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MONNOW marquees award winning marquee hire for all occasions


to our regional autumn wedding guide for the Wye Valley and The Marches, packed full of wonderful ideas and tips for your big day. If you have just become engaged and are embarking on the exciting journey of planning your dream wedding, this is the guide to get you started. What’s extra special is that there is a plethora of inspiration right on your doorstep, as the region is awash with expertise and quality companies from fabulous florists to fashion, stylish menswear to stunning venues, services and wedding essentials to make your day unique and unforgettable. We have selected some of the best businesses in the area, many of which you’ll be able to meet at the various wedding fairs that are happening over the next few months. We have listed these inside and we do hope to see you at our own prestigious event at Hampton Court in Herefordshire this November, where you’ll find an incredible selection of services in this fairytale castle venue. Coordinating every detail of your day can be stressful, so perhaps you might like to consider the assistance of a wedding planner to take the strain, read on for essential tips on choosing your lingerie, perfect flowers and getting the best from your caterer, all supplied from our regional experts and at your finger tips. When you visit our advertisers, take this book with you or cut out the things that catch your eye, and remember to tell them where you saw their advert. They’ll be delighted to know that they are looking after someone local who has enjoyed reading about them. Wishing you inspirational reading and a wonderful wedding.

Everything you need to plan your big day. Whether it’s a Wedding, Party, Corporate Event or Show Stand we’ve got it covered.

Cover photograph courtesy of Beards, Cheltenham

01600 775577 0777 9033394


Wedding venues WVM

Fishmore Hall The perfect setting for your Shropshire wedding: a handsome Georgian house licensed for civil ceremonies, 15 sublimely romantic bedrooms, a light, airy restaurant for smaller weddings and space in the gardens for a substantial marquee. With its dreamy backdrop of Shropshire countryside and immaculate service, Fishmore Hall Hotel promises you a wedding day to treasure forever, and a glorious setting for your wedding photographs. Talk to our personal wedding coordinator about your plans and we’ll be with you from our first meeting until you disappear off on your honeymoon. We’d be delighted to help you put together a wedding package that suits your budget and tailor-make your day with you. Fishmore Hall is also available for exclusive use for your wedding party. Find out about Hen and Stag Packages too. If you are planning your wedding, call 01584 875148. Go to www. or email

Aylestone Court Aylestone Court is a historic Georgian town house that has been lovingly restored and extended to provide a unique, elegant and quiet setting. With beautiful walled gardens and chandelier lit rooms, Aylestone Court is the perfect venue for your celebration, tailor made just for you. Whether it is a small intimate gathering, a large extravagant celebration or a simple and perfect civil ceremony, every aspect of your day is built around you and your wishes. Our discreet service, professionalism, attention to detail and commitment to excellence will ensure that this is the most memorable day of your life. Telephone: 01432 341891

Harrison Marquees Harrison Marquees is a family run business based in Hereford who pride themselves on personal service and professionalism and always go that extra mile to make any occasion perfect for their clients. All of their marquees are clear span so there are no ropes or poles to get in the way and they are adaptable to cover any obstacle or location. They can advise on colour schemes, styles of chairs and have a selection of lighting, star light roofs, sound systems and so much more to make your wedding or party extra special. For more information contact 01432 273746 or visit OCTOBER 2009 WYEVALLEYMEDIA.CO.UK


Wedding venues WVM

Venues Pengethley Manor Whitney Court Whitney Court is a privately owned Edwardian country manor house set in majestic surroundings, making it an ideal choice for your wedding day. The Great Hall is perfect for holding a civil ceremony with its magnificent oak panelling and high ceilings or you may want to hold your reception in a marquee.

The ambience and grandeur of Pengethley Manor offers the perfect setting for a magical day. They pride themselves on both an exceptionally high standard of cuisine along with superb attention to detail. They treat every wedding individually and subsequently the staff work closely with the bride to ensure that every detail is attended to. With breathtaking views across the Wye Valley this venue provides the perfect backdrop for your wedding photographs. 01989 730211

All of your requirements are taken into consideration and expertly organised to the very last detail. The views are fantastic for all your wedding photographs both inside and outside. You can also have exclusive use of Whitney Court and its accommodation and make a real celebration of it with your friends and family. For more information contact 01497 831 213 or 01544 327278 or visit

Brecon Beacons Events Choose Brecon Beacons Events to organise your wedding at one of the most spectacular venues in Wales, Ffrwdgrech House, barely a mile outside Brecon. The marquee is sited on the lawn, within the 3 ½ acres of grounds including a beautiful pond and 65 acres of ancient woodland against the backdrop of Pen y Fan and splendour of Ffrwdgrech House, a Grade 2 listed building. Charlotte Roskill catering, which has built its reputation over the last 20 years, caters for weddings with up to 150 guests in this beautiful venue and, with a dedicated event co-ordinator; they aim to provide a sensational experience with uncompromising standards and service second to none. For more information contact Charlotte Roskill on 01874 638030



Wedding venues WVM

Venues Castle House Castle House is possibly one of the most elegant locations in Hereford in which to host your wedding day. With a wedding license for civil ceremonies, a capacity for 60 people, beautiful gardens reached through the french windows of our restaurant, ample space for a marquee, and a separate bar and lounge, the hotel is perfect for an intimate wedding day or civil partnership celebration. They guarantee immaculate service and will work with you from your first meeting until you leave in a shower of confetti to make sure your day runs like clockwork. They would be delighted to show you around, talk about their bespoke wedding packages, and, of course, the Exclusive Use option so you and your guests can take over all 15 rooms for a wedding house party. For more information contact 01432 356321 to arrange a meeting with their wedding coordinator.

Moccas Court Moccas Court is a Grade I listed Georgian house in Herefordshire offering the personal touch of a private family home with the comfort of a five star luxury Country House Hotel. Whether it is a marquee in the grounds or a civil ceremony in the fully licensed building, all your needs will be expertly catered for. The Library and The Music Room are adaptable for all styles of receptions from drinks with canapĂŠs to a formal wedding breakfast. 01981 500019

Llangwathan Marquees Llangwathan Marquees ensures that your wedding will be an amazing event whatever the weather. They offer the whole package, from fabulous lined marquees, complete with decoration, lights and furniture that you require, to dance floors, great food and entertainment. They pride themselves on their unique and dedicated service. So sit back and let them do the work - wedding dreams come true when you speak to Llangwathan Marquees. Please contact 01497 847258 or visit



Venues WVM

Wedding venues

The Chase Hotel CW Garden Marquees Left Bank At the Left Bank they know that your wedding day to be the most memorable day of your life, and they cherish the opportunity of helping create those memories for you. Should you choose Left Bank as your wedding venue, they would ensure your special day meets all of your expectations. On arrival the wedding team greet you and ensure that you are guided through the day smoothly, allowing both you and your guests to relax and enjoy the day. The Bridge room will be at your disposable for prereception drinks, allowing your photographer to grasp the opportunity to benefit from their stunning views over the River Wye. Afterwards you will be lead by your Master of Ceremonies into the River Room for your wedding breakfast. Many bridal couples choose to continue to celebrate their special day with an Evening Reception, where the setting of the room is changed to allow room for dancing, and D.J or Band. For more information contact 01432 276482 or visit 10



CW Garden Marquees is based in Leominster and they have set high standards in marquee hire and provide an expert service. With a wealth of experience and knowledge, the bride will receive a unique and personal service to make their day that extra special. They can also advise on marquee styles, dance floors, lighting, plants, linens and much more. For more information contact 01568 613011 or visit

The Chase Hotel is a Georgian country house hotel, situated in 11 acres of beautiful landscaped gardens in Ross on Wye, making it the ideal venue for your photographer to capture your special day. They have four rooms that are licensed for civil ceremonies depending on the size of your bridal party, and can cater for parties as small as 15 to as many as 230 guests, with a vast range of menu choices. For more information contact 01989 763161 or visit

County Marquees Choosing the right marquee and interiors can make all the difference between a great occasion and a memorable one. At County Marquees, a family run business based in Chepstow, they don’t just provide marquees they help to create the perfect atmosphere for your event. An event manager will be on hand to help ensure your day is every bit the special occasion that you had dreamed of, with a wide range of interiors, lighting and added extras to give you an individually tailored look. For more information contact 01291 629377 or visit


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Venues WVM

Wedding venues

Celtic Manor, Newport Arte, Hereford An excellent inner-city venue in which to host your special day, Arte restaurant is famous for its Mediterranean cuisine and chic contemporary design, and they now boast an excellent function room on their first floor, which has its own bar and dance floor, so that you can enjoy your own private function in their cosmopolitan surroundings. Arte can accommodate as little as 20 people up to an impressive 120 people and they are only too happy to accommodate all of your wedding requirements including decorating the venue. Arte, Hereford, 01432 343400,




Set in the Usk Valley in South Wales, The Celtic Manor Hotel is one of the most prominent luxury 5 star hotels in the country and luckily for us it’s on our doorstep. Famous for its world class golf course, the hotel has an opulent spa, shooting, tennis and cycling facilities, so both the wedding party can relax during their special day. With 330 bedrooms in the main hotel and a separate manor house with 90 bedrooms, fine dining and a range of activities, you can not fail to have the time of your life. Celtic Manor, Newport, 01633 413 000,

Wyes Marquees, Hereford Supplying top quality marquees for any occasion and stocking a range of marquees designed with the hirer in mind, Wyes offer an exceptional service. Walls are available in a variety of styles, both plain and with windows, with lacing to suit your requirements, along with an array of panels from plain to Georgian windows. All PVC covers are available in a range of colours and stripes. Wyes also offer an oriental canope which provides an extremely attractive answer to cover over smaller areas and entrances to large marquees. They also boast an variety of linings and coloured swags to add a finishing touch. Choose a dance floor from their range and dance the night away under the myriad of twinkling lights of their starlight lining. For an extra touch of luxury, your marquee can be fitted with a solid floor throughout and you may also think of heating on those chilly evenings. Wyes Marquees, Hereford, 01544 388396,

Bridal fashion WVM

By James Lakeland, this vivacious purple plunge neck dress is a fabulous piece for a winter wedding, and is perfectly teamed up with simple gold accessories. The Dressing Room, Malvern, 01684 567667

If you want something totally unique, why not have your wedding dress made for you. This pattern by Bellville Sassoon is exceptionally flattering, and the lace detailing on the sleeves is right on trend for this season. Badder Fabrics of Hereford, 01432 379137



Beautiful underwear is a must for the bride, but make sure that you try your underwear on with your dress to ensure that your bust line is correct and that you will feel comfortable on the day. Being comfortable will help you to relax and enjoy your celebration. The Lingerie Shop, Hereford, 01432 264340 Hair is the all time essential accessory, so whether you are the bride or a guest, don’t forget to book your appointments with your hairdresser for practice runs and remember to take your veil or hat so that the hairdresser knows what you will be wearing on the day. Red Hair Studio, Ludlow, 01584 879333,

By Jim Hjelm, Jasper, a satin-faced taffeta strapless A-line gown, with chocolate tie sash. This stunning dress is suitable for bridesmaids or guests. Bride of Ledbury, Ledbury, 01531 630111,



This gown, by Benjamin Roberts, winner of the best bridal manufacturer, is made with ivory white, silky taffeta. This is the perfect shape for ladies wanting to highlight their curves. Bride of Ledbury Ledbury 01531 630 111



Weddings WVM



Photography by James Cunningham

The marriage of Anna, daughter of Andrew and Christine Lewis of St Weonards to Martin, son of Richard and Gwyneth Williams of Trippenkennet Farm, Three Ashes, took place on 30th May 2009 at St Weonards Church and was followed by a reception at Trippenkennet.

Martin and Anna were both avid members of their local Young Farmers Club, Welsh Newton. Subsequently their shared interest in the club, and rural life encouraged their romance to blossom. Martin proposed to Anna some years later at Oxwich Bay on the Gower, after a day spent horse riding together. On the morning of the wedding Anna received a surprise on her doorstep in the form of a Springer spaniel puppy named ‘Fat Harry’. The surprise simply marked the romance and commitment between Anna and Martin, and added to the excitement of the whole day. Anna wore a striking silk Pronovias gown from Magic Moments in Abergavenny, with an intricate lace back which was embossed with beads. She carried a bouquet made by friend Sherry Watkins, of cream roses, lilies, carnations and greenery, which was uniquely embellished with peacock feathers. The bridesmaids were Laura Lewis, Lucy Powell and Alice Lucken and they wore teal, full-length halter neck dresses, whilst the groomsmen wore morning suits from Bill Child in Hereford, and cravats handmade by the bride’s brother Simon, who works in the fashion industry in London. The best man was Andrew Evans, and the ushers were Simon Lewis, Gareth Williams, Frank Lloyd, Gareth Watkins, Craig Nicholas, Mark Evans and Robert Cunningham. There was also a flower girl, Lucy Ridway and pageboy Jack Lucken.

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Guests made their way to a reception at Trippenkennet, a marquee was provided by CW Garden Marquees, and sat in the most glorious position, overlooking a picturesque lake. Family and friends, in particular the groom’s great aunty Pat Bevan, organised the beautiful flower arrangements for the day, whilst both Anna and Martin’s parents had worked tirelessly in the garden to ensure that the venue looked spectacular for the couples special day. Guests enjoyed a delicious feast, hilarious speeches, followed by dancing to local band ‘Double Barrel’. After the wedding the newly weds set off for a relaxing honeymoon in a private villa in Mellieha in Malta.

During the service, the local church choir sang triumphantly as the happy couple signed the register. After the ceremony the newly married Mr and Mrs Williams were waved off from the church in a Cream Morris 1000. OCTOBER 2009 WYEVALLEYMEDIA.CO.UK



weddings The marriage of Elizabeth, daughter of Robert and Diane Thomas of Risbury Court, to Alex, son of Paul and Gayle Davidson of Border House, Presteigne took place on Saturday 25th July 2009 at St Mary’s Church, Humber and was followed by a reception at Hopfields, Risbury.

designed by Ian Stuart called Sancerre; it was champagne taffeta with beaded French lace detailing. Lizzie’s bridesmaids, who were her cousins, Sally Price and Katie Thomas, wore dresses designed by Carol Powell; they were made from a pale green silk, in a puff- ball design.

Lizzie, who is marketing manager for Wye Valley Brewery and Alex, who is a forward for The Bees, Birmingham and Solihull RFC met whilst Alex was playing for the colts at the local club Luctonians RFC during his college years, yet it took some time and a little persuasion on Alex’s behalf for Lizzie to agree to have supper with him. Eventually the pair met up and their shared passion for sports and rugby in particular meant that they had lots to talk about and their relationship blossomed. Alex proposed to Lizzie in December 2008.

Alex had two best men, Stuart Bemand, an old friend from Luctonians RFC and Matthew Keyte, who was a friend from Hartbury University. The ushers were the bride and groom’s brothers, Richard Thomas and Adam Davidson along with Bee’s team-mates Matthew Long and Edward Orgee and were all expertly kitted out by Bill Child Formal Wear in Hereford.

The wedding was held on a glorious summer’s day. The church was a hive of activity as excited guests from varying parts of the couple’s life arrived in anticipation of the big event. The church was beautifully adorned with freshly cut flowers, arranged by family and friends who had worked tirelessly to create the country wedding of Lizzie’s dreams. The bride wore a striking dress

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Photography by George Burgess

The rugby-keen congregation lifted the roof of St Mary’s church with hymns sung from the heart and with gusto. After the service the newly married, Mr and Mrs Davidson were cheered off from the church in a sparkling red Bentley. Guests arrived at Hopfields where they enjoyed Pimms and an array of delicious canapés made by Lizzie’s friend Katie Whittall. Harrison Marquees provided an exceptional tent with a fabulous dance floor, due to the fine weather guests were able to enjoy the weather and beautiful views as the sides were rolled up. People

then sat down to a fabulous threecourse meal, with a strong story of local provenance running throughout, with the beef supplied by the Thomas family, strawberries gifted by friend Ben Drummond and fresh cream from Jake and Charlotte Marshall. Delicious handmade chocolate favours were given by family friend Jono Smith-Milne, from Old Court Hotel, Symonds Yat, and the beer was supplied by the Wye Valley Brewery. The best men helped to make the day memorable with hilarious stories which warmed the guests up for an evening of dancing. More friends of the couple arrived to join in with the evening’s festivities and help the couple to celebrate their special day. The following day, Alex and Lizzie hosted a charity lunch in aid of Dan James, to raise money for spinal research. They then flew off to enjoy a relaxing honeymoon in Morocco where they were able to sit back and reminisce on their memories of the day.

Weddings WVM



Louise David from Sigi in Monmouth advises on


COOL lingerie masculine Bridal

Don’t leave it until the last minute as there are many aspects to consider and finding the perfect set may take some tracking down. If you are having a dress made for you, your dressmaker will want to see you in your lingerie before the final fitting so that she can make any necessary adjustments. If you have bought the dress, then bring it to the lingerie shop in order to get the best fit. Firstly, look at the shape of your dress. If it is a strapless dress, it may have a corset incorporated in its bodice in which case you may not need a bra. If it doesn’t, you need to consider whether you would like a corset or basque under the dress to give it structure, or just a strapless bra. For ladies over a DD cup I would suggest a corset or basque, as this will not only give you great support but it cannot slip down. There is nothing more irritating than feeling that you constantly need to hitch up your dress because your bra is slipping down. Do think about the weather however, if you are getting married at the height of the summer, wearing a basque and a full length dress may mean you could be very warm. The next thing to consider is the shape you are trying to achieve. If you have a modest bosom and would like to enhance what nature has given you, then a plunge or push up bra will help you to display a cleavage and is also useful if the dress is low cut. If you are happy with your size then think about whether you need a very smooth outline, perhaps the dress is quite close fitting or slightly sheer. Remember the congregation will see you from behind during the

There are so many exciting things to organise when you are planning your wedding that it can be easy to overlook one thing of vital importance, your lingerie. Wearing the correct lingerie will enhance the way you look and should make you feel confident and above all comfortable. Go for something extravagant or which is a real departure from your normal underwear.

ceremony, you don’t want them to be scrutinising your choice of lingerie! If the dress is really close fitting and normal lingerie would show through then shapewear may be the answer. With the advent of sophisticated fabrics, some of the smoothing products are completely moulded with no seams or stitching, making them literally invisible. Wearing hold ups rather than the traditional stockings will also help to minimise lumps and bumps. If you are hoping that shapewear will slim down and smooth your silhouette, again there is a whole range of products that can help, although trying to find one product that will tick all of your boxes may be fraught with difficulty. An all-inone body for instance will smooth out your torso but it will struggle to act as a plunge bra. You will be better off with a bodytoner which reaches up to the band of your bra and then a push up bra to give you a cleavage. All-in-one bodies can be quite flattening on the bust because they are pulling downwards. If the dress is not strapless or sheer then the world is your oyster. There are many beautiful styles of bra and briefs and if you cannot see them, you could choose from many different colours. Remember it’s for your wedding night as well; many brides these days are asking for something more daring such as red or black. Finally, remember how much time and effort you have invested in your big day. Let your imagination loose and buy something as special as you.

The ultimate style guide for the groom. ‹1





1. Designed by Peter Posh, from the Eaton range, black pure wool lightweight tailcoat and Eaton striped trousers, ivory waistcoat and rose tie. Bill Child Formal Wear, Hereford, 01432 344700, 2. Master Calendar by Jaeger-LeCoultre, a major player in watch making history, Jaeger-LeCoultre is celebrating its 175th anniversary this year, and whilst your bride is splashing the cash on a dress and jewels, why not treat yourself to a wedding gift? Beards, Cheltenham, 01242 516238, 3. His and hers key rings, a slightly terrifying reality check! Hearts and Flowers, Ledbury, 01531 634622 4. Very dapper, this simple yet stylish buttonhole is the finishing touch to your attire. Deacons Florist, Chepstow, 01291 623768, 5. Bespoke cufflinks made by Helen Brice. Mike Gell Contemporary British Jewellery, Hereford, 01432 278226 OCTOBER 2009 WYEVALLEYMEDIA.CO.UK


Wedding fashion WVM

Something a little bit different, a ‘mouse ring’, consisting of two tiny mice crafted in 18ct gold sit on either side of a pretty pink tourmaline.  Bensons of Ludlow, 01584 872676,

Stockists of beautiful jewellery, vintage and modern, they are also the official dealers of vintage Lalique. J and P Antiques, Ledbury, 01531 630952.

Wedding JEWELLERY This family run business specialise in bespoke jewellery, they can create the perfect range of items for your wedding party from contemporary to traditional, pearls to alloys. J B Gaynan and Sons, Ledbury, 01531 632 992.

By Roberto Coin, Rings in yellow gold with moonstone and yellow sapphires. Beards, Cheltenham, 01242 516238,

The suite is available in 18 carat gold or platinum, and is set with diamonds. John McKellar, Hereford, 01432 354460.

Pretty in pink, a pearl and silver heart necklace. Juice Jewellery, Ledbury, 0845 224 0267.

Freshwater pearls with 9ct gold and diamond necklace. Mike Gell Contemporary British Jewellery, Hereford, 01432 278226.

Contemporary handcrafted silver with gold bangles Silver Fox Jewellery Design, Blue-Ginger, Cradley, 01886 880240, or Lyn Fox, 07979 501893, Silver heart charm necklace. Silver Pear, Ludlow, 01584 879096.




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Wedding accessories WVM Scarves give your outfit a splash of colour and are also extremely practical during winter months. Ethos, Little Tarrington, 01432 890 423,

Gorgeous wedding accessories to finish off your outfit

Striking and pink, this fabulous brooch could be used to brighten up an outfit. Wear it on your lapel, wrist or even in your hair. Bridal Gallery, Malvern, 01684 578444,

Fabulous hats really help to accentuate your character, so be brave and choose something that you wouldn’t normally and enjoy wearing a hat for a special occasion. The Hat Stop, Dymock, 07974 358 383

Bespoke hats and fascinators are a must for any county wedding, handmade by Emily Alice Perry, choose a design to match your outfit or one to turn heads. Had To Have It, Hay-on –Wye, 01497 821 806,

Twist scarves in gorgeous autumnal and winter colours are the perfect accessory for your wedding outfit. Crowsfeet, Ross-on-Wye, 01989 763 698,



Wedding essentials WVM

Wedding essentials

Attention to detail is at the heart of making your day that extra bit special. The key is to opt for the right suppliers who can interpret your needs to make your dreams come true.

Create the look you want throughout your wedding, even in the bathrooms. A Plush Flush provide exceptionally stylish mobile toilets, with added luxuries from hand creams to tights and smellies. They pride themselves in supplying immaculate service and loo’s. A Plush Flush, Hereford, 01981 250872 Arrangements on stands are always essential around the tableplan or in the church. These will help to create great feature areas within your venue. Hilarys Four Seasons Florist, Abergavenny, 01873 853086

Specialising in wedding flowers, not just for your bouquet but also for the venue and any accessories you wish to decorate. Reputed for her expertise with archways, she also has a vast array of unusual glassware and a keen eye for detail. Ann Jakeman 01568 760233, mobile 07929 108142

Simplicity is the buzz word of the moment. This hand tie is a uniquely pretty idea for bridesmaids or brides. Hearts and Flowers, Ledbury, 01531 634622,

Choosing the right photographer is so important, since they are responsible for making your memories last over the years. You should always meet with your photographer to ensure that you are able to work alongside one another and that the photographer has the brief of what you want captured on your day. RDP Photography, Herefordshire, 07834 918925,

Chair covers are a really fabulous addition to your wedding decoration and will certainly help to pull a colour scheme together, and add that certain je ne sais qua. Welsh Chair Cover Company, Gwent, 07791 293470, 01495 350044

Hand ties don’t need to be traditional, why not opt for something exotic and unusual, these days it is fun to think outside of the box. Sarah Jane’s Joy of Flowers, Hereford, 01432 371221



Bridal flowers WVM


flowers Words and photographs by Emma Webster

Throughout history flowers have played a significant part in wedding day celebrations. They are a wonderful way of creating a special feel on a very important day. Traditionally, certain flowers would be chosen for their symbolism and scent; today there are no rules when creating bridal arrangements. Bold and beautiful, soft and sumptuous, dramatic and daring, quite literally anything goes. So what are the main factors that define what a bride chooses? The key determinants are taste, budget and availability. Colour is of absolute importance when choosing flower varieties. A bride will have decided on a colour scheme ‘of sorts’ when selecting her bride and bridesmaids dresses. That said, just because a bride has opted for pink as a theme, need not mean that pink will be the focal colour of the bridal flowers. The modern day bride is increasingly adventurous: colour combinations can be eclectic, interesting and subtle. In the past seasonality played a large part of the selection process. A bride would certainly not have the vast choice we have now, and this can often be overwhelming. Flowers are now grown year round and can be quickly sourced and transported worldwide. Whilst most flower types are

available all year there are certain flowers that are truly seasonal. Tulip, anemone and heady narcissi are available throughout spring, whereas peonies are around for a very short period during early summer. Blousy hydrangeas are very much a summer bloom and in winter amaryllis and ilex berries prove to be popular. Ultimately flowers are at their best when in season, and certainly much more affordable. The style of bridal flowers more often than not echo the personality and demeanour of the bride herself. A young bride will not necessarily be looking for something ‘different’ instead she often wants a traditional look; in which case roses will invariably be a significant feature. A sixtyplus bride may want to express herself with a more contemporary look; a city based bride may want something striking; a country bride might want something

gardenesque.You can make no assumptions, as every bride is unique. One recent bride, who worked in theatre, opted for a very unusual theme centred on sunflowers. Cost is an important factor to consider especially given the current economic climate. White flowers are always in high demand and species like exotic phalaenopsis, structural arum lily, and delicate and fragrant lily of the valley- are all beautiful but come with a high price tag. A good florist will work to a budget and be able to come up with alternatives, which can keep costs down.You don’t have to spend a fortune to create a wonderful look. One trend is indisputable. Gone are the days of heavily wired bridal bouquets; the natural approach is now the preferred option. Loosely tied bunches are the most popular, demonstrating a

backlash against contrived, highly structured, artificial looking bridal arrangements. Ultimately, every bride is an individual. She has her own style, tastes and ethics (I get asked for fair-trade flowers or locally sourced blooms that have relatively little carbon footprint). These considerations should be reflected in her bridal flowers and this is more possible than ever before. Brides have never had a better range of options. The only limitations are budget and availability; the options in terms of taste and variety are boundless. All she now needs to do is source a skilled and creative florist and her wedding flowers will be truly spectacular. Emma is the proprietor of Emma Webster Flowers, 7 Priory Street, Monmouth 01600 715724 OCTOBER 2009 WYEVALLEYMEDIA.CO.UK



Wedding fayres

Left Bank

Wedding Fayres

Saturday 14th November, 11am – 4pm The Left Bank will be holding a wedding fayre providing inspirational ideas to help you plan your perfect day. They have gathered all of the professional service providers that you need to make your day extra special and all under one roof. You will enjoy stands brought to you by bridal wear companies, cake decorators, photographers, mens outfitters and much more. Refreshments will be available throughout the day. For more information contact 01432 276482 or visit

Orles Barn

Hereford Racecourse

Sunday 18 October, 11am - 3pm Orles Barn will be hosting their first wedding fayre. This will be an ideal opportunity to view the hotel as a potential venue. On the day their own marquee will be decorated accordingly to help you envisage how your celebrations could be. Specially selected exhibitors will be on hand to give expert advice from bridal wear, flowers, luxury cars, fashion, jewellery and much more. There will be canapés and jazz on the lawn, so come along and see for yourself. For further information contact 01989 562155

Sunday 4th October, 10am - 4pm The Hereford Racecourse is hosting their annual autumn wedding fayre in the Silks restaurant for all of your wedding requirements. A wide range of suppliers will be on hand to give you expert advice for your wedding including fashion, cakes, gifts, stationary, photography, flowers, hats, jewellery and much more. Located in the Hereford Racecourse function suite, the fayre will give you an ideal opportunity to look around the facilities as a potential wedding venue. Admission is free and there is ample parking. For further information contact Diane Kennett on 01432 273560 or visit


Hampton Court Sunday 29th November, 11am - 4pm A perfect opportunity for anyone who is planning a wedding to visit this exclusive venue as it opens its doors to the public for the very first time. Bridal couples will have the chance to meet carefully selected wedding suppliers for inspirational ideas and expert advice for their big day. There will also be a spectacular fashion show, displaying designer bridal wear. For more information contact 01568 797 676 or visit



Weddings WVM

By Becky Wall | RJW Celebrations | 01981 250872 |

How to plan your perfect day and take all your stress away! · · · · · · · · ·

As soon as you are engaged Put your announcement in the paper. Decide the date, time and place of the wedding. See the minister or registrar and book your ceremony. Decide on a budget. Enquire for quotes from all suppliers. Look and book a venue or marquee company, remember the cheapest may not be the least stressful. If you are using a marquee remember to book your toilets. Make a list of guests that you wish to invite. Choose your attendants and best man and ask them if they would like to take part in your special day.

· · · ·

If honeymooning abroad, check passports, especially if changing names on them. Arrange vaccinations and visas. Organise your hairdresser and beautician, make some appointments for rehearsals and for your day. Send all invitations, complete with maps and lists of places to stay if your guests are travelling to you from away and notification of where your wedding gift list is lodged. Choose the wedding rings and your gifts for the attendants

· ·

Six weeks before Confirm menus with caterers and chase late replies to invites. Check that the caterers or cake providers are bringing a stand

· ·

best man or your parents. Organise a rehearsal at the church for the main wedding party. Write all place cards and complete table plan and seating arrangements.

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Three days before Collect all male attendants clothing, ask them to try them on for fitting. There is still time at this stage to change the sizes in an emergency. Finish packing for Honeymoon. Check times that the venue is available to you or when the marquee build will be complete for dressing tables and your

reception room. · Have a final check on the cake and flowers. · · ·

One day to go Have an early night. Make sure all paperwork and currency is packed for the honeymoon. Thank you gifts organised and wrapped.

On the day please make use of your best man, he should be your eyes, ears and speaker to help link everyone together. That is of course if you have not employed a Wedding Coordinator to do it for you.

The best and worst bits of

planning a wedding

Julie Lewis, Marketing Manager, Tyrrells

On planning her day Best things so far have been seeing what idea’s and themes are out there and bringing them together to make a unique day for our friends and family. The worst bits have been finding out the prices and trying to work to a realistic budget.

Alex Davidson, Rugby Player

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Attend wedding fayres to see which suppliers are offering the services you require. If you wish to have your dress made, book your dressmaker. Take out a wedding insurance. Book your music or entertainer.

· · · · · ·

Six months before Choose the wedding dress, shoes and accessories. Organise catering and your cake. Order your stationary, flowers and choose your bouquets. Arrange fittings and clothing for your groom, best man and ushers. Arrange and design your reception decorations. Make or order your favours.


Four months before Confirm all ceremony arrangements, including music, readings and hymns and check that the minister or registrar approve of them.

· · · ·

and knife. Give final numbers to florist for buttonholes and bouquets. Confirm all details with venue, or marquee, photographer, car hire and entertainment and make sure all up front payments are met. Order travellers cheques and currency. Confirm all honeymoon plans.

· · · · ·

Ten days before Final Fitting of dress. Wear your wedding shoes around the house to mould them so they do not hurt on the day. Finalise all arrangements with the best man, ushers and bridesmaids. Provide list of photographs that you require to the photographer and a copy to your best man. Organise money to pay all the services that need to be paid for on the day and give this to the

The excitement and realisation that we were going to get married, I know that you are not supposed to have contact, but I phoned my wife just before we went into the church, we were so excited. The other favorite moment was seeing Lizzie as she walked down the aisle.

Rachel Ingham, Macmillan Clinical Nurse Specialist

I expected the best thing about my wedding to be the reception, which I had put my heart and soul in to organising, but actually the most wonderful thing about the whole day was the church ceremony and being at the alter with my future husband and our lovely Vicar. The sense of love and commitment we felt was overwhelming and I don’t think we’ve ever been happier. If we only had cheese sandwiches and a glass of orange juice afterwards it would still have been the best day of my life. I never thought I’d feel like that! There is nothing bad on your wedding day, it’s beautiful regardless of what goes wrong and how much it costs. The worst thing about getting married is the pressure that you put yourself under to ‘make it perfect’. If I could change anything it would have been to have spent less money on those things that really didn’t matter and to not stress out as much.

Lizzie Davidson, Marketing Manager, Wye Valley Breweries

For me my favourite thing was feeling so lucky that I could marry the man that I love, at home, on my family farm, with my family and best friends around me! The worst part, although there wasn’t one really, is how fast the day went and wanting to do it again. Another of my favourite moments was walking down the church steps to everyone cheering and throwing confetti over us, my brother set this up and we had no idea, it was so special! OCTOBER 2009 WYEVALLEYMEDIA.CO.UK






The marriage of Leanne, daughter of Nigel and Julianne Jenkins of Redbarn, Hereford to Stuart, son of John and Julie Evans of Westfields in Hereford took place on Saturday 14th February 2009 at a civil ceremony at Ayelstone Court in Hereford followed by a reception at the venue. Leanne and Stuart met in1998, when they were just 15 years of age. Their childhood romance stood the test of time, and the couple moved into their first home in 2004. The following year, as a surprise Christmas present, Stuart had planned a romantic getaway to Paris, where he confronted his fear of heights and proposed to Leanne on Boxing Day, high in the sky, at the top of the Eiffel Tower. Leanne happily accepted and the couple swiftly made their way back down to the safety of the ground to 32


begin celebrations with a candle lit meal and champagne. The couple enjoyed a long engagement whilst Leanne returned to studying and Stuart became a partner in C. Stanley Jones Signs of Hereford. They finally planned their wedding day for Valentine’s Day 2009. The service was conducted by Lynn Pugh in the Orangery at Ayelstone Court. The bride wore a white sequinned gown with diamante detail and a long train, along with a crystal and diamante tiara. Leanne was given away by her father, and walked into the ceremony to Paul Weller’s ‘You do something to me.’ The bridesmaid was Leanne’s sister, Katie, and she wore a striking red rose ball gown. The best man was Mark Jones, and the ushers were Elton Evans and Craig Jenkins, Mitchell was the pageboy.

Photography by Powerful Imagery

Following the service, guests enjoyed a pink champagne reception and canapés, followed by a sit down meal of roast Herefordshire beef. After the entertaining speeches, the evening was spent dancing to a live band followed by a disco in the beautifully decorated marquee. The couple finally took to the floor for their first dance to Millie Ripperton’s “Loving You”. The newly married couple stayed in one of Aylestone Court’s luxurious suites. The following day the wedding party awoke, and enjoyed a breakfast brunch where everyone reminisced on the events of the previous day. The couple then set off to London to enjoy their honeymoon. Stuart and Leanne have also planned a honeymoon to The Atlantis Palm in Dubai.

To feature your wedding in the magazine email:

Flavours Events Guide to

Catering for your wedding

Award winning chef Stuart Leggett and Andy Boast offer some invaluable advice on catering arrangements for your special day. Getting Started Before approaching any caterer it is a good idea to decide on what you would like or dislike. We always insist on meeting couples early within the planning, not just to discuss the menu but to try to get an idea of how our client wants the day to feel, it’s a very emotional occasion and your caterer must be prepared to work with your ideas. Don’t be shy about what you would like or have seen somewhere else. Try to give as much detail as you can about the location, realistic numbers and have a budget in mind. The latter is very important as food and wine will certainly take up at least half your budget. What to eat? The style of food and service that you decide on will serve as a foundation for the ambience of the wedding reception. Make sure that the reception menu corresponds with the formality of the venue and your theme. We feel that it is almost essential to serve canapés at your wedding, as your guests will have a long wait, during photographs and whilst drinking, before they sit down to eat. What about Auntie Mabel? Wedding guests tend to be an ensemble of people from different backgrounds and this often conjures up difficulties. But don’t feel obliged to accommodate everyone by including choices, as this will add significant cost, stick to your guns and choose

Hereford 01432 360383 something that you will enjoy on your important day. Special diets and vegetarians can be organised with ease by simply adding a tickbox to your wedding invitation. The caterers will then prepare for the right number of requests, and make their location known to those waiting on, on the day.

Real food made from real produce by Eddie Cleal

0845 6474757

Should we be different? The answer is up to you. There is nothing wrong with being traditional or a bit off –the- wall. Experienced caterers should be able to offer ideas on current trends, food fashions or traditional style menus. Tasty, tasty, tasty! The caterers are the experts I’m sorry to tell you. A decent caterer will help you balance a seasonal menu and shouldn’t be afraid to point out any flaws in your ideas. It’s no good asking for soufflé starters if the caterers facilities at the venue or marquee are not up to the job. Flavours always offer a tasting with the client to set your mind at ease about the menu’s taste and presentation. We even encourage photos as a reminder for your wedding folder. How much? Lastly don’t be afraid to ask for a break down of costs to find out exactly what the price covers. Some caterers have many hidden costs; does the price include service, glassware and linen for example.

Weddings Aylestone Court is the perfect venue if you are looking for somewhere to host your Wedding Day. We have two delightful rooms which are licensed for civil weddings and can hold a maximum of 60 people for buffets whilst the walled garden and patio areas provide the perfect backdrop for photographs. If you need advice on planning your wedding i.e. flower arrangements, marquee enquiries, accommodation or catering please call 01432 341891 and we will be only too happy to help you.

Aylestone Court Hotel Aylestone Hill Hereford HR1 1HS Tel. 01432 341891 �

This is a unique opportunity for anyone who is planning a wedding to visit this exclusive venue as it opens its doors to the public for the first time. The event offers free entrance to couples planning their wedding, and visitors can enjoy a leisurely stroll as well as canapés. Guests will have the opportunity to meet carefully selected wedding suppliers who will provide inspirational ideas and invaluable advice for their big day, together with literature and some free samples to take away.

SPECTACULAR FASHION SHOW DESIGNER BRIDAL WEAR | FLORISTS | PHOTOGRAPHY | FASHION ACCESSORIES | WEDDING SERVICES AND MANY MORE SPECIALIST EXHIBITORS Free entry. View this stunning venue and grounds for your special day Exhibitors: If you would like to exhibit at this event, contact Alex Grainger on 01568 797676 ext 231

Additional photographs by Susie Mackie






weddings By Claire Hamilton

Although many people still wish to get married in church, a growing number of couples are looking for alternative ceremonies. Reasons for this include not having a Christian faith, marrying for the second time, or simply wishing for a more personalised occasion. Until recently, it was comparatively difficult for anything other than the traditional wedding, the only option seeming to be a Civil Wedding. 36


CIVIL WEDDING Once confined to being held in a Registry Office, this option has become more attractive due to the licensing of a number of venues, such as hotels and castles. However it still has limitations. Firstly the couple have to choose from a list of approved venues. Secondly there is a strict antireligious ruling. The readings and music must first be vetted for possible religious content. These strictures apply both to Christianity and other religions. A simple Registry Office wedding costs less than £100 but if held in a licensed premise, a visiting Registrar can cost up to £350 alone, before adding hiring costs. No other forms of Alternative Weddings are, at present, legal in England and Wales, so a Civil Wedding is necessary. Many couples make this as cursory as possible, having a perfunctory Registry Office wedding and then holding a more personal and meaningful ceremony afterwards. Once the legalities have been met, there is great freedom of choice in all alternative ceremonies. Their chief virtue is that they allow for a couple’s own style of wording, pledges, music, readings and exchanging of rings. Also, they are not confined to licensed venues but can be held anywhere - in your home, on a boat, beach

or wherever. A typical wedding ceremony consists of four elements: gathering, ritual, vows and celebration. With this in mind, there are several types of non-legal ceremonies you might choose.

HUMANIST WEDDING This is usually conducted by a celebrant trained by the British Humanist Association. Although enjoying legal status in Scotland, this is not yet the case in England and Wales. Humanist ceremonies are strictly secular, but there is freedom of choice when devising the ceremony, which has no set structure except to involve the couple making promises to each other. Each year all BHA’s celebrants set their fees within an agreed broad banding. They are currently £320– £700 depending on the level of consultation required.

HANDFASTING Couples looking for an alternative yet spiritual ceremony may devise their own, or they may turn to our Celtic heritage for inspiration and choose a Handfasting. The term Handfasting is derived from the ancient tradition of ‘tying the knot’, the hands of the couple

are bound together with ribbon. Handfasting is often connected with traditional customs such as ending the ceremony with the couple ‘jumping the broom’ together. They also tend to follow either a Celtic or nature theme, which typically involves a simple acknowledgement of the blessings of the natural world expressed through the elements of earth, air, fire and water.

GREEN WEDDING Environmentally friendly weddings are becoming increasingly popular. Often the bride wears a dress made from organic cotton, and organic food is served at the reception. Green Weddings can also become community projects involving a wide network of friends and family. For those who want their day to really stand out, choosing an unusual form of ceremony is an exciting option. With careful planning and an experienced celebrant, alternative weddings can be particularly lovely and memorable occasions, rich with poetry and symbolism, offering a unique and moving experience both for the couple and the guests involved.


Alternative Weddings


is an experienced celebrant of alternative weddings. She can help you devise your own unique ceremony that will allow you to express your beliefs and ideas and make your day really stand out. Whether you favour a traditional Handfasting, Celtic, Natural or Green wedding, Claire will discuss options with you, script, rehearse and conduct your ceremony.


unusual your ideas for your ceremony, whatever you devise must centre round the exchange of special vows. Using or incorporating traditional features can help to shape it effectively. These may include the exchange of rings or significant gifts, the binding of hands (as in the traditional idea of ‘tying the knot’), spiritual readings or poems, symbolic or nature-based rituals which can give an opportunity for simple guest participation. Even old Celtic customs such as ‘jumping the broom’ in which the bride and groom hop over a twig broom at the end of the ceremony while guests throw petals or confetti, can add to the effectiveness of the occasion and bring in a note of fun, at the same time retaining an authentic traditional feel. All or any of these aspects can be included and the ceremony can be as simple or elaborate as desired. Claire is aware of the effectiveness of some of these aspects and knows how important it is to make the ceremony work convincingly.


is based in the Wye Valley and can also help organise venues. There are some beautiful and dramatic settings in this area, both indoors and outdoors, in fields, woodlands or even with Standing Stones. Claire can also help organise music and give advice on other aspects such as appropriate wedding outfits.

For more information and to book an initial consultation visit:

Wye Valley Wedding Guide - October 2009  
Wye Valley Wedding Guide - October 2009  

This is the Wedding Guide supplement from the October 2009 issue of Wye Valley Life and Life in the Marches magazines.