An Essex Wedding - March/April 2023 (Issue 109)

TIME TO CELEBRATE Love is in the air as celebrant Steve Swain has been swept off his feet since starting his business just over a year ago. Steve started his celebrant business during Covid and just over a year ago conducted his first service. Since then, the phone hasn’t stopped ringing and he’s now preparing for his 200th ceremony. Steve became a celebrant after people told him he was good at public speaking, especially when it came to toasts or talking about other people. He said: “Being a celebrant is a fantastic job, as I get to work with amazing people that need support with a wedding, funeral, naming ceremony or vow renewal. I studied with The Regency Academy for my Celebrant Diploma, at the end of which l was thrilled to have achieved a distinction. I also obtained a City & Guilds accredited programme certificate as a civil celebrant. “Since I started, I’ve had some incredible feedback from clients who have talked about how professional and supportive I’ve been – and how I helped to make their day perfect. That means a lot and is very satisfying.” For more information visit the website or email TWO AWARD-WINNING ESSEX BUSINESSES Awards voted for by wedding couples mean so much more to wedding suppliers, offering a true reflection of their services. An Essex Wedding spoke to two recent award winners in each of their categories! CATEGORY: WEDDING STATIONERY Nicole Bright, The Little Paper Parcel How do you feel to have won an award? I feel extremely pleased and proud to have won the Hitched Wedding Awards for the second year in a row. As a small business gaining recognition for your work and knowing customers positive experiences and reviews have contributed to the win is an incredible feeling. What have you got planned for the year ahead? After being on maternity leave for the majority of 2022, I’m looking forward to getting back to working with amazing couples to help them create their dream wedding stationery. I plan on launching some new and exciting invitation formats, thank you card designs and working with more fantastic couples on bespoke designs throughout 2023. CATEGORY: WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHERS Maryann, The Menagerie - Lifestyle Photography How do you feel to have won a Hitched Wedding Award? The award reinforces all the hard work I put in for the couples I photograph, so to receive some recognition that’s based on reviews from them on one of their most important days of their lives - that’s really something special and deserves a thank you to all the gorgeous couples I photograph. What have you got planned for the year ahead? The next year will bring a lot of changes with it, a change of location for me personally. I’m adding highlights videos to some of my packages, and I have a new assistant photographer starting to work alongside me soon. This year is already shaping up to be the busiest yet, but also the most diverse. I have weddings booked everywhere from a donkey sanctuary to a private beach. It’s certainly going to be unusual, and so much fun! A NIGHT IN THE VINES Toppesfield Vineyard is an ideal location for a romantic get-away. This stunning Scandi-style luxury villa has giant picture windows which look out over the awardwinning vineyard. The contemporary design includes a nickel bar (like at The Ivy) for drinks and dinner as well as a roll top nickel bath, ideal for sipping champagne by candlelight. There’s a beautiful private garden with a BBQ, day bed and loungers as well as a jacuzzi which looks out over the vineyard. This romantic, luxury location is proving very popular for proposal weekends and minimoons/honeymoons. The price for one couple is £240 per night with a minimum of two nights stay. Availability can be checked via the Airbnb calendar on Toppesfield Vineyard’s website: 10