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:

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.


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.




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


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.



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.






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


Tuesday Tips: 10 Steps to wedding-ready hair

Favourite summer activities such as swimming and sunbathing can cause serious damage to your tresses. But worry no more as the beauty gurus  from have provided ten helpful hacks that will turn your tired tresses into lustrous locks just in time for your big day.

Photo by Stewart McPherson

Whether you plan to go for an intricate updo or wear your hair down, now it’s time to give your hair some TLC. Just take a few simple steps including ditching the pony tail, switching to organic hair products or applying an avocado mask to improve the appearance of your tresses.

“People tend to stock up on SPF during the summer months but completely forget that hair needs protecting, too,” explains Joanne Dodds, beauty expert at “After time in the sun, your hair needs time to heal and these tips make sure your locks are back to normal in no time.”

Photo by Stewart McPherson

1 Rinse with cool water

Rinsing your hair with cool water after washing will seal up the hair cuticles that have been opened by the hot water, therefore locking in the much-needed moisture gained from conditioning.

2 Say ‘no’ to sulfate

Sulfate is a common ingredient in shampoo, but it can cause problems for damaged hair, as it strips off beneficial oils. Minimise additional frizz by checking the label and opting for organic sulfate-free products such as Liz Earle or The Body Shop.

3 Go for a trim

Getting rid of split ends is the key to shiny hair and this is especially important if your hair is dry from heat exposure. Cutting off the ends will get rid of the most damaged parts of your hair.

4 Wash your hair after swimming

Leaving chlorine in your hair after swimming is a definite no, as it dries it out further. Make sure you wash your hair before sunbathing to avoid additional damage.

5 Try a DIY avocado mask

When blended with oil, avocado is a fantastic ingredient that adds nutrients to the hair, making the ends less frazzled and the hair shinier.

6 Give warm coconut oil a go

Heating up coconut oil until it’s a liquid consistency can make a fantastic natural repair mask for your hair. Run this through the ends but avoid the roots as much as possible to avoid greasy looking hair.

7 Use aloe vera

Although we tend to associate aloe vera with skincare, its repairing effects are also beneficial to your hair. This is a wonder product if your scalp and hair are sun-damaged – apply it to both and let it sooth and revive.

8 Treat dark hair to black tea

If your dark hair colour is looking a little lackluster, rinsing it in dark tea will help to bring back the colour that the sun has taken away.

9 Avoid ponytails

Wearing your hair down as much as possible will prevent the additional breakage that using a bobble can create. If you do go for a ponytail, make sure you wear it at slightly different heights each day to avoid too much pressure.

10 Read West Weddings

Ok, this one’s from us! Get some wedding hairstyle ideas from our latest edition of West Weddings magazine here.

Are you turning into a bridezilla?

Whether still deciding on the venue or quite far along with the planning, the pressure to have the perfect wedding can turn even the calmest of brides into a badly-behaved bridezilla in the run up to the big day.

Photo by Stewart McPherson

Once the excitement of the engagement wears off, you’re left with a long list of things to organise, including the wedding venue, outfits for you and your groom and entertainment. There’s so much to consider and plenty of options to choose from, but who takes responsibility for each?

Many couples happily share the list between the bride and groom, and even tag in family and friends to help along the way. For others, it’s the bride who overlooks the planning while the fiancé is happy to go along with her decisions.  Bridezillas, however, are brides who take charge of the wedding planning and are so determined to make their wedding day perfect that they don’t consider the consequences.

Bridal behaviour


As we all know, the term ‘bridezilla’ comes from the famous Godzilla – a terrible monster from Japanese horror movies  – and defines ‘a bride whose behaviour in planning the details of her wedding is regarded as intolerable’. But how far can a bride go in order to qualify as a dress-wearing monster?

A recent survey carried out by interviewed 500 brides-to-be from across the UK and found that 1 in 3 engaged women is a bridezilla. In order to gather the data, brides were asked questions such as: ‘Would you trust your partner to organise the entire wedding?’ or ‘You’ve been cake tasting and you and your groom have opposite opinions. How do you decide on a cake?’

Why not take a look at the flowchart below to discover whether you’re getting close to becoming a bridezilla? If the answer turns out to be yes, it might be time you reconsider your priorities – wedding planning should be fun after all!

View Interactive Version (via