Here at Rockbeare Manor we are getting excited about our first wedding which takes place this Saturday. We talked to Julian Harris and Claire Bowler from Exeter who are putting the finishing touches to a very personal ceremony. They are the first couple to marry at Rockbeare Manor in its 250-year history.
Tell us about the proposal:
Claire: ‘It was a complete surprise. We had been on a beach holiday in Cornwall and on the last day we were at Bantham when Julian got down on one knee and proposed and I said yes! Beaches have been a theme through our relationship, our first date was at Dawlish, and because of this they are featuring in our wedding. We have named tables after our favourite beaches and created natural centrepieces featuring sand and shells.’
You have really put your own stamp on this wedding haven’t you:
Julian: ‘Claire is very creative and we wanted to try and do as much of it as we could, although I’m not sure where she has found the time. The thing about Rockbeare Manor is you can make it your own and that is what we have done.’
Claire: ‘It has been great fun planning it, we are doing lots ourselves and we have really been able to put our stamp on the whole wedding.’
Tell us about why you chose Rockbeare Manor:
Claire: ‘We heard about Rockbeare Manor through a friend, at that time it was right in the middle of being refurbished, and even though the work wasn’t done, we could see what an amazing place it was and knew it was right for us. We didn’t look at any other Devon wedding venues – we just knew. I said we have to get married there, it’s beautiful – I just fell in love with it.’
What were your first impressions?
Julian: ‘As Claire said, the house was mid-refurbishment, but from the minute you drive through the entranceway, with the huge pillars, you know there is something special ahead. We thought it was absolutely beautiful and such a special place for our wedding.’
What do you think of the house now it is finished?
Claire: ‘It is amazing, even better than we could have imagined. We are so excited to be sharing our special day at this beautiful house with all our friends and family.’