Devon is one of my favourite areas of the South West to photograph weddings. This post is going to be all about why you should ditch the big-city wedding idea for a Devon wedding instead.
Reasons To Have A Devon Wedding
1. Unique Wedding Venues
Devon has some of the most stunning wedding venues anywhere in the UK. It’s home to the truly authentic magical old-english countryside with thousands of years of history that I’ve not seen anywhere else. Amazing old manors, repurposed barns, a wild coastline, walls draped with climbing plants, beautiful small villages – Devon wedding venues have anything you could want. I high recommend checking out Anran for a stunning classic luxury venue, River Cottage in South Devon for an authentic country experience with some of the best food you’ll ever eat, The Grain Store for the most incredible ocean views, Treetop Escape for a luxury eco-minded elopement or microwedding venue or for something in the thick of the trees and nature, Underpine Woods is amazing.
The bigger cities have some amazing rooftop/industrial/hidden cafe type venues and they’re incredible – but for each one of them, there are 10+ function centre, conveyor belt wedding factories that offer ‘personalisation’ as far as whether you’ll serve chicken or fish and what colour covers you want on the chairs. I have nothing against them, but they’re less about you – it’s hard to inject any of your personality into the day to make it truly memorable for you both.
In my experience, when you find a more unique Devon wedding venue, they put a lot of effort into to craft a truly personal experience for planning your wedding and they make sure it’s the exact day you want to have.
2. A Big, Beautiful Weekend Away
One thing that I hear from couples on or after their wedding day is how quickly it flew by – there’s so much planning and then it flies by in the blink of an eye. Devon is the perfect distance from not just Bristol but also London in that it can be a day trip for those that really want it to be, but it is really easy to just make a weekend of for those closest to you.
There’s something about going away for a wedding that makes it feel extra special, too. It’s like it activates holiday mode and people let a bit looser and celebrate a bit more wildly. It also shows people a part of the country they might otherwise miss and Devon is full of things to do on the day before or after. Most venues also have accomodation on site or very nearby.
If you’re considering having your wedding in Devon because it’s where you grew up, it’s also a great chance to share that piece of you with your family and friends that haven’t visited before. You’ll generally be able to party later into the night, too – and with everyone staying nearby, a recovery breakfast the next day is perfect for exchanging stories from the day before.
3. Insane Photo Locations
All of the unique Devon wedding venues have their own vibe and style, but the one thing they do all share is a mind-blowing range of stunning photo locations. My style leans into more natural locations that allow the focus to be more on you as a couple than on everything around you and Devon is absolutely full of these locations.
Not only is it loaded with amazing locations, but they’re SO easy to get to. There is nothing more stressful than Ubering around Bristol or London to get to 5 different locations through traffic, only to find when you get there that 5 other wedding parties had the same idea. It honestly detracts from the experience of the day. And most Devon wedding venues also just have a tonne of options on site, so you don’t need to ditch your own party for 3 hours just to get some stunning photographs.
This photo was maybe 150m from the ceremony location at Treetop Escape in North Devon where we found the final bit of sunshine from the day. We didn’t need to disappear for 3 hours, or dodge traffic or bump into a tonne of other people. We just wandered up a small hill and waited for the sun to poke its head out for a moment.
4. Summer Sunset Photos
Now admittedly, thee UK isn’t as known for it’s dramatic big sunsets, but they do come along and shooting in the city surrounded by tall buildings generally means you’re going to miss out as it dips behind the marauding statues of progress.
One of the best things about Devon is that it’s forever undulating and you’re never far from a hill to get a stunning sunset view from. Even better is that with the late summer sunsets we have here, you can just pop out between speeches for 10 minutes and get a handful of sunset shots in the most stunning time of the day. And for the days that miss out on a sunset – you still have the beautiful last light that creates this deep moody vibe for your photos.
5. Coastal Winter Wedding Vibes
Summer in the UK is prime wedding season, but I honestly think people are leaving a lot on the table by missing out on a moody, romantic rugged up Devon winter wedding by the coast. Picture this – you’re all snuggled up, you can smell fireplaces, there might even be mulled wine, the coast line is stopping it from being blindingly cold and miserable like it is in the city – a winter wedding is perfect for the romantics. The thing about the cold is that you can rug up more and more – when your wedding falls in a heatwave, there are only so many layers you can shed before it gets to be a questionable event rather than a wedding.
The UK is beautiful in winter all around. It’s built for it. And people are going to want to warm up by absolutely tearing apart your dance floor all night meaning you’ll have a raging party on your hands.
And maybe this is just me, but the coastline in winter is really something special and beautiful. The ocean is a different beast in the depths of the cold and makes for a beautiful backdrop. And if you’re not on the coast, you might even get mind-blowingly lucky and end up with a snowy wedding while you’re rugged up by a fire. So romantic!
I really hope you found something valuable in this article. There are so many things to love about Devon, and not being from the UK originally, I’ve loved having the chance to explore the county and its amazing coastline. Ilfracombe in North Devon was actually the first place considered moving to when we left Sydney earlier in 2021 before settling into our lives in Frome, Somerset.