testimonials, kind words – whatever you call them, we love getting them from our couples after their wedding here. I get lovely heartfelt cards and emails telling us how much they loved their day but what I love most is when a couple takes time out of their busy lives to sit down and tell us in detail what it feels like to have taken that journey to be married here from seeing the venue for the first time, through the planning experience and then the day itself.
The lovely Sam married her marine Mike here in August this year, just a few weeks ago. On the day Sam said she’d love to do a review and true to her word, she sent it over to me recently.
Sam in her own words
Rather than tell you what she said, I’ll let you read it exactly as she sent it to me:
“Within days of our engagement, we were trawling through the internet searching for the perfect venue for our wedding in two and a half years’ time. We’re so glad we ignored advice that it was too early to start looking! I Googled “Wedding venues near Dartmoor” and “Ever After” was the first to pop up. First impressions took my breath away and searching through their website confirmed we just had to go and take a look at this place!
The following week, after e-mailing Nicola, we pulled up at the venue. We couldn’t believe that such a beautiful and secluded place existed. Nicola gave us a really warm, friendly welcome and showed us around. Even out of season on a dreary afternoon in February, the grounds were incredible; I couldn’t wipe the smile of excitement off my face. We had that same feeling when we found our first home together – this is it – we can really see ourselves getting married here – it’s the perfect venue for our wedding day. We were shown to the Bridal Cottage to make all the arrangements and our chosen date was free! Nicola was wonderful at swiftly replying after we secured our booking to ensure everything was exactly as we wanted it. We felt safe in her hands.
We re-visited on several occasions to see the grounds set up with all its wedding accessories. The trees had grown their leaves showing stunning backdrops of every shade of green imaginable, floral borders and planters were in full bloom, quirky steps, riverside furniture, fire-pits, lanterns dotted everywhere and lots of lights for the night time …. Every single nook and cranny and corner was imaginatively and decoratively thought out – a real tribute to Nicola’s creativity. It was just gorgeous.
I was really excited to tell our families and all our friends. No-one had heard of the venue but everyone had the same reaction as ours when they saw the website. I couldn’t wait to see the reaction on the faces of all our guests when they arrived at the venue and saw it in its full glory.
Even though I went into full-blown bride mode for at least a year and a half before our wedding day e-mailing Nicola asking questions and enquiring about things I’d seen on their latest blog – Nicola was always so happy to hear from me and put my mind at rest. I always felt that she completely grasped what I wanted and made so many helpful suggestions.
Leading up to the wedding Nicola introduced me to Bethany and Jess who made sure all the arrangements were exactly how I wanted them. They were truly amazing. They always answered my e-mails promptly and nothing was too much trouble. They were always so patient – even with the multitude of last minute changes that stressed the life out of me!
Bethany was a great support and was quick to take on things to help relieve my stresses trying to juggle my work, my home-life and plan the wedding of our dreams. Jess was brilliant at handling all the catering changes and was truly professional when I notified her of last minute food allergies and dietary preferences not previously made known to us! Both girls were fantastic and I felt reassured that the day would be perfect because I knew they were both on my side.
One of my treasured memories will always be of the build-up to the ceremony – my bridal party getting ready together in the luxurious Bridal Cottage. There was a real buzz of excitement as my mum, bridesmaids and myself had our hair and makeup done in the perfectly equipped salon area. Those waiting enjoyed breakfast in the lounge area opposite which had been delivered that morning for us to enjoy.
We were surrounded by our chosen wedding photographers and videographer and the setting and décor were perfect. The bedroom was just gorgeous for the photographs of my mum helping me into my dress and my dad’s reaction at first seeing me in it, followed by the equally tearful reactions of my four bridesmaids. Such exquisite surroundings are a photographers’ dream and the initial preview of some of our wedding photos are truly stunning.
My greatest desire was for our wedding ceremony to be held in the open as much as possible. I was so excited to be marrying the man of my dreams in such amazing surroundings and I wanted the most important part – the ceremony – to be truly magical. On the morning of our wedding, there was drizzle blowing in the air and all the wet-weather canopies were in place around the wedding barn. Nicola assured me that she had checked the forecast and the canopies would be taken down in time for our ceremony. She kept her word to a “t”. At 2.00 pm I walked with my dad through the fabulous gardens and as I approached the aisle leading to the wedding barn my heart skipped a beat and I was overwhelmed – the scene I saw was just perfect – all our family and guests seated in the open air, the sun shining, the wet weather canopies gone – the picture was just as I had envisioned it on that dreary February day two and a half years before. I had a huge lump in my throat and misty eyes when I saw my gorgeous groom waiting for me just inside the barn and our wedding ceremony became a reality – I could barely speak – it was beyond my wildest dreams.
Reflecting back on our special day I wouldn’t change a single thing. The venue was stunning, the staff were amazing and looked after us so well the whole day.
Even the sun came out at the perfect time for the ceremony and photographs. Thanks to Nicola and Bethany everything ran beautifully to plan. Even though the wedding breakfast and speeches over-ran, we never once felt hurried or detected any stress from the staff. The food was outstanding and the tables looked fabulous, exactly how I’d imagined them, thanks to Jess. Steve had saved us some of our evening food in the oven and at the end of the evening when all our guests had departed, he took just the two of us to the sofas beside the fire-pit at the river’s edge with our food, drink and a couple of blankets so we could enjoy the perfect end to the perfect day.
All our guests had wonderful things to say. They commented on how unique and special our wedding venue was and that it was “just us”. They said the food was exquisite; the venue and the attention to detail was impeccable and that it was by far the best wedding they had ever been to.
Our advice to any bride and groom considering booking this venue – just do it, you won’t regret it. The staff go over and above to accommodate your dream day. I will truly miss e-mailing and speaking to them and all the fun that goes in to planning a wedding. It was a long two and a half years of planning but I wouldn’t have done it any other way – this venue was so worth it and we truly had the very best day of our lives.
We would like to express our heartfelt thanks and sincere gratitude to all the staff at Ever After and to all those involved in our gorgeous wedding – thank you for making our magical wedding day so very, very special.
Mike & Sam”
It makes my day to get feedback like that. Makes all the work we put in to each of our weddings so worth it.
You can see more of Sam & Mike’s wedding here on their real weddings page.
You can read more rave reviews right now about being an Ever After couple here on our reviews page.
All photos by First Light Wedding Photography