An Essex Wedding - July/August 2023 (Issue 111)

Flower power Inspiration for the big day A perfect DAY Real weddings WIN! A romantic getaway to Thailand City CHIC Venues in and around Colchester JUL/AUG 2023 £3.55

Braxted Park is one of the UK’s most beautiful wedding venues, where serenity and sophistication meet in one magnificent estate. Braxted Park Estate, Witham, Essex CM8 3EN Images by Matt Wing Photography 01621 770855 braxted_park

REGULARS 6 EDITOR’S LETTER What not to miss this issue! 9 NEARLYWED NEWS Catch up on news from around Essex 13 FREEBIES & OFFERS Great giveaways and discounts up for grabs 83 HOT TOPIC Local experts offer stellar advice 97 COMPETITION Win a romantic getaway to the upscale Avani+ Samui Resort in Thailand CONTENTS JULY/AUGUST 2023 VENUES 19 ALL NIGHT LONG Venues with rooms 25 LOCAL AND LOVELY Venues in and around Colchester On the cover This issue’s cover star is from the fabulously funky styled shoot, shot at Browning Bros, Great Tey Images courtesy of Mini and Me Photography. 43 51 FEATURES 48 CLASSIC BEAUTY Braintree Town Hall was the location of choice for this elegant, styled shoot 51BEAUTIFUL BLOOMS Top floral wedding trends 57 TROPICAL DISCO Let the party begin with this styled shoot shot at Browning Bros, Great Tey 71 HANDMADE IN ESSEX One-of-a-kind items for your day! 3

REAL WEDDINGS 31 IT WAS ALWAYS YOU Amber and Ricky Spriggs tied the knot at Greenwoods Hotel and Spa 37 A WINTER’S TALE Becki and Dan’s picture-perfect wedding took place on a frosty, cool winter’s day at Gosfield Hall 43 BE OUR GUEST All it takes is faith and trust. And a little bit of pixie dust! Jody married Danielle in a Disney themed wedding at Crondon Park HONEYMOONS 87 HONEYMOON NEWS Our travel editor reveals the newest openings and honeymoon essentials 90 MY FIRST, MY LAST, MY EVERYTHING Discover five-star, desert island luxury at Conrad Maldives Rangali Island 92 CELTIC HAVEN Peace and tranquillity await honeymoons at Galgorm in Northern Ireland 95 DO NOT DISTURB We head to Staffordshire to check out the spa mini-moon options at Moddershall Oaks GROOMS 81 GROOMS’ NEWS The latest best buys and product launches FASHION & BEAUTY 61 FASHION FOCUS The latest bridal fashion news, buys and launches 62 FRUIT PASTELS The mama figure in your life will love these stylish muted dresses teamed with delicate gold accessories 65 IT’S AN ILLUSION These bridal dresses with barely-there detail are sheer perfection 76 BEAUTY BUZZ Get the look with the latest must-haves 79 BEAUTY Q&A Our local professionals solve your problems 62 48 81 37 31 4

In the heart of Essex, on the edge of the Lee Valley Regional Park, Roydon Marina Village is the perfect location for your wedding guest accommodation. With 2 and 3 bedroom luxury hot tub lodges and a variety of twin, double and family rooms, picturesque surroundings and discover a range of local activities and tourist hotspots. We offer preferential rates for large multi-room groups, please contact us directly to discuss your requirements. we can accommodate up to 126 guests, making it easier to organise transport to your venue. Guests can explore the on-site facilities in our marina village, including a waterfront café bar and a restaurant. Alternatively, venture further out into the Vis ur websi e Crea e me ries wi h he nes y u l ve... Roydon Marina Village Roydon, Essex CM19 5EJ 01279 792777 Y ur perfec wed ing gues ac m oda i n...

Summer is here, and with it you’re spoilt for choice for your floral décor and bouquets! Make an impact with big and blousy hydrangeas; go alternative with funky proteas; or blow them away with handpicked garden roses in the brightests pinks or totally ontrend toffee hues. I have compiled three pages of floral inspo to help you decide what you may want on your big day! My favourite part of each issue is interviewing our local couples who have recenlty said those special words, ‘I do’. This issue, meet Jody and Danielle who opted for a magical, Disney themed day. For Amber and Ricky, the stunning Greenwoods Hotel & Spa was the venue of choice; and for the Sherlock-Burke’s Gosfield Hall was the backdrop of dreams for their sparkly, festive affair. Each completely one-of-a-kind to them - and totally perfect. If you’ve recently tied the knot and would like to see your wedding day gracing the pages of An Essex Wedding, please get in touch via our website or ping me an email! I can’t wait to hear from you! Happy planning! Summer loving Rachel Westall, Editor Rachel x I adore this necklace with personalised message and peridot birthstone The perfect summer shades A trip for two to Thailand! WIN! ISSN 1745-6541 ADVERTISING Account Manager Jessie Wilson | 01376 538 478 An Essex Wedding is solely owned, published and designed by KD Events & Publishing Ltd. 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 DESIGN 01376 535 616 ACCOUNTS 01376 535 616 MANAGING DIRECTOR Sarah Ellis | 01376 535 602 EDITORIAL Editor Rachel Westall | 01376 535 611

Colchester’s Town Hall has so many epic photo opportunities. The bouquet of dreams So many hand-made dress designs for all the bridal party at Colchester’s Alice’s boutique Honeymoon dining at Ithaa Undersea Restaurant, the Maldives. Memories to last a lifetime. Your wedding, your style. Dance like no one is watching! EDITOR’S LETTER 7

With its stained glass windows and period features the Town Hall is a gorgeous building for your special day, the Town Hall has rooms licenced for wedding and civil ceremonies for up to 130 guests. Just a short 5 minute walk is the stunning Victorian Bridge End Gardens, basking in the sun with its clipped hedges and gentle fountains it will certainly give your day the wow factor. For more information please email or call Claire on 01799 619845 Weddings in Saffron Walden UNLIMITED TRAVEL We are an independent travel concierge that can cater for all your travel requirements please contact Emma Coney on: 07947 734111 or email: LUXURY_UNLIMITED_TRAVEL Where will your honeymoon take you? Follow us on /CountyWeddingEvents @CountyWedEvent @countyweddingevents One of the largest wedding shows to be held in the South of England. A huge number of wedding specialists on hand to inspire and advise on how to bring your wedding dreams to life. PLUS! Special o�fers on the day • �e chance to win a luxury honeymoon • Bridal fashion shows • Entertainment • Refreshments • and more... For your FREE tickets and the chance to win a £250 voucher courtesy of pre-register at: Sunday 29th Otober 2023 | 11am to 3:30pm FREE ENTRY HOSTED AT IN ASSOCIATION WITH Brooklands Drive, Weybridge, Surrey KT13 0SL

NEWS Nearlywed All the latest from the region EDITOR LOVES... I was lucky enough to enjoy the Restore Day Spa at The Glass House Retreat. The Glass House has been designed from scratch and built by industry experts from the ground up. It’s a visionary retreat, with an all-inclusive approach to detoxing and wellness. The sun was shining during my stay and I enjoyed a natter with a friend beside the natural swimming pond, listening to the surrounding nature before indulging in a 25-minute bespoke facial. My skin glowed and I can’t recommend it enough as a pre- or post-wedding treat to give tired and stressed skin the tlc it deserves. Next up, lunch! The chilli bean tacos with homemade guacamole was divine – all complemented with an invigorating fresh pineapple juice. If you’re not a vegetarian, rest assured there’s something for everyone’s tatses from sushi to pasta and you come away feeling nourished and well cared for. Not feeling sluggish at all, I then enjoyed the heated leisure pool, had a quick steam and sauna before I tried my hands at one of the fitness sessions - all included in the day. I chose a 30-minute core session, however, was equally tempted by the daily mindfulness sessions. The daily timetable is truly excellent. It’s everything you need to start life again, positively transformed. I can’t wait to return. Visit: BRAXTED PARK OPEN DAY IN JULY Braxted Park offers a unique blend of serenity and sophistication that come together in one magnificent venue. Set amongst the picturesque Essex countryside, Braxted Park is a carefully curated space that offers the perfect setting where forever memories are created and everything you could wish for is here in this one breathtaking location. And on Sunday 16th July you’ll be able to experience this exquisite location for yourselves. Between 11am and 3pm, the team will be opening the gates of the 500-acre estate and inviting you to experience the magic of Braxted Park. Braxted Park’s friendly and knowledgeable team will be on hand to guide you around the Estate and will be serving delicious refreshments throughout the day. They have also invited some of their most trusted suppliers to join the event, so you’ll have the opportunity to meet them and discuss your ideas and questions with them, too. Spaces are limited, so get in touch with the Braxted Park team today on +44 (0)1621 770 855 to book your place. 9 NEWS

STRIKE IT LUCKY! Tenpin, the UK’s bowling and entertainment operator, is unveiling a brand-new look and feel in its Colchester site following a complete refurbishment. Customers can bowl up to try the activities on offer at the revamped entertainment hub on Cowdray Avenue, which now features 20 LED lit bowling lanes, two karaoke rooms, laser tag and upgraded arcade games, making it the ultimate competitive socialising experience for families and friends to enjoy. After scoring strikes on the bowling lanes, guests can channel their inner pop stars and sing their hearts out to the latest tunes in two brand-new, high-tech karaoke rooms before pausing to refuel with the wide range of food and drinks on offer. A dream hen do! Arcade-lovers are also in for a treat following the update of the games area, which now boasts the latest video games in a family friendly setting. This entertainment centre also serves fabulous cocktails in its modern bar area, and you’ll never miss a match with large TVs showing all live games on Sky Sports and BT Sport! For more information or to make a booking, please visit LIVE FROM THE LAWN Things are heating up in Essex this summer, and we’re not just talking about the weather! Down Hall Hotel, Spa & Estate is celebrating the arrival of long, balmy evenings with the launch of Live from the Lawn – a series of new music events supporting local artists, taking place every other Friday and the first Sunday of each month from 2nd June to 3rd September. Secure your table on the sun-soaked terrace, sip on Berkshire Gin cocktails and listen to the soulful sounds as you end your week on a high. Set to provide the ultimate soundtrack to your Friday summer evenings, guests can expect feel-good performances from a full line-up of local talent including Greg the Sax, Fox Wiggle and Sass, and Tom Ryder as well as Lovelight Entertainment, showcasing timeless Ibiza classics and Motown & Soul sessions. Enjoy a delicious terrace menu serving up the freshest seasonal plates – think grilled lamb koftas with flatbread and cucumber yoghurt dressing; and dressed Cromer crab with sourdough and paprika mayonnaise – before moving onto a selection of limited-edition Berkshire Botanical cocktails such as the sweet Honey & Orange Blossom or punchy Rhubarb & Raspberry Gin. With a backdrop of the 19th century Italianate mansion, this is sunset sessions at its best! Music starts at 7pm and finishes at 9:30pm. The full line-up can be viewed online. Visit: THE SUN INN’S 20TH ANNIVERSARY The Sun Inn in the beautiful village of Dedham on the Essex/Suffolk border has been the destination pub, restaurant and place to stay since 2003 and a stop off for travellers and locals since before artist John Constable immortalised the village and surrounding countryside in the 18th and 19th century. This July, the inn celebrates its 20th anniversary under the ownership and management of Baker Hospitality which also owns Church Street Tavern in Colchester and The White Hart Inn which opened on Mersea Island last June. Piers Baker opened the doors on 17th July 2003. He says, “Fresh out of London, I wanted to bring the food I loved and had worked with to an unloved, run-down pub in a quintessential village, in an area abundant with fine produce. It won’t last a year it was said, especially since we didn’t do chips.... until 2018! Not only is The Sun thriving but we’ve also opened Church Street Tavern in 2014 and The White Hart Inn in 2022.” To round off the celebrations and offers in July, The Sun’s annual music and beer festival will take place on Saturday 15th to Sunday 16th July. Visit: LAUNCH OF MEDIK8 AT GREENWOODS HOTEL & SPA Over 75 guests attended a fun and informative launch of leading British skin care brand Medik8 at Greenwoods Hotel & Spa, Stock on Thursday 13th April. The product line will feature as part of a new launch of treatments including Medki8 popular anti-ageing facials in the award-winning spa that’s recently undergone a major refurbishment. Spa managers Demi and Charlie Murphy welcomed Basildon-based Skinbrands Business Development Manager Laura Daynes Laura who explained more about the brand’s heritage and how the treatments and retail products would accompany the spa’s current beauty offering. Skinbrands, based in Josselin Road, Basildon, are one of the UK’s biggest distributors of premium skin care and Medik8 is one of their most exclusive lines. Wedding Events & Marketing manager Christie Steel said: “Demi and her team have worked really hard to launch this new exciting beauty brand and we can’t wait to share some fresh spa news with you too this summer with the opening of Greenwoods Aesthetics, offering a range of cosmetic surgery treatments and specialist facials.” Visit: 10

BOOK NOW CALL 01277 355111 FIND US: MARGARETTING, CHELMSFORD CM4 0EH FOLLOW US Ivy Hill Hotel VI C TORI AN E L E GANCE T HE PE RF E CT LOCAT I ON From £75 per person Set in three acres of beautifully manicured gardens, The Lawn is a truly enchanting, award-winning Manor House wedding venue with a stunning Orangery, galleried Grand Hall and delightful gazebo. Perfect for any size wedding, for any season. The Lawn Wedding Fair Sunday 3rd September 2023, 11am - 3pm Free entry and ample free parking. Chef’s canap s will be served and additional refreshments will be available to purchase on the day. Register now! To find out why we remain one of the most sought a er and best reviewed venues in Essex, contact us to arrange a viewing or visit and let us put together a tailored online quotation based on your precise requirements. Hall Road, Rochford, Essex SS4 1PL 01702 203669 |

YOUR COMPLETE WEDDING ENTERTAINMENT Amp & Decks have been entertaining since 2002 and are now one of the most trusted entertainment providers. We offer professional wedding entertainment services specialising in wedding DJs. We pride ourselves to deliver a party you and your guests will remember for all the right reasons for years to come. WE ALSO PROVIDE...PHOTOBOOTHS | MAGICIANS | DANCEFLOORS | LED LETTERS 08000 599 722 • • • /ampanddecksent Follow us on /CountyWeddingEvents @CountyWedEvent @countyweddingevents One of the largest wedding shows to be held in the South of England. A huge number of wedding specialists on hand to inspire and advise on how to bring your wedding dreams to life. PLUS! Special o�fers on the day • �e chance to win a luxury honeymoon • Bridal fashion shows • Entertainment • Refreshments • and more... For your FREE tickets and the chance to win a £250 voucher courtesy of pre-register at: Sunday 1st October 2023 | 11am to 3:30pm FREE ENTRY WSehddoiwng HOSTED AT High Street, Ascot, Berkshire, SL5 7JX IN ASSOCIATION WITH

ENTER ONLINE AT WWW.ANESSEX.WEDDING BEFORE 30TH SEPTEMBER 2023. Great giveaways and discounts up for grabs GET YOURSELF SPA HAPPY Every bride wants to look super fresh and glowy on her wedding day and at Greenwoods Hotel & Spa, the team of therapists at this multiaward winning venue can help you look and feel your very best! Located in the pretty village of Stock, Greenwoods Hotel & Spa is the perfect place to relax with a whole range of spa experiences to try – just what you need to take a day away from the planning for the big day. It’s also ideal if you want to treat bridesmaids or specials guests to a pre-wedding pamper. Why not indulge in a relaxing hot stone massage, get big day ready with a glowing body scrub treatment or treat yourself to one of the bespoke anti-ageing Medik8 facials now available in spa. There are pedicures, manicures and a range of other beauty treatments available as well as an in-spa beauty bar for you to pick up a gift or two. Newly opened this spring, Greenwoods Aesthetics clinic offers the very latest ‘tweakments’ including Revolax Dermal fillers, skin buffing and rejuvenating dermaplaning and mircroneedling facials treatments as well as energy boosting vitamin B shots, for a pre-wedding boost! Spa packages include the Sunset Evening for Two, priced at £79.99 for two guests which includes use of the facilities and gym as well as 10% off spa treatments and your food bill. Or the popular Summer Package that includes use of spa, plus a delicious two-course lunch and Strawberry & Elderflower body scrub, £105 person. As an exclusive offer for An Essex Wedding readers, Greenwoods Hotel & Spa are offering an amazing 20% off any spa package booked between 1st June to September 30th 2023. To access your discount, enter ESSEXWEDDING20 when booking online or calling the reservations team on 01277 829 990. For further details of spa packages and offers, visit: WIN A STAY IN THE LAKE DISTRICT Lakeside Hotel & Spa blends country house character with contemporary four-star luxury set within the stunning panoramic views of Lake Windermere – part of the spectacular Lake District World Heritage Site. With its unique location and choice of reception rooms and private suites, the hotel can cater for intimate wedding parties, larger weddings of up to 80 guests and even secret escape weddings just for two, making it the ideal setting and venue for an unforgettable Lake District wedding. The winner of this fantastic prize will be greeted with a glass of Lanson Champagne upon arrival and enjoy a three-course dinner for two before settling down for a good night’s sleep in a double room. The following morning, the winner can enjoy a delicious full English breakfast or Continental version. Classic Lodges is a nationwide collection of exclusive hotels that all have exceptional charm and character, whether that’s a peaceful country getaway or a city centre stay. Each of the hotels provides a friendly, relaxing atmosphere while maintaining Classic Lodges’ signature style, comfort and luxury. Steeped in history, all of the hotels have equally stunning views to accompany the suites and rooms. Visit to book a stay. For your chance to win, visit our website. Terms and conditions apply. Freebies& OFFERS FREEBIES & OFFERS 13

WEDDING SHOWS AUTUMN 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. 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 our website WORK WITH US KENT SUN 24 SEP | RACKLEY’S CHILTERN HILLS Marlow Road, Cadmore End, Bucks, HP14 3PP SUN 12 NOV | PENSHURST PLACE Penshurst, TN11 8DG SUN 10 SEP | CHENIES MANOR HOUSE Chenies, Rickmansworth, Bucks, WD3 6ER SUN 15 OCT | BRADBOURNE HOUSE New Road, East Malling, ME19 6DZ BERKS, BUCKS & OXON

ESSEX SUSSEX SUN 8 OCT | LAYER MARNEY TOWER Layer Marney, Colchester, CO5 9US SUN 29 OCT | HOUCHINS WEDDING VENUE Houchin’s Lane, Coggeshall, Colchester, CO6 1RT SUN 1 OCT | MULBERRY HOUSE Chelmsford Road, High Ongar, CM5 9NL SUN 22 OCT | BRAXTED PARK Great Braxted, Witham, CM8 3EN SUN 22 OCT | THAT AMAZING PLACE Hubbards Hall Farm, Harlow, CM17 0NH SUN 22 OCT | SELDEN BARNS Selden Lane, Patching, Worthing, BN13 3UL EAST MIDLANDS SUN 15 OCT | RUSHTON HALL Desborough Road, Rushton, Kettering, NN14 1RR SUN 1 OCT | NUTFIELD PRIORY Nutfield Road, Nutfield, Redbridge, RH1 4EL SURREY 12PM-4PM 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 London, HA9 0WS SUNDAY 8 OCTOBER 2023 | 11AM - 4PM WEMBLEY STADIUM Brooklands Drive, Weybridge, KT13 0SL SUNDAY 29 OCTOBER 2023 | 11AM - 3:30PM MERCEDES-BENZ WORLD High Street, Berkshire, SL5 7JX SUNDAY 1 OCTOBER 2023 | 11AM - 3.30PM ASCOT RACECOURSE

Pre-register for all of our events at ASCOT RACECOURSE, 1ST OCTOBER, 2023 WEMBLEY STADIUM, 8TH OCTOBER, 2023 MERCEDES-BENZ WORLD, 29TH OCTOBER, 2023 X Sarah Here at County Wedding Magazines and Events HQ we’re looking forward to kickstarting our Spring 2023 wedding show season – perfect for all those couples that got engaged over the festive period. 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 nearlyweds to our events and help plan their wedding day. 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. Couples will need to pre-register in advance for an allocated arrival time, although on the day visitors are always welcome, and attending our shows are free! For more information, visit County Wedding Events’ website. We look forward to seeing you at one of our events. Sarah Ellis, Sales and Events Director County Wedding Events. Psst! Our pre-registered Signature Wedding Show visitors will have the chance to win a £250 gift voucher courtesy of A date for your diary... GREAT EXPECTATIONS

Our beautiful, iconic 400-year-old Hotel, sits beside the River Nene in the idyllic surroundings of the conservation village of Wansford, in Cambridgeshire. Throughout its history the Hotel has hosted an incredible array of famous and Royal guests including Mary Queen of Scots, Queen Victoria, Princess Diana and many others. Having completed an extensive restoration, the Hotel has once again regained its reputation as one of the region’s finest. It now cleverly displays all its historic glory with luxuriously appointed rooms featuring painstakingly restored medieval fireplaces combined with all of the modern technology and conveniences we all enjoy. With two restaurants to choose from we know our ‘foodie’ guests will be fully satisfied! Fine dining can be enjoyed in our Michelin recognised, 3 rosette awarded ‘Prévost’ restaurant. This showcases a contemporary Tasting Menu by our Executive Head Chef, Lee Clarke and Head Chef Sam Nash, all paired with the eclectic wine choices from our Sommelier. Relax and unwind in our Courtyard Bar and Lounge, smile at its unique playful décor, enjoy the music and the warm friendly atmosphere. Even outdoors, if the weather suits, in the historic courtyard setting warmed by our open firepit. Indulge Haycock Manor Hotel, Wansford - in - England, Peterborough PE8 6JA T: 01780 782223 | E: | IN A LUXURIOUS NIGHT AWAY

DREAMS Sweet These wedding venues have ample accommodation for your guests ORSETT HALL HOTEL, RESTAURANT & SPA 01375 891 402 | What to expect Orsett Hall’s Main Building is beautifully designed and rebuilt to replicate the original building which was built initially around 1750 and then rebuilt in the early 20th century, but unfortunately burned down in a fire in 2008. The hotel features individually designed and stylishly decorated guest bedrooms, superb dining in the Garden Brasserie, elegant function rooms, a gorgeous chapel and boutique spa. Time to celebrate Orsett Hall has an on-site chapel, licensed to conduct religious and non-religious wedding ceremonies, as well as civil partnerships. Its stunning interior resembles something out of a fairytale and must be seen in person to be fully appreciated. Designed in soothing pastel tones and framed by elegant white beams covered in white flowers, the chapel offers traditional seating and a large balcony where additional guests can be seated and music can be played. The gazebo offers couples the opportunity to get married outdoors within the gardens of Orsett Hall. Perfect for weddings in the summer months, it offers couples an intimate setting al fresco. All function rooms are also licensed for wedding ceremonies. The Gold Room with its exquisite chandeliers, period fireplace and large window areas, is a bright and welcoming setting for a wedding. It can cater for up to 100 guests seated, and up to 200 for an evening reception. Whitmore is decorated in warm rich tones and can comfortably accommodate up to 140 seated guests, or 250 for a standing reception. It includes a large bar and is the perfect venue for a special occasion. The Grahame Thomas Pavilion is the largest suite; it contains a private bar and can seat up to 520 people for a banquet or wedding. The Pavilion is fully air-conditioned and even boasts its own koi carp pond and bridge, where outside seating is also provided. We love... The twinkling chandelier catches everyone’s eye as it stretches from the lower ground level of the hotel corridor to the second floor. 19 THEMED VENUES

STIFFORD HALL HOTEL 01708 719 988 | What to expect Stifford hall is set in picturesque village of North Stifford and is an elegant 18th century Georgian Mansion House set in six acres of landscaped gardens, with a pagoda for outside ceremonies, and a terrace ideal for a drinks reception. Dating back to 1789, the hotel combines the grandeur of a listed house with stylish contemporary décor and beautiful surroundings. The Regency Suite is situated on the ground floor, surround by landscaped gardens, framed with floor to ceiling windows and doors. Celebrate in style Weather dependent you may wish to say your vows at the pagoda, located in the beautiful gardens. If you’re getting wed in the colder months you can opt for the Regency Suite. For your wedding breakfast, the Regency Suite, which overlooks the gardens, seats a maximum of 110 on round tables welcoming an additional 60 guests for the evening reception. We love... Stifford Hall boasts 97 bedrooms, so you can be sure your guests can relax, get merry and not worry about how to get home. MULBERRY HOUSE 01277 365 398 | What to expect This stunning Georgian country house offers a wealth of beautiful space to accommodate your dream wedding. On the first floor of the house is the exquisite, newly-renovated honeymoon suite which is available for you to enjoy on the night of your wedding. The beautiful grounds stretch to 22 acres and include the Mulberry tree from which the house gets its present name. Within the grounds, there are many photo opportunities for couples, which includes a wishing well, Chippendale bridge and long grass meadows. The back paddock is home to the venue’s herd of alpacas, who all enjoy being involved on the day. Time to celebrate The Lakeview Gazebo provides a truly picturesque setting for a dreamy outdoor wedding, available between April to September on days when the weather is fine. If the British weather decides not to play along, Mulberry House offers complete flexibility and can arrange for your celebrations to be moved inside under the vaulted ceiling of the Cedar Suite. Both spaces seat 130 guests. For your reception, the air-conditioned Mulberry Suite boasts a stunning oak beamed ceiling and statement chandelier. Seating up to 120 for your wedding breakfast, it’s perfect for a contemporary whilst traditional wedding breakfast and evening reception. Located on the ground floor of the main house, it also has its own private bar and cloakroom. The décor has been kept neutral, with wooden floors and exposed oak beams ready to be dressed as you wish! Hidden behind the beautiful Georgian house lies the newly refurbished all season’s marquee, seating up to 130 guests for a sit-down meal or 200 informally for an evening reception. It also has its own built-in bar and private decking area with lower outside terrace for use on warmer days or simply for some fresh air. The ivory draped, starlit ceiling with crystal chandeliers creates a magical feel for those special night-time occasions. The Marquee can be accessed via the main house, making it ideal for winter weddings, or from the woodland gardens during those sunny summer days. The heating and air-con make it an ideal allyear-round spot! We love... On the first floor are the changing suites for the wedding parties for the morning of your wedding. Bridal changing facilities are available from 8am and a new ‘Lads Lounge’ is available for the guys to get suited up from midday. 20

Licensed to produce Civil Ceremonies • Wedding breakfast up to 200 people Weddings at the palace hotel, 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

01206 262836 @SbN_Wedding_Venue Stoke by Nayland Resort, Keepers Lane, Leavenheath, Colchester CO6 4PZ The perfe destin i f your wedding weekend spacious rooms • stunning gardens • modern pavilion Brand new features including our refurbished wedding suite and outdoor ceremony garden. Flexible venue hire options available. Enquire today and speak to our friendly, knowledgeable team about your special day.

STOKE BY NAYLAND RESORT 01206 262 836 | Situated on 300 acres, SbN Resort is surrounded by idyllic countryside. There are meandering pathways amidst enchanting woodland, romantic backdrops of expansive lakes and stunning views across beautiful Constable Country. The function spaces offer exclusive terraces so our guests can enjoy panoramic views of the beautiful Dedham Vale. Guests enter the contemporary 80-bedroom hotel via a bright and airy lobby, featuring bespoke silk cherry blossom wallpaper to reflect the heritage of the family-owned business – sister company, Boxford Farms. SbN also offers further accommodation in the10 eco-friendly Apple Tree Lodge apartments. Celebrate in style Devora Suite - the largest and most spectacular banqueting suite, benefiting from panoramic golf course and lake views from both inside the hotel and from the private outdoor terrace is ideal for larger celebrations, accommodating up to 200 ceremony guests. Constable Rooms - consists of two flexible interconnecting rooms – Dedham and Haywain – which offer panoramic views of the beautiful Dedham Vale from the exclusive outdoor terrace. Primarily used to host civil ceremonies, the Constable Rooms can be used to host anything from intimate weddings for 20 guests, to larger celebrations with up to 60 guests. Tipi Site - in the summer months, happy couples can enjoy an outdoor festival feel for their special day on the exclusive, secluded tipi site which enjoys an idyllic hilltop, wooded location with wildflower meadow and breathtaking views overlooking two lakes. There’s also an outdoor ceremony venue for 100 day guests. For the evening reception, the Devora Suite can accommodate up to 250 guests for a wedding breakfast, plus additional evening guests up to a total maximum of 300. We love... All of SbN’s newlyweds are offered a complimentary wedding night stay in a Junior Suite as part of their chosen package. IVY HILL HOTEL 01277 355 111 | What to expect A lovely, family-owned 31-bedroom boutique hotel, the Ivy Hill offers traditional hospitality that blends seamlessly into the contemporary design and furnishings. It has tasteful, luxurious surroundings with exceptional levels of comfort and personal service, bringing your stylish event to reality. The hotel is set within five acres of beautiful gardens, giving a relaxing atmosphere. The patio and landscaped gardens have delightful features such as the wishing well, gazebo and ponds all forming stunning backdrops for reception drinks and photographs. Time to celebrate The venue is licensed to hold civil ceremonies within the Ingatestone and Ivy rooms, hosting intimate 10-guest celebrations or with all rooms combined up to 120 guests. These rooms overlook the patio and extend down onto the gardens, where the reception drinks and canapés are served. The Margaretting Suite is an elegant, sophisticated setting for the wedding breakfast, with its own entrance from the gardens. It benefits from plenty of windows giving ample natural daylight and boasts a refined neutral décor. There’s ample room for this suite to seat up to 160 guests. It has a spacious polished oak dancefloor and mirrored bar. The smaller of the two venues is the Ivy Suite, sited in the main body of the hotel and able to seat a maximum of 70 guests, with doors that extend out to the patio and gardens. This space also has complete flexibility in being able to subdivide and become a perfect location for a small, intimate occasion. We love... The Ivy Hill Hotel offers a free tasting to all couples that book one of the Heavenly Weddings packages. THEMED VENUES 23

Houchins is an intimate and romantic wedding venue with the choice of accommodation. Exclusively yours for the day, Houchins is set in beautiful grounds just outside Coggeshall, easily accessible to Essex, Hertfordshire and London. Call our award-winning team to arrange a viewing or chat through your plans on how we can make your perfect wedding day. Houchins Wedding Venue | Coggeshall | Colchester | CO6 1RT HERITAGE MADE MODERN 01376 561448 Photos courtesy of Big Fish Photography, Dominika Meichowska, Emma Gosling, Farlie Photography, Julia & You Photography, Kristian Lissimore Photography & Pure Image Photography.

GOINGlocal Wed in and around Colchester TALBOOTH RESTAURANT & MARQUEE 01206 321 105 | A traditional Tudor building set beside the picturesque River Stour in the heart of Constable country. This stylish marquee is perfect for a party and sits in immaculately manicured gardens. It’s all about food at the Talbooth, so a complimentary tasting for the bride and groom just as to be done. Celebrate in style For your ceremony, the largest room is the River room accommodating up to 120 guests. Meanwhile, the Old room is perfect for intimate weddings of four to 40 people. For your reception, the marquee is ideal, with everything under one roof. The capacity is 50 to 160 seated and space for 200 for an evening party to remember. We love... The location really stands out... green, immaculately landscaped gardens, the meandering River Stour, it doesn’t get more picture perfect for your wedding album. Helen Elliott Photography Dan Casson 25 LOCAL VENUES

HOUCHINS WEDDING VENUE 01376 561 448 | The formally landscaped wedding garden has been cleverly planted to show interest all year round. So, no matter what time of year a wedding takes place there’s always some formal structure and colour in the garden. Beyond the garden is the woodland area for woodland weddings fronted by the recently renovated pond and fountain providing an elegant arrival. The Main Barn known as the Grain Store incorporates a large, open fireplace and mezzanine gallery to make full use of the 35-foot-high ceilings. The Grain Store is centrally located between the bar and dance barn helping your evening flow. Celebrate in style The marquee is available from April to October and is set in the wedding garden and seats up to 150 guests. Adjoining the Grain Store, the Foundry is a perfect space for out-ofseason weddings with a central fireplace and overlooking the formal wedding garden. This has recently undergone a facelift with new panelling, uplighters and mirrors combined with a rich, dark paint colour to transform the room into a more sophisticated and intimate space. Set beyond the formal wedding garden is the woodland area which has a meandering pathway mown through it to a ceremony area with seating for up to 150 guests. Finally, set within the house is the oak panelled drawing room for smaller more intimate weddings for up to 25 guests. Receptions take place on the west facing terrace overlooking the wedding garden with capacity for up to 150 guests. Out-of-season receptions take place inside the Chitting Shed around the bar area for up to 150 guests. We love... The new Terrace Bar (launched in June) is a rustic outside bar set at one end of the terrace from where reception drinks will be served and perhaps a ‘cocktail hour’ offered following the wedding breakfast. WIVENHOE HOUSE HOTEL 01206 863 666 | Wivenhoe House is based in Wivenhoe Park, on the grounds of the University of Essex. The gazebo is located on the Sunken Lawn, perfect for both intimate and large summer ceremonies or drinks receptions. The gazebo overlooks the historic parkland and the magnificent cork oak trees brought back to the Wivenhoe Park Estate by General Rebow over 200 years ago. A beautiful 18th century, Grade II listed, four-star country house hotel with a contemporary twist on the Essex/Suffolk border. It was originally built in 1759 by Thomas Reynolds for the first owner Isaac Rebow and immortalised in canvas by renowned British artist John Constable, when he was commissioned by the then owner Major-General Francis Slater Rebow in 1816. Celebrate in style The Drawing room and Signatures room in the main house are traditionally used for the wedding ceremonies or intimate breakfast. With large bay windows offering spectacular views over the parkland, the historic rooms have an impressive fireplace and period features. The contemporary Garden Suite is made up of three rooms with removable partition walls and boasts a private bar, dancefloor and courtyard. We love... The beauty of a manor house with historic rooms are the bay windows, high ceilings, overall elegance and views of the grounds. Couples often love the fact that they can do the entire wedding day all under one roof. 26

TIPIS ◆ FRIDGES ◆ FURNITURE 01621 788218 At 3 Diamond Events we are passionate about creating your dream event at the venue of your choice. Our tipis create the perfect setting for any event and are truly versatile to numbers, location, theme and budget. Please contact us to start planning your dream event. 3Diamond Events Advert PRESS Version.indd 1 27/09/2022 12 ENJOY A RIVERSIDE WEDDING AT TALBOOTH RESTAURANT Set beside the natural beauty of the River Stour lays one of the finest wedding venues in Colchester, Talbooth Restaurant. Providing a magical setting for any wedding, whether dining in the riverside restaurant or dancing in the Marquee on the upper terrace, the scenery is picture perfect. HIRE CHARGE STARTING FROM £1,000 TALBOOTH RESTAURANT Gun Hill, Dedham CO7 6HP 01206 321105 Bushfire Photography Begin y r Happy Ever A er in the Hea of Hist ic Colchester Capture Edwardian Elegance and Romance at Colchester’s Town Hall Colchester Castle Town Hall | Charter Hall Visit our new website

NEW VENUE Hatfield Place is an exquisite Georgian country house which is the perfect setting for your wedding celebration. 01245 381523 The Street, Hatfield Peverel, Essex CM3 2ET We would love to meet with you to discuss your perfect wedding so please contact us today. The most romantic venue in the country a magnificent marriage begins in a magnificent place

EAST MERSEA HALL 01206 384 630 | East Mersea Hall’s Pavilion is a barn style venue. With light oak beams and flooring, draping ceiling, glass fronted floor to ceiling windows that overlook the lake, it’s a great location for your day. Celebrate in style East Mersea Hall is licensed for civil ceremonies both inside the Drawing Room and The Pavilion and outside in the walled garden or tranquil woodland. The beautiful Saint Edmunds Church is also situated a 30-second walk away. The Pavilion can seat up to 150 guests for your wedding breakfast and 250 for an evening do. We love... The grounds are picturesque with mature woodland, a stunning lake and landscaped gardens. It’s located five minutes from East Mersea beach. COLCHESTER TOWN HALL 01206 506 905 | The Town Hall is a jewel in Colchester’s crown. From its prominent city centre location, this magnificent Baroque structure, with its Victorian tower and statue of St Helena – Colchester’s patron saint – dominates the surrounding area. Bursting with Edwardian glamour, the Hall represents the most romantic and historic of venues. The building boasts a rich heritage, and couples are guaranteed to make a grand red-carpet entrance from the moment they step inside. Celebrate in style Couples can choose from a variety of function rooms to wed in, all of which are fully licensed for ceremonies and receptions. Moot Hall is the largest and most popular of spaces – its high-arched ceiling and tall stained-glass windows create the perfect setting for up to 250 guests. There’s also the Council Chamber – ideal for an intimate wedding ceremony of up to 80; the Mayoral Suite, which comprises the Grand Jury and West Committee Rooms for up to 110; and the Old Library, a fully self-contained suite with reception, kitchen and cloakroom, again for up to 80. Receptions are then held in Moot Hall or the Old Library, during which the newlyweds can take a stroll to Castle Park for photographs. We love... You’re spoilt for choice with photo opportunities. Aerial shots of your ceremony can even be captured by your wedding photographer from the chamber balcony. LOCAL VENUES 29

YOUR ESSEX PHOTOGRAPHY DUO Remember he lau her, j y an ears he bi es ay y ur li e. Our aim is to photograph the beauty of your wedding day, preserving memories that will last a lifetime. sandephotography20 sandephotography20 TIMELESS MEMORIES A wedding video is more than just the recording of events that take place, it captures the atmosphere and emotions of your day, from the speeches of loved ones, to preserving fine details that can be forgotten over time. We provide the best quality video using the latest cameras, this means your special day will look amazing and keep your treasured memories alive for years to come. Call: 07365 189589 Email: We have over 10 years experience in freestanding and bespoke wall draping and also ceiling decor. Whether it’s fabric canopy’s, fairylight canopy’s or a paper chinese lantern canopy... at Big Event Drapery we listen to our clients needs and work together to provide a high wow factor by transforming their venues into high class event spaces. Get in touch today so we can provide a quote for you 07754 064304

Amber and Ricky Spriggs tied the knot at Greenwoods Hotel and Spa Images courtesy of S and E Photography Amber and Ricky met at school. Ricky was in the year above and very popular and younger Amber – a selfconfessed geek(!) – their paths never crossed. Until one night... as Amber explains, “I wangled an invite to Ricky’s 18th birthday party. He stumbled up to me and said, ‘I have no idea who you are, but I can’t stop looking at you’. I never ever forgot that sentence. Fast forward eight years, I downloaded Hinge, and who was one of the first people to pop up? Ricky! In my gut I just knew that this was it and a month after matching, Ricky asked me to be his girlfriend.” Ricky proposed in Cancun. As they approach the restaurant Amber had favourited online, the waitress blindfolded her. Amber tells us, “I was shocked. My initial thought was that he’d just decorated the table nicely as a surprise. We were walking for a while, then turned onto the beach. We came to a stop and Ricky took the blindfold off. In front of me were the most gigantic lit up letters saying Marry me? I remember Ricky saying some lovely words - then after a lot of gasping, disbelief and laughter I of course said yes. It was truly amazing.” The couple said their I dos at Greenwoods Hotel and Spa on 6th April, 2023. Here, the happy couple share some of their favourite moments... I always KNEW 31 REAL WEDDINGS

Our venue was decorated by Decorative Events and it was stunning. We had blossom trees for a spring feel, a white rug for the aisle, and of course we had to have a light-up dancefloor - that was a huge hit! My dress was called Lucie by Justin Alexander. I always knew I wanted a fishtail style dress, and I f fell in love with this within an hour of being in my first bridal shop, Serenity brides in Colchester. I customised the dress to have detachable off the shoulder sleeves. I wanted to keep the styling simple, so I opted for a mediumlength, beautiful lace veil with detailing matching the dress at the bottom and kept it simple with a pair of earrings. I’d been to so many venues, and Ricky was being a groomzilla, in my opinion! My Mum had been to a reception at Greenwoods and advised me to go and take a look. I went on my own the first time and loved it instantly. It’s such a beautiful big space, and I knew I could turn it into my dream wedding. I kept the theme very minimal with a few personal touches. We had eucalyptus featuring on our place cards, table plan and welcome sign, which kept in with the sage green and spring vibe we were going for. 32

With six bridesmaids it can be tricky to please everyone, but they all seemed happy and looked stunning. The groom wore a navy suit from Moss Bros. He and his groomsmen all wore the same, the difference was the best men had navy waistcoasts, whilst he had grey. The flowers were done by a trusted family friend. I let her have free reign because I knew she’d come up with something stunning, which she did. It was all pink, greens and silver which was so on theme and looked incredible. Saying those special words, ‘I do’. Our favours were his and hers sweetie bags, with both our favourite sweets inside! Mine were fizzy bubblegum bottles, Ricky’s were sherbet lemons. 33 REAL WEDDINGS

Introducing Mr & Mrs Spriggs! We hired a magic mirror photobooth. The guests absolutely LOVED this; it was such a hit! The company were absolutely seamless too with the arrival and set up. We got such hilarious pictures that were put in a guestbook for us to look back on, which has been so funny - we have come across a few gems! AMBER & RICKY’S CONTACTS Venue & catering, | Photographer, | Dresses, | Hair stylist, | Make-up artist, Suits, Moss Bros|Cake,|Decorations, | Mirror selfie booth, Cutting the cookie! We didn’t do a cake, we instead had one giant cookie cake with Mr and Mrs Spriggs on it with loads of little cookies around it! 34

MIDWEEK WEDDING PACKAGE 2024 Weddings at Greenwoods Hotel and Spa Price based on a 50 day guests and 80 evening guests Any Monday-Thursday 2024 Exclusive hire of our Garden Suite, Gazebo and Garden Terrace Alcoholic Reception Drink Per Adult 3 Course Wedding Breakfast followed by Tea and Coffee Half Bottle House Wine Per Adult Glass of Prosecco for toasts House DJ Evening Buffet of Sausage and Bacon Baps with Wedges Bridal Suite Night of Wedding Singla Organza Chair Sash on our Chiavari Chairs £8,599.00

Stock, Essex - 01277 840350 Bishops Stortford, Hertfordshire - 01279 654357 From bridal bouquets, buttonholes to floral archways and centrepieces, we work with you from start to finish. Working with local venues and taking care of every detail. WEDDING FLORISTRY BY Stock Florist Y�ur hair is y�ur biggest access�ry, it has to be perfect! T: 07590 908874 E: