An Essex Wedding - November/December 2022 (Issue 107) NOV/DEC 2022 £3.55 FASHION, BEAUTY, HONEYMOONS, GROOMS AND MORE Diamonds and pearls Jewellery and accessories for every budget Magic moments Where to wed in the winter WIN! A mini-moon worth up to £2,000! LET ME ENTERTAINYOU Amazing music and entertainment It must be love Inspiring reader weddings

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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 81 HOT TOPIC Local experts offer their stellar advice 88 COMPETITION A luxury getaway awaits with renowned hotel brand GuestHouse CONTENTS NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2022 VENUES 19 NORTHERN LIGHTS North Essex venues to say ‘I do’ to 25 WINTER’S COMING Picture perfect locations for winter weddings On the cover This issue’s cover, shot by Joseph Kinerman Photography, sees newlyweds Louise and Dewar with their sons Maddox and Archer. Turn to page 36 to see more ( 49 25 FEATURES 49 NATURAL BEAUTY If you go down to the woods today, you’re sure of a wedding surprise 69 FINISHING TOUCHES You won’t forget the final details when it comes to your big day thanks to this stunning collection of jewellery and accessories 75 LET ME ENTERTAIN YOU We’ve got your Essex wedding entertainment needs covered! 3

REAL WEDDINGS 31 NIGHT FEVER Paul and Jess’s relationship blossomed during a night shift at work 36 GREAT SCOT Louise and Dewar’s wedding involved kilts, bagpipes – and dodgy dancing on the tables 43 APPY EVER AFTER After meeting on a dating app Holly and Murak soon realised they’d each found the one HONEYMOONS 90 HONEYMOON NEWS We reveal the latest destinations and honeymoon essentials 92 GREECE IS THE WORD Summer in Santorini and Athens 95 IN LOVE WITH THE LAKES A myriad of delights lie in wait in the Lake District for UK honeymooners GROOMS 85 GROOMS’ NEWS Best buys and product launches 86 WINTER LUXE The latest seasonal must-haves for the groom-to-be FASHION & BEAUTY 53 FASHION FOCUS The latest bridal fashion news, buys and launches 55 WHAT’S TRENDING? This is what brides-to-be will be wearing in 2023 64 BEAUTY Q&A Expert advice on looking sensational 66 BEAUTY BUZZ Get the look with these must-haves for the bride-to-be 55 31 92 86 90 43 4

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! Quote “An Essex Wedding Magazine” when booking your show round of our venue and receive a special gift! Scan to view our wedding packages

81 SLICE OF HEAVEN Imagine your guests’ delight when pizza is served at your big day! 75 GAME ON Who can resist an old fashioned arcade game? I was chuffed when the powers that be at KD Events & Publishing Towers approved my suggestion to run bride and groom, Louise and Dewar, along with their gorgeous boys, as our latest cover stars. Why? It’s no longer the case of girl meets boy, girl marries boy, girl falls pregnant and so starts family life. These days it can be girl meets girl, or they meets them – and kids can come before or after your nuptials. That’s why I was keen to have an entire family on the November/December cover. Long gone is the notion that you have to marry the opposite sex – and that you should be in wedlock before having a child. At the end of the day, if you fall for your soulmate and have children before you get hitched, good on you! And if you decide having kids isn’t your bag, relax with your decision and be proud of it. Now that I’ve got off my stool and had my say, it’s time to talk about our fantastic issue and all we’ve got in store for you over the next 100 pages. There’s Louise and Dewar’s fantastic wedding, of course, over on page 36 – if you like the thought of guys in kilts you’ll be in for a nice surprise! Afterwards, turn to page 75, and check out a ton of regional music and entertainment suppliers to delight your guests. You’ve casino tables, superhero characters, a live artist and plenty of singers and DJs to explore, before moving on to page 81 for advice from wedding experts aplenty. All that plus fab competitions, stunning Essex venues, head turning bridal jewellery and the latest news and views from the best county in the country. See you in 2023! Claire x Claire Muffett-Reece, Editor It ’s AFamily Affair 9 HOT NEW VENUE Turn to our news pages to find out more! 88 WIN! A luxury getaway with hotel brand GuestHouse 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

DADDY’S GIRL I love seeing a bride’s dad walk her down the aisle – just look at how proud Jess’s (p31), Louise’s (p36) and Holly’s (p43) fathers are! 49 TRUE ROMANCE Unbelievable inspiration from our regional shoot 25 WEDDING WONDERLAND Gosfield Hall looks incredible in the snow! EDITOR’S LETTER 7

• Free entry • Win a luxury honeymoon • Huge number of wedding specialists including venues • Bridal fashion shows • Entertainment • Refreshments • Covid-19 secure IN ASSOCIATION WITH Pre-register at Follow us on /CountyWeddingEvents @CountyWedEvent @countyweddingevents Hosted at Mercedes-Benz World, Brooklands Drive, Weybridge, Surrey, KT13 0SL MERCEDES-BENZ WORLD, SURREY ONE OF THE LARGEST WEDDING SHOWS TO BE HELD IN THE SOUTH OF ENGLAND Hosted at DATE TO BE ANNOUNCED Pre-register and attend the show to have a chance to win a fabulous spa break worth £250 courtesy of B R I D G E E N D G A R D E N Bridge End Garden was created around 1840 by Francis Gibson, a local Quaker businessman, the gardens are Grade II* Listed.In the stunning settings of the apple trees with the gentle patter of the fountain, makes the Walled Garden a delightful venue for your wedding reception, your guests can wander around the rose garden, have fun in the hedge maze and soak up the afternoon sun. For more information please email Wedding Planner

NEWS Nearlywed All the latest from around the county HOT OFF THE PRESS! An Essex Wedding is pleased to announce the newest luxury wedding venue launching in your favourite county. Say hello to St Osyth Priory, now taking bookings for summer 2023 at the estate’s newly refurbished wedding venue, Darcy House. Currently, the venue boasts two main function suites, each with the capacity for 110 seated guests. Darcy House Great Hall can be used to host civil ceremonies, followed by drinks and canapés. Upstairs, you’ll find Darcy House The Gallery, where guests can enjoy a fine dining wedding breakfast alongside the happy couple. This, however, is just the start of the story, with the continuing multi-million-pound restoration of the historic site set to see further wedding facilities introduced to the estate. This includes the expansive Tithe Barn, Abbotts Lodgings and The Chapel, plus a Gazebo overlooking the 1920s Lily Pond for outside weddings. Visited twice by Queen Elizabeth I during her royal progresses of the 16th century, the estate offers guests the chance to follow in her footsteps, while the sprawling parkland features ancient lakes and woodland, providing an incredible habitat for wildlife and birdlife. LOVE BY THE LAKE Essex wedding venue Markshall Estate has always been known for their stunning flower garden, romantic 18th century coach house and secluded tipi spaces. Now, they’ve held their first lakeside ceremony, set in the heart of 2,350 acres of serene Essex countryside. Since the launch of Markshall’s tipi and woodland weddings in 2020, many couples have married under the canopy of ancient trees and danced the night away in the secluded Brick House Farm Meadow. Now, the venue’s lakeside wedding location is the ideal setting for those seeking the ultimate outdoor celebration. With prices starting from just £2,500, weddings at Markshall include a number of props available to decorate your ceremony and reception, completely free of charge, as well as a host of incredible extras, from access to their in-house caterer and DJ, or the option to use your own suppliers. PARTY TIME! Located in the heart of Epping Forest; and providing the wow factor for over 100 weddings per year; this Christmas will bring a broader mix of events for the team at Kings Oak Hotel. December sees the inclusion of Glitter Party Nights for groups, along with their stunning Christmas-themed weddings. Providing a fabulous atmosphere, at the nights you can dance and celebrate into the early hours to shake off any pre-wedding jitters, with the venue’s Mistletoe and Wine Lunches offering a tamer gathering for more reserved family and friends. There’s even a Boxing Day Brunch with the fabulous Fil Straughan – finalist of ITV’s Starstruck – who’ll entertain guests all afternoon. Finally, why not finish off 2022 with an all-family New Year’s Eve gathering? The party hats and streamers will have barely been put away before the Kings Oak spring wedding season gets started! 9 LOCAL NEWS

LET THEM EAT CAKE Looking for an Essex cake maker who bakes tasty creations no guest can refuse? Step forward Sarah Gearing of Heart and Soul Cakes; recently expanding her business to offer clients more choice, thanks to a self-designed barn kitchen and consultation room in White Roding. “The move was an easy decision to make once I found the perfect setting, giving me the space and capacity to make more intricate works,” says Sarah. “I’m now not only able to offer cakes, but can also create a wider range of sweet treats ideal for an evening reception. My consultations are held in a separate stylish room, with lots of cakes on display – and there are of course samples on offer, from personalised biscuits and cake-filled chocolate geode hearts, to cake pops and more. It’s a perfect setting to relax with a cup of tea or something bubbly, and chat all things cake.” LET THE PLANNING COMMENCE County Wedding Events is delighted to announce it’s hosting its first wedding show of 2023 at Braxted Park, Witham, on Sunday 15th January between 11am and 3pm — perfect for those who got engaged over the festive period! A magnificent country house surrounded by a 500-acre wooded estate, Braxted Park is one of the most beautiful exclusive use wedding venues in Essex. It offers a choice of exquisite locations for both indoor and outdoor ceremonies, and boasts luxury accommodation for newlyweds and their guests. Visit this amazing event to view the incredible grounds of Braxted Park and meet a huge variety of wedding suppliers such as florists, photographers, musicians and more! Visit and pre-register for the event at FIRE STARTER Looking for a winter wedding that doesn’t break the bank? Step forward Coggeshall venue Houchins, who are offering a Fireside Winter Wedding package that will save you nearly £3,000! Enjoy the full Houchins experience when you book a wedding on a Thursday or Friday in November 2023, February 2024 or March 2024. If you book the farmhouse for the night of your wedding, they’ll give you the night before completely free of charge! Normally costing £2,500, the extra night’s accommodation, which sleeps up to 14, allows you plenty of time to set up the venue. Enjoy the full country house experience relaxing by the fire in their oak panelled drawing room, before retiring for dinner in the adjacent dining room. And, just to entice you further, the venue has even thrown in up to £500 of wedding props including uplighters, drapes, large LOVE lights and two firepits to get the party started! 10

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 celebrate In the Chelmsford countryside Cosy, roman�c, in�mate restaurant & licensed wedding venue Ceremonies & fine dine celebra�ons for up to 30 people

WIN! THE TREATMENT ROOM VOUCHERS Want to get your skin in fantastic condition for your big day? Turn to Braintree-based The Treatment Rooms, who are offering two An Essex Wedding readers a £100 voucher each towards some pampering experiences of their choice. Owner Emma and her partner Mac offer a wide range of aesthetic, laser and skin treatments, with each and every client leaving feeling like a VIP. Placing a huge importance in training and development, each treatment is entirely bespoke to your individual needs, with the clinic so dedicated to looking after your skin requirements that they even offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee! Specialising in laser hair removal, waxing, facials, skin boosters, micro needling, mesotherapy and more, you’re sure to be in excellent hands when it comes to getting your skin and body at its wedding day best. Visit for more information. FOR YOUR CHANCE TO WIN, ENTER ONLINE AT WWW.ANESSEX.WEDDING Great giveaways and discounts up for grabs STYLE STATEMENT On your wedding day, light up the room in these statement gold ear climber earrings which bedazzle with four intricately cut moonstone gems. The sparkling gemstones, in a staggered line, descend in size and sit in an 18k gold-plated setting. Every detail has been well thought out, from the size of the stones to the slight curve of the earrings, creating the perfect mesmerising bold earring for a bold woman. Founded by Ramona Gohil, an inspirational female entrepreneur passionate about her British Indian heritage and culture Rani & Co is not just any jewellery brand; its crafted unique pieces symbolise how powerful women can be. Check out County Wedding Magazines’ readers have the chance to win a pair of Rani & Co Moonstone Climber Earrings worth £64.99! Freebies &OFFERS FREEBIES & OFFERS 13

Pre-register for all of our events at ASCOT RACECOURSE, 26TH FEBRUARY, 2023 WEMBLEY STADIUM, 3TH MARCH, 2023 THE BRENTWOOD CENTRE, DATE TO BE RELEASED SOON MERCEDES-BENZ WORLD, DATE TO BE RELEASED SOON X Sarah Here at County Wedding Magazines and Events HQ we’re looking forward to kickstarting our Autumn wedding show season. From must-visit local fairs in some of the region’s best wedding venues to our larger Signature Wedding Shows, 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 SPRING 2023 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. EAST ANGLIA KENT SUN 26 MAR | HAYCOCK MANOR Wansford, Peterborough, PE8 6JA SUN 16 APR | PENSHURST PLACE Penshurst, TN11 8DG BERKS, BUCKS & OXON SUN 12 MAR | RACKLEYS CHILTERN HILLS Marlow Road, Cadmore End, Bucks, HP14 3PP SUN 2 APR | COMPLEAT ANGLER Bisham Road, Marlow Bridge, Marlow, SL7 1RG

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 ESSEX SURREY SUSSEX SUN 5 APR | HAMPTON COURT PALACE GOLF CLUB Home Park, Kingston Upon Thames, KT1 4AD SUN 2 APR | SELDEN BARNS Selden Lane, Patching, Worthing, BN13 3UL 12PM-4PM SUN 8 JAN | HEDINGHAM CASTLE Castle Hedingham, CO9 3DJ SAT 1 APR | HOUCHINS WEDDING VENUE Houchin’s Lane, Coggeshall, Colchester, CO6 1RT SUN 14 MAY | BRAXTED PARK Great Braxted, Witham, CM8 3EN 12PM-4PM SUN 15 JAN | BRAXTED PARK Great Braxted, Witham, CM8 3EN SUN 12 MAR | LAYER MARNEY TOWER Layer Marney, Colchester, CO5 9US

• 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 Brooklands Drive, Weybridge, KT13 0SL DATE TO BE RELEASED SOON MERCEDES-BENZ WORLD Doddinghurst Road, Brentwood, CM15 9NN DATE TO BE RELEASED SOON THE BRENTWOOD CENTRE High Street, Berkshire, SL5 7JX SUNDAY 26 FEBRUARY 2023 | 11AM - 3.30PM ASCOT RACECOURSE London, HA9 0WS SUNDAY 5 MARCH 2023 | 11AM - 4PM WEMBLEY STADIUM Sponsored by

Image credit Mini + Me Photography 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 countryside ♥48 hour venue hire ♥2 unique wedding locations to choose from ♥private preparation suite The Flower Garden Just a few steps from the historic Coach House is the beautiful Parterre Garden. Marry 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. Woodland & Tipi Venue Marry under the canopy of our ancient trees with a Woodland Wedding, then celebrate in the 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 |

NORTHERNlights There are plenty of stunning North Essex wedding venues to choose from FENNES 01376 324555 | Situated in 100 acres of North Essex countryside, Fennes is an elegant Georgian manor house surrounded by manicured gardens, complete with iconic bridge and views of the rural paddocks. Offering endless flexibility and opportunity for ceremonies and receptions – be it small and intimate or large and lavish – they’ve a variety of rooms and spaces, as well as a silk-lined pavilion for you to take advantage of. Ceremonies take place in the Drawing Room for up to 30, a warm and traditionally decorated space with grand doors opening out onto a patio to the bridge and countryside. You can also say your vows in the Dining Room (capacity 30), with its warm garnet wallpaper and Persian rug; the Pavilion (capacity 300), adorned with fairy lights and chandeliers; the Gazebo (capacity 150), with views of the pond; in front of the bridge (capacity 150), looking out to the countryside; or the Woodland (capacity 150), providing a naturally shaded wedding in the warmer months. Receptions are then held back in the Pavilion (capacity 400) or in the impressive Banqueting Hall (capacity 700), with a starlit ceiling and stunning chandeliers, not to mention its own private ‘secret’ garden. 19 LOCAL VENUES

LAYER MARNEY TOWER 01206 330784 | Layer Marney’s magnificent Tudor buildings are surrounded by picturesque gardens, set in attractive parkland. Offering breath-taking views to the Blackwater Estuary, the impressive entrance driveway takes you past grazing livestock, with its formal gardens surrounded by both woodland and parkland. Layer Marney’s pond also has a wooden boardwalk around it, which is popular both with the wedding couple and photographer. Ceremonies are usually held in the Corsellis Room, seating up to 120. A beautiful space that requires little décor, it boasts exposed brick, ancient oak beams and Mulberry wall hangings. The Long Gallery is then the perfect place for your reception, with Tudor panelling, oak sprung floor and a magnificent fireplace which often becomes a focal point for wedding flowers and décor. This room can seat 140 people, and accommodates up to 180-200 for your evening reception. There’s also a newly-restored Barn for couples seeking a more rustic feel to their big day, with exposed wood, York stone flooring and underfloor heating. Seating 170 and accommodating up to 220 for the evening reception, let your guests enjoy your party while you grab some shots in front of the iconic Tower of the Tudor Gatehouse – which is the tallest in the country. PARKLANDS QUENDON HALL 01376 324555 | A luxurious 17th century mansion with a variety of rooms, Parklands is set in 100 acres of deer park with rolling hills and avenues of trees. Offering couples exclusive use of the house, it makes for an idyllic setting for your wedding anytime of the year. You can utilise the gardens in spring and summer, or why not stay snug in the cosy rooms during autumn and winter thanks to the warm and inviting log fires? Say ‘I do’ in front of up to 100 guests in the Tabor Room, a neutral, bright and beautiful blank canvas with window and doors overlooking the deer park. Alternatively, choose the Drawing Room, a traditionally decorated room perfect for small ceremonies of up to 50. For larger affairs, you can choose the Pavilion – adorned with fairy lights and chandeliers, it has two double doors leading out onto the back garden and moat and can host up to 500 of your friends and family. There’s even the option to wed outside, with the Gazebo the perfect backdrop for dreamlike memories. You can also marry in front of the fountain and deer park, with a capacity of 410, hosting your reception back in the Pavilion (capacity 400), or The Tabor Room (capacity 120). 20

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 its 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

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

THE WEDDING BARN AT OLD HALL The Wedding Barn at Old Hall is a beautiful Grade II listed barn which has recently been restored to its former glory. Historically, the venue was a working grain drying barn, and the exterior still retains remnants of its former life, giving the building a truly authentic feel. The main body of the barn provides a picturesque wedding venue, with its original beams and fabulous high ceiling. A meadow directly in front – where the Bridal Boudoir Shepherd’s Hut resides – offers incredible views, while a paved courtyard connected to the back of the barn displays beautiful flowerbeds, plus an orchard full of apple trees, situated perfectly for those golden hour shots. Civil ceremonies take place within the barn where there are a number of layouts to choose from to create a space for the ceremony. If opting for a celebrant-led affair, you can choose any of The Wedding Barn’s outdoor spaces, with a maximum capacity of up to 120. Receptions are then held within the main body of the barn, surrounded by all the beautiful flint and beams. As well as a dance floor, there’s an in-house bar for your evening party, while couples who’ve previously married there particularly like the three chandelier hoops for some great photo opportunities. TUFFON HALL 01787 462288 | Tuffon Hall’s 400 year old threshing barn, the Cellar Door, was converted in spring 2019 and comfortably accommodates up to 100 people seated, and 200 standing. Retaining as much of the barn’s heritage as possible, the venue still boasts old beams and traditional red brickwork, along with the original arrow slits which have been framed to add to the character. Underfloor ground source heating allows year-round use, while large glass windows on both sides let in as much light as possible, capturing beautiful sunsets across the back lawn during the evenings. Open air ceremonies in the Vineyard are available from June to September, when the vines are at their best. Here, up to 100 guests are seated on rustic benches, set out to mirror the shape of the cedar-wood gazebo. There’s also the Cellar Door lawn, where you can exchange vows at the top of the stone steps against the backdrop of the flint walls (capacity 100); under the magnificent rafters of the Cellar Door (capacity 100); or upstairs on the mezzanine level overlooking the main body of the barn (capacity 80). You can then enjoy your reception with your nearest and dearest either on the gallery (up to 40), or downstairs for up to 100. LOCAL VENUES 23

The Perfect Wedding Venue IN THE ESSEX COUNTRYSIDE SPECIAL OFFER Fully Inclusive Wedding Packages available for remaining dates in 2023

BRAXTED PARK 01621 770855| At the heart of a walled estate and down a torch-lined sweeping drive you’ll find Braxted Park, a truly impressive setting for a winter wedding. What’s more, from mid-November Braxted undertakes a significant festive makeover as it heads into the winter months. Couples can take advantage of the world-class decor and theming put in place by the venue’s team for their Christmas season, with December weddings including ceiling chandeliers and drapes in the Pavilion, enhanced dancefloor lighting, and additional garden lights and flares. You’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to saying ‘I do’ at this venue, with many options for up to 170 guests. The Orangery exudes romance, with Roman-inspired murals and arched windows that look out over the garden. Braxted Park even has a church within its grounds, meaning you can have a religious ceremony, if you wish to do so. If a winter wedding’s not for you there’s also the option to tie the knot in the warmer months at the heart of the walled garden, as your guests soak up the sun and floral scents dance on the breeze. Afterwards, host your reception for up to 350 in the Pavilion, with neutral décor so you can truly make it your own. The in-house catering team will create a spectacular menu for your special day, then, come evening, a state-of-the-art sound and lighting system and huge dance floor ensure that you and your guests will enjoy yourselves long into the night. Winter’s Coming Want to wed in the colder months? Here are six magical venues to choose from DOWN HALL HOTEL, SPA AND ESTATE 01279 731441 | Dating back as far as 1021, Down Hall’s grandiose stately home radiates a gorgeous country mansion charm perfect for your big day. Connected to the 19th century Italianate mansion house, the enhanced West Wing underwent a £1.2m refurbishment in 2019, creating a stand-alone space which caters for weddings for up to 220. Decorated in traditional heritage colours, with bright accents in classic country house-meets contemporary chic, the banqueting and ballrooms feature panoramic views of the beautiful gardens, creating the perfect backdrop for the most elegant of ceremonies, wedding breakfasts and receptions. Fully licensed for civil ceremonies and with a dedicated wedding space including a regal ballroom, Down Hall has a wonderful array of spacious rooms and lavish suites to house your guests. In the winter, roaring fireplaces, crystal chandeliers and gilded ceilings provide a cosy atmosphere, while the extensive gardens surrounding the hotel will provide a magical backdrop to your fairy-tale wedding. Marry in the grand Bridgeman Suite (220 guests), then host your reception in the same space, alternatively choosing the Oxford/Belcamp Suite (130 guests), designed for smaller parties and boasting an ornate fireplace with a contemporary twist. 25 THEMED VENUES

GOSFIELD HALL 01787 472 914 | A former royal palace, Gosfield Hall exudes charm as you walk through its historic rooms, boasting ornate details and period features. Each space offers something unique, be it oak-panelled walls, extravagant ceilings or cosy furnishings. During the colder months, the stunning Georgian mansion transforms into a winter haven, with roaring log fire, delicious menu offering seasonal highlights, and a selection of drinks to warm guests, including hot chocolate and winter Pimm’s. Furthermore, the sizeable venue means there’s more than enough space in its grand reception rooms for the wedding party to celebrate indoors, when the weather turns outside. Marry your soulmate in the Queen Charlotte’s Gallery (116 capacity), making a real entrance with its 120-foot-long aisle. Alternatively, say ‘I do’ in The Grand Salon (84 capacity), all the while taking in its handpainted ceiling and double-height sash windows. Receptions are then held in The Marquis of Buckingham’s former-Ballroom for up to 116, a stunning setting for fine dining, with its giant crystal chandeliers and huge double-height mirrors. You can then party the night away with additional guests for your evening reception with up to 250 friends and family. HEDINGHAM CASTLE 01787 460261 | The history of Hedingham spans almost a millennium, with the Castle being just shy of 900 years old. The romantic and candlelit Banqueting Hall, where ceremonies take place, is one of the finest examples of Norman interiors in existence, and boasts the largest Norman arch in England at 20 feet high. However, the venue really comes into its own during the colder months, with the original Tudor Bridge a perfect spot for winter shots, leading down to the handsome 18th century, brick Mansion House – with incredible views over the lake. Your ceremony for up to 130 takes place in the Banqueting Hall, with its breathtaking atmosphere and impressive double height arch. The space can be lit with candles, while two grand chandeliers give the room a truly romantic feel. Your wedding breakfast is then hosted in the elegant Ballroom Marquee (150 guests), a permanent structure adjoining the Mansion House. Or, for smaller celebrations, you can hold your entire day in the Castle, dining for up to 70 in the Tapestry Room and then continuing the party on the floor above with drinks and dancing. 26 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

THE perfect COUNTRY VENUE FOR YOUR wedding DAY ESSEX’ S MOST EXCITING COUNTRY BOUTIQUE WEDDING VENUE if you’re looking for something unique at Old Brook Barn dreams really do come true. Old Brook Barn is a magnificent 17th century barn. Exclusively yours to enjoy with the stunning natural brook, decking area, willow trees and meadow fields, you could not wish for a better setting on your special day. We are a privately owned venue who pride ourselves on making your day as memorable as possible. Please contact us to make a viewing appointment, we would be delighted to show your around. 07747 116 100 oldbrookbarn @oldbrookbarn old brook barn Images courtesy of Anesta Broad Photography

LEEZ PRIORY 01245 362555 | Leez Priory is a stunning Tudor manor house with features including castle-like battlements, leaded windows and an outer gate house with ornately carved solid oak doors. The historic Great Tower, accessed by a spiral staircase, is a fantastic feature and can be used for a more intimate ceremony, for photographs and also as the backdrop for your nuptials. Weddings at Leez Priory during the winter are especially magical, as the Tudor manor house transforms into an intimate retreat, with roaring log fires, cosy reception rooms, and traditional oak panelling. Begin your happily ever after by marrying at the Tower (70 guests), a particularly intimate space with many church-like features. There’s also the Great Hall (100 guests), a characterful room with vaulted ceiling, exposed beams and fireplace; the Coach House Barn (100 guests), a more rustic ceremony option with bare red brick; or there are even outside settings under the Carriageways if you choose not to wed in the winter. You’ll then enjoy a delicious wedding breakfast in either the Coach House (100 guests) or the Great Hall (74 guests), before holding your evening reception for up to 250 throughout the house. THAT AMAZING PLACE 01279 354455 | Nestled in the Essex countryside, this 15th century Grade II listed former monastery has been beautifully refurbished, with every detail lovingly restored to highlight the venue’s history with a contemporary twist. Exclusively yours, That Amazing Place’s elegant reception rooms and many comforts provide the perfect backdrop for your big day, without you having to set foot out in the open air – unless the snow starts to fall and you wish to take advantage of some more amazing photos! Say your vows in The Lakeview Lounge (60 guests), The Hall (100 guests), the Outdoor Gazebo (150 guests) or the Marquee Gazebo (150 Guests), then enjoy a wedding breakfast for up to 80 seated friends and family in The Hall – or up to 150 in the Marquee. You can then party the night away with a reception for up to 200 of your favourite people. 29 THEMED VENUES

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

fever Paul and Jess’s relationship blossomed on a night shift at work Images courtesy of Chic Media Jess met Paul at Basildon University Hospital back in 2016. “Paul was a newly-qualified nurse, and I’m a radiographer,” says Jess. “Our initial attraction stemmed from the odd bit of small talk, but progressed when Paul bribed me with sweets and a doughnut while on a night shift! Having said that, I still avoided Paul’s requests for a date for around three months, until his birthday, when he guilt tripped me in to a trip to the cinema!” Four years later, Paul popped the question on the Greek island of Santorini. “Our holiday had been delayed by six months due to Covid restrictions, so we were delighted just to be going away!” continues the bride. “It was the penultimate night of our trip, which fell on the 1st September. This might not mean much to most, but I hate odd numbers, so 1/9 was a date I never suspected a proposal would happen! Paul hired out a rooftop, getting down on one knee while we watched the sun set over the Caldera. There were flowers, Champagne and music, and it was absolutely perfect.” The couple chose the 2nd April, 2022 for their wedding, saying ‘I do’ at Hutton Hall. Here, Jess tells us all about their incredible day… NIGHT Scan to view video 31 REAL WEDDINGS

Our food was fantastic, from the drinks’ canapés to our wedding breakfast of Caesar salad, chicken, bacon and leek pie with potatoes, and apple crumble and ice cream. For the evening, our guests also enjoyed mini burgers, fish and chip cones and falafel wraps. My emotions were a rollercoaster on the morning of our wedding. I was anxious, nervous and excited, all rolled into one . I didn’t know what to do with myself! Thank goodness for Rescue Remedy and mint tea, as I couldn’t face the prosecco the bridesmaids were e njoying! We decided to have a travel-themed wedding as we love to explore, incorporating this in our favours, table plans an d place names. We try to visit far and obscure countries with our backpac ks as much as we can! The venue was already decorated beautifully, so we simply added a few spring-coloured artificial flowers. The bouquets consisted of David Austin patience roses, pale pink tulips, small pito, eucalyptus populus and eucalyptus cinerea. With Covid numbers increasing and another lockdown looming, we saw 12 venues in a short space of time before booking Hutton Hall. We booked the 2nd April, 2022 – all even numbers! – and started planning immediately. The cake was made of four levels, with vegan Or eo, salted caramel, vanilla and carrot cake flavours. We also had a small iced rabbit on the side of one of the tiers, in honour of our house ra bbit, Tilly. 32

Our magician was one of the standout performers of the day, keeping our guests laughing with his skills and banter! He even stayed longer than expected as he was enjoying himself so much. Throughout the meal and canapés we hired the pianist Bryan Edery. This man can play anything! He was very approacha ble, interacted with the crowd and kept all of our friends and family ent ertained. My five bridesmaids wore blush pink dresses from Wed2B, which were accessorised with a ‘can’t tie the knot without yo u’ silver bracelet. They picked their own hair styles on the morning of th e wedding, so their looks expressed their own personalities. I wanted the focus to be on the back of my dress, so opted for having my hair up – and I knew it would also last longer! When it came to my make-up, I asked for a natural but glam look, so I still looked like me – just better for the camera. My Romantica Tuscany gown was the fortieth dress I’d tried on! The attention to detail, stitching and design was beautiful, and I accessorised it with a pearl necklace with matching earrings worn by my mum on her wedding day. Paul wore a three-piece navy suit with ivory tie a nd pocket square, complete with black shoes and pocket watch that I bought for him as an engagement present. He also had personalised st itching of our wedding day under his collar. 33 REAL WEDDINGS

Our wedding was a wedding of all seasons, as we had sun, cloud, rain and snow in the space of four hours! Thank fully the sun came out during our canapés on the lawn, and it stay ed dry whilst the evening guests were with us. Nobody wanted our wedding to come to an end – so some didn’t! After the DJ had finished our ushers and some friends went clubbing! We can only imagine the looks they got turning up to a nightclub in wedding attire! The evening party surprise was our saxophonist, Olly, who was amazing. He played lots of Ibiza classics alongside the DJ, making sure the dancefloor was packed. He also gave us an additional list to choose from so he could formulate his music to our wishes. We hired a photobooth which was positioned in one of the rooms at Hutton Hall. This kept the guests entertained with the p rops available – which eventually came onto the dancefloor to add to th e fun! JESS AND PAUL’S CONTACTS Photographer and videographer, Chic Media | Venue, Hutton Hall Jessica’s dress, Barn Bridal Boutique | Hair, Catherine Bullen Hair Make-up, Elite Bridal Makeup | Suits, Anthony Formal Wear | Cake, RT Cakes | Flowers, Jade’s Flowers | Silk Flowers, Fancy Faux Transport, Nandra Chauffeur Services | Catering, Limeberry Events Rings, Coo Jewellers | Saxophonist, OG Sax | DJ, DJ AJ Entertainment Magician, Jake Banfield | Dancefloor and LOVE lights, KMS Hire | Chair covers and post box, Occasions Covered JESS’S TOP TIP “Make sure you have plenty of time in the morning to get ready and just enjoy it – you’re going to have the best day ever! 34

B E A U F R O M A G E . C O . U K B E A U _ F R O M A G E A M A N D A @ B E A U F R O M A G E . C O . U K M A K E C H E E S E T H E C E N T R E P I E C E O F Y O U R E V E N T E V E N T C AT E R I N G C H E E S E C E L E B R AT I O N C A K E S W E D D I N G B R U N C H E S 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 £75 per person

SCOT Great Louise and Dewar’s wedding involved kilts, bagpipes – and dodgy dancing on the tables Images courtesy of Joseph Kinerman Photography 36

Louise met Dewar at an Annie Mac gig when they were there with mutual friends. “My dad owned a motorbike shop, and after chatting we realised Dewar had bought his first bike there before we even knew each other!” says Louise. “I loved that Dewar was confident, but not cocky, and he made me laugh all the time – plus he’s very easy on the eye! He says it was my hairstyle at the time that attracted him to me – which was red and shaved down one side! – as well as my quirky personality.” Dewar proposed to Louise on her 30th birthday at Leigh on Sea restaurant, The Boatyard. “The waitress asked if we’d be happy to sit upstairs, which I thought was inconvenient as we had our youngest, Archer, in his pram. However, Dewar said it would be nice to look out at the sea, so we went upstairs – and there was nobody else there! I assumed it was just a quiet lunchtime, but after we sat down Dewar passed me his phone and told me to watch something. I’m a huge fan of the Netflix series, Selling Sunset, so was shocked to see a video from one of its stars, Maya, wishing me a happy birthday, and saying she hoped I said ‘yes’ to the proposal. At this point I looked up to see Dewar on one knee, alongside our four year-old son, Maddox. Dewar told Maddox to hand me the ring box – which he promptly threw at me! – and I opened it to see a stunning ring inside. I always said I wanted a low-key engagement, so this was perfect, and I was so overwhelmed. I of course then FaceTimed my mum and sister who were just as hysterical as me!” The couple set the date for the 12th August, 2022, choosing Creeksea Place for their big day. Here, Louise tells us more about their amazing wedding… ACCIDENTAL HERO The couple originally discussed getting married in Devon, but soon realised it wasn’t logistically possible with all of their guests. “I found Creeksea Place by accident when I was looking for outdoor venues,” continues the bride. “I checked their website and saw they had availability for a twilight wedding in just four months, so my sister and I went to have a look around a week later. As soon as we pulled into the gates, I knew it was going to tick all the boxes, and it ended up being the first and only venue we looked at. The outdoor ceremony area which they call The Orchard is breathtaking, and it made for the most beautiful setting.” Louise and Dewar fell in love with Creeksea Place not only as a venue, but also due to its attentive staff. “Our wedding planner Claire was incredible from the moment we made our booking, and we became friends throughout the process,” says Louise. “Michelle, another coordinator, and Jon-Paul, the owner, were also amazing on the day. Nothing was too much trouble, and they ensured our day went without a hitch – and that we both had a drink in hand at all times! I honestly cannot recommend Creeksea Place enough.” GO FRESH When planning their wedding the couple wanted everything to look fresh and natural, deciding on a white and green theme. “I own a wedding stationery business, so made all of our wedding invitations, order of the days and welcome sign,” continues Louise. “I used a Perspex sheet for the sign, with sage green paint and artificial flowers to give our guests an idea of our colour scheme as soon as they arrived. It was also important to us that our wedding was mainly about everyone having a great time celebrating our marriage, so our sign read ‘Let’s Get This Party Started’, which was very fitting!” Louise and Dewar’s flowers and centrepieces also followed the same theme. “My bouquet consisted of white English roses, ranunculus, eucalyptus and clematis leaf,” continues the bride “My sister, who was my maid-of-honour, had the same flowers in a smaller bouquet, while my other bridesmaids had large gypsophila bouquets, with the flower 37 REAL WEDDINGS