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Gorcott Hall,
Mappleborough Green,
B98 9EU

01789 224450


If music be the food of love…

We love a bit of music in this house. Well, most of us do, Allie listens to James Blunt.

Swiftly moving on……music is a really important part of your big day, and we can help. It’s not just about the song you walk down the aisle to, or your first dance, or having Sex on Fire blasting out at a quarter to midnight; music can be around you for the whole day.

Let’s say you’re marrying in a civil ceremony at 2:00PM, we’ll be serving your welcome drinks at 2:30PM. Chances are there’ll have been guests arriving since 1:30PM. Your ceremony takes 30 minutes or so, and we’ll generally be calling you over for your wedding breakfast sometime around 4:45/5:00PM. So, there’ll be around three or four hours for you to meet and greet your guests, while they enjoy their canapes and drinks and the photographer does their thing.

Now, if you love live music (and who doesn’t), you might be thinking about hiring a professional outfit to provide some lovely background music for the afternoon. Great! I used to be a bit of a musician myself and always loved playing at weddings. We’ve had all sorts of musicians here over the years – choirs, harpists, acoustic duos, sax players…..but they do of course, come at a cost. And, there’s the question of where they set up for maximum impact. So, what’s the alternative? Well, if you’ve ever visited Gorcott, you’ll have probably noticed we always have music playing in the house. We’ve got a fabulous networked sound system here, with music being piped throughout the downstairs of the hall, and also into the gardens. So why not make (free) use of this, and curate your own, personalised wedding playlist? You’ll have a load of fun (and maybe a few fights!) putting it together, and all you need to do is send us a link to your playlist (Spotify or Apple Music) a few days before your big day. We’ll download it onto our system (we don’t stream it, just in case we happen to lose the broadband on the day), and look after everything else for you. You’ll need up to four hours of music (around 60/70 songs).

So, what will you choose? Make it personal, make it special to you two, and make it memorable. Want a few ideas?

  • What was the song you first danced together to?
  • What was number one when you were both born (
  • What song makes you both go a bit gooey because it reminds you of a special time, a special place, or a lost loved one? (or just each other)
  • When you’re apart, and you’re missing one another, what song makes you think of the other?

Here’s ours:

  • Cruel Summer by Bananarama (ask your parents)
  • Mark – Hey Jude by The Beatles, Allie – Good Vibrations by The Beach Boys (also, ask your parents)
  • How Long Will I Love You by Ellie Goulding
  • Anything by Bear’s Den reminds Allie of Mark, Breakeven by The Script reminds Mark of Allie (don’t read too much into the lyrics here though!)

So, come on, it’s never too early to start. You can start messing around with this now. If you get bored of a tune later on you can always change it. Oh, and I won’t judge. All music is art.

Unless, of course, it’s by James Blunt.

A home fit for a Queen

Did you know that Elizabeth I once visited Gorcott Hall, some time in the early 1560s. There’s plenty of archive information to back this up, and she even donated a fabulous stained glass window as a thank you.

So, what was she doing here? Let’s have a quick history lesson first. Well, Elizabeth, the ‘Virgin Queen’ was the daughter of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn. Dad got a bit bored of Anne (his second wife), so he had her head removed when our Liz was still a toddler. She’d only just reached her teenage years in 1537 when lovely old Henry also popped his considerable clogs. Gorcott Hall was a new build then, construction having started on the current main Hall just two years earlier. Things got a bit messy for the Tudors around this time: Kings and Queens came and went while the Tudors decided whether they were Catholic or Protestant, and, in 1554, young Liz did a stretch in the Tower of London for supposedly supporting an anti royal rebellion.

But, by 1558, Elizabeth inherited the throne when her half sister “Bloody Mary” died. She went on to rule the country over some key events in history – the Spanish Armada, and the colonisation of America. She was a hugely popular queen, but she never married. Which brings the story to Gorcott….sort of.

Now, there was a dashing young man called Robert Dudley who Liz had known since childhood. We’ll call him Bobby D. He was the Earl of Leicester and his home was Kenilworth Castle, not too far away from us. He was, by all accounts, fairly unhappily married to a poor lass called Amy. In 1560, aged just 28, Amy “fell” down a flight of stairs at home, breaking her neck and bringing an untimely end to her time as Mrs. D. Her death caused a huge scandal at the time, with many people suspecting Bobby D of giving her a nudge downstairs. This meant that any form of relationship between Liz and Bobby would have been hugely unpopular. So, it appears they conducted their romance in secret.

It seems likely that it was during one of these secret liaisons that Liz came to Gorcott. We’re not quite sure who invited the Queen here, but it’s probable that it was arranged by one of the Throckmorton family, good mates with the Queen and owners of a fairly spectacular pad up the road in Coughton. We’ll assume that the Yardley family, who owned Gorcott at the time, made Liz very welcome, given that she had the stained glass window made at not inconsiderable expense. Or maybe that was the price for their silence! If word ever got out that Liz and Bobby were dating, the fallout would’ve been huge.

Liz never married Mr. Dudley, or anybody else for that matter. She had plenty of offers, but died a spinster in 1602, having ruled over one of the most exciting periods in our history.

Is Gorcott Hall a home fit for a queen? History says yes, and who are we to argue? Shame we weren’t running weddings here back then, we’d have loved to have seen Liz and Bobby rocking out on the dance floor.

Author’s disclaimer: I am by no means a Tudor historian, but I do have a GCSE in History as well as access to Wikipedia.

Do not fear, Gorcott is here!

Dealing with the changes.

So, your original plans have been scuppered and you’ve had to postpone your big day. We can only imagine how deflated and upset you must feel, but what we do know is things usually feel better when you have them under control. So now is the time to make a new plan and communicate it to all of your loved ones that are going to share your big day with you. The quicker you do that, the quicker you’ll start to love your new date. As they say, every cloud…you’ll now have longer to get excited and look forward to it.

Firstly, nail your new date. Make sure that you are as happy as you can be that you have all of your key suppliers lined up to deliver your dream day. Concentrate on the big and obvious things here, your venue, the registrar or church, and any catering or drinks suppliers. You may also want to check with your photographer/videographer and of course all of the key members of your family and bridal party.

If your save the dates or invitations have already been sent out, then there’s no time like the present to let everyone know the change of date, so that they can amend things in their diary and confirm they can still make it. Have a good think about the best way to do this, there are so many different options! You may need to consider how much time you have and also how much you want to spend. WhatsApp and email are quick and cheap and will more than likely reach many members of your wedding party, whilst nothing might beat a telephone call, a video chat or a personally addressed letter to some of the members of the party. Double them up with making sure that everyone is safe and well during this difficult time.

If your church and/or venue has had to be changed, then figure out what your guests will need to know ahead of your new date. It’s likely that you now have some time to think about how you might let people know all of the new details. Again, there are lots of ways to do this so take your time and think about it. Rest assured, under the circumstances it’s unlikely your guests will be expecting any grand gestures or more expensive stationery, so keep it as simple or be as creative as you want to be. It’s your day.

Finally, get excited! The date may have changed, but you are still marrying the person you are madly in love with! A fabulous day is still in the making, you just have a little longer to plan and get excited about it.

We’re certain to help you through the uncertainty!

Bickering!? Definitely not something that should be on your wedding planning checklist. But with the uncertainty that’s come with the COVID-19 outbreak it’s possible that stress levels between you could be reaching an all time high. So, here’s a few ideas to try and keep you both focused on the things that are important during these tricky times and to help stop the squabbles.

Set aside some quality time for wedding talk, this is likely to be better than constant snippets throughout the day. Book the time out, pour a glass of wine, and snuggle up together on the sofa. Discuss any progress or developments and the options that are available to you. Create a time that allows you both to be comfortable and express your concerns and expectations.

Don’t sweat the small stuff. Whilst every minor detail of your day is, of course, important, right now is the time to be concentrating on the bigger things; there are probably big decisions that need to be made. Help keep your sanity by looking after the big stuff. If some of the tiny details have to be amended or left by the wayside, try not to worry, you will still have a fabulous day.

It’s likely that many couples may have to compromise on dates, venues, suppliers – all sorts of things during this difficult time. But, remember, you are in this together. Help each other to compromise and come to terms with necessary changes to plans, understand when your other half seems disproportionately upset about something that you are less bothered about. This is all good practice ahead of your married life together.

Most importantly, remember it’s your wedding. Your love is strong this year, as it will be next year and every year after that. The most important thing is that you are safe, well and that you have each other.

Stay smiling and continue planning! 

Gorcott’s assurance in these tough times

In these trying times, we just wanted to offer a few words of assurance for those couples planning to marry this year or next.

Gorcott Hall has been here since 1535. We’ve been lucky enough to own it since 2004, overseeing its complete restoration, and helping create beautiful, memorable weddings since 2010. We’re so looking forward to welcoming happy couples back into our home again once things get back to normal. 

The team from Four Leaf Clover and Gorcott Hall Events have done a fantastic job of delivering the weddings here over the last few years, while we’ve taken a break. Their time here soon draws to a close as they hand the reins back to us at the end of December this year. We really can’t wait to resume doing what we love doing the most – providing a wonderful venue for an amazing day.

These are troubling times for everyone; we’ve never experienced anything like this in our lifetime, and hopefully we never will again. If you have any concerns about your wedding, we’re always here, so rest assured we will help if we can. We know many couples will be experiencing the utter heartbreak of having to postpone or even cancel their weddings this year. We cannot imagine how impossible that is to deal with right now, along with everything else. But, just remember, your love will still be as strong next year, and for every year thereafter. You’ll still be there, and so will Gorcott Hall.

COVID-19 has to be everybody’s priority right now. Listen to the advice – too many people are dying. But, as the saying goes, this too will pass. When it does, we will still be here. We are passionate about what we do because of you, the happy couples who we have the privilege of showing around our home and venue, and hopefully sharing your special day with. We hope to see you as soon as it’s safe to do so.

In the meantime, be safe, be patient, be kind, and know that we’re always on hand to answer any questions you have, however trivial they may seem.

All the very best

Allie, Mark and the whole team at Gorcott Hall