Your Kent Wedding - November/December 2022 (Issue 105)

NOV/DEC 2022 £3.55 HONEYMOONS, BEAUTY, FASHION, GROOMS, EXPERT ADVICE, FREEBIES AND MORE WIN! A luxury getaway A lookback at 2022 through the eyes of Kent’s wedding photographers The look OF LOVE 2023 bridalwear trends Hair and make-up to suit your vibe With a TWIST Kent's more unusual venues In the picture THE HOTLIST

Here at the Hilltop Ceilidh Band, ceilidhs are taken very seriously! We want you to have a great time. Whether you want a 3-piece line up or a veritable ensemble: we make it happen. Size doesn’t matter! We’ve got everything you need - we take out the stress from your wedding, so you can kick back and have fun. We pride ourself on our reliable musicians and competent (and patient!) callers who won’t leave you stranded. We have an extensive repertoire of tunes and dances to ensure you are ‘stripping the willow’ all evening, along with top of the range PA systems that not only sound great but look sleek and modern in your venue. We can also offer sound and light upgrades, ceilidh/disco packages, ceremony music and professional sound engineers for larger venues. 07402 670883           €   ‚  ƒ  „ ƒ ƒ  †  ‡ ˆ   ƒ  ‰  ‡ Š ‹ ƒ Œ  „ ‡  ‡ ‡ ƒ

REGULARS 9 EDITOR’S LETTER A warm welcome from Kelly 10 NEARLYWED NEWS Catch up on the latest from around the county 13 FREEBIES & OFFERS Great giveaways and discounts up for grabs 67 HOT TOPIC Stellar wedmin advice from those in the know 103 COMPETITION A luxury getaway awaits with renowned hotel brand GuestHouse CONTENTS NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2022 On the cover This issue’s gorge us cover has been sponsored by renowned Kent wedding venue Chapel House Estate ( It was captured by photographer Matthew Brears of William Harley ( at the wedding of Scott & Georgiania in the venue’s beautiful orchard. 47 FEATURES 51 SQUAD GOALS The morning preparations with your best gals are a memorable time, so why not enjoy it in style in a purposely-designed space? 59 THE TIME OF OUR LIVES Take a look back at 2022 through the lenses of Kent’s wedding photographers 81 THE LOOK OF LOVE Find the perfect bridal make-up and hair look to suit your style 35 VENUES 19 SPOTLIGHT ON... Canterbury and Thanet 23 WITH A TWIST We take a look at some of Kent’s more unusual venues, bursting with character every one 81 5

REAL WEDDINGS 28 IT WAS ALWAYS YOU Chloe and Jamie said “I do” at Cooling Castle in April, 2022 35 DOWN AT THE BARN Sarah and Lee tied the knot on 24th April, 2022, at The Old Kent Barn 41 NOTHING CAN KEEP US APART Chloe and Charlie styled their wedding in a pretty pastel palette with a rustic vibe HONEYMOONS 91 HONEYMOON NEWS The newest openings and honeymoon destinations 95 GREECE IS THE WORD Summer in Santorini and Athens 99 IN LOVE WITH THE LAKES A myriad of delights lie in wait in The Lake District for UK honeymooners FASHION & BEAUTY 71 FASHION Q&A Look and feel your big-day best with help from the professionals 72 FASHION FOCUS The latest bridal fashion news, buys and launches 75 WHAT’S TRENDING? This is what brides-to-be will be wearing in 2023 86 BEAUTY BUZZ Get the look with the must-haves for the bride-to-be 99 67 51 28 GROOMS 88 GROOMS’ NEWS The latest best buys and product launches 41 6

Well, hasn’t 2022 just flown by? I can hardly believe it, here we are, fast approaching Christmas. It’s only natural as you reach the end of a year to reflect on all that’s happened as well as what’s to come. For me, the highlight has been CWM senior editor Melissa’s nuptials. Celebrating that amazing wedding day really brought home to me how far we’ve come this year from the dark days of 2020 and 2021 with their lockdowns and restrictions. It felt like the normality we’d been praying for, when many of us had been left plagued with doubt over whether our wonderful world of weddings would ever be back in quite the same way. There’s even been the usual flurry of celebrity weddings this year, leading the way as ever with trends we expect to see featuring in your weddings very soon, notably on the veil front. There was Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck with the bride dressed in that oh-so elegant Ralph Lauren turtleneck column ceremony dress and a sleek silhouette with removable veil hood for the evening. Personally, I’m hoping we see more bridal hoods on wedding dresses next year, following on from the amazing capes that made inroads in 2022. Meanwhile, Kourtney Kardashian made pairing a short dress with a long veil a thing when she married Travis Barker. The showstopping cathedral-length veil was personalised with hand-embroidered flowers and a large image of the Virgin Mary inspired by her new husband’s tattoo. If you love the idea of going bespoke have a look out for Kent-based suppliers such as who can embroider your veil with your initials, wedding date, some special words and even meaningful song lyrics. In September, when we sadly lost Her Majesty the Queen and TV channels were airing wall-to-wall documentaries looking back over her incredible life and service, we were reminded of her wedding day in 1947, when she was still Princess Elizabeth. Seeing these images brought me back full circle. Sure, J-Lo’s veil was new and edgy, Kourtney K’s was modern and oh-so personal, but looking at these 70-something-year-old images of our beloved Queen made me realise: Her Majesty did it best! Her breathtaking 13-foot tulle veil attached at the shoulders was symbolic of rebirth and growth after the Second World War and was said to be inspired by Botticelli’s painting of Primavera. Incidentally, the silk for the appliqués was produced at Lullington Castle in Kent! So, enough musings from me! I hope you enjoy this, the last issue of the year. The county’s photographers have shared their 2022 highlights and we talk to Kent’s make-up artists and hair stylists about creating a bridal look to complement your vibe. Enjoy and keeeep planning! Kelly x ISSN 1746-9384 EDITORIAL 01376 535 611 Kelly Andrews | Deputy Managing Editor, Beauty Editor Danielle Harvey | Managing Editor Claire Ridley | Fashion Editor Melissa Cullen | 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 Julia Owen | 01376 538 495 ACCOUNTS 01376 535 616 Accounting Manager | Derrick James Your Kent 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 Kent Wedding is published six times a year. @CountyWeddingMagazines @CountyWeddings @countyweddingmagazines Visit us online at and Kelly Andrews, editor 2022: The year of the veil MEDIA PUBLISHING VENTS UBLISHING EVENTS & PUBLISHING cwe COUNTY WEDDING EVENTS Win! There’s a wealth of wedspiration courtesy of our readers’ big days. Sarah and Lee tied the knot at the magical Old Kent Barn – read all about it! 51 35 Here come the girls! Make the most of your wedding-morning preparations with your bride tribe and soak up the perfect surroundings at Ashford’s Pretty Prep Studios. 81 Alternative to vintage, boho to glam find a big-day beauty look to match your vibe. A luxury getaway worth up to £2,000 awaits with renowned hotel brand GuestHouse. 103 EDITOR’S LETTER 9

NEWS Nearlywed Catch up on the latest from around the county RAISE YOUR GLASS Kent’s newest toastmaster David Mote has had a busy year. Since qualifying as a Fellow of the Guild of International Professional Toastmasters just 12 months ago, former Mayor of Dartford David has acted as master of ceremonies at an average of three weddings or civic ceremonies per month, and is now looking forward to a hectic festive season. Based in Dartford, David’s proximity to the M25 and A2 has meant he’s been able to support events on both sides of the Thames and throughout Kent. Speaking of his early success David explains, “I’ve been very lucky and think my clients appreciate my light-hearted and flexible approach to making their event both successful and memorable for all the right reasons.” Check out DATE FOR THE DIARY Chapel House Estate in Minster is hosting an open week from Saturday 7th January until Sunday 15th January, 2023 inclusive. The new venue will be open from 10am until the last show around at 4pm. Offering intimate, relaxed and modern weddings Monday to Wednesday for up to 30 people, along with larger traditional black-tie nuptials for up to 150 reception and 200 evening guests Monday to Sunday, Chapel House Estate is a must-see if you’re on the hunt for your dream venue. With the sympathetically converted rustic Old Malt Granary Barn for your indoor “I dos” or the gorgeous Wild Apple Orchard for your al fresco ceremony, we think you’ll be hooked! There’s even on-site accommodation, sleeping up to 34 guests. Paired with modern technology aplenty and carefully designed bars, this Kent wedding venue seamlessly blends the old with the modern making it a worthy of a spot on your list of venues to visit. To register visit HISTORY IN THE MAKING Rochester Corn Exchange has been named a finalist in the Heritage Venue of the Year category at the prestigious Kent Wedding Awards. Built in 1706 by the rather fabulously named Sir Cloudesley Shovell, this 18th-century gem is located a stone’s throw from Rochester’s Castle and Cathedral, and in 2024 it will be celebrating 100 years as one of Medway’s premier venues for weddings and events. The venue is one of a collection of historical buildings in Medway, available for wedding hire. Other showstopping locations include Upnor Castle, a 16th-century riverside fort built to protect the Royal Dockyard from attack; The Guildhall, built in 1687; and Eastgate House, mentioned in two of Charles Dickens’ works. Dee O’Rourke, Medway Council’s assistant director of culture and community says, “Rochester Corn Exchange with its fine facade, grand staircase, high ceilings and chandeliers has provided a stunning backdrop for wedding days and events for almost a century. The venue team do everything possible to ensure couples enjoy their big days in our historical settings so being named a finalist at the Kent Wedding Awards is a wonderful recognition of the dedication they put into creating the perfect day.” The winners will be announced soon at a black tie, Oscar-themed award evening at the Mercure Maidstone Great Danes Hotel, so watch this space. We’re sure you’ll join us in wishing the team the very best of luck! Find out more at 10

AHEAD OF THE CURVE New to Kent is Beautiful in Curves, the county’s dedicated boutique for curvy brides. Owner Zoe Dowle tells us, “With many years of experience in the bridal industry, you can be assured that we’ve done our homework in order to offer you the greatest choice of fashionable and affordable gowns in sizes 16 to 34, all available to try on in the boutique.” From the ever-popular A-line or princess silhouettes and ontrend boho styles, to super-elegant Bardot necklines, lace, satin or sleeves – you name it Beautiful in Curves has it! The new boutique stocks gowns by a wide variety of incredible bridal designers including White Rose, Millie May, Victoria Kay, Lou Lou and British Bridal. These exciting collections have all been selected by Zoe specifically for the care and attention they put into their dresses, particularly in terms of internal support, which means you have all the comfort you could wish for without the need to worry about a bra. Beautiful in Curves offers a full alteration service too, ensuring you get the perfect fit. Even if what you see in store doesn’t exactly fit your vision, it’s no problem as tweaks are welcome if they’ll make your dreams a reality! As long as you book your bridal appointment ideally nine to 10 months in advance, you’ll have plenty of time for design changes, such as adding sleeves, extra lace or buttons. After all, it’s never too early to go wedding dress shopping! Alternatively, the team are always happy to offer you a dress from the boutique’s rails. As Zoe says, “If it’s love at first sight, then why not?” Find out more at A CELEBRATED SPACE The winners of the UK Jewellery Awards 2022 were revealed recently at the Hilton London Metropole, and Kent’s Fitzgerald Jewellers in Canterbury scooped up the win for Store Design of the Year. The store was praised by the expert judging panel for its imaginative design, which creates a space applauded for being completely unique. Marking its 30th anniversary this year, the UK Jewellery Awards, organised by jewellery and watch industry title Retail Jeweller, is the country’s longest-running and most prestigious trade awards event. With 21 targeted categories, the awards cover every aspect of the industry from jewellery design and ethical business practice to customer service and successful retailing. So, for a wedding-ring shopping experience like no other be sure to pop into the store on Burgate. Also check out COUNTRY HAVEN Ruth Leigh and Oliver Brown are now welcoming guests to dine at Updown, their newly opened restaurant with rooms set in a former farm near Deal. Over the last few years, the couple have been carefully restoring the farmhouse and grounds to house seven rooms including two cottages. Set among seven-and-a-half acres of rolling Kent countryside, the 17th-century Grade II listed farmhouse, hidden in its own magical woodland and mature wildflower gardens has been conscientiously restored to celebrate its working history and rural setting. In the main house, you can stay in one of four beautifully appointed rooms, all overlooking the grounds. Each one has been thoughtfully designed to reflect the character of the location. Alongside these, Ruth and Oli have transformed the farm’s outbuildings including its stables to house three new guest rooms. A hidden garden lies behind a wrought iron gate and forms a quad between house, barn and pergola, housing the outdoor dining area. The pergola is shaded by hanging vines and wisteria and surrounded by herbs, olives and lavenders with open fires to keep you warm as the sun sets. What’s more, the central seating area provides a perfect space for cocktails or a glass of wine overlooking the central lawn and farmhouse. The couple have created a simple, Italian-leaning, hyper-seasonal menu using carefully-sourced, local ingredients. The equally seasonal drinks menu features cocktails made with produce from the garden and local wines sitting side by side with bottles from high quality producers in France and Italy. So, if you’re tying the knot in the area and are looking for a stunning place to stay pre- or post- wedding, or indeed for a foodie’s mini-moon heaven we suggest you don’t delay in heading over to © Ben Eagle © Phil Weedon Victoria Kay, available at Beautiful in Curves YOUR ESSENTIALS 11

Pre-register now at or call 01622 583 308 Special on the day offers & discounts exclusively for couples at the fairs. Please follow us on social media or see our website for more information. @kentweddingfair kentweddingfair @WhiteSkyEvents ALL EVENTS OPEN 10.30am until 2.30pm Mercure Hotel, Tunbridge Wells Sunday 8th January 2023 Sunday 16th April 2023 Sunday 3rd September 2023 Tudor Park Marriott Hotel, Bearstead, Maidstone Sunday 22nd January 2023 Bexleyheath Marriott Hotel Sunday 29th January 2023 Sunday 23rd April 2023 Sunday 10th September 2023 Priestfield Stadium Sunday 19th February 2023 Sunday 21st May 2023 Rochester Corn Exchange Sunday 26th March 2023 Sunday 14th May 2023 Sunday 17th September 2023

FOR YOUR CHANCE TO WIN, ENTER ONLINE AT WWW.YOURKENT.WEDDING TIERS OF JOY Bexley-based Cake It or Leave It offers stunning bespoke wedding cakes. Whether you’ve planned grand-scale celebrations or intimate nuptials surrounded by your nearest and dearest, owner Lyndsay Allen-Trott will work with you to create a big-day bake that perfectly complements your day, complete with real wow factor. All mouthwatering and delicious cakes are made using only the finest ingredients, including free-range eggs from Lyndsay’s very own backyard hens and ducks. We’ve partnered with local lovely Cake It or Leave It to bring you not one, but two fabulous offers! Firstly, benefit from a low deposit of £50 when you book (usually £100), then you’ll also get a fabulous 10% off your wedding cake order. To claim simply get in touch with Cake It or Leave It at lynz1983@ or on 07403 268 004 before 31st December and quote Your Kent Wedding. To find out more, check out Great offers and giveaways 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. EAST ANGLIA KENT SUN 26 MAR | HAYCOCK MANOR Wansford, Peterborough, PE8 6JA SUN 16 APR | PENSHURST PLACE Penshurst, TN11 8DG 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 SURREY SUSSEX SUN 5 APR | HAMPTON COURT PALACE GOLF CLUB Home Park, Kingston Upon Thames, KT1 4AD SUN 2 APR | SELDEN BARNS Selden Lane, Patching, Worthing, BN13 3UL 12PM-4PM SUN 8 JAN | HEDINGHAM CASTLE Castle Hedingham, CO9 3DJ SAT 1 APR | HOUCHINS WEDDING VENUE Houchin’s Lane, Coggeshall, Colchester, CO6 1RT SUN 14 MAY | BRAXTED PARK Great Braxted, Witham, CM8 3EN 12PM-4PM SUN 15 JAN | BRAXTED PARK Great Braxted, Witham, CM8 3EN SUN 12 MAR | LAYER MARNEY TOWER Layer Marney, Colchester, CO5 9US

• 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 DATE TO BE RELEASED SOON 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

WWW.CHAPELHOUSEESTATE .CO.UK 01843 881290 Thorne Hill, Minster, Ramsgate, Kent, CT12 5DS Call 01843 830150 or email, today to book your viewing 125 Canterbury Road, Westgate-on-Sea, Kent CT8 8NL | | A WEDDING AS UNIQUE AS YOU ARE... Your wedding is one of the most exciting and important days of your life – one that you will cherish and remember forever. If you are looking for a dream wedding venue in Kent, St Augustine’s is where dreams come true. At St Augustine’s we believe that every wedding is different. With a wide variety of rooms and spaces from which to choose, St Augustine’s is a truly unique venue and can offer: Weddings perfectly tailored to your needs whether an intimate gathering or 200+ guests • Huge flexibility with many function rooms to choose from for your big day • Elegant outdoor ceremonies in our beautiful gazebo • Deconsecrated chapel for religious, civil ceremonies, wedding breakfasts or reception • Spacious banqueting hall with capacity for 215 guests • Late licence until 1.00 am • Stylish bridal dressing room • Fabulous wedding cuisine, sumptuous banquets and deluxe buffets • A dedicated wedding co-ordinator • It’s your day and we promise it will be perfect, right down to the last tiny, exquisite detail. *Registrar fees are not included. FULL OR TWILIGHT WEDDING PACKAGES STARTING FROM AS LITTLE AS £3,250!

Canterbury & Thanet SPOTLIGHT ON... Tie the knot in a local hotspot CHAPEL HOUSE ESTATE 01843 881 290 | This former private residency has been carefully designed and renovated, with new buildings added, all with you and your guests in mind. Established in 1290 this 35-acre estate, offers you the opportunity to host an intimate wedding in The Walled Courtyard or a large affair in the Thorne Barn. Also included is on-site accommodation for up to 34 people. Surrounded by natural beauty, the very private grounds include a lovely Arts and Crafts-style garden, wild apple orchard, meadows, three paddocks, on-site modern lodges providing accommodation and even a helicopter pad. Based around one of the oldest buildings in Thanet, this is a venue with a beautifully romantic and timeless feel. WHERE TO WED The Wild Apple Orchard, 150 guests This is such a peaceful outdoor space for your ceremony or blessing. For the ultimate al fresco “I dos,” walk from the Beauty & Treatment Lodge, down the long border, through the wrought-iron gate, and say “I do” under the licensed, purpose-built oak gazebo with microphones allowing your guests to hear you above the bird song. The orchards are among the venue’s oldest and most beautiful gardens where the apple trees create a gorgeous natural canopy for your guests. It’s available for weddings during British summer time or for twilight nuptials. The Old Malt Granary, 150 guests Previously used to change cereal grain gathered on the Thorne Farm into malt to be used in brewing beer, the building has been lovingly converted to create a gorgeous ceremony space, set up all year round. With a mezzanine floor, you can say your vows while your videographer and photographer capture you from above. You could even book a choir to sing from the glass-panelled upper tier. After the ceremony, the bi-folding doors can be flung open as drinks and canapés are served on the lawn. The Walled Courtyard, 50 guests With its own car park and private entrance, The Walled Courtyard is available Monday to Wednesday. The white-framed glasshouse is perfect for photo opportunities and the courtyard provides a secluded sun trap, ideal for intimate al fresco weddings with an Italian vibe. The space features two former sheds that have undergone a massive transformation. The ceilings have been raised to create a comfortable and private Lounge Bar for drinks receptions, and the No9 Restaurant has been created for relaxed, buffet-style wedding breakfasts for 34 loved ones. The Vaulted Room, 10 guests Inside the 1290 Chapel House, you can book a tiny, stress-free, luxury wedding for two to 10 people. The carefully restored Chapel is a Grade II listed Medieval building with endless charm that provides an unforgettable setting for you to say “I do” in front of your nearest and dearest. The Thorne Barn, 200 guests You can host your wedding breakfast and after party in this new, purpose-built structure. This air-conditioned and heated banqueting barn with its large bar is perfect for seating 70 to 150, with a further 50 guests welcome for the evening revelries. © Christopher Kemp Scan to view video LOCAL VENUES 19

THE OLD KENT BARN 01303 844 270 | The Old Kent Barn is a 200-year-old oak-framed tythe barn bursting with character and is home to the venue’s recently refurbished accommodation complete with stylish newlywed suite and two additional double en suite rooms. The grounds that surround the barns are professionally landscaped and feature formal parterres with seasonal blooms, curved hedges and an informal water garden all set against a backdrop of mature trees and countryside. The illumination collection now features six locations within the gardens and grounds, including fairylit and festoon areas. WHERE TO WED The gazebo, 150 guests Ceremonies take place in the gazebo, which sits in the gorgeous grounds and offers panoramic views of the surrounding countryside. The whole area is conveniently paved where your guests can sit in comfort beneath elegant glass pergolas protecting them from both rain and sun. The New Barn, 150 day and 250 evening guests In the winter, you’ll marry instead in the New Barn. Ivory drapes create a beautifully intimate ceremony space, with bespoke wooden benches to seat your guests. This gorgeous space is used for receptions too, and is simultaneously opulent and neutral to coordinate with any colour palette or theme, it can be dressed in so many ways. Oak-framed and open plan, with large windows and a light tiled floor, it also features a wooden dancefloor, while the starlit ceiling guides you onto it for your first dance. You’ll be offered a complimentary tasting experience, dressing services and support in the on-site dressing rooms and a stay in the newlyweds’ suite in the on-site five-star bed and breakfast in the Old Barn. THE YARROW HOTEL 01843 460 100 (Option 3) | The Yarrow is a beautiful Jacobean 28-bedroom hotel situated in the lovely seaside town of Broadstairs. Dating back to 1894 the Hotel is a stunning building combining rich history with modern luxury. The venue offers an array of flexible wedding packages, which can be adapted to suit your requirements. All include the help of a dedicated wedding coordinator, and reduced rates on accommodation for your guests. What’s more, the two of you are invited to stay in the Master Suite on your wedding night. Award-winning executive head chef Ben Williams has years of experience working at Michelin-starred restaurants and will provide you with a delicious, seasonal wedding breakfast prepared using locallysourced, fresh produce. WHERE TO WED Garden gazebo, 120 guests Situated on the lower ground floor with blooming flowers in the summer and privacy all year round, the garden is a gorgeous place to say “I do.” Sir Alfred Yarrow Suite, 120 guests Also found on the lower ground floor with high ceilings, glass chandeliers and dimmable lighting, this suite is ideal for ceremonies and celebrations. There’s ample space here for a large dancefloor, DJ booth and seating along with its own bar and exclusive access to the garden. Restaurant, 50 guests Located on the ground floor the Restaurant is well-suited for a more intimate wedding ceremony. It can seat 52 for a traditional wedding breakfast, or if you’re planning a smaller celebration, the Private Dining Room can hold 10 for an intimate meal. 20

Offering: ◦ Gazebo Ceremony over the lake ◦ Exclusive wedding packages ◦ On site wedding planner ◦ Accomodation ◦ Amazing photo opportunities Set on an idyllic lake, surrounded by 3 acres of natural woodland, the Inn on the Lake makes for an unforgettable wedding venue Contact our events team today to begin planning your dream wedding Inn on the Lake, Watling Street, Shorne, Kent ,DA12 3HB 01474 823333

Located within an amazing setting in the heart of the Kent countryside, The Lost Village of Dode is available for exclusive intimate and private smaller weddings & blessings…the perfect micro wedding venue. Kent’s best kept secret. Secluded, Silent, Sacred “Introducing chefs Stephen Clark & Simon McNamara of Invicta Food Design who have an exciting new residency & Partnership with The Dreys!” The Dreys is a family run private business offering bespoke weddings and events, based in 80 acres of private woodland in Kent. 01622 236 550 | | T H E D R E Y S S Q U I R R E L W O O D , R U M S T E A D L A N E , S T O C K B U R Y S I T T I N G B O U R N E , K E N T, M E 9 7 R T

With a twist We take a look at some of Kent’s more unusual venues, bursting with character every one HEVER CASTLE 01732 861 800 | A true taste of Italy in the heart of the Kent countryside Hever Castle is a gem in the heart of the Garden of England. The double- moated Castle is shrouded in a glorious creeping Boston ivy, which turns a rich, deep red during late Autumn, and the Medieval gatehouse still retains a working drawbridge and portcullis making for iconic photographs. Three areas are available for your “I dos.” The Castle Inner Hall can accommodate 60 nearest and dearest. The ornate panelled walls, antiques and open log fire lend themselves beautifully to a winter wonderland wedding. The Tudor Suite Sitting Room in the Astor Wing, an Edwardian extension built onto the Castle in 1903, can host 60 too. This exclusive space opens onto the nearby lawns, which overlook the Castle itself. The award-winning Italian Gardens showcase original statues from Rome and a Trevi-inspired fountain, and are located alongside the stunning Loggia outside ceremony space, overlooking the 38-acre boating lake. The Loggia can play host to anywhere from 70 to 180 guests. The Guthrie Pavilion can accommodate 180 guests for the reception and is situated next to the rose garden, which is illuminated into the evening. For more intimate celebrations, The Astor Wing can host up to 60, who can enjoy evening entertainment here and perhaps take a night cap into the Billiards or Music Room. The Winter Garden Lawn is available for marquee hire allowing you and your guests to enjoy the gardens during your afternoon reception. UNUSUAL VENUES 23

LOST VILLAGE OF DODE 01622 734 205 | Walk in the footsteps of the Normans’ at this Medieval marvel A beautiful Norman church looking almost exactly as it did 900 years ago, straw covers the floor and candles light the scene. Indeed, the interior of this building would have witnessed similar ceremonies right from its beginnings and the atmosphere and silence here is palpable. Standing on an ancient prehistoric mound, this simple two-cell Norman church looks exactly as it did when it was built in 1100. Surrounded by meadows and woodland, its walls are comprised of local flint with its roof of Kentish peg tiles partly cloaked in a mantle of ivy. Overlooking the valley of Dode, the church’s two acres of naturalistic meadow with small village pond and stunning stone circle mean the grounds evoke memories of times past. Tucked away below the building are two retreat cottages constructed in English oak in the style of 16thcentury buildings. Civil ceremonies take place in the ancient church building itself, accommodating up to 40 nearest and dearest along with the two of you. Blessings are also permitted either within the building or amongst the grounds, notably within the stone circle. Dressed to impressed as a Medieval chapel with open flames, dried flowers and hops setting the scene, this ancient structure is also home to wedding receptions, which are laid out banqueting style, seating up to 42 guests. The minstrel’s gallery offers an element of dramatic theatre, with space for musicians and photographers. WEDDINGS AT BRENLEY 07732 858 836 | Go your own way This beautiful Georgian farmhouse is surrounded by apple and pear orchards, hop gardens and vineyards. Indeed, you couldn’t ask for a more serene venue. Outside on the lawn, just by the duck pond and barn with the picturesque farmhouse as its backdrop, you’ll find a beautiful traditional gazebo, complete with Kent peg roof and timber posts. Here, you can seat 80 of your nearest and dearest on hay bales or chairs, which can be hired at an extra cost as they witness your vows. If the weather isn’t favourable though, the beautiful converted Grain Store is an option and it too can seat 80. The venue is blessed with a picture-perfect field just opposite the duck pond. Set in the glorious Kent countryside on this working arable farm, it can host up to 150 guests and comes complete with water and electricity. It really does offer the ideal blank canvas allowing you to design your day to suit your budget and vision. You can choose your own suppliers or use those from the venue’s list of recommendations – the choice is yours. There’s also accommodation on site for 30 people, plus space for campers. 24

PORT LYMPNE HOTEL & RESERVE 01303 234 111 | Embrace the natural world with a private guided safari or animal encounter A magical setting steeped in history, Port Lympne Hotel & Reserve is set in 600 acres of magnificent private parkland and home to 900 wild endangered animals. The venue offers a variety of wonderful indoor and outdoor locations for your wedding ceremony. The Pergola is set among 14 acres of perfectly manicured gardens and can host up to 100 guests. The Spencer Roberts Room is hand painted and showcases a mural of animals, some of which live on the reserve. It can seat up to 50 for the “I dos” or 30 for the wedding breakfast. The Long Room offers incredible views over the Southern Terrace and reserve. It can accommodate100 for the ceremony or 50 for the wedding breakfast. Al fresco options include the Moroccan Courtyard. Located in the Hotel, this offers a more intimate space and can seat 25 for the ceremony and seated dining. It includes details from the original 1920s Phillip Sassoon design and is decorated with items brought all the way from Marrakesh. A further open-air option, nestled among the gardens of the Hotel, The Iceberg Terrace can seat 100 with views of the Lime Tree Avenue and Trojan Steps. The four-star, Grade II listed Port Lympne Hotel can host your wedding reception for 50 day and 100 evening guests. Alternatively, The Orangery, which can seat 160 for your wedding breakfast is a stunning new space set within the gardens. A creative salute to the Gatsby era, it’s truly private and includes a dancefloor, cloakroom, luxury wash rooms and fully-incorporated kitchen. DREAMLAND MARGATE 01843 295 887 | Oh-so cool retro vibes Dreamland Margate is a unique British seaside entertainment and amusement park, set by the sea in the UK’s unofficial capital of cool, offering a one-of-a-kind wedding venue. The elegant Grade II listed ballroom is licensed for ceremonies for 250 seated guests. The space comes with a bar and has two smaller adjacent rooms, which can be hired at an additional cost. This is useful for extending the bar, or as dressing rooms for entertainers. For receptions, Dreamland’s sunny outdoor VIP huts can be hired along with the surrounding area overlooking the park and Scenic Stage Arena. This space has a bar and capability to add a food offering. It can host 120 guests, but can be extended to 200 if the viewing platform is included. The Roller Room has a café, seating area and plenty of space to set up a DJ. It’s perfect for your after party where you can dance the night away with 300 guests. The outdoor amusement park is the ultimate space to wow your guests! When the park is closed to the public, the team can arrange for selected rides to be operation just for you and your loved ones. For exclusive use, a minimum guest list of 300 is needed. 25 UNUSUAL VENUES

THE DREYS 01622 236 550 | A truly rustic woodland wonder Based in 80 acres of private Kentish woodland, The Dreys provides the perfect natural backdrop for your big day, and with so much space available the possibilities are endless. Here, you can expect exclusive use of the whole site and a large choice of furniture and styling items all included in the hire fee, such as a large firepit with day beds and blankets, all tables, chairs and linens, plus additional al fresco seating and tables. Ceremonies can take place in the licensed Field Shelter, an open-sided covered deck with space for 100-140 loved ones. Alternatively, blessings are welcomed in the woodland also for up to 140 nearest and dearest. Receptions are hosted in the 12-metre diameter dressed marquee complete with festoon lighting, wooden flooring and chill-out furniture. Unlike many woodland venues, The Dreys has a plan A and plan B available with the use of two bespoke, built marquees. One can be used for the drinks reception and the other for the wedding breakfast, providing guests with ample room to mingle and move. There’s space here for 140 guests. Additionally, the Field Shelter can be transformed following the ceremony to provide a dancefloor space with views into the bar area and chill-out spaces. Maximum capacity for an evening bash is 200. Stay in the secluded woodcutters cottage on your wedding night and wake up to breakfast on the veranda. Guests can also stay on site in one of 10 bell tents available to hire, or in one of the wagons. BILSINGTON PRIORY 01233 720 992 | Take a stroll through British history from the 13th-century, via the Edwardian era, and up to modern day Set amongst seven acres of mature landscaped gardens and surrounded by a moat the Priory was built in 1253 for the canons regular of St Augustine’s in a French style of the period. A Grade I listed heritage building, it once provided hospitality for travellers and pilgrims on their journey to Canterbury. The Grand Ceremony Room is an oak and stone hall, once the rectory for the black canons. It can seat 100 guests for the ceremony. Meanwhile, The Conservatory is a bright space connected to the Edwardian manor house and accessed via the private garden. Surrounded by the moat it overlooks ancient woodlands with stunning views over Romney Marsh. It can play host to 50 for the “I dos.” Finally for the vows, the garden’s ceremony area is focused on a chess-board gazebo and surrounded by mature trees and shrubs. It can seat up to 120. Receptions for 150 guests are hosted in the marquee, which boasts an exposed wall showing off the historical stonework of the Priory and a stunning Louis XV-style chandelier. Tables can be dressed in the style of your choice and evening entertainment takes place in the adjacent Chapter Room complete with bar and dancefloor. The west wing of the manor is offered to wedding parties wishing to prepare on site and post celebrations there are four rooms available on a bed and breakfast basis. 26

O N E O F T H E U K ’ S M O S T E XT R A O R D I N A RY A N D S P E C TA C U L A R W E D D I N G V E N U E S A m a g i c a l p l a c e t o d i n e a n d d a n c e t h e n i g h t a w a y , o u r s t u n n i n g n e w l y a p p o i n t e d g l a s s o r a n g e r y a n d t e r r a c e . a s p i n a l l f o u n d a t i o n . o r g / w e d d i n g s | 0 1 3 0 3 2 3 4 1 1 1 N r . A s h f o r d , K e n t , C T 2 1 4 P D A r t i s t ’ s i m p r e s s i o n

It was always you Chloe and Jamie said “I do” at Cooling Castle in April, 2022 Images courtesy of Noteworthy Photography and Film 28

Chloe and Jamie were 16 and 17 respectively when they met, having been introduced by a mutual friend. Chloe found Jamie funny despite his shyness and the fact he only managed to give her one-word answers during the entirety of their first conversation. However, by their second meeting he’d come out of his shell and that’s when they really hit it off. “Even to this day, almost nine years later, no one makes me laugh like he does,” Chloe shares. Jamie booked a holiday to Iceland as part of his Christmas present to Chloe. It was going to be their last for a while as they were saving up for their first home. Whilst there they went on a tour of the Gold Circle including the Pingvellir National Park, the Geysers and Gullfoss Waterfall. Admiring the waterfall, Chloe was so engrossed in telling Jamie everything she’d learnt about its history on the journey, that it took her a few moments to notice that he’d been calling her name repeatedly. As she turned around there he was, down on one knee surrounded by American tourists encouraging her to say, “Yes.” With that she pulled her glove off so enthusiastically that it nearly went over the edge, but an onlooker rescued it and she held out her hand for Jamie to put the ring on. When the couple viewed Cooling Castle, they knew this was the place they wanted to host their special day. “The venue flows so nicely from the ceremony room to both barns, which ensured that as the bride, I could manoeuvre around the grounds without risk of being seen beforehand. We wanted a small, intimate wedding with a larger evening reception and Cooling Castle was perfect for this,” Chloe explains. The team were also able to cater for the bride’s dietary needs as a coeliac, ensuring she didn’t feel concerned or stressed on the day. So, the date was set for 14th April, 2022. Read on as Chloe tells us more about the big day... SETTING THE SCENE The couple opted for a rustic yet elegant theme with a palette of dusky blue and cream. The table plan was designed to fit in with this and featured vinyl writing, twine and blue and white flowers, along with various types of foliage. Chloe tells us, “The table names were based on places abroad that Jamie and I have visited over the years, which made our seating plan a lot more personal to us.” The wooden place names tied in with the rustic barn theme and doubled as favours since guests were able to take them home. The main favours however, were little jars of mints wittily labelled: “mint to be.” The centrepieces took the form of tall geo stands balanced on log slices. The floral arrangements they held were rugged in style with plenty of gorgeous green foliage, blue hydrangeas and roses. The bridal bouquet was hand-tied in a loose, natural style and included roses, blue hydrangeas and soft ruscus foliage. The bridesmaids carried gypsophila bouquets, while the groom’s party wore gypsophila buttonholes. Further florals featured in the ceremony room where foliage was draped down the stage. There was also a flower love heart designed to fit the couple’s palette. After moving through to the barn guests were met with LOVE letters, and when they made their grand entrance into the reception space, the newlyweds stood alongside them. The barn was also decorated with string lights running beam to beam creating a soft, romantic atmosphere. The three-tier gluten-free cake was flavoured with one tier of salted caramel, one with white chocolate and raspberry and the other as a cherry Bakewell. It was adorned in flowers to match the bride’s bouquet and a wooden cake topper. A crocheted bride and groom made by Jamie’s nan also sat on the cake table. REAL WEDDING 29

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