Wedding bells beckon at Newton Abbot

Newton Abbot Racecourse is quickly becoming the place to visit for romance with a marriage proposal, double wedding and wedding show at the course this season.

The first race-day of the new season proved to be extra special for one lucky couple last weekend. Darren Symonds took the opportunity to propose to his girlfriend Bethan Hughes, via a message posted on the television screens all around the racecourse.


Darren decided that the venue was ideal for popping the question to his girlfriend of two years as both his own and bride-to-be’s family were visiting the racecourse for the first meeting of the season. Darren said: “I’ve been thinking about where to propose for a long time, but the racecourse proved to be the perfect opportunity as Bethan is really close to her family and I wanted all of our family to be able to join in our celebrations.”

Darren’s nerves were settled when Bethan accepted his proposal and to celebrate Newton Abbot Racecourse invited the happy couple to present a prize to Mrs Angela Tincknell, owner of the first winning horse of 2010, Organisateur.

Bethan beamed: “It’s been an incredible day; I had no idea that Darren had been planning this. I still can’t quite take it all in but we’re looking forward to planning our big day.”

The romance continues later this year when sisters Michelle and Karen McKenzie-Smith hold a double wedding reception at the course on Ladies Day, Tuesday 22nd June. The sisters are from a family of horse lovers and the racecourse was the obvious choice for them when looking for a wedding reception venue.

Karen McKenzie-Smith said: ‘We wanted to choose a venue that could give us the intimate reception that we wanted but was also a bit different so that our guests would enjoy and remember the day as much as the bride and groom”

“Holding the reception at the racecourse means that we don’t have to worry about organising evening entertainment for our guests as they can enjoy the great horseracing action plus the live entertainment organised for the Ladies Day celebrations.”

“With our wedding coinciding with Ladies Day it means that our guests can dress up really glamorously and not worry about standing out from the crowd with all of the great outfits that will be worn to Ladies Day.”

Newton Abbot Racecourse will also be helping hundreds of other brides-to-be this autumn when they are host to The Real Brides Show on 25th and 26th September 2010. The wedding show is one of the largest in the South West, covering Devon, Cornwall, Somerset and Dorset with over 100 exhibitors. With a range of exhibitors from wedding dresses to party favours, the show is set to be the place to organise a South West based wedding.

For more information about holding a wedding reception at Newton Abbot Racecourse call 01626 353 235 or visit For more information about The Real Brides Show visit



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