Advice on how to make your covid wedding the best day of your lives!

 Covid wedding at Rockbeare Manor in Devon

Image by Liberty Pearl Photo and Film

Top tips for planning a wedding during the covid pandemic

 We have had 14 wedding celebrations here at Rockbeare Manor since July when we all emerged from a lengthy lockdown, eager for some good news that our beloved wedding venue in Devon would finally be able to operate to a reasonable level.  Sadly, the news wasn't quite as expected but since then, at every stage there have been brides and grooms that have been determined to get married whatever life throws at them -  and we wanted to do all that we could to make that happen for them! 

 In this months blog, we've talked to some of our couples who managed to get married at Rockbeare Manor against all the odds, dodging lockdowns and changing their plans numerous times to account for updates in the governments restrictions.

Covid secure wedding ceremony at Rockbeare Manor wedding venue in Devon 

Image by Babalu Films

Groom makes a toast 

Image by Alex Toze

Now it's over to the Brides and Grooms who got married at Rockbeare Manor in Devon, during the covid pandemic to give their advice...

Charles and Danni's Wedding Ceremony at Rockbeare Manor in Devon - 1st August 2020 

After re-arranging their wedding date numerous times due to the ever changing covid restrictions, Danni and Charles were determined not to let the pandemic get in the way of them becoming husband and wife.  The sun shone down on them so that they could have the outdoor wedding ceremony that they had dreamt of, and their closest family and friends travelled from far and wide to Rockbeare Manor in Devon to see the young couple say the important vows that meant so much to them. Charles and Danni married during a period where the government restrictions were at their toughest - whilst wedding ceremonies were permitted, no official wedding receptions were allowed, despite having made plans to the contrary. 

Bride and groom dance in the landscape

Charles and Danni say "Our best part of the day was the lead up to the wedding. Although it was stressful, it was exciting because it’s such a unique day.  We actually really enjoyed having a smaller wedding day as it felt more intimate and less intense. 

If we were able to offer any advice to anyone planning to get married during the pandemic it would be to think about the meaning of marriage and the two of you making a vow to each other.  For us, getting married and having the legal part of the day was most important. Although not being able to have a wedding reception and more friends or family was hard, we still had such a special day."  

Beautiful wedding ceremony at Rockbeare Manor during Covid pandemic

Image by Memories and Milestones 

Philippa and Michaels Wedding Ceremony and Reception at Rockbeare Manor - 20th September 2020

Let's hear from Philippa...

"From when I was young I always dreamed of having the typical large fairytale wedding. I was due to get married in May 2020, then due to Covid we had to postpone until September. Working together with our wedding venue Rockbeare Manor, we decided to split our wedding into two parts. This was honestly the best decision I could ever have made. In September our guest numbers were limited to 30 - where I once would have hated this idea as it was not what I envisaged, it ended up being exactly what I wanted without even knowing it! Our wedding venue was absolutely amazing through the whole process. It was so much more intimate and I was able to spend the time talking to all my guests without missing anyone out. I was treated like a princess for the whole day and every member of staff was attentive and caring.

Bride and groom pictured in pretty woodland at Rockbeare Manor wedding venue

Images by Evolve Photography

I would advise any bride getting married during Covid to just do it! Marriage is about the love for your partner and sharing your day with those most special to you. Having a smaller wedding meant that we didn't get 'those second aunties that you have never met' - it was an event with all those closest to us, which I will cherish forever.

Aimée and Helen kept in touch during the whole process and even called us just to see how we were feeling about everything going on. Next year, we will hopefully be having our Wedding 'part two', with all those that were not able to attend this year. After the wedding I soon got all the wedding blues, but this quickly vanished. I get to wear my wedding dress TWICE!!! I get to experience the amazing food-which honest to god was the best food I have ever eaten in my life and I get to return to the glorious grounds which were all well kept and beautiful.

I never thought I would ever have two weddings and what started out as disappointment is now appreciation and pure excitement.

I am so unbelievably lucky to be able to experience the best day of my life for the second time.

Groom in the reflection of the mirror with bride looking out the window at Rockbeare Manor

If I could advise any bride considering doing this. Please, please, please do it as you will not regret it!! I literally can not wait for next year, where I have managed to have the best of both worlds. One that is intimate, romantic and special in its own way, one that is large,  full of music and dancing. How many brides get to say that they got to experience two weddings to the same partner?! 

In regards to Covid restrictions, the team made sure to make the experience as magical as it could possibly be. Whilst they made sure to maintain guidelines, providing hand gel and exceptionally clean facilities, they also made sure that it was your "typical" wedding experience. I do not feel that I missed out in any way whatsoever, if anything I feel like I got a better experience than most.

My last bit of advice would be to make it your own. Due to the restrictions put in place, all our traditional wedding ideas of what a wedding "had to include" went out the window. Please do not panic as whenever you do get married here, it will be an amazing experience which you will never forget." 

Bride and Groom kissing in wedding car

Hannah and Steven's Wedding at Exeter Cathedral followed by a reception at Rockbeare Manor, Devon - 26th September 2020

 This incredibly warm and friendly couple had the perfect wedding and it was such a pleasure getting to know them and hosting their reception at our special Devon wedding venue. They had a magical wedding ceremony at Exeter Cathedral where onlookers clapped and smiled as they exited from grand wedding location in Exeter. 

Bride and groom happy on wedding day

Steven says....."You need to have faith that your day will go ahead as planned and presume that the best will happen.  If things do happen to change whether that’s negatively or positively then you just adapt to the situation.  Regardless of the situation you can be sure that Rockbeare Manor will make your day special.”

Hannah adds.....“Getting married is about you and your partner. It’s about LOVE, and covid can’t stop that - just remember that. Steven and I had already been engaged for 20 months and didn’t want to wait any longer. We’re SO relieved we didn’t postpone our date and don’t regret a thing from our intimate special day. Rockbeare Manor was perfect.”

Groom and groomsmen outside Exeter Cathedral 

Bride and Groom hug at covid wedding at Rockbeare Manor Exeter 

Images by Freckle Photography

Faye and Louie's Wedding Ceremony and Reception at Rockbeare Manor in Devon - 27th September 2020 

After having to postpone their wedding from May 2020 due to the pandemic, the goalposts continued to alter when suddenly government guidance changed and the number of guests permitted at weddings was due to decrease from 30 to 15, just days before Faye and Louie's wedding that was now planned for 1st October.  There was only one thing for it....move the wedding forward by four days!!! We'll never forget receiving a phone call from Louie, asking if we could accommodate the move and of course we said YES !  

Covid wedding ceremony set up at Rockbeare Manor wedding venue in Devon

We caught up with Faye and Louie after they hosted their wedding at our gorgeous wedding venue in Devon....

"Our main pieces of advice to future brides and grooms would be to remain positive, hire a videographer, say yes to offerings of help and support and to not forget the reason behind this day! No matter who is there or who is missing, the day will always be magical because you’ll be newlyweds by the end. Our wedding planning was an emotional rollercoaster, having changed date 3 times, but we couldn’t have wished for a more perfect day! LOVE ALWAYS WINS!!"

Bride and groom on wedding day kissing on the driveway to Rockbeare Manor in Exeter

Thank you card from Bride and Groom in Covid Wedding

Images by Elizabeth Barrett Photography  

"Dear Aimee, Jonny and the team. We want to thank you all for allowing us to have the most amazing wedding day at the beautiful Rockbeare Manor - it will be a place we treasure forever! We had a perfect day and it really was worth all the stress and worry this year has brought us.  We're so grateful for all the support we received on the day and in the run up as well.  Every single staff member was attentive and helpful and all 30 of our guests commented on the wonderful wedding venue and staff. Love, The Rudges x" 


Jade and Ed's Wedding Ceremony and Reception at Rockbeare Manor, Devon - 26th October 2020

This delightful Bride and Groom enjoyed an amazing wedding day at our venue and are even booked in to celebrate their wedding again in the presence of ALL of their family and friends in the summer of 2021, when they hope to have the day that they had planned and all !!!

"We were absolutely thrilled to be able to get married, with the restrictions on numbers fading into insignificance due to the wonderful venue and staff at Rockbeare Manor. The day felt intimate and relaxed, with time to chat with all of our guests and actually enjoy the whole experience!

 Bride and Groom at sunset at wedding venue in Devon Rockbeare Manor

...Whilst the prolonged planning period sometimes made it feel like we had no idea when we could actually get married, we are so glad that we made the decision to go ahead with the ceremony and reception: it was 100% the correct decision. We now also get a second day of celebration with everyone else when possible - it's turned into a great excuse to extend the wedding party!

The team at Rockbeare Manor have been so helpful and understanding every step of the way as our plans continued to change and develop as guidance changed. Our wedding day itself was so special and anyone that is worrying about having just 15 guests shouldn’t worry at all: the staff at Rockbeare Manor and the beautiful wedding venue and grounds meant our day was incredible even with limited numbers.

The food was absolutely excellent and one of our guests had several allergies and was just absolutely over the moon at the food that was provided for her.  Our guests loved how stunning the rooms were as well.

We are so grateful to Jessica in particular for all of her hard work on the day in making sure everything ran smoothly. Thank you so much also to Aimée and Helen for all of the arranging leading up to the big day".

Bride and Groom kiss by fountain at Rockbeare Manor in Devon 

Images by Devon Portfolio Photography

So the overall message we think is....LOVE CONQUERS ALL !! 2020 has been an unprecedented, unimageable year but the determination of all the Brides and Grooms that have gone ahead with their micro-wedding this year has astounded us. We take our hats off to you all !  

For those that were unable to proceed with an intimate wedding this year and have postponed their wedding to a later date, thank you too.  Your support and understanding has been invaluable and we can't wait for the day that you return and we see you get married at our glorious wedding venue in Devon. We promise it will be worth the wait ! 

Wedding breakfast set up at Rockbeare Manor wedding venue

Image by Babalu Films

Thank you to all the brides and grooms that participated in this blog - your insight is so much appreciated and your positivity just amazing!

Sending much love to all of our couples who's weddings have been affected by the pandemic. Please don't ever hesitate to get in contact if you need any support or help. 

01392 797444

If you enjoyed this blog why not read another, Wedding Reception Ideas For Small Weddings During Covid.

For more images of special and intimate occasions held during 'covid times' at our wedding venue, head to our dedicated Pinterest Board

Bride and groom have first dance at wedding venue in Devon

 Image by Dan Ward Photography


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