Readings

Couples often have trouble finding the right readings to suit them, the venue and their ceremony. We’ve put together a list of some of our favourites to help you find one that works best for your day.

For the fans of fantasy…

The Amber Spyglass by Philip Pullman

I will love you forever; whatever happens. Till I die and after I die, and when I find my way out of the land of the dead, I’ll drift about forever, all my atoms, till i find you again… I’ll be looking for you, every moment, every single moment. And when we do find each other again, we’ll cling together so tight that nothing and no one’ll ever tear us apart. Every atom of me and every atom of you… we’ll live in birds and flowers and dragonflies and pine trees and in clouds and in those little specks of light you see floating in sunbeams… and when they use our atoms to make new lives, they won’t just be able to take one, they’ll have to take two, one of you and one of me, we’ll be joined so tight…

Photography by  Louisa Jane

Photography by Louisa Jane

I love you forever; whatever happens
— The amber Spyglass

For the scientists….

Albert Einstein on Relativity

Gravitation cannot be held responsible for people falling in love. How on earth can you explain in terms of chemistry and physics so important a biological phenomenon as first love? Put your hand on a stove for a minute and it seems like an hour. Sit with that special girl for an hour and it seems like a minute. That’s relativity.

Photography by  Matt Fox

Photography by Matt Fox

For the teachers…

The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams

“What is REAL?” asked the Rabbit one day, when they were lying side by side near the nursery fender, before Nana came to tidy the room. “Does it mean having things that buzz inside you and a stick-out handle?”

“Real isn’t how you are made,” said the Skin Horse. “It’s a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but really loves you, then you become Real.”

“Does it hurt?” asked the Rabbit.

“Sometimes,” said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. “When you are Real you don’t mind being hurt.”

“Does it happen all at once, like being wound up,” he asked, “or bit by bit?”

“It doesn’t happen all at once,” said the Skin Horse. “You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get all loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.”

Photography by  Pinewood Weddings

Photography by Pinewood Weddings

For the book worms…

A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway

At night, there was the feeling that we had come home, feeling no longer alone, waking in the night to find the other one there, and not gone away; all other things were unreal. We slept when we were tired and if we woke the other one woke too so one was not alone. Often a man wishes to be alone and a woman wishes to be alone too and if they love each other they are jealous of that in each other, but i can truly say we never felt that. We could feel alone when we were together, alone against the others. We were never lonely and never afraid when we were together.

We were never lonely and never afraid when we were together.
— Ernest Hemingway

The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath by Sylvia Plath

I feel good with my husband: I like his warmth and his bigness and his being-there and his making and his jokes and stories and what he reads and how he likes fishing and walks and pigs and foxes and little animals and is honest and not vain or fame-crazy and how he shows his gladness for what I cook him and joy for when I make him something, a poem or a cake, and how he is troubled when I am unhappy and wants to do anything so I can fight out my soul-battles and grow up with courage and a philosophical ease. I love his good smell and his body that fits with mine as if they were made in the same body-shop to do just that. What is only pieces, doled out here and there to this boy and that boy, that made me like pieces of them, is all jammed together in my husband. So I don’t want to look around anymore: I don’t need to look around for anything

Photography by  New Forest Studio

Photography by New Forest Studio

Everything is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer

I love you also means I love you more than anyone loves you,

or has loved you, or will love you,

and also, I love you in a way that no one loves you,

or has loved you, or will love you, and also,

I love you in a way that I love no one else,

and never have loved anyone else,

and never will love anyone else.

I love you in a way that I love no one else
— Everything is illuminated

Poem about Agnes Pitt-Rivers and Larmer Tree Gardens by Thomas Hardy

I am stopped from hoping what I have hoped before -Yes many a time! -
To dance with that fair woman yet once more
As in the prime
Of August, when the wide-faced moon looked through
The boughs at the faery lamps of the Larmer Avenue
I could not, though I should wish, have over again
That old romance,
And sit apart in the shade as we sat then
After the dance
The while I held her hand, and, to the booms
Of contrabassos, feet still pulsed from the distant rooms.

Photography by  Paul Underhill

Photography by Paul Underhill

For the music lovers…

Bob Marley on Love

She’s not perfect – you aren’t either, and the two of you may never be perfect together – but if she can make you laugh, cause you to think twice, and admit to being human and making mistakes, hold on to her and give her the most you can. She may not be thinking about you every second of the day, but she will give you a part of her that she knows you can break – her heart. So don’t hurt her, don’t change her, don’t analyse and don’t expect more than she can give. Smile when she makes you happy, let her know when she makes you mad, and miss her when she’s not there.

P hotography by  Ben Goode

Photography by Ben Goode

For the Romantics…

Captain Correlli’s Mandolin – Louis de Bernières

Love is a temporary madness. It erupts like an earthquake and then subsides. And when it subsides you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your roots have become so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part. Because this is what love is. Love is not breathlessness, it is not excitement, it is not the promulgation of promises of eternal passion. That is just being in love, which any of us can convince ourselves we are. Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away, and this is both an art and a fortunate accident. Those that truly love, have roots that grow towards each other underground, and when all the pretty blossoms have fallen from their branches, they find that they are one tree and not two


Smile when she makes you happy, let her know when she makes you mad, and miss her when she’s not there.
— Bob Marley


The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks

“Poets often describe love as an emotion that we can’t control, one that overwhelms logic and common sense. That’s what it was like for me. I didn’t plan on falling in love with you, and I doubt if you planned on falling in love with me. But once we met, it was clear that neither of us could control what was happening to us. We fell in love, despite our differences, and once we did, something rare and beautiful was created. For me, love like that has happened only once, and that’s why every minute we spent together has been seared in my memory.”

 OR

“I am nothing special; just a common man with common thoughts, and I’ve led a common life. There are no monuments dedicated to me and my name will soon be forgotten. But in one respect I have succeeded as gloriously as anyone who’s ever lived: I’ve loved another with all my heart and soul; and to me, this has always been enough.”

Photography by  Lemonade Pictures

Photography by Lemonade Pictures

I’ve loved another with all my heart and soul; and to me, this has always been enough.
— The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks

The Princess Bride – William Goldman

“Do I love you? My God, if your love were a grain of sand, mine would be a universe of beaches…I have stayed these years in my hovel because of you. I have taught myself languages because of you. I have made my body strong because I thought you might be pleased by a strong body. I have lived my life with only the prayer that some sudden dawn you might glance in my direction. I have not known a moment in years when the sight of you did not send my heart careening against my rib cage. I have not known a night when your visage did not accompany me to sleep. There has not been a morning when you did not flutter behind my waking eyelids…

I love you. Okay? Want it louder? I love you. Spell it out, should I? I ell-oh-vee-ee why-oh-you. Want it backward? You love I…”

Accommodation

With Larmer Tree nestled deep in the countryside on the border of Dorset and Wiltshire, many of our couples worry that there will not be enough accommodation for themselves, their friends and their family. Fear not, there are a huge number of hotels, self catering properties and bed & breakfasts that can accommodate wedding guests staying in the local area. We have listed just a few of our favourites below.


King John’s House

Less than a mile down the road in Tollard Royal, King John’s House sleeps 17 people and is the perfect backdrop for bridal prep. A stay in King John’s House is unlikely to ever be forgotten. Spending any time within the walls of this extraordinary property is an utterly unique experience. Full of atmosphere and character, each room exudes a tremendous sense of history with many fine period features. Set in 3 acres of landscaped gardens on the edge of the charming village of Tollard Royal, the house now boasts a ‘bridal suite’ in the Japanese Water Garden, separate from the house. It is such a grand property that both the bride and groom can stay there the night before and keep with tradition by not crossing paths the morning of the wedding. Contact the Larmer Tree team for availability and bookings. Telephone: 01725 516971 Email: gail@larmertree.co.uk

King John Inn

Only 1.3 miles away from Larmer Tree in the little village of Tollard Royal is King John’s Inn.

It boasts of eight country bedrooms and the beautiful ‘The King Room Suite’ which is perfect for newly weds or guests to relax in after a day full of wedding festivities and fun. All of the bedrooms are decorated with fine antique furnishings and have en-suite bathrooms with either roll top baths or rain showers with complimentary brambly toiletries for you to enjoy. You’ll sleep soundly after dancing the night away in their king sized beds with luxurious feather bedding.

To top it off all of the rooms are dog friendly so your furry friends don’t get left out.

For their best rates and availability contact them on 01725 516207 or email on info@kingjohninn.co.uk

The Museum Inn

The Museum Inn is a 5 minute drive from Larmer tree, in the lovely village of Farnham in Dorset. It has eight perfectly appointed en suite bedrooms. Rustic country style with a modern twist epitomises their rooms each of which includes sumptuous bedding, a flat screen TV, handmade Bramley toiletries and tea-and-coffee-making facilities. You’ll be well fed with a full continental or cooked breakfast included with every stay.

If you are looking for a self catering option in Farnham, The museum Inn also has Moles Cottage which sleeps 16 people.

For their best rates and availability contact them on 01725 516261.

The Grosvenor Arms

Just a fifteen minute drive from Larmer Tree, The Grosvenor Arms in Shaftesbury, Dorset, has 16 boutique-style bedrooms with elegant décor. From cosy doubles to the Junior suite ( a newlywed favourite ) with a free-standing roll top bath and large private terrace, to the splendid The Cranborne suite, each room is spacious, smart and stylish.

All bedrooms have large double or king beds with 100% cotton linen, en suite bathrooms, Dualit espresso machines and flatscreen TV and WiFi.

For their best rates and availability contact them on 01747 850580 or email on info@grosvenorarms.co.uk.

Perry Cottage

Perry Cottage Bed & Breakfast is a self-contained detached cottage in the grounds of Perry House – a Grade II listed Georgian family home. It is only a five minute drive from Larmer Tree in the Village of Tollard Royal, Wiltshire. It consists of an entrance hall with slate floor, a very large double bedroom with either a super king sized double bed or twin beds, spacious bathroom with a double ended bath and separate shower and an attractive sitting room with vaulted ceiling and oak floor. The cottage has Wi-fi connection and a flat screen television. The bedroom is fitted with linen from ‘The White Company’ and the bathroom is supplied with luxurious toiletries from the locally hand produced ‘Bramley’ range.

For their best rates and availability contact them on 01725 516320 or email on enquires@perrycottagebb.com

Farnham Farmhouse

Farnham Farmhouse is a short walk or drive from Larmer Tree gardens near the village of Farnham, Dorset. The house has flagstone floors, open fires, three quarters of an acre of garden and an outdoor heated swimming pool. All three of its bedrooms have an en-suite bathroom or shower room, flat screen televisions and beautiful views of the surrounding countryside. Sarpenela, a natural therapies centre, is onsite too, if you want to indulge in a massage or try something new.

For their best rates, availability and bookings visit their website here.

Launceston Farm

Just a 10 minute drive from larmer Tree. You can take the lavish Georgian Farmhouse sleeping up to 12 and the two cosy cottages each sleeping 2 in any combination. All three properties are dog friendly and family friendly. There’s so much to keep everyone happy on the Farm with an indoor swimming pool and sauna, huge walled gardens and a play Orchard to explore as well as glorious country rambles from the farm gate.

For more information call 01258 830528 or visit their website here

The Fontmell

The Fontmell is a 15 minute drive from Larmer Tree in Fontmell Magma Dorset. The Fontmell extends over Collier’s Brook, the village stream, which flows between the bar and the dining room. When the windows are open the babbling brook creates a serene environment in which to eat and relax.

All bedrooms are en suite with walk-in showers, and selected rooms have a separate bath. The rooms have goose down duvets and pillows and crisp cotton sheets, ensuring your stay is a restful one. We allow dogs in all our rooms other than room 6.

All prices include a hearty breakfast, perfect to set you up for the wedding day ahead. For availability and bookings telephone 01747 811441 or email info@thefontmell.com.

10 Castle Street

Each of the nine individually designed bedrooms in the main house has an en-suite bathroom and a specific personality. If guests need a reason to visit, the unique feel and charm, along with fabulous views, provide the ideal location for a weekend away, a holiday in the heart of Dorset, a wedding or shooting party.

Dogs are also welcome at Kasteel Collection and a number of the rooms are pet friendly. So friendly in fact, that luxury dog beds and treats can be arranged prior to your stay.

Kasteel Collection provides the perfect environment for a country retreat but also offers an endless array of activities such as cycling, fishing, horse riding, shooting and sailing.

10 Castle Street is a members club however non-members who would like to stay can do so by becoming passing members.

And the Winner is....Larmer Tree!!!

We are delighted to share that Larmer Tree has been crowned the winner of the Best Country Wedding Venue category in The UK Wedding Awards 2019!

The standard of this year’s shortlist was extremely high and we are so grateful to all who took the time and voted for us. A huge thank you to all the lovely couples (past and present) who have fallen in love with Larmer Tree’s quirky and unique charm and decided to get wed here.

We absolutely love what we do here at Larmer Tree and are so glad that our love and passion has shone through in our work.

We thought this was a great opportunity to not only celebrate this award but also recognise and thank the team for all their hard work.

So firstly, a huge thank you to our incredibly hard working gardeners; Glen and Steve. Not only do they single handedly keep the 11 acres of gardens looking immaculate they also restore to good the gardens after both of our music festivals (Larmer Tree Festival & End of the Road), so that our couples and their guests would never know that there had been thousands of festival goers dancing on the lawns just weeks before their special day. Thank you so much for all your hard work!

OV3A8690.JPG

Another big thank you to our amazing caretaker Kevin. He works tirelessly throughout the year keeping the buildings spick and span. He’s a little like the cobblers elves; he gets the job done without being seen, and is often working in the early hours of the morning when the rest of us are tucked up in bed. Thank you so much for all your work!

1.jpg

Another huge thank you needs to go to Forkingout; our incredible caterers. With whom we have hand-in-hand built Larmer Tree’s reputation of quality and service. Nick, Mike, Sam, Warren and Matthew; you work so incredibly hard and always make it seem like it’s no big deal. The food you produce is absolutely delicious and your incredible team of waiting staff are the most helpful and charming around. Thank you all so much for your hard work.

OV3A8488.JPG

And last but not least, a big thank you to the wedding coordinators; Gail, Carol, Katy, Rebecca and Alice aka the ladies in black who are like swimming swans on a wedding day (graceful but furiously paddling below the surface to make sure everything is running smoothly). Thank you for all your hard work.

We are so proud to shine a spotlight on our outdoor wedding venue nestled on the Wiltshire Dorset border, so the whole UK can see what we have to offer. If you are searching for a unique wedding venue experience, look no further!

Now lets celebrate!

Unique & Quirky Wedding Venue

Thanks to The Wedding Secret for listing us in their '10 Unique & Quirky Wedding Venues in the UK’ blog post. Unique and quirky are certainly words that describe Larmer Tree. With our eclectic mix of buildings for both your ceremony and reception, we pride ourselves on being just a little bit different! You certainly will be hard pushed to find another wedding venue in Wiltshire or Dorset, let alone the whole of the UK with such unique outdoor ceremony options and quirky spaces to celebrate the best day of your life.

From manicured lawns to intimate arbours as well as ornate buildings and scenic pathways, Larmer Tree is the ideal location for a quirky, botanical infused wedding. Perfect for alternative couples looking to marry amongst natural beauty, these gardens offer various celebration spaces including original Victorian buildings such as The Roman Temple and The Lower Indian Room.
— The wedding Secret
If you’re looking for an indoor space, the Jubilee Hall showcases the very best of Victorian design, with an oak floor and draped ceiling as well as Nepalese wooden carvings and even a bejewelled mirror. This wonderfully versatile space can be used for both your ceremony and reception and offers great adaptability for your style or wedding theme.
— The Wedding Secret
Understanding the unpredictable British weather, there are both indoor and outdoor ceremony spaces for you to choose from. A popular outdoor location is the magnificent Roman Temple which boasts a domed roof and magical marble floor. Set amongst the stunning lawns, the temple oozes romance and makes for majestic wedding photographs.
— The Wedding Secret

Larmer Tree Wedding featured on Love My Dress

We are so thrilled to be featured on Love My Dress this month for Karen and David’s beautiful Victorian botany inspired wedding.

We chose this venue as it was quirky and unusual. It has multiple beautiful buildings, which enabled us to choose the structure of the day exactly how we wanted it, rather than conform to the norm. We chose to have our ceremony outside by the Roman Temple. This was a gamble for an October wedding but the indoor option would have been equally as nice.
— Karen and David | Love My Dress
043-delahaysavery_larmertree.jpg

We first met the couple back in April 2018 when they were just starting their wedding planning journey. Karen (a photographer) and David (a designer) had a great eye for style and had a clear vision of how they wanted their day to look and feel. They fell in love with our quirky outdoor ceremony options and were pleased that were only a short drive from their home in Christchurch, Dorset. The couple came to the viewing with Karen’s parents and all were excited to find out the history of Larmer Tree and the Pitt Rivers link to Oxford where Karen grew up.

The best part was that it was created by General Pitt Rivers, who also has a museum in Oxford. This is where I grew up and visited the museum as a child so it was a great connection. To top it off, they had a team of fantastic wedding planners, who were so on the ball in the planning and on the day, they even organised the sunniest October day too!
— Karen & David | Love My Dress
059-delahaysavery_larmertree.jpg

Karen & David chose incredible photographers Emma & Ian from Big bouquet photography, who have worked at Larmer Tree many times, to capture their day.

They blended in perfectly on the day. We absolutely love how they have captured the mood of the day. We can’t stop looking back at the photos and reliving the day, we have such great memories to look back on.
— Karen and David | Love My Dress
078-delahaysavery_larmertree.jpg

The 19th October arrived and Karen & David were blessed with a beautiful sunny October wedding, showcasing Larmer Tree’s quirky, elegant surroundings in the autumn sun. They were so lucky with the weather they enjoyed their ceremony, afternoon reception and speeches all outside before heading inside for their wedding breakfast and party.

The setting is a stunning landscape garden in Wiltshire, originally designed in the late 1800s, and our couple were inspired by the setting, and by the idea of Victorian botany with a modern twist. Not to mention they chose an outdoor ceremony – saying their vows to one another in the doorway of a Roman temple.
— Love my Dress
112-delahaysavery_larmertree.jpg

Florist Debra Marsh created Karen’s stunning bouquet which showcased some magnificent orchids. The choice of blooms and foliage worked beautifully with Larmer Tree’s green lush surroundings.

113-delahaysavery_larmertree.jpg

The incredibly talented Lucy from Sugar Shack and a frequent supplier at Larmer Tree created this show stopper which tasted every bit as good as it looked!

I knew Lucy was capable of creating a show-stopper. We wanted something that was big so that we could have it cut in the day to serve afternoon tea, but keep the bottom half for the evening guests to see intact. So we opted to have a terrarium to separate the top and bottom sections (it became the top of the cake in the evening). This also tied in with the table decoration for the wedding breakfast.
— Karen and David | Love My Dress
178-delahaysavery_larmertree.jpg

After a private tasting with chefs Mike & Nick the couple opted for a delicious shoulder of lamb with garlic & rosemary followed by lemon meringue pie. The guests enjoyed the feast in the beautiful Pavilion which was decorated with a mix of modern terrariums, succulents in terracotta pots and candles.

155-delahaysavery_larmertree.jpg

After dinner the evening reception got underway and the evening band Le freak got everyone up on their feet with their funk and disco.

319-delahaysavery_larmertree.jpg

From everyone at Larmer Tree we want to say a huge congratulations to Karen & David and we hope to see you at the gardens again very soon (perhaps for an anniversary picnic!?)