Castle Wedding Venues Devon

In the Press

Ben & Julia Ford - Bride Magazine

Bickleigh Castle, Bickleigh, Devon

Click here to see the original Bride Magazine article

How did you meet? And tell us about your first date!

Ben and l met about six years ago through a mutual friend. He was a manager of a bar l frequented and we met properly one evening there, sparks flew and the rest is history! Our first ‘official' date was pretty low key; l think we went for a pizza and then cocktails on the King's Road in London. By that point we knew each other pretty well so there was no pressure, thank goodness.

Tell us about the proposal and how did it happen?

Ben was asked by his company to move to Singapore after only a year of us dating, and once I’d decided to move along with "him, l joined him in Singapore. We had been in Singapore for about a year when, one morning, l woke to find a beautiful parcel addressed to me with two tickets to Beijing inside. It was a wonderful surprise, made even better once we got there as Ben got down on one knee on The Great Wall of China and proposed with a beautiful diamond engagement ring! It was certainly very romantic and memorable.

The big day.

The wedding at Bickleigh Castle could not have been better. We made the wise decision of hiring the Castle for the whole weekend, hosting a barbeque for close friends on Friday night before the wedding day on Saturday. Most of the guests also stayed on- site and were able to get together again on Sunday for breakfast, which ensured that it was an ongoing celebration for us. As Ben & I live in Singapore it was such a great opportunity for us on the Friday to catch up with old friends and family members that we had not seen for a long time, without rushing around on our wedding day to try and make sure that we had spoken to everyone.

The wedding day was very exciting for me. I had my bridesmaids, mother and grandmother with me in the morning; we enjoyed the whole process of getting ready together and having our hair done. The ceremony itself was not until 2pm, so I had enough time to enjoy the whole process from start to finish without stressing too much!

The day was excellent, things went smoothly and the weather was hot and sunny, so we got very Iucky there. A highlight of the day was the speeches: my stepdad made a very moving speech, which got all the ladies in the room crying; Ben also had prepared something great, and his best man, Jay gave the most hilarious speech, which went down really well - I was in hysterics at some of the stories and jokes he came up with. Ben and I are party animals so the night ended at around 5am for us; our friends certainly all had a great time, and all our guests couldn’t say enough good things about the whole weekend. We were thrilled with the event, but sad it was all over.

The honeymoon.

We spent our honeymoon back in Asia, in a place called Krabi, off ThaiIand. We stayed in the five-star Pimalal Resort on Koh Lanta - it was just stunning. The views were incredible and the resort was to die for; we wanted somewhere quiet and relaxing, and we certainly got that and more.

Best bits

I think, overall, the best part of the day for me was actually walking down the aisle in the Great Hall and saying my vows to Ben in front of everybody. It was made more special by having a religious blessing afterwards in the 6th-century Chapel at Bickleigh Castle, which was just beautiful.

Return back to listings