Combermere Abbey Celebrates 20 Years of Fairytale Weddings
Take That top the charts, Britain has a Conservative government, and ‘meringues’ are not merely confined to the dessert table!
The year in question is 1995………and at this time, Sarah Callander Beckett had recently inherited Combermere Abbey, a wildly romantic, yet in places, crumbling C12th estate on the Cheshire/Shropshire borders. In her ambition to rescue the country pile, this forward-thinking Chatelaine became one of the first venue owners to be granted a license for civil ceremonies. Weddings took place in the Abbey itself, Sarah’s family home.
In 2007, the estate was blossoming and ceremonies could now take place within the estate’s Victorian walled gardens in the newly-restored, fan-shaped ‘Glasshouse’, with its fairytale-like, botanical setting and enchanting views of the world’s only fruit tree maze.This magical venue, still in use, is fit for a Cinderella-bride; an ever-changing kaleidoscope of seasonal beauty, mirroring the estate’s gardens and the passing of time.
Twenty years on, and the wedding options at this magnificent privately-owned estate will soon once again include the option to marry in the Abbey itself. The ornate first floor ‘Library’ has undergone a full restoration phase, and is now resplendent, its gilded majesty and huge stone feature fireplace perfectly suited to a Snow Queen bride. The unique ceremonial room can only be booked for two months of the year, January and February, making this the domain of a winter bride. She and her groom will relish views over the frozen landscape and glacial mere and the log fire bringing winter cheer to the ceremony – afterwards the Glasshouse beckons the bridal party, and the dancing continues until after the clock strikes midnight.
The Glasshouse is an option for ceremonies the whole of the year, with an elegant marquee-style structure, The Pavilion, providing a superb party facility to dine in style and dance the night away under canvas and a ‘starlit’ black canopy.
During the warm summer months, couples may even opt for one of several outdoor locations in which to hold their wedding ceremony, such as the heart of the fruit-tree maze itself, or the oak-framed Arbour in the Middle Walled Garden. These designated areas are perfect for midsummer nuptials. (April-October)
Accommodation is available year round, for up to 49 guests in luxury self-catering cottages; newly-weds cosy up to enjoy their first night in the cosy romance of the estate’s Gothick gatehouse, ‘Stone Lodge’, with its sumptuous interiors, wood-burning stove and own damson orchard.
Combermere Abbey is an exclusive-use venue, a joy throughout the seasons with a variety of breath-taking locations on offer to suit your personal style and individual uniqueness.
Tel – 01948 871662 www.combermereabbey.co.uk