Speech! Speech!

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There are many aspects to a person’s wedding that people look forward to; the dress, the food, the music and inevitably the speeches. Many of us are guilty of inflicting our previous experiences of speeches, on those about to speak. Perhaps we expect the address to seemingly last forever or hope that it lasts a short sharp 5 minutes filled with laughter and tears.

There can be such expectation on the speeches that it is important to us at Priston Mill they happen in a way that makes those participating feel confident and comfortable.

Traditionally the speeches happen after the main meal before tea and coffee is served. This does mean that your guests have been wined and dined, making everyone a little more relaxed and appreciative of your words.

However on some occasions people are particularly nervous and would prefer to ‘get it out the way’. In which case you can opt to have the speeches before you start the wedding breakfast. If doing so we would suggest you time the speeches carefully so that when our chefs present your delicious starter it is still delicious, and not compromised by a speaker over-running.

In our experience we have found speeches last between 5 & 10 minutes. It may not sound like a long time, but better to be short and sweet!

If one or all of your speakers are especially anxious, we have a PA system & microphone available for hire. However the acoustics in our old, majestic venues are amazing, so it is very rarely required.

You may have heard of a Master of Ceremonies; a person who makes the introductions and announcements. On occasion the Bride & Groom will hire or appoint such a person. However, if you would prefer our Events Managers are more than happy to make these announcements for you.

Photo from West Photography

 

What an egg-cellent time to have a wedding!

We may be saying goodbye to the daffodils but we are standing with open arms to the tulips and the blossom. The shops are overflowing with chocolate and treats, hot cross buns a plenty and eggs of all shapes and sizes. Easter is here and we are taking full advantage.

Around this significant holiday is such a lovely time to get married. The children are on school holidays so no need to worry if you are a teacher, or you plan on inviting little ones to your big day. The weather is getting warmer and the gardens look glorious.

Here are just a few ideas to inspire your egg-ceptional Easter Wedding.

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5 minutes with Olivia

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When you discover Priston Mill, it is more than likely that your first port of call will be with Olivia. Responsible for all enquiries, and visits, she is on hand to answer any questions or concerns. Even before she recently got engaged herself, Olivia has always been passionate about weddings. We took 5 minutes of her time to ask her a few questions of our own.

What is your favourite part of showing couples around the venues here?

I love meeting so many interesting people. It is such fun to hear about their plans and how they met. Everyone has different ideas which make each visit totally unique.

Do you think it is important to see various venues before booking ‘the one’?

I think it is important to do your research. There are so many beautiful places these days it could be easy to become overwhelmed. I think it is a good idea to see different styles of venue, such as a barn then a hotel then something out of the ordinary like a zoo! However once you have found the venue that feels right, be brave and book, you could spend months looking otherwise.

What is your top tip when visiting a venue?

Ask lots of questions. Make sure you get across what it is you are looking for, especially when it comes to the food and drink and any decorations. Try to visualise your day there. Without a venue being fully set-up for another event it can be tricky to imagine it all dressed and ready, so you’ll need to go in with an open mind. But if the answers & the people inspire confidence, if it feels right, just go for it.

What is your number one question to ask during a visit?

‘Are there any additional costs?’ It is easy to get swept up in all the romance and ignore the fine print. It is important to think about things like staffing costs, cutlery and crockery. Does the venue hire include a cake stand? Don’t be embarrassed to ask out right as you may be surprised what is or isn’t included.

And lastly, are you getting married at Priston Mill?

I wish I were! I grew up in Herefordshire, so I am going closer to home to get married. We are having a marquee in the garden, which is going to be lovely, but so much work! I’m realising now, that having your wedding at a venue is certainly a lot less stressful than organising your big day from scratch.

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Why wait?

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January is proving to be as expected, a very busy month for visits! It would seem the romance of Christmas has yet to diminish as so many of you became engaged over the holidays. Now is a great time to visit venues, we’ve had the most gorgeous frosty mornings here at Priston it seems selfish not to share. And if you do come by on a rainy day, even better, as we always think if you like a venue in the clouds you will love it in the sunshine.

It is no secret that if you want a Saturday wedding during the peak of Summer, you will want to visit your dream venue at least 12 months in advance. However, these past few weeks we’ve been surprised by how many of you are looking for ‘as soon as possible!’ You’ve said ‘Yes’, why wait so long to say ‘I do!’

We do have availability this Spring/Summer, so don’t be afraid to give us a ring and book in a visit if you’re thinking of a short engagement.

The Tythe Barn has a handful of Thursdays and Sundays available, both included in their respective offers, there are some amazing savings to be had.

The Watermill has Thursdays, Fridays & Sundays available between now and autumn. We even have a last minute date available on Saturday 5th August.

Planning your big day need not take months and months, we are happy to help when and where to make sure your dream day is ready as soon as you are.

To request a brochure or book in a visit, email admin@pristonmill.co.uk or call on 01225 423894

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Stop by for a visit

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Here at Priston Mill one of my highlights is meeting new couples and showing them around our gorgeous venues. The venues have become so familiar to me now it is nice to be reminded of their beauty through fresh eyes. It is so easy to forget how impressive the high ceiling is in The Tythe Barn, or how special it is to see a working watermill lit up beautifully.

Here are some key things we suggest you look for when visiting your future venue:

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First impressions

Every couple is different but for whatever reason your venue should make you smile from the moment you arrive at its doors. Here at Priston Mill we have a very talented team of gardeners and maintenance who make sure that as soon as you turn the corner you’re blown away.

Can you visualise your day?

As you walk around can you see yourselves and your families at your wedding? At Priston Mill we almost encourage you to have a wonder around on your own, to allow you time and space to picture how your day could look. Without realising it, if it’s right, you will be able to picture your walk down the aisle in The Tythe Barn or your crazy Uncle dancing the night away in The Watermill.

Think of the logistics

We understand how romantic and lovely it is to be engaged but at some point you are going to have to take off your rose-tinted glasses and ask the technical questions. If in doubt, look out for the * symbol! At Priston Mill we aim to be very open and honest about any immediate and future costs. Our venue hire includes all crockery, cutlery, tables, chairs, linens & staff.

How does it feel?

It may sound a little silly, but you do get a feel for a place as soon as you walk in the door. Almost like buying a home, you can feel if it is the right fit almost instantly. On your wedding day it is important you feel relaxed, comfortable in your surroundings. We take this into consideration and use what we can to make sure Priston Mill is special but not intimidating.

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At Priston Mill we are open for visits Tuesday-Saturday 10am-4pm and the occasional Sundays & Mondays. We would be more than happy to meet you for an informal chat and walk around our venues. To book an appointment do call on 01225 423894 or email admin@pristonmill.co.uk

 

Get me to the church on time!

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It is that time again, this Sunday at 2am the clocks go back an hour to 1am giving us our honorary extra hour in bed. The mornings will be lighter, and the evenings will be darker making for some magical winter weddings here at Priston Mill.

We would like to use this time (how many time references/puns can we fit into one blog!) to look into how the day itself can run from start to finish. Obviously every wedding is totally unique and can be customised accordingly to each couple, but we can offer a guide for timings that we know works well and will keep things flowing.

Often it is a concern of our Bride and Groom that their guests may be left with too much time on their hands. We like to give everyone enough space to chat and mingle, without getting bored or hungry! We would recommend your ceremony start between 1pm and 3pm. See below for an example of what your wedding day could look like…

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2pm

The Ceremony

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2.30 – 4pm

The Reception

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4.00 – 6pm

The Wedding Breakfast

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6.00 – 6.30pm

Speeches

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6.30pm

Tea & Coffee

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7.30pm

Evening guests arrive

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8pm

The Party Starts!

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9pm

Evening food is served

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11.30pm

Bar closes

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12.00

Carriages

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Fall for an Autumn wedding

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Autumn is upon us, the nights are drawing in and the leaves are turning. This time of year is especially magical when surrounded by nature as we at Priston Mill are. The oranges and reds set against a cold cloudless sky can create the most beautiful of days, perfect for a wedding.

Take full advantage of what this season has to offer and bring the outside in with simple but very effective decorations. Mini pumpkins look great and with a simple tea-light inside can sit proudly in the middle of your table or window sill.

With the nights falling darker that much sooner, soft lighting and clever use of candles cast an almost mythical spell. And for something special to serve your guests during the reception, perhaps try our Mulled Cider.

We do still have availability in autumn 2017 and 2018 in both our venues, why not book in a viewing over the next few weeks so you can see how gorgeous your wedding day could be.

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Photo credit

http://www.photographybyjd-weddings.co.uk/

http://martindabek.com/

View from a Somerset window

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What seems like a very distant 50 years ago, a young boy once stood for the very first time at the south-facing bedroom window of the Priston Mill farmhouse, gazing in wonder at the bucolic scene spread before him like a banquet, drinking in the sights and sounds of what was a busy farm way back then. He was there as a guest of Peter Hopwood, a school chum from Taunton School where they were both boarding, and invited for the short Easter hols as his own parents lived on the other side of the world, in Iran. Today, that same boy, long since grown into a man, stands again at that very same window, looking out over fields of harvested gold as if Priston were a time-machine – a Tardis capable of compressing half a century into two delicious moments. The surrounding fields appear to be quite the same in this charming, rustic corner of Somerset, little-changed down the centuries and so very far from the hustle and bustle of the neighbouring towns which lie at the distant end of a meandering maze of country lanes and bye-roads dotted with sleepy hamlets, church spires and patchwork fields. Bath and Bristol are both nearby but might easily lie hundreds of miles away from this enchanted countryside cocoon. And yet, on closer inspection, much has changed because, today, Priston is now one of the most sought-after wedding venues in the area offering both civil ceremonies and wedding receptions.The herds of dairy cattle and arable pursuits of yesteryear have long given way to a highly efficient infrastructure for hosting weddings in what has remained one of the most beautiful settings imaginable – the very same one that stole the heart of that young boy all those years ago. The historic water mill has been refurbished, its olde worlde charm now the backdrop for stylish weddings where guests can enjoy a full range of modern amenities and of course the mill’s manicured gardens, recreation area for children, pergola & pagoda – all fringed by a gurgling stream and framed by the timeless beauty of the countryside. On the other side of the gardens, the old Tythe Barn has magically risen like a new Phoenix, casting a spell that marries the rustic charm and beauty of a bygone era with the ability to cater for around 160 guests in a refined, elegant ambiance. As I turn away from my time-warp window, I can’t help reflecting on all the magic that has been woven here since I was that young lad still in school and on the way that Priston Mill has embraced a wonderful new future while at the same time remaining faithful to its past. I am convinced this is the secret of its success and I am sure that the young boy standing beside me at the window on the other side of time, would agree.

Glynn Burridge

Author, Freelance, Copywriter, Seychelles Tourism Board Consultant

Where Love Blossoms

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We cannot absolutely guarantee sunshine for your wedding day. However, a little rain can conjure the most beautiful blooms and our gardens are testament to that.

With the ever-changing weather we’ve had so far this year, we’ve been blessed with an early blossoming of the most gorgeous garden flowers – a perfect backdrop for photographs on your special day.

With this in mind, one of our top tips to save a few pennies is to use flowers which have been locally grown, rather than imported, for your bouquets and bunches. These ‘Garden flowers’, freshly picked and in season, are especially popular at Priston Mill. Although we are only 20 minutes’ drive from the centre of Bath here you feel wonderfully remote from the hustle and bustle of the city. For this reason arrangements and bouquets made with seasonal flowers blend perfectly with the rustic charm of the venue and the surrounding Somerset countryside.

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What about a Winter Wedding?

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It may seem strange to be thinking of Winter when we finally have a glimpse of sun, but for those who plan to marry among the robins and red berries, Winter is very much on the mind!

We have a fabulous Winter Wedding Offer from November to March* which lowers the venue hire considerably and includes our ceremony charge (where applicable). You are also welcome to a complimentary reception drink per person!

Why not take advantage of the cold and enjoy a mulled wine, or Winter Pimms before sitting down to a seasonal 3 course dinner. Then into the night when you’ve danced up an appetite, you could bring in a little alpine chic and serve a Tartiflette.

We do have availability in both The Tythe Barn and The Watermill from November 2016 to March 2017, so it is not too late to book!

*Terms and Conditions apply

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Photos from Christine Hopwood @ Priston Mill & Belinda McCarthy