Gloucester’s multi-award winning wedding venue named best in the South West

Blackfriars Priory that has seen hundreds of happy couples tie the knot, has won gold at the South West Tourism Awards.

The beautiful and historic venue owned by English Heritage and managed by Gloucester City Council, has pipped two other prestigious venues to the post to be named Wedding Venue of the Year.

The 13th century monument, which is one of three best rated historic landmarks in Gloucester, saw off the Pump Rooms in Bath and the Gara Rock Hotel in Devon to be crowned winner.

The rigorous process saw Blackfriars assessed on everything from ease of booking to staff friendliness, sustainability to social media.

Judges paid credit to the team saying they are ‘knowledgeable and passionate about what they do’ and that there is a ‘real sense that this venue is focused around each individual couple’ to create ‘a very special atmosphere’.

They also recognised the uniqueness of the venue saying ‘it really has the wow factor that all engaged couples are looking for to help them celebrate their big day. Couples are put at the centre of the planning ensuring that their perfect day can be built for them.’

The priory that boasts a private courtyard garden and the oldest most well-preserved medieval library in the country, has won a string of accolades since being taken on by the council in 2012.

Last year the team celebrated wins in the Best Venue category, and the Wedding Planner category at the local, countrywide and global rounds of the International Wedding Awards.

Blackfriars also won a platinum award in the Best of Bridebook Awards and trophies in the Hitched Wedding Awards and the Matrimony Awards.

It also made it to the final in the South West Wedding Awards, a who’s who of wedding venues in the region.

Founded in 1239 on a site that had once been part of a Norman castle, the priory has undergone extensive restoration and is used for concerts, weddings, exhibitions, festivals, events and even yoga sessions.

Councillor Andy Lewis, Cabinet Member for Culture and Leisure at Gloucester City Council, said: “It’s such an achievement to win this award, there's so many outstanding wedding venues in the whole of the South West and to win is simply extraordinary! I’m absolutely delighted and so proud of the team who work hard to make each and every wedding special. We’re over the moon that this beautiful and unique place and the dedication of the team are getting the recognition they deserve.”

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