Top tips for the perfect wedding day from Rockbeare Manor couples

As we are now fully into autumn, it’s a great time to reflect on the summer and all the wonderful people who have held their weddings at Rockbeare Manor. We’ve loved working with each and every one of them, creating unique and personal weddings at our beautiful venue in Devon.

Whenever possible, we try to keep in touch with those that have married at Rockbeare Manor. We love to get their feedback, and of course always try to learn from them and their experiences, if we think it might help others. We always ask whether they have any tips that they’d pass on to future brides and grooms. Here are just a few brilliant tips to help you ensure that your wedding day is the day of your dreams.

Helen and David Franks said it’s important to take some time out during your day: ‘Immediately after our wedding ceremony we took five minutes to be alone as husband and wife for the first time. After all of the nerves and excitement leading up to the ‘I do’ it was a perfect way to savour that moment and catch our breath before the celebrations started.’

Stephanie and Anthony Murray’s advice was to keep the entertainment to a minimum: ‘Too many extra activities in the evening aren’t needed! One or two to entertain the guests is enough to ensure the party and dancing continues through the night.’

 

Lins and Matt Stacey told us: ‘We’d say that our top tip is to not feel pressured into doing anything because of tradition or the expectations of others. Choose the things that make you happy, and everybody will be happy with you.

Also, a bonus tip from Lins…flat shoes! Your feet and dance-floor loving guests will thank you!’

Amanda and Mark Smedley, said it was all about the preparation: ‘I think the one that worked best for me was to plan the morning and getting ready. It meant that the morning was really calm and everyone enjoyed it. I really didn’t want to arrive feeling stressed or rushed and by planning everyone’s hair and makeup timings, it meant we could all relax and have fun. We were even ready EARLY and so had a longer drive in the cars to the church which was great.’

Lizzie and Brett Woodgate said: ‘Delegate things you may be worried about on the day to someone you trust. Make a note of when you need to pay people so you can keep an eye on the budget. And on the day, don’t worry about trying to talk to everyone, they will come to you!’

Sarah and Ben Carter recommended leaving things to the experts: ‘Trust your suppliers; choose ones that you trust and who have a good reputation and then leave them to deliver! They are the experts in their field and if they need anything from you they will let you know so don’t stress about the details.‘

We hope the above is useful in helping you with your big day. We’d love to talk to you about having your special day at our perfect wedding venue in Devon. If you’d like to come and have a look around, give Stephanie a call on 01392 797444 or email events@rockbearemanor.co.uk.

All Year Round – A Stunning Devon Wedding Venue

WHETHER you are crunching through a carpet of crisp autumnal leaves, or walking through the first blossoms of spring, the time of year can influence so much about your wedding.

Located in rural Devon, as the seasons change so does everything about the stunning Rockbeare Manor. And just as you can make this exclusive wedding venue all your own, so do the changing seasons, each bringing its own unique feel to this stunning historic manor house.

devon weddings Devon Wedding Venue

Although it is only 10 minutes from the edge of Exeter, you can be in a beautiful oasis in the country. And autumn, winter, spring or summer, as the times of the year change, so the extensive grounds reflect this.

Come to Rockbeare Manor in September and you will be wowed by the autumnal colours as you drive through the pillared entrance way. There are so many choices with an autumn wedding, with gorgeous rustic colours, bouquets with berries and late summer blooms, and palettes of deep reds and burnt oranges.

Devon Wedding Venues

As we move in to winter we see our couples embracing the changing temperature. At Rockbeare Manor you’ll find roaring fires and sumptuous velvet furnishings. The house looks stunning at Christmas and you can guarantee your guests will be in the mood to celebrate.

Spring-time Devon weddings bring something special at Rockbeare Manor. Just as the new buds appear on the trees, the snowdrops, bluebells and wildflowers form a picture perfect setting. The meadowland in front of the elegant house creating a striking backdrop for photographs and there is a sweet scent in the air.

Rockbeare Manor at night Spring Weddings

Maybe a summer wedding is your dream, take advantage of the long days, you and your guests making the most of the gardens. Perhaps your guests would enjoy a spot of croquet on the lawn or take part in some of the giant garden games.

Guests have loved the vintage ice cream tricycle which is perfect for a summer wedding. This is also the time of year when local produce is in abundance, bringing a wealth of flavours to our food. We always aim to source locally when we are able and the seasons are very influential on the menus our chef creates. From delicate canapes and tender spring vegetables to the warming heartier meals which feature on our autumn and winter menus.

Whatever the season, when you hold your wedding at Rockbeare Manor the 12 luxurious bedrooms are available for your exclusive use on the eve of your wedding. All rooms are unique, some with impressive feature baths or dual aspect views of the parkland, others with spacious dressing areas and huge windows, dressed in the finest fabrics.

Autumn Weddings Summer Weddings

At Rockbeare Manor you know you can be confident you will receive personal attention from our team to every tiny detail to ensure you and your guests have a day to cherish and remember forever.

So whether your mind is turning to a spring wedding, or your heart is set on a winter celebration, visit www.rockbearemanor.co.uk or call 01392 797444 to discuss making your dream a reality.

Your Big Day, Your Food and Drink Choices

Here at Rockbeare Manor, one of the most picturesque wedding venues in Devon, we know all too well the difficult decisions that couples face when planning their wedding. Canapés or no canapés? Champagne or prosecco? Disco or band?

We often find the part that many enjoy the most is choosing the food and drink for the day, although if you or your guests have any particular dietary requirements, this process can be more difficult, as you try to ensure that the needs of all of your guests are met.

Fortunately, our experienced Events Team, not to mention our brilliant Head Chef, Ben Upton, are here to help and advise you with your food and drink conundrums, to ensure that you get the best possible outcome when it comes to your choices.

We want you to really enjoy this element of the wedding planning process and so we have put together some helpful tips for you.

1.Vegetarian or vegan?

If you and your partner are either vegetarian, or vegan, there is no reason why your menu couldn’t be predominantly this way too, and we love nothing more than the challenge of making vegetarian or vegan choices just as inventive and delicious!  We are really proud of the variety in the menus that we offer and our aim is always to help you select a menu based around what you think your guests will also enjoy but most importantly, what you and your partner will love! Head Chef Ben Upton has picked some of his favourite dishes as ideas for those that are considering a fully vegetarian or vegan menu.

Starters

Somerset Brie, Thyme infused pear with walnut bread and an apple salad (vegetarian)

Bruschetta of chargrilled Mediterranean vegetables with basil oil (vegan)

Main Course

Wild rice risotto, roasted cauliflower, cep mushrooms with hazelnuts and salsa verde (vegetarian and vegan)

Desserts

White chocolate parfait in a dark chocolate shell, with honeycomb, raspberry crystals and passion fruit coulis (vegetarian)

Layered summer fruit pudding with berries, fruit coulis and speciality ice cream (vegan)

Devon wedding venue food - Rockbeare Manor

2. You’re teetotal

It might be that both yourself and your partner are teetotal, or you have lots of guests attending that don’t drink alcohol.  If so you can still make an impression with our selection of Reception Drinks.  Aimée, Director at Rockbeare Manor, suggests the fresh fruit and elderflower cooler as a lovely non-alcoholic alternative. Visually it’s impressive, served in a wine glass with a mint garnish, and it’s really refreshing too. Another option is to do a mix of two drinks so that you have an alcoholic and non-alcoholic option.  Prosecco is always popular, accompanied by Elderflower Pressé served in Champagne flutes to create that sense of occasion.

We would always recommend making sure that wine is available for your guests during the meal, but in addition, you could choose some of our locally sourced soft drinks as well, such as cloudy lemonade or perhaps apple juice, which comes from Four Elms Farm in Sidmouth, Devon.

Devon wedding venues drinks - Rockbeare Manor

3. For those with a sweet tooth…

At Rockbeare Manor we LOVE food and drink!!  The team here have put many hours into refining our menus, constantly improving them and seeking out those quirky ideas that will make weddings here stand out.  If you have a sweet tooth, why not consider our mini-afternoon tea stands for your canapé reception? Or, our Ice Cream Tricycle which serves luxury Salcombe Dairy ice cream.  Both these options can be amended to suit guests with dietary requirements or intolerances if required.

Devon wedding venues - Rockbeare Manor

4. Is it gluten free?

This is a question we get asked very frequently as many people are now choosing to go gluten free as a lifestyle choice.  Most weddings that we host here at Rockbeare Manor have at least one guest who is gluten intolerant or Coeliac and so our Chefs are used to amending our menus to suit.

The below menu is entirely gluten free and would make for an incredibly impressive wedding breakfast menu for all guests.

Starter

Poached salmon and crayfish with seared scallop and saffron crème fraiche

Main Course

Roast rack of lamb with a herb crust, grilled artichoke, gratin dauphinoise, pea puree and rosemary jus

Dessert

Summer fruit and elderflower Champagne jelly with clotted cream ice cream and nougatine crisp

As all of our food is made from scratch, our Chefs just amend the recipes where necessary, using gluten free flour in our cakes and desserts for example. And, if you ever want proof of how yummy they are, you must visit and try some of our famous gluten free chocolate brownie!

Devon weddings

5. Is it local?

Devon and the West Country is a beautiful part of the country and we are so lucky to be able to host weddings here.  Our delicious menus are made with only the finest ingredients from suppliers who we know and trust, and we use the local influences in our menus wherever possible. Our ‘West Country Platter’ is served as a sharing board on our Barouche menu. It incorporates all kinds of lovely things such as Quickes Vintage Cheddar, Cornish Brie, Devon glazed ham and local belly pork served with cider chutney to name but a few.

For your evening food you could select our homemade pasties. As well as Traditional pasties, our vegetarian version is to die for….Butternut squash, spinach, with ricotta and toasted pecans!

Whatever you decide to serve your guests, with Rockbeare Manor as the venue for your wedding, you can’t go far wrong, but our biggest piece of advice is that it’s your day! Don’t feel that you need to play safe – embrace the sense of occasion and choose something that will WOW your guests!

We’d love to help you to plan your picturesque Devon wedding at Rockbeare Manor. If you’d like to discuss your requirements, call Event Manager Stephanie on 01392 797444.

Gift List alternatives for your 2017 Wedding

Holding your wedding at Rockbeare Manor near Exeter, means that you are playing host to your guests in one of the most beautiful, historical venues the south west of England has to offer. Many of our couples have guests coming from all of the UK, and sometimes further afield, and this often means that the idea of the gift list can cause a few worries for some of our happy couples.

Devon Wedding Gifts

Let’s face it, many people now already live together, have a mortgage together, maybe a cat or a dog, and fairly often, a child or more. The tradition of a gift list was a great idea when couples had never lived together before, and needed help with purchasing some really useful items for their home (towels, bed linen, pots and pans, for instance).

But the chances are, you’ve already got most of the bits that you would need. Therefore, we thought we’d put together a handy top five of gift list alternatives.

  1. Help towards your honeymoon

You have just paid for a wedding which will have undoubtedly cost a lot of money. But after the stress of organising such a big and important day, you would still like a honeymoon to kick off married life in style. You could ask your guests to contribute towards your holiday, either by giving money or by contributing to a holiday gift list with companies such as buy-our-honeymoon.com or kuoni.co.uk. Less stuff, more memories!

  1. Help towards a DIY / garden project

You may well already have your towels and your bed sheets but the chances are, there could be a project at home that’s been on your mind for some time. Perhaps you’ve wanted to do up your garden? You could ask for garden centre vouchers or money towards some new plants. Or maybe you’ve been saving up for an extension? This way, your guests are contributing towards your new married life together, but your guests know exactly what you’re going to be doing with it.

  1. A charity donation

Charity donations are becoming an increasingly popular idea with weddings that we see at Rockbeare Manor. Nowadays, couples tend to be older once they get married, and they are often also more financially comfortable than they were in their early twenties. Consider asking your guests to contribute towards a favourite charity, or perhaps a charity that means something to you. Ideas could be Oxfam or ActionAid. If somebody close to you has suffered with cancer, you could also ask guests to donate towards your own Cancer Research UK fundraising page.

  1. Join an organisation

You could ask your guests to contribute towards a lifetime membership of the National Trust. This costs £1,605 and would be of benefit to you both for the rest of your married life. English Heritage also offers lifetime memberships at a cost of £1,800.

  1. No gift list at all!

It might be that you just want to enjoy people’s company at your wedding, and that you decide not to have a gift list at all. This is a lovely idea, although your guests are likely to still want to get you something. Be prepared to expect numerous picture frames, candles and throws!

Devon Weddings Gift

We’d love to help you to plan your wedding at Rockbeare Manor. If you’d like to discuss your requirements, call Aimée on 01392 797444.

 

(Photos by Shari’s Berries, licensed under CC BY 2.0)