For most brides, a nice album of photos with the best one on the wall, a DVD of the big day and – in 2014 – a gallery of pictures on Facebook are all most brides need to mark their big day.
But when you are the new Marchioness of Weymouth, you got married in one of the West’s most historic houses but your father-in-law and mother-in-law very publicly went to someone else’s wedding that day, something more than a nice photo album is needed.
So Emma McQuiston, the new queen of Longleat, has signalled she is calling the shots now at the Wiltshire stately home – by setting up a ‘unique’ exhibition, open to the public, all about her wedding.
The Collarusso-made wedding dress is on display, along with a new portrait of the blushing bride painted by renowned artist Paul Benney.
And, as a nod to the brides who have preceded her in marrying into the Thynn family, there are diaries, photos, portraits and even newsreel footage of previous weddings.
The day last June that the aspiring TV chef and food-blogger Emma married Ceawlin Thynn, the heir to the Longleat estate, was a grand occasion, but one which became a low point of the very public fall-out between Ceawlin and Emma and Ceawlin’s father, the eccentric 82-year-old Lord Bath.
Furious that the murals he painted on the walls of the old nursery had been removed by Ceawlin and Emma when they moved in, the couple and the groom’s father were not on speaking terms in the lead-up to the West’s wedding of the year.
So Lord Bath took Lady Bath to the wedding of a family friend in Hampshire, rather than not attend their own son’s wedding in their own home that day.
Happily since then, the warring family have made-up, the murals have been re-located and restored in another part of the big house and Ceawlin and Emma are throwing themselves into running the famous house, safari and adventure park.
And among the new visitor attractions at Longleat, those touring the house will be able to see the wedding exhibition, entitled ‘Something Old and Something New’.
“The new exhibition is a lovely reminder of the wedding and it is a great way to showcase all the amazing work and effort others put in to make it such a memorable and joyous occasion,” said Emma.
“It’s also fascinating to be able to compare it to other weddings which have taken place here at Longleat over the centuries,” she added.
The dress itself, created by Angelina Collarusso, takes centre stage, alongside a portrait of Emma wearing it. To launch the exhibition, the couple released a series of photographs showing them posed with the dress and the portrait.
In a separate area, but as part of the exhibition, fragments of the wedding dress worn by Louisa Carteret, the 2nd Viscount Weymouth, who married Thomas Thynne in 1733 are on display. She is said to be still at Longleat, haunting the corridors as the infamous ‘Grey Lady’.