June 2013 | Ideal Bride Magazine
Every bride wants a unique wedding day. With traditions from older generations no longer being the 'norm'. Brides and grooms are searching for a different way to celebrate. Many couples in recent years have selected stately homes and country hotels as the setting for their ceremony.
We are delighted to introduce a truly unique wedding venue for couples looking for somewhere special to celebrate their day. The breath taking Brunel SS Great Britain located at the great western dockyard in Bristol. Offers brides and grooms the uniqueness they have been craving!
Couples choosing the Brunel SS Great Britain as their wedding venue can expect to receive support at every stage of planning your special day. When you hold your ceremony or reception on board Brunel's SS Great Britain you will receive:-
Here at Ideal Bride we decided to discover more about the Brunel SS Great Britain and what better way than to speak with the events manager for Brunel's SS Great Britain, Bronwen Rolls, and here is what she told us…
"Thank you. Brunel's SS Great Britain is the world's first great ocean liner. Launched by Prince Albert in 1843 to provide luxury travel to New York, the iron-hulled steamship revolutionised travel and set new standards in engineering, reliability and speed. She took more than 15,000 passengers to Australia, following the discovery of gold. Famous passengers included the First All England Cricket Team to tour Australia; novelist Anthony Trollope (who wrote 'Lady Anna' on board); and Superintendent John Sadleir who captured the Ned Kelly Gang.
Today Brunel's SS Great Britain is a stunning UK museum attraction and wedding venue. Guests can explore the beautifully recreated spaces – from the First Class Dining Saloon and Promenade Deck, to the Engine Room and Steerage (third class), and descend below the glass 'sea'. In true 'Brunelian' spirit, the ship appears to be afloat on what is the roof of a giant dehumidification chamber and lit up at night it proves a great 'wow' factor for guests. Brunel's SS Great Britain has received national EnjoyEngland Excellence Awards for 'outstanding customer service' and 'business tourism' for its wedding and venue hire."
"The process of conserving the historic ship can never stop and costs more than £1 million per year. The SS Great Britain Trust receives no funding from central or local government and relies on visitors, venue hire, and weddings held on board, as well as the generosity of members and supporters to fund work which also includes educational programs for children and young people."
"If a bride gets married here, without a doubt she will have the time of her life. We promise style, exclusivity and a professional and personal service. This ship is not only steeped in history it is a beautiful and elegant example of Victorian design. It is ideal for wedding pictures. The ship is dramatic, whatever the weather. The SS Great Britain is at the heart of Bristol's harbour, which provides a fabulous backdrop. There are bright multi-coloured houses on the Clifton Wood hillside; fluttering flags above the Top Deck; and hot air balloons and swans in flight are regular features in the summer months."
"In Brunel's SS Great Britain, we have a truly stunning and unique venue – a national treasure and icon of a vibrant and exciting city. We reflect that in our service and our approach that every wedding is unique. Ever since we received our licence to conduct ceremonies on board the ship, over 15 years ago, we have made sure every single wedding that takes place is delivered to the highest standards. The team of wedding coordinators we have here at Brunel's SS Great Britain works very closely with couples, talking through all ideas and encouraging personal touches that can really make the day special. When a bride chooses to get married or to hold her wedding reception here we are honoured to play a part in her big day, so we strive to make sure it is a happy and memorable one."
"From the moment the couple arrives to first view the ship we begin to plan and build a bespoke wedding day for them. We talk through all the ideas they may have and even offer a few suggestions of our own, where input is requested. There are no fixed packages that restrict creativity. Our wedding stewards are exemplary, and in addition to providing on-the-day support, they offer guided tours of the historic ship if of interest to the bridal couple and their guests. Wedding reception guests are also able to return the following day to explore Brunel's SS Great Britain during the daytime at their leisure. The couple have an intimate ceremony below a beautiful skylight on the Promenade Deck, with its restrained Victorian elegance. Wedding receptions take place in the opulent First Class Dining Saloon – a space which impressed a young and fashionable Queen Victoria. Evening parties are held in the adjoining Hayward Saloon with its dance floor and bar. The bridal couple and guests can explore the historic dockyard, descend below the stunning glass 'sea' surrounding the ship, and discover the beautifully recreated spaces on board."
"The historic ship also benefits from a PA system on two decks; MP3 compatibility; a sophisticated air-cooling system in the First Class Dining Saloon; extensive chilling for champagnes, wines and flowers; newly refurbished Victorian-styled toilets, suitable for 'First Class' passengers; and award-winning access, with a lift in the funnel. The delicious food is cooked on board in the state-of-the-art galley, next to the First Class Dining Saloon. Waiting staff are highly professional and friendly. Brunel's SS Great Britain is close to hotels and serviced apartments, to suit all budgets; there is a car and coach park; and is close to rail and bus stations. Some bridal parties even decide to travel between the hotel and wedding venue by ferry."
"A wedding here starts at around 4pm (3.30pm in winter and 4.30pm in summer) and can go through until the small hours of the morning. We hold our weddings in the late afternoons, with a maximum of one ceremony per day, as during the day Brunel's SS Great Britain is a visitor attraction. "
"Ceremonies here with us are from £500.00 +VAT. That price also includes an hour having photographs taken around and on the ship. Brunel's SS Great Britain is an amazing back drop for some really sunning images. "
"We can have anything up to 150 guests for the ceremony and the reception, with capacity for an extra 100 evening guests, we can have 250 guests. "
"We don't have packages. We believe every one of our couples should be able to create a tailored and original day that reflects what they personally want to achieve. Our menus and wines lists showcase the very best produce and we are all very proud of the memories we have created for people. What still amazes the bride is also how little this service costs for what they receive. "
"We have venue hire costs and then the food and drinks costs – no hidden extras. We have an extensive menu and a trained team who can talk through the whole process of creating the menu that suits them and their day. If the couple requires something truly unique or have a favourite dish, we will endeavour to recreate it for them. "
Ideal Bride Magazine would like to thank Bronwen and the rest of the team at Brunel's SS Great Britain for their time and contributions.
Interested in hiring the Brunel SS Great Britain for your wedding? Contact the events team through the website www.ssgreatbritain.org/venue/Enquiry/. Help support the ship with maintenance costs at www.ssgreatbritain.org/support/. Calling all brides and grooms, if you have married at this venue we would love to speak to you, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
images courtesy of David Noton, Graham Wyles, Venetia Norrington/Fire Top Photography
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