Your Herts and Beds Wedding - December 2022/January 2023 (Issue 95)

£3.55 DEC 2022/JAN 2023 HONEYMOONS, BEAUTY, GROOMS, EXPERT ADVICE, FREEBIES AND MORE... WIN! A luxurious getaway Venues perfect for winter nuptials Baby it ’s cold outside TRUE LOVE Behind THE LENS Showstopping photography Heartwarming local weddings Fashion icon Must-have gowns and ac essories


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 73 HOT TOPIC Local experts offer stellar advice on wedding dilemmas 89 COMPETITION A luxury getaway awaits with renowned hotel brand GuestHouse CONTENTS DECEMBER 2022/JANUARY 2023 VENUES 19 GOING LOCAL Fall in love with these stunning properties in south Hertfordshire 23 BABY IT’S COLD OUTSIDE Check out these snowstopping winter venues On the cover This issue’s cover is taken from the regional shoot on page 47, which was captured by the talented 53 19 FEATURES 47 LOST IN A DREAM That Amazing Place provided the perfect setting for this stunning shoot 53 CAPTURING MEMORIES Discover the talented teams behind the photographs 77 DRESSED TO IMPRESS Be inspired by the latest fashion trends and styles 86 WALKING IN A WINTER WONDERLAND Our guide to creating the ultimate seasonal celebration 3

REAL WEDDINGS 28 OH-SO ELEGANT Chloe and Tom’s classic wedding featured a burgundy and blush colour scheme 35 THE PERFECT DAY Alex and Jojo had a memorable wedding surrounded by loved ones 41 LOVE YOU ALWAYS Jennifer and Ollie had a beautiful wedding at Hanbury Manor Marriott Hotel HONEYMOONS 90 HONEYMOON NEWS The newest openings and honeymoon destinations 92 GREECE IS THE WORD Summer in Santorini and Athens 94 IN LOVE WITH THE LAKES A myriad of delights lie in wait in The Lake District for UK honeymooners 96 PURE LUXURY Discover The Belfry Hotel & Resorts in Sutton Coldfield FASHION & BEAUTY 57 FASHION FOCUS The latest bridal fashion news, buys and launches 58 WHAT’S TRENDING? This is what brides-to-be will be wearing in 2023 67 SHINE LIKE A DIAMOND Dazzle this festive season in gold, pearls, charms and diamonds 68 BEAUTY BUZZ Get the look with the must-haves for the bride-to-be 70 SKIN FOOD Discover how to achieve that much-desired bridal glow the natural way, through a healthy diet of skin-loving foods 71 BEAUTY Q&A Look your big-day best with top expert advice 58 35 94 84 GROOMS 83 GROOMS’ NEWS The latest best buys and product launches 84 WINTER LUXE The latest seasonal must-haves for the groom-to-be 68 4

Calling all grooms-to-be, fall in love with this statement suit that’s perfect for winter! We’ve ask local bridal boutiques to share some of their fabulous designs and this gown from Morgan Davies Bridal didn’t disappoint! 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 Cullen | Senior Editor, Grooms and Travel Editor DESIGN 01376 535 616 Graphic Designers | Stephanie Hodder Vicky O’Connor Artwork & Content Coordinator Lorna Butcher Digital Marketing Coordinator Katie Laley Web Development Manager Stuart Weatherley ADVERTISING Sales & Events Director Sarah Ellis | 01376 538 490 Account Manager Jessie Wilson | 01376 538 478 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. @CountyWeddingMagazines @CountyWeddings @countyweddingmagazines Visit us online at and DIA SHING NTS SHING EVENTS & PUBLISHING cwe COUNTY WEDDING EVENTS Hello lovely readers and welcome to another issue of Your Herts and Beds Wedding magazine! I don’t know about you, but this year has flown by – I’m still unsure where the last few months have gone. As we say hello to 2023, I can’t help but reflect on the past year and what an incredible 12 months it has been with many unforgettable moments, milestones and new experiences. I’m so thankful to have created many amazing memories with loved ones and finally be able to travel again to some amazing destinations. You’re in for a treat this issue with some oh-so-glamorous weddings full of inspiration and showstopping touches – best grab your paper and pen! We’ve gathered top advice from the experts to help make the planning process much more manageable no matter if you’ve just popped the question or are about to tie the knot. Every couple wants to look their big-day best on their special day. That’s why we have features dedicated to beauty, bridalwear and attire for the grooms. It’s important you feel confident and the very best version of yourself. We’ve been busy sourcing the very best venues for winter nuptials as well as focusing on some lovely Hertfordshire properties this issue. I hope you enjoy reading this magazine as much as I loved putting it together. That’s all from me, have a wonderful Christmas and a Happy New Year! Olivia x Olivia Gibson, Editor Winter winds 77 84 53 Discover plenty of showstopping images and local companies thanks to our photography feature. 6

For those planning a winter wedding, Angela Jane Cake Design shares popular festive flavours. 73 Hanbury Manor Marriott Hotel was the perfect location for Jennifer and Ollie’s wedding. Check out the venue’s beautiful reception area. 28 What’s not to love about Alex and Jojo’s stunning wedding? Getting the setting right is key when creating the perfect wedding – especially if you have a specific theme in mind. We’ve gathered venues to showcase the incredible spaces on offer around south Hertfordshire. 41 35 19 89 I adore this photo of Chloe and Tom just after they tied the knot! Enter for a chance to win a mini-moon worth up to £2,000 – what are you waiting for? EDITOR’S LETTER 7

Pre-register at Follow us on /CountyWeddingEvents @CountyWedEvent @countyweddingevents Hosted at The Brentwood Centre, Doddinghurst Road, Brentwood, Essex CM15 9NN DATE TO BE ANNOUNCED • 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 FREE ENTRY

THINK GREEN The multi-award-winning Oakman Group is dedicated to helping the planet and has planted a million trees to help reduce the company’s daily carbon emissions. The business was founded 15 years ago and owns two Bedfordshire-based pubs, The Woburn and The White Hart– a popular wedding venue in Ampthill. For every cup sold across the group’s pubs and hotels, the team committed to planting one tree through Tree Nation. This fantastic not-for-profit organisation helps local communities by creating jobs and protecting biodiversity worldwide. The trees planted covered almost 450 hectares of reforested land in both Madagascar’s Eden project and the Usambara Biodiversity Conservation project in Tanzania, all thanks to selling 2,500 cups of coffee daily. To celebrate the achievement, the founder and chairman of the Oakman Group, Peter Borg-Neal, planted an oak tree in the company’s new Oakman Kitchen Garden at The Akeman Inn in Kingswood with assistance from his team. Peter says, “We couldn’t have achieved our first year’s target without the support of our guests. Planting this young Oak is a simple commemoration of what small groups can do with little effort or personal impact, while having profound effects. For example, we were the first pub group to ban plastic straws, eventually leading to their national disappearance, as well as the first pub group to install electric charging points in our new pub car parks. We always seek ways to make a difference without losing sight of our commercial responsibilities.” For more information about the company, check out: SAY “I DOS” Situated on the outskirts of Bedford, Woodland Manor Hotel is a beautiful wedding venue that’s launching a new reception package. The Venue with a Heart package is available to all couples who want to celebrate their special day on a limited budget. Available until April 2023, couples can host memorable receptions Mondays to Thursdays from 5 pm to 11 pm in the Autograph Suite surrounded by 40 loved ones for only £1,999. The package has been specifically tailored by the events team, who work with local suppliers to provide the best experience possible for pairs with many wedding must-haves. Couples who book the package will receive help from an on-site wedding coordinator, a professional photographer to capture the day, a DJ to entertain loved ones in the evening, use of the grounds for photos and a red-carpet welcome. Chair covers and sashes, candle-themed centrepieces, a welcome sign and a cake stand will also be provided. In the evening, guests can enjoy a hot buffet, a two-tiered cake, a mini doughnut wall and a sweet station. Additional upgrades are available for an additional price; this includes a photo booth, welcome drinks, a hog roast, extra guests, ceremony hire and more! For more information, check out: THE LITTLE ONES Situated in Hertfordshire, Little Petals Event Nannies LTD is a new company offering childcare services perfect for weddings. The company covers a wide range of events, providing a specialist and flexible service tailored to clients needs. Children can be involved in events as much or as little as desired, meaning the whole family can enjoy the celebrations without worrying about the little ones. If the children want some time away, the team will keep them entertained with fun and games while ensuring kids go to bed at a reasonable time without upsetting their bedtime routine or cutting evenings short for the adults. For a free quotation, please email Grace at Check out: Catch up on news from around the counties NEWS Nearlywed LOCAL NEWS 9

JEWEL OF THE AISLE Located in Harpenden, Heulwen Lewis Bespoke has won the International Wedding Awards for Bespoke Jewellery in Hertfordshire! The company specialises in all bespoke items, from engagement rings, fine wedding accessories, bridal party gifts and the most essential items – wedding rings! Wedding rings represent everlasting love and stay with couples forever, so why not make them unique and personal? From the initial sketches to the final piece, the process is exciting and straightforward as founder and designer Sarah Heulwen Lewis will guide pairs through every step. To celebrate the exciting news, Sarah is offering a free design service worth up to £250 for all Your Herts and Beds Wedding readers when they quote H&BCelebrate when getting in touch. Consultations can be held face-to-face with Prosecco at Sarah’s studio or via telephone, Zoom, WhatsApp or Skype. Discover more about the company: BLOOMING BEAUTIFUL Ampthill-based Rambling Stems Floristry has made it to the regional finals of The Wedding Industry Awards 2023 in two categories. The artisan wedding florist creates beautifully natural bespoke florals with an eco-conscious ethos, think nature-inspired and wild blooms. The team are thrilled to be announced as a regional finalist for the florist and newcomer categories for the East of England. The awards have 27 different categories and cover eight regions. Once companies enter the awards, it’s down to clients to vote for their wedding suppliers before the judging process begins. Ali Conway, founder of Rambling Stems Floristry, came to floral design after an award-winning career in Garden Design and was shocked by the environmental impact of the new industry she had entered. She says, “I want to bring the outdoors in and create beautifully natural florals for my couples. What I don’t want to do is leave a huge amount of plastic, cellophane, chemicals and nasty floral foam behind! “At Rambling Stems, we use old-fashioned methods that were used before floral foam was even invented! Chicken wire within vessels, vase containers, moss for hydration and reusable water tubes are used to keep flowers fresh. Nothing goes to waste, everything is recyclable.” The company uses British blooms grown from local flower farms and native foliage as much as possible while focusing more on seasonal availability. Discover more about the company: FIVE MINUTES WITH… We caught up with Ross Mac, the director at RM Event Solutions to discover more about the company and how they can create memorable weddings. When did you start the company? I’ve been performing for thirty years after playing at my first nightclub in 1993, aged 13, and I’ve been sharing my love for music ever since. From Ibiza, Las Vegas, Monaco, Marbella, Thailand, and Uganda, I’ve played all over the world alongside some of the biggest names in the industry. I’ve also played at some of the UK’s biggest festivals, celebrity parties and numerous media and fashion industry events. I’ve recently discovered a passion for giving couples the wedding of their dreams What do you offer nearlyweds? I merge my years of experience in the clubland with the passion and drive that’s present in everything I do. I combine singers, sax players, and bongo performers alongside the industry’s best DJs to create a unforgettable wedding experience. How can you add the wow factor to events? Experience makes an event truly great, having the gift to read a crowd and being two or three records ahead of the dancefloor is essential. We’ve seen significant changes in styles, trends, technology and, of course, a virus which impacted our much-loved world like nothing we could have imagined. Our experience and knowledge have allowed us to be flexible, adaptable and one step ahead during even the most testing of times with the best service, the freshest ideas and the most suitable sound solutions. Discover more about the company:: 10

Mother of the Bride Specialist ~ ESTABLISHED 43 YEARS IN ROYSTON ~ Condici • John Charles • Ispirato • Ann Balon • Gina Bacconi • Lizabella • Linea Raffaelli • Luis Civit • Lewis Henry Sizes 8 - 22 • Free Alteration Service • Matching Hats, Fascinators • Shoes & Bags available Lingerie from Fantasie, Charnos, Lepel, After Eden, Royce & Triumph. Cup sizes AA - H John Street, Royston, SG8 9BE Tel: 01763 244073 - ES LIS E 47 YEARS I ROYSTON - Sizes 6 - 28 • Fre Alteration Servi • • oes & Bags available Condici • John C rl • Ve i Inf ntino ewis Henry • Couture C ub, Veromia and Dres ed Up Lingerie from Fantasie, Charnos, After Eden, Royce & Triumph. C Mum’s the word at Cream of Royston Once you know your son or daughter is getting married a wedding is just the excuse you need for dressing up. Bride aside all eyes will be on the Mums. Cream has been trading in Royston for 47 years and is predominantly a special occasion store. The extensive stock on two floors is colour co-ordinated for ease of selection. Everything is available from outfits (sizes 6-28) to shoes, bags, hats, hatinators, fascinators and lingerie. Brands stocked include Condici, Ispirato, John Charles and Veni Infantino. Dressed up, Lewis Henry and Ann Balon are perfect for plus sizes. Less formalwear from Frank Lyman, Veromia, and Alison is ideal for a day at the races, wedding abroad or guests and cruising. Mothers usually purchase their outfits four months before the event and customers are given the option to change it if they see something they prefer later, but they rarely do. Once everything gels and you have the wow factor you have found the outfit. It is usual for the mothers to coordinate with the wedding party. It is very important to be comfortable with what you are wearing. A shift dress with a jacket is always a popular choice because the jacket can be taken off in the evening when things warm up. A dress with a statement hat is also popular. It is important to be happy with the final look. Whilst the outfit must be perfect for the occasion, having the correct lingerie underneath can alter the whole look of a garment. Cream has a well stocked lingerie department which can be tried on with the outfit. A free alteration service is available on all full priced outfits bought in store, a fitting being carried out six weeks before the event, thus ensuring a perfect fit. Shoes and bags are made in Spain in different heel heights and beautiful leathers. The Sale shop, Occasions for less located opposite Cream in Roysia House offers mother of the bride and groom outfits, shoes, bags, hats and hatinators from previous seasons at fantastic prices. See the Sale page on creamfashions. com. There is also a half price section at Cream. See the bottom of the pages on Condici, John Charles, and Ispirato on Why not pay Royston a visit, there is something for every occasion and budget. To book an appointment call Cream at 01763 244073 - email info@ or Occasions for less at 01763 247166 - email info@ The shop is Covid secure and the diary is filling up fast. Spring/Summer 2023 stock arriving soon. M A K E U P A R T I S T A L E X B R I D A L Luminous, delicate makeup styles for elegant brides. Using luxury products and brands to suit you. Look and feel amazing on your special day. My love of creating fresh, gl wing, and glamorous makeup to ensure it stays photo ready all day. To find out more and have a chat please ontact or visit my website and fill out my contact form for a free quote. For more images and videos visit alexbridalmakeup on Instagram and Facebook.

The Essex Wedding Awards Best Venue 2020 A MAG I CAL DAY The stunning grounds of Down Hall are the perfect setting for your wedding, whether lavish or intimate. t: +44 (0)1279 731 441 e:

FOR YOUR CHANCE TO WIN, ENTER ONLINE AT WWW.YOURHERTSBEDS.WEDDING BRIDAL BEAUTY A wedding day is such a memorable occasion and is a day you’ll look back on for years to come, so you’ll want to look your big-day best. Katie Bullot at Glow by KT loves making women feel confident and beautiful on their special day with her signature glowing make-up look. Based in Hertfordshire, Katie travels all around the country glamming bridal parties using a make-up kit full of luxury brands like Charlotte Tilbury. The supplier is the perfect option for special events, especially if you’re after natural and soft make-up look. Katie feels privileged to be a finalist for the Wedding Make-up Artist of The Year for the East of England at The Wedding Industry Awards 2023. We’ve teamed up with the company to offer readers 15 per cent off bridal make-up trials in 2023 when they quote Your Herts and Beds Wedding before January 1st 2023. Visit Katie’s website to view her prices and submit an enquiry form. Check out: Great giveaways and discounts up for grabs STYLE STATEMENT On your wedding day, light up the room in these statement gold ear climber earrings which bedazzle with four intricately cut moonstone gems. The sparkling gemstones, in a staggered line, descend in size and sit in an 18k gold-plated setting. Every detail has been well thought out, from the size of the stones to the slight curve of the earrings, creating the perfect mesmerising bold earring for a bold woman. Founded by Ramona Gohil, an inspirational female entrepreneur passionate about her British Indian heritage and culture Rani & Co is not just any jewellery brand; its crafted unique pieces symbolise how powerful women can be. Check out County Wedding Magazines’ readers have the chance to win a pair of Rani & Co Moonstone Climber Earrings worth £64.99! Freebies &OFFERS FREEBIES & OFFERS 13

Pre-register for all of our events at ASCOT RACECOURSE, 26TH FEBRUARY, 2023 WEMBLEY STADIUM, 3TH MARCH, 2023 THE BRENTWOOD CENTRE, DATE TO BE RELEASED SOON MERCEDES-BENZ WORLD, DATE TO BE RELEASED SOON X Sarah Here at County Wedding Magazines and Events HQ we’re looking forward to kickstarting our Autumn wedding show season. 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 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 SPRING 2023 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. BERKS, BUCKS & OXON SUN 12 MAR | RACKLEYS CHILTERN HILLS Marlow Road, Cadmore End, Bucks, HP14 3PP SUN 2 APR | THE COMPLEAT ANGLER Bisham Road, Marlow Bridge, Marlow, SL7 1RG

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 ESSEX LONDON SURREY SUSSEX EAST ANGLIA KENT SUN 5 FEB HAMPTON COURT PALACE GOLF CLUB Home Park, Kingston Upon Thames, KT1 4AD SUN 26 MAR HAYCOCK MANOR Wansford, Peterborough, PE8 6JA TO BE CONFIRMED PENSHURST PLACE Penshurst, TN11 8DG SUN 16 APR SELDEN BARNS Selden Lane, Patching, Worthing, BN13 3UL 12PM-4PM SUN 8 JAN HEDINGHAM CASTLE Castle Hedingham, CO9 3DJ SUN 19 FEB MORDEN HALL Morden Hall Road, SM4 5JD SUN 14 MAY BRAXTED PARK Great Braxted, Witham, CM8 3EN SAT 1 APR HOUCHINS WEDDING VENUE Houchin’s Lane, Coggeshall, Colchester, CO6 1RT 12PM-4PM SUN 15 JAN BRAXTED PARK Great Braxted, Witham, CM8 3EN SUN 14 MAY MORDEN HALL Morden Hall Road, SM4 5JD SUN 12 MAR LAYER MARNEY TOWER Layer Marney, Colchester, CO5 9US WEDDING SHOWS SPRING 2023

• 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 Brooklands Drive, Weybridge, KT13 0SL SUNDAY 16 APRIL 2023 | 11AM - 3:30PM MERCEDES-BENZ WORLD Doddinghurst Road, Brentwood, CM15 9NN DATE TO BE RELEASED SOON THE BRENTWOOD CENTRE High Street, Berkshire, SL5 7JX SUNDAY 26 FEBRUARY 2023 | 11AM - 3.30PM ASCOT RACECOURSE London, HA9 0WS SUNDAY 5 MARCH 2023 | 11AM - 4PM WEMBLEY STADIUM Sponsored by

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... 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 26TH FEBRUARY, 2023 IN ASSOCIATION WITH

GOING LOCAL Tie the knot in and around south Hertfordshire THE CLUB AT MILL GREEN 01707 276 900 | Nestled in more than 200 acres of Hertfordshire countryside, The Club at Mill Green is a modern and spacious venue that provides the perfect setting for weddings. With beautiful views over the picturesque golf course and lake, the venue provided the ideal backdrop for those all-important pictures. Exchange vows in The Salisbury Suite surrounded by 150 loved ones; this light and elegant space is ideal for creating cherished moments with loved ones. Continue the celebrations with 160 seated guests or 220 standing in the Lake View and Salisbury Suite. With modern and understated décor, the area allows couples to transform the room to match any colour scheme. The private terrace alongside the space has recently been renovated to match the interior and to give guests the ideal space to enjoy drinks receptions. Couples can use the area no matter the temperature or daylight quality thanks to its heating and lighting. Included in the venue’s packages is a complimentary menu tasting session for the couple with the option to bring along friends and family to encompass what the venue truly offers. The team invites entertainers, their wine supplier and recommended companies to enable couples to plan all aspects of their day. Pairs will also receive an invitation for a complimentary lunch on their first anniversary or a tee time for golf with three guests. The staff try to include as much as possible within the packages, so lovebirds have less to think about during the planning process – they have you covered with a chair sashes, an easel, a cake stand and a cake knife. 19 LOCAL VENUES

HATFIELD HOUSE HOSPITALITY 01707 287 003 | Based in Hertfordshire, Hatfield House Hospitality offers two unique wedding venues ideal for truly memorable occasions. The magnificent Tudor Old Palace, built in 1485, was the childhood home of Elizabeth I and is where she held her first Council of State. It’s one of the foremost examples of Mediaeval brickwork in the country, and with its original wood beams, guests will be surrounded by history. The Tapestry, elegantly hanging in the Old Palace, is a replica of the original Devonshire Hunting Series that can now be found in the Victoria and Albert Museum. The Old Palace can accommodate large weddings from 80 to 250 guests on long or round banqueting tables – there’s even space for a DJ and dancefloor. The bar attached to the room is the perfect space to add additional entertainment like photo booths. The stunning and open Knot Garden, attached to the Old Palace, is based on Elizabethan patterns and provides the most picturesque location. The Raised Lawn is perfect for outdoor blessings, drinks receptions and lawn games with breathtaking views of Hatfield House, home to Lord and Lady Salisbury who reside there today. Hatfield House is a renowned filming location for blockbuster hits such as Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, Batman Begins, and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2, as well as Netflix productions such as The Crown, The Great, and Bridgerton. The other venue, The Riding School, blends historic features with modern architecture to offer a contemporary alternative for weddings. Located in the Stable Yard, its origin was to accommodate horses and motor cars. In 2010, the Riding School was transformed into what it is today. Its glass roof allows the room to be flooded with natural daylight, and the mezzanine level adds versatile characteristics. The space is a fitting venue for smaller weddings with 40 to 150 guests. The Riding School can also be hired out in conjunction with the Old Palace. Both venues are licensed for civil ceremonies and have ample free parking plus direct train links with Hatfield Station adjacent to Hatfield Park. The properties have an award-winning team with dedicated event planners and operational staff to help seamlessly plan and deliver special occasions. They offer a range of packages for nearlyweds, which can be tweaked to suit different requirements. Hatfield House Hospitality has won many awards from the likes of Best of Britain, The Wedding Industry Awards and Weddings Inc Wedding Industry Awards 2022 to name a few. ALLUM MANOR HOUSE & HALL 02089 533 415 | Situated in the heart of Elstree and Borehamwood, Allum Manor House and Hall offers the perfect backdrop to nuptials. Close to the M25, M1, A1 and a short walk from the train stations, the venue is the ideal space for guests travelling in. The attractive grounds around the venue and the gardens offer the ideal backdrop for photographs and outdoor ceremonies. The groundsman works hard to keep these spaces well-stocked and tidy. The Grade II listed manor offers a choice of six smaller wedding spaces and can accommodate up to 470 people with theatre-style seating or 350 to 375 sat-around tables. The hall’s blank canvas allows couples to bring their colour scheme and theme to life. The property has everything needed to create memorable receptions, including a state-of-the-art sound system, fully adjustable LED lighting, a large stage with lighting and curtains, a sprung dancefloor, a commercial kitchen and a dry hire. The team prides itself on customer care; they liaise with couples and suppliers to help ensure events run smoothly. 20

Also check out… ST. MICHAEL’S MANOR HOTEL This hotel is located close to the city centre of St Albans, formerly the ancient city of Verulamium. With picture-perfect grounds, including magnificent gardens and a beautiful lake, the venue is the perfect setting for photographs. The country-style manor is set in five acres of private English country gardens designed by the Newling Ward family and is surrounded by a cared for lawn and trees that are hundreds of years old. Discover: WEST LODGE PARK HOTEL Set in 35 acres of rolling countryside, West Lodge Park Hotel is a luxury venue with historic and beautifully decorated spaces. As guests drive up the glorious tree-lined driveway, they’ll find the National Collections of trees as well as an additional 800 species of trees from around the world. Discover: BROOK FARM CUFFLEY Located in the gorgeous Hertfordshire countryside, Brook Farm Cuffley is an idyllic farm wedding venue with tranquil views and spaces that will wow guests. The property’s perfect for relaxed couples who want to create their dream wedding day with ample space for games, external furniture and more. Discover: ROWLEY BARN Rowley Barn is an award-winning 17th-century Grade II listed building, which has been sympathetically restored and refurbished to create a modern conversion with plenty of natural lighting. Based in rural Hertfordshire with nearby transport links, the venue’s adjoining landscaped garden offers the ideal space for a marquee. Discover: LOCAL VENUES 21

SCOTLAND | 183 A choice of historic, traditional and contemporary surroundings, a range of wonderful rooms accommodating 10 to 200 guests, picturesque riverside location, beautiful gardens & superb catering. Celebrate at Ware Priory ...we've got something special for you! High Street, Ware, Hertfordshire SG12 9AL Tel: 01920 460316 @warepriory warepriory

Baby it ’s cold outside Check out these snowstopping winter venues TODDINGTON PARK 07751 779 641 | Toddington Park is a Georgian manor house set in 30 acres of private parkland just south of Woburn. This beautiful property offers magnificent and breathtaking views at every turn. Available only for exclusive use, couples will find formal lawns, as well as delightful meadows, a one-acre lake, an impressive driveway and an expansive arboretum. There’s quite a lot of wildlife to admire too as the property is home to busy moorhens, ducks, Canadian geese, majestic herons and aquatic cormorants. The house is Grade II listed with a grand entranceway and high ceilings to create an impressive and welcoming home-away-from-home. With only a handful of weddings per year, couples can expect all the care and attention needed to enjoy a memorable, one-of-a-kind experience. Toddington Park doesn’t have a ceremony licence but can host celebrant-led ceremonies in a number of stunning locations. The Drawing room can accommodate up to 60 guests, who will love the light and airy space that has access from the main entrance hall and front terrace. The room can be dressed to the couples’ tastes by the venue’s wonderful suppliers and stylists. For those wanting an outdoor celebration, exchange vows on the front lawn beside the charming pond with far-reaching views surrounded by 100 loved ones. The Drawing Room, Entrance Hall and Dining Room can host receptions with 60 people sitting and 100 in the evenings. The principle reception rooms run along the front of the house, giving guests flexibility with the space. All rooms open up onto the front terrace, perfect for drinks receptions in the summer, and leads down onto the front lawn. The rooms are all very bright and airy thanks to the Georgian construction. For larger weddings with up to 150 people, a marquee or tipi can be set up in the meadow, with the house providing a beautiful backdrop to special events. The venue’s charming newly renovated three bed coach house is included as complimentary in all the wedding packages, giving couples comfortable and stylish accommodation the night before and the night of their wedding. tps:// WINTER WONDERLAND VENUES 23

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 dedicated team of groundsmen ensure the gardens are maintained to a high standard as the estate has a variety of private outdoor areas for celebrations, including the herbaceous garden, a secret rose garden, rolling lawns and a French terrace complete with trickling fountains and an open fire. All the flowers, bushes and trees ensure that the grounds are stunning no matter the time of year. Tie the knot in the Temple nestled under the great oak tree, which overlooks the glimmering pond with 200 guests that are shaded from the sun by the 450-year-old oak tree. Lovebirds can make their grand entrance along nature’s herbaceous aisle and down the stone steps before entering the sculptured Temple. Or why not opt for the marquee that’s 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 lawn. Chuppahs and mandaps look stunning in front of the stunning views extending to north London. The upper lawn is also licensed for civil ceremonies. Having an indoor wedding? Lovebirds can tie the knot in the Garden Room with 80 people in front of the grand fire place, which can later be used as a chilled-out space or for drinks receptions in the colder months. Perfect for winter, the traditionally restored Tithe Barn is ideal for both ceremonies and receptions with 200 people thanks to its heated solid oak floor, sophisticated lighting, air conditioning, dancefloor, stage and adjoining bar area. Couples who book the venue will receive a complimentary tasting evening at Micklefield Hall through Kalm Kitchen Catering and help from an event manager, who will guide pairs through the planning process. MANOR OF GROVES HOTEL 01279 600777 | Located on 150 acres of stunning grounds, the Manor of Groves Hotel is a stunning 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 in keeping with the traditional property. Ceremonies and receptions can take place in several spaces. 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 100 after the vows – 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 venue offers a variety of packages, many including menu tastings ahead of weddings and a complimentary night’s stay for newlyweds on their wedding night. 24

The Oak Room at The Melbourne Club is our stunning glass-fronted, oak-beamed wedding venue, offering panoramic views of the Brocket Hall Estate. Taking you from ceremony to wedding breakfast and partying the night away, the Oak Room is the perfect place to create lasting memories. Email | Telephone 01707 368700 | @brockethall The Farmhouse at Redcoats, Redcoats Green, Nr. Hitchin, Hertfordshire SG4 7JR | 01438 729 500 | | @farmhouseatredcoats 2AA rosette restaurant | 4AA rosette accomodation The Farmhouse at Redcoats is a grade II listed Wedding Barn that boasts 27 chic bedrooms, 140 seated capacity, quirky features, stylish design, award-winning food and landscaped gardens. Eames Photography Photography 34

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 More Than Just AVenue EXCLUSIVE USE MANOR HOUSE WITH WEDDING COTTAGE & 14 ROOMS SLEEPING 31 GUESTS Hubbards Hall Drive, Off Churchgate Street, Old Harlow, Essex, CM17 0NH For more information please contact 01279 354455 BRIDAL & OCCASION MAKEUP WWW.SAFFRONLEE.COM Call: 07837 736925 or email:

WOBURN SAFARI PARK 01525 292 106 | Nestled deep in the heart of Woburn Safari Park, The Safari Lodge is the Woburn Estate’s most unique wedding venue that’s home to magnificent wild animals including lions, giraffes, tigers, elephants and more. The park is the perfect venue for animal lovers and couples wanting an exceptional experience to share with guests. Lovebirds could even arrange for some wild residents to appear on their special day! With a large south-facing veranda to the rear and panoramic views, the Safari Lodge provides a bright and spacious room that can be used in a variety of ways. With neutral and wooden décor throughout, the lodge offers a welcoming and informal atmosphere guaranteed to make weddings extra special. The accessible and versatile venue that offers both indoor ceremonies with 100 people and outdoor nuptials with 90 on a private veranda overlooking the Desert Springs animal enclosure. The lodge can accommodate 220 people for receptions, its adaptive space allows pairs to personalise their day by choosing from a range of alternative layouts with the option to have reception drinks served on the private veranda upon arrival. It also allows for various alternative dining options, from barbeques on the terrace to three-course banquets. Overlooking both the Park’s Swan Lake and the Desert Springs enclosures, the space provides an out-of-the-ordinary backdrop for weddings and guests may even be able to spot some of the nearby animals like meerkats and otters. For a truly adventurous addition to a day that will no doubt already be unforgettable, book a Safari Drive, an exclusive VIP safari experience, an elephant encounter or a leisurely boat ride on Swan Lake for loved ones. When nearlyweds book the venue, they’ll be offered a tasting session to help them pick their three-course menu. For those that would like opinions from loved ones, the venue can accommodate a maximum of four people for a small additional cost. WOODLAND MANOR HOTEL 01234 363 281 | Situated on the outskirts of Bedford in four aces, The Woodland Manor Hotel is a historic property that dates back to the 1800s. The classic house boasts a secret garden fountain area, an original grand staircase, oak panelling and climbing shrubbery that creates a perfect backdrop for photos. With three function rooms that feature traditional high ceilings, original fire places and elegance touches, the property is the perfect setting for ceremonies and receptions with the option to hire the venue exclusively. The Autograph Suite is the largest space with lovely bay windows, a large chandelier and a marble fire place. The room can host 112 people for the vows, 90 for wedding breakfasts and more than 100 for evening celebrations. For extra space, the suite can be used which connects to the Library. Lovebirds can opt for the Library alone with 30 guests for smaller nuptials. The function room leads out directly to the garden terrace and makes a beautiful backdrop to the day. Or why not pick the Conservatory, which offers gorgeous views of the stunning surroundings and can host 30 people? The original house has been extended, adding extra on-site accommodation for guests who can rest their heads after dancing the night away. 27 WINTER WONDERLAND VENUES

OH-SO ELEGANT Chloe and Tom’s classic wedding featured a burgundy and blush colour scheme Images courtesy of Chris Douglas Photography 28

REAL WEDDINGS 29 Chloe and Tom first met while working for an accountancy firm back in 2014. The pair became friends after meeting and went on a group holiday two years later to the Amalfi Coast, where they confessed their love for the first time. Tom proposed in November 2020 after a year of not so subtle hinting by Chloe, who had been sending ring pictures and outright asking when he was going to propose. During the second Covid 19 lockdown; the pair started the day by going for a walk in their local park and spent the afternoon playing the latest version of their favourite board game that had just been released. During that game, called Pandemic Legacy, players must open boxes at various points throughout the game. Tom had hidden the ring inside one of those boxes. She says, “The most special thing about our proposal is that we were at home on a cosy Sunday evening where I was wearing pyjamas and slippers. Although I was hopeful a proposal was coming soon, it wasn’t expected that day!” SETTING THE SCENE When planning the big day, the couple’s goal was to have a classic and elegant wedding that reflected their personalities. They always knew they wanted to incorporate their love of board games into the day. So, the pair not only had some available for guests to play, but featured games in the table names and centrepieces too. To highlight their shared love for Harry Potter, movie quotes were incorporated into the registrar’s ceremony script. To ensure a stress-free day, Chloe and Tom wanted to find a venue that could host the whole wedding from start to finish. They fell in love with St Michael’s Manor Hotel as the property ticked all their boxes; it was close to home and was somewhere the pair could visit after the special day. They could also hire the hotel exclusively, so loved ones could stay the night of the wedding or the whole weekend for the ultimate celebration. To make the day extra special, the couple decided to write their own vows for their ceremony. Chloe repeated the exact words she shared the first time she confessed her love to Tom in Italy and highlights of the trip that attracted her most to him – this included his sense of adventure and the ability to keep a calm head. Tom’s speech ended with a toast of Limoncello to celebrate the night of drinking too much in Italy, which resulted in Tom and Chloe starting a relationship. After the drinks reception, guests tucked into a four-course Italianinspired menu. St Michael’s Manor suggested Peddling Pizza to keep guests from going hungry in the evening. The local pizza van is a favourite at the St Albans Market and has won an award in the 2022 British Street Food Awards. Heaven is a Cupcake created a delicious three-tiered cake, which included chocolate and raspberry, lemon drizzle and apple strudel flavours – yum! The bake featured vanilla buttercream frosting, gold leaf and fresh flowers from the florist. There were also some cupcakes suitable for vegans. Another sweet treat loved ones enjoyed was iced lemon biscuit favours, with guests' names stamped into the icing. A mix of burgundy, blush and green blooms were selected for the flowers. The bride wanted a wide and loose bouquet to contrast her simple and fitted dress, which Vicki’s Floral Designs perfectly delivered. The supplier also created a long and low floral arrangement for the registrar’s table, which was then placed on the top table for the reception. One of the bride’s favourite elements of the day was the memory table with photos of the pair’s grandparents, who unfortunately aren’t here anymore. They also had pictures from their parents and grandparents' weddings.

30 LOOKING THE PART Chloe looked stunning in an elegant mermaid-style gown, which featured a small train and a Bardot sweetheart neckline. When it came to finding the gown, the bride found a Gino Cerruti gown at What Alice Wore Bridal in St Albans. To make the dress perfect, she added false buttons down the back of the dress and accessorised her look with a fingertip-length veil. Chloe bought an evening dress to wear in the evening the week before the wedding, which was full lengthed and covered in sparkles. The bride says, “It felt brilliant to change out of my wedding dress into something more comfortable and easier to dance in – plus, who doesn’t love sparkles?” Thanks to the help of her hair and make-up artist, Sarah Catherall, the bride felt like the best version of herself. Tom looked dapper in a tailor made tweed three-piece suit with burgundy accessories. He had the wedding date and our initials embroidered into the suit lining. The groomsmen hired the same suits to match the groom. The bride had four bridesmaids, two in blush dresses and the other two in burgundy ones. Chloe says, “One of my bridesmaids had a beautiful baby boy five weeks before my wedding, so I wanted to make sure her dress made her feel comfortable so soon after giving birth. Another of my best girls is a Muslim, so we needed to find a full-length dress with long sleeves and something appropriate to wear with her headscarf.” The flowergirl wore a beautiful dress and felt like a princess on the day – she was the only person the bride didn’t mind upstaging her on the wedding day! TIME TO CELEBRATE A string trio played throughout the ceremony and during the drinks reception to add to the romantic atmosphere. The couple also had garden games and a board game table to keep guests entertained. A huge hit in the evening was a band called Ear Candy Oxford, who played three sets broken up with a DJ in between. People were on the dancefloor all evening! MEMORABLE MOMENTS The day went by so quickly for Chloe and Tom – they wish they could do it all again. The bride says, “We both had the biggest smile on our faces for the whole day! It felt amazing to have all our friends and family in one place; we’ve both said we felt like celebrities as there was always someone who wanted to talk to us or take a photo.” She adds, “We made sure that we found each other at various points throughout the day and evening so we could enjoy the day together.” The ceremony was a part of the day that stood out to them both as it was so personal with their vows and readings from loved ones. They also loved all the speeches on the day, which made them laugh, cry and grimace. A funny moment was when Tom was so excited after being declared husband and wife that he tried to walk down the aisle before the ceremony was over! It was only after Chloe held him back and reminded him that they needed to sign the register that he remembered it wasn’t time for champagne yet! All the suppliers involved in the wedding help the pair create the perfect day. Jess, the events manager at St Michael’s Manor, went above and beyond to make the day perfect. Chloe says, “The whole team changed a few months before our wedding, but Jess listened and understood all the personal touches we planned for our day. She coordinated with all our other suppliers to ensure it all came together perfectly, and there wasn’t a single question or thing to worry about.”