December is an increasingly popular time for weddings. Heading to Somerset for our second wedding of the month, we still have another 4 weddings to go before the end of the year.
Today was our second visit to Coombe Lodge in Blagdon. Ironically the last time we were here was also around Christmas for Lee and Rachel on 28 December 2021.
Jessica and Tom
Wrington Church and Coombe Lodge, Blagdon
Saturday 10 December 2022
Today’s wedding took us first of all to the church of All Saints in the small Somerset village of Wrington.
The Church of All Saints
There has been a church here since the 13th century, though much of the present building dates from the 15th century.
There are no records from either Glastonbury Abbey or locally as to any previous building before the 13th century. However, there is some surviving 13th century work in the present building, mostly in the chancel, which is notably plainer in appearance than the nave, indicating its earlier age.
The church underwent a period of extensive remodelling and expansion from 1420 to 1450, including rebuilding the nave and aisles and constructing the large west tower. The chancel was also modified in this period, which involved widening the western face of the existing chancel to fit the new, larger nave. The former line of the roof ridge can still be seen where the nave meets the tower arch from within.
Major restoration of the church took place from 1859-1860, which involved plastering and stuccoing the previously whitewashed walls, the medieval pews removed and replaced, the gallery installed across the tower arch was removed, removing the piscina from the chancel, removing the monuments in the church, moving the organ to underneath the tower vaulting, covering the floor of the chancel with tiles, adding a new font and adding clerestory windows to the nave. The present east window was also installed in this restoration, as a copy of the previous 13th century work. Barrel vaulting also was installed in the chancel at this time.The tower was restored in 1948.
In 2017, a major reordering and restoration of the church interior took place, undertaken jointly by Benjamin & Beachamp Architects and Ellis & Co. This restoration, taking some 8 months, involved lifting the church floor, improved the draining, and relaying it with underfloor heating and new stone. Masonry throughout the church was cleaned, wiring and plumbing was overhauled, and the timber ceilings were conserved by removing centuries of dust and wax and gilding the decorative elements. Some pews were also removed, and the floor was lowered. The first service in the church following the work was held on Palm Sunday, 2017.
The Wedding Ceremony
One of the first challenges with church weddings is finding somewhere to park. As a result we tend to arrive a little earlier than otherwise necessary as parking nearby saves us a lot of time. On this occasion we were fortunate enough to get a space right outside the church. To further help us we also found a rather splendid baby grand piano int he church which was not only in full working order but also close enough in tune to use with the cello.
With the piano being useful, this meant we didn’t have to bring so much kit into the church. Not only did this save time setting up but more importantly meant we could make a swift exit after the ceremony as we then had to drive down to Coombe Lodge to set up again for the Drinks Reception.
As well as playing the piano to accompany Anne-Marie on the Cello, Jules was also playing the organ for today’s wedding which included 2 hymns during the service (Jerusalem and Joy to the World) followed by Mendelssohn’s Wedding March for the couple exit.
Felix Mendelssohn’s “Wedding March” in C major, written in 1842, is one of the best known of the pieces from his suite of incidental music (Op. 61) to Shakespeare’s play A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
In terms of music for JAM Duo, we were playing before the service for around half an hour and the bridal entrance was a mashup of two songs. How Long will I love you (Ellie Goulding) – for bridesmaids entrance and Wildest Dreams (Taylor swift / Bridgerton) for bride entrance. We can blend any two songs together and this is often a popular choice for the bridal entrance – you can hear a few examples over on our listen page.
For the signing we played Maestro from ‘The Holiday’ by Hans Zimmer followed by our arrangement of Canon in D by Johann Pachelbel. At that point Jules had quickly but subtly move around the church to get to the organ for the Couple exit.
The Wedding Drinks Reception
A short drive from Wrington and we were back at Coombe Lodge in Blagdon which was the venue for today’s Drinks Reception and indeed the rest of Jess and Tom’s wedding celebrations.
Here again there is a grand piano. However, a quick tinkle of the ivories confirmed that it was not entirely in tune with itself and the timbre wasn’t ideal. No matter, we simply set up our Nord Stage piano by the Grand and used that instead.
In terms of music Jess has simply asked for a medley of songs but to avoid Elton John’s ‘Your Song’ as that was to be the first dance.
We had a lovely time at Jess and Tom’s wedding and it was a pleasure going back to Coombe Lodge. We wish them every happiness in their married life together.
JAM Duo at Your Wedding
If you are getting married in Somerset, The South West or anywhere else in the UK, then JAM Duo would love to be part of your wedding. We can provide music for your Wedding Ceremony, Drinks Reception, Wedding Meal and through into the evening for your First Dance.
To find out more please do get in touch via our contact page.