Your East Midlands Wedding - April/May 2024 (Issue 61)

WIN! A honeymoon in the Maldives Showstopping weddings ENDLESS ROMANCE Say it with FLOWERS Bouquets and floral arrangements PLANNING SOS APR/MAY 2024 £3.55 Top expert advice EAST MIDLANDSWEDDING Nature’s palette Glorious garden settings

Lux Life Wedding Florist of the Year - Northamptonshire 2023 07867 920958 | | TEMPLAR ROAD, BARTON SEAGRAVE, KETTERING, NORTHAMPTONSHIRE NN15 5BX Iamges by Sarah Vivienne Photography

REGULARS 6 EDITOR’S LETTER Olivia Gibson shares her top picks from this issue 9 NEARLYWED NEWS Catch up on news from around the region 13 FREEBIES & OFFERS Great giveaways and discounts up for grabs 76 HOT TOPIC Local experts offer stellar advice on wedding dilemmas 83 COMPETITION Win a honeymoon in the Maldives worth £3,000 CONTENTS APRIL/MAY 2024 VENUES 19 KEEP IT LOCAL Exchange vows in and around Leicestershire 23 BLOOMING BEAUTIFUL Tie the knot in these glorious garden settings On the cover This issue’s cover has been taken from the styled shoot on page 47, which was captured by the talented Amanda Forman Photography. Check out: 79 23 FEATURES 43 EFFORTLESSLY ELEGANT This gorgeous shoot set on a local vineyard in Nottinghamshire offers plenty of wed-spiration 47 CULTURAL FUSION This sentimental and vibrant-styled shoot was bursting full of romance 53 PLANNING SOS Our experts share top advice for wedding planning 79 FLORAL FANTASTY Discover stunning bouquets, arrangements and accessories 43 3

REAL WEDDINGS 26 WRITTEN IN THE STARS Verity and Scott’s stunning wedding had a starry night theme 33 AUTUMNAL DREAMS Nic and Mark’s rustic wedding featured fun touches 38 YOU’RE MY CUP OF TEA Gem and Ross had a city-chic wedding in Nottinghamshire HONEYMOONS 84 HONEYMOON NEWS Our travel editor reveals the newest openings and honeymoon essentials 86 THE ITALIAN DREAM Live la dolce vita at Villa La Massa in the heart of the breathtaking Tuscan countryside 88 PICTURESQUE PARGA Jet to Parga Beach Resort in this popular coastal town located on the north-western coast of Greece 90 A ROOM WITH A VIEW Get away from it all at Dunston Hall Hotel, Spa and Golf Resort FASHION & BEAUTY 60 FASHION FOCUS The latest bridal fashion news, buys and launches 61 RUFFLE UP Romantic layers and tiers are decorating bridal dresses this season 64 IN LOVE WITH LACE This delicate fabric is always in fashion 69 THE ULTIMATE EDIT Add instant glam to your big-day look with these latest jewellery launches 70 BEAUTY BUZZ Get the look with the latest must-haves 72 JUST BREATHE Actor turned meditation facilitator Maude Hirst tells us how to handle the stresses of wedding planning 74 BEAUTY Q&A Our local professionals solve your problems 38 26 86 56 GROOMS 56 GROOMS’ NEWS The latest best buys and product launches 57 FEELING PEACHY We’ve rounded up some of the latest on-trend products for the groom-to-be inspired by Pantone’s colour of the year, Peach Fuzz 59 LUSCIOUS LOCKS TikTok star Matt Newman reveals his haircare tips for grooms-to-be 73 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.

This stunning beaded gown from Mira Willinger features wide open long wings decorated with delicate flowers. Can you believe it’s officially spring? If you’re anything like me, you’ve been counting down the days until the sun arrives. Don’t get me wrong, I love winter but I miss embracing the outdoors and being amongst nature. I’ve had enough of the dark nights and scraping ice of my car! There’s something so magical about the time of year: the sun is shining, nature is thriving, and animals are emerging. It’s also a time for spring cleaning and organising for a fresh start, perfect if you’re looking for a relaxed mind ready for wedding planning. My number one tip from the get-go is to work as a team, as the big day should reflect your love story and personalises. Don’t get too caught up trying to please everyone else; it’s your day. Highlight all the most essential aspects of the wedding to you both and make these a priority throughout the process. Set a clear budget for each element on a spreadsheet with how much you’re comfortable spending, the deadline for payments and how much balance is left to pay to keep on track. The fun part of wedding planning is finding dream-worthy suppliers who share your vision. Lucky for you, this issue is bursting with local talent who have plenty of wedding experience. We have everything from top designers, photographers, florists, hairstylists, bakers, wedding planners and more! Pull up a chair, grab a cuppa and enjoy! Olivia x Olivia Gibson, Editor Here comes the sun 64 57 @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 After dream-worthy wedding images? Laura Jayne Photographer shares expert advice to help couples plan their dream day. 76 Calling grooms-to-be, check out this suit inspired by Pantone’s Colour of the Year, Peach Fuzz. 21 ©Chris Haley Photograpy Set in 38 acres of rolling parkland, Kilworth House is an elegant venue with breathtaking views, expansive grounds, fine dining, luxurious accommodation and an outdoor theatre – what’s not to love about this property? ADVERTISING Account Manager Matthew Stageman | 01376 538 567 6 ISSN 2054-6726 Your East Midlands Wedding is solely owned, published and designed by Ellis Media and Events Ltd. Whilst every effort was made to ensure the information in this magazine was correct at the time of going to press, the publishers cannot accept legal responsibility for any errors or omissions, nor can they accept responsibility for advert content, or of the standing of advertisers or by the editorial contributions. The views expressed do not necessarily reflect those of the publisher. Your East Midlands Wedding is published six times a year.

We’ve gathered top florists from around the region to showcase beautiful designs like this arrangment from Em’z Flower Boutique. 79 This couple’s number one goal was keeping their wedding as stress-free as possible – they achieved just that! 83 26 43 This stunning shoot was a collaborative effort from wedding vendors each with a speciality in their respective field that celebrates a luxe, high-end South Asian ceremony. 33 This gorgeous shoot set on a local vineyard in Nottinghamshire offers plenty of wed-spiration. 47 One lucky couple can win a honeymoon worth £3,000 to one of the finest resorts in the Maldives! EDITOR’S LETTER 7 Unstructured fresh and dried florals in rich autumnal tones made up the arrangements at this stunning wedding.

NEWS Nearlywed All the latest from around the region BIG-DAY TREATS Peak Patisserie, known for crafting exquisite wedding cakes, is raising the bar in 2024 with two delightful new additions! Indulge in personalised chocolate bon bons, which offer the perfect touch of luxury and personalisation. Imagine handcrafted, bite-sized chocolates that are each a miniature masterpiece customised to wedding colour schemes. From classic salted caramel to playful strawberry shortcake, couples can choose flavours that tantalise their taste buds and reflect their unique style. Whether surprising guests as favours or using them to create a stunning dessert table, these bon bons will surely leave a lasting impression. Elevate guests’ anticipation with a stunning, personalised cake menu! This innovative addition clearly showcases the delectable flavours hiding within each tier, beautifully coordinated with wedding colours. It’s the perfect blend of practicality and artistic flair, adding another dimension to the cake presentation. With these new offerings, Peak Patisserie is redefining the wedding dessert experience. Contact the team today to explore these exciting new options and make weddings even sweeter! Discover: DREAM-WORTHY SETTINGS A luxury Rutland hotel has officially opened the doors to the county’s largest indoor events space, which can accommodate 500 seated people. Rutland Hall Hotel, which sits on 70 acres of rolling parkland, is now taking bookings for its aptly named ‘Rutland Pavilion’, a venue space larger than four full-sized tennis courts – making it perfect for high-profile corporate functions and large weddings. Adrian Pickard, director and general manager at Rutland Hall Hotel says, “The Pavilion is a pivotal new venue space for the hotel and puts Rutland firmly on the national map as a key corporate destination for events across the UK.” The Pavilion is available for venue-only hire, allowing event organisers and wedding couples to bring in their own suppliers or choose from the hotel’s handpicked approved list of specialist companies. Following the Rutland Hall Hotel’s sustainable ethos, which recently saw the venue claim a Silver ecoSMART award, the Pavilion has been built with 100% recyclable composition, with recycled composite panelled walls and an insulated roof and floor. Rutland Hall Hotel is a unique lakeside resort offering a tranquil countryside experience with stunning views over Rutland Water. The property features a range of accommodations, including a 19th-century country house, modern suites with private balconies and self-catering lodges. With a newly refurbished restaurant (Blossoms) serving delicious dishes, an array of on-site and local activities and a reputation for excellence, Rutland Hall Hotel caters to all tastes. For more information, visit: FINDING THE ONE The team at Champagne & Lace are excited to announce their new bridal store in Louth, Lincolnshire! The motherand-daughter-run business has outstanding knowledge and understanding of brides, ensuring everybody has the most enjoyable appointment! The new space will allow the team to continue offering a fantastic service to clients, who will have the whole store to themselves for two hours with their undivided attention, but now on a more extensive and grander scale! It will be a truly personal shopping experience with extra personal touches. Original features like the staircase have been lovingly restored along with the original signage under the new sign, so history is always kept. The team offers stunning gowns by Allure Romance and Madison James but is also considering taking on new designers to expand its offering. In-store, brides can expect an inclusive range, which the team is always looking to expand to offer the complete experience—watch this space! The team understands that finding the one can be overwhelming for brides, so they’re here to ensure the most stress-free and enjoyable experience clients will never forget. The boutique also offers a wide selection of tiaras, veils, bridal belts, jewellery, shoes and more to complete your bridal look. Book an appointment: 8

THE DREAM TEAM Step into the world of The Wedding Nanny, where the team specialises in one-to-one luxury childcare for weddings. We’ve teamed up with the company to offer readers 10 per cent off a 24-hour booking when they quote weddingchildcare10 before June 1st, 2024. At the core of their service lies the aspiration to be more than just nannies; they aim to be the additional parental figure, ensuring the safety and well-being of children throughout celebrations. From the laughterfilled moments to the radiant smiles and pure happiness, the staff handle everything that may come in between, allowing children to participate actively in every aspect of the day. Even beyond the first dance, commitment prevails as the team meets their needs with the utmost care. With tailored services, children will be embraced in a world of wonder and adventure, allowing newlyweds to be fully present in the magic of their wedding day. As a distinguished childcare provider in the UK, the team transforms weddings by setting themselves apart from other childcare services, where parenting worries fade into the background, leaving pairs to focus solely on the love shared and the beautiful family they’ve created. Let The Wedding Nanny be the trusted partner in creating cherished memories that last a lifetime. Discover: NOW THAT’S ENTERTAINMENT Experienced singer and pianist Jennie Harwood at Singing Jennie is excited to announce she has added a songwriter service to her wedding packages. The supplier already provides a bespoke alternative and traditional music for wedding ceremonies, drinks receptions and wedding breakfasts, creating setlists of all genres so lovebirds can hear the music they love on their special day. Now, she has also added the option for a personalised song to be written and performed for weddings. Jennie comments, “I could write about your love story as a surprise for your significant other or as an alternative way to thank guests – the possibilities are endless!” For more information about her wedding packages, songwriting add-on and to book Singing Jennie, head to her website: PLANNED TO PERFECTION Founded in 2012, Natalie Hewitt Events Ltd is an award-winning event planning and design company based in the UK. Having built an outstanding reputation, owner Natalie and the in-house team produce showstopping events and deliver incredible experiences for clients across the globe. To further provide the best services for couples, the team has relaunched a new website to enhance the offering and highlight their signature style. The team’s immensely passionate about what they do! They believe that being creative designers, detailed planners and having a calm approach with plenty of experience within the industry are their unique selling points. Natalie says, “There’s something innately uplifting about celebrating; by its nature, it brings people together. Our focus when planning an event is to produce an incredible guest experience. Considering the whole day, step by step to what the guests will hear, see, smell, touch and taste.” The team has a brilliant relationship with the fantastic venues Lincolnshire has to offer, and Natalie herself got married at Stubton Hall. A local girl, she grew up in Navenby but now takes the international wedding industry by storm. She comments, “We have been lucky enough to work all over the UK and built friendships with many suppliers and venues along the way.” Check out the new website: 9 LOCAL NEWS

Beautiful Natural Wedding Photography across Lincolnshire and the UK at affordable prices | 07590 112904 | dannyinwoodphotography danny_inwood_photography 10% discount for any Photobooth/Magic Mirror bookings for 2023/2024 Here at Orchid Event Management, we pride ourselves in being able to source exactly what you need for your event to make it that little bit special. Whether you need that unique space, delicious food, floral decorations, or live entertainment to dance the night away to, OEM has it all. All types of Social and Corporate events catered for: Birthdays, Anniversaries, Wedding Receptions, Conferences, Company Presentations, School Proms, Charity Events etc. We treat every event individually. From your initial enquiry, we work closely with you to develop more of an understanding of what you want to achieve. OEM provide a Fully Insured, Helpful and Competitive Service. We use our wealth of experience and the strength or our supplier relationships to design and resource a solution that adds value within your budget. T: 01832 735970 | M: 07936 667645 | E: | ORCHID EVENT MANAGEMENT | 25 SACKVILLE STREET | THRAPSTON | NORTHANTS | NN14 4NZ

Great giveaways and discounts up for grabs MY TYPE ON PAPER Confetti Sweethearts offers stylish foil stationery with botanical illustrations for couples looking for an alternative style while incorporating their love of nature and the outdoors. Owner Rea Shaw designs and creates all products by hand in her studio to help couples add personality, tell their love story and add a sense of fun to their wedding day. She says, “My bespoke design service enables couples to have something tailored to suit their colour scheme, style and vibe to ensure the pieces complement the whole wedding design.” Rea offers a range of products, including samples, proposal cards for wedding parties, save-the-date cards, invitations, and fun fold-out designs. The company’s RSVPs and detail cards will make life easy for guests, while the personalised vow booklets help lovebirds make their ceremony more personal. On-the-day stationery pieces include helpful signage, creative table plans, table numbers, favour tags, menus and alternative ideas for place settings, including Rea’s best-selling straw flags and fun napkin wraps to help level up styling. We’ve teamed up with the company to offer readers 10 per cent off all ‘ready to buy’ designs, which can be personalised to requirements. Use 10CONFETTI at checkout before January 1st, 2025. Discover the company’s stunning range here: LILY CHARMED IS GIVING READERS THE CHANCE TO WIN £150 TO SPEND ONLINE Crafted from recycled sterling silver and gold-plated recycled sterling silver, Lily Charmed ( brings you a seamless canvas for effortless jewellery curation, ensuring that each piece offers a lifetime investment for authentic self-expression. Collect and curate your very own jewellery box of keepsakes with Lily Charmed’s unique range of consciously crafted charms. Bringing joy through jewellery, each piece is designed to showcase your memories and magical life journey with a modern edge. From engraved talismans, romantic hearts and keys, pretty florals, colourful motifs cast in resin, and whimsical bees and biscuits, to lustrous pearls, chic lockets and personalised birthstones adorning charm bracelets, charm collectors, chains and hoops, Lily Charmed offers a pick ‘n’ mix of playful designs. Layer, stack, mix and match, play with chain and bracelet styles, add charms, add colour − the choice is endless! Infinity symbols represent ever-lasting love, whilst alphabet charms and custom engraving make the perfect personalised touch for weddings. Elsewhere its hug rings, friendship charm bracelets and retro Mixtape, Cowboy Boot and Puzzle Pieces make effortlessly thoughtful bridesmaids gifts. Enter online an Terms and conditions apply. 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 KENT SUN, 21 APR 2024 LYMPNE CASTLE The Street, Lympne, CT21 4LQ SUN, 12 MAY 2024 FRASERS ColdHarbour Farm, Barhams Mill Road, Egerton, TN27 9DD ESSEX SUN, 21 APR 2024 CHANNELS ESTATE Belsteads Farm Lane, Little Waltham, CM3 3PT 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 SUN, 19 MAY 2024 ST OSYTH PRIORY West Field Lane, St Osyth, CO16 8GW As part of Ellis Media and EventsLtd, County Wedding Events (CWE) is ideally placed to offer you a wealth of experience organising events in the wedding industry. If you would like more information about either holding a wedding show at your venue or exhibiting at any of our shows, please contact us at, call 01376 514000 or visit WORK WITH US

KENT SUFFOLK SUN, 21 APR 2024 RAVENWOOD HALL HOTEL Rougham, Bury St Edmunds, IP30 9JA SURREY SUN, 12 MAY 2024 NUTFIELD PRIORY Nutfield Road, Nutfield, Redhill, RH1 4EL ALL EVENTS 11AM - 3PM unless otherwise stated WEDDING SHOWS AUTUMN 2024 SUN, 8 SEP 2024 CAVE HOTEL Brickfield Lane, Boughton, Kent, ME13 9AJ SUN, 20 OCT 2024 BRADBOURNE HOUSE New Rd, East Malling, ME19 6DZ SUN, 10 NOV 2024 PENHURST PLACE Penshurst, Kent, TN11 8DG SUN, 15 SEP 2024 LYMPNE CASTLE The Street, Lympne, CT21 4LQ SUSSEX SUN, 20 OCT 2024 SELDEN BARNS Selden Lane, Patching, Worthing, BN13 3UL SURREY SUN, 10 NOV 2024 NUTFIELD PRIORY Nutfield Road, Nutfield, Redhill, RH1 4EL

SUN, 1 SEP 2024 KIMBERLEY HALL Estate Office, Wymondham, NR18 0RT NORFOLK SUN, 29 SEP 2024 SPROWSTON MANOR Wroxham Road, Norwich, NR7 8RP ESSEX SUN, 22 SEP 2024 PRESTED HALL Feering, Colchester, Essex, CO5 9EE SUN, 1 SEP 2024 OLD ESSEX BARN Cranes Lane, Kelvedon, Colchester, CO5 9AX SUN, 20 OCT 2024 BRAXTED PARK Braxted Park Estate, Great Braxted, CM8 3EN SUN, 15 SEP 2024 ORSETT HALL Prince Charles Avenue, Orsett, Essex, RM16 3HS SUN, 27 OCT 2024 LAYER MARNEY TOWER Layer Marney, Colchester, Essex, CO5 9US SUN, 17 NOV 2024 CRONDON PARK Stock Road, Stock, Essex, CM4 9DP SUFFOLK SUN, 6 OCT 2024 RAVENWOOD HALL HOTEL Rougham, Bury St Edmunds, IP30 9JA SUN, 27 OCT 2024 THE MILSOMS Hall Road, Ipswich, Suffolk, IP5 2PU

SUN, 3 NOV 2024 SANDON MANOR Sandon Bury Farm, Buntingford, SG9 0QY HERTFORDSHIRE SUN, 6 OCT 2024 MICKLEFIELD HALL Sarratt Road, Sarratt, WD3 6AQ SUN, 29 SEP 2024 LUTON HOO Luton Hoo Estate, Luton, LU1 4LF BEDFORDSHIRE 12PM-4PM SUN, 22 SEP 2024 RACKLEYS Marlow Road, Cadmore End, HP14 3PP SUN, 1 SEP 2024 CHENIES MANOR Rickmansworth, WD3 6ER BUCKINGHAMSHIRE SUN, 17 NOV 2024 WARE PRIORY High Street, Ware, SG12 9AL SUN, 27 OCT 2024 RUSHTON HALL Desborough Road, Rushton, NN14 1RR HAMPSHIRE SUN, 22 SEP 2024 AUDLEYS WOOD HOTEL Alton Road, Basingstoke, RG25 2J NORTHAMPTONSHIRE SUN, 3 NOV 2024 LATIMER ESTATE Chesham, HP5 1UG SUN, 29 SEP 2024 BURNHAM BEECHES Grove Road, Burnham, SL1 8DP

• Free entry • Goody bag for each couple • Up to 200 stands • Huge number of wedding specialists including venues • Demonstration areas • Competitions • Entertainment • Refreshments • And more... Pre-register and attend the show to have a chance to win a fabulous spa break worth £250 courtesy of Pre-register at Brooklands Drive, Weybridge, KT13 0SL SUNDAY 28TH APRIL | 11AM - 3:00PM MERCEDES-BENZ WORLD High Street, Berkshire, SL5 7JX SUNDAY 27TH OCT 2024 | 11AM - 3.00PM ASCOT RACECOURSE

Pre-register for all of our events at ASCOT RACECOURSE, 27TH OCTOBER 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 the how to have a chance to win a fabulous spa break worth £250 courtesy of A date for your diary... GREAT EXPECTATIONS

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 Rebecca has been providing the sound track to many beautiful weddings for 7 years now, specialising in requests for couples’ Ceremonies and a well thought out playlists for the Drinks Reception. She mainly goes out as a solo performer but a guitarist or a pianist can also be added. Rebecca also runs a hugely successful wedding band called ‘Petite Rouge’. Fronted by herself and sometimes joined by a second singer, all the while making sure your dance floor is full! GET IN TOUCH TODAY FOR MORE INFORMATION! rebeccacolesinger © Sky Photography © Fineshade Films PICKLEBERRY FLOWERS Wedding floristry and sustainable styling

Going local Tie the knot in and around Leicestershire PRESTWOLD HALL 01509 880 236 | Prestwold Hall’s charming estate is enveloped by the tranquil countryside, where endless fields and gently rolling hills create a picturesque backdrop. Located away from the hustle and bustle of urban life, the setting offers a tranquil escape into the heart of rural England. Situated amidst the serene beauty of Leicestershire, the exterior and grounds provide a captivating glimpse into England’s rich heritage with its neoclassical and Italian style, making it an idyllic setting for weddings. The venue is a remarkable testament to architectural excellence and historical significance. Its interiors are a true marvel, showcasing a stunning collection of period features and artistic details. The hall’s central focal point is its awe-inspiring sweeping staircase, adorned with intricate balustrades and finely-carved bannisters. The ceilings throughout are adorned with ornate plasterwork, a testament to the craftsmanship of a bygone era. Exchange vows in The Library, which opens onto the Drawing Room and extends almost the entire house length. Couples can enter through the enchanting Orangery to join 140 loved ones in front of the fire place to come together in marriage. With floor-to-ceiling windows with views across the estate, the Library is spacious, airy and full of natural light. It combines opulent wooden floors and bookcases with a modern yet sophisticated colour scheme that echoes the gorgeous gardens outside. The Dining Room forms part of architect William Burns’ 1842 additions, with its marble chimneypiece remaining from the original Georgian house. A series of Hussey portraits, ranging from the 16th to the 18th-century, occupy two of the walls in the Drawing Room. The setting provides the ideal backdrop to wedding breakfasts with 140 loved ones. The team offers a complimentary tasting night for all booked couples, accommodation for newlyweds on the night of their wedding, and two spaces to get ready in the morning. 19 LOCAL VENUES

THE CITY ROOMS 01162 515 337 | Built-in 1792 and boasting a Grade I listed status, The City Rooms is a venue steeped in Georgian history, apparent from the first steps inside. High ceilings, vast windows and grand chandeliers provide the perfect backdrop for special occasions. John Johnson, a Leicester architect, designed the City Rooms and began work in 1792. In August 1800, when it was nearing completion, the owner had great difficulty raising the £3,500 required to finish the project. Work was eventually completed, and the hotel opened as Public Assembly Rooms in time for the annual race ball. Two centuries after its initial completion, the property progressed from Assembly Rooms to Judges Lodgings and County Rooms to The City Rooms, which opened its doors in 2006 after a careful two-year restoration project. Today, the venue hosts weddings, balls, parties, dinners and many events. Being a family-owned business, family is at the heart of everything the team does, and this extends to guests through a warm and friendly approach to ensure everyone who walks through the doors feels welcome. The team works with excellent local suppliers to ensure weddings are carried out to the highest standards. The City Rooms has three beautiful wedding suites, each immersed in plenty of natural daylight. The Dining Room provides a beautiful setting for civil ceremonies with a maximum of 80 guests, 100 for drinks receptions, 60 for wedding breakfasts and 100 for evening receptions. For smaller weddings, The Drawing Room is an intimate setting for ceremonies with 60 people and wedding breakfasts with 35. Alternatively, The Ballroom can host the vows, wedding breakfasts and evening celebrations with up to 200 people for the ultimate celebrations. Every wedding booked includes a complimentary tasting for the future newlyweds, which is held every month and is subject to availability. Once used for the judges’ lodgings, the bedrooms at The City Rooms are beautifully decorated to provide opulent settings in the heart of Leicester City Centre. The team works with two nearby hotels and has access to guaranteed special rates. After bookings, the wedding coordinator will be able to offer more information. KILWORTH HOUSE 01858 880 058 | Set in 38 acres of rolling parkland, Kilworth House is an elegant venue located in the heart of rural Leicestershire. With breathtaking views, expansive grounds, fine dining, luxurious accommodation and an outdoor theatre, what’s not to love about this property? The hotel is at the end of an inviting tree-lined approach leading guests through the tranquil grounds to the well-maintained lawns and south-facing façade. Guests will love exploring the parklands and woodland areas, which create gorgeous backdrops for images. Exchange vows with 130 guests in the fully restored Victorian Orangery, which features glorious rural views and vibrant natural lighting. After the vows, couples can enjoy drinks receptions on the terrace before returning to the Orangery for wedding breakfasts. Alternatively, The Wordsworth Room features a domed ceiling with glittering chandeliers and can accommodate 40 people for the vows. Next door, pairs can use the Library Restaurant for showstopping wedding breakfasts. With a cosy setting, views over the Knot Garden, fairytale bookcases and a Victorian fire place, what location could be better? For more intimate weddings, the Shakespeare Room is perfect for celebrations with 20 loved ones and features ornate décor. After dancing the night away, loved ones can retreat to the stunning bedrooms for a good night’s rest. They can enjoy the sumptuous surroundings in peace as exclusive hire is available from 3.00 pm on their day of arrival to 9.00 am the following morning. Couples will receive a complimentary menutasting session when they book the venue. ©Chris Haley Photography Scan to view video 20

Also check out… WINSTANLEY HOUSE 01163 665 642 | Nestled amongst lush parkland and comprising the most delightful combination of Georgian and contemporary architecture, Winstanley House creates beautiful backdrops for events. The venue is steeped in history with a Grade I listed status, gorgeous ballrooms, orangery and 10 boutique bedrooms. The building was originally commissioned for the Winstanley family, who made it their home in the 18th to 19th-centuries. It served as a school from 1932 until 1996 before being renovated and reopened as a venue in late 2017. The house has become a showstopping setting for many beautiful weddings and special events. The welcoming team works with couples to help create dream-worthy weddings. They work with excellent local suppliers to ensure every celebration is carried out to the highest standards. The property doesn’t offer civil ceremonies, but lovebirds can hold celebrant-led weddings or blessings conducted by loved ones. Outside blessings occur in the landscaped gardens, surrounded by lush parkland. Once the ceremony concludes, photographers will have abundant idyllic photo opportunities to capture with Winstanley House’s unique fusion of contemporary and Georgian architecture. One of the most exciting aspects of choosing Winstanley House is the range of beautiful function rooms available. The Grand Ballroom can accommodate up to 550 guests, the Pavilion Ballroom can accommodate 200, and The Orangery is perfect for intimate weddings with 80 guests. The picturesque wedding Gazebo must be booked in conjunction with one of the stunning wedding suites as a wet-weather alternative. Every wedding booked includes a complimentary tasting for future newlyweds held every month and is subject to availability. Winstanley House is home to 19 luxurious rooms and suites, which blend contemporary luxury with characterful period features and are pleasingly spacious. Set over the main Georgian House and the newly converted Coach Houses, each bedroom provides the perfect setting for all aspects of weddings, from getting ready with the bridal party to resting feet after dancing the night away. The national award-winning Winstanley Suite perfectly blends Georgian elegance and contemporary beauty. Extraordinary in every way – with a roll-top gold bath, sweeping views over luscious parkland, opulent chandeliers and a super king-size bed – it’s both luxurious and comfortable. Hotel rates can be easily arranged for guests as the team works with the nearby Hilton and can offer guaranteed rates with them. STAPLEFORD PARK Nestled in the Leicestershire countryside and surrounded by 500 acres of unspoilt parkland, Stapleford Park is the ultimate location for special events. As couples travel down the picturesque driveway through the tranquil landscape, they’ll discover grandeur at every turn. The Grade I listed property has plenty of historical features to discover, with remnants of Tudor and Victorian architecture combined with 21st- century touches. Check out: THE BELMONT HOTEL Situated in the heart of the city, The Belmont Hotel is a Victorian building that dates back to the 19th-century. The independently owned property has a homely feel, and all the function spaces are individually designed in a neutral décor to match any colour scheme. The Rose Room is a versatile area that can accommodate 110 loved ones for the “I dos” and wedding breakfasts, as well as 200 for evening celebrations. Check out: Scan to view video 21 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 —

THORNBRIDGE ESTATE 01629 640 617 | Thornbridge Hall is a Grade II listed stately home nestled amongst the rolling hills of the Peak District. The Hall and its 14 acres of formal gardens are set within 100 acres of stunning parkland. The team has lovingly restored both to create one of the country’s most exclusive event venues. The Music Room is an ornate space that has been lovingly restored to its earlier state and now has a feel of the Palace of Versailles. The vows can take place with 40 loved ones and 12 for receptions. Alternatively, The Great Hall can host 100 seated guests and 50 upstairs in the gallery for grand celebrations. A Grade II listed temple in front of the Hall with panoramic views of the parkland to Ashford-in-the-Water can be used for the “I dos” with 200 loved ones. Or, pairs can hold ceremonies on the South Lawn Terrace in front of the South Lawn Temple, weather permitting. Wedding receptions can be held in the stunning Carriage House, previously the former stable building. The spacious and bright space features a glass ceiling and access to a pretty outside courtyard with seating and a terrace overlooking the Kitchen Gardens. It’s the perfect blank canvas to add personal finishes for 180 guests to enjoy or 250 with the marquee attached. In the cellars underneath The Carriage House, there’s a secret underground bar where pairs can have their own nightclub for the evenings. The team want the food to be one of the highlights of weddings; their award-winning caterers will create a bespoke menu for couples tailored to their tastes and preferences. They don’t offer set menus, so every wedding breakfast is personalised and expertly prepared using local and seasonal produce. Once bookings are confirmed, lovebirds will be invited to taste several options for each course. It’s a case of whatever they fancy for the evening, from bacon rolls and cheese board tables to hog roasts and fish and chips. Discover beautiful venues with showstopping gardens In full bloom GLORIOUS GARDENS 23

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 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. 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. THE PRIEST HOUSE HOTEL 01332 810 649 | Set in a tranquil and stunning location on the banks of the River Trent, The Priest House Hotel has a rich history that can be traced back almost 1,000 years. Combined with its own Grade II listed water wheel, opulent surroundings and contemporary style that complements the charm and romance of the English countryside, the venue is perfect for weddings. Set in more than 60 acres of woodland, gardens and meadows with breathtaking views of the rolling countryside and the River Trent, the grounds are something out of a fairytale. Watching the sunset over the river with the gardens lit up makes for magical evening transformations. The Garden Suite is a spacious room with original exposed wooden beams and fairylights to add that extra sparkle to events. The space boasts fabulous French doors opening onto a private patio and an exclusive garden area for outdoor games, barbecues or hog roasts. The beautiful suite is ideal for intimate celebrations with 100 people and larger wedding parties with 150 using the Terrace Room. Alternatively, The Riverside Suite is a spacious room with high-beamed ceilings and magnificent views of the River Trent, forming a memorable backdrop for ceremonies for up to 120 people and wedding breakfasts for 200. With its private bar and dancefloor, this beautiful space is guaranteed to wow guests with its character and charm. The dedicated wedding team guides couples to create their perfect wedding, from the big elements to the little touches. 24

EASTWOOD HALL 01773 532 532 | In the beautiful Nottinghamshire countryside within 26 acres of grounds, Eastwood Hall provides the stunning backdrop for weddings. The team offer several packages to suit requirements and can accommodate up to 250 people. So, whether couples are after intimate or grand weddings, the venue offers the perfect setting! The Chatterley Suite is perfect for dazzling guests with its stylish modern décor. It has a VIP feel and overlooks the spectacular grounds. It’s the ideal setting for civil ceremonies with up to 200 guests, seated wedding breakfasts with up to 120 and evening celebrations with 140. Alternatively, The Lawrence Suite is ideal for larger weddings with its spacious design, flexible options and private bar area. The suite provides an expansive setting for the vows, surrounded by up to 300 guests, wedding breakfasts for 220 and evenings for 250. For intimate weddings, The MacGregor Suite has a beautiful pre-Victorian interior with high ceilings and offers a setting with picturesque views for ceremonies with 80 loved ones and access to an outdoor patio area. The in-house Chefs prepare each dish using the finest, most seasonal products. They offer an array of delicious wedding breakfast menus and a wide variety of options for evening receptions. In the fight to help reverse climate change, the chefs look to minimise waste wherever they can. The venue has a selection of suppliers, including professional venue dressers, photographers, hairstylists and make-up artists who will help create memorable weddings. Stay the night in the romantic wedding suite, featuring picturesque views, a super king-size bed and a spacious lounge for preparing wedding parties. The hotel also has 152 bedrooms, including standard doubles and superior rooms, for wedding guests. THE HALL BARNS AT PRESTWOLD 01509 880 236 | The Hall Barns isn’t an average wedding venue; it’s for the free spirits, the rule breakers and the partygoers – perfect for non-traditional couples looking for an Insta-ready venue with good vibes and plenty of quirks. The fabulous spaces can host up to 70 for ceremonies, 70 for seated dining, 150 for relaxed meals and 150 for evening celebrations. When the team renovated the Barn, they wanted to create a venue as unique as couples, with rustic styling, original features, and versatile indoor/outdoor areas. Couples can access all these amazing spaces with exclusive venue hire throughout their big day. The Crewyard is the licensed space for civil ceremonies, and what a space it is! This stunning covered courtyard combines the best parts of indoor and outdoor ceremonies while simply fab while doing it. There’s nothing quite like the charm of an English country garden. For those who fancy a scenic licensed ceremony, there are loads of outdoor spaces to provide a secluded and romantic backdrop to the vows. If a church wedding is preferred, the beautiful St Andrew’s Church is just a short walk from The Hall Barns, where the team will be waiting for guests with celebratory fizz. A great party needs great food. The team’s mind-blowing menus will give guests a meal to remember for a lifetime. They can cater for relaxed sit-down meals or rustic and informal outdoor nibbles. Keep the party going with delicious hot and cold food options for the evening. Watch the Crewyard transform into a private nightclub with 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, 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, a 30-second walk from the Barn. 25 GLORIOUS GARDENS

IN THE STARS Written Verity and Scott’s stunning wedding had a starry night theme Images courtesy of A W Photography 26

These lovebirds were first-year flatmates when they started at the University of Lincoln and have lived together ever since! For Verity, she loved Scott’s sense of humour and immediately felt a spark! Unfortunately for her, Scott had a girlfriend back home and she didn’t think it was meant to be. Scott loved Verity’s personality and her intellect; they shared many interests and always had something to discuss. Over time, they fell in love and started a new relationship together. Scott proposed in December 2020 while celebrating their seventh anniversary while away in Herefordshire. Verity says, “We made a habit over the last few years to go away somewhere remote, stay in a cabin with a hot tub and spend our evenings stargazing. From early on in our relationship, we always enjoyed stargazing together, even out the window of our university accommodation. On our first night, we gazed up at the stars and pointed out constellations to each other when Scott suddenly surprised me with a speech and a ring!” SETTING THE SCENE The couple’s goal was to keep the wedding as stress-free as possible! Unfortunately, their original venue informed the pair eight weeks before the date that the wedding was cancelled due to overrunning renovations. Luckily, the Doubletree by Hilton Lincoln had the date free to accommodate the wedding. The bride says, “It worked out well in the end! We wanted to return to Lincoln for our wedding, as it’s a special location that means so much to us. There’s a certain allure and magic to the city. The Hilton overlooks both our university and our first-year accommodation. Plus, it has a cathedral backdrop, which suited all our needs.” As the pair loved stargazing so much, they settled on a starry night theme with a navy, dark purple and gold colour scheme featured throughout the attire. The colours then extended to the flowers, primarily purple and blue with accents of gold. The theme was highlighted through the wicker stars wrapped in starry lights, the centrepieces, the signage and the table names that included constellations or zodiac signs significant to family members. There was also a starry backdrop for the sweetheart and cake tables. The cake was designed to look like the night sky with an added statue replica of the couple’s cat and a topper that read, ‘Written in the Stars’. It didn’t stop there! Guests enjoyed special cocktails that were also named Starry Night & The Comet, as well as biscuit favours featuring star detailing. LOOKING THE PART The bride wore Wesley by Ronald Joyce, which she bought from Muse Bridal in Newport. It was completely different from what she initially thought, as it’s a classic A-line style. Her mother-in-law Nickie picked it out as it differed from what Verity had been trying, and the bride fell in love! Verity accessorised her look with a starry tiara by Handmade Tiaras, some starry earrings from F.Hinds, her great-grandmother’s pearl necklace and a pearl veil. She comments, “It felt a little surreal after getting ready! I was so giddy going down the aisle that my mum held me back. Otherwise, I would have run down! I was thrilled to see Scott and thought he looked REAL WEDDINGS 27

very handsome. I was feeling pretty euphoric most of the day.” Scott wore a Forton Morning tailcoat suit in navy blue by Peter Posh with a grey tweed waistcoat in a thin royal blue check, a gold tie and a pocket square. The groom comments, “I remember just being stunned at Verity’s beauty. The build-up during the morning made me anxious for the whole day after years of planning and the stresses of the weeks prior in rearranging everything. But at that moment, all that nervousness disappeared after seeing Verity. I felt the most intense joy and happiness I’d ever felt, which continued for the rest of the day.” The bridesmaids wore purple infinity dresses that they could style in multiple ways to ensure everyone was comfortable. They complemented their outfits with starry earrings and hairpieces. TIME TO CELEBRATE Garden games on the terrace kept guests entertained throughout the day; there was a very intense game of giant Jenga! In the evening, a DJ played a great mix of music to get everyone up and dancing, while the photo booth allowed some silly photos to look back on and treasure. The pair also has some very entertaining audio guestbook messages, including people pretending to order Chinese food! All of these different elements allow people to relax and have a bit of fun. MEMORABLE MOMENTS Verity thought she would be more nervous on the day, but she only felt nervous while waiting for the ceremony. The whole day felt euphoric, and she had never felt happier! For Scott, he didn’t think he would be so emotional. He comments, “There were numerous points during the day where I would well up, either at how much I loved Verity, how beautiful my bride looked, seeing all our guests come together to celebrate or at how our vision of a starry theme wedding was amazing. The weather was lovely, and we were spoilt for choice for the photos with amazing backdrops of Lincoln Cathedral and the Brayford.” “There were many funny moments throughout the day! I hired the suits and (for most) the shoes. The only thing I asked the groomsmen to bring was a cufflink shirt. One brought a shirt but mistook ‘double cuff’ for a cufflink shirt. Just over an hour before the start of the ceremony, my best man had to escort said groomsman to a local shop to buy the right one and sprint back to get ready! My dad also made us laugh by doing a knockand-run on the bridal suite to return some umbrellas in fear of seeing Verity in her dress!” The bride’s dad was in the Coldstream Guards and still has friends there. He arranged for one of them to send a telegram congratulating the pair on the day on behalf of the unit! It was a complete surprise, and they were very touched. HONEYMOON After the big day, the couple spent one week after the wedding in Madeira on a honeymoon. The bride says, “It was nice to get away to relax and just soak up being together after a manic few months! The dolphin-watching trip we did was really great. We went on a catamaran and felt close and personal to them!” The couple’s main honeymoon is planned for 2024! They’re going to Japan, a dream destination for them both. It was a nocompromise situation for Verity, but Scott was happy to oblige! 28