Your West Midlands Wedding - August/September (Issue 81)

AUG/SEPT 2022 HONEYMOONS, BEAUTY, FASHION, GROOMS, EXPERT ADVICE, FREEBIES AND MORE £3.55 JEWEL OF THE AISLE WIN! Stunning jewellery and accessories A two-night stay in the Lake District Tie the knot in a fairytale venue Wild and romantic Must-see dresses Once upon a time Boho chic The latest flower trends


19 REGULARS 6 EDITOR’S LETTER What to look out for in this issue 9 NEARLYWED NEWS Catch up on the latest from around the West Midlands 13 FREEBIES & OFFERS Great giveaways and discounts up for grabs 57 HOT TOPIC Our experts answer your questions 83 COMPETITION Win a stay in a five-star inn in the heart of the Lake District CONTENTS AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2022 VENUES 15 SPOTLIGHT ON ROYAL LEAMINGTON SPA, STRATFORD-UPON-AVON AND SOUTH BIRMINGHAM Discover some of the best venues in the area 19 ONCE UPON A TIME Tie the knot in a fairytale venue FEATURES 43 THE BRIDGERTON EFFECT How this Netflix phenomenon is influencing weddings 46 WILD AND ROMANTIC The latest flower trends 50 FROM MISS TO MRS County Wedding Magazines’ senior editor Melissa Cullen shares her wedding planning journey 53 A TOUCH OF CLASS Check out this monochrome styled shoot for ideas on how to incorporate this fabulous theme into your big day 76 JEWEL OF THE AISLE Picture-perfect jewellery and accessories Cover look This cover was organised by Amelia Thompson Weddings ( and photographed by Creative Depiction Studio ( at Swinfen Hall Hotel ( To see the full shoot and list of suppliers, turn to page 53. 72 3

REAL WEDDINGS 27 LUSH IN BLUSH Kayleigh and Dan tied the knot with an ivory and blush theme at Warwick House 32 RUSTIC ROMANCE Kathryn and Mike said ‘I do’ at St John The Baptist Catholic Church followed by a reception at Blithfield Lakeside Barns 37 HOLD ME CLOSE Aimee and George celebrated their love with a blue colour scheme at Eastnor Castle FASHION & BEAUTY 60 FASHION FOCUS The latest bridal fashion news, buys and launches 61 LEADING LADY Mothers-of-the-bride will love these stylish dresses and accessories 63 STYLE DOWN THE AISLE These boho-inspired dresses in luxe lace and flowing fabrics were made for fun and flirting 69 PARTY PIECES These glamorous gowns are worthy of the red carpet 72 FASHION & BEAUTY Q&A Local professionals solve your problems 73 YOU CAUGHT MY EYE! We put together some gorgeous wedding-day eye make-up looks using the newest launches to hit the counters 74 BEAUTY BUZZ Get the look with the must-haves for the bride-to-be 27 32 37 HONEYMOONS 84 HONEYMOON NEWS The latest openings and honeymoon essentials 86 CARIBBEAN VIBES Enjoy breathtaking, tropical views whilst listening to turquoise waters rolling in with a glass of St. Lucia’s famous rum punch in hand 88 TRAVEL GOALS An island country nestled in South Asia, Sri Lanka has always been a bucket-list destination for Louise Prance GROOMS 80 FUN IN THE SUN Honeymoon must-haves for the groom-to-be 82 GROOMS’ NEWS Best buys and product launches 4

Weddings at Bennetts Willow Barn Here at Bennetts Willow Barn we offer our couples the chance to have a fun and relaxed wedding celebration, with as much or as little formality and tradition as you feel suits you. We really are a wedding venue with a difference, and you won’t find another one like us! Celebrate the first day of your new lives together with an epic wedding celebration that you and your guests will remember forever. Eat, drink and be merry in the romantic, rustic charm of our unique and spectacular yurt marquee. Play games and enjoy Pimms and Prosecco in the surrounding grounds, and after dusk toast marshmallows around the fire pit. Then dance the night away in our enchanted fairy light-filled rustic party barn. Manor Farm, Malvern Road, Lower Wick, Worcester WR2 4BS | |

It’s official, I’m a married woman – eeek! After being engaged for nearly 18 months, and with all of the lockdowns and uncertainty, it’s been quite a rollercoaster of emotions, but I couldn’t have asked for a better day. It seems like just yesterday that I was telling our loved ones that we were engaged, and here we are as husband and wife (I don’t think I’ll ever get used to saying that). My number one piece of advice is to enjoy the process and make it about what you want. We found that many of our nearest and dearest were quite vocal about what they wanted and how the day should be, which can feel quite overwhelming at times but try to remember it’s meant to be about you and your partner. Pick things that you want, and that will make you both happy and forget about everyone else. The day goes by in a flash so take some time out just the two of you to have a chat and take everything in. Things will go wrong, but that’s okay. On the day, you won’t notice the little things, and all that will matter will be celebrating with your friends and family. Surround yourself with people that you love and trust. My bridesmaids were wonderful at keeping my nerves in check and making sure I felt like a special bride. I couldn’t have asked for better, and I can’t wait to look back on our photographs with them. This issue is full of inspiration, we have a feature focusing on the latest flower trends, a jewellery and accessories feature, and we showcase gorgeous fairytale venues. If that’s not enough, we also look at showstopping dresses and wow-factor honeymoon destinations. If you’d like your wedding featured in the magazine or have been involved with a styled shoot, please visit Melissa x Melissa Cullen, Senior Editor Aimee and George celebrated their love with a blue colour scheme at Eastnor Castle. 37 63 83 Boho-inspired dresses in luxe lace and flowing fabrics that were made for fun and flirting. FromMiss toMrs WIN a stay in a five-star inn in the heart of the Lake District at The Wild Boar! 6 ISSN 1759-4723 EDITORIAL 01376 535 611 Melissa Cullen| Senior Editor, Grooms and Travel Editor Danielle Harvey | Managing Editor Kelly Andrews | Deputy Managing Editor and Beauty Editor Claire Ridley | Fashion 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 Hollie Provan | 01376 538 479 Subscriptions 01376 514 000 ACCOUNTS 01376 535 616 Accounting Manager | Derrick James Your West Midlands 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 West Midlands Wedding is published six times a year. Subscription rates are £17.60 per annum (incl. p+p). Cheques should be made out to KD Media Publishing and sent to Your West Midlands Wedding, c/o KD Media Publishing, Pantile House, Newlands Drive, Witham, Essex CM8 2AP. Visit us online at and DIA SHING NTS SHING EVENTS & PUBLISHING cwe COUNTY WEDDING EVENTS @CountyWeddingMagazines @CountyWeddings @countyweddingmagazines

50 27 53 19 86 84 69 Kayleigh and Dan tied the knot with an ivory and blush theme at Warwick House. These glamorous gowns are worthy of the red carpet. Read all about my wedding planning journey. Tie the knot in a fairytale venue. Check out this monochrome styled shoot for ideas on how to incorporate this fabulous theme into your big day. Enjoy breathtaking, tropical views whilst listening to the turquoise waters rolling in with a glass of St. Lucia’s famous rum punch in your hand. The latest openings and honeymoon destinations for couples post-vows. EDITOR’S LETTER 7

BESPOKE WEDDING CAKES Designed with your personality in mind. Over 30 delicious flavours. CELEBRATION CAKES & CUPCAKES For every occasion, theme and budget. POSTAL CUPCAKES & TREAT BOXES To loved ones for birthdays, anniversaries, baby showers, bridal parties or corporate thank you gifts. 07773298563 / 01527401236 WHERE EVERY IS SPECIAL Everything from wedding favours, seat covers and sashes to full packages that cover all your requirements please call for information or to arrange your free consultation. T:    /    | E: LOCATED IN THE HEART OF THE STAFFORDSHIRE COUNTRYSIDE 20 ACRES OF BREATHTAKING SCENERY • ORIGINAL ELIZABETHAN FEATURES • 8 LAVISH BEDROOMS • INDOOR AND OUTDOOR CEREMONY AND RECEPTION SPACES WESTON-HALL .CO.UK | 01889 271082 | ENQUIRIES@WESTON-HALL .CO.UK WILL FULLER PHOTOGRAPHY scan to see our menu pack wedding packages from £4000.00 scan to see our wedding brochure

All the latest from around the West Midlands PLANNED TO PERFECTION The Bank House Hotel Spa & Golf Club in Worcester has announced its new online wedding planner. The planner takes couples on a step-by-step journey through their wedding day and allows them to choose exactly what they want for their special day. It’s divided into three main sections – ceremony, wedding breakfast and evening reception – all of which can be included or excluded from the day. A focus has been put on the excellent dining options that the hotel offers. Couples can tailor-make their wedding breakfast menu by choosing from a range of starters, mains and desserts, and also add additional courses, canapés, drinks, and evening dining options, all of which are individually priced. Adam Richards, the general manager of the Bank House Hotel Spa & Golf Club, said: “We’ve been looking at our wedding offering for some time. After much research and discussion, it’s clear that brides and grooms want choice, not to be pigeonholed into a package that may not suit them. Our new wedding planner is a simple tool for people to find out what their actual wedding day might cost from the first enquiry. The key to our new bespoke concept is flexibility and allows couples to spend money on the elements that are important to them and leave out those that are not. No two couples are the same so no two weddings should be the same either.” To find out more about the Bank House Hotel Spa & Golf Club, visit DRESSED TO IMPRESS The Dressing Rooms Bridal in Birmingham has launched a new look and website. The changes will see The Dressing Rooms re-group after an extraordinarily busy period fulfilling postpandemic orders. It has been a brilliant and exciting few months, and the re-brand has given Rebecca Baddeley and her team a much-needed focus. The founder and managing director said: “I’m so excited to launch this rebrand! The Dressing Rooms is constantly developing, and we wanted our new brand to reflect who we are. It’s been a long time coming to collate, create and develop the look we wanted, and I’m so pleased with the final styling. It reflects TDR but also takes us back to our roots, which has values that we hold true for all of our brides.” Working with some of the bridal industry’s biggest names, including Justin Alexander, Enzoani, Morilee, Ellis and Sassi Holford, TDR has more than 400 gowns in the boutique for brides to try. Head over to for more information. Nearlywed NEWS HAIR CARE HERO Daimon Barber has announced the opening of its new flagship hair retreat located in Old Town Stratford-Upon-Avon. The Daimon Barber Hair Retreat is a three-story townhouse transformed into a charming four-seater Barber Cutting Studio celebrating creative cutting and styling. The dedicated two-seater Blow-Dry Salon is paired with a luxury beauty and grooming retail space, a retreat room for drinks and conversations and a tranquil garden to rest and relax. Louis Hayes-Davies, the owner, tells us: “We’re delighted to share the next stage in our brand’s journey, a dedicated space where Daimon Barber can take care of all grooming and styling needs effortlessly. More of a club than your typical barber and salon space, we offer our guests a complete and personal experience. Our talented team of barbers and stylists ensure all men’s grooming needs are professionally met, from haircuts, hair styling and wet shaves to facials. Our large retail area includes our Signature Daimon Barber Range of grooming and styling essentials and other selected luxury brands.” Check out for more information. LOCAL NEWS 9

CONGRATULATIONS! BLACC + BLOND, based in Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter, have won the Green Salon award at the Salon Business Awards 2022 and were also announced as a finalist for the Sustainability Hero Award at the Most Wanted Awards. The salon started its sustainability journey in 2021, and on World Earth Day it launched its Green Is The New Blacc project. The salon changed their energy provider, decided to stock only ethical brands, changed their refreshment offerings to help reduce food waste by using wonky fruit, began using toilet paper made from bamboo, reduced the single use of plastic by using refillable cleaning products and installed eco-friendly shower heads to reduce water wastage. Not only that, they chose to donate 10 per cent of new client service fees to OneTreePlanted to help plant trees across the planet. The owner of BLACC + BLOND, Anil Salhan, commented: “We have put so much thought and effort into making our space more green, with the aim to become the most sustainable hair salon on the planet, and we’re delighted that the awards have noticed this. Hopefully by winning and finalising for these awards it will spread the word on what we are doing and many other businesses will be encouraged to become eco-friendly too.” Visit for more information. CHANGING HANDS Corus Hotels has announced that The Regency Hotel, located in Solihull, has been acquired by Midlands-based Westbourne Leisure Limited, which currently owns a number of hotel and hospitality venues in the West Midlands. This freehold property benefits from 111bedrooms, a large on-site car park, a bar, a lounge, a restaurant, seven meeting rooms, as well as a leisure club with fitness centre, an indoor swimming pool, a steam room, sauna, plunge pool and Jacuzzi. Khurram Mohmad, the chief executive at Corus Hotels, said: “We are pleased to have come to a deal with Westbourne Leisure Limited by working with JLL hotels and hospitality consultancy. We are grateful and very proud of The Regency Hotel team for all their support during this time and for their hard work and dedication over the last few years.” REST AND RELAXATION The Tawny Hotel, located in the heart of rural Staffordshire, has launched new accommodation for 2022. Set within 70 acres of restored gardens, the hotel is a nature lover’s paradise, perfect for woodland walks, exploring lakeside gardens, peaceful moments in secluded fells and uncovering enchanting follies. Along with 55 immaculately-designed shepherd’s huts, treehouses and boathouses, guests can now choose from the Hillside Treehouse or one of the eight new Retreat Suites. Guests who choose one of the six Hillside Treehouses will be privy to stretching views of the beautiful English countryside, where clever design and use of space offer pure escapism. The new treehouse lodges are set within mature woodland, and any trees that had to be felled for their construction were sustainably used for biomass. Launching in August, the Retreat Suites are designed as the ultimate rural bolthole, offering all the seclusion of a countryside escape with The Tawny’s central facilities just a short stroll away. For more information, visit NEW AND IMPROVED Walcot Hall, a stunning wedding venue in Shropshire, has recently relaunched. Set within 30 acres of beautiful grounds, including one of Britain’s finest and most eclectic arboretums, the property now has 15 quirky self-catering holiday cottages and 10 glamping sites located around the estate. There is a range of other accommodation available, including yurts, shepherd’s huts, the Dipping Shed and Wheelwright’s Shop. Walcot Hall also has an on-site pub, The Powis Arms, right by the front gates that champions seasonal menus and local suppliers. Find out more at 10

We offer a range of wedding and event services. To ensure your wedding journey is not stressful, but enjoyable and in experienced hands. D É C O R A N D S T Y L I N G O N T H E D A Y C O O R D I N A T I N G W E D D I N G A N D E V E N T P L A N N I N G H O S P I T A L I T Y S T A F F T A B L E WA R E A N D G L A S S WA R E H I R E F A C E B O O K . C O M / V I N T A G E V E N U E S T Y L I N G / 07821410407 | M E N S T W E E D S U I T S . C O M O F F I C E@M E N S T W E E D S U I T S . C O M | 0 1 2 1 3 2 8 0 0 4 1 9 WA I N R I G H T S T R E E T , A S T O N , B I R M I N G H A M , B 6 5 T H T H E P R E M I E R D E S T I N A T I O N F O R A L L O F Y O U R F O R M A LW E A R N E E D S . We offer a wide range of designer brands over multiple different fits, including a comprehensive range of big, tall and plus size suits to help you build the perfect outfit with minimum effort. Whether it’s slim fit, tailored fit or regular fit we will find the ideal suit for your occasion. With our next day delivery service on selected brands for UK orders, you can shop online with peace of mind, try the products at your leisure.

Weddin at Wt Midland Safi Pk NOW OPEN FOR SHOW ROUNDS! 01299 406460 BOOK NOW 2022/23

ENTER ONLINE AT WWW.YOURWESTMIDLANDS.WEDDING Closing date is 30th September, 2022, unless otherwise stated. WIN AN OVERNIGHT STAY WITH SPA TREATMENTS AT CHESFORD GRANGE HOTEL & SPA Chesford Grange Hotel & Spa is nestled within the historic Warwickshire countryside and is perched next to the beautiful river Avon. Once a swinging music venue hosting elegant dinner and dancing during the 1950s and beyond, you can still feel the vibrant atmosphere resonating within the walls of this historic hotel. Its traditional black and white Tudor exterior plays host to feelings of grandeur and elegance, with contemporary style suites to offer maximum comfort. Chesford Grange Hotel & Spa offers a truly picturesque location for an unforgettable wedding, with 205 elegantly designed bedrooms and an experienced wedding coordinator to help make every detail of your wedding come to life. Ease away the pre-wedding jitters with a deluxe manicure, massage or a dip in the swimming pool before taking some time to relax on the heated loungers. Ready to relax, recharge and recuperate? We’ve teamed up with Chesford Grange Hotel & Spa to offer you the chance to win an incredible weekend away with spa treatments. The prize includes a one night stay with breakfast, a two-course dinner and a spa treatment for two people. Terms and conditions apply. Please see our website for details. To find out more about Chesford Grange Hotel & Spa, visit Take advantage of these gorgeous giveaways and fab offers Freebies &OFFERS Award-winning British contemporary jewellery designer and silversmith Lucy Quartermaine has had a passion for designing and creating jewellery from a young age, having been inspired by her grandmother’s craft and skill. Loved by A-list celebrities in the UK and around the world, Lucy’s brand is renowned for stylish designs and luxury aesthetics. What’s more, for every piece of jewellery purchased a tree is planted meaning eco-concious consumers can rest assured their purchases are sustainable. With elegant jewellery and accessories perfect for the big day, County Wedding Magazines has teamed up with Lucy Quartermaine to offer readers the chance to win an Art Deco Oval Pendant worth £95. The 925 sterling silver with rhodium overlay pendant is inset with white topaz gemstones and can be worn at a 16 or 20-inch length. Visit ACCESSORISE AND SHINE FREEBIES & OFFERS 13


Spotlight on... AVONCROFT MUSEUM OF HISTORIC BUILDINGS, B60 4JR 01527 889 761 | Made up of 30 properties, the Avoncroft Museum of Historic Buildings is a grand wedding venue surrounded by beautiful countryside. CELEBRATE IN STYLE Located just 50 metres from the main entrance, New Guesten Hall’s 14thcentury roof was originally part of Worcester Cathedral’s Reception Hall and contains beautiful Medieval carpentry that can be seen throughout the building. The space can hold 120 guests for the ceremony and wedding breakfast and can be expanded to cater for an extra 60 loved ones for the reception. Intimate celebrations take place in the Weaver Gallery, located above the main hall, with up to 40 nearest and dearest. Surrounding New Gueston Hall is a manicured lawn that’s ideal for couples wanting to mingle and entertain, with the option of garden games, a drinks reception or food vans. WE LOVE... Couples will receive a complimentary visit on their first anniversary and The Bromsgrove Society of Model Engineers Railway is available to hire, creating an unforgettable experience. ROYAL LEAMINGTON SPA, STRATFORD-UPON-AVON AND SOUTH BIRMINGHAM REGIONAL VENUES 15

THE DURHAM OX, CV35 7AY 01926 842 283 | The Durham Ox is a country pub located within five acres of land. The grounds are home to five classic tan Nordic weatherproof tipis which are decorated with wooden beams, fairylights, round tables and white chairs or picnic tables. The grounds have two outside bars, The Little Ox has its own covered terrace, and the horsebox bar, which is located on the front terrace, has extensive seating. CELEBRATE IN STYLE The venue isn’t licensed for ceremonies, but drinks receptions, wedding breakfasts and dancing can take place in the five tipis. The Little Ox bar can be used as a further seating area, and there’s a chill-out tipi for guests to relax in. WE LOVE... There’s a love swing on the front lawn and a large car park available. The venue also offers a range of catering options, from budget-friendly packages to platinum options. DOUBLETREE BY HILTON STRATFORD-UPON-AVON, CV37 6QQ 01789 271 000 | Set in enclosed private gardens, DoubleTree by Hilton Stratford-uponAvon is located conveniently within the town centre. The four-star hotel reflects Stratford’s historic character retaining the old clock tower from the original building whilst accommodating modern elements that represent the Hilton brand. CELEBRATE IN STYLE Couples can tie the knot in the Henley Suite, an intimate space with room for 60 guests for the ceremony and 40 for the wedding breakfast. Alternatively, the main function space, the Ragley Suite, has a light and airy feel and can accommodate 160 loved ones for the service and 120 for the banquet. WE LOVE... DoubleTree by Hilton Stratford-upon-Avon offers couples a free menu tasting, a complimentary bridal suite on the night of the wedding and an anniversary meal. 16

WWW.BLITHFIELDLAKESIDEBARNS.CO.UK | Instagram & Facebook @blithfieldlakesidebarns And so the adventure begins.... | 01684 574546 | Situated within an area of natural beauty, Bell Heath is the perfect location for a private country wedding that you can truly make your own.

Moor Hall Drive, Four Oaks, Sutton Coldfield B75 6LN 0121 308 3751 Moor Hall Hotel & Spa is a 4* country house hotel, full of character and set in beautiful grounds. Our family-owned venue is the perfect venue for your civil ceremony, outdoor wedding and wedding reception for up to 180 guests. NEW Flexible Wedding Package for 2023 & 2024 We have redesigned our wedding packages so there is more flexibility than ever. Prices start at £125 per person in 2023 and include room hire, a choice of welcome drink, 3 course meal, drinks for the table, a drink for the toast, red carpet, complimentary menu tasting for the couple, complementary overnight stay for the couple and more. Then you can add on or upgrade items to suit you! Save the Date| Sunday 2nd October Free Entry | 11am to 3pm Meet the experts from a wide range of wedding businesses all under one roof. There will be a fashion show too! Unique. Bespoke. Original. Avoncroft Museum of Historic Buildings has character –filled grounds, historic buildings and views over the beautiful Worcestershire scenery, the Museum is truly unique and romantic setting for your wedding. Get in touch... Please get in touch with our team to find out about availability, arrange a viewing, make a booking, or if you have any questions or queries. Avoncroft Museum of Historic Buildings Stoke Heath Bromsgrove B60 4JR T : 01527 831 363 E : Avoncroft Museum of Historic Buildings has character-filled grounds, historic buildings and views over the Worcestershire scenery, the museum is truly a unique and romantic setting for your wedding. Get in touch... Please get in touch with our team to find out about availability, arrange a viewing, make a booking or if you have any questions or queries. Avoncroft Museum of Historic Buildings Stock Heath, Bromsgrove, B60 4JR T: 01527 831 363 E:

BENNETTS WILLOW BARN, WR2 4BS 01905 590 016 | Situated on a working dairy farm and surrounded by grazing fields, Bennetts Willow Barn has been built within a woodland next to a charming lake. The exterior boasts beautiful flowers throughout the year, picturesque log walls, fairylights, willow trees and a firepit. CELEBRATE IN STYLE Outdoor ceremonies are very popular, but couples can choose to run the day how they want, holding ceremonies outside in the gardens, in the yurt marquee or the barn. The 20m long yurt marquee is full of rustic charm. Couples that hire this space will have private, exclusive use of the adjacent gardens, including the firepit and outdoor space for garden games or even a bouncy castle. It can seat up to 140 people or 150 without a seat each. The barn is slightly smaller and can seat up to 100 guests at any one time, with a maximum capacity of 150 for the evening party. WE LOVE... There is a glamping site on the farm, so accommodation can easily become part of the wedding celebration. Bennetts Willow Barn offers a discount for hiring the barn or yurt marquee for a first-anniversary wedding celebration or engagement party. The property isn’t currently licensed for ceremonies but is perfect for a celebrant-led celebration. Once upon a time Tie the knot in a fairytale venue THEMED VENUES 19

MOOR HALL HOTEL & SPA, B75 6LN 0121 308 3751 | Moor Hall Hotel & Spa is situated at the end of a long tree-lined drive and surrounded by beautiful grounds. Couples can enjoy the modern and relaxing spa, which has an indoor pool with a spa bath, a sauna and steam room, a refurbished gym and four rooms that can be used for pre-wedding treatments. Outside is a sunken garden with a double-stone staircase, fountain feature, Victorian grottos and sweeping lawns. The new wedding preparation suite has a double bed and sofa bed, large mirrors with lots of lighting and plenty of dressing table space for a make-up artist. There’s also a connecting room so the wedding party can sleep over too. CELEBRATE IN STYLE Located on the ground floor with direct access from the car park, The Charter Suite is an elegant and spacious room with a separate bar. This space can be used for up 180 loved ones for the ceremony and breakfast and 250 for the evening reception. The Bracebridge Room and Longmoor Room are located on the first floor and can each accommodate up to 60 friends and family. Receptions can be held in The Oak Room Restaurant, which offers sweeping views over the surrounding parkland and can hold 60 nearest and dearest. WE LOVE... The happy couple will receive accommodation on the night of the wedding and a menu tasting. BARNUTOPIA, SY10 9BS 01691 791 624 | Barnutopia first opened as a glamping site with three Mongolian yurts in 2015. Two years later, the owners expanded as a wedding and events venue and have continued to add to the space to create a charming setting to say ‘I do’. Approaching through the main gates, couples will be greeted by a red brick stable block that dates back to 1892. The Events Barn opens directly onto the Yurt Field with spectacular views of the surrounding Shropshire countryside. All parts of the site are easily accessible, including the nine luxury glamping units, two fully-equipped kitchens and bathroom blocks with unlimited hot water. All units are fully furnished with beds, power, heating and free Wi-Fi. CELEBRATE IN STYLE The Yurt Field is a charming space to tie the knot with the impressive Gyrn Moelfre as the backdrop. The Dell offers an alternative outside setting next to a stream, which is on the England and Wales border. Alternatively, the Events Barn is now licensed for ceremonies and can be decorated to suit any theme with up to 120 guests. Small celebrations are held in the Farmhouse Dining Room, a licensed space that can hold eight loved ones. Receptions usually take place in the Events Barn, but informal catering can be held under the Dutch Barn or in the Yurt Field. WE LOVE... The horse, donkeys, pigs, dogs and cats complete the farmyard experience and provide great photograph opportunities. 20

Bird Street, Lichfield, Staffordshire WS13 6PR 01543 414822 Set in the heart of historic Lichfield, The George Hotel is a charming 18th century coaching inn which offers a delightful setting for civil ceremonies and wedding receptions of up to 110 guests. Our All Inclusive Wedding Package starts at £3,750 in 2022 and £4,000 in 2023 and includes a welcome drink, a three course meal with a glass of sparkling wine for the toasts, an evening finger buffet, room hire, complimentary overnight stay for the couple and much more! Based on 50 adult day guests and 80 adult evening guests. Sunday 9th October 11am to 2pm | Free Entry WEDDINGS AT BRANSTON bring your dream day to life ENQUIRE NOWWITH OUR DEDICATED TEAM! WEEKEND AVAILABILITY FOR 2023/24 01283 528 336 k m K

THE COMMANDERY, WORCESTER, WR1 2HU 01905 361 821 | Set in the heart of Worcester, The Commandery is one of the oldest buildings in the city and has lots of character and charm. The property has been used as a Medieval hospital, civil war battle headquarters, the Georgian home of an influential local family, a college for the blind, a printworks, and it is now the site of a fascinating museum. The venue is stunning from every angle, with a new photo opportunity around every corner. From timber-framed walls and great wooden doorways to beautiful brickwork, Georgian windows and the charming canal, there is much to admire and enjoy. The charming walled gardens look onto the picturesque Georgian wing and the lawn stretches towards Fort Royal Hill, framed by wonderfullymaintained flowerbeds, trees and redbrick walls. CELEBRATE IN STYLE The Medieval Great Hall is at the very heart of The Commandery, featuring a traditional 15th-century timbered roof and majestic Civil War armour. With light filtering in through the delicate painted glass of the Oriel window and Minstrel’s Gallery, it’s a truly wonderful space. The hall is a versatile entertaining area which can be used for the ceremony, relaxing, dining or dancing for up to 70 loved ones. The enclosed gardens behind The Commandery overlook the picturesque Georgian wing and can accommodate a marquee. The Oak Apple Suite is a small and private set of rooms that are separate from the museum’s visitor route. There is a lovely entrance hall where drinks can be served, a comfortable side room with sofas and room for 20 guests. For a more intimate ceremony, The Queen Anne Room is available, featuring a stunning fireplace that provides a splash of grandeur to the bright and inviting room with space for up to 10 nearest and dearest. WE LOVE... There is a separate room for the bridal party to get ready in. Scan to view video WALCOT HALL, SY7 8AZ 01588 680 570 | Walcot Hall is set within 30 acres of grounds, including one of Britain’s finest and most eclectic arboretums, which now has 15 self-catering holiday cottages and 10 glamping pods located around the estate. There is a wide range of accommodation available allowing guests to stay on-site, these include the Tin Chapel tucked away in the arboretum, yurts, shepherds huts, the Dipping Shed and Wheelwright’s Shop. Walcot also has an on-site pub, The Powis Arms, right by the front gates that champions seasonal menus and local suppliers. CELEBRATE IN STYLE Couples have a choice of three indoor spaces and additional outdoor options, which are all licensed for civil marriages. The Main Hall features marble columns, ornate ceiling and a floating staircase sweeping into the entrance hall. This room is included in the venue hire for up to three hours and will seat up to 120 loved ones. The Ballroom and Anteroom are separated from the Main Hall by a beautiful private courtyard. The Anteroom is perfect for an intimate ceremony of less than 50 guests. Alternatively, the Ballroom, which dates back to 1800, has room for 120 friends and family. Ceremonies can be be conducted anywhere on the grounds, and there is a licensed Summer House available on the private lawn. WE LOVE... The Bridal Suite at Walcot Hall offers a fantastic romantic hideaway for newlyweds on their wedding night and is available for the happy couple to use throughout the day. 22

SAFARI VENUES, DY12 1LF 01299 406 460 | Safari Venues is situated within the grounds of West Midland Safari Park and is home to three gorgeous wedding locations. Couples can expect a grand and special setting, with a team who are passionate about making celebrations unforgettable. CELEBRATE IN STYLE Set within the scenic grounds of the Safari Park, Spring Grove House is a Georgian manor that has built its well-deserved reputation on impeccable service, luxury menu selections and attention to detail. Equally impressive are the grounds, comprising of landscaped gardens and a spacious private terrace. For large wedding celebrations, Treetops Pavilion is big and bold. Its vast proportions and capacity make it one of the largest entertainment facilities in the county, perfect for civil ceremonies, wedding breakfasts and evening receptions. Nestled beneath the grandness of Spring Grove House is Cellarz, an intimate, brick-vaulted venue with an impressive atmosphere. Rich in character with a current and contemporary style, Cellarz has its own chic bar area, dancefloor and cosy alcoves, which can be hired as part of Spring Grove House or separately. WE LOVE... The wedding team offer bespoke wedding packages and the opportunity to work directly with the on-site chefs to create the perfect menu. WESTON HALL, ST18 OHS 01889 271 082 | Situated high on a hill and surrounded by 20 acres of stunning Staffordshire countryside is the grand Weston Hall. This Grade II listed property has four large pitched roofs, a striking exterior and a mixture of modern and Elizabethan features, including open stone fireplaces and oak beams. CELEBRATE IN STYLE The Shrewsbury has mullioned windows and an original stone fireplace with space for up to 110 guests. While The Westminster encompasses two stone fireplaces, oak beams throughout and can accommodate 110 friends and family throughout the day. Outdoor weddings are held in the grounds, with Weston Hall creating a breathtaking backdrop. WE LOVE... Weston Hall will provide couples with a complimentary menu tasting before the big day. THEMED VENUES 23


Dayton brings a wealth of experience to your day! Along with being an award winningWedding Singer, he is also an International Soul, Motown and Tribute Artist as well as a Singer-Songwriter. His 2 most recent collaborative tracks with writer/producer Alex Lloyd, went straight to no.1 in the Amazon Music Charts, the week of release! He is cast as lead male in Endless Love, an exciting newNational Theatre show featuring the songs of Lionel Richie and Diana Ross. The show will premiere atThe LighthouseTheatre, Kettering on 26th February 2022. On BBC 1’s ‘All Together Now’ he was invited to be an industry expert judge, as well as a mystery singer on ‘I Can See Your Voice.’ His next TV appearance will be on ITV’s brand new primetime show ’Starstruck’, premiering on 12th February 2022! West Midlands based singer Dayton, is passionate about working with you to create the perfect soundtrack to which you will begin married life, whilst keeping the process as smooth and stress free as possible. Every couple is unique - and your wedding entertainment should be tailored to embrace that! From the personalised elements of your ceremony, to the ambience of your pre-drinks reception and/or wedding breakfast... to your fun filled evening reception, Dayton ensures the atmosphere reflects who you are as a couple, leaving you & your guests with a lifetime of precious memories! The optional DJ service Dayton offers facilitates seamless entertainment, ensuring your wedding flows flawlessly! Having won ‘Regional WeddingMusical Act Of The Year’ for 2 consecutive years byTheWedding Industry Awards, you can feel confident that you are in safe hands, should you choose to book! On the most magical day of your l i fe. . . Add panache to your occasion… with the Soulful Sounds of Dayton Pre Ceremony Civil Ceremony Church Ceremony Drinks Reception Wedding Breakfast Evening Reception DJ Service

Lush in blush Kayleigh and Dan tied the knot surrounded by friends and family at Warwick House Images courtesy of Nicholas Rogers Photography Kayleigh and Dan met like most modern couples, online. “I was a single mum and had given up hope of any nice men existing,” says Kayleigh. “I saw Dan’s profile and his picture made me think of Jason Statham, so I swiped right. Not long after, we were a match, and Dan sent a message and asked for my number. He asked me out on a dinner date, and I entertained the idea until the very day when I cancelled on him, using work as an excuse. He continued to pursue a date, so I suggested bowling. We enjoyed a couple of games but politely said our goodbyes in the car park. Then, the following weekend I bumped into him in our local Asda and he asked me for coffee. It was at that point that I realised he was a genuine man with a good heart, so I would be silly to pass up the offer. We met for coffee, and from that day on, we’ve been inseparable.” Dan booked a trip for Kayleigh’s 31st birthday. “He took me to a gorgeous country hotel,” shares the bride. “We arrived and had made reservations at a nearby restaurant. We went to dinner, and the waiter who seated us asked for our coats and Dan appeared to be flustered by this. I was unaware at the time that the ring was in the inside pocket of his suit jacket, and he had to discreetly remove it from the pocket and put it on the chair behind him. We had three amazing courses and when we arrived back at the hotel, we decided to go for a walk as the sun was just going down after a beautiful hot day. After playing on a rope swing like children, Dan stopped me and got down on one knee and proposed. I never imagined him to do it so soon, but it was evident that we were made for each other, and everyone could see it. Dan told me he had the ring made as a bespoke piece, and as he went to put it on my finger, he dropped it leaving us both laughing.” Here the bride shares some of her favourite moments from their big day... REAL WEDDINGS 27

We wanted a property that was local, and we particularly liked that Warwick House was exclusive use which meant we were the only people at the venue on our day. It had plenty of space for us to comfortably fit all of our guests, and it also had the added bonus of a honeymoon suite and additional rooms for our friends and family to stay over too. Our table plan was made by Pure Invitation Limited. We chose a laser cut background and had blush card mounted on top to tie in with our colour scheme. We then placed the card on a mirror, which was provided by Warwick House. Mel from Your Big Day Events was full of fantastic ideas. I really wanted roses in my bouquet, so we decided to make it the main feature in all of our flowers We had a faux flower arch which framed the ceremony and we also used it behind our sweetheart top table, which made a lovely backdrop for our photos. We had personalised candles made as favours for our wedding. We wanted to keep it simple but also create a lovely keepsake for our guests to take away and remember our big day. We hired the centrepieces from Warwick House, and we really liked the simplicity of the hurricane vases. We used them to line the aisle during the ceremony and later moved them onto the tables for the wedding breakfast. We placed sand in the base with pillar candles to add elegance to the aisle, and for the tables, we had a wreath of flowers matching my bouquet put around the base. Dan and I chose a three-tier heart-shaped cake from Daves Demon Cakes. It was decorated with ivory icing, ribbon and roses. We had the two bottom tiers as jam sponges and had decided after hearing many stories of the bride and groom missing out on the cake that we would like to keep the top tier for ourselves and our family. 28

My dress was a Maddison James design from Your Wedding Shop. I tried on different styles, but I believe that if you’re going to get married, you need to feel like a bride, and by having a big lace dress with a stunning train, I felt the part. I also purchased a belt that my seamstress Elizabeth Ayers Bridal & Couture attached. We had disposable cameras on the tables during our wedding breakfast and a checklist of photos for our guests to capture. We also had a games room for the children which included giant snakes and ladders, mini-golf, Connect 4 and ring toss. The part that stood out for me the most was walking down the stairs to meet my dad. I loved standing at the top of the aisle with my dad holding my hand as we paused before proceeding down together to meet my future husband. We felt extremely nervous on the day. I pulled up at Warwick House with my bridal party and spent the first 10 minutes sobbing in the car because I couldn’t believe I was getting married. People always tell you that the day goes so fast, but you don’t really understand until your day comes. From getting ready in the morning to walking the aisle felt like minutes had gone by. I even forgot to put my perfume on! Our wedding day was one of a kind, and I’m not sure many brides can say that they had all four seasons in one day. During our ceremony, we had heavy snow, which then turned into bright sunshine. We had rain, more snow, and more sun, and the cycle continued throughout the day. Dan decided on a blue suit and brown shoes from Peter Posh Formal Suit Hire. Dan wore full tails with a waistcoat, a blush cravat and a pocket square and our son, Harrison, was in a matching suit but without the tails. REAL WEDDINGS 29

KAYLEIGH AND DAN’S CONTACTS Venue, Warwick House, | Photographer, Nicholas Rogers Photography, | Bride’s dress, Your Wedding Shop, | Bridal dressing gown and slippers, Foxes Boxes, | Dress alterations, Elizabeth Ayers Bridal & Couture, | Groom’s suit, Peter Posh Formal Suit Hire, | Hair and make-up artist, Sarah Russell Hair & Makeup Artist, | Flowers, Your Big Day Events, | Cake, Daves Demon Cakes, | Stationery, Pure Invitation Limited, | Favours, Anns Creative Candles, | Welcome sign and order of service, Enchanting Memories Design, The person who made our day extra special was my dad. He isn’t one for public speaking and had been so nervous in the run-up to the big day. He got in touch with his sister who couldn’t attend the wedding and between them, they wrote a poem about my childhood antics. It was a tale of a father and daughter who only got to see each other at weekends and the adventures we went on. It also had the sentimental value of having my aunty involved. We are yet to go on our honeymoon as we have two small children, but we have agreed that even though we haven’t been to a sunny climate we have many years together to go on adventures, but our children won’t stay small forever. 30

C O N T A C T t: 01905 391 347 e: PICTURE PERFECT Bespoke Cheese Celebration Cakes Fresh from our Deli 5 Mill Lane, Solihull, B91 3AR 01217093101 My passion is makeup and to make every Bride look and feel amazing, after all a Wedding Day is one of the most important days of your life and it will probably be captured in hundreds of photos. I use gorgeous skincare products and luxury makeup brands and professionally apply to ensure each of my brides is glowing, confident and ready for her special day. Bridal trials can be held at home or at my new studio in Halesowen and with a variety of Wedding Packages and bespoke ideas I’m sure I have an option for you. | 07870428520 Georgia x

ROMANCE Rustic Kathryn and Mike said ‘I do’ at St John The Baptist Catholic Church followed by a reception at Blithfield Lakeside Barns Images courtesy of Ginger Jam Photography 32

Kathryn and Mike met online in 2015. “Mike was genuine and kind, and he liked that I was intelligent and funny,” says Kathryn. “He proposed on Christmas morning in 2019. We were at home and had come downstairs to open presents with our daughter. They both disappeared upstairs and came back with a small wrapped gift. I opened it and saw a sparkling diamond ring! Mike said: ‘well, will you?’ and I told him: ‘only if you get down on one knee.’ He did, and I said yes. Our daughter was ecstatic!” SETTING THE SCENE “We were originally supposed to get married in April 2021,” shares the bride. “We decided to postpone in September 2020 for another year as the COVID-19 rates had gotten worse. As we weren’t getting any younger, we decided to try for a baby. We welcomed our daughter in September 2021, which meant there was an extra special guest in attendance.” The couple’s original venue fell through. “We found Blithfield Lakeside Barns four months before we were due to get married,” explains Kathryn. “Whilst the fact it was available helped, the setting attracted us as it was so stunning and overlooked the reservoir. It’s only 10mins from our home and has a light and rustic atmosphere.” “We tried to do as much DIY as possible and asked our friends and family to help,” recalls the bride. “Our favours were wooden place names with personalised games and for our table plan, we wrote our guests’ names on cards and attached them to a white mirror.” Kathryn and Mike placed flowers, candles and lights in bottles for their centrepieces. “Our blooms were from Fine Flowers,” reveals Kathryn. “We opted for a hand-tied bouquet, two for the bridesmaids, buttonholes for the groomsmen, corsages for our mums, top table arrangements, two pedestals and hexagon backdrops. All of the arrangements included roses and foliage and were described as country-garden themed.” “We had a handmade wooden sweet cart with spindle wheels,” remembers the bride. “We also had a wooden hexagon backdrop behind the top table, photographs of us on string lights hanging over the cake table and photos of our dads who are both in heaven.” Kathryn arrived in an Imperial Landaulette vintage car from Anthony James Wedding Cars. “Mike chose a Mustang Shelby GT500 as seen in Fast & Furious and Gone in 60 Seconds,” says Kathryn. “It really looked the part!” “Instead of a three-course meal, we opted for afternoon tea with vintagestyled crockery provided by Derby Vintage China Hire,” shares the bride. “It included sandwiches, homemade scotch eggs, sausage rolls, pork pies, scones served with jam and clotted cream and a selection of cakes.” DRESSED TO IMPRESS “I wore a Maggie Sottero gown called Ariella which I purchased at The Bridal Barn,” explains Kathryn. “I always thought I wanted a mermaid-style gown but didn’t expect to have anything with straps, pearls and crystals, but when I tried it on, I felt lovely in it and knew it was the one. I accessorised with a cathedral-length Art Deco-style veil, a vintage-inspired hair piece and a pair of earrings that originally belonged to my mother and were worn ballroom dancing in the early 70s. I received a beautiful Gucci necklace from Mike on the morning of the wedding, but due to the neckline of my dress, I wore it as a bracelet instead.” Mike and his groomsmen opted for grey suits with pink ties from Dapper Dan Formal Suit Hire For Men and Boys. “I had three bridesmaids that were 13, eight and seven months old, so they wore different dresses,” recalls the bride. “I started by getting a floor-length tulle design for our niece and had dresses made in ivory tulle, with a V neck and satin bodice in dusky pink for the other two. They all looked wonderful together!” REAL WEDDINGS 33