An Essex Wedding - May/June 2022 (Issue 104) MAY/JUN 2022 £3.55 FASHION, BEAUTY, HONEYMOONS, GROOMS AND MORE YOU’VE GOT THE LOVE The enchanted forest Be inspired by our exclusive wedding shoot Have your cake Breathtaking bakes for every budget Romantic and inspirational celebrations WIN! A minimoon in the Lake District DRESS TO IMPRESS The county’s best bridal boutiques

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 7 EDITOR’S LETTER Hello from your new Editor, Claire Muffett-Reece 9 NEARLYWED NEWS Catch up on news from around the county 13 FREEBIES & OFFERS Great giveaways and discounts up for grabs 85 HOT TOPIC Local experts offer their stellar advice 94 COMPETITION Win a two-night stay in the Lake District worth £1,500 CONTENTS MAY/JUNE 2022 VENUES 19 CITY SIGHTS Elegant Chelmsford wedding spaces 25 HISTORY IN THE MAKING Travel back in time in these incredible buildings On the cover This issue’s gorge us cover, shot by Photography by Anna Marie, sees Robyn and Kieran marrying at Hatfield Place. Turn to page 36 to see more ( 57 25 FEATURES 48 A GRAND AFFAIR Our exclusive shoot shows why Braintree Town Hall is an ideal wedding venue 53 FAIRY TALES Whimsical-meets-wonderful with this fairy-inspired collection 57 THE GREAT ESSEX BAKE OFF Essex cake-makers reveal their greatest creations 88 WHERE DOES THE TIME GO? County Wedding Magazines’ Melissa Barker on her wedding planning journey 3

REAL WEDDINGS 31 WINTER WONDERLAND Jess and Jac’s big day was festive from start to finish 36 YOU’RE THE ONE THAT I WANT Online dating led to happily ever after for Robyn and Kieran 43 YOU’VE GOT THE LOVE Gemma and Andrew married at historic Down Hall HONEYMOONS 96 HONEYMOON NEWS Travel Editor Melissa Barker on her honeymoon essentials GROOMS 92 HUE COMPLETE ME Pastel hues are a popular trend for spring and summer nuptials FASHION & BEAUTY 63 FASHION FOCUS Fashion Editor Claire Ridley talks news, buys and launches 64 THE FINER DETAILS This season’s dresses boast statement straps that will never date 70 CITY GIRL Wedding start-up business P.S. Bridal teamed up with some talented suppliers on this stylish shoot 75 SAY YES TO THE DRESS Searching for the perfect gown? These Essex bridal boutiques have got you covered 80 BEAUTY Q&A Our local professionals solve your beauty woes 82 BEAUTY BUZZ Beauty Editor Kelly Andrews reveals the latest must-haves for the bride-to-be 64 31 96 82 92 43 4 Tel: 01371 872857 Steeped in history and romance and hailed ‘the jewel of Essex,’ the Little Easton Manor estate offers the most breath-taking backdrop for your wedding. With two magnificent 14th Century barns and a brand new openair pergoda positioned perfectly by our picturesque Great Lake, we offer you a wealth of stunning settings, exclusively yours. With its unrivalled heritage, spectacular grounds and beautiful on-site cottage accommodation, Little Easton Manor is the place to realise your wedding day dreams and create memories to last a lifetime. Contact our dedicated Wedding Coordinators today to book your private show round and to discuss your wedding day visions. The Jewel of Essex Tel: 01371 8 2857 event @24x7ltd . w .littleeastonma Tel: 01371 872857 info@little Steeped in history and romance and hailed ‘the jewel of Essex,’ the Little Easton Manor estate offers the most breath-taking backdrop for your wedding. With two magnificent 14th Century barns and a brand new openair pergoda positioned perfectly by our picturesque Great Lake, we offer you a wealth of stunning settings, exclusively yours. With its unrivalled heritage, spectacular grounds and beautiful on-site cottage accom odation, Little Easton Manor is the place to realise your wedding day dreams and create memories to last a lifetime. Contact our dedicated Wedding Coordinators today to book your private show round and to discuss your wedding day visions. e Jewel of Essex

An indescribably romantic setting for your perfect day, Markshall Estate is the one you have been looking for… From the moment you enquire to the very last dance, we are on hand. With our expert Wedding Coordinator, tour the venue and begin to create your perfect day. We have a fantastic list of recommended suppliers, and you can rest assured that no detail will go unchecked. This is your special day and we are with you every step of the way. • 2,350 ACRES OF SERENE ESSEX COUNTRYS IDE • • 48 HOUR VENUE HI RE • • 2 UNIQUE WEDDING LOCAT IONS TO CHOOSE FROM • • PR IVATE PREPARAT ION SUI TE • THE FORMAL GARDEN Just a few steps from the historic Coach House is the beautiful Parterre Garden. Get married surrounded by delicate blooms, scented borders and majestic trees, it’s the ideal location for a summer wedding. THE COACH HOUSE Our grand yet intimate 18th century Coach House overlooks the Arboretum and lakes. Hold your ceremony and wedding breakfast in this historic red brick and timber-framed masterpiece with rustic beams, beautiful details and a private terrace. Have the day of your dreams in this romantic setting TIPI WEDDINGS Marry under the canopy of our ancient trees with a Woodland Wedding, then celebrate in a tipi situated in our stunning secluded meadow. Our dedicated team will guide you through your wedding day. MARKSHALL ESTATE | Marks Hall Road | Coggeshall, | Essex | CO6 1TG | | 01376 565420 | WWW.MARKSHALL.ORG.UK Images courtesty of Mini + Me Photography

Delighted doesn’t even come close to describing how I felt when I was offered the position of Editor on your favourite wedding magazine. A bornand-bred Essex girl, I’ve worked on bridal publications for a fair few years, and love nothing more than seeing couples plan and celebrate one of the best days of their lives. Married for nearly 14 years after tying the knot at Gosfield Hall – see my wedding photo below – I understand the excitement, anticipation and stress that comes with organising your nuptials. With that in mind sit back, put your feet up, grab a glass of fizz and let me take some of that hard work away from you! Starting on page 19, you’ve six pages of wedding venues to discover, from historic stately homes to hotels, restaurants and golf clubs surrounding the city of Chelmsford. Afterwards, head to page 75, where 12 of the best bridal boutiques discuss wedding dress shopping dos and don’ts. Looking for a cake to get your guests talking? A talented team of Essex bakers are on hand for essential advice on page 57, before you move on to even more inspiration courtesy of our reader weddings, beginning on page 31. And don’t forget to enter our fab competitions, from the chance of winning a minimoon in the Lake District (p94), to getting your guy’s hair in shape courtesy of award-winning men’s hairdresser, Jim Shaw (p13). Claire Muffett-Reece, Editor Hello! Future heartbreaker! This dude scrubbed up well for Robyn and Kieran’s celebration You can’t go to a wedding without hitting the dancefloor in style, as these guests proved at Jess and Jac’s big day! Claire x PS: If I’ve one piece of advice, it’s to invest in a videographer, if you can afford one. My husband and I didn’t, and last year I became seriously unwell with a brain injury. As such I’ve lost a lot of memories for good, which includes our actual wedding day itself. I’d love nothing more than to sit back and see my friends and family on film enjoying what I’ve been told was an incredible day. WIN! A minimoon in the Lakes, on page 94 31 36 EDITOR’S LETTER 7 ISSN 1745-6541 EDITORIAL 01376 535 611 Claire Muffett-Reece | Editor Danielle Harvey | Managing Editor Kelly Andrews | Deputy Managing Editor and Beauty Editor Melissa Barker | Senior Editor, Grooms and Travel 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

The French Flower Company Let us help you make your dreams come true Artisan floristry at its finest *Picture from Claridges Dec 22 To book a wedding consultation please email contact@thefrench or call us on 01992578606 T: 01245 476444 Set in the Essex Countryside resides Pontlands Park, a Victorian house sympathetically extended into a beautiful wedding venue with 35 bedrooms. With a choice of indoor and outdoor ceremony facilities and various function rooms, along with a marquee with its own internal private bar, Pontlands is the perfect venue for intimate or larger weddings. The Dream Wedding packages start from as little as £59.50pp, which includes a 3-course wedding breakfast, reception drink and canapes*, half a bottle of wine and a glass of fizz for the toast plus an evening buffet. Contact the team for further information on 01245 476444 or email WEST HANNINGFIELD ROAD, GREAT BADDOW, CHELMSFORD, ESSEX CM2 8HR

NEWS Nearlywed All the latest from around the county IN IT TO WIN IT When South Woodham Ferrers midwife Natalie Chapman and her paramedic fiancé Mark Bomford entered a competition for NHS workers to win an incredible Essex wedding, worth more than £26,000, they never dreamt they’d win – until they were surprised outside the hospital they work at, surrounded by friends and family! The competition was organised by Thorpe-le-Soken-based florist and venue stylist Rosie Obeney of Rose Decor Styling – – who wanted to give something back to NHS staff working throughout the pandemic. “I have a big list of amazing people I love to work with in the industry, so I put the feelers out and the response was incredible,” she says. “I was inundated with amazing businesses offering up their services to one lucky couple.” In total 26 multi-award-winning Essex wedding suppliers teamed up, from the photography and videography right down to flowers, bridal hair and outfits. Held at Tuffon Hall Vineyard on 3rd March, 2022, Natalie and Mark were gifted wedding stationery, catering, decorations, transport, entertainment, occasion wear and more. “Our wedding day was perfect from beginning to end,” say the newlyweds. “We are so incredibly grateful for all of the suppliers coming together to give us this unbelievable gift, and making our wedding day so special.” COME DINE WITH ME Wedding plans stressing you both out? Take five and remember why you’re getting married in the first place by heading for a date night at Danbury restaurant, The Griffin. Having recently undergone a renovation to bring seasonal fine dining to the village, the eaterie now boasts a spectacular Champagne and oyster bar, alongside a menu centred around exquisite fish and seafood dishes. Created by Executive Chef Mik Nelder, the cuisine showcases a host of delicious flavours and textures, with menu highlights including grilled lobster with garlic butter, thermidor and mayonnaise; and whole roasted poussin with a bourguignon sauce. Editor Claire Muffett-Reece was invited along to sample the menu and find out more… “Arriving at The Griffin I was immediately impressed with the interior – a fantastic mix of exposed beams with a cool, contemporary bar and stylish dining space. The staff were attentive and knowledgeable of the menu, which comprises of a delicious mix of meat, fish and vegetarian options. My husband and I both opted for the pan-fried scallops to start, served with fennel compote, pickled apple, seaweed and caviar sauce. I then chose the grilled skate with capers, brown shrimp, cucumber and chicken butter sauce, which literally melted in the mouth, while my husband enjoyed a chunky fillet of halibut, complemented by parmesan gnocchi, chanterelle mushrooms and a shellfish sauce. He was then too full for dessert, but I personally couldn’t resist, asking my server what she’d recommend. She suggested I try the Paris-Brest, choux pastry filled with praline mousseline and topped with a warm chocolate sauce. Baked to order, it was absolutely worth the wait! We both left with full and contended tummies, knowing we’d return with friends so they, too, could sample The Griffin’s delicious cuisine.” Visit to book and find out more. PICK ’N’ MIX Organising your own wedding favours just got a whole lot easier, thanks to Haribo opening their latest store at Braintree Village. Now visitors to the shopping centre can experience the sweet giant’s eclectic mix of popular treats, all the while deciding what their friends and family would most like to unwrap – and eat! – while listening to those wedding speeches. “We have so many treats in store for shoppers, with our pick your own selection featuring more than 30 varieties of sweets,” says store manager Sam Rogers. “From Tangfastics to Starmix, MAOAM Bloxx to Goldbears, and Jelly Babies to Fruity Frogs, we have it all.” There’s never been a more relevant time to say that when it comes to the new store, you really will be like a kid in a sweet shop! Visit for more information. Editor Claire enjoyed a delicious meal at Danbury restaurant The Griffin WANT TO SEE THEIR INCREDIBLE DAY? Look out for the couple’s fantastic wedding, exclusive to An Essex Wedding, in our July/August issue, available from June, 2022! LOCAL NEWS 9

DOWN ON THE FARM Friends and family coming from afar and need somewhere to stay for your big day? Rye Farm Self Catering, based just four miles from Colchester, offer comfortable self-contained cottages ideal for a relaxing break. With prices starting from just £58 per night, your wedding guests have the choice between a selection of modern and welcoming apartments housed in lovingly converted 17th century farm buildings. The Pondview apartment looks out over the property’s moat and tranquil duck pond, while the patio area at the back is perfect for catching some afternoon sun. In the nearby village there’s two country pubs for enjoying a hearty meal the night before the celebrations, while the short distance from Mersea Island makes it the ideal destination for guests to explore the stunning scenery before they head back home. To book and find out more, visit the website SLIDING DOORS Stuck what to ask for in terms of wedding gifts from your nearest and dearest? With most couples living together before they get hitched the prospect of a new kettle and toaster is far from appealing. Instead, why not suggest a donation towards that much-needed home improvement you’ve been putting off investing in? Chelmsfordbased Absolute Wardrobes design and install affordable, bespoke, made-to-measure fitted wardrobes, dressing rooms, home offices and entertainment units across the county and beyond. Priding themselves on the finest furniture craftsmanship and with an extensive background in carpentry and joinery, the team designs, plans and installs fitted furniture to complement your individual tastes and needs. Suddenly that set of saucepans doesn’t seem as appealing… READER DISCOUNT! Absolute Wardrobes is offering An Essex Wedding readers £100 discount on any of their fitted furniture services over £1,000. Terms and conditions apply; please remember to quote ‘An Essex Wedding’ when booking. Find out more about Absolute Wardrobes by calling 07946 310 173 or visit FIND US ON YOUTUBE! We’re never satisfied when it comes to providing our readers with enough wedspiration, which is why we’ve created our very own County Wedding Magazine YouTube channel! You’ll see tons of big-day ideas, from venue tours to dream dresses, then take a peek behind the scenes of styled shoots featured in our titles past and present. We’re adding more content all the time, so why not hit SUBSCRIBE so you never miss a thing? Simply head to YouTube and search for ‘County Wedding Magazines’ to find out more. JUST THE TWO OF US Choosing music for your ceremony or reception can seem overwhelming, but luckily the team at An Essex Wedding are here to help. Step forward harp and cello couple Mav Duo, based in Hornchurch but available to provide wedding entertainment throughout the county and beyond. Harpist Oscar Quesada Gonzalez and cellist Alejandra Vargas Munoz met while studying music in Columbia. “We fell in love and have been playing together for more than seven years,” says Alejandra. “Weddings are our passion, and as such we’ve been touring back and forth across America and Europe, telling stories with our music while enjoying every step in the process.” From playing well-known melodies to learning a couple’s favourite songs, their repertoire includes classical, Latin folk, pop, rock and more. Visit to find out more. Scan to view video 10

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.

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

WIN! MEN’S HAIRCUTS AT TONI&GUY Get your man ready for the big day thanks to TONI&GUY Billericay, who are giving three grooms the chance to win a cut and blowdry in the men’s area of the salon. Home to awardwinning men’s hairdresser, Jim Shaw, the winners will receive a cut and blowdry by one of the salon’s men’s experts in preparation for their big day. Comprehensively trained to create that perfect look – be it a simple trim or full restyle – the team will take into consideration your partner’s face shape, hair texture, lifestyle and hair goals, while allowing them to sit back, relax and enjoy the experience. As with all men’s appointments at TONI&GUY Billericay, they’ll receive a consultation before the cut and blowdry, with the talented team also providing styling advice and product recommendations to keep their hair looking great in the lead up to the big day. Visit Freebies &OFFERS Great giveaways and discounts up for grabs Hair: Jim Shaw/Photography: FOR YOUR CHANCE TO WIN, ENTER VIA OUR WEBSITE. Closing date 5th August 2022. Terms and conditions apply. Helping children around the world escape poverty and find education, Vurchoo has launched Studs of Hope: an evergreen collection of unique and affordable earrings that represent and donate to the country they are inspired by. Beautifully and individually designed, the pieces are first and foremost an accessible way to help those in need but are also made to be delicately desirable and effortlessly fashionable. Comprised of gold, silver and mixed metals as well as ethically sourced gemstones, Studs of Hope brings ethical jewellery to the masses for only £40 per pair – proving it doesn’t need to cost the earth to make a difference. Vurchoo are giving one lucky bride the chance to win three pairs of the Gold Feather Studs for each of the bridesmaids. Check out THE GIFT OF GIVING FREEBIES & OFFERS 13

Pre-register for all of our events at ASCOT RACECOURSE, DATE TO BE RELASED THE BRENTWOOD CENTRE, 2ND OCTOBER, 2022 MERCEDES-BENZ WORLD, 9TH OCTOBER, 2022 WEMBLEY STADIUM, 5TH MARCH, 2023 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

WEDDING SHOWS AUTUMN 2022 ALL EVENTS 11AM - 3PM unless otherwise stated /CountyWeddingEvents @CountyWedEvent @countyweddingevents 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. ESSEX SUN 23 OCT HOUCHINS WEDDING VENUE Houchin’s Lane, Coggeshall, Colchester, CO6 1RT SUN 25 SEPT PONTLANDS PARK West Hanningfield Road, Great Baddow, CM2 8HR SUN 30 OCT LAYER MARNEY TOWER Layer Marney, Colchester, CO5 9US SUN 16 OCT BRAXTED PARK Great Braxted, Witham, CM8 3EN 12PM-4PM

ALL EVENTS 11AM - 3PM unless otherwise stated 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 KENT SURREY SUSSEX EAST ANGLIA BERKS, BUCKS & OXON SUN 6 NOV HYTHE IMPERIAL HOTEL & SPA Princes Parade, Hythe, CT21 6AE SUN 4 SEPT GUILDFORD MANOR HOTEL & SPA Newlands Corner, Guildford, GU4 8SE SUN 18 SEPT CASTLE GORING Arundel Road, Worthing, BN13 3UN SUN 23 OCT SMEETHAM HALL BARN Smeetham Hall, Sudbury, CO10 7EU SUN 25 SEPT RACKLEYS CHILTERN HILLS Marlow Road, Cadmore End, Bucks, HP14 3PP SUN 6 NOV PENSHURST PLACE Penshurst, TN11 8DG SUN 4 SEPT HAMPTON COURT PALACE GOLF CLUB Home Park, Kingston Upon Thames, KT1 4AD SUN 11 SEPT WARREN HOUSE Warren Road, Kingston Upon Thames, KT2 7HY SUN 30 OCT SELDEN BARNS Selden Lane, Patching Worthing, BN13 3UL 12PM-4PM

• 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 High Street, Berkshire, SL5 7JX DATE TO BE RELEASED SOON ASCOT RACECOURSE Brooklands Drive, Weybridge, KT13 0SL SUNDAY 9 OCTOBER 2022 | 11AM - 3.30PM MERCEDES-BENZ WORLD Sponsored by Doddinghurst Road, Brentwood, CM15 9NN SUNDAY 2 OCTOBER 2022 | 11AM - 3.30PM THE BRENTWOOD CENTRE Sponsored by London, HA9 0WS SUNDAY 5 MARCH 2023 | 11AM - 4PM WEMBLEY STADIUM Sponsored by

BOOK NOW CALL 01277 355111 sales@ivyhi l lhotel www. ivyhi l lhotel F I ND US : MARGARETT I NG, CHE LMSFORD CM4 0EH FOLLOW US Ivy Hill Hotel VI C T ORI AN E L E GANCE T HE PE RF E CT LOCAT I ON From £70 per person Imagine holding your special day in a 200-year old barn, with its exposed beams, large open replace, many other original features, and beautiful fairy lights, which gives that extra special and romantic touch. At Maylands’ Golf Club, Romford, we understand every wedding day is dierent, therefore, we have a full time, experienced Wedding Co-ordinator to assist with your planning and help build the perfect package created just for you. We can help you select everything from your food to your photographer, ‚owers and much more. Whether you would like to keep things traditional or would prefer to host a more relaxed aair, we have packages and prices to suit your requirements. We are licensed to hold civil ceremonies, enabling us to host every aspect of your day from start to nish. Direct: 01708 332 897 | Email: | Maylands’ Golf Club, Colchester Road, Romford, Essex, RM3 0AZ Weddings & Events

CITYsights Chelmsford boasts some stunning venues to wed in, both in and around the city CRONDON PARK WEDDING VENUE 01277 841115 | Crondon Park won Best Countryside Wedding Venue at The British Wedding Awards – and it’s not hard to see why! An established wedding venue set in the beautiful village of Stock, it offers stunning views across the Essex countryside. Its Baronial Hall building is one of the finest examples of a Tudor/Jacobean light oak beamed barn, while during lockdown the Park refurbished their Baronial Gardens patio and outdoor ceremony area, which has since proved a very popular option to say ‘I do’ in. Ceremonies take place in Crondon Park’s Ryder Room, with a maximum seated capacity of 100. Decorated with fairy lights, it makes for a romantic space to become newlyweds. There’s also the option of holding an outdoor ceremony, thanks to a recently created tiered seating area. Your wedding breakfast is then held in the Baronial Hall itself, which has a maximum seated capacity of 148 for your meal service, and 220 for your evening reception. Fully air conditioned, it boasts fairy lights, bay trees and bespoke coloured up lighting to suit your day’s theme. Psst ! Crondon Park offers a popular Pre-Wedding Dinner Party to couples, giving you the chance to enjoy a date night along with live entertainment. There’s also a luxurious Bridal Suite and five additional ensuite guest bedrooms for your wedding party to enjoy. LOCAL VENUES 19

HYLANDS ESTATE 01245 605500 | Hylands House is a beautiful Grade II* listed mansion and one of the most iconic buildings in the East of England. The grandeur of the portico, with its elegant ionic pillars, provides the ideal backdrop for wedding photos, while the Rose Garden on the East Terrace offers couples another truly romantic setting. That’s before you’ve even accounted for the 574 acres of historic parkland, including ancient woodlands, grassland, ponds, lakes and formal gardens. Guests can enjoy anything from a short stroll to admire the ornate Victorian Pleasure Gardens, to a four-mile walk around the estate, taking in the rolling parkland and Serpentine Lake. Get married in the Drawing Room (80 guests) with its gilded ceiling, hand-painted wall motifs and stunning marble fireplace; Banqueting Room (100 guests) – lavishly decorated with 24-carat gold leaf swag and scroll decorations – or The Glade (100 guests), a new outdoor wedding ceremony space constructed within the garden’s woods under a graceful canopy of trees. You’ll then host your reception in the Grand Pavilion (300 guests), boasting sparkling chandeliers, floor-to-ceiling windows and a private outside decked area. LEEZ PRIORY 01245 362555 | Essex Tudor manor Leez Priory has long been admired for its unrivalled stately elegance and welcoming feel. Set within 40 acres of private grounds, the venue offers you exclusive use of a charming carriageway, the great Tower, two reception rooms, bar and characterful cellar disco. Surrounded by lush greenery, its gardens are home to woodland, parkland, two beautiful lakes and a brook, all of which are ideal for outdoor weddings and memorable post-ceremony snapshots. The inner courtyard even includes a croquet lawn and is the perfect sunny spot for a drinks and canapé reception. There are seven beautiful ceremony options for up to 100 guests available to you, including three outdoor spaces to take your breath away. The Tower is a popular choice – a particularly intimate area with many church-like features, you’ll feel like a Prince or Princess when saying ‘I do’! A characterful room with vaulted ceiling, the Great Hall is another option to wed in, and includes exposed beams and a feature fireplace. The rustic Coach House has its own barn-like charm, while al fresco choices include the carriageway beneath the Tower, or underneath the main carriageway in the Tudor manor itself. Afterwards, retreat to the Great Hall for an intimate dining experience for up to 74 guests, or head to the Coach House barn for up to 100 guests for some authentic country charm. 20

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


PIG & WHISTLE 01245 443186 | Located inside a 16th century wood-beamed property, Chelmsford’s Pig & Whistle restaurant has been lovingly transformed into an award-winning romantic location with a license for weddings and civil ceremonies. Providing stunning views across the Essex countryside from its outside decking area and sun terrace, inside you’ll discover luxurious and opulent décor. Think of it as a home away from home, ideal for your celebration with close family and friends in an intimate, cosy and romantic setting. The Pig & Whistle can accommodate 30 guests with a choice of spaces. Choose either its traditional room with wooden floor and beamed ceilings, or the dining room; decorated with dressers and opulent drapes. You can then host a reception for 30 guests for a wedding breakfast in either area, before inviting an additional 40 for an evening reception with space for dancing and celebrating well into the night. PONTLANDS PARK 01245 476444 | An impressive Victorian house with beautifully landscaped gardens, Pontlands Park is the ideal setting for you to celebrate your love and commitment to one another. Located on the outskirts of Chelmsford, a beautiful driveway gives your guests a great first impression, while the picturesque bridge and pond is an ideal place to capture some amazing photos you’ll treasure for the rest of your lives. The inside of the house, meanwhile, has been lovingly restored to a contemporary finish, and the Marquee, with its silk lined ceiling and chandeliers, provides the perfect backdrop to your special day. The new garden gazebo can seat up to 100 guests overlooking the Essex countryside for your ceremony, or the intimate Lilli Suite, overlooking the grounds, can accommodate up to 60. There’s also a light and fully air-conditioned Conservatory Suite, allowing you to be married with seating for up to 100 – and even higher with standing space. Receptions can then take place in both the Conservatory (90 guests), or the beautiful Marquee (180). Psst ! As a fine dining restaurant, food and drink is important to the venue, with the restaurant repeatedly voted the most romantic restaurant in Essex! LOCAL VENUES 23

Romantic, beautiful, unique a magnificent marriage begins in a magnificent place Bayley Street, Castle Hedingham, Essex CO9 3DJ | 01787 460261 | | When you marry at Hedingham Castle, we are exclusively yours, always An unforgettable venue for all styles of celebration including wedding weekends Contact us today to book your private viewing and discover the romance of Hedingham Hutton Hall is a beautiful, exclusive, newly-renovated wedding venue located in the village of Hutton, just outside Brentwood in Essex. Hutton Hall is a stunning grade II* listed georgian manor house nestling in historic, partially moated, tree lined grounds surrounded by beautiful rolling countryside. Located just two miles from Brentwood there is no more romantic or idyllic setting in which to celebrate your perfect wedding. Hutton Hall, Hutton Village, Brentwood, Essex, CM13 1RX | 07976 280 288 | 07976 845760 | |

IN THE making History Say your vows in a venue that’s stood the test of time GOSFIELD HALL 01787 472914 | A striking Georgian mansion set within 10 acres, Gosfield Hall contains grand and elegant reception rooms that blend both style and comfort – including a cocktail terrace for welcome drinks, and a sheltered courtyard. The Grand Salon provides an impressive welcome area for your guests, with its high hand-painted ceiling, double-height sash windows, roaring log fire and baby grand piano. The Prophet’s Chamber – or the snug as it’s more affectionately known – is a cosy space for a quiet five minutes for newlyweds, or perfect for more mature guests to escape the hustle and bustle of your evening party. Then there’s the Library; oozing character and charm, it boasts views over the terrace, fountain and Gosfield Lake beyond. Ceremonies of up to 116 take place in Queen Charlotte’s oak-panelled gallery – just imagine making your entrance along the 120-footlong aisle! You can also opt for an alfresco affair in the inner or outer courtyard, while the Grand Salon offers a third option to suit every taste. Receptions are then held in the former Marquis of Buckingham’s Ballroom, a truly exquisite setting for fine dining. Seating 116 for a wedding breakfast under crystal chandeliers and double-height mirrors, it really is a space to take your wedding party’s breath away. Want to offer your friends and family the option to spend the night? Gosfield Hall also has 23 suites to stay in, comprising 14 double rooms and nine family rooms. There’s also the option to bed down in The Marquis, a house two minutes from the Hall itself, which offers a further nine guest bedrooms for the night of your wedding. THEMED VENUES 25

THE OLD PARISH ROOMS 01268 833101| Build in 1863 as a schoolhouse, and now a Grade II listed building, The Old Parish Rooms are set within the grounds of a church in the picturesque town of Rayleigh. Historic on the outside but cool and contemporary within, the space offers white brick walls and exposed steel beams, giving you the perfect blank canvas for your wedding styling. There are also two mezzanine floors available, meaning you can create different areas while keeping your guests together in the same space. And that’s before you account for the huge amount of photo opportunities to be had, with a firm favourite being right outside the venue between its impressive windows. Become newlyweds with a more intimate ceremony in the ‘chapel’ mezzanine for up to 30. Alternatively, for a larger party, why not hold the ceremony on the ground floor for up to 60? Your reception then takes place for up to 80 seated guests across all mezzanine floors – or, for a more casual affair, up to 100. Psst! There are currently some fantastic rates for midweek weddings, twilight weddings or last-minute dates – be sure to get in touch to find out more. MARKSHALL ESTATE 01376 565420 | Markshall Estate’s The Coach House is a beautiful 18th century building originally used to house horse drawn carriages for the mansion house. Surrounded by parkland, an arboretum, lakes and a walled garden, it’s here you’ll create everlasting memories of your special day. The rustic, red brick and exposed beams of The Coach House are adorned with twinkling fairy lights, setting the perfect backdrop for your wedding. Three sets of double doors then open out onto a spacious terrace covered by three Chinese hat marquees, providing a shady spot on warmer days to drink in the view and fragrance of the garden’s blooms and scented borders. You’re spoilt for choice when it comes to picking an actual space to say ‘I do’, with either The Flower Garden, The Coach House or The Woodland available – the estate has a licence for both indoor and outdoor ceremonies. You’ll then enjoy a wedding breakfast for up to 140 – and up to 200 with evening guests – at The Coach House or The Tipi Field. Just be sure to take full advantage of the 250 acres of manicured gardens and wild woodland for photographs you’ll cherish forever. 26

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! 01206 878450 | Photo: Kerri Anthony We can’t wait to show you around our stunning venue and turn your dreams into a reality! W ddings Scan for more info!

More Than Just AVenue EXCLUSIVE USE MANOR HOUSE WITH WEDDING COTTAGE & 14 ROOMS SLEEPING 31 GUESTS Hubbards Hall Drive, Off Churchgate Street, Old Harlow, Essex, CM17 0NH For more information please contact 01279 354455 The beautiful Rayleigh Windmill is a Grade II listed building, nestled in the heart of Rayleigh and located next to a gorgeous garden that lends itself to photographs. With seating for up to 20 guests, it’s an intimate venue for your ceremony. 01702 318120 | Laura Lea Photography Clare Kentish Photography The Old House is a Grade II listed building that has all the fairy-tale touches of a larger venue, but in a charming medieval residence. Our beautiful garden space is perfect for photographs to preserve memories of your special day. 01702 318120 | Clare Kentish Photography

RAYLEIGH WINDMILL 01702 318120 | How cool would it be to get hitched in an actual windmill? That’s right – Rayleigh’s Grade II listed Windmill boasts more than 210 years of history, and has now been sympathetically refurbished and restored to its original grandeur for weddings and other celebrations! An iconic and unique venue for intimate ceremonies, it offers seating for up to 20 guests (22 including yourselves) for those seeking a smaller wedding gathering. The ground floor ceremony room is also a blank canvas for your choice of decorations, with an optional hire of chair covers and a choice of sashes. Adjacent to the Windmill are the peaceful Windmill Gardens and the historic Rayleigh Mount; two perfect backdrops for capturing pictures of your special day. And don’t forget to get those picture-perfect snaps of you as a newly-married couple in front of the Windmill’s iconic sails! THE OLD HOUSE 01702 318120 | The Old House is a Medieval Grade II listed building that has all the fairy-tale touches of a larger venue, but in a charming quaint residence. One of the oldest buildings in England, The Old House is the perfect location for intimate weddings and other special celebrations. Its magical Old Hall, dating from 1270, hosts 24 ceremony guests. With its stunning altar-inspired fireplace and beautiful hammer beam ceiling, this is an enchanting setting to exchange your vows. To the rear of the property, you’ll find a large garden for exclusive use on your special day. There are also two glamorous rooms for the wedding party to get ready ahead of the ceremony, and cosy reception spaces to toast you as a happy couple. The reviews certainly speak for themselves… “We were so pleased we decided to have our wedding ceremony at The Old House,” say Kevin and Jackie Lapage, who married at The Old House in 2019. “The building was set in wonderful surroundings, and the features inside were stunning. It definitely made for some treasured memories and incredible photographs.” 29 THEMED VENUES

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. Greenwoods Hotel and Spa Images supplied by Matt Wing Photography, Boutique Films, Gavin Conlan Photography, Claire Kentish Photography

Winter wonderland Jess and Jac threw a November celebration to remember at Greenwoods Hotel & Spa Images courtesy of Liam Gillan Jess and Jac were best friends at secondary school before becoming a couple aged 20. “Six years later we booked a trip to Budapest for a break,” says Jess. “Little did I know that Jac was planning to propose on a cruise down the River Danube – but thick fog meant the boat didn’t move! Instead, we went for a walk on our final night, stopping for a moment outside the Hungarian Parliament Building. Jac asked a passer-by to take our picture, and, as we posed, he produced a ring from his pocket and got down on one knee. I burst out crying, said ‘yes’ immediately – then had to FaceTime our families straight away!” The couple chose the 27th November, 2021 for their wedding, saying ‘I do’ at Greenwoods Hotel & Spa in Stock. Here, Jess tell us all about their big day… REAL WEDDINGS 31

We ordered Christmas crackers for favours, filling them with sweets before adding snowflakes and name tags to complement o ur winter theme. Our seating plan said, ‘Where in the world am I sitting?’, with tables named after places we’ve visited. Of course, the to p table had to be ‘Budapest’ – as it’s where we got engaged! I felt calm on the day, but the night before had a g ood cry with my family. I love how they surprised me by decking out the hotel roo m with balloons, as well as organising personalised robes for us all. My talented friend made our wedding cake; three tiers of lemon, chocolate and Victoria sponge. It was decorated with snowflakes and teal and white flowers, as well as a light-up cake topper that read ‘Mr & Mrs Stam’. Winter weddings are the way forward for anyone getting married! It takes all the weather stresses away, plus the summer season is more expensive. The venue was decorated for Christmas, too, saving us even more money! Greenwoods Hotel & Spa is a stunning place to say, ‘I do’. My bridesmaids, mum, aunties and I stayed there the night before and enjoyed a relaxing spa day, which was well needed. 32

I wanted artificial flowers so they’d keep forever, choosing an ivory and teal trailing bouquet. I love my decision – my bouquet is now the centrepiece on our dining room table! We hired a magician to entertain guests in the even ing. He was amazing – my nephew was convinced he was magic because of t he magician’s skills! My husband and his groomsmen wore navy three-piece suits with emeraldgreen ties and pocket squares. My 11-year-old nephew wore the same for his role as an usher, and looked so handsome. Jac was very emotional at our wedding, and struggled to hold it together when I walked up the aisle. It makes me well-up every time I see the video of him struggling to hold back the tears. My bridesmaids wore emerald-green high-neck dre sses with silver diamante choker necks. They were a bargain at £45 each f rom Missguided – I had so many compliments about them! My dress was the total opposite of what I though t I wanted! I’d tried on lots of lacy mermaid styles when I spotted my Jus tin Alexander gown – and when I put it on it was love at first sight. REAL WEDDINGS 33

I’ll never forget how Jac got me to laugh when we were having our photos taken, by whispering his favourite takeaway in my ear! It was the perfect way to get those natural laughing shots. Our photographer was amazing, and we’d recommend him to anyone. He even took us outside with a bottle of Champagne and got us to shake the contents all over him – just to get the perfect picture! My bridesmaid’s husband, Tony Roberts, is big in the wedding industry, so we were lucky to have him sing and play the guitar. He had everyone up dancing – when guests should have been eating their meal! JESS AND JAC’S CONTACTS Venue, Greenwoods Hotel & Spa, | Photographer, Liam Gillan, Videographer, Wedding Video Essex, | Jess’s dress, Bellissima Weddings, Jess’s hair, Caz Hair & Make Up Artist, | Jess’s make-up, By Beau MUA, Spray tans, By Jordan Amy, | Jac and the groomsmen’s suits, Slater Menswear Chelmsford, | Cake, Amy Plews, | Flowers, Olivia’s Roses, | Stationery, The Perfect Wedding Shop, | Balloons, Butterfly Balloons, Table signs, Pretty & Personalised By Steph, | Photobooth and dancefloor, Trez Entertainment, | Singer & DJ, Tony Roberts and DJ Rick Live, It’s fair to say the LED dance floor was a hit wit h everyone – we’ve lots of photographic evidence that captured our family an d friends’ best moves! 34

Quality & Reliable Wedding Videography WEDDINGVIDEO.CO.UK 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.

YOU’RE THAT the on I e want Robyn and Kieran are living proof that you can find the one on Tinder Images courtesy of Photography by Anna Marie 36

Robyn and Kieran met in the very modern world of online dating, after liking each other’s images on Tinder! “Despite living within a very close radius, our paths didn’t cross until that all-important ‘swipe-right’!” laughs Robyn. “We hit it off instantly and enjoyed our first date three weeks later at a local Turkish restaurant. The rest as they say is history, as we became inseparable from then on in.” Five years later, the couple were enjoying what Robyn thought was a holiday at her second home in Crete. “I’m half-Greek and my dad lives there, so I didn’t have any inkling anything was up when we flew out in August 2020,” she continues. “Little did I know that Kieran had already asked for my dad’s permission to marry me, via a UK/Greek translated Facebook message and video call! On the night he proposed Kieran took me to my favourite restaurant, set inside an old mill, where a private table had been set up with floral displays and rose petals. After dinner we made our way to a bridge over the watermill to have our picture taken – and when I turned around Kieran was down on one knee. I will remember it forever as one of the best days of my life.” The couple set the date of Friday 1st October, 2021, saying ‘I do’ at The Holy Family & All Saints Catholic Church in Witham, before enjoying their reception at Chelmsford’s Hatfield Place. Here, Robyn tells us more about their amazing day… TO THE MANOR BORN The couple had always dreamed of a manor-house style wedding, but were put off by the interior of other stately homes. “Hatfield Place, however, took our breath away – stunningly simplistic but equally imposing from the outside, it was the inside that really won us over,” says Robyn. “It felt like we were walking onto a Bridgerton or Downton Abbey set, and we loved the fact that the Georgian veranda spanned the full exterior of the property, meaning it would be an ideal place for family and friends to gather. Then there was the modern Orangery extension, nestled at the back of the walled garden. Despite being newly-built, it made for the ideal party spot – with a 200-person capacity, twinkling dancefloor and floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the gardens, we were instantly sold.” With a theme of simplistic autumn-chic, the pair felt whites and greens were the ideal colours to tie their day together. “Gypsophila and white hydrangeas were central to our floral scheme and featured throughout, from the centre-piece displays and buttonholes to church pedestals,” the bride continues. “When it came to my bouquet, I wanted a whimsical feel, with more gypsophila and hydrangeas alongside eucalyptus, fern and David Austen roses. The sage green element was incorporated throughout, too, from the bridesmaids’ dresses to our invites and their satin bows. As a nod to my engagement ring, I knew I also wanted gold touches, with gold-foiling on the table-plan to gold wax seals and a gold cake topper. We also wanted to inject my heritage into the day, opting for Greek islands as our table names, and with the top table of course being Crete – where we got engaged.” ALL DRESSED UP Robyn knew she’d found her dream dress when it gave what she describes as ‘Hailey Bieber vibes.’ “It wasn’t what I’d first envisaged, but the second I tried on the Naroza Enzoani gown I REAL WEDDINGS 37