Wedding venues in the Southwest – the BIG list!

Wedding Venues in the Southwest

Following on from my previous blog post, where I put together a list of 10 of my favourite wedding venues, here’s an exhaustive list of every venue I’ve played at down the years! I’ve arranged them by area, and each has it’s own web link so that you can check out what they have to offer…

Wedding venues in Bristol

The Avon Gorge HotelHotel Du VinMercure Bristol North HotelPaintworksNumber 4 CliftonBerwick LodgeThe Bristol Golf Club AlmondsburyClifton Pavilion (Bristol Zoo)The Square ClubColliters Brook FarmGlassboat BristolGoldney Hall (The Orangery)The Bristol Packet (a boat!)The Grain BargeMerchants Hall, Ashton Court Mansion

The Orangery, Goldney Hall, Bristol

Wedding venues in Bath, Somerset & Wiltshire 

Aldwick EstateThe Roman BathsOrchardleigh HousePriston Mill Tythe Barn and WatermillWick Farm BathCoombe LodgeAmerican MuseumBathwick Boatman RestaurantClevedon Hall,  Haberfield HallCadbury HouseRookery ManorThe Gathering BarnCornerhouse HotelNailsea Tithe BarnCharlton HouseBishopstrow House HotelCombe Grove ManorBailbrook HouseKilver CourtAbbey Manor Centre YeovilCourt Farm BanwellThe Old Mill BathMoonraker HotelHuntstile Organic FarmLimpley Stoke HotelHomewood ParkFolly Farm PensfordBatch Country HouseBabington HouseYarlington BarnHare & Hounds (Lansdown, Bath),  Haselbury MillBrympton House, The Battleaxes, Quantock Lakes

The Roman Baths, Bath

Wedding venues in Gloucestershire and The Cotswolds

Kingscote BarnCripps BarnStone BarnBerkeley CastleGreat Tythe Barn TetburyThe Manor House Hotel (Moreton-In-Marsh)Westonbirt ArboretumThe Manor House (Castle Combe)The Matara CentreThornbury CastleThornbury Golf ClubThe Hare & Hounds (Tetbury)Eastwood ParkManor By The Lake CheltenhamHatton CourtRendcomb College, Elmore Court, Egypt Mill

Manor By The Lake, Cheltenham

Wedding venues in Cornwall, Devon & Dorset

Watergate BayTunnels BeachesTrevennaDunster Tithe BarnLusty GlazeThe Green CornwallMill End HotelThe Lynhurst (Lynton)Ever After – A Dartmoor WeddingPolhawn FortSt. Elizabeth’s HouseYeoldon HouseBovey CastleWoolacombe Bay HotelBridwell ParkBranksome Dene, St. Audries Park

Trevenna Barns, Cornwall

Wedding venues in Wales

Canada Lake & LodgeGlen-Yr-Afon HotelWest Usk LighthouseLlancaiach Fawr ManorThe Barn at West FarmFforestOxwich Bay HotelNew House Country HotelCardiff Marriott HotelClearwell CastleManorbier CastleBarn at BrynichBryngarw HouseFlorin, Llechwen Hall

Clearwell Castle

Others

Friars CourtCaswell HouseSpittleborough FarmhouseSulgrave ManorOaks Farm (Surrey)Bordesley ParkBirtsmorton CourtBrockencote HallAldwickbury Park Golf ClubMorden Hall, Little Channels, The Mill Barns

Birtsmorton Court

The Wedding Industry Awards 2017

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The red carpet shot!

The Wedding Industry Awards – Regional Finals awards presentation

This year I was nominated for an award at the prestigious Wedding Industry awards. I attended the regional finals last Wednesday at Old Down Estate, Bristol. Did I win? Well, more on that in a moment, but first – why I entered, and some background.

Taking the plunge…

Well, I must say it’s been an absolutely amazing year for me and my little wedding guitar business. It’s my second full year of being a full time musician, specialising in live music tailored specifically for weddings. I’ve been a working musician for over 10 years now, but in the past I’ve always fitted it around other jobs. Last January I took the plunge and made the business my 100% focus.

It was a little scary at the start, as I’m sure anyone who’s dived headfirst into self-employment can relate. I spent the whole of January promoting my business, redesigning my website, filming new promotional videos, arranging performances at wedding fairs and doing all I could to move things forward. Slowly but surely, my little snowball got bigger and bigger. At the turn of the year, before I took the plunge, I think I had six bookings in the diary. I ended up playing at 40 weddings in 2015 and 55 in 2016. Add to that private parties and gigs at my regular venues in Bristol; all-in-all it’s been a very busy year!

I’m now at a point where, unfortunately I seem to be turning down more bookings than I can take on – obviously great news for me business-wise, but also such a shame! I hate having to send that “sorry, I’m already booked” email.

regionalfinalist_3_hi

Entering the Awards

Anyone who’s planned a wedding, or worked in the wedding industry will most-likely have seen the above logo – it’s the Wedding Industry Awards symbol, a body that recognises the very best suppliers in the business. I’ve thought about entering a few times, and this year I was nominated on more than one occasion so thought the time was right to put myself forward.

I contacted my wedding clients, and was thrilled to received such support, positivity and enthusiasm from everyone! The comments I received were absolutely incredible – you can read all my feedback from voters here, it really blew me away.

voterscores

Scores from voters – almost perfect 10s across the board!

When I received notification that I was a Regional Finalist, I was over the moon! In my first year of entering I’d made it all the way through to the finals, and was in with a chance of winning an award.

And the award goes to…

Well, sadly it was not meant to be this year! The award was picked up by the very talented Evertide – worthy winners for sure. Naturally I was a little disappointed to miss out – despite assuming that I probably wasn’t going to win, when it came to the point where the award was being announced I couldn’t help but get my hopes up! Never mind, there’s always next year – and I’ll be looking to up my game in every area to see if I can secure an award next year!

Despite not actually winning the award, the feedback I received was just incredible. It’s so satisfying to know that you’ve done a good job, and contributed to someone’s perfect day. I was really moved reading some of the comments received.

My philosophy has always been to create a rapport with my wedding couples – that’s why I’ll never work for an agency. The personal interaction is what makes it special. I’d like to take a moment just to thank every single bride and groom who have booked me to play at their special day. Every occasion has been unique, memorable and an absolute pleasure to be at.

People who know me will have heard me say this on a regular basis:

I HAVE THE BEST JOB IN THE WORLD!

Here’s to 2017 🙂

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At the awards with Lauradana of Wedding Creations UK and make up artist Charlotte Tillyer

The Green, Cornwall: Live unplugged acoustic music at Mark & Shona’s wedding ceremony + canapé reception

Pat McIntyre - www.guitaristforweddings.co.uk

Sat, 30th May and another trip down the M5/A30 – a well travelled road for me this year! Today’s venue was The Green Cornwall, a stunning self-contained wedding venue in the beautiful Cornish countryside.


image: The Green Cornwall entrance image: Wedding at The Green Cornwall
I arrived to the venue in the pretty village of Upton Cross, near Liskeard in the morning to another bright, sunny day – keeping up my 100% record of good weather at weddings this Summer! I’ve often joked with couples that I’m a good luck charm when it comes to weather – more often than not it seems to turn out fair. Maybe the UK weather’s not actually as bad as we think…?!

Anyway, plenty of time for me to get ready for the outdoor wedding ceremony – and a chance for me and the bride’s sister to do some practice; bravely, she sang “Somewhere Over The Rainbow” during the bridal entrance with my guitar accompaniment, which we rehearsed in the morning.

At about 11.30am I made my way down to the ceremony area with my guitar. This venue doesn’t permit outdoor amplification of any kind, so I was playing unplugged today – some subtle ambience!

image: Acoustic guitar at the wedding ceremony

Setting acoustic ambience as guests are seated

The big moment arrived at 12am, and the bride’s sister did an incredible job singing the bridal entrance song – a really emotional moment. We had some more acoustic songs during the signing of the register, then the happy newlyweds exited their beautiful ceremony as I played Higher & Higher by Jackie Wilson.

image: Married at The Green Cornwall

Man & wife!

We then moved up towards the main building where drinks were served and canapés were brought out. As guests mingled, I roamed around playing some acoustic tunes chosen by Mark & Shona. I covered as much area as I could so that everyone could hear the music – it’s quite unusual for me to play completely unplugged but it works nicely for some subtle background ambience.

image: Drinks reception acoustic music image: Drinks reception acoustic music
 

Here’s Mark and Shona’s acoustic playlist:

George Ezra - Budapest
Jake Bugg - Lightning Bolt
Bruno Mars - Marry You
Ben E King - Stand By Me
Ed Sheeran - Thinking Out Loud
Bridal entrance: Somewhere over the rainbow
Signing of the register: The One, Kiss Me
Exit - Higher & Higher
Eagle Eye Cherry - Save Tonight
Beatles - Here Comes The Sun
Jason Mraz - I’m Yours 
MAGIC! - Rude 
Jack Johnson - Better Together 
Joshua Radin - I’d Rather Be With You 
Frank Sinatra - Fly Me To The Moon 
Otis Redding - Dock Of The Bay 
Marvin Gaye - Heard It Through The Grapevine 
Tracey Chapman - Fast Car 
Ed Sheeran - The A-Team 
Passenger - Let Her Go 
Zutons - Valerie
George Ezra - Blame It On Me 
Avicii - Wake Me Up 
Deep Blue Something - Breakfast at Tiffanys 
The Calling - Wherever You Will Go
Bill Withers - Ain't No Sunshine
Coldplay - Yellow
Lumineers - Ho Hey 
Plain White T's - Hey There Delilah 
Oasis - Wonderwall 
Green Day - Time Of Your Life 
Van Morrisson - Brown Eyed Girl 
Ben E King - Stand By Me
Stevie Wonder - Signed, Sealed, Delivered

A stunning day all round – congratulations to Mark & Shona and hope everyone enjoyed the music. I had a great day… and on the way out had a close encounter with some local wildlife!

image: Cornish rabbit

Friendly Rabbit!

 

Lusty Glaze, Cornwall: live acoustic music at Helen & Andrew’s wedding

Pat McIntyre - www.guitaristforweddings.co.uk

Wednesday, 27th May – a midweek trip down to sunny Cornwall for Helen and Andrew’s beautiful beachside wedding. Arrived in the morning to this stunning view:

Pic of Pat at Lusty Glaze beach Image of Lusty Glaze beach near Newquay

image: Steps at Lusty Glaze

Steps to the beach!

Now, the bride & groom did warn me about the 133 steps down to the beach, which is mainly why I gave myself a couple of extra hours to set up! After five leg-burning trips up and down the steps, I was all set up and ready to play.

With some time to spare, I snatched an hour on the beach on the glorious sunshine – we couldn’t have asked for better weather!

 

image of Acoustic guitar at Lusty Glaze

Set up – what a view!

The guests began arriving at about 3pm, and I began the acoustic entertainment. Here was Helen and Andrew’s set list:

Jack Johnson - Better Together
Bruno Mars – Marry You 
Beatles – Here Comes The Sun 
Eric Clapton – Wonderful Tonight 
Frank Sinatra – Fly Me To The Moon 
Passenger - Let Her Go
Otis Redding - Dock of the bay 
Plain White T's - Hey There Delilah 
Ed Sheeran – The A-Team 
Bastille – Laura Palmer 
Avicii – Wake Me Up 
The Verve – Lucky Man 
John Legend – All of Me
Jason Mraz – I’m Yours 
Magic – Rude 
Bastille – Pompeii 
Verve - Sonnet 
Newton Faulkener – Dream Catch Me 
Bill Withers – Aint no sunshine 
John Legend – Stay With You 
David Gray – Sail Away 
Christina Perri – A Thousand Years 
Ed Sheeran – Sing 
The Calling – Wherever You Will Go 
James – Sit Down 
U2 – Beautiful Day 
Van Morrison - Brown Eyed Girl
Killers - Mr Brightside
Beatles - All You Need Is Love

image: Live wedding music Lusty Glaze Cornwall image: Live wedding music Lusty Glaze Cornwall (2)

 

A tiring day once I’d dragged my stuff back up the steps – but an absolutely incredible day and such a memorable spot for the happy couple’s big day! Thanks so much to Helen and Andrew for inviting me down to this incredible place – and huge congratulations to you both!

Claire & Mike: Watergate Bay, Cornwall (near Newquay) – Wedding ceremony & drinks reception live music

logo: Pat McIntyre - guitarist for weddings

An early start this morning for Claire & Mike’s wedding at the amazing Watergate Bay Hotel in Cornwall. Just North of Newquay, Watergate Bay is a new destination for me, and I’m so glad I got to play at this incredible venue! The views as you walk into the hotel restaurant are just breathtaking – the restaurant looks out over the beautiful sandy beach, and fortunately we had a lovely sunny day.

Watergate Bay Hotel - picture

Stunning beach views from the restaurant

I set off just after 7am this morning and made it to the venue before 10am – plenty of time to get set up and ready for Claire & Mike’s 1pm ceremony. The events space is small, intimate and beautiful – and the styling looked fantastic for the ceremony. There was around 60 guests at the ceremony, which apparently is one of the larger weddings hosted at this venue.

Guitar picture

My guitar getting cosy!

Guests started to filter in at about 12.30pm, at which point I began playing some acoustic songs. Claire & Mike selected today’s playlist (see set list below) with some lovely choices, from The Beatles right through to Kodaline. The bride entered the ceremony to the traditional wedding march “Here Comes The Bride”, played on acoustic guitar. For the signing of the register they chose “Can’t Help Falling In Love” by Elvis and “Only Love” by Ben Howard – and they exited the ceremony to rapturous applause as I played “All You Need Is Love” by The Beatles.

Image: Wedding Guitarist and Singer Cornwall

Love is… an acoustic guitar!

Canapés were served and guests had an afternoon drink while I played some acoustic tunes at the drinks reception. I had an absolutely fantastic day – I’d like to extend my congratulations to Claire & Mike and thank them for inviting me to play on their big day! Hope the evening was just as fantastic as the daytime… I wonder if anyone got carried away and decided to go for a swim!!

The Beach at Watergate Bay

The stunning Beach at Watergate Bay

Today’s wedding set list:

Better Together – Jack Johnson
Rude – Magic!
Here Comes The Sun – The Beatles
?Marry You - Bruno Mars
The One – Kodaline
Fly Me To The Moon - Frank Sinatra
Blame It On Me – George Ezra
?Thinking Out Loud – Ed Sheeran
The Bridal March "Here Comes The Bride"
Ben Howard - Only Love
Elvis - Can't Help Falling In Love
Beatles - All You Need Is Love
Save Tonight – Eagle Eye Cherry
Three Little Birds – Bob Marley
Mash up – Get Lucky / Counting Stars
Budapest - George Ezra
Hey Ho – The Lumineers
Let Her Go - Passenger
The Cave - Mumford & Sons
Love Machine (acoustic version) – Girls Aloud
I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor - Arctic Monkeys
Uptown Funk – Bruno Mars
Sing – Ed Sheeran
Superstition - Stevie Wonder
Heard It Through The Grapevine - Marvin Gaye
(Sittin' On) The Dock Of The Bay - Otis Redding