Your Herts and Beds Wedding - February/March 2024 (Issue 102)

WIN! A honeymoon stay Discover historic venues STEP BACK IN TIME Love of my life Local weddings DREAMY DÉCOR FEB/MAR 2024 £3.55 Top venue styling HERTS BEDS & WEDDING Love at FIRST BITE Catering inspiration


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 67 HOT TOPIC Local experts offer stellar advice on wedding dilemmas 85 COMPETITION Win a honeymoon in Jamaica worth £4,500 CONTENTS FEBRUARY/MARCH 2024 VENUES 19 GOING LOCAL Exchange vows in these stunning West Hertfordshire venues 23 A STEP BACK IN TIME Discover these beautiful venues with a story to tell On the cover This issue’s cover has been taken from Chloe and Jack’s stunning wedding on page 28, which was captured by 49 23 FEATURES 46 SENTIMENTAL TOUCHES This stunning shoot showcased the stunning bridal jewellery from the talented Sarah Heulwen Lewis 49 WHAT’S COOKING? We delve into delicious food options for your big day 71 THE FINISHING TOUCHES Top experts share popular venue styling inspiration for outdoor wedding, intimate settings and grand affairs 3

REAL WEDDINGS 28 TRUE LOVE Offley Place provided a dream-worthy setting for Indula and James’s wedding 35 A DAY TO REMEMBER Vicky and Paddy had a stunning wedding at Milling Barn with a navy colour scheme 41 AS THE SUN SETS Micklefield Hall provided the backdrop to Chloe and Jack’s stunning wedding 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 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 56 LITTLE GEMS Wedding guests will love the bright jewel colours that are trending this season 57 DAINTY DETAILS Say “I do” in these model looks 62 BEAUTY BUZZ Get the look with the latest must-haves 64 BEAUTY Q&A Our local professionals solve your problems 28 35 80 74 GROOMS 74 GROOMS’ NEWS The latest best buys and product launches 75 RUSTIC CHIC We’ve rounded up some of the latest on-trend products for the groom-to-be 77 RING-A-DING-DING How to choose the perfect wedding ring 53 75 4 | We make Confetti. Stunning Colourful Memorable Confetti. The Finest Natural Biodegradable confetti petals for your wedding celebrations. Make your wedding day unforgettable with the all-important confetti photo. Based in Bedfordshire UK. Fast local & worldwide shipping. Natural Wedding Confetti Nal & Autic Wedding Photogphy To enquire: 07814 461853 Capturing moments of true love & connection AWARDWINNING WEDDING CAKES Ideally located in Hertfordshire and serving the surrounding counties, Angela will work closely with you to capture your wedding cake vision and create a stunning and elegant cake for your wedding celebration. Using only the finest ingredients, your dream cake will taste delicious, look amazing and be beautifully styled for your special day. Get in touch to book your discovery call: T: 07939 554 242 E: Find wedding cake inspiration, information and client reviews: |

Look your big-day best in this two-piece sheath style with a plunging neckline and back. ISSN 1753-0911 Your Herts & Beds 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 Herts & Beds Wedding is published six times a year. DIA SHING NTS SHING EVENTS & PUBLISHING cwe COUNTY WEDDING EVENTS Hello lovely readers and welcome to another issue of Your Herts and Beds Wedding! With spring approaching, we’re excited to embrace this 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, you can 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. 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. So, no matter where you’re at with wedding planning, there’s something for everyone. That’s all from me, happy planning! Olivia x Olivia Gibson, Editor It’s a spring thing 53 Heulwen Lewis Bespoke has been working on a rebrand over the last year, wanting to show how bespoke jewellery is both sentimental and high-end. This stunning shoot showcased the stunning pieces and talented local suppliers. @CountyWeddingMagazines @CountyWeddings @countyweddingmagazines Visit us online at www. and DESIGN 01376 535 616 ACCOUNTS 01376 535 616 MANAGING DIRECTOR Sarah Ellis | 01376 535 602 EDITORIAL Editor Olivia Gibson | 01376 535 611 Chloe and Jack’s had a magical wedding surrounded by loved ones – just look at the happy couple! 28 46 ADVERTISING Account Manager Anita Bridge | 01376 538 565 6

We’ve teamed up with Little Vintage Teacup to offer readers an exclusive 10 per cent discount off wedding bookings. Edworth Manor is a working farm just one mile south of Biggleswade, which one family has run for more than 200 years, that offers the ideal setting for memorable weddings. The Woody’s Fired Pizza team love making great tasting artisan pizzas that show their love for simple, high quality ingredients. 23 11 35 49 75 Calling all grooms to be! Make a statement with this chic suit that’s perfect for rustic weddings. Vicky and Paddy’s stunning wedding at Milling Barn showed that love always wins! 67 Expert photographer Caroline Acaster shares advice to ensure pictureperfect images no matter what the British weather throws at us. EDITOR’S LETTER 7

YOUR TYPE ON PAPER Olive & Millicent is a small Hertfordshire-based design studio specialising in elegant invitations and wedding papers. Owner Katy Chester’s designs feature illustrative elements, whether seasonal florals and botanicals or more personalised venue illustrations to cherish. To kick off the New Year, the team has launched a range of venue illustration invitation designs featuring venues in and around the county and destination wedding venues. Each design can be customised with a bespoke illustration for those who don’t see their venue in the collection. Whether a soft watercolour or a more detailed line drawing, all of Katy’s illustrations are created in-house for unique pieces. Invitations are the first glimpse guests get of weddings and a venue illustration is the ultimate sneak peek, helping pairs set the scene for the day and building excitement for loved ones. They also make beautiful keepsakes and will become a piece of family history in years to come, so ensure you order some spares! Send invitations out between three to six months before weddings, so don’t leave it too late to contact any preferred stationers. Check out: WILD AT HEART Ever dreamed of getting married on Safari? Well, now couples can do so without having to leave the UK! The Safari Lodge at Woburn Safari Park in Bedfordshire is a delightful and charming alternative to a traditional wedding venue. Nestled at the heart of Woburn Safari Park, home to magnificent wild animals including lions, giraffes, tigers, elephants and bears, The Safari Lodge now provides an exceptional location for weddings and receptions. With a large south-facing veranda that offers indoor and outdoor ceremony space and panoramic views overlooking the park’s Swan Lake and the Desert Springs enclosures, it provides an out-of-theordinary backdrop for events. Providing an exceptional location for weddings, Woburn Safari Park is the perfect wedding venue for animal lovers and those who want a truly unique experience to share with guests. For an adventurous addition to an already unforgettable day, add an animal encounter with some of the most loved residents in the park! Discover: DINE LIKE ROYALTY The Little Vintage Teacup team is excited to announce the recent launch of the Feast & Drink Tea, a tasty experience! The company has come together with an excellent local caterer to bring lovebirds a choice of three delicious options, perfect for any occasion. The Classic, Deluxe and Luxury Afternoon Tea menus are all served upon beautiful vintage china, and the packages include setting up, a two-hour tea and coffee service and clearing down so pairs can relax with loved ones. The team will work closely with couples every step of the way to bring their vision to life and create truly unique and memorable experiences. Further details and the full range of services offered can be found here: All the happenings from around the region NEWS Nearlywed 8

WHAT’S TRENDING? Smaller guest lists, informal dress codes and no speeches are among the top wedding trends for 2024 according to a recent survey commissioned by high street jewellers F.Hinds. Two thousand couples were also asked for their thoughts on which wedding traditions are still important, and the results are in. Big-day traditions that remain in favour include the bride being walked down the aisle (53 per cent), having wedding rings (52 per cent), cutting the cake (49 per cent) and having a best man (44 per cent). In contrast, wearing a garter (nine per cent), being carried over the threshold (eight per cent), and interestingly, sticking to a colour palette (eight per cent) are loosing momentum among UK nearlyweds. Looking at new trends for 2024, intimate wedding ceremonies (29 per cent) and receptions (24 per cent) are in, as are informal dress codes (22 per cent). Alongside guest numbers have being significantly reduced, the classic sit-down three-course wedding breakfast could become extinct with couples favouring more informal food options such as grazing tables, dessert bars, and brunch- and afternoon tea-inspired setups. Discover: 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 gentle peach’s embracing spirit enriches mind, body and soul. At a time of turmoil in many aspects of life, the need for nurturing, empathy and compassion grows ever stronger as does imaginings of a more peaceful future. The warm and cosy shade highlights desire for togetherness with others and the feeling of sanctuary this creates. It adds a feeling of tenderness communicating a message of caring and 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 to flourish from whether spending time with others or taking the time me to enjoy a moment by ourselves. Sensitive but sweet and airy, the colour of the year evokes a new modernity. While centred in the human experience of enriching and nurturing the mind body and soul, it is also a quietly sophisticated and contemporary peach with depth whose gentle lightness is understated but impactful bringing beauty to the digital world. Poetic and romantic, a clean peach tone with a vintage vibe, PANTONE 13-1023 Peach Fuzz reflects the past yet has been rephrased to have a contemporary ambiance. DINE AND WINE The Three Horseshoes in Letchmore Heath, the newest pub to be taken on by the award-winning Peach Pub company, has launched a new menu for 2024 to start the year with a bang! Step inside the pretty, half-timbered inn and find a warm welcome from the experienced team who, between them, will make every trip to the pub memorable. Everyone is welcome, including four-legged friends. It’s the perfect setting for pre-wedding date nights or gettogethers with loved ones. Sip on well-made cocktails like a delightfully different Limoncello Spritz or a glass of Nyetimber Classic Cuvée, an English sparkling wine from Sussex, while perusing the new seasonal menu and deciding what to eat. The menu is full of fresh, honest food from classic gastropub favourites to modern, healthy dishes and weekend treat specials from the head chef. The pub is also serious about Sunday roasts, serving up at least three delectable choices every week. Everything is made with quality ingredients with provenance from suppliers more used to supplying Michelin-starred restaurants than village pubs with Aubrey Allen British beef and free-range Jimmy Butler Blythborough pork as well as Cornish lamb, native fish and seafood. Ensure to leave room for pudding as the baked Basque cheesecake with white chocolate and poached rhubarb and the cherry and Chantilly cream choux bun and hot chocolate sauce are just two of the superb, sweet dishes currently available. Discover: 9 LOCAL NEWS

Traditional & Natural Wedding Photography @georgepittasphotography | 07701 061971 @aggie_seamstress Aggie Seamstress Bridal seamstress with 30 plus years of experience in Bridal wear,passionate in creating bridal accessories like bags, veils or custom sleeves. Professional from start to nish. We are Hertfordshire based and specialise in Vintage China Hire for Weddings, Parties and Events and have been creating lasting memories since 2021. Our extensive collection of beautiful vintage china and accessories are available to hire, bringing charm & elegance to your table. Elevate your wedding breakfast to new heights with delicious Afternoon Tea served upon beautiful vintage china on elegantly laid tables. We will work closely with you every step of the way to bring your vision to life and create a truly unique and memorable experience for your special day. For a free no obligation consultation please do get in touch to discuss your requirements or visit our website for a comprehensive list of items available to hire and the full range of services we offer. We look forward to hearing from you. @littlevintageteacup Little Vintage Teacup 07871 577092

Great giveaways and discounts up for grabs A VINTAGE CLASSIC Based in Hertfordshire, Little Vintage Teacup specialises in vintage china hire for weddings and events, creating lasting memories since 2021. Serving the local area and beyond, the team offers a bespoke service tailored to requirements while catering for all sized events, large or small. Each piece of the extensive collection has been lovingly sourced for its beauty and quality to bring charm to special occasions. Instead of buying, couples can hire everything needed and more from Little Vintage Teacup. The staff offer a delivery, setting up, packing away and collection service while providing complimentary washing up with all bookings. We’ve teamed up with the company to offer readers an exclusive 10 per cent discount off wedding bookings when they quote Your Herts and Beds Wedding before April 1st 2024. Get in touch with the team to discuss details. A comprehensive list of items available to hire and information about the full range of services can be found here: 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 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

t: 01920 830256 e: w: @alternative_stretch_tents Stunning tents for stunning weddings! Step away from the traditional marquee with Alternative Stretch Tents. Based in Hertfordshire providing Stretch Tents up and down the country. WE LOVE STRETCH TENTS! Years of experience, passion and enthusiasm to get what you want from your event. The Conservatory has been designed with flexibility in mind. Suitable for dining up to 250 guests with a separate reception area, stage, and dancefloor. We are a dry hire-based venue that works with a selection of preferred caterers; however, we do allow external caterers for no extra cost. Our team are on hand every step of the way, making sure that when your day comes around you can relax and enjoy every minute. | 01582 459216

Weddings In the heart of rural Bedfordshire Ceremonies & Evening Receptions Inclusive Wedding Package Spacious Wedding Suite Wedding Garden for Outdoor Photographs Wedding & Civil Ceremony Licence Dedicated Wedding Team Free Parking for Guests The Rufus Centre, Steppingley Road, Flitwick, MK45 1AH Tel: 01525 631905 Email: Treat our space like a blank canvas and make it your own Samsa May’s was founded in 2018 by owner Sam who has a true love and passion for all things weddings. Making each wedding unique and capturing every couple’s personality through thoughtful details and attention to the nishing touches. - ylin eams - Call: 07900 521 054 or email: On the day coordination, wedding styling, prop and decor hire throughout Beds, Herts, Bucks and beyond... MARRY CELEBRATE STAY LAKESIDE THE AN IDYLLIC BEAUTY SPOT ON THE SHORE OF A VAST LAKE, SURROUNDED BY LUSH GREEN MEADOWS AND THRIVING WITH NATURE. WELCOME TO THE LAKESIDE AT WILD BERRY FARM, THE PERFECT LOCATION FOR YOUR TIPI, YURT OR MARQUEE WEDDING 07850 346144 @thelakesideatwildberryfarm

Going local Tie the knot in West Hertfordshire MOOR PARK GOLF CLUB LTD 01923 721 653 | From Lords to Dukes and even Kings, Moor Park has always been a home for the most spectacular celebrations over the last 300 years. The magnificent Grade I listed mansion is set on 300 acres of stunning parkland. With stunning 17th-century architecture, bespoke menus and various room sizes, the setting offers a one-of-a-kind venue to get married in style. The team of event coordinators will be with pairs from start to finish, making the experience seamless and stress-free. On the day, the dedicated house managers will be on hand to help with any last-minute changes. The experienced toastmaster can ensure weddings move on schedule so pairs don’t have to worry. The Manor Suite provides an exclusive setting with perfect lighting and ample space for the bridal party to relax and get ready in the hours leading up to the big event. A private dressing room with an array of mirrors allows the dress to be viewed from all angles. The venue’s suppliers can cater for wedding breakfasts with 132 people and 150 evening guests. The recently refurbished Main Dining Room feels stunningly regal and was designed by Robert Adam in a neo-classical style for wedding breakfasts with 104 guests on round tables or 132 on long tables. The ceiling art was the work of Giovanni Battista Cipriani during the 18th-century and provided a wondrous sight as the room stretched across the full depth of the house. The Main Hall provides a spectacular space for drinks, receptions and dancing for 120 people. Bespoke paintings cover the walls and ceilings alongside the most intricate sculptures usually seen in museums worldwide. The inbuilt dancefloor and easy access to the event bar make the perfect place to celebrate as the sun sets. With its tube stop, mainline train station just a minute’s drive away and a new local hotel built within walking distance, Moor Park is the perfect venue for all guests, no matter their starting point. 19 LOCAL VENUES

METROPOLITAN BUSHEY EVENTS & SPORTS VENUE 01923 243 947 | Located near Watford in the leafy county of Hertfordshire, Metropolitan Bushey Events & Sports Venue is a purpose-built wedding property set among 36 acres of well-maintained sports fields. The venue offers lovely views and creates a stunning backdrop for those all-important photos, especially with the changing colours of spring, autumn and winter. Metropolitan Bushey’s function rooms have lots of natural light and a blank canvas to be decorated to match different colour schemes and wedding themes. The Ballroom is the largest space perfect for ceremonies and receptions, with 300 people for reception drinks and 250 in the evenings. Here, loved ones can enjoy the dedicated bar area and dancefloor, plus there’s space for extra entertainment. Another reception option is The Glindon Room, which accommodates up to 90 seated people. It features a small stage, a fully stocked bar and a private outdoor patio overlooking the gardens. Alternatively, The Aldenham Room can cater for 100 seated guests and has a fully stocked bar, DJ facilities, a dancefloor with disco lighting available and booths for groups to sit and relax. Couples who book the property will meet the experienced wedding team, including the wedding coordinator, the chefs, and the entertainment staff who will help lovebirds create the perfect day while meeting their requirements. ST MICHAEL’S MANOR HOTEL 01727 864 444 | St Michael’s Manor Hotel is one of Hertfordshire’s premier event venues thanks to its luxurious setting and timeless elegance. Set in five acres of private English country gardens, located close to the city centre of St Albans and near the famous Abbey Cathedral, the old manor house is steeped in heritage and history. The team pride themselves on executing a wonderful experience with some of the best views in Hertfordshire. They provide bespoke wedding packages to suit all needs to ensure weddings are remembered for all the right reasons. The venue offers three stunning rooms and an outdoor space licensed for the vows, all beautifully decorated to provide an elegant setting. Ceremonies and wedding breakfasts usually occur in the same location; the staff will ensure a smooth, easy transition and set up. The Orangery hosts 140 for the vows and wedding breakfasts while catering for 160 in the evenings. This elegant space features high ceilings as well as stunning views over the gardens and lake. The Ceder Suit is ideal for more intimate celebrations with 30 loved ones while Oak Lounge is the smallest space that can host 14 people. The cosy wood-panelled room has high ceilings that provide a picture-perfect backdrop. The Pergola can host 30 for wedding breakfasts and evening functions. The elegant setting includes high ceilings and windows overlooking the stunning grounds. For outdoor weddings, The Summerhouse can accommodate 30 people who will love the peaceful location. For wedding breakfast, menus are created in-house using fresh ingredients! The chefs have high standards, so the Hotel has an excellent reputation for food. 20

SHENDISH MANOR 01442 232 220 | Nestled in 160 acres of idyllic Hertfordshire countryside, Shendish Manor offers the perfect setting for special events. The venue has plenty of parking and is located near major motorways and airports – perfect for guests travelling in. As loved ones drive through the breathtaking parkland, they’ll approach the stunning property with Victorian elegance and modern touches. The dedicated wedding team will be on hand to assist with all aspects of the planning progress by providing a professional and personal service. Couples can rest assured they’re in safe hands. Whether pairs are after intimate weddings or grand events, Shendish Manor won’t disappoint. Lovebirds can have dream-worthy al fresco weddings on the charming grounds thanks to the two stunning outdoor gazebos that are licensed for ceremonies. Or they can exchange vows in the Apsley Suite, Dickinson Suite or Longman Suite with 10 to 320 guests. When it comes to wedding breakfasts, the first meal for newlyweds must be unforgettable. That’s why the team offers delicious dishes created using the finest and locally sourced ingredients, accompanied by an extensive range of wines and Champagne. The dry hire package in the Apsley Suite is perfect for those with a particular cuisine in mind that the venue can’t cater for. The team also have a long-lasting relationship with many local caterers and can suggest companies if needed. The property dates back to 1853 and has 18 individually designed bedrooms in the main house. The contemporary extension has an additional 52 bedrooms and provides the perfect place for guests to rest their heads. MICKLEFIELD HALL 01923 778 898 | Nestled in the Hertfordshire countryside, just 25 miles from London, Micklefield Hall is a stunning country venue steeped in history. The estate has a variety of private outdoor areas for celebrations, including the herbaceous garden with a fountain, a secret rose garden, rolling lawns and a French terrace complete with trickling fountains and an open fire. The dedicated team of groundsmen ensure the gardens are maintained to a high standard. All the flowers, bushes and trees have been carefully selected to ensure that the grounds are bursting with colour no matter the time of year. Tie the knot in the Temple nestled under the great oak tree, which overlooks the glimmering pond. The area provides the most magical and romantic space to get married. All 200 guests will be seated around the pond’s banks and shaded from the sun by the 450-year-old oak tree. Lovebirds can make their grand entrance along with nature’s very own herbaceous aisle and down the stone steps before entering the sculptured Temple. The space is equipped with a discreet audio system to ensure all guests hear the vows. Another option is the marquee, which overlooks the French Courtyard, Garden Room and The Great Barn’s patio. The space is carpeted, heated and adorned with grand drapes and chandeliers for 200 people to enjoy. The main lawn is perfect for 200 loved ones in summer, with plenty of space on the manicured grass. The chuppahs and mandaps look stunning in front of the views extending to North London. The upper lawns are also licensed for civil ceremonies. Lovebirds can also tie the knot in the Garden Room with 80 people in front of the grand fire place. The space is also used as a chill-out zone and covered drinks area in the evenings. The traditionally restored Tithe Barn is perfect for exchanging vows, wedding breakfasts, celebrations, corporate events and product launches. This all-inclusive space is perfect for weddings with a heated solid oak floor, sophisticated lighting, air conditioning, a dancefloor, stage and adjoining bar area. The luxurious space can hold up to 200 guests and can be laid out in many formats to suit different needs. We love... Couples receive a complimentary tasting evening at Micklefield Hall through Kalm Kitchen and an event manager to help with the planning process and wedding day. 21 LOCAL VENUES

Ware Priory High Street, Ware Hertfordshire, SG12 9AL Tel 01920 460316 CELEBRATE AT BE THE ONES TO SAY ‘I DO’ Facebook warepriory Instagram: @ware_priory Capturing your precious moments so they last a lifetime. Award-winning wedding photography. Contact: ARTISTIC. EMOTIVE. STORYTELLING. WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY THAT FEEDS YOUR SOUL Knebworth House & Barns is set in 250 acres of beautiful Hertfordshire parkland with opportunities for elegant ceremonies in the House, outside receptions & vintage offerings in our rustic Barns. 01438 813825 KNEBWORTH HOUSE & BARNS Book now quoting KHHERTS on your enquiry for the wedding couple to go complimentary

A step back in time Discover these beautiful venues with a story to tell WARE PRIORY 01920 460 316 | Situated on seven acres of picturesque gardens, Ware Priory is a traditional Grade I listed building with contemporary touches and architecture dating back to Medieval times. The main Ware Priory building has many historical features, whereas Fletcher’s Lea offers a more contemporary feel. The riverside grounds provide the perfect backdrop to weddings and photography. Here, couples will find river life of narrowboats, swans, geese and ducks. The back lawns are well-kept and great for drinks, receptions and team-building games, while the wisteria archway offers a beautiful space for those iconic confetti shots. Situated in what were the cloisters of the original Friary, the Priory Hall can accommodate ceremonies with 100 loved ones. With stained glass windows and a series of French windows that open onto the riverside gardens, the space is the perfect destination for the “I dos” and receptions with 80 people. Alternatively, The Conservatory offers a bright and spacious interior with room to accommodate 100 people for the vows. The area was completely rebuilt during extensive renovations in the mid-1990s and is ideal for wedding breakfasts with 120 people or receptions with 140. The Hadsley Room, part of the Lady Suite, dates from the 15th-century and boasts a superb example of a crown post roof. The large refectory table used by the registrar to conduct ceremonies dates back to the 14th-century and is believed to be from the original Friary. The room is named after Robert Hadsley, who purchased the Priory in 1685, and his family owned the estate for the best of 200 years. The location is now famous for intimate weddings with 40 guests for ceremonies and receptions. Or why not exchange vows in the Riverside Suite with 200 nearest and dearest? Within Fletcher’s Lea, the larger suite can host wedding receptions with up to 160 guests for dining and 220 for buffet settings. The standalone building has all the catering and bar facilities needed. 23 HISTORIC VENUES

BARLEY TOWN HOUSE 07734 748 286 | Fall in love with this most enchanting venue, full of quintessential charm. Steeped in character, its unique history will encase guests and create intimate, memorable celebrations full of relaxed, fun vibes. One of the oldest Town Houses in the country built around 1530, the much-loved venue became the first village hall to be licensed for civil marriages in 1996. Over the years, it has undergone various refurbishments to provide a wonderful setting for intimate weddings. The beautiful wooden beamed 16th-century building is surrounded by landlocked Cambridgeshire and in the quaint little village of Barley. It’s a delightful setting for anyone hoping for enchanting, quintessentially English weddings. The venue, much like the idyllic village surrounding it, is a perfect backdrop for memorable photo opportunities and has an intimate, nostalgic and timeless feel. There’s a small outside space at the front of the building for guests to gather and have photos with a beautiful backdrop made possible with Barley’s Church – a small donation is required. The Town House is ideal for ceremonies and wedding receptions. The Under-croft is licensed for the vows, accommodating up to 70 seated guests, followed by wedding breakfasts and receptions to dance the night away upstairs without guests having to travel. It’s the ideal space for between 15 to 80 people. Alternatively, exchange vows at the Town House and walk to the local pub, The Fox and Hound. Featured in the Michelin Guide, it has a warm, homely yet luxurious atmosphere that pays homage to the traditional pub. Here, pairs will be served delicious seasonal British produce before returning to the Town House to party the night away. Barley Town House has three beautiful wooden-beamed rooms for couples to put their individual stamp on, a large kitchen, a reception area and great facilities. The team are proud to have a tried and tested little black book of amazing, recommended suppliers. This includes an inhouse coordinator for an additional cost, Hayley, at Dollys Vintage who is on hand to help in any way she can. THE BARNS AT REDCOATS 01438 729 500 | Located in landscaped gardens and surrounded by Hertfordshire countryside, The Barns at Redcoats offers the ultimate wedding setting with beautiful views. Built in 1771, The Barns are the original buildings of The Farmhouse at Redcoats Green. Refurbished in 2018, the spaces now boasts all the quirky historic features intertwined with stylish design and the latest technology – purposely built with weddings in mind. The adjoining Cowshed bar and lounge is stylish, quirky and fun, making it the perfect place for ceremonies and receptions with 120 loved ones. Whatever the tipple, the experienced bar team will shake couples’ favourite cocktails and recommend the best whisky and gin. Come together to enjoy an unforgettable culinary experience where all the dishes are prepared with the finest ingredients from nearby farmers and suppliers. Whether pairs opt for canapés, banquets, fine dining or hog roasts, the chefs will create food that strikes the imagination, tickles taste buds and wows guests. For those after outdoor ceremonies, the lawn or under the Grain Store is the perfect location for the vows during the summer months. After all the celebrations, guests can rest in the 26 on-site bedrooms in the charming Farmhouse or stylish renovated barn bedrooms. At the same time, the newlyweds enjoy the luxury honeymoon suite. 24

MANOR OF GROVES HOTEL 01279 600 777 | Located on 150 acres of stunning grounds, the Manor of Groves Hotel is a venue where Georgian splendour meets a modern twist. The neo-classical property features traditional white pillars and tall glass windows that provide showstopping views of the 18-hole golf course and beautifully kept gardens that are the ideal settings for wedding photography. The original manor house has been extended into an additional wing housing many of the bedrooms, and the exterior has been designed to keep with the traditional property. Ceremonies and receptions can take place in several locations. The Library Suite and Drawing Room are perfect for intimate weddings, while the Colonnade Suite can hold up to 100 guests for the vows and wedding breakfasts, plus 150 for evening receptions. The Manor Suite is perfect for grand events and can host 400 people for ceremonies and 350 for celebrations – it’s home to a private Japanese-style garden that’s perfect for photographs. The property also offers two charming gazebos within the grounds for outside ceremonies. The team offers a variety of packages, many including menu tastings ahead of weddings and a complimentary night’s stay for newlyweds on their wedding night. ST IPPOLYTS CHURCH 01462 434 254 | Nestled in a picturesque village near the town of Hitchin in North Hertfordshire, St Ippolyts Church is a well-maintained venue full of history. Set within a churchyard, the 11th-century setting offers plenty of spaces for showstopping wedding photography. Inside, couples will find a quaint location for ceremonies with 140 loved ones. The team will be on hand to help couples plan dream weddings and can even provide flower arrangements in the church, an organist and arrange church bells to be rung after the “I dos” for an additional fee. Weddings are always happy occasions not only for the newlyweds but also for the local community! 25 HISTORIC VENUES

EDWORTH MANOR 07791 300 194 | Edworth Manor is a working farm just one mile south of Biggleswade, which one family has run for more than 200 years. Nearlyweds can expect a personal service from the experienced team, who will help guide them through the planning process. Guests get a glimpse of farm life as they travel up the drive past grass meadows and tractors before reaching the venue. Couples often comment on how peaceful and tucked away the setting is. The meadow offers a perfect space for photos with a rural backdrop; lovebirds are often snapped underneath the trees or in front of the timber-clad barns. The venue doesn’t have a ceremony license, but the 12th-century church is available for blessings with permission of the Churches Conservation Trust. Celebrant-led ceremonies occur in the 18th-century barn at Edworth Manor, a rustic space that’s one of the largest in the area with plenty of historic character. Guests are taken back by the oak timbers and attractive alcoves, which offer a fantastic canvas for couples to personalise as little or as much as they like. The barn is only available for a limited number of occasions during the summer months each year. Available for exclusive use only and on a dry-hire basis, lovebirds are given access well ahead of the day to style the space as they wish. Double doors open out of the timber-clad barn onto a grass meadow, which couples can style for welcome drinks, garden games and outdoor catering. The recently restored The Old Granary is connected to the main barn, perfect for private dining receptions for up to 25 people year-round and can also be used for celebrant-led ceremonies with 40 loved ones or as a place for bridal parties to get ready. TODDINGTON PARK 07751 779 641 | Set on 30 acres, Toddington Park is a Georgian manor house that creates the perfect backdrop to weddings and events. Just south of Woburn, the Grade II listed property has a grand entranceway and magnificent views at every turn. As couples drive down the impressive driveway, they’ll love the formal lawns, delightful meadows and the stunning lake. Available only for exclusive use, the family-owned property hosts only a handful of weddings per year, meaning guests can expect all the care and attention needed to create memorable events. Built in 1826, the Park House is an impressive manor house with plenty of character and charm. Couples can have celebrant-led ceremonies or blessings with 68 loved ones in the Drawing Room, which features natural lighting and can be dressed to match any wedding theme. Continue the celebrations in the Drawing Room, Entrance Hall and Dining Room, with 55 people for wedding breakfasts and 100 for evening receptions. All rooms open onto the front terrace, the perfect location for drinks receptions in the summer months. Pairs can enjoy outdoor ceremonies with 150 people in a marquee or tent with the freedom to use the surrounding grounds. The expert team works alongside talented suppliers who know the venue like the back of their hands and can help bring dream weddings to life. When pairs book the venue’s wedding packages, they’ll receive a complimentary stay in the renovated three-bedroom cottage and special rates for local hotels for guests nearby. 26

Willow Tree Distilling is home to the award-winning Willow Tree gin and is Bedfordshire’s first gin distillery. We are a family run business and lovingly distil in small batches with sustainability being at the heart of every process. We now provide the opportunity to create completely unique and bespoke wedding favours. Including an exclusive gin-making experience at our distillery for couples to create their own gin recipe, labels and create gin miniatures to share with their guests. A favour that guests will never forget. WWW.WILLOWTREEDISTILLING.CO.UK • 07905 794 493/07826 518 601 Wedding florist specialising in whimsical and romantic designs with a touch of wild. WWW.UNTAMEDFLORALS.CO.UK 07761 041900 Creating bespoke, luxury and romantic wedding flowers with a genuine personal touch. WWW.APPLEBLOSSOMFLOWERS.CO.UK 07738 378331 |

28 AS THE SUN SETS Micklefield Hall provided the backdrop to Chloe and Jack’s stunning wedding Images courtesy of Sarah Legge Photography

REAL WEDDINGS 29 These lovebirds met at ASOS in 2017, a few months after Chloe had started at the company. Two of her friends spotted Jack, who had just completed his induction, and they knew he would be her type! Chloe says, “It wasn’t long before they acted as our dating gurus, and we shortly exchanged numbers. A week later, Jack organised a brilliant date night at Cote in St Albans, and it was clear after our first date we were attracted to one another. We had lots in common with the same life values.” Jack got down on one knee at the top of The Shard, where he popped the question during a magical nightb out. “I don’t think he expected it to be that busy, and I noticed his nerves leading up to the moment”, says Chloe. She continues, “It was a total surprise, and I couldn’t believe he bought my dream ring – I just remember bursting into happy tears! He arranged for my sister and her partner to be part of the day, who captured the moment to treasure. Shortly after, we went to Madison in London for a celebratory meal before getting a limo ride back to his parents, where our families were waiting for an organised celebration. Jack had also secretly spoken to my boss and booked me a week off work, whisking me to the New Forrest for a week-long celebration in our private woodland cabin. On our way home, we stopped off via his nanna’s, where we were able to tell her directly our news – she was absolutely thrilled for us both!” SETTING THE SCENE As the couple became engaged on July 17th 2021, they decided to get married exactly two years later! Their number one goal was to ensure they had a day full of fun, laughter and happiness surrounded by the people they loved. So, the couple had a cocktail bar, a jazzy entrance to the wedding breakfast, a photo booth, foam lights for the evening boogie and ensured the dancefloor was never empty. Looking back today, they genuinely wouldn't have changed a thing. A couple of years into the relationship before Jack proposed, Chloe knew she would tie the knot at Micklefield Hall after seeing the property on Instagram. She loved how couples could get married outside at the venue's gorgeous little temple in front of a stunning pond – it looked perfect! Shortly after the proposal, the couple visited the property and were blown away! The bride says, "Not only was the venue as stunning as we'd both hoped, but the owners and staff were lovely. Anna, Jamie and Abbie, the wedding coordinator, were so helpful from start to finish. On the day, Abbie worked her socks off to ensure everything went without a hitch and was born for this role. The couple wanted to ensure everyone was comfortable at the wedding breakfast, so they arranged the tables by couples and friendship groups. Andrew Flemming created gorgeous arrangements for all tables and centrepieces. For the bridal bouquet, Chloe chose the sunset colours to match the colour scheme, the bridesmaids' orange dresses and bouquets full of white roses and the groomsmen's ties. The venue's beautiful chandeliers were decorated by Andrew using beautiful white wisteria. To ensure everyone had a little treat to enjoy, the couple decided to get creative and personalise some iced biscuits with 'Mr and Mrs Shipton' alongside the wedding date. They also provided all the guests with limoncello/tequila rose shots for the final wedding breakfast toast. The newlyweds used Micklefield Hall’s recommended suppliers and went with a company called Kalm Kitchen for the catering. Their food throughout the day was absolutely delicious, and all the guests