Expert advice about venues

Here is a selection of Q&As from Your Glos & Wilts Wedding magazine whether it be about flowers, hair and makeup, fashion, wedding themes, health & beauty, cakes, stationery, legal advice. If you would like your question answered by our experts, please email it to


Through the lens

Through the lens

Q. Please can you give us some advice about booking a wedding ceremony during the winter months?

A. Clem Stevens says: Clem says: As we all know, living in England has its advantages and disadvantages. The last two years have given us a long and fruitful summer, however if you decide to get married during the autumn and winter months, there are things you'll need to consider. An overcast sky and short evenings don't tend to make exciting photographs. However, there are a few things that you can look out for when searching for your photographer that might make your choice a little easier.

Firstly, are they competent in using off-camera flash? This technique can completely change the dynamic of an image by creating exciting and vibrant light that otherwise can't be achieved naturally. Don't be afraid to ask any potential photographers whether they are familiar with it when you meet with them.

Secondly, can they think creatively when there is no option for venturing outside? Unfortunately, this is sometimes the case so your photographer will need to work with what's already at the venue to create something truly special.

Your wedding is about you both as a couple so finding the perfect photographer to capture your wedding how you want is so important. Don't be afraid to ask as many questions as you like to make sure that they are the ideal match for you.

Clem Stevens


All aboard!

All aboard!

Q. We want to hold our wedding in an unusual, quirky venue that will surprise our guests. What can you suggest?

A. Katherine Nelson-Brown says: How about holding your wedding at a steam railway? As well as being a tourist attraction, Perrygrove offers two on-site locations to choose from. The rustic carriage shed at Perrygrove looks like a beautiful barn and is licensed for civil ceremonies, with guests transported afterwards on the steam train to Rookwood, a perfect area for a marquee or a tipi holding up to 200 guests.

There are lots of quirky extras for newlyweds and their guests to enjoy, like tractor and trailer rides, an ex-horse drawn cart that's now used as a sweetie cart or a cake and dessert display, hay bales, a firepit and even a treasure hunt, which is sure to keep the little ones entertained!

Couples choosing to marry here can do as much or as little as they like. The carriage shed looks magical decorated with bunting and fairylights. Couples can decorate it themselves or ask the team to do it. The directors are on hand every step of the way and even had their own wedding at Perrygrove, so they know how to make it extra special.

Katherine Nelson-Brown


Seasonal solutions

Seasonal solutions

Q. We love the idea of having a magical marquee wedding at Christmas. Are there winter venue choices? Do you have any practical advice and ideas for styling them?

A. Charles Early says: During winter, when it's dark outside, the important thing is to create a cosy atmosphere for your wedding and guests, and marquees provide just that. The first requirement is that the space is kept warm. Indirect marquee heaters placed outside the tent will blow warm air under the sidewalls to circulate into the guest space. These heaters are controlled by a thermostat, prompting them to turn on when the temperature drops below the required level. Multiple smaller heaters are preferred more than the larger units because they are less noisy.

The next most important element is using lights to create a magical atmosphere. Up lighters are best for background light, while fairylights, lanterns and strings of festoon lighting are used for effect. If the tent is lined (which will provide added insulation), then a light colour lining will help to enhance the lighting easier than a dark interior. A darker feel will look effective dressed with a starcloth twinkling across the ceiling and spotlights highlighting the table centrepieces, floral arrangements and other key features.

Consider the entrance to the marquee. A porch is a good idea, particularly if it's enclosed, meaning guests will be spared icy blasts whenever someone enters or leaves the tent. A hard floor will provide some insulation from the ground, which may be waterlogged or frosty, and it's important to provide space and facilities for coats, umbrellas and even wellington boots!

Charles Early


Bringing the outdoors in

Bringing the outdoors in

Q. We want a marquee for our wedding reception but aren't sure which type to hire and how to style and theme it. Can you help?

A. Angela King says: We understand that when couples first start planning their marquee wedding, there are lots of decisions to be made. These might change over time, and the beauty of hiring a marquee is that the specification can evolve to suit these plans.

We offer two main types of structure. Our Clearspan marquees are suitable for weddings year-round and come in different widths, making them flexible enough to stand in irregular-shaped gardens, attach to buildings or even be erected on sloping sites. We show couples the various options they can request, such as the starlight ceiling or panoramic windows and roof. Alternatively, our Petal Pole Style Traditional Marquees with scalloped edges and wood finials emphasise all the best aspects of a traditional one. With both of these types, we offer various chairs, table sizes, carpet colours and lighting options so that couples can really personalise their day. Some people have clear visions of how they want their marquee weddings to look, whereas others slowly build ideas as their plans develop. All I need to start helping the planning process is an idea of the total number of guests. I then create an initial marquee layout and breakdown of the costs. Every couple has a budget, and the options provided allow them to tailor each element accordingly, from the decorations to the catering. This enables couples to save or splurge on the things that are most important to them.

From the initial layout and estimate, we then meet each couple at their chosen marquee location and can start to make the plans realistic within its setting.

In the week leading up to the big day, our knowledgeable build team arrive to bring months of planning into reality. Our site manager has more than 20 years' experience, allowing couples to focus on the arrival of family and friends. We never build on the actual day of the wedding, so you're able to add those final personal touches like suspended flower balls and bunting.

Angela King

Eastwood Park Training & Conference Centre
Abbey Meadow Flowers
Download your free copy of Your Glos and Wilts Wedding magazine
Eastwood Park Training & Conference Centre