Elmhay Park, located on the stunning Orchardleigh Estate near Frome and Bath, is a breathtaking venue for a traditional English wedding. With its manicured gardens, historic architecture, and luxurious accommodations, it provides a fairy tale backdrop for couples looking to tie the knot in classic style. In this article, we’ll share details and advice for planning a traditional wedding at Elmhay Park, from venue amenities and decor inspiration to recommended local wedding vendors. Whether you envision an elegant affair in the Victorian manor or a garden fête under blossoming trees, Elmhay Park offers a quintessential setting for a timeless wedding celebration.
About the Venue and Grounds
- Elmhay Park is set within 650 acres of parkland and gardens on the Orchardleigh Estate. The Italianate-style manor house was built in 1858 and exudes old-world charm.
- The grounds feature landscaped gardens, mature trees, and ponds perfect for photographs. Popular spots include the rose garden and the Temple of Diana Folly.
- Accommodations are available in the main house, cottages, and lodges. There are 28 luxurious bedrooms and suites onsite.
- Amenities include a spa, tennis courts, croquet lawn, helipad, shooting ranges, a heated outdoor pool, and more.
- The Oak Room provides an elegant yet relaxed setting for wedding breakfasts and receptions. Floor-to-ceiling windows look out onto the gardens.
- The venue has several ceremony spaces, from the terrace to the drawing room. Outdoor options include the Temple of Diana Folly.
- A wedding at Elmhay Park grants exclusive use of the house and grounds. The venue hosts only one wedding per day.
Key Details and Advice for a Traditional Wedding
- Classic flower choices include roses, peonies, hydrangeas, and lilies of the valley. White, blush, and soft pastel colors suit a traditional aesthetic.
- Work with a florist experienced in fine English weddings and estates like Elmhay Park.
- Incorporate flowers at the ceremony and reception, from aisle markers to centerpieces. A floral arch or columns make a dramatic ceremony backdrop.
- For a vintage look, rent a classic car like a Rolls Royce or Bentley to transport the couple on their big day.
- Offer guests shuttle transportation from designated pickup points to the venue. This ensures everyone arrives together.
- Coordinate transportation timing with other plans like the ceremony, photos, reception events, and departures. Allow ample buffers.
- A traditional English ceremony often takes place in the late morning or early afternoon.
- Have ushers greet and seat guests. Assign particular ushers to escort VIPs.
- Work with the officiant to craft meaningful vows that suit your style as a couple.
- Incorporate traditional details like a flower girl, ring bearer, kneeling cushions, unity candles, and singing hymns.
- For an Anglican ceremony, confirm details like the order of service with the venue ahead of time.
- Opt for classic meals like roast chicken or beef Wellington, served plated or family-style.
- Set a formal table with fine china, crystal glassware, and candelabras. Use name cards to designate seats.
- Schedule activities to honor traditions like the cake cutting, first dance, parent dances, and bouquet toss.
- Speeches typically follow the order of the father of the bride, groom, and best man. The bride may also give remarks.
- In the evening, transform the space for dancing and entertainment. A live band or DJ can lead the celebrations.
- Morning: Bridal preparations like hair, makeup, and dressing. The groom and groomsmen arrive at the venue to greet guests.
- Late Morning: Guests arrive and are seated. Processional begins for the ceremony.
- Early Afternoon: Photos around the grounds. Guests enjoy cocktails and music on the terrace.
- Mid-Afternoon: Wedding breakfast/feast. Toasts and cake-cutting follow.
- Late Afternoon: The dance floor opens for evening festivities to begin. Farewell sparkler exit.
- Welcome guests with a signature cocktail served upon arrival. Printed menus make sweet keepsakes.
- Help guests get around with signs for key spots like the ceremony area, bar, accommodations, and reception.
- Offer lawn games like croquet or boccie ball for entertainment during cocktail hour.
- Provide shuttle service at the end of the night to transport any guests staying offsite.
- With 28 bedrooms on site, Elmhay Park offers plenty of overnight accommodations for wedding guests.
- Reserve a luxurious bridal suite with space for getting ready photos.
- Allow close family members like parents or the wedding party to stay onsite as well for convenience.
- For other guests, provide a room block at hotels in Bath or Frome if space is limited. Offer shuttle transportation.
Recommended Local Wedding Vendors
Elmhay Park works with a number of renowned wedding professionals familiar with the venue. Here are some of their preferred suppliers for key wedding services:
- Michael Gane with over 25 years of experience photographing weddings across the UK, Michael captures exquisite reportage-style photos that look timeless. His minimalist approach produces images that are natural, romantic, and rich with emotion.
- Lavender Green offers sophisticated floral designs perfect for traditional weddings. Their stunning arrangements incorporate seasonal, locally-grown flowers and foliage.
- This highly acclaimed caterer provides bespoke menus along with exceptional service for weddings of all styles and sizes. For Elmhay Park, they can provide everything from plated dinners to food stations and late-night snacks.
- This entertainment group offers live music and DJ services to give weddings the perfect soundtrack. Their bands flawlessly perform timeless songs for ceremonies and receptions.
- For full-service wedding planning and design, Salt & Cress creates magic for couples based on their style and vision. They handle every detail seamlessly.
- Whether modern or traditional, Naomi crafts bespoke wedding cakes that are as beautiful as they are delicious. Her creations are always stunning edible works of art.
Design Inspiration for a Timeless Wedding
- Soft neutrals like blush pink, ivory, dove gray, and tan make up a quintessential neutral palette. Accent with metallics like gold, bronze, or silver.
- For florals, white is a classic choice, especially roses, peonies, and hydrangeas. Incorporate greenery for texture.
- Look to the natural hues at Elmhay Park for inspiration – stone buildings, green gardens, navy accents.
- For opulent tablescapes, use fine china, crystal stemware, silver cutlery, and luxe linens like silk or velvet. Incorporate candelabras.
- Craft a scenic ceremony backdrop with a flower arch over the aisle. Flank it with floral columns for drama.
- Use elegant lighting like crystal chandeliers and votives to create a romantic glow both indoors and outdoors.
- Opt for traditional letterpress invitations with a classic font. Include other paper items like programs, signs, menus, and escort cards.
- White, ecru, or cream-colored paper looks elegant. Accent with metallics like gold foil or ink.
- For a personal touch, incorporate artwork, motifs, or monograms inspired by the estate architecture and surroundings.
- The bride may choose a classic ballgown or A-line dress in materials like satin or lace. Sleeves and higher necklines suit the traditional style.
- For hair and makeup, keep things clean and classic. Often a chignon or undo is paired with a veil or jeweled hairpiece. makeup focuses on accentuating natural beauty.
- The groom and groomsmen typically wear morning dresses, including tailcoats, vests, and formal striped trousers.
Venue Policies and Details to Know
- Elmhay Park can host wedding parties of up to 150 guests. Ceremonies can take place with more in attendance.
- The Oak Room accommodates up to 120 guests for a plated dinner or 150 for a reception.
- There are multiple ceremony locations to choose from with varied capacities: the Terrace and Lower Lawn can accommodate larger parties.
- Elmhay Park offers in-house catering from their renowned kitchen team helmed by Head Chef Simon Leyton.
- Cuisine emphasizes fresh, seasonal ingredients. Barbecues, bowl foods, or food stations offer a relaxed option.
- Hype Events is their exclusive caterer for weddings and events. Vegetarian, vegan, religious, or other dietary needs can be accommodated.
- Elmhay Park has an extensive wine cellar with over 400 varieties to choose from.
- As a licensed venue, they provide full bar service including spirits, beer, wine, champagne, and non-alcoholic options. Bar packages can be customized.
- Late-night snacks can also be arranged. Popular options are wood-fired pizzas or fish and chips.
- 28 luxurious bedrooms and suites provide accommodations for the couple, their families, and guests. Additional rooms may also be booked at nearby hotels.
- Accommodations include breakfast service. Upgrades are available for champagne breakfasts or meals served privately.
- Accessible rooms are available upon request. The venue can accommodate guests with mobility issues or other requirements.
- Complimentary onsite parking is available at Elmhay Park for over 100 vehicles. Guests can also arrive via taxi or shuttle service.
- For larger weddings, overflow parking staff help direct guests to designated areas like the front courtyard or paddock.
- Valet parking can be arranged for an added fee. This provides parking assistance for elderly or disabled guests.
History and Setting of Elmhay Park
Elmhay Park’s storied history and manicured English estate surroundings provide an idyllic backdrop for traditional weddings in the Somerset countryside near Bath.
- The site was settled in the Bronze Age. Several barrows from 2500-1500 BC still stand on the estate grounds today.
- A manor was first recorded on the present-day site of Elmhay Park in the Domesday Book of 1086. It belonged to Odo, Bishop of Bayeux, half-brother to William the Conqueror.
- The main house as it stands now was built in 1858 by Reverend Sir George Trevelyan, 2nd Baronet. He commissioned an Italianate-style mansion.
- Orchardleigh House was later owned by the Strachey family, who expanded the estate gardens and parkland. Writer and critic Lytton Strachey was a member of this prominent family.
- Today the 650-acre estate includes a working farm, over 300 Fallow deer, woodlands, streams, and two large lakes.
- Manicured gardens surrounding the manor house feature terraces, lawns, and wooded areas perfect for wedding photography.
Steeped in history, Elmhay Park couples old-world grandeur with panoramic natural beauty in the Somerset countryside near Bath and Frome. It’s an idyllic canvas where couples can paint their picture-perfect traditional English wedding.
Why Choose Elmhay Park for a Traditional Wedding?
From its architecture and gardens to its fairytale setting and amenities, Elmhay Park offers an unrivaled venue for quintessential English weddings.
- Exclusive Use – When booked for a wedding, couples enjoy private access to the manor, lawns, and amenities. The venue only hosts one wedding per day.
- Luxury Accommodations – With 28 rooms and suites onsite, Elmhay Park provides couples and their guests with elegant places to stay before, during, and after the celebrations.
- Stunning Photo Backdrops – The gardens, follies, ponds, and rolling hills give couples endless scenic spots for romantic portraits.
- Historic Charm – From the Bronze Age barrows to the 19th-century Italianate manor, Elmhay Park embodies old-world English tradition and elegance.
- Bespoke Hospitality – Their renowned kitchen team provides customized menus. On-site coordination ensures flawless service for weddings and events.
- All-Inclusive Facilities – The venue offers everything from catering to cakes, bar service, decor, and music. Couples can customize components or work with Elmhay Park’s partners.
For couples envisioning a quintessential English wedding, Elmhay Park offers the ultimate refined and romantic setting amongst 650 acres of historic estate grounds.
Final Thoughts and Helpful Resources
Planning a wedding, especially in an iconic venue like Elmhay Park, takes careful thought and preparation. Be sure to utilize these helpful wedding planning resources:
- The Knot – This comprehensive site offers wedding planning tools, ideas, and vendor listings. Great for inspiration and connecting with local professionals.
- Brides – A leading wedding magazine and website filled with real weddings, trends, and expert advice for brides-to-be.
- WeddingWire – Featuring vendor listings, reviews, and planning tools, WeddingWire helps couples pull off the wedding of their dreams.
With proper planning and the incomparable setting of Elmhay Park, couples can craft their perfect traditional Somerset wedding. Map out all the details from timing to florals, and lean on reliable resources. When the big day arrives, you’ll be ready to cherish timeless memories amidst iconic English backdrops.