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

Alternative Ideas For Your Hen or Stag Do

When it comes to getting married, the hen and stag do is something that the vast majority of brides and grooms look forward to. The trends for these events have changed enormously over recent years, with people looking for more alternative things to do rather than simply going to the local. With this in mind, we’ve done some digging and found some really exciting, alternative ideas perfect for either the hen or stag do before the big “I do”.

As Rockbeare Manor is a wedding venue near Exeter in Devon, we’ve tried to keep our suggestions local, as here in the South West there is a multitude of different things that are available for you.  Somehow we’ve managed to whittle it down to a list of just 10 of the best:

1. West Country Games 

West Country Games is an activity specialist in the South West. It offers a variety of different and interesting events including a ‘cider run’, ‘pitch fork duel’ and ‘mangold dangling’. If these sound like your cup of tea then check out the website for more information.

2. Rail Ale Trails 

If you want a twist on the regular pub-crawl then The Rail Ale Trail which is run by Great Scenic Railways, is worth looking into. There are 7 trails to choose from in Devon and Cornwall. The trail involves getting the train to various stops, dependant on which trail you choose, and visiting various rural pubs where you can enjoy some traditional ales. There is also a chance to win a t-shirt by collecting 10 stamps from the different pubs.

3. Escape Surf School 

More of a beach-bum than a bar-run? Why not head on down to Newquay for your hen or stag do and do some surfing? The Escape Surf School offers surfing lessons for complete beginners to advanced learners. It’s a great excuse to top up your tan before the big day.

4. Ultimate Adventure Centre

The Ultimate Adventure Centre in Bideford has an Ultimate Assault Course with a mixture of land and water based obstacles as well as several other courses, which can catapult your hen or stag do into a day of epic proportions.

5. Skirmish Paintball 

What better way to spend your do than to play a game of paintball? Skirmish Paintball, located in Stoke Woods near Exeter, is a 120-acre paintball site and promises to be a day full of tactical fun and paint!

6. Pampering weekend

Pampering weekends are a great way to relax before the big day. There are lots of different places in the UK where you can go for a weekend pampering session and Spabreaks.com is a great place to look for a spa near to you. And yes, spa breaks are these days appealing to men more and more as they look for an alternative to the traditional stag do.

7. Devon Leisure

For motorised events, such as go-karting and quad biking, Devon Leisure has it all. It is the largest off-road activity centre in the South West and with over 12 miles of woodland quad trails is sure to provide hours of fun for your party!

8. Treasure Trails 

If nature is your thing, then the Treasure Trails could be the perfect day for you! Treasuretrails.co.uk has over 1,200 self-guided trails all over the UK which help you to discover new cities, towns and villages. They have walking, cycling and driving trails meaning that no matter what the weather you can have a great day.

9. Go Ape 

Go Ape is the UK’s number one forest adventure park, there are 29 parks across the country and the one in the South West can be found in Haldon near Exeter. The park is home to a whole world of fun and adventure, including zip-lines, segways and swings. This is sure to be a fantastic way to spend your hen or stag party.

10. Cocktail Making Classes 

Cocktail making classes are the perfect way to start a night out for your stag/hen do. My Cocktail Master Class is a great place to start looking for a class near to you. They hold events in Exeter at Oddfellows most days of the week. Check out the website for more information.

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.