Your East Midlands Wedding - February/March 2024 (Issue 60)

WIN! A honeymoon stay Read heart-warming weddings Exchanging vows LOVE AL FRESCO Outdoor wedding venues Looking YOUR BEST FEB/MAR 2024 £3.55 Talented beauty experts EAST MIDLANDSWEDDING Big-day bakes Cakes and sweet treats

Singing Jennie Alternative & Traditional Wedding Singer-Pianist Offering bespoke set lists in any genre! Hire Singing Jennie so you can hear the songs you love on your Wedding day! To hear me sing and to find out more info, scan the QR code. Website Email:

REGULARS 6 EDITOR’S LETTER Olivia Gibson shares her top picks from this issue 8 NEARLYWED NEWS Catch up on news from around the region 11 FREEBIES & OFFERS Great giveaways and discounts up for grabs 68 HOT TOPIC Local experts offer stellar advice on wedding dilemmas 77 COMPETITION Win a honeymoon in Jamaica worth £4,500 CONTENTS FEBRUARY/MARCH 2024 VENUES 17 KEEP IT LOCAL Exchange vows in and around Rutland 21 THE GREAT OUTDOORS Discover these al fresco settings around the region On the cover This issue’s gorgeous cover has been sponsored by award-winning Kettering florist By Arrangement ( The image is from the wedding of Bethany and Adam and was captured by Sarah Vivienne Photography ( 41 21 FEATURES 41 TIMELESS LOVE Local suppliers came together to create this elegant and classic shoot 45 MESMERISING MOMENTS Stapleford Park provided a showstopping setting for this winter-styled shoot 49 BIG-DAY BAKES Experts showcase their favourite cakes for intimate nuptials, al fresco celebrations and grand events 59 ROCK THAT FROCK The ultimate A-Z guide to wedding-dress shopping 3

REAL WEDDINGS 26 PRETTY IN PINK Bec and Tim’s wedding was full of fun, laughter and happiness 32 THE PERFECT DAY Hannah and Jay’s fusion wedding incorporated Indian culture 36 SPRING FEVER Alice and Ryan exchanged vows at Doddington Hall surrounded by loved ones HONEYMOONS 78 HONEYMOON NEWS Our travel editor reveals the newest openings and honeymoon essentials 80 A SONG OF SUN AND SEA We reveal why Dubrovnik is the perfect honeymoon destination 82 VIVA ESPAÑA! Experience the finer side of life at Hostal de La Gavina in Spain’s Costa Brava 84 PARISIAN ELEGANCE Part of the prestigious Oetker Collection, Le Bristol Paris is everything you could dream of from a once in a lifetime visit to La Ville-Lumière, The City of Light. FASHION & BEAUTY 52 FASHION FOCUS The latest bridal fashion news, buys and launches 53 SUPERMODEL STYLE Dare to bare in a plunging, off-the-shoulder or sweetheart-shaped neckline 62 LITTLE GEMS Wedding guests will love the bright jewel colours that are trending this season 63 BEAUTY Q&A Our local professionals solve your problems 64 BEAUTY BUZZ Get the look with the latest must-haves 66 SKINCARE 10 Holistic therapist and SBC Skincare’s head of education, Adele O’Donoghue shares her ultimate guide to wedding-prep skincareot 32 36 82 64 GROOMS 70 GROOMS’ NEWS The latest best buys and product launches 71 RING-A-DING-DING How to choose the perfect wedding ring 72 RUSTIC CHIC We’ve rounded up some of the latest on-trend products for the groom-to-be 76 SKIN DEEP Strictly Come Dancing star and Shakeup ambassador, Neil Jones reveals his skincare tips for grooms-to-be 26 4

WEDDINGS AT PEAK EDGE Nestled on the edge of Derbyshire’s beautiful Peak District National Park, serenity and sophistication come together to create an elegant setting for your special day at the award-winning Peak Edge Hotel. Peak Edge offers all you need to make your perfect country wedding a reality, with stunning grounds, far-reaching views, oak beams, vaulted dining rooms and roaring open fires to set the scene. DARLEY ROAD | STONE EDGE | CHESTERFIELD | DERBYSHIRE | S45 0LW TEL: 01246 566142 WWW.PEAKEDGEHOTEL.CO.UK AA CREATING UNFORGETTABLE WEDDINGS Your love, our passion WEDDING SHOWCASE EVENTS Explore a world of possibilities at our inspirational wedding events! Join us at Peak Edge Hotel for an extraordinary showcase of specialist suppliers and magical moments. Immerse yourself in the ambiance, discover stunning displays, sample delicious dishes, and envision your dream wedding. Don’t miss out on this unique opportunity! Visit to learn more and reserve your place.

These lovebirds met on their first day of university and slowly fell in love – the rest is history! Hello, lovely readers, and welcome to another issue of Your East Midlands Wedding! With spring approaching, we’re excited to embrace this beautiful season and see what couples have up their sleeves. The weather can be unpredictable this time of year, so it’s always essential to devise a wet-weather plan to relax, knowing you’ve covered all your bases in the run-up to your wedding – especially for those opting for al fresco celebrations. The seasonal availability for flowers offers an excellent choice for the time of year; think daffodils, tulips, hyacinth, crocus, Lily of the Valley, Iris and more blooms. It’s an excellent opportunity to embrace a colourful and bold colour scheme using nature’s palette. Who doesn’t like abundant flowers from bouquets, gorgeous arrangements and installations? Remember to move your florals throughout the day to ensure a picture-perfect backdrop for the vows, wedding breakfast and reception while staying on budget. Floral arches are my personal favourite! Expect Pantone’s colour of the year, Peach Fuzz, to grace the wedding industry. The compassionate and nurturing soft peach shade conveying a heartfelt kindness will surely become a huge movement that we’re so excited to see. Read more about this shade on page 8! Another popular trend making a statement is champagne towers that add a touch of fun and class to weddings while serving guests a glass of bubbly. If you’re at the start of your planning journey, you’ve come to the right place because we cover everything from fashion, beauty, cakes, venues and more. When searching for a property, I advise seeing if any of your shortlisted venues are hosting wedding shows, as spring is a popular time for these events. It allows you to look around the spaces, meet local suppliers, discuss your big day and ask plenty of questions. For those creeping closer to your special day, we have plenty of last-minute tips and tricks to ensure a stress-free wedding and the perfect finishing touches for that extra wow factor – there’s something for everyone. That’s all from me, happy planning! Olivi Olivia Gibson, Editor It ’ in in 32 72 @CountyWeddingMagazines @CountyWeddings @countyweddingmagazines Visit us online at www. and DESIGN 01376 535616 ACCOUNTS 01376 535616 MANAGING DIRECTOR Sarah Ellis | 01376 535602 EDITORIAL Editor Olivia Gibson | 01376 535611 Surrounded by enchanting woodland and idyllic lakes, The Hidden Hive is a laid-back venue located in the Derbyshire National Forest. With three giant tipis and a chill-out zone all linked together to create the ultimate space, it’s no wonder why the venue is so popular. 21 Calling all grooms to be! Make a statement with this chic suit that’s perfect for rustic weddings. ADVERTISING Account Manager Gillian Ward | 01376 538 485 6 cwe COUNTY WEDDING EVENTS ISSN 2054-6726 Your East Midlands Wedding is solely owned, published and designed by KD Events & Publishing Ltd. Whilst every effort was made to ensure the information in this magazine was correct at the time of going to press, the publishers cannot accept legal responsibility for any errors or omissions, nor can they accept responsibility for advert content, or of the standing of advertisers or by the editorial contributions. The views expressed do not necessarily reflect those of the publisher. Your East Midlands Wedding is published six times a year.

The team of talented suppliers involved in this showstopping shoot wanted to showcase the elegance and charm of the relatively unknown venue, The Buttercross. 41 When it came to creating their perfect day, this couple wanted to include elements of fun to reflect them and their favourite things. They wanted people to leave feeling as though they knew a little bit more about them and their story. 45 28 49 Alice and Ryan embraced Doddington Hall’s stunning grounds for some showstopping images! 53 What’s not to love about this rustic bake created by The Cake Queen, Lincoln? Owner Zoe Critchley creates flawless, flavourfocused designs for all to enjoy. 36 Elena Bocharnikova at Elen Studio Photography and Film decided to organise a seasonal-themed shoot with a difference to highlight the time of year beautifully. What better location that Stapleford Park Hotel, which is an ideal wedding venue year-round? EDITOR’S LETTER 7 Look your big-day best in this two-piece sheath style with a plunging neckline and back.

NEWS Nearlywed All the latest from around the region BLOOMING BEAUTIFUL SETTING Although best known as Britain’s largest collection of individually designed gardens, Barnsdale Gardens in the East Midlands is fast becoming an extremely fashionable wedding venue for those who enjoy beautiful surroundings. The spaces are open all year round, and weddings can take place in any season with many taking place in winter. The venue’s dedicated team have the experience and passion to make weddings perfect. They appreciate that each wedding is unique and with this in mind, their planning and packages are flexible, aiming to fit any requirements. The team has recently celebrated the venue’s 40th anniversary of the gardens after the much-loved BBC Gardeners’ World presenter Geoff Hamilton founded Barnsdale in 1983, developing the gardens from a pasture he had ploughed. Discover the venue: FEELING PEACHY Pantone, the global colour authority and provider of professional colour language standards and digital solutions for the design community, has introduced the colour of the year that’s sure to impact 2024 weddings - PANTONE 13-1023 Peach Fuzz! The velvety and gentle peach embraces the spirit by enriching the mind, body and soul. In times of turmoil in many aspects of life, the need for nurturing, empathy and compassion grows stronger, as do imaginings of a more peaceful future. The warm and cosy shade highlights the desire for togetherness with others and the feeling of the sanctuary this creates. It adds a sense of tenderness, communicating a message of caring, sharing, community and collaboration. Leatrice Eiseman, executive director at Pantone Color Institute, says. “A cosy peach hue softly nestled between pink and orange, PANTONE 13-1023 Peach Fuzz brings belonging, inspires recalibration and an opportunity for nurturing, conjuring up an air of calm, offering us a space to be, feel, heal and flourish from whether spending time with others or taking the time me to enjoy a moment by ourselves. Sensitive but sweet and airy, the year’s colour evokes a new modernity. It’s a quietly sophisticated and contemporary peach with depth whose gentle lightness is understated but impactful, bringing beauty to the digital world. Poetic and romantic, with a clean peach tone with a vintage vibe, PANTONE 13-1023 Peach Fuzz reflects the past yet has been rephrased to have a contemporary ambience. WINNING IN LOVE For fashion-forward bridal luxury in the heart of the Peak District, look no further than Charlotte Elizabeth Bridal! The multi-award-winning boutique in Derbyshire provides beautiful gowns from some of the world’s leading designers. The team is over-the-moon to have been announced as the East Midlands Regional Winner for the Bridal Retailer, est. less than four years at the Wedding Industry Awards 2024. Owner Charlotte Burton says, “I was ecstatic and very proud when they announced it. It’s taken lots of hard work and it feels like my biggest achievement to date, especially as we’re an independent business unlike others in the industry that have big teams to do all the different roles. I think it’s down to my personal approach to my customers. They deal directly with me through the whole journey, so I often get to know them over a year, from when they first shop for a dress to all the fittings and then on the morning of the wedding. Some stores won’t offer that same level of personal service.” From timeless classics and ultra-feminine and supermodern designs to dazzling headpieces and elegant veils, the boutique offers the ultimate setting, offering styleconscious brides everything needed to turn heads. The team is dedicated to helping couples every step of the way to ensure they can relax and enjoy every moment of the experience. But, most importantly, they’ll ensure brides have fun along the way! Discover: 8

CAPTURING THE MOMENT Located in Nottingham, Tom Wyatt Photography has launched a new website to showcase his work and media features after a fantastic 2023. Working across the UK and internationally with a focus on a modern and editorial photography style, the company’s approach is to tell a narrative in which couples look effortlessly elegant. Owner Tom Wyatt says, “The last year has been a year of growth, accolade and travel. I’ve been fortunate enough to travel internationally for destination weddings to some stunning locations such as Los Angeles and Barcelona. My focus next year will be to continue to improve the client journey, adding value to every step of having me as your wedding photographer. This will include a new surprise gift after the wedding and improved wedding day management to ensure everything runs smoothly.” The business has just been announced as the Highly Commended winner for the East Midlands Photographer category at The Wedding Industry Awards for the East Midlands region. The iconic awards is an annual event to find the best wedding suppliers from across the UK, all judged by a panel of experts in the wedding industry. The award emphasises fostering relationships, celebrating successes, and embracing the joy of being part of a dynamic and thriving sector. Tom has been fortunate to work with genuinely amazing couples this year. He looks forward to 2024, where he’ll be photographing weddings from the lochs of Scotland down to Lulworth Castle in Dorset and a destination wedding in Tenerife. Discover the photographer: DATE NIGHT The award-winning Rutland Hall Hotel offers a new menu at its recently refurbished restaurant, Blossoms, carefully curated by the venue’s passionate executive head chef, Sumit Chakrabarty, and his team of nine sous chefs. The new lunch menu, set at just £26 for two courses and £28 for three, offers a selection of starters, mains and desserts, including a chef’s special that will regularly be updated. As well as delicious local meats, all menus have vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options. Sumi says, “This new menu is close to my heart. I call it refined dining, where I champion fresh local produce. Blossoms’ latest menus are all about celebrating flavours; we’re proud to serve dishes that are not too fussy in style and use seasonal produce that makes the dishes very tasty.” Other new winter menus include nibbles and sharing platters, a light lunch menu offering sandwiches, burgers, salads and pizzas, and the evening menu packed with a unique selection of dishes. These include super slow-cooked English beef, pan-fried wild stone bass, lamb osso buco rogan josh and many other options. In addition, there’s a selection of seven starter options and an array of dessert dishes, ensuring every palette is satisfied. One of the first people to try the new winter menu was Rutland local, Abi Richardson who says, “The service was excellent: super friendly, attentive, unobtrusive and the plates came out with just the right amount of rest time in between. Discover more information: PRE-WEDDING GETAWAY Longnor Wood Holiday Park in Derbyshire has picked up a national award in the Campsites 2023 Camping and Glamping Awards. The AA Gold Pennant site near Buxton was highlighted for its pristine facilities, quiet environment and great location. The annual awards, run by the national online booking site, identify the best campsites, glamping spots and touring sites across the country, celebrating those that have provided exceptional services for outdoor enthusiasts throughout the year. Sam Kitchen, who manages Longnor Wood along with her husband Ian and brother James, says, “We’re absolutely delighted to have won this award! Being a site that’s exclusively for adults, we aim to create a destination where people can completely relax and get away from it all. Our focus is on providing the best possible experience for our guests through improving our already excellent facilities, offering a quality personal service while going above and beyond for our guests. Many return year after year because they love the site and its location so much.” Open throughout the year apart from January, Longnor Wood is surrounded by woodland and within easy reach of popular Peak District walking and cycling trails, as well as market towns and attractions. The dog-friendly site offers a range of accommodations, including ensuite glamping pods, luxury lodges and caravan holiday homes with outdoor hot tubs, as well as all-weather pitches for camping and tourers – it’s perfect for pre-wedding getaways! Discover the site: 9 LOCAL NEWS

Stylish weddings don’t need to cost the earth The UK’s original online marketplace for creative, stylish brides to buy and sell preloved wedding items, here you’ll find everything from the dress to the décor, from designer to DIY. Established in 2011, we’ve helped hundreds of brides recycle their weddings and buy preloved to make their budgets go even further. Shop for preloved, handmade and items to hire from the UK’s most fabulous brides and wedding businesses. Cornwall, a county of beauty and magic; a place of wedding dreams. | 0300 1234 181 | @MyCornwallWedding Image Credit: omas Frost Photography My Cornwall Wedding: O cially Yours - the only source of bespoke, legal, celebrant-led civil weddings in Cornwall.

Great giveaways and discounts up for grabs ALL THINGS BEAUTIFUL Discover the artistry of Aureus Flos, a haven for exquisite, handcrafted hair adornments and bridal jewellery. Immerse in the elegance of carefully designed pieces that capture the essence of sophistication and individual style. From enchanting bridal tiaras to delicate hair pins, the company curates three delightful and captivating collections: Elderflower adorned with delicate blossoms, Botanica inspired by wild nature and Bella Donna, celebrating every woman’s individuality. Aureus Flos is a brand raised from a passion for fine arts and is a result of owner Anna Szumilewicz-Jarmolowicz’s long-time hobby and higher degree diploma in arts. As a result, making jewellery is not only her job; it’s something more. A unique bond grows between her and each piece made that can be passed onto you, making the handmade treasure memorable. We’ve teamed up with the company to offer readers a 10 per cent discount off the team’s beautiful creations when they quote CWM2024 at checkout before April 1st, 2024. If you need something unique, visit the company’s website to explore the world of handmade elegance. Check out: JEWELLERY MUST-HAVES Independent British brand Scream Pretty is giving readers the chance to win £150 to spend online at Say ‘I do’ to wedding season and RSVP to any summer soiree in style with Scream Pretty’s stunning treasure trove of jewellery. From lustrous opulent pearls, playful floral motifs, colourful touches and statement sparkle, Scream Pretty’s collection of consciously crafted recycled-sterling silver and gold-plated recycled-sterling silver designs have something for every wedding party. Its Modern Pearl collection features classically chic Baroque pearl necklaces and charm hoops, or for a touch more glam, why not opt for the Pearl and Tennis Chain earrings? Elsewhere, its Simple Sparkle and Audrey ranges bring sparkling crystals across a host of earring designs from dazzling huggies, beautiful bows, signature drop studs and delicate threaders; all designed to mix, match, layer, and stack, sitting as intricate accents that can be worn in piercings across the ear for a dainty curated look. For bridesmaids’ gifts, Scream Pretty’s Zodiac Coin Pendants make thoughtful personalised gifts, whilst its collection of heart, oval and precious hand carabiner charm collectors make the perfect keepsake. Designed with the ethos ‘Be seen. Be heard. Scream Pretty.’, this jewellery brand has you covered for every occasion. Freebies& OFFERS FREEBIES & OFFERS 11

ALL EVENTS 11AM - 3PM unless otherwise stated At County Wedding Events each show is professionally and meticulously run to ensure a variety of suppliers are on hand to help you plan your big day and are hosted by some of the loveliest premier venues in your area. All our shows offer you free entry and parking, a goody bag each containing gifts, and useful local information to plan your wedding. You will also have the opportunity to enter prize draw competitions and take advantage of exclusive offers and discounts on the day. WEDDING SHOWS SPRING 2024 As part of KD Events and Publishing Ltd, County Wedding Events (CWE) is ideally placed to offer you a wealth of experience organising events in the wedding industry. If you would like more information about either holding a wedding show at your venue or exhibiting at any of our shows, please contact us at, call 01376 514000 or visit WORK WITH US HERTFORDSHIRE SUN, 25 FEB 2024 AUDLEYS WOOD HOTEL Alton Road, Basingstoke, RG25 2JT HAMPSHIRE 12PM-4PM SUN, 3 MAR 2024 WARE PRIORY High Street, Ware, SG12 9AL SUN, 12 MAY 2024 NUTFIELD PRIORY Nutfield Road, Nutfield, Redhill, RH1 4EL SURREY CAMBRIDGESHIRE SUN, 17 MAR 2024 SWYNFORD MANOR London Road, Six Mile Bottom, CB8 0UE

ESSEX SUN, 17 MAR 2024 LAYER MARNEY Layer Marney, Colchester, CO5 9US SUN, 24 MAR 2024 VAULTY MANOR Osea Leisure, Goldhanger Road, Heybridge, CM9 4SA SUN, 14 APR 2024 THAT AMAZING PLACE Hubbards Hall Farm, Harlow, CM17 0NH SUN, 21 APR 2024 CHANNELS ESTATE Belsteads Farm Lane, Little Waltham, CM3 3PT SUN, 14 APR 2024 HOUCHINS Houchins Lane, Coggeshall, CO6 1RT SUN, 28 APR 2024 OLD ESSEX BARN Cranes Lane, Kelvedon, Colchester, CO5 9AX SUN, 12 MAY 2024 BRAXTED PARK Braxted Park Estate, Great Braxted, CM8 3EN 12pm-4pm Fashion Show SUN, 19 MAY 2024 ST OSYTH PRIORY West Field Lane, St Osyth, CO16 8GW SUN, 24 MAR 2024 KIMBERLEY HALL Estate Office, Wymondham, NR18 0RT NORFOLK SUN, 3 MAR 2024 SPROWSTON MANOR Wroxham Road, Norwich, NR7 8RP 12pm-4pm 12pm-4pm

SUFFOLK SUN, 21 APR 2024 RAVENWOOD HALL HOTEL Rougham, Bury St Edmunds, IP30 9JA /CountyWeddingEvents @CountyWedEvent @countyweddingevents SUN, 25 FEB 2024 CAVE HOTEL Brickfield Lane, Boughton, ME13 9AJ KENT SUN, 21 APR 2024 LYMPNE CASTLE The Street, Lympne, CT21 4LQ SUN, 14 APR 2024 RACKLEYS Marlow Road, Cadmore End, HP14 3PP BEDFORDSHIRE SUN, 17 MAR 2024 LUTON HOO Estate Office, Luton Hoo Estate, Luton, LU1 4LF BUCKINGHAMSHIRE FOLLOW US ON SOCIAL MEDIA SUN, 12 MAY 2024 FRASERS ColdHarbour Farm, Barhams Mill Road, Egerton, TN27 9DD SUN, 3 MAR 2024 BRADBOURNE HOUSE New Rd, East Malling, ME19 6DZ

• 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 our Signature Wedding Shows to have the chance to win a mini-break courtesy of Classic Lodges Pre-register at Brooklands Drive, Weybridge, KT13 0SL SUNDAY 28TH APRIL 2024 | 11AM - 3:00PM MERCEDES-BENZ WORLD High Street, Berkshire, SL5 7JX SUNDAY 7TH APRIL 2024 | 11AM - 3.30PM ASCOT RACECOURSE

Pre-register for all of our events at ASCOT RACECOURSE, 7TH APRIL 2024 MERCEDES-BENZ WORLD, 28TH APRIL 2024 X Sarah Here at County Wedding Magazines and Events HQ we’re looking forward to kickstarting our Spring 2024 wedding show season – perfect for all those couples that got engaged over the Summer period. From must-visit local fairs in some of the region’s best wedding venues to our larger Signature Wedding Shows, we can’t wait to welcome nearlyweds to our events and help plan their wedding day. Each event will boast a huge range of specialists who will be on hand to talk through your planning ideas and requirements; venues, bridal boutiques, photographers, florists, cake makers and more, there’s everything you could need to plan your wedding under one roof. On the day refreshments will be available to purchase from each of the venue’s on-site restaurants, bars and cafés. Couples will need to pre-register in advance for an allocated arrival time, although on the day visitors are always welcome, and attending our shows are free! For more information, visit County Wedding Events’ website. We look forward to seeing you at one of our events. Sarah Ellis, Sales and Events Director County Wedding Events. Pre-register and attend our Signature Wedding Shows to have the chance to win a mini-break courtesy of Classic Lodges A date for your diary... GREAT EXPECTATIONS

Going local Tie the knot in and around Rutland BARNSDALE GARDENS 01572 813 200 | Tucked away in the heart of Rutland, Barnsdale Gardens is a blank canvas waiting for couples to add personal touches. With 38 different individual gardens, the versatile spaces can be used in many ways – the only limitation is couples’ imaginations. The stunning gardens make for the perfect romantic setting, with ceremonies held in the purpose-built oak arbour surrounded by spectacular planting and lots of room for guests on the manicured lawn. The remainder of the gardens are also available to capture memories for as long as needed. The photographic opportunities are endless, with traditional family and group shots on the manicured lawns, romantic pictures in the Woodland Walk and Japanese Garden or some quirky wheelbarrow shots on the Allotment. Receptions take place on the grounds, surrounded by beautiful views. As a DIY wedding venue, couples can choose a marquee or tipi, caterer and furnishings to suit different wedding styles, making it an excellent venue for couples looking to add their own stamp. The team appreciates that each wedding is unique and with this in mind, the packages are flexible to fit different requirements. Whether lovebirds are looking for champagne and canapés, cream tea or traditional wedding breakfasts, many choices are available. 17 LOCAL VENUES

CROWN HALL FARM 01733 442 025 | Located on the outskirts of Spalding in Lincolnshire, the Crown Hall Farm is a hidden gem waiting to be discovered. The property was originally a working farm but now hosts stunning nuptials in a tranquil setting. The team has more than 20 years of experience in the wedding and events industries. With exceptional and friendly service, they’ll work with nearlyweds to create dream events. As pairs enter Crown Hall Farm through the large gates, they’re embraced with lush greenery and a tree-lined driveway that creates a calming environment. The Sandringham Suite is the perfect place to prepare for weddings, with additional space designed with hair and make-up in mind. The modern twist on a farmhouse vibe includes a rustic beam, which is perfect for hanging wedding dresses to capture memorable photos. The two guest rooms are also designed to create a modern, romantic feel. The grounds were designed by Chelsea Flower Show award winner Adam Frost and have many beautiful photo opportunities to discover. The large lake creates a perfect backdrop to ceremonies in the boat house. The space is full of character, with rustic furniture and a PA system for music. Couples can enjoy drinks receptions at the Bar Boat, which is central to the grounds and provides a fun feature. The large marquee has a porcelain tiled floor, climate control and panoramic windows that look out over the grounds. Here, pairs can exchange vows with 200 loved ones and host receptions with 250. The grass outside the marquee provides the perfect spot for garden games and other entertainment, while the picnic benches create a relaxing space for guests to enjoy a drink and catch up. The team offers a wide range of catering options and even has a pizza shack with a wood-fired oven. The team’s flexible approach is what sets the venue apart. In 2023, one couple canoeed down the lake to surprise guests, while another designed their menu based on their family recipes cooked by the catering team. RUTLAND HALL HOTEL AND SPA 01572 757 901 | Nestled in the tranquil countryside, Rutland Hall Hotel is a truly unforgettable place to say “I do”. The romantic scene is set as couples travel up the sweeping gravel driveway to the historic 18th-century Main Hall. Start a new life together, celebrating with loved ones in this elegant venue with indoor and outdoor spaces that will take everyone’s breath away. With 65 acres of peaceful parkland on the shores of Rutland Water, the stunning backdrop offers endless photo opportunities. The range of flexible indoor and outdoor spaces can bring dream weddings to life, from intimate gatherings to larger celebrations. The Lakeview Terrace offers a breathtaking backdrop for ceremonies. It’s an idyllic location with sweeping views across the grounds and Rutland Water. Or exchange vows in the Lakeview Lounge for bright, airy and modern indoor ceremonies. The neutral décor and natural light allow pairs to personalise the space to create showstopping settings. The new Pavilion Suite caters to larger celebrations, including Asian weddings. With plenty of space for a stunning Mandap or ceremony backdrop, wow guests in one of the biggest event spaces in the area. Regarding wedding breakfasts, The Lakeview Suite offers high ceilings and soft furnishings. Flooded with natural daylight and views of Rutland Water, lovebirds can enjoy their first meal as a married couple and then dance the night away with loved ones. From 2023, the Pavilion Suite will offer space for larger celebrations of up to 550 guests. The exceptionally talented kitchen team is on hand to craft a personalised and creative menu that reflects celebrations. The team will bring ideas to life, whether formal dining, canapé receptions, interactive food stations, sharing platters or evening buffets. When the dancing ends, retire to one of the elegant rooms, from cosy doubles to superior rooms with private balconies offering stunning views across the grounds. The Windsor Suite, with original stone windows and period features, creates the perfect frame for stunning views of Rutland Water and the surrounding parkland. 18

Also check out… RUSHTON HALL HOTEL AND SPA Set in 25 acres of idyllic Northamptonshire countryside, this 16thcentury Grade I listed Hotel promises to wow guests from the moment they arrive. Loved ones will be captivated by the splendour of the picturesque surroundings where dreams turn into reality and memories are created. The historical gardens are the perfect backdrop for yearround wedding photographs and romantic strolls. The magnificent Orangery features an imposing stone façade and gorgeous interiors overlooking the stunning grounds. Check out: STAPLEFORD PARK HOTEL & SPA Surrounded by acres of English countryside in Leicestershire, boarding Lincolnshire and Rutland, Stapleford Park creates a charming setting. With maintained gardens, a 5 km nature trail, extensive activities, plenty of wildlife and photographic backdrops. Couples will find intimate spaces full of natural lighting and period features inside, with an abundant of history waiting to be discovered. Check out: STUBTON HALL 01636 626 187 | Stubton Hall is an elegant 19th-century country house set within 24 acres of parkland. With commanding views over the Lincolnshire countryside close to the Nottinghamshire border and the historic market town of Newark, what location could be better for special events? With exclusive use, couples can take over the entire house to celebrate with loved ones in privacy. Check out: HANBECK FARM Hanbeck Farm offers a dream-worthy location for weddings, tailored completely around couples from midweek weddings to weekend dates. With one to three-day hire options, pairs will create memorable weddings surrounded by their nearest and dearest. Nestled among picturesque gardens and a lake where couples can watch magnificent sunsets with their favourite tipple, the property can host 100 for ceremonies and 120 evening guests in the main wedding barn. Check out: h 19 LOCAL VENUES

Nestled in the beauty of Shropshire’s rolling countryside, the Apley Estate proudly presents Stockton house, our stunning 18th century grade II listed venue. With it’s stylish Georgian design, walled garden dining room, elegant bar and spacious terrace, it has been lovingly restored with guest comfort in mind. 01952 730894 stockton_house STOCKTON HOUSE NORTON SHIFNAL SHROPSHIRE TF11 9EF WHAT’S INCLUDED • Exclusive use of the whole house and grounds including seven luxurious bedrooms • Pretty on-site 11th century Church • Civil ceremony facilities for both indoor and outdoor weddings • Full use of our walled garden dining room • A complimentary menu tasting with your own personal chef • Breakfast the next day for the happy couple • Tables, chairs and linen laid to your chosen wedding breakfast floor plan • Crockery, cutlery, tableware and glassware • A dedicated wedding planner Your perfect day — AT STOCKTON HOUSE —

THE HALL BARNS 01509 880 236 | The Hall Barns isn’t an average wedding venue as it offers the ideal setting for free spirits, rule breakers, partygoers and non-traditional couples looking for an Instagram-worthy venue with good vibes and plenty of quirks. It has space for up to 70 loved ones for the vows and seated dining, 150 for relaxed meals and 150 for receptions. Couples will find rustic styling, original features and versatile areas in the renovated barn, which creates the perfect setting to celebrate with guests. With exclusive venue hire, they’ll get access to all these amazing spaces throughout the big day. The Crewyard is a licensed space for civil ceremonies; this stunning covered courtyard combines the best parts of indoor and outdoor ceremonies and looks simply fab doing it. There’s nothing quite like the charm of an English country garden. If pairs fancy a scenic licensed ceremony, many outdoor spaces provide a secluded and romantic backdrop to exchange vows. If a church wedding is more their style, the team has it covered! The beautiful St Andrew’s Church is just a short walk from The Hall Barns, where the team will be waiting for newlyweds with celebratory fizz. A great party needs great food. The venue’s mind-blowing menus will give guests food to remember for a lifetime, from relaxed sit-down meals to rustic and informal outdoor nibbles. Keep the party going with delicious hot and cold food options for evening receptions. Watch the Crewyard transform into a private nightclub with the help of atmospheric lighting and an epic sound system. End the party with a night under the stars in the enchanting glamping pods. There’s an opulent newlywed suite, as well as nine guest pods and plenty of room to pitch additional tents for a real festival feel. Fancy a few more home comforts? Book a stay in the Laundry Cottage; this beautiful, thatched cottage is only a 30-second from the barn, so it’s super convenient. Discover these al fresco settings around the region OUTDOORS The great AL FRESCO VENUES 21

THE HIDDEN HIVE 03444 113 460 | Surrounded by enchanting woodland and idyllic lakes, The Hidden Hive is a laid-back venue located in the Derbyshire National Forest. With three giant tipis and a chill-out area all linked together to create the ultimate space, it’s no wonder why the venue is so popular. Solid wooden flooring and twinkly lights throughout the tipis give the whole place that cosy and intimate feel. The chill-out area consists of Chesterfield sofas, armchairs and a fire pit to create a serious ambience. There’s also outdoor seating for those warm summer nights as well as an indoor/outdoor bar. The venue is incredibly spacious yet has the rare ability to feel intimate. It’s the perfect place for couples to let their imagination run wild – whether they want to host festive-style celebrations or elegant and understated soirées. No matter what, lovebirds will have vast space and open fields perfect for lawn games. Say “I do” in The Honey Bee Barn with 150 loved ones. The new ceremony structure boasts views across the open fields and forest with gorgeous rustic features. The main tipis are the perfect location for receptions with 120 people. The team works with the brilliant Black Peppermint Food Co and several other street food vendors for all catering needs. Regarding the rest of the gang, pairs will be free to choose their own suppliers! For those who need a helping hand to get started, the staff has met some fantastic wedding friends over the years and would love to provide lovebirds with a recommended list of suppliers. After the celebrations, couples and their guests can retreat to the campsite next door. Some stylish glamping pods are available at the Beehive Woodland Lakes campsite adjacent to the exclusive wedding venue. Happy campers can even pitch their tents too! OSMASTON PARK 01335 350 279 | Situated in 3,000 acres of Derbyshire countryside on the edge of a quintessentially English village, Osmaston Park is a private venue that provides a stunning backdrop to weddings. Guests will love the pictureperfect views over the surrounding lakes, woodland and parkland areas. The venue doesn’t have a civil ceremony licence, but couples can have celebrant-led blessings outside surrounded by the stunning scenery. The team offers an alternative space if the British weather is an issue. The silk-lined marquee can be tailored for receptions with 50 to 500 people. With fairylights and chandeliers that create a romantic atmosphere and the chance to decorate the space to match any theme, couples are sure to create their dream day. The team will provide all the tables and chairs, a dancefloor and a bar area for the ultimate celebrations. Lovebirds can use the lawn during summer for reception drinks, bouncy castles and games. 22

TIPIS AT WHATTON HOUSE 03444 113 460 | After opening in 2021, Tipis at Whatton House has provided couples three giant tipis and a chill-out zome for dream-worthy weddings. Nestled in the jaw-dropping gardens of Whatton House, the venue is a hidden gem waiting to be discovered. What location could be better with a cosy feel, thanks to the solid wood flooring and twinkling lights that add a romantic vibe? It’s not just the tipis that couples swoon over; the grounds will transport pairs to a secret garden with a tranquil forest area, pristine lawns and beautiful blooms. Wander along the winding pathways and steal a few moments together as newlyweds while soaking up the spectacular views of the Leicestershire countryside. Tipis at Whatton House is also home to a charming rickety old bridge across a peaceful pond and an iconic swing, which provides couples with picture-perfect opportunities. Exchange vows in The Bark House surrounded by 150 loved ones. The wooden and stone building is located behind a smaller tipi that houses all the guests. Continue the celebrations in the main tipis, which provide the perfect backdrops for memorable and rustic weddings. The Tipis at Whatton House’s bar is fully managed and included in the venue hire. The team works with the brilliant Black Peppermint Food Co and several other street food vendors for all needs. The catering team will manage the bar, regularly serving his and her signature cocktails. The venue doesn’t offer on-site accommodation, but several hotels are located within a five-mile area. INKERSALL GRANGE FARM 08001 123 162 | Couples will find Inkersall Grange Farm, a relaxed rustic-meets-luxury tipi wedding venue in the Nottinghamshire countryside. The team’s mission is to ensure pairs have stunning weddings, providing them with a premium experience. They hope to bring pairs luxurious wedding experiences, with a selection of prestigious suppliers at their fingertips, the bonus of total flexibility and a memorable location. The beautiful setting can host up to 120 people for the vows. This blank canvas space is just asking to be filled with love, laughter, dancing, confetti and all the good vibes. The team is thrilled to announce that pairs can officially get married at Inkersall Grange Farm. The Kings Barn is a new ceremony structure that boasts views across the glorious grounds and gardens with gorgeous rustic features. Continue the celebrations in the stylish tipis for wedding breakfasts and parties – what’s not to love? Lovebirds will find solid wooden flooring, geometric decking and bespoke wooden furniture within the tipis. The luxe lounge areas are filled with Chesterfield sofas, armchairs and firepits. The outdoor space is also dreamy during golden hour, so relax in the sunshine with a cocktail (or two), chill out with loved ones and enjoy every second of the day. Food and drink are at the heart of good celebrations. Finding the right partner to deliver this at Inkersall Grange Farm was essential. The team has chosen some of the region’s best caterers to partner with, who can deliver exceptional culinary experiences for all tastes and budgets. They work with couples to deliver memorable meals, from relaxed but seriously delicious street food to a completely bespoke three-course gastronomic journies! Inkersall Grange Farm benefits from a fabulous selection of nearby hotels and B&Bs just a stone’s throw away from the venue itself. The staff highly recommend Fairview Log Cabins for those looking for somewhere the whole wedding party can stay. The site is only 10 minutes away, with a huge selection of log cabins and camping available for all. 23 AL FRESCO VENUES

One of the largest wedding shows to be held in the South of England. A huge number of wedding specialists on hand to inspire and advise on how to bring your wedding dreams to life. PLUS! Special offers on the day • The chance to win a luxury honeymoon • Bridal fashion shows • Entertainment • Refreshments • and more... Pre-register and attend our Signature Wedding Shows to have the chance to win a mini-break courtesy of Classic Lodges Follow us on /CountyWeddingEvents @CountyWedEvent @countyweddingevents HOSTED AT Sunday 7th April 2024 11am to 3:30pm FREE ENTRY High Street, Ascot, Berkshire, SL5 7JX IN ASSOCIATION WITH

The most important day of your life... ...deserves a special setting – a location that’s not just out of the ordinary, but extraordinary. That location is Kilworth House Hotel. Kilworth House stands apart from the everyday world – a place of timeless warmth, elegance and gracious living set amid 38 acres of rolling parkland. Kilworth House Hotel, Lutterworth Road, North Kilworth, Leicestershire LE17 6JE Telephone: 01858 880058 | 07818505061 | @poppys_icecreams Poppy’s ice creams supplies award winning ice cream for your special event. Poppy’s ice creams covers Leicestershire, Northamptonshire and Rutland, but I’m happy to travel if your event is outside these areas! Service time is usually around 2 hours and includes a choice of 4 different flavours of ice cream or sorbet served either in a tub or waffle cone alongside a selection of delicious sauces and toppings. Poppy’s ice creams can cater for different dietary requirements serving plant based ice creams and sorbets. Get in Touch!

Bec and Tim’s wedding was full of fun and laughter Images courtesy of Gina Fernandes Photography IN PINK Pretty 26

These lovebirds met while working on Blue Peter during a team lunch, and their smiles attracted them to each other. After chatting back and forth via emails, followed by a friend’s leaving do, the pair decided to go on a date. They played 20 questions over dinner, then spent a further four hours talking in the car till 2 am before Bec flew off to Australia for a couple of months. They didn’t want to make anything official too quickly, but Tim picked her up from Heathrow when she returned, and the rest is history. The couple became engaged on a motorhome trip on a Northumberland beach in May 2022. A few years earlier, they were visiting the area and stumbled onto the most picturesque beach, where Bec said to Tim, “I don’t need a fancy proposal; this would be perfect.” He didn’t propose on the exact beach because he was determined it would be a surprise and Bec was already at a stage where she assumed a ring was coming. She says, “We spent the rest of the trip having barbecues on beaches, bubbly in cute seaside pubs, eating lobster and crab sandwiches, coffee on the side of the road and ringing every single person we knew cause the joy was addictive!” SETTING THE SCENE The couple wanted to include fun elements to reflect them and their favourite things on the big day. They wanted people to leave feeling like they knew more about them and their story. Kilworth House Hotel had the most incredible orangery, perfect for Bec and Tim’s wedding with plenty of natural lighting, original black and white mosaic floor and a metal structure. The couple didn’t even consider anywhere else, and made the venue work with the budget. The Hotel was incredible throughout the whole experience from start to finish, making the pair feel extra special. Their kindness and dedication made it clear that the couple were always the priority. The reception space was beautifully decorated with round tables featuring seasonal blooms in bud vases with a few candles for the centrepieces to complement the beautiful room. Each table was named after significant locations important to the pair, and the couple wrote a little about each area so guests could walk around the tables to discover the couple’s love story. Favours created by the bride and her mother-in-law were a big hit! The biscuits were shaped like Blue Peter badges, all wrapped in a blue ribbon with a “Here’s one I made earlier” tag. The pair decided to scrap the canapés and booked a popcorn cart instead, their absolute addiction! They also chose a Chinese buffet for evening food as it’s their favourite takeaway. During the planning process, the coupld knew they wanted a Lambethstyle cake! Tim had to seriously appeal for more subdued colours because Bec was ready for bright pink icing. He made a great choice; the light pink was beautifully classy and allowed the cherries to pop. Family is essential to the pair but sadly, none of the grandparents could attend the wedding. So, the couple made a sign called “Generations of love”, which included a little backstory from how their grandparents and parents met, with the date they got married and photos. Bec says, “We felt this was the perfect homage to those who were no longer with us or couldn’t attend. My mum also made us a big banner that said ‘Simple Exceptional’, a slogan on the top I wore on my and Tim’s first date, that I bought specifically. It’s become a common reference in our relationship. The banner is now hanging in our hall as a keepsake.” LOOKING THE PART As a slow fashion advocate, the bride chose a pre-loved dress as the thought of spending a lot of money on something she’d wear once was the furthest thing from her comfort zone. As one of the last of her friends to REAL WEDDINGS 27

get married, Bec never saw anything that resonated with her personal style. She says, “I went to Butterflies Dress Agency, which specialises in the most exquisite second-hand designer clothing. I tried on roughly six dresses and appreciated their beauty – I’d have been happy in any of them! The gown I chose didn’t remind me of any of my friend’s wedding dresses. I altered the sleeves so they hung loosely off-the-shoulder to add my own personal style and changed the buttons to something more sparkly. I borrowed my friend’s garter and my other friend’s veil – both were my bridesmaids on the day.” The bride splurged on vintage gold heart drop earrings and wore a simple gold bangle from her mother-in-law. Her shoes were from Vinted, and her handbag was from a small business called Rommy UK that Bec has supported for years. She adds, “I felt absolutely stunning! Everything all came together perfectly, and I wouldn’t change a thing. I felt so excited that I was finally getting married that I stood outside my parents’ house and screamed, ‘I’m getting married’ before we left for the church!” Tim wore a suit from Moss, it was a navy lightly checked style with a pink tie. He’s not a big suit guy, but he was most excited for his shoes! He purchased a pair of Loakes leather and suede brogues. Bec says, “When we looked through our wedding photos, he mentioned how much he loved them on multiple occasions. He was also the only one of the wedding party to wear a waistcoat to stand out.” The bridesmaids all picked their own dresses in hot pink not knowing how much of a trend the colour would become. Bec comments, “I wanted the dresses to resemble my best girls and their own styles, I wanted them to feel confident as I know that’s sometimes difficult when you haven’t chosen your own outfit.” MEMORABLE MOMENTS Bec and Tim’s wedding was full of memorable moments from start to finish! The best man and bridesmaid sang in the church together during the signing the register, a special moment the lovebirds will always treasure. A violinist played during the drinks reception and wedding breakfast to enhance the romantic atmosphere too. Other entertainment included a photo booth that was a great hit with kids who enjoyed the limitless photos and props, as well as a band for the evening reception. Bec says, “The band was fantastic and got everyone up dancing! Tim surprised everyone by playing the drums during a few songs, which was very special as I’d never heard him play before. My jaw hit the floor as he was great!” “For both of us, the love we felt from everyone was incredible. Looking around the room and seeing so many different faces was very special! We had a lot of speeches and I was worried we might have had too many, but it was perfect in the end as everyone shared something very different. Tim and I both gave a short speech while my mum incorporated lyrics from different ABBA songs as they’re our favourite band. Tim’s mum wrote a poem and held up different items from the groom’s childhood while my dad made a video of mine and the best men shared something special too.” HONEYMOON The couple sailed from Dubrovnik to Split in Croatia, which they booked through Yacht Getaways. They spent seven glorious days on the Adriatic Sea, stopping in little ports or buoys, being cooked delicious meals, watching the stars, popping bottles and exploring stunning towns and national parks. The bride says, “We normally book an adventurous holiday that involves lots of walking. It was glorious not having to think about anything for a whole week while also not being stationary. We had the best group of like-minded people on our boat. Waking up at sea to the sunrise, the sound of water and a fresh coffee was simply exceptional.” 28