That thing called Elopement

Image Kate Cowdrey

Since opening the estate for weddings and parties three years ago, we have come to appreciate all the more that getting married is nothing short of a pretty big deal – and once you’ve decided to do it, the next question on everyone’s lips is nearly always when, where and how!

At Bridwell, we believe your wedding, your special day, should be romantic, indulgent and unforgettable – a tailor made experience which is first and foremost about the two of you, coming together as souls, exchanging vows, and getting married!

Everything else is your agenda to set – your day, your way!

For some, we know only too well that a small wedding is just the ticket – something a million miles away from the fuss and expense of a large-scale do, with no worry of lengthy guest lists, volume in number to feed, bottle after bottle of champagne and wines to pay for, or a dreaded seating plan to finalise – yet you deserve something fabulous all the same.

Choosing to elope to a dreamy destination, either alone or with a very select few guests, to celebrate your marriage may seem like a bold move to make – and we are here to welcome you.

Being hopeless romantics – we can often be found swooning with our couples, as they tell us the story of their romance, their engagement, and reveal their wishes for their wedding day. And whilst it’s safe to say we love a good wedding and house party, there is something extra special about an intimate, bespoke, elopement wedding, that makes our hearts sing!

The estate may be grandscale, but fear not, there are many perfect pockets of space here, and we love nothing more than to share them with our elopement wedding clients too.

You could say the possibilities for an elopement wedding are limitless…

For those seeking a winter wedding, with roaring fires, candlelight and the coziest romantic charm – exchange vows in the estate Chapel, or the main house Library – perhaps a harpist or string quartet could set the tone too?

After your ceremony, retreat to the Drawing Room for perfectly chilled Champagne and canapés – or anything else that is your absolute favourite treat – you choose!

Wrap up warm to walk through the grounds with sparklers…watch a romantic black and white movie in the Cinema Room…feast like royalty in the Dining Room…enjoy a personalized package of Elemis Spa treatments in the Lady Ivar Suite… did we mention the choices are limitless, and nothing will be too much trouble?

Image Venetia Norrington Photography

For those seeking to marry in the warmer months, with the gardens in bloom, lush green parkscapes and sunsets to die for – there are so many opportunities to do everything al fresco – should the great british weather behave!

Think blossom tree lined views…a summer sun drenched ceremony in the morning room or conservatory…relaxing under the cherry tree canopy with a cocktail or two…a luxury picnic hamper by the lake filled with your personal favourites…a sun down private yoga session under the stars…the world is your oyster!

Image Venetia Norrington Photography

Whatever your choose – at Bridwell you can be assured that bespoke, brilliant and breath taking will be the order of the day for your elopement wedding – simply tell us what you would like to do and leave the rest to us. We’ll unobtrusively organise our hand picked team of the finest local suppliers, leaving you stress free to enjoy every moment of your day.

And if you don’t want your every wish to be waited on, we will gladly leave you to do you own thing, even self cater or bring in your own suppliers with no corkage fees or hidden extra costs to bear. Your day, your way, prevails!

Of course to fully soak up the surrounds, relax, unwind, and simply be – you must stay the night before or the night of your wedding.

So you see, the dream to escape the crowds, to do things differently, yet still do things beautifully in a stunning location, can in actual fact become a reality – how marvellous is that?

Your Bridwell elopement package will be crafted especially for you and only you – that’s the best thing about it!

And if you fancy it – there is no need to plan months or years in advance – for we are very open to delivering exceptional at short notice for those spur of the moment elopements where availability allows – and who knows you may even be able to take advantage of a late availability discount too.

Have we inspired you? Is an elopement wedding just what you’re looking for?

If you feel like marrying without a care in the world in our fine surrounds – do share your thoughts with us by emailing or calling 01884 842430

Elopement packages are offered mid-week and on selected off peak weekends subject to availability. Bespoke packages start at £1200 inclusive of VAT. Registrars fees are not included. Take a peak at our dedicated Elopements and Intimate Weddings page by clicking here

Boho at Bridwell, Devon

Boho wedding bride at Bridwell in Devon

Trends come and trends go and new wedding terminology seems to pop up constantly in the top wedding blogs and wedding planner ‘speak’ but what does it all mean?

The Boho Bride seems to be top of the pops at the moment with references to boho luxe, boho retro and boho chic. So what does it all mean? The definition is as follows:-
‘Bohemianism is the practise of an unconventional lifestyle, often in the company of like-minded people involving musical, artistic or literary pursuits. Bohemians can be wanderers, adventurers or vagabonds.’

The term bohemian was first used in the 19th century to describe non-traditional lifestyles of impoverished artists, writers, journalists, musicians and actors. They were unorthodox and frequently held anti-establishment viewpoints. It summed up a free spirited life which encompassed truth, freedom and love.

So how is this term used today in wedding terminology? A boho wedding is one which is unconventional, relaxed, free-spirited and quirky with styling to match. Think hippy, think barefoot bride, think natural, think formally informal and you begin to get the picture.  The venue can vary from boho beach to wild woodland, free spirited field to eclectic country house venue. The emphasis is always on nature, casual styling with a festival or carnival feel.

The Boho dress is unfussy, quirky, long and flowing. Boho hair is natural, carefree, braided or loose, intertwined with flowers or topped with a headband or floral crown. Boho flowers are wild and natural with an unstructured feeling and lots of greenery. Boho styling includes feathers, wood, lace, ribbons and diy jars and mismatched crockery.

The secret is to organise and style it very carefully to give the impression that it has just happened – a glorious amalgamation of organised, free spirited, quirky deliciousness giving the overall picture of a relaxed and fabulous boho wedding. The Boho Retro Wedding Festival at Bridwell earlier this year encompassed the whole ‘boho’ theme styled by Blue Fizz Events and how beautifully boho it was!

Plan your Boho wedding at beautiful Bridwell – find out more here.

Boho Weddings at Bridwell Park in Devon near Exeter








7 Top Tips for a Tip Top Wedding


wedding styling at Bridwell Park
Styling for a Tip Top Wedding


Weddings are wonderful – or at least they can be!  They tend to be a bit like buses – nothing for ages and then suddenly they all come along at once.  One of your friends gets married and then everyone seems to follow suit and they come in many varieties.  There are boho weddings, retro, boho retro, vintage, steampunk, traditional, country, city, industrial (!), destination, rustic and festival weddings.  There are weddings in country houses, city hotels, in museums, in barns, on beaches, in far-flung corners of the globe, in tipis, in domes, in marquees with guests camping, glamping, staying at the venue, staying nearby or maybe even going home…  But they all need one fundamental thing and that is careful planning.

  1. Ceremony – Don’t plan your ceremony too early in the day.  Remember that guests may need to travel to get there unless they are staying on site.  If you organise your ceremony for 12 or 1pm people will be hungry and drinking on an empty stomach is never a good idea.  Canapes are expensive and will literally eat up your food budget if you aren’t careful.  If you organise the ceremony for 3pm, your guests will have eaten lunch and won’t be frantically hungry after the ceremony and will be happy to wait for the wedding breakfast without demolishing too many canapes!
  2. Get your numbers right – Decide on what sort of wedding party you want and invite accordingly. If you want a lively reception with lots of people dancing then make sure you invite the right numbers for the venue.  A room that is half full and a few people jigging around on the dance floor can look a little depressing!  A crowded dance floor encourages more people to get up and join in.  However, if you want something more intimate and a little quieter then invite accordingly.
  3. Entertainment – You can set the whole tone of your wedding reception by what sort of band / dj you choose – accoustic, folk, ceilidh, big band, disco.  And make sure you meet your dj and like his style before you opt for ‘Vinyl Richie’ or ‘Osama Spin Laden’.. it might just be better to go for Jake or Sam!
  4. Food – your chosen caterer is the key to your success.  Well fed guests are happy guests and they will remember your wedding for the fantastic food you provided.  I would advise to take advice from your chosen venue regarding caterers. They will recommend catering companies that have been on a regular basis and are tried and trusted.  They are recommended for a reason.  Go and have a tasting or two.. that’s part of the fun of choosing your wedding caterer!
  5. Budget – If you aren’t careful, your budget will run away with you.  The wedding industry is huge and you will be tempted by all sorts of ideas that you had not entertained to start with.  Have you thought about having a midweek wedding?  Or an offpeak wedding?  You can save yourself a packet by choosing a date that is not a peak season weekend.  There are also many ways to save on your budget which we will cover in another Bridwell blogpost. Decide early in the planning who is paying for what – it saves heartache later on.
  6. Planning – this is crucial to a successful wedding.  Write lists, checklists, go and meet your suppliers, get key suppliers in place early in the planning process and then you can relax.  Booking your venue is the most important initial step in the planning process, closely followed by caterers, photographer, band/dj and florist.  You can then relax and enjoy the process of looking for the all important wedding dress, bridesmaids dresses and all the little extras.  Work closely with your venue and keep your checklists up to date and you’ll be fine!
  7. Photographer – a good photographer is crucial and can really make the day.  Take time choosing the right one for you – go and meet them.  A lot of time on the day is spent with your photographer so make sure you like the way they work and their style of photography.  It is best not to fall into the trap of getting a friend of Uncle Rob’s to do it although, in the days of digital photography, this is not such a risk.  I remember a wedding where a friend of the bride’s was responsible for the photography and when she opened her camera, she realised she had forgotten to load the film!

So 7 Top Tips for a Tip Top Wedding – the tip of the iceberg but something to start thinking about as you begin to plan your dream wedding day.  I hope you have found this blogpost helpful and please feel free to share with friends and relatives wherever appropriate.

Weddings at Bridwell, Devon

Wedding styling by Blue Fizz Events

Bridwell Orangery - wedding venue
Top Tips for a Successful Wedding




From Oz to Uffculme – A Wedding from Down Under

Bridwell, Orangery Wedding
Franky and Rich at Bridwell, Devon


As soon as we drove through the main gates and saw beautiful Bridwell House, we knew that we were going to have an unforgettable weekend.  Ivar and the Bridwell Events team made us feel so welcome before they handed over the keys and it truly felt like Bridwell was going to be our ‘home’ for the weekend.

We are so glad that we hired Bridwell Park for the long weekend as it meant that we could make the most of the house with a few of our closest friends before the main wedding celebrations started… watching Robin Hood Prince of Thieves in the cinema room on Thursday night was a particular highlight.

Once all the decorating was finished and looking exactly how we had dreamt it, all the deliveries completed and we had figured out where to put the copious amounts of booze and mixers (thank goodness for the large fridges in the Orangery!), it was time to relax and welcome our guests. There was something very special about seeing our guests in awe as they arrived and walked through the house… this is why we had chosen Bridwell! Having Friday night drinks in the conservatory was the perfect start to our wedding weekend. It brought everyone together and enabled new friendships to blossom. The house has such a special vibe, which was echoed in how much all of our guests were enjoying themselves simply by being in such an extraordinary place… and this was just the beginning!

The 6 am girls-only yoga class on the morning of our wedding was such a fun idea, and despite wishing we hadn’t enjoyed ourselves quite as much the night before, it will be something that I will remember with such fondness. Yoga, followed by a beautifully cooked English Breakfast by a local Devonshire chef, followed by a lovely long soak in a bath tub in one of the most gorgeous bathrooms I have ever seen, helped calm any last minute nerves… I was so calm in fact that I was ready nearly an hour before the church ceremony, an early Bride, unheard of!

As a surprise, we had hired local vintage double decker buses to collect all our guests from the house and local accommodation to take them down to the church in the village, and what a beautiful sight that was seeing the buses outside the house. Once all the official duties were done it was back to the house and, despite the inevitable downpour that occurred just as the guests stepped off the buses into the house, there was a warm welcome awaiting them in the conservatory, in the form of cocktails and a local guitarist. Having so many rooms available downstairs for guests to mingle was a lifesaver when the heavens opened. Thankfully the shower was short, so it didn’t have too much of an impact on the rest of our day. When the Master of Ceremonies (my brother) announced it was time to move into the Orangery for the wedding breakfast I wish that we’d been in there to see our guests’ faces when they saw how stunning the Orangery looked, and to get their reactions to our wedding favours… are we the only ones who get super excited about Percy Pigs!?  As soon as we sat down the sun streamed through the conservatory windows behind the top table, and although the back-lighting was our photographer’s nightmare, it looked beautiful! The Wedding Breakfast went by far too fast in a blur of exquisite food (I would have the chocolate brownie everyday if I could), and hilarious speeches – who knew my dad or the best man could be so funny!

Having the large garden outside the conservatory was the perfect spot for the hay-bale sofas and fire pits for our guests to huddle around as they waited for the band to set up. While Rich and I anxiously waited for the moment of truth to see whether we had remembered our wedding dance, our guests were happily throwing bean bags onto wooden boards with caricature pictures of Rich and I, and creating their own cocktails at our cocktail station.  Time was up and it was time for Rich and I to perform the dance that we had learnt and been practicing over the last 6 months, but as I forewarned our guests, we had not practiced with me wearing my dress, which had a very long impractical train, or with the live band who decided to play the Beatles track a lot quicker than we had been used to! Despite all this and nearly hitting my head on the antler light shade, we made it through the full 3 minutes! The band were fantastic and on numerous occasions, it felt like nearly all of our guests were up dancing – even my 90-year-old great Auntie was up dancing for most of the evening! I think that most people could have happily danced all night long, and at Bridwell we really could have done!

Bridwell Orangery Wedding
The First Dance in the Bridwell Orangery

Sadly the continuous rain on Sunday put a slight dampener on our BBQ lunch, but it didn’t put off our guests who wanted to have one final excuse to be in the house. Again we were so thankful that there were so many rooms for the guests to spread out in to escape the classic British rain!

We can honestly say that our wedding was one of the best days / weekends of our life, and we truly believe that Bridwell was a big part of what made it such a spectacular occasion. We have had nothing but glowing compliments from all our guests about how perfect everything was, and how extraordinary the house was as a wedding venue.

Thanks to Franky Templeman and Richard Linstead for this fabulous blog post


Bridwell Weddings, Devon
Lovely pic in front of the Main House, Bridwell Park, Devon

All photos courtesy of Kate Cowdrey Photography @katecowdreyphotography

Franky and Richard got married at Bridwell on Saturday 3rd June 2017.  They were an absolute delight to work with during the run-up to the wedding and the most beautiful couple.. both so tall!  In fact, the whole family were tall and good looking!  It was quite a feat organising the whole thing from the other side of the world, so incredibly well done to you all.

We are always thrilled to hear how much guests have enjoyed their time at Bridwell and thought a guest blog post from the occasional bride would be a fun and interesting addition to the Bridwell Blog.



Bridwell Wedding Open Day – Saturday 5th August

Wedding Open Day at Bridwell
Wedding Open Day at Bridwell


Calling all brides to be and newly engaged couples out there… Are you looking for your dream venue?  Call us and make an appointment to come and view beautiful Bridwell on Saturday 5th August.  We would be delighted to sit down and chat through your wedding plans.  Bridwell has so much to offer and it really needs to be seen to be appreciated.  With a full season of weddings, this Saturday in August is the perfect opportunity to come and view at a weekend.

Let us help make your dream wedding a reality!

Drop our Events Team an email or give us a call on the number below to make sure you don’t miss out. Bridwell is located just off Junction 27 of the M5 in Uffculme, Devon not far from Exeter and Taunton.

01884 842430

Bridwell Park, Uffculme, Cullompton, Devon EX15 3BU

Turn your fairytale into reality…

Bridwell Park weddings
Picture yourself on the staircase at Bridwell


Turn your fairytale into reality

We are currently offering discounts on remaining available dates in 2017. Contact us for more details



Now in its third year of weddings and events, Bridwell has proved itself to be an extremely popular and sought after wedding venue.  Set amidst the beautiful Devon countryside, it is only a stone’s throw from the motorway and Tiverton Parkway mainline station and yet Bridwell is an oasis of calm and you would never know how accessible it is.  From the moment you drive through the wrought iron gates into the parkland you will be in heaven.  Take it slowly up the drive towards the house as the occasional red or fallow deer may bound across the road but this will give you the opportunity to relish the approach, the ornamental lake, the parkland and the Georgian house sitting regally in the middle of the park.

Your wedding celebrations start from the moment you arrive and take over this glorious country house estate.  You may wish to stay one, two or three nights and take advantage of the luxurious accommodation in the Main House and Old Stables.  Surround yourself with your family and friends, pop open a bottle or two of champagne and get set to enjoy!  We cater for weddings of all sizes with maximum numbers in the Orangery at 150 for the wedding breakfast.  However, if you wish to add a marquee or tipi in the park, your numbers can be much larger if needed.  Ceremonies can take place outdoors in the Conservatory Gardens, in the House or the Chapel depending on your numbers and desires. So you can install yourselves in this elegant country house estate and there is no need to move anywhere apart from the house to the chapel or orangery.

We allow you to choose your own suppliers with guidance from us if needed.  You may want a barbecue on the Friday night, food stalls, fine dining or perhaps mum has cooked a fabulous curry for you all to enjoy on arrival!  Our suggested caterers for your wedding breakfast are all superb and used to catering at Bridwell.  They are tried and trusted and the food is delicious.  And we can suggest local cooks to come in and cater for you and your guests at breakfast if you don’t enjoy the idea of self-catering so you can relax and really enjoy all that Bridwell has to offer.  Corkage?  Forget it… we don’t charge and so you are welcome to bring in as much of your own wine, champagne and beers

Our venue hire fees vary and most weddings are subject to a bespoke quotation so please, by all means, look at the rates page, but preferably do drop us an email or give us a call to discuss your particular special wedding… we would love to hear from you and are happy to help.

We think we have something pretty special to offer at Bridwell and in order to really appreciate that special something, we advise you to come and have a look for yourself to see if it ticks all of your boxes.

01884 842430

Photograph courtesy of Maxi Photography

To Elope Or Not To Elope? That Is The Question…

Elopement Weddings At Bridwell

Intimate runaway weddings at Bridwell
Runaway Weddings At Bridwell

The wedding industry is one that is growing by the day… fabulous weddings in spectacular places, flowers to die for, culinary delights that deserve a Michelin star, photobooths, singing waiters, bands that wold not be out of place on a festival stage and styling that could grace the very best glossy magazine.  You only have to look at photos of the recent Pippa Middleton wedding to realise what money can buy and how to transform a marquee or a room into a botanical wonderland.

But there are other options… perhaps you want to keep your celebration small and intimate?  Perhaps you want to get married in secret and surprise your family and friends?  Perhaps you want a small but perfect celebration and spend the money on a round the world trip?  Whatever your reasons, an elopement or runaway wedding just might be the answer.

Elopement has always held a romantic and magical place in historical dramas.   The starcrossed lovers abscond in the middle of the night leaving both families perplexed and furious that the couple have defied family wishes.  The bride to be creeps through the house and out into the darkness shrouded in a cloak and steps into her horsedrawn carriage to go and meet her lover in the woods and disappear to some far off location to tie the knot.  Any Poldark fans will have followed the storyline of Dr Enys and Caroline.. sigh!

A modern elopement is usually a far cry from the historical equivalent.  The reasons for an elopement or runaway wedding are varied and numerous and range from the wish to be just the two of you to saving your pennies for a house deposit, it may be a spontaneous decision to get married in a week or two or, maybe you just do not want to deal with the planning and executing of a large wedding celebration.  Both the large, lavish wedding celebrations and the small intimate weddings have their place and it is a very important decision and one which we would love to help you with.

Bridwell is now offering Runaway Wedding packages for just you two or you plus a few and we would be delighted to discuss your ideas with you and tailor a fabulous intimate wedding celebration to suit just the two of you.

For more information on our packages, please contact the Events Team and we would be delighted to help.

01884 840432