Part 1 – Grittleton House, Wiltshire
You’re buzzing with excitement and you are looking to book a venue where you are made to feel special, right? You’re both looking for some where that hosts your ceremony and party without having to go elsewhere. Oh boy, does this place tick all those boxes 😀
Over the past couple of years I’ve become very fond of Grittleton House. In fact, I would go as far as to say it is my favourite wedding venue in Wiltshire! Apologies to all other venues but these guys have set the bar pretty high.
A little bit of history
I sat down with Vanessa Shipp and Emma Horrex who are two highly organised and friendly ladies, just two of the personalities behind Grittleton House. There is nothing they don’t know about this place.
Vanessa fondly talks about Grittleton House and how it came into her husband’s family more than 50 years ago. Under the guise of the Shipp family the house started its life with them as a small private school, at weekends and during school holidays, the family had the foresight to open the house up for weddings and special occasions. In 2016 the school closed its doors and Grittleton started its new life as dedicated wedding and events venue and what a fab decision that was. With a whopping 60 weddings in 2018, not to mention all of the other events such as birthday parties, engagements, Christmas parties etc., life is pretty hectic and that is just how they like it.
Grittleton House never stops developing, whether it’s giving more and more love to the house or looking at ways to provide an even better experience, if that’s at all possible.
What’s so special about Grittleton House?
Everything is about family values and the experience of being brought into a family home. Several generations of the Shipp family have, and still live on the estate. They all genuinely care about its up keep and grand presence in the Wiltshire Cotswolds.
During my recent love affair with Grittleton House, I have noticed the changes, one thing that doesn’t change is the friendliness and the warmth which radiates throughout. The tree lined drive and magnificent oversized front door can be a bit scary but as soon as you enter the main hall, you immediately feel at ease as you are welcomed into the family. With a cosy fire, twinkling lights and sumptuous surroundings there is no better place to be. Below is a picture from a recent relaxed informal food tasting event, providing the perfect occasion for the happy couples to sample a selection of food and drink all prepared by the in-house Michelin trained chefs.
You’ve then got a huge selection of rooms to choose from. Just take a look at their website where you have a huge choice of rooms to hold your ceremony both inside and out. You have to take a look at the Orangery, it’s just lush. You see what I mean about luxurious? Just image a harpist playing as you walk down the aisle to your loved one, it truly is quite magical you know, it’s a photographer’s dream!
I asked for a few words to describe what makes Grittleton so special. What makes this place stand out as opposed to any other Wiltshire weddings and events venue, the resounding answer was:
“We love getting to know all of our gorgeous couples. As a private house we are able to offer the ultimate flexibility to create the most perfect and personal occasion for each of our couples. The house and it’s stunning gardens are pretty amazing too “
Making the right decision for you
When you look around so many different wedding venues it’s all a bit overwhelming, trying to take it all in and making mental notes. Picturing rooms in your head and thinking about your guests, where the cakes going to be viewed, where does the band or DJ fit, questions, questions, questions!
Many venues offer all of this as they are designed to host weddings. However, Grittleton has a choice of rooms, offering you freedom and choice to style your own special event. Not forgetting from a Photographers perspective, it’s nothing short of blooming marvellous! Your wedding memories really will be stunning.
If you want to see more and experience this beauty for yourselves all you need to do is email or call Emma at Grittleton House to arrange a viewing appointment. Emma absolutely loves what she does and will listen carefully to all of your wedding ideas. Emma is your wedding coordinator throughout your entire Grittleton House journey. She lives and breathes the place, not stopping until everything is ‘just so’. I’ve seen Emma running between rooms, seriously I have!
If you are looking for accommodation, there are a couple of great options. The Old Stables located within the grounds, offers twenty ensuite bedrooms. These rooms are priced at a sensible budget and offer their own rustic charm, the accommodation is neatly arranged around a central courtyard. If you are looking for grand, there is also the option of a grand suite within the main house. Something for everyone and more choice for you! Sorry about that, I did warn you that these guys are good 🙂
A wedding budget is always a discussion point, I’ve no doubt a spreadsheet will be present here :-). It’s certainly is in our house, for everything 😉
I always thought Grittleton would be expensive BUT, without giving away the game here I suggest you ask them to explain the money bit. You get a huge amount for your money and every wedding / event price is worked out individually. It all depends on numbers, the food you want, if you want accommodation and so on. Another mantra explained to me was:
“No hidden extras, total transparency”
You get the gist. Don’t think, ‘oh I can’t afford that place’ as I know you will be surprised. Don’t procrastinate (long word alert) just call.
Name a stand out event you’ve hosted?
Now this was a good question if I do say so myself!! It got Vanessa and Emma a little stumped :-). However, after thinking about it for a minute Ness said,
“I absolutely couldn’t pick out just one, there are so many and they are all so different and fabulous in their own way’
Are you ready – the list is long?!! The wonderful wedding where the couple and their guests grew their own pumpkins from seed to use as aisle decorations ~ The most theatrical wedding where the two grooms loved musicals, which ensued into a flashmob of singing during the wedding breakfast and don’t even get me started on the amazing flowers ~ The groom and ushers who parachuted in ~ The gin evening and the Burns supper, both with fancy frocks and gorgeous food and drink ~ The crazy Murder Mystery evening, ‘an Indian Summer’ full of bright colours, tasty delights and crafty killers. Just look at these two gentlemen, taking a few minutes away from their party to sip gin and have a chin wag! You see, flexibility is your friend here, no matter what event, this place can host it.
Oh I forgot to mention the alfresco movie evenings in the beautiful Italian Sunken Gardens and of course the various film crews they’ve hosted, the list goes on and on. It’s a pretty awesome list 🙂
So you see, there are way too many to name, and just about impossible to pick out one that was the best as they were all simply fab-u-lous, said in true John Barrowman style!!
Just for a minute, imagine…
sitting in this window, you feel amazing, you look amazing and it’s your big day with the love of your life. Memories like this don’t come around very often but, a memory like this will stick in your head and be with you forever, I promise! Don’t you feel it?
I could go on and on here with a huge amount of photos, it’s a venue that I find hard to actually stop shooting 🙂 So many opportunities to create your forever memories.
Where can I find Grittleton House online?
The obvious place to start is their website. You can then find them in a few other places such as the ones below which, by the way, are all links to their page to make it easy for you 😀
Random question time!
Q – If Grittleton House had a personality how would it be described?
A – It’s your most helpful, stylish and classy best friend.
Q – Tell me something that nobody else knows about Grittleton House.
A- “The Doomsday Book was kept here, oh and be careful where you lean, there are a few secret passages!!”
Q – What’s your favourite feature of Grittleton House?
A- “The Tower with its carvings and amazing ceiling, it’s a WOW piece and I have to pick the Orangery as well, it’s just beautiful. Well in our opinion, it’s all pretty amazing.”
Q – Name your favourite time of year?
A- “That’s a difficult one as they all have their own personalities. The house changes colour with the different light throughout the year. The summer shows the stunning gardens and pretty flower beds, the Spring with all its brightly coloured ‘just woken’ flowers. The house looks just magical when it’s snowed in the winter and as for Autumn, the colours of the trees are just breath taking and oh that light, I just love it”
A few ‘more’ pics from my stash!
Go for it, make an appointment to view this grand old house and see what you think for yourself. Don’t just take my word for it. Emma and Vanessa will explain everything you need to know. You won’t want to leave 🙂
Forgive me, I nearly forgot the resident hound, Juno the family dog, totally adorable and patiently sat by my side whilst I chat with Emma and Vanessa.
I hope that lot helps you out and that their passion for giving you the best experience of Grittleton House comes across.
Thank you for reading and I can’t wait to bring my next port of call to you, what would you book next for your fabulous wedding day?