Your West Midlands Wedding - June/July 2023 (Issue 86)

JUN/JUL 2023 HONEYMOONS, BEAUTY, FASHION, GROOMS, EXPERT ADVICE, FREEBIES AND MORE £3.55 Tiers OF JOY Be inspired by delicious cakes Celebrate your big day in a historic venue The latest wedding dress trends A trip down memory lane WIN! A diamond and pearl necklace Forever & ALWAYS Romantic weddings BEAUTY Bridal

Macdonald Ansty Hall Hotel is set amongst 8 acres of private grounds, featuring magnificent views of the surrounding Warwickshire countryside - a magical setting for your wedding celebrations. Our Award winning venue also offers luxurious accommodation in the very heart of Shakespeare Country, which will prove a spectacularly luxurious base for your wedding party. Our suites can comfortably seat up to 120 wedding guests, with the capability of housing up to 150 people for your evening reception. Our function rooms feature stunning views of our beautiful landscaped gardens, providing you with the most romantic of venues in the charming Warwickshire countryside. Our staff will gladly assist you during your journey, every step of the way - our dedicated wedding planner will help you with all aspects of wedding planning and the chefs at Macdonald Ansty Hall Hotel will cater to your every need. Plus, we also offer exclusivity of the entire venue which can be tailor-made with a bespoke package. Find your dream venue at or call 02476 612 222 Ansty Hall, Main Road, Ansty, Warwickshire. CV7 9HZ YOUR JOURNEY BEGINS HERE

46 REGULARS 6 EDITOR’S LETTER What to look out for in this issue 8 NEARLYWED NEWS Catch up on the latest from around the West Midlands 11 FREEBIES & OFFERS Great giveaways and discounts up for grabs 52 HOT TOPIC Our experts answer your questions 89 COMPETITION Win a diamond and pearl necklace worth £1,100 CONTENTS JUNE/JULY 2023 FEATURES 39 MOODY VIBES See how rich deep hues can create a bold but elegant statement on your wedding day 43 TIERS OF JOY Meet local cake companies 46 A FRESH LOOK The team at Alrewas Hayes have put together this stunning set of images to celebrate their recent refurbishment 49 A DRAMATIC ENTRANCE Be inspired by this luxurious styled shoot at Swinfen Hall 55 TRULY ROMANTIC Cheylesmore Manor House was the setting for this rustic styled shoot 59 TAKE MY BREATH AWAY Local bridal boutiques share their favourite on-trend dresses On the cover... This issue’s cover has been sponsored by Coventry wedding venue Cheylesmore Manor House ( cheylesmoremanorceremonysuite). The image was captured by Rachel Faye Photography ( and comes from the styled shoot on page 55. 39 VENUES 13 SPOTLIGHT ON SUTTON COLDFIELD, LICHFIELD, TAMWORTH & NORTH BIRMINGHAM Discover some of the best venues in the area 17 A TRIP DOWN MEMORY LANE Tie the knot in a historic venue 3

REAL WEDDINGS 21 HOLD ME CLOSE Alex and Dom celebrated their summer wedding at Alveston Manor 26 WILD ABOUT YOU After embarking on several adventures together, Lisa and Kieron celebrated their big day at Safari Venues 33 FALL IN LOVE Louise and Paul opted for a terracotta colour scheme for their autumnal nuptials at Elmbridge Farm FASHION & BEAUTY 62 FASHION FOCUS The latest bridal fashion news, buys and launches 63 I’M A BARBIE GIRL Take inspiration from summer’s most anticipated movie release with fun, flirty styles 68 DESERT ROSE Your honeymoon suitcase shouldn’t take off without these summery staples 69 SHORT AND SWEET The thigh’s the limit with this chic selection of shorter-length bridal dresses 72 BEAUTY BUZZ Get the look with these must-haves for the bride-to-be 74 SKIN DEEP We caught up with Angela Langford whose eponymous brand offers a wide range of skin care designed to make you feel great 76 FASHION & BEAUTY Q&A Local professionals solve your problems 77 BRIGHTEN UP YOUR LIFE Celebrity hair stylist Michael Douglas, talks wedding dos and tells us about OGX’s new Colour Retention range 21 HONEYMOONS 82 HONEYMOON NEWS The latest openings and must-see honeymoon destinations 84 THE CITY OF LOVE Discover why Paris is the perfect honeymoon destination 86 HOORAY FOR HAMPSHIRE! Find out what makes the New Forest such a special spot for mini-mooners 88 RIVERSIDE ROMANCE The Mitre Hampton Court is the perfect location for a night away for two GROOMS 78 GROOMS’ NEWS The latest best buys and product launches 79 WATCH THIS SPACE Expert advice on choosing a watch for your wedding 80 GREEN WITH ENVY We’ve rounded up some of the latest on-trend products for the groom-to-be 84 63 26 4

Ceremonies inside Coventry Coventry is an historic city with a rich and diverse history, situated in the heart of the country. It is known for its medieval Coventry Cathedral which was left in ruins after WWII bombing and also home to an unfortified Manor House and St Mary’s Guildhall, the finest medieval guildhall in the country. The city is home to a range of venues - from idyllic outdoor spaces to regal rooms draped with history - so you’re sure to find the perfect place for your special day. With bespoke ceremony co-ordinators on hand to guide you through every step of the way, helpful Register Office teams and even easy to manage personalised stationery packages, Coventry can’t wait to welcome you for your ceremony, from weddings to naming days, commitment celebrations and civil partnerships - we can host it all. Images courtesy of

Hello everyone and welcome to another issue of Your West Midlands Wedding. As always, our June/July issue is full of inspiration, but my favourite part is the cake feature. I look forward to writing it every year, even if it does make me incredibly hungry afterwards! When I got married last year, we went back and forth about our wedding cake. My husband (it still feels weird saying that) doesn’t have a sweet tooth, whereas I can’t get enough of anything smothered in chocolate! After talking to our families, we decided to go for layers of lemon and chocolate – delish! If you’re struggling to find the perfect company, begin by searching online and looking in magazines for inspiration. Once you’ve found a company you like, make sure you look at their past work to see if they can create the design that you’re after. It’s also important to read their reviews, check if they’re in your price range and that they’re available on your wedding date. Cakes are more than just something sweet to eat, they’re also a fun way of adding personal touches to your day. For our cake topper, we chose figures of us dressed in our wedding attire with our beloved cat, and I cannot recommend this enough. All our guests commented on how wonderful it was, and nearly a year later, I still look at it every day. If you have the budget, it’s worth investing in a memento that you can display in your home. Believe me, when I say the day goes by in a flash, so you’ll love having something to look at regularly. If you’ve recently tied the knot or organised a styled shoot, please submit it at or via Melissa x Melissa Cullen, Senior Editor Local fashion and beauty experts offer advice on how to look your big-day best. 76 49 89 Be inspired by this luxurious styled shoot at Swinfen Hall. A piece of cake WIN 26 Lisa and Kieron celebrated their animal-themed wedding at Safari Venues. a diamond and pearl necklace worth £1,100. Anastasiya Lobanovski 6 ISSN 1759-4723 Your West Midlands Wedding is solely owned, published and designed by KD Events & Publishing Ltd. Whilst every effort was made to ensure the information in this magazine was correct at the time of going to press, the publishers cannot accept legal responsibility for any errors or omissions, nor can they accept responsibility for advert content, or of the standing of advertisers or by the editorial contributions. The views expressed do not necessarily reflect those of the publisher. Your West Midlands Wedding is published six times a year. DIA SHING NTS SHING EVENTS & PUBLISHING cwe COUNTY WEDDING EVENTS ADVERTISING Account Manager Nicola Hawkins | 01376 538 480 @CountyWeddingMagazines @CountyWeddings @countyweddingmagazines Visit us online at and DESIGN 01376 535 616 ACCOUNTS 01376 535 616 MANAGING DIRECTOR Sarah Ellis | 01376 535 602 EDITORIAL Senior Editor Melissa Cullen | 01376 535 611

21 84 33 17 46 63 Discover why Paris is the perfect honeymoon destination. Alex and Dom celebrated their summer wedding at Alveston Manor. Check out our venues section to see some historic wonders. Louise and Paul opted for a terracotta colour scheme for their autumnal nuptials at Elmbridge Farm. The team at Alrewas Hayes have put together this stunning set of images to celebrate their recent refurbishment. Take inspiration from the movie release of Barbie with these fun and flirty styles. 39See how rich deep hues can create a bold but elegant statement on your wedding day in this styled shoot. EDITOR’S LETTER 7

All the latest from around the West Midlands NEW AND IMPROVED The Bank House Hotel has re-opened its stunning new Elgar Suite following a six-figure refurbishment. With a stylish new carpet, electric curtains and redesigned bar area and entrance, the Elgar Suite is once again ready to welcome weddings and events. New flooring offers a neutral colour scheme and will enable brides and grooms to create a completely bespoke wedding theme. The room can host up to 400 guests but can be divided using the electric curtains to create a more intimate space if needed. Adam Richards, the general manager of the Bank House Hotel, tells us: “The Elgar Suite was always a fantastic room, in terms of size and functionality. Now, with this investment, it really stands apart from anything else in Worcestershire.” Visit for more information. HOLE IN ONE Virtual Golf Hut, based in Kingswinford, Dudley, is a new company offering the latest technology in portable golf simulators for hire. Perfect for exhibitions, weddings, corporate events, parties, and private use, the simulators provide a realistic and enjoyable golf experience for players of all skill levels. With high-res graphics, this is the perfect entertainment for those of you looking for something unique and engaging at your wedding. Virtual Golf Hut offers custom packages, including simulator hire and set-up, with game modes that include, nearest to the pin, longest drive, pitch and putt and carnival games. Find out more at Nearlywed NEWS GLITZ AND SPARKLE TDR Bridal Birmingham has recently launched The Tiara Shop, a one-stop shop for everything sparkly. With almost 20 years of experience, TDR Bridal Birmingham created The Tiara Shop to give brides access to some of the in-store choices that previously only TDR brides could buy. Rebecca Baddeley, the owner, tells us: “We wanted to offer brides who haven’t bought their wedding dress from us a way to access our accessories, and so The Tiara Shop was born! There is so much choice out there, but we hope by buying from a bridal dress retailer, you will have the assurance that you are buying a quality product and that you will get great, honest service from us too. We know bridal, it’s in our DNA and is what we do. Choosing accessories for our online shop has been an absolute delight, and we are now able to offer so much more to all of our lovely brides!” Check out and for more information. 8

AN ENDLESS CELEBRATION Cheylesmore Manor House in Coventry has launched two new services that are tailored to you and will make a huge difference to your celebration. The Audio-Visual Service includes a live streaming of your service, a 28-day ondemand service, a downloadable keepsake, a vast choice of high-quality music, a single photo tribute and a slideshow. This is perfect for couples who have friends and family that are unable to attend on the big day but still want to be involved. What’s more, the venue has also launched a Bespoke Stationery Service offering quality products at an affordable price with a choice of stunning designs. For more information about the two new services, please visit A FOND FAREWELL Award-winning stylists Royston Blythe and Nick Malenko are taking some time out after celebrating 50 years of hairdressing, spending 34 of those as owners of salons in Wolverhampton, Shrewsbury and London. For five decades, the duo has tended to the tresses of celebrities and royalty alike; their work has graced the front covers of Vogue, Hello, OK! and countless other magazines, including regular hair columns in national publications. The duo have worked with Hollywood stars, including Melanie Griffiths, Mickey Rourke, Ursula Andress and Katy Perry. To find out more, visit NEW OWNERSHIP Wolverhampton wedding venue, The Mount Hotel has announced the acquisition of Perton Park Golf Club, which will be rebranded as The Mount Golf & Country Club. This marks an exciting venture for The Mount, providing a much-needed hospitality-led golf facility in Wolverhampton. The Mount Golf & Country Club will offer top-quality facilities and entertainment options, including a driving range, an expanded gym, leisure facilities, and the popular Adventure Dinosaur Golf course. Scott Bernard, the director of The Mount Hotel, said: “We are excited to expand our hospitality offering in Wolverhampton. Our plans to develop The Mount Golf & Country Club will create an exceptional golfing experience for our guests, with top-quality facilities and entertainment options, as well as enhancing the facilities for Perton’s current members and making the facility a one-stop leisure destination for both golfers and families.” Find out more at GLORIOUS GARDENS Castle Bromwich Hall Gardens is now registered to hold legal ceremonies anywhere in its grounds. Once part of the Earl of Bradford’s estate, the property is an early 18th century formal garden design rescued, nurtured and now owned by an independent Charitable Trust. Keeping largely to a period-relevant style with plant species and heritage fruit from 1680-1760, it’s like visiting the Baroque countryside in the middle of a 21st century city. Offering 10 acres of formal walled gardens encircled by a further 30 acres of local nature reserve, Castle Bromwich Hall Gardens is an outdoor dry hire venue, offering couples a beautiful blank canvas to create the day exactly as they want. The wedding team at Castle Bromwich Hall Gardens tells us: “Our couples have the freedom to not only have the wedding reception they want but can choose their favourite place in our gardens to say ‘I do’. This will allow our couples to have their wedding their way.” Visit for more information., & LOCAL NEWS 9

Weddings at Tamworth Castle Receptions at Tamworth Assembly Rooms Tel: 01827 709551 Corporation Street,Tamworth, Staffordshire. B79 7DN Tel: 01827 709551 Email: Holloway,Tamworth, Staffordshire. B79 7NA Fairy tales really do come true at Tamworth Castle. Set in the beautiful Castle Grounds and with almost one thousand years of history, our castle is the most unique and perfect setting for your special day. The newly refurbished Tamworth Assembly Rooms provides a stunning and versatile space for the perfect wedding reception. Exclusive joint packages available. After your wedding ceremony, why not continue your wedding day at the nearby Assembly Rooms.

ENTER ONLINE AT WWW.YOURWESTMIDLANDS.WEDDING/GIVEAWAYS Take advantage of these gorgeous giveaways and fab offers RING-A-DING-DING For over a decade, Je t’aime has been a trusted name in the world of wedding rings. The company’s exquisite collection showcases the finest British precious metals, including 9ct and 18ct yellow, white, and rose gold, platinum as well as trending choices like wood, titanium and zirconium. Experience the luxury of Je t’aime’s Free Home Visit Service, tailored exclusively for couples seeking their dream ring shopping experience all from the comfort of your home. Discover an extensive range of wedding rings, each one meticulously crafted by skilled jewellers in the renowned Jewellery Quarter. And that’s not all – Je t’aime also offer diamond engagement rings, eternity rings, and an array of exquisite fine jewellery. Exclusively for Your West Midlands Wedding, Je t’aime is offering buy one, get one-half price on your dream wedding rings. Plus, enjoy complimentary personalised engraving and hand delivery to your doorstep, when you book a no-obligation Free Home Visit Appointment. This exclusive offer also extends to Je t’aime’s bespoke ‘Shape to Fit’ wedding ring collection, where you can have a plain or diamond wedding ring perfectly designed to complement your engagement ring without any gaps, creating the ultimate bridal set. The buy one, get one-half price offer excludes titanium and zirconium wedding rings. However, if you choose these metals, you will still receive free engraving. Je t’aime’s dedicated team is ready to bring the magic of its collection directly to your doorstep. Home Visit Appointments are available from Monday to Sunday, 9am to 7pm, throughout the West Midlands, Leicestershire, Derbyshire and Crewe, subject to availability, so book now to secure your preferred time slot! To claim this offer, visit and mention Your West Midlands Wedding when booking your free home visit. Offer ends 31st July 2023. WIN A £250 VOUCHER TO SPEND WITH COEUR DE LION The hunt for the perfect bridal jewellery stops here, with a chance to win £250 worth of jewels from COEUR DE LION – celebrating 35 years in business this year! Handmade in Germany, each piece is lovingly crafted by a team of artisans from the finest materials at its Stuttgart workshop, genuine natural stones, shimmering crystals and freshwater pearls give each piece individuality. The brand’s new freshwater pearl collection offers the ideal bridal jewellery, or you could choose to spend your winning voucher on lovely gifts for all your bridesmaids. Visit to view the entire range. County Wedding Magazines has teamed up with COEUR DE LION to offer readers the chance to win a £250 voucher. Enter via our website. Terms and Conditions apply. Freebies & OFFERS FREEBIES & OFFERS 11

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: AUTHENTIC WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY Friendly and relaxed husband-wife team. Capturing real moments and real emotions with no fake smiles or awkward posing. | 07449 966001 @bluebell_photostudio @bluebellphotos

Spotlight on... MOOR HALL HOTEL & SPA, B75 6LN 01213 083 751 | Moor Hall Hotel & Spa is a family-owned venue surrounded by beautiful grounds in Sutton Coldfield. The four-star hotel has options for smaller or larger nuptials of up to 180 guests as well as evening-only receptions and afternoon tea receptions. There are 83 bedrooms, including doubles, twins, family rooms and hot tub rooms for your friends and family to choose from and all guests will have access to the pool, spa bath, sauna and steam room and a full English breakfast the following day. Celebrate in style Choose to hold your civil ceremony inside the Charter Suite or outside in the magical Sunken Garden with its fountain, stone staircase and grottos for up to 180 loved ones. The elegant Charter Suite creates a spectacular backdrop for weddings. It’s decorated in subtle shades of grey and gold with chandeliers, a private bar, a dancefloor and a separate entrance which is perfect for large celebrations of up to 180 day and 250 evening guests. The hotel’s first-floor rooms, which overlook the surrounding parkland, are ideal for small receptions. We love... Book the hotel’s Wedding Preparation Suite the night before your wedding for the ultimate bridal party sleepover. The space has a four-poster bed, a sofa bed and connecting twin room, but what makes it perfect is the large dressing tables, mirrors and seating area for everyone to get ready on the morning of the wedding. SUTTON COLDFIELD, LICHFIELD, TAMWORTH & NORTH BIRMINGHAM 13 LOCAL VENUES

TAMWORTH CASTLE, B79 7NA 01827 709 551 | Dating back almost 1,000 years, Tamworth Castle is situated within acres of beautiful grounds and has plenty of places to take those all-important photographs, including the floral terraces that drop down to the banks of the River Anker and the ancient Tudor and Jacobean walls that bring a romantic and intimate feeling to any occasion. Celebrate in style The Great Hall is perfect for ceremonies with candelabra and chandeliers throughout that create a twinkling glow which brings the room to life. The magnificent oak-timbered roof and decorated lead windows create a stunning backdrop for exchanging vows and set the scene for the rest of the day. After the ceremony, you can head to the courtyard to mingle with your guests while your photographer gets to work snapping those key moments. The bandstand in the castle’s grounds provides a breathtaking backdrop and is worth taking a few minutes to visit. We love... Tamworth Castle can work with its sister site, Tamworth Assembly Rooms, to create a bespoke menu and is perfect for receptions. BILSTON BROOK WEDDING BARN LTD, WS13 8HY 07597 377 452 | Bilston Brook Wedding Barn Ltd has been a working farm for more than 100 years and is located just one mile from the stunning cathedral city of Lichfield. The barn offers a bespoke wedding experience, with a newly-furnished interior, hand-fired panelled walls, a bar, festoon lighting, a separate ceremony barn, new toilets and a bridal room. The venue has lots of charm and requires very little decoration, however, you can let your imagination run wild and embellish the barn to suit your tastes. There is also a large seating area with benches looking over the open fields, perfect for garden games or a barbecue. Celebrate in style The beautifully-decorated Main Barn is 90ft by 45ft and has a rustic décor throughout. For large celebrations, the Main Barn can be hired alongside the Ceremony Barn to accommodate up to 380 of your friends and family. We love... The converted barn can be used as accommodation and hired over three-days. 14

ALREWAS HAYES, DE13 7DL 01283 791 625 | Alrewas Hayes is a Grade II listed quintessential English country estate. Situated on the outskirts of Fradley Village, the property dates back to 1066 and is believed to be the extensive Staffordshire woodland noted in the Doomsday Book. This large 100 acre estate comprises of a central courtyard, landscaped gardens, woodlands and rural countryside. The venue fuses historical charm with a contemporary aesthetic, with each ceremony space offering a different style. There are also 11 bedrooms to choose from and impressive architecture throughout. Celebrate in style Ceremonies can take place in The Orangery. Bathed in natural light, with a flourish of period touches throughout, this events space brings an air of elegance to every occasion. Located within the wing of the house, it has a distinctive curved ceiling, arched windows and doors that open out onto the Courtyard. It’s capable of holding 100 guests for the service and 52 for the wedding breakfast. The Lakeside (180) overlooks the private lake, woodlands and wheat fields beyond. By day this area is a tranquil, whitewashed canvas for the creative and by night an atmospheric, star-lit party space. Accessed via its own private walkway, The Great Barn (650) is the largest event space. Reminiscent of a cool airport hanger from the outside, it has a sleek and contemporary design on the inside, creating plenty of places to take photographs. Alternatively, the Lobby (40) or Courtyard can be used for smaller ceremonies. We love... You will receive a tasting evening ahead of the wedding, a book of trusted suppliers, access to the 11 bedrooms, including the honeymoon suite and breakfast for all of your overnight guests. SWINFEN HALL, WS14 9RE 01543 481 494 | Swinfen Hall is an elegant Georgian manor house with a mixture of old and new styles. Set at the end of a sweeping drive, the property stands proudly amongst 100 acres of gardens and parklands and boasts a private deer park, ornamental ponds, a Victorian walled garden and a courtyard garden complete with a bar and a luxury marquee. In the middle of the deer park sits an impressive red tree which is an artistic impression of the venue’s commitment to fighting climate change. It was created by local artist MC Vincent and is a constant reminder to be as ethical and environmentally responsible as possible. COTON HOUSE FARM WEDDING VENUE, WS14 9LQ 01543 432 429 | Nestled in the picturesque village of Whittington in rural Staffordshire, the Coton House Farm Wedding Venue is a 16th-century farm that was once used as a rest point for local beef farmers on their way to Lichfield. This traditional Yorkshire board-clad building has large oak frames that blend into the rural setting. Inside is The Stables, a large preparation suite, with a comfy seating area, washroom facilities, dressing room and hair and make-up stations. SHUSTOKE BARN, B46 2BL 01675 620 620 | Situated just outside Coleshill, Shustoke Barn is an 18th-century red brick barn set around a private courtyard. The ceremony and wedding breakfast all take place in the main barn, which is then transformed for the reception. Boasting a timber ceiling, flagstone floors, oak beams and floor-to-ceiling windows that let in plenty of natural light, the colour-changing LED lights and rustic iron candle chandeliers suit any colour scheme and set the mood for dancing. The space can accommodate 140 friends and family for the service and 200 for the evening celebration. THORPE GARDEN, B79 0LH 01827 210 999 | Situated just a few miles from Tamworth, Thorpe Garden is a handcrafted wooden yurt and contemporary ceremony room in a beautiful walled garden. The property has on-site accommodation in the boutique guesthouse, which can sleep up to 42 guests in 21 en-suite guest rooms, including a honeymoon suite. The gardener’s cottage is available to use on the morning of the wedding, providing a quiet and relaxing space to get ready for the special day. Also check out… LOCAL VENUES 15


A trip down memory lane Tie the knot in a historic venue ST MARY’S GUILDHALL, CV1 5RN 02476 430 545 | Located next to the world-renowned Coventry Cathedral ruins, St Mary’s Guildhall is in the heart of the city and is easily accessible. One of the finest remaining guildhalls in the country, St Mary’s Guildhall is home to the famous 500-year-old Coventry tapestry, believed to be the only remaining tapestry situated in the place it was made in the UK. Celebrate in style The spectacular historic rooms at St Mary’s Guildhall have hosted royals over the centuries and make a sumptuous backdrop for special occasions. The awe-inspiring Great Hall has a soaring ceiling and stunning stainedglass windows, which can accommodate 110 guests. Ceremonies can also take place in the beautifully-decorated Muniment Room or Drapers Room. Drinks receptions are held in the Medieval Courtyard and newly uncovered Kitchen, which has space for up to 100 friends and family. We love... St Mary’s Guildhall provides a complimentary afternoon tea and a wedding tasting once your wedding has been booked. DOVECLIFF HALL HOTEL, DE13 0DJ 01283 531 818 | The Dovecliff Hall Hotel is a Grade II listed property in Staffordshire. Defined by its eye-catching Georgian architecture, scenic gardens and plush guest rooms, this manor house is ideal for those of you who adore a classic style. Your guests are bound to fall in love with its old English charm, complete with 15 recently refurbished bedrooms, all of which have king-size beds and luxury bed linen. Celebrate in style The hotel can accommodate 90 seated guests, with formal dinners, ceremonies and receptions available. Exchange your vows before posing for photographs beside the fountain and cedar tree in the picturesque surroundings. Indoor ceremonies can be hosted in the sun-soaked Orangery overlooking the gardens or in the Drawing Room, an intimate setting brimming with romance and refinement. Replete with elegant décor, the Charrington Suite can also be used for vows as well as wedding breakfasts and receptions. We love... Following the festivities, your guests can explore the charming countryside and gardens which make up seven acres of the grounds. HISTORIC VENUES 17

STANBROOK ABBEY HOTEL, WR2 4TY 01905 832 940 | Dating back to the early 16th century, Stanbrook Abbey Hotel is a former Grade II listed monastery which has retained many of its original features, including dramatic stone cloisters, Gothic stained-glass windows and a 100ft bell tower. Standing at the foot of the Malvern Hills, the property is located within a magnificent 26-acre estate with beautifully kept walled gardens and a path lined with weeping willows, leading to a tranquil and secluded lake that’s perfect for outdoor weddings. The hotel recently underwent a multi-million-pound renovation which introduced The Refectory restaurant and eight new bedrooms on the second floor and a further seven in the original schoolhouse bringing the grand hotel to 70 bedrooms. Celebrate in style Ceremonies can take place in The Callow Great Hall. This former chapel is the ideal setting for traditional weddings, with a captivating history and charming interior that would make a grand backdrop for any wedding. St Anne’s Hall (80) can also be used. Ideal for smaller weddings, it includes the use of the Library Bar and Balcony where your guests can relax and enjoy the views. The cosy East Room has an open fireplace and oak-beamed ceiling with room for 50 loved ones. Alternatively, the Brides Manor Lounge is available. Connected to the Callow Great Hall via a cloister and close to the tranquil Garden of Remembrance, the lounge of this Georgian-style manor house has private access and is ideal for cosy ceremonies. Receptions take place in The Garden Pavilion, a stone’s throw from the picturesque Willow Lake, which can seat up to 280 friends and family. We love... The hotel’s 13 function spaces, including a wine cellar and games room, reignite the historic feel of the abbey. HADLEY PARK HOUSE HOTEL, TF1 6QJ 01952 677 269 | Hadley Park House is an elegant Grade II listed property set within two acres of landscaped grounds. As you turn into the driveway of this romantic wedding venue, you can’t help but be impressed by this Georgian manor house. The secluded grounds include mature trees, manicured grass and a sunken-tiered lawn making it the ideal place to capture photographs. Once you step inside, the wood-panelled lounge, high ceilings and sash windows lend a sense of occasion to your special day and confirm why the venue was awarded ‘Best Historic Building in the West Midlands’ at the Wedding Industry Awards. Celebrate in style Most ceremonies are held in the atmospheric Conservatory, which has a colonial style, wooden shutters, ceiling drapes and room for 80 guests. The room can be dressed exactly how you would like, with chair covers and coloured sashes to complement your colour scheme. As the venue only holds one civil ceremony or civil partnership each day, the Conservatory will be personalised just for you. Evening receptions take place in the Mulliner Suite, which can accommodate up to 150 guests. This self-contained room has its own entrance and a well-stocked bar, meaning your guests can enjoy the celebrations until late into the evening. We love... These are three exclusively designed Honeymoon Suites, two in the main house and one in the West Wing. One of the suites in the original house boasts a four-poster bed and is swathed with luxury soft furnishings in rich blue and gold and a large bathroom with traditional roll top bath. 18

KARMA SALFORD HALL, WR11 8UT 01386 871 300 | Karma Salford Hall is a beautiful Grade I listed manor house that has retained its Tudor charm with stained-glass windows, a bell tower and historic engraving into Cotswold stone. Set in manicured gardens and nestled amid rolling hills and farmland, the property has a quintessentially English feel with new and period furnishings creating a traditional yet contemporary setting. Once the guest home for the monks of Evesham Abbey and later owned by King Henry VIII, the building is steeped in history and old-world charm with grand fireplaces, wood panelling and oil paintings. When Charles Stanford married Elenor Alderford, he marked the occasion by gifting her a bell that hung in the belfry for four centuries before it was stolen in the 1980s. It later turned up, being offered at auction. The owners of the hall at that time bought it back and returned it to the tower, where it remains today. Celebrate in style There are several spaces available for weddings, including the Walled Garden, which can accommodate 100 loved ones for the service, and the Tudor Court Lawn with room for 60. Large receptions are held in the marquee, which has space for 100 friends and family. Intimate celebrations take place in either the Tempest Restaurant, which can hold 40 nearest and dearest, or the Palm Court Conservatory with space for 16. We love... Couples will have access to the bridal suite on the night of the wedding and receive a complimentary menu tasting. WARWICK HOUSE, CV47 0HN 01926 815 738 | The Grade II-listed Warwick House is located within acres of glorious gardens and boasts an abundance of trees, cherry blossoms, feathery pines and statement windows. This exclusive-use 19th-century property perfectly combines contemporary and classic architecture with traditional furniture, grand chandeliers and muted tones throughout. Those of you looking to stay the night will love the 16 guest bedrooms and luxurious honeymoon suite. Celebrate in style The Warwick Room is the venue’s smallest space. It’s a sophisticated area used for civil ceremonies and wedding breakfasts of up to 60 people. Surrounded by windows that overlook the terrace, the light and airy Banqueting Hall is decorated with soft fairylights, a bar, and a dancefloor and can accommodate 150 loved ones. Couples can enjoy the grounds and terrace with 150 nearest and dearest or tie the knot underneath the gazebo. Canapés and drinks take place in the Regency Room with up to 60 friends and family. We love... The luxurious honeymoon suite, complete with a lavish four-poster bed and Jacuzzi, is included in all wedding packages. 19 HISTORIC VENUES

Hadley Park House Hotel is an award-winning wedding venue in Shropshire, it is the perfect place to hold your special day. Our beautiful Georgian Manor House is an elegant venue, set in two acres of landscaped grounds. Our experienced Wedding Planners will help and guide you through every stage to ensure you and your guests have a truly unforgettable day. Hadley Park East, Telford, Shropshire TF1 6QJ Call us on 01952 677 269 or email us on Complimentary bedroom the night before your special day Exclusive to Your West Midlands Wedding Magazine SHROPSHIRE EST. 1761

Hold me close Alex and Dom celebrated their summer wedding at Alveston Manor Images courtesy of Jeff Land Photography Alex and Dom met in a bar in their early twenties. They already knew each other through family friends but became close when they started working together. “Dom claimed he had always fancied me,” laughs Alex. “He had a great sense of humour and made me laugh. There was quite a lot of flirting at work and a lot of will we/won’t we get together until he asked me on a proper date, and the rest is history.” Dom proposed during a trip to Edinburgh. “It was a surprise, although looking back, I think there were a lot of hints, like how interested everyone was in what we were doing and his mum paying for me to get my nails done,” shares the bride. “It was a complete shock, but we couldn’t have been happier.” Here the bride shares some of her favourite moments from their big day... REAL WEDDINGS 21

Alveston Manor is local to us and is a beautiful venue with lovely gardens and rooms. I liked how much was included and sorted for you. The staff were so accommodating, and Jen couldn’t do enough to help. She made sure everything ran smoothly and nothing was a silly question or too much to ask. We chose a three-tiered cake from Victoria’s Sponge Henley. It was made up of chocolate, lemon and Victoria sponge and was topped with figures of us and our dog, Otto. Our venue provided our three-course dinner with hot dogs and chips in the evening. Dom arrived at the venue in his dad’s black MG. We didn’t want a top table as it felt a little old-fashioned for us, so we opted for round tables so everyone could talk easily. Our centrepieces were gin bottles filled with lights that we placed on round mirrors. We decorated the space with a flower wall, drapes and love letters. We also hired a light-up dancefloor for the evening, which everyone loved. 22

My wedding dress was offthe-shoulder with illusion straps, a sheer, boned bodice and a flared skirt edged in Chantilly lace. I wore an extra-long veil, white sandals and a sparkly hair band. It was perfect, as I wanted a gown that was straight and simple with some lace detailing. We hired garden games such as giant Jenga and croquet to keep people busy and break the ice while the pictures were being taken. We felt a little nervous on the morning of the wedding, but we enjoyed our day and the staff at Alveston Manor could not have been more accommodating. In the evening, we had a wonderful band called Texan Peacocks perform and a photo booth with funny props, which the guests really enjoyed. The bridesmaids opted for pastel blue chiffon dresses with a criss-cross neckline. Dom chose a dark blue suit from Richard Paul Menswear with a white shirt, brown shoes, a flowery tie and a grey check waistcoat. The groomsmen wore the same design, but with different ties and waistcoats. REAL WEDDINGS 23

ALEX AND DOM’S CONTACTS Venue and catering, Alveston Manor, | Photographer, Jeff Land Photography, | Bride’s dress, WED2B, | Dress alterations, Alex Laycock Tailoring Weddings and More, | Groom’s suit, Richard Paul Menswear, | Bridesmaids’ dresses, Goddiva, | Mother-of-the-bride/groom’s dress, The Wardrobe Shop, Hair stylist, Hair by Jess, | Make-up artist, Skin Deep Beauty, | Cake, Victoria’s Sponge Henley, | Flowers, Heaven Scent Flowers, | Flower wall and décor, Louise Victoria Wedding & Event Hire, Light-up letters, bay trees, love ladder and postbox, Just For You Wedding Hire, | Band, Texan Peacocks, | DJ, Subsonic Disco, We had to wait 10 mins to start our first dance as we were waiting for Dom’s grandma to join us after changing her outfit. She got a standing ovation when she finally arrived! The bridesmaids and groomsmen were so helpful and the family speeches were lovely and very touching. Louise Victoria Wedding & Event Hire threw in a neon sign for free saying ‘happily ever after’ which was a nice touch. 24

Mult Award Winning Brida Boutiqu CENTRAL SQUARE, TELFORD TOWN CENTRE, TF3 4JL 0800 246 1968 NO WEDDING DRESS OVER £995 AND WITH FREE VEIL & GARTER BRIDESMAIDS & OCCASION WEAR Als fering PHOTOGRAPHY BRIDAL GRAZING BREAKFAST � CANAPÉS � BESPOKE WEDDING BREAKFAST SWEET TABLES � BESPOKE GRAZING TABLES � GRAZING CUPS � BUFFETS 07361 812807 @Westwoods_kitchen @Westwoods kitchen 5 star reviews because we are f di Westwoods Kitchen is built on Lee’s principles and uses only local suppliers who provide the finest and freshest ingredients and the best welfare possible. Westwoods Kitchen cater for most dietary requirements which means everyone is catered for. All food is freshly prepared and cooked fresh on the day of service. Westwoods magnificent platters are not only a mouth-watering feast but also a visual delight, and one your guests certainly won’t forget! Westwoods Kitchen is a family run business headed up by chef Lee Westwood. Westwoods Kitchen is based perfectly to cater for all of the the Midlands and beyond. WE ONLY COOK WITH PREMIUM INGREDIENTS

Wild about you Lisa and Kieron celebrated their big day at Safari Venues Images courtesy of Rebecca Hadley Photography 26

Lisa and Kieron met at school when they were 14. They were friends and went on many adventures together, including festivals and raves. “I moved to Newquay when I was 16, and Kieron used to visit,” says Lisa. “I went travelling in South Africa when I was 19, and Kieron e-mailed me every week. We finally got together after a trip to Amsterdam for my 21st birthday, and quickly bought our house and adopted three cats. Our relationship blossomed, and a few years later, Kieron proposed to me in Lapland at midnight on New Year’s Eve. It was perfect, like being in Narnia with sparkly snow and fireworks.” SETTING THE SCENE “Safari Venues, located on the grounds of the West Midland Safari Park, was the first place we took our son when he was just a few weeks old, and we’ve spent many family days there over the years,” shares the bride. “I remember walking around the park when I was overdue with our daughter and then taking the kids there every year as they’ve grown up. We loved the safari theme of Spring Grove House, and autumn is our favourite time of year, so it was perfect for us. “The décor was themed around sunflowers with blue thistles and autumn Chinese lanterns,” adds Lisa. “As you entered the magnificent entrance hall, we had scattered autumn leaves on the floor, and the team at Safari Venues were kind enough to let us use their pumpkins to dress the steps of the venue.” For their favours, the couple filled small glass bottles with different coloured liquors that tied in with their colour scheme. These doubled up as place names which were hand-written by their daughter. To continue the safari theme, they named their tables after animals. “The venue was preparing for their lantern festival, so there were gorgeous animal models decorating the lawn,” explains Lisa. “These made for unique photos and added a real Disney feel to the day. We continued the theme with our cake, which was three tiers with a plume of flowers in the centre. Cake Creations Redditch added mini-pumpkins to the base, and we chose giraffe figures dressed in wedding attire as the toppers.” DRESSED TO IMPRESS Lisa wore a Christina Wu dress from Daisy B Nell Bridal in Evesham. “It had the right balance between romantic and traditional and flattered my figure,” recalls the bride. “It sparkled so much under the lights, which I loved. Kieron chose a navy DJ Formal Wear suit with a yellow cravat which went beautifully with the flowers. Our wedding rings were made by Luke at; they were stunning and very unique. He also lent me some beautiful diamond earrings to wear on the day.” The bridesmaids opted for navy dresses that suited their figures and that they felt comfortable in. TIME TO CELEBRATE To keep their guests entertained, the couple hired a photo booth, which was a hit with their friends and family. “Everyone could walk around some of the attractions at the safari park when our photos were being taken,” remembers Lisa. “We also had an excellent DJ who kept the party going, and we provided goody bags for the children.” REAL WEDDINGS 27

MEMORABLE MOMENTS “Our wedding was perfect from start to finish; the venue was so romantic and unique, the weather was great, and it was wonderful having all the people we love in the same room,” says the bride. “Some of my favourite moments were walking down the amazing staircase and through the safari park carrying my amazing Jimmy Choo shoes and riding on the carousel. The photos on the lawn and the private photos of just us by the big tree at the back of the lawn were also a highlight. I loved it at the end of the night when it got a bit quieter, and we took over the decks and played some drum and bass, creating our own private rave. “My godmother/aunt Jayni’s speech was an amazing poem she’d written for us; it was funny, clever and perfect for the day,” continues Lisa. “Our photographer, Rebecca Hadley, made sure she captured so many amazing moments. She co-ordinated the day and made sure we had wonderful memories. She really went above and beyond. Our videographer, Al Kings Films, also made the perfect video for us.” TOP TIPS “Our top tip for any couple about to get married is less is more,” shares Lisa. “The day goes by so fast, so don’t try to pack too much in and leave some time to just enjoy the day. I’d also suggest having some comfortable shoes for later in the night. My shoes were amazing and cost a small fortune, but they were like torture devices after the photographs!” 29 REAL WEDDINGS

LISA AND KIERON’S CONTACTS Venue, Safari Venues, | Photographer, Rebecca Hadley Photography, Videographer, Al Kings Films, | Bride’s dress, Daisy B Nell Bridal, | Wedding rings and bride’s earrings,, | Bride’s shoes, Jimmy Choo, | Groom’s suit, DJ Formal Wear, | Hair and make-up artist, Nicola Honey Artistry, | Cake, Cake Creations Redditch, | Flowers, Bluebells Florist, Scan to view video 30

Capturing the moments that matter. 01384 877572 07711 128572 Helen Harp Hele B ley Harpist and Singer Coach Hire for your Wedding You’ve booked the venue, invited the guests and now you need to get them there! Johnsons Quality Coach Travel offers the perfect travel solution for your wedding! Call 01564 510 173 for a free no obligation quote! Why choose Johnsons? 9 Ideally located in the heart of the Midlands 9 We can meet all your transport needs for your wedding day, hen do or stag do! 9 Our large fleet offers a choice of 7 to 89 seats, including wheelchair accessible coaches! 9 Smart, friendly & professional drivers 9 Friends and family won’t need to worry about finding a parking space! 9 Preview of your coach before your wedding day 9 You’re welcome to decorate your wedding coach to add your personal touch! Whatever your wedding group size, contact Johnsons!

01926 283222 ▪ ▪ ▪ BunjiWedding ▪ bunji_wedding UNIT 8/9 RIGBY CLOSE HEATHCOTE INDUSTRIAL ESTATE WARWICK CV34 6TH With many designs to choose from, it’s easy to theme your wedding day online and over the phone at Bunji. We offer foil-stamped invitations, UV-printed invitations, screen-printed invitations and letterpress invitations. To meet our customer’s requests, we are constantly updating our product line, which now includes acrylic invitations, vellum paper invitations, wedding signs and speciality paper in various colours. Suited and Booted To book an appointment call 07429 570 655 or email BESPOKE WEDDING SERVICE FOR MEN Visit us: 71 High Street, Bromsgrove B61 8AQ AFFORDABLE 3-PIECE SUITS FOR YOUR SPECIAL DAY Carter Esquire YourWestMidsWedMag DEC22 195x141 STG3 AW.indd 1 24/11/2022 19:53

Fall in love Louise and Paul opted for a terracotta colour scheme for their autumnal nuptials at Elmbridge Farm Images courtesy of GingerJam Photography Louise and Paul locked eyes at a house party when they were both 21. “I already had plans that evening, so I was going to drop in at the end of my night, say happy birthday to my friend and then go home,” says Louise. “I was persuaded to stay and saw Paul from a distance. I thought he was attractive, but we didn’t speak until we ended up in a nightclub. We had a very brief conversation and I honestly didn’t think he liked me, but early the next morning, I received a message on Facebook from him. After a few weeks of talking, we had our first date at a German market in Birmingham.” Paul proposed in a small village in Somerset called Dulverton. The couple had visited two years before while they were on holiday with Paul’s family, so he knew the area. “We were away with Louise’s family at the time, so I needed to surgically engineer a day for just the two of us,” shares the groom. “We had a coffee in Dulverto before setting off on the same walk we had done before. I remember feeling mischievous that I knew, and she didn’t whilst we sat. I stopped at a wooden gate which had an impressive view. My excuse was that I needed a drink which allowed me to fumble in my rucksack for longer than I wanted to find the ring. Luckily, she was admiring the view and when she turned around, I was on one knee. My biggest worry was that the dog might somehow get involved at the most inopportune moment, but maybe he knew that he needed to give me a few minutes of peace. She asked me to propose again so she could concentrate and remember it after being in so much shock the first time around. We cried, kissed and hugged and carved our initials in the wooden gate to give us a reason to return.” Here Louise shares some of her favourite moments from their big day... REAL WEDDINGS 33