An Essex Wedding - September/October 2022 (Issue 106) SEPT/OCT 2022 £3.55 FASHION, BEAUTY, HONEYMOONS, GROOMS AND MORE Food, glorious food Your A-Z guide of wedding catering Hot off the press! The latest news and views WIN! A holiday to the Algarve MAKING AN ENTRANCE Big day transport made easy Dare to dream Enchanting wedding venues

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

REGULARS 6 EDITOR’S LETTER Hello from your Editor, Claire Muffett-Reece 9 NEARLYWED NEWS Catch up on news from around Essex 13 FREEBIES & OFFERS Great giveaways and discounts up for grabs 91 HOT TOPIC Local experts offer their stellar advice 95 COMPETITION Win a fantastic trip to Portugal! CONTENTS SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2022 VENUES 19 CELEBRATE IN SOUTHEND There’s a host of gorgeous venues to choose from in Southend 25 SWEET DREAMS Picture-perfect, fairy-tale locations to take your guests’ breaths away On the cover This issue’s gorge us cover has been sponsored by renowned Essex wedding venue Markshall Estate in Coggeshall ( It was captured at the wedding of Lisa and Alwyn, by Essex-based Sarah Martins Photography ( 57 19 FEATURES 51 FESTIVAL OF LOVE Glitter, glamour and giggles were the order of the day on this exclusive shoot 57 FOOD FOR THOUGHT Wow guests with delicious food and drink with our regional A-Z guide 65 ARRIVE IN STYLE Stunning Essex-based wedding transport options 3

REAL WEDDINGS 33 LOVE AT FIRST SWIPE Lauren and Russ went all-out for their wedding after finding each other online 38 YOU AND ME ALWAYS Our very own County Wedding Magazines’ editor Melissa, and partner Dave, tied the knot at Houchins 45 GONE FISHING Aidan and Ellen celebrated their love for one another at Parklands Quendon Hall HONEYMOONS 97 HONEYMOON NEWS We reveal the latest destinations and honeymoon essentials 101 WITH LOVE FROM MADRID Easter in Spain’s vibrant capital city 103 SWEET ESCAPES Enjoy a relaxing minimoon in some of the UK’s best boltholes GROOMS 88 GROOMS’ NEWS Best buys and product launches FASHION & BEAUTY 70 BEAUTY BUZZ Get the look with the must-haves for the bride-to-be 73 BEAUTY Q&A Expert advice on looking picture perfect 74 HEAD TURNERS Pick a statement headband, hair clip or crown for that finishing touch 77 FASHION FOCUS The latest bridal fashion news, buys and launches 78 DREAM A LITTLE DREAM Dresses decorated with whimsical lace, ditsy florals and crystal embellishments 85 STANDOUT SLEEVES These statement dresses will take you from day to dancefloor 78 45 103 88 97 38 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

33 LOOK OF LOVE The pride in Lauren’s dad’s eyes is everything in this shot 9 HERE’S LOOKING AT ‘LOO’ Head to our news pages for an exclusive discount! What’s the most important thing to think about when it comes to researching your wedding? Of course, the dress or suit you choose to walk down the aisle in is key – and we’ve plenty of inspiring fashion choices for you to pore over, starting on page 77. However, for most couples it’s all about ensuring their guests are properly cared for from start to finish – because, let’s face it, you want your wedding to be the one that gets all those #weddingoftheyear Insta hashtags, don’t you…? Never fear – we’re here to help, with a ton of regional suppliers ready to make your big day dreams come true! Want to wow your crowd with a feast like no other, from mouth-watering canapés and hog roasts, to chocolate fountains and even your very own inflatable pub? Turn to our A-Z guide to Essex wedding catering, over on page 57. Looking for transport to turn up to your big day in style? You can hire a helicopter, camper van and so much more on page 65! And that’s before you’ve even looked at five incredible Southend wedding venues (p19) – or been inspired by our exclusive shoot, starting on page 51. Also this issue – and on the very day I’m writing this! – our lovely Senior Editor of County Wedding Magazines, Melissa, is saying ‘I do’ to the man of her dreams, David, at Coggeshall venue, Houchins. If you’ve been following Melissa’s journey in previous issues then I’m sure you’ll want to see her incredible day in all its glory, so turn to page 38 to see the bride and groom enjoying the best day of their lives. See you in November, Claire x Claire Muffett-Reece, Editor Consider this 45 DEEP IN THOUGHT Just look at this shot of groom Aidan on his big day 95 WIN! An incredible holiday in the Algarve ISSN 1745-6541 EDITORIAL 01376 535 611 Claire Muffett-Reece | Editor Danielle Harvey | Managing Editor Kelly Andrews | Deputy Managing Editor and Beauty Editor Melissa Cullen | 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 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. @CountyWeddingMagazines @CountyWeddings @countyweddingmagazines Visit us online at and cwe COUNTY WEDDING EVENTS

57 PANCAKE DAY Delight guests with something sweet at your wedding 51 DENIM DREAM How cool is this jacket in our exclusive shoot? 65 HAPPY CAMPER Meet Billy Lovebug and Lyla Lovebus! 25 I’M A DREAMER I’m loving the inside of Burnham on crouch venue The Canary Shed! EDITOR’S LETTER 7

BR IDAL SHOES GUARANTEED TO MAKE AN IMPACT XY London is a forward-thinking women’s shoe brand like no other. Our on-trend shoes and Bridal Shoes are made to make you look and feel great, what’s more they’re affordable. As well as the latest runway inspired trends, our impressive bridal collection is home to impowering Wedding Shoes for the entire bridal party. Searching for comfortable Wedding Flats that give you that dreamy elegant look is not easy, XY London fills the gap in the market by offering a huge variety of impactful Bridal Pumps and Bridal Sandals to complete your big day. 0800 024 8450 | | 4 2 B A T E S I N D U S T R I A L E S T A T E , C H U R C H R O A D , R O M F O R D , R M 3 0 H X XYLONDON

NEWS Nearlywed All the latest from around the county SAFE AS HOUSES If you’re after an exclusive and bespoke wedding package in a venue packed with history, consider Colchester’s Wivenhoe House. This 18th century four-star hotel, once painted by Constable, is a magnificently restored country house with a wealth of history between its walls. Offering a trio of wedding offerings, designed to make the most of any size wedding, their Classic Brettingham Package starts at £78.95 per person and includes your wedding breakfast, welcome drink and Prosecco for toasts, evening buffet options and a night in one of the hotel’s bedrooms, including breakfast in your room the next morning. Alternatively, choose the Deluxe Rebow Package, starting from £96.95 per person. This includes a three-course wedding breakfast, half a bottle of wine per person, welcome drinks and Prosecco, and a luxury evening buffet selection. You’ll also get chair covers, bows and a sweet cart filled with treats, as well as a luxury bedroom with breakfast the next day. Or why not consider the Luxury Constable Package from £111.95 per person? Starting with a choice of welcome drinks and canapes, it includes a luxury wedding breakfast, half a bottle of wine per person and Prosecco for toasts. Add to that your evening buffet, chair covers and bows, sweet cart and accommodation – plus you can stay in the hotel the night before and get ready in a luxury room as part of the deal. LUCK OF THE DRAW Give your guests some entertainment they get to take home with Rayleigh illustrator Kirstybowks Bespokes. Sketching in real-time during weddings and other special events, owner Kirsty strives to create unique keepsakes that will forever capture the magic of your special day. Choose her Intimate Wedding Package, £350, which includes live drawing for two and a half hours during drinks or your evening reception, plus an additional A4 illustration of you as newlyweds after the event. Alternatively, there’s her Wedding Bell Package, £450, again offering an illustration of the pair of you – but with four hours of live drawing for your guests to enjoy! “I love documenting the big emotions as well as the day’s quiet, intimate moments,” says Kirsty. “There’s nothing better than capturing some of the fun and spark of the day with my trademark style.” Visit to find out how to book. WRAP IT UP Looking for ideas to add to your gift list? Look no further than Raynebased luxury homeware company Amara. They’ve recently introduced some private label collections and new brands to their site, beginning with Lisa Todd Designs’ hand printed Ubuntu range – a colourful celebration of two cultures expressed through abstract patterns on dinnerware, vases and table linens. There’s also former Gucci designer Gergei Erdei’s cushions, inspired by neoclassical shapes with a sculptural appearance; rugs, placemats, table runners and ottomans from quirky brand Podevache; unique ceiling lights, wall lamps and floor lamps from DelightFULL; and some seriously glam barware and kitchen musts from Nick Munro. The best news is you can even create your own gift list thanks to their partnership with The Wedding Shop, as a selection of products from Amara’s brands are available to add via The Wedding Shop website. Visit to find out about registering your gift list or visit for more of their homeware. 9 LOCAL NEWS

YOU BEAUTY! If you’re in search of a beauty salon for all your pre-wedding needs then consider Colchester’s clinic & beauty, previously known as Amy Gordon Skin Clinic & Beauty Boutique. The multi award-winning advanced skin clinic and beauty salon, situated on North Hill, came under new ownership back in June, when senior beauty specialist Emily Farrell took over the business from founder Amy Gordon. Now launched as clinic & beauty, the brand offers a vast range of luxury treatments. “This is an exciting new step for us at the salon,” says Emily. “While our clients will notice the change in name, the quality of our service, treatments and products remains as high as ever. Over the past five years the salon has always been ready to provide the best and most innovative treatments through a team of expert therapists and specialists.” clinic & beauty are experts in skincare, HD brows, nail treatments, eyelash extensions, waxing and tanning – visit to find out how to book. LET’S PLAY TAG Looking for something different to do for your hen or stag? Try the new interactive gaming course at King George’s Playing Fields in Brentwood. TAGactive is a game for all ages and takes place in an obstacle course arena split into zones, each of which contain a large number of illuminated TAGs. Players collect points by ‘tagging’ these with a sensor on their wristband, the points value of each TAG being determined by the degree of difficulty in reaching it. A player’s score then appears on an electronic scoreboard to add an extra dimension of competition with rivals, as well as trying to post the best score of the day – or even of all time. “TAGactive bridges the worlds of activity, gaming and technology,” says Shaun Beagle, Area Everyone Active’s contract manager. “This is something which people of all abilities can enjoy, and is sure to result in healthy competition between friends and family.” TAGactive sessions are bookable via the Everyone Active app and website – visit for more info. SPOTLIGHT ON: RI RI’S BRIDAL! Ria Carroll, owner of the Billericay boutique, on why An Essex Wedding readers should pay her a visit… “We are in our ninth year of business and stock a huge range of bridal gowns from designers Evie Young, Madison James by Allure, Phoenix, Danielle Couture and Mary’s Bridal. Our bookings are exclusive one-to-one appointments, so the whole bridal floor is for you and your bridal party alone – with no other shoppers to distract you! We have a huge variety of dresses in sizes ranging from 8 to 24, with our prices in the region of £850 to £2,500. My team is personal and genuinely passionate about giving you a magical experience. I’m also a resident bridal expert on E4’s One Stop Wedding Shop, where I help brides-to-be see their wildest wedding dreams come true! You’re most definitely in the safest of hands when shopping with us.” TOILET TALK Want a festival-style wedding – but without those dreaded festivalstyle portaloos? Basildon-based His & Hers Luxury Toilets is the answer! “All of our units are of a seriously high quality, with Molton Brown hand wash and cream as standard,” says owner Alison Martin. “We provide fresh flowers in the larger units, in the colour choice of the customer; with complimentary toiletries for the ladies, with these units also having background music. We do free site visits for customers who are unsure on venue space, and we can even supply attendants for functions if required.” READER OFFER! His & Hers Luxury Toilets are offering £50 off any unit booked for An Essex Wedding readers for 2023. Terms and conditions apply; please visit for more info. 10

Your Wedding Your Way Creating wedding day memories for all the right reasons A perfect setting for up to 180 guests. A great choice of function rooms including the Claudius Suite for the more intimate celebration, our large Balkan Suite with it’s own private foyer and bar area, or a combination of the restaurant and adjoining function space to seat 180. Our spacious patio area is available to hire for your ceremony, drinks reception or BBQ*. Carefully crafted packages to suit any budget. Discounted accommodation rates for all your guests. We are with you every step of the way, it’s not just a journey, it’s an adventure! | | 01206 210001 L O N D O N R O A D , M A R K S T E Y , C O L C H E S T E R , E S S E X C O 6 1 D U *Terms & Conditions apply

B R I D A L Billericay, Essex 01277 655234 THE DRESS OF YOUR DREAMS IS WAITING.. Whether you are looking for full on princess, simple and chic, Gatsby glamour or boho beach vibes, we have you covered. Here at Ri Ri’s our gowns start at £850 and go up to £2,500. Sizes range from UK8 - UK24 @ r i r i s b r i d a l

FOR YOUR CHANCE TO WIN, ENTER ONLINE AT WWW.ANESSEX.WEDDING Closing date 31st October, 2022, unless otherwise stated. Terms and conditions apply. WIN! MAGIC SELFIE MIRROR HIRE Want to look back at an array of hilarious selfies on your big day? Be sure to enter this competition from Shoeburyness-based May Violet Events, who are offering their Magic Mirror Vegas Package, worth £365, to one lucky winner! Their Magic Selfie Mirror comes with a stylish Hollywood frame, red carpet and silver posts, complete with red rope barrier for the ultimate VIP experience. The Vegas package means you’ll receive three hours of visits plus unlimited prints, meaning you and your guests can take as many snaps as you like! You’ll have backdrops and props to match your wedding day, as well as a uniformed attendant to help if needed. You’ll receive a personalised guest book, giving friends and family the opportunity to stick a copy of their photo strip alongside their message of congratulations – and you’ll also be given a USB stick with each photo taken as an additional keepsake. Visit to find out more about their wedding hire packages. Great giveaways and discounts up for grabs WIN! A COLCHESTER ZOO ANIMAL EXPERIENCE Take time away from those wedding plans thanks to Colchester Zoo, who’ve teamed up with An Essex Wedding to offer a Perfect Moments Animal Experience for two! This exclusive encounter provides you and your loved one with the chance to meet your favourite animal, all the while creating memories together that will last a lifetime. This amazing package, worth £200, includes a private 30-minute, close-up VIP experience where you can meet either the aardvarks, giraffes, lemurs, penguins, tigers, tortoises, mandrills, spotted hyena, meerkats, forest dwellers, armadillo or even the white rhino! You’ll also enjoy a two-course, table service meal in at Penguini’s pizza and pasta restaurant, and take home a souvenir gift to remind you of this amazing day. The package also gains you entry into Colchester Zoo where you will have the chance to explore over 60 acres of parkland and lakes packed with animals. Visit for more info. ACCESSORISE AND SHINE Award-winning Danish brand Sif Jakobs Jewellery is renowned for creating modern, luxurious designs with an affordable price tag. The jewellery is made of rhodium,18k rose gold or yellow gold plated 925 sterling silver, featuring high-quality zirconia stones that create a sophisticated and dramatic expression often featured in Sif Jakobs’ collections. County Wedding Magazines has teamed up with Sif Jakobs Jewellery to give readers the chance to win this necklace and earring set worth £158 from the coveted Belluno collection. Made with 925 sterling silver and the highest quality cubic zirconia, all jewellery is handcrafted and carefully inspected to ensure perfection. Visit Freebies &OFFERS FREEBIES & OFFERS 13

Pre-register for all of our events at THE BRENTWOOD CENTRE, 2ND OCTOBER, 2022 MERCEDES-BENZ WORLD, 9TH OCTOBER, 2022 ASCOT RACECOURSE, 26TH FEBRUARY, 2023 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... GREATEXPECTATIONS


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 EAST ANGLIA SUN 23 OCT SMEETHAM HALL BARN Smeetham Hall, Sudbury, CO10 7EU BERKS, BUCKS & OXON SUN 25 SEPT RACKLEYS CHILTERN HILLS Marlow Road, Cadmore End, Bucks, HP14 3PP KENT SUN 6 NOV HYTHE IMPERIAL HOTEL & SPA Princes Parade, Hythe, CT21 6AE SUN 6 NOV PENSHURST PLACE Penshurst, TN11 8DG LONDON SUN 13 NOV MORDEN HALL Morden Hall Road, SM4 5JD SUSSEX SUN 16 OCT CASTLE GORING Arundel Road, Worthing, BN13 3UN 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 26 FEBRUARY 2023 | 11AM - 3.30PM 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

IN SOUTHEND Celebrate There’s a whole host of gorgeous venues to choose from in Southend and the surrounding areas THE LAWN 01702 203669 | Rochford’s The Lawn is a beautiful exclusive use Georgian manor house boasting a galleried Grand Hall with magnificent sweeping staircase and antique furniture. Outside, you’ll find a covered terrace, large fountain and outside bar for the summer months. There are immaculately maintained grounds to enjoy, with extensive lawns, colourful planting, blossom trees and rose garden – all set within 120 acres of rolling parkland. There’s even a helicopter pad adjoining the garden for those wanting to make a grand entrance! Ceremonies are held in the Grand Hall, seating up to 120 of your friends and family – or choose the stunning Orangery, licensed for civil ceremonies for up to 130. Alternatively, for more intimate weddings, The Club Room can be used for up to 30 guests, or you can even choose to wed outside under the Gazebo, situated within the beautiful rose garden. Receptions are then held in the Grand Hall, also taking advantage of the Blue Room, Drawing Room and Club Room for dancing. Opening on to the covered terrace and Terrace Bar when weather permits, it’s the perfect space for around 150. 19 LOCAL VENUES

RETTENDON LODGE 01245 320060 | This family-run venue, located 10 miles from Southend in picturesque Battlesbridge, is now offering weddings in 2023 from just £2,150! Hosting your celebration in the venue’s beautifully-presented silk-lined marquee, your celebration includes the use of your own private event lawn – an amazing setting for your ceremony, with a starlit roof and dancefloor perfect for that first dance. Set in the grounds of a country pub – with eight en-suite hotel rooms available – indoor ceremonies are held in the marquee or outside on the lawn, with Rettendon accommodating 40 to 130 guests. Receptions are then hosted in the marquee for up to 200, which includes a fully stocked licensed bar for celebratory tipples. The venue’s catering team are also on hand to serve a delicious array of food, choosing either a three-course sit-down meal, carvery, hog roast or BBQ – not to mention their mouthwatering fork or finger food buffet options. HOLIDAY INN SOUTHEND 01702 209086 | For something more contemporary, Holiday Inn Southend offers a stylish stainless-steel exterior, along with a sweeping glass and stainless-steel staircase on the hotel’s fourth floor. The venue’s balcony is a popular choice for countryside and nighttime photography, while there’s also the option for couples to visit Southend’s Priory Park for some garden shots, just a short drive away. Holiday Inn Southend’s functions suites on the ground floor can all be used for a civil ceremony, wedding breakfast and evening reception, choosing either the Laker Suite (up to 120 guests); the Britannia and Carvair Suite (up to 70 guests); or the Ambassador Suite (up to 50 guests). Drinks receptions can also be enjoyed in the Lounge Bar. Psst ! Holiday Inn Southend also offers complimentary food tasing, complimentary night accommodation for the newlyweds and complimentary on-site parking. 20

MULTI-AWARD WINNING SKIN CLINIC AND BEAUTY SALON IN COLCHESTER We are a results driven Skin Clinic & Beauty Salon in the heart of Colchester. In addition to advanced skincare, we are specialists in HD Brows, Gel Nails, Eyelash Extensions, Waxing, and Tanning. Alongside our experience & expertise, we provide beautiful surroundings to enjoy some pampering for your special day. 22 NORTH HILL COLCHESTER ESSEX CO1 1EG 01206 616064 BEAUTY PAMPER PACKAGE Gel Manicure & Pedicure A full set of Russian or Tahitian Lashes an HD Brow treatment & a Spray Tan £185 When you quote WEDEMS The normal price for these treatments is £227.50 SKIN CLINIC OFFER 20% OFF Any skin course in the lead up to your wedding Quote WEDSKIN The discount is normally 10% for brides Our special offers Link to our Instagram @emskinandbeauty @emskinclinic

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

THE BOUNDARY 07833 227706 | The Boundary is set within 10 acres of privately-owned Garon Park trust land, in the heart of Southend. Its informal yet immaculate grounds marry perfectly with the beautiful Essex landscape, while the recently renovated Scoreboard barn and marquee offer couples the perfect venue space for a celebration. Sheer curtains lead the way into the main marquee, which can hold a maximum of 200 seated guests or 500 standing. There’s a large wooden parquet dance floor located at the end of the room, with a beautiful star light containing thousands of twinkling lights; while the large custom-built solid oak bar comes fully stocked with all the favourites you might expect, with the team always happy to source specialist drinks or brands upon request. Watch this space! The Boundary is currently undergoing a civil ceremony licensing application process for its Scoreboard barn and outdoor pavilion area, which will be ready for 2023. However, they can currently offer both spaces for blessings and humanist ceremonies for up to 100 guests. CLIFFS PAVILION 01702 344553 | Cliffs Pavilion is the largest performing arts venue in Essex – and also one of the most iconic buildings in Southend. Work began on the original Cliffs Pavilion during the 1930s, when it was intended to be a 500-seat theatre incorporating the Art Deco style of the time. With the outbreak of World War II, however, the building work halted, with it eventually opening in 1964. Set in the most picturesque location on Southend’s famous cliff top, Cliffs is a fantastic space to hold your wedding day. With panoramic views of the Thames Estuary and beautiful paths leading into scenic gardens and down to the seafront, the venue’s Maritime Room is ideal for your ceremony, accommodating up to 160 for a wedding breakfast. With bi-fold doors opening out onto a fantastic terrace offering breathtaking views, you can then host up to 200 people for your evening reception. Psst ! Why not take advantage of Cliffs Pavilion’s main theatre auditorium for some special photo opportunities? 23 LOCAL VENUES celebrate In the Chelmsford countryside Cosy, roman�c, in�mate restaurant & licensed wedding venue Ceremonies & fine dine celebra�ons for up to 30 people

BADDOW PARK HOUSE 01245 473969 | Every wedding at Chelmsford’s Baddow Park House is unique. The versatility of the venue’s spaces means they can accommodate any wedding from the most intimate occasion to a full-on, 150-guest celebration and beyond. Throughout the house you’ll find sumptuous textures, hidden spaces and stylish décor, all creating the perfect blend of luxury and traditional for you to embrace and embellish with your own style. Then there are the impressive gardens, designed to provide you with the opportunity to really go to town on any alfresco elements of your wedding. For smaller cosy celebrations, the Oak Room is perfect for up to 50 guests, with its open fireplace and wood panelling. Alternatively, take advantage of the incredible light and sweeping views of the Drawing Room, which can accommodate up to 80 guests – or why not say your vows outside in the perfectly-crafted pavilion? Baddow Park House also boasts its recently-renovated Orangery – seating up to 150 guests, its space can be enhanced further by opening up the wall of bi-folding doors revealing perfect views across the terrace to the vineyards beyond. The Orangery can then be turned around from day to evening with minimal fuss, meaning your guests can continue their festivities into the night with no need to relocate. Psst ! Baddow’s Log Shed Bar provides the ideal location for a pre- or post-ceremony cocktail and even has its own pizza oven and BBQ. As the sun starts to set, why not head into the whimsical woodland to discover the fire-pit, where you can toast marshmallows and sip hot chocolate and liqueurs while you share old stories – and create new memories under the stars? Sweet Dreams Picture-perfect, fairy-tale locations that are sure to take you and your guests’ breaths away 25 THEMED VENUES

BRAXTED PARK 01621 770855 | At the heart of a vast walled estate you’ll find Braxted Park’s magnificent country house and its stunning gardens. Combing elegance and romance throughout its interior, you’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to saying, ‘I do’. The Orangery exudes romance, with Roman-inspired murals and arched windows that look out over the grounds. Alternatively, during the warmer months, tie the knot outdoors at the heart of the walled garden as your guests soak up the sun. Braxted Park even has its own church, so you could have a religious ceremony just a few minutes away from the house should you wish to. Each option is capable of seating up to 170 guests. When it comes to receptions, The Pavilion is perfectly equipped for parties both large and small. This versatile space offers plenty of room for up to 350 guests and comes with neutral décor so you can truly make it your own. The in-house catering team are on hand to create some spectacular menus for your special day, while come evening, a state-of-the-art sound and lighting system and huge dance floor ensures you can enjoy yourselves long into the night. Psst ! The Garden Cottage really stands out and offers couples the perfect place to retire to after a day of celebrating, while loved ones can enjoy a relaxing night’s stay just a few steps from the Pavilion, too. THE CANARY SHED 01621 786503 | The Canary Shed is a restored traditional Essex black barn with a rustic but modern interior so that couples can add their own personal touches, making the venue unique to them. Located on a farm with views of the River Crouch, it boasts easy access to the nearby town of Burnham on Crouch and the Saltmarsh Coast Trail. You don’t even have to worry about somewhere to stay, as The Canary Shed has six self-catering converted barns and two hotel-style rooms with en-suite facilities for you and your guests to enjoy, sleeping up to 30 in total. While The Canary Shed can hold up to 120 guests, you can be legally married in front of up to 80 of your friends and family for legal ceremonies and sit-down meals. Taking place outside under a gazebo in the venue’s courtyard area, you can also choose an indoor ceremony in The Granary Barn, which can accommodate up to 30. All receptions are then held in The Canary Shed which can be set up by couples the day before, be it for a formal sit-down feast or a more relaxed buffet or festival-style reception. Opening out on to the courtyard area, it’s the perfect space for photos and reception drinks. 26

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 .

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

CREEKSEA PLACE MANOR 01621 784535 | Set in an impressive 42 acres of stunning Essex countryside, all within a stone’s throw of the River Crouch, Creeksea Place Manor is another impressive venue to consider. The magnificence of this Elizabethan Manor House begins the minute you enter through the wrought iron gates, with native trees adorning the lawns and scented flowers dispersing their glorious fragrance throughout the day and night. Inside, enjoy the manor’s many original features in the stunning panelled room, complete with 16th century fireplace, before opting to relax with a drink in the new Cigar Lounge. The venue has a license for 350 guests and a total of seven wedding areas. Choose from The Orchard, with marble pagoda and stone statues (180 capacity); The Pannelled Room, with wooden floor and original features (60 capacity); The Regency Room, with double aspect windows overlooking the gardens (90 capacity); the Pagoda on The Lake, a pure white wooden pagoda nestled among water lilies (80 capacity); the Walled Garden, enclosed by ancient walls and decorated with ferns (180 capacity); the Tudor Hall/Garden, a secluded terrace overlooking the lake lawn (80 capacity); or the Music Room, with piano and windows overlooking the grounds (20 capacity). You can then enjoy your reception and dance the night away in Creeksea’s luxury silk-lined marquee. GAYNES PARK 01992 660329 | With a backdrop of lush rolling fields, enchanting woodland and the London skyline on the horizon, it’s safe to say that Gaynes Park offers a location like nowhere else. The exquisite Walled Gardens provide couples with a picturesque setting to while away the hours and drink in their atmospheric surroundings, while the Gather Barn and Mill Barn give a sense of the venue’s past life. Picture exposed beams, vast tree trunks and mementos of the venue’s history adorning the walls, while the Orangery combines an expansive roof and windows with an oak frame that’s perfect for adorning with flowers and fairy lights. Despite its rustic feel, Gaynes Park comes fully equipped with all the modern comforts a couple could wish for to make their wedding day just the way they want it to be. When it comes to ceremonies, Gaynes Park offers plenty of choice. The Orangery, with space for 150, lets the sunlight pour in and boasts exquisite views of the garden all around. The Gather Barn, meanwhile, is a unique, open-sided structure that hosts civil ceremonies in the great outdoors. Available separately from Gaynes Park, a select number of weddings can also be held each year in the surrounding woodland. This is the perfect setting for an enchanting and romantic ceremony, while the Walled Garden holds a number of picturesque spots to tie the knot outdoors, too. Ready to party as newlyweds? The Mill Barn is a magnificent, all-inone reception venue, with plenty of space for 150 guests for a wedding breakfast and 200 for an evening celebration. With its dancefloor, bar and seating all under one roof, couples and their guests will never be more than a few steps away from the party. 29 THEMED VENUES


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! Weddings Scan for more info!

We have performed for Royalty & film stars in locations from Las Vegas, Mumbai, Shanghai, Cuba, Barbados and more. Playing pop, rock, soul, disco, funk, Klezmer, Motown, RnB and cocktail/dinner music with a wealth of experience in entertaining. 01435 408 083 | | WWW.SWAYALLSTARSORCHESTRA.COM The SWAY ALLSTARS offers an elite squad of profession musicians of the very highest standard and we guarantee that it’s “THAT BAND!!” that your guests are talking about on their way home. We bring the magic!

Love Lauren and Russ went all-out for their incredible wedding after finding each other online Images courtesy of Natasha Marshall Photography AT FIRST swipe Lauren met Russ on dating app Bumble. “We had our first date on the 1st October, 2016 – and had already booked two holidays together six weeks later!” laughs the bride. “I loved how Russ made me laugh without even meaning to. He’s kind and thoughtful, and we have similar ambitions. Life just feels exciting being with him. Russ says he fell for my kindness, positive attitude towards life, and the way I can light up any room I’m in with my personality.” Fast forward two and a half years and the couple were enjoying an all-inclusive holiday to Mexico. “It was our last night and we went to the hotel’s premium restaurant which you had to pay extra for,” continues Lauren. “Russ conveniently forgot his card, so I paid, and we went back to the bar to meet friends. At the end of the night, we walked back to our room only to hear music playing from inside – which Russ seemed equally confused by. I walked in to Spanish music and rose petals over the floor and on the bed, along with a bottle of Champagne. Even then I had no idea, especially when Russ said he simply wanted to thank me for our holiday! He went to the safe to take his watch off and came back with his hands behind his back, before producing a ring. I can’t remember a word he said – but it was still the happiest moment of my life.” The couple chose the 15th October, 2021 for their wedding, saying ‘I do’ at Braxted Park. Here, Lauren tells us all about their incredible day… Scan to view video 33 REAL WEDDINGS

We had gold and white lanterns above the dance floor to fit in with the theme, and a gold shimmer wall with light up letters and a beautiful balloon garland. I wanted to include an orchid and some p ampas in my bouquet for texture. Our florist went o ne step further and added a dried pink feather, wh ich blew me away when I saw it for the first time. After cancelling our wedding abroad thanks to COVID, we wanted to choose somewhere close to home. Braxted Park is only five minutes from my parents’ house and when growing up I always said I’d get married there! Have a celebrant instead of a registrar. Yo u don’t need to follow any rules and the ceremony is perso nal to you as a couple. All our guests loved it – Olivia had people laughing and crying throughout. The centrepieces were designed around th e flower decorations on the top table. All our cand les were LED, so we didn’t have to worry about accidents, p lus we wanted something simple in keeping with the rest of the décor. Each table was somewhere we’d been on h oliday together. Mexico was the top table where we got en gaged – and we even had Mallorca, which was the location of our original wedding venue. 34

At 10pm I then changed into a bespoke ju mpsuit! I was so excited to put it on, and I loved how our guests said they’d never seen anything like it before. It had a detachable bow with a train, which added to the bridal look – and made for some great photos. Russ wore a black velvet suit along with a Hermès bow tie, which I bought as a gift to open on the mo rning. It turns out he’d never worn a proper bow tie before, s o it caused a little stress for him and his friends on the morn ing! My dress was the Enzoani Odelia design. When we moved our wedding from Spain to the UK, I was instantly excited as it meant I could wear s leeves! I teamed it with a veil and Victoria Percival headband. After the ceremony and group shots I took my sleeves off to create a second look, and had my hair styled into a low pony. I also changed to a different headband, which was handmade during lockdown by my seamstress. We included decorations in the style of ou r chihuahua, Rio, and Russ’ family dog, Buttons for our cake toppers. The top layer was chocolate, and the bottom Victo ria sponge, which went down a treat! For the wedding breakfast we enjoyed mini cheese toasties with soup, a sharing platter of lamb, and mini pavlovas and sticky toffee pudding. We also had bacon baps and cheesy chips later on that night. 35 REAL WEDDINGS

LAUREN AND RUSS’ CONTACTS Venue, Braxted Park | Photography, Natasha Marshall Photography | Lauren’s dress, MiliMili Bridal | Lauren’s jumpsuit, Rebecca Tembo | Bride, maid of honour and mother of the bride’s hair and make-up, Bridesmade Artistry | Bridesmaids’ hair, Leggy Bird Hair | Bridesmaids’ make-up, Makeup by Faye Neill | Suits, Reiss | Cake, Bridies Cakes | Flowers, Bud Flora | Table plan and table names, By Chloe Louise Art | Table settings, menus and drinks menus, LouPaper | Catering, Gather and Feast | Rings, Goldsmiths | Carpet, hanging lanterns and pavilion chair hire, The Wedding Lounge Centrepieces, candle and lantern hire and ceremony décor, Party Squared | Shimmer wall, balloons and balloon hoop and light up letters, Big Balloon Room | Photobooth, Megabooth | Wedding planner, Hayley Jane Wedding and Events | Videography, Peekaboo Films | Ceremony and drinks reception entertainment, Ozzy & Stix Evening band, Sway All Stars | String quartet, Sole Bay Strings | Celebrant, Olivia Coleman | Chill out furniture, The W Collection After entering the pavilion we went straight into dancing the Hora, which is tradition at a Jewish wedding. It was the first time many of my friends had experienced this, and everyone had so much fun. During dinner a string quartet created a n ice, relaxing atmosphere. I saw them perform on an op en day at Braxted Park and it immediately reminded me of Bridgerton! I knew we had to have them at our wedding. As it was black tie dress code, Russ asked his groomsmen to wear their own tuxes. We’ve been to many black tie weddings with them, so he knew everyone had one and there’d be no stress with fittings or expense. I wanted my bridesmaids to wear long sag e green dresses, however, I let them choose their own style s. My maid of honour was my sister, so we designed her d ress differently so she’d stand out from the others. 36

Sole Bay Strings is an experienced, first-rate string quartet. We specialise in providing distinguished background music for weddings and private or corporate dinner parties in East Anglia and London. WWW.SOLEBAYSTRINGS.CO.UK he l lo@sol ebays t r ings. or ca l l 01473 717 644 P e e k a b o o F i l m s @peekaboo_films /peekaboofilms i nfo@peekaboofilms . co . uk www. peekaboofilms . co . uk WEDDING V IDEOGRAPHERS T: 01206 262836 E: Weddings at Stoke by Nayland Resort, Keepers Lane, Leavenheath, Colchester C06 4PZ We’ve been creating memories for over 50 years. Nestled in 300 acres of stunning countryside scenery complete with woodlands, lakes and streams, our resort provides the perfect backdrop to your special day with picture-perfect moments. Our versatile banqueting suites accommodate up to 250 guests for civil ceremonies and wedding celebrations. For something a little more rustic, our summer Big Hat Tipis offer an idyllic woodland setting where you can say ‘I do’ outdoors. Then it’s time to celebrate, eat and be merry, partying the night away under flickering fairy lights and twinkling stars. AT STOKE BY NAYLAND We d d i n g s /SbNResort Sbn_Wedding_venue Your Wedding Journey Starts Here... 2023/24 Availability