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This year on English Wedding we’ve been lucky enough to explore some more of England’s finest wedding venues in person, by kind invitation of the owners. I’ve most recently stayed at The Wordsworth Hotel and Martin Dabek (a brilliant Bristol wedding photographer and member of English Wedding) was invited to review Berwick Lodge at the beginning of the year. This time, we were asked to review the Orchardleigh Estate, which is just 10 miles from Bath – and lucky Martin was ideally situated to go and find out all about this amazing wedding venue.

Martin’s words about Orchardleigh have changed a few of my preconceptions about wedding venues. Perhaps the landscape is changing, perhaps Orchardleigh is just a shining example of progress in wedding venue management – but the way this place works is different – and I love that. It’s not owned by a faceless or international hotel chain. It’s not owned by the aristocracy, and it wasn’t inherited by rich landowners. Orchardleigh has a pretty inspiring story, and I’m so glad we can share it with you today!

A foodie wedding with pretty, feminine styling at Orchardleigh House. Image credit Love In Focus, Bristol (14)
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Beautiful bride Siobhan and gorgeous groom Ross got married in the springtime, and were blessed with a beautifully sunny day. I fell in love with Siobhan’s bouquet of ranunculus, freesia and eucalyptus with tiny narcissus and eucalyptus – it’s perfect for springtime and every bit as gorgeous as a summer bouquet.

A foodie wedding with pretty, feminine styling at Orchardleigh House. Image credit Love In Focus, Bristol (24)

Orchardleigh House is a stunning venue in North Somerset with fabulous, lavish rooms, the perfect venue for a romantic English wedding. Driving into the estate and along the winding driveway to the main house there’s a real wow moment that gives you a feeling of excited anticipation.

A foodie wedding with pretty, feminine styling at Orchardleigh House. Image credit Love In Focus, Bristol (25)

Words and images by lovely Somerset wedding photographer Sandy McClure at Love In Focus

Both Siobhan and Ross were getting ready at the venue which meant I was able to get a few shots of them both getting ready. After hanging out with Siobhan, her family and her bridesmaids for a bit and capturing the hubbub of activity as everyone got ready along with a few details I headed over to find Ross and his boys.

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Sam and Bryony’s Somerset wedding is divine: beautifully but simply and tastefully styled so it will always look timeless and magical. There are secrets to the styling and design which reading the English Wedding Blog interview will help to answer: Bryony shares her best tips on finding suppliers, budgeting and enjoying every second of your day. She’s fabulous…

Real wedding at Orchardleigh House with images by John Barwood Photography (24)

I love how Bryony talks about “a feeling all day long that you wish you could put in a bottle and keep“! I can only imagine how amazing this day was… and I can tell from the images that every second was cherished. Truly a day to remember forever!

Real wedding at Orchardleigh House with images by John Barwood Photography (23)

Bryony looks stunning in her Suzanne Neville dress, which she accessorised prettily with handmade earrings and a diamond bracelet. Sam totally looks the part in Austin Reed tails and a shirt from TM Lewin – aren’t they just the most gorgeous couple?

Real wedding at Orchardleigh House with images by John Barwood Photography (19)

Images are by brand new English Wedding Blog contributor and wonderfully talented Bristol wedding photographer John Barwood. You can find out more about him and see more weddings here:

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I love a wedding which surprises me… and today’s was pretty amazing in that respect! The look of the day is classic and elegant, but there’s an occasional treat which will make you smile – like the way Dave made his entrance on a segway. One of my favourite images from Jo and Dave’s wedding is the groom’s expression as he realises he’ll be 1) learning to ride one and 2) rocking up on it to the wedding at Orchardleigh House. No pressure then!

humanist wedding blog Orchardleigh (13)

Jo and Dave are gorgeous, generous and devoted to their friends and family. The beautiful bride told me, “It is the personal touches which make a wedding… We wanted to make our guests feel that they were there because they were such an important part of our lives… An example is that we wrote individual messages on each of our guests’ placemats thanking them for the support they had given us over the years and quoting memories or funny stories about them.” Isn’t that just wonderful?

humanist wedding blog Orchardleigh (27)