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The look of love We host a beautiful spring wedding at the Bowood Hotel, Spa and Golf Resort Spring 2015_cover.indd 1

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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 Bridesmaid dresses and don't forget our Mens Formal Hire, offering the best service and styles for miles! Find us on facebook

(Anne Harding Bristol)


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Martin Dabek Photography

The Anne Harding Bridal Experience

Martin Dabek Photography

Martin Dabek Photography

Formal Suit Hire for Men and Boys

NEW Royal Blue Suits availa in tail ble s


Slim F i Shirts t to Hire

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One of the largest showrooms in Bristol, with an endless choice on waistcoats, cravats and designer suits new for 2015 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. 90-92 Shirehampton Road, Stoke Bishop, Bristol Tel. 0117 9683074 • Weddings WEST

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THE TEAM Editor: Helen Dorritt Writers and contributors: Cath Dean, Verity Gough, Katie Griffiths, Louise Jarndyce, Holly Johnson, Vivienne Kennedy, Suzie Kidger, Iga Kozakiewicz, Rebecca Paddick and Gianina Turner Photoshoot direction: Kirsten Butler Design: Cath Evans Production co-ordinators: Emma Gorton and Ruth Wood Commercial director: Abbie Grant Blog editor: Gianina Turner 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 E: DISTRIBUTION To have a regular free delivery of the magazine to your business contact: Abbie Davies T: 0117 9343626 E: PUBLISHER West Weddings magazine is published by Bristol News and Media, 2nd Floor, Temple Way, Bristol BS99 7HD T: 0117 942 8491

Follow us on Twitter at westweddingsmag, like us on Facebook at westweddingsmag & check out our blog at www.westweddings. FREE COVERING BATH, BRISTOL , GLOUCESTERSHIRE, SOMERSET & WILTSHIRE

Weddings WEST


New season,



The look of love We host a beautiful springtime wedding at the Bowood Hotel, Spa and Golf Resort


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Welcome to WEST WEDDINGS SPRING 2015 As I write this, it’s 4pm, the sky is blue and it’s still light outside, so it definitely feels as if spring is on its way! Traditionally associated with new beginnings, this is a lovely time of year to be tying the knot, and so I hope this issue gives you plenty of inspiration for your planning. And in keeping with this theme, we’ve also given the magazine a fresh new logo and look — I do hope you like it! Bowood Hotel, Spa and Golf Resort was the fabulous venue for our spring photoshoot, where we had the pleasure of working with some lovely local suppliers, the results of which were expertly captured by Martin Dabek Photography. Turn to page 49 to see the final images, and to learn more about the people we were lucky enough said ‘I do’ to our shoot! The pages of this issue are brimming with gorgeous wedding ideas, from showcasing the latest gowns on page 29 to looking at ways to make your first dance special on page 64. And not forgetting the grooms: we’ve got our top tips for stag do planning on page 42 and delve into the always-contentious issue of whether you should ask a woman’s father before you pop the question to her. What do you think? I’d love to hear your thoughts on this topic, and anything else wedding-related — tweet me on @westweddingsmag or drop me an email on west

Helen Dorritt EDITOR

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Contents SPRING 2015

REGULARS 7 WEDDING NEWS A round up of the latest news, events and dates for your diary this season 13 ASK THE EXPERTS Your wedding questions and dilemmas answered 18 REAL WEDDINGS Four couples from the region share all the special details of their big days 41 GROOMS Top tips for stag dos, plus a debate on asking your father-in- law’s permission 45 PLANNER Keep track of those facts and figures in the wedding countdown 46 ONLINE Find out how to get your West Weddings fix in between issues! 82 PHOTO GALLERY Fantastic photography from the best in the West 90 LAST WORD Should it always be your father who gives you away?


18 64


FASHION 29 GOWN GALLERY Be inspired by the latest dresses, including our pick of this season’s bridesmaid styles 49 COVER SHOOT Our wedding showcase at the elegant Bowood Hotel, Spa and Golf Resort is bursting with springtime inspiration

BE INSPIRED 63 64 67 68 70 72

PINBOARD What we’re loving this winter THE CHANCE TO DANCE Planning your first foray onto the dancefloor as a married couple PRINCESS ON A SHOESTRING Anna Bell shares her ideas for planning a budget wedding BEAUTY BIBLE The best new products for spring BRIDESMAID SURVIVAL GUIDE How to be the best ‘maid a bride could ask for STATIONERY TRENDS FOR 2015 Holly and Cath from The Paper Bride showcase their favourite looks


VENUES 75 A selection of the region’s best places to celebrate your “I do”

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Vintage glamour on four wheels The Atwell-Wilson motor museum in Calne, Wiltshire, is more than just a collection of classic cars for motor enthusiasts to drool over – these gorgeous vehicles can also be part of your wedding day. The museum has an impressive range of 13 cars available for hire, including a 1929 Model T Ford, 1970 Daimler limousine and a 1952 Austin Sheerline. With such an impressive collection, there are lots of options for you to find wedding transport that perfectly matches the look you’re going for. If the Great Gatsby is your W-Day inspiration, then the 1932 Morris Major in petrol blue is just the thing. Love Americana? The 1967 white Cadillac Sedan Deville will be right up your street. And with prices starting at just £240, this is a great way to bring some retro chic to your day. ATWELL-WILSON MOTOR MUSEUM STOCKLEY LANE, CALNE, WILTSHIRE SN11 0NF T: 01249 813119 W: WWW.ATWELLWILSON.ORG.UK

pretty e m r e p m Pa The Swan Hotel in Wells has recently launched a range of new spa treatments as part of its weddings package. Teaming up with Lisa Mann of Love Your Skin, the hotel can offer brides, grooms and their guests treatments such as massage, facials, manicures and pedicures. Lisa has over 20 years’ experience as a therapist and will provide the perfect pre-wedding treat to relax you before the big day, right in the comfort of your own bedroom at the hotel or in her beauty clinic in Wells. A regional finalist for Wedding Venue of the Year at the 2014 Wedding Industry Awards, the Swan offers a delightful ceremony and reception venue in the heart of this historic city, plus a honeymoon suite that’s the perfect start to married life, including an opulent free-standing brass bath. And how many venues can boast a terrace overlooking one of the UK’s most iconic cathedrals? BEST WESTERN PLUS SWAN HOTEL SADLER STREET, WELLS, SOMERSET BA5 2RX T: 01749 836300 W: WWW.SWANHOTELWELLS.CO.UK

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e g e



h es.



New season, new services T

here’s lots happening this season at Bristol bridal boutique Anne Harding, with fantastic additions to its in-store services and two fab sales in March and May. As well as its gorgeous range of bridal dresses, bridesmaid attire and menswear, the store now offers a full dressing service to brides and their bridal party on your wedding day. Available to attend your venue or home, Anne Harding dressers are trained to take the stress out of getting ready. This service is particularly appreciated by those who have corset tie dresses, as your dresser will ensure your dress fits to perfection with the minimum of effort from yourself. If you decide to come into the shop for a Saturday appointment, there will now be a small non-refundable fee of £20 which you will receive as a gift voucher to use against any purchase in store. This fee has been introduced to ensure ladies shopping on this busy day are genuine brides and to eliminate no-shows. With the introduction of this fee, you are guaranteed to get a fully trained specialist for your appointment to give you their expertise, advise on styling,

details, suitable colours, shapes and so much more — ultimately assisting you to find exactly what you have been looking for. And, for those with busy diaries, you can now also shop for your dream dress on a Sunday, as Anne Harding is offering a VIP opening for brides to have exclusive use of the shop one Sunday a month. The appointment will last 1.5 hours and will cost £100 to book, available on the last Sunday of the month, with dates for this spring being Sunday 28th February, Sunday 28th March and Sunday 25th April with a range of appointment times. On arrival customers will be served tea, coffee or buck’s fizz and have complementary nibbles. A £50 gift voucher will be presented to the bride to spend in store. Add this to the massive sale on Saturday 21st March, where dresses will be available to buy from just £400, plus an Essense designer day on 23rd May to preview the 2016 gowns and receive 10% off, and you’ve got lots of great reasons to pop in for a visit! ANNE HARDING 90-92 SHIREHAMPTON ROAD, BRISTOL BS8 2DR T: 0117 968 3074 W: WWW.ANNEHARDING.COM

A date for your diary Brunel’s Old Station in Bristol’s city centre is playing host on 7th-8th March to the West of England wedding show, a fair featuring over 100 local suppliers for your big day. Organised by Perfect Wedding Shows, the show is even bigger than last year’s event at UWE, with everything under one roof from dresses, florists, jewellery, honeymoons, venues and much more. You’ll be able to access exclusive on-the-day discounts for a number of products, including your dress, and to give you some fashion inspiration, the show will feature a number of catwalk shows highlighting bridalwear, grooms’ outfits, mother of the bride outfits and occasionwear. And when you need to have a little break from the planning and refuel, you can grab a cup of tea and a slice of cake in the Vintage Tea Room. Handily located mere steps from Temple Meads Station, the Old Station is a beautiful venue and one which is also easily accessed by bus and car, with lots of parking nearby. If you’re a bride-to-be, you can get in for free alongside another full paying adult, and with tickets priced just £5 when bought before 6th March, this is a wedding fair that’s not to be missed. THE WEST OF ENGLAND WEDDING SHOW W: WWW.PERFECTWEDDINGSHOW.CO.UK


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Happy birthday to The Wedding Works! This year sees the fifth birthday of The Wedding Works on Gloucester Road in Bristol, an inspired destination store for all things wedding and events which is a must-visit for anyone organising a wedding, anniversary or special party. It has been described by its clients as “a wedding fair on the high street”, “a walk-in wedding and events website”, “all things party under one roof” and “beautiful, inspiring with a warm, inviting, friendly atmosphere”, so you should definitely plan a visit if you’re planning a wedding! Owner Peri, who is also the venue dresser and room stylist for the business, opened this ‘under one roof’ concept in October 2010, having many years of wedding and event experience behind her. She brought in some of the better-known businesses within the area to come together and offer their clients a unique, stress free, time saving service all in one place. Within The Wedding Works you will find a comprehensive range of suppliers to help you create your perfect day, including Studiowise Photography, Debange Stationery, Celebration Sweets, Kimberley’s the Florist, Celebrations Stands, Chair Covers by RubyJo, PERIdesigns Ltd, The Icing Centre, Taylor’s Video and Movementor Choreography. You can also visit The Wedding Works at a number of wedding fairs this season, further details of which are on the shop’s website. THE WEDDING WORKS 427 GLOUCESTER ROAD, BRISTOL BS7 8TZ T: 0117 942 1770 W: WWW.THEWEDDINGWORKSBRISTOL.CO.UK

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Join the revolution! A new world of interactive content goes live today! Download the Bristol Post augmented reality (AR) app for your Apple or Android device from the App Store or Google Play for exclusive content only Bristol Post AR users can access…

Welcome to



Augmented Reality (AR)

By downloading a free app on to your smartphone or tablet you can bring the photograph to life using the power of a new technology called Augmented Reality (AR). To access bonus content on this page simply follow the easy 1-2-3 steps:

We will listen to your ideas and offer our ideas to help you create your dream individually styled beautiful wedding flowers. From a single bouquet to an army of bridesmaids and button holes.

Download the Bristol Post AR app from the App store (Apple) or Google Play (Android).


Scan the photo to see more...

Scan the photo wherever you see this icon.

Open the app with a simple tap.

Point your device at the photo above and the photos on the pages where you see the AR content logo pictured above — and wait for the surprise. Double tap for a full-screen image.

We will guide you through the whole experience and help you add the special details that make the difference between a good event and a fantastic unforgettable one. Friendly / experienced / helpful / professional staff that will take the stress away from you.

3 Chelford Grove, Stoke Lodge, Bristol BS34 6DD Tel 01454 856 737 email web

Nestled amid the enchanting ancient woodland of the Forest of Dean, you’ll fi nd Whitemead find Forest Park - the perfect setting for your wedding celebration. With breathtaking views over rolling green lawns and acres of private grounds, across to the stunning forest surroundings, we have the experience and facilities to exceed every dream of your special day. - Catering for up to 180 guests - Tailor-made wedding packages - 33 acres of stunning private grounds - Flexible accommodation packages - A dedicated wedding coordinator, ensuring the smooth running of your day Booking terms and conditions apply, available upon request or online at


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Parkend, Lydney, Gloucestershire, GL15 4LA


To find out more, please contact us on 01594 560 400 or

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Bathed in splendour


he Wedding Show in Bath is the true highlight of the season for this stylish West Country city, so make sure you put Sunday 31st May in your diary now! This superb show takes place in the Assembly Rooms, one of Bath’s most prestigious venues, which has been at the heart of the city’s social life since the 18th century. With its original Whitefriars crystal chandeliers, high ceilings and portraits by Gainsborough and Ramsay, this Grade I listed building makes a stylish and truly historical setting for a wedding or civil partnership. There are four stunning rooms on the ground floor, designed for large assemblies and therefore perfect for ceremonies, drinks receptions and wedding breakfasts, and the show is a great opportunity to see the venue set up in all its glory. The Bath Wedding Show beautifully blends splendour with talented and professional wedding suppliers from the area; offering a range of services from breath-taking bridalwear, stunning venue décor and exquisite weddings rings to amazing floral displays, tantalising cakes, and creative photographers — the list is almost endless! Entry is free, and if you would like to avoid the queues you can pre-register for ‘No Q Tickets’ in advance, saving you time on the day. And there’s also a show to follow in autumn on Sunday 13th September. THE BATH WEDDING SHOW W: WWW.THEBATHWEDDINGSHOW.CO.UK FA: WWW.FACEBOOK.COM/BATHWEDDINGSHOW


A little light reading


eed a break from your wedding planning and fancy reading about someone else’s? Anna Bell’s latest novel Don’t Tell the Brides-To-Be is the perfect choice for you! It’s the final in a trilogy about Penny Robinson, who in this installment is starting her own wedding planning service for cost conscious couples. Anna has also shared her own real-life experiences about planning a wedding on a budget, which you can read over on page 67. DON’T TELL THE BRIDESTO-BE BY ANNA BELL IS PUBLISHED BY QUERCUS AND COSTS £7.99

Off to Folly Farm


fter all the Christmas, New Year and Valentine’s proposals, national wedding blog Off to Wed is busy planning its next wedding fair for newly-engaged couples. Staying true to its Bristol and Bath roots, Off To Wed will be hosting this year’s event at the Folly Farm Centre in Pensford on Sunday 1st March from 11am-4pm. Accompanied by a wide range of wedding suppliers who will be on hand to share their advice and insight on wedding planning, the event takes a personal, almost boutique approach, with lots of exciting independent exhibitors. The decision to hold the event at The Folly Farm Centre seems particularly fitting in light of Bristol’s recent achievement at becoming the European Green City. Set on a 250-acre nature reserve, owned and managed by the Avon Wildlife Trust, this rural retreat certainly has its green credentials intact. And whether you’re planning a green wedding or a traditional white affair, Folly Farm is definitely worth visiting. The views and surrounding countryside create the perfect backdrop for a wedding, but what makes this venue really special is that you can hire it for the whole weekend — meaning that your big day become a big weekend. So head over to the fair to get a taste for what this venue and other suppliers can do for your wedding day! OFF TO WED WEDDING FAIR THE FOLLY FARM CENTRE, STOWEY, PENSFORD, BRISTOL BS39 4DW T: 07533 848807 E: HELLO@OFFTOWED.CO.UK W: WWW.OFFTOWED.COM

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Wedding woodland wonder If you’ve always pictured saying your vows surrounded by trees, then new wedding venue Whitemead Forest Park could be just the place for you. Nestled amid the enchanting ancient woodland of the Forest of Dean, with breathtaking views over rolling green lawns and acres of private grounds across to stunning forest surroundings, the park provides a spectacular location for a wedding reception. You’ll have plenty of options to make your day your own, with a range of packages on offer to suit all budgets, and lots of extras to make the day more special such as candy carts and cheeseboards. You can also get pampered beforehand in the park’s health and beauty salon, which offers manicures, massages and more. The party doesn’t need to stop on the wedding day, either, as there is accommodation available for your guests in over 60 units and 100 caravan and camping pitches, so they can make a weekend of it. And this is no ordinary campsite — there’s an onsite indoor pool, sauna, steam room and Jacuzzi for those needing to ease into the day after, and a gym for those feeling more active! WHITEMEAD FOREST PARK PARKEND, LYDNEY, GLOUCESTERSHIRE GL15 4LA T: 01594 560400 E: WEDDINGS@WHITEMEAD.CO.UK W: WWW.WHITEMEAD.CO.UK 11

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Artisan Wedding Florist Photo Dabek

Bristol, Bath & beyond

Captivating vintage-inspired designs that exude your wedding day dreams Complimentary couples consultation with tea and cake provided Preferred supplier for a number of venues of distinction: Old Down Manor, Thornbury Castle, Walton Castle, The Old Manor Hotel

Contact Adele to discuss ideas

07722 383601 tincanforal@ ©LW

You deserve to look as special as we believe you are!

Martin Dabek Photography

“cheriSh the dreSS” pre loved dreSSeS Probably the largest selection of accessories in a boutique in the uK Visit the boutique BrideZillAS ltd, 10 SAndy pArk roAd BriSlington, BriStol, BS4 3pe 0117 9043039 12

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Reception entertainment, colour schemes, groom’s accessories?

. .. s t r e p x e e h t k s a o t d e e You n These useful tips from our industry experts will leave you stress free

Props to you

All that glitters

Top it off

Question: My fiancé and I would like something fun and interactive for guests to take part in at our reception. Do you have any ideas?

Question: I’d like to have gold as a colour, either for my bridesmaids or my table dressings. Which flowers will go with this?

Question: I really want to look my best on my wedding day and not just be standing there in a plain suit. Do you have any ideas for fun groom accessories?

Jenny McAllister, Bath

Melanie Davis, Trowbridge

Mark Ward, Bristol

Jordan from The Digital Studio Booth says:

Adele from Tin Can Floral says:

Lee Frost from Anne Harding says:

Answer: What better way to have fun and unwind at your reception than with a photo booth? It’s a great way to entertain your guests and, at the same time, you’ll be giving them with a fab photo souvenir from your wedding day. We find that the photo booth is really popular and people of all ages take it instantly. Before you know it, all your guests will be crowding around the booth and props table getting ready for their next pose. In our experience the best time for the photo booth is between the end of the meal and midway though the evening party. During this time, all the formalities of the day are over and everyone is ready to relax and enjoy the rest of the evening. Your guests can also include a copy of their photos when they sign your guestbook, leaving you with a fun keepsake that will be cherished.

Answer: I’ve noticed a change in the colour palettes my brides are choosing this year, with bold colours and metallics emerging as the strongest leaders, and I’ve received a number of enquiries featuring navy blue being teamed with gold. This works well with white/ivory flowers and the navy and gold can be brought in subtly with the finishing touches. I sometimes add a touch of gold to the foliage to bring the look together. If your bridesmaids are wearing pale gold or neutral dresses you can opt to make a statement with your flowers by using bold colours in your bouquets — deep pinks or earthy reds both team well with this shade. Regardless of your chosen colour palette, 2015 weddings are tipped to be all about the flowers. My advice is book your florist early and go for individuality and impact!

Answer: I love it when my grooms wanto to inject a bit of personality into their outfit — why should brides have all the fun when it comes to dressing up? The first thing to consider is what you’re going to wearing as your main suit/outfit, as your accessories will hinge on this. If you’re planning on wearing a traditional top hat and tails, then canes are a stylish and fun accessory — with the added bonus of being able to have some Fred Astairestyle fun in the photos with them, too! I always suggest to my grooms and their party that they colour co-ordinate their socks with the cravat colour, which also makes a fun photo if you line up and lift one trouser leg each. Also, don’t forget smaller accessories such as cufflinks, tie pins and even a pin badge on your lapel, all of which are great ways to ensure your outfit reflects your personality.




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Finding The One L

ooking for a designer dress but without the designer price tag? Then head to the Bristol Bridal Boutique, where you may well find the dress of your dreams at a price that’s very down to earth. The brainchild of Laura McFadden, who wore a Jenny Packham sample dress for her own 2009 wedding, the boutique has a range of sample and second hand dresses from designers such as Suzanne Neville, Lusan Mandongus, Stephanie Allin, Jenny Packham, Sassi Holford and more. Run from Laura’s Southville home, all dresses are ready to take away on the day. “It’s my goal to help you find your perfect dress,” says Laura. “I can guarantee you will have a friendly, honest and fun experience with me — with a glass of bubbly thrown in for good measure!” BRISTOL BRIDAL BOUTIQUE E: LAURA@BRISTOLBRIDALBOUTIQUE.CO.UK W: WWW.BRISTOLBRIDALBOUTIQUE.CO.UK

Vintage glamour

Perfect paper If you can’t get enough of retro chic and want a wedding inspired by a bygone age, then you need to head down to the Bristol Vintage wedding fair on Sunday 8th March. Held at the beautiful Art Deco Clifton Pavilion at Bristol Zoo, this fair is full of gorgeous and inspiring suppliers, from the hair styling of Beehive Brides to the flowers of Ruby & the Wolf and Brown in Town tailors. Entry is free, and it will be opening its doors from 10am. BRISTOL VINTAGE WEDDING FAIR W: BRISTOLVINTAGEWEDDINGFAIR.BLOGSPOT.CO.UK


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South West stationery lovers rejoice! Bristol-based journalists Holly Johnson and Cath Dean have combined their two passions for weddings and craft and have launched a new blog, The Paper Bride, which aims to champion the beautiful stationery and papercraft available in the UK. As well as design inspiration, real weddings, top trends and DIY ideas, the blog will also give its readers plenty of practical advice to get the perfect wedding stationery, as well as tips on wording etiquette, timescales for sending invites and much, much more. The blog’s accompanying Pinterest page is a treasure trove of beautiful images and a great place to get inspiration. If this sounds like your (paper) cup of tea, head over to p72 where Holly and Cath are sharing the latest wedding stationery trends. THE PAPER BRIDE E: HELLO@PAPERBRIDEBLOG.COM W: WWW.PAPERBRIDEBLOG.COM P: WWW.PINTEREST.COM/PAPERBRIDEBLOG

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Love ctuallywe

Start your planning today


ewly engaged couples will be pleased to hear that Love Actually Weddings, one of the region’s premier wedding fair organisers, is once again hosting a number of fairs at beautiful venues this spring, including Charlton House, Tortworth Court and The Bishop’s Palace. The intimate Charlton House in Shepton Mallet, owned by Dragon’s Den star Duncan Bannatyne, was voted as the UK’s fifth most romantic hotel (The Times, November 2013) and is certainly worth a visit for the fair on 22nd February. The following week, on 1st March, Love Actually is back at the magnificent Tortworth Court Hotel. This venue speaks for itself and is a date in the calendar you surely can’t miss! There are few more stunning wedding venues in Somerset than The Bishop’s Palace in Wells and this event takes place on 8th March. The Bishop’s Palace has played host to lavish hospitality for over 800 years and this unique venue offers you access to a medieval vaulted undercroft, the Palace Long Gallery, outdoor terrace and acres of stunning gardens to stroll across in the evening, perfect as a breath-taking backdrop to those all-important photographs to mark your special day. Admission is always free with Love Actually so it’s a great opportunity to visit a number of stunning wedding venues across our region as well as starting to plan your special day. Organisers Emma and David commented: “We are so lucky to work with such high quality venues, not only because of the wonderful attributes of each, but also the chance to work with a selection of professional wedding suppliers at each fair.” LOVE ACTUALLY WEDDINGS T: 01275 331188 W: LOVEACTUALLYWEDDINGS.CO.UK


Wedding Fayres (11am - 3.30pm, unless specifed) Tortworth Court, Nr Bristol Sunday 1st March The Bishops Palace, Wells Sunday 8th March Hatton Court Hotel, Gloucester Sunday 22nd March Alveston House Hotel, Thornbury Sunday 12th April Bristol Zoo, Summer Special Sunday 7th June Farrington Park, Summer Special, Somerset Sunday 28th June

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

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Back to school P

lanning a Bristol-based wedding? Put Sunday 26th April in your diary, as Bristol Grammar School will be hosting its first ever wedding fair in the historic school’s Great Hall. This is a unique and creative space which provides the perfect atmosphere for the fair, as well as inspiring you to book this venue as the setting for your special day. Nothing exudes grandeur more than the Great Hall with its leaded windows, hammer-beam roof and pillarless floor space which allows up to 380 guests for a seated event. The venue offers a choice of event caterers, and the in-house event team will be on hand to answer any questions you have about hiring the venue for your wedding reception or other special function. The fair will also offer a number of styling ideas, wine and cake tastings, dresses and more, with the aim of giving you an inspiring and entertaining day out with your partner, family and friends. You can purchase tickets for this not-to-be-missed event via the venue’s website. BRISTOL GRAMMAR SCHOOL UNIVERSITY ROAD, BRISTOL BS8 1SR T: 0117 973 6006 W: WWW.BRISTOLGRAMMARSCHOOL.CO.UK/VENUE-HIRE/THE-GREAT-WEDDING-FAIR.ASPX


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Time for a bigger trophy cabinet! Country House Weddings was delighted to have two of its beautiful venues shortlisted for ‘Best Wedding Venue’ at the British Wedding Awards 2015 (formerly the Wedding Ideas Awards). The company, which runs four gorgeous country houses including West Country favourites Clearwell Castle and St Audries Park, was thrilled to be recognised in the awards, in which companies are nominated by brides and grooms. “We want to thank each and every one of our couples that took the time to vote!” says Laura Vodden, marketing and PR executive for Country House Weddings. “We are proud to say that we have kept this crown within our four beautiful venues for the last five consecutive years, and it’s a badge that we proudly display and the teams at our award-winning venues are also pleased to tell our visitors about. Sadly this year we were pipped to the post but next year we will be back fighting! Creating wedding day dreams is what we do best and we are proud when this is recognised.” COUNTRY HOUSE WEDDINGS W: WWW.COUNTRYHOUSEWEDDINGS.CO.UK

A grand entrance W

hen it comes to your wedding, you want to make it unique and special to you, which is why we loved hearing about some recent finishing touches at weddings held at Eastwood Park in South Gloucestershire. “A personal favourite of ours has to be last year when a couple arranged llamas to greet their guests on the terrace as a surprise!” says the venue’s General Manager, Peter Jordan. “Releasing doves also remains a symbolic gesture that many choose. In October we had a stunning Halloween themed wedding, with pumpkin flower arrangements, a spooky table plan and a beautiful autumnal cake to top it off.” He adds: “We’ve also had some couples arrive by a number of methods, from vintage cars to tractors and helicopters to horsedrawn carriages. Whichever manner by which you wish to arrive, you need a venue with the space and the opportunity, and we are fortunate in that we have a long sweeping drive to make a real entrance, extensive grounds safe — and clear enough for a safe landing!” Situated in over 200 acres of beautiful gardens, meadows and fields, Eastwood Park is a beautiful 18th century country house overlooking the Gloucestershire countryside. Big enough to impress but small enough to care, the wedding team at Eastwood Park do their utmost to accommodate your wedding ideas and themes, ensuring that it’s not only unique but matches your dreams. The venue holds a number of wedding drop in evenings throughout the year, with the next one on 24th February, offering you the chance to see this lovely setting for yourself. EASTWOOD PARK WOOTTON-UNDER-EDGE, SOUTH GLOUCESTERSHIRE GL12 8DA T: 01454 262818 E: WEDDINGS@EASTWOODPARK.CO.UK W: WWW.EASTWOODPARK.CO.UK

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The best day of our lives


Rachel Gough and Ali Macfarlane had a dancing-filled wedding at the gorgeous Clifton College


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t’s not often that people can say they met their fiance’s parents before their fiancé, but this was the case for Rachel when, in her role as event manager at Clifton College, she organised husband Ali’s sister’s wedding in December 2011. Ali came to Rachel’s rescue the day before the wedding when she knocked over the Christmas tree at the college and he helped her put the ornaments back on. Keen to get to know Rachel better, he sent over a bridesmaid during the wedding to find out if she was single, and then attempted to start chatting to her, although this didn’t quite go to plan. “Following a little Dutch courage, I approached her to start up a conversation,” says Ali. “I intended on asking her about the wine and to engage her in intellectual verse about such fine things, but I think what must have come out was some drivel about more free drink so she shot off to find some. I was left standing there wondering what had happened! Luckily, a few days later, following some settling up of bills and offering glowing feedback on the day, we exchanged numbers and arranged to go for coffee and our first date.” A New Year’s Eve proposal in Brussels led to plans for an August wedding, and there was no doubt in the couple’s mind where they wanted to get married. Clifton College is usually only a reception venue, as a special licence is needed to be married in the College’s beautiful Chapel, which is only available if you’re an ex pupil or staff member. But luckily Rachel’s job allowed her and Ali to be able to take advantage of this stunning venue. “We didn’t want to miss a fantastic opportunity. The Chaplain is a close colleague of mine, and agreed to marry us before starting his new job, which meant a great deal to me,” explains Rachel. With Rachel a world ranked Irish dancer, dancing was always going to play a big part

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in the day. There was a demonstration from Rachel and her fellow dancers in the evening, and bridesmaid Kate, who is Rachel’s dance teacher and close friend, planned a very special surprise. “She arranged for the younger dancers from the Irish Dance school to create a ‘guard of honour’ in their traditional dresses as we came out of the Chapel. I had no idea she had done this so it was a great shock, but absolutely brilliant!” And Rachel’s prowess at dancing was even reflected in her engagement ring. “The design of the ring was known as ‘dancing’, as the metal parts holding the stone have the appearance of elegant dancing legs, which I thought this suited her perfectly,” says Ali. Being a regular organiser of weddings meant that Rachel had an excellent address book of contacts to draw on. The bridal party’s flowers were from Flowers by Thea, who Rachel has known for many years. “I knew straight away that I would use Thea. She was fantastic, and the flowers were perfect, complementing the room and the colour scheme perfectly.” Rachel’s dress came from Krystle Brides in Bath — and this magazine has to take a little credit for bringing these two together! “I had met Krystle during a West Weddings photos shoot at Clifton College a couple of years ago and loved the dresses she had brought that day, so I thought it was only right to go to her for my wedding dress. The service she and her team provided was outstanding; nothing was too much trouble and the shop is beautiful.” The day was photographed by Anna from Luna Photography, who was also another find from a previous Clifton College wedding. “She made us feel at ease and captured some stunning images, which we are over the moon with,” explains Rachel. “Her photos tell a personal story of the day which is like having a video. Plus she got on well with all the family

dogs that had gathered on the day!” Initially Ali was worried that Rachel wouldn’t be able to switch off from work mode, but the excellent service from the staff and catering manager Warren meant that she was a bride first and foremost. Being a bride meant that she also discovered a valuable piece of advice to pass on to other couples. “One thing I did realise from getting married myself is that you don’t see any of the small details couples spend so much time fretting about, nor do the guests! There really is no need to get worked up about this before the big day — just sit back and what will be will be. If you have a good team at the venue, then you will be fine.” When asked for their favourite part of the day, Ali and Rachel are in agreement. “Walking down the aisle seeing Ali at the end was a special moment for me,” states Rachel. “I think seeing Rachel arrive by my side in the chapel looking so beautiful wins it for me,” says Ali. He continues: “I also enjoyed taking a moment to step back during the evening just to try and take it all in, and watch all our family and friends have just as good a time as we were.”

DETAILS Venue Clifton College, 32 College Road, Bristol BS8 3JH T: 0117 315 7669 W: Photographer Luna Photography T: 07841 405014 W: Bride’s dress Krystle Brides, 11 St James Parade, Bath BA1 1UL T: 01225 446844 W: Groom’s outfit Youngs Hire @ Debenhams W: Flowers Flowers by Thea T: 07976 261150 W: 19

13/02/2015 09:45:23


Emma and Chris Young enjoyed a wedding full of spring sunshine beside one of Bristol’s iconic landmarks 20

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The best of Bristol

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ollowing on from Chris’ proposal, for which the scene was the couple’s newly-bought house, Emma had some serious decisions to make. “I had to choose between decorating or planning a wedding — but since we still need curtains in some rooms, you can see what my priorities were!” The way Chris had organised popping the question was a bit of a surprise to her too. “The proposal was really lovely but I was more surprised that Chris has asked my parents if he could propose to me a few weeks before. They found it very difficult to keep it a secret but I was impressed that all the family seemed to know except me! It was lovely to think he respected my family so much and knew this would make me happy.” The couple were eager to start planning their spring wedding, especially since this was the first wedding for both sides of their families in 20 years, meaning that both sides were happy to get involved with help and handmade touches. “Mum made all of the papercraft decorations, favours and invites, Dad did the order of service, Chris’ brother made our guest top trump cards and my nan knitted Easter bunnies for the children’s favours,” explains Emma. The ceremony and the reception took place at the Avon Gorge Hotel, as the couple wanted

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everything in one place. “The view of the Clifton Suspension Bridges was amazing from the terrace of the hotel, so we thought this would be perfect to show the best of Bristol since families were travelling from all over the UK and Europe. It was lovely waking up in the hotel with my maid of honour and getting ready, as it made everything very stress free and I could really enjoy the whole experience,” says Emma. “The hotel staff made everything easy and nothing was too much trouble for them — they were so well organised and everything was perfect on the day!” The couple decorated the venue with spring flowers from Lisa Elliott Floral Design, and Martin Dabek Photography documented every happy moment. “We are so pleased with our photographs as they really capture how happy we were with everything on the day and all the little details that made it special. It was such beautiful weather, Emma even got sunburnt on the day!” says Chris. With a mini moon in a spa in Exeter and a trip to Cancun to look forward to after their perfect day, Emma and Chris couldn’t have been happier. “The best part of the day was seeing all my family together and being able to introduce Emma to everyone. We couldn’t have asked for better weather to complement our venue choice

and enjoy the outside space overlooking the Avon Gorge and Clifton Suspension Bridge. We are very grateful for the wonderful photographs by Martin and how captured the day. And, of course, the very best part was marrying Emma!” says Chris. And Emma agrees. “I loved walking in and seeing all my friends and family in one place together, with Chris waiting at the end of the aisle. I only just about held it together to not start crying before the day had even started!”

DETAILS Venue Avon Gorge Hotel, Sion Hill, Clifton, Bristol BS8 4LD T: 01179 738 955 W: Photography Martin Dabek Photography T: 0117 350 1032 W: Bride’s dress College Green Bridal, 44 College Green, Bristol BS1 5SH T: 0117 316 9132 W: Groom’s outfit Young’s Hire W: Flowers Lisa Elliott Floral Design, 1 Waterloo Street, Clifton Village, Bristol BS8 4BT T: 0117 973 2440 W:


13/02/2015 09:46:30


The most perfect treasure hunt


Claire Stone and Paul Maggs tied the knot in an award-winning country house in Somerset


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fter finding out on their first date that they’d actually gone to the same school, it seemed fated for Claire and Paul to be together. The proposal came as a surprise to the unsuspecting Claire, however, as Paul led her through a treasure hunt around their flat, with clues related to memories of their time together, and the last clue leading to a box with a diamond ring in it. “I didn’t have any expectations of being proposed to as I hadn’t thought about it. It came as a complete surprise, but obviously a good one!” says Claire. When it came to deciding on a venue, it was important for the couple to choose somewhere where family and friends could stay onsite for the whole weekend, and they found this at St Audries Park in Somerset. For 25 years it has been an award-winning country house with 22 luxury bedrooms. “It’s an absolutely stunning venue and had all that we were looking for; everything was

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in one place and our friends and family could stay with us for the whole weekend to make it last as long as possible,” explains Claire. The bride wore a fitted satin dress with a boat neckline from Bride At Home, while the groom sported a stylish Hugo Boss suit. Mark from Mark Leonard Photography captured all the memories of the day, producing some stunning images. “He really understood what we were like as a couple,” says Claire. The day was full of laughter — and mostly full of sun! — making it “just perfect!” declares Claire. She also enjoyed the more intimate moments. “The ceremony was beautiful. Paul looked very handsome and I was so excited to be marrying him. A very good friend from school, Bryony James, played the music during the ceremony which made it particularly special.” Adds Paul: “I felt nervous standing in the Orangery waiting for my bride to arrive

— late as usual! But it was well worth it as she looked stunning. It was also great to have so many friends and family there to celebrate with us. It was certainly the best day of my life.”

DETAILS Venue St Audries Park, West Quantoxhead, Taunton, Somerset TA4 4DS T: 01984 633 633 W: Photography Mark Leonard T: 07766 251028 W: Bride’s dress Bride At Home, 4 The Willow Centre, Downend Road, Bristol BS16 5UJ T: 0117 956 8068 W: Cake Heaven On The Hill, 121 Avon Way, Portishead BS20 6LT T: 01275 818109 W: 23

13/02/2015 09:50:11


Filled with fairy lights


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Becky Borrill and George Stotart kept it local with a wedding down on the farm

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fter ten years together, Becky was convinced George would never propose, so to be surprised at Christmas while on holiday in France with an engagement ring wasn’t something she was expecting. “I didn’t react how I always expected I would do — it’s not how you see it in films! Although I said yes straight away, I then actually felt a bit overwhelmed and shocked for the rest of the evening!” Becky’s customdesigned ring reflected an important time in their relationship, which had begun when they both started jobs for the same company within a few weeks of each other. “We’d previously both lived and travelled in New Zealand near the beginning of our relationship, so George had a ring designed and made in the country when he was back over there working for a few months before he proposed.” Her white gold ring is based on the ’Koru’ fern found in New Zealand. Eighteen months later, Becky and George’s wedding day had arrived and after a ceremony at Bristol Register Office, the couple hopped in a Rolls Royce Shadow and headed down to their reception at Lower Stock Farm in Wrington, where two gorgeous yurts from Wedding Yurts were waiting for them and their guests. “We both liked the idea of having the reception outside, but didn’t want the traditional marquee,” explains Becky. “As soon as we came across Wedding Yurts, we both thought they looked amazing and had so much more character — it was an obvious choice.” The couple was keen to have an informal affair with good food and good music. The former was

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provided by Papadeli, who supplied informal, communal food that was also tasty and seasonal. The latter came from the samba band that Becky performs with playing the couple into the yurt, and a massive drum ‘n’ bass rave up at the end of the night! Martin Dabek Photography was on hand to capture the details, which included wildflower decorations and a table of cake stands filled with a tempting selection of biscuits, all baked by guests to honour Becky’s love of biscuits. “Everyone made such an effort, they were amazing!” The couple was pleased to realise that all their wedding suppliers were local. “It felt a lot nicer supporting these businesses, rather than a big chain. And every single company we worked with, even down to the screen printers for the invitations, were all amazing and friendly, and caused no stress whatsoever.” They also had an especial thank you to yurt owners Lizzie and Jim, and Mandy at Somerset Flower Farm. “Lizzie and Jim were massively helpful throughout the run up and especially on the day itself. Jim built two incredible yurts and all the tables and benches, then took over as barman in the evening, while Lizzie made sure everything ran smoothly throughout the day, and helped enormously with decorations. And Mandy put in so much work, even when her Dad was taken ill in hospital the day before the wedding.” It may have rained on the day, but this only added to the atmosphere. “It meant everyone stayed together inside the yurt instead of wandering off, which resulted in a really great

atmosphere,” says Becky. “It was amazing from start to finish, from giggles in the ceremony to dancing away in a yurt filled with fairy lights, with all our family and friends around us.” George agrees. “I loved the whole thing; you feel special and you feed off everyone else’s happiness for you. It sounds like a cliché, but it really was the best day of our lives.”

DETAILS Ceremony venue Bristol Register Office, Corn Street, Bristol BS1 1JG T: 0117 022 2800 W: Reception venue Lower Stock Farm, Bakers Lane, Langford, North Somerset BS40 5HT T: 01934 862997 W: Yurt hire Wedding Yurts W: Photographer Martin Dabek Photography W: Bride’s dress Allison Jayne, 47 Queens Road, Bristol, BS8 1RN T: 0117 934 9426 W: Catering Papadeli, 84 Alma Road, Bristol BS8 2DJ T: 0117 973 6569 W: Flowers Somerset Flower Farm, Nates Lane, Wrington, North Somerset BS40 5RS T: 07749 289517 W: www. Transport Abacus Wedding Cars T: 0117 957 1222 W: 25

13/02/2015 09:50:41

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13/02/2015 11:18:47

A white wedding isn’t complete without a beautiful white smile...

‘Don’t let your smile spoil your special day’ Trudy had been self-conscious about her crooked teeth for years. She was teased by her classmates, and hated photos of her so much she ripped most of them up straight away. With her wedding just three months away, she decided she needed to do something about them. “I didn’t want to dread the photos being taken and be disappointed with how they looked, despite my beautiful dress.” Experienced cosmetic dentist Neil Gerrard solved Trudy’s problems with dental veneers, which disguised her crooked teeth giving her a gorgeous straight, white smile. “The results are fantastic and I haven’t stopped smiling since. My smile has been transformed and I feel so much more confident. I can’t wait for my wedding day now!” To find out more about how Dr Neil Gerrard can help you look your best for your big day with cosmetic dental and Trudy Pike of Bristol Smiling confidently on her wedding day

orthodontic treatments, call Clifton Dental Studio for FREE friendly phone advice.


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Tortworth House, 92 Queen’s Rd, Clifton, Bristol BS8 1RT t: 0845 2609728 w:

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13/02/2015 11:19:51

Great show offers from over 100 of the regions best wedding suppliers and experts The perfect place to buy your wedding dress with all the top designs under one roof and changing rooms with viewing areas on all the bridal stands Enjoy our inspirational catwalk show where the very latest designs are brought to life FREE help & advice from Michele Paradise the UK’s top bridal coach

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13/02/2015 11:20:53



Exquisite elegance After opening last year, it hasn't taken Bath-based boutique Luxquisite long to become on the mustvisit list of South West bridal shops. Offering skilled advice, styling and customer service from bridal expert and store manager Luisa Fisher, the emphasis is all about ensuring each customer receives a tailored experience. Luxquisite is soon to become an exclusively Pronovias store, with collections from the Pronovias main line, Atelier by Pronovias and its diffusion line by renowned designer Elie Saab. You can get a feel for the style of this Spanish brand with the dresses displayed on the next few pages, and also see how the off the shoulder trend, as detailed in our feature on p32, is big this season! Luxquisite also offers Pink by Paradox and Freya Rose shoes plus Nieve, Reflections and Blossom accessories, to ensure you end up with the perfect outfit for your big day. LUXQUISITE 4 Bladud Buildings, Bath BA1 5LS T: 01225 313434 W: PRONOVIAS W:

Bellamy Gorgeous elbow length lace sleeves that melt seamlessly into the bodice make this mermaid-shaped gown truly striking.

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12/02/2015 16:55:55


LEFT Maranta This is a gown for a bride who wants to make a statement! A sheer back, thigh slit and gorgeous gemstone detailing on the waist and shoulders creates an almost Grecian feel to this pretty dress. BELOW Bernice The exquisitely draped bodice and skirt means that this gown creates a stunning line. We also love the beautiful beading in lines which follow the folds of the fabric.


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RIGHT Balder The most striking feature on this silk dress is the sweeping train, continuing the elegant lines of the wrapover neckline and slightly off the shoulder straps. A row of buttons down the back and onto the train adds a perfect understated finishing touch.

BELOW Belia Romantics rejoice! This frilled fantastic skirt, edged with ribbon, is surely the dress to make all your princess dresses come true. Pair with a cathedral length veil for full on drama.

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12/02/2015 16:56:54


WE LOVE... the shoulder



Off the shoulder was the hottest look on the S/S 15 bridal catwalk. It’s a great way to look sleek and elegant, but flash a little skin at the same time. Pair this silhouette with statement earrings and a beautiful headpiece for just the right amount of dazzle. Here’s our pick of dresses in this beautiful style.


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12/02/2015 17:03:27

THEBRIDALROOM 40 high street, westbury-on-trym, bristol

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Please contact our dedicated wedding planner Gemma Smith on 01454 620000

Table plan, place cards & menus DJ Overnight stay at local hotel Evening buffet Supervised use of a golf buggy for beautiful photos around the grounds

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NEW DESIGNERS FOR 2015 Donna Salado Designer Gowns, Ivoire by Kitty Chen & for our curvaceous Brides Silhouette by Romantica available in sizes 18 – 34

New Designers for 2015

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13/02/2015 11:21:44


She wore Blue Iris British bridal designer Amanda Wyatt has become synonymous with dresses that are elegant, well-crafted and oh-so proudly British. Her Blue Iris collection, which comprises 32 gorgeous gowns, is a riot of tulle and silk backed satins, lace, crĂŞpe de chine and shimmering silks and taffetas, combined with hand beaded and vintage pearl details. We've featured four of the collection on this page and the next, aall of which we feel would be perfect for a spring wedding. Amanda Wyatt dresses are stocked at Solitaire Brides in Midsomer Norton and Primrose Place Bridal Boutique in Burnham-on-Sea. AMANDA WYATT W:

PRIMULA Covered in beautiful lacy flowers with crystal centres, this strapless gown creates a lovely silhouette. It's the ideal dress for a romantic, floral-filled wedding.

ASHLEIGH Perfect for those brides who fancy a shorter, flirtier length dress, this v neck style is overlaid with lace and finished with a pretty flower belt. 36

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SHELLEY It's the straps on this gown that really have the wow factor — gorgeous sparkling lines that continue down over the bodice to add just the right amount of shimmer.

FRANCESCA A lace insert panel on the softly-draped top means that this dress will look as good from the back as it does from the front! The A line skirt sweeps out into a lovely chapel length train.

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12/02/2015 17:06:09

1 Spring into GOWNS

Artemis by Ebony Rose

Artemis, a simple yet beautiful design by Ebony Rose, comes in a variety of colours and two lengths; the shorter version particularly suitable for wearing again after the wedding. The softly draped top is very flattering and wide straps mean underwear won't be seen.


As the nights draw out, bringing longer days and the anticipation of warmer weather, Vivienne Kennedy has been taking a look at this season’s most beautiful bridesmaids' dresses


ou’ve picked your favourite ladies to stand up with you, and now you want to pick a dress that they’ll love. You want your bridesmaids to look fabulous but also to feel comfortable in what they are wearing. This can be difficult to achieve if a bridal party consists of girls of different shapes and sizes, but this season's key trends solve many of these problems at a stroke. Grecian style gowns in beautiful flowing chiffon are very popular at the moment, with soft floaty dresses that fit body shapes perfectly and compliment the wearer's figure, whether it is full and curvy or more slender. Lightweight fabrics mean these dresses will be cool to wear on hot summer days. Particularly versatile are multi-way

dresses, which can be worn in anything from six to 25 ways. This way your bridesmaids can wear the same shade but have the dress customised to the shape that’s best for them. If the bridal party includes a mother-to-be, these dresses are particularly maternityfriendly, and after the wedding, they can be worn again and again. Pastel shades are always popular for spring/summer weddings but classic deep blues, reds and purples never go out of style. Lace detail is strong this year too, allowing the bridesmaids' dresses to complement the bride's own gown. We’ve picked some of our favourite dresses for this season, and also asked local bridal boutiques to select their top trends for S/S 15. Happy shopping!


Eliza & Ethan, chosen by A Class Brides

Eliza & Ethan is the ideal bridesmaid option this season because of its versatility, says Nicky from A Class Brides, which can be tied in over 25 different ways to suit each individual so that they all look their best on the day! “There’s an increasing trend for bridesmaids these days is to look fabulous but feel comfortable in what they are wearing and at the same time not look ‘bridesmaid-y’. With many bridal parties consisting of girls of different shapes and sizes this look can be hard to achieve, but Eliza & Ethan takes away all the stress: one dress, one size, 20 colours and over 25 ways to wear it. It is available for immediate delivery all year round, no alterations necessary and it is also maternity friendly! Includes a matching bandeau so wearing a bra is no problem and it doesn't crease. Eliza & Ethan really is THE multiwrap dress!”


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Dessy style 6712, chosen by Sarah from By Design

This beautiful flowing chiffon gown from Dessy comes in 88 colours, including cerulean (shown here) and Sarah's personal favourite suede rose. Subtle straps frame the neckline, offering security and allowing a greater choice of underwear. The dress is soft and floaty and suits both full and more slender figures.


Veromia VRB7146

This poly-chiffon multi-way dress by Jason Jennings for the award-winning, UK-based brand Veromia comes in a wide variety of colours, from the palest pastels to brights such as hot pink, jade, and sapphire. It can be worn strapless, with a single strap or with wide straps, giving individual looks that suit all shapes and sizes and create stunning images when photographed together.


Kelsey Rose 50116, chosen by Krystle Brides

"We are totally in love with the new Kelsey Rose Collection, especially style number 50116, a multi-way dress that can be worn in six different ways,” says Krystle. “A really popular trend this spring/summer is having your bridesmaids in the same colour tone but different style dresses that suit each individual shape rather than finding one dress to suit everyone. This dress is perfect for that as the different necklines will flatter every figure. It comes in some gorgeous pastel tones which are very popular at the moment, it’s lightweight, and the bridesmaids could wear it again after the wedding, just in a different way!”


ML1393A, chosen by Special Day and Appletons

Jackie Sweeting at Special Days & Appletons in Keynsham has chosen this stunning Mark Lesley dress, style number 1393A, as her S/S 15 choice. Available in sizes six to 30, there are over 70 colours to choose from, including white, ivory, and champagne, which means it would also be a cost effective wedding dress. The lace detail is one of the season's strongest trends.


A Class Brides, Sandy Park Road, Bristol W: By Design 95 Westgate Street, Gloucester W: Krystle Brides 11 St James Parade, Bath W: Special Day and Appletons 12 High Street, Keynsham W:

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12/02/2015 17:07:40




An exclusive new Bridal Boutique in the heart of Bath offering gowns by Pronovias, Atelier & more.


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Tortworth, Wotton-under-Edge South Gloucestershire GL12 8HH


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Who gives this woman? Should the groom ask permission from the bride’s father for his daughter’s hand in marriage, or is it an out-dated tradition, asks Iga Kozakiewicz


any will agree that a groom has to go through two nerve-racking stages. Not only does he have to get down on one knee and ask his partner to marry him, but before that, many will have asked permission from her father first. In the 21st century, however, is this still necessary as a sign of respect, or is it a throwback to the days when women were men’s property? At the time my fiancé proposed, I didn’t know if he had asked my father’s permission. But in hindsight, his strange behaviour one morning at my parents’ house, when he got up at 8am and disappeared “to grab a coffee”, means that my father did know all about the proposal that happened later in Paris. I must admit that I’m glad he asked my father first, as I see it as a way of showing respect, but it’s definitely a contentious issue that raises some very strong opinions. Elena Thomsen believes that the tradition is dying out and the groom shouldn’t ask the bride’s father for her hand. “That act leads back to previous centuries where it was the father’s job to find a suitable husband for his daughters. Today we build our lives and

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traditions on independence and freedom, and we can choose to marry anyone we want to,” she explains. Elena also points out that today many people are older when they do decide to get married, so it may not feel natural for a grown up man to ask parents for permission. There is, however, always the question of respecting your future in-laws. Nick Lewis, who got married ten years ago, still strongly believes in asking the bride’s father first. “You are not only asking the father of the love of your life to allow her to become one with you, but you’re also asking your future fatherin-law if he trusts that you, as a son-in-law, will take care of his daughter in the way she deserves to treated by a man for the rest of her life.” Nick believes that a father needs to be confident that the groom will be responsible for his daughter by taking care of her, comforting her in times of sadness, supporting her financially, and being with her when times get tough. “These are the things that the father has done for your bride throughout her whole life, and he now needs to be sure that you want those responsibilities, as well as being confident that you’re capable of them.” Nick was very nervous to ask his future

father-in-law for permission before he proposed. Not only did he want to show the respect that he felt his fiancée’s father deserved, but he also was keen to receive his blessing and know that he was approved as being the right man. “I am glad that I did ask him as when he agreed, it was the greatest feeling ever to know that I had been accepted, so I went on to propose to her in front of all of her family. I now have a very strong relationship with my in-laws and I know that I can talk to them about anything,” he explains. There’s also the issue of when a daughter isn’t particularly close to her father, and what the correct thing to do then is. Emily Edwards, who is engaged, says: “If the relationship is strong between father and daughter then the groom should ask. However, if it isn’t, then why would you ask someone permission to take over the role of the dominant male in her life? Weddings are steeped in traditions, but these days it’s up to a couple which ones they choose to observe for theirs, and this is no exception. Emily sums it up beautifully. “You should know your bride well enough to know what to do. If you don’t… why are you asking for her hand in marriage in the first place?” 41

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Totally staggered Suzie Kidger shares her top tips for how to make your stag do an event to remember


hile your bride may have decided on a spa weekend full of massages and facials with the girls, you might be thinking of something a little more wild to celebrate your last night of freedom. So while the sky’s the limit when it comes to ideas, tick off the tips below to ensure it’s a night you’ll be talking about forever more — for all the right reasons.



Choosing who to invite to your stag do is a bit like conducting a job interview minus the paperwork. You’re looking for the most fun, most imaginative men for the job in hand, whether you’re heading to Vegas, having a night on the town or a weekend full of activities. But to keep your partner’s mind at rest, make sure that you also invite their favourite friend of yours, the one who’ll make sure you return in one piece and tattoo-less. The last thing you want is a clash of personalities when you all you need is a stress free getaway with the guys.



Deciding where to go can be the hardest decision yet, but one for which you have absolutely hundreds of options. Wherever you’d like to go and whatever you’d like to do there, there’ll be a way to turn it into a stag do. If you do decide to go abroad, be sure to check that everyone has 42

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a passport and can also get the time off work before you do too much planning.



Make sure you don’t plan your stag do too close to the big day just in case problems arise, especially if you’re going abroad and there’s a chance of missing your flight or ‘accidentally’ getting stuck there. This could also affect your stags turning up to your wedding too, and result in one very angry bride.



When it comes to making the initial arrangements, make sure it’s within the budget of everyone invited. Having your stags drop out at the last minute is something you definitely want to avoid at all costs. Going abroad for a few days can be amazing, but there’s no point in organising a trip like this if half your friends won’t be able to afford it, and half of those who turn up are sweating about the pennies. Remember, it’s the company, not the location, that’s the most important element of the stag.



Traditionally the best man is in charge of organising the finer details, so be prepared to go with the flow and be up for everything and anything, whether this means returning covered in bruises or with Sambucca all over your favourite shirt. Things may not always go according to the plan you had in

your head, but that doesn’t necessarily mean disaster.



Nobody likes turning up to the party not knowing anyone, so if you’ve got a group of friends from different backgrounds, or you’re thinking of inviting a relative, be sure to bring the guys together for a pre-stag couple of drinks down the pub or an evening in to break the ice. That way there will be no surprises when the day arises and everyone will already feel as if they know each other.

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As the groom, be prepared to wear something hideous or for all of you to be forced to wear personalised t-shirts. You’re there to have a great time and albeit fantastically tacky, these accessories are great keepsakes to help you remember what happened that night.

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So you think time away with the guys isn’t going to be full of mayhem? Think again. While these aren’t guaranteed, when the guys get together, we all know what can happen. Be on the look out for pranks, and as the groom, you’re the main target the entire time. Good luck, and don’t let anyone shave your eyebrows off.


LOOK OUT FOR ONE ANOTHER While it’s all fun and games, you don’t want to lose anyone or come

home without a limb. If you’re the best man, the groom is your responsibility and you definitely don’t want to be explaining to an angry bride as to why her groom has no hair and a tattoo of your name.



The last tip is very simple but the most important — let your hair down and take it all in your stride. You’re not at work, you’re with great company and you want it to be a time you’ll never forget. You only plan on doing this once, so you definitely have to make the most of it. 43

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weddings at

Wedding Open Evening 27th April 6pm-9pm

the mercure bristol north the grange hotel The hotel is an 18th century manor house, with high ceilings and impressive features creating a wonderfully romantic atmosphere. It’s set in 19 acres of beautiful landscaped grounds, making a beautiful back drop for your wedding photographs.

See the venue dressed for a wedding, meet selected suppliers and discuss your plans with one of our wedding coordinators. Free glass of bubbly on arrival and free goodie bags. No need to book an appointment

Wedding Fayres

New for 2015 weddings

Marquee weddings in our scenic garden from £7400 Hire the venue exclusively including 68 bedrooms from only £6000 Moonlight evening only reception for 100 guests from £3995 We offer a range of packages, all available to view on our website. Please call us to arrange a champagne show around, we want to get to know you and hear your plans - so we can arrange a bespoke wedding as individual as you are.

7th June, 11th Oct 11am-3pm

Come along to our wedding fayre to gather ideas for your big day free entry, hog roast, goodie bag and car parking Over 40 different suppliers

Wedding Package All Inclusive Packages from £5250

Contact: 08448159063 email Old Gloucester Road Winterbourne, BS36 1RP

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Includes 50 day and 75 evening guests, venue hire, 5 course wedding breakfast, arrival drinks, wine, and toast drinks, canapes and evening buffet. Table centrepieces, disco, bridal suite, stationery and chair covers

Have a toast on us!

For weddings booked from the 1st of October – 31st January 2016 we will offer a complimentary round of fizz to celebrate your day!

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The essential wedding guide Use this page to plan your budget and organise the big day - without the stress of last minute panics 1 YEAR TO GO

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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


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


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Follow us on Twitter at, like us on Facebook at, find our boards at and check out our blog at


for that little bit extra...

You can now get even more from West Weddings by visiting our website, going to our blog, liking us on Facebook, sharing our boards on Pinterest and following us on Twitter. With competitions, news, behind-the-scenes photos and more, we’ve got the world of West Country weddings sorted!

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

VIEW IT ONLINE If you’re loathe to lend your copy of West Weddings to friends and family, just point them in the direction of our website - not only can they view the latest issue online, but they can browse through old issues, PLANNING which means nobody has to miss out! YOUR DAY

TWEET TWEET! We love interacting with our couples online, and giving you even more wedding info, so don’t miss out - find us on westweddingsmag, on westweddingsmag and on www.pinterest. com/westweddingsmag.

BLOG-TASTIC Our blog at www.westweddings. is the perfect read in between issues of your favourite local wedding magazine! Keep up with the latest news, reviews and ideas with blog editor Gianina and the team. 46

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Boodelicious Events & The Radisson Blu Bristol Present Spring Wedding Fayre

Woodchester Mansion An unfnished masterpiece ……

Wedding Fayre Sunday 29th March 2015 | 11am – 3pm Nympsfeld, Gloucestershire, GL10 3TS

Radisson Blu Hotel, Broad Quay, Bristol. BS1 4BY Sunday 26th April 2015, 11am‐4pm

FREE ADMISSION Free raffle on the day for all brides to be who attend. Great prizes to be won, including a One Night Dinner, Bed & Breakfast stay at the Radisson Blu Bristol.

Local Wedding Suppliers

Free Admission & Free Goodie Bag Mini bus Shuttle from National Trust Steps Exhibiting Everything from the Essential to the Unique! With some of the Finest Professionals in The Cotswolds

Bridal Bags on Arrival

For more informa�on please contact Boodelicious Events

Email: Mobile: Val 07788737676 ©LW

Swan Hotel

For a wonderful wedding in Wells

• Choice of beautiful and stylish Gowns • Friendly and professional advice • Comfortable relaxed atmosphere

The perfect setting for weddings, receptions and civil ceremonies

• Custom design and ftting service • Easy payment available

Tel 01749 836300 Sadler Street, Wells, Somerset BA5 2RX

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Call Jan on 0117 9568068 Check out our NEW website for our latest styles e-mail: 4 The Willow Centre, Downend Road, Downend, Bristol BS16 5UJ


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Award Winning Wedding Cakes Over 14 vintage and modern cars to choose from, ranging from 1929 to 1980 - view the full range on our website Call to arrange a meeting to look at our stunning collection

“The cake was sensational” Rosemary Geller, Assembly Rooms, Bath

For £50 off your wedding cake, Quote “WEST50” when booking your consultation. *Terms and conditions apply

Atwell Wilson Motor Museum Wedding Car Hire Stockley Lane, Calne, SN11 0NF 01249 813119 |

Get yourself noticed by the Bride-to-be’s!

Call Jacqui Lewis on 0117 9343136 to advertise in the next issue of West Weddings Magazine


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Celia Adams, Cake Designer

Tel: 01225 446 094 Email: Web: Bath Cake Company @bathcakecompany


Specialist in wedding fowers, With over ffteen years of experience creating stunning displays From traditional to ultra modern, setting the theme and tone for that very special day. Visit our shop: 12 Sandy Park Road, Brislington, Bristol, BS4 3PE T: 0117 971 2917 E ©LW

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The look of love

Join us for a beautiful springtime wedding at the splendid Bowood Hotel, Spa and Golf Resort Photography: Martin Dabek Words: Gianina Turner

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ne of the best times of the year to tie the knot, spring is the season of pretty palettes and green accents — and our chosen location for the photoshoot offered exactly that and more! We love planning a spring wedding, and brought together some of our favourite local suppliers to create a traditionally English celebration for our bride and groom, with styling by Kirsten Butler from The Little Wedding Helper.


Overlooking the rolling Wiltshire Downs lies the beautiful Bowood Hotel, Spa and Golf Resort – a picture of rural romance that ticks all the boxes: licensed venue, hotel, pampering and leisure facilities amid 2,000 acres of stunning setting. If you’re looking to say ‘I do’ in a spectacular panoramic view, then the surrounding parkland and terraces, and immaculate gardens provide all that and more. As you reach the impressive golden gates and then make your way up the long tree-lined drive, it becomes clear why Bowood is a dream wedding destination. With all the quirks of a countryside mansion including a luxury spa, it also has the soul of a romantic retreat. Accommodating up to 120 guests for a wedding, the Kerry Suite boasts contemporary sofas, a private bar and lovely terrace to enjoy a glass of chilled champagne after the ceremony. From the grand red carpet welcoming to the evening celebration, your guests will feel spoilt for choice with exceptional menu choices and friendly service. The venue also offers a range of suites and rooms to accommodate family and friends once the happy couple make their exit.


With a keen eye for detail, Martin Dabek, worthy winner of the Fearless Photographer of the Year award, took amazing shots of our happy couple and created a countryside love 50

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story. Using Bowood’s unique features – the golden gate, the golf track and, of course, the hotel itself – he captured every detail that makes a couple’s day special and unique: gowns, accessories, suits, cake, flowers and cars. Having photographed over 200 weddings, Martin knows when to expect emotional moments and is always ready to capture candid shots of the bride and groom. Sharing from his extensive knowledge and experience, Martin advises couples: “Ask your photographer to show you the entire wedding album from a particular wedding not only the best shots. I also strongly believe that if your photographer is not offering you an album, which will become your family heirloom, they are doing you a disservice.”


It is fair to say we were lost for words as the newest wedding dresses by Allure Romance come to life on our lovely models Sarah and Lauren. The designs, available at Sposa Elegante, looked magnificent teamed with the astounding accessories from Bridezillas. Both businesses relocated last year — Ann Staples took over the bridal boutique business in April and moved to Keynsham, while Bridezillas changed address to Brislington — but their range of products and outstanding service continue to attract a wealth of brides-to-be. Run as a family business, Sposa Elegante offers a personal, friendly service and a beautiful array of handpicked bridal gowns. “I love what I do and we aim to help brides feel at ease and relaxed in the shop. We understand how they are feeling and the emotions that they go through as we have all been there,” enthuses Ann. Dedicated solely to accessories, Bridezillas source and deliver unique wedding pieces with a touch of luxury. A visit to the boutique in Bristol can give busy brides-to-be the opportunity to pause, indulge and enjoy the exquisite display of jewellery, headpieces and

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shoes. In fact, there are over 70 different styles of shoes on stock, so every bride is sure to find a pair to match her wedding look. To begin, Sarah showcased an elegant strapless English net gown (2759) featuring a jaunty satin bow, which was accessorised with a Cherry Blossom hairvine by White Ivy featuring a scatter of freshwater pearls and crystals. Our bride then changed into a figure hugging satin design (2752) with a mermaid style skirt and ruching across the bodice. A fresh flower crown added interest and a boho feel. Sarah’s final look was a modified A line gown (2764) made from slimfitting sculpted satin and accented with lace straps and a striking open back. Carrying the elegant theme though the pearl and crystal accessories, she wore an Ivy Back drop necklace by Abigail Grace, a Pearl divine bracelet and three elegant Elodie hair pins, all by SassB. For Lauren, the first look was 2758, a gorgeous slim fitting lace gown scalloped at the hem and with an open back. The look was completed with an Ula hairvine, by Abigail Grace, double pearl drop earrings by Crystal Valley and a Twilight Design (TWD2019) bracelet. The next dress was an exquisite English net design (2765), with a subtle ombre finish at the hem and a Swarovksi crystal belt accentuating the waist. Amanda added a stunning Silver Ivy hair clip, by White Ivy, Blossom (BTER191) earrings and the elegant Twilight Designs bracelet. Lauren’s third look 54

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was a jaw-dropping gown (2767) in black and white — perfect for a bride with a flair for drama. Statement accessories completed the look: an Ivory & Co Lillian side tiara, featuring a pattern of floral designs with crystal finished in a rhodium setting, a Buttercup bracelet by White Ivy and the Laura necklace by Athena Couture. Both our brides also wore gorgeous shoes: a cream and gold pair by Paradox and a lace pair with satin ankle ribbons by Beloved.


As winner of the 2014 Wedding Industry Awards, Anne Harding had to supply our groom’s outfits. The boutique is an established supplier of menswear and suits offering professional service for weddings. Grooms have a choice of designs and colours for every style with a superb selection of jackets — tail coats, frock coats, lounge jacket or Prince Edward. Looking every inch the dashing groom, our model Lev wore a traditional tailored black morning suit with pinstripe trousers and a selection of elegant waistcoats: ivory striped, dove grey single-breasted and dove grey double-breasted. The pastel cravats in hyacinth and daffodil added a pop of colour and the look was completed with a top hat and cane.


In order to get our brides and groom looking photo ready, we sourced the services of Tracy

and Sasha Pallari. A mother and daughter team, Tracy and Sasha combined their passion and high quality products with a good understanding of photography light to make our brides look stunning from every angle. For the make-up, Sasha took inspiration from the beautiful colours of spring flowers to create fresh, natural looks for our brides. She used an Airbase Airbrush — a long lasting, lightweight silicone based foundation, which offers incredible coverage and a flawless finish. Sasha opted for neutral shades of bronze, brown, taupe and grey to create soft, smoky eyes. She then added definition using a brown gel liner — a great alternative to black for a more subtle wedding day look. “We wanted to make the lips a strong, yet pretty feature, and picked out lipsticks in gorgeous pastels, such as peaches and pinks from the bouquets, complimented by soft blush using the same tones,” explains Sasha. Inspired by the superb selection of dresses, each showcasing a different style and detail, Tracy created several hair dos for the photoshoot. The superb looks showcased the gowns and hair accessories beautifully. For a natural, boho look, Tracy went for loose spiral waves, which worked well with the fresh flower garland. “We also created some soft yet structured hair-up dos to suit the vintage lace and sparkling hairbands and combs. For something a little more dramatic, we did a smooth and sleek roll with plenty of height to

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echo the elegance of the dress, finishing off with some very pretty individual hairpins.”


No bridal look would be complete without a bouquet, and Chrissie Wiltshire Flowers delivered the most delectable blooms in muted pastels. The groom’s buttonhole featured lisianthis flowers and buds, rose, and wired populus leaves tied with green velvet ribbon. The bridal bouquets were equally beautiful — Sarah had a riotous natural spring bouquet with some trailing elements for a confident bride. It featured roses, delphiniums, hellebores, narcissi, hyacinth, branches of budding magnolia and trailing jasmine bound with pistachio grosgrain ribbon. Lauren’s hand-tied bouquet was a fresh spring bunch of narcissi with verona tulips, bound with pistachio grosgrain ribbon encircled by trails of variegated ivy. The interior of the hotel came to life once

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the floral arrangements were in place. An elegant crystal vase filled with a natural arrangement of hyacinths, roses and tulips as a dramatic centrepiece. Muted blush, sand and grey dinner candles on crystal and twisted glass sticks together with rope napkin ties and glass bauble miniature vase name cardholders completed the look. The ceremony table was kept simple with hurricane lanterns of fresh moss and pillar candles, but given drama by being flanked by a pair of ivy wrapped floor standing candelabra with tall taupe candles. Similarly, the top table echoed this simplicity with gorgeous spring blooms placed amidst trailing variegated ivy, and pretty napkin wraps of hyacinth pips and delphinium heads mounted on delicate cream lace. “Year on year I have committed myself to a thriving floral design and event styling business, with wonderfully supportive regular clients plus the excitement of every new bride who calls or emails an enquiry. I love each job to be

a collaboration between client and florist,” enthuses Chrissie.


The pièce de resistance of the photoshoot had to be the wedding cake — a three-tier creation from the Bath Cake Company made from vanilla sponge, lemon buttercream and salted caramel truffle torte, and featuring a layer of mint green sugarpaste and a spray of handmade sugar flowers in sorbet hues. Bath Cake Company is well-established and recognised household name in the wedding industry. Founded by Celia Adams in 2010 – who won the 2014 Silver Award and Merit at Cake International – it offers bespoke wedding consultations, which also include cake tasting, and creates gorgeous and unique designs for special occasions. Bursting with flavour, their range includes indulgent chocolate, traditional fruit cake or gorgeous champagne infusion. “With a past career as a wedding planner, I’ve 59

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always loved the romance and excitement that surrounds weddings,” says Celia. “I love meeting with couples to hear about their big day and then putting it all together to create a cake that is truly unique to them. It’s always lovely seeing the final wedding cake displayed at the wedding venue, and to know you’ve been a part of someone’s special day.”


For this issue we treated our couple to not one, but two luxurious cars provided by Triggol’s Vintage Cars and Atwell-Wilson. Sarah and Lev entered through the golden gates of the Bowood Estate chauffeured in an ivory 1930 Austin 20 seven-seat limousine with navy blue and black interior from Triggols. Triggols is a family business based in rural Tickenham, near Nailsea with 40 years' experience in restoring vintage and classic cars and 12 chauffeur-driven vehicles to choose from (some have also featured in TV productions such as Downton Abbey and Mr Selfridge). “We are almost finished restoring a 1930 Rolls Royce Laundaulette, which will be ready by the end of March,” explains Andrew Triggols. After enjoying a fun buggy ride along the golf course, the bride and groom then made a red carpet entrance, stepping out of the chauffeured black Rolls Royce, provided by Atwell-Wilson Motor Museum. Based in Calne, as soon as we found out about the museum’s fantastic vintage and modern wedding car hire service, we invited them to be part of the phtoshoot. There is a lovely range of vintage and modern cars on offer, 60

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which include a 1929 Model A Ford, a 1937 Buick Albermarle and a 1973 Rolls Royce Silver Shadow.


At a wedding, it's the little details that count, and our chair covers and sashes from Aztec Venue Decorations really helped to transform the interior of Bowood into the perfect backdrop for the day. Experts in providing bespoke venue decoration services for weddings and events, the company’s selection of accessories include drapes, lighting, table linen and chair covers, as well as props such as vases, mirrors and candelabra. With a choice of flexible services ranging from full venue decoration to simply hiring props, it can cater for every budget and venue.


Our beautiful brides were Sarah and Lauren, accompanied by dashing groom Lev. The models’ natural, relaxed manner in front of the camera and their fun personality made it easy to build a love story, and Sarah – a full time model with previous experience in bridal photoshoots – loved every minute of it! “I always find bridal shoots to be good fun. My favourite dress was the strapless net design, and the accessories from Bridezillas were so elegant.” Lev shares her enthusiasm, as he took a break from his computer engineering studies for the day. "I had a great time working with the team — and as Sarah is very beautiful, it made it incredibly easy to fall in love with her!”


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{ ith both barns licensed for Civil Marriage Ceremonies and Civil Partnerships, Aldwick Court Farm & Vineyard offers versatility in planning your special day.



Selection of 12 stunning Vintage Cars in navy blue, ivory, burgundy & black. 3, 4 & 6 passenger cars available. Come and visit our garages to soak up some vintage atmosphere and take a no obligation peek at our cars. Photograph by Steve Gower

Exclusive use of our venue and gardens

Contact us for more information at Aldwick Court Farm & Vineyard, Redhill, Bristol, BS40 5RF Tel: 01934 864 404 @AldwickCourtFrm Aldwick Court Farm & Vineyard

For further information contact Andrew Triggol 07712 051892 or 01275 852440 E - W -


CHRISSIE WILTSHIRE FLOWERS BESPOKE WEDDING FLOWERS AND EVENT STYLING "Thank you so much for your help and style...people said they were blown away with how stunning the marquee looked and also how fab but not over the the perfect result..thank you for all of your hard work..please thank your team"

Sasha is a freelance Make-up Artist trained by the leading industry professionals, MAC cosmetics. She has also worked in London alongside some of the most prestigious celebrity make-up artists and her work has featured in high profile advertising campaigns. Specialising in wedding and occasion make-up throughout Wales and the South West, she often works alongside Tracy Pallari Bridal Hair Stylist to ensure that you look picture perfect on your special day.

T: 07879 630 506

07770 875 353

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Wedding and Events Showcases

Together we will make your dream day perfect in every way We’ll have a complimentary drinks and canapes on your arrival – you’ll be able to view all function suites, fully laid up, plus a selection of suites and four-poster bedrooms. Wedding coordinators on hand to answer any questions. We’ve invited some of our favourite suppliers along too, who will be doing interactive workshops to give you lots of ideas and inspiration for your perfect day.

Sunday 29th March Sunday 17th May Sunday 5th July Sunday 13th September 11am - 2pm Free Admission For more information please contact Lauren Manning on 01454 275344 or

Aztec Hotel & Spa Aztec West, Almondsbury, Bristol BS32 4TS p62.indd 1

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Guests will love these jalapeno chilli seed packets from Wedding in a Teacup

Channel vintage chic with this cubic zircona and seashell pearl brooch from DiamonFire

Do your wedding planning in style with this leather notebook from Cath Kidston

rite Just add your favou l glass tifu au be flowers to this mes, Ja l be na An m vase fro tables or perfect for reception on for the cerem y

This beautiful necklace from CRED Jewellery is made with Fairtrade silver We think these 2015 balloons by Bubblegum Balloons are the ideal photobooth prop!


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The chance to dance From slow and romantic to all-out frantic, the once-traditional first dance as a couple has now become a party-starting performance, as Rebecca Paddick discovers


he first dance has always been a popular element at wedding receptions, when the married couple officially opens the dance floor for the night with a song that has a special meaning to them. Traditionally, the first dance would be in the style of a waltz, but in recent years it has become a much more casual affair. We’ve all seen those YouTube videos of couples breaking into a high-energy routine to the surprise and delight of their guests, (the now famous pair seen strutting their stuff to Sir Mix-a-Lot's Baby Got Back to the shock and delight of the crowd has now had more than 17 million views), but if comedy isn’t your thing, and you weren’t blessed with the rhythm of Fred and Ginger, you might need the expertise of a


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professional to get you both dancing to the same beat.


Kirsty and Mark Dearman opted for the unusual song choice of Freddy Scott’s (You) Got What I Need, for their first dance. “Mark played it to me and I really liked it but I thought, how do we dance to it?” explains Kirsty. “I really didn’t want us to just wobble around in a circle for three minutes, so Mark suggested we have some dance lessons to make us more confident, but we ended up learning a whole routine.” The couple sought the help of First Dance UK, which offers private wedding dance lessons from the comfort of a couple’s own home. Mark and Kirsty played their song to the teacher, who then

came up with a routine. “The steps were quite simple, with some big moves thrown in, and we were mainly in hold so Mark had to work harder than me - he had to lead!” says Kirsty. The pair had six hourlong dance lessons every Sunday prior to their wedding in order to perfect their impending performance. “I’ve got two left feet but I found it quite easy to learn. The teacher knew we were beginners and so taught us at our pace,” she adds. Despite their nerves, the couple found the dance lessons had a calming influence. “Planning a wedding can be really stressful, and in the weeks before the big day, you’re often so busy getting things in order. It was really nice to spend a Sunday morning together where we were both concentrating on just the dance. It really took our minds off of all the other things going on.” The couple kept their dance lessons a closely guarded secret until it was time to perform. “Our guests were completely shocked and broke into applause; it was a really lovely moment for everyone,” says Kirsty. “The look on their faces was well worth it. I’d definitely recommend it because a lot of people feel awkward during

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their first dance, but when you have to concentrate on the steps it helps take your mind off of the fact that everyone is looking at you.”


As well as an opportunity to create that special moment, a well-planned first dance can also help set the tone for the night ahead. When Matt and Kirsty Glanfield tied the knot they decided to seek the creative flair of Bristol Dance Company, who taught the couple an energetic jive to Do You Love Me? by the Contours. “It was quite complicated considering we were beginners,” says Matt, adding: “But it was brilliant!” The couple had one lesson every week for three months before their big day and also practised at home. When the big moment came, they also surprised their guests with

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the routine. Matt adds: “Everyone was clapping and cheering, and it really helped set the scene for the rest of the night. As soon as our dance was over everyone headed to the dance floor, and that’s the way it stayed, ALL night long!” Kirsty and Matt enjoyed their first dance so much that they now encourage others to go down the same route. “Go for it, bite the bullet and do it, fully commit but remember to enjoy it. It’s great for fitness, and for losing a few pounds, and it's also so much fun. Just remember to practise, practise, practise!" After all, what better way to entertain your guests and get the party started than your very own dance to your favourite song? Even the most musically challenged can now perfect their performance with a little help from the experts. So put on your dancing shoes and be proud as you take to the floor for the first time as husband and wife.

OUR GUIDE TO THE PERFECT PERFORMANCE • Find the right song for you. • Take your dress and accessories into consideration and wear a similar style skirt during lessons. • When learning the routine, wear your wedding shoes or the same type of footwear. • Practice makes perfect, so book your lessons in good time and put in the extra work outside of class. • If you make a mistake on the day just keep going — your guests don’t know the routine. • Remember to enjoy the applause — this is your moment in the spotlight!


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Set in the heart of the North Somerset countryside, The Battleaxes in Wraxall boasts one of the most stunning backdrops in the area for weddings and civil ceremonies. The Battleaxes is part of the Tyntesfield Estate and shows off stunning period features. The grand Club Room is a large and inviting space, benefiting from beautiful Gothic Revival features, wooden floors and an open log fire. This coupled with our attentive staff, award-winning food and newly refurbished B&B guest rooms will ensure your day and night are to be fondly remembered. We have a dedicated wedding planner to hold your hand as much or as little as you require. Please call to arrange a visit to our beautiful venue. CAPACITY: Ceremony & Wedding Breakfast 90 guests Ceremony & Wedding Breakfast 140 guests (over two adjoining rooms) Evening Reception - 140 guests

01275 857473

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Bristol Road, Wraxall, BS48 1LQ

13/02/2015 11:25:14


Anna Bell shares her ideas for creating a wedding day that won’t break the bank

Princess on a shoestring


hen you’re planning your big day on a strict budget you don’t want your guests to think the theme is frugality. Yet, with a bit of imagination and a lot of organisation, you can plan a wedding fit for a princess on a shoestring budget. Get planning: The first step is to set up a spreadsheet with everything you’re going to have for your big day. Make-up, underwear, flowers, the reception venue costs, anything that you’re spending related to the wedding. Allocate a budget for each item, and try to stick to it as much as you can. When you pay for anything update your spreadsheet, that way you’ll know if you’ve overspent or saved money that you can use elsewhere. Your list will help curb your impulse buys and stop you from getting carried away. Go bold: One of the ways to hide the fact that you’ve planned your big day on a budget is to splurge on a few things that will stick in your guests’ minds or divert attention away from missing items. Why not hire an unusual venue or a brilliant band for the evening? It will be more memorable for those attending than an abundance of flowers or a luxury car. You can also go bold with flowers, ordering eye-catching bright bouquets for you and your bridesmaids that will distract guests from the absence of flowers elsewhere. Venue hunting: If you steer clear of traditional venues you can often bag yourself a bargain. Look out for places off the beaten track in your local area; gardens open to the public, museums and heritage sites or farms. They are often a fraction of the price and bring a quirky and unique dimension to your wedding. Do look out for hidden costs when booking your venue. Do you have to hire in a bar? If you supply your own wine, what’s the corkage charge? Make sure you know exactly what the costs are going to be before you commit. Also, ask them if they have anything that you can

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use for table decorations; often venues have candelabra or vases tucked away that they use for other functions. Beg and borrow: One of the really lovely ways to make your friends and family feel part of your big day is to get them to help out. Think about borrowing items you’ll never use again such as veils and tiaras from recently married friends. Get friends or family with particular skills such as photography or hair and makeup to help out on the day. Perhaps you know someone with a cool car who might drive you to and from the venue. For my own wedding our friend with a 1970s Allegro played chauffeur and our guests loved our retro choice of vehicle. They were so busy snapping pictures of the novelty car they hadn’t even realised that it didn’t cost us a penny. Get crafty: Weddings are the time to embrace your inner Blue Peter presenter and get making what you can. Table centres don’t have to be floral, or cost the earth. I’ve seen vases filled with Granny Smith apples that looked stunning. Baking wedding favours is an economical option too. Gingerbread hearts are easy to make, but look and taste great. Shop the high street: Look around at everyday high street shops for wedding ideas. Department stores, Monsoon, BHS, and TK Maxx do wedding and bridesmaid dresses that are beautiful and don’t carry the bridal boutique price tag. Shops such as Marks and Spencer’s have cakes that you can stack and decorate yourself, along with cutting cakes,

so you can have a variety of flavours without spending a fortune. Suppliers without shops: Look on the internet for florists and photographers who work from home, meaning they don’t pass on costly shop overheads. Choose a CD only package from your photographer, then make your own wedding photo album on an online printing site such as Blurb or Albelli. Remember to sign up for their newsletters and order the book when there is a sale on. Finally, remember it’s your big day: The worst thing you can do when planning a wedding on a shoestring is to listen to what other people want – with the exception of your partner, of course! Don’t have what you think you should have or who you should have there. Just think, with every guest you eliminate from your list you save on their meal, welcome drink, wine and wedding favour. Lastly, keep in mind why you want a budget wedding. Are you already in debt? Are you saving for deposit on a house? Whatever your reason, remind yourself of it often. If you’re tempted to splurge over your budgeted amount, think of why you wanted to budget in the first place. Anna Bell is the author of new novel Don’t Tell the Brides-To-Be, the third in the series about Penny Robinson, and which follows her adventures with her wedding planning service Princess on a Shoestring. The book is out now, published by Quercus, priced £7.99


12/02/2015 16:47:37


Beauty Bible Our round up of the best bridal beauty products for spring


Ted Baker Mia

Mia is the perfect spring perfume with notes of rose, freesia, blackcurrant, lemon and raspberry with a smoky base of patchouli and amber. As well as smelling amazing, we also love the packaging, in its tones of blush pink and gold. And at a handy 10ml purse size, you can easily pop this in your wedding day handbag and have room for all your other essentials.



Bodhi and Birch Neroli Lucé Facial Oil

We’re a big fan of facial oils here at West Weddings Towers, especially after a long cold winter – they’re great for adding a boost of extra moisturise. So when this new Neroli Lucé facial oil from Bodhi and Birch landed on our desk, we got very excited. This brand is all about the pure ingredients and being free from chemical nasties, and the product’s blend of neroli, frankincense and sea buckthorn left our skin deliciously smooth and smelling delicious! W: WWW.BODHIANDBIRCH.COM


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Tom Ford beard oil

One for the boys here, but we had to include this Tom Ford beard oil. Made from grapeseed, almond and jojoba essential oils, it conditions beards as well as moisturising the skin underneath. It comes in three gorgeous fragrances which smell truly delicious and are complementary to Tom Ford scents — the Oud Wood with rose wood, cardamon and vetiver is our particular favourite. As well as loving the scent on our tester, editor Helen is partial to stealing a little herself!



Balance Me Shine On tinted lipbalm in Blush

We’re always on the hunt for a lip product that moisturises as well as it colours, and we're onto a good thing here with this new tinted lipbalm from natural cosmetics company Balance Me. It adds the perfect spring hue of pink to lips without being too shiny. W: WWW.BALANCEME.CO.UK


Lanolips Triple Buttermilk Body Balm

Using this rich cream is like being enveloped in a soft velvet glove. With ultra puregrade lanolin milk and Vitamin E it's a great treat for your skin, and will get you wedding dress-ready after a winter of long sleeved jumpers and tights!



Benefit Lollitint

The latest to join the Benefit line of cheek and lip tints, Lollitint is a gorgeous pop of candy pink that gives you great colour as both a blush and a lipstick. It suits all skin tones, too, and is guaranteed to give smudge-proof cover, making it a W-Day essential.


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Been asked to stand up for your bestie? Katie Griffiths shows you how to be the perfect bridesmaid


he invite has landed. The ‘wedding of the season’ is approaching and you are playing a major part in it as a bridesmaid. Excited, scared? You should be both. Being a bridesmaid is one of many things: it’s a privilege, it’s a whole heap of fun but it can also be petrifying and nerve-racking. From organising the best hen do to giving your opinion on bridal underwear and whether the bride should go for a smoky eye or natural look (natural all the time by the way), your new role will require energy and insight, but panic not, as with this guide of dos and don’ts, you’ll be bridesmaid-ready in no time.


You might be asked to make a speech or give a reading at the service. Don’t panic; this is a huge honour, so just make sure you don’t mess up. There’s a good chance it will be recorded and played back for years to come. Practice is key: read it out loud several times and speak slowly. On the day of the wedding it’s usually expected that bridesmaids help the bride get dressed. Bridesmaids should be on call during the preparation phase and this includes making sure the bride doesn’t drink too much fizz whilst she’s having her hair done. This has happened before and a drunk bride is never a good look, trust me.




Your first task should be to immediately offer your services of help. Day or night you need to be available to the bride. Nobody said this job was easy, but it’s guaranteed to be fun and you get to wear a pretty dress. Start to plan the hen do and make it great. It will be plastered all over Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and your credability as a friend will depend on it. Take into account everyone’s budget too. Nobody will thank you for suggesting a week in New York. Yes it would be amazing but be realistic. A weekend in Edinburgh will be just as impressive and won’t require a bank loan. Provide emotional support. This means being a shoulder to cry on when the bride decides she hates her wedding dress or colour theme and she’s having doubts about where great aunt Betty should sit. On a serious note, it can be an emotional time for the bride, so be there for her when she needs you.

Don’t be late for anything under any circumstances. Be early – preferably really early, as it makes you look super organised when you turn up first to any parties and rehearsal dinners. Even if you’re not too keen on your bridesmaid dress, don't utter a word. The bride and groom will probably be paying for the dress so you just have to suck it up and wear whatever you are put in. You’re a big part of the day, sure, but it’s not your day. Don’t relay the weather forecast to the bride. This will not only make her cry if it’s bad, but will cause you further issues and stress. Don’t get hammered and start bitching on the wedding day. Have a few drinks but avoid going overboard on the Prosecco and telling everyone what a bridezilla your mate has been. Don’t fight with the other bridesmaids. Sometimes there can be a battle to be the best. It’s not a competition and there

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will be no winner on the day. Get on and work together as a team to make the bride’s day as amazing as it can be.

FIVE THINGS TO REMEMBER 1. Always carry hair grips. Not only are they useful for pinning loose bits of hair, they are also handy when the bride rips the bottom of her dress (true story). 2. Wear your shoes in before the big day and encourage the bride to do the same. It will save you so much pain on the day. 3. Wear waterproof mascara. Even coldhearted bridesmaids have been known to turn into a blubbering mess during the vows. 4. Make sure the bride drinks enough water. Yes, it sounds very sensible, but she will thank you for handing her a glass of water every now and then. 5. Always have lip gloss/lipstick to hand; the bride will inevitably want it at some point. Cut this out, put it in your wedding notebook (you will have one, trust me) and then all you need to do now is start planning and practising your smile for the big day.


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1 6 stationery trends for 2015 Cath and Holly from The Paper Bride showcase their favourite wedding stationery styles for the year ahead



Forget back to school, chalkboard-style wedding invites are big news this year. Following on from the trend for chalkboard venue signs, black invites with cool typography picked out in white are a guaranteed W-day hit. Try them if: You’re planning a beautiful barn wedding with lots of bold florals and on-trend rustic touches. Shop the look: We love this Floral Chalkboard collection by Devon-based stationery company Swoon at the Moon (invites from £1.25).



Ombre details have been a wedding hit for a while, and have inspired this beautiful new trend for delicate washes of colour. Hand-painted invites are perfect for pared-back brides, and look incredible with beautiful script fonts. Try them if: You’ve set your heart on a chic celebration in a modern venue but don’t want to compromise on romance. Shop the look: The pretty-in-pink hues of this Blush collection by Sincerely May are perfect for a spring celebration (invites from £1.75).


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For wedding stationery with a difference, you can’t beat kraft card. This distinctive textured cardstock gives your invites a rusticchic vibe, and is a must-have for a whimsical woodland wedding. Try them if: Your dream wedding takes place in a flower-filled meadow with tipis, twinkling fairy lights and wildflowers galore. Shop the look: Plymouth-based stationery company, Silver Deer, capture the look with their quirky-chic Rustic Charm collection (invites £2.18).


Ever since Poppy Delevingne tied the knot in a lavish ceremony in Marrakech, we’ve been obsessing over Moroccan-themed wedding details. Think boho romance with flashes of bright colour and geometric patterns. Try them if: You’re planning a wedding abroad with a romantic beach setting, cocktails and dancing into the night. Shop the look: The delicate Moroccan Patterns collection from Cheltenham-based Little Bird Weddings comes in a variety of colourways (invites from £3.25).


This season, the trend for garden party romance has moved on from vintage-look Cath Kidston-style florals to a simpler style. Think crisp white stationery with apple green highlights and touches of kraft card to work the trend. Try them if: You’re throwing a garden partyinspired wedding in the grounds of a beautiful country house – a white marquee is a must! Shop the look: Delicate but decadent, the Rustic Romance collection by Oyster & Pearl is a masterpiece in understated elegance (invites from £2.50).


A summer wedding isn’t complete without masses of bright flowers, and the trend for overstated florals captures the look perfectly. Search out simple, stylised flower details and vibrant colours to rock the look. Try them if: Your big day has a fun festival vibe with bright bold flower arrangements taking pride of place! Shop the look: We can’t resist the bright colours in this Simply Floral collection by Hip Hip Hooray (invites from 80p).

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About The Paper Bride Need a hand with your stationery? Then head to Cath and Holly’s brand new blog, The Paper Bride (www.paperbrideblog. com). Packed full of wording tips, DIY tutorials, design ideas and general paper prettiness, it's guaranteed to inspire you!

4 6 SAVE ON YOUR STATIONERY Cut the cost of your invites with Cath and Holly's quick tips


1) Pick up some printables. Try websites such as for gorgeous (and free!) save the date downloads, all of which can be personalised and printed off at home. 2) Think about postage. You’ll spend lots more if your invites stray into large letter territory, so keep your costs down by limiting the number of sheets inside your invite and avoiding chunky embellishments.


3) Print your invites yourself. You can get some great deals with local print shops, and lots of companies now offer “Ready to Print” versions of their collections that you download for less. We love 4) Set up a wedding website. Putting details of your accommodation, gift list, directions and RSVPs online means you won’t need information sheets. 5) Limit on the day details. Menus and orders of service look lovely, but the cost can add up. Try having one framed menu per table, and display your order of service on a chalkboard if you’re trying to keep your budget under control.

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Make an entrance on your special day.

For more information or to book your private show-round of the resort call 01249 823887, email and quote “West Weddings� or visit Bowood Hotel, Spa and Golf Resort, Derry Hill, Calne,Wiltshire, SN11 9PQ p74.indd 1

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A peaceful park Helen Dorritt finds the Bowood Hotel, Spa and Golf Resort to be an oasis of tranquillity


ritten above the stunning gold gates which flank the entrance to the Bowood estate is the phrase ‘peace to those entering and those who live within’. I can’t think of many better omens for a wedding — or a better entrance as a couple. Pass through the ornate doors and the tree-lined drive is revealed, flanked with gorgeous green parkland as far as the eye can see. Which is why the Bowood Hotel, Spa and Golf Resort really does has a wedding wow factor, and which is why a visit to this Wiltshirebased venue is one that won’t easily be forgotten. Home to the Marquis and Marchioness of Lansdowne, Bowood House is a gorgeous example of eighteenth century architecture, framed by beautiful gardens and set in 2,000 acres of pristine parkland. The Bowood Hotel, Spa and Golf Resort is built in the park, with interiors designed by Lady Lansdowne, and offers a contemporary venue which perfectly complements the history of the main house. A wedding at Bowood is therefore a perfect blend of modern and traditional. The hotel has two licensed rooms for weddings: the Kerry Suite can accommodate

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up to 160 guests or, for a more intimate wedding, the Fitzmaurice room, in the heart of the estate’s farmhouse, seats 50. After your ceremony, you can have drinks on the terrace and take in the gorgeous views, before enjoying a delicious dinner tailored to your requirements, with produce sourced where possible from Lord and Lady Lansdowne’s private garden. Your guests will love the fact that there are 43 bedrooms on offer, so they can stay on after the festivities, and they (and you!) will love the chance to be pampered in the hotel’s spa as a pre or post wedding treat. As the couple of the hour, you get a complimentary night’s stay in the hotel in one of the suites, all six of which are named for illustrious Lansdowne family members, with two boasting beautiful four poster beds. There’s also the opportunity for a special prewedding treat, by staying in the Queenswood Lodge on the estate which can sleep up to eight people. This beautiful Georgian house comes with its own private chef and host, so you can enjoy a dinner with your family and bridal party the night before and really start your celebrations in style.



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e the lord and lady of the manor for a day by choosing one of these spectacular castles for your wedding. If a fairytale wedding is something you’ve always daydreamed about then what better type of venue to pick? Maybe you’re a Philippa Gregory fan and want to recreate the romance of the Tudor period for the day, or you’ve always loved the ending of Cinderella and desire dramatic photos of you and your prince on the top of a tower. Whatever the reason, here’s our pick of the venues that can make your dreams a reality.

in Clevedon sits atop a hill with glorious views of six counties and the Bristol Channel. Its eight turrets surrounding the main keep have been cleverly adapted to provide eight double bedrooms, a dining and entertainment room, a sun terrace and even an indoor heated pool. There are three licensed areas to get married in, including one outside, and the dedicated team prides itself on organising the wedding you’ve always dreamed of.

TURRETED SPLENDOUR Perfect for large weddings of up to 250 guests, Clearwell Castle, which is just 45 minutes from Bristol, Cheltenham and Gloucester, offers the castle and grounds on an exclusive use basis including 15 bedrooms for your guests. Say your vows in the beautiful ballroom with its ornate leaded windows and 75ft aisle, have pictures taken outside in front of the crenellated turrets and then dance the night away in the ballroom. The venue even offers a two day wedding package for you to take full advantage of all the activities the castle has to offer, including archery, clay pigeon shooting and beauty treatments.

THE UK’S ONLY TUDOR CASTLE HOTEL 500 year old architecture? Check. Beautiful grounds? Check. Award winning cuisine? Check. Romance oozing out of every stone? Check! Sitting on the edge of the Cotswolds, Thornbury Castle is a Tudor fantasy come to life — Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn even stayed here on their honeymoon. After your celebrations, guests can stay in the hotel’s 26 unique bedrooms. We’d advise you to bag the Tower Suite, with its sumptuous four poster bed.


PANORAMIC VIEWS A 17th century hunting lodge that has been fully and beautifully restored, Walton Castle 76

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HISTORIC HOTEL OK, so it’s not technically a castle as much as a Victorian mansion built in Tudor style, but we couldn’t resist adding Tortworth Court to our castle round up. Carved turrets, mullioned stone windows, a square tower — it’s got

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CLEARWELL everything you want to make your fairytale wedding come true. There are a number of licensed rooms for a ceremony, including the light-filled Orangery, after which you can pose for photos in the hotel’s private arboretum. TORTWORTH COURT FOUR PILLARS HOTEL WOTTON UNDER EDGE, SOUTH GLOUCESTERSHIRE GL12 8HH T: 01454 263000 W: WWW.TORTWORTHCOURTHOTEL.CO.UK

900 YEARS OF HERITAGE History buffs and romantics alike will adore Berkeley Castle and the stories that the walls

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WALTON could tell — Queen Elizabeth I strolled on its lawns, Francis Drake’s chest is on display and the Berkeley family has lived here since the 12th century. The ceremony rooms are steeped in history, too: you can get married in a 14th century hall or a 13th century church in the castle’s grounds. When you’re planning your wedding photography, take advantage of the sunset, when the castle’s pink stone walls glow softly.

COTSWOLD CHARMS If it’s good enough for Liz Hurley’s wedding, it’s good enough for yours! Nestled in the Cotswolds Hills, the 1,000 year old Sudeley Castle also has Tudor connections, as it is the resting place of Katherine Parr, Henry VIII’s last wife. There are three licensed rooms, plus a private chapel where you can have your marriage blessed, and the awardwinning gardens are great for photos.



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City centre chic Helen Dorritt sips a cocktail or two at the elegant Goldbrick House in Bristol


ocated right in the middle of Bristol’s Park Street, just steps away from both the Clifton area of the city and the historic harbourside, sits Goldbrick House. It might be a bit of a schlep up the hill, but any aching legs are worth it when you walk up the steps of this stylish venue. Goldbrick House is a conversion of two Georgian town houses and a Victorian factory into an extremely versatile food and drink emporium. “I’d describe the interior of the building as magnificent and considered without being pretentious,” says Katherine Minton, the Senior Weddings and Event Manager. And that’s certainly true: dark wooden flooring and panelling meshes perfectly with feature wallpaper, porcelain chandeliers and gorgeous period fireplaces. But it’s not just a pretty face: since its opening, the venue has built up an enviable reputation in the region, being listed in the Observer’s top 50 UK bars and its restaurant being awarded 2 AA rosettes. In that time, Goldbrick House has also organised 200 weddings, so you can be sure that your special day is in the right hands. “Whether you’re getting married, require a wedding reception or simply want to celebrate with a few close friends in your own private setting, Goldbrick House will have something to offer


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you,” says Katherine. The layout of the venue makes it easy for its team to create a wedding day that’s unique to you, mixing and matching its split-level rooms to suit your numbers and the type of celebration you want to achieve, with five areas of the venue being licensed for civil ceremonies. If light-flooded rooms with stunning views of Bristol and the surrounding countryside are your thing, then the Loft is the room for you. If you love Georgian style with elegant features, then the Library and Study would be perfect. The dedicated team approach each wedding as a bespoke celebration, so it’s put together based on a couple’s requirements, rather than a package. And when it comes to the food, this is one wedding breakfast your guests are going to be talking about for a long time afterwards. With a menu described as “modern British with a strong European influence”, there’s a range of options available to you including set price dinners, table feasts, finger buffets, hot buffets or canapés. The drink range is also enviable, and with cocktails including gin punch, a Gibson or the signature Goldbrick (rum, Champagne, passion fruit and elderflower, in case you were wondering), one of these would be a great way to kick off your wedding celebrations in the style in which you mean for them to go on.


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Beautiful Bespoke Weddings Beautiful Bespoke Weddings At Goldbrick House At Goldbrick House

Goldbrick House is the most perfect and beautiful weddings venue in Bristol. Our dedicated wedding coordinator will guide you through every step of planning your day, with our recommended suppliers, acute attention to detail and years of experience to hand.

Call Goldbrick House on 0117 9451950.

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Stunning Wedding venue in the heart of Clifton.

Wedding receptions for up to 180 guests For more information, contact Rachel Macfarlane T: 0117 315 7669 E: p80.indd 1 CCSL Wedding A4 Stunning Jan 15.indd 1

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DING DONG THE BELLS AR E GONNA CHIME! A DD A TOUC H OF T H E AT R IC A L I T Y TO YOU R W E DDI NG DAY A N D GE T M A R R I E D ON T H E BR I S TOL H I PP ODROM E S TAGE . I F T H E R E ’ S E V E R A T I M E TO BE C E N T R E S TAGE I T ’ S ON YOU R SPE C I A L DAY. Wit h s e at i ng for 1951 g ue s t s you c a n b e c er t a i n of a ver y u n ique a nd memor a ble d ay. Ple a s e c ont ac t a l i s ong u r ne y @ t he a mba s s ador s .c om for more i n for mat ion .

Thornbury Castle is one of the most unique and romantic wedding venues in the country. Offering intimate all inclusive packages from £4,000 to exclusive hire of the Hotel with marquees to accommodate 400 guests within our beautiful grounds. Immerse yourself in the splendour of the Castle itself – this is a place of great romance, infused with a sense of royal history, love and passion – enjoyed by Henry 8th and Anne Boleyn on their honeymoon tour over 500 years ago. 26 individually designed bed chambers Award winning cuisine and consultation with the Chef

Civil ceremony license 15 acres of private grounds and gardens Personal Wedding Coordinator

Please contact our dedicated Wedding Coordinator to arrange a personal viewing and organise your bespoke package. Telephone 01454 281182 Email A Champagne Afternoon Tea for the Bride and Groom on us if you quote “WesT WeddinGs 2015” when booking with us

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Martin Dabek Photography Contact Martin Dabek Telephone 0117 350 1032 Email Website

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Tschornow Photography Contact Paul Tschornow Telephone 07533 848807 Email Website


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Aztec West, Almondsbury, Bristol, BS32 4TS

Aldwick Court Farm & Vineyard, Aldwick Court Farm, Redhill, Bristol, BS40 5RF

T: 01454 201090 E: W:

T: 01934 864 404 E: W:

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

CAPACITY: Exclusive use of the venue means we are able to accommodate up to 140 guests for a civil ceremony and 180 guests for a wedding breakfast. Evening receptions can be held for a maximum of 220 guests.

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.



FACILITIES: Aldwick Court Farm & Vineyard lies amidst beautiful countryside, and is surrounded by the charm of a working Somerset Vineyard. The venue, in all its splendour, is perfect for weddings and ofers a refreshing alternative to traditional venues. Aldwick Court Farm & Vineyard provides exclusive use of its two adjoining stone barns, oak-foored reception area, brick walled bar, courtyard, terrace and gardens, with breath-taking views of the Vineyard and rolling Mendip Hills. ©LW



Bowood Hotel, Spa and Golf Resort, Calne, Wiltshire SN11 9PQ

Falfield, Gloucestershire GL12 8DA

T: 01249 822228 E: W:

T: 01454 262805 W:

CAPACITY: A variety of suites available to hold up to 120 for a ceremony and 160 for a wedding breakfast. FACILITIES: Set in the beautiful 2,000 acre Bowood Estate in the heart of the Wiltshire countryside yet only minutes from civilisation, Bowood offers the complete package as a wedding venue, from the ceremony itself to the reception for up to 160 and a boutique hotel for guests to stay in. There is also a gorgeous spa and exclusive 4 bedroom lodge (Queenwood Lodge) ideal for the bride and bridesmaids to stay in the night before.

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. ©LW



Priston Mill, Bath, BA2 9EQ

Priston Mill, Bath, BA2 9EQ

T: 01225 423894 E: W:

T: 01225 423894 E: W:

CAPACITY: ceremonies & Receptions up to 150 guests & 200 in the evening

CAPACITY: ceremonies & Receptions up to 90 guests & 130 in the evening

FACILITIES: The stone walled 18th century Tythe Barn has a high vaulted roof with exposed timbers and is perfect for wedding ceremonies and receptions. To one side of the barn there is a bar, well stocked with local brews and on the mezzanine a comfy seating area. The adjoining lounge, complete with wood burner, is a cosy area for reception drinks and relaxing in.

FACILITIES: The picturesque gardens of the Watermill make a beautiful setting for drinks receptions and outdoor ceremonies. Inside there is a rustic charm with themed lighting, hessian hangings and an old iron waterwheel rumbling, in the background, as it has done for centuries. Yet inside you’ll also find cosy contemporary furnishings, a snug, smart bar and a large airy room with wooden beams and stone arches that’s perfect for indoor ceremonies and receptions.


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VENUES THE BATTLEAXES Bristol Road, Wraxall, Somerset, BS48 1LQ T: 01275 857473 E: W: CAPACITY: Ceremony & Wedding Breakfast - 90 guests Ceremony & Wedding Breakfast - 140 guests over two adjoining rooms Evening Reception - 140 guests

THE BRISTOL GOLF CLUB St Swithins Park, Blackhorse Hill, Almondsbury, Bristol, BS10 7TP T: 01454 620000 E: W: CAPACITY: 120 guests - civil ceremony 120 guests - wedding breakfast 200 guests - evening reception

FACILITIES: Set in the heart of the North Somerset countryside, The Battleaxes in Wraxall boasts one of the most stunning backdrops in the area for weddings and civil ceremonies. The Battleaxes is part of the Tyntesfield Estate and shows off stunning period features. The grand Club Room is a large and inviting space, benefiting from beautiful, Gothic Revival features, wooden floors and an open log fire. This coupled with our attentive staff, award-winning food and newly refurbished B&B guest rooms will ensure your day (and night) is one to remember. We have a dedicated wedding planner to hold your hand as much or as little as you require.

FACILITIES: As you pass the gates and enter the sweeping tree lined drive you are greeted with panoramic views of both Severn bridges, the Severn estuary and the surrounding countryside which provides the ideal setting for your wedding reception and the perfect backdrop for your wedding album. Our extensive facilities allow you unrivalled flexibility, whether you are looking for the most intimate occasion or the grandest and most lavish celebration.



Binley Farm, Kingscote, Tetbury, GL8 8YE T: 01453 861161 E: W: CAPACITY: Ceremonies & receptions up to 150 guests and 200 guests for an evening reception. FACILITIES: The Kingscote Barn is a Cotswold Stone Barn which has been sympathetically restored to the highest possible standards nestled away in its own secret valley. The warm neutral dĂŠcor allows you to decorate the barn with your own individual style and ideas. Exposed oak beams and soft lighting add to the romantic ambiance of this magical venue. Luxury onsite accommodation.


Mercure Bristol North, The Grange Hotel Old Gloucester Road, Winterbourne, Bristol, BS36 1RP T: 01454 771403 E: 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.


Sadler Street, Wells, Somerset BA5 2RX T: 01749 836300 W:

Tortworth, Wotton-under-Edge South Gloucestershire, GL12 8HH

CAPACITY: 90 guests for a sit down wedding breakfast and 150 for evening receptions

T: 01454 263000 E: W:

FACILITIES: Whether it’s an intimate wedding, a large wedding reception or the civil wedding ceremony itself, the BEST WESTERN PLUS Swan Hotel prides itself on providing the perfect wedding venue in Somerset. Civil wedding ceremonies are held in the delightful Garden Room. This light and airy room lends itself beautifully to civil wedding ceremonies and opens out onto a secluded Walled Garden. The Oak Room, located on the ground floor, has its own reception and bar area and seats up to 90 guests for a wedding breakfast. Evening functions for up to 150 guests can be catered for by hiring the interconnecting Garden Room. At the front of our hotel, Swan Terrace provides a unique opportunity to capture Wells Cathedral as a stunning backdrop for wedding photographs.

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CAPACITY: Up to 280 FACILITIES: 190 bedrooms. Luxury country house hotel set in 30 acres of picturesque parkland, overlooking the lake. Also offers the spa and leisure club.


13/02/2015 12:43:24


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.

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13/02/2015 11:49:08

Get yourself noticed by the Bride-to-be’s!

Call Jacqui Lewis on

0117 934 3136

to advertise in the next issue of West Weddings Magazine

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13/02/2015 11:51:29


Give me away


A large part of weddings are tied up in what are essentially very patriarchal traditions and symbolism, and being given away by your father is one of these. I totally agree that it should be your day and your way, and as a modern couple, you and your partner should be able to pick and choose which of these traditions you want to include. Sometimes, however, just doing one small thing can mean the world to others, and I think that this is the case when it comes to asking your father to walk you down the aisle. For a lot of us, weddings are about family, and this is a very easy method to get yours involved, without ceding any control over other elements of the day. If you’ve got a close bond with your father, then this is a lovely way to honour that and to let him know how much he means to you. If you’ve become a little distant, then it can also be a good means by which to heal a rift and grow closer. Your father has probably dreamed about this day for years, so for you to turn around and say you’d rather someone else walked you down the aisle could cause him a lot of anguish, which will add a sour note to what should be a universally happy occasion. Sometimes men can feel left out of their daughter’s wedding, as it’s usually the mother of the bride who helps pick the dress, gets giggly over accessories, goes for a manicure with the bridesmaids the day before. But by asking him to complete this task, you’ll ensure that he definitely feels he’s a part, and an important one at that, of one of the most special days of your life.


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Should it always be a male figure that gives the bride away? Suzie Kidger says not, but Louise Jarndyce is in favour of keeping it traditional


It’s your wedding and your day, so you should feel confident enough to freely go against any tradition you wish. Not everyone is close to their father, step father or even their grandad, so why should we be restricted as to who takes this role? Plenty of people have a stronger bond with their mother or another female in their family, so it should be up to you to select who you’d like to walk you down the aisle. And we’ve moved on from the days when the woman was chattel, being handed from the possession of one man to another. This symbolism is no longer necessary. Let’s be honest here; you only plan to do this once, so you need to make the right decision for yourself, not because your father feels like he needs a role in the wedding. Being there to hear you say your vows and marry the love of your life should be enough. The people who share your special day should be your nearest and dearest, so there is no reason why we should be constrained by tradition when the ceremony is the most important. The day I decide to get married I will most likely have my mother by my side, because while other people have come and gone, she has always been there. It’s not just the actual act of walking you down the aisle to meet your groom, but the meaning behind it. So when it comes to tradition, you should be free to throw the rule book out the window and be comfortable in linking arms with whoever you like to give you away. your thoughts via email or Twitter What do you think? Let us know

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12/02/2015 17:12:39

Sposa Elegante Buy your Bridal Gown and get Maid of Honour dress free

10% off for NHS staff

For further information or to book an appointment please call

Tel: 0117 239 7006 40 Temple Street, Keynsham, Bristol, BS31 1EH email:

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13/02/2015 11:34:58

Gloucestershire’s exclusive-use wedding venue Set in beautiful Gloucestershire countryside, Eastwood Park mansion house and 200 acre estate is the perfect setting for your wedding.

Exclusive use of house Civil weddings Superb seasonal cuisine Choice of packages For more information visit our website, call Claire, our dedicated wedding planner, on

+44 (0) 1454 262805 or email

Eastwood Park Wotton-under-Edge Glos GL12 8DA

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13/02/2015 11:36:16

Profile for West  Weddings

West Weddings Spring 2015  

West Weddings Spring 2015