferably strapless, as many dresses have sheer straps or lace detail DO take photos of the dresses you try (check first if the shop allows it), so that you can look back and see what they would look like in your wedding photos DON’T worry if you can’t find a dress that has all the features you want; most boutiques offer alterations and can personalise the dress for you DO try the dress with different accessories to get the full picture of what you will look like as a bride DON’T book more than one appointment in one day; chances are you will get confused with too many dresses


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SUITED Handily based between Bristol and Bath in the lovely Somerset town of Keynsham, bridal boutique Special Day and Appletons will be delighted to help you choose that oh so important dress for your special day. Ellis Bridals is just one of the beautiful range of dresses that Special Day and Appletons stocks, with its range also including Bonny Bridal, Mark Lesley, Sottero and Midgeley, and Impression Bridal. As well as your dress, the shop also has bridesmaid dresses, mother of the bride outfits and men’s suits, meaning it’s a one stop shop for the entire bridal party. If any of these dresses from Special Day and Appletons take your fancy, don’t miss out on your chance to win a wedding dress from the shop in our competition on p.17. SPECIAL DAY AND APPLETONS 12 HIGH STREET, KEYNSHAM, BRISTOL BS31 1DQ T: 0117 986 0303/ 0117 986 3582 W: WWW.SPECIALDAYANDAPPLETONS.CO.UK

Ellis Bridals has been creating beautiful wedding dresses since 1912, and with its roots firmly in the UK it’s still a family run business. The quality, construction and fit of the dresses are second to none, ensuring that you look and feel sensational on your wedding day. Ellis Bridal’s Romance collection for 2013 is a bride’s delight, featuring soft lines, lace and delicate embroidery to create a dreamy range of dresses.


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Clockwise from above: 11351 Made from luxe taffeta, this fishtail gown features soft pleating around the hips to create a gorgeous silhouette. Intricate floral appliquĂŠ detail is the perfect finishing touch. 11350 A beautiful A line gown made from tulle with beaded embroidery detail over the sheer neckline. Available in ivory or white. Opposite: 11364 The dress for those who like the look of strapless gowns but also favour some detail on their shoulders. The sheer tulle straps beautifully cover a heart shaped bodice, and the beaded lace appliquĂŠ adds sparkle to this fit and flare gown.



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GownInspiration 11368 The lace keyhole detail on this gown will ensure you look as good from the back as from the front! The fishtail shape will show off your figure to perfection.


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grooms Grooms

Ensure your relationship with your in-laws gets off to a better start than Ben Stiller and Robert DeNiro’s in Meet the Parents


IN LINE Coral Williamson shares her tips for family harmony.


eople always talk about the bride having to do battle with the monsterin-law – but the groom has in-laws to deal with too, and family problems can make or break a wedding. Keep those stress levels down by taking preventative measures, and be prepared for any eventuality. First things first: know your enemy. Has the bride warned you about her family’s quirks? The best thing is to meet them well in advance of the wedding, if you haven’t already. If you wait until the rehearsal dinner you won’t have enough time to get to know everyone well enough, especially if there’s a whole troupe coming to town. Don’t forget, marriage doesn’t just mean starting a family with the love of your life. It means joining the family she’s already got, and vice versa. How the wedding goes sets the tone for future events, so it’s imperative that it goes

well, and not just to keep the bride happy. If you want a choice of where to go for Christmas dinner, you’ll have to make sure you’re the best son-in-law they’ve ever had. The mother-in-law shouldn’t be too tricky. Unless she’s a recently divorced cougar straight out of a rom-com, or particularly dislikes any of the other guests, you can expect interacting with her to be relatively easy. So long as her daughter is happy, she’ll be happy. But of course, keeping the bride happy on her big day is easier said than done, and avoiding family scenes is one of the biggest hurdles. Bear in mind that the mother of the bride will have probably had some say during the wedding planning stage, so avoid complaining about anything to her. On the other hand, she may also be a font of wisdom if you need advice dealing with a bridezilla. She’s privy to meetings you won’t be invited to, so stay on her good side if

you want to be able to ask her for help when you need it. It’s the father-in-law you should be more concerned with. He’s giving away his little girl, and no matter what, there’s a chance you won’t be good enough. Try to find some common ground between the two of you – sports, work, his daughter. It might feel a bit outdated, but asking a father’s permission to marry his daughter is a surefire way to make sure he’s kept in the loop from the very beginning. Money is often also an issue – is he more traditional, and insistent on paying for the wedding? Remember, insistent doesn’t necessarily mean happy to; if you expect him to pay more than he’s willing, his pride might force him to go along with it, but it could lead to strife down the road. If you differ in opinion, make sure you’re agreed on who’s paying for what. Wedding etiquette is more unclear than ever about how to bring up money, but it’s important you discuss it as early as possible, before your bride (and her mother!) starts fantasising about dream weddings. Something you might also have to consider is the question of step-parents. If your bride’s parents have divorced and remarried, you could be dealing with a ticking time bomb, especially if you’ve decided to go for that open bar. Can the exes be civil towards each other or will they need to sit at opposite ends of the room? You’d hope that they’d put their daughter’s interests first, but parents often feel like it’s their big day too. Work with your bride to make sure everyone’s as involved as they want to be. If inviting her socially-awkward brother to your stag do will make her parents happy, do it. Conversely, she might not be as close to one side of her family, or she might want everyone involved. Remember, keeping the family happy is an easy way to keep your bride glowing, so if they need to be kept far, far apart, make sure to keep a note of it next to your seating plan. Lastminute changes to a table can have a ripple effect, but a short memo will keep you on the ball and avoid any scenes. By now, you probably already know how important rehearsals can be; they’re also a key weapon in your arsenal against the in-laws. Whilst we’ve already said it’s too late to get to know your in-laws at a rehearsal dinner, it’s the perfect time to see how they’ll act during the real thing. Are they drinking too much? Might want to rethink that free bar. Didn’t know the mother of the bride would get on so well with your own mum? Put them next to each other. Planning for every eventuality is impossible, but by preparing well in advance and keeping on your toes you can make sure getting hitched goes off without a hitch. Your bride will definitely appreciate it, so feel free to milk your efforts for all they’re worth! WEST WEDDINGS 43

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Grooms James Bond shows men everywhere how to wear a suit the correct way. Gun not recommended for a wedding, however.



ays to w t a s k o ord lo r wedding day. f f i l C a c rances himself on you F ! d n o B James d as the man r e v o e v Mo k as goo o o l u o y ensure


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Anne Harding’s lightweight mohair grey tail suit (left-hand picture) and a custom made suit from A Suit That Fits


The following statement may go against one of the most fundamental rules of wedding planning but it is approaching nonetheless: men, the wedding is as much about you as it is about your bride-to-be. Pause for collective gasp of anguish. It is necessary to call time on the convention of the bride-oriented wedding. A wedding is the union of two people wishing to spend the rest of their lives in each other’s company, encouraging the other person’s opinions and feelings and aspiring for an equal partnership. And yes, weddings are pretty affairs, with tastefully decorated receptions and classy cakes, but it would not detract from your bride’s perfectly planned day if there were certain touches from the groom to make it feel like it is a day planned and meant to be enjoyed by the two of you. Grooms can shake that curmudgeonly expression expected to settle into your brow for the duration of the planning process by getting as invested in your look as the bride is with hers. Following the recent success of Skyfall in the UK box office, now is the time more than ever to channel the one and only Bond, James Bond. Think suave, sophisticated and immaculate and not only will you feel like 007, but you will also tick a few boxes with your bride as well. Think of the time, care, attention and money that the bride is planning to spend on her wedding look. She will be sourcing new shoes, a dress, make up, jewellery, accessories and underwear from the far corners of the globe to feel special on her day. There is your excuse

to do the same. This should not just appeal to the metrosexual man of today; it extends to oldfashioned sensibilities of pride in one’s appearance. There is nothing more attractive than a man in a well fitted suit, with a shiny pair of shoes and an air of confidence about him. 007 certainly knows that. Start from the feet up. A good pair of shoes is an investment, so don’t scrimp. The general rule of thumb for purchasing shoes is to spend about half the amount you spent on the suit. Loake is a wellestablished brand, offering reasonably priced yet quality shoes. Its shoes can be found in a number of independent shops and in Debenhams throughout the country. For a more bespoke design, you need look no further than Northampton, the home of British shoemaking. It may seem quite a distance to travel just for shoes, but your bride would do so without a second thought. It is where you will find Crockett & Jones, who provided Bond’s shoes in Skyfall. And don’t forget some nice socks as well. Next, in the words of Barney Stinson, you need to suit up. If buying your whistle, nothing beats one made just for you. After all, I doubt James gets his suits off the peg. For a perfect fit that won’t break the bank, try A Suit That Fits, who makes bespoke wedding suits starting from £259. You can even impress your bride and have the lining made to coordinate with the colour scheme of the wedding. The company also offers packages to help ensure your groomsmen are as nicely turned out as you. If, however, a suit isn’t your usual thing and you don’t envisage any Shoes from Loake wear from it past the will ensure you look

wedding day, choose to hire instead. Hiring can be just as worthwhile, as long as you take the time to find the right suit, and use a shop where the staff are professional and know what they’re talking about. Anne Harding offers a range of suits from traditional tails to more lightweight, modern cuts, and under menswear manager Lee’s expert eye you can guarantee that you’ll leave looking your absolute best. Don’t be scared to spend a bit of time and effort on male grooming. This may be steering into unfamiliar and uncomfortable territory, but if you’re channelling Bond, you need to be thorough. If you’re one of those men who think paying more than a fiver for a cut is ridiculous, pay a visit to Jacks of London to be proved wrong. They have recently opened a Bristol salon, offering wedding packages ranging from £30-£50 which can include a consultation, hair wash, sideburns and neckline tidy-up, a traditional shave with the use of hot or cold towels, and some special extras for the groom and his wedding party. While your bride and her bridesmaids are at the spa, take your friends for a treat of your own, and they will all thoroughly enjoy the pampering experience, secretly, if not vocally. When broken down there are only three principal components to your wedding look, and you can see that being a well groomed, red-blooded, Bond look-alike isn’t as time consuming and arduous as once thought.


good from top to toe WEST WEDDINGS 45

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For that little bit extra... You can now get even more from West Weddings by visiting our enhanced new look 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 copies, which means nobody has to miss out!

COMPETITIONS Entering our fantastic competition online is a piece of cake! Simply log on to and click the competitions link to 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.

PLANNING PLANNING YOUR DAY Need adviceDAY on where to start? If our handy YOUR

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.

STOCKISTS If you’re ever in doubt of where you can pick up your next copy of West Weddings, just log on to our home page and select your area from the drop down list. It’s as easy as that!

ADDRESS BOOK 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 new 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.


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!

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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Pretty Amazing Cakes Bespoke Wedding & Celebration Cake Design Our beautiful hand-crafted wedding cakes, cupcakes & cookies not only look pretty, they taste amazing too!

Stockists Of: Augusta Jones Benjamin Roberts Ellis Bridals Ivory & Co Mark Lesley Ronald Joyce Victoria Jane

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

0117 9243036 / 07791 208 754

Bridesmaid Dresses By Mark Lesley Shoes by Rainbow Club

11 St James Parade, Bath, BA1 1UL 01225 446844 Find us on

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Cissie Designs Come to us for your special flowergirl dresses. All made in England at our shop in Bristol. Designed and made by A.M.K in a variety of colours and fabrics. Sizes range from newborn to a childs size 8. Prices range from ÂŁ35 to ÂŁ250. Call in to view our collection and you will be welcomed by friendly and helpful staff.

Open: Tues to Sat 9.30am till 5pm 254 Soundwell Road Kingswood Bristol BS15 1PN Tel/Fax 0117 967 1888 Mobile: 0777 634 5314 email:

1/17/2013 4:01:21 PM

a CLASS own

Our spring wedding PhotoWeddings



Clifton College is an anything but academic backdrop for a spring wedding filled with macaroon hues.

Words: Helen Dorritt Photography: David Brewin

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1 The chapel’s arched doorway frames Lorena and Ismail to perfection 2 All our macaroon hues are brought together, with spring flowers and colourful cravats 3 Anne Harding’s grey morning suit is expertly modelled by Ismail 4 Cissie Designs and Anne Harding outfits on our two attendants 5 Lorena and Ismail look every inch the happy couple





acaroons, those tasty little French biscuits, lightly baked and beautifully coloured, stacked in towering pastel piles in a Ladurée window. It was this image that sparked the inspiration for the West Weddings spring 2013 photoshoot at the stately Clifton College. The Georgian splendour of the college’s buildings were the background for a riot of macaroon colours which also happen to call to mind the hues of spring - lilac, baby blue, pistachio green, rose pink and egg yellow. Sunny, warm, light and bright, our shoot had all the elements you want from a spring wedding, all beautifully crafted and brought together by our talented team of local suppliers.


You don’t expect to find such a beautiful collection of buildings alongside such a large green area right in a city centre, but this is why Clifton College is such a hidden gem. The college is a historic and gracious setting for your wedding reception, with a variety of rooms able to be used in differing combinations depending on your needs. Rachel Gough is the events co-ordinator at the college and as the welcome she extended to us indicates, you’ll be thrilled at the professional yet personal service you receive from this lovely venue. The chapel at the college took everyone’s breath away. Used as the main assembly room for the school, it has a high, domed ceiling, impressive altar and a lovely muted light falling through its main stained glass window. The chapel can be used for wedding ceremonies, but there is a catch–you have to be a past pupil in order to be eligible. Some people try to be creative to get around this, however. “We’ve had people ask us if they can take an A Level here just so they can then get married in the chapel!” says Rachel. But ➻



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6 Lorena dazzles in the PhotoWeddings Benjamin Roberts dress


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1/17/2013 4:02:18 PM

PhotoWeddings 7 Ivory & Co’s ‘Casablanca’ veil and Casablanca lilies in the bouquet–a great match! 8 Beautiful oak benches contrast with crisp white walls and a tiled floor outside the college’s chapel



7 never fear, even if you can’t use it for your ceremony then the chapel can be used for a blessing service, as well as another location for your reception photos.


“I just love this venue,” says David Brewin, who once again was at the photographic helm of the shoot. David’s relaxed approach meant he got the best from everyone–both our professional models and also our pageboy and flowergirl. He was thrilled to have the opportunity to use the lovely locations on offer at the college, including its Oxbridgeesque cloisters and the library. David also took advantage of the college’s unique architectural features, such as the carved stone faces, deep windowseats and pictureperfect archways to frame his photos. The results? Photos that capture the relaxed and fun nature of the shoot, and which beautifully showcase the venue, the models and all the other elements of the day. Photographing weddings is something David loves, and this attitude shows through in the photos he gets from couples. “It’s really important to get on with your photographer,” he says. “That way, you’ll be at ease with them on your wedding day, which will result in some stunning photos.” And with his timeless style, one which definitely won’t go out of fashion, David’s photos will give you pleasure for years to come.


Krystle Brides has only been open a few months but it’s already made a big impact. Krystle Herbert-Worgan took over the former Bath branch of Clifton Brides in October 2012, and aims to provide a friendly and professional service for brides-to-be, offering an excellent selection of dresses which don’t come with a too-high price tag. With this in mind she’s carefully selected designers from the crème de la crème of wedding designing, such as Ronald Joyce, Augusta Jones and Ellis Bridals. For our shoot Krystle brought along some of her prettiest and most spring-like numbers, and whittling down her initial selection of eleven to the final four was extremely hard! Our first dress was Benjamin Roberts 2351, a strapless gown with heart shaped neckline. The dusty pale pink floral detail was the ideal match for our macaroon theme. When a dress has a chapel length train, as our second dress, Ronald Joyce 67020 has, we just have to photograph it in a chapel! Its lace and bead embellished sleeves were also a great accompaniment for this setting. Our third dress was Ellis Bridals 19010, which has an exquisite heart-shaped cut out in its lace back, beautifully finished with a row of little buttons, and a delicately cascading train, and which looked amazing in the library and the staircase. The final dress, which was shot outdoors, was another Ellis Bridals, 11364, with a crisp ballgown skirt, v neck and straps–a great option for a spring wedding. ➻


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photoshoot PhotoWeddings

9 The library has wonderful views of the college’s green 10 Isabelle and Joshua look like modelling pros in the library 11 The back of Ellis Bridals 19010 is as pretty as the front 12 A peach-coloured shrug provides warmth in chilly spring weather


9 12


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13 The memorial wall at the college 14 Our bridal party are all smiles 15 ‘Melinda’ headpiece, £79 and earrings, £32, both from Bridezillas DETAILS SEE PAGE 53

14 15


“The morning suit shows no sign of losing its popularity,” says Lee Frost, menswear manager at Anne Harding. “Grey is also the most favoured colour among grooms at the moment.” Well, we can’t argue with Lee’s excellent advice, so we dressed both our groom and pageboy in a classic grey morning suit. When paired with neutral waistcoats and cravats in our macaroon palette, both our groom and mini-groom looked dapper and sophisticated, and were impeccable partners for our bride and flowergirl. If you head to Anne Harding for your outfit, you’ll be measured under the expert eye of Lee to ensure you take away a suit that fits you like a glove. As well as the tail suits we used, the shop also stocks a wide range of lounge suits, dinner jackets and other men’s formal wear, so you’re certain to find a suit to match your style. To go along with these are shirts, waistcoats, cravats and ties in a wonderful range of colours, shoes and, for the more flamboyant groom, silver-topped canes.


Our flowergirl Isabelle performed her role perfectly wearing dresses from local company

Cissie Designs. “I wanted to create a range of dresses that are excellent quality, made right here in the UK, and that are also good value,” explains Angela Knowlson, owner of Cissie Designs. She’s kept true to this vision with her first line of dresses for the company: most cost between £35 and £85, and are all made on site from her shop in Kingswood. Isabelle modelled two of Cissie Designs’ dresses. The first was a classic white with a pink sash and, as a delicate finishing touch, pink petals inside the hem of the dress. The second dress was also white, but with a baby blue sash and tiny silver butterfly details. Angela is able to customise her designs to your colour scheme, and can also add sleeves onto most of the dresses in the case of chillier spring weather. Her dresses are available for newborn sizes up to a child’s size 8. Budget friendly, venue friendly and pretty enough to impress even the hardest to please flowergirl–a visit to Cissie Designs is definitely in order for the youngest members of your bridal party.


Krystle Bride’s dresses were accessorised perfectly with a selection of jewellery, headpieces and other items from Bridezillas

in Keynsham, all chosen under the expert eye of Amanda Davis-Harrison, the owner of the boutique. For dress one Amanda dressed Lorena in a ‘Bebba’ headpiece from the Abigail Grace range. An organza flower cuff picked up the dress’ details and ‘Khloe’ earrings finished the look. For the second dress Lorena wore a ‘Courtney’ tiara and a gorgeously ethereal ‘Casablanca’ veil, with ‘Charleston’ earrings, all from Ivory & Co. The third dress was complemented with a ‘Melinda’ headpiece and ‘Penelope’ cuff, both Abigail Grace. For ➻ WEST WEDDINGS 55

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16 The chapel length train on the Ronald Joyce gown finds its perfect setting!


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17 Stunning stained glass windows throw light on our bride and groom 18 Ismail’s blue cravat is complemented with a pink rose buttonhole 19 Pretty Amazing Cakes’ creations beautifully styled by Kirsten Butler DETAILS SEE PAGE 53


19 17 the final dress which was used in the outdoor shots, Amanda teamed it with a deliciously warm peach-coloured feather shrug, ideal for keeping out any spring chills. Lorena’s necklace and bracelet were both ‘Daisy’ by Abigail Grace, plus a crystal and pearl tiara and ‘Paris’ earrings from Ivory & Co. A lacy parasol completed the look. Isabelle modelled two headpieces with her dresses–an Abigail Grace ‘Beulah’ tiara and the vintage-inspired headpiece, ‘Lily Jane’, also by Abigail Grace.


Tomasz Sadowski, a stylist from seanhanna’s Bristol salon, loves to create wedding hair styles that are just that little bit different. The first look he did for our blushing bride was a tousled and relaxed updo, where curls cascaded down to frame Lorena’s face. For the second half of the shoot, Tomasz created defined pin curls which were then lightly pinned up into a bun at the back of Lorena’s

head, the perfect backdrop for showing off the headpieces from Bridezillas. For brides-to-be, Tomasz suggests visiting your hairdresser a few months in advance to discuss styles and have a trial. If you plan on wearing a veil or headpiece, bring it with you so the hairdresser can ensure it’s incorporated into the style. “Also make sure your hair is in the best possible condition,” Tomasz advises. Healthy, well-looked after hair will result in a fabulous wedding ‘do.


Our make-up artist Grace Kingsley took the pinks and purples from our macaroon palette to create wedding make up that was dramatic yet wearable. Grace started with a primer by budget brand MUA (available from Superdrug), a great idea to ensure your makeup stays fresh. “The company sent me this primer to try and it’s one of the best I’ve ever used. The fact it’s only £4 is another bonus!” She then used a mineral enriched foundation

for the base, a good choice for weddings since it lasts all day. A soft lilac eyeshadow was then washed over Lorena’s eyelids, and individual lashes were added for that extra flutter! For the finishing touch, Grace added a sheer pink lip gloss that provided a pretty flush of colour. After 10 years in the make-up industry, Grace has the skills and the know-how to make sure you look your absolute best on your wedding day. She also complements her wedding work with doing make-up in the fashion, film and TV industry–you can see some of her on-screen work in forthcoming ITV1 drama Broadchurch. ➻ WEST WEDDINGS 57

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20 Pretty Amazing Cakes created an exquisite macaroon–inspired cake


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21 Kirsten works her styling magic in the library 22 One of the college’s carved faces looks on admiringly at the happy couple 23 The yellow flowergirl posy is a bright burst of spring freshness DETAILS SEE PAGE 53



Sometimes you just need someone to pull everything together and show it off to its best advantage, and this is where Kirsten Butler, aka the Little Wedding Helper, comes in. Kirsten offers venue styling services, giving your wedding those finishing touches that finish it off oh so perfectly. For our shoot Kirsten worked her magic using her own macaroon coloured props, plus the china from Bristol Vintage, the flowers and some books from the college’s library, to enhance the cakes brought to the shoot. Her eagle eye was also invaluable in ensuring our models looked their best at all times! Kirsten’s skills have recently been recognised at the National Wedding Awards, where she took home the top prize in the “special touches” category. This is even sweeter since the NWA are voted for by real life couples who have used Kirsten’s services and wanted her to be recognised.



Despite the fact that the flower markets had only just reopened that morning after the ➻


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24 Clifton College’s cloisters are a great background for your formal photos 25 Bristol Vintage’s beautiful china 26 Josh works the camera! DETAILS SEE PAGE 53

25 26

24 Christmas break, Chris Morison went the extra mile and created not just one arrangement but a fantastic range of bouquets, posies and buttonholes in our spring macaroon colours. Chris is an artist with flowers and his bouquets and buttonholes, plus other floral decorations, are sure to bring a little of the outside into your venue.   The pink bridal bouquet and flowergirl posy featured roses and lilies, interspersed with gypsophila and purple statice. Chris’ yellow bride’s bouquet of bright tulips and gypsophila was liquid sunshine for a spring wedding, as was the smaller flowergirl posy with yellow and pale lemon roses. The third bridal bouquet, a cascading stream of foamy white, featured Casablanca lilies, white roses, pussy willows and complimentary green foliage, the shape of which worked particularly well in the chapel setting. The men’s button holes were kept simple - a pink rose and yellow rose - just enough to add a splash of springtime colour to their suits.


There was an audible gasp as Anne Gliddon from Pretty Amazing Cakes showed us the cake she’d made for our shoot. A three tiered creation, exquisitely decorated in fondant

icing in shades that made your mouth water, and covered in hand-crafted icing roses. These roses were a labour of love, taking Anne several nights to complete. The finishing touch? A beautiful double bird motif on the top tier, symbolic of spring and the new beginnings of the season, as well as two people being joined in matrimony. Anne also created small cupcakes in gorgeous purple wrappers which, topped with Kirsten’s “I do” flags, were a decoration in their own right. Since opening Pretty Amazing Cakes in 2011, Anne has worked her culinary magic in batter and sugar for wedding, birthday and other celebration cakes. Whether you’re after a vintage lace hatbox, a toadstool cottage or a confection bursting with dolly mixtures, Anne can bring your vision to delicious life.


Our happy couple, Lorena and Ismail, are both Bristol based–Ismail, who came from modelling agency Mustard Models, is a student here, and Lorena is a professional model and actress, originally from Spain but now based in the West Country. This was Ismail’s first shoot as a groom, but Lorena is an old hand at wedding shoots, having been a bride several times before.

Together with our flowergirl and pageboy Isabelle and Joshua, they created a wedding party that exuded joy and happiness!


Bristol Vintage looked out its prettiest pastel china for our shoot to go with our macaroons theme. Our cups and teapots were selected by Ali Cook, who runs the company along with Katie Daniels. Bristol Vintage is a treasure trove of beautiful items for your wedding day or other event, including crockery, bunting and jugs even wind up gramophones! As well as using its own in-house items, Ali and Katie are happy to source other vintage items as required. The company also organises vintage wedding fairs to bring together the best vintage and vintageinspired suppliers in the area, with the next one taking place on Sunday 10th March at Clifton Pavilion


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be inspired BeInspired


OF MAGIC Jacqui Lewis visits the Aztec Hotel and Spa to experience what they can offer bride and grooms to be.


very wedding should have a hen and stag do, but if the traditional night on the town with “L” plates and being tied to a lamppost is not your cup of tea, then the range of pre-wedding celebrations at the Aztec Hotel and Spa could be the ideal solution to get your wedding celebrations off to a flying start. This 4 star hotel offers a number of options for hen and stags looking to celebrate, including tribute party nights, pamper packages, girls’ nights in and wine nights. The Aztec is handily located near to the M4/M5 interchange in Aztec West, Almondsbury, and is sure to surprise you with its wow factor first impression. From a sleek modern exterior, you enter a hotel that has beautiful panelled country house feel, giving the Aztec its unique character, and a warmer welcome will be hard to find. My own wedding reception was held at the Aztec

14 years ago and the hotel and staff are as wonderful now as they were on my wedding day. My mum and I were lucky enough to attend one of the Aztec’s tribute nights in November, which gave us a taster of what a hen or stag party would experience. Priced at only £38 per person, the tribute night is fantastic value as it includes a 3-course meal with coffee and wine, hotdogs at midnight and great entertainment. We were greeted by fire eaters at the hotel entrance and a red carpet walkway, before entering the beautifully decorated room. We were then served a fantastic 3-course meal followed by coffee, which also included half a bottle of wine. Following the meal we eagerly awaited the main event – a Queen tribute act - and we weren’t disappointed. The band were amazing and covered all of Queen’s big hits, ensuring mum and I left feeling elated after such a ➻

Enjoy a meal in the cosy dining room followed by a stay overnight in one of the Aztec’s luxurious bedrooms


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good evening’s food and entertainment. In fact, we enjoyed the evening so much we have booked to go to their Michael Bublé tribute party night in February. Other themed party nights coming up include Grease, Dirty Dancing and James Bond. Since my mum was getting married in December, we decided to treat ourselves to another of the Aztec’s pre-wedding celebrations and take her to the spa for a day of pampering. The bride plus my sister, niece and I arrived on a frosty morning to a warm welcome from spa manager Becky Harraway, who gave us all a hot drink while she explained what was planned for our day ahead. The spa is happy to discuss and tailor your hen package to suit all guests and budgets, and you can also include bar snacks, tapas or a more formal lunch. We had been excited for days about our pamper session and we were each looking forward to a relaxing facial and body polish, plus use of the facilities which includes a relaxation area, 13 metre swimming pool, Jacuzzi, steam room and sauna. Our two therapists, Hollie Wearing and Holly Stone, were very experienced and have provided treatments for hen parties ranging from four guests to 20. The facial included three cleansing

stages all of which were tailored to our skin type. This was then followed by eye massage using 24-hour replenishing eye moisturiser; a face massage using one of 3 different oils; a shoulder massage and facial pressure points massage using slow movements. “This was truly the best facial I have ever had!” exclaimed my mum. Following this was a 25 minute body polish, using ESPA aloe vera body polish, after which we all felt glowing, relaxed and radiant. After a chance to lounge by the pool and laze in the sauna, Hollie led us through to the 4-star restaurant where we were greeted by two impeccably dressed waiters popping Champagne corks ready to pour us Bucks Fizz. We were seated at a lovely table next to the beautiful roaring log fire and within a few minutes the waiters brought us the chef’s fantastic selection of tapas. This included crispy prawn twists, stuffed peppers, baked goat’s cheese, crispy pork and teriyaki sauce and olives, all of which were beautifully presented. The delicious food and drinks were the perfect way to end a magical relaxing day – a hen experience to truly remember. To combine the best of the hotel’s food and

Jacqui and her party enjoyed the use of the pool as part of their pamper day

pampering, the Aztec also has three “girls’ night packages” to choose from which are the ultimate night in with your favourite girls, staying in a 4-star hotel where you don’t have to worry about taxis home or getting cold and wet. All you need to do is just pack your PJs and look forward to a great girly get-together. The packages include “the classic girls’ night in”, with a goody bag for everyone on arrival, use of the spa facilities, overnight accommodation in a luxurious guest room, a finger food supper served in your room and a selection of chick flick DVDs and popcorn. “The girls’ night out” is a chance to dress to impress, with cocktails and dinner served in the restaurant, pre-dinner cocktails in the bar, a delicious 3-course dinner with the option of dessert in your room if you want to settle down and watch a film, half a bottle of wine per person plus a goody bag for everyone on arrival and a £30 gift card to spend on ESPA products online. Another great hen and stag do option is a wine dinner, where you enjoy a five course dinner with wines presented by the makers themselves, with each course designed to perfectly complement the wines selected for the evening. As with the other Aztec packages, this is great value starting from just £39.50 per person. If you’re a hen or stag currently planning your special night, events manager Lauren Manning is happy to discuss options with you and the hotel can tailor most packages to suit your party – to paraphrase Queen, if you want to have a good time, give her a call!


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Sunday 27th January, Sunday 17th March, Monday 6th May, Sunday 7th July, Sunday 8th September, Sunday 17th November All showcases 11am - 2pm

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Our waspish queen of style, Sharon Diamond, looks at what’s hot and what’s not this season.


anapés…And lots of them! Who wants to feel bloated on their wedding day? A three course meal is always pleasant, but a lot of people struggle to finish three courses at the best of times, often regretting finishing the moment that last spoonful has passed their lips and reached their hips. Canapés offer variety and manageable portions, and often have much more care taken on the preparation and presentation than a hefty main course. Vintage cars The elegance, timeless glamour and class vintage cars exude will never be beaten by new and passing crazes which see the likes of double decker buses, VW campervans or rickshaws transporting the bride to the venue. Always in, never out. Soft and pretty Gone are the days when every facet of your wedding look had to be perfectly groomed and coiffed. Hardened with hairspray dos are a thing of the past, with modern brides preferring a natural look. While Kate Middleton’s wedding look was next to perfect and we can hardly fault her on it, Kate Moss’ style exuded a comfortable and effortless beauty. Her hair fell in loose beachy waves and her make-up was barely there, creating an ethereal look. Bespoke jewellery Creating a unique necklace or bracelet can make you feel extra special on your big day. Local jewellers Clifton Rocks can create a personal modern design with stones, settings and gold or silver chosen by you. The store offers a charming



array of birthstones; you could choose a combination of yours and your grooms to produce a meaningful accessory to your outfit. Va va voom Undoubtedly, you should look and feel amazing on your wedding day, but it’s not all about the angelic innocent look. If you’re more of a screen siren, you shouldn’t feel restricted and tone down your usual look completely. Add a touch of red lipstick to exude drama and allure. Use lip liner to outline and fill in the lips, working in the stain for a longer lasting colour, then glaze over with a high quality lipstick for a professional finish. Photobooths If you want to add a bit of frivolity to the reception, then look no further. Photobooths are brilliant fun, retrocool and capture an evening of wonderful memories for guests to take away with them and cherish forever. They often come with props such as hat, glasses and wigs to experiment with for some truly amusing snaps.


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hafed heels There is a high probability you won’t be wearing your wedding shoes before the day, so to avoid painful redness appearing at the back of your heel and to stop them slipping, invest in a pair of Blingbacks. The soft silicone membrane protects the heel, but is ingeniously concealed by a glittering design which hangs over the back of the shoe. Not only are they practical but they add an extra bit of sparkle. Cupcakes Get off that bandwagon. Cupcakes are fun, bite sized creations with exquisite melt-in-the-mouth toppings, but haven’t they been somewhat overdone now? For a refined celebration cake, choose the ultimate French wedding classic, the towering croquembouche. Proudly standing tall is layer upon layer of carefully assembled profiterole, with a deliciously creamy vanilla filling and a crunchy caramel shell. C’est délicieux! Traditional hen parties L plates, strippers and dubious dares, is that really how you want to remember your hen party? It isn’t your last night of freedom; it’s the beginning of a new journey with the man you love. It shouldn’t be a night of mistakes or dreadfully tacky pink feather boas. For the girls who still just want a party, go to a few cocktail bars, dance the night away, and wear the most ridiculously high heels, but please, leave the L plates behind. Choreographed first dances We have all seen the

Above: Stack rings by Clare Chandler at Clifton Rocks, which


YouTube videos where unexpected music erupts and the bride and groom take to the floor, busting out the moves to a comic routine carefully practised in their lounge for weeks. Something deep inside just cringes at the thought of a beautiful bride in her dress dancing to ‘Baby Got Back’ while her groom sings off key and Grandma watches on in horror. Block colours As spring blossoms and delicate colours appear in flowerbeds, it seems unnatural to use block or primary colours in your wedding palette. Use softer tones or graduated colours to break up harsh colours. Too much primary blues or reds and it could end up looking like a jubilee celebration. Over-the-top headpieces …à la Carrie Bradshaw in the Sex and the City movie. It was certainly an interesting decision to have an actual bird on her head, and the colour was brilliantly vivid, but I don’t think even our darling Carrie can pull that bizarre look off. The gown, however, was divine.



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It’s been around a while, but Benefit’s High Beam is still one of our favourite products, and the perfect one for perking up winter-dulled skin. It’s described by Benefit as “the supermodel in a bottle” and we have to agree! This highlighter instantly accents your cheek and brow bones with a beautiful satiny glow, which looks great in wedding photographs too. What’s even better is that a little goes a long way and one bottle will keep you looking radiant well past your wedding. W: WWW.BENEFITCOSMETICS. CO.UK


We round up the best bridal beauty products for spring.

If your skin is feeling the need for some rejuvenation after the winter, then it’s good news for you as cult product REN is now available at Marks and Spencers Cribbs Causeway, Bristol. Since its launch in 2000, REN has earned a deserved following with its range of products that only use 100% plant or mineral derived ingredients, missing out any synthetic nasties. From products that are suitable for all skin types to specific anti-ageing products or ones to treat problem, dry or combination skin, REN has a lotion or potion that will give you the perfect solution for your face and body. For a special treat pre-wedding, why not try the Moroccan Rose Otto range? This uses one of the world’s most expensive and potent essential oils to create products that will make you look and feel a little sweeter! And the men aren’t forgotten either: grooms can get their skin into tip top condition with REN’s shaving range including Tamanu High Glide shaving oil and Multi-Tasking After Shave Balm. W: WWW.RENSKINCARE.COM


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Although warmer weather is just around the corner, it’s still important to protect your skin from the harsher elements of spring, which is where Lanolips comes in. Made from ultra-pure medical grade lanolin, Lanolips’ products will ensure your skin is moisturised and protected, whether sunshine or showers. We love the 101 Ointment for lips, which literally melts between your fingers into a clear emulsion and ensures your lips stay chap-free. Another favourite is Golden Ointment, an all-round body balm containing manuka honey and vitamin E, which can be used to moisturise those stubbornly dry patches. W: WWW.LANOLIPS.COM/UK


If your nails aren’t quite up to scratch for displaying your engagement ring, then imPRESS by Broadway Nails could help you make your hands a lot more photo-friendly. These glue-less, flexible gel nails give you seven days of perfect polish. All you have to do is size the nails to your natural nails, peel off the adhesive tab and then stick onto your nail from the cuticle downwards – a manicure made easy! What’s even better is that they won’t damage your natural nails, and they’re also perfect if you’re a secret nail biter who’s trying to kick the habit in time for the big day. Whether you want a classic pink colour or fancy something a bit funkier, the range of imPRESS nails caters for all tastes, and will take you from the engagement party to the hen do to your wedding day in style. W: WWW.IMPRESSMANICURE.COM

Planning your menu, writing out invitations, poring the internet for reception ideas… sometimes wedding planning can keep you up into the wee sma’s. If this is the case and your eyes are suffering, a new eye treatment from Indeed Laboratories could be the fix you need. Eysilix eye cream immediately stimulates, emergises and hydrates fatigued skin tissues, giving you the appearance of smoother, more youthful peepers. The unique formula of ten active peptides and botanical extracts work to freeze the eye area muscles, promising an immediate reduction in the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles – everything a stressed bride-to-be needs!



For eyes that say wow on your wedding day, enhance your natural eyelashes with Kiss Haute Couture Lashes. Cashmere soft and oh so lightweight, these lashes can be curled, styled and lengthened with mascara just like your normal lashes. Whether you want dramatic sultry eyes or just to give your natural lashes a little boost, there’s a style for you. Each pack also comes with an applicator to facilitate the application process for beginners along with mini adhesive. Kiss Haute Couture lashes cost from £4.49 up to £16.99 and are available from Boots stores nationwide.




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o be honest, in all my youthful fantasies about My Perfect Wedding not one of them included me, the bride, pregnant. However, in December 2012, that’s exactly what I was.   The average couple in the UK takes 12 months to conceive and so after several months of trying we decided to stop worrying and trying so hard and concentrate on the whole getting married thing instead. The next month, after The Proposal, who’d have thought, there we were with those hoped for, dreamed of two lines on a pregnancy test and, as they say, a bun in the oven cooking slightly slower than a wedding cake! Being pregnant affected very few of our original plans but did require a little more coordination and thought. In this article I will share some parts of my journey as a pregnant bride as well as a few helpful hints if you find should yourself in the same joyous situation.




, e b o t e d i r B MUM TO BE Rachel Barnett shares her experiences of planning a wedding while also planning for her first baby.

The timing was suspiciously close and we were on the receiving end of a few raised eyebrows and wry smiles. It was exceedingly important, especially to my fiancé, that everyone knew we were engaged before I fell pregnant. In other words, we were getting married because we loved each other, because we’d chosen to, and not because we’d started our family a little out of sequence with our marital bliss (in the traditional order). However, the stigma attached to conceiving out of wedlock is much diminished, certainly in Western secular society, and anyone who makes a pregnant bride feel in any way ashamed or embarrassed should be instantly uninvited - all of our guests were impeccably behaved, thankfully. We had hoped to announce our little arrival at the wedding itself but in the run up I found my bump growing surprisingly quickly and, not wanting people to be wondering if I’d just put on a bit of weight while walking up the aisle, we let everyone know in advance. For us that was certainly the right decision but, had I not been showing, it would have been a show-stopping moment that would have taken everyone’s breath away.


“So, not exactly a white wedding is it?” one relative joked. However, I saw no problem in wearing white or ivory to my wedding - if only virgin brides wore white I’m pretty sure there would be a hell of a lot less bridal shops out there stocking primarily white dresses. The dress I’d chosen before getting pregnant wasn’t appropriate and a few panicked trying on sessions occurred before I found a dress so much more perfect than the first dress that I wondered how I’d ever thought of getting married wearing anything else. A quick Google of “maternity wedding dresses” brought me speedily to Tiffany Rose, providers of sensibly priced and beautifully and intelligently designed maternity dresses ➻ WEST WEDDINGS 69

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Rachel ensured that all elements of her wedding day were pregnancy friendly


TOP TEN TIPS FOR PREGNANT BRIDES to celebrities as well as everyday folk. Bathraised Tiffany says of the company’s ethos: “Tiffany Rose is a British label specialising in beautiful and elegant bridal wear and occasion dresses. Loved by many celebrities including Holly Willoughby and Emma Bunton, every piece is designed and made in Britain. We are passionate about helping women look and feel fabulous during their pregnancy and so we design styles that fit and flatter your growing curves. With high quality fabrics and intricate tailoring, our customers can feel both confident and stunning on their special day.” Modest but still elegant, the dress I settled on had plenty of room for a supportive bra and some massive cotton maternity over the bump knickers, not exactly the satin and silk sexy lingerie I might have hoped for but very comfortable and ones didn’t give me a moment’s concern through the day. A square necked empire line in soft lace over silk with a delicate beaded sash and I felt like I’d stepped right out of Pride and Prejudice. There was room for the bump to swell during the day (and to those readers who haven’t yet experienced the delights of bloating during pregnancy take my word for it - you need that extra room). The dress was perfect in every way. A single strand of pearls left to me by a Great Aunt finished the ensemble and fitted in with the style of the dress. The compliments on my dress flowed along with the non-alcoholic elderflower fizz we served at the reception but most importantly, I felt like my bump and I were suitably dressed for one of the best days of our life; not skin tight but not hiding or apologising for my bump either. Keeping it simple, loose and cool were so important to me. I had a long day to get through with an occasionally very uncomfortable body and I wanted to be able to hug friends and family and dance the night away without worrying about squishing anything (and in the

Leave dress alterations until two weeks before - your body changes so rapidly through pregnancy that the later you can leave the dress the better. Wearing heels might not be the best idea; consider flat shoes (or having some emergency flat ones to change into if your feet start to swell or ache). Take a quiet moment at some point in the day to recharge your batteries - tiredness can hit at any point, so remember to look after yourself andyour baby. This can be a good moment to catch up with Great Aunt Fiona who will almost certainly appreciate a quiet chat. Remember to stay hydrated - ahead of the day ask a bridesmaid to make sure you have a drink of water at regular intervals. Keep an oatcake close at hand in case you feel queasy. If you can choose - get married in your second trimester - it’s when you’ll have the most energy. Be comfortable - surely it’s more important to enjoy your day than not be able to breathe. If you’re planning a choreographed first dance (as we did) keep it simple and let your new husband do all of the fancy footwork - you might want to give the Dirty Dancing style lifts a miss as well. If you’re planning on announcing your pregnancy or the gender of your baby at the wedding think about cool, fun ways to do it - a growing tradition is for the sponge of the wedding cake to be either pink or blue!

event the happiness and adrenaline carried me through without a twinge).


Although certain spa treatments are a no no, before the big day my fiancé and I treated ourselves to some time out from the rest of the world – while he opted for a hot stone massage I had the most glorious ‘mum to be’ facial at my local spa. With all the hormones zipping about, pregnancy skin can get a bit more spotty than usual and so I was delighted to be smoothed and cleansed using safe products and an experienced beautician. It was just the pampering treatment I needed and my skin was soft and spot-free on the day. We also planned our honeymoon specifically around my need to put my feet up and relax after the momentous and emotionally exhausting time during the run up to the wedding. Getting married in December meant we were looking for some winter sun and so settled on a nice hotel on Lanzarote. The Canary Islands are perfect for resting in the sun (with lots of high factor suncream and a broad brimmed hat as pregnant skin is much more susceptible to burning) and we opted for an all inclusive package so worries about spending extra money on holiday were diminished. So for ten days following the wedding we sat in the sun and ate, slept, ate some more and relived our favourite moments from the big day returning back to earth fully revitalised and with an even bigger bump (mostly baby, partly Christmas dinner)!


Involve your fiancé as much as possible with all the planning for the wedding - the more responsibility he takes the more you can concentrate on morning sickness, swollen ankles, extreme tiredness and roller-coaster emotions - all the fun stuff about being pregnant! If my husband and I hadn’t worked together as a team to plan and organise the wedding then we wouldn’t have had the fantastic day that we had. WEST WEDDINGS 71

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venues VENUES



Coral Williamson finds the Grange Country House Hotel to be an idyllic spot.


f you’re searching for a way to escape the urban hustle and bustle, but want to still be within a 17 minute drive of Bristol city centre, get ready to relax in the splendid surroundings of the Grange Country House Hotel, Bristol North. This ideal wedding venue is a 19th century Bath stone manor house among 18 acres of landscaped gardens, meaning the inside is as picturesque as the outside. There’s plenty of space to do something fun outdoors, and you won’t be short of photo opportunities either. The staff at the Grange know that every wedding is different, so they will discuss every specific detail with you, from room layouts to the number of guests, all to ensure that their beautiful wedding rooms provide imagination, flair and the perfect setting. You won’t find a more flexible hotel in North Bristol; whether you’re after an intimate gathering or creating an extravagant affair for all the family, the Grange will look after every detail. For the marriage itself, the Park Suite, with its own bar and French doors opening into the courtyard, can accommodate 180 guests for a civil ceremony or partnership. For a smaller, more intimate wedding, the lounge can hold 70 guests for a civil ceremony, or the restaurant can hold 60. For the celebrations afterwards there are

a range of options from an evening reception to a sit down banquet. You can unwind with refreshments on the conservatory bar terrace and enjoy the shade of a 200-year-old cedar tree, or have dinner in the Acorn restaurant, where you can tuck in to some fine dining as you take in the stunning country views. And with a range of bedrooms available, your guests can relax and enjoy the party, knowing they don’t need to drive home afterwards, with the happy couple enjoying their first married night in one of the two bridal suites. The Grange also prides itself on offering a wide range of quality dishes, using the finest local British flavours. The expertly trained chefs have years of experience so you can savour a delicious wedding day meal. Food and drink packages are designed to suit a variety of tastes and budgets, but if you have anything you want to change, the Grange is happy to discuss your individual requirements and tailor a package to suit you perfectly. There’s also no need to stress about details such as guests with different dietary requirements as the hotel is happy to cater for any special requests. If this hasn’t whetted your appetite enough, you can visit the Grange for an open evening on 18th February, or for the hotel’s own wedding fair on 3rd March from 11am until 3pm.



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A Day To Remember Mercure Bristol North, The Grange Hotel Congratulations on your forthcoming wedding! The Grange Hotel will be there for you every step of the way during this important and exciting time, to assist you with all your wedding needs and to ensure it is the wonderful day you dream of. This elegant country hotel, dating back to 1851, is set in 18 acres of attractive grounds, creating the perfect setting for your wedding. The Grange Hotel sits in beautiful gardens and really is the perfect backdrop for your wedding photographs. Why not have a string quartet on the lawn or a barbeque in the old English gardens, the possibilities are endless.... Facilities available to you: • Dedicated Wedding Consultant • Max capacity for civil ceremony: 150 • Max capacity for reception: 150 • Max capacity for evening reception: 180 • Civil wedding licence • 68 bedrooms • Four poster bed • Complimentary changing room for the bride • Beauty treatments • Sebastian Coe Health Club • Landscaped gardens • Free car parking for 150 cars

For more information or to book a viewing please call on 0844 815 9063 or email us at p73.indd 1

Special £3,000 offer on selected dates up until end of 2013 Your £3,000 package gives you... • A Reception drink to welcome your guests • A three course Wedding Breakfast for 50 guests with tea and coffee • A glass of wine with the meal • A glass of sparkling wine to toast your future happiness • Evening room hire and a finger buffet for up to 75 people

Old Gloucester Road Winterbourne Bristol, BS36 1RP 1/17/2013 4:24:46 PM

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JULY 2012­l­No. 210










Where to eat gluten free




SEPTEMBER 2012 l No. 212

AUGUST 2012 l No. 211

Local entrepreneurs




OCTOBER 2012 l No. 213










Independents day


Fourth of July isn’t just for the Americans. This side of the pond, Mary Portas wants us all to get behind our local businesses, so let’s hear it for the



A POSE Grab a front row seat for BRISTOL FASHION WEEK at The Mall at Cribbs Causeway this September!



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For a list of outlets visit or to advertise in Folio call 0117 942 8491

At County Marquees we don’t just provide marquees... ...we help you to create the perfect atmosphere for your event Next Viewing Weekend 5th, 6th & 7th April Chepstow

EXPERIENCE • CARE • CHOICE 0800 0191933 or 01275 372237

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Summer Weddings 2013 DoubleTree by Hilton Cadbury House

From as little as £2499 for up to 40 guests

• Room Hire for Afternoon and Evening Reception • Private Bar • Reception Drink on arrival (Bucks Fizz, mulled wine or Sparkling Wine) • 3 Course Wedding Breakfast with Glass of Wine • Coffee and Chocolates • Glass of Sparkling Wine for the toast • Decorated tables to include White Linen Table cloths and Napkins, Confetti Sprinkles, T-Lite Candles in Bristol Blue Glass, Fresh Floral arrangments, Helium Balloons, Wedding Cake - stand & knife • Disco for Evening Party • Evening Finger Buffet • Complimentary overnight accommodation with breakfast for the happy couple in a luxury suite • Commitment and Civil ceremonies - £250 (additional registrar charges apply)

Few last remaining dates. February £3499 March £3999 April £4499 June £5499 Up to 70 guests for afternoon and evening in the Great Room or Drawing Room

February £2499 April £3500 May £3500 June £3999 Up to 40 guests for afternoon and up to 70 evening in the Master Room

Feb £3499 March £3999 April £4499 May £4999 June £5499 Up to 70 Guests for afternoon and evening in the Great Room or Drawing Room March/April/May/June from £2499 Up to 40 Guests for afternoon and up to 80 for evening in the Master Room * Offers subject to availability for new bookings only All prices fully incusive of VAT Commitment and Civil ceremonies - £250 (additional registrar charges apply)

Please call Sarah or Leigh on 01934 837248 quoting SSS for available dates and further information

Wedding open house Sunday 3rd March 12 until 4pm

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Chauffeur driven classic1960’s Jaguars in stunning colours for weddings, blessings and civil partnerships Covering Bristol, Bath, South Glos and North Somerset Tel: 0117 9563602


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


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To hire our booth for your special day contact us at or visiting our website

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Offering a slice of country life that’s still near to bustling cities, Jo Golding finds Eastwood Park to be a venue with something for everyone.


f you dream of a country wedding that’s also close to home, Eastwood Park is the place for you. Located in South Gloucestershire, near to Bristol and Gloucester, this charming house has breathtaking views over Berkeley Vale that will leave you astounded. Eastwood Park’s experienced wedding planner, Claire O’Shea, will guide you through those important decisions about the ceremony, meal and evening reception, so that when it comes to your special day, there’s no stress for you. The venue can offer an evening reception for up to 180 guests and the wedding breakfast can cater for up to 110 guests. After exchanging vows in one of the many function rooms, or outside in a marquee for larger parties, the gardens make an exquisite backdrop for your photos. Surrounded by stunning flowers and lush parkland, you can enjoy the view as the photographer snaps away, and your guests can enjoy exploring the grounds. When it comes to the wedding breakfast, Eastwood Park provides a selection of food that will leave everyone’s taste buds satisfied. Why not go for a starter of warmed Somerset

brie wedges with mixed leaves and redcurrant chutney, followed by a main course of grilled chicken breast fillet on a bed of field mushrooms with a white wine cream sauce? For those with a sweet tooth, the rich dark chocolate cheesecake with vanilla pod ice cream will be a treat. If you prefer to keep it casual, you can opt for delicious meats fresh from the barbecue or a hog roast. With a children’s menu too, it couldn’t be easier to delight all of your guests. The main room includes a bar and dance floor where you can make memories with your first dance as husband and wife. After you’ve danced the night away, your guests can relax in one of 69 en-suite bedrooms, while you can enjoy your first night as a married couple in the beautiful bridal suite. With all this on offer, it’s no wonder that the venue is a regional finalist in the National Wedding Industry Awards, a real endorsement as the venue was nominated and voted for by its couples. If you want to see what Eastwood Park could offer you, the venue is inviting visitors to drop in on Tuesday 26th February between 5pm and 7pm, or call Claire to arrange an appointment at a time that suits you.



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Helen Dorritt takes in the historic splendour of Clifton College.


n a quiet, peaceful Bristol street tucked away in the lovely suburb of Clifton, yet just a few minutes’ drive from the city centre, sits Clifton College. Built in 1862, the college is a hidden gem that can provide you with a stunning backdrop for your wedding reception. Surrounded by the school’s Georgian buildings and a large green, you’ll be able to enjoy your wedding reception in true Bristol style. The college can offer a number of options for your reception, whether you’re looking for a low key and intimate affair, or something grand and sumptuous. The cricket pavilion provides a lovely venue for small parties, either with a three course wedding breakfast or a barbecue served outside on picnic rugs, taking in the beautiful surroundings and, on selected days in the summer, watching cricket on the close. The Grand Hall is another option for your reception, holding up to 180

guests, where the oak panelling and large windows bring a flavour of Hogwarts to the surroundings! You can be assured of delicious food from the college’s in-house caterers, who will work with you to plan a menu to suit your taste and your budget. Beautiful touches around the school, such as stained glass windows and carved stone fireplaces, will provide a great backdrop for your photos, and guests can enjoy wandering the extensive grounds, taking in the historic buildings of the area and the unique atmosphere of the college. You can also relax in the knowledge that the venue is exclusively yours for the day, ensuring complete privacy for your celebrations.



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DIRECTION If you’re looking for a countryside wedding venue, Helen Dorritt thinks the Compass Inn is the place to go.


n eighteenth century coaching inn, in five acres of gardens and grounds, nestled in the beautiful South Cotswolds… the Best Western Compass Inn truly is a wonderful wedding venue. And at just a minute’s drive from the M4, it’s easily accessible too. The Compass Inn is fully licensed for civil

weddings and partnerships, meaning you can hold your entire day in this picture-perfect venue. Ceremonies can take place in any of the five licensed rooms, which vary from the cosy Long Bar with its roaring log fire, to the glassroofed Orangery which can seat 100, enhanced in the summer by grapevines and in the winter by twinkling fairy lights. Food at the inn has an emphasis on locally sourced and produced, and you can create a wedding menu that utilises these to the full. From canapés and Champagne to a lavish sit down buffet, barbecues and hog roasts to set two or three course menus, the choice is yours. The extensive wine list also has a particularly unusual selection from South Africa. The inn’s 26 bedrooms will ensure your guests enjoy a good night’s sleep after the festivities, and are able to take a walk in the stunning countryside the day after. The inn also has a beautiful bridal suite where you can spend your first night as a married couple in comfort and style after a fantastic wedding day.



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Clevedon Hall 01275 795 895 •

Wedding Fayre Sunday 24 th February 11am-3pm Clevedon Hall is the perfect venue for your wedding or event in the Bristol and Somerset area

Set in its own grounds, the grand Victorian mansion has a range of unique & versatile rooms with original features that will impress the most discerning visitor. We pride ourselves on amazing service that will exceed your expectations and leave you and your guests with everlasting memories. Excellent deals available for dates in 2013

The Compass Inn



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

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Flexible, Creative and Stylish Weddings

01454 218 242

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Aztec West, Almondsbury, Bristol, BS32 4TS

Prince Street, Bristol BS1 4QF

T: 01454 201090 E: W:

T: 0117 9230333 E: W:

CAPACITY: Up to 150 for Wedding Breakfast and 250 for Evening Reception.

Tormarton, Near Badminton, South Gloucestershire, GL9 1JB

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.

T: 01454 218242 E: W:


Great Pulteney Street, Bath, BA2 4DB T: 01225 388549 E: W: CAPACITY: Up to 100 for a Civil Ceremony, 80 guests for a wedding breakfast and evening reception (inside the Museum) or up to 200 in a marquee FACILITIES: The Holburne Museum is a unique and beautiful venue located in the centre of Bath. Inside the recently restored galleries we can accommodate a reception, wedding breakfast and evening entertainment on the ground floor of the striking new extension. Clerkenwell Green are the exclusive event caters for the Museum and food is what we are passionate about. We look forward to working with you to create your perfect menu and our teams take pride in everything they do and are well versed in making things run smoothly for your dream wedding.

CAPACITY: 26 Bedrooms FACILITIES: An 18th century coaching Inn with modern accommodation set in acres of beautifully kept grounds and gardens. Licensed for civil ceremonies.


Ingleside House, 5 Beeches Road, Cirencester Gloucestershire, GL7 1BN T: 01285 648230 E: info@inglesidecirencester 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.

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 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.

82 West Weddings

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Clevedon, Bristol, North Somerset, BS21 7RQ T: 01275 795 895 E: W: CAPACITY: Rooms and suites suitable for any number of guests, up to 150 seated for wedding breakfast (more with marquee). FACILITIES: Clevedon Hall is the perfect venue for your wedding or event in the Bristol and Somerset area. Set in its own grounds, the grand Victorian mansion has a range of unique & versatile rooms with original features that will impress the most discerning visitor. We pride ourselves on amazing service that will exceed your expectations and leave you and your guests with everlasting memories.


Congresbury, Bristol, BS49 5AD

Falfield, Gloucestershire GL12 8DA

T: 01934 834343 E: W:

T: 01454 262805 W:

CAPACITY: From an intimate 20 guests to 350 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.


CAPACITY: Wedding breakfast 110. Reception 180 (more with marquee). FACILITIES: Magnificent country house within 200-acre private estate with valley views. 69 bedrooms. Licensed for civil weddings and partnerships. Available exclusively.




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Binley Farm, Kingscote, Tetbury, GL8 8YE Mercure T: 01453 Bristol 861161North, The Grange Hotel Old Gloucester Road, Winterbourne E: Bristol, BS36 1RP W:

Mercure Bristol North, The Grange Hotel Old Gloucester Road, Winterbourne Bristol, BS36 1RP

T: 01454 771403 CAPACITY: Ceremony & receptions up to 150 E: guests with up to 180 guests for an evening

T: 01454 771403 E:

reception. CAPACITY: day 150, evening 180 FACILITIES: The Kingscote Barn is a Cotswold Stone Barn which has been sympathetically FACILITIES: Thishighest elegantpossible countrystandards hotel, dating restored to the nestled back set in 18 acres attractive away to in 1851, its ownis secret valley. Theofwarm neutral grounds, creating thedecorate perfect setting your dĂŠcor allows you to the barnforwith your wedding. The Grange in beautiful own individual style andHotel ideas.sits Exposed oak beams gardens really thethe perfect backdrop for of and soft and lighting addis to romantic ambiance your wedding photographs. 68 bedroom four this magical venue. Luxury onsite accommodation. star hotel.

CAPACITY: day 150, evening 180 FACILITIES: This elegant country hotel, dating back to 1851, is set in 18 acres of attractive grounds, creating the perfect setting for your wedding. The Grange Hotel sits in beautiful gardens and really is the perfect backdrop for your wedding photographs. 68 bedroom four star hotel.

Foxholes Lane, Tockington, Bristol BS32 4PG T: 01454 414081 E: W: 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 ÂŁ4million, 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.

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photo gallery PhotoGallery


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David J Brewin Photography Contact David Brewin Telephone 0845 427 7847 Mobile 07977 126281 Website


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Kismet Photography Contact Sonja Barnfield and Harry Hall Telephone 01722 398822 Mobile 07910 216502 Email Web site


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Call Jacqui Jacqui Lewis Lewison on0117 0117934 9343136 3136 Call to advertise in the next issue of West Weddings to advertise in the next issue of West Weddings



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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. and you could be gracing the pages of our next edition.

COMPETITION TERMS & CONDITIONS The winner will be the first entry drawn at random, from all eligible entries. The draws will take place on the following dates and the winner will be contacted accordingly. WIN A WEDDING DRESS: 9.08.13 Postal and online entries to be received by 1.02.13 13.09.13 Winner selected at West Weddings Show and notified before 1.03.13 13.09.13and andwithin withintwo twoyears yearsofofthe thecompetition competition The winner’s wedding date must be six months after 1.03.13 closing date. Special Day and Appletons will award the winner a wedding dress to the value of £1,000. No other items (i.e suits, hats, shoes) can be redeemed as part of this prize. 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 competition and for the prize suppliers to contact you. TERMS & CONDITIONS: Spring 2013 edition: A. General terms and conditions relating to all competitions in West Weddings Autumn 2012 edition: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7.


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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. Unless otherwise specified, all entries must be made using the entry form(s) printed in West Weddings or provided at our wedding fairs and shows or online at No photocopies will be accepted. Only one entry per competition per person is permitted. Prizes are as stated and no alternatives cash or otherwise are available. All entries must be received by the specified closing date (Please refer to relevant competition terms and conditions). West Weddings accepts no liability for any loss, damage or injury caused by any prizes won. Publicity will be given to any competition winners and/or entrants and their names and/or photographs printed across the Bristol News & Media portfolio. By accepting the prize you are agreeing to allow Bristol News & Media the use of at least one of your wedding photographs showing yourself and the relevant prize. The determination and decision of the Editor on all matters will be final and no correspondence will be entered into. The Editor reserves the right in absolute discretion to disqualify any entry competitors, or nominee, add to, or write any rules, or to cancel the whole or part of any competition, game or promotion at any stage withough prior notification. Where Bristol News & Media offers prizes on behalf of an associated company these prizes are provided in their entirety by these associated companies. Bristol News & Media cannot be held responsible for any failure to provide prizes as specified and all enquires in reference to such prizes will be referred to the associated companies. No purchase/payment is required unless stated. If you have agreed to be contacted by Northcliffe Media regarding our products and services, we respect your data privacy; you may modify your preferences and get further information by writing to us at Data Protection, Promotion Dept, Bristol News & Media, Temple Way Bristol BS99 7HD. If the prize you choose exceeds the value stated you may contribute the difference at the discretion of the prize provider. If the prize you choose is less than the value stated no cash/credit will be offered. Standard Bristol News & Media terms and conditions apply. Visit competitionrules Individual prize terms and conditions may apply; please see the competition pages for details.

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Last Word

GOING TO THE CHAPEL Coral Williamson believes that a traditional church wedding is the way to go, but Francesca Clifford encourages couples to think outside the box for their wedding ceremony.


You know what’s truly different? Picking something traditional. There seems to be a strange one-up culture growing around weddings, but just because your friend had her reception on a boat doesn’t mean you need to book a submarine.   Yes, you can get married in a beautiful meadow, but if all you have is a hired marquee or two to protect you from the elements, you might be out of luck when those April showers rear their head. So how about something indoors? Something that was specifically designed to have good acoustics? Something pretty that can be either small and intimate or large and grandiose? That would be a church. Even if you’re not that religious, a church can be a great place to create some special memories on your big day. Those stained glass windows will make a terrific backdrop in your photos, and nothing says ‘wedding’ like classic marriage vows. Just because it’s traditional doesn’t mean it’s boring, and you should never feel forced to have something different just because it’s in season or a little bit quirky. Church weddings never go out of style. And if you are of the opinion that marriage is a religious ceremony, why would you have it anywhere else? To say no to all church weddings is to assume that all church weddings are the same. A church is as unique as your dress, and like your outfit, it’s ultimately it’s your choice. There are hundreds of ways to make a church wedding your dream wedding. And with religious buildings now able to offer civil partnerships too, the church wedding is open to even more couples. If you are worried about looking boring, don’t forget that the ceremony is only one part of a very busy day. Give your guests something to talk about by contrasting a traditional service with a very different reception – if you want to be truly daring and more than a little bit risky, why not have your other half pick one while you pick the other? After all, it’s their big day too.



Deciding on a wedding venue was once one of the more painless issues involved in the often perilous planning process. Today, however, couples are no longer forced to decide simply between a church and the register office, and are holding weddings in inner city warehouses, subterranean lakes and even tree houses. With the opening up of licensed venues, couples can now choose one that expresses their uniqueness and creativity. The ceremony of marriage is historically shrouded in religious connotations, but we are living in an age where religion is a choice rather than an expectation. Church attendance figures are constantly diminishing, indicating that fewer people are being brought up in religious surroundings and consequently searching for an alternative to the traditional path.

This is not to say that church weddings are outdated or unfashionable, but for most, the religious connection just isn’t there anymore. And really, if you’re not religious, should you be using a church as just a pretty venue for your nuptials? Instead, choose a venue that makes you feel at ease; somewhere that really reflects both of your personalities. Remember, this is the most extravagant party you are likely to ever throw, so take the opportunity to let your imagination run free. Don’t immediately think the only option available is the local registry office. We are blessed in the South West with a number of amazing wedding venues, from ships and country manor houses to castles and tythe barns – even a planetarium! Many unique and interesting settings are within your reach, so don’t feel restricted or stifled by convention. Sometimes not going to the chapel is the way to go.

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West Weddings Spring 2013  

West Weddings isa free quarterly Wedding magazine covering Bath, Bristol, Gloucestershire and Somerset

West Weddings Spring 2013  

West Weddings isa free quarterly Wedding magazine covering Bath, Bristol, Gloucestershire and Somerset