An Essex Wedding - May/June 2024 (Issue 116)

HISTORY Historic venues to say your vows A £1,000 jewellery voucher to spend at 77 Diamonds FINDING THE ONE Step inside these local bridal boutiques MAY/JUN 2024 £3.55 ESSEXWEDDING WIN! Tiers of joy Wedding cake inspo! Making All you need is love Real weddings

Ceremonies & fine dining celebrations in the Chelmsford countryside for up to 30 people Cosy, in�mate & roman�c

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 £1,000 jewellery voucher to spend at 77 Diamonds CONTENTSMAY/JUNE 2024 VENUES 19 GOING LOCAL Wed in and around Chelmsford 25 HISTORIC VENUES Venues with a story to tell On the cover Our stunning real wedding couple, Laura and Elliott Thornhill married at Greenwoods Hotel & Spa. This image was captured by Liam Gillan Photography. 79 57 FEATURES 41 AUTUMN SPICE Copper tones and hints of gold complemented this editorial shoot that took place at Parklands, Quendon Hall 53 REGAL ROMANCE This styled shoot boasts a springtime look for the modern-day princess 57 SAY YES TO THE DRESS! Find the perfect dress for you, locally, whatever your style... 79 SOMETHING SWEET Cake inspo from these amazing, local designers 3

REAL WEDDINGS 29 ON TOP OF THE WORLD With pops of colour throughout, Katie and Joe enjoyed a fun-filled, vintage-inspired day in the glorious Essex countryside 35 IT’S ALWAYS BEEN YOU Wedding photographer Laura and wedding band guitarist Elliott Thornhill have witnessed their fair share of wedding days. Now it was their turn... 47 LET THE MUSIC PLAY Kassandra and Rob Lambell tied the knot at Mulberry House surrounded by family and friends HONEYMOONS 88 HONEYMOON NEWS Our travel editor reveals the newest openings and honeymoon essentials 90 SOME LIKE IT HOT Remember to pack your sunscreen for these tropical honeymoon destinations 92 BABY, IT’S COLD OUTSIDE Wrap up warm when visiting these chilly honeymoon destinations GROOMS 75 GROOMS’ NEWS The latest best buys and product launches 76 HUE COMPLETE ME We’ve rounded up some of the latest on-trend products for the groom-to-be FASHION & BEAUTY 63 FASHION FOCUS The latest bridal fashion news, buys and launches 65 SHORT AND CHIC These sassy styles are always in fashion 69 BEAUTY Q&A Our local professionals solve your problems 70 BEAUTY BUZZ Get the look with the latest must-haves 73 A FOCUS ON WELLNESS Rachel Westall experienced a dose of wellness and relaxation at the Glass House Retreat 47 25 73 63 76 4


Wedding season is well and truly upon us and the temperature is rising, slowly but surely! My heart sang this Saturday morning... I was driving along the A12, the sun was shining and driving past me was a beautiful, vintage Imperial Viscount. The driver, wearing a top hat, looked calm and ready to collect the bride and escort her to say those special vows. Goosebumps, right? I’m so excited to have my inbox filled from brides and grooms telling me about their days – and I can’t wait to see 2024’s wedding trends put into action. As you may already know, we feature three ‘real weddings’ - that’s you - every issue. So please do get in touch! This May/June edition also has a feature dedicated to cake! Three pages generously filled with mouthwatering designs. We also highlight a range of dresses available from local bridal boutiques if you’re still searching for ‘the one!’ And as always, we have our reader dilemmas answered in our Hot Topic section as well as a Fashion & Beauty Q&A. To submit your own nuptials to grace the pages of An Essex Wedding, get in touch via our website: Happy planning! Wga ed lo d r in e gs Rachel Westall, Editor Rachel x Les Filles En Rouje’s first concealer, Le Correcteur. This princess pooch is lapping up all the attention – what an outfit! Dare to be different in this gown, Season by Madi Lane ISSN 1745-6541 ADVERTISING Account Manager Jessie Wilson | 01376 538 478 An Essex Wedding is solely owned, published and designed by Ellis Media and Events 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 DESIGN 01376 535 616 ACCOUNTS 01376 535 616 MANAGING DIRECTOR Sarah Ellis | 01376 535 602 EDITORIAL Editor Rachel Westall | 01376 535 611

Botswana – if I could honeymoon all over again, this is where it would be! Such a beautiful, modern design that can be altered to your colour scheme, from The Artist Cake I adore the bows on these bridal heels! Win a £1,000 jewellery voucher to spend at 77 Diamonds The flower crown of dreams for our real bride, Katie An autumn inspired styled shoot – gorgeous! EDITOR’S LETTER 7

Here at Simply Sweet Candy Co, we are a family run business based on the Essex coast, we cover Essex and all surrounding areas. Our aim is to work with you to help make your day a special one. With our stunning ice cream tricycle after your ceremony or as a desert after your meal. Day or evening serve is no problem with us, we will work with you. Or try our crazy golf and garden games this will keep your guests entertained for hours. Both will give you some great photo opportunities. See our website for full range. Call: 07787897755 | 01255 860699 Email: KMS Hire provides venue dressing and bespoke styling as well as individual prop hire. With a large range including stunning blossom trees and canopy arches, centrepieces, flower walls, led dance floors, light up letters and much more there is no dream KMS can’t create. WWW.KMSHIRE.COM Shortlisted for Bridal Jewellery Retailer of The Year 2021 & 2022 Visit our website or store today to view our hundreds of wedding & engagement ring samples. Bespoke made to order jewellery up to 40% off RRP

BRAXTED PARK ESTATE OPEN DAY IN OCTOBER 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 Estate 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 20th October, 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 Estate. Braxted Park Estate’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 too. Spaces are limited, so get in touch with the Braxted Park Estate team today on +44 (0)1621 770 855 to book your place. NEWS Nearlywed All the latest from the region THE PAWS ARE BACK IN TOWN! Teaming up with leading canine events company, Pop + Bark, this is the largest outdoor dog celebration of its kind. Situated in the heart of the Essex countryside, the festival welcomes four-legged friends, children and adults alike with a whole host of activities to guarantee a paw-some time all round! The event, taking place Bank Holiday Monday (27th May), welcomes breeds including – Golden Retriever, Labrador, Cockapoo and Cavapoo at allocated time slots, only these breeds will be permitted to enter the festival. Dog lovers attending without their own furry friend are welcome too. Tickets start from £16.75 for adults and £9.75 for children aged 16 or under – food and drink will be charged separately. £2 from every booking will be donated to Guide Dogs, a wonderful UK charity that supports people living with vision impairment. Set within 110-acres of beautiful gardens and grounds of Down Hall Hotel, grab a bite to eat at one of the three food stations, including BBQ smashed beef patties, a mighty seafood or chicken Spanish paella or authentic Italian stone-baked pizzas, curated by the hotel’s Executive Chef Robert Pearce. Goldies can feast on bespoke pup snacks from Rudi’s The Doggy Bakery with treats including all-natural, pupcakes, doughnuts and cookies, and sip on delights from the world’s only Pupuccino Bar, fully stocked with fresh fruits, peanut butter sprinkles, dog-friendly choccy drops and jazzies. Dogs will be free to explore the picturesque grounds and new woodland trail, as well as having plenty of fun with fellow fur babies in the dedicated play zone filled with toys, a ball launcher and splash pool, bubble party and other games. Tickets are available to purchase now: 9 NEWS

HEDINGHAM CASTLE RATED MOST POPULAR CASTLE VENUE Nestled in the picturesque landscapes of Essex, Hedingham Castle has secured its position as the highest rated castle for weddings across the UK. Following extensive research conducted by online business, StoryBoards, Hedingham Castle emerged as the nation’s top-rated wedding venue. The comprehensive study, drawing data from a popular wedding planning website, meticulously evaluated over 70 castle venues on the site. With an impressive tally of 370 five-star reviews, Hedingham Castle topped the list, securing a perfect score of ‘10’. Demetra Lindsay, who owns the Hedingham estate with her husband Jason, expressed profound delight at this recognition, attributing the achievement to the unwavering dedication of the castle’s exceptional team. Built in the 12th century, the 900-year-old iconic Norman keep not only serves as an impressive wedding location but also welcomes visitors with exciting events such as jousting and archery, outdoor theatre and cinema, alongside educational school visits. Last year, Jason and Demetra completed a two-year project to install a bedroom, the Royal Chamber, at the very top of the castle - the only modern bedroom in the Norman Keep in the country. The Royal Chamber is available to hire on a Bed & Breakfast or Dinner Bed & Breakfast basis and is also available for couples to spend their wedding night. For more information about Hedingham Castle, visit the website: ESSEX ACCENT NAMED AS MOST ‘DESIRABLE’ IN THE BRITISH ISLES Accents contribute to our sense of identity and can be perceived and heard in many ways, with some being deemed more ‘attractive’ than others. Recently, the Hearing Care Partnership analysed trend platform Glimpse to reveal what accents Brits find most desirable. Ashish Shah, audiologist at The Hearing Care Partnership, comments on the findings, “Coined for being one of the most recognisable accents in the UK, the Essex accent takes the top spot for being the most desired accent, with a one-month search increase of 59 per cent. This could be attributed to the fact that the accent has been hugely popularised by reality TV shows like The Only Way Is Essex, known for its witty oneliners and charming Essex slang. This is shortly followed by the Geordie accent, which had a one month increase of 46 per cent, and the West Country accent by 28 per cent. This data also highlights that accents in the South of England are the most loved, with two out of the three top accents on the list being in the south region.” So, what accents were found to be the least desirable? “Scottish and Yorkshire accents were deemed the least desirable out of the accents listed, both decreasing in searches month on month. Both of these accents are known for being quite strong, which in turn can interfere with their line of communication. The Scottish accent can be even more challenging, as the country has different dialects within it, making it quite difficult to follow and pick up.” Ashish goes on to say, “No matter how subtle or strong, an accent is something that everyone has. It plays a significant role in the way we articulate ourselves, communicate, and connect to those around us. The tonality, pitch, and pace of speech can change how we feel. So no wonder we’re drawn to different accents!” Visit for more information about their expert care hearing services. Broadhouse Media ABIGAIL’S COLLECTION & THE GROOM’S ROOM WIN BRIDAL RETAIL INDUSTRY OSCAR! Colchester based wedding business ‘Abigail’s Collection & The Groom’s Room’ has been celebrating after a winning a prestigious national award in Harrogate. The team has scooped their 30th business award ‘Longstanding Established Retailer of the Year’ at an important industry event where the elite of bridal retail gathered for an evening of recognition and celebration of the bridal sector. The awards celebrate the achievements of the very best bridal retailers from across UK and Ireland. This prestigious event is the most admired and highly respected in the industry. Business founder Abigail Neill, said, “We’re very blessed to have built an awesome bridal and menswear business, it’s a small but very personal and private retail space and we strive to ensure our customers feel really special. Together my Husband Rob and I employ a dedicated, passionate and hard-working team. Our customers are our absolute focus and we all genuinely love what we do! Helping our customers plan for the biggest day of their lives is a massive privilege and despite the long hours it’s an amazing and rewarding business to be in - we all feel this way.” The business serves several hundred wedding customers every year and has a looked after many celebrity customers over the years including Olly Murs and Rylan Clarke. Rob Neill, business owner and Head of the Groomsmen’s department says, “We have a very special wedding retail concept, we offer exclusive VIP appointments for every customer at every appointment, complimentary refreshments in an unbeatable retail and Instagrammable environment.” For VIP complimentary bridal or menswear wedding attire appointments contact the team on Instagram: @abigailscollection and at @thegroomsroom 10

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

SbN_Wedding_Venue 01206 262836 Stoke by Nayland Resort, Keepers Lane, Leavenheath, Colchester CO6 4PZ The perfect destination for your wedding weekend That Amazing Place Hubbards Hall Drive, off Churchgate Street, Old Harlow, Essex, CM17 0NH 01279 354455 EXCLUSIVE USE COUNTRY HOUSE WITH HONEYMOON COTTAGE & 14 BEDROOMS, SLEEPING 31 GUESTS Pre-wedding accommodation available in The Wedding Lodge, with bridal preparation rooms, sleeping 8 guests.

TIME FOR TEA Set in beautiful English countryside, Greenwoods Hotel & Spa is a Grade II Listed 17th Century manor house which has been lovingly restored and developed to provide the perfect venue for any occasion. Dine in exquisite surroundings in the AA rosette awarded restaurant, pamper yourself at the spa or simply put your feet up and enjoy a well deserved rest. An Essex Wedding magazine has teamed up with Greenwoods Hotel & Spa to offer our readers a traditional or vegan afternoon tea for two people, which can be used any day of the week. The voucher will be valid for six months. Do make your reservation in advance! To be in with a chance of winning, visit: The deadline to enter is, 30th June 2024. MADE WITH LOVE Win £150 to spend on handmade and personalised jewellery at Posh Totty Designs! Award-winning UK jewellery brand, Posh Totty Designs is giving away a £150 voucher to spend on beautiful handmade and personalised pieces from its stunning Wedding Collection. Posh Totty Designs is a female-led business with boutique stores in both London and the brand’s hometown Brighton. Every piece is crafted with love by a team of professional jewellers in its coastal workshop, using high-quality recycled sterling silver and gold, and ethically sourced gemstones. The workshop team can personalise your jewellery to create something completely unique and meaningful to you, whether it be bridesmaids’ necklaces inset with their birthstones, or cufflinks for the groomsmen hand-stamped with initials and the wedding date. Blending timeless style with emotion and sentiment, choose the perfect piece for your perfect day. Visit to view the full collection. For your chance to win, enter via the website by 31st July. Terms and conditions apply. Great giveaways and discounts up for grabs Freebies & OFFERS FREEBIES & OFFERS 13

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 AUTUMN 2024 As part of Ellis Media and Events 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 KENT SUN, 8 SEP 2024 CAVE HOTEL Brickfield Lane, Boughton, Kent, ME13 9AJ SUN, 20 OCT 2024 BRADBOURNE HOUSE New Rd, East Malling, ME19 6DZ SUN, 10 NOV 2024 PENHURST PLACE Penshurst, Kent, TN11 8DG SUN, 15 SEP 2024 LYMPNE CASTLE The Street, Lympne, CT21 4LQ SUSSEX SUN, 20 OCT 2024 SELDEN BARNS Selden Lane, Patching, Worthing, BN13 3UL SURREY SUN, 10 NOV 2024 NUTFIELD PRIORY Nutfield Road, Nutfield, Redhill, RH1 4EL

HERTFORDSHIRE SUN, 6 OCT 2024 MICKLEFIELD HALL Sarratt Road, Sarratt, WD3 6AQ SUN, 29 SEP 2024 LUTON HOO Luton Hoo Estate, Luton, LU1 4LF BEDFORDSHIRE SUN, 22 SEP 2024 RACKLEYS Marlow Road, Cadmore End, HP14 3PP SUN, 1 SEP 2024 CHENIES MANOR Rickmansworth, WD3 6ER BUCKINGHAMSHIRE SUN, 17 NOV 2024 WARE PRIORY High Street, Ware, SG12 9AL SUN, 3 NOV 2024 LATIMER ESTATE Chesham, HP5 1UG SUN, 29 SEP 2024 BURNHAM BEECHES Grove Road, Burnham, SL1 8DP SUN, 27 OCT 2024 RUSHTON HALL Desborough Road, Rushton, NN14 1RR HAMPSHIRE SUN, 22 SEP 2024 AUDLEYS WOOD HOTEL Alton Road, Basingstoke, RG25 2J NORTHAMPTONSHIRE SUN, 3 NOV 2024 STAPLEFORD PARK Stapleford, Melton Mowbray, LE14 2EF LEICESTERSHIRE 12PM-4PM

SUN, 15 SEP 2024 KIMBERLEY HALL Estate Office, Wymondham, NR18 0RT NORFOLK SUN, 29 SEP 2024 SPROWSTON MANOR Wroxham Road, Norwich, NR7 8RP SUFFOLK SUN, 6 OCT 2024 RAVENWOOD HALL HOTEL Rougham, Bury St Edmunds, IP30 9JA SUN, 27 OCT 2024 THE MILSOMS Hall Road, Ipswich, Suffolk, IP5 2PU /CountyWeddingEvents @CountyWedEvent @countyweddingevents FOLLOW US ON SOCIAL MEDIA ESSEX SUN, 22 SEP 2024 PRESTED HALL Feering, Colchester, Essex, CO5 9EE SUN, 1 SEP 2024 OLD ESSEX BARN Cranes Lane, Kelvedon, Colchester, CO5 9AX SUN, 20 OCT 2024 BRAXTED PARK Braxted Park Estate, Great Braxted, CM8 3EN SUN, 15 SEP 2024 ORSETT HALL Prince Charles Avenue, Orsett, Essex, RM16 3HS SUN, 27 OCT 2024 LAYER MARNEY TOWER Layer Marney, Colchester, Essex, CO5 9US

Signature • 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 6TH OCT 2024 | 11AM - 3PM BLUEWATER Brooklands Drive, Weybridge, KT13 0SL SUNDAY 13TH OCT | 11AM - 3PM MERCEDES-BENZ WORLD High Street, Berkshire, SL5 7JX SUNDAY 27TH OCT 2024 | 11AM - 3PM ASCOT RACECOURSE WEDDING SHOWS

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

local Wed in and around Chelmsford! BRAXTED PARK ESTATE 01621 770 855 | What to expect At the heart of a vast walled estate, you’ll find Braxted Park Estate’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 yearround interest each provides creates beautiful and varied backdrops for wedding photographs. Time to celebrate 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 Estate 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 newly renovated Garden Cottage is one of the most luxurious honeymoon suites in Essex. Nestled in the heart of the Estate, it’s a stunning retreat for newlyweds to retire to after a day of celebrating. Meanwhile, loved ones can enjoy a relaxing night’s stay just a few steps from the Pavilion, too. GOING 19 LOCAL VENUES

PIG & WHISTLE RESTAURANT 01245 443186 | What to expect 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, opulent drapes and sparkling blossom ceiling. 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. 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. 20

NEW VENUE Hatfield Place is an exquisite Georgian country house which is the perfect setting for your wedding celebration. 01245 381523 The Street, Hatfield Peverel, Essex CM3 2ET We would love to meet with you to discuss your perfect wedding so please contact us today. The most romantic venue in the country a magnificent marriage begins in a magnificent place Get in touch to book a private viewing | | 01787 460261 As seen on

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. 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 | The Lawn Wedding Fair Sunday 15th September 11am - 3pm - Free entry and parking The beautiful Rayleigh Windmill is a Grade II listed building, nestled in the heart of Rayleigh and located next to a gorgeous garden that lends itself to photographs. With seating for up to 20 guests, it’s an intimate venue for your ceremony. 01702 318120 | Laura Lea Photography Clare Kentish Photography 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

GREENWOODS HOTEL & SPA 01277 829 990 | What to expect Situated in the rural village of Stock in Essex, the 17th century manor house is set in over 10 acres of landscaped gardens. Renovated and totally refurbished within the last 10 years, the façade and stunning dome-style entrance, together with a sweeping stone staircase has real wow factor. Time to celebrate The Manor House is steeped in history and real care has been taken to ensure the original features of the Library and Boardroom suites including original fireplaces, decorative wood panelling and impressive chandeliers. These rooms hold up to 20 guests for a ceremony and wedding breakfast. Proud to offer a truly bespoke experience, the venue’s talented chefs offer a variety of wedding breakfast and evening celebration menus and can cater for all dietary needs. The Garden Suite is the result of a million-pound renovation and refurbishment programme of the venue and this contemporary space with its floor to ceiling windows, incorporating the original brick of the garden wall, the high spec facilities include presentation screens, partitions to suit all party sizes and a fabulous bar! It has the capacity to welcome up to 200 guests. We love... There’s a stunning suite at the top of the venue, a really luxurious hideaway with sofa, king-sized bed and free-standing bath. PONTLANDS PARK 01245 476 444 | What to expect An impressive Victorian House surrounded by beautifully landscaped gardens make Pontlands Park the ideal setting for you to celebrate your love and commitment. Lovingly restored internally to a contemporary finish, in the main house you’re surrounded by history. The staircase offers amazing photographic opportunities for couples. Time to celebrate The garden gazebo creates a wonderful setting for your ceremony and can seat up to 100 guests, or the intimate Lilli Suite overlooking the gardens and pond area, ideal to accommodate up to 70 guests. Bespoke wedding receptions can take place in the air-conditioned Conservatory Suite, welcoming up to 90 guests, where couples can create a stunning theme for their unforgettable day. We love... The Victorian house is set in grounds that has an eye-catching landscaped garden, with a picturesque bridge and pond. LOCAL VENUES 23

RAYLEIGH WINDMILL 01702 318 120 | The beautiful Rayleigh Windmill is a Grade II listed building more than 215 years old, whose iconic sails are a perfect backdrop for your photographs. Time to celebrate The Rayleigh Windmill is a historic venue for your ceremony, with both rustic and traditional wedding flare. It offers an intimate ceremony room for up to 20 of your nearest and dearest. We love... Adjacent to the Windmill are the Windmill Gardens and the historic Rayleigh Mount, which offer a perfect and peaceful setting. history Mark your unforgettable love story in one of these historical venues MAKING LEEZ PRIORY 01245 362 555 | Leez Priory is a stunning Tudor manor house. The ancient red brick architecture is steeped with characterful features including castle-like battlements, leaded windows and an outer gate house complete with original and ornately carved solid oak doors. The historic Great Tower, accessed by a fairytale spiral staircase, is a fantastic feature and can be used for a more intimate ceremony, for photographs and also as the backdrop for your nuptials too. Time to celebrate There’s a choice of eight licensed locations ranging from the Tower to the Coach House Barn to the Great Hall. With such stunning grounds and ancient Tudor backdrops, alfresco wedding ceremonies at Leez Priory are extremely popular including the recently added lake ceremony, where you can say ‘I do’ overlooking a picturesque lake with fountain. Your evening reception can host up to 250 guests. Leez Priory offers you the exclusive use of a charming carriageway, the Great Tower, two reception rooms, bar and a characterful cellar disco. We love... The Tower is a real showstopper either as a stunning backdrop to photos or as an intimate ceremony option. THEMED VENUES 25

OLD HOUSE 01702 318 120 | A romantic, medieval venue located in the heart of historic Rochford. The Old House is a Grade II listed building that has all the fairytale touches of a larger venue but in a charming medieval residence. The magical Old Hall, dating from 1270, hosts 24 ceremony guests. With its stunning altar inspired fireplace and beautiful hammer beam ceiling, this is an enchanting setting to exchange your vows. Time to celebrate The Old House offers two glamourous rooms for members of the wedding party to get ready ahead of the ceremony. You can enjoy cosy reception rooms to toast the happy couple and picturesque garden space perfect for photographs, to capture memories of your special day. We love... The Old House boasts a large garden for exclusive use on your special day. A peaceful setting and beautiful backdrop for your photographs. THE INSTITUTE 01376 323 228 | Built in 1862, The Institute is a Grade II listed theatre situated in Braintree town centre. Having recently undergone a complete transformation – while still preserving the historical charm of the venue – it boasts first storey height windows which let in an abundance of light, restored wooden flooring, plus dedicated stage to use to your full advantage. Time to celebrate For your ceremony, the venue plans to obtain a licence in the imminent future, so watch this space! The nearest church is St Mary’s Bocking which is also a two-minute walk away. When it comes to celebrating, at The Institute you’ve four spaces to choose from. First, consider the Main Hall’s auditorium; seating up to 260, it boasts striking purple walls, golden arches and red velvet stage curtains. The Loft, meanwhile, caters for intimate gatherings of up to 60 and can be transformed to suit any theme or style. There’s also the Stage Door Bar, a wood panelled theatre bar complete with piano and eclectic furniture; again for up to 60. Finally, consider the Attic – this well-lit space can comfortably host 100 of your friends and family. Or why not hire the whole venue exclusively yours for the day? We love... As a theatre that hosts regular events, The Institute is also equipped with state-of-the-art lighting and a top-tier sound system for you to use. Warren Woodcraft 26

ST OSYTH PRIORY 01206 430 160 | This fantastic manor house is a collection of buildings dating back to 1100, with the newest addition to the house being Victorian. The ruins of the monastery are a prominent feature and will make the perfect backdrop to any photograph. The abbots tower provides a phenomenal view across the estate. Darcy House has an abundance of historic features, it has been sympathetically restored to complement the wealth of history including original features such as the stone carvings on the window depicting saints which predate the dissolution of the monastery. The detailed wooden touches across fireplaces, doorways and walls retains the history and the grandeur as it once would have been. Time to celebrate For your ceremony, you’re spoilt for choice. There’s Darcy House, where The Gallery and The Great Hall seat up to 110 guests. There’s also the historic chapel which seats up to 60, under the Gatehouse, on the Precinct, and in the Sunken gardens which can host up to 110 guests for a civil ceremony. There are multiple locations for your drink’s reception, such as The Gallery inside Darcy House or outside in the Rose Gardens, The Sunken gardens, The Knot gardens and the precinct. We love... Behind the Priory walls within the 350-acre estate, the gardens and grounds create beautiful scenic memories and impeccable photo opportunities. The gardens are home to natural lakes and a large deer park as well as ancient ruins. HOUCHINS 01376 561 448 | The farmhouse at Houchins dates back to 1623 and has been beautifully and sympathetically restored to offer maximum comfort for couples to enjoy. The formally landscaped wedding garden has been cleverly planted to show interest all year. 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 loved ones. 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 people. We love... The Terrace Bar (launched in June 2023) 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. 27 THEMED VENUES


With pops of colour throughout, Katie and Joe enjoyed a fun-filled, vintage-inspired day in the glorious Essex countryside Images courtesy of Just About Weddings Photo And Film Joe proposed to Kaite on 22nd February 2017 on her 30th birthday at the top of the Empire State Building in New York. The trip was a complete surprise and it wasn’t revealed where they were going until Joe asked Katie to look up the flight number on the departures board. The couple have continued to make memories ever since. Katie and Joe became Mr and Mrs Harrison on 15th July 2023 at The Compasses at Pattiswick. Here, Katie shares some of her favourite moments from their big day... ON TOP OF the world 29 REAL WEDDINGS

We loved that the ceremony and reception were in the same place and how friendly all the staff were. Joe and his best man also had a vintage look with tie bars and pocket watches. We instantly knew this is where we’d love our wedding to be. The Compasses at Pattiswick has a rustic charm open plan design surrounded by panoramic unspoilt views of the North Essex countryside. I actually have some info on my dress from the original owner! It was handmade for her by a Parisian couturiere and the lace was handmade in France. This lady got married in Beirut in 1969 and is still happily married today. I love everything vintage – it’s totally my style. 30

We had a gorgeous BBQ by the amazing Lovejoy Catering and Events. We had Colin and Connie the Caterpillar cakes from Marks and Spencer. This is our favourite cake and thought it would be a fun little touch at the wedding. My bouquet, flower crown and maid of honour bouquet was by the talented Violets and Velvet. She couldn’t have done a better job. They were simply stunning. Pops of colour everywhere! My maid of honour wore a baby blue wrap dress. I wore a 1969 vintage wedding dress which I purchased from Cambridge Vintage Bridal and teamed it with baby blue shoes. 31 REAL WEDDINGS

Katie’s top tip! Spend time together, after all this is YOUR day. Our photographer captured absolutely everything, and we couldn’t be more grateful. JOE AND KATIE’S CONTACTS Venue, | Photographer, | Dress, Cambridge Vintage Bridal Make-up artist, | Suits, Suits Direct | Cake, M&S | Flowers, Catering, | Wedding ring Joe, F.Hinds | Wedding ring Katie, Garden games, | Irish Dancers, | DJ, Each table name was inspired by New York where we got engaged. Fortunately, the sun came out for us, as most of July was a washout! We had a DJ in the evening together with some Irish dancers. I’ve danced since I was three and my dad is Irish! Our guests absolutely loved the music and the Irish dancers - most of Joe’s side of the family had never seen me dance. 32 S ecialisin in us ic i ems any ccasi n simplyrustic3 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! 07748 820283 | | @bridal_boutique_martels Martels Wedding Village, High Easter Road, Barnston, Essex, CM6 1NA. 01245 605500 Venue hire from November 2024 to February 2025 just £6,000 Venue hire in March 2025 just £7,000 Winter Wedding Offer


It’s always been you Wedding photographer Laura and Wedding band guitarist Elliott Thornhill have witnessed their fair share of wedding days. Now, at Greenwoods Hotel & Spa, it was their turn... Images courtesy of Liam Gillan 35 REAL WEDDINGS

Laura and met when we were just two years old at playschool. The friends then went on to infant, junior and senior school together. Back in the days that after school you logged into MSN Messenger, the two pals would sit and type to each other. Laura tells us more, “We’d chat for hours on end until one evening, 18th December 2008, Elliott built up the courage to ask me out one final time and to his surprise I said yes - (well, I typed yes!). He considers himself a hero for doing the impossible and making it out of the friendzone! From that day on we’ve been the best of friends, soul mates and each other’s biggest supporters.” On 18th December 2021 (their 13-year anniversary), Elliott proposed. Laura remembers, “It was a surprise in the sense that I had no idea how he’d propose to me but after 13 years, I can’t deny that I was really hoping this would finally be the day! The ring was so perfect and had 13 diamonds in it for the 13 years we’d been together.” 36

On the day they got married, they were both 30 years old and had been together for 15 years and had already spent half of their lives together. On that special date, 18th December 2023, the pair tied the knot at Greenwoods Hotel & Spa. SETTING THE SCENE Lauras’s profession is a wedding photographer, so she knew a fair bit about local venues beforehand! She tells us, “It was tricky at first because on one hand I wanted a venue I hadn’t shot at before so it felt new and special to us but on the other hand, I wanted a venue I had tried and tested! Greenwoods ticked all the boxes as I’d shot there a few times so had encountered their lovely staff and sampled their amazing food but I’d only shot in their smaller suites which meant their larger Garden Suite felt brand new to me. Being a winter wedding, we loved the warm and cozy feeling throughout, the mix of old and modern and everything being in one place. We opted for a Christmassy menu and had baked camembert for starters, a turkey roast for main and sticky toffee pudding for dessert.” As the date was so close to Christmas, the venue was already beautifully decorated. Laura and Elliott named their tables after ABBA (they’re our go-to singalong songs in the car) and had a colour scheme of silvers and sage tones throughout. Stunning! DRESSED TO IMPRESS Laura chose a Stella York gown from Serena Bridal in Wickford. She recalls, “Having photographed many weddings myself, I’d built up an idea of my dream dress from all the others I’d photographed and I knew I wanted some bling to fit the Christmas theme! My eyes lit up when I paired it with the sparkliest veil and tiara in the shop!” The bridesmaids fitted the colour scheme and wore shimmery multiway dresses from La Closet De Chanel in the shade ‘Steel Glitz’. TIME TO CELEBRATE Elliott is in a wedding band himself named, Throwback to the Future, so, it was only right that he played at his own wedding! Laura says, “Elliott got the band to learn my favourite song which they surprised me with that evening! We also hired Terry Lewis to be our MC for the day which included him playing a number of games with us and our guests at their tables after dinner - think pass the parcel but with lots of twists and turns along the way!” MEMORABLE MOMENTS Certainly, a memorable moment of the day was their ringbearer and flowergirl, Delilah! Fur-baby Delilah wore a little white dress and had the rings attached to her collar in a little pouch and walked down the aisle with one of the bridesmaids. So cute! LAURA’S TOP TIP! “Don’t let those perfect Instagram weddings pressure you. During the planning process it can feel like every little detail is under a microscope but like a lot of things we see online, they aren’t always a true reflection of a wedding day. They’re great for inspiration but you shouldn’t compare your wedding to them. Your wedding will be perfect because it’s yours!” 37 REAL WEDDINGS

LAURA AND ELLIOTT’S LITTLE WHITE BOOK Venue & catering, | Photographer, | Dress, veil & tiara, | Jewellery and accessories, | Hair stylist, Make-up, | Suits, | Cake, | Dog Chaperone, | Videography, | Band, Dress alterations, lilymaerosedressmakersltd | MC & DJ, Bridesmaid dresses, | Light up letters, 38

BRIDESMAIDS BRIDAL GOWNS BRIDAL ACCESSORIES 01376 587 949 DRESSCODENINE.CO.UK LOCATED IN BRAINTREE Imagine holding your special day in a 200-year old barn, with its exposed beams, large open replace, many other original features, and beautiful fairy lights, which gives that extra special and romantic touch. At Maylands’ Golf Club, Romford, we understand every wedding day is dierent, therefore, we have a full time, experienced Wedding Co-ordinator to assist with your planning and help build the perfect package created just for you. We can help you select everything from your food to your photographer, ‚owers and much more. Whether you would like to keep things traditional or would prefer to host a more relaxed aair, we have packages and prices to suit your requirements. We are licensed to hold civil ceremonies, enabling us to host every aspect of your day from start to nish. Direct: 01708 332 897 | Email: | Maylands’ Golf Club, Colchester Road, Romford, Essex, RM3 0AZ Weddings & Events


SPICE Copper tones and hints of gold complemented this editorial shoot that took place at Parklands, Quendon Hall Images courtesy of Matt Heath Photography Autumn The vision of shoot organiser, Lisa Curtis from Gemini Styling, was to inspire brides by the transition from summer through to autumn. The loose, cascading half-up hairstyle represented the fall of autumnal leaves embellished with golden accessories. The venue was dressed with rustic brown tones seen in the floral arrangements, accessories and detailed styling. 41 LOCAL INSPIRATION