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Impression Bridal Sassi Holford Sottero & Midgley THE BEST UK-BASED HONEYMOONS



A look at crafty hen dos

Swing into spring Berwick Lodge offers a warm welcome for our gorgeous wedding showcase


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The Anne Harding Bridal Experience We look forward to welcoming you to Anne Harding Weddings - situated in Stoke Bishop just a few minutes from the Downs and close to the city centre, our bridal and menswear showroom offers you Free Parking and a spacious showroom. We are the only bridal shop in the area that offer you the chance to either hire a bridal gown, buy your bridal gown or design your own made to measure bridal gown. We understand how daunting the process of looking for your dream dress can be but also just how exciting finding your perfect bridal gown should be. We are a friendly, welcoming and professional shop and you will be made to feel at ease the minute you arrive instore - we will offer you a tea, coffee or cold drink on arrival and our team of bridal consultants look forward to helping you find your dream wedding dress. We also stock an extensive range of Dessy bridesmaid dresses and we can coordinate the cravats colours to match exactly in our mens formal hire department, offering your wedding party the full service all under one roof. Please telephone for an appointment on 0117 9683074 and we look forward to being part of your bridal experience!

Find us on facebook

(Anne Harding Bristol)


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Formal Suit Hire for Men and Boys How will you make your entrance... A Tailcoat is a long jacket, cut away at the front, single buttoned and tapered round to the back to form the ‘tail’. A full range of Waistcoats and Cravats are available for hire with Tailcoats as well as extras such as Top Hats and canes. Prince Edward Jackets are a longer, four-buttoned suit jacket which can be worn with the full range of Waistcoats and Cravats. Shoes can be hired with the Prince Edward outfit. Lounge Suit jackets are cut much like a classic two-button suit and are also known as Short Morning Jackets which can also be worn with the full range of Waistcoats and Cravats. Frockcoats have a knee length skirt all around the base of the jacket. It is a jacket with a single vent at the back. Frockcoats can be worn with the full range of Waistcoats and Cravats. A Top Hat can be worn with the Frockcoat. Anne Harding Formal Man is excited to offer Tailored Fit Light Weight Suits in a range of styles and NEW for 2014 are our SLIM FIT SHIRTS to hire or buy!!!! Visit our showroom in Stoke Bishop, Bristol to view our extensive range of suits telephone 0117 9683074 for an appointment.

Slim Fit Shirts to Hire

Ta Fit S ilored uit Hire s to

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

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THE TEAM Editor: Helen Dorritt Editorial assistant: Ellie Pipe Blog editor & proofreader: Kate Hacker Writers and contributors: Cath Davies, Shana Dillon, Louise Jarndyce, Sophie Smith, Carla Yorukoglu Photoshoot art direction: Kirsten Butler Design: Cath Evans Production manager: Cath Evans Production co-ordinators: Emma Gorton & Ruth Wood Commercial director: Paul Kimberley 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: Simon Butler T: 0117 934 3741 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 westweddings, like us on Facebook & check out our blog at www.westweddings. FREE COVERING BATH, BRISTOL , GLOUCESTERSHIRE, SOMERSET & WILTSHIRE



Welcome to West Weddings Spring 2014

There’s nothing better than the arrival of the brighter days after months of rain and cold! Spring and its association with new beginnings make this a great time of year to be saying your vows and celebrating your relationship, so we’ve packed this issue full of ideas to help you plan your perfect day! Despite being shot back in December, our photo shoot at Berwick Lodge in Bristol created a dream spring wedding. Pretty frocks, gorgeous jewellery, funky stationery and the cutest ever flower girl and dog made for images that are light, bright and full of the joys of spring! I hope you like these beautiful pictures as much as myself and the rest of the team did. Sometimes the best honeymoon destinations are close to home, so check out our picks of the best UK staycations on p.62. Sophie Smith tests the ultimate in crafty hen dos on p.70, and we take a look at the top spots for pre-wedding pampering on p.68. And for the ultimate in inspiration, four local couples share their heart-warming stories with us, starting on p.20. So make a cuppa, sit back, and enjoy the best of what the West has to offer for your wedding! And as always, we love to hear from you, so please do tweet, email or Facebook us with your thoughts on the issue!




Impression Bridal Sassi Holford Sottero & Midgley THE BEST UK-BASED HONEYMOONS


A look at crafty hen dos

Swing into spring

Helen Dorritt



Berwick Lodge offers a warm welcome for our gorgeous wedding showcase


15/01/2014 20:58:53


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6 REGULARS 6 Wedding news A round up of the latest news 13 Ask the experts Your questions answered 20 Real weddings Four couples share the details of their big day 45 Grooms A guide to writing your speech plus the best products for male grooming 48 Budget and countdown Keep track of those facts and figures 84 Photo gallery Fantastic photography from the best in the West 88 Directory Lots of local contacts 90 Last word Should the bride make a speech?

FASHION 33 Gown gallery Special Day, Sassi Holford and lots of other fab spring styles to help you find the dress of your dreams 36 One size doesn’t fit all Fab fashion for the Mothers of the Bride and Grooms 51 Cover shoot Our spring wedding showcase is hosted by the beautiful Berwick Lodge

BE INSPIRED 61 Pinboard What we’re loving this winter

contents SPRING 2014





62 67 68 70 73

A Great British romance Ellie Pipe explores the best of UK-based honeymoons and minimoons Coming up roses A look at spring flowers A happy and healthy new year If pampering and detox are what you’re after, check out our guide The rise of the crafty hen do Sophie Smith tries out some local hands-on hen dos Something old, something new A look at wedding traditions from around the world


VENUES 75 A selection of the region’s best places to celebrate your “I do” WEST WEDDINGS 5

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Wedding Fayres NEW TIMES (11am - 3.30pm, unless specified) Cotswold Water Park Hotel Sunday 2nd February Charlton House, Shepton Mallet Sunday 9th February Bristol Golf Club, South Gloucestershire Sunday 23rd February


Tortworth Court Hotel, Near Bristol Sunday 2nd March The Bishops Palace, Wells, Somerset Sunday 9th March Bailbrook House Hotel, Bath Sunday 23rd March Hatton Court Hotel, Gloucester Sunday 6th April Summer Special Bristol Zoo, Clifton Pavilion Sunday 8th June

Spacious 1920’s & 30’s cars for Weddings and film work WWW.KENSKARS.CO.UK

ADMISSION is always FREE with loveactually


For information of all our events, please visit

16 Blanchards, Chipping Sodbury, Bristol BS37 6LJ

Tel: 01454 313194


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If you’re planning your fairytale wedding for 2015, then look no further than Eastwood Park. The popular South Gloucestershire country mansion, set within a private 200 acre country estate, is offering the ideal fairytale wedding exclusively in January and February 2015. For the amazing price of £3,000 (assuming 40 day guests and 100 evening guests), you can enjoy a quintessentially English wedding by having your civil ceremony in Eastwood Park’s stunning drawing room, decorated with bay trees adorned with fresh flowers. Celebrate afterwards with an English afternoon tea, including a selection of your favourite delicate sandwiches, delightful fairy cakes and cream tea. Carry on with the celebrations with family and friends by enjoying an evening reception, with a hot fork buffet. And unlike Cinderella, your fairytale doesn’t need to end at midnight, as your guests can stay in the accommodation available in the mansion house and garden wing, as well as ample free parking for as long as required. EASTWOOD PARK WOTTON UNDER EDGE, SOUTH GLOUCESTERSHIRE GL12 8DA T: 01454 260207 W: WWW.EASTWOODPARK.CO.UK E: CLAIRE.SHEA@EASTWOODPARK.CO.UK 



South West couples were treated to a fantastic day of all things wedding at the latest Wedding World wedding exhibition on Saturday 12th January. Held at the Bristol Marriott Hotel, brides and grooms-to-be were able to meet over 100 local businesses, plus enjoy two professionally choreographed bridal catwalk shows. West Weddings was also there, handing out magazines and enjoying meeting local couples! Wedding World was set up over 20 years ago by Eric Erentz, and remains a family business as his daughter Emma has now joined the company. Emma, who has a background in pan-European sales & marketing and has assisted in organising some of the largest and most luxurious events in the UK, is keen to put Bristol on the map as an area that attracts the best of the wedding industry. Wedding World shows are now the largest in the West Country, and take place twice a year, featuring a host of wedding suppliers from high street names to independent businesses. From cakes to carriages, harpists to honeymoons, magicians to morning suits, wedding gowns to wedding rings, Wedding World exhibitions help you to create the perfect wedding. And it’s not just couples who Wedding World has helped over the years - with the assistance of the Bristol Evening Post and Russ Conway, Wedding World has also donated over £2,500 to Bristol-based charities. If you’d like to attend one of these fabulous fairs, the next Wedding World events will be at The Bristol Marriott Sunday 14th September 2014 and at Westonbirt House on Sunday 2nd November 2014. WEDDING WORLD T: 01454 322743 E: EMMA@WEDDINGWORLDEXHIBITIONS.CO.UK W: WWW.WEDDINGWORLDEXHIBITIONS.CO.UK


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Let them eat cake Pretty Amazing Cakes, the Bristol-based

cake design company, has just launched a great new website to showcase what it can offer you for your big day. Visitors can browse the design gallery to see all the beautiful creations that Anne Gliddon, the owner of the company, has made for weddings and other events, which include the stunning rosebud birdcage and Regency-inspired cakes that we’ve featured in recent West Weddings photo shoots. As well as showstopping centrepiece cakes, Anne also makes delicious cupcakes and biscuits which are perfect as favours, or as extra touches on your tables. And as we’ve been lucky enough to taste Anne’s fabulous bakes, we can vouch that they taste as amazing as they look!



Somerset! S olitaire Brides in Radstock is increasing its roster of designers this spring with the addition of Allure Bridals. From February onwards, Solitaire will be stocking dresses from the main Allure range plus its Couture collection, which features some truly beautiful silhouettes and shaping. This American line is renowned for the fabulous fit of its dresses, with a patented built-in corset in all its creations which ensures that your dress will fit you like a glove. As well as this new line, Solitaire continues to display a range of designers, including the award winning Diane Harbridge, Mon Cheri and Phil Collins. For brides who want something a little different, take a look at the gorgeous gowns by Olivia Grace and Phoenix Gowns - the latter of whose 2014’s collection is inspired by Alice in Wonderland. With dresses to suit every bride’s figure, budget and personality, a trip to Solitatire is well worth it this spring! SOLITAIRE BRIDES 69 HIGH ST, RADSTOCK BA3 2DQ T: 01761 416669 W: WWW.SOLITAIREBRIDES.CO.UK 8 WEST WEDDINGS

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Aldwick Court Farm and Vineyard may be a newcomer to the West Country weddings scene, but it’s already made a big impact. This delightful venue, nestled into 300 acres of Somerset countryside, has been open since April last year and its reputation for nuptials has been growing ever since! The venue offers both the 17th century ‘Old Barn’ plus the recently completed ‘New Barn’, which can hold up to 220 people for an evening reception or 180 for a seated dinner. Both barns are fully licensed for civil ceremonies, and Aldwick is offered on an exclusive basis, ensuring you and your guests total privacy. And as Aldwick has the largest vineyard in Somerset, you can guarantee that there’ll be some pretty good wines on offer too! If you’re interested in seeing what this pretty spot has to offer for your celebrations, Aldwick is holding an open day on 11th May, from 11am-3pm. As well as seeing the venue and grounds, you can chat to the team about your requirements and also try the newly-released 2013 wine – a perfect combination! ALDWICK COURT FARM AND VINEYARD REDHILL, BRISTOL BS40 5RF T: 01934 864404 W: WWW.ALDWICKWEDDINGS.CO.UK

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

Natural Weddings “Mark Simmons has both the skilled eye and craftsmanship to make your wedding album come alive every time you turn the pages. Frozen action and classic art are merged to create an emotional trip down memory lane. Mark’s documentary style is energy filled, fun and delivered with an ever reassuring calmness for even the most camera shy family member. Moreover, Mark is a joy to work with and has a winning formula.” Tina and Garry Tabor WEST WEDDINGS 9

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A HAT TRICK OF AWARDS! Chepstow-based bridal shop All About Eve was delighted to scoop an award at the recent Welsh National Wedding Awards. For the third year in a row, the shop was crowned the Best Bridal Retailer in Wales, making a trio of trophies in its cabinet! Maureen from All About Eve said: “We’re delighted to have won this award for the third time in a row. As it’s voted for by our brides and customers, it makes it even more special.” Located just over the border in Monmouthshire, All About Eve Chepstow’s branch has a host of fabulous dresses from designers including Pronovias, Maggie Sottero and Mori Lee. The shop has also had a recent refit and launched a new occasion wear department, stocking mother of the bride and groom fashions in a beautifully decorated display area. ALL ABOUT EVE 28 HIGH STREET, CHEPSTOW, MONMOUTHSHIRE NP16 5LJ T: 01291 629338 W: WWW.ALLABOUTEVEBRIDALWEAR.COM

Have you always dreamed of being a stunning boudoir bride? If so, then you need to book a session with Tracey Barron Boudoir Photography. Tracey believes that every woman should have the chance to create gorgeous pictures to celebrate their beauty, and offers a range of boudoir photography packages to unleash your inner seductress! You’ll enjoy a wonderful makeover which will leave you feeling relaxed and pampered, before a stylist is on hand to guide you into flattering poses during a fun photo shoot. You’ll feel like a model in no time, in the safe hands of experienced photographer Tracey. Prints and albums make the perfect and unique gift for your husband to be - or as a treat for yourself. Packages start from just £129 and the company’s mobile studio covers Bristol, South Gloucestershire and further afield, or you can visit its private studio in North Bristol. TRACEY BARRON BOUDOIR PHOTOGRAPHY T: 07786 515305 W: WWW.TRACEYBARRON.COM


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Sparkle this spring!

so fair,

All you couples out there who are in need of a little sparkle for your wedding, take a look at The Sequin Collection. This is a brandnew range of sequined linen in antique gold, available as tablecloths, overlays and table runners. After trying and failing to source a sequinned tablecloth outside of London or the USA, Kirsten Butler of The Little Wedding Helper knew she had to do something and meeting Helen Hopkins of Pudding Bridge was just the beginning! Helen, the

creative force responsible for this celebration accessories company, was the woman Kirsten needed to make realise her glittering ambition. The pair have been hard at work designing a range that promises to deliver the wow factor and are proud to finally present The Sequin Collection. It’s sure to add a touch of glamour to any occasion and is perfect for couples wanting their celebration to shine! THE SEQUIN COLLECTION W: WWW. PUDDINGBRIDGE.CO.UK/SEQUIN-TABLE-LINEN


The Guild of Professional Wedding Services’ wedding fair on 5th January certainly proved popular, with over 250 people coming through the doors of host venue Old Down Manor, with couples queuing to enter throughout the morning! With wedding services including cakes, wedding décor, stationery, photography, videography, cars, flowers, bridal wear and accessories, the Guild are able to provide the whole package for couples booking their weddings. A number of couples at the fair were lucky enough to win the Guild’s prize draw and received discounts from its members. Naomi and Jo from the Wedding Wishing Well Foundation, a charity which organises weddings for terminally ill people, were also present to receive a donation of £155 on behalf

of the Guild. Iced Magic Cakes awarded the charity a further donation in excess of £200, and the Guild will also be undertaking more fundraising for this very worthy cause in 2014. Andrew, the Chairman of the Guild, said: “The Guild members and I are very pleased to have met such wonderful couples today. What could be better than coming along to a beautiful wedding venue and being greeted by live music from the Lochrian Ensemble? There was a great atmosphere throughout the whole day.” THE GUILD OF PROFESSIONAL WEDDING SERVICES T: 01225 742101 W: WWW.THEUNIQUEWEDDINGGUILD.CO.UK


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Two different dresses, using a wedding planner, ensuring your hair looks amazing?


Dress to impress

Expert planning

I’d like a traditional gown for the church but something a little more glamorous for the evening. I can’t afford two dresses, so is there another way I could achieve this?

I’m getting married next year but we’re worried about the planning, as we’re not very organised! We don’t have a big budget, so is a wedding planner affordable?

Jo McCarthy, Bristol

Helen Wilson, Gloucester

Dress designer Sassi Holford says:

Olivia Mills from Host Event Management says:


These useful tips from our industry experts will leave you stress free.

The finishing touch I want to wear my hair down on my wedding day, but I’m really worried that it will look totally flat after a few hours. Do you have tips for how to keep it photo-ready all day? Louise Green, Bath

Jess Singer from No. 3 Hairdressing says:

There is definitely a way you can achieve this without buying two gowns! After all, we can’t all be like the Duchess of Cambridge and have a day time and a night time dress! I’m a big fan of accessorising, as it can give your wedding gown a completely different look without committing to, or having to pay for, two dresses. The key is to choose a gown that can be re-worked with accessories and so be restyled throughout the day. A personal favourite of mine is Jessica from my Signature Collection – a stunning yet simple silk crepe column design. The ways of wearing it are endless, and so effective. My advice is to be demure for the ceremony with a sleeved shrug, and then get ready to dance the night away by changing the shrug for a glittering beaded sash - two individual looks without having to purchase two gowns.

Absolutely - in fact most wedding planners save you money! They can offer you fabulous deals from suppliers due to their strong links with local professionals. I pass any discount straight to my clients, giving them access to offers that may not have been available to them without hiring a planner. Many planners offer an hourly charge for their advice which enables you to be totally in control of your budget. You can then gain help as and when you need it! Some planners also offer a ‘kick start’ session, where you pay a fixed fee for a two hour consultation to steer you in the right direction. If you feel comfortable doing all the prep work, a planner could come and run the day for you so you can fully relax. There is a misconception that planners are an extravagant luxury; this couldn’t be further from the truth. A wedding planner can bring you a wealth of knowledge, access to trusted suppliers, save you time and get you organised feeling stress free and confident about your special day.

Your wedding day is a long day, and because brides generally get their hair done a couple of hours before they get married, this means that you’re not alone in worrying that your hair may drop before the day is over. Don’t fear, however, as there are various ways in which you can prep your hair to get that natural look all day. Large barrel curling tongs are great if you want a loose and natural wave, or you can use heated rollers if you want volume at the roots. Products are also important in maintaing your hairdo for the day. Use a product that will keep hold and volume all day, such as Bumble and Bumble Thickening Hairspray - apply when your hair is wet. After styling, use a hairspray that has long lasting hold but won’t weigh your hair down. My favourite is Bumble and Bumble Spray de Mode, as it has flexible hold and a great memory for shape, meaning that if your hair gets a little windswept during the day, you can give it a brush and it will bounce straight back into place!





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Bridal Wedding Fayre Open Days FREE Admission & FREE Goodie Bag Arrival Drink upon Registration 11am - 3pm

With some of the Finest Professionals in The Cotswolds Exhibiting Everything from the Necessity to the Unique ..... The Only Limit is Your Imagination !

Sunday, 26th January 2014 The Cheltenham Regency Hotel Gloucester Road, Cheltenham

Sunday, 16th February 2014 Hatherley Manor Hotel Hatherley Lane, Cheltenham

Sunday, 2nd March 2014 Crown of Crucis Down Ampney, Cirencester

07772 210 742

Proud to Support Macmillan Cancer Support


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the corner



We visit bridal boutique Sposa Elegante to find out what it can offer West Country brides.

Above: Owner Suzie is on hand to dress you on your wedding day. Left: the gorgeous window display at the shop


ound on the corner of the main road through Saltford, halfway between Bristol and Bath, Sposa Elegante is a bride’s dream. Owned and run by Suzie Partridge, Sposa Elegante offers every bride and her party the chance to select dresses from a great range of designers, assisted by friendly, knowledgeable staff. Suzie has been working in the wedding industry for the past 11 years, and opened Sposa Elegante seven years ago after moving back to the West Country from Ireland. “We’ve now become a bit of a landmark,” says Suzie. “Because we’re on the main road, you often hear people giving directions and saying ‘turn left at the bridal shop’!” The name of the shop is a nod to Suzie’s beloved childhood holidays in Italy. “Sposa means ‘bride’, and I thought ‘elegant bride’ would be a lovely name,” she explains. Suzie and her two staff will make sure that you have the very best dress shopping experience once you step through the doors of Sposa Elegante. “The feedback we constantly get is that we’re very caring, very patient,” reports Suzie. “I think this is because we only see one bridal party at a time, so we can focus all our attention on them and really give a personalised service. We only have the one changing room too, so we can guarantee that you and your party will have total privacy.” There’s a wonderful range of bridal collections at the shop, including Mori Lee, Enzoani, Mon Cheri, Forever Yours and Veromia. You can also browse a selection of bridesmaid dresses

from Forever Yours, Dzage and Alexia. In addition to helping you find the dress that’s ‘the one’, Sposa Elegante also offers a bridal dressing service. Designed to help take any stress or strain out of your wedding day, Suzie or one of her staff can be on hand to dress any member of the bridal party, arrange corsages and buttonholes, assist hairdressers and makeup artists, meet and greet any guests who arrive and generally help in any way they can. This is a great way to be able to relax and totally enjoy the preparations for your wedding, and make sure that you and your party are totally photo-ready! If all this sounds just what you’re after for your wedding dress shopping experience, then you’ll be even more excited when you hear about Sposa Elegante’s fabulous sale, starting in January, where all the shop’s sample dresses will be sold off. “We really need to make some space, and so we decided to have a big clear out,” says Suzie. The prices have to be seen to be believed - bridal gowns will start from £75 and bridesmaid dresses from £25, meaning that if you’re on the hunt for a beautiful dress for either yourself or a member of your bridal party, this is an amazing chance to pick yourself up a bargain! “There’s also a range of sizes available, so we really will have something for everyone,” Suzie says. Great service, great dresses and great prices? Book your visit to Sposa Elegante today!

Mon Cheri and Veromia are just two of the fabulous collections on show at Sposa Elegante


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The General Stores, Mill End Mitcheldean, a boutique medieval property dating back to the 1400s, is now offering bespoke ‘at home’ wedding packages, aimed at those seeking a smaller, more intimate wedding ceremony, pagan and hand-fasting rituals or renewal of vows gatherings. Set in the gorgeous Forest of Dean, the house is quirky and full of interesting details. It can accommodate 40 guests over the main house and the cottage behind, and offers a ceremony space in a green oak timber framed garden room with vintage oak seating, a lower malt house sitting room area with 60” TV and cocktail bar, and seating for 40 over two long dining tables in the upper malt house. Outdoors there’s a courtyard alfresco seating space and a lawn accommodating a fully furnished Bedouin tent – perfect as a chill out space, or children’s area. It also offers an outdoor hot tub, indoor steam sauna cabin and infra-red cabin, and a pamper spa space. For relaxation after the ceremony, the bridal suite features a full height oak beamed ceiling, four poster bed and en suite with a beautiful free standing bath. The owners offer a full catering service and licensed bar via their sister company Bordello Banquets, as well as bespoke interior and exterior décor, with themes such as Moroccan, Mediterranean, burlesque, Baroque, steam punk or rock‘n’roll. Vintage china can be supplied or hired in, and elaborate table themes created. If you want an intimate setting with lots of character for your wedding, then you’ve just found your perfect venue. THE GENERAL STORES MILL END, MITCHELDEAN, GLOUCESTERSHIRE GL17 0HP W: WWW.MILLENDMITCHELDEAN.CO.UK E: LIZ@MILLENDMITCHELDEAN.CO.UK

shine in 2014! KRYSTLE BRIDES SET TO

This year is shaping up to be very exciting for Krystle Brides in Bath, after a fantastic 2013 was topped off with the arrival of a brand-new employee, Krystle’s baby boy Jenson, who was born in October! The shop has two new designers joining its collection in 2014, Anoushka G and Maggie Sottero. It will also continue to stock its current labels, which include Augusta Jones, Benjamin Roberts, Ellis Bridals, Enzoani, Mark Lesley and Ronald Joyce. There will be designer events at weekends throughout the year, which are great opportunities to see a wider selection of dresses from a particular designer that would not usually be stocked in the shop. As well as a great range of bridal dresses, Krystle Brides has also increased its bridesmaid collection, with new styles from Mark Lesley, Ronald Joyce and Maggie Sottero, giving you and your bridal party lots of choice for your wedding attire! KRYSTLE BRIDES 11 ST JAMES PARADE, BATH BA1 1UL T: 01225 446844 W: WWW.KRYSTLEBRIDES.CO.UK


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Alison Miles Couture

Web: Tel: 0117 342 1600

Image courtesy of

Mr Philip Jaycock, Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon, MB ChB BSc FRCOphth MD

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

enquiries/appointments tel: 01225 336805 Email:


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If you’re an engaged couple in Wiltshire, then you’ll definitely need to add Sunday 9th February to your diary, as this is the date of the Guildhall in Salisbury’s wedding fair. With exhibitors including venues, photographers, cakes, suit hire and more, this is a great opportunity to meet local suppliers and chat to them about your wedding. The fair is free to enter and runs from 11am-3.30pm. There will be a number of fashion shows throughout the day to provide both bride and grooms-to-be with fashion inspiration for your big day, plus live entertainment from local performer Sandy Ince of Sticky Toffee Jazz. According to a recent survey, the average cost of a wedding in 2014 will be approximately £24,000, so this fair is a great opportunity to meet suppliers before allocating your budget. Claire Burden, Business Manager for Salisbury City Council says: “The Guildhall’s wedding fair offers couples the chance to research a variety of options before committing their wedding budgets. The suppliers generally will tailor their services to suit all budget requirements and still deliver fantastic value for money. Plenty of our suppliers will also be offering exclusive deals available to those who attend the fair.” THE GUILDHALL T: 01722 342860 W: WWW.SALISBURYCITYCOUNCIL.GOV.UK

wedding bells THE SOUND OF

It’s not very many cities that can boast of a specialist radio wedding programme every week, but Bristol can! Every Sunday from 8-10am local radio station BCfm, which can be found on 93.2FM or online, broadcasts The Wedding Show, a two hour magazine-style programme which offers an overview of the West Country wedding world. Hosted by Mike Hackett and Paul Clack, the aim of the programme is to share specialist knowledge and info with couples in the South West. Every week Mike and Paul discuss different topics relating to all things nuptial, and also welcome a guest expert from the wedding world - previous guests include Suzie Partridge from dress shop Sposa Elegante and Emma Erentz from Wedding World. The Wedding Show aims to help couples right the way through the whole wedding process, from popping the question to the last sip of cocktail on honeymoon, and is a brilliant resource for anyone needing advice on planning a wedding! If you’re new to this fab show and want to catch up on on what you’ve missed, simply visit BCfm’s website to listen to the last five shows. BCFM WEDDING SHOW W: WWW.BCFM.COM/THEWEDDINGSHOW


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clearly now



Helen Dorritt finds out more about the freedom from glasses and contact lenses that Bristol Laser Vision can offer brides and grooms.


hen I got married, I didn’t wear my glasses and didn’t have contacts at the time, so certain parts of the day were, ahem, a little ‘fuzzy’. The prospect of being able to see everything in crystal clear clarity, without the hassle of glasses or contacts, is therefore extremely appealing, and so when I heard about Bristol Laser Vision, I was intrigued to find out what they could offer brides and grooms-to-be. Located within the surroundings of Bristol Eye Hospital, Bristol Laser Vision is an innovative three part service which integrates the treatment of private patients and NHS patients with research and development elements. Launched in April last year, the service is the brainchild of Mr Phil Jaycock, NHS Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon and Specialist in cornea, cataract and laser refractive surgery. Bristol Laser Vision offers NHS laser eye surgery for the treatment of painful and debilitating corneal conditions, and is also open to private patients for elective laser eye surgery and refractive lens exchange procedures. To put that in slightly more layman’s terms, Bristol Laser Vision offers patients laser eye surgery, which can help you see clearly without glasses or contact lenses, by using short pulses of ultraviolet laser energy to precisely reshape the surface of the eye, to improve the focussing ability of the eye. The practical advantages associated with having laser eye surgery are numerous. For example, if you’re into fitness, glasses or contacts can restrict what you can do. You might hate the look of your glasses in photos (I usually take mine off!), or find them uncomfortable to wear (yep, mine tend to slip down my nose). When it comes to weddings,

celebrations often last all day and well into the evening, and wearing contact lenses for such long periods of time can be problematic, or if you do wear your glasses, you might not like the thought of seeing wedding photographs where you’re wearing them. Glasses or contacts on honeymoon can also be a pain; if you want to go diving, for instance, and see everything well! Laser eye surgery therefore offers a solution to a few problems all in one go. I was surprised to hear just how speedy the procedure and associated recovery can be - your journey from enquiry to end result can take only one month or so. As with buying a wedding dress, however, it’s better to have more time for the whole procedure, so you can have a longer preparation and recovery time. The unique service at Bristol Laser Vision is consultant-led, allowing you to see Mr Jaycock throughout your journey and prides itself on providing patients with the safest and most effective laser eye surgery procedures, using state-of-the-art technology. The thought of having someone fiddling with my eyes didn’t sound fun, but I was reassured after finding out more about the actual procedure, which actually only takes about 20 minutes. Throughout this time you’ll be asked to lie down on a treatment bed, with your head in a moulded headrest. Your eyes will be fully anaesthetised using drops, so you shouldn’t feel anything during

the procedure except a bit of pressure on your eye. The surface of the eye is prepared using one of two methods, either LASIK or LASEK, which in turn dictates your recovery time. Ultimately both methods aim to get you to the same visual outcome, so the decision as to which option is most suitable for you and your eyes will be determined at consultation with your surgeon. Once the eye is prepared, a laser will be used to reshape the cornea and correct your prescription. A contact lens bandage may be put in place for your comfort and will be removed approximately five days following treatment once the eye has healed. The treated eye will then be covered and the surgeon will swap to treat your second eye in the same way. The advantage of LASIK is that it has a slightly quicker recovery and you can usually be back to a driving standard of vision within 24-48 hours following treatment. Recovery following LASEK treatment can take slightly longer, taking up to a week before reaching the same driving standard of vision. Although it’s too late now for me to have 20/20 vision on my wedding day, this is a treatment that is well worth considering before your big day, and something that, unlike most other expenditures associated with a wedding, will last you for the rest of your life! BRISTOL LASER VISION T: 0117 342 1600 E: INFO@BRISTOLLASERVISION.CO.UK W: WWW.BRISTOLLASERVISION.CO.UK WEST WEDDINGS 19

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Perfection PLANNED TO

What happens when a wedding planner has to organise her own wedding day? Read on for Sophie Smith’s account of her and husband Michael’s June nuptials in the beautiful Cotswolds.


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fter meeting each other through mutual friends during the spring of 2011, Michael and I became inseparable. After just six months together it became clear we were soul mates, and during a trip of a lifetime to New York City in December, Michael popped the question in Central Park, presenting me with a stunning amethyst and diamond encrusted ring. Being a wedding planner myself, I had already been exposed to lots of large weddings and had decided I wanted something simpler. And as I’m a bit of a hippy at heart and a lover of all things Cotswolds, we decided to hold our ceremony and reception at the Matara Centre, Tetbury, a tranquil, spiritual setting which was perfect for us. With 28 acres of woodland and features including a wishing tree, wooden swing, herb garden, pond and even a healing spiral, we were spoilt for choice for unique photo opportunities. The ceremony itself took place in a beautiful Japanese inspired outdoor cloistered courtyard, and the reception room featured a stunning glass dome ceiling with pretty lanterns and twinkle light detail on the walls. To complement our vintage country garden theme and small intimate ceremony, we opted for a luxury afternoon tea rather than your traditional sit down meal, so we planned for our guests to enjoy a delicious menu of sandwiches, sweet and savoury pastries and scones. Our wedding cake was another highlight - a family friend made a vintage-style three tier cake with beautiful apricot and pink rose flowers on the top, decorated with petals and butterflies. With the venue sorted, the next important decision was our attire. I had my dress down to one of two, but when deciding which one to pick at my final appointment, I spotted another dress. It didn’t look like much on the hanger but I felt an urge to try it on and within moments I knew that the it was the one. It was a one shoulder, fishtail, Veromia dress with beautiful flower embellishment, perfect for a country garden wedding. I finished the outfit

off with a dramatic full length style veil and pearl headband, while Michael opted for tails for him and the grooms men. I made my own bouquet out of beautiful pink, apricot and cream silk roses from the wholesalers Country Baskets and wrapped the stems with twine. We used eBay for the invitations and the majority of the décor, including birdcages and a personalised ‘Mr & Mrs Smith’ sign, and then scoured flea markets for vintage accessories and crockery. There are so many creative and talented individuals on eBay with their own businesses that it’s a great place to look for well made, reasonably priced wedding goods. As the wedding approached, we had our fingers crossed for sunny weather, although having had an engagement shoot in the rain at the venue, we knew it would still be a great day even if the heavens opened! On the day we both had a laid back morning at our respective houses, as the ceremony wasn’t until 2pm so we had plenty of time to get ready. I did my own make-up and a family friend put up my hair in a gorgeous bun - something I would never be able to recreate! After what seemed like hours of waiting, my wedding car came to pick me up, which was another highlight. I used Lovebus Weddings’ vintage ivory Beetle, complete with red leather interior, gold ribbons and vintage suitcase on the back, and I felt like royalty as I was waved at by passers by and passengers in cars! There were a couple of comic moments during the ceremony - Michael had to repeat his vows as he wasn’t under the roof cover as he said them (which wouldn’t have made them legal), and we also had a little trouble getting my ring on so I helped out! This only added the the relaxed atmosphere and laughter from our guests. We signed the register to our harpist’s rendition of ‘When you wish upon a star’, which we chose because the whole experience was magical, and also as a nod to the Disneyland part of our honeymoon. The rest of the day was full

of fun and laughter as we spent time with family and friends in the gardens, took advantage of beautiful photo opportunities and planted a cherry tree to mark our wedding day - which we can go back to visit at any time. As a wedding planner, I tell all my couples that their wedding day is a party, not a performance. Focus on the celebration rather than the ‘wedding’. There is no typical wedding or a right way to do things so don’t feel the pressure to recreate and live up to the ideals and pictures you may see around you. If at the end of the day you are married to the one you love, then everything went perfectly.

DETAILS Venue The Matara Centre, Kingscote Park, Tetbury, Gloucestershire GL8 8YA T: 01453 861050 W: Photographer Your Hand in Mine T: 01386 825055 W: Bride’s dress Veromia at Taffeta & Lace, 3 Commercial Road, Gloucester GL1 2DY T: 01452 419181 W: Groom’s outfit Beaus & Balls,88 Eastgate Street, Gloucester GL1 1QN T: 01452 543213 W: Planning Weddings by Sophie T: 07403 291458 W: Harpist Megan Garrity T: 07855 172024 E: Flowers Country Baskets T: 0117 982 0759 W: Transport Lovebus Weddings T: 07912 528465 W: Favours Maple Molly’s T: 0116 283 7202 W: WEST WEDDINGS 21

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Ship shape and Bristol fashion! Realweddings

Gina and Lawrie Jones enjoyed a nautical-themed summer wedding which celebrated the best of Bristol. Helen Dorritt finds out more.


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ina wasn’t expecting a proposal from Lawrie while on holiday in France, and when he went down on one knee and proposed with a wine top twisted into a ring, he had to ask eight times before she realised he was serious! Thankfully her answer was positive, and after buying a ring in La Rochelle, this Bristol-based couple returned home to start planning their August wedding. When it came to choosing a location, it was important for Gina and Lawrie to get married in Bristol. “We met and fell in love in this city and we wanted to make sure we had as many Bristol things as possible in it,” says Gina. “There are so many fabulous creative people here so we wanted to use as much local talent as possible when it came to sourcing things for our wedding.” This included using dress designer Gilly Woo for Gina’s wedding gown and Kirsten Butler, The Little Wedding Helper, as the stylist. “Kirsten was wonderful,” reports Gina. “I knew it was meant to be when we both showed up having created our own Pinterest boards for the day – and they both matched! And Gilly did an amazing job! I tried on lots of dresses, but because I’m very small (5’ 1”), it was important that I picked a style which wouldn’t swamp me. I showed Gilly some pictures of dresses I liked, and then she got out a pencil and started drawing a version just for me. She added her own little details to make it unique. It was a totally collaborative process all the way through, and she really listened to what I wanted.” Boats and Bristol go hand in hand, so Gina and Lawrie had a nautical theme running throughout the whole day, with everything taking place on the water – by the end of the day, their guests had been on three boats! The ceremony was on board the SS Great Britain, “which we loved because of its rich history and beauty.” Then a little ferry took them to Under the Stars, a boat in the centre of Bristol which is a cafe and bar. “The first venue was quite formal and grand, while our second venue was much more casual and offered a relaxed atmosphere

for our guests. We wanted a no fuss, maximum fun day!” says Gina. Lawrie agrees. “It was really important to us to keep it down to earth. I don’t like stuffy speeches or long ceremonies. We just wanted a few friends and family and a chance to spend time with everyone.” Gina was adamant that there would be “dancing, lots of dancing!” at the wedding, and Duchess DJs certainly got everyone up and moving. “They played some Sega music, from Seychelles, especially for my family who are all from there. My mum stood in the middle of the dancefloor with her shoes off and showed everyone how to do Sega dancing, which involves a lot of hip twisting and bum dancing - kind of like a twerk, only better! A couple of guests actually danced for eight hours straight, and there were a lot of tired feet at the end of the night.” Photographer Charlotte Stone was on hand to capture all the details of the day, and was Gina’s number one choice for a wedding photographer after having worked together on some fashion projects. “She has a fantastic creative eye for unusual details and is lovely to work with. Also, she’s one of the few people who is shorter than me, so I knew I’d look tall in all the photos – sorry Charlotte!” Despite organising a wedding at the same time as buying a house, the day went exactly as the couple wanted it to. “I was pretty laid back leading up to the wedding, with my only worry beforehand being that everyone else would enjoy themselves,” explains Gina. “But on the day, I looked at Lawrie and I realised that this

day was all about us, and showing him how much I love him. It was an amazing day and I only wish we could do it all again because it went too quickly!” A stand-out moment for Gina was just after getting married, when she and Lawrie enjoyed a glass of Champagne on the deck of the ss Great Britain. “That’s when it sank in that we were actually married. It was really nice and I just felt so happy.” “Throughout the day I experienced a multitude of emotions: happiness, fear, trepidation, shyness, extroversion and many more - too many to remember in fact,” says Lawrie. “At the end I was left with an overwhelming feeling of contentment. I felt and thankfully still continue to feel - contented that I had married such a wonderful woman and, now that the wedding was over, we could start the rest of our lives.”


Ceremony venue ss Great Britain Great Western Dockyard, Bristol BS1 6TY T: 0117 926 0680 W: Reception venue and catering Under the Stars, Narrow Quay, Bristol BS1 4QA T: 0117 929 8392 W: Photographer Charlotte Stone T: 07969 515212 W: Bride’s dress Gilly Woo 81-83 Stokes Croft, Bristol BS1 3RD T: 0117 924 6656 W: Groom’s outfit Reiss W: Styling The Little Wedding Helper T: 07726 911951 W: Hair and make-up Grace Kingsley T: 07779 592317 W: Flowers Central Rose 19 Christmas Street, Bristol BS1 5BT T: 0117 927 9960 Cake Primrose Pantry, 26 Bath Buildings, Bristol BS6 5BE T: 07739 966205 W: DJ Duchess DJs W: WEST WEDDINGS 23

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Pr on Ch ovia 8t ep s T h & sto ru n 9t w S k sh h M to o arc re w h

Newport showroom

7 Clytha Park Road Newport NP20 4NZ Tel 01633 243 943

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Chepstow Showroom

28 High Street Chepstow NP16 5LJ Tel 01291 629 338

16/01/2014 15:01:03


aENDING fairytale Nicola Poulton and Gary Lewis had a dream-cometrue wedding day, filled with personal touches. Shana Dillon finds out more.


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t took a broken back to bring Nicola and Gary together. Although there was an instant attraction between the couple when they started working together, it was only after she injured herself snowboarding and Gary phoned every day to check on her that romance blossomed! After visiting Disneyworld at age seven and declaring to her parents that this was where she would get married, Gary made Nicola’s fairytale princess dream come true by popping the question in the rose garden outside Cinderella’s castle at Disneyworld in Florida. “He had a glass slipper with the words ‘will you marry me?’ on it. After I said yes, we had a private photo session with Mickey and Minnie Mouse!” reports Nicola. The ceremony was held at Nicola’s childhood church, St Mary’s Church Olveston, Gloucestershire. The choice of reception venue for the couple was also a personal one - Nicola’s family home of Tockington Court. Having the reception at home meant that the couple could invite a large number of friends and family, as there were no restrictions which usually come with using an official venue. “It also meant we were able to have our 18-month-old golden retriever join us for photographs which we wouldn’t have been able to do at an external venue,” says Nicola. Nicola’s mother and best friend Annie were the original wedding planners, but Nicola’s father couldn’t resist getting involved too! “Originally my dad said all he would do is show up on the day and give a speech, but then he seemed to have an opinion

on everything including mocking up different designs on how the day and house could look!” This princess bride wore a beautiful lace embroidered dress from the Andrea Bambridge boutique in York, a wedding shop owned by her father’s cousin. An off the shelf design was specifically tailored for Nicola, giving her the opportunity to create exactly what she had envisioned. Her accessories kept to the personal theme. “I wore a necklace my father bought my mother for their 25th wedding anniversary, and had a cross my grandma, who has now passed away, had given to me as a child, which I incorporated into my bouquet.” This personal touch continued throughout the rest of the wedding, with many of the elements being supplied by family and friends. The multi-flavoured four-tier cake was made by Nicola’s best friend, who took a week off work as a doctor to bake the masterpiece! The music was contemporary blues rock band, the Sam Paine Trio, whose lead singer is one of Gary’s best friends. Nicola’s up do hairstyle was beautifully crafted by Bruno Giamattei of Marc Antoni Salons, who the couple have worked with closely over the years. “Hiring people that had seen and grown up with me meant all the small details were truly me,” explains Nicola. The caterers were also locally sourced providing the guests with a unique meal. “Cooking a pig in a pit added a real sense of theatre to the day!” Along with the fun memories of Gary recreating the Love Actually card scene and the father-daughter dance turning into a group Gangnam Style dance, Gary and Nicola’s day

will be a treasured one for this bride who always dreamed of being a Disney princess. “It was a very magical, unforgettable day which was worth every moment of the hard work that went into it,” says Nicola. “My house holds and has held many amazing memories and parties over the 22 years I’ve lived there. However, this topped anything I ever could have imagined.”

DETAILS Ceremony venue St Mary’s the Virgin, Olveston, The Street, Bristol BS35 4DA W: Photographer PhotoDabek T: 0117 350 1032 W: Bride’s dress Andrea Bambridge, 64 Goodramgate, York YO1 7LF T: 01904 640046 W: Groom’s outfit Anne Harding 90-92 Shirehampton Road, Bristol BS9 2DR T: 0117 968 3074 W: Hair Bruno Giamattei at Marc Antoni W: Catering Fish Face T: 07813 546491 W: Florists Flower Power, 12 Manor Park, Tockington, Bristol BS32 4NS T: 01454 202300 Transport Vintage Wheels T: 01278 456607 W: Entertainment The Sam Paine Trio T: 07920 884685 W: Videographer Mr and Mrs Productions T: 07769 574999 W: WEST WEDDINGS 27

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I do


Laura and Shaun Hunt had a relaxed and fun wedding day, witnessed by penguins and lions at Bristol Zoo! They speak to Helen Dorritt.


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chance meeting in a Bath pub brought Laura and Shaun together. While on a night out with her friend, Laura started chatting to Shaun, who was also out with his friend. “We hit it off straight away and talked about a lot of random topics such as Star Trek and Watercolour Challenge!” says Laura. At the end of the night, Shaun asked for a kiss and her number, although the two friends they were with didn’t fare so well in the romantic stakes. “He kept trying to talk about his job as a computer programme whilst stepping on her toes as they danced!” After meeting in Bath, it only seemed right that a few years later, Shaun proposed to Laura on Pulteney Bridge. “We were on the way to meet up with some of my work friends when Shaun stopped by the river looking over the bridge, passed me the ring and simply said ‘Will you?’ It was great to go straight from the proposal to meeting friends as we could start celebrating straight away!” says Laura. The couple visited over 20 venues before deciding on the Clifton Pavilion at Bristol Zoo for both their ceremony and reception. “We chose it because of the amazing photo opportunities, the relaxed atmosphere and the fact that our guests and the children were able to go around the zoo in the day and evening - how many people can say they have had penguins at their wedding?” It also led to one of Laura’s favourite moments from the wedding. “I loved walking around the zoo after it had closed with just Shaun and our photographer, taking lots of photos and having fun with it. I remember thinking at that moment about how amazing everything was and how happy I was.” The travelling to venues has come in handy for Laura and Shaun’s friends, however. “We saw some amazing places, and I’m now an expert at recommending places for friends who have recently got engaged!” she says.

Laura wore a beautiful Jenny Packham dress, Eden, accessorised with a Flo and Percy headdress. “I have always love Jenny Packham’s designs and the 1920s look. Originally I didn’t plan to spend much on a dress - I even bought one on eBay for £30 but it looked awful! Then at a wedding fair I tried on Eden, looked in a mirror, and my legs went like jelly and my mum started crying. I knew then that I had to have it! I loved the beautiful intricate details and it was so comfortable to move around in.” For teacher Laura, one of the most important things about the day was selecting a good cake. “In my English department at school we take cake very seriously - we even have ‘cake Wednesday’! I brought a lot of cake into work to try, but when we tried the cakes from Mmmyummycakes we all agreed they were the best.” Her colleagues even ended up helping to pick the flavours. “We wanted a range of flavours - I love red velvet and Shaun loves carrot cake, so that was two decided. Then the English department all loved the lemon flavour so that was sold!” As the couple’s beloved dog couldn’t be at the wedding, Mmmyummycakes made a model for the top of the cake in polymer clay. “The model was perfect and we loved the fact that she captured all the tiny details! The model now sits in our living room.” Bristol-based photographer Martin Dabek of PhotoDabek documented the day with a range of relaxed, informal photographs. “Selecting Martin as our photographer was the best decision we made!” says Laura. “He takes absolutely beautiful photos and really managed to capture the day. He really helped put us at ease and the guests loved him. He also provided a photo booth during the evening reception, which was great!” In keeping with the fun nature of the day, moustaches, lips and spectacles props made an appearance in the photos, too, and Laura and Shaun

decorated the venue with 4ft giant inflatable balloons, which proved a hit with guests who tried to take them home at the end of the night. “It was interesting watching them trying to fit them into taxis and cars!” Both Laura and Shaun wanted a relaxed atmosphere at their wedding, and Shaun was especially keen for Laura to have the best day of her life. Happily, it turned out to be his, too. “I was really surprised by how much I enjoyed the day myself,” he says. “From a bloke’s perspective, you always think it is a day to keep the girl happy, so it took me by surprise how much I really loved the day and how happy I was. You just experience so many positive emotions.”

DETAILS Venue Bristol Zoo, Clifton, Bristol BS8 3HA T: 0117 974 7300 W: Photographer PhotoDabek T: 0117 350 1032 W: Bride’s dress Eden by Jenny Packham W: Accessories The Mad Hatter by Flo and Percy from Carina Baverstock Couture, 24 Silver Street, Bradford-on-Avon, Wiltshire BA15 1JZ T: 01225 866610 W: Groom’s outfit Moss Bros W: Jewellery Annette Gabbedey, 5 Catherine Hill, Frome, BA11 1BZ T: 01373 454145 W: Flowers Bramble and Wild, 13 Catherine Hill, Frome BA11 1BZ T: 01373 473788 W: Cake Mmmyummycakes, 25 North Devon Road, Bristol BS16 2EX T: 0117 965 3173 W: WEST WEDDINGS 29

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Solitaire 69 High Street Midsomer Norton Bath, Somerset BA3 2QD Tel/Fax: 01761 416699

Pretty Amazing Cakes specialise in stunning Lace Wedding Cakes, handcrafted Roses and cute Wedding Favour Cookies. Romantic florals or classic elegance with a sprinkle of vintage glamour ~ whatever your dream cake may be, we promise you a fabulous creation for your special day Visit our NEW website to view our beautiful Design Gallery Contact Anne to book a free consultation and cake tasting

0117 9243036 / 0756 323 7803


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New season styles We love the arrival of the new spring wedding dresses and 2014 is no exception. If you head over to Keynsham boutique Special Day and Appletons, you can view some of the latest dresses for yourself from two of the bridal world's most exciting designers. Sottero & Midgley's 2014 offerings mix flowing lines with luxe fabric, and Impression Bridal combines fabulous style with great value. We've put a selection of these lovely spring gowns on our pages, but head on over to Special Day to see them in all their glory! SPECIAL DAY AND APPLETONS 12A High Street, Keynsham, Bristol BS31 1DQ T: 0117 986 0303 W: LEFT IMPRESSION BRIDAL 10181 Made with jersey for a comfortable, sleek fit with gorgeous lace overlay, this mermaid style dress with its sweetheart neckline truly has the wow factor! It's available as pictured in ivory, nude and champagne, as well as in all white or ivory. BELOW IMPRESSION BRIDAL 10230 We love the ruched detailing and delicately embellished sheer back of this gorgeous gown! A mermaid silhouette flares out into a chapel train, and its sweetheart neckline with illusion embellished overlay completes this figure-hugging dress.


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ABOVE SOTTERO AND MIDGLEY ANGELETTE This truly is a dress fit for a princess! A bodice decorated lavishly with crystals and an illusion centre neckline flares out into a organza skirt, creating a romantic silhouette. RIGHT SOTTERO AND MIDGLEY RUTH A sheath gown made of Odessa chiffon, accented with a beaded lace applique belt featuring Swarovski crystals. A delicate puddle train completes this pretty dress.


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LEFT SOTTERO AND MIDGLEY LOLA Intricate patterns of Swarovski crystals and mirrored beads are delicately sewn onto this tulle and satin A-line gown. If you're not a fan of the strapless look, you'll be pleased to hear that it's also available with cap sleeves. BELOW SOTTERO AND MIDGLEY PAULA This beaded fit and flare gown is beautifully finished with lace appliquĂŠs over sequin embellished tulle. This show-stopping dress also comes with an optional full length, two-tiered tulle veil, and is available in ivory or ivory over light gold (pictured).


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GownInspiration RIGHT SOTTERO AND MIDGLEY KYAMA This dress has a truly elegant silhouette, created by a waterfall ruffle flowing into a chapel length train. The wrap over waist will hug your figure, and the beaded illusion tulle bodice is beautifully flattering. BELOW SOTTERO AND MIDGLEY QUINCY There's a lovely dreamy float to the tulle skirt on this gown, accentuated by a sweetheart bodice embellished with Swarovski crystals. Shown here in gold with gold accents, it's also available in white or ivory.


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your mother

HOW I DRESSED Helen Dorritt looks at what stylish mothers of the bride and groom will be wearing this season.


t’s the day you’ve dreamed of for years, the day you’ve been thinking about with sweet anticipation, the day you’ve been meticulously planning your outfit for... no, not you bride and grooms - we’re talking about your mothers! The bride and groom will certainly take centre stage on a wedding day – quite rightly so – but there will still be a lot of attention on all you MOB/G. And yours is a fine line to tread, between looking fabulous and not upstaging the bride, but also finding an outfit that’s chic, stylish and definitely not frumpy. Luckily, gone are the days when all you had to choose from was a sea of pastel two-pieces with same colour embroidery on the lapels, and in their place are modern collections designed especially for the chic, stylish women of today, featuring outfits you’ll want to wear time and time again. It can also be easy to get bogged down in tradition and believe that

as the MOB/G, you need to co-ordinate with the wedding party colours, but in these more relaxed days of anything-goes weddings, the choice is yours. Jan at Bride at Home certainly appreciates this. “We stock a range of fabulous mother of the bride and groom collections, including Spanish labels Zeila and Cabotine, and Gino Cerruti, who specialises in dressing the whole bridal party,” says Jan. The Bella dress from Cabotine’s S/S14 line is a great example of the gorgeous outfits today's MOB/G can choose from. Its soft grey colour will complement most skin tones and the fitted style will get you from church to reception in style! Just over the bridge in South Wales, All About Eve has a great range of MOB/G designers, such as Condici, Ispirato, Presen, Veni Infantino, Gina Bacconi and many more, all housed in a dedicated occasionwear department on the first floor. “We’re excited


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Clockwise from left: Look chic in John Charles 25896; the lovely lilac of John Charles 25746; 70776N from Condici; pastel elegance in John Charles 25732; style 90337 from Condici's S/S 14 line, Cabotine's elegant Bella dress

as the new 2014 season of outfits start to arrive,” says Maureen from All About Eve. “Lace continues to be a key trend this season. There’s also a wide choice of styles and colours, with silver and champagne still being popular this year. It’s nice to see some strong colours coming through too, from cobalt blue to vintage lavender.” All About Eve has just become a stockist of Cabotine’s new plus size range, which offers beautiful silhouettes in lace and chiffon to flatter fuller figures. “Getting it right for the second most important ladies of the day is a speciality at Special Day and Appletons!” says Jackie Sweeting, the owner of this Keynsham boutique. “We offer the most beautiful outfits which subtly incorporate new trends and fabrics.” Labels stocked by Special Day include Cabotine, Zelia and the award winning John Charles, who has a reputation of quality design, luxurious fabrics and intricate

attention to detail. We love the pale blue colour and wrapped neckline of this designer’s outfit 25732, with its chic matching fascinator – it’s ideal for a spring wedding. Special Day also has a new label for 2014, Mascara Collection: Pour La Femme. This is a stylish yet inexpensive range, of which Special Day is the sole stockist in Bristol. And once you’ve found your dress, Special Day also stocks a complete range of accessories including hats to hire or buy, bespoke fascinators, and shoes and handbags which can be dyed perfectly to colour co-ordinate with outfits. Classy, chic and timeless? You’re all set. Now just don’t forget your handkerchief...



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dreams International designer Sassi Holford has been making brides’ dreams come true for over thirty years and her skills and creativity have led her to the top of her profession – a fact recognised when Sassi received not one but two ‘Best British Designer’ awards at the main consumer and industry awards ceremonies. Bridal couture is a passion for Sassi and her staff, as you will discover with their relaxed but knowledgeable service. The collections on offer have been carefully selected to ensure an exciting range of styles, with prices starting from £1,200. An appointment to view the collection is the first step of a truly memorable experience of creating your perfectly beautiful wedding gown. The Taunton boutique has a beautifully understated elegance that creates a calm atmosphere for every bride's appointment, so you are at ease and enjoy every moment. The décor and furnishings were carefully selected by Sassi to complement the Victorian building and the classic styling of her gowns. Whilst the Boutique proudly houses the Sassi Holford Signature Collection and Sassi’s ‘esprit’ label, So Sassi, it also presents labels from international bridal designers from across the globe, all carefully selected by Sassi herself, giving the boutique a selection of designs and styles.

MEGAN Fabulously feminine, this stunning corded lace column gown features three-quarter length sleeves, a deep v-back and a slim bow belt made from duchesse satin.

SASSI HOLFORD TAUNTON 6 The Bridge, Taunton, Somerset, TA1 1UG T: 01823 256308 W:

MIMI Romantic and chic featuring a delicate pearlised micro-sequin overlay to the duchesse satin bodice. The gentle cowl neckline continues into an elegant deep v-back and the look is complete with diamante detail to the satin belt.


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RUBY Sensational ball gown with tulle skirt, fine lace cap-sleeve bodice, beaded abstract lace appliquĂŠ and a slim satin belt with beaded diamante detail.

VERONICA & VERONICA SASH This glamorous strapless design, with boxpleated skirt, is made from fine silk zibeline. Complement this look further and change your look from day to night with the simple addition of the Veronica sash.


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

0117 908 9010 w w w. t h e b r i d e s ro o m . c o. u k • BRIDAL WEAR • BRIDESMAIDS • ACCESSORIES

Special Day & Appletons 12 High Street, Keynsham BS31 1DQ | 0117 9860303 / 9863582

For the perfect look Over 500 Bridesmaid Dresses in stock. A fabulous range of “Wedding Gowns to go” from £150. - APPOINTMENTS RECOMMENDED DESIGNER BRIDAL WEAR | BRIDESMAIDS | MENS FORMAL HIRE | MOTHER OF THE BRIDE AND GROOM WEST WEDDINGS 41

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CLAUDIA This beautiful soft fishtail lace gown is complemented with hand beading to the waist, neckline and beautiful deep v-back.

SARA A strikingly beautiful ball gown with silk organza skirt. Eclectic layering is key to the bustier bodice of this stunning ball gown - fine corded lace over sequins, over duchesse satin and finished off with a slim satin belt and diamante feature detail. Detachable straps are also available. 42 WEST WEDDINGS

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Designers Include: Augusta Jones Benjamin Roberts Ellis Bridals Enzoani Ivory & Co Ronald Joyce Victoria Jane

Shoes & Veils by Rainbow Club Headresses & Jewellery by Ivory & Coa Bridesmaid Dresses by Mark Lesley & Ronald Joyce

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

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We will listen to your ideas and offer our ideas to help you create your dream individually styled beautiful wedding flowers.

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.

From a single bouquet to an army of bridesmaids and button holes.

Friendly / experienced / helpful / professional staff that will take the stress away from you.

3 Chelford Grove, Stoke Lodge, Bristol BS34 6DD tel/fax 01454 856 737 email web

Call Jacqui Lewis on

Photography by Kevin Belson

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

0117 934 3136

to advertise in the next issue of West Weddings Magazine

Chauffeur driven classic1960’s Jaguars in stunning colours for weddings, blessings and civil partnerships Covering Bristol, Bath, South Glos and North Somerset Tel: 01454 600072


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Get your marriage off to an excellent start and make a speech to remember for all the right reasons.


h, the groom’s speech. The source of anxiety and sweaty palms for many grooms, especially if you’re not used to speaking in public. Traditionally, the brief for the groom’s speech is quite simple: thank the bridesmaids, thank your wife, your families and anyone else who helped put the day together, express your joy at marrying the love of your life, and then introduce the best man. You can stick to this basic structure, or embellish it with some personal touches, but whatever you choose to include, we’ve put together our top twelve tips to help you make a speech that your guests will love, not cringe at.


Firstly, don’t make it too long. Although people who betted on a long set of speeches may thank you, no-one else will. There’s nothing worse than seeing wedding guests get restless as a speech goes on and on… and on. Ten minutes is an ideal length.

2 3

Starting with “my wife and I…” will always get a great reaction! If your wife isn’t going to make her own speech, remember that you’re speaking for

the two of you, so use ‘we’ where appropriate and make sure you ask her in advance what she’d like to be mentioned.


If your bride is making a speech (and see our Last Word feature on p.90 for more on this) go over your speeches together to make sure that you don’t overlap any material.


Remember that there will be older family members in the room, so keep out the smut. And chances are your best man will include enough for the both of you!


Everyone loves hearing about how a couple met, so a humorous yet sincere telling of how it happened for you is always a guaranteed crowd pleaser.


Avoid just reading out a list of thank yous – inject a little personality into what you’re saying. Anecdotes always go down well and make it more interesting, although refer back to tip one and don’t make them too long.


This is your chance to tell your guests, and your new wife, just how you feel, so make

sure you use the opportunity to say some sincere and heartfelt things.


Although you don’t have to memorise your speech off by heart, it will sound better if you don’t read it off a piece of paper. Instead, write key points down on note cards as helpful prompts.


If you do fumble or lose your way, it doesn’t matter. Your guests are the people who care most about you, so they won’t mind if it’s not a slick and professional speech.


Your best man will be taking the opportunity of his speech to make fun of you, so get in a little jibe about him while you can!


And finally, if the thought of giving a speech really is too hideous to contemplate, why not hand over duties entirely to your new wife? If she’s much more comfortable with public speaking, then play to the strengths in your partnership - after all, marriage is the ultimate in team work. WEST WEDDINGS 45

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Grooming the Shana Dillon explores the world of male beauty products.


owadays looking good and being well groomed is not just a thing for women. It’s now perfectly acceptable – and even assumed – that the male grooming regime has moved beyond just a shave and a quick splash of cologne. And on his wedding day in particular, a groom will want to look just as dashing as his blushing bride and this includes a whole lot more than just the plain old tux and shoes. Achieving the full package includes not only the best clothing attire but also an impeccable complexion. So with this in mind, here are some of my top picks of the latest products for men.


Free of parabens and other chemical nasties, this beeswax-based lipbalm comes in a plain silver tin and definitely won’t be mistaken for a lipstick. It smells gorgeous and helps keep your lips chap-free – perfect for that first kiss as man and wife! W: WWW.LUSH.CO.UK


Let’s face it, with a name like Bulldog this is definitely a range of products aimed at men. Although the company’s range has now expanded to include creams for anti-ageing and sensitive skin, its original moisturiser is still a good one to pick, packed as it is with eight essential oils, green tea and Vitamin E. Warning: its light formula and pleasant smell means your fiancée is liable to steal it. W: WWW.MEETHEBULLDOG.COM


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CLINIQUE SKIN SUPPLIES FOR MEN FACE SCRUB We ladies have long known how much smoother your skin feels after a quick facial scrub, and it looks like you guys are now catching onto this. Try Clinique’s face scrub from their dedicated male range before you shave, and you’ll be amazed how much of a closer finish you’ll be able to get. There’s also a load of other useful products in this range, including moisturiser and eye cream. W: WWW.CLINIQUE.CO.UK


This does exactly what it says on the tin, and for an excellent price, too. Keep your skin calm during a shave with a formula containing Vitamin E and camomile. W: WWW.NIVEAMEN.CO.UK


Palmers is well known for its use of cocoa butter in easily absorbed creams, and its range for men uses this wonderful ingredient, along with Vitamin E, to make a moisturiser to combat rough and dry skin. You can use it for both body and face, which is handy, and the fact that you’ll smell like a bar of chocolate is an added bonus! W: WWW.UKPALMERS.COM/MEN


This Oriental cologne is sensuous and warm, with top notes of Italian bergamot and pink pepper and base notes of vetiver and vanilla. It’s certainly not cheap, but as with all Tom Ford colognes, the fragrance lasts an extremely long time, making it a perfect wedding day addition to your washbag. W: WWW.TOMFORD.COM


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

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

PLANNING YOUR DAY 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 PLANNING plans and much more. YOUR DAY

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

ADDRESS BOOK Find what you’re looking for with minimum fuss. We’ve got everything you’ll need for your big day - and remember, it can all be found locally. Our directory even has a search facility so you can go straight to what you’re looking for. 48 WEST WEDDINGS

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the essential...


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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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


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


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Swing into spring

We celebrate the arrival of a new season with a pastel and polka dot wedding at Berwick Lodge. Photography: Interlace Photography Words: Helen Dorritt Spring 2014_Shoot.indd 51

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t’s never easy recreating springtime nuptials when it’s in fact closer to Christmas! But luckily the skies were blue and the beribboned tree was hidden when our talented team of local suppliers arrived at Berwick Lodge in Bristol to create a magical spring showcase wedding. Overseen by stylist Kirsten Butler and photographed by Eleanor from Interlace Photography, the finished photos were light, bright and full of beautiful finishing touches, perfectly capturing the feel of a warm spring wedding.


Tucked as it is down a long drive and hidden away in the countryside outside Bristol, visiting Berwick Lodge always feels like you’ve stumbled upon a magical secret, known only to a favoured few. This 1890s manor house was lovingly restored by Sarah and Fevzi Arikan after they fell in love with the property and its 18 acres of private garden and woodland. Opened to the public in 2009, Berwick Lodge has built up an enviable reputation for fine dining, holding 2 AA rosettes, and became a licensed wedding venue in order to allow couples to enjoy its gorgeous surroundings for their special day. The house and grounds provided a great backdrop for our photographs, with a host of picture-perfect details such as the stunning wooden staircase, the pretty swing and the lovely summerhouse. If you book your wedding at Berwick Lodge you can be sure of a day that’s unique to you. “We’re mad about weddings here, and in particular getting to know our couples!” says Jo Maggs from the venue. “Because the hotel is privately owned and run, we pride ourselves on offering a very personalised service. Berwick couples are encouraged to add their own personal touches to their special day, including the opportunity to create their own bespoke wedding breakfast menu, to make it truly memorable.”


Eleanor Saunders' fresh, natural approach to photography was the ideal match for our spring shoot. Her company, Interlace Photography, offers contemporary, reportagestyle images of your wedding, capturing those special moments in a relaxed, intimate way. “Shooting at Berwick lodge is always a pleasure,” said Eleanor. “A spring shoot is lovely to do with bright fun colours. I love the architecture at Berwick Lodge. Everywhere we turned there were more places for gorgeous pictures. Some of my favourite shots to do were of Kirsten’s beautiful styling of the incredible cake and stationery.” When it comes to weddings, Eleanor firmly believes that the photos should be about the wedding, and not the other way around! Her aim is to blend in with your guests, making everyone feel at ease, so she can quietly photograph all the little things that often happen unseen at weddings, as well as the more formal couple and group shots. Interlace’s range of packages is very budget-friendly too, and Eleanor also offers engagement shoots and family portraits.


All About Eve Bridal was the provider of our four gorgeous gowns. With two shops, one

based in the quaint market town of Chepstow and the other in the leafy suburbs of Newport, All About Eve can offer brides a lot of choice, with designers including Pronovias, Ivory and Co, Maggie Sottero, Essense, Blue by Enzoani and Mori Lee. It is also able to cater for the rest of the bridal party, with outfits for bridesmaids, Mother of the Bride and Mother of the Groom outfits. It's no wonder that the shop recently scooped National Bridal Retailer 2013 in the Welsh National Wedding Awards, making this a hat trick of trophies for the past three years! Bridezillas boutique in Keynsham expertly accessorised All About Eve's selection of dresses with beautiful jewellery, veils, tiaras and shoes. This one-stop accessories shop is the place to come for your bridal accessories, and carries a range of designers including Ivory & Co, Benjamin Adams and Tantrums and Tiaras, as well as its in-house jewellery and tiara line, Abigail Grace. The first dress worn by Jo was a full beaded lace dress by Essense, style D1549, with a gorgeous vision neckline, cut out back and sweeping lace chapel-length train. Amanda teamed this with a traditional crystal and pearl 'Lolita' tiara, plus 'Portofino' crystal and pearl earrings to match and an 'Edith' bracelet, all by Ivory & Co, and vintage-inspired 'Preston' shoes by Benjamin Adams. Our second dress was Isis by Ivory & Co,

which is an Art Deco-inspired silk satin dress with gorgeous cowl back detail, adorned with Swavorski crystals. This was teamed with a pearl headband with crystal side brooch, the 'Polly May' by Abigail Grace, and simple 'Venice' crystal and pearl drop earrings. The third dress was Mori Lee 1862, which combines a mermaid skirt with sweetheart


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neckline and gorgeous full lace train. A romantic look was created to accompany this dress with the use of classic pearl accessories - a double sided pearl cluster side 'Poppy' tiara by Abigail Grace, 'Louise' freshwater pearl flower earrings and a 'Posey' pearl cuff, plus a gorgeous two tier, chapel length embellished corded lace veil, which made for some beautiful photos. The fourth gown was another Ivory & Co, the Veronique – a cute retro silk chiffon tea length dress with stunning lace bodice. Amanda accessorised this with Tantrum and Tiara's 'Gemelle' side tiara, with sequin petalled flower and vine detail, 'Rose Bud' earrings, which are a pair of classic single pearl flower studs, and an Abigail Grace 'Grace' floral cuff. Jo again wore the Benjamin Adams shoes, which looked great with the shorter length dress. The final gown was the show-stopping Provonias Leiben, which features a mermaid silhouette and lace bodice with applique flowers and a dramatic organza layered hem. This was perfectly complemented with the 'Alecia' statement hairvine and the 'Rose Bud' earrings from before.


Our groom Jonny modelled two suits. The modern sand-coloured suit, which was paired with a pale pink cravat and cream waistcoat, was ideal for the lighter colours and (hopefully) warmer weather of a spring wedding. The second outfit was a grey lightweight morning suit with striped waistcoat and a pale lilac cravat which, as it's made from mohair, is also a good choice for spring. When choosing your suit at Anne Harding, you'll be measured under the expert eyes of the staff in the menswear department, headed up by manager Lee Frost. The shop has a variety of suits, from traditional morning dress to

more modern, slim fit suits, and everything in between, and its expert fitting service means you'll leave with a suit that looks amazing. There are also all the accessories you'll need, including coloured waistcoats, ties and cravats - even top hats and canes for those grooms who want to make a statement!


Vicky and Holly from No. 3 Hairdressing in Bath were on hand to ensure our bride looked photo-ready. “We wanted to make the most of Jo’s beautiful dark hair, so we did four looks to complement the dresses,” says Vicky. Jo’s hair was first curled to give lots of movement, and then shaped into the four individual styles. “Our favourite look was the Great Gatsby look with the Isis dress, which is so on trend at the moment with brides,” reports Vicky. “We loved recreating it and giving it a No. 3 twist!” Vicky and Holly are the bridal specialists of No. 3, which is a small independent salon based in Bath. No. 3 is happy to accommodate any bridal party within the salon itself, or will come to your house on the day.


After 11 years in the make-up business, Grace Kingsley knows how to make everyone look their absolute best. Specialising in bridal makeup, Grace used her wealth of knowledge to create beautiful looks for Jo. She used pretty pastel colours on the eyes for a girly, fresh and flirty feel, working with pinks, purples and greens to reflect the spring theme. For the Gatsby-inspired shot with the Isis dress, Grace used darker eyeshadow and added a red lip, making it a more dramatic look. Grace’s tip for bridal make-up this spring? “To make your skin look dewy, use a highlighting cream such as MAC’s Strobe Cream, either on its own or mixed in with your foundation.” As well as running her successful make-


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up and hair business, Grace has recently launched GK nails, a range of press-on nails. These range from simple colours to crystalencrusted full-on glamour sets, so there’s something to suit everyone.


Our wedding flowers were expertly put together by Tina Bignell of Tiger Lily florists in Bristol. Tina used bright, fresh spring colours in a palette of cerise pink, cream and purple. Flowers included rancunculus, Matchpot roses, vibrant gerberas and lisianthus. To offset the bright colours, Tina added fresh greens in ice cream shades - skimmia and asparagus ferns. "I also used a touch of mimosa and sage to give a fresh scent," says Tina. Tina loves doing wedding flowers, and is on hand to give advice for everything from bouquets and buttonholes to venue displays, reception arrangements and table centrepieces, as well as more unusual requests, such as the flowers that we used to twine up the ropes of Berwick Lodge's swing! Using a diverse supply of fresh and unusual flowers, Tiger Lily's floral arrangements are the perfect accompaniment to your wedding.


Our couple’s stunning cake was made by the talented Anne Gliddon of Pretty Amazing Cakes. With its pale pink icing and intricate lace detailing, this really is a show-stopping

centrepiece. And while that lace looks like it’s made from fabric, think again. “For the lace detailing, I used a new edible cake lace technique. It almost looks and feels like the real thing and is very versatile,” says Anne. Lace is still hugely popular on wedding cakes, reports Anne, so we expect to see a lot more of this amazing technique! Every cake that comes from the Pretty Amazing kitchens is guaranteed to look fantastic and taste delicious. As well as the cakes, Anne offers a range of biscuit favours and smaller cupcakes, which we also used in the shoot, which can be made to complement your main cake or to follow any theme.


The beautiful bespoke stationery for the shoot was created by Lizzy Cleverdon of Lizzy-May Designs, who used our polka dot and pastel theme and created something truly lovely. As well as invitations and menu cards, Lizzy also crafted cute cake toppers, garlands and rosettes to grace the tables, plus ribbon and oversized button decorations which transformed plain glass vases into quirky and colourful centrepieces, meshing perfectly with Tiger Lily’s pretty spring flowers. With a unique approach to stationery design, Lizzy likes to craft pieces which complement the entire look of each wedding. Each design is approached as an opportunity to create memorable, personal stationery, guaranteed to make your guests say “wow!”


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The ivory Beauford from England’s Finest Cars really is perfect for weddings. With its classic silhouette and leather interior, you can imagine you’re stepping back into the glamour of the 1930s! The company was started 17 years ago by Jayne Hobbs, when she bought three of these beautiful Beauford convertibles. Over the years seven more lady chauffeuses have joined and built up the reputation of England’s Finest Cars as a true wedding specialist. Jayne prides herself on the host of finishing touches provided which make your day even more special, such as a faux fur stole and muff to wrap up in, an umbrella in case of inclement weather and a bouquet of flowers on the bumper. All of England’s Finest Cars chauffeuses are married themselves, so they know just how a bride and groom feel on their wedding day, and take pride in putting them at ease. Stylish, reliable and thoughtful – what more could you want from your wedding day transport?


“There was a real spring in my step as I started gathering inspiration for this photo shoot!” said Kirsten Butler, aka The Little Wedding Helper. “I knew it would have to be bright and cheerful, ridding us of those last vestiges of winter.” To do this Kirsten incorporated pops of colour, swings in trees, confetti, garlands and lots of fresh air! Kirsten is on hand to make any couple’s day magical. With her eye for detail, she can


pull together all the elements of your wedding and style it to create the day of your dreams. “There’s something so satisfying about seeing your vision come together - and that’s why I love my job!" says Kirsten. "I get to work with lots of different couples, help shape their ideas, and create something truly special on their big day.”


Our beautiful bride Jo has been a model before, but this was groom Jonny’s first time modelling – his usual day job is as a media advertising sales person. Lizzy’s daughter Annie was our adorable bridesmaid, and stole the show with the pictures of her and Berwick Lodge's resident dog Monty! “Annie was just adorable!” said Eleanor. “They say never work with animals or children but this certainly wasn’t the case with Annie and Monty… or we just got very lucky!”



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Photos: Eleanor @Interlace Photography

Englands Finest Cars

0117 9324340

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




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Mercure Bristol North, The Grange Hotel Your Perfect Wedding Venue The hotels itself is 18th Century manor house, with high ceilings and impressive features inside to create a wonderfully romantic atmosphere. Set in 19 acres of beautiful manicured grounds giving you a perfect back drop for your memorable wedding photographs.

New Wedding Packages from £2999.00 All inclusive packages from £3995.00

Wedding Showcase Open Evenings Monday 17th February Monday 10th March Monday 7th April 6pm – 9pm

Wedding Fayre

2nd February and 13th July - 11am – 3pm FREE Entry, FREE Goodie Bags, Hog Roast, special show discounts, and we will be showcasing lots of different suppliers.

For more information or to book a Champagne Show round please call on 01454 771 422 or email us at Old Gloucester Road, Winterbourne, Bristol, BS36 1RP p60.indd 1

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be inspired BeInspired



With their pretty pin k stones, these Quiz Clothing earring s are ideal accessories for your bridesmaids.

rnoon Spring makes us think of afte from ed sipp , tea, taken in the garden cups e thes like a chin delicate vintage . tage Vin tol Bris from

This gorgeously flam boyant feather bag from House of Fraser will hold all your bri dal essentials on the day , and its delicate pink colour will look stunn ing against a white or cream dress.

than What better footwear for spring by es sho ki Rei these flower-covered look ld wou pair al flor s Thi e? Freya Ros ss! dre th leng tea a with ul utif bea

This cute notebook from is perfect for wedding planning!

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For more visual inspiration visit our boards at WEST WESTWEDDINGS WEDDINGS6161

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Great British BeInspired



Ellie Pipe finds local honeymoon destinations to be just her cup of tea.


f you spent childhood holidays watching the rain from the confines of a cramped caravan in some godforsaken English holiday ‘hotspot’, then you can be forgiven for having the UK pretty low down your list of top honeymoon destinations. But while the weather will never be a guarantee, the UK has come a long way from the days when soggy fish and chips were a holiday highlight, and there are now many very good reasons for choosing to honeymoon at home. One great reason to stay local is the cost. The pressure of paying for a wedding is often enough without adding to the financial burden with an expensive honeymoon abroad. There’s also convenience: no lengthy check-in queues, transfers or jet lag - just hit the road and start your honeymoon straight away. If you do have your heart set on a long exotic holiday of a lifetime, jetting off straight after the wedding may not be possible or practical. The mini-

moon is therefore an increasingly popular option, giving couples a short break away together if the main honeymoon is set for a later date. Some couples prefer to minimise their carbon footprint, others want to take the dog and some just want to take the opportunity to see more of their home turf. Whatever your reasons, you still want your honeymoon to be special, so take a whirlwind tour of just some examples of the best the West has to offer honeymooners.


Previously the domain of the brave or foolhardy, 'glamping' (i.e. glamorous camping) has somewhat revolutionised camping in the UK. The appeal of the countryside without having to sacrifice home comforts is proving ever popular and there is now a huge range of unique and wonderful

accommodation available for those to whom the concept of luxury camping appeals. Sawday’s Canopy and Stars is a company that specialises in tailor-made holidays of just this sort, personally seeking out and selecting the most beautiful and quirky holiday accommodation. For honeymoons, Sawday’s has a number of ideal locations. You could travel half way around the world and struggle to find anywhere as romantic as the Treehouse at Harptree Court near Bath, a stunning sky-high retreat. With a veranda just made for sipping Champagne while watching the sun set over the treetops, this beautiful wooden treehouse offers superbly luxurious accommodation. The treehouse is completely self-contained and is brimming with beautiful features, including a cosy wood burner and a copper bath in the en-suite bathroom. For the ultimate in tented accommodation,


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If you're after an eclectic spot for your honeymoon, all these quirky accommodations are on offer at Sawday's Canopy and Stars

try Sapperton Yurt in the Cotswolds. Its magical location in ancient woodlands combines simple pleasures with rich trimmings to make for a cosily romantic stay. In this secluded spot, you can spend long drawn out evenings lounging on the private decking under the fairy-lit trees or snuggled inside under a rug by the wood burner. With the Cotswolds at your fingertips, this is a honeymooners dream destination and the piece de resistance comes in the form of a roll top bath housed in a converted horse trailer that is as delightful as it is inventive. Faithful at Darthaven Marina in Dartmouth is one for sea lovers, and the name alone makes this houseboat a highly promising honeymoon destination. Moored in the picturesque village of Dartmouth, this unique boat provides a perfect base from which two starry eyed newlyweds can explore the rugged Devonshire coast.


Forget the tower blocks of so many resorts abroad, if there’s one thing the UK excels in, it is a mighty fine cottage. Sykes Cottages is a local company specialising in handpicked cottage holidays from coast to countryside across the UK and Ireland. The beauty of a honeymoon in a cottage is that it really doesn’t matter about the weather. If it’s fine then you have your own perfect base from which to make the most of the local surroundings at their best, but if the weather reverts to stereotype then where better to be than curled up within the warm confines of an idyllic country cottage? To ensure that you don’t scrimp on comfort while on honeymoon, choose a cottage with some of the luxury trappings. Sykes Cottages WEST WEDDINGS 63

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Above left and below: the luxurious interior of Bowood Hotel and Spa. Above: one of the gorgeous Sykes Cottages


has a special selection of romantic cottages just for couples. A private hot tub on the deck of a sea front villa should set the tone nicely. For a winter honeymoon, hide away in a traditional thatched roof cottage complete with oak beams and a roaring log fire - perfect for a blissful romantic escape.


If fending for yourselves is just not part of your honeymoon plans, then take advantage of British hospitality and check into a luxury hotel for the duration of your honeymoon. In the West Country we are lucky enough to have some absolute gems right on our doorstep. Bowood Hotel and Spa in Wiltshire is a fine contemporary example of top hotel luxury. Set in the heart of stunning parkland, the ample facilities include a luxury spa, swimming pool, gym, rock sauna, crystal steam room and aromatherapy shower. Recently voted the UK’s 5th most romantic hotel, Charlton House near Glastonbury offers honeymooners a genuine boutique hotel experience. There is delicious food to be consumed, full spa facilities to luxuriate in and, if you feel inclined to leave, the greenery of the Somerset countryside to be explored.

The epitomy of a grand English hotel, the Mercure Cheltenham Queens Hotel is a beautiful Regency four star hotel in the centre of Cheltenham. This hotel has an effortlessly elegant air and is ideally located for a romantic stroll down the Cheltenham promenade.


OK, perhaps as newly-weds it’s enough just being together, but a honeymoon or mini-moon can still be enhanced with a bit of thought beyond where you will be staying. Here are West Weddings’ top five honeymoon highlights... A bicycle made for two: Cycling is a lovely and romantic way to really see the sights. If you don’t have your own bicycles, most places will have bike hire facilities. Why not try the ultimate relationship tester and try a tandem bike? Take a punt: A leisurely punt gives you a unique opportunity to watch the world drift by together. A sunset meal: We promised no soggy fish and chips but a romantic sunset meal at one of the top fish restaurants that Britain plays host to is about as far as you can get from a trip to the local chippy. A massage in a bottle: It may sound a bit cheesy but how often do you get to truly relax together as a couple? Most spas will offer couple packages and really the sheer indulgence of some pampering together is a honeymoon must. Bubbles of happiness: Those who drink together stay together, or something along those lines anyway. For a frivolous and flirty evening out, book yourselves onto a Champagne tasting course and celebrate in style.


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16/01/2014 16:27:24

The Bridal Make-up & Hair Room


Bridal make-up & hair by BBC make-up designer Call Sue on 01225 444 769 07774 791 210

are brought to you by the multi award winning Southwest Chair Covers...

Our aim is to offer you the finest quality decorations and enhancements for your big day along with our wealth of expertise in venue styling and room dressing. • Sweet Cart • Carpet Runners • Chair Covers & Unique Accessories • Starlight Backdrop • Dance Floors • Post Boxes • Candleabras • and much more... Package deals available... contact us today!

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Sunday 26th January, Sunday 23rd March and Monday 5th May 2014 from 11am ‘til 2pm

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Everything’s COMING UP ROSES ... and tulips, peonies and cherry blossom! We talk to Tiger Lily florists about the perfect flowers for a spring wedding.


f you've decided to get married this season, then you've made a good choice when it comes to your flowers. “Spring is such a gorgeous time of year for flowers,” says Tina Bignell from Bristol-based florist Tiger Lily. “You'll be spoilt for choice when it comes to deciding what to have for your bouquet, buttonholes and table decorations.” Roses are still one of the most popular flowers when it comes to weddings. “There are so many beautifully scented and different shades available,” says Tina. “From ivory to coffee and lilac, in antique shades or bright and vibrant ones, there's a rose to suit everyone.” Spring is particularly good for traditional garden-style roses, she advises, and blooms in shades of apricot, raspberry and cream are ideal for a spring wedding. Pair with green viburnum for texture and depth. Spring is also the time for tulips. Although they are available all year round, thanks to modern growing techniques, spring is their natural season and so it makes sense to celebrate this lovely flower at this time of year. The sculptural effect of tulips makes for a glorious bouquet, especially when you take advantage of the bold, bright colours of yellow, red and purple that are available. If you're after some fragrance in your arrangements, Tina suggests trying hyacinths and paperwhites, both of which have gorgeous scents and are native spring blooms. The delicate white flowers and yellow centres of paperwhites means that they would also look amazing as table centrepieces. Plant them in willow baskets with moss for a rustic look, or for

something more modern, try square glass vases. For more lovely scents, Tina advises using herbs. “As well as their extra fragrance, they also provide colour diversity and are an alternative to traditional greens,” she says. “There are lots of vibrantly coloured herbs around in spring. Flowering sage, mint and rosemary all combine to create a quintessentially English bouquet.” You could also opt for more unusual herbs, such as sweet cicely, which has soft, star-shaped white flowers and beautifully delicate leaves, and orange thyme, which will give your bouquet a lovely citrussy smell. Even with the ease nowadays of sourcing flowers from abroad, there are still certain flowers that still really only make an appearance at certain times of the year, so it makes sense to use these seasonal blooms for a spring wedding. Apple and cherry blossoms are two particularly spring-time plants that work well - their stunning pink and white flowers really sum up the time of year, and their delicate pastel colours of the petals look gorgeous against a white dress. They also look great as table decorations. Keep it simple by placing boughs into jam jars or plain glass vases, especially for cherry blossoms, in order to show off the juxtaposition of the dark pink and light pink in the blooms. Spring is also the perfect time for one of those all-time favourite wedding flowers, the peony. With colours ranging from palest pink to deepest cerise with a host of lilacs and purples in between, all packaged in a beautiful bloom with frilled petals, it's no surprise that so many brides choose peonies for bouquets

and decorations. As they're only available in late spring and into early summer, you really can take advantage of this time of year and show off these fabulous flowers!


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new yea BeInspired



014 is here, and with it the promise of fresh spring air and the distant chime of summer wedding bells. If upcoming dress fittings are suddenly a daunting prospect, or you just want to put the stresses of winter behind you, then sit back, relax with a cuppa and enjoy our winter blues-busting guide, which is guaranteed to put a spring in your step.


Winter is quite frankly an excellent excuse for excess and indulgence, but if you're left feeling a bit flat, a good old fashioned bit of healthy eating and exercise may just be the best answer. GYM BUNNY: Berkeley Fitness is a private gym in a beautiful Grade II listed building on Berkeley Square in Clifton, Bristol. There are five top-notch training rooms and the latest cardiovascular equipment, and with a number of personal trainers and training programmes, you can be sure to find the right one for you and get that extra help to reach your goals. For the ultimate kick start to 2014, why not enrol on one of the increasingly popular fitness retreats run by trainer Emma Higgins? The retreats take place on the stunning North Devon coastline – this is a one-off opportunity to feel entirely virtuous about a lovely break away. KEEP CALM AND DO YOGA: if the thought of strenuous exercise brings you out in a cold sweat, though, don’t dive for the sofa - opt for a more gentle, but still beneficial exercise such as yoga. Yogic Yogis runs yoga classes across Bristol, often in weird and wonderful locations such as the little-known Benjamin Perry Boathouse. The laid back atmosphere makes these classes un-daunting and enjoyable, and you can also kill two birds with one stone as

you de-stress while you tone up. On select days in February and March, Yogic Yogis will be running special partner workshops, which is the perfect opportunity for you and your loved one to try something new together for the New Year. FOOD FOR THOUGHT: even with the best intentions in the world, you can only sustain any form of exercise with the right fuel. So forget faddy diets - Bristol-based nutritional therapist Kate Elliott has shared her top tips with us to help you achieve a genuinely sustainable balanced diet (and there’s not a rice cake in sight). A few simple adjustments to your diet can provide your body with the right balance of nutrients to enable you to function at your best. As an added benefit, good nutrition will set you on the right path to have more energy, help with stress, improve your sleep and encourage better wedding-ready skin, hair and nails. Increasing nutrient-rich foods (including lots of different coloured vegetables, brown rice, fruit and nuts) will help to reduce stress, boost your immune system and aid weight loss. Certain foods can be incorporated into your diet to boost your mood and energy levels, such as chicken, avocado, bananas and oats. Most of us have a vice of choice that we are loath to give up but cutting down on alcohol, caffeine, sugar and smoking comes with hugely positive side effects, including improved moods and less naughty cravings. If this all sounds like something you'd like to know more about, Kate provides one to one consultations as well as wellbeing days for work places. She was trained at the College of Naturopathic Medicine and has a particular interest in detox, energy management and simple, achievable diet and lifestyle changes.


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Clockwise from above: the serene exterior at Cotswold Water Park; get toned with Yogic Yogis; take a dip at Cotwold Water Park's pool; try a new 'do at No. 3 hairdressing; facial rejuvenation at the Aztec Spa


Health certainly doesn’t need to be all work and no play; relaxation and taking time out come with their own infinite health benefits. We've listed some of our favourite West Country indulgences below... GIRLIE SLEEPOVER: West Wedding’s favourite girls' night in package, organised by the Aztec Hotel and Spa, is the perfect excuse to get the girls together for a night of sheer indulgence - all in the name of health and wellbeing, of course! Aztec Hotel and Spa has everything covered, from four-star accommodation to luxury spa facilities and even a selection of DVDs. All you have to do is organise your friends and pack your pyjamas! DATE NIGHT: for a bit of quality time together with your partner, make a date at The Spa at Cadbury House to take advantage of its spa twilight package. With a glass of bubbly, full use of the facilities and a couple’s massage it has all the makings of a night to remember. SKIN DEEP: if healthy, radiant wedding day skin is your aim, a trip to the divine Spa 6 Cotswold Water Park Four Pillars Hotel will introduce you to the Rasual Ritual. One of an extensive range of treatments, this ancient Arabic tradition involves smothering yourself in deep cleansing mud and then relaxing in steam for the minerals to work their magic, all topped off with a refreshing shower. Utter bliss! HAVING IT ALL: to achieve a bit more balance in your life, whisk yourself away to Bowood Hotel, Spa and Golf in Wiltshire and get away from it all. Within the stunning grounds of Bowood you can play a spot of golf, perhaps work up a bit of a sweat in the gym and then be fully justified in whiling the evening away in the blissful Bowood Spa - all in all, a perfect balance!


They say a change is as good as a holiday so why not test out this theory in the beautiful city of Bath? 3 STEPS TO PERFECT HAIR: the infinitely chic No.3 Hairdressing Salon tucked away on Saville Row in Bath boasts a brand new blow dry bar open every Friday night from 5-8pm. Pick the look you fancy and the talented team will create it for you. Whether it’s for wedding day inspiration or just a Friday night in the pub, a brand-new do is bound to make you feel brand-new. GROOMED TO PERFECTION: down the road, Frontline Style has boutique salons in Bath and Wells, each hosting a haven of beauty secrets and treatments within their walls. Pop in for a quick lunchtime pedicure ready for busting out the summer footwear, or treat yourself to a beautiful eyes package ahead of your big day.


It’s not something to be taken lightly but laser eye surgery, if right for you, could transform your life. Perhaps you want to be free of glasses in your wedding photos, or perhaps you have big plans for honeymoon scuba diving and want to see the fishes clearly. Now is as good a time as any to book that consultation. Bristol Laser Vision is based in Bristol Eye Hospital and offers a range of vision correction options uniquely adapted to suit individual needs. An expert surgeon will guide you through the entire process, from consultation to treatment to aftercare. You can relax knowing there's a fixed price, and that you'll be benefitting from the most advanced and safest technology.



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Become a domestic goddess with lessons at The Vanilla Pod Bakery

Sophie Smith unleashes her inner Martha Stewart with a look at craft-based hen parties.


here is no doubt about it, hen dos are one of the most enjoyable elements of planning a wedding. Hen parties have now moved on a long way from flashing veils, L plates and a night on the town, however, and with the rise in DIY weddings and influences such as Kirstie Allsopp and Cath Kidson, the modern bride is much more likely to find herself getting creative with her fellow hens and perhaps making something special for her own wedding day. With so many ‘crafty’ hen do opportunities out there, there’s a workshop to suit your creative needs; and with the average price of a hen do now at £157 per person, these crafty hen dos are a thrifty bride’s dream, priced at just a snip of this. Whether you want to spend good quality time with your nearest and dearest, have a good giggle as you learn how to make your new creation or perhaps sip 70 WEST WEDDINGS

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some bubbly and polish off some scrumptious cake whilst you get creative, the DIY hen do has it all. Whatever activity you choose, one thing we can guarantee from experience is that whatever your ability, all of these DIY hen do companies pride themselves on helping you create fantastic memories, as well as offering you support and guidance to ensure you come away with something you are very proud of!


Add some glamour to your hen do by making some stunning jewellery at a workshop with Kate of Creative Bridal Designs. From tiaras to anklets, dramatic to simplistic, you can guarantee to make something that suits everyone’s tastes. If your wedding day jewellery is already sorted, why not create beautiful pearl friendship bracelets or a piece of jewellery to wear for special

You too can make stunning jewellery like this with Creative Bridal Design's workshops

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These cupcakes would make lovely wedding favours for your guests

If you love sewing, you'll love a textile-based workshop organised by The Crafty Hen

occasions? If you’re the bride you may like to make something special to wear on your honeymoon. Options available include bridal jewellery design using Swarovski crystals and freshwater pearls or, if you’re going for a more couture style wedding then you could try your hand at stunning silk flower hair pieces and corsages using luxurious silks and feathers. As well as the piece of jewellery to take home with you, hens will also enjoy tea and cake plus a delicious buffet lunch.


From sugar roses to icing pearls and buttercream swirls, at a cake decorating hen do you’ll be creating cupcakes almost too good to eat! The Vanilla Pod Bakery has been offering cake decorating hen parties since 2010 and uptake has grown ever since. This hen do will definitely satisfy your sweet tooth as you sample your goods as you work. Hens get to work with sugarpaste, buttercream, food colouring and materials to make gorgeous roses and flowers. If that wasn’t enough, you also get to learn the secret ingredients and techniques behind Vanilla Pod’s cakes, as well as bringing home a box of your six delicious decorated cupcakes. With the sort of skills you’ll be learning in these workshops, you may even decide to go home and get together with your hens to make your wedding cake or create gorgeous

cupcake favours. As with most DIY hen dos, Vanilla Pod continues to offer advice and tips after the workshop if you decide to pursue the techniques for your wedding or even just a hobby in the future.


If The Great British Sewing Bee was just your cup of tea, have a look at the textile-based hen workshops offered by The Crafty Hen. From textile corsages and accessories to bunting and table decorations specially tailored to your wedding theme, you may be stuck for which craft to pick! The company is based in Bristol, but its mobile service means it can come to you anywhere across the UK or at one of several specially selected venues. If you want to go with current trends, Crafty Hen’s most popular workshop is definitely the knicker customisation session. With a good balance between being a little bit cheeky and learning new craft techniques, it mixes a bit of the traditional hen with the modern DIY hen. In this session you are provided with plain knickers which you get to embellish with lace, ribbons, bows, appliqué, sequins, buttons, crystals and iron on motifs with step by step guidance.


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

Exclusive use of the venue means the oak-floored reception area, brick–walled bar, terraces, and portable dance floor can also be utilised as you wish. Couples are encouraged to decorate the neutral interiors according to their individual taste, style, and colour preferences. Our gardens, vineyard, and the enveloping countryside present a varied choice of photographic opportunities. The team extend friendly, personal support as required by our clients in the planning and preparation stages, and we continue with hospitable and efficient service to the bride and groom, their families, and guests on the big day.

Aldwick Court Farm & Vineyard Redhill, Bristol, BS40 5RF Tel: 01934 864 404 @AldwickCourtFrm Aldwick Court Farm & Vineyard


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Carla Yorukoglu explores wedding traditions from around the world.


lthough weddings are constantly evolving, there’s no escaping the fact that many of us still incorporate age-old wedding customs into our nuptials. Wearing something old, new, borrowed and blue, carrying a horseshoe, throwing the bouquet and being carried over the threshold are just of a few of the ones we Brits tend to incorporate into our special days. Have you ever thought of where such traditions come from, though, and what other symbolic actions there are around the world? Read on to find out more...


Across the globe, the wedding ring is the ultimate symbol of commitment. The British tradition of wearing the band on the third finger of the left hand dates back to the Egyptians who believed that the vein in that finger ran directly to the heart, and was therefore a symbol of love. This differs greatly from the rule of the Romans during which the ring was a sign of ownership, with women having no rights when it came to marriage.


It is safe to say that the custom of wearing a white dress is still going strong, with variations

of this tradition - such as ivory, pearl and monochrome designs - lighting up many wedding aisles. But why white? The tradition of a white wedding is most often credited to Queen Victoria, who wore a heavy satin gown and intricate Honiton lace veil for her 1840 wedding to Prince Albert. Although a white dress is now seen as a symbol of innocence and chastity, it is likely that Victoria chose white to make a bold political statement - making waves during a time when black was a more practical choice. Victoria’s wedding dress also did wonders for the British economy, helping to re-popularise and strengthen the lace making industry.


Deriving from traditional Shinto Japanese weddings, the ritual of “san-san-kudo” is often performed as a major part of modern ceremonies. San san kudo translates literally as ‘three, three, nine times’ and involves the bride and groom drinking from three different glasses of sake. The bride and groom are asked to take three sips from each glass, nine in total, which is regarded as a lucky number in Japanese culture. Like most wedding traditions, the ritual is deep in meaning: the first three sips represent the bride and groom and their parents, the second set symbolise the three human flaws which are hatred, passion and ignorance, and the final three offer deliverance from these shortcomings.

FLAVOURS OF INDIA Bollywood films such as Bride and Prejudice provide us with a glowing vision of Indian wedding celebrations - think dance extravaganzas, bright lights and bhangra beats. This

isn’t far from reality, as Indian weddings are equally exuberant affairs which are celebrated through a series of events. One of these is the Sangeet ceremony, a traditionally womenonly event which has evolved over time to allow men to participate, albeit in a separate location. Dance and music take centre stage, with family members playing the dholki (percussion instrument), singing suhaag (a traditional folk song) and telling jokes to tease the bride.


Centuries ago in Russia, the “ransom of the bride” was an elaborate affair during which the bride’s family would stop the groom on his journey to the bride’s house. This theatrical performance was designed to test the groom’s credentials, including a number of tasks such as the removal of heavy obstacles and the solving of tricky riddles. This tradition is still practised in modern-day Russia and is usually performed on the way to the register office. It is now common for the ransom to be initiated by the bridesmaids and the best man, all of whom prepare light hearted challenges for the groom to complete. Much more restrained than the tiered wedding cake is the Russian wedding loaf (or karavay), another ancient tradition that has been passed down over the years. Central to the loaf’s design is a pastry wreath and two interlaced rings, symbolising prosperity and faithfulness. The sun-shaped loaf is commonly embellished with arrow-wood twigs - a nod to the pagan superstition that this could aid a woman’s fertility. More importantly, the loaf determines who will be the all-important head of the family. To decide this, the bride and groom are asked to take a portion of the bread without their hands. Unsurprisingly, the future head of the house will be the person who takes the largest bite! WEST WEDDINGS 73

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Ber w ick L odge, Ber w ick Dr ive, Br i stol BS10 7 T D

Recently awarded with 5 stars from the AA, Bristol’s best kept secret Berwick Lodge provides a stunning location for your wedding and offers a totally bespoke service to create the wedding of your dreams. The beautifully renovated building and grounds offer many unique features and what’s more the 2 rosette food is to die for! 0117 958 1590 @Berwicklodge

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Shana Dillon takes a peek behind the doors of Berwick Lodge in Bristol.


ocated high on a hill, nestled among 18 acres of private garden and majestic woodland, is the superbly presented Berwick Lodge. Regarded as Bristol’s best kept secret, this cosy hotel and restaurant has recently undergone a full restoration and now has the ultimate wow factor, making it perfect for your wedding. Berwick Lodge was built as a private manor house in the 1890s, meaning the building is full of period character. After two world wars and several owners, however, the property was neglected and ended up in a bad state. But on Valentine’s Day 2005 Sarah and Fevzi Arikan saw the property and instantly fell in love with it. Their devotion and love has led to the creation of a wonderful hotel which is the perfect wedding venue. If you hire Berwick Lodge you’ll be at ease knowing you will have complete private and exclusive use. Keeping the whole day at one location is always a bonus, so if you’re having a civil ceremony it can take place in the Restaurant, Summeria or Mesopotamia rooms which all offer a charming atmosphere for the service. Enjoy post ceremony beverages in the striking wood panelled lounge, before retiring to the exquisite dining room to enjoy your wedding

breakfast and evening party. You can also just hire the restaurant for the wedding breakfast and then continue your reception at the Mews which is suitably located adjacent to the main building. And for those wedding parties with larger numbers, the large lawn of the hotel means that you can use a special marquee which accommodates up to a whopping 400 guests – now that’s a party! When it comes to the cuisine Berwick Lodge is by no means a novice. Not only has it been awarded with 5 AA stars for its outstanding guest accommodation, but it was also recently given 2 AA rosettes for its sensational food. The head chef and the team use the best ethical, seasonal and local ingredients to produce their dishes and even have their own polytunnel in the grounds where fresh herbs and vegetables are grown all year round. And for all you wine lovers Berwick has one of the finest wine lists in the area with an extensive range of wines and Champagnes. If all of that isn’t enough for you, the wow factor goes even further. Arrive and leave in style using Berwick’s very own helipad and completely stun your guests. And even more good news – this venue is just five minutes from the M4/M5 motorway and 15 minutes away from Bristol city centre!



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COUNTRY VENUE Looking for a location with the wow factor? Shana Dillon recommends Ingleside House in Cirencester.


f a beautiful building offering you and your guests privacy within a convenient city location sums up your dream wedding venue, then Ingleside House is just the place for you. Located in the heart of the Cotswolds, this beautiful Grade II listed stately home with private grounds is just a short walk away from the historic Roman town of Cirencester. Built in 1825, the venue is steeped in history and has a host of gorgeous antique features which have been charmingly preserved during the building’s recent refurbishment. When it comes to weddings, Ingleside House can accommodate both the ceremony and reception. Licensed for civil ceremonies, you can comfortably spend your whole day on the grounds and not have to worry about getting to the next venue. Your ceremony can take place in any of the unique function rooms – the quaint Music Room, the regal Garden Room or the elegant Drawing Room,

which can hold 30-50 people, or if you’re looking for something on a bigger scale, the Barn Theatre, Ingelside’s very own theatre, can accommodate up to 150 guests. For the evening celebrations afterwards, the various rooms at Ingleside can fit up to 150 people, and for larger parties an adjoining fully heated marquee can be used for up to 250 evening guests. Whatever you’re envisioning for your big day can be discussed to make sure your wedding is individual and exactly how you want it, and the experienced staff will also ensure that your guests are as well looked after as you! All catering is provided in house, with personalised menus available, whether you’re looking for a finger buffet, a cheese board or a hog roast. With a stunning sweeping interior and gorgeous garden, Ingleside House is perfect for that picturesque wedding you’ve always dreamed of.



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

5 Beeches Road, Cirencester Gloucestershire GL7 1BN Contact: 01285 648230


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The Compass Inn Flexible, Creative and Stylish Weddings

01454 218 242


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ith a breathtaking vista across Bristol and Wales, a contemporary style and a revitalising on-site spa, it’s easy to see why DoubleTree by Hilton Cadbury House is so in demand for couples wanting to get married in 2014. All of this splendour hasn’t gone to its head though - the hotel offers a number of reasonable packages available from as little as £2,999. Each is comprehensive, with options to suit your every needs. Each package also means you’ll enjoy the skills of Sarah Warren, the hotel’s dedicated wedding coordinator, who will be on hand to help you achieve the right look and setting for the big day. For spring weddings, who could resist the romantic statement of an al fresco ceremony under a thatched gazebo, advantageously positioned to provide a backdrop of the most sensational views across Bristol? To see all this for yourself and meet Sarah, visit the hotel on 13th April for its wedding show.



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wedding venue with style, grace and convenient location? The Compass Inn in South Gloucestershire has all that. Built in the eighteenth century as a coaching inn, it’s set in five acres of lovely gardens, surrounded by the Cotswolds. And good news for you and your guests – it’s just a few minutes’ drive from the M4. You can choose to hold your ceremony in one of the Inn’s five licensed rooms, which include the cosy Long Bar, made even cosier

with its open log fire, or the Orangery with its light, airy feel. For your wedding breakfast you can be sure of something truly delicious, whether it’s Champagne and canapés or a full sit-down three course meal. After the party is over, you can spend your first night in the Inn’s gorgeous bridal suite, while your guests sleep soundly in one of its 26 bedrooms. Follow this with a hearty breakfast and a bracing walk in the countryside to clear any Champagne hangovers, and get your married life off to a fantastic start!



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ith its picturesque views over the Severn Valley and Black Mountains, Old Down Manor has a perfect setting. A beautifully restored Victorian manor house, Old Down has rapidly become one of the most popular wedding venues in the South West since it opened a few years ago. It’s no surprise, with its combination of Gothic architecture, period features, 60 acres of well-kept gardens, delicious food and the chance to enjoy the venue exclusively for your wedding. If you like what you’re reading, you can visit Old Down’s wedding fair on Sunday 23rd March, from 11am-3pm, where the venue will play host to a wide range of its preferred suppliers. This is a great chance to see the charm of this lovely place for yourself.



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photo gallery



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Interlace Photography Contact Eleanor Saunders Telephone 07870 811931 Email Website


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


Berwick Lodge, Henbury, Bristol, BS10 7TD T: 0117 958 1590 E: W:

Tormarton, Near Badminton, South Gloucestershire, GL9 1JB

CAPACITY: From an intimate 20 guests up to 80 for a civil ceremony and reception. 150 for an evening party. Marquees available for larger numbers.

T: 01454 218242 E: W:

FACILITIES: Set in 18 acres of garden and woodland, yet only minutes from the M4/M5, Berwick Lodge offers an exclusive, secluded and private venue for you and your guests with service that’s second to none. The beautifully renovated building and grounds offer 10 luxury individually styled bedrooms, many photo opportunities and food to die for! Exclusive hire available.

CAPACITY: 26 Bedrooms


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


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

Congresbury, Bristol, BS49 5AD T: 01934 834343 E: W: CAPACITY: From an intimate 20 guests to 350 FACILITIES: Beautiful 18th century house with a modern twist, offering first-class facilities for large or smaller intimate weddings with 132 bedrooms, health club, spa and hair salon on site. Licensed for civil ceremonies and partnerships.

T: 01453 827926 E: W:

Falfield, Gloucestershire GL12 8DA

CAPACITY: Ceremony and receptions for up to 150 guests.

T: 01454 262805 W:

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

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


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Prince Street, Bristol BS1 4QF

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

T: 0117 9230333 E: W:

T: 01249 822228 E: W:

CAPACITY: Up to 280 for a Wedding Breakfast and 400 for an Evening Reception

CA PAC ITY: A variety of Suites available to accommodate up to 160 guests for both a civil ceremony and a reception.

FACILITIES: Why look any further than The Bristol Hotel for arranging your dream wedding. With floor to ceiling windows overlooking the stunning Bristol Harbourside, and luxurious features such as rich deep carpets and Waterford Crystal chandeliers this is the most wonderful setting for your special day. Indulge your friends and family with delicious cuisine, memorable surroundings and a wealth of warm hospitality.

FACILITIES: Set in the heart of the beautiful Wiltshire countryside, Bowood Estate is a unique setting for your wedding. Amid the 2,000 acre Estate are a selection of individual venues for your wedding celebrations from the grandeur of Bowood House to the contemporary Kerry Suite and the stunning Bowood Hotel. With the parkland and woodland surrounding of the Hotel and Clubhouse or the immaculate terraced gardens, in front of Bowood House, there is a unique setting for your day.



Elmore, Gloucestershire, GL2 3NT T: 01452 720 293 E: W: CAPACITY: Ceremony - 108, Drinks Reception 500, Dinner and Dance - 200 FACILITIES: On a 1000 acre estate with views over the River Severn and across to the Cotswolds, the grade 2 listed Elmore Court is the country’s newest wedding venue following a multi-million pound renovation. The estate and court has been in the Guise family for 750 years and combines heritage with contemporary. Elmore Court offers civil ceremonies, 8 bedrooms and a brand new ballroom, The Gillyflower (built out of ‘rammed earth’ with a flat meadow roof) – plus an experienced creative events team who will be there to advise all the way. A distinctively different take on a country-house wedding. Available exclusively.


Lake 6, Spine Road East, South Cerney Gloucestershire GL7 5FP T: 01285 864000 F: 01285 864001 E: CAPACITY: From 2 – 800 people, Small function suites to our main suite that takes up to 300 or our marquee for up to 500 people. FACILITIES: Our luxury 4 star hotel is situated in the heart of the Cotswolds, overlooking a lake, surrounded by beautiful English countryside. The spectacular location, stylish décor and state-ofthe-art facilities make it the perfect venue for romantic Cotswolds weddings and honeymoons. The central Cotswolds location makes the hotel easy to reach from many surrounding areas, including Gloucestershire, Bristol, Cheltenham, Oxfordshire, the Midlands and Swindon.


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

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

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 décor allows you to decorate the barn with your own individual style and ideas. Exposed oak beams and soft lighting add to the romantic ambiance of this magical venue. Luxury onsite accommodation.


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Thornbury Castle Hotel, Castle Street Thornbury, Bristol BS35 1HH

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.


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


Wincanton Racecourse, Wincanton, Somerset BA9 8BJ Tortworth, Wotton-under-Edge South Gloucestershire, GL12 8HH T: 01454 263000 E: W: CAPACITY: Up to 280 FACILITIES: 190 bedrooms. Luxury country house hotel set in 30 acres of picturesque parkland, overlooking the lake. Also offers the 2 AA Rosette awarded Orangery Restaurant, spa and leisure club.

T: 01963 32344 E: W: www.wincantonracecourse, CAPACITY: Up to 350 guests. FACILITIES: Wincanton Racecourse is the perfect licensed venue for your wedding or reception in the Somerset area. Set in 160 acres of glorious grounds, the flexible venue offers a wealth of options and layouts for wedding parties of all sizes. As a premier venue for racing in the South West, our staff are trained to the very highest levels in service to help you relax and enjoy your special day.

T: 01454 281182 E: W: CAPACITY: Ceremonies and receptions in the Tudor Hall up to 66 guests and 100 guests for an evening reception. FACILITIES: Thornbury Castle is one of the most romantic hotels in the country, making it one of England’s most sought after wedding venues. With its magnificent medieval architecture, impressive Tudor Hall, 26 luxurious bedchambers and award winning food, it really is the perfect location for an unforgettable wedding, not to mention being in easy reach of Bristol, the M4 and M5. The castle’s idyllic walled gardens provide an unsurpassed setting for your drinks reception and photographs.

DO PEOPLE KNOW YOU’RE A LICENSED VENUE? To advertise your venue in the next issue of

call Jacqui Lewis on

0117 934 3136


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Call Jacqui Lewis on 0117 934 3136 to advertise in the next issue of West Weddings



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


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8/10/2012 3:25:12 PM 16/01/2014 14:50:52 8/10/2012 3:25:12 PM

Editor Helen is firmly on the yes side, seen here mid speech with her husband!

Last Word

the final SAY?

Should the bride break with wedding tradition and make a speech alongside the groom? Louise Jarndyce prefers to stay silent, but Cath Davies is all for throwing the rule book out of the window.


Yes, it’s tradition for the groom, father of the bride and best man to stand up and speak at a wedding, but why shouldn’t the bride get a say too? Chances are she’s the one who’s put months of hard work and passion into all the other aspects of the wedding day, so it only seems fair that she gets a chance to address her guests if she wants to. It’s all well and good looking pretty in a white dress, but most modern brides have plenty to say! I’m getting married in July, and as one of the very few occasions in my life where I’ll be surrounded by all my favourite people, it feels important that I’m able to tell them all how lucky I feel to have them all there to celebrate with me. My decision to make a speech at my wedding is partly down to the fact that my dad’s no longer around and my mum hates the idea of public speaking, but it would feel strange just to sit and hear people speaking about me without contributing. Admittedly, the idea has raised a few eyebrows among older family members, but so has the concept of a civil ceremony and an ice-cream tricycle – weddings, like everything else, have to move with the times! I can’t wait to stand up and tell all my guests just how thrilled I am to have spent one of the happiest days of my life with them, and, of course, to say publicly just how proud I am to have married my wonderful husband – bring on the applause!


In my everyday life I’m definitely not someone who believes that a woman’s place is keeping quiet in the home. But on my wedding day? I’m very happy to sit there and let the men hold the microphone. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for equality, but I don’t want the stress of having to think about giving a speech. I’ve seen enough best men panic for weeks before the big day about the speech that they have to give, especially if they’re not a natural public speaker. When it comes to a wedding, there’s already enough pressure on the bride – she’s expected to plan the entire day, ensure everyone has a good time, look amazing and be the centre of attention. Heaping yet another expectation on her, of having to write and deliver some warm and witty words, is just too much.

I also like the continuity of my father giving a speech, with a response from my husband. Yes, it means only men will be speaking that day, but really, when you think about it, lots of elements of weddings are pretty sexist: it’s all about the woman being handed over from one man (her father) to another (her husband). If you’re going to start worrying about equality in the speeches, you really need to review the whole ceremony! And to end on a practical note: there are already enough speeches to contend with without adding a bride’s to the mix. There’s nothing worse than being a guest waiting patiently for your dinner, thinking it’s nearly there, only to find that the bride has popped up and is about to delay it by another 15 minutes. Also, it’s going to totally ruin the sweepstake on their length...

your What do you think? Let us know

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For further information or to book an appointment please call

Tel: 01225 345 101 439 Bath Road, Saltford (on the A4 between Bristol & Bath) email: info@

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West Weddings Spring 2014  

West Weddings We're full of the joys of spring! Berwick Lodge throws open its doors for our pastel and polka dot themed photoshoot, we pick...

West Weddings Spring 2014  

West Weddings We're full of the joys of spring! Berwick Lodge throws open its doors for our pastel and polka dot themed photoshoot, we pick...