Rockbeare Manor Wedding with an outdoor ceremony and loads of musical moments

Something we get asked quite a lot as Bath wedding photographers is “Can we book you for a wedding further afield?” and the answer is: yes, yes you can! Holly and Ryan asked us exactly this question and booked us for their Rockbeare Manor wedding in lovely sunny Devon.

Rockbeare Manor wedding venue

A bride and groom captured by Neil Atkinson, wedding photographer, in front of Rockbeare Manor.

It was our first time shooting a Rockbeare Manor wedding, and it’s fair to say that we absolutely loved it!

Rockbeare Manor is a Grade I listed country house just outside of Exeter in Devon. It’s as stunning from the outside, with its feature pillars and 100 acres of parkland, as it is from the inside, with loads of magnificent features. Perhaps what we loved most about this venue is how you can feel the heritage and the history of the building without it feeling like you’ve just entered a time warp; so you feel like you and your day are part of its story. This was also thanks to the Rockbeare Manor wedding team, who were so lovely and helpful (something that can totally make or break your wedding experience!)

What’s a Grade I listed wedding venue?

Slight pause while we just answer a question you might have on the above. We described Rockbeare Manor wedding venue as Grade I listed, but what does that mean?

In short, it means it’s gorgeous, important, and historic. In a slightly longer explanation, it means that a building has been afforded special status because it’s of “exceptional” national, historical, or architectural importance. Only 2.5% of listed buildings in England are Grade I listed, with the rest being Grade II* or Grade II – so you can see just how special Rockbeare Manor is!

Holly and Ryan’s wedding day

But the venue was only one part of our trip to Devon, of course: the main stars (no offence Rockbeare Manor) were, of course, Holly and Ryan! They were the best couple for pictures and just enjoyed every single second, which we always love more than anything.

An outdoor ceremony

Remember when we said the outside of the venue was just as gorgeous as the inside? Holly and Ryan made the most of this with an outdoor ceremony in the beautifully manicured gardens. It was a lovely July day, with blue skies but a bit of a breeze…as you can tell by Holly’s veil!

After an emotional first look with her Dad, Holly and her bridesmaids made their way down the stately staircase and paved path through to the Terrace, where all their loved ones were waiting and wagging their tail. Ok, that last one only applies to two of the very special guests in attendance: both of Holly and Ryan’s pet Beagles. (They also made an appearance later in the form of two mini fondant dogs trotting around the side of the 3D floral wedding cake, which was a very cute addition.)

A musical wedding day

In addition to her full time job as a primary school teacher, Holly is a singer, actress and dancer (so not much, then…) With this in mind, hers and Ryan’s wedding day had a very musical theme, with music featuring throughout.

After the ceremony Holly, Ryan and their loved ones stayed outside for the drinks reception and canapés, throughout which the talented Lipinksi Band played. They also had a singer throughout dinner, who sang for just them as they took a sneak peek at the Ballroom before their guests took their seats for dinner and they were officially welcomed as Mr & Mrs, which was really special. Even the tables were named after song lyrics.

Another incredible addition to Holly and Ryan’s Rockbeare Manor wedding were the surprise singing waiters they’d hired for the wedding breakfast. One of the waiters pretended to trip, but as he was helped back up suddenly produced a microphone and started belting out a tune, along with his other waiters-slash-secret-singers. Holly and Ryan’s response was electric and immediate – more weddings where the bride and groom stand on their chairs before the starter’s even come out, please! – and the response from the rest of the room was BRILLIANT too. It was a lovely, wholesome sing-a-long and mini boogie moment!

For more wedding inspiration, check out Darcy and Nathan’s Quantock Lakes wedding here, who also had singing waiters!

Lots of personal mementos

Of course, wedding days are always emotional; but this wedding day was particularly emotional for Holly, whose mum had sadly passed away. However, she wasn’t far away from the day at all, with a memory candle lit in her honour next to a gorgeous photo of her, a photo of her tied around Holly’s bouquet, and a donation made to Weston Hospice Care in lieu of favours for every guest.

Couple’s portraits

To make the most of the lovely late July weather and stunning surroundings, it was a no-brainer to do Holly and Ryan’s couple’s portraits session outside. After taking some pictures while roaming through the surrounding countryside for a bit we returned to Rockbeare Manor for some editorial shots using the front-facing pillars and balcony. We also took some fun group shots here, with Holly and her bridesmaids and Ryan and his groomsmen (see, group photos don’t need to be boring…)

Once they’d cut the cake – which we must report had a Biscoff top tier, because we think that’s very important information – Holly and Ryan picked up the all-singing, all-dancing energy exactly where they’d left off, kicking off the dancefloor with a super fun choreographed first dance. After that, it was never empty!

Gloucestershire wedding photographers

Of course, this Rockbeare Manor wedding was in Devon – but as Gloucestershire wedding photographers, we are more than happy to travel for love.

If you’re planning a Rockbeare Manor wedding (or a wedding day anywhere in the South West that’s going to be as full of love and joy and brilliance as Holly and Ryan’s) and are looking for wedding photographers who are both relaxed and unafraid to get into the centre of the action, then get in touch here to tell us your plans – we can’t wait to hear more!


Venue –
Flowers –
Videographer –
Band –
Singing Waiters –
Dress shop –
Cake – @manthbakes
Brides MUA – @cfalbs
Bridesmaids MUA –
Suits –
Bridesmaids Dresses –
Shoes –