An Essex Wedding - November/December 2023 (Issue 113)

Lost in THE MOMENT... Wedding day inspo Time to shine Accessorise your look A mini-moon in Rhodes worth £1,300 ALL THAT JAZZ! Music & entertainment special NOV/DEC 2023 £3.55 ESSEXWEDDING WIN!

Why choose a plus size only bridal shop? Make an appointment now by clicking here or call us on 01206 564469. We also respond to your Facebook and Instagram messages! Rock Your Curves, the largest dedicated plus size wedding boutique in Essex 01206 564469 | | 16-18 Short Wyre Street, Colchester. CO1 1LN Most boutiques do plus size! However, most only have a small selection to choose from and they’re usually ‘safe or boring’ styles, they simply don’t have the space to devote to plussize alongside their average size bridal stock. At Rock Your Curves our large shop is dedicated to plus size only - with same stylish designers that you’ll find in our sister shop, Serenity Brides. Gorgeous designer dresses in beautiful fabrics and colours! So don’t limit your choice as a plus size bride, Rock Your Curves caters for you with lovely very experienced consultants and beautiful surroundings.

REGULARS 6 EDITOR’S LETTER A warm welcome from Rachel 9 NEARLYWED NEWS Catch up on news from around Essex 13 FREEBIES & OFFERS Great giveaways and discounts up for grabs 85 HOT TOPIC Stellar wedmin advice from those in the know 97 COMPETITION Win a mini-moon in Rhodes worth £1,300 CONTENTS NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2023 VENUES 21 WINTER WONDERLAND These venues offer the dream wedding, whatever the British weather throws at us 25 SPOTLIGHT ON... North Essex venues On the cover This issue’s cover has been sponsored by renowned Essex wedding venue Orsett Hall ( This lovely autumnal cover shot was captured by Peter Ives Photography ( at the wedding of Samantha and Mason. 37 21 FEATURES 49 THE OWL & THE PUSSYCAT Barnfields was the destination of choice for this whimsy woodland shoot 61 SILVER LININGS Fabulous jewellery offerings in and around Essex 67 CAPTURE THE MOMENT An elegant styled shoot from the grounds of Down Hall Hotel, Spa & Estate 71 ALL THAT JAZZ Music and entertainment special 3

REAL WEDDINGS 31 TIMELESS ELEGANCE A white, fresh colour palette was the order of the day for Emily and Ollie Hurley who married at Braxted Park 37 TRULY, MADLY, DEEPLY A summer to remember for Isabella and Kane Hales who married at Channels Estate 43 I CHOOSE YOU Shoshi and Lucy Hossain tied the knot on a sunny April day at High House Weddings HONEYMOONS 89 WHAT A TREAT! The stylish Retreat at Elcot Park is country-house comfort at its best 90 AN ICONIC ISLAND A honeymooners’ paradise, Grand Palladium Hotels & Resorts in Montego Bay have it all 93 THE ITALIAN DREAM Discover the delights of Sardinia with a stay at the impressive Forte Village GROOMS 81 GROOMS’ NEWS The latest best buys and product launches 82 DRESSED TO KILL Channel your inner James Bond with these black-tie options for the groom-to-be FASHION & BEAUTY 55 FASHION FOCUS The latest bridal fashion news, buys and launches 57 A TOUCH OF COLOUR Winter isn’t about wearing a white wedding dress, pick a fruit-pastel inspired shade or something a little bolder 65 PARTY PIECES Dazzle at a Christmas or winter wedding in stunning silver and crystal accessories 76 BEAUTY BUZZ Get the look with the latest must-haves 79 BEAUTY Q&A Our local professionals solve your problems 90 43 67 82 81 4

01206 577756 16-18 Short Wyre Street, Colchester. CO1 1LN Our friendly, unique boutique is a haven for brides who are looking for a shop where they can feel excited, comfortable & confident when choosing the most important dress of their life. We offer a complete service to our brides from our fabulous, experienced consultants right through to our very talented seamstresses giving our brides the true bridal experience they deserve in the search for the dress of their dreams.

Welcome to the last issue of 2023 – and what a year it’s been! We celebrated The Coronation of His Majesty The King, we wore pink and watched Barbie and of course celebrated An Essex Wedding Magazine’s slick new website! For me, it flew by. If you’re in the last few weeks of planning your winter wedding, enjoy this issue with its advice and wedspiration. Our Indian summer is coming to a close and I’m ready to see images dropping in my inbox of couples saying their vows in front of open fires, thick, tweed threepiece suits and fluffy shawls aplenty. This issue, we’re all about that bling, baby! All available in Essex, there’s plenty of jewellery items to accessorise your Big Day look. We also have a focus on music and entertainment, from harps to caricaturists, we’ve got you covered! And finally, for a touch of winter magic, check out our venues pages where we explore locations perfect for the colder months. As you know, I love to hear all about your magical days. To submit your own nuptials to grace the pages of An Essex Wedding, get in touch via our website: Happy planning! Welcoming winter Rachel Westall, Editor Rachel x Teardrop shaped pink Diamonfire earrings Step into luxury at The Retreat, Elcot Park a mini-moon in Rhodes worth £1,300 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

You won’t be feeling blue in this showstopper Sail away with me... Think pink for your bridal party Modern, celestial vibes from Victoria Percival All in the detail for Emily and Ollie at Braxted Park EDITOR’S LETTER 7

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 17th March 2024, 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 | 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

DRY HIRE AT GREENWOODS HOTEL Greenwoods Hotel and Spa is very excited to announce that they now have a dry hire option for weddings! The team understand that many couples want specialised catering for their special day and would feel more confident having a catering provider that they know and trust. And so... they are taking bookings - now! This package is available from Monday to Thursday in any month and costs £10,000.00 including VAT. *Terms and conditions apply, please contact the weddings team for more information* Visit: NEWS Nearlywed All the latest from the region BRAXTED PARK OPEN DAY IN JANUARY 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 28th January, 2024 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

JACKSON’S SOUTHENDON-SEA DEBUT Following its block-busting preview night at The London Palladium earlier this year, Symphonic Jackson brings the iconic hits of Michael and his brothers, enhanced by a live orchestra, to Cliffs Pavillion Southend-On-Sea, on Saturday 1st June 2024. For one night only, West end stars, Haydon Eshun, Cleopatra Madonna Higgins and David Julien are reunited to celebrate the legendary music of Michael Jackson! Together with the National Philharmonic Concert Orchestra, their incredible vocal talents will bring the music of Michael and Jackson 5 to life like never before. Experience hit after hit as Jackson classics are given a symphonic twist, and the world’s most iconic music is reimagined in this thriller of a show. CHEERS TO GARDEN GIN! Luxury property, Down Hall Hotel, Spa & Estate situated in the picturesque Essex countryside has announced the launch of its own bespoke Down Hall Garden Gin, in partnership with local and sustainable distillery, Essex Spirits Co. Infused with delightful citrus and floral notes, the carefully crafted spirit is a local take on classic London dry-style gin and has been delicately blended with five different botanicals, foraged from the hotel’s impressive kitchen garden and across the 110-acres of grounds that surround the property. Hedge trimmed bay leaves, wild mint, homegrown lemon verbena, handpicked rosemary and nasturtium leaves all come together with timeless juniper berries, coriander seeds and Angelica root to create a lasting flavour and an intensely smooth modern gin. Essex Spirits Co. is Chelmsford’s first operating distillery which was born in lockdown and opened in 2020. They have a zerowaste sustainability ethos and use cutting-edge modern distillation methods to get the most out of the ingredients. Down Hall’s decision to partner with them reflects the hotel’s eco-friendly reputation and its commitment to ensuring that sustainability and locality is at the heart of its operations. Down Hall Garden Gin (40% ABV) will be available to try at the hotel’s Fox Bar, Terrace and Garden Room Restaurant and to purchase by the bottle (£45). HOBBYCRAFT OPENS AT LAKESIDE Hobbycraft recently celebrated the opening of its new store at Lakeside Retail Park in West Thurrock with a host of crafting activities, product offers and goody bags for the first 100 customers who walked through the doors. The new Hobbycraft store offers customers the retailers’ extensive range of crafting products from art, baking, home craft, papercraft, knitting, sewing, kids’ crafts and model making to accessories for weddings, celebrations and much more. Store Manager, Gina Ford, comments: “Our amazing store is packed with crafting materials to suit all ages and abilities, and beginners through to experienced crafters are all welcome to pop into the store and chat to our creative colleagues. They’re always happy to share their knowledge, tips and tricks.” 10

More Than Just A Venue EXCLUSIVE USE MANOR HOUSE WITH WEDDING COTTAGE & 14 ROOMS SLEEPING 31 GUESTS Pre-wedding accommodation available in The Wedding Lodge, with bridal preparation rooms, sleeps 8 guests. Hubbards Hall Drive, Off Churchgate Street, Old Harlow, Essex, CM17 0NH For more information please contact 01279 354455

Kind & oughtful Wedding Photography for your Special Day | 07521 903935 CLAIRE LUMLEY PHOTOGRAPHY A FUN, PROFESSIONAL YET RELAXED INDEPENDENT CELEBRANT BASED IN ESSEX A celebrant led ceremony gives you the flexibility to bring your dreams to life anywhere and at any time. Themed or styled wedding, a symbolic ceremony, religious or no religion - whatever it may be - we can discuss what you envision for your ceremony. I offer a no obligation meeting so you can establish if my personality and vibrancy makes us a match. Call: 07850 683348 karen_irving_ceremonies 07355 835 626 | | | @tayum360 Get in Touch Tayum360 photo booth adds an interactive and entertaining element to weddings. Guests can capture 360-degree photos or videos of themselves and the wedding party, creating fun and dynamic memories. Tayum360 can customize with wedding-themed props, backdrops, and overlays, aligning with the couple’s style and creating a unique keepsake for guests to cherish and memories to last forever. High Resolution Videos, Unlimited HD Videos, Unlimited Visits, 2 professional booth attendants, Choice of songs for videos, Prop Table, Money Gun, Karaoke Machine, Glasses and many more! 360 Multi Layer LED Glass platform and more! LED Lighting, LED Uplighters, 600w cold spark machine, RGB Colour changing light tubes, Rope Stanchions, Choice of Carpet, Customised Personalised Backdrops, iPad Sharing Station for guests, Social Media Sharing, Email Transfer of all Videos taken up at your event, and Delivery Set Up & Take Down.

Great giveaways and discounts up for grabs KEEP CALM AND CARRY ON There’s a lot of pressure on brides to ‘shred before the wed’ and be tempted to go on a crash diet. But dieting can cause disordered eating, weight fluctuations and can be mentally harmful. In order to look and feel better than ever, we need to treat ourselves kindly, develop a healthy relationship with food and trust our body. This can be hard to do, especially if you’ve got a history of weight issues or you’re feeling pressure to lose weight before your wedding. That’s why Victoria is offering three lucky brides the chance to win one month’s gift pass to the Women’s Lifestyle Collective Members’ Club. Inside the Members’ club, you’ll have full access to transformational classes, weekly live online coaching based on cognitive behavioural techniques, accountability to keep you on track and our amazing community of women. Plus, bonuses including the 21-day yoga course and meditation practices to ensure you’re relaxed and stress-free before the big day. For your chance to win enter via our website: The closing date for entries is 30th December. For further info please visit: WIN TWO STRIKING ACCURIST WATCHES WORTH UP TO £538! County Wedding Magazines has teamed up with British heritage watch brand Accurist to offer readers the chance to win this ultimate prize package for nearlyweds. Brides-to-be have the choice of a stunning set from Accurist and Sarah Alexander collaboration ( Priced from £209 to £289. This curation of nine unique giftsets, combines Sarah Alexander jewellery with Accurists best-selling, vintage-inspired Rectangle and Jewellery collections. All gift sets have been hand curated to showcase a coordinated look, featuring bangles, bracelets, earrings and necklaces with a wide variety of unique gemstones such as Rose Quartz, Mother of Pearl and Blue Kyanite − winners will be hard-pressed to choose! Grooms-to-be have the tough choice of selecting a dashing watch from one of Accurists men’s collection ( Priced from £119 to £249. Whether you go for a 1950s-inspired ‘Classic’ collection or the bold design of its ‘70s bestseller ‘Origin’ collection, all of Accurists’ collections have taken inspiration from 77 years of British watchmaking. Each watch comes with quick-release interchangeable straps, a five-year extended warranty and unique features in each collection. What’s more, whether you require the above two sets, or two brides or grooms, both come presented in Accurists watch roll gift packaging and can be personalised with engraving on the case back − perfect for the happy day. Check out Enter online via the website by 31st January, 2024. Terms and conditions apply. Freebies& OFFERS FREEBIES & OFFERS 13

Pre-register for all of our events at MERCEDES-BENZ WORLD, TO BE ANNOUNCED SOON ASCOT RACECOURSE, 7TH APRIL 2024 WEMBLEY STADIUM, 28TH APRIL 2024 X Sarah Here at County Wedding Magazines and Events HQ we’re looking forward to kickstarting our Autumn 2023 wedding show season – perfect for all those couples that got engaged over the Summer 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

SUN, 25 FEB 2024 CAVE HOTEL Brickfield Lane, Boughton, ME13 9AJ 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 WORK WITH US WEDDING SHOWS SPRING 2024 KENT SUN, 4 FEB 2024 PENHURST PLACE Penshurst, TN11 8DG SUN, 3 MAR 2024 BRADBOURNE HOUSE New Rd, East Malling, ME19 6DZ SUN, 12 MAY 2024 FRASERS ColdHarbour Farm, Barhams Mill Road, Egerton, TN27 9DD

SUN, 14 JAN 2024 ORSETT HALL Prince Charles Avenue, Orsett, RM16 3HS ESSEX SUN, 7 JAN 2024 HEDINGHAM CASTLE Bayley Street, Castle Hedingham, CO9 3DJ SUN, 21 JAN 2024 PRESTED HALL Feering, Colchester, CO5 9EE SUN, 28 JAN 2024 BRAXTED PARK Braxted Park Estate, Great Braxted, CM8 3EN SUN, 17 MAR 2024 LAYER MARNEY Layer Marney, Colchester, CO5 9US SUN, 11 FEB 2024 CRONDON PARK Stock Road, Stock, CM4 9DP SUN, 24 MAR 2024 VAULTY MANOR Osea Leisure, Goldhanger Road, Heybridge, CM9 4SA SUN, 14 APR 2024 THAT AMAZING PLACE Hubbards Hall Farm, Harlow, CM17 0NH SUN, 21 APR 2024 CHANNELS ESTATE Belsteads Farm Lane, Little Waltham, CM3 3PT SUN, 14 APR 2024 HOUCHINS Houchins Lane, Coggeshall, CO6 1RT SUN, 28 APR 2024 OLD ESSEX BARN Cranes Lane, Kelvedon, Colchester, CO5 9AX SUN, 12 MAY 2024 BRAXTED PARK Braxted Park Estate, Great Braxted, CM8 3EN 12pm-4pm Fashion Show

SUN, 18 FEB 2024 MORDEN HALL Morden Hall Road, SM4 5JD ESSEX SUN, 19 MAY 2024 ST OSYTH PRIORY West Field Lane, St Osyth, CO16 8GW LONDON SUN, 12 MAY 2024 NUTFIELD PRIORY Nutfield Road, Nutfield, Redhill, RH1 4EL SURREY SUN, 18 FEB 2024 DENBIES WINE ESTATE London Road, Dorking, RH5 6AA SUN, 24 MAR 2024 KIMBERLEY HALL Estate Office, Wymondham, NR18 0RT NORFOLK SUN, 3 MAR 2024 SPROWSTON MANOR Wroxham Road, Norwich, NR7 8RP SUN, 4 FEB 2024 THE MILSOMS Hall Road, Ipswich, IP5 2PU SUFFOLK SUN, 7 JAN 2024 HINTLESHAM HALL Hintlesham, Ipswich, IP8 3NS SUN, 25 FEB 2024 FYNN VALLEY Witnesham, Ipswich, IP6 9JA SUN, 21 APR 2024 RAVENWOOD HALL HOTEL Rougham, Bury St Edmunds, IP30 9JA 12pm-4pm

SUN, 21 JAN 2024 SANDON MANOR Sandon Bury Farm, Buntingford, SG9 0QY HERTFORDSHIRE SUN, 14 JAN 2024 MICKLEFIELD HALL Sarratt Road, Sarratt, WD3 6AQ SUN, 25 FEB 2024 AUDLEYS WOOD HOTEL Alton Road, Basingstoke, RG25 2JT CAMBRIDGESHIRE SUN, 17 MAR 2024 SWYNFORD MANOR London Road, Six Mile Bottom, CB8 0UE HAMPSHIRE 12PM-4PM SUN, 14 APR 2024 RACKLEYS Marlow Road, Cadmore End, HP14 3PP BEDFORDSHIRE SUN, 17 MAR 2024 LUTON HOO Estate Office, Luton Hoo Estate, Luton, LU1 4LF BUCKINGHAMSHIRE SUN, 3 MAR 2024 WARE PRIORY High Street, Ware, SG12 9AL SUN, 18 FEB 2024 RUSHTON HALL Desborough Road, Rushton, NN14 1RR LEICESTERSHIRE SUN, 28 JAN 2024 STAPLEFORD PARK Stapleford, LE14 2EF NORTHAMPTONSHIRE

• Free entry • Goody bag for each couple • Up to 200 stands • 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 28TH APRIL 2024 | 11AM - 4PM WEMBLEY STADIUM Brooklands Drive, Weybridge, KT13 0SL DATE TO BE CONFIRMED | 11AM - 3:00PM MERCEDES-BENZ WORLD High Street, Berkshire, SL5 7JX SUNDAY 7TH APRIL 2024 | 11AM - 3.30PM ASCOT RACECOURSE

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. T: 01245 476444 Set in the Essex Countryside resides Pontlands Park, a Victorian house sympathetically extended into a beautiful wedding venue with 35 bedrooms. With a choice of indoor and outdoor ceremony facilities and various function rooms, along with a marquee with its own internal private bar, Pontlands is the perfect venue for intimate or larger weddings. The Dream Wedding packages start from as little as £75.00pp, which includes a 3-course wedding breakfast, reception drink and canapes* (Gold and Platinum packages only), half a bottle of wine and a glass of fizz for the toast plus an evening buffet. Contact the team for further information on 01245 476444 or email WEST HANNINGFIELD ROAD, GREAT BADDOW, CHELMSFORD, ESSEX CM2 8HR

wonderland Gorgeous venues, perfect fot the colder months ahead WINTER BRAXTED PARK 01621 770 855 | At the heart of a vast walled estate, you’ll find Braxted Park’s magnificent country house and its stunning gardens. The intimate gardens that connect Braxted House to the grand Wedding Pavilion provide an idyllic setting for any wedding vision. Within the historic Walled Garden guests can enjoy a series of themed ‘rooms’ that include a romantic English Garden, a Knott Garden and an Italian Garden. The year-round interest each provides creates beautiful and varied backdrops for wedding photographs. Celebrate in style Combing elegance and romance throughout its interior, you’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to saying, ‘I do’. The Orangery exudes romance, with Roman-inspired murals and arched windows that look out over the grounds. Alternatively, during the warmer months, tie the knot outdoors at the heart of the walled garden as your guests soak up the sun. Braxted Park even has its own church, so you could have a religious ceremony just a few minutes away from the house should you wish to. Each option is capable of seating up to 170 guests. When it comes to receptions, The Pavilion is perfectly equipped for parties both large and small. This versatile space offers plenty of room for up to 350 guests and comes with neutral décor so you can truly make it your own. The in-house catering team are on hand to create some spectacular menus for your special day, while come evening, a state-ofthe-art sound and lighting system and huge dancefloor ensures you can enjoy yourselves long into the night. We love... The Garden Cottage really stands out and offers couples the perfect place to retire to after a day of celebrating, while loved ones can enjoy a relaxing night’s stay just a few steps from the Pavilion, too. 21 THEMED VENUES

LAYER MARNEY TOWER 01206 330 784 | Built as a statement home by Henry, 1st Lord Marney, the Tudor Palace is a beautiful red brick structure, set in formal gardens and surrounding parkland. Visitors approach the Grade I buildings down a long entrance drive, past grazing livestock. Celebrate in style Most wedding ceremonies take place in the Corsellis Room, which can seat up to 120 guests. With exposed brickwork and Mulberry wall hangings, the ceremony room looks beautiful without additional adornment but can be enhanced with flowers and décor if you wish. Ceremonies also take place outside in the gardens and in front of the Tower. The wedding breakfast and evening reception can either take place in the Long Gallery or the Barn. The Long Gallery benefits from lots of natural light from the stunning large windows and a notable feature is the impressive Jacobean fireplace. A grand space with chandeliers and an oak sprung floor, perfect for dancing all night. The Long Gallery will seat up to 140 guests and can accommodate up to 180-200 for an informal evening reception. Layer Marney can also offer rooms for smaller ceremonies and receptions, with no lower limit on numbers attending. We love... The bride is collected from home or local hotel and transported to Layer Marney in a chauffeur driven vintage Rolls Royce. The venue also offers a complimentary stay in the Honeymoon Suite to the wedding couple. MULBERRY HOUSE 01277 365 398 | This stunning Georgian country house offers a wealth of 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 alpacas, who enjoy being involved on the day. Celebrate in style 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, there’s also a 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 our stunning and newly refurbished all season’s marquee, seating up to 130 guests for a sitdown 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 night-time occasions. The Marquee can be accessed via the main house, making it ideal for winter weddings, or from the woodland gardens during sunny summer days. The heating and air-con make it an ideal all-year-round spot! We love... On the first floor are the changing suites for the wedding parties for the wedding morning. Bridal changing facilities are available from 8am and a ‘Lads Lounge’ is available for the guys to get suited up from midday. 22

KINGS OAK 020 8508 5000 | Nestled amid the lush beauty of Epping Forest, The Kings Oak is a Victorian gem. Its grand exterior, featuring many original features enjoys a beautiful, picturesque forest backdrop. With sweeping views overlooking High Beach and Pillows Mounds, large forest gardens, this venue is a timeless treasure, retaining its 1887 charm but perfect for today’s wedding requirements. Celebrate in style The main wedding venue room - the Kings Room - is the venue’s most popular area because of its flexibility to be combined with either the Beach Club or Oak Lounge. It can host 120 for your wedding breakfast (200 standing, for the evening). For smaller weddings, The Oak Lounge is a beautiful and adaptable Victorian space. Meanwhile, Essex wedding venues don’t get more ‘glam’ than The Beach Club at the Kings Oak Hotel. With upper and lower terraces, guests can enjoy views across the pool area. Finally, the Kings Suite has been designed to facilitate a wedding breakfast for 200-seated guests and another 100 for the evening celebrations, combining the Kings Room and the funky and chic Beach Club. Beautiful bi-folding doors that normally separate these two event spaces can be opened to create a wonderful open area. We love... The fully functioning 100-foot lido pool, a vintage gem from the ’20s, adds a one-of-a-kind touch. GOSFIELD HALL 01787 472 914 | During colder months this stunning Georgian mansion transforms into a winter haven, with a roaring log fire, a delicious winter-inspired menu offering seasonal highlights and a selection of drinks to warm guests including hot chocolate and winter Pimms. Furthermore, the sizeable nature of this former royal palace means there’s more than enough space in its grand reception rooms for the wedding party to celebrate indoors, when the weather turns outside. Celebrate in style For your ceremony, Queen Charlotte’s Gallery accomodates 116. Make an entrance with the 120-foot-long aisle in the oak-panelled gallery. The dual-aspect windows flood the room with light, and the neutral array of silk house flowers completes this space. The Grand Salon, with its high hand-painted ceiling and double-height sash windows make this a bright, airy space in which to say: ‘I do.’ The feature fireplace is a beautiful backdrop, and the baby grand piano offers musical accompaniment. There’s also the Outer Courtyard for an outside ceremony. For your reception, The Marquis of Buckingham’s Former-Ballroom accomodates 116. Expect a breathtakingly stunning setting for fine dining, where guests dine under giant crystal chandeliers. Up to 250 guests can be welcomed for the evening reception. We love... A former Royal Palace, Gosfield Hall exudes charm as you walk through its historic rooms boasting ornate details and period features. 23 THEMED VENUES

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.

for choice Wed in and around North Essex 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 and 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. Time to celebrate The Drawing Room and Signatures Room in the main house are traditionally used for the wedding ceremony 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 private courtyard. We love The beauty of a manor house with historic rooms, with bay windows, high ceilings, overall elegance and views of the grounds. Couples often love the fact that they can host the entire wedding day all under one roof. SPOILT 25 LOCAL VENUES

HOUCHINS WEDDING VENUE 01376 561 448 | The formally landscaped wedding garden has been cleverly planted to show interest all year. 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. Time to celebrate 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. BARNFIELD WEDDINGS & EVENTS 07835 193 522 | Part of Brickwall Farm, Barnfield Weddings & Events uses the prettiest corner of the farm, on the edge of a lake, and surrounded by pasture, meadows and woodland. With space for up to three tipis (or a marquee, sailcloth or stretch tent) right beside the water, and with lovely views all around. Time to celebrate There are three options for outdoor ceremonies. The first of these is in the architectural rows of willows (grown for making into cricket bats!). You and your guests will walk through pretty woodland to reach the space amid these beautiful silver-green trees which provide both shade and shelter. With space for up to 120 people, the area can be dressed as simply or extravagantly as you’d like. The second ceremony space is a grassy avenue surrounded by trees and wildflowers, and with the lake just feet away on one side and a stream running alongside about 20 feet away the other side, this sheltered and secluded spot is dressed to perfection by mother nature. The third ceremony space is in the silver birch glade. With space for up to 120 people the trees provide a stunning backdrop with a less structured feel that allows you to be creative with how you use the space. We love... Members of the Sustainable Wedding Alliance (and are working towards accreditation by them), the venue doesn’t allow single use plastics on the site and are working towards becoming carbon neutral. 26

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

The Old House is a Grade II listed building that has all the fairy-tale touches of a larger venue, but in a charming medieval residence. Our beautiful garden space is perfect for photographs to preserve memories of your special day. 01702 318120 | Clare Kentish Photography 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 01206 262836 @SbN_Wedding_Venue Stoke by Nayland Resort, Keepers Lane, Leavenheath, Colchester CO6 4PZ The perfe destin i f your wedding weekend

STOKE BY NAYLAND RESORT 01206 262 836 | Situated on 300 acres, SbN Resort is surrounded by idyllic countryside. Everywhere you look, fabulous views offer amazing photo opportunities. 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 this contemporary 80-bedroom hotel via the bright and airy lobby, featuring bespoke silk cherry blossom wallpaper to reflect the heritage of this family-owned business – sister company, Boxford Farms. SbN also offers further accommodation in the10 eco-friendly Apple Tree Lodge apartments. Time to celebrate SbN’s largest and most spectacular banqueting room, the Devora Suite, benefits from panoramic golf course and lake views from both inside the hotel and from the private outdoor terrace. Ideal for larger celebrations, the Devora Suite can accommodate up to 220 guests for a wedding breakfast and an additional 80 evening guests. Primarily used to host civil ceremonies, the Constable Rooms consists of two flexible interconnecting rooms – the Haywain and the Dedham – which offer panoramic views of the beautiful Dedham Vale from the exclusive outdoor terrace. They can be hired individually for an intimate celebration with 20 guests or used for larger ceremonies for up to 200 guests. For your wedding breakfast, the Constable Rooms can accommodate 70 guests, plus additional evening guests up to a maximum of 150. 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 – just five minutes from the hotel. The tipis can accommodate up to 100 day guests plus an additional 50 evening guests. We love... All of SbN’s newlyweds are offered a complimentary wedding night stay in a Junior Suite as part of their chosen package. TALBOOTH 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 Talbooth, so a complimentary tasting for the wedding couple just has 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 wedding of four to 40 people. For your reception, the marquee is ideal, with everything under one roof. The space welcomes 50 to 160 seated guests and space for 200 for an evening party. We love... The location really stands out... green, immaculately landscaped gardens, the meandering River Stour, it doesn’t get more picture perfect for a wedding photograph. Dan Casson Helen Elliott Photography LOCAL VENUES 29

“The Perfect Day team were amazing for our wedding - I feel so lucky to have had them as our caterer. The food was incredible and we received so many compliments from our guests. The service was amazing and the team were so seamless behind the scenes, ensuring everyone had lots of amazing food & drinks all day!” - Ka�e & Josh, Aug 2023 Perfect Day Caterers provide bespoke wedding catering in venues and marquees throughout Essex. Our food is modern, crea�ve, beau�fully presented, but most importantly really tasty! Every wedding is unique and so is our approach. We design bespoke menus to suit your wedding style and personal tastes. From formal sit-down wedding breakfasts, to sharing pla�ers and BBQs; we can create the perfect wedding food for you. Bespoke Menus | Dedicated Wedding Planner | Premium Tableware 01245 939042 @perfectdaycateringevents ALL ABOUT GET IN TOUCH Specialist Wedding Florist and Event Decor Occasion & Cele ation E: T: 07745 464129 Insta: Occasions_and_Celebrations Stockists of Kenneth Winston, Ella Rosa, Gallery, Richard Designs, Emma Bridals and the only stockist of Paul Zeni Couture in Essex. We also have an extensive range of bridesmaids dresses in over 100 styles and 50 colours! MARTELS WEDDING VILLAGE, HIGH EASTER ROAD, BARNSTON ESSEX CM6 1NA 07748 820283 | | | @bridal_boutique_martels

A white, fresh colour palette was the order of the day for Emily and Ollie Hurley who married at Braxted Park Images courtesy of Liam Gillan TIMELESS ELEGANCE Ollie proposed to Emily in New York City, at the Edge NYC (the highest outdoor sky deck in the Western Hemisphere). The pair first visited the Big Apple back in 2018, their first holiday together, and the first time Ollie told Emily he loved her. Romantically, the proposal was a surprise on Emily’s birthday, 28th December 2021. Getting stuck into wedding planning, the pair said their I do’s at Braxted Park on 15th July 2023. Here, Emily tells us more about their day... 31 REAL WEDDINGS

Ollie wore a black tuxedo suit with a black dress waistcoat to stand out from the groomsmen. I wore a silk Sassi Holford Dress called Katie – a corseted bodice, with a square neckline, the silhouette finished with a column skirt that flowed into a flared train. We fell in love with the beautiful grounds of Braxted Park; the picturesque driveway and the country manor house. The Orangery at Braxted is exquisitely decorated with arched windows - just where we could picture having our wedding. The groomsmen all wore black tux. The bridesmaids wore a classic blush multiway dress, all worn in the same style with a twist cross-over at the back. 32

The day ran smoothly and was just how we planned. Our vision truly came to life. Leon String Quartet played for our ceremony and drinks reception. It was very personal and made the wedding so magical. We had tall, modern white flower stands with beautiful displays of neutral and fresh green florals, with floating candles displayed underneath. Getting ready with the girls! My Stuart Weitzman shoes had an adjustable ankle strap decorated with tear drop Swarovski crystals and complemented with a crystal-bejewelled buckle. Each table was named after a country we had visited - travel is something that we’re passionate about. REAL WEDDINGS 33

In the evening we had the DJ Fox and Braces. Our photographer, Liam, went above and beyond. We couldn’t fault his work and his passion and energy throughout the duration of the day. He captured such incredible and beautiful moments! Emily’s top tips! Make the most of every minute as it goes by so quickly! Plan for all weather occasions and don’t rush booking suppliers until you are 100 per cent sure! EMILY AND OLLIE’S LITTLE WHITE BOOK Venue, | Photographer, | Dress, Jewellery and accessories, | Shoes, | Make-up artist, Bride Beautiful Hair Stylist, | Suits, Moss Bros | Cake, | Flowers, Cherry Haynes Stationery, | Catering, | Wedding ring (Emily), | Wedding ring (Ollie), | Videographer, Favours, | Saxophonist, | String quartet, Balloon display, Braxted Park did our catering. We had canapés of roast beef, Yorkshire pudding and horseradish; chicken satay; fish & chips with tartare sauce; and asparagus fritters with lemon tahini. Emma, our saxophonist got everyone on the dancefloor and was so incredibly talented! The cake was simple, modern and elegant – a three-tier style - white iced with fondant and white iced rose petals cascading down. 34

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

Outside wedding garden, hotel facilities, including bridal preparation areas, stunning grounds for beautiful photos, experience and quality cuisine, Channels Estate really does tick all the boxes! With a stunning outside ceremony garden, you can tie the knot under the beautiful thatched cart house. With antique pews, its known as the “Church without a Roof”. Of course if the weather isn’t being fair, then you have the option of marrying in the Essex Barn. The catering at Channels is all in-house, and the experienced team pride themselves on being flexible and accommodating to individual requirements. Every wedding day is unique to the couples preferences. Channels Estate also holds a 30+ luxury hotel, it boasts some of the finest accommodation in Essex, with a dedicated Bridal house the night before, with hot tub, and preparation areas. Then the glorious Oak Suite for the first night of your married lives. Situated just north of Chelmsford, the beautifully restored 17th century, thatched Essex Barn is the idyllic venue for your special day. Over 40 years of unforgettable wedding days To request for a brochure, with prices and menus. Contact or 01245 440005 (ext 2) CHANNELS ESTATE PRATTS FARM LANE EAST, CHELMSFORD, CM3 3PT

A summer to remember for Isabella and Kane Hales who married at Channels Estate Images courtesy of Melody Fern Studios Truly, madly, deeply REAL WEDDINGS 37

Isabella and Kane met during freshers week at the University of East Anglia in Norwich and somehow managed to fall in love whilst drinking VKs and listening to Queen on repeat! Following University, the pair moved back to Kane’s family home in Essex whilst looking to buy a house of their own. Kane proposed at Tonnage Bridge in the Norfolk Broads. Tonnage Bridge is a beautiful remote location with luxury camping lodges. Isabella describes, “It was so special to return to Norfolk, the place where we met and lived for three years together and start this exciting new chapter. The day after we got engaged, we returned to Norwich city centre and it felt like such a full circle moment.” On August 10th, 2023 Isabella and Kane tied the knot at Channels Estate. Here, Isabella tells us more... SETTING THE SCENE Kane found the venue online and booked to go and view it. Isabella tells us, “We both fell in love straight away. The outside ceremony ‘church without a roof’ is what really sold it to us. Channels is so well set up, the ceremony options are stunning, the barn feels really light and grand, and the accommodation is incredible.” The venue looked so tasteful. On every table, beautiful centrepieces were loaded with white florals and green foliage on tall standing gold plinths. The flowers were a mix of real and silk. Isabella describes, “Abi from Prestige Petals made me the most incredible bridal bouquet with white roses and hydrangea with green foliage whilst Kane had a matching buttonhole. She also created three dried lavender, bunny tail and gypsophila bouquets for my bridesmaids.” The cake was an elegant two-tier design with a bow and a small figurine of their gorgeous pooch, Winnie. DRESSED TO IMPRESS Isabella’s dress was so special, “I had a bespoke wedding dress designed and created by Lora Nova. I went to the Wedding Show in London with my mum shortly after I got engaged and tried on some dresses. I knew that I wanted an A-line, off the shoulder lace gown. 38