An Essex Wedding - January/February 2024 (Issue 114)

Picture PERFECT Find your dream wedding photographer Barn Dance Say your vows in an enchanting space A honeymoon in Jamaica LOVE IS ALL AROUND Three Essex couples share their big day JAN/FEB 2024 £3.55 ESSEXWEDDING WIN! Style Guide Trends for styling your day

Relaxed Luxury ~ A Fusion Of Indulgence and Comfort For Your Unforgettable Day. Our team’s unique design philosophy promotes a marriage of two essential concepts: stripped-back, relaxed charm and decadent, unabashed luxury. By blending these elements, our committed suppliers transform your celebration into a timeless and memorable event. Imagine a picturesque setting where the soft rustle of leaves complements the gentle laughter of guests. Picture elegant, yet understated décor that effortlessly merges the tranquil with the extravagant; perhaps rustic wooden tables adorned with luxurious floral arrangements. Envision yourselves, our valued couple, dressed in refined yet comfortable attire, epitomising the seamless fusion of casual ease and sophisticated glamour. With our skillful and authentic approach, we expertly deliver an enchanting wedding day experience for all to enjoy. Connect with us today and let us set the stage for precious, lasting memories to unfold on your special day! Suppliers Venue - Old Essex Barn | Planner/Coordinator - Lorna Marie Events | Florist/Concept Design - Wild + MAE | Cake - K Kakes Cake Couture | Hairstylist - Brides By Rose | Makeup Artist - Justine Warwick Make-up Artist | Additional Credits Photography - Joshua Anstey Photography Bridal Dress - Couturiosity Stationery - Sweet Ophelia Designs Hair Accessories/Earrings - Botias Accessories Model Couple - The Paynes

REGULARS 6 EDITOR’S LETTER What to look out for in this issue 9 NEARLYWED NEWS Catch up on news from around Essex 13 FREEBIES & OFFERS Great giveaways and discounts up for grabs 85 HOT TOPIC Local experts offer stellar advice 97 COMPETITION Win a honeymoon in Jamaica worth £4,500 CONTENTS JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2024 VENUES 21 LOCAL VENUES Wed in and around Braintree 25 BEAUTIFUL BARNS Magical venues to check out On the cover This issue’s cover has been sponsored by Chelmsford-based Channels Estate (, and showcases one of the venue’s stunning wedding offerings, The Essex Barn. The image was captured by fellow Chelmsford supplier Stacey England Photography ( at the wedding of Nick and Beth on 9th April 2023. 67 49 FEATURES 49 UNDERSTATED ELEGANCE Let your venue lead the way. Ingatestone Hall was the perfect backdrop to this dreamy, chic styled shoot 63 SNAP HAPPY In 2023 we saw so many amazing weddings. Here, local photographers showcase some of their favourite images 67 WINTER WARMTH Bergundy blooms and the rustic charm of a 16th century barn completed the scene for this styled shoot 71 SWEET THEMES ARE MADE OF THESE Feel inspired by 2024’s trending venue styling themes 3

REAL WEDDINGS 31 HAPPILY EVER AFTER With rustic vibes throughout, Jo and Nick’s wedding at Houchins was a bohemian dream 36 FORGET ME NOT Paige and Danny O’Donoghue’s wedding was bursting with beautiful English blooms in a marquee dressed to the nines at her parent’s home. 43 PERFECT TIMINGS Lauren and Ed said “I do” at Braxted Park and opted for a timelessly elegant style HONEYMOONS 89 A SONG OF SUN AND SEA We reveal why Dubrovnik is the perfect honeymoon destination 92 VIVA ESPAÑA! Experience the finer side of life at Hostal de La Gavina in Spain’s Costa Brava 94 PARISIAN ELEGANCE Part of the prestigious Oetker Collection, Le Bristol Paris is everything you could dream of from a once in a lifetime visit to La Ville-Lumière, The City of Light. GROOMS 79 GROOMS’ NEWS The latest best buys and product launches 80 SKIN DEEP Strictly Come Dancing star and Shakeup ambassador, Neil Jones reveals his skincare tips for grooms-to-be 83 RING-A-DING-DING How to choose the perfect wedding ring FASHION & BEAUTY 53 FASHION FOCUS The latest bridal fashion news, buys and launches 55 DAINTY DETAILS Say “I do” in these model looks 75 FASHION AND BEAUTY Q&A Our local professionals solve your problems 76 BEAUTY BUZZ Get the look with the latest must-haves 94 63 43 79 4

Marks Tey Hotel has re-opened with a planned stunning Orangery* This break from the public has allowed their long awaited refurbishment to commence. A brand new extension has emerged housing 12 new bedrooms of executive status with some double-doubles allowing up to 4 adult sleepers or a family to stay with young children. The Hotel have already experienced high demand on this room type, especially at weekends and are anticipating a busy summer season ahead, welcoming both their own wedding guests and those from local nearby wedding venues who they work with closely. A further new extension is located at the rear of the Hotel in what was their courtyard garden. This is now being converted into a large spacious Orangery. This large brick building has just had the skylights fitted and windows put in place and so you can already see a splendid wedding venue emerging. This space will be able to accommodate up to around 80 seated guests for a reception and will be fully licenced so you'll be able to get married beforehand too. With light flooding in, an on-trend botanicals theme and it's own private bar, what's not to like. Public areas will also receive a major makeover and this will be completed in phases ahead of their rebrand in Summer 2024. The Hotel has always been a popular wedding venue with some couples returning to renew their nuptials or celebrate anniversary milestones after tying the note decades earlier. So it's fair to say, this Hotel holds a dear place in the hearts of many. This may be because the enthusiasm of the wedding team and their 60 years combined planning experience puts couples at ease. Or the superb food delivered by a dedicated team of innovative chefs to cover all allergens and dietary needs. It could be that the ease of booking everything under one roof is so appealing to enable family and friends to enjoy every aspect of the event alongside the happy couple, from getting ready at the venue, the ceremony and reception, overnight stay in brand new rooms and a relaxing swim before a hearty breakfast, prior to departure. The Hotel provides a selection of packages to suit couples needs and budgets and will work together to ensure all requirements are met. With a range of decorations available for hire, suppliers that they recommend, combined with a tailored payment plan, their aim is to ensure couples have a seamless and relaxed planning experience ahead of an unforgettable big day. For more information contact the Events Team on 01206 214800 / 01206 210001 option 3 / * will be available for 2025 weddings / Orangery image for illustration purposes only The Marks Tey closed it's doors temporarily last year but they are now back open and ready for business.

Happy new year to you all! I hope it brings you all the happiness! If you were lucky enough to receive a ring at the bottom of a champagne coupe on Christmas Day or as the clock struck midnight on NYE, congratulations. We can’t wait to help inspire your day. This issue, we have a photography special. Do take a look at these inspirational pages and the special shots our local photographers have shared. Choosing a photographer is such an important decision, so make sure firstly you like them and feel comfortable with them – they’re a friendly bunch, so I’m sure this won’t be hard! Secondly, check out their past galleries or social media platforms – do they match your style? And lastly, don’t try to people please (for example choosing a family friend) the end result is the images that will be looked back upon for the rest of your life together, so make sure you pick the right person to take these. Now to the real weddings! We have three corkers this edition: one at Houchins, another in the grounds of Braxted Park, and a beautiful wedding which took place at their family home in a super stylish marquee. If only I could say my vows again, I’d be stealing all of their ideas... so get your wedding diaries at the ready! If you’ve just got wed, do let yourself be known! To submit your own nuptials to grace the pages of An Essex Wedding, get in touch via our website: Happy planning! Happy new year! Rachel Westall, Editor Rachel x I love you to the moon and back! How cute is this design Neon will continue to be huge in 2024! an all-inclusive honeymoon in Jamaica worth nearly £4,500! 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

How cute is this trio of vintage fiat 500s Jo chose such a gorgeous bouquet for her big day at Houchins The Canary Shed is a venue so full of joy The Dolly full length gown with feather sleeve trim is top of my lust list Nadaya’s Body Blitz Oil, perfect for winter-proofing skin EDITOR’S LETTER 7

The MAN is important too! Set up for the big day with, Barbering, Pedicure, Manicure, Facials, Massage, prior or for the wedding day! BASE: 139A London Road, Benfleet, Essex, SS7 5UH Tel. 01268 395 595 ALL HAIR STYLING DONE BY: MK of MANSCAVE

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. NEWS Nearlywed All the latest from the region DOWN HALL RECEIVES ‘AA RECOMMENDED SPA’ RATING Luxury Down Hall Hotel, Spa & Estate has received an ‘AA Recommended Spa’ rating from the AA establishing it amongst the most noteworthy in the country. The AA ratings aim is to showcase those spas worth visiting that are a key part of the hotel experience. AA Inspectors assess quality elements, such as: reception, changing rooms, wet areas, gyms and treatment rooms along with high standards of guest service and cleanliness. Linden Beattie, General Manager at Down Hall, said: “It’s great to be recognised as an AA Recommended Spa. We take great pride in our Eden spa and its bespoke treatments, providing a luxury wellness space with high quality facilities for guests to relax and unwind. This rating is a credit to the team’s ongoing hard work and dedication”. The Eden Spa boasts ultra-modern facilities, including a hydrotherapy pool, a mood-lit sauna; a state-of-the-art steam room with starry-night feature lighting; a wellness power shower; relaxation beds and spacious changing rooms. There are four treatment rooms, including a double suite, filled with ESPA natural skin and spa products plus world leading nail care from Jessica for manicures and pedicures. Visit: FENNES OFFERS NEW DÉCOR PACKAGES Fennes has announced the launch of its brand new décor packages! Say hello to fresh and fabulous new designs that will enhance your wedding theme. The venue has got everything covered - including centrepieces, table decorations, garlands and flower walls. Fennes can create bespoke packages for their couples’ special requirements, ranging from menu cards, charger plates to acrylic stands. Fennes is an elegant Georgian Manor House situated in 100 acres of tranquil North Essex countryside. It is offered as your home for the day, with exclusive use of all facilities guaranteed. For further information, call +44 (0)1376 324555 or email the team at: 9 NEWS

LUCY’S NEW JACKET RANGE Lucy Can’t Dance specialises in alternative wedding dresses for non-traditional brides, experimenting with laces and colour techniques to give you exciting, elegant wedding dress designs. An Essex Wedding magazine had a quick chat Lucy to find out more about the new and modern jacket designs she has added to her range of bridal accessories! Lucy says, “We’ve always loved a bridal jacket so were itching to make a range to complement our dresses. I love sustainability and one-of-a-kind pieces so I decided to source awesome vintage jackets and customise them with bespoke designs. This gave jackets a whole new lease of life and also makes the jackets more affordable to our brides. I love that there’s only ever one of each design which makes them even more special. We design and print all the jackets ourselves right in our studio in Chelmsford. Being able to print anything we like is so exciting for us. We can also make custom prints for our brides who want something special to them. The collection includes lots of tassels you can shimmy the night away in.” Keep your eyes peeled as the boutique will be launching collections of jackets every couple of months. GREENWOODS RAISE OVER £3,500 FOR ESSEX CHARITIES Over 100 people enjoyed tea, cake and entertainment at Greenwoods Hotel & Spa on Sunday 19th November for a fundraiser supporting two essential charities. The event which took place in the afternoon included a luxury raffle with donations from local businesses which raised over £3,500 for the East Anglia Air Ambulance and Brake, the road safety charity that helps support families affected by road crashes as well campaign for safe and healthy mobility for all. Raffle prizes included spa day and afternoon vouchers as well as flowers, champagne and children’s gifts. A spokesperson for Greenwoods said: “Greenwoods has always been at the heart of the Stock community and was actually a children’s home at one point in its history. It’s lovely to be able to host a fundraiser and raise such an impressive amount, too!” Everyone at Greenwoods would like to thank all those to joined on the day to make it such a success and wish everyone a happy and peaceful Christmas. For more information about Greenwoods Hotel and Spa, visit A CHAT WITH... An Essex Wedding had the opportunity to speak with Abigail from Prestige Petals, the florist that can work with both fresh and high-end artificial flowers as well as décor hire. Abigail told us, “I started in 2020, just started making Christmas decorations which has since snowballed into wedding décor, corporate events and photoshoot set ups. “Since starting Prestige Petals Essex, I’ve had the opportunity to work for some amazing people and places. This includes, weddings at Hever Castle, St Pauls and Claridge’s in London, as well as most of the amazing Essex wedding venues. I’ve had the honour of working for In The Style, which has allowed me to work with Stacey Soloman, Billie Shepard, Olivia Bowen, Lorna Luxe, Dame Deborah James, Lad Baby Mum and Jac Jossa multiple times, from delivering them bouquets to photoshoot set ups. Also, Prestige Petals Essex do all the centrepieces for the Retail Week Awards, which last year was hosted by Paddy McGuinness. This is around 100 centrepieces which are all fresh! This year we’ll be at the Grosvenor Hotel. We have 72 hours to do all the prepping of the flowers, making arrangements, transporting them to London, set up, and collection! It’s brilliant.” To get in touch visit: In The Style 10 Get in Touch! I am the founder of Celine’s Home Made Bakes and I make all your gorgeous cakes from my 5* kitchen at home. All the cakes I bake are bespoke and tailored to suit your individual theme, taste and style. To accompany the delicious cakes I also handcraft sugarpaste flowers, and other decorative designs. My aim on every cake is to create a breathtaking centerpiece, with sharp edges and a flawless finished piece of art. Based in Leaden Roding near Great Dunmow, we specialise in bespoke floral arrangements for your wedding day, fresh and silk flowers available. For a free no obligation quote, call Alison on 07988 824332 or email ALISONWHITEWEDDINGFLOWERS.CO.UK Alison White Wedding Flowers a_whitewedding ALSO AT MARTELS WEDDING VILLAGE, HIGH EASTER ROAD, BARNSTON, ESSEX CM6 1NA Alison White Wedding Flowers Costa Weddings UK Advanced Aesthetic Practitioner, o ering high-quality treatments to suit your needs AND MUCH MORE... WWW.KALLISTAAESTHETICS.CO.UK 07572 543312 | • Anti-wrinkle injections • Thread Vein Removal • Dermal Fillers • Lip Enhancement • Fat-dissolving Injections • Chemical Peel Private clinic with free parking Sustainable - Beautiful - Natural Dry hire venue in North Essex, available for weekend weddings between May and September BRICKWALL FARM - SIBLE HEDINGHAM - CO9 3RH

Say ‘I do’ to wedding insurance Financial protection for weddings up to £100,000 Cancellation and rearrangement Financial failure of wedding services suppliers £2m personal liability included as standard Additional cover for Public Liability, COVID-19, Overseas Weddings, Marquee and more Prices from just £38.99 one-off payment Policy Terms and Conditions apply. Wedinsure is a trading name of Insuremore Ltd. Registered Office: 282 Leigh Rd, Leigh on Sea, Essex SS9 1BW. Registered in England No. 10525133. Insuremore Ltd are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority No. 824996.

Great giveaways and discounts up for grabs C’EST CHIC! J’adore Bridalwear is offering An Essex Wedding magazine readers 10 per cent off new collections. The new lines are by designers: Luna Novias by Rosa Clara, Aire Barcelona by Rosa Clara, Demetrios and Cosmobella as well as a Tania Olsen & White Studio collection To apply for the discount just mention An Essex Wedding magazine when making your appointment. The offer will run for purchases made before 29th February 2024. J’adore Bridalwear is a beautiful bridal boutique, situated in the heart of the picturesque market town of Coggeshall. When visiting the boutique, you’ll be allocated your own dedicated dress consultant, and offered an exclusive two-hour appointment with the boutique entirely to yourselves, giving you and your guests the freedom to enjoy the excitement and anticipation of trying stunning wedding gowns in complete privacy. To arrange your appointment call: 01376 791 835. Visit: JEWELLERY MUST-HAVES Independent British brand Scream Pretty is giving readers the chance to win £150 to spend online at Say ‘I do’ to wedding season and RSVP to any summer soiree in style with Scream Pretty’s stunning treasure trove of jewellery. From lustrous opulent pearls, playful floral motifs, colourful touches and statement sparkle, Scream Pretty’s collection of consciously crafted recycled-sterling silver and gold-plated recycled-sterling silver designs have something for every wedding party. Its Modern Pearl collection features classically chic Baroque pearl necklaces and charm hoops, or for a touch more glam, why not opt for the Pearl and Tennis Chain earrings? Elsewhere, its Simple Sparkle and Audrey ranges bring sparkling crystals across a host of earring designs from dazzling huggies, beautiful bows, signature drop studs and delicate threaders; all designed to mix, match, layer, and stack, sitting as intricate accents that can be worn in piercings across the ear for a dainty curated look. For bridesmaids’ gifts, Scream Pretty’s Zodiac Coin Pendants make thoughtful personalised gifts, whilst its collection of heart, oval and precious hand carabiner charm collectors make the perfect keepsake. Designed with the ethos ‘Be seen. Be heard. Scream Pretty.’, this jewellery brand has you covered for every occasion. Freebies& OFFERS YOU’RE WELCOME Lottie Louise Designs, provides modern and on-trend bespoke wedding stationery, from table plans to neon backdrop displays, illustrated signage, menus, and even personalised disco balls, designed and created to match the couple’s individual style, all designed, created and hand-finished at the business’ studio in Essex. Showroom appointments are also available! Lottie has teamed up with An Essex Wedding magazine to offer readers a free A1 Welcome Sign customised to their choice worth £140 when you place an order (minimum order value of £300). Simply enter ‘ESSEXWEDDINGA1’ upon enquiry. This offer is valid until 30th April, 2024. Visit or contact them via email at: FREEBIES & OFFERS 13

SUN, 25 FEB 2024 CAVE HOTEL Brickfield Lane, Boughton, ME13 9AJ ALL EVENTS 11AM - 3PM unless otherwise stated 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. 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 HERTFORDSHIRE SUN, 25 FEB 2024 AUDLEYS WOOD HOTEL Alton Road, Basingstoke, RG25 2JT HAMPSHIRE 12PM-4PM SUN, 3 MAR 2024 WARE PRIORY High Street, Ware, SG12 9AL As part of KD Events and Publishing Ltd, County Wedding Events (CWE) is ideally placed to offer you a wealth of experience organising events in the wedding industry. If you would like more information about either holding a wedding show at your venue or exhibiting at any of our shows, please contact us at, call 01376 514000 or visit WORK WITH US

ESSEX 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, 19 MAY 2024 ST OSYTH PRIORY West Field Lane, St Osyth, CO16 8GW 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, 25 FEB 2024 FYNN VALLEY Witnesham, Ipswich, IP6 9JA SUN, 21 APR 2024 RAVENWOOD HALL HOTEL Rougham, Bury St Edmunds, IP30 9JA CAMBRIDGESHIRE SUN, 17 MAR 2024 SWYNFORD MANOR London Road, Six Mile Bottom, CB8 0UE 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, 18 FEB 2024 RUSHTON HALL Desborough Road, Rushton, NN14 1RR LEICESTERSHIRE SUN, 28 JAN 2024 STAPLEFORD PARK Stapleford, LE14 2EF NORTHAMPTONSHIRE /CountyWeddingEvents @CountyWedEvent @countyweddingevents

• 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 Brooklands Drive, Weybridge, KT13 0SL SUNDAY 28TH APRIL 2024 | 11AM - 3:00PM MERCEDES-BENZ WORLD High Street, Berkshire, SL5 7JX SUNDAY 7TH APRIL 2024 | 11AM - 3.30PM ASCOT RACECOURSE

Marygreen Manor Hotel Your Dream Wedding starts with choosing the perfect venue. The Marygreen Manor is a Tudor Manor House dating from the 16th Century and was originally home to Henry. Roper, Gentleman Servant to Catherine of Aragon. This stunning venue, set in beautiful grounds, provides the perfect backdrop to your special day. Its abundance of Oak Beams, cosy Inglenook Fireplaces and quaint features are steeped in history and exude character and charm. Complete with Period Function Rooms, Secluded Garden, Delicious Food, Exceptional Service and a range of Stunning Guest Accommodation your search for the perfect venue ends here. Contact us now to arrange your private viewing: 01277 225252 | | Marygreen Manor hotel, London Road, Brentwood, Essex, CM14 4NR THE PERFECT VENUE FOR YOUR DREAM WEDDING! ALL INCLUSIVE WEDDING PACKAGES FROM ONLY £4,895.00 VISIT US ON OUR WEDDING OPEN DAY 17/02/24 10AM-5PM

Pre-register for all of our events at ASCOT RACECOURSE, 7TH APRIL 2024 MERCEDES-BENZ WORLD, 28TH APRIL 2024 X Sarah Here at County Wedding Magazines and Events HQ we’re looking forward to kickstarting our Spring 2024 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

Where serenity and sophistication meet in one magnificent estate. Braxted Park Estate, Witham, Essex CM8 3EN • Telephone: 01621 770855 Image by Matt Wing Photography

local Wed in and around Braintree 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. GOING 21 LOCAL VENUES

PARKLANDS, QUENDON HALL 01376 324 555 | This beautiful 17th century mansion house, built in the Queen Ann style, makes for an idyllic setting for your wedding any time of the year, utilising the gardens in spring and summer and the cosy, warm rooms in autumn and winter. Time to celebrate You can say your vows in The Tabor Room. What would have been the traditional ballroom in the old Mansion House is now a neutral, bright and beautiful blank canvas with windows and doors opening out onto a patio and front garden, overlooking the Deer Park. It has a capacity of up to 100. The Drawing room, a traditionally decorated, large but intimate room is perfect for small ceremonies especially on cold evenings, lit with a cosy grand fireplace it has capacity for up to 50. For larger ceremonies, the Pavilion is a bright room adorned with fairylights and chandeliers. Two double doors lead out onto the back garden and moat – and holds a capacity up to 500. For an outdoor ceremony you can marry in the Gazebo, a perfect backdrop to make memories. It can be decorated to suit any wedding theme or still looks simply stunning with no dressing at all. We love... The venue is set in a 100-acre park of rolling hills and avenues of trees, with deer roaming the landscape. BRAINTREE TOWN HALL 01376 557 776 | You couldn’t get more local to Braintree than the Town Hall itself! Dating back to 1927, Braintree Town Hall provides a memorable setting for weddings. Originally a gift to the town from the Courtauld family, this impressive Georgian building boasts beautiful windows and detailing, all in the heart of the town centre. Inside, have photos taken on the sweeping staircase, before admiring the crafted stone pillars, yet another ideal backdrop for beautiful pictures. Time to celebrate Ceremonies take place in the Lounge Room, for small intimate gatherings of up to 36 guests, and the Council Chamber, a beautiful oak panelled room with hand-painted murals for ceremonies of up to 70. Post-vows, additional rooms are available to hire for post drinks receptions. We love... A special feature of the exterior of the Town Hall is the fine open tower with its chiming clock and Braintree coat of arms. 22

FENNES 01376 324 555 | Fennes offers the magnificent grandeur of a beautiful stately home with a charmingly intimate atmosphere. The impressive high ceilings, spacious rooms and opulent décor provide an exquisite setting. With endless flexibility and opportunity for weddings, ceremonies, receptions, and Asian weddings; from the small and intimate or large and lavish, there’s a variety of rooms and spaces from traditional and richly styled rooms with log fires burning to large and silk-lined pavilions adorned with chandeliers and star lit ceilings, overlooking picturesque English gardens. Time to celebrate You can say your vows in the Drawing Room or Dining Room, both welcoming up to 30 guests. Alternatively, The Pavilion is a beautiful bright room adorned with fairylights and chandeliers. Two double doors lead out onto a patio to enjoy warm evenings with views over the gardens, through to the fields in the distance and has a capacity up to 300. Outdoor ceremony areas include the gazebo, in front of the iconic bridge or in the woodland area, picture perfect in the spring with daffodils scattered across the grounds, and providing a natural picturesque, shaded wedding in the summer. It has capacity for 150. For your reception, as well as the Pavillion, Fennes offers the Banqueting Hall. This area hosts 700 guests and has its own private ‘secret’ garden. We love... The iconic bridge over the picturesque pond is a firm favourite with couples and photographers. PIG & WHISTLE RESTAURANT 01245 443186 | Located in a 16th century wood-beamed property, this restaurant, only 10 miles from Braintree, has been transformed into an award-winning location with an indoor and outdoor license for weddings and civil ceremonies. Providing stunning views across the Essex countryside from its outside decking area and sun terrace, inside you’ll discover luxurious and opulent décor. Time to celebrate The Pig & Whistle Restaurant can accommodate 30 guests with a choice of spaces. Choose either its traditional room with wooden floor and beamed ceilings, or the dining room; decorated with dressers and opulent drapes. You can then host a reception for 30 guests for a wedding breakfast in either area, before inviting an additional 40 for an evening reception with space for celebrating into the night. We love... The restaurant’s chefs can create special menus using locally sourced ingredients to suit your tastes. Georgina Bennett Georgina Bennett LOCAL VENUES 23

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

barns Majestic barns offer so many opportunities to get creative... OLD BROOK BARN 0774 711 6100 | Old Brook Barn is a magnificent barn located in approximately 23 acres in a rural location in the village of Navestock. Exclusively yours to enjoy on your wedding day with a stunning natural brook, decking area, willow trees and meadow fields, you couldn’t wish for a more perfect setting. Celebrate in style Old Brook Barn is licensed for civil marriages and partnerships in its beautiful barn and outside under the fabulous painted gazebo. For smaller, more intimate ceremonies, it can accommodate (seated) up to 100 guests in the old barn, and up to 100 guests in the upstairs Minstrels Gallery. An outside ceremony in the Secret Garden will seat up to 150 guests. While the natural characteristics of the Barn create the perfect atmosphere and ambiance for your big day, it’s also fully equipped with modern lighting, wireless microphone and PA system, which will take care of your audio requirements - with ample space to dance the night away. We love... Old Brook Barn now offers couples a beautiful Honeymoon Cottage with views across to the secret garden entrance. BEAUTIFUL 25 THEMED VENUES

THE BARN BRASSERIE 01206 212 345 | The exterior of The Barn showcases a meticulously maintained 16th Century Grade II listed timber structure, renowned as one of England’s most extensive thatched barns. Its preservation reflects its historical significance, artfully blending sublime contemporary touches with traditional elements such as the iconic thatched roof and sturdy oak beams. Renovated by skilled artisans, it exudes a harmonious fusion of heritage and modern design. Celebrate in style For your ceremony, you may wed in the Galleria: an elevated space within the main Barn, accommodating 40 to 50 guests. Additional capacity is available on the ground floor, extending the total capacity to accommodate up to 150 to 180 guests. Secondly is The Colony. Ideal for intimate weddings, The Colony provides an intimate setting for ceremonies hosting up to 30 guests. Lastly, the Secret Garden is a newly developed outdoor space. The Secret Garden will be available from summer 2024, designed specifically for enchanting outdoor ceremonies. It will comfortably accommodate approximately 120 guests, providing a charming and picturesque setting for your special day. Moving forward, the reception unfolds into the inviting courtyard, where the charming ambiance sets the tone for an enjoyable gathering. Additionally, the bar area provides a setting for guests to mingle. We love... The Barn is nestled in the countryside on the outskirts of Great Tey, boasting picturesque surroundings that perfectly complement its charm. CRONDON PARK 01277 841 115 | Crondon Park is an impressive wedding venue, located in the picturesque village of Stock. Weddings can take place in the fairy lit ceremony room, with a seated capacity of 100 or outdoors, theatre style within the Baronial Garden. Celebrate in style Enjoy your wedding breakfast and evening reception in the Baronial Hall; one of the finest examples of a Tudor/Jacobean light oak beamed barn. With a maximum capacity of 148 for meal service, and 220 for an evening reception, it’s fully air conditioned and features fairylights and bay trees. We love... Crondon Park now offers their night before Lily room. To sleep up to eight people and with check in from 4pm the day before the wedding, it ensures the bridal parties have a relaxed start to their day and can start their bridal preparation as early as they require. There’s also a luxurious bridal suite with private parking, courtyard with water feature and countryside views, as well as five additional ensuite guest bedrooms. 26

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 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 |

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 | Essex | CO6 1RT 01376 561448 Photos courtesy of Beth Beresford Photography, Shianne Mercer, Jessica Moore, Kris Lissimore, Farlie Photography, Matt Wing, Big Fish Photography & Daniel Acklerley Photography

THE CANARY SHED 01621 786 503 | The Canary Shed is a restored traditional Essex Black Barn. Its traditional exterior hides a quirky interior which can be decorated as required so that couples can add their own personal touches making the venue original to them. Celebrate in style Whilst The Canary Shed can hold up to 120 guests, it’s able to accommodate up to 80 guests for legal ceremonies. Ceremonies take place outside under a gazebo in the courtyard area or indoors in The Canary Shed. A smaller intimate ceremony can take place in the largest barn, The Granary, which can accommodate up to 30 guests. All receptions are held in The Canary Shed which can be set up by the couple the day before, whether for a formal sit down do or a more relaxed buffet or festival style reception. The Canary Shed opens out on to a courtyard area therefore additional seating can be set up outside if required. The courtyard area is a perfect space for photographs and post ceremony and reception drinks. We love... Guests can even visit the on-site goats and walk through the newly planted vineyard. CHANNELS ESTATE 01245 440 005 | What to expect The Barn is located on the Channels Estate, with Channels Hotel and Restaurant only a stone’s throw away. The main entrance to the venue is impressive, and perfect to park that wedding car for amazing photo opportunities. This 17th century Essex Barn is full of character and charm, with open beams. Family owned and run for 50 years, with exceptional food and service, it’s simply perfect to celebrate your marriage. Time to celebrate The Thatched Barn has a large, delightful and private garden, with a fully stocked outside bar. The rustic church pews and thatched cart house are known as the ‘Church without a Roof’. The ceremony can also be held indoors if the weather isn’t suitable. Ceremonies can take place in the garden, where the maximum is 140 guests, or in the Barn where a maximum of 130 guests is possible. For your reception, The Essex Barn can seat between 40 and 140 guests for the wedding breakfast, and up to 200 for the evening informal party. WE LOVE Channels Hotel has 32 four-star Gold Award bedrooms, including a specifically created bridal preparation area, and an amazing honeymoon suite. LOCAL VENUES 29

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 BRIDESMAIDS BRIDAL GOWNS BRIDAL ACCESSORIES 01376 587 949 DRESSCODENINE.CO.UK LOCATED IN BRAINTREE

afte With rustic vibes throughout, Jo and Nick’s wedding at Houchins was a bohemian dream Images courtesy of Le Beau Photography They say everything happens for a reason and it seems the stars aligned for Jo and Nick. Nick moved back to the village that he grew up in to take over the running of the local village pub with his cousin Adam - and on that opening night is when Nick clapped eyes on Jo! They had met their match. Jo tells us, “Nick proposed to me in Budapest at the Szechenyi Thermal Baths on the 5th December 2019.” A little later than expected due to lockdown, on 6th October 2023, the day finally came and Jo and Nick tied the knot at Houchins. Here, Jo shares some of her favourite moments from their big day... HAPPILY EVER 31 REAL WEDDINGS

Gareth Kalyan who is quite well known in the world of magic ran our whole day and did all of our announcements and entertained our guests from when they arrived until after the first dance. The men wore brown tweed suits. Nick had a different colour waistcoat to our son George and the best man in a burnt orange shade. I wore a dress made by Allure Bridal with a touch of lace and beading with long sleeves. We adored the mix of rustic and modern. I particularly loved the long walk along the garden path up to the aisle. We loved that Houchins was a run by a small team. Contained in a walled garden, Houchins is very picturesque, it’s a stunning venue. 32

Splinters Caterers supplied a two-course BBQ with several side dishes followed by a trio of desserts We chose a white chocolate and raspberry cake on top with a mixture of different flavoured cookies and blondies and brownies underneath. My bouquets were a loose rustic boho vibe, with a bit of pampas. We had five tall floral arrangements and added tall hurricane vases with a mix of floating candles and pillar candles. Some tables had bud vases and brass candlesticks and on every table I had a neutral runner that I ruffled. The room looked amazing. We hired James Burrage during drinks reception singing and playing guitar. Having our children witness us getting married was so special. Our daughter, Isla, got very emotional seeing us. 33 REAL WEDDINGS

it really was the happiest day and we wouldn’t change a single thing. We had a band in the evening, Jupiter Ray, who were great. JO AND NICK’S LITTLE WHITE BOOK Venue, | Photographer, | Dress, Jewellery & accessories, | Hair stylist, Bridal hair by Natalie Jane | Videographer, Make-up artist, |Suits, |Cake, @emmawiththeredhair Flowers, The Orchid Room | Singing Waiters, | Pampas displays, Caterers, |Bridesmaid dresses, | Band, Singer & guitarist, | Magician & master of ceremonies, We had singing waiters after our meal and they went down amazingly. We feel that all our suppliers really went above and beyond, we really can’t thank them enough for making our day so special. 34

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ME NOT Forget 36

Paige and Danny O’Donoghue’s wedding was bursting with beautiful English blooms in a marquee dressed to the nines at her parent’s home. A dream come true... Images courtesy of Boutique Film & Photography Danny and Paige met the modern way, via Tinder. Love blossomed, as Paige tells us. “Our proposal was just perfect. In 2021, shortly after the birth of our son, Freddie, my now husband Danny booked us a holiday to the Greek island of Santorini. We’ve always had a boat day on any holiday we’ve done together, so it was only right that on this trip, Danny booked a boat for the afternoon. However, this wasn’t any tourist boat this time. I arrived at the port, and a luxury private yacht was waiting for me with the captain handing us a glass of champagne each. We spent the afternoon jumping into the ocean, sipping wine and nibbling on Greek snacks. At sunset, we were taken to the middle of the ocean, where Danny got down on one knee and presented me with a stunning pear-shaped diamond ring.” Danny always wanted to get married in a church and Paige always wanted to get married close to home, so the perfect wedding was planned. Danny O’Donoghue and Paige O’Donoghue wed on 26th August 2023 at All Saints’ Church in Stock followed by a marquee reception at her parents’ home close by. SETTING THE SCENE An English countryside wedding with hints of blush pink was the order of the day. Paige tells us more, “We wanted it to feel as though the outside was growing inside and for the flowers to be taking over. We were looking for sophistication and didn’t want to fall into the rustic category so accomplished this with our decor and chose our suppliers carefully.” The English Garden theme flowed throughout, from bespoke invitations with their chosen flowers drawn in watercolour, to the bridesmaid dresses with floral baskets to the edible flowers served with desserts and the entire marquee being transformed into a garden. “I was definitely inspired by Netflix’s Bridgerton! We spent 18 months planning with our florist how to transform this space. The ceiling of the traditional pole tent marquee was draped with hanging foliage, which hung from 20 strings of Edison light bulbs. On the round tables, we used lower arrangements with candles entwined in the florals. For the sweetheart table, we had two meadows either side with a large arrangement sitting in the middle, with lots of candles on the floor and the table.” Stunning. DRESSED TO IMPRESS Paige chose a Pronovias mermaid gown. “Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve always loved mermaid gowns, so I knew I had to try some on.” Paige explains. “My dreams came true when I found the Pronovias ‘Aethra’ gown. It was the perfected combination of classic yet sexy. It featured a strapless sweetheart plunge neckline and was covered in a sea of three-dimensional flowers (which fitted in with my garden theme) and sequins that subtly sparkled in the light. As I got married in a church, I opted for an over skirt for my grand entrance which I didn’t take off until our cake cutting. It felt so regal with the skirt but by our first dance I was ready to move a bit more, which was an added surprise for the guests as it looked like I was wearing a whole new dress.” Danny decided that traditional morning suit in black and grey would suit the tone of the day, especially as the church dated back to REAL WEDDINGS 37