An Essex Wedding - July/August 2022 (Issue 105) JUL/AUG 2022 £3.55 FASHION, BEAUTY, HONEYMOONS, GROOMS AND MORE HANDMADE SENSATIONS Flower power Wedding blooms for every season Life ’s a beach Stunning and exclusive wedding inspo These local suppliers are here to help WIN! A two-night stay in the Lake District COLCHESTER’S FINEST The very best venues to wed in Endless Love Tie the knot in serious style

Pre-register at Follow us on /CountyWeddingEvents @CountyWedEvent @countyweddingevents Hosted at The Brentwood Centre, Doddinghurst Road, Brentwood, Essex CM15 9NN SUNDAY 2ND OCTOBER - 11AM TO 3:30PM • Win a luxury honeymoon • Huge number of wedding specialists including venues • Bridal fashion shows • Covid-19 secure • Entertainment • Refreshments 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 SPONSORED BY FREE ENTRY

REGULARS 6 EDITOR’S LETTER Hello from your 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 answer your big day concerns 90 WIN! Two nights in a five-star inn in the heart of the Lake District CONTENTS JULY/AUGUST 2022 VENUES 19 SAY ‘YES’ IN COLCHESTER These stunning venues are the perfect place to wed 25 HOTEL STAY Say ‘I do’ in one of these Essex hotels On the cover This issue’s gorge us cover, shot by Boutique Weddings, sees Cameron and Craig marrying at Friern Manor. Turn to page 43 to see more ( 59 19 FEATURES 49 HEAL THE WORLD This exclusive shoot shows how sustainability can work for your wedding 53 A HELPING HAND Support local with these Essex suppliers and their handmade creations 59 A BUDDING ROMANCE How to choose the right wedding flowers whatever the season 79 LIFE’S A BEACH Beach chic was very much the order of the day for this exclusive bridal shoot 3

REAL WEDDINGS 31 LOVE STORY Debbie and Becca’s work relationship soon developed into something more 36 EYES ON THE PRIZE Natalie and Mark won an incredible wedding for NHS workers, worth £26,000 43 SHIP SHAPE Cruise ship singers Cameron and Craig enjoyed an amazing day at Friern Manor HONEYMOONS 93 CARIBBEAN VIBES Enjoy tropical views whilst listening to turquoise waters roll in St. Lucia 96 TRAVEL GOALS An island nestled in South Asia, Sri Lanka is the perfect honeymoon choice GROOMS 88 FUN IN THE SUN Honeymoon must-haves for the groom-to-be FASHION & BEAUTY 64 BEAUTY BUZZ Get the look with these must-haves for the bride-to-be 66 YOU CAUGHT MY EYE! We’ve put together some gorgeous wedding day eye make-up looks 69 BEAUTY Q&A Our local professionals solve your problems 71 FASHION FOCUS The latest bridal fashion news, buys and launches 73 STYLE DOWN THE AISLE These boho-inspired dresses were made for fun and flirting 73 31 96 88 93 36 4


43 CARRIED AWAY Craig and Cameron’s wedding was full of love and laughter 79 TRUE BLUE Who says you have to wear white for your wedding? Can you believe we’re over halfway through the year already? Nope, neither can I! It only seems like yesterday that it was dark by 5pm and I spent my time turning up the thermostat while the husband kept on turning it down… But here we are – it’s summer at long last! With this in mind I hope your days are spent soaking up the sun, be it in Essex or abroad, all the while poring over this latest issue of your favourite wedding magazine. First up, I’ve got to talk about the incredible reader weddings we’ve got for you to take a look at, starting on page 31. Here, brides Debbie and Becca sealed their love with a fantastic ceremony at Colchester Town Hall, while over on page 43 Craig and Cameron made their vows to one another at Friern Manor. Please do watch their wedding video; I’m not ashamed to say I welled up listening to their emotionpacked speeches. Next, turn to page 36 to read all about Natalie and Mark’s amazing Tuffon Hall celebrations. This was truly a celebration like no other, as the couple won their wedding day, worth £26,000! A staggering 24 Essex businesses came together to thank Natalie, a midwife, and Mark, a paramedic, for their dedication throughout COVID 19. Just be sure to have those tissues at the ready yet again, as the tragic loss they’ve experienced, and commitment to one another, is sure to bring a tear to your eye. We’ve also got plenty of the county’s finest wedding suppliers on hand to help you prepare for the best day of your lives. Find out which blooms work best for all seasons with our flowers’ guide, over on page 59. Want to continue supporting local? Our handmade feature on page 53 showcases some of the finest talent Essex has to offer. All that plus the best beauty, fashion, grooms’ news and honeymoon help you’ve come to expect in every jam-packed issue. See you in September, Claire x Claire Muffett-Reece, Editor Summer loving 9 THE ONLY WAY IS ARG Now you can book TOWIE’s Arg as your wedding singer! 90 WIN! A two-night stay in the Lake District 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 | 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 @countyweddingmagazines Visit us online at and cwe COUNTY WEDDING EVENTS

36 DANCING SHOES I’m a sucker for a good dancing pic, and these three don’t fail to disappoint! 69 COPY BRIDE LAUREN’S LOOK Her hair and make-up artists show you how! 59 BEAUTIFUL BLOOMS Your ultimate wedding flower guide for every season 19 TIPI TIME Why not consider Chalkney Water Meadows for your big day? EDITOR’S LETTER 7

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

NEWS Nearlywed All the latest from around the county THE FLOWER OF LOVE Artificial and paper flowers are becoming increasingly popular at weddings, with Chelmsford-based Elisabeth Bluck’s company, Paper Greenhouse, going from strength-to-strength. “My business began when brides asked for flowers on the wedding cakes I also create,” she explains. “They were either out of season or not suitable to be in contact with food, so I learnt how to make flowers from wafer paper. I then saw giant flowers on Pinterest and loved the impact and wow factor they had, so decided to try making some myself. My peonies are made from high-quality Italian crepe paper and come in sizes roughly 45cm and 60cm in diameter. My roses, meanwhile, are made from isolon, a lightweight foam with a silky texture. Every petal is cut and shaped by hand – which gives each flower a unique appearance – and different length stems are available, which can be bent to make arrangements with varying heights.” Visit to find out more. FARM IT OUT Looking for a wedding venue that none of your friends will have said their vows in? Step forward Colchester’s Battleswick Farm, available now for receptions – and ceremonies from October 2022. “At Battleswick you can forget everything you know about traditional venues,” say owners Mandy Mahil and Aaron Wymark. “Here you are shown all the spaces, all the options and asked how you visualise your day. You can even pay for your wedding via direct debit – if you can pay monthly for a sofa then why can’t you for your wedding?” The venue is still in its early days, with only 18 months since Mandy and Aaron purchased the 500-year-old barn and saved it from almost total collapse. A year into their five year project, the final vision is a barn that can seat up to 120 people; a catering kitchen for external caterers; an orangery; a café; a bridal salon, and, to top it off, a spa with indoor/ outdoor hot tub overlooking the fields, with treatment rooms to bring your own hair stylist and make-up artist. “There will also be 14 bedrooms for accommodation, as well as glamping space,” says Mandy. “Every couple will automatically get the day before, the day of the wedding and the following day until the afternoon for exclusive use, which allows suppliers to organise and collect at a sensible time. “You may want to have a boho wedding with a tipi marquee on the 3.5 acre field, or you may want to have a barn ceremony with the courtyard for drinks – or you can have it all! Our plan is to have everything completed by 2026, and we already have weddings booked through to 2025.” Battleswick Farm will be having their second wedding fun fair on Sunday 4 September 2022. Visit to find out more. TALK TO THE ANIMALS Looking for a unique way to celebrate your final days as a singleton? Why not enjoy a day like no other with a Hen Party Animal Experience at Colchester Zoo? The day begins in Penguini’s Restaurant, where you’ll tuck into a delicious breakfast to set you up for the day. On the experience you will explore love in the animal kingdom from penguins and sea lions, as well as getting the chance to meet either the lemurs or the giraffes. A buffet lunch will also be provided in the exclusive private dining room, while throughout the day, an experienced host will be on hand to ensure that your hen party is nothing less than perfect. Costing £79.95 per person, with a minimum of eight participants, find out more about this once-in-a-lifetime package at Psst! Watch out for the September/October issue of An Essex Wedding where you could win a Colchester Zoo Perfect Moments Animal Experience for two! LOCAL NEWS 9

GIRL POWER Want to support local when it comes to your skincare? Say hello to Farm Girl By Sarah Jane, owned by Dunmow aesthetician Sarah-Jane Malins. Farm Girl By Sarah Jane specialises in result-driven yet low invasive facials and massage from SarahJane’s Essex studio. One of the many treatments offered, The Famous Full Works, improves the appearance, tone and texture of the skin thanks to a combination of steam, dermaplaning, gentle digital needling and an algae mask, all finished with a mini shoulder massage. You can even benefit from taking home her own skincare line: try the Retinol Niacinamide Serum, £48, which helps to promote skin renewal while enhancing collagen production, keeping your skin looking incredible in the run-up to your big day. Visit to find out more. I’M WITH THE BAND Want to wow guests with an amazing band and well-known Essex celeb to boot? Say hello to The Arg Band, now available for weddings and events throughout the county and beyond. Originally known for his appearance on popular reality show, TOWIE, TV personality James ‘Arg’ Argent spoke exclusively to us about the rise of his seven-piece band; aptly named The Arg Band. “Performing with the band is truly my happy place and where my passion lies,” says Arg. “We all know I’ve had some tough times over the years, but throughout them singing with the band has kept me focused. You cannot beat seeing the smile of a happy couple on their special day – plus you will often find me at the end of the evening dancing the night away with both them and their guests!” The Arg Band – who perform at any event, from private parties and corporate occasions to supporting many charities – have predominantly become known as one of the UK’s best wedding bands, bringing a personable touch to each event. Their wide-range of songs allows the band to cater for any theme or style for your celebration, from Motown, soul and reggae, to RnB and well-known dance floor anthems. Want to book Arg and his band for your wedding day? Check out the line-up showcasing their talents on Instagram and TikTok, then email for bookings and enquiries. HORSING AROUND ‘Eco glitter make-up in a horse box’ isn’t something we ever thought we’d write, but we’re so pleased we are after discovering Dunmow-based Lucy’s Glitter Box over on the ’gram. Owned by Lucy Keeble, this is a wedding horse box trailer like no other, converted into a photo booth and glitter make-up station, and having just launched a couple of months ago. “This is a totally unique photo booth experience, with sequin walls, disco balls, checkered floor and pink ceiling,” says Lucy. “There are a range of fun props to choose from, and guests have four photos taken on a screen before a professional printer develops the photos instantly. For weddings there are unlimited visits to the booth, plus it prints two copies per visit – one for guests to keep and the other to stick into a guest book with a lovely message! The glitter make-up station is at the entrance of the horse box, with two make-up artist chairs, a vanity mirror, and lots of biodegradable glitter to enjoy.” Lucy’s Glitter Box has three packages to choose from, starting with £400 for the Horse Box Glitz Package (glitter hair and make-up); £600 for the Horse Box Picz Package (the fully equipped horse box photo booth); and £750 for the Glitz and Picz Package, which combines the two plus additional extras. You can even hire a sequin backdrop wall at a reduced rate, if the venue is unable to accommodate the horse box itself. Contact for info and how to book. Scan to view video DOING IT FOR DUNMOW Say hello to these two Dunmow-based businesses   BOWLED OVER Looking for an alternative hen or stag – or just somewhere different to start the party off? Head to NAMCO Funscape Braintree or Romford and enjoy all your favourite arcade games and amusements, plus bowling and plenty of deals on drinks. Start the fun off with a couple of games of bowling and get those competitive juices flowing, then play the amusements, from classics to high tech video games. Plus, if you’re feeling adventurous, Braintree has an eight wall Clip ’n Climb on site, with the Speed Wall ready to show who’s the real champion. The bars at NAMCO Funscape are fully stocked with beers, wine and spirits, with a member of the bar team always available on hand to make some delicious cocktails. Visit to find out more. WIN! An Essex Wedding has teamed up with NAMCO Funscape to offer three winners a £40 voucher to be redeemed at Romford, and three winners a £40 voucher to be redeemed at Braintree. Terms and conditions apply; for your chance to win enter via 10

Baddow Park House, West Hanningf ield Road, Great Baddow, Chelmsford, Essex CM2 7SY 01245 473969 kel Pr ivate WEDDING Venue Fol low us A luxur ious country house bespoke to you Featur ing the recently completed Salon Suite 12 luxury bedroom suites 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 wedd i ng venues . Th i s pr i va t e coun t r y house o f f e r s un r i va l l ed l uxu r y accommoda t i on f or a l l you r gues t s and i s se t wi t h i n a coun t r y es t a t e i n t he hea r t o f Essex . Th 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 and exc l us i ve wedd i ng venue .

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 YOUR DAY, YOUR WAY, OUR BEAUTIFUL VENUE B R A I N T R E E T O W N H A L L STUNNING INTERIORS CENTRAL LOCATION EXCEPTIONAL SERVICE A va r i e t y o f wedd i ng op t i on s s t a r t ng f r om £225 Con t a c t ou r wedd i ng co - o r d i na t o r t o d i s cu s s you r r equ i r emen t s on T : 0 1 376 5 57 7 76 E : t hc@b r a i n t r ee . gov . uk B r a i n t r ee Town Ha l l

FOR YOUR CHANCE TO WIN, ENTER VIA OUR WEBSITE. Closing date 31st August, 2022, unless otherwise stated. Terms and conditions apply. WIN! CHAMPAGNE HOLDER & GLASSES Want to toast your wedding celebrations in serious style? We’ve teamed up with Essex-based luxury homeware website AMARA to offer an amazing prize of this Champagne holder and set of prosecco glasses – worth £290! The Lunares Champagne holder has been meticulously hand-crafted by skilled artisans and boasts a highly polished body and luxurious silver finish. With unique scalloped detailing, it’s the perfect addition to your first dinner party as newlyweds. What’s more, the lucky winner will also receive a set of two prosecco glasses from LSA International. Made from the finest mouth-blown glass, they’re elegant in design and feature delicately angled bowls and hand-drawn stems. Visit for more homeware must-haves. Great giveaways and discounts up for grabs Freebies &OFFERS WIN! DELUXE SPA, SWIM & SUPPER EVENING Wedding plans leaving you in need of some much-needed TLC? You’re in luck – we’ve teamed up with Thorpe-le-Soken’s Lifehouse Spa to offer you and a guest the chance to enjoy their fantastic Deluxe Spa, Swim and Supper package! Arriving at the award-winning spa from 5pm, you’ll enjoy full use of the facilities, gym and gardens; receive complimentary use of fluffy towels and cosy bathrobes; and get your very own pair of Lifehouse flip flops to take home! But the prize of course doesn’t end there – you’ll also get to choose from a 40 minute Spa Manicure; Men’s Hand, Nail & Grooming Treatment; or the Serenity Spa Treatment, which includes a 20 minute mini facial and a 20 minute back, neck and shoulder massage for him or her. All that plus a sumptuous three-course dinner in The Restaurant at Lifehouse, before you check out by 10pm, feeling relaxed and refreshed. Visit for more info. Award-winning British contemporary jewellery designer and silversmith Lucy Quartermaine has had a passion for designing and creating jewellery from a young age, having been inspired by her grandmother’s craft and skill. Loved by A-list celebrities in the UK and around the world, Lucy’s brand is renowned for stylish designs and luxury aesthetics. What’s more, for every piece of jewellery purchased a tree is planted meaning eco-concious consumers can rest assured their purchases are sustainable. With elegant jewellery and accessories perfect for the big day, County Wedding Magazines has teamed up with Lucy Quartermaine to offer readers the chance to win an Art Deco Oval Pendant worth £95. The 925 sterling silver with rhodium overlay pendant is inset with white topaz gemstones and can be worn at a 16 or 20-inch length. Visit ACCESSORISE AND SHINE FREEBIES & OFFERS 13

Pre-register for all of our events at ASCOT RACECOURSE, 18TH SEPTEMBER, 2022 THE BRENTWOOD CENTRE, 2ND OCTOBER, 2022 MERCEDES-BENZ WORLD, 9TH OCTOBER, 2022 WEMBLEY STADIUM, 3TH 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 SUNDAY 18 SEPTEMBER 2022 | 11AM - 3.30PM ASCOT RACECOURSE Brooklands Drive, Weybridge, KT13 0SL SUNDAY 9 OCTOBER 2022 | 11AM - 3.30PM MERCEDES-BENZ WORLD 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

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:

‘Yes! ’ SAY IN COLCHESTER From romantic barns to manor houses and woodland retreats, Colchester has a whole host of incredible venues to say ‘I do’ to CHALKNEY WATER MEADOWS Chalkney Water Meadows is hidden away amongst ancient woodland next to a picturesque river and tree-lined lake. A stunning location for an outdoor celebration, the venue is popular with larger wedding parties who require a little more space, thanks to three linked giant tipis that seat up to 150 guests comfortably for your breakfast – or 180 at a squeeze. At Chalkney you don’t even have to worry about being booted out by midnight – here you can enjoy exclusive use of the venue for the whole weekend. Just imagine a celebration created entirely by yourselves; from delicious three course meals to succulent hog roasts with an endless choice of salad. Plus, no eye-watering drinks’ prices but a bespoke menu tailored just for you. Blessings take place on the lakeside willow pontoon, and after your reception you’ll find glamping accommodation available in luxurious bell tents. The venue also has two lakeside cabins conveniently situated a short walk away. If neither of these options are for you, the venue also works with local hotel partners to offer preferred and discounted rates. 19 LOCAL VENUES

COLCHESTER TOWN HALL 01206 506905 | The Town Hall is a jewel in Colchester’s crown. From its prominent city centre location, this magnificent Baroque structure, with its Victorian tower and statue of St Helena – Colchester’s patron saint – dominates the surrounding area. Bursting with Edwardian glamour, the Hall represents the most romantic and historic of venues. The building boasts a rich heritage, and couples are guaranteed to make a grand red carpet entrance from the moment they step inside. Couples can choose from a variety of function rooms to wed in, all of which are fully licenced for ceremonies and receptions. Moot Hall is the largest and most popular of spaces – its high-arched ceiling and tall stained glass windows create the perfect setting for up to 250 guests. There’s also the Council Chamber – ideal for an intimate wedding ceremony of up to 80; the Mayoral Suite, which comprises the Grand Jury and West Committee Rooms for up to 110; and the Old Library, a fully self-contained suite with reception, kitchen and cloakroom, again for up to 80. Receptions are then held in Moot Hall or the Old Library, during which the newlyweds can take a stroll to Castle Park for some unique photo opportunities. HOUCHINS 01376 561448 | Located in the picturesque village of Coggeshall, Houchins has been designed to offer stylish entertaining for up to 180 guests in a sympathetically converted farm building. With double height ceiling, mezzanine gallery, open fireplace and French windows opening on to a landscaped wedding garden, it’s a glorious setting to marry in. The cedar clad barn sympathetically marries concrete, wood and steel to offer a truly unique venue with an elegant marquee for the ceremony. Alongside is the venue’s evening food terrace, with festoon lighting creating the perfect setting for a more relaxed evening vibe. Divided into three distinct areas for ceremonies, dining and dancing, choose to marry in the oak panelled Drawing Room (20 guests); the traditional canvas Marquee (150 guests); the Foundry – set within the beautiful converted barn (120 guests); or have a blessing in the Woodland Wedding Glade next to the moat (100 guests). The Chitting Shed is then the perfect area for drinks, with huge glass double doors opening onto a west facing terrace, while the Grainstore has been artfully reclaimed as a dining area with capacity to seat up to 150. 20

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

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

OLD ESSEX BARN 01376 386166 | If character and charm are what you’re searching for, look no further than Old Essex Barn. Rustic meets luxury inside this lovinglyrestored 15th century space, packed with original features and high vaulted ceilings. Boasting a beautiful rural setting and wide-reaching countryside views, the classic black wood exterior contrasts beautifully against the sculpted gardens. Large windows offer romantic glimpses of the barn’s interior, while the rest of the grounds feature an intimate courtyard that leads down to a picturesque pond and fountain. When it comes to your happily ever after, Old Essex Barn provides a choice of two ceremony spaces. Couples can say their vows in the historic main barn, with a capacity of 76, or amid the romantic garden gazebo, again for up to 76. Wedding receptions then take place back in the main barn for up to 76 seated and 140 in the evening. Psst ! If you’re looking to wed at the venue from 2023 you’ll be pleased to hear that luxury accommodation is due to be completed next year, along with a purpose-built bridal dressing suite. PRESTED HALL 01376 573300 | Prested Hall is a privately-owned country manor house, located at the end of an impressive tree-lined drive in 75 acres of Essex countryside. At Prested, you’ll find modern comfort and quality, plus good oldfashioned service. A grade II listed building – parts of which date back to the 1400s – the Hall has been lovingly restored ensuring that many original features remain, including a large open fireplace, stained glass windows, exposed beams and oak panelling. Outside, seasonal hanging baskets adorn the venue year-round, with wedding parties able to enjoy drinks and canapés on the lawns beside the moat – or while strolling through the parkland. Prested Hall offers four areas licenced for civil ceremonies. The waterside Gazebo can accommodate a maximum of 140 guests seated on the lawn; the Oak Room is a beautiful panelled space with feature fireplace for up to 60; the Garden Room looks out over the moat and gardens and seats up to 85; or there’s The Orangery, the venue’s largest space for up to 140. Couples can then host their wedding breakfast from May to September in the waterside marquee – draped in ivory fabric and featuring handmade copper effect lighting. Alternatively, choose the Orangery, available year-round and able to seat up to 100 guests for your wedding breakfast. 23 LOCAL VENUES 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 Set in three acres of beautifully manicured gardens, The Lawn is a truly enchanting, award-winning Manor House wedding venue with a stunning Orangery, galleried Grand Hall and delightful gazebo. Perfect for any size wedding, for any season. The Lawn Wedding Fair Sunday 20th March 2022 10.30am - 3.30pm Free entry and ample free parking Refreshments available to purchase on the day To find out why we remain one of the most sought after and best reviewed venues in Essex, contact us to arrange a viewing or visit and let us put together a tailored online quotation based on your precise requirements. Hall Road, Rochford, Essex SS4 1PL 01702 203669 | Set in three cres of e utifully nicure g r ens, The L n is truly ench nting, r - inning nor ouse e ing venue ith stunning r ngery, g llerie r n ll n elightful g ze o. Perfect for ny size e ing, for ny se son. The Lawn Wedding Fair Sunday 18th September 2022, 11am - 3pm. Free entry and ample free parking. fr s ts v il l t r s t y. Register now! To find ut why we r m in on of the most sought aft r and best reviewed venues in Essex, contact us to arrange a viewing or visit a d let us put tog ther a tailored online quotation based on your precise requirements. Hall Road, Rochford, Essex SS4 1PL 01702 203669 |

Hotel stay Looking for a stunning hotel wedding venue where you and your guests can bed down for the night? We’ve got you covered DOWN HALL 01279 731441 | Established as one of England’s most established country house hotels, Down Hall is situated in 110 acres of picturesque woods, parks and landscaped gardens, complete with a stunning wedding gazebo that’s perfect for outdoor ceremonies. The impressive Italianate mansion – with ornate stone masonry and detailed architecture – provides a stunning backdrop to any wedding with a truly historic setting. Connected to the 19th century Italianate mansion house, the enhanced West Wing underwent a £1.2m refurbishment in 2019, creating a stunning stand-alone space which caters for weddings for up to 220 guests. Decorated in traditional heritage colours with bright accents in classic country house meets contemporary chic, the banqueting and ballrooms feature panoramic views over the beautiful gardens, creating the perfect backdrop for the most elegant of ceremonies, wedding breakfasts and receptions. Psst ! Down Hall’s recently refurbished gallery provides the perfect classical backdrop for photographs and is the perfect area for guests to relax and congregate before the ceremony. 25 THEMED VENUES

TALBOOTH WEDDINGS 01206 323105 | Set beside the natural beauty of the River Stour lies the Talbooth Restaurant, one of the finest wedding venues in Essex. Here you can enjoy your special day in stunning surroundings, whether it’s dining in the riverside restaurant or dancing in the marquee on the upper terrace. You can even take advantage of Kathleen, the venue’s electric riverboat, which is moored by the restaurant in the summer. This gives you the option of arriving at the wedding breakfast following a 10-minute ride along the river, which is a great way to surprise your guests! Weddings take place in the River Room, which has a civil ceremony licence for up to 130 people. A beautiful space overlooking the water, terrace and perfectly manicured lawns, your vows are then followed by a wedding breakfast in the marquee. Want to stay the night? No problem – accommodation options include Talbooth House & Spa, Milsom Hotel and the venue’s self-catering luxury cottage, Idle Waters. PONTLANDS PARK 01245 476444 | An impressive Victorian House and beautifully landscaped gardens with pond make Pontlands Park the ideal setting for you to celebrate your love and commitment. Located on the outskirts of Chelmsford City Centre, a beautiful driveway gives both you and your guests a great first impression. Also, being a 35-bedroom hotel, it means your guests won’t have far to go to rest after your wedding day! All rates are inclusive of breakfast, meaning you can celebrate the morning after as a group. Say your vows in the new garden gazebo, seating up to 100 guests overlooking the Essex countryside. You can also choose the intimate Lilli Suite by the gardens and pond area, which is ideal for up to 60 guests seated for your civil ceremony. Then there’s the light and fully airconditioned Conservatory Suite to consider, allowing you to be married with seating up to 100 guests. Receptions can then take place in both the Conservatory (90 guests), which is fully air-conditioned, or the beautiful Marquee (180 guests), which boasts a silk-lined ceiling and chandeliers for the perfect backdrop. 26

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 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. 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

STIFFORD HALL HOTEL 01708 719988 | An 18th century manor house set in landscape grounds with a covered terrace that’s ideal for welcome drinks, Stifford Hall Hotel boasts a recently built pagoda with beautiful chandelier, ideal for an outside wedding ceremony. There’s also 97 en-suite bedrooms with a mixture of twins/double and superior rooms available, with a block of accommodation to all your guests available at a preferential rate, inclusive of full English breakfast. Inside the main house you’ll find The Regency Suite – with floor to ceiling windows and a neutral colour scheme, its elegant crystal chandeliers and purpose-built terrace bar makes this the ideal space for your wedding party. Civil ceremonies can also be held in the purposebuilt pagoda, as well as the Blenheim Suite, located on the first floor of the main house. You can then choose to host your reception back in The Regency Suite (130 guests), or The Garden Suite (80 guests), which also has its own smaller terrace area. WIVENHOE HOUSE HOTEL 01206 863666 | Wivenhoe House is a beautiful four-star hotel on the Essex/Suffolk border, incorporating both historic rooms in the Main House and contemporary luxury in the Garden Wing. The magnificently restored 18th century red brick mansion celebrates the original architecture of the building, whether your event takes place in the Gazebo on the sunken lawn; in the light and airy Garden Suite; or in the Drawing Room, complete with bay windows overlooking the parkland. The venue also offers 40 bedrooms, ranging from Classic, Superior or Luxury rooms in the Main House, to more contemporary Deluxe spaces in the hotel’s Garden Wing. Ceremonies take place in The Garden Suite for up to 150 guests, perfect for an all-in-one celebration with its private bar, dancefloor and sound system. There’s also The Drawing Room – surrounded by views of the parklands through three bay windows, the restored 18th century space can seat up to 80 guests. Alternatively, choose The Signatures Room for a more traditionally styled wedding for up to 60, or The Gazebo, available for an outdoor ceremony for up to 130. Ideal for summer weddings, the daylight hours provide a perfect backdrop for photography. 29 THEMED VENUES

To view our historic venues visit or call 01206 506905 Begin y r Happy Ever A er in the Hea of Hist ic Colchester Capture Edwardian elegance and romance at Colchester’s Town Hall Colchester Castle | Town Hall | Charter Hall | Summer House

Love story Debbie and Becca’s work relationship soon developed into something more Images courtesy of Clare Kentish Photography Debbie met Becca at work in 2011. “Debbie was opening a brandnew restaurant and I interviewed to be a waitress,” says Becca. “We worked together for a couple of months before we began dating, with our relationship developing quite quickly as we were together all the time. Running a restaurant meant we didn’t have much free time in the beginning to go out, but the dates we did have were amazing – and we quickly fell in love.” After six years together Debbie and Becca got engaged – by accident! “By this time, we’d made a decision to close the restaurant side of the business and begin our journey as a wedding and events venue. During the week, we’d run networking occasions, where I met a lovely lady called Amanda. She worked with her husband, Michael, at their own bespoke jewellery store. Amanda and I had a long chat about rings, and I booked an appointment – without consulting Debs – just to look at some ideas. To cut a long story short, we came out of the appointment having commissioned two bespoke engagement rings! We kept it all a secret until the rings were ready to collect, and became officially engaged in October 2017.” Debbie and Becca’s wedding was booked for the 27th August 2021, with the couple choosing a ceremony at Colchester Town Hall and their reception at Peldon Community Hall. Here, Becca tells us more about their amazing day… 31 REAL WEDDINGS

Colchester’s Town Hall is a beautiful space to marry in. We decided not to decorate the room, as we knew we’d only be in there for about half an hour. I bought a non-traditional dress online, as I was only going to be wearing it for about six hours! The adult bridesmaids wore pastel pink dresses from Chi Chi London, with the younger girls wearing matching colour dresses with tuille skirts and satin bows. We asked Fabricate Décor to hang drapes and lights from the ceiling at Peldon Community Hall, and we also added some LOVE letters along with an LED dancefloor. Debs doesn’t do dresses, so after much searching found some white trousers along with a flowy top and white see-through cover-up for the day. I love all flowers, so asked our florist to select seasonal flowers of her choice for the day. It really paid off – the results were incredible. 32

The flavours of our wedding cake were me and Debs to a tee – chocolate with chocolate buttercream for Debs, and vanilla with white chocolate buttercream for me! We decided against a table plan as we wanted the reception to have a party vibe, with guests sitting wherever they felt comfortable. We knew straight away who we wanted as our photographer and were so pleased Clare was available. It was surreal wandering around Castle Park, having strangers congratulate us as we had our photos taken. Our wedding was so soon after the lockdowns that our guests loved being out and catching up with each other. We were all so busy chatting that the day flew by! We opted to feed everyone canapés and a hot and cold buffet. We had messages for days afterwards asking for our caterer’s details! Make sure you eat before you get married! I skipped breakfast and lunch as I was too stressed to think about food, and it made me feel unwell after the ceremony. 33 REAL WEDDINGS

Situated in the heart of the award-winning village of Peldon and next to the beautiful 11th century St Mary the Virgin church Call 07395 528874 Email Weddings & Parties AT THE PELDON & WIGBOROUGHS COMMUNITY HALL CHURCH ROAD PELDON COLCHESTER CO5 7PT The Infinite Wedding Co. is an online community and blog featuring highly recommended suppliers in the wedding and events industry. Our blog features tons of advice and tips for couples who are in the midst of planning their wedding, and are looking for a little inspiration. | 01206 239945 | E ery hin y u nee lan y ur eam e in

DEBBIE AND BECCA’S CONTACTS Ceremony, Colchester Town Hall, | Reception, Peldon Community Hall, | Photography, Clare Kentish Photography, | Becca’s Dress, Needle & Thread, | Debbie’s Outfit, ASOS, | Hair, Claire Francis Hairzone, | Make-up, Stephanie Farthing Beauty Specialist, | Cake, Buttercups The Cake Shop, | Flowers, Flora & Daisy, | Stationery, Infinite Weddings & Events Ltd, | Catering, S&K Hospitality, | Rings, Michael Frank Fine Jewellers, | Mobile Bar, Beyond Bar Hire, | DJ and Dancefloor, MDM Entertainment & Events, | Outdoor Barrels and Love Letters, Island Inflatables, | Reception Decorations, Fabricate Décor, 35 REAL WEDDINGS

Eyes on Natalie and Mark were the well-deserved winners of an incredible wedding competition for NHS workers, worth £26,000 Images courtesy of D&A Photography THE PRIZE 36

Midwife Natalie met Mark when she became his mentor during a placement at Basildon University Hospital’s maternity unit. “Mark was training to be a paramedic, and there was an instant attraction between us,” says Natalie. “We saw more and more of each other, and soon began to realise we were meant to spend the rest of our lives together.” Three years later, the couple were enjoying a family Christmas break at Center Parcs in Elveden Forest. “One night, we went to see the giant snow globes that you could get in to have your photo taken,” continues Natalie. “Once inside, Mark got down on one knee and asked to marry me! Shocked, but over the moon, I said ‘yes’, then we all went out and celebrated with lots of Champagne.” Natalie and Mark started planning their wedding straight away, putting deposits on a venue, photographer and string quartet. Then Natalie spotted a competition on Instagram where NHS workers could win a wedding worth £26,000, and thought it couldn’t hurt to just fill out the form… OVER THE RAINBOW The competition, organised by florist and venue stylist Rosie Obeney of Rose Decor Styling, offered one lucky couple a free wedding at Tuffon Hall, including photography, videography, dresses, suits, cake, catering, flowers, stationery, entertainment, hair, make-up, decorations and more. With 24 Essex suppliers involved, Natalie decided to enter. “We felt the way we met and working for the NHS was a story in itself, but wanted to show we were also not immune to our own suffering. Unfortunately, in 2017, during a perfect pregnancy, our son, Ronnie, was born at 23 weeks. Sadly, after three weeks of spending every minute with him, he passed away. We returned to our roles within the NHS, which took immense resilience with me working on the delivery suite and Mark as a paramedic. Being thrust back into a life where you’re faced with living your own nightmare through others, as well as having first-hand experience understanding people’s darkest times, is hard, to say the least. We were then overjoyed to welcome our beautiful rainbow baby, Teddy, in late 2018, which showed that we can survive anything together.” IN IT TO WIN IT The couple were out shopping when they received a call saying they’d been shortlisted for the prize. “It was so noisy in the shop I thought at first we were only in the running for winning some wedding flowers!” says Natalie. “We were asked to attend Basildon University Hospital in uniform, to meet some suppliers as we’d made the final three. Upon arrival, we were handed cards to read in order, and were told some of the businesses would be waiting to meet us by the maternity entrance as part of being shortlisted. When we got to the last card, and read that we’d actually won, we were in total disbelief! Arriving at the maternity entrance, we were then surprised by the suppliers and lots of our friends and family! We were still in shock for days afterwards!” 37 REAL WEDDINGS