Your Herts and Beds Wedding - August/September 2022 (Issue 93)

£3.55 AUG/SEPT 2022 WIN! HONEYMOONS, BEAUTY, GROOMS, EXPERT ADVICE, FREEBIES AND MORE... A minimoon in the Lake District Must-have gowns and accessories Planning SOS BLOOM Your big-day guide Discover glorious garden settings Fashion icon In full TIME FOR LOVE Heartwarming love stories

Pre-register at Follow us on /CountyWeddingEvents @CountyWedEvent @countyweddingevents Hosted at The Brentwood Centre, Doddinghurst Road, Brentwood, Essex CM15 9NN SUNDAY 2ND OCTOBER - 11AM TO 3:30PM • Win a luxury honeymoon • Huge number of wedding specialists including venues • Bridal fashion shows • Covid-19 secure • Entertainment • Refreshments One of the largest wedding shows to be held in the South of England Pre-register and attend the show to have a chance to win a £250 gift voucher courtesy of IN ASSOCIATION WITH SPONSORED BY FREE ENTRY

REGULARS 6 EDITOR’S LETTER Olivia Gibson shares her top picks from this issue 9 NEARLYWED NEWS Catch up on news from around the counties 13 FREEBIES & OFFERS Great giveaways and discounts up for grabs 69 HOT TOPIC Local experts offer stellar advice on wedding dilemmas 83 COMPETITION Win a two-night stay in the Lake District CONTENTS AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2022 VENUES 19 GOING LOCAL Tie the knot in north Hertfordshire 23 IN FULL BLOOM Check out these stunning venues with glorious gardens On the cover This issue’s cover is taken from the regional shoot on page 45 and was captured by the talented Ola Portraits. Check out: 51 23 FEATURES 45 SPRING FEVER Brickendonbury Estate was the perfect setting for this dreamy shoot 51 LOOKING YOUR BEST Local experts share beauty and fashion tips and tricks 73 PLANNING SOS Create your dream wedding with help from the professionals 80 FROM MISS TO MRS County Wedding Magazines’ senior editor Melissa Barker shares her wedding planning journey 3

REAL WEDDINGS 26 TRUE LOVE Alex and Alex had an amethyst-themed wedding at Sheene Mill 32 TWO HEARTS ONE FAMILY Ware Priory was the perfect backdrop to Sherill and Massimo’s joyful wedding 36 SUMMER LOVIN Luke and Kirsty’s beautiful wedding featured a beautiful colour scheme and plenty of showstopping touches 41 I LOVE YOU James and Tina tied the knot at South Farm HONEYMOONS 84 HONEYMOON NEWS The newest openings and honeymoon destinations 86 TRAVEL GOALS An island country nestled in South Asia, Sri Lanka has always been a bucket-list destination for Louise Prance 88 CARIBBEAN VIBES Enjoy breathtaking, tropical views whilst listening to turquoise waters rolling in with a glass of St. Lucia’s famous rum punch in hand FASHION & BEAUTY 54 STYLE DOWN THE AISLE These boho-inspired dresses in luxe lace and flowing fabrics were made for fun and flirting 59 PARTY PIECES These glamorous gowns are worthy of the red carpet 62 LEADING LADY Mothers-of-the-bride will love these stylish dresses and accessories 63 FASHION FOCUS The latest bridal fashion news, buys and launches 64 BEAUTY BUZZ Get the look with the must-haves for the bride-to-be 66 YOU CAUGHT MY EYE! We put together some gorgeous wedding-day eye make-up looks using the newest launches to hit the counters 54 32 77 36 GROOMS 77 GROOMS’ NEWS Best buys and product launches 78 FUN IN THE SUN Honeymoon must-haves for the groom-to-be 64 84 4

Follow us on: /CountyWeddingEvents @CountyWedEvent @countyweddingevents Pre-register at Hosted at Wembley Stadium London A date for your diary... SUNDAY 5TH MARCH 2023 • Free entry • Win a luxury honeymoon • Huge number of wedding specialists including venues • Bridal fashion shows • Entertainment • Refreshments • Covid-19 secure One of the largest wedding shows to be held in the South of England Pre-register and attend the show to have a chance to win a £250 gift voucher courtesy of IN ASSOCIATION WITH SPONSORED BY

I adore James and Tina’s spring wedding at South Farm – just look at that stunning gown! How stunning is this image of Luke and Kirsty? The pair tied the knot at Fanhams Hall and created the perfect day that represented them both. ISSN 1753-0911 EDITORIAL 01376 535 611 Olivia Gibson | Editor Danielle Harvey | Managing Editor Kelly Andrews | Deputy Managing Editor and Beauty Editor Claire Ridley | Fashion Editor Melissa Barker | Senior Editor, Grooms and Travel Editor DESIGN 01376 535 616 Graphic Designers | Stephanie Hodder | Vicky O’Connor Production Assistant | Lorna Butcher Digital Marketing Coordinator Katie Laley Web Development Manager Stuart Weatherley ADVERTISING Sales & Events Director Sarah Ellis | 01376 538 490 Account Manager Kirsty Brindley | 01376 538 490 Subscriptions 01376 514 000 ACCOUNTS 01376 535 616 Accounting Manager | Derrick James Your Herts & Beds Wedding is solely owned, published and designed by KD Media Publishing. Whilst every effort was made to ensure the information in this magazine was correct at the time of going to press, the publishers cannot accept legal responsibility for any errors or omissions, nor can they accept responsibility for advert content, or of the standing of advertisers or by the editorial contributions. The views expressed do not necessarily reflect those of the publisher. Your Herts & Beds Wedding is published six times a year. Subscription rates are £18.20 per annum (incl. p+p). Cheques should be made out to KD Media Publishing and sent to Your Herts & Beds Wedding, c/o KD Media Publishing, Pantile House, Newlands Drive, Witham, Essex CM8 2AP. @CountyWeddingMagazines @CountyWeddings @countyweddingmagazines Visit us online at and DIA SHING NTS SHING EVENTS & PUBLISHING cwe COUNTY WEDDING EVENTS Hello lovely readers and welcome back to another issue of Your Herts and Beds Wedding. We’ve worked hard this issue to gather some of the most talented suppliers to offer tips and tricks to create memorable weddings. Expect to find plenty of big-day inspiration on each page, from stunning dresses to top planning advice. Make sure to flick to our real wedding features and read the heartwarming love stories from local couples. Learn what made their day stand out and all the lovely details plus memorable moments. I can’t believe we’re already halfway through the year; where has the time gone? Summer weddings are always stunning and allow couples to get creative to bring the outdoor areas to life with beautiful ceremony and reception spaces, snug areas, garden games and al fresco dining options. Living in the UK, we all know how unpredictable the weather can be. So if you’re opting for an outdoor event, make sure you have a wet-weather backup option such as a tipi, marquee or indoor space – you can never be too prepared! We’re expecting to see many Bridgerton-inspired weddings this summer after the popular show released season two and the nation fell in love with Kate and Anthony. Expect to see plenty of lace, ruffles, gloves, capes and delicate blues – it’s going to be oh-so glamours. Neutrals and earthy tones are also trending at the moment, with the main focus on nature with foliage, driftwood and different textures being used. This year, couples are focusing on sustainable weddings and are thinking outside of the box to reduce their impact on the environment, which can be done in multiple ways. Why not opt for repurposed jewellery or conflict-free pieces with sustainable diamonds, use seed paper or recycled paper for stationery, reuse floral arrangementsfrom the ceremony throughout the day and pick seasonal blooms if possible? That’s all from me; now sit back, relax and celebrate anything and everything wedding. Happy planning! Olivia x Olivia Gibson, Editor Planning SOS Check out this dreamworthy shoot located at the Brickendonbury Estate, which featured wow-factor florals, a fashion-forward gown and trendy styling. 45 37 41 6

If you’re on the hunt for a dream wedding setting, then check out Dunton Lodge Farm. The venue is the perfect backdrop to photographers and offers couples the perfect space for outdoor receptions. 19 Keep up-to-date with the latest news from around Herts and Beds. Searching for the perfect hair or make-up artist? We’ve gathered talented companies to offer top beauty advice. Arranging a wedding can be overwhelming, so flick to our Planning SOS feature to read top advice from the experts – thank us later! Boho-style gowns are still some of my favourite styles that are on-tend in 2022, so you can imagine my joy when I first saw this showstopping gown . Sherill and Massimo created a beautiful wedding that matched their personalities and brought joy to all their guests. 9 73 48 32 54 ©John Jefferies EDITOR’S LETTER 7 It’s Got a Kick A unique mobile bar in a beautifully converted horsebox, o ering a full range of reasonably priced spirits, prosecco and beer, all locally sourced. e charming bar has double openings and drop-down ramp to give your special day that wow factor with both open and cash bar options available. We cover Herts, Beds, Cambs, Bucks & Northants. Please call us to discuss your event! Call: 07717 354711 or email: For That Special Occasion CELEBRATING 46 YEARS IN ROYSTON MOTHER OF THE BRIDE SPECIALIST CONDICI JOHN CHARLES ISPIRATO VENI INFANTINO ANN BALON COUTURE CLUB GINA BACCONI LEWIS HENRY DRESSED UP Free Alteration Service Matching Hats and Fascinators Shoes & Bags available Lingerie from Fantasie, Charnos, Lepel, After Eden, Royce, and Triumph Cup sizes AA-H Tel: 01763 244073 John Street, Royston SG8 9BE Sizes 6-26 BRIDAL & OCCASION MAKEUP WWW.SAFFRONLEE.COM Call: 07837 736925 or email: Live music performances for weddings, festivals, parties, events and more... Call: 07852 919999 Email: S i nger | Songwr i t er | Mus i c i an www. ician Roxy Searle

THE PERFECT LOCATION Fullers Hill Cottages has just won an award for the best accommodation in the Eastlife Awards 2022. The team is thrilled with the acknowledgement for their hard work and expertise. The company will also be launching a Little White Book with wedding inspiration, contacts and discounts to enable couples to host the most fabulous and memorable wedding receptions. Couples can have wedding celebrations on the venue’s airfield in a marquee or tipi surrounded by beautiful panoramic countryside views and sunsets. With gorgeous and luxury accommodation on-site, couples won’t have far to go after dancing the night away. Check out: PURE RELAXATION Located in Hertfordshire, The Grove has completed an extensive refurbishment of its Sequoia Spa, which is the perfect location to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life. After undergoing a three-phase refurbishment, the spa has transformed to offer guests an enhanced experience with new treatments, including relaxing and rejuvenating facials and massages. After each treatment, guests can enjoy the new relaxation room while sipping on a refreshing herbal tea. Enjoy a variety of delicious dishes from Sequoia Kitchen before taking a splash in the pool or discovering the extended heat experience area, which features the spa bath set within the walls and floors with back-illuminated onyx panels, a sauna and a modern steam room. Debbie Rogers, the spa director at Sequoia Spa, says, “The refurbishment of Sequoia Spa is extremely exciting and will continue to enhance the experience for both spa members and guests of The Grove. Throughout the spa, warm earthy tones have been used, contributing to the peaceful and nature-inspired ambience.” She adds, “Natural materials will be used as part of The Grove’s ongoing goal to bring together the beautiful gardens and its outstanding interiors and facilities. We look forward to welcoming guests.” Steeped in history, the venue offers 300 acres of stunning Hertfordshire countryside ready for guests to explore. The hotel’s exterior is nothing short of grand and the formal gardens are complete with an ornamental canal, bright flowers and views over the golf course. Check out: A POPPING GOOD TIME Located in Hitchin, Dolly Dimples Weddings & Events Hire now offers a popcorn cart to bring the wow-factor to all events. Get that party poppin’ with the company’s latest product, which works perfectly with the team’s much loved candy floss stall and fairground games. Every item has been designed with weddings in mind, including this pink cart that’s very Instagrammable. Flavours include sweet or salty options as standard, or guests can try the surprise pink option for all the cherry lovers – the team has already received so many lovely comments about this flavour. The company can now supply the ultimate wedding funfair entertainment with Coconut Shy, Beat the Buzzer, Hook a Duck, Ring Toss, Hoopla and more fun games for all ages to enjoy! Check out: Catch up on news from around the regions NEWS Nearlywed ©John Jefferies LOCAL NEWS 9

JEWEL OF THE AISLE Jodie Gearing Bespoke Jewellery Design picked up two prestigious awards this spring while also acquiring a nomination for the Muddy Stilettos Award 2022. The bespoke jewellery designer, based in Bedfordshire, was voted winner of the Rings in East of England category by Weddings Inc. Competing with multiple suppliers, owner Jodie Gearing came out on top after the judging panel researched and vetted the quality of her work. In the same month, Jodie also collected a second award from the International Wedding Awards after meeting strict criteria to win the Rings category for the UK. The entry criteria was based on direct customer feedback, requiring her to demonstrate real customer reviews and testimonials. Jodie is delighted by the response from her customers. She says, “I’m completely blown away by the kind words and support my wonderful clients have shown. Every piece I design is special to the individual, and it’s amazing to see the joy it brings to each customer and the sentiment it represents”. Jodie will find out in September if she’s lucky enough to win an Muddy Stilettos Award, which would make it a hat trick for 2022 awards. In the meantime, she now sets her sights on a new design studio currently under construction for her to conduct jewellery design consultations with clients. “It’s been a long dream of mine to own my own studio”, Jodie comments. She adds, “I’m currently putting the finishing touches on the space (located at my home) and I look forward to meeting clients, old and new, at my new location over the coming months.” Check out: PURE ELEGANCE Located in Stevenage, Elegance China Hire is making a comeback this year and has launched a new website that’s user-friendly to clients. The company provides stunning pieces of China to add elegance and sophistication to all events, and covers most of Hertfordshire and neighbouring counties. Aside from providing vintage China for celebratory afternoon teas, the team will soon be launching bespoke packages for weddings with more than 60 people. They’ll also be offering add-on day packages for brides to get ready in style with their best girls. The business is set to collaborate with a range of first-class event coordinators, caterers and suppliers to bring memorable weddings to life. Check out: EDITOR LOVES Here at Your Herts and Beds Wedding, we’ve fallen head over heels for this stunning shoot at the Brickendonbury Estate. Something so captivating about the showstopping florals really brought the spaces to life. Bridal Reloved Street provided the perfect flowing gown that matched the countryside garden theme and the rest of the elegant styling. Shoot coordinator, Kim Ola at Ola Portraits, fell in love with the property and set out to create a dreamyworthy shoot incorporating seasonal spring flowers – the results are simply stunning. Check out the full shoot on page 45, and discover the talented team of suppliers involved. 10

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.

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 Timeless photography for your special day 07960 558 737 amymurphy_photography amymurphyphotography Scan me for more maples-flowers-august-2022-herts-beds-wedding-magazine.indd 1 16/08/2022 14:59

FOR YOUR CHANCE TO WIN, ENTER VIA OUR WEBSITE. Closing date 30th September, 2022, unless otherwise stated. Terms and conditions apply. BIG-DAY BAKES Located in Hertfordshire and serving surrounding counties, Buttered up Cakes offers bespoke designs that will exceed all expectations. The company specialises in making modern cakes with handmade flowers, and also offers various styles and delicious flavours. Thanks to the luxury cake sample boxes, couples can find their perfect flavours. Owner Robyn Harris works with couples to bring their dream designs to life. With more than six years of experience making special event cakes, nearlyweds can relax knowing their bake is in good hands. We’ve teamed up with the company to offer readers 15 per cent off cakes for 2022 and 2023 weddings when couples quote Your Herts and Beds Wedding before September 30th 2022. Please note this discount is subject to availability and wedding location. Minimum order of £450 is required and dates must be confirmed with a booking fee. Please enquire for more details and full terms and conditions. Check out: Great giveaways and discounts up for grabs Freebies &OFFERS Award-winning British contemporary jewellery designer and silversmith Lucy Quartermaine has had a passion for designing and creating jewellery from a young age, having been inspired by her grandmother’s craft and skill. Loved by A-list celebrities in the UK and around the world, Lucy’s brand is renowned for stylish designs and luxury aesthetics. What’s more, for every piece of jewellery purchased a tree is planted meaning eco-concious consumers can rest assured their purchases are sustainable. With elegant jewellery and accessories perfect for the big day, County Wedding Magazines has teamed up with Lucy Quartermaine to offer readers the chance to win an Art Deco Oval Pendant worth £95. The 925 sterling silver with rhodium overlay pendant is inset with white topaz gemstones and can be worn at a 16 or 20-inch length. Visit ACCESSORISE AND SHINE FREEBIES & OFFERS 13

Pre-register for all of our events at ASCOT RACECOURSE, 18TH SEPTEMBER, 2022 THE BRENTWOOD CENTRE, 2ND OCTOBER, 2022 MERCEDES-BENZ WORLD, 9TH OCTOBER, 2022 WEMBLEY STADIUM, 3TH MARCH, 2023 X Sarah Here at County Wedding Magazines and Events HQ we’re looking forward to kickstarting our Spring wedding show season. From must-visit local fairs in some of the region’s best wedding venues, to our larger Signature Wedding Shows home to more than 100 exhibitors each, we can’t wait to welcome back our couples and help plan their wedding days. Here’s what to expect when attending one of our events... Whether you’re joyous that restrictions have passed, or are still a little hesitant, couples can rest assured our venues are continuing to maintain some of the government guidelines and measures to ensure everyone can feel comfortable and enjoy the day: • Attendees will need to pre-register to attend events • There will be allocated time slots for visitors • All venues will also have enhanced cleaning procedures, with hand washing and sanitising facilities still available • Spaces between exhibition booths will be maintained to ease congestion • Optional face masks • Anyone with symptoms must refrain from visiting 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, and attending our exhibitions is free! For more information on any of our exhibitions 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. Psst! Our pre-registered Signature Wedding Show visitors will have the chance to win a £250 gift voucher courtesy of A date for your diary... GREATEXPECTATIONS

WEDDING SHOWS AUTUMN 2022 ALL EVENTS 11AM - 3PM unless otherwise stated /CountyWeddingEvents @CountyWedEvent @countyweddingevents 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. ESSEX SUN 23 OCT HOUCHINS WEDDING VENUE Houchin’s Lane, Coggeshall, Colchester, CO6 1RT SUN 25 SEPT PONTLANDS PARK West Hanningfield Road, Great Baddow, CM2 8HR SUN 30 OCT LAYER MARNEY TOWER Layer Marney, Colchester, CO5 9US SUN 16 OCT BRAXTED PARK Great Braxted, Witham, CM8 3EN 12PM-4PM

ALL EVENTS 11AM - 3PM unless otherwise stated 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 KENT SURREY SUSSEX LONDON EAST ANGLIA BERKS, BUCKS & OXON SUN 6 NOV HYTHE IMPERIAL HOTEL & SPA Princes Parade, Hythe, CT21 6AE SUN 4 SEPT GUILDFORD MANOR HOTEL & SPA Newlands Corner, Guildford, GU4 8SE SUN 18 SEPT CASTLE GORING Arundel Road, Worthing, BN13 3UN SUN 13 NOV MORDEN HALL Morden Hall Road, SM4 5JD SUN 23 OCT SMEETHAM HALL BARN Smeetham Hall, Sudbury, CO10 7EU SUN 25 SEPT RACKLEYS CHILTERN HILLS Marlow Road, Cadmore End, Bucks, HP14 3PP SUN 6 NOV PENSHURST PLACE Penshurst, TN11 8DG SUN 4 SEPT HAMPTON COURT PALACE GOLF CLUB Home Park, Kingston Upon Thames, KT1 4AD SUN 11 SEPT WARREN HOUSE Warren Road, Kingston Upon Thames, KT2 7HY SUN 30 OCT SELDEN BARNS Selden Lane, Patching Worthing, BN13 3UL 12PM-4PM

• Free entry • First 100 couples receive a free wedding journal keepsake • Goody bag for each couple • Up to 200 stands • Bridal fashion shows • 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 High Street, Berkshire, SL5 7JX SUNDAY 18 SEPTEMBER 2022 | 11AM - 3.30PM ASCOT RACECOURSE Brooklands Drive, Weybridge, KT13 0SL SUNDAY 9 OCTOBER 2022 | 11AM - 3.30PM MERCEDES-BENZ WORLD Sponsored by Doddinghurst Road, Brentwood, CM15 9NN SUNDAY 2 OCTOBER 2022 | 11AM - 3.30PM THE BRENTWOOD CENTRE Sponsored by London, HA9 0WS SUNDAY 5 MARCH 2023 | 11AM - 4PM WEMBLEY STADIUM Sponsored by

ONE OF THE LARGEST WEDDING SHOWS TO BE HELD IN THE SOUTH OF ENGLAND • Free entry • Win a luxury honeymoon • Huge number of wedding specialists including venues • Bridal fashion shows • Entertainment • Refreshments • Covid-19 secure Pre-register and attend the show to have a chance to win a fabulous spa break worth £250 courtesy of IN ASSOCIATION WITH Pre-register at Follow us on /CountyWeddingEvents @CountyWedEvent @countyweddingevents Hosted at Ascot Racecourse, High Street Ascot, Berkshire SL5 7JX ASCOT RACECOURSE, BERKSHIRE SUNDAY 18TH SEPTEMBER, 2022 IN ASSOCIATION WITH Please get in touch for further ideas and information. Call Kirstie on: 07544 208959 Email: @fullershillcottages Fullers Hill Cottages O cial @fullershill Family friendly self catering at Fuller’s Hill Cottages on a family run farm in South Cambridgeshire. Featuring 7 unique cottages with hot tubs and pretty gardens which can sleep individual families and larger gatherings. For a love of the outdoors, local attractions, dog friendly, a new sundown spot to watch the beautiful sunsets, and a play area, choose us for your next staycation! Wedding receptions including Tee-pees on the airfield with panoramic views of the beautiful countryside or marquee in the courtyard garden, with a helpful hand along the way...

GOING LOCAL Tie the knot in north Hertfordshire DUNTON LODGE FARM WEDDING VENUE 07849 918 568 | Located in the idyllic countryside, Dunton Lodge Farm Wedding Venue is a stunning property with amazing uninterrupted views of the surrounding area. The venue has many photographic backdrops, and couples can capture photos to treasure for years to come. The lodge offers a stunning setting for rustic or country weddings, and its blank-canvas style allows pairs to create the perfect space to match any theme or colour scheme. The venue doesn’t have a ceremony licence but provides the ideal location for receptions with 150 guests. Pairs can hire a tipi or marquee on The Lawn in front of the family-owned Victorian Farmhouse, which provides a picture-perfect backdrop. Here guests can enjoy lawn games while creating life-long memories. The hardworking team helps couples create showstopping weddings and supports them every step of the way. LOCAL VENUES 19

KNEBWORTH HOUSE AND BARNS 01438 813 825 | Set in 250 acres of parkland, Knebworth House and Barns is a spectacular historic house that’s home to grazing herds of deer. The gardens are delightful throughout each season and feature a stunning sunken lawn, colourful borders and trees that create the perfect backdrop for wedding photography. The estate dates back to the 1600s and is ideal for couples seeking a sophisticated and classic setting for their special day. The striking exterior features authentic turrets, gargoyles and domes, while the interior features Victorian and Jacobean décor that creates an elegant setting. During the summer months, lovebirds can tie the knot in the formal gardens by the Garden Gazebo surrounded by 150 loved ones. For those looking to host their whole wedding in one location, the Banqueting Hall in the Knebworth House can accommodate 100 people for the “I dos”, 60 for wedding breakfasts and 180 for receptions. Or, why not opt for the Manor & Lodge Barn accompanied by 150 loved ones for the vows plus wedding breakfasts and 250 in the evenings? The 16th-century Manor barn is perfect for rustic-themed weddings with beautiful exposed beams and plenty of charm. Alternatively, the Cobbold Barn & Gardens can host 150 for the vows, 120 for wedding breakfasts and 250 for receptions. Lastly, the Sunken lawn is perfect for receptions with 180 nearest and dearest. The dedicated event team at Knebworth House & Barns is on hand to help couples turn their dream weddings into a reality. They offer several all-inclusive packages to match different styles and preferences. We love... hen couples book the venue, the team offers a menu tasting session to try some dishes. The wedding coordinator will work with pairs to ensure every detail is tailored to their liking, while the in-house executive chef can help fine-tune dining options. On their wedding day, they’ll also receive sparkling wine or prosecco for the toasts, white table linens and Chiavari chairs. MINSTREL COURT 01223 208 937 | Located in five acres of beautiful gardens set around a private lake, Minstrel Court is an impressive 15th-century house with adjoining listed outbuildings that will wow guests. Say “I do” in The Lake Pavilion or The Meadow Chapel, which has views over the Wimpole Meadows. Another popular space is The Regency Barn with soaring beams and stained-glass windows – all these spaces can accommodate 20 to 140 people. Receptions take place in multiple locations at the venue. The Grand Marquee overlooking the grounds can fit 140 guests, while The Regency Barn can accommodate 135. Or why not opt for The Long Gallery overlooking the terrace or The Sky Bar for 250 people? Couples are offered a tasting session when they book the venue for their wedding. 20

• Free entry • Win a luxury honeymoon • Huge number of wedding specialists including venues • Bridal fashion shows • Entertainment • Refreshments • Covid-19 secure IN ASSOCIATION WITH Pre-register at Follow us on /CountyWeddingEvents @CountyWedEvent @countyweddingevents Hosted at Mercedes-Benz World, Brooklands Drive, Weybridge, Surrey, KT13 0SL MERCEDES-BENZ WORLD, SURREY ONE OF THE LARGEST WEDDING SHOWS TO BE HELD IN THE SOUTH OF ENGLAND Hosted at SUNDAY 9TH OCTOBER | 11AM TO 4PM Pre-register and attend the show to have a chance to win a fabulous spa break worth £250 courtesy of COMMERCIAL & WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER IN BEDFORDSHIRE Capture every moment Natural wedding photography. Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire and Bucks. Capture each moment. 07977932113 | |

OFFLEY PLACE COUNTRY HOUSE HOTEL Surrounded by 27 acres of manicured lawns, Offley Place Country House Hotel is located within beautiful grounds that create a picturesque backdrop to weddings. The historic architecture boasts character and charm, which is echoed delicately throughout. Check out: Also check out… NEEDHAM HOUSE HOTEL Nestled in the quaint Hertfordshire village of Little Wymondley, Needham House Hotel is a four-star boutique venue with two AA rosette brasserie. The décor of the private dining rooms, guest rooms, spa, fitness room, bar and restaurant capture the essence and history of the building. Check out: THE PRIORY Steeped in history, The Priory is grand by anyone’s standards. Built-in the 16th-century by the King’s carpenter, the exposed oak structure of the spacious barn makes this venue a real stunner. The picturesque gardens and terrace provide the perfect backdrop for outdoor celebrations and the all-important big-day photos. Check out: THE CLOISTERS There’s nowhere quite like The Cloisters, which is a fascinating venue that never fails to enchant visitors. Designed and built at the turn of the last century, this special space displays distinctive architecture featuring towers and turrets that are perfect for wedding photos. Check out: 22

In full bloom Check out these stunning venues with glorious gardens THE GARDENS AT POLEHANGER 07584 076 242 | At the end of the beautiful tree-lined driveway, The Gardens at Polehanger is the perfect spot to hold weddings between April and October. The manicured gardens have heaps of space and offers a stunning setting with flower beds full of colour and uninterrupted countryside views. The blank canvas spaces allow couples to bring in their own structure and all other suppliers so lovebirds can create exactly what they want for their special day – the bigger the imagination, the better! Couples hiring the venue will have exclusive use of the site for the wedding day, which includes the six-bedroom farmhouse. There’s also parking, power and water provided. The team works with wedding planner and event manager, Chloe from White Button Weddings to liaise with couples and suppliers while overseeing the day – so wedding parties can enjoying the special day. The 18th-century farmhouse has been newly refurbished, with new bathrooms and furniture throughout. Each room is spacious, with comfy king size beds and stunning décor – a fantastic place to prepare for the day and to rest weary heads after celebrating. Couples can have celebrant-led blessings and receptions with 120 people in the beautiful gardens in the open air, or they can choose to hire a structure such as a yurt, pole marquee, stretch tent or tipi. The Meadows at Polehanger has extra accommodation with four luxury cabins just a short walk away from the Gardens at Polehanger – it’s the perfect place for guest to stay. Each one sleep up to four adults or two adults and up to four children. The cabins are well equipped with a king size bed, bunk beds and a sofa bed, as well as a small kitchen and bathroom. Scan to view video © Andrew Foster GLORIOUS GARDENS 23

TREEWELL FARM 07736 573 982 | Treewell Farm is situated between Moggerhanger and Willington in the heart of the Bedfordshire countryside. The secluded farm is located along a 400-metre tree-lined drive. It’s available to hire exclusively with access to the field (including an orchard) for marquee set-up, a car parking field, a small wedding lodge, converted horsebox bar, the walled garden and the greenhouse. As winner of the CPRE 2021 Living Countryside Awards, the farm is the perfect choice to hold beautifully romantic, festival inspired and sustainable weddings. It provides the ideal blank canvas to create a beautiful and personalised day. The natural and rustic landscape features stunning views over the surrounding farmers’ fields, and there are many photo opportunities to discover. Imagine sitting on hay bales and drinking gin cocktails overlooking a wedding marquee or tipi. Ceremonies and receptions can take place with 200 people in the field, and there’s a special bridal lodge for newlyweds to stay in after dancing the night away. Throughout the day, they’ll have access to a barn to share a few special moments alone on their magical day. SANDON MANOR 01763 284 067 | Located in Hertfordshire, Sandon Manor is a Georgian mansion surrounded by 1,200 acres of the estate. Guests will get to spend quality time together during their stay with exclusive use of the grounds while they relax into comfort and immerse themselves in nature. Exchange vows in the East Wing Ceremony Hall with 150 people. The stylishly renovated space has light pouring in through windows and offers views over the courtyard. Or why not opt for the Courtyard Summer House, which can host 150 guests? Marry under the summer house roof while loved ones sit under the courtyard trees. For smaller ceremonies with 30 people, tie the knot with a celebrant in the ancient woodland. Lastly, the historic Sandon Manor Hall allows couples to enter down the winding staircase with the front door opening onto the formal parterre. Enjoy a feast and continue celebrations in The Medieval Barn, a stunning 800-year-old building that can host 150 people. This recently converted space has a cocktail bar plus bespoke sound and lighting. For smaller celebrations with 18 people, dine under in the Manor Garden or the 16th-century dining room. Sandon Manor and The Dovecote have been stylishly renovated to a high spec to sleep 18 guests who won’t have to worry about travelling home after dancing the night away. Scan to view video 24

Also check out... BRICKENDON GRANGE GOLF CLUB Located within the rolling Hertfordshire countryside, Brickendon Grange Golf Club is set amidst 160 acres of natural parkland and creates the perfect venue for wedding receptions. As couples drive up the picturesque driveway, they discover the magnificent 19th -century manor which will make lasting first impressions. Check out: ESSENDON COUNTRY CLUB Situated in m re than 400 acres of stunning Hertfordshire countryside, Essendon Country Club is the perfect location for weddings. The venue’s dedicated wedding planner will support couples every step of the way to ensure they receive their dream day. Check out: SOUTH FARM Surrounded by expansive gardens, South Farm is a family-run venue nestled in 20 acres of countryside. The beautiful gardens and rustic wildflower meadows create the perfect setting for wedding celebrations and memorable photographs to treasure. The venue’s romantic spaces offer couples an enchanting choice of ceremony and reception locations. Check out: THE SHUTTLEWORTH TRUST Situated in 425 acres of historic parkland in Bedfordshire, Shuttleworth House offers an unrivalled wedding experience. With rolling parkland views and steeped in compelling history, the estate offers an extraordinary setting for celebrations all year round. Couples can have exclusive use of the Jacobean-style venue and choose between an array of grand and finely furnished rooms to host ceremonies, wedding breakfasts and evening receptions. Check out: WARE PRIORY 01920 460 316 | Situated in seven acres of picturesque gardens, Ware Priory is a Grade I listed building with contemporary touches and architecture dating back to Medieval times. The main building is stunning, with a whitewashed frontage and a stonewalled exterior surrounded by flower beds. Multiple spaces at the property provide the perfect settings for all types of weddings – there’s something for everyone. What was originally the cloister of the original Friary, The Priory Hall accommodates 100 people for ceremonies. Upon entering, guests will love the stained-glass windows and series of French windows that open onto the riverside gardens, which offer many photographic backdrops. Another location with easy access to the gardens is the Conservatory, which offers a bright and spacious interior. Although licensed for civil ceremonies with 100 loved ones, the area is also an ideal place for wedding breakfasts with 120 people and 140 guests for evening receptions. The Hadsley Room dates back to the 15th-century and boasts a superb example of a crown post roof. The large refectory table, used by the registrar to conduct the ceremonies and receptions with 40 guests, dates back to the 14th-century and is believed to be from the original Friary. For grand weddings, The Riverside Suite within Fletcher’s Lea can host 200 people for the “I dos”, 160 for traditional wedding breakfasts or 220 for buffet meals. The Fletcher’s Lea is a standalone building with all catering and bar facilities needed. Additionally, a private terrace offers views over the River Lea and access to all the gardens within the Priory Estate. Those who book their wedding at Ware Priory in 2023 with more than 60 guests before 31st August 2022 will receive an overnight stay on their wedding night at Hanbury Manor Marriott Hotel and a £100 gift voucher to spend with the property’s venue styling partner, Victoria’s Events. Get in touch with the venue for more terms and conditions. 25 GLORIOUS GARDENS

T R U E L OV E Alex and Alex had an amethyst-themed wedding at Sheene Mill Images courtesy of Amy Murphy Photography and William Hilton Photography 26

REAL WEDDINGS 27 Alex Covey and Alex Frances first met in college when they were both 16. They were studying animal care at the time and already knew they had a shared interest. The pair were both extremely anxious and shy, which meant they found it very difficult to talk to one another. Due to the severity of their shyness, they didn’t truly talk to each other for a long time. They we were both overcoming a bad school life that stifled their social capabilities. It took until April 2018 for them to finally get the chance to properly become friends when they unknowingly chose the same work experience placement at an animal rescue centre. They were both frightened of this new environment, but having one another there made them feel safe and being alone allowed them to speak a little bit. Work experience didn’t last very long and they didn’t cross paths that often, so their friendship didn’t truly get a chance to develop as they’d hoped. One day they both mistakenly received a bad report from their supervisor and Alex Covey took it upon himself to find out if there had been a mistake. He says, “Of course there had been, and this whole horrible ordeal went from a curse to a blessing, as I realised it gave me the chance to reach out to Alex on Facebook to let her know.” He adds, “From that first message, we just clicked and spoke to each other online nonstop. Messaging was much easier for shy people like us, and we built up our confidence to have proper conversations even at college. We spent more time together, and felt our anxiety slipping away.” Finally, on the 30th of May 2018, the pair found themselves on a bench in a nearby park. They both shared their feelings and realised they loved each other. Alex Covey says, “We had both gone so long thinking that we were unlovable and shutting ourselves off from the world, but we had finally found our place.” Exactly one year later, in the same location the couple had professed their love, the lovebirds became engaged and set out to create their dream wedding. SETTING THE SCENE When looking for the perfect venue, the pair came across Sheene Mill and knew it would fit their amethyst and rustic theme perfectly. As the couple had an intimate wedding in mind, they found it easy to envision their big day here. The property was something out of a fairytale with a sparkling pond with ducks and swans – they loved the wildlife aspect. The couple had an small wedding with six guests who all sat around one table. In the centre was a large bouquet and little menu cards. Even though the couple didn’t have a seating plan, they still had little place names made from amethyst agate stone to help guests find their seats. The wedding stylist really went all in with the theme, and the venue looked amazing! There were purple glasses and edible crystals dotted around the venue as well as purple sashes on the back of every chair, a purple tablecloth, a welcoming sign and a balloon arch. Flowers around the venue added a romantic setting, especially on the pergola where the ceremony was held, and the blooms represented the pair’s favourite colours. The bridal bouquet was elaborate and a beautiful explosion of colour, as was the groom’s buttonhole. The couple created little gift bags for guests to take home, which featured mementoes of the day such as a small amethyst crystal, purple hearts with the pair’s names plus wedding date and bags of seeds to grow their own purple flowers. There were even special activity booklets made by CherryTop Weddings, with little quizzes and games about the newlyweds to share their love story. These were 

28 great for keeping guests entertained while the couple went off for their photos and was the perfect ice breaker. The cake looked too good to eat and followed the amethyst theme with a purple-marbled effect and gold foil. It was a work of art and tasted just as good as it looked. Mr and Mrs Covey loved the delicious food provided by Sheene Mill – the dishes varied and were the perfect portion sizes. The canapés after the ceremony was a big hit with guests as was the evening food, including the fish and chip cones and pizza slices. Guests loved the pick ‘n’ mix sweet cart too – there was more than enough food for everybody. LOOKING THE PART When it came to finding the perfect dress, the bride fell in love with a St Patrick gown called Goldsmith. She says, “I chose this elegant style because I loved how it provided coverage while still showing off my figure. I liked how vintage and timeless it looked and the long train at the back allowed me to create the perfect entrance.” The groom chose his suit from Chimney Formal Menswear in Royston. After trying several suits and combinations, he decided on a deep blue one with a faint checked pattern. To finish his look, he opted for a tan waistcoat with an orange checked design that suited him perfectly. TIME TO CELEBRATE The couple hired a violinist to play several songs before and during the ceremony to keep guests entertained. The pair had curated a Spotify playlist to play in the background during the rest of the day’s events; this featured various songs they both loved. The guests were pleased to hear some of their favourite songs featured as well. There was a special guest in the form of a barn owl named Bilbo, who was the ring bearer. Friends and family were amazed by the owl and loved having the opportunity to handle him after the ceremony, as well as a smaller owl called Fuzz. In the evening, guests played a murder mystery game where everyone got into character, which was so much fun. MEMORABLE MOMENTS The couple both felt nervous about being in front of many different people, but their excitement pushed them through. The ceremony itself was the highlight of their day. It had been raining before the “I dos”, and they were worried the ceremony would have to take place indoors. However, a bright spot came just in time as the violinist started playing music. The groom was blown away when the bride came around the corner and walked down the aisle. He says, “It was the most amazing sight I had ever seen and will be burned into my heart forever. She looked so beautiful in her dress; it made me shed a tear or two, which is very rare of me.” The celebrant, Sylvia, made the ceremony extra special and recounted their love story in such a beautiful way. The pair had a sand ceremony where they both poured coloured sand into one large container to mix the colours, thereby mixing their hearts and souls together. A special moment was when the lovebirds locked love letters away in a special box that was only to be opened on their first wedding anniversary. A funny moment from the day was when the groom went to meet his bride halfway down the aisle and tripped on a candle. He comments, “It was very typical of me! Thankfully

The beautiful Conservatory and private Walled Garden are an idyllic setting for your wedding reception, where you can enjoy summer drinks on the decking whilst admiring the enchanting garden. T H E C O N S E RVAT O R Y at the Luton Hoo Walled Garden The stylish interior of the venue, with its glazed windows overlooking the gardens, includes a starlight ceiling, pin-spot and atmospheric lighting that can be customised to your own colour scheme, along with club lighting over the dance floor, stage and integrated PA system with microphones, which can be used for those all important wedding speeches. It is really important to us that you have the wedding reception that you have always imagined. Our venue manager is on hand every step of the way, to help guide and advise at this special time, making sure that when the day comes you can relax and enjoy every minute. We will be happy to give recommendations for enhancements such as floral arrangements, master of ceremonies, musicians and bespoke furniture or tableware, and will also be there on the day itself as a friendly face making sure that the venue and proceedings run in perfect order. | | 01442 286839 | 01707 322492 | @godshaws 4 2 W I G M O R E S N O R T H W E L W Y N G A R D E N C I T Y A L 8 6 B L Find your forever ring with Godshaw Jewellers. B E S POKE | MADE TO F I T | T RAD I T IONAL | CONT EMPORARY P L AT I NUM | PAL L AD I UM | GOLD | T I TAN I UM EXCLUSIVE YOUR HERTS AND BEDS OFFER 20% off your wedding rings and bridal jewellery with this ad in store 2 The Arcade Bedford MK40 1NS Monday - Saturday 9:30am - 5:30pm 01234 353444 @magicgardenflorist Occa ion Flowers and House Plants Making your special day magical with the perfect wedding flowers 2 The Arcade Bedford MK40 1NS Monday - Saturday 9:30am - 5:30pm 01234 353444 Occasion Flowers and House Plants Making your special day magical with the perfect wedding flowers Making your special day magical with perfect wedding flowers 2 The Arcade, Bedford MK40 1NS Monday - Saturday 9:30 - 5:30pm 07410 551628 | @magicgardenflorist

REAL WEDDINGS 31 Venue and catering, | Main photographer, | Second shooter, Dresses, | Hair stylist and make-up artist, | Suits, | Cake, | Flowers, | Stationery, | Wedding rings, | Celebrant, | Balloons, | Barn owl ring bearer, | Videography, | First dance choreography, Violinist, | Favour booklets, ALEX AND ALEX’S LITTLE WHITE BOOK it wasn’t actually lit and didn’t burn down the venue.” He continues, “We had something similar during our first dance, where I kept stepping on Alex’s dress. These mishaps added a bit more spice to the day, giving us more fond memories to look back on.” All the couple’s suppliers went above and beyond to make their day extra special – everything was exactly how the pair had hoped it’d be. HONEYMOON After the perfect wedding, the newlyweds went to Paris for a week and loved every minute. The bride says, “We might have overexerted ourselves with everything we had planned. We’re not usually the type to relax on our holidays, but even for us it was a challenge to tick off everything on our itinerary.” She adds, “It was a beautiful and romantic city to be in, and the highlight was a dinner cruise down the Seine River.”