Having hosted weddings for over 10 years, Hand Picked Hotels knows a thing or two about throwing a good wedding as Zoe and Matt Pearce found out when they tied the knot at Bailbrook House Hotel in Bath.

After many years of catering for weddings there are a few key factors that really stand out for us. Ultimately a wedding day is about celebrating the love between you and the person you’re about to marry but you’ll also want to throw a party that you and your guests will talk about for years to come. So how do make you big day stand out? Here a few standout ideas, and why they were so important for Zoe and Matt. 


The location of your venue is very important. You want a place that is convenient for both of you and your guests, and you need to think about how many people you will invite and how you want it organised. Zoe takes up the story: “We live in Westbury, Wiltshire, and so Bailbrook House in Bath is very close to us. The setting was just perfect – in terms of the beautiful period country house and stunning grounds, it really helped to make our photos extra special. Our photographer Joanna Brooks captured the most incredible photos for us to treasure and look back on. We also considered who could accommodate all of our guests comfortably. Bailbrook can host up to 130 seated guests – although we only had 60 to the ceremony and wedding breakfast and a further 20 for the evening reception, and Tanya, our wedding coordinator was the best. In fact, all of the staff – the management, wedding coordinators and anyone else who helped on our wedding day – were so helpful. They helped to create the perfect day. There was nothing that went wrong, each part of the day went smoothly without a hitch.”


Whether it’s a photobooth or interactive games, look at options that get your family and friends to interact with each other but also have lots of fun – and cater for all ages, too. Zoe spills her secrets: “In the evening we had a disco, which was hosted by the amazingly talented DJ Shep [Glenn Shepard] – he was brilliant and got everyone in the mood and dancing. We also had a Selfie Mirror which was fantastic and was loved by everyone. We had singing waiters just after our wedding breakfast too, which was a surprise booked by XXX . They were incredible and added that extra special spark to our day.”

Personalise your wedding

Weddings often feature similar-style menus, with Hand Picked Hotels you can work with the chef to create a menu that means something to you that’s also inspired by locally sourced ingredients.  “Both the service and menu was second to none! It was all just amazing. The food was particularly incredible and every one of the guests commented on just how outstanding it all was,” reveals Zoe. As well as speciality menus, table names, seating charts and décor are another way to make your wedding unique to you. When it came to the latter our couple wanted to tie it in with the season. “We got married in July and so we wanted to keep it simple, light and fresh. We had a colour scheme of pale pinks, white and ivory and it looked beautiful.”

Look the part 

For some the wedding dress is the most important thing of all, and there are a few things you should know before you choose your dream gown – such as your theme, your shopping crew and budget. Also consider a less traditional length, style and colour, think how different fabric will suit your body shape and keep the season in mind. “My wedding dress was from WED2B in Bristol! I absolutely loved it. The men’s suits were from Moss Bros Bath. The flower girl dresses and shoes were from John Lewis, and the bridesmaids dresses were from Dorothy Perkins. This part of the wedding was very important to us as we have six children, and they all played a very important part.”

While it’s likely that your day will include some traditional elements, it’s also important that you add your own personality, after all your wedding day needs to be a unique and a special celebration of the love you and your fiancé share. Having heard what Zoe and Matt did to showcase their own special style, we’ll leave the last tip to them: “While Bailbrook House offers their own recommended wedding suppliers, we decided to use people we knew and suppliers that family and friends had used before. Either would have been fine in fact, but just ensure you go with good and experienced vendors so that they’re reliable. All in all, it was the best day of our lives – we want to relive it all again. Everyone at Bailbrook made our day so enjoyable and memorable.”


PHOTOGRAPHY: Joanna Brooks 
WEDDING DRESS: WED2B (https://www.wed2b.co.uk/bridal-shops/west/bristol/wed2b-bristol / 0333 123 7494)