West Weddings

Miscellaneous Monday: Engagement rings through the eras

Congratulations to our brides and grooms who got engaged this year! Whether your engagement ring is a classic diamond design or a bold saphire style, its symbol will always be true love and devotion. But did you know that the tradition of giving an engagement ring  has been spanning centuries?


The designs and styles of engagement rings have changed considerably over time – from Georgian floral motifs to the extravagance of Victorian intricate detailing or eye-catching Art Deco statemet pieces. The following ring style guide created by AC Silver  – a UK based antique diamond and gemstone jewellery retailer – will help you understand each era’s unique features before choosing the perfect piece for your personality.

The Georgian era

Georgian engagement rings (1714-1820) were the first to include open faceted designs. This period is well known to be heavily influenced by nature, and often used leaf designs handcrafted by makers before mass production techniques came into play. This was also the first time that luxurious stones were brought in from around the world to take the designs to the next level.


The Victorian era

Victorian engagement rings (1837-1900) showcase the age of Romanticism that ruled the literature and art of this era and often incorporated hearts, flowers and bows into the design. The most popular gemstone of the time was opal, as it was a personal favourite of Queen Victoria’s.


The Art Nouveau era

Art Nouveau engagement rings (1880 – 1910) overlap with some of the Edwardian (1901 – 1910) era. This was the time that celebrated the female form. With the suffragette movement in full swing, this was reflected in the designs of engagement rings from this period. Swaying from the traditional romanticism these rings were designed to encompass free-flowing asymmetric lines complimented with a range of gemstones.


The Art Deco era

Art Deco engagement rings (1908 – 1935) are perhaps the most famous of the eras and often included sapphires, rubies and emeralds combined with diamonds and geographic lines.


The engagement rings we see today have a less clear cut style and there is more of a variety. Our generation loves all things antique, vintage and contemporary and engagement styles are much more personal now.

If you’d like to know more information about each style, take a look at the full engagement rings through the eras guide created by AC Silver.

W: www.acsilver.co.uk

Wedding Wednesday: Idyllic ‘I dos’ at The Penn

Would you consider having your wedding on a Wednesday if it meant having more flexibility on dates, cutting the costs and having more supplier choices? If so, then you’ll also love the new wedding experience ‘Wed me on a Wednesday’ from Pennsylvania Castle, in Dorset.


Situated along the beautiful Jurassic coast, on the Isle of Portland, Pennsylvania Castle – also known as the Penn –  has idyllic gardens, stunning sea views and a fairy tale castle, which provides an amazing setting for weddings. It doesn’t get more romantic than this for your special day photos!


With just 52 weekends a year, top or preferred wedding venues often book up months and sometimes years in advance. Friday and Saturday weddings are the favourite choices for couples and extremely popular at Penn Castle with couples extending their celebrations over a whole weekend.


A Wednesday wedding can offer more flexibility by allowing you to book your preferred venue at a smaller price than traditional Saturday nuptials. With savings of up to 30% for weekday celebrations, there’s no better way to keep within the budget.

For more details about The Penn, visit: www.thepenn.co.uk.

Saturday Special: 3 DIY ideas for weddings on a budget

Planning your wedding is an exciting time but, with so many things to consider, it can be hard to fit everything into the budget. Worry no more, as we have some great ways to add unique and personal touches to your celebration and save money for your honeymoon. The shabby chic style is here to stay and more and more couples are trying out upcycling. So why not get creative with paintbrushes and make your DIY bespoke bunting or even center pieces?


Weddings are all about adding personal touches that show off your personalities – think vintage tea parties, rustic country settings and holding the reception in a barn with hay bales for seats. Moreover, you can turn your celebration into a whole weekend event  – like a mini festival – if you wish to. The traditional wedding rule book has long gone and you can now do whatever you want! It’s time to roll up your sleeves and get painting, but which of the following DIY projects will you try?

Painted perfection

With a little bit of planning and some paint brushes you can create quirky matching or mismatched table plans and numbers. Scour charity shops and car boot sales for vintage frames, which you can transform by using textured paint, such as Rust-Oleum Furniture Paint in either Chalky Finish or Gloss. You don’t need to prime them, just paint all the frames in either the same shade or coordinating colours.

Photo by Martin Dabek Photography

Pure gold 

Metallics, glitter and gold are opulent, sparkly and perfect for a wedding. One way to add a touch of gold is through your table decorations. Collect a mix of jam jars, tea pots and tins, and turn them into mini vases that make unique center pieces by using Rust-Oleum Metallic Spray Paint in Pure Gold or Aged Copper. You’ll need a couple of coats of paint, then once dry you can decorate with ribbons, jute, buttons and even wool to tie in with your colour scheme.


Beautiful bunting

Rustic weddings, featuring rows of bunting and eclectic decor pieces are very popular at the moment. To make your own bunting, you can buy hessian by the metre from craft stores or haberdasheries, or even upcycle old coffee sacks. With a cardboard template, cut out the bunting flags then, using a brush, stencil and a pot of Rust-Oleum Satin Furniture Paint, stencil on initials to create your very own monogrammed bunting.

If you’re feeling inspired and crafty, you can make your own wedding decor pieces at a fraction of the price. Find the Rust-Oleum paints at Homebase, B&Q and other leading stockists.

W: http://makeityours.co.uk/

Fashion Friday: Here come the bridesmaids

The new collection of bridesmaids’ dresses from Amanda Wyatt is truly stunning featuring beautiful necklines, tulle skirts and strap details. Take a look at the photos below set within in a rustic decor for inspiration. Can you picture your bridal party wearing these stylish designs?

aw2-19105hiresWith a wide selection of shapes and fits available in a rainbow of colours, Amanda Wyatt’s bridesmaids’ gown range is a must-see. Your maids can personalise each design to suit their individual style – short-sleeved, with cropped toppers, pleat detailing, etc. As to the flower girls and young maids, the dresses featuring tulle skirts are super cute! aw2-19214hires



aw2-19144hiresAmanda Wyatt’s gowns can be mixed and matched for each maid in a range of twisted strap detail, pleated bodices and bateau neckline. In fact, brides can easily fulfill their wedding dress dreams and complement their wedding gown with the bridesmaids’ dresses for gorgeous photo opportunities, too.



W: www.amandawyatt.com

Aztec Hotel & Spa: The perfect wedding package

If you’d like to get married at one of the region’s most popular venues, then look no further than Aztec Hotel & Spa. We’re happy to report that the venue now offers a whopping 20% off their complete wedding package for couples saying ‘I do’ between now and April 2017.



Weddings with a difference

Whether you’re planning an intimate celebration or a grand affair Aztec Hotel & Spa is the perfect location to get married. With a choice of three function suites licensed for ceremonies, an award-winning restaurant, and over 100 bedrooms with free spa access, the venue is in very high demand all year round.

In addition to the 20% off, the complete wedding package has everything you could imagine, including:

  • A dedicated wedding co-ordinator can assist you with organising all the details for the day
  • A red carpet welcome
  • Civil ceremony room hire
  • 3-course meal with coffee for your wedding breakfast
  • 1st year anniversary stay and six months complimentary spa membership for the bride and groom



Drop-In Saturdays

Each weekend, brides and grooms-to-be are invited to drop in – no appointment needed – to take a tour, see the suites and discuss individual requirements. Finding your wedding venue could be just a short trip away, so why not pop over to Aztec Hotel & Spa this Saturday. For more information, you can contact Lauren Manning, the wedding co-ordinator.

Aztec Hotel & Spa

W: www.hotel-wedding-venue.co.uk/aztec/

T: 01454 201090

Tuesday Tips: Planning ideas for autumn weddings

Where did September go? It feels like autumn has well and truly settled with its chilly nights and warm sunny days. Here, at West Weddings, we love the rich colour palettes and the unique photographic opportunities of autumn weddings – see the beautiful photoshoot at Grittleton House in our latest issue here.


With shades of mauve and blue, and details inspired by nature, it’s now easy to plan an autumn wedding. Take a look at the following gorgeous handmade products from DaWanda for instant planning inspiration:

  • Accessories: Mauve and deep blue accessories add a fashionable touch to your bridal look.


  • Rustic decorations: Wooden features in a rustic style remain one of the most popular trends in wedding decorations and favours.


  • Minimalist bride: Choosing a classic clean cut bridal gown works well for a minimalist look. Just add a splash of colour through bold lips or quirky accessories  to let your personality shine through.


W: http://en.dawanda.com/

St Peter’s Hospice Wedding Fair

Preparations are really heating up for the Wedding Fair in partnership with Bridal at St Peter’s Hospice. This exciting event will bring together talented wedding suppliers from across the region under one roof – Chipping Sodbury Town Hall. So head over to the medieval market town of Chipping Sodbury on Sunday 2nd October, between 11 am -3 pm.

Photo by Rich McD Photography

Aiming to help you bring your wedding planning to life, here are but a few of the things the wedding fair organisers have in store:

  • Around 50 local exhibitors, including cars, photography, and flowers
  • Live performances
  • A St Peter’s Hospice pop-up shop with preloved wedding dresses and suits
  • A fashion show at 1pm
Photo by Rich McD Photography

A Bristol-based charity caring for adults with life-limiting illnesses, St Peter’s Hospice, have recently opened a couple of wedding related charity shops in the city. The event will be free to attend, though visitors are encouraged to make a charitable donation to the door.

Weddings with rustic charm at Aldwick Court Farm

Are you searching for the dream wedding venue that ticks all the boxes for a relaxed wedding celebration? If the answer is yes, then Aldwick Court Farm & Vineyard, is the perfect choice for your big day. And what better time to see it than on Sunday 9th October, when the team hosts a wedding fair? On the day, you’ll get to meet everyone and discover the venue’s unique features: rustic, relaxed and romance-filled.


Rustic celebration

Aldwick Court Farm & Vineyard is a charming 17th century farm comprising of two stone barns – both licensed for wedding ceremonies. The Old Barn has a long history, whereas the New Barn features impressive plate glass windows overlooking the unspoiled countryside. After the ceremony, you can enjoy a walk through the vineyard while your guests sample the award-winning wine in the brick-walled Cellar Bar.


Relaxed options

With wooden beams, clean lines and neutral decor, Aldwick Court Farm & Vineyard provides a blank canvas for you to put your own stamp on. When it comes to choosing the menu for the wedding breakfast, Aldwick’s in-house caterers can offer a selection of bespoke high-quality menus.


Rural romance

A romance-filled wedding requires an idyllic setting – and Aldwick provides exactly that! Located within a 300-acre Somerset working farm, the venue is set against the Mendip Hills backdrop with so many opportunities for photos. The two barns overlook sweeping gardens and glorious verdant fields while the River Yeo runs at the farm’s southern boundary.

Find out how to book this romantic setting for your wedding, by visiting Aldwick’s wedding fair on Sunday 9th October between 11am and 3pm.


Fashion Friday: Statement accessories for grooms

Fashion is the word on everyone’s lips this weekend as London Fashion Week is underway. For grooms, looking sharp and fashionable can be achieved through smart clothing and statement accessories. The right colour tie, bold print scarf and quirky cufflinks are the perfect way for men to express their personality.


A new name in menswear accessories

Champions of luxury and hand-crafted products, Ezra Amarfio provides an exclusive range of unique neckties, bow ties and scarves that make the perfect finishing touches for grooms. This collection of ‘one-off’ accessories boasts a personality and quality of finish that can only be achieved when made by the hands of skilled craftsmen.

The luxury range of menswear accessories from Ezra Amarfio are handmade in England, utilising impeccable craftsmanship to create an authentic collection of timeless pieces for those that long for a wardrobe as carefully considered and unique as they are.




Sartorial style

British sartorial heritage inspires designs that seek to exude elegance and originality whilst retaining a timeless quality. The Ezra Amarfio collection comprises articles made from superfine Merino wool, cashmere, and Shantung silk, and attention to detail is paramount to the brand, ensuring every piece is produced to perfection.

“We want to provide our customers with something to own that has been made using time honoured craft techniques and is unique to them,” explained Jeff Amarfio, Creative Director of Ezra Amarfio.




W: www.ezraamarfio.com/


Wedding fairy-tales come true at Clearwell Castle

If you’re looking for a grand venue, where you’ll be treated like king and queen for the day, then look no further than Clearwell Castle. The open day event taking place on Sunday 25th September invites brides and grooms to discover the secrets of this castle rich in historic features.


Winner of the 2016 British Wedding Awards, Clearwell Castle, in Gloucestershire, is one of the region’s most romantic wedding destinations. Following extensive renovations, the venue boasts unique features including the Grand Entrance Hall, a vibrant Cellar Bar and Ballroom.

This fairy-tale castle with tranquil woodland grounds also offers a two-day wedding experience for couples.


Why not take a tour to discuss the details of your wedding with the team? Book an appointment for Sunday 25th September between 12 and 4pm by contacting Emma Foster at 01594 832320 or info@clearwell-castle.co.uk.

W: www.clearwell-castle.co.uk