Want to be inspired by this beautiful wedding close to Bristol? Tortworth Court wedding venue is a luxury wedding venue situated on the outskirts of Bristol and features a stunning orangery. Amy and Josh’s day was nothing short of glamorous, classy and timeless.
Bride’s name: Amy
Groom’s name: Joshua
Date of wedding: 20.03.2020
Number of guests: 70 day. 120 evening
Was there anything about your love story that carried through to your day ie a theme, a shared hobby, a location, your first meal together…?
We had actually gone to Tortworth for a wedding 3 years prior and spotted the orangery which was under reconstruction, we couldn’t resist sneaking in and taking a look as it looked so pretty from the outside, it was there that Josh said “maybe we’ll get married here one day”
That comment stuck with me so when we were looking at venues Tortworth was it for me, it was just a bonus that it looked so beautiful after the refurb.
Describe the proposal – were there any memories from that day that carried through to your celebration ie were you in a certain place, at home or abroad, that inspired a theme?
Josh proposed on our 4 year anniversary. We already had the week booked off but Josh had booked for us to stay at Hotel Du Vin for the night which is a place we both love and have celebrated special occasions before so I didn’t think much of it. We had a lovely chilled day shopping and made our way to the hotel around 4, because it was a Tuesday the hotel actually upgraded us to the best suit they had which was a nice surprise for both of us! It was when we got to the room that Josh snuck the ring out of his bag and got down on one knee. It was the most amazing moment just between us. After all the crying we rang to tell everyone the news.
How did you shortlist your venue search i.e, by location / by wedding style / by numbers?
I loved Tortworth court weddings for personal sentimental reasons but there was a lot of things that we wanted from a venue that helped us to shortlist places.
We wanted to get married somewhere unique and different, we had been to a lot of weddings over the years and from stately homes to barns so wanted something that people hadn’t seen and The Orangery was perfect because it had a style all of its own.
A big factor for us was that we wanted everything to be held in the same room, as we had been to weddings before where the bar was in a different room which meant all the guests were spaced out leaving the dance floor empty, this wasn’t what we wanted to happen on our day so
wanted a layout that flowed.
We also wanted there to be enough accommodation for everyone invited but also have a location that wasn’t too far for the people that wanted to go home at the end.
Was the ceremony in the same venue – if not, how did you get from one to the other?
Yes, we hosted everything in the Orangery. We were moved into different rooms whilst they flipped it over for the wedding breakfast and evening.
What’s your overriding memory of the moment the music began?
I just remember feeling so calm but also so eager to see him. We’d been through so much stress the week of the wedding because of Covid so when it finally came to it all that mattered was that I got to marry my best friend. Marrying him was the easiest and best decision I ever made.
THE RUNNING ORDER
What happened after the ceremony – drinks / photos / entertainment/music?
After the ceremony, all guests were escorted out to another part of the venue so they could change over for the wedding breakfast. During this time drinks and canapés were handed out to guests and then group photos were taken. This took up the right amount of time before we
had to be seated for the wedding breakfast.
When did you have the speeches? What were the highlights?
We did speeches before the food – I didn’t want anyone who was doing a speech to be stressing during the meal so wanted them done first so they could then relax. This also meant that photographers and videographers could then go get something to eat as well after they were done. I love wedding speeches so it’s hard to pinpoint a highlight but Josh is always so amazing with his words and can always blow me away with what he comes up with. I did always joke that I wanted him to cry so the fact he actually choked up right at the beginning of his was unexpected but I loved it lol. Also my dad isn’t one for speaking in public but he did the best speech and said so many lovely things that meant the world to us and it was great for everyone else to see what an amazing Dad I have.
What extra food, if any, did you serve during the evening party?
We decided on a hog roast for the evening and to have our wedding cake cut up and used as the desert. Everyone loved the hog roast and our wedding cake didn’t go to waste either.
Was there an overriding theme for the day?
Our vision was for it to be classy, chic and timeless. For me that included a very neutral pallet of fresh whites and greens with the contrast of the bold black tuxes.
How did you choose your florist and what style look were you going for?
Courtney actually recommended her to me.
I took a look at her Instagram and instantly fell in love with her style it was great because she offered an edge to her styling that I hadn’t seen from other florists. She was amazing and so glad I chose her.
How did you choose your stationery style?
I had seen Papier advertised before and had a little look through the website. I took a second look with Josh and we both really loved the simple design we chose as it fitted our style vision for the wedding. We ordered a sample and loved the quality and the way it looked so decided to
go with them, we also got our wedding welcome sign from there and have since ordered thank you cards with our wedding pictures on them. The style of the stationary really helped bring together the style of our day.
Did your do anything unusual for your place settings / menus / seating plan?
Josh’s job is a structural engineer so he created our seating plan for the meal as a floor plan layout of the orangery making sure that the font and style matched the same as our invites – it was his way of adding his personal touch to the day. We also ordered our place settings from
paper which had our initials and wedding date on the back (like the invites) and Josh hand wrote people’s names.
What decorations did you buy and how did you decorate the venue?
We were very aware that we didn’t want anything to look overdone and forced so when we got married in the orangey and it was perfect because we felt we didn’t need to do anything to it to dress it up, it was perfect as it was with the greenery and neutral tones. We only added
candles and flowers to the tables as centrepieces and also a white flower wall with a neon sign which looked amazing and fitted in flawlessly with the style of the orangery.
Tell us about your cake – did you buy it, make it? What were the flavours and toppings?
Jade Bakes made Josh’s 30th birthday cake and it was amazing! So when we were planning I knew she would be the one to make our cake.
It was a simple 2 tier white buttercream cake, the bottom tier was lemon with lemon curd and the top was a caramel. We bought our cake topper from Etsy and it fitted perfectly with our theme clean simple them and with our initials A&J.
Did you serve canapes during the drinks reception?
Yes – we had fish and chip cones, cheese and red onion tart and some satay chicken skewers. We wanted there to be something for everyone.
What was on the menu?
Starters – Carrot and coriander soup
Main – Braised beef, mash and veg with red wine gravy ju.
Desert – Dark chocolate tart with crushed pistachios and ice cream (other options available for
anyone with nut allergies)
Everyone raved about the food and said how amazing it was!
Did you have wedding favours?
Scratch cards in navy blue envelopes sealed with a white wax stamp with a personalised coin inside that had our initials and wedding date on.
What was your entertainment – music/band/DJ?
A two-man band who also DJ.
We hired them for the evening and they were amazing! Everyone loved them and literally stayed on the dance floor all night – it was packed!! They were great at interacting with our guests and making the most amazing song choices.
Tell us about the first dance – what song did you choose and why?
Taylor Swift – Lover
We didn’t really have a song which was ours and we spent ages listening and trying to choose one but we had heard this song a few months prior and both really loved it. Again, we wanted something different that was unique to us and we loved it.
Where did you find your wedding dress and how was the search?
Because of getting married in less than a year, I needed to find my dress asap so there was enough time for alterations etc. I looked in about 4 shops before I ended up going to Rookery Bridal – I really struggled to find a dress at first, nothing felt right or wowed me. I eventually found my dress there when they were doing a designer open day where they had new season
dresses in for one weekend only with a 10% discount if you purchased that weekend. My dress was everything I didn’t think i’d go for but I loved it. So try on everything because you’ll be surprised.
Did you wear any accessories/jewellery that had sentimental meaning for you?/ What did your groom wear? Did you know what he was wearing or was it a surprise?
My mum made me a lace handkerchief from her wedding dress and attached a gold heart locket from the necklace my dad bought her in their first year together. Josh wore a watch a bought him for his birthday in our first year together.
Tell us about your bridesmaids’ outfits – how did they fit with the theme?
I had 3 bridesmaids and wanted a dress that would flatter each of them so I decided on a one-shoulder Grecian style maxi dress in dark navy blue. We had already decided that we wanted the men in black tuxes so needed dresses that would complement the timeless, elegant feel we
were going for and chose navy as a subtle way to add a bit of colour.
How many were there and what was the age range?
All 3 bridesmaids were 27 years old.
Based on your own experience, do you have any tips you would share about…
Choosing a venue…
Decide what you both want from your venue and narrow down your searches before visiting, that way then you don’t waste time going to venues that don’t meet the criteria. Also, contact your chosen venues beforehand for brochures and open day events – open days are a great way to see the venue dressed up for a wedding.
Keeping to a budget…
Create a spreadsheet to keep track. If you create a list of everything you need and want with prices you can see the total and then make cuts if needed, its also helpful to track when you have things off and what’s left to pay and when by.
Including family and friends in the planning as well as the day…
Everyone wanted to help which was lovely but we really didn’t need much help when it came to the planning of the wedding. We had a clear vision of what we wanted for our wedding and a lot of it we were able to sort ourselves quickly. We actually found the whole wedding planning an enjoyable stress-free experience.
Venue – Tortworth Court https://www.devere.co.uk/tortworth-court/weddings/
Photographer – Courtney Marie Photography https://courtneymarie-photography.com/
Bride’s dress – Rookery Bridal https://rookerybridal.co.uk/
Accessories – Earrings – Lily and Roo London. Veil – Lace and Grace Bridal Boutique https://www.lilyandroo.com/ https://laceandgracebridal.co.uk/
Groom’s suit – Mos Bros https://www.moss.co.uk/
Bridesmaids’ dresses – Dorothy Perkins
Cake – Jade Bakes
Catering – Tortworth Court https://www.devere.co.uk/tortworth-court/weddings/
Invitations/Stationery – Papier https://www.papier.com/
Videographer – Centrepiece Weddings https://www.centrepieceweddingfilms.co.uk/
Flowers – Isabloom https://www.isabloomfloraldesign.co.uk/about-isabloom
Band/Disco/Entertainment – The Follicles
Favours – Scratch Cards
Hair Stylist – Blush Hair Designs
Make-Up – Emma Louise https://www.instagram.com/emma_louise_makeup/?hl=en
Transport – N/A
Anyone else who made your day special ie fireworks/styling/prop hire/ice sculptures.
Etiquette Events Styling – Flower wall and neon sign