An Essex Wedding - January/February 2022 (Issue 102) JAN/FEB 2022 £3.55 BEAUTY, FASHION, GROOMS, HONEYMOONS AND MUCH MORE... WIN! MARRIAGE MATERIAL £1,500 worth of diamonds! Room with a view 2022 venue styling trends Countryside chic Barn wedding venues Be inspired by local couples A MOMENT IN TIME The lowdown on photography BEST OF BRAINTREE Where to wed in the area

leez pRIoRy LEEZ PRIORY CHELMSFORD ESSEX 01245 362555 goSfielD HAll Country HousE weddings Exclusively Weddings, Exclusively Yours DUI PROSPERE PRAECLARIS COEPTIS Holmewood HAll HOLMEWOOD HALL HOLME CAMBRIDGESHIRE 01487 829 555 GOSFIELD HALL GOSFIELD ESSEX 01787 472914

REGULARS 6 EDITOR’S LETTER Danielle Harvey highlights the joys in this issue! 9 NEARLYWED NEWS Catch up on news from around the county 13 FREEBIES & OFFERS Great giveaways and discounts up for grabs 92 COMPETITION Win £1,500 worth of diamonds CONTENTS JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2022 VENUES 19 A RUSTIC ROMANCE Barn wedding venues 27 LOCAL VENUES Tie the knot in Braintree & Uttlesford On the cover This issue’s cover has been sponsored by renowned Essex wedding venue Braxted Park ( The image has come straight from the gorgeously styled shoot over on page 59, captured by Brentwood-based Whitney Lloyd Photography ( 53 19 FEATURES 53 THE ICE QUEEN Be transported to a frosty, magical land with this styled shoot 59 SUMMER SPLENDOUR This styled shoot will have you pining for warmer weather 63 A MOMENT IN TIME Local photographers share their favourite images of 2021 87 A ROOM WITH A VIEW Top 2022 venue styling trends to be inspired by 3

REAL WEDDINGS 33 MEANT TO BE Ayesha and Fernando’s relationship withstood the tribulations of Covid leading to a magical wedding day in 2021 40 TREE OF LIFE Lianne and James planned a showstopping day of perfection at Markshall Estate 47 CHILDHOOD SWEETHEARTS Charlie and Sam are the picture of wedded bliss on their big day HONEYMOONS 98 HONEYMOON NEWS A round up of new openings and honeymoon essentials 100 BACK-TO-NATURE BOLTHOLE Claire Ridley was invited to Monkey Island Estate, a sanctuary set on a private island on the River Thames offering laid-back luxury GROOMS 95 GROOMS’ NEWS All the latest best buys and product launches 96 GOING FOR GOLD After James Bond, AKA Daniel Craig, rocked a velvet jacket at the latest 007 premier we knew this look would be here to stay! FASHION & BEAUTY 69 FASHION FOCUS Fashion editor Claire Ridley reveals her latest bridal fashion news, buys and launches 70 ALL IN THE DETAIL The 2022 wedding dress collections feature figure-hugging styles, timeless trumpet silhouettes, chic tailored jackets and wrap dresses 76 SOPHISTICATED AND CHIC Choose sumptuous satin gowns for your best girls in shades of sage and emerald green or blush and baby pink 79 FASHION & BEAUTY Q&A Our local professionals solve your problems 82 BEAUTY BUZZ Beauty editor Kelly Andrews reveals all the latest must-haves for the bride-to-be 70 33 82 100 4

Packages from £5999 Get married at Wivenhoe House Hotel, a beautiful, secluded, grade II listed country house hotel, on the outskirts of Colchester and surrounded by breathtaking Essex parkland and views! Make use of our fantastic Twilight and mid-week wedding offers, an all-inclusive* package available for Monday-Thursday weddings taking place from April to October 2022! Enquire today and speak to one of our lovely wedding planners. 01206 878450 | *Terms and conditions apply. Twilight Weddings We can’t wait to show you around our stunning venue and turn your dreams into a reality!

WIN! £1,500 OF DIAMONDS ON PAGE 92 I don’t think there’s a new year that I’ve wanted to come around more! Just as we were glad to see the back of 2020, the same goes for 2021 – see ya! The hope of what 2022 will bring is substantial; weddings have been unaffected since July 19th (hallelujah!), and here at An Essex Wedding HQ we’re certainly excited to see the wedding boom continue. Did you know that there’s, on average, 85,000 festive proposals each year? If you was one of the lucky ones that found a ring under the tree, in a Christmas pudding or at the bottom of a glass of mulled wine, then welcome to the wonderful world of weddings and your first wedding magazine – you’re going to love it! Choosing your big-day venue is first and foremost the biggest decision to make, as it sets the tone for the rest of the day and gives the wedding planning that much-needed direction. This issue, we’ve got a Beautiful Barns feature; there’s a whopping 20 barn wedding venues in our beloved county, but here’s a special selection to be inspired by. We also shine the spotlight on top venues in the Braintree and Uttlesford districts for those looking to tie the knot here. What’s more, local photographers share their favourite images since the return of weddings, and local venue styling experts share their advice on what’s hot for 2022. And if that’s not enough to get you super-excited about your nuptials, then there are also two styled shoots showcasing the beauty of winter ‘I dos’ and summer soirees. Pull up a chair, make a brew and enjoy reading... Danielle Harvey It ’s all new! This styled shoot over on page 53, really does transport you to a magical winter wonderland. Loving the al fresco vibes with this gorgeous styled shoot over on page 59. Danielle x Psst! We love featuring local real weddings, so head over to to submit your details for an opportunity to grace the pages of An Essex Wedding. Charlie and Sam are the picture of wedded bliss over on page 47. I adore this outdoor ceremony setting at Fennes, it makes me want to tie the knot all over again. Check out page 27. ISSN 1745-6541 EDITORIAL 01376 535 611 Danielle Harvey | Managing Editor, Grooms Editor and Travel Editor danielleh@county.weding Kelly Andrews | Beauty Editor Claire Ridley | Fashion Editor DESIGN 01376 535 616 Graphic Designers | Sarah Hill Stephanie Hodder | Vicky O’Connor Production Assistant | Lorna Butcher Digital Marketing Coordinator Katie Laley Web Development Manager Stuart Weatherley ADVERTISING Sales & Events Director Sarah Ellis | 01376 535 602 Account Manager Kirsty Brindley | 01376 538 490 Subscriptions 01376 514 000 ACCOUNTS 01376 535 616 Accounting Manager | Derrick James An Essex Wedding is solely owned, published and designed by KD Media Publishing. Whilst every effort was made to ensure the information in this magazine was correct at the time of going to press, the publishers cannot accept legal responsibility for any errors or omissions, nor can they accept responsibility for advert content, or of the standing of advertisers or by the editorial contributions. The views expressed do not necessarily reflect those of the publisher. An Essex Wedding is published six times a year. Subscription rates are £18.20 per annum (incl. p+p). Cheques should be made out to KD Media Publishing and sent to An Essex Wedding, c/o KD Media Publishing, Pantile House, Newlands Drive, Witham, Essex CM8 2AP. @CountyWeddingMagazines @CountyWeddings @cwm_wedding Visit us online at and cwe COUNTY WEDDING EVENTS

I couldn’t pull this look off, but for those daring fashionistas out there check out page 70. I adore Fred Siriuex from First Dates, and I also love his new suit line with Moss Bros! Check out page 96. Oh em gee! I love candles and pina colada so this is right up my street. Check out this new business on page 9. Surely white is white? Well, there’s actually loads of variations! Check out our expert advice on page 79. We shine the spotlight on barn wedding venues, and Crondon Park is a mustsee over on page 19. Lianne threw herself into wedding planning during lockdown and her big day was a sight to behold. Check out page 40. EDITOR’S LETTER 7

The complete venue for CHANNELS WEDDINGS Pratts Farm Lane East, Little Waltham, CM3 3PT The complete venue for memorable weddings Choose Channels for a beautifully restored 17th century thatched Essex Barn set in tranquil surroundings, with luxury on-site accommodation provided by Channels Lodge. . Wedding Receptions . Civil Ceremonies . . Outdoor Ceremonies . Luxury Accommodation . With over 40 years experience, our wedding coordinators and head chef will ensure your day is relaxed, happy and memorable. Discover the Channels Estate: To request a brochure, tel: 01245 440005

NEWS Nearlywed All the latest from the wonderful world of eddings in the county of Essex OUT WITH THE OLD Psst! Did you know Essex-based Blue Marble Cocktails has rebranded to Cocktail & Garnish? Run by a couple who have a passionate love for independent bars and restaurants, the cocktails are handmade and ready to drink with 50 different flavours to choose from! After launching in 2020 with the goal to make cocktails accessible, in a time where everyone was forced to stay at home due to the pandemic, the founders saw an opportunity to raise the funds they needed to open a theatrical cocktail bar, a dream that was brought to a holt because of the pandemic. Since then, Cocktail & Garnish has expanded on Amazon and seen candid support and love from customers across the country. Check out its new website SCENT APPEAL Hammond Fragrance Co. is a small family run business based in beautiful countryside bordering the county of Essex. Founder of the namesake brand Samantha Hammond says, “We’ve been passionate about candles and home fragrances for many years, so during lockdown we decided to turn our passion and dream into a reality by creating our own favourite fragrances in a range of candles, wax melts and reed diffusers.” After the website launched in November, Samantha is now ready to share it with the lovely readers of An Essex Wedding, she adds, “Cured using the finest of soy wax, the blend is biodegradable and vegan friendly; we take great pride and care in creating and hand-pouring all of our candles, wax melts and reed diffusers — all of our luxury fragrance oils are vegan friendly, and paraben free too!” The home fragrances make the perfect gift for the special couple, mother-of-the-bride, bridal party and guests alike. While the mini candles and wax melts are the perfect favours for your guests, they come in a personalised gift box with the newlyweds’ name and wedding date. Visit to see the full range of products which start from just £4.95. LET THE PLANNING COMMENCE County Wedding Events is delighted to announce it will be hosting its first wedding show of 2022 at the beautiful Braxted Park, Witham, on Sunday 16th January between 11am and 3pm — perfect for all those couples who got engaged over the festive period! A magnificent country house surrounded by a 500-acre wooded estate, Braxted Park is one of the most beautiful exclusiveuse wedding venues in Essex. It offers a choice of exquisite locations for both indoor and outdoor ceremonies, and boasts luxury accommodation for newlyweds and their guests. Come and visit this amazing event where you’ll be able to view to beautiful grounds of Braxted Park and meet a huge variety of wedding suppliers such as florists, photographers, musicians and more! Visit and pre-register for the event at YOUR ESSENTIALS 9

BE AMAZED Harlow’s That Amazing Place has a Viewing Showcase Weekend on Saturday 29th and Sunday 30th January 2022 between 11am and 3pm – a date to add to your diary! Are you looking for an exclusive-use wedding venue in stunning surroundings? That Amazing Place is a 15th-century country house with contemporary interiors, stylish bedrooms and a luxury wedding cottage (sleeping 31 people) and is exclusively yours for the day and night of your wedding. There’s a choice of elegant ceremony rooms inside, plus an outdoor gazebo next to the lake, and your wedding breakfast can take place inside the house or in the marquee surrounded by beautiful scenery. With its picturesque location and breathtaking views of the grounds and lake, That Amazing Place offers the perfect backdrop for nuptials. Call for an appointment on 01279 354 455, or visit IN THE DRIVING SEAT Essex’s has reported a boost in bookings for its stag and hen driving experiences. As newlyweds-to-be choose to spend their last moments of unmarried life behind the wheel of a supercar, its most popular experience is the Double Supercar Blast for Two! Analysis of booking data by one of the UK’s leading driving experience providers highlights that, since ‘the great reopening’ at the end of July, bookings for stag and hen driving packages have surged by a staggering 75 per cent compared to the equivalent period last year. Alex MacGregor at commented: “Such a sharp increase in bookings shows us that lovers have vowed to leave lockdown behind as they zoom into marriage with a high octane, adrenaline-fuelled driving experience.” Visit DESIGNER STYLE Essex stationery designer Katie Leamon has announced its popular collaboration with fashion brand Lily and Lionel is back! In a gorgeous palette of the brand’s most loved prints the cards, notepads and wrapping paper are available now from £3.50 from We think the new range, particularly the notepads and weekly planners, are the perfect pre-wedding planning must-haves for the bride and her bride squad. IN A LATHER Finchingfield’s The TINY Soap Lab has entered the wedding arena if you’re looking for something a little different to give to your wedding guests! Experienced artisan soap makers, they can create beautiful individual wedding mementos to suit your requirements and budget. From a tiny tied trinket to a full-sized slice of luxurious loveliness – who wouldn’t be happy with a gorgeously scented, skin-loving bundle to take home? “We only use beneficial, plant-derived oils and butters, no fillers,” shares Sandra. “Our core recipe consists of coconut oil, olive oil, shea butter and castor oil; all playing a vital role in creating a gently cleansing, moisturising soap bar. Each of our ranges feature other carefully chosen ingredients (such as oat milk or hemp seed oil) which makes them extra special.” The TINY Soap Lab has fragrances, colours, shapes and sizes to suit any wedding style and theme; all products are vegan-friendly and cruelty free. Visit 10

Join Costco You may qualify to EVERYTHING YOUWANT. ALL IN ONE PLACE. Costco has that special gift! Costco Wholesale is a membership warehouse club, dedicated to bringing our members quality goods and services at the lowest possible prices. We provide a wide selection of merchandise, plus the convenience of speciality departments and exclusive member services, all designed to make your shopping experience a pleasurable one. We are confident in the quality and value of our products, and we stand behind them with our guarantee of satisfaction. For more information please visit or scan the QR Code. The annual membership fee for Standard Trade Membership* is £22 exVAT (£26.40 incVAT).The annual membership fee for Standard Individual Membership* is £28 ex VAT (£33.60 inc VAT). To join and start saving please provide one piece of business evidence for Trade membership, or for Individual membership your employee ID card or current pay slip to prove your employment, PLUS one piece of photographic identification for both memberships. Diamonds, pearls and gemstones are stocked in all of our warehouses and online. Choose from earrings, rings, bracelets and necklaces with the confidence that the quality and value of Costco jewellery is unsurpassed. All diamond jewellery is set in 14ct or 18ct gold or platinum with a minimum clarity of VS2 and minimum colour I. All items are subject to availability in the warehouse or online 1.60ctw Round Brilliant Cut Diamond Pendant, 14ct White Gold 3.12ct Pear Cut Diamond Solitaire Ring, Platinum 2.00ctw Princess Cut Channel Set Diamond Eternity Ring, Platinum Costco Thurrock, West Thurrock Way, West Thurrock, Essex, RM20 3WY T: 01708 683 072 E: Special Offer JOIN TODAY £10VOUCHER for new members to spend online when you sign up for membership†. Expires: 31st August 2022 YOUR MEMBERSHIP IS VALID IN ALL 29 UK WAREHOUSES, WORLDWIDE AND ONLINE! † Sign up for membership with this advert at our Thurrock warehouse and receive a £10 voucher to spend online at New members only. *Membership Criteria applies. Membership must be obtained before purchases can be made. ∆Qualifying ID required to preview in the form of business evidence or company payslip ID. Accepting Mastercard, American Express and Visa credit cards as well as cash, debit card or cheque. No cash or cheque at fuel station. Fuel stations not available in all locations. JN29375

The Essex Wedding Awards Best Venue 2020 A MAG I CAL DAY The stunning grounds of Down Hall are the perfect setting for your wedding, whether lavish or intimate. t: +44 (0)1279 731 441 e:

FOR YOUR CHANCE TO WIN, ENTER VIA OUR WEBSITE. Closing date 8th April 2022. Terms and conditions apply. Great giveaways and discounts up for grabs Freebies &OFFERS YOU’RE BEAUTIFUL Based in Dunmow, Essex, Beautiful You make-up artist Samantha Easter has more than 20 years’ professional industry experience. Having collaborated on numerous high-end shoots (with one in this issue of An Essex Wedding over on page 53), Sam is a sought-after wedding make-up artist. Perfectly based, she can travel to all of the best wedding venues that the South East has to offer; from the beauty of Essex, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire countryside, to the most prestigious London venues. Sam understands that you’re looking to feel happy and confident on one of the most important days of your life, and having a professional make-up artist on hand who understands what works for you, under the scrutiny of a high definition lens, really makes a difference. An Essex Wedding has teamed up with Sam Easter of Beautiful You to offer our readers 10% off of wedding day make-up bookings for the bride. For your chance to claim the discount, mention An Essex Wedding when booking before 28th February, 2022. Visit Coppa Club’s Sonning-On-Thames location plays host to The Great House at Sonning – a boutique hotel featuring 49 bedrooms and nestled in the Berkshire countryside. Roughly an hour from London, the property is situated along the River Thames and boasts a large terrace, sweeping lawns and ample riverside space. An ideal location for couples that need a break from the wedding planning, a family getaway or trip with friends, the beautifully designed hotel is dog friendly and provides meeting, event and party spaces (you can also tie the knot here!). You can book a cosy Double Room from £85 per night, or a Deluxe Double from £115 per night. Check out County Wedding Magazines has teamed up with Coppa Club, The Great House at Sonning to give readers the chance to win an overnight stay for two people with breakfast, as well as a three-course meal with a bottle of fizz! WIN AN OVERNIGHT STAY Inna Kostukowsky | FREEBIES & OFFERS 13

Pre-register for all of our events at WEMBLEY STADIUM, 20TH FEBRUARY, 2022 MERCEDES-BENZ WORLD, 20TH MARCH, 2022 ASCOT RACECOURSE, 24TH APRIL, 2022 THE BRENTWOOD CENTRE, DATE TO BE RELEASED X Sarah Here at County Wedding Magazines and Events HQ we’re looking forward to kickstarting our Spring wedding show season. From must-visit local fairs in some of the region’s best wedding venues, to our larger Signature Wedding Shows home to more than 100 exhibitors each, we can’t wait to welcome back our couples and help plan their wedding days. Here’s what to expect when attending one of our events... Whether you’re joyous that restrictions have passed, or are still a little hesitant, couples can rest assured our venues are continuing to maintain some of the government guidelines and measures to ensure everyone can feel comfortable and enjoy the day: • Attendees will need to pre-register to attend events • There will be allocated time slots for visitors • All venues will also have enhanced cleaning procedures, with hand washing and sanitising facilities still available • Spaces between exhibition booths will be maintained to ease congestion • Optional face masks • Anyone with symptoms must refrain from visiting Each event will boast a huge range of specialists who will be on hand to talk through your planning ideas and requirements; venues, bridal boutiques, photographers, florists, cake makers and more, there’s everything you could need to plan your wedding under one roof. On the day refreshments will be available to purchase from each of the venue’s on-site restaurants, bars and cafés, and attending our exhibitions is free! For more information on any of our exhibitions visit County Wedding Events’ website. We look forward to seeing you at one of our events. Sarah Ellis, Sales and Events Director County Wedding Events. Psst! Our pre-registered Signature Wedding Show visitors will have the chance to win a £250 gift voucher courtesy of A date for your diary... GREAT EXPECTATIONS

SPRING 2022 WEDDING SHOWS ALL EVENTS 11AM - 3PM unless otherwise stated Pre-register at BERKS, BUCKS & OXON LONDON ESSEX At County Wedding Events each show is professionally and meticulously run to ensure a variety of suppliers are on hand to help you plan your big day and are hosted by some of the loveliest premier venues in your area. All our shows offer you free entry and parking, a goody bag each containing gifts, and useful local information to plan your wedding. You will also have the opportunity to enter prize draw competitions and take advantage of exclusive offers and discounts on the day. RACKLEYS CHILTERN HILLS Marlow Road, Cadmore End, Bucks, HP14 3PP SUN 13 MARCH MORDEN HALL Morden Hall Road, SM4 5JD SUN 3 APRIL BRAXTED PARK Great Braxted, Witham, CM8 3EN SUN 16 JANUARY MARKSHALL ESTATE Cogeshall, CO6 1TG SUN 10 APRIL

/CountyWeddingEvents @CountyWedEvent @countyweddingevents As part of KD Events and Publishing Ltd, County Wedding Events (CWE) is ideally placed to offer you a wealth of experience organising events in the wedding industry. If you would like more information about either holding a wedding show at your venue or exhibiting at any of our shows, please contact us at, call 01376 514000 or visit WORK WITH US SURREY SUSSEX EAST ANGLIA KENT GUILDFORD MANOR HOTEL & SPA Newlands Corner, Guildford,, GU4 8SE SUN 15 MAY SELDEN BARNS Selden Lane, Patching, Worthing, BN13 3UL SUN 13 MARCH BRESSINGHAM HALL & HIGH BARN, Norfolk, IP22 2AA SUN 6 MARCH WEST HEATH Ashgrove Road, Sevenoaks TN13 1SR SUN 13 MARCH CASTLE GORING Arundel Road, Worthing BN13 3UN SUN 10 APRIL CAMBRIDGE COUNTRY CLUB Toft Road, Bourn, CB23 2TT SUN 3 APRIL HYTHE IMPERIAL HOTEL & SPA Princes Parade, Hythe, CT21 6AE SUN 6 MARCH

• Free entry • First 100 couples receive a free wedding journal keepsake • Goody bag for each couple • Up to 200 stands • Bridal fashion shows • Huge number of wedding specialists including venues • Demonstration areas • Competitions • Entertainment • Refreshments • And more... Pre-register and attend the show to have a chance to win a fabulous spa break worth £250 courtesy of Pre-register at Doddinghurst Road, Brentwood, CM15 9NN DATE TO BE RELEASED SOON THE BRENTWOOD CENTRE London, HA9 0WS SUNDAY 20 FEBRUARY 2022 | 11AM - 4PM WEMBLEY STADIUM High Street, Berkshire, SL5 7JX SUNDAY 24 APRIL 2022 | 11AM - 3:30PM ASCOT RACECOURSE Brooklands Drive, Weybridge, KT13 0SL SUNDAY 20 MARCH 2022 | 11AM - 3:30PM MERCEDES-BENZ WORLD Sponsored by

A luxur ious country house bespoke to you Recently extensively refurbi shed Baddow Park House, West Hanningf ield Road, Great Baddow, Chelmsford, Essex CM2 7SY 01245 473969 kel Pr ivate WEDDING Venue BADDOW PARK HOUSE Fol low us Fo l l owi ng a f u l l and ex t ens i ve r e f u rb i shmen t , Baddow Pa r k House has been t r ans f ormed i n t o one o f t he mos t un i que and l uxu r i ous pr i va t e coun t r y house wedd i ng venues . Se t wi t h i n t he hea r t o f Essex , t h i s qu i n t essen t i a l l y Eng l i sh Coun t r y House has now become t he u l t ima t e exc l us i ve wedd i ng des t i na t i on . Dates sti l l avai lable

CRONDON PARK WEDDING VENUE 01277 841 115 | Located in the picturesque village of Stock, Crondon Park is an established premier wedding venue set in the beautiful valley of Crondon ‒ with stunning countryside views! Its recently refurbished Baronial Gardens comprise a patio, secluded garden and outdoor ceremony area, with a standout water feature providing a beautiful backdrop for photos. The nuptials take place in Crondon Park’s Ryder Room, it’s decorated with fairylights and has a seated capacity of up to 100 loved ones. For al fresco vows, the outdoor ceremony area has benefitted from the recent addition of tiered seating. After the ‘I dos’, the wedding breakfast takes place in the Baronial Hall with a maximum seated capacity of 148 for dining and 220 for the evening reception. The Baronial Hall is one of the finest examples of a Tudor/Jacobean light oak-beamed barn with an incredibly unique charm. It’s fully air-conditioned, has fairylights, bay trees and bespoke coloured uplighting to suit colour schemes. When tying the knot here the venue host the very popular Pre-Wedding Dinner Party for couples, offering them the chance to have a date night at the venue with live entertainment. What’s more, there’s a luxurious Bridal Suite with private parking and five additional en suite guest bedrooms, all fully air-conditioned with a rear terrace. Romantic & rustic Essex has 20 wedding barn venues, so you’re spoilt for choice, but here’s a beautiful selection to fall in love with... BARN VENUES 19

EAST MERSEA HALL 01206 384 630 | East Mersea Hall, located just five minutes from East Mersea Beach, boasts extremely picturesque grounds all landscaped around a central breathtaking lake. There’s also a mature tree woodland, landscaped gardens and walled garden for licensed outdoor ceremonies – photo opportunities aplenty! East Mersea Hall offer couples tying the knot here two different types of venue. The first is a barn venue with a draped ceiling providing couples with a rustic wedding feel, and the second venue is a tipi for those desiring a boho or festival-themed day. The barn venue has a spacious patio outside with teak patio furniture, as well as stunning views over the water because of the floor-to-ceiling windows; come rain or shine, it’s the perfect location for a wedding breakfast. The tipi is in the Secret Garden which is fully surrounded by nature and a mature tree line allowing the wedding day to full immerse itself in natural surroundings. For ceremonies, couples can choose from the Drawing Room for up to 100, The Pavilion (250) or al fresco in the Walled Garden (250). Postvows, The Pavilion can host 150 guests for a meal and 250 for an evening reception, while the tipi in the Secret Garden can hold 250 for a meal and 350 loved ones for an evening do. When choosing this big-day venue, couples benefit from a complimentary menu tasting, use of the bridal suite from 10.30am and for the evening, and a wedding team is on hand throughout the planning. THE BARNS AT LODGE FARM 01992 892 377 | The Barns at Lodge Farm is also a working arable farm, nestled within rolling fields it boasts incredible views of the surrounding countryside (and some epic sunsets!). Exclusive use of the venue includes use of a beautiful grassland area next to the barns, which can be used for tipis, marquees or glamping overnight. Comprising several different converted barns, creating a unique space for each part of your day, the venue offers The Granary, a stunning 150year old traditional timber frame barn; The Bar, a chic industrial converted steel-frame building; The Grain Store, an epic space to eat, drink and dance the night away. Centred around a central courtyard area, all the barns have their own unique feel – from the traditional timber-clad exterior of The Granary to the original brickwork and exposed steels of The Bar, and the epic floorto-ceiling glass doors of The Grain Store. Ceremonies are hosted in The Granary for up to 160 loved ones, post-vows The Bar provides a flexible space to serve drinks and nibbles and The Grain Store is an epic space for evening receptions and parties of up to 250 attendees. Additional breakout areas include, The Yard, a lovely weatherproof area between the three main barns, perfect for drinks receptions and, The Field, a beautiful grass meadow adjacent to the barns and yard. When tying the knot here, couples can also utilise The Old Workshop, a gorgeous modern converted barn with its own kitchen, exclusive for the morning of the wedding to have breakfast and get ready in with friends and family. 20

Licensed to produce Civil Ceremonies • Wedding breakfast up to 200 people Weddings at the palace hot l, southend-on-sea A beautiful seaside venue, filled with natural light and stunning views overlooking the River Thames. Park Inn by Radisson Palace, Southend-on-Sea is the perfect location for your special day. Packages from £34 per person Book via T: +44 1702 455100 or

South Essex Golf Club is the perfect location for a memorable occasion. We have created an impressive new boutique wedding venue in a stunning setting with its own grounds, providing a unique and romantic backdrop to host your wedding celebration and fulfil your dream day. The venue is licensed for ceremonies. The Garden Room with its spectacular interior will be exclusively yours. You can enjoy the benefit of a raised deck, private garden and oak gazebo offering the perfect and tranquil setting for you and your guests to enjoy canapes and a drinks reception overlooking the water feature and the golf course beyond. With seating for up to 76 guests plus an additional capacity for up to 40 evening guests, our venue and adjacent manicured lawn is the ultimate place to cherish your memorable day. The venue boasts a stunning wedding gazebo which has been exquisitely designed to create an elegant and stylish setting. For larger weddings we can accommodate your occasion in a traditional marquee overlooking the stunning grounds. Please contact Paula on 01277 811289 or email South Essex Golf Club Herongate Brentwood Essex CM13 3LW Exclusively Yours...

OLD BROOK BARN 07747 116 100 | Positioned within the picturesque village of Navestock, Essex, boutique wedding venue Old Brook Barn is a 17th-century barn set within 23 acres of English countryside. Accessed via a charming timber bridge it’s perfectly positioned alongside a natural brook. A secluded courtyard is to the front of the barn furnished with a gazebo, rustic bar area and bespoke timber furniture lovingly created to match the character of the barn. With its exposed beams, high ceilings and carved wood detailing the barn has been lovingly restored retaining many of its original features. The main hall offers scenic views across the meadow whilst the Minstrels Gallery overlooks the main hall and offers a wonderful south-facing balcony. All with the added benefit of modern lighting and PA system, as well as a fully equipped bar and disabled/baby changing facilities. Couples can tie the knot al fresco in the Secret Garden (180 guests) or the Courtyard (120), both are also idyllic spaces for an outdoor canapé and drinks reception. Inside, The Barn, (96) boasts exposed beams and chandelier lighting, while the Minstrels Gallery (120) is positioned above the main hall and has stunning views across the meadow field; both, again, are fabulous choices for drinks receptions. Post-vows, the Main Hall seats up to 150 guests for a delicious wedding breakfast (lovingly created by Limeberry Catering or Stock and Bailey Catering). It has stunning views across the meadow and is furnished with round tables and chivari chairs. When tying the knot here, couples can access the barn and it’s grounds before and after their wedding day. Looking out onto the entrance of the secret garden is a wonderfully quaint Honeymoon Cottage. Providing ample space for a bride and her maids to prepare on the wedding morning as well as offering overnight facilities for the newlyweds to spend their wedding night. HOUCHINS WEDDING VENUE 01376 561 448 | A truly unique venue, Houchins is a lovingly restored barn set within its own peaceful, landscaped grounds boasting a gentle formality with romantic planting including roses, lavender, verbena, tulips and much more. There are a myriad of beautiful spots and hidden corners in which photographs can be taken, and the main wedding garden is where the marquee is situated and where the majority of weddings take place. Designed in a unique modern style, the zinc and cedar shingle barn nestles in the wedding garden with huge folding glass double doors opening onto an expansive west facing terrace. It’s the perfect setting for reception drinks set in the landscaped gardens. There are three interconnecting barns which allow the wedding to flow from reception drinks to wedding breakfast, then dance the night away in the aptly named Dance Barn! For the all important ‘I dos’, the Foundry seats up to 130, The Grainstore 150 and for more intimate weddings the wood-panelled drawing room in the house seats 30. Outside, the marquee and loggia provides seating for up to 150 guests, while the rustic unlicensed Woodland Wedding area can also seat 150 friends and family. Post-vows, The Grainstore is the perfect setting for the wedding breakfast seating up to 150 and adjoins the bar area and the dance barn; it features a 35ft high ceiling, open fireplace and mezzanine gallery. BARN VENUES 23

Pre-register at Follow us on /CountyWeddingEvents @CountyWedEvent @countyweddingevents Hosted at The Brentwood Centre, Doddinghurst Road, Brentwood, Essex CM15 9NN DATE TO BE RELEASED SOON • Free entry • Win a luxury honeymoon • Huge number of wedding specialists including venues • Bridal fashion shows • Entertainment • Refreshments • Covid-19 secure One of the largest wedding shows to be held in the South of England Pre-register and attend the show to have a chance to win a £250 gift voucher courtesy of IN ASSOCIATION WITH

Follow us on: /CountyWeddingEvents @CountyWedEvent @countyweddingevents Pre-register at Hosted at Wembley Stadium London A date for your diary... Sunday 20th February 2022, 11AM - 4PM • Free entry • Win a luxury honeymoon • Huge number of wedding specialists including venues • Bridal fashion shows • Entertainment • Refreshments • Covid-19 secure One of the largest wedding shows to be held in the South of England Pre-register and attend the show to have a chance to win a £250 gift voucher courtesy of IN ASSOCIATION WITH

H o t e l & S p a GREENWOODS AA Rosette Award for Culinary Excellence 01277 829990 Greenwoods Hotel & Spa is a stunning 17th Century Grade II listed manor house, licensed for civil wedding ceremonies and partnerships. We offer two impressive function rooms for smaller more intimate weddings or our beautiful Garden Suite for lavish functions for up to 250 guests. Our licensed Garden Gazebo for outdoor ceremonies is sure to impress! Our wedding team can create a tailor-made package to suit your requirements. With onsite spa facilities and 39 luxurious bedrooms, Greenwoods is the perfect venue for your dream wedding day. Images by Gavin Conlan, Studio 1, HoL Photography, Neil Fortescue suit your bedrooms, ding day.

BEST OF Braintree Where to tie the knot North of the county BRAXTED PARK 01621 770 855 | Pure Pride & Prejudice outside – a tree-lined drive and view of the Georgian mansion standing proud – immaculate décor and superb facilities inside, Braxted Park marries the romance of the old with the best of the new to create the perfect venue for your 21st-century wedding. The Orangery at Braxted Park is no ordinary setting for your ceremony of up to 160 loved ones. In this bright and airy exquisitely decorated room, boasting hand-painted murals and wonderful views over the garden, you have the luxury of a space large enough for family and friends to surround you and an aisle generous enough for the most gorgeous of gowns. For al fresco nuptials, behind mellow brick walls lies the Knott Garden perfect for romantic gatherings of up to 160. As beautiful as any bridal bouquet with secluded nooks and delightful surprises around every corner, it enfolds all who enter in an enchanted circle of love. Nestled so naturally within the walled garden, the Pavilion was designed to delight. Windows and doorways link it seamlessly with outdoor terraces and the green spaces beyond, while inside is contemporary comfort and state-of-the-art facilities. Yours for the whole day and into the night, the Pavilion can be whatever you want it to be with up to 350 loved ones. When tying the knot here couples benefit from a complimentary menu tasting for the bride and groom. LOCAL VENUES 27

PARKLANDS QUENDON HALL 01799 543 800 | Parklands Quendon Hall is a luxurious 17th-century mansion set in a 100-acre Deer Park of rolling hills and avenues of trees, with immaculate gardens, feature fountain and moat it truly is a picture-perfect setting for a wedding day. Built in Queen Ann-style, this exclusive-use venue makes for an idyllic setting anytime of the year. It boasts a variety of rooms, from the Drawing Room with inviting log fire and cosy setting to the beautiful silk-lined Pavilion elegantly lit with chandeliers and feature starlight ceiling, all with picturesque views overlooking the gardens. The views are truly standout, overlooking the Deer Park with deer wandering across the idyllic landscape. For the all important ‘I dos’, couples can opt for The Tabor Room which can host 120 day guests and up to 80 for the reception; the Drawing Room can sit 50 loved ones for the ceremony alone, while the Pavilion can host 500 daytime guests and up to 450/650 evening attendees. When tying the knot here, couples benefit from the help of a wedding and events coordinator. What’s more, free menu and wine tastings take place on the venue’s special ‘planning evenings’, and there are 22 rooms for staying guests and a luxurious honeymoon suite for the couple. FENNES 01376 324 555 | A gem in the heart of 100 tranquil acres of rural North Essex countryside, the gorgeous Georgian manor house is surrounded by manicured gardens which can viewed from every room in the house. This exclusive-use venue makes for an idyllic setting anytime of the year, utilising the gardens in spring and summer and the cosy rooms in autumn and winter. Inside, the venue offers endless flexibility for ceremonies, receptions and Asian weddings with a variety of rooms and spaces. From traditional and richly styled rooms with log fires, to its large and silk-lined pavilion adorned with chandeliers and starlight ceiling, all overlook picturesque English gardens. For vows and receptions, couples can choose from: Drawing Room and Dining Room, both host up to 30 day guests and 26 for the wedding breakfast/reception; the Pavilion can host up to 400 day guests and 150 post-vows, while the Banqueting Hall can host an impressive 700 day guests and up to 400/650 for the wedding breakfast and reception. When tying the knot here, couples have the help of an in-house wedding and events coordinator and, on special ‘planning evenings’, couples can indulge in a free menu and wine tasting. What’s more, the venue boasts 22 rooms and newlyweds can a stay in its luxurious honeymoon suite! 28

Houchins is an intimate and romantic wedding venue with the choice of accommodation. Exclusively yours for the day, Houchins is set in beautiful grounds just outside Coggeshall, easily accessible to Essex, Hertfordshire and London. Call our award-winning team to arrange a viewing or chat through your plans on how we can make your perfect wedding day. Houchins Wedding Venue | Coggeshall | Colchester | CO6 1RT HERITAGE MADE MODERN 01376 561448 Photos courtesy of Big Fish Photography, Dominika Meichowska, Emma Gosling, Farlie Photography, Julia & You Photography, Kristian Lissimore Photography & Pure Image Photography.


GOLF WORLD STANSTED 01279 812 865 | Situated in Bishop’s Stortford, Golf World Stansted is a beautiful green parkland 9-hole golf course providing a variety of stunning settings for photographs including, nurtured greens, forest and lakes. The venue provides special buggies to transport couples and their guests to their chosen location for the best photos amongst beautiful scenery. Inside, the delightful Barn Suite is licensed for ceremonies of up to 80 guests; it’s a light airy room with views from the balcony overlooking the golf course. For those looking to tie the knot al fresco, outdoor ceremonies are undertaken on the dedicated oak-framed pavilion with 200 loved ones and a beautiful backdrop across the course. Receptions take place in the Barn Suite with up to 200 people for the evening do in a buffet-style layout. When tying the knot here, there’s a 1066 Adventure Golf Course for some fun quirky photos, and couples also benefit from a menu and wine tasting for two, use of changing facilities, a red carpet welcome and free three-month gym membership before the wedding. BRAINTREE TOWN HALL 01376 557 776 | Steeped in history, dating back to 1927, Braintree Town Hall provides a memorable setting for weddings. Originally the Town Hall was a gift to the town from the Courtauld family, and is an impressive Georgian building with beautiful windows and historic details, all in the heart of Braintree Town Centre. Inside, it boasts a sweeping staircase and houses an impressive stained-glass window and the crafted stone pillars provide the ideal backdrop for photographs. Ceremonies take place in the Lounge Room, for small intimate gatherings of up to 26 guests, and the Council Chamber, a beautiful oak panelled room with hand-painted murals for ceremonies of up to 70 guests. Post-vows, additional rooms are also available to hire for couples to host a drinks reception. LOCAL VENUES 31

Let’s weave the magic together I will listen to you carefully and make suggestions for you to consider. These could be things like telling your love story, poems, music, maybe someone in your family and friends could sing or play some music. There are mini wedding rituals that could be considered. I will make it as special as you want it to be; after all it is your day. www . c a r o l c r a n f i e l d c e l e b r a n t . c o . u k | 07962251134 92b High Street, Rayleigh, Essex, SS6 7BY Call to make an appointment on 01268 833393 Shaped Wedding Ring Specialists Shortlisted for Bridal Jewellery Retailer of The Year 2021 Specialists in bespoke made to order Jewellery. Visit our website or store today to view our hundreds of wedding & engagement ring samples. As leaders in the shaped wedding ring market you can design your perfectly shaped wedding band for just £35! Check our socials below for many examples of previous commissions and customer feedback. I CAN OFFER A CEREMONY AT ALL TYPES OF VENUES AND ANY LOCATION I have no restrictions at all (although I am not that great with heights!) Whatever your requirement the Ceremony that I write and conduct for you is your big celebration before family and friends that can be seen as your Wedding Day. We can maintain as many of the traditional elements that you wish whilst I ensure that I uphold a warm and engaging stance ensuring you have your special day your way. The only thing holding us back is your imagination! WWW.BESPOKECELEBRANTCEREMONIES.CO.UK | 07970214510

Meant to be Ayesha and Fernando’s relationship withstood the tribulations of Covid Images courtesy of Jeff Turnbull Photography Ayesha and Fernando met in Peru while she was on a holiday travelling around the country and he was working as an international tour guide at the time. “Despite how cliché it sounds, there was an instant connection,” shares Ayesha. “Despite all of the odds, including travel restrictions for two years during Covid, we never once looked back.” Fernando asked Ayesha to marry him several times a day a year after they met, “Just to check I would definitely say yes!” she laughs. The pandemic meant Fernando became stuck in South America (with the ring!), so the official proposal came when he was back in the UK and they were having dinner in Amazonica London where he got down on one knee. “It was the closest he could make it to being back in Peru – one of our favourite memories together!” shares Ayesha. The big date was set, 25th October 2021 with Fennes, in Braintree, setting the scene and the finer details encompassing a blush, cream and gold colour scheme. Here, Ayesha tells us more about their day... REAL WEDDINGS 33

Our centrepieces were geometric stands filled with blush and cream-coloured faux flowers, with tealights on the table itself. I wanted the flowers to match the faux flower decorations we had chosen to decorate our venue with; white hydrangeas, ivory roses and lots of foliage. We tied the knot under a matching flower arch which we then used to place behind us for the top table later that day. Our table plan was geometric gold shapes with a blush background covered in flowers to match our centrepieces and invitations – classic with a modern twist. The table names were arranged in order of the tour Fernando took me on around Peru: Lima, Nazca, Cusco, Machu Picchu, Puno and Arequipa. I wanted a Georgian-style venue so Fenne s was ideal and it was perfect for the intimate wedding we h ad planned as none of Fernando’s family could be present from P eru. My son walking me down the aisle was very special for me – he is 16 and it meant a lot to be with him in those final nerve-wracking moments before all eyes were on us. 34

The place names were little wooden keepsakes lasered individually for our guests. On the day, it was a mix of nerves and excitement. The groomsmen kept telling me that Fernando was climbing the walls, pacing backwards and forwards! The bridesmaids wore dresses in a blush/taupe shade in different styles. One was long-sleeved, another was a knee-length wrap dress in all-over sequin, there was a maternity version and two v-neck cap-sleeved versions. Everyone commented on how stunning the bridesmaids’ dresses were – they were perfect for October and beautifully reflected the Autumn sun on the day! Fernando’s vows were just beyond touching. I was stunned by them and how he read them in perfect English – everyone cried! They are something I will remember forever. We had a saxophonist for our drinks reception playing classic love songs – it was the perfect way to be greated after the ceremony. I wanted something A line that was classic, romantic and, most importantly, had a stunning low back. I wore a Stella York gown, number 7083, during the day and in the evening a beautiful dress Lava by White One. Fernando bought me a Swarovski crystal necklace from Peru, the earrings were a gift from J’adore Bridal which matched perfectly. Our cake was a three-tiered design with a ruffle-effect base in a raspberry flavour, and a lemon-flavoured middle layer coated with glitter. Our top layer was engraved with our initials and adorned with flowers. Our favours were mints with ‘mint to be’ on, as Fernando always said we were meant to be ‒ it reflected a little piece of us. I wanted the groom and groomsmen to be in a black, skinny fit tux to keep the classic theme. This was smart and simple, without bringing in too many colours, and the gro om wore a waistcoat too to make him stand out from the others. REAL WEDDINGS 35

ROLL CREDITS Venue, Fennes, | Photographer, Jeff Turnbull Photography, | Celebrant, Carol Cranfield Celebrant, | Wedding dress, The Wedding Shop, | Evening dress, J’adore Bridal, | Hair stylist, Anna Rose Hair, | Make-up artist, Vivienne Makeup, 07796 172 021 | Suit, Moss | Cake, Amaysing Bakes, | Flowers, Cheryls Flowers, | Invitations, SimplyDIYPaperie, | Rings, H Samuels, Venue dressing, O.R Butterfly Events, Saxophonist, Glen Johnson, | Band, The Passengers, | Photo booth, Waterfall Photobooth Co., | Videography, Bridge Weddings, Our celebrant wrote a very unique ceremo ny for us that incorporated some funny and special moments as part of a unity candle ceremony. We were also encourage d and supported to say our own vows, and we’re so happy we did this. Having been in a long-distance relationship for two years wi th someone from a red zone country isn’t for the faint-hearted. I t hink neither us of us could believe we were actually getting married. We had a five-piece indie band in the evening which was exactly the vibe I had wanted, a slight festival feel such as the Kooks, Kasabian and The Killers. We had the classic Fennes menu: roasted butternut squash and red pepper soup, roast breast of chicken with sage and onion stuffing, baconwrapped chipolatas and crispy herb roasted potatoes and sticky toffee pudding for dessert. Our canapés were halloumi, wedges and sausage topped with mash for autumnal warmth. 36