East Devon is my home and for someone who’s happiest by the sea how lucky I am.
With its rolling hills, picturesque villages, big bold ridges, coastline and clear fast-flowing streams, it’s no wonder that Devon is a popular destination for holiday makers.
It is also one of the most popular counties for weddings and for good reason.
Destination weddings in Devon
Devon is hugely popular for destination weddings.
Destination or ‘weekend’ weddings, are those when everyone stays in the same place for a number of days. It means that quality time can be enjoyed by everyone and the experience is more a mini holiday than just a wedding.
Equally, Devon is attractive to couples who have decided to keep their wedding to a one-day event. Their guests can use the opportunity to tag on a few days either side of the wedding and spend time enjoying everything that Devon has to offer.
The county is awash with pubs, bed and breakfasts, first class hotels as well as self catering accommodation both on the coast and in the countryside.
Although Devon’s landscape and picturesque beaches can give a great sense of isolation, the county is much more accessible than you might think and travelling to the region for a wedding can be easy.
Devon has a number of main line rail stations and local services connecting to coastal and countryside . Catching the train from London or Birmingham to Exeter can take under 2 ½ hours, meaning your guests can join you for your big day in no time at all.
If you would rather fly, many flights from across the UK operate into Exeter Airport from cities including; London, Manchester, Newcastle, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Belfast and Norwich.
Massive choice of Devon wedding venues
Devon is blessed with some stunning wedding venues. They come in many guises. Rustic barns, stately homes, elegant manor houses and renovated farm buildings.
Others prefer the more DIY and personalised approach and rent a holiday house and have either church or celebrant led ceremony followed by a reception in the garden.
Couple’s really are spoilt for choice as every style of wedding is catered for.
For the purposes of this blog it gives me great pleasure to introduce you to those East Devon venues that are within five miles of where I live and with whom I am proud to say I work closely as their recommended wedding celebrant.
Image credit: Kathryn Clarke Mcleod
1. Rockbeare Manor
Rockbeare is licensed as a civil wedding venue and can host ceremonies for up to 160 people in a variety of different and very beautiful locations both indoors and out.
This Regency Grade 1 listed manor house can be found up a tree lined driveway and set in over 100 acres of glorious parkland. Recently refurbished to a very high standard it has been sensitively transformed into a contemporary venue but retaining its timeless elegance.
The staff at Rockbeare pride themselves in delivering unique and expertly managed weddings and it is rightly one of the most highly regarded venues in Devon.
Image credit: Kathryn Clarke Mcleod
2. Deer Park Country House
Deer Park is all the about the country house experience. There is so much on offer here I imagine couples would never want to leave. It could almost be described as a wedding resort!
Situated just outside Honiton in East Devon up a long drive it combines style and quality with impeccable hospitality and modern thinking.
From the casual to the extraordinary, weddings at Deer Park are a joyful experience. As they say in their brochure “weddings are their forte. Inside or out, pared down or turned up.”
Bespoke weddings can be held in any number of intimate licensed spaces inside or out with beautiful backdrops for you to make your own.
It’s no wonder it was awarded Conde Nast Johansens winner for Best for Weddings in 2020 and 2021.
3. Escot House
Escot is another large and impressive country house wedding venue in East Devon. This Georgian stately home is surrounded by 220 acres of tranquil parkland overlooking a lake providing the most beautiful backdrop for wedding photographs.
What makes Escot different is their relaxed attitude. There’s loads of splendour but none of the fuss or stuffiness.
It’s licensed for civil ceremonies and they welcome small intimate weddings as well as the larger wedding seating up to 120 in the house.
Image credit: Life Little Adventures Photography
4. Higher Holcombe
Now for something a bit wilder and ‘elegantly rustic’ comes to mind.
Higher Holcombe is a relaxed and friendly woodland and meadow venue, an approved venue with unique outdoor ceremony spaces. The hill-top willow ‘cathedral’ and secluded silver birch ‘church’ must be seen to be believed.
Specialising in weekend weddings with farmhouse and spacious glamping tents included -couples will also adore the quirky Hobbit House honeymoon suite.
The recently renovated Old Dairy barn is the perfect space for the reception with views of the meadows and cool chill-out fire pit.
5. Rock Farm
Rock farm is nestled in stunning countryside and rolling farmland. This new lovely East Devon venue is a cluster of converted farm buildings which have been designed and renovated specifically for the ever popular intimate wedding market.
This exclusive use venue is licensed for civil ceremonies. It can accommodate up to 45 guests for small celebrations both indoor and out in varying romantic settings. On site accommodation is available.
Sustainability is at the heart of Rock Farm and the owners encourage all guests to be environmentally sympathetic to ensure future generations can enjoy the magic of this venue for years to come.
6. Sidbury Manor
Finally something really special and something of an exclusive. Sidbury Manor. This is East Devon’s hidden treasure and remains a secret to many as a wedding venue. You will not find it on any wedding directories. On that basis alone your wedding and/or ceremony will be truly unique.
This private residence is set within acres of beautiful landscaped gardens and parkland with views down the Sid Valley to the sea.
Bask in the romance as you travel up the long private drive and arrive at the imposing Grade II listed Victorian mansion.
The grounds lend themselves to outdoor ceremonies whether you choose the lawns, the front of the house or the wooded glades in the gardens.
Sidbury really provides the most perfect backdrop for a quintessentially English country garden wedding.
Whether it’s an elegant marquee on the lawns for a large gathering or a woodland blessing for a more intimate ceremony, the gardens at Sidbury offer a versatile, flexible and beautiful range of spaces in which to have your wedding ceremony and celebrate.
Follow Sidbury Manor on instagram @sidburymanor to get a real feel of the magnificent gardens.