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.

Twelve new and beautifully appointed bedrooms at Rockbeare Manor, near Exeter – Part 2

In March we revealed the first collection of photographs from our twelve brand new, luxurious bedrooms at Rockbeare Manor, one of Devon’s newest wedding venues. Since then we have welcomed many guests who have stayed whilst attending a wedding or special event, and we are over the moon with the positive feedback that we have received.

  Devon Wedding Venues - Accommodation

We’re lucky to have worked with Bristol based Interior Designer Alexandra Cork  who did an amazing job in bringing the overall look together, searching for sumptuous furnishings, fabrics and unique accessories for our exclusive wedding venue.  A lot of love, care and attention was taken over the extensive renovation of Rockbeare Manor, (near Exeter), and so it was really important to us all that this was echoed in the finish of the accommodation as well.

 Exeter Wedding Venues - Accommodation Wedding Venue Devon - Accommodation

We now have twelve beautifully appointed bedrooms, two of which are impressive family suites that sleep four.  All bedrooms are wonderfully light and spacious with astonishing views and after a peaceful night’s sleep, guests are welcomed down to the original formal Dining Room, which dates back to 1769, for a delicious breakfast.  Whether that be smoked salmon and scrambled eggs or a full English breakfast, it’s always all accompanied by fresh fruits and juices, warm pastries, granolas and cereals.  

 Wedding Venues - Accommodation

When a family home, room four was the principle guest bedroom and it’s clear to see why. It’s in a prominent position on the first floor, and located at the front of the house with clear views up to the Haldon Hill, Dartmoor and the Cadbury Hills. In the immediate distance, you can see the extensive listed parkland at Rockbeare Manor, and the large and very beautiful willow tree, which stands at the side of our private lake. 

Devon Venue Accommodation

 Exeter Venue Accommodation

Five of the bedrooms at Rockbeare Manor have lavish, freestanding baths in the bedroom, which give guests a real treat!

Luxury Devon Accommodation

Room seven is on the second floor with pretty vintage style furniture, soft colours, and fantastic views of the south lawns. The feature fountain can be seen, as well as the wider landscape at Rockbeare Manor, which includes trees of many varieties.

Luxurious Devon Accommodation Rooms at Rockbeare Manor Devon

The soft earthy colours, striking feature wall and fireplace in room 8 create a very sophisticated feel, with beautiful matching furniture inspired by the French baroque-rococo era. The steeples of Rockbeare and Broadclyst churches can also be seen, as well as Devon’s largest single-trunk oak tree. 

 Luxurious Exeter Accommodation Rockbeare Manor Devon

Room nine is a family suite on the top floor, and is the room which is at the highest point in the house.  When a family home, the room was decorated as the children’s ‘tent’ room due to the arched ceilings.  It’s a room full of quirks, not least because of the floor level sash windows, which have stunning views to the west.

 Rooms at Rockbeare Manor Exeter  Weddings in DevonWeddings in Exeter

The North Pavilion is a key feature of this Regency built Manor, as it forms a key part of its symmetry when approaching the house from the front. Being on ground floor level, it is ideal as a more accessible bedroom, and the interior has been designed with this in mind.  It has a beautiful, shaped, high ceiling and the huge sash window which overlooks the lake and listed parkland at Rockbeare Manor is one of the largest in the house. The bedroom can be set as either a twin room, or double depending on your preference, and the spacious bathroom has both a bath and wet-room style shower.

Exeter Weddings Devon Weddings

There is a story behind each room and although the house has been through a very extensive renovation, many of the distinctive features of the house have been left intact. Rockbeare Manor is a charming place waiting to be explored, and if you are planning a wedding or special event, we’d love to show you around.

For further information please call our events team on 01392 797444 and ask for Kate or Stephanie, or visit our website www.rockbearemanor.co.uk  

Diplomatic Table Planning

Your wedding day is around the corner, you’ve had all of the RSVPs back, and hopefully you’re looking forward to an amazing celebration at Rockbeare Manor in Devon. You are naturally going to be very excited about what your wedding day has in store for you, your beloved, and your friends and families. There is just one small challenge to overcome – the table plan!

At Rockbeare Manor, our very special wedding venue in Devon, we see all the time how families come together for a wedding, but we also know how tricky it can be for the happy couple to ensure that nobody is offended when it comes to the table plan. After all, if your parents are divorced and haven’t spoken in some time, or if a parent or close relative is no longer with you, it can be challenging to manage the seating plan and to keep everybody happy.

Our experienced events team are full of ideas and help, and so read on to hear what our top suggestions would be when putting together your wedding table plan.

Ask those closest to you to ‘head up’ a table

This works especially well in circumstances where you may not be asking parents, the Best Man or Chief Bridesmaid to join you on the top table. Some couples choose to have a ‘sweetheart table’ for just the two of them, and if that is the case you could ask those closest to you to each host a table. Perhaps you have separated, or step-parents, or a mum or dad who don’t get on. You quite understandably wouldn’t want to make anyone feel uncomfortable on the day and so don’t feel that you have to conform to a ‘traditional’ top table of 8 (which would include the Bride, Groom, both sets of parents, Best Man and Chief Bridesmaid).   

If you did ask some of your nearest and dearest to host a table you could then get them involved by asking them who they’d like on their table which is a great way of making them feel an important part of the day.   

Table shape and configuration

The Ballroom at Rockbeare Manor is a really versatile, light and airy space, with a neutral colour pallet so you really can choose any style or wedding theme. It is also spacious, and so you have the flexibility to consider round tables of between 7 and 12 guests, meaning you can group guests together according to friendship/family groups. The total number of guests that you have will have some bearing on how many smaller/larger tables that you have space for, but any one of the friendly events team at Rockbeare Manor will be able to advise you on this. Another option is not to use round tables at all.  A banquet style set up, which involves one or two long rectangular tables, can have a real impact and avoids the need for a top table at all.   

Have a top table that includes all of your closest friends

A top table comes in many guises! At Rockbeare Manor we have a number of options – long and straight, oval, sweetheart as mentioned above, or a large circular table. For couples that are planning a fun and informal wedding, a table that includes their close friends, bridesmaids, ushers and siblings can make the day feel even more personal. Friends are often so involved in the pre wedding preparations, and enjoying your wedding breakfast with them will no doubt make it memorable. Don’t forget to let your parents know that this is what you’re planning beforehand!

Mix it up a bit!

A wedding is all about families and friends coming together and having a great time. During the drinks reception people will have chance to settle in, catch up and relax in the wonderful surroundings, but for the wedding breakfast why not seat guests in more varied groups? It is always nice to make sure that each guest knows at least a couple of people on the table so that they feel at ease, but it’s also great meeting new people too. Think about which of your guests may have common interests or mutual friends and go from there.  Our Barouche menu is a brilliant icebreaker. All the food comes delivered to the table as a feast on wooden boards, which all of your guests can pass around. It’s interactive, and a definite talking point!

Don’t specify who should sit next to who

If it’s proving tricky to establish who should sit next to who on each table, don’t worry! You could save yourself time and effort by leaving it to your guests to decide. You would still need to prepare a table plan which indicates which table each guest needs to go to, but you won’t need to have place cards made up to put on each setting.

Whilst it can be tempting not to have a table plan at all, it can be useful to ensure that we know where anyone who has a particular dietary requirement is seated. You may also have some guests attending the wedding that you know would feel more comfortable if seated with people they know.

Above all, the most important thing to remember about all of this, is that it’s your day and that people are there for you. They all want to be there, and they all want to help you to celebrate!

We’d love to help you to plan your wedding at Rockbeare Manor. If you would like to discuss your special day, call Kate or Stephanie on 01392 797444.

Devon Wedding – Vanessa and James’s perfectly styled day at Rockbeare Manor.

Devon Wedding - order of the day

Saturday 1st April was the day that friends and family came together from far and wide, many travelling to Devon from the United States to be there for Vanessa’s and James’s wedding day.  It’s a day that had been planned to perfection by Vanessa in particular, a Bride with a fabulous eye for style, and determined to make their Devon wedding day one that was very individual to them, and memorable for all who attended.

 Devon Wedding - flowers Wedding Venues Devon - ceremony hall

The wedding at Rockbeare Manor had an elegant vintage style theme, with a blush pink and pastel colour palette, mixed with sage green tones which were enhanced by the wonderful eucalyptus and foliage garlands, used firstly to frame the aisle, and then moved onto the tables for the wedding breakfast. In all, the venue, style and theme made for a beautiful Devon wedding.

 Devon Wedding - place settings Devon Wedding - decoration

We were fortunate to work with some very talented and professional South West based suppliers for this wedding, and all no doubt had been a great support to the Bride and Groom before hand, as well as coordinating the styling on the wedding day itself. Kirsten from The Little Wedding Helper was instrumental in the whole day, and supplied many of the accessories that contributed to the overall style of the wedding, and that was only enhanced by the unbelievably elegant flowers by Foxy Buds and Emma Hewlett.

Devon Wedding - menu

De Winton Paper Co is one of our favourite stationers, located nearby, just outside of Exeter. Harriet creates classic, classy designs and did an amazing job on the place cards, table plan and not forgetting the menu display – a pale grey watercolour wash with a combination of calligraphy and typeface, mounted on a rustic barn door and decked out with fresh green foliage.

Wedding Venues Devon - Rockbeare Manor

The Ballroom at Rockbeare Manor looked so stunning for this wedding. With banquet style seating, dark grey table linen, and contrasting white linen napkins tied with grey velvet ribbon, scented candles, tall silver candleabra, delicate flowers and a mass of foliage; it was impressive to say the least.

Wedding Venues Devon - Wedding Reception

Devon Wedding - Wedding Breakfast

At the happy couple’s request, the menu was entirely Gluten Free, starting with Grilled Capricorn Goats’ Cheese on a Beetroot Biscuit, Fig Jam and Rainbow Chard, followed by Carved Organic Beef Sirloin, Roasted Shallot, Gratin Dauphinoise with Green Peppercorn Sauce, and for dessert an English afternoon tea cake display of Miniature Carrot Cake, Lemon Drizzle and Tiny Raspberry Pavlovas.

Wedding Venues Devon - Evening Do

After the meal it was time to transform the Ballroom for the evening party. It’s amazing how different the space can feel later on in the evening – it’s just so versatile and it’s safe to say all the guests had a brilliant night, kept on the dancefloor by Retro Disco Exeter.
Wedding Venues Devon - Wedding Party

Congratulations James and Vanessa. We wish you all the best in the future as Mr & Mrs!

Devon Wedding - the happy couple

For more information about weddings or other special events at Rockbeare Manor, Exeter, Devon, please contact us – we’d love to chat and help you create your perfect wedding day.

Telephone: 01392 797 444  www.rockbearemanor.co.uk

Recently engaged? Tips from one of Devon’s most popular wedding venues

 

You’re engaged! From all of us here at Rockbeare Manor, huge congratulations – you must be over the moon.  From now until the big day it will be a whirlwind of excitement, planning, celebrations and fun, and as one of Devon’s most popular wedding venues, we hope to give you a steer in the right direction as to where to start on your journey to becoming a married couple.

Celebrate and share the news!

Once the question has been ‘popped’ you’ll no doubt be dying to tell your parents, friends and family.  Visit those that you can, get on the phone, or arrange a Face Time chat, and spread the amazing news!  Don’t be too quick to announce it on social media though – whilst it will seem tempting, it’s always best to make sure that you have told all of your nearest and dearest first, rather than them finding out about the up coming wedding on the grapevine! 

This is also the perfect time to start giving some thought to who you may ask to be your Best Man, Ushers and Bridesmaids.  Relish in the moment and take it all in (and enjoy drinking lots of celebration bubbly!!).

Daydream!

Perhaps you have been planning this day for years, and who knows, you may even have some Pinterest boards at the ready, but either way just enjoy the initial weeks and months of the engagement. It’s always nice to spend these moments with your partner; go out for long walks, chat ‘weddings’ over dinner somewhere special and explore each others ideas and vision for how the day might be.  Nothing needs to be set in stone straight away so relax and have fun with it.  A key subject to think about is the date and time of year for your wedding…do you see yourself having an romantic winter affair with open fires and candlelight, or would you prefer an outdoorsy wedding with Pimms, Prosecco and good food flowing?  It’s going to be hard not to get carried away, dreaming big, and thinking about all the possible things that you could incorporate into the day (we’ve all done it!!) – and there is no harm in doing so in these early ‘daydreaming days’ – make the most of it, and enjoy!

Engaged couple by the lake at Rockbeare Manor, Exeter, Devon

 

Think about who you’d like to share your special day with

Dare we say it…. It’s one of the things that will be at the root of many a wedding planning discussion and does have the potential to trigger some debate, but your guest list is an important thing to consider all the same.  The number of guests that you choose to share your wedding day with will having a bearing on many other things further down the line such as the venue (as you need to make sure that it is big enough!), what you choose for the wedding breakfast and what style of catering that you go for, and it will also affect overall costs too of course.  Some key questions to ask yourselves at this stage…

1/ Are we inviting immediate family only, or extended family too? 

2/ Will children be welcome to the wedding as well?

3/ Should we invite certain people to the evening reception only? (This is an easy way to reduce numbers for the main part of the wedding if needed)

4/ Are our parents expecting to invite some of their friends or relations?

The first guest list that you write will probably be as long as your arm, but it’s best to put everyone’s name on it and then, if necessary, you can whittle it down from there. If you are finding it hard to narrow the list down, think about the last time that you saw that person, and how important they are to you both. If them being there will make the wedding day more special for you, then their name should probably stay.

The million dollar question

How much is the wedding going to cost?  Having a realistic budget is essential and so it’s definitely worth giving it some thought.  Hopefully you will have some idea of whether or not parents or family members are contributing to your wedding day, and of course you must think about how much you are prepared to spend too.  Opening a wedding savings account is a great way to put money aside each month. Most wedding suppliers will only ask for a small deposit on booking, and so you won’t ever be expected to pay for everything upfront .  If you are worried that the financial commitment will put too much pressure on you both, perhaps think about planning the wedding a year or two ahead to give you more time to save.  

Pick the venue!

So now you know roughly how many people are attending your wedding, you have an idea of potential month and year, and you have also given budget some thought – now it’s the fun part! Go out there and look for a potential venue for your big celebration.  You can do a lot of the leg-work online and you are likely to get a feel for the venue just by browsing their website, as it should tell you all the key information that you are looking for, and give you a really good selection of gallery images to scroll though as well.  There is no harm in requesting brochures from a wide variety of wedding venues.  How responsive they are to your enquiry, and the quality of the brochure that they send through are all clues as to how they will look after you if you book their venue.

At Rockbeare Manor we think that we have something quite unique, and really very special.  We’re dedicated to making sure that if you choose our venue for your wedding day, we’ll go the extra mile to make things as smooth as they can possibly be, so that when the day comes around you enjoy every minute!  Our wedding venue in Devon is always exclusive use for you and your wedding guests, and as our beautiful Ballroom seats between 50 and 160 guests we can host either an intimate or large scale affair!  Our grade I listed Regency Manor house is brimming with period features, it has unbelievably breathtaking views across the Devon countryside, beyond Exeter, up to Dartmoor and beyond. The setting is just perfect for weddings.

Rockbeare Manor, Exclusive Wedding Venue in Exeter, Devon   Wedding Ceremony at Rockbeare Manor, Exeter, Devon.

To book an appointment to see our lovely Devon wedding venue, please call us on 01392 797444 and we’d love to talk about everything weddings with you!

www.rockbearemanor.co.uk Rockbeare Manor, Near Exeter, Devon, EX5 2FE

 

 

 

Happy New Year!

Wow, what a year it’s been!

Rockbeare Manor, Exeter, Devon

It was on Sunday 10th January 2016 that we opened the doors at Rockbeare Manor for the very first time, to newly engaged couples looking for their perfect Devon wedding venue. At the time we were only 2 months into a very intensive 10 month renovation programme and so we were naturally a little apprehensive about what the reaction of the potential brides and grooms would be.  The Ballroom was really just a shell – covered in scaffolding with a concrete floor, there were other rooms that hadn’t been decorated in nearly eighty years, and what is now a beautifully light and airy Atrium, was boarded over awaiting the feature skylight. But, we hoped that everyone would see through the temporary disarray and be able to visulise the incredible change that it was going through.  And Phew…they did!

From that first day, we met couples that went onto book their wedding with us, some for as early as August that year so it really was a very exciting time.Bride in Drawing Room at Rockbeare Manor, Exeter, Devon

Our first event was in June – a formal dinner and party for 130 guests (no pressure then!), but of course it all went smoothly and the atmosphere was fabulous. We were all so thrilled to be welcoming people to our brand new Devon venue, something that we are all incredibly proud of and so the smiles were permanently on our faces.

We were then lucky enough to be chosen as the venue to host Exeter Chiefs player Tom Johnson’s launch party for his Testimonial Year. The weather couldn’t have been better, the music was creating a really relaxed vibe and the invited guests enjoyed Prosecco and canapés on the South Lawns on a balmy summers evening.

Rockbeare Manor, Exeter, Devon - South Lawns and Ballroom

Since then, it’s been non-stop (and great fun!) with photo-shoots and masterclasses, stunning weddings, Christmas parties and corporate events and it was topped off when The Wedding Industry Awards selected us as a regional finalist for ‘Best Countryside Venue’, and ‘Best Newcomer’ for the whole of the South West.  Awards are given purely on votes and feedback from couples that have been married at the venue and so that really did mean a lot to us.

Bride in the Drawing Room at Rockbeare Manor, Exeter, Devon Sweeping staircase floral arrangements at Rockbeare Manor, Exeter, Devon

So, what does 2017 hold for us?  Well, naturally we’ll be hosting lots more amazing events – it’s what we love, and we’ll be making each and every one really memorable for those hosting or attending an event with us. Our team will also be growing so we look forward to welcoming some new, super-talented people to Rockbeare Manor in the coming months.  Finally, we have very nearly completed the refurbishment of twelve luxury bedrooms within the house which will be available for guests as of March so we’ll make sure we give you a sneak preview of those very soon.

So from all of us here at Rockbeare Manor, we wish you all a very happy, fun-filled New Year with lots of laughter, love and dancing!

We hope to see you in 2017.

The South Pavilion at sunset. Rockbeare Manor, Exeter, Devon.

 

 

How To Navigate The Top 5 Wedding Planning Minefields

Wedding Place Setting

Throughout our years of experience in planning weddings, we’ve learnt a thing or two about navigating the various ‘etiquette issues’ that have the potential to cause family and friend fallouts on the big day. By fact that Rockbeare Manor is an exclusive wedding venue deep in the Devon countryside means you have so much freedom in how you want your wedding day that ultimately, we believe, this can help ease pressures to do things a certain way.

However for those issues that a bride and groom struggle with here’s our advice on how to manage them:

  1. Guest list

One of the first steps for any newly engaged couple is to plan the guest list. This in itself is a minefield, as you have to find the balance between inviting every acquaintance that you both know, because you feel duty bound to do so, and only inviting the people who you really want to be there. An easy way to simplify your guest list is to consider if you are likely to share a future relationship with the person in mind? Or perhaps ask yourself hypothetically if you would happily take them out to dinner – if the answer is yes then they may well be ones to go on the invite list.

A tactic we see many couples adopt is to make a provisional guest list nice and early in the planning of your wedding which can then be revisited later down the line.  It’s really important when choosing a venue to check that the dining capacity fits in with your potential guest numbers. At Rockbeare Manor we can host wedding breakfasts for 50 to 160 guests in our beautiful Ballroom which gives you lots of flexibility to have a guest list which evolves over time.  Final numbers don’t need to be confirmed until 4 weeks before the day itself.

  1. Children

Another important aspect to consider is whether you want to make your ceremony or even your wedding a child-free zone. It’s important to remember, no matter how many people protest, that it’s your decision.

There are ups and downs to consider with having children present. They can be very cute in photos and liven up the dance floor in the evening, however some may feel them to be a distraction at the wrong times throughout the day. If you do not want children present it’s important to let your guests know as early as possible so that they can make arrangements, and it is equally important to hold your ground if that’s what you would prefer for your wedding.  

However, for those couples that do invite children we’d suggest thinking about how to make their day fun too – a wedding is a long day, and so it’s a great idea to provide some activities for the children such as garden games, colouring books, and activity packs to keep them occupied. We can also put you in touch with children’s entertainers and event crèche’s.  

Whatever you decide, Rockbeare Manor is accommodating either way.

  1. Social Media

We’re now better connected than ever before due to social media. If you want your wedding to be social media free then it’s not unreasonable to ask your guests to refrain from posting pictures or other content about your wedding online until after the celebrations have ended. But if you like the idea of embracing social media you could actively encourage your guests to post online content about your wedding. Why not specify a personal hashtag that is for your wedding only?

Rockbeare Manor has WIFI throughout our venue in case you prefer the latter option.   

  1. Money for gifts

There’s some debate over whether it is acceptable to ask your guests for money instead of a more traditional wedding gift. And the trend of asking for money is on the increase with the average age of couples marrying now at 32 years old.

What research suggests is that wedding guests are more open to giving money as a gift if it has a clear goal attached, such as going towards a honeymoon or a significant item. If you’re going to ask your guests for money towards your honeymoon, then it may be a good idea to give them an idea of where you plan to go or the name of the travel agent you are going with so that they can purchase travel vouchers for you.

  1. Table plans

Arguably the most socially stressful part of a wedding because of course you want everyone to have a blast, and avoid any possible tension between guests that may not get on.

The traditional rule of thumb is to sit close family and friends nearest to the top table, with couples sat together and, if children are present, a children’s table where they can all sit together.

But, if having a top table is too complicated or causing worry (usually due to separated parents) don’t feel that you have got to have one.  Why not have ‘sweetheart table’ with just the two of you, or, sit with your bridesmaids and ushers and ask your parents to each host other tables. It’s your day, and you can think creatively about how to mix up guests based on common interests, geography and family branches.

At Rockbeare Manor we understand how challenging planning a wedding can be, and we are here to help and support you to achieve the day that you’ve always envisaged. Ultimately, one of the best things about Rockbeare Manor being an exclusive wedding venue in Devon is that the events team will work with you to create a day that is as individual as you both are.

Autumn & Winter Weddings

‘What date shall we get married?’ is one of the first questions for any couple once the all important question has been ‘popped’. It’s something that is also bound to influence the type of venue that you choose for your Devon wedding.

Everyone is different, perhaps you’ve always dreamt of a beach wedding in the height of the summer, or a marquee perched on top of a hill-top somewhere with an amazing view, but if you are unsure, it’s well worth exploring the idea of an autumn or winter wedding – and we’ve a feeling you won’t look back!

In autumn you get a magnificent and ever-changing backdrop, full of the rich colours that this time of year brings. At Rockbeare Manor in Devon, we are spoilt by the acres beyond acres of listed parkland that surround us, and the long established trees of many varieties which add to the splendour of the landscape where we’re situated in the beautiful South West.  Then there’s Winter – crisp frosty mornings (and maybe even snow!) can create such a magical feeling among you and your guests, and your photographer will relish every opportunity to capture your day in an altogether different way leaving you with amazing memories.

Rockbeare Manor Devon, lake wedding venue

The lake at Rockbeare Manor, near Exeter, Devon.

 

Even if the weather isn’t entirely behaving it would be very rare not to be able to capture some images outside and a beautiful bridal umbrella is going to compliment any exterior shot.  But, there is always inside and that’s where Rockbeare Manor comes into it’s own…roaring fires, glowing candlelight, always warm and welcoming. Very importantly, the house flows beautifully so there is plenty of room to host the various elements of your day, using the principle rooms, without any uncomfortable turn-arounds.  Your civil ceremony, drinks reception and wedding breakfast will all flow seamlessly.

 

Wedding in the rain

Photography by www.photographybyjd-weddings.co.uk

 

One of our most striking, but incredibly serene rooms can seat up to 100 guests for a ceremony – with magnificent original crystal chandelier and ornate cornicing throughout.  As is the case throughout the whole house, the views from this room are immense, and  the light that pours through the windows even on an overcast day still ceases to amaze us.

 

Ceremony hall Rockbeare Manor

Photography by www.hollycollingsphotography.com

 

 

And don’t forget the fantastic winter accessories that you can use to style your day…beautiful cosy blankets displayed for your guests to use, hurricane lanterns surrounded by ferns and berries, twinkling lights that can be incorporated into your table centres and around the venue…and for the Bride how about a feather or fur bolero partnered with a stylish woollen suit for the Groom.  The list really does go on but some of our favourite ideas are here on our Pinterest page.

 

Wedding cake winter autumn

Photography by www.photographybyjd-weddings.co.uk

We still have some wonderful dates available throughout the autumn and winter season in 2016/17 so we’d love to talk to you more about how your wedding day could be at Rockbeare Manor. Please do let us know if we can be of any help on 01392 797 444 or take a look at our website www.rockbearemanor.co.uk.

 

P.s. Keep an eye out for our next blog which will introduce one of the dedicated members of our team…

 

 

Renovations and Restoration – Rockbeare ‘Then & Now’

Well something is for sure…we’ve had a very busy 6 months! On Friday 18th September 2015 we received the keys to Rockbeare Manor and the next chapter in the story of  the house began.  It had always been a place for family, friends and entertaining on a grand scale – much loved and at the centre of lots of happy memories for those that lived there throughout the generations, spanning over 250 years.  Looking back on a feature in Country Life Magazine dated April 1930 it is lovely to see it in an immaculate state, a true Regency property with period features, extravagant furnishings and stunning gardens.

Part of a 13 page feature on Rockbeare Manor.

Part of a 13 page feature in Country Life Magazine – Dated April 1930.

Though as the years went by, and as with many Country Houses, the resident family found it an increasing burden to maintain it in its former splendour, which meant that there were extensive repairs and restoration to carry out before we could even consider opening the doors once again.

To give you an idea (and this is in a nutshell)…

… every inch of the façade of the building was repaired, re-rendered where necessary and given three coats of mineral-based paint

Essential repairs are carried out to all sides of the Manor House.

Essential repairs are carried out to all sides of the Manor House.

…over 80 of the original sash windows had to be removed, repaired in our dedicated workshop, re-fitted and painted 3 times

Windows removed, and a new fountain is created on the South Lawns.

Windows removed, and a new fountain is created on the South Lawns.

…everything has been re-wired

…a whole new heating and hot water system was installed to make the house warm and welcoming, with attractive cast iron radiators fitted in each room

…beautiful oak flooring has been laid in all the principle rooms – The Library, Billiard Room, Bar, Dining Room and Drawing Room, with the original stone floor in the Hallways being restored to it’s former glory

…every part of the ground floor has been stripped back with repairs made where necessary, and all walls and ceilings re-decorated in an elegant, contemporary colour pallet

Careful re-decoration of the grand Dining Room takes place.

…a brand new, all singing all dancing commercial kitchen has been created, and our magnificent Ballroom was built of course!

The scaffolding comes down from the newly built Ballroom

 

The list really does go on but it’s safe to say that no stone has been left un-turned. Our team of builders, groundworks experts, carpenters, electricians, plumbers, painters and decorators have been fantastic, and still continue to do an outstanding job, to the highest standard – led by Project Managers Andrew Butt and Giles Penfold, along with the Co-Founder of PM Hospitality Andy Carveth.

The result is amazing and it is such a pleasure to see Rockbeare Manor displayed in a whole new light today.

Rockbeare Manor - April 2016

Rockbeare Manor – April 2016

Old meets new. Contemporary interiors at Rockbeare Manor.

Once an Inner Courtyard, now a wonderful light and airy Atrium which leads to the grand Ballroom

 

Licensed for outdoor Civil Ceremonies

Dawn makes the finishing touches to the South Pavilion – Licensed for outdoor Civil Ceremonies

Simple, Stylish, Elegant.

Standing proud – Rockbeare Manor, Devon.

It’s now only weeks until we open officially, and we are welcoming viewings and so please do get in contact if you are planning an event, whether it be a Wedding, Corporate Away Day, Charity Event, Conference, Summer Ball or any special occasion – we’d love to hear all about it. Please contact our Events Team on 01392 797444 to book a visit or go to our website http://www.rockbearemanor.co.uk for further details.

We hope to see you soon!