Your Cheshire and Merseyside Wedding - November/December 2022 (Issue 66)

NOV/DEC 2022 £3.55 HONEYMOONS, BEAUTY, FASHION, GROOMS, EXPERT ADVICE, FREEBIES AND MORE WIN! Let it snow A luxury getaway A lookback at 2022 through the eyes of the region’s wedding photographers LOVE AT The region’s cosiest venues Catering ideas to suit your wedding’s vibe THE HOTLIST 2023 bridalwear trends In the picture first bite

W I L L A S T O N E: T: 0151 327 4615 P O L L A R D S I N N | W I L L A S T O N | S O U T H W I R R A L | C H E S H I R E | C H 6 4 2 T U "We are so happy we chose Pollards for our wedding reception, Cara and her team did a superb job being attentive to our needs in the planning. On the day she made sure everything ran smoothly throughout and the staff were extremely helpful, we had a great day! The food was delicious for every course, and the canapés went down extremely well in the outside Barnhouse and gorgeous gardens with our guests. They catered for our guests with dietary requirements superbly, and they were well looked after. It was the perfect venue for the number of friends and family that we wanted, and it created a lovely intimate wedding which we will never forget! We particularly loved the private bar area and decoration of the main room which made the whole day feel so special and we couldn't recommend Pollards enough!"

REGULARS 6 EDITOR’S LETTER A warm welcome from Kelly 9 NEARLYWED NEWS Catch up on the latest from around the region 13 FREEBIES & OFFERS Great giveaways and discounts up for grabs 73 HOT TOPIC Stellar wedmin advice from those in the know 97 COMPETITION A luxury getaway awaits with renowned hotel brand GuestHouse CONTENTS NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2022 VENUES 16 FIT FOR ROYALTY The Queen at Chester takes you on a stroll through time via its spectacular wedding suites 19 URBAN CHIC We head for the city lights as we round up Liverpool and Chester’s venue hotspots 24 A BREAK FROM THE NORM Oddfellows Chester has a myriad of quirky and memorable wedding spaces for couples looking for something out of the ordinary 29 COMFY AND COSY ARE WE Take a tour of the region’s cosiest winter venues On the cover This issue’s cover has been sponsored by renowned Liverpool wedding venue The Isla Gladstone Conservatory ( It was captured by Liverpool photographer Matthew Rycraft ( at the wedding of Paula Muldoon and Brian Lamb. 57 41 FEATURES 57 A TOUCH OF FROST Demonstrating how beautiful a winter wedding can be, this team of wedding professionals got together and styled The Venue at the Royal Liver Building to snow-stopping effect 61 THE TIME OF OUR LIVES Take a look back at 2022 through the lenses of the region’s wedding photographers 67 LOVE AT FIRST BITE Wedding catering ideas to suit your vibe 73 3

REAL WEDDINGS 34 A NEW YEAR, A NEW ADVENTURE Victoria and Christopher said “I do” on New Year’s Eve at the beautiful Mottram Hall 41 PRETTY IN PINK Ceri and Michael opted for a pink palette for their day’s styling, which featured both bold and subtle hues 47 WINTER WONDERLAND Gemma and Paul said “I do” at Formby Hall Golf Resort & Spa at Christmastime 53 THE MIDAS TOUCH Emily and Sam opted for a white, gold and glam theme for their elegant fairytale wedding HONEYMOONS 90 HONEYMOON NEWS The newest openings and honeymoon destinations 92 GREECE IS THE WORD Summer in Santorini and Athens 94 IN LOVE WITH THE LAKES A myriad of delights lie in wait in The Lake District for UK honeymooners GROOMS 82 GROOMS’ NEWS The latest best buys and product launches FASHION & BEAUTY 77 WHAT’S TRENDING? This is what brides-to-be will be wearing in 2023 85 FASHION AND BEAUTY Q&A Look and feel your big-day best with help from the professionals 86 BEAUTY BUZZ Get the look with the must-haves for the bride-to-be 88 SKIN FOOD Discover how to achieve that much-desired bridal glow the natural way, through a healthy diet of skin-loving foods 94 67 53 34 http:// 86 77 4

Abbeywood is a 45-acre family estate nestling in the heart of Cheshire. Our nine seasonal gardens are wonderful areas to entertain or relax in, and offer a stunning backdrop for your wedding photography. Popular features include our chapel garden, formal pool garden and beautiful pergola walk. We have six distinct areas licensed for civil ceremonies, each offering a unique setting for your day: Nico’s Glass House, Garden Cafe, The Orangery and The Gazebo, The Barn and The Function Room in Abbeywood House. In addition to these locations there are various areas within the garden where ceremonies take place. The venue hire charge includes exclusive use of Abbeywood’s grounds on your chosen Friday or Saturday and exclusive options on all other days. We also include an overnight stay in our luxurious bridal suite located on the estate. There’s also plenty of further accommodation should you need your guests to stay. The venue provides a highly versatile space for weddings; all bookings are guaranteed exclusive use of key function rooms and gardens. To enquire, visit us or provisionally reserve a date, please contact our team on 01606 888 251 or email

Well, hasn’t 2022 just flown by? I can hardly believe it, here we are, fast approaching Christmas. It’s only natural as you reach the end of a year to reflect on all that’s happened as well as what’s to come. For me, the highlight has been CWM senior editor Melissa’s nuptials. Celebrating that amazing wedding day really brought home to me how far we’ve come this year from the dark days of 2020 and 2021 with its lockdowns and restrictions. It felt like the normality we’d been praying for, when many of us had been left plagued with doubt over whether our wonderful world of weddings would ever be back in quite the same way. There’s even been the usual flurry of celebrity weddings this year, leading the way as ever with trends we expect to see featuring in your weddings very soon, notably on the veil front. There was Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck with the bride dressed in that oh-so elegant Ralph Lauren turtleneck column ceremony dress and a sleek silhouette with removable veil hood for the evening. Personally, I’m hoping we see more bridal hoods on wedding dresses next year, following on from the amazing capes that made inroads in 2022. Meanwhile, Kourtney Kardashian made pairing a short dress with a long veil a thing when she married Travis Barker. The showstopping cathedral-length veil was personalised with hand-embroidered flowers and a large image of the Virgin Mary inspired by her new husband’s tattoo. If you love the idea of going bespoke have a look out for locally-based suppliers such as who can embroider your veil with your wedding date, lyrics, initials or even a poem. In September, when we sadly lost Her Majesty the Queen and TV channels were airing wall-to-wall documentaries looking back over her incredible life and service, we were reminded of her wedding day in 1947, when she was still Princess Elizabeth. Seeing these images brought me back full circle. Sure, J-Lo’s veil was new and edgy, Kourtney K’s was modern and oh-so personal, but looking at these 70-something-year-old images of our beloved Queen made me realise: Her Majesty did it best! Her breathtaking 13-foot tulle veil attached at the shoulders was symbolic of rebirth and growth after the Second World War and was said to be inspired by Botticelli’s painting of Primavera. So, enough musings from me! I hope you enjoy this, the last issue of the year. The region’s photographers have shared their 2022 highlights and we talk to local caterers about setting the right tone with your wedding breakfast. Enjoy and keeeep planning! Kelly x Kelly Andrews, editor 2022: The year of the veil 6 ISSN 2052-0522 EDITORIAL 01376 535 611 Kelly Andrews | Deputy Managing Editor and Beauty Editor Danielle Harvey | Managing Editor Melissa Cullen | Senior Editor, Travel and Grooms Editor Claire Ridley | Fashion Editor DESIGN 01376 535 616 Graphic Designers Stephanie Hodder | Vicky O’Connor Production Assistant | Lorna Butcher Digital Marketing Coordinator Katie Laley Web Development Manager Stuart Weatherley ADVERTISING Sales & Events Director Sarah Ellis | 01376 538 490 Account Manager Gillian Ward | 01376 538 485 ACCOUNTS 01376 535 616 Accounting Manager | Derrick James Your Cheshire & Merseyside Wedding is solely owned, published and designed by KD Media Publishing. 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. Your Cheshire & Merseyside Wedding is published six times a year. Visit us online at and cwe COUNTY WEDDING EVENTS @CountyWeddingMagazines @CountyWeddings @countyweddingmagazines A luxury getaway worth up to £2,000 awaits with renowned hotel brand GuestHouse. Win! This showstopping bake isn’t the only element that paints a frostily elegant picture at The Venue at The Royal Liver Building in this oh-so fabulous wintry styled shoot. 97 57 29 Summer nuptials are fantastic, but for me cosy winter weddings snuggled up together in a snowstopping venue are very much their equal in the romance stakes.

EDITOR’S LETTER 7 I’ve been lucky enough to visit not one, but two Chester wedding venues recently. First up, The Queen at Chester. Being a history buff, I fell in love with its nods to the city’s Roman heritage. I can’t get enough of bride Victoria’s incredible Zavana Bridal gown. With its modern glamour and silvery hue, it was the perfect choice for a New-Year’s-Eve wedding. Also on my Chester trip I got to experience Oddfellows. While its facade and main structure sing of another iconic time period, the Georgian era, its public spaces and rooms offer something quite different. 34 24 16 41 47 61 Before we head into 2023, the region’s wedding photographers take a look back at this year’s wonderful weddings. Stuart and James finally tied the knot after three Covid moves. The glorious gardens at Arley Hall provided entertainment enough for Ceri and Michael’s guests who enjoyed exploring all day. Gemma and Paul proved you don’t need to stick with red, green and gold to pull off a festive vibe. I love, love, love cheese! So when I saw this cheese wall from Kings’ Cheese and Wine my heart did a little somersault of joy! This is a great savoury alternative to a doughnut wall for the less sweet-toothed among you. 67

W E D D I N G P A C K A G E S AVA I L A B L E The Great Hall is one of the most beautiful traditional halls in Lancashire complete with galleried balcony and crystal chandeliers. Seats from 50 to 200. Fully licensed to carry out civil ceremonies 81 Stylish recently refurbished bedrooms including 4 suites To arrange your viewing, contact us on 01695 567260 Visit for further details L ANCA S H I R E MANOR HOT E L , P R E S COT T ROAD , P I MB O , NR WI GAN , L ANCA S H I R E , WN8 9QD Photography by Nigel Parkinson at Piconiq

ON THE MOVE After decades in its current position opposite Chester Cathedral, the team at O’Hares Jewellers are excited to announce that they’re relocating to larger premises. Moving to the former Waltons Jewellers beneath the Eastgate Clock, at 45 Eastgate Street, Chester, they’re very much looking forward to welcoming customers from November 2022 at this new permanent home. The workshop too will be moving here so O’Hares can continue to offer repairs on site. Pop in to find out more about shopping for your wedding rings and big-day jewellery, and check out VINE TO SHINE It’s no secret that English wine has been a work in progress since it first launched in the 1990s. But now, thanks to the change in the weather and thriving soil quality across the country, the British beverage is having a real moment. Carden Park Estate’s production of English sparkling wine from its vineyard tucked away towards the back of the Estate is no exception. With a story that dates back to 1988, the vineyard has thrived year on year since the vines were planted. Following dedication, hard work and a lot of nurturing, the 4,000 vines are now able to produce up to 6,000 bottles of quality Carden Park Estate Reserve Sparkling every year and the Estate’s fine-dining restaurant, The Vines, has now hired a new head sommelier, Patryk Kapelinski. Bringing an in-depth knowledge of wine, how to perfectly pair it with food and identify its characteristics, Patryk has been working in the industry for more than 15 years. Having worked with the team through a record hot summer, Patryk shares his predictions for the future of English wine: “Throughout the summer, I walked past the vines every day on my way to work to see how they were doing and each day, they were visibly thriving more and more. With less moisture and dryer air, this year’s harvest in October is set to be the best yet. I can’t wait!” Find out more at Nearlywed NEWS Catch up on the latest from around the county Image courtesy of Carden Park Estate WUNDERBAR! Leading bar and restaurant brand Albert’s Schloss is set to open its third UK site in Liverpool in November 2022. Following a £3million investment, Albert’s Schloss Liverpool will take over a former food market at Radiant House, at 18-26 Bold Street. Beautifully restored with a grand AngloBavarian design aesthetic, the venue will be spread across two floors. The ground floor will house a large stage with nextlevel performances, two impressive large bars, a fresh tank bier system and a Cook Haus dining area. Meanwhile, the first floor will be home to Ludwig’s Tavern, offering artisan Schnapps, a vermouth bar, shuffleboard and other tavern games. By night, Albert’s Schloss will present seven days of fantastic showtime including cabaret performances and live music. The entertainment venue will also be a new home to more than 100 freelance artists, serving up fun and flamboyant performances every night of the week. The programme includes Kunst Kaberet, Baby Grand Slam, Friday Frolich, Sunday Service and everything in between. Over at the 130-cover restaurant, the Cook Haus, all-day, everyday dining will be on offer. Influenced by Albert’s Schloss travels across Alpine Europe, the menu highlights include Klassics such as schweinshaxe and schnitzel. To find out what the latest Liverpool hotspot can offer you for your hen, stag or sten check out 9 LOCAL NEWS

INTRODUCING... Gill Collins Ceremonies is helmed by Liverpool-based celebrant Gill. She’s one of the newest celebrants on the block in the Cheshire and Merseyside region having qualified earlier this year, and she can’t wait to bring her own brand of understanding, care and attention to detail to local couples’ wedding ceremonies. With an extensive background in healthcare, Gill has cared for and helped people throughout all stages of their lives, which we understand has made her see the incredible value in important life events and occasions such as weddings. She also loves nothing more than living life to the fullest and you’ll often find her salsa dancing, climbing hills with her four-legged friend and enjoying good food and wine with fine company. “I really enjoy the stories people tell me about their lives, how they met, what they love about each other and what makes them laugh,” Gill explains. “If you choose me to be your celebrant, I promise to write you a ceremony that’s bespoke and personal. Your ideas, wishes and dreams will be woven into the fabric of the ceremony to make your special day one that you’ll never forget.” To find out more, head over to FIVE MINUTES WITH... Debbie Bennett owner of Wirral-based florist Lilac & Thyme Please tell us about Lilac & Thyme. We’re a wedding florist based on The Wirral and are passionate about all we do! The business was born out of my passion for all things floral. I’m a self-taught florist and am fanatical about learning new skills. We work with creative flair to put together beautiful fresh and faux flower displays for all occasions. We love what we do and put our heart and soul into our work to ensure that your wedding flowers are all you’ve dreamed of and more. From consultation to the actual day, we’re with you every step of the way, guiding you and recommending seasonal flowers and styles to suit your theme. What do you love most about working with weddings? It has to be seeing the look on a bride’s face on the morning of the wedding, when she sees her bouquet. It’s an image I never tire of! What’s your proudest achievement so far? We’ve had the privilege for two years in a row to be nominated for wedding florist of the year at a local prestigious wedding awards event, and we got through to the finals both times too. To say this was a huge honour for us is an understatement. The fact that our brides nominated and voted for us made what we do even more satisfying than it already was. We’re a small business and were up against large florists with up to 10 staff, so to be recognised like this was a huge achievement. Find out more about Lilac & Thyme at WINNING WAYS The winners of the UK Jewellery Awards 2022 were revealed recently at the Hilton London Metropole, and John Pass Jewellers, which has a store in Crewe, Cheshire, scooped up the win for Retail Sales Team of the Year. The team were praised by the expert judging panel for creating a team spirit that other businesses would be proud to emulate. Marking its 30th anniversary this year, the UK Jewellery Awards, organised by jewellery and watch industry title Retail Jeweller, is the country’s longest-running and most prestigious trade awards event. With 21 targeted categories, the awards cover every aspect of the industry from jewellery design and ethical business practice to customer service and successful retailing. So, to make sure you’re looked after by an award-winning team when you shop for your wedding rings head over to © Phil Weedon SPA HEAVEN The independent family-owned Manor House Hotel in Alsager, Cheshire, which started life as a 17th-century farmhouse, has finished its second phase of spa developments and has opened its new English Country Spa Garden. Making the most of the natural light and fresh air, this exciting new addition is inspired by the hotel’s picturesque rural location. Here, you can relax in the stunning outdoor seating areas come rain or shine or wander around the garden visiting the large vitality pool, sunken table top hydrotherapy tub, The Pavilion with a panoramic laconium and the Summer House where you can find the light relaxation lounge and patio. Then, make your way through a thermal journey and visit the salt steam inhalation chamber and the Potting Shed herbal sauna before braving the icy cool plunge bath. The final phase still to come is the Pool House. This will be an inviting space for solo spa goers, couples, friends and groups to gather in a house of relaxed elegance and pure laidback luxe. It’s the perfect hideout to enjoy a selection of delectable beverages and sweet treats. So, don’t delay grab your hens or spouse-to-be as there are a range of spa days and spa stays available with prices starting at £95 per person. Discover more at 10

07976 291323 | | lilacandthyme B A S E D A T C A R R F A R M G A R D E N C E N T R E O N T H E W I R R A L From initial consultation, right through to the day, we are with you every step of the way! We o er a no obligation consultation were we discuss all of you requirements in our friendly relaxed studio. We would love to sit down and discuss all things wedding orals with you and help to make your magical day a reality. W W W . B O O K E R F L O W E R S A N D G I F T S . C O . U K 7 B O O K E R A V E N U E L I V E R P O O L L 1 8 4 Q Y | 0 1 5 1 7 2 4 4 8 5 0 W H E N O N LY A N A W A R D - W I N N I N G F L O R I S T W I L L D O Expert wedding florist helping to create your wedding flower vision. From bouquets to centrepieces we will make sure each detail is perfect. Contact us now for a free no-obligation wedding flower consultation. “Just wanted to say a huge thank you for our beautiful wedding flowers on Sunday. They were honestly just perfect and I cannot tell you how pleased I was. Everything form my gorgeous bouquet, to the bridesmaids posies and the tables flowers they turned out to be exactly what I was looking for. The entire team at Booker have been so helpful and easy to deal with and I just wanted to let you know how much I appreciate it. The flowers fitted in perfectly to the surroundings on the day and just finished off a perfect setting. Thanks again for everything.” — Eilidh and James, July 2021

Winter Wonderland Wedding Package From only £5,495 for 60 guests Dates available from October 2023 to January 2024 Experience the magic of an Abbey House Hotel festive season with our Winter Wonderland Wedding Package email; for more information Wedding Showcase weekend on the 7th & 8th January 2023, 11am-3pm each day 01229 838282 Abbey House Hotel & Gardens, Abbey Road, Furness Abbey, Cumbria, LA13 0PA Abbey House Hotel & Gardens

FOR YOUR CHANCE TO WIN, ENTER ONLINE AT WWW.YOURCHESHIREMERSEYSIDE.WEDDING SUITE DREAMS We’ve teamed up with The Queen at Chester to offer you the chance to win a stay in the hotel’s stunning wedding suite. The lucky winner and their guest will enjoy a night in the Emperor Suite with dinner and breakfast. The Emperor Suite, based in the newer Kings part of the hotel, is situated on the top floor with a view of Chester’s city centre. The suite is spacious and characterful, featuring a four-poster bed and a separate lounge area. For that extra touch of luxury, you’ll also find underfloor heating in the bathroom along with a free-standing bath and rainfall shower. A mere 10-minute walk from the city centre, The Queen at Chester is a Grade II listed Italianate building, and has been hosting weddings for more than 150 years. Its team of experts are on hand to carefully plan each special day, from intimate gatherings of 50 to large parties of 300. Find out more about the wonderful wedding spaces on page 16 in our editor’s review feature. Each of the Hotel’s floors is dedicated to a country, with every suite named after a king of that nation. All 221 bedrooms have superfast fibre optic Wi-Fi, satellite TV and 24-hour room service. Built opposite Chester station to serve first-class rail passengers, The Queen at Chester Hotel, BW Premier Collection, has an illustrious past. This magnificent Hotel was said to be the first skyscraper of its time and here, you’ll be following in the footsteps of some rather famous former guests. Since opening in 1860, it’s hosted none other than Charles Dickens, Cecil Rhodes and Lillie Langtry, to name but a few. For your chance to win, enter online via by 31st December, terms and conditions apply. To find out more about The Queen at Chester check out Great giveaways and discounts up for grabs STYLE STATEMENT On your wedding day, light up the room in these statement gold ear climber earrings which bedazzle with four intricately cut moonstone gems. The sparkling gemstones, in a staggered line, descend in size and sit in an 18k gold-plated setting. Every detail has been well thought out, from the size of the stones to the slight curve of the earrings, creating the perfect mesmerising bold earring for a bold woman. Founded by Ramona Gohil, an inspirational female entrepreneur passionate about her British Indian heritage and culture Rani & Co is not just any jewellery brand; its crafted unique pieces symbolise how powerful women can be. Check out County Wedding Magazines’ readers have the chance to win a pair of Rani & Co Moonstone Climber Earrings worth £64.99! Freebies &OFFERS FREEBIES & OFFERS 13

GET IN TOUCH The Queen at Chester Hotel, City Road, Chester, CH1 3AH 0330 028 3402 | Being a total history nerd, I was giddy with excitement when I pulled up outside The Queen at Chester Hotel, so impressive is its Victorian facade I felt as though I might be about to step back in time. The grand and impressive lobby didn’t disappoint with its theatrical four-storey staircase, complete with ornate iron balustrade – a showstopping setting for wedding photographs. Built in 1860, directly opposite Chester station to serve first-class rail passengers, the Grade II listed Hotel, which is part of the BW Premier Collection, has quite the past and is thought to be the first skyscraper of its time. Indeed, I knew we were in good company as it lists among its former guests such icons as Charles Dickens, Cecil Rhodes and Lillie Langtry, and standing in the lobby it’s easy to imagine them checking in just as I was about to. What’s more, located a mere 10-minute walk from the centre of Chester it offers a great base for guests in town to attend your wedding and being so close to the station it’s easy for them to reach you. I was delighted to find a large on-site car park too – so rare in city-based hotels. KINGS AND QUEENS This huge hotel boasts two parts, the original Victorian building of course, and to the rear the more recent addition, Kings at The Queen, which was our home for the night. As I made my way through the historical venue to reach my room I soon discovered that the Victorian era wasn’t the only period embraced. Heading past The King’s Grill and onto the link the place transformed into a different era richly and rightfully celebrated in Chester – that of the Romans. The historical building is indeed Italianate in style and this became more evident passing the gorgeous courtyards and terraces with their Roman-esque statues, classical urns and arches. On a glorious day, you could almost find yourself transported to Italy for your nuptials. Each floor of the Kings section is dedicated to a different country and every room is named after one of that nation’s kings. Our floor was Chinese themed and Emperor Hongwu was our host, founder of the Chinese Ming dynasty, who reigned from 1368 to 1398. The room was hung with paintings of our Emperor in ornate gold frames and the décor was accented with luxurious reds, I enjoyed its character. No doubt, your guests would enjoy swapping stories at breakfast about what room they’re staying in and googling their own king! TYING THE KNOT The Queen at Chester boasts eight event areas with two al fresco spaces and six banqueting suites, all catering for every type of reception, civil ceremony and partnership. The Hotel has been hosting weddings for more than 150 years, and the team’s expertise has been handed down to its various members over that time, allowing them to carefully and deftly plan each special day from intimate gatherings of 50 to larger parties of 300. The Colonnades can play host to 300 loved ones. The perfect space for large ceremonies and celebrations with a nod to the Roman period, it’s brimming with character. Plus, the high ceilings with opulent chandelier centrepiece, make this a grand place to host your big day. Natural light floods in through overhead skylights in the glass-fronted Palazzo, where there’s space for 120 nearest and dearest. It also boasts stunning views over the magnificent Baltic Exchange Gardens, which can host 150 guests themselves. The Victoria Room is one of the Hotel’s original lounges, located in the Grade II listed building, and as you’d expect is brimming with Victorian character and décor making a it a beautiful setting for ceremonies. Here 60 of your loved ones can witness your vows. Similarly, The Disraeli Room is located on the first floor and is packed with style and Victorian features. It overlooks the Baltic Exchange Gardens and is ideal for intimate weddings with 25 nearest and dearest. Finally, The Jubilee Room based in the modern Kings’ building is a stylish suite able to seat 100 guests. It’s flooded with natural daylight, is fully air-conditioned and boasts its own private terrace. At the end of a wonderful day, you can then retire to the honeymoon suite with its stunning four-poster bed and feature bath. ROYALTY Fit for Editor Kelly Andrews visited The Queen at Chester and took a stroll through time via its spectacular wedding suites Scan to view video 16

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Meols Hall, Churchtown, Southport PR9 7LZ To make an appointment to view or speak to the wedding co-ordinator Call: 01704 228326 • • meols hall - the perfect setting Photos courtesy of Matthew Rycraft There can be very few settings equal to Meols Hall, Southport’s historical manor house, with its magnificent 400 year old candlelit Tithe Barn, Coach House and large unspoilt traditional cobbled courtyard. EXCLUSIVE USE • CIVIL CEREMONIES • RECEPTIONS • WEDDING BREAKFASTS & EVENING CELEBRATIONS BESPOKE & INDIVIDUAL • PHOTOGRAPHIC OPPORTUNITIESWITHINTHE BEAUTIFUL 100 ACRE ESTATE HELICOPTER LANDING AVAILABLE Meols Hall churchtown the tithe barn LAST FEW SUMMER 2023 DATES AVAILABLE A W A R D - W I N N I N G W E D D I N G F L O R I S T Based in the Peak District W W W . J J S F L O W E R S . C O . U K 07718 168 199 1 OLD ROAD , BRAMPTON | CHESTERF I ELD | DERBYSH I RE | S 40 2RE

CHIC Urban We head for the city lights as we round up Liverpool and Chester’s wedding hotspots MUSEUM OF LIVERPOOL 0151 478 4780 | Museum of Liverpool opened in 2011 and sits alongside the city’s most iconic buildings, including the Three Graces and the Royal Albert Dock. The museum offers amazing views of the River Mersey and Pier Head from riverside terraces, and its modern interior features breathtaking galleries with floor-to-ceiling windows. It is part of the Hosted by National Museums Liverpool wedding venue collection. The venue welcomes celebrant-led ceremonies, wedding breakfasts and wedding receptions. The Atrium is an iconic setting for 150 guests with skylight and spiral staircase. The space is flexible and offers a blank canvas with huge potential to personalise your big day. The heart of the museum, is home to a sweeping staircase, under which guests can enjoy dinner and dancing. The People’s Republic Gallery can host 40 for the ceremony and 50 for the reception. The Gallery explores the diverse stories and unique identity of Liverpool and its people. Its key feature is an enormous 24-metre picture window, framing Liverpool’s Three Graces, three iconic buildings spanning more than 100 years of the city’s history, with floor-to-ceiling views of the Pier Head and River Mersey. While The Atrium is the largest single space to hire for a wedding with a capacity of 150, full venue hire is available, which would allow you to host up to 1,000. © Gareth Jones 19 CITY VENUES

THE RACQUET CLUB HOTEL 0151 236 6676 | Located in the commercial district of Liverpool, The Racquet Club is perfectly positioned for access to public transport and car parking facilities. Close to the famous Liverpool Waterfront it’s the ideal spot for a wedding. Built in 1859 by Sir James Picton as the headquarters for Sir William Brown, an American shipping merchant, it takes the shape of an Italian Palazzo and has carved plaques above the windows including Isabella I who gave permission and funding for Columbus’ voyage, Columbus, Bermejo a Spanish adventurer, Vespucci, Cortez, Queen Anaconana and Francisco Pizarro. There are eight bedrooms each individually decorated in a blend of traditional and contemporary styles, and the period events floor accommodates wedding and family gatherings. The restaurant benefits from large arched windows in a fantastic airy space with adjacent intimate bar. Throughout, the venue is furnished with an eclectic mix of modern and traditional pieces along with an extensive collection of original artwork. The Main Room can accommodate 130 loved ones for the ceremony and 138 or the reception, while there’s space in the Restaurant for 100 for the “I dos” and dining. For more intimate celebrations, the Club Room can host 25 for the ceremony and 40 for the wedding breakfast, and the Private Dining Room too can hold 25 for the vows or 24 for reception. Overall capacity for the evening bash is 250. THE ISLA GLADSTONE CONSERVATORY 0151 263 0363 | A traditional Victorian conservatory, The Isla Gladstone’s sun-flooded interior breaths warmth into any occasion, allowing your imagination to run wild and create the day of your dreams. The venue has an incredible structure dating back to the 1800s and is a significant cultural and architectural piece of history. Nestled amid picturesque rose gardens, glistening lakes and historical sandstone pavilions, the glasshouse is surrounded by beauty – quite the playground for your photographer. Ceremonies are held in the Conservatory event space or outside in front of the fairytale bandstand, which lights up in the evening. Receptions are hosted in the Conservatory’s event space, which can accommodate 300 guests for each part of the day. When you book your wedding day here you’ll be offered a free menu tasting, and there’s complimentary parking available. 20

How exciting to be planning your Wedding! Most couples start their wedding planning by choosing the venue, florist, cakemaker etc. and will meet with them to discuss things like what style, colour schemes, they want for their incredibly special day! Why leave the most important part of your day ‘The Ceremony’ to chance? When choosing a Celebrant to create a unique, personalised ceremony, you get the chance to not only have a bespoke, stand out ceremony that your guests will remember for all the right reasons. You will also have the chance to build a relationship with someone that you connect with, who will get to know you and understand everything you want to include in the wedding ceremony that is truly unique and personal to you! Want to know more? Get in touch, let’s start planning your perfect day! | 07702 077349 @puresilkceremonies | @pure_silk_ceremonies

County Brides 2022/23 41 design is our passion...the difference is in the detail 51A London Road, Alderley Edge, Cheshire SK9 7DY. Telephone: 01625 583 565 59 Park Lane, Poynton, Cheshire SK12 1RD. Telephone: 01625 872 470 Email: Web: Facebook: www.facebook/henrydjohnstonejewellers

MARITIME MUSEUM 0151 478 4780 | Located in the heart of the historical Royal Albert Dock, Maritime Museum tells the story of one of the world’s greatest ports. From the large HMS Conway anchor at the building’s entrance to the ship models in our spacious galleries, the Museum forms a unique part of Liverpool’s history and is an iconic place to get married. The Museum overlooks the Royal Albert Dock, one of the largest groups of Grade I listed buildings in England and boasts an impressive outdoor space on the waterside Colonnades. This is an ideal spot to enjoy drinks receptions, evening buffets and barbecues with 200 guests – you could even hop on a boat and sail off into the sunset. Say “I do” in the Maritime Dining Room surrounded by 200 loved ones. This is a flexible and private space with high ceilings and stunning views over the Dock and Pier Head. For your reception head into the Maritime Museum Events Suite, which also has space for 200. Features include stylish exposed brick walls and large windows, complete with breathtaking views. GROSVENOR PULFORD HOTEL & SPA 01244 570 560 | The interior of this four-star hotel is steeped in modern elegance and boasts an impressive red-brick exterior dating back to the 19th century. It’s bursting with character and has a rich heritage with links to the Grosvenor estate of the Duke of Westminster. The grounds include a beautiful Asian Sensory Garden, a picturesque lake with a quaint wooden bridge, and a charming thatched gazebo, all set against the glorious Cheshire countryside and Welsh hills. The grounds offer a wonderful backdrop for those all-important photos. Exchange your vows in the opulent Grosvenor Suite, which has a capacity of 200 guests. Or say “I do” in either Belgrave or Westminster Suites, both recently-refurbished and capable of holding 50 nearest and dearest. In the warmer months, the licensed Lakeside Gazebo is the ideal setting for romantic outdoor nuptials. All three ceremony suites can be transformed into your reception space, complete with creative lighting and a dancefloor. Maximum capacity is 150 for the wedding breakfast and 200 for the evening revelries. The hotel offers a free food tasting for you both and you can also enjoy a complimentary stay in a superior bedroom on your wedding night. What’s more, to commemorate your first anniversary you’ll be invited to indulge in a romantic break at the hotel at an exclusive discount. © Joe Jord Photography 23 CITY VENUES

the norm Oddfellows Chester is housed within a gorgeous Georgian townhouse, built by Lady Mary Calverley in 1676. Located in the heart of the city it’s just moments from the River Dee and the city centre where the iconic Tudor Rows sit alongside Victorian and Georgian mansions, and Roman ruins. The hotel boasts an idiosyncratic and whimsical interior where nothing is as it seems, and the period features are boldly juxtaposed by playful elements that offer a fun and super-stylish setting for a wedding to remember. Editor Kelly Andrews paid this fabulously quirky hotspot a visit to find out more. WHERE TO WED Given the first impression the hotel had made I was excited to explore the wedding spaces. Heading upstairs via the grand staircase to the first floor I was welcomed by The Grown Up Rooms. This suite of private event spaces occupies the whole floor, which is where the drawing rooms of the original house would have been. Dramatically high ceilings and sash windows feature in each of the spaces here: The Grown Up, The Grown Up Bar and The Roof Terrace. You can opt to hire the entire floor or just the bar and terrace if you prefer. The venue is licensed for ceremonies here for anywhere between six to 63 guests. Many decide to say “I do” surrounded by the glamour of the The Grown Up, before moving across the landing into the bar with its fabulous boxing hares willow sculpture for the drinks reception, which offers you the opportunity to spill out onto the terrace on a sunny city day, before returning to The Grown Up for a seated wedding breakfast with 63 loved ones. For the evening revelries you can invite additional guests, bringing the total up to a maximum of 130 across the whole first floor. For more intimate celebrations, the oh-so fun Alice In Wonderland Tea Rooms is also an option. Fulfilling its promise on the quirky front, you’ll find a tea table all set up on the ceiling. Here, you can dine in style, comfortably seating around 16 of your nearest and dearest. It doesn’t stop there! For an al fresco city vibe, why not choose to celebrate in The Secret Garden? Set at the rear of the hotel and tended to by in-house florists, it offers a magical setting for photography set against seasonal planting, oversized lamps, water features and outdoor fires. A PLACE TO REST YOUR HEAD During our stay we had the pleasure of relaxing in The Newbrook Loft. Located on the second floor of the hotel’s newer section, it’s a brilliantly characterful room named after the famous Cestrian cinematographer, Peter Newbrook, who shot the Oscarwinning epic Laurence of Arabia. The enormous six-foot circular bed immediately caught my attention with something of the Hollywood-era opulence about it. I must admit to being a little sceptical though until I enjoyed the best night’s sleep I think I’ve ever had! A sumptuous seating area and separate loo are also located on the first floor of the split-level loft, with the double shower upstairs on the mezzanine level. In fact, all of the rooms here offer a talking point, so if you tie the knot at Oddfellows Chester your guests will not only be able to enjoy a comfortable night’s sleep, they’ll also be cocooned in history and a playful sense of fun. The Calverly Attic and Lady Mary’s Loft are both inspired by the formidable woman responsible for the building the hotel now inhabits. Exposed beams and period features take you back to how Georgian Chester might have felt. The Caldecott Classic and Caldecott Cottage are influenced by another famous Cestrian, Randolf Caldecott who filled children’s books with his humorous illustrations throughout the 19th century. Finally, the Douglas Duplex Suite is a nod to architect John Douglas who shaped much of Chester. Further accommodation for your nearest and dearest is also available a mere three-minute walk from the hotel in the shape of Apartments by Oddfellows. THE HIGHLIGHTS • Create your own wedding-day cocktail to complement your theme. Oddfellows’ mixologists can dream up a bespoke creation or add a twist to your favourite for your drinks reception. • The Roof Terrace allows you to experience an al fresco post-ceremony reception that’s secluded and private in the heart of the city. You can even decide to have your first dance here! • I love the panelled bar downstairs with its stunning nature-themed frescos. It has a wonderful atmosphere and was almost as if they knew I was coming with The Steeldrivers’ Reckless album playing while I sipped on my post-dinner Baileys! • The Potting Shed is the Secret Garden’s super-fun bar complete with buckets and pitch forks! Stop here for some quirky couple portraits. A BREAK FROM Oddfellows Chester has a myriad of quirky and memorable wedding spaces for couples looking for something out of the ordinary FIND OUT MORE Oddfellows Chester, 20 Lower Bridge Street, CH1 1RS 01244 345 454 | Scan to view video 24


Winner of Best Venue in Cheshire at County Brides North West Wedding Awards 2021 Your Wedding, Your Way Golding Photography Joe Bickerton Photography Part of the award-winning Nelson Hotels & Inns collection

Coming to the Wirral this winter, The Barn at the Manor will be a romantic and sophisticated wedding barn blending historic character with contemporary elegance. Framed with impressive timber and illuminated by beautiful beaded chandeliers, the unique space will boast a rustic charm and feature exposed brickwork, antique mirror finishing and an understated colour palette to elegantly accent your big day. Celebrate your marriage in this lovingly-restored barn, boasting its own private bar area and accommodating up to 100 guests; offering the perfect backdrop in which to create life’s finest memories. CRAFTING LOVE STORIES SINCE 1680 Discover our brand-new wedding venue today by emailing The latest addition to the Nelson Hotels & Inns collection, now taking bookings for 2023. Coming to the irral this winter, The Barn at the anor will be a romantic and sophisticated wedding barn blending historic character with contemporary elegance. Framed with impressive timber and illuminated by beautiful beaded chandeliers, the unique space will boast a rustic charm and feature exposed brickwork, antique mirror finishing and an understated colour palette to elegantly accent your big day. Celebrate your marriage in this lovingly-restored barn, boasting its own private bar area and accommodating up to 100 guests; offering the perfect backdrop in which to create life’s finest memories. SINCE 1 iscover our brand-ne edding venue today by emailing he latest addition to the elson otels Inns collection, now taking bookings for 2023. the The latest addition to the Nelson Hotels & Inns collection, now taking bookings for 2023

Weddings at Walton Hall and Gardens Walton Hall and Gardens is one of Cheshire’s premier destinations and a picture-perfect setting for weddings. Set in acres of idyllic parkland, you're spoilt for choice with six different ceremony locations. Check out our website for more details and to get in touch today. Based in Sandbach, Cheshire, we are an award winning bespoke cake designing service that combines both great taste and unique design 01270 314706 21 CREWE ROAD, SANDBACH, CHESHIRE CW11 4NE

Comfy and cosy THE MERE GOLF RESORT & SPA 01565 830 155 | Nestled in the heart of undulating Cheshire countryside and 150 acres of parkland, The Mere Golf Resort and Spa offers a tranquil and picturesque setting. Arriving at the archway only begins to hint at the grandeur to follow, and only when you pass through it does the resort unveil the full extent of its magnificence. Built in 1934, the grounds provide a stunning backdrop for your wedding photography, and feature idyllic views of the Mere Lake, the historical Mere arch and the golf course. The Riley Room is ideal for an intimate ceremony accompanied by 60 guests, and is home to 60 unique artworks by local artist, Harold Riley. For much bigger guests lists, you can marry and celebrate in The James Braid Suite, which has a capacity of 550. It boasts views over The Mere Lake and comes complete with its own private entrance, exclusive reception area and bars. Alternatively, The George Duncan Suite is an option for reception numbers of 120. It too has its own private entrance, plus lounge area and separate bar. As the newlyweds, you’ll be treated to a complimentary stay in the Queen Suite on the night of your wedding. ARE WE Take a tour of the region’s cosiest winter venues 29 WINTER VENUES

CREWE HALL 01270 253 333 | You take a step back in time when you host your wedding day at Crewe Hall, a stunning Grade I listed Jacobean mansion complete with wow factor. With opulent interiors, landscaped gardens and period-style bedrooms there’s so much to take in. But despite being a historical gem, Crewe Hall hasn’t skimped on the 21st-century comforts, as you can also kick back with an expert treatment in the spa or plunge into the heated indoor pool. The Long Gallery is the largest room in the main hall and is bathed in Jacobean history. With a central fireplace and large windows overlooking the landscaped grounds, it’s a magnificent setting and can accommodate 200 for the ceremony, 180 for your wedding breakfast, and 200 for the evening do. The Drawing Room is an elegant space thanks to its intricate carved stone and oak work. It can host 120 for the “I dos,” 70 for the wedding breakfast and 80 for the evening. The Continental Suite is ideal for larger weddings and one of its many benefits is its bar and entertainment area. There’s space here for 300 ceremony guests, 280 dining and 360 evening revellers. Moving toward the more intimate spaces, the Great Library has large windows overlooking the lawn providing the perfect lighting and an air of romance. The ceiling design is exquisite and will complement any theme. Here you can invite 90 guests to join you for the ceremony and 50 for the wedding breakfast. Finally, the Carved Parlour. An intimate, opulent and ornate room, it offers a spectacular setting for 60 ceremony and 30 dining guests. PECKFORTON CASTLE 01829 260 930 | This enchanting castle, with its captivating architecture, steeped in history will truly delight you and your guests. Along with a magical backdrop for pictures and videos, all combined with delicious award-winning food and drink, and impeccable service, you’ll be the only wedding at the Castle allowing you to enjoy your fairytale of a day in complete privacy. There are a wealth of options here beginning with the Great Hall. Imagine saying your marriage vows with the sun streaming through the stained-glass windows, a string quartet playing on the Minstrel’s Gallery, the fire glowing in the background and candlelight reflecting off the Minton Hollins tiled floor. Here you can host 165 loved ones for your ceremony and 120 for the wedding breakfast. The Hexagonal Room has two working fireplaces and a vaulted stone ceiling. At the apex you’ll see a carved stone with the Tollemache family grace – “At dinner and supper, morning and night, give thanks unto God for his gifts.” Here you can seat 80 for your ceremony and wedding breakfast. The Library boasts tall, imposing windows and the addition of flowers and candles turns the room into a magnificent setting with plenty of ambience. It can host 30 for your ceremony and wedding breakfast. Another intimate space is the Wine Cellar, tucked away in the heart of the Castle offering an elegant and rustic ambience quite unlike anywhere you’ll have been before. It can accommodate 40 for the vows and 80 for dining. Finally, for your ceremony you have the option to say “I do” in The Chapel. Built in 1848 and set inside the fortified walls, it’s the perfect place for your religious blessing or renewal of vows (not available for civil ceremonies) and the local minister will be happy to officiate. 30