Your West Midlands Wedding - December/January 2023/2024 (Issue 89)

WIN! A honeymoon in Rhodes Tie the knot in a winter wonderland Trend ALERT! The latest wedding dress styles All eyes ON YOU Expert beauty advice A touch of frost DEC 23/JAN 24 £3.55 Stunning real weddings Dreamy ROMANCE WEST MIDLANDSWEDDING

Nestled in the beauty of Shropshire’s rolling countryside, the Apley Estate proudly presents Stockton house, our stunning 18th century grade II listed venue. With it’s stylish Georgian design, walled garden dining room, elegant bar and spacious terrace, it has been lovingly restored with guest comfort in mind. 01952 730894 stockton_house STOCKTON HOUSE NORTON SHIFNAL SHROPSHIRE TF11 9EF WHAT’S INCLUDED • Exclusive use of the whole house and grounds including seven luxurious bedrooms • A breath-taking wedding suite • Civil ceremony facilities for both indoor and outdoor weddings • Full use of our walled garden dining room • A complimentary menu tasting with your own personal chef • Breakfast the next day for the happy couple • Tables, chairs and linen laid to your chosen wedding breakfast floor plan • Crockery, cutlery, tableware and glassware • A dedicated wedding planner Your perfect day — AT STOCKTON HOUSE —

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 53 HOT TOPIC Our experts answer your questions 93 COMPETITION Win a mini-moon in Rhodes worth £1,300 CONTENTS DECEMBER/JANUARY 2023/2024 FEATURES 43 PLANNING SOS How to create your dream wedding 49 AS PRETTY AS A FLOWER A group of local suppliers worked together to create a soft, floral theme for this styled shoot at Church Farm Anslow 55 INTIMATE ROMANCE A team of talented suppliers worked together to create this beautiful styled shoot at the Anglican Chapel 65 ALL EYES ON YOU Tips to ensure you look your best on the big day On the cover... This issue’s cover is sponsored by Alveston Manor ( It’s from Rebecca and Bradley’s June 2023 wedding, which was captured by Emily Jayne Weddings ( To see more from their wedding, turn to page 25. 55 VENUES 15 SPOTLIGHT ON HEREFORDSHIRE, WORCESTERSHIRE & SHROPSHIRE Discover some of the best venues in the area 19 WALKING IN A WINTER WONDERLAND Tie the knot in a gorgeous venue perfect for a festive celebration 3

REAL WEDDINGS 25 ONCE UPON A TIME Rebecca knew instantly that Bradley was her prince charming 30 PERFECT PITCH Me’sha and Darren met when he auditioned to be the drummer in her band 37 WE BELONG TOGETHER Lauren and Jon incorporated their love of sage and champagne into their big-day styling at Royle Forest Weddings FASHION & BEAUTY 58 FASHION FOCUS The latest bridal fashion news, buys and launches 59 IN VOGUE These model looks showcase the hottest bridal trends for 2024, with delicate details, texture takeovers and playful shorter styles 70 PARTY PIECES Dazzle at a Christmas or winter wedding in stunning silver and crystal accessories 71 A TOUCH OF COLOUR Winter isn’t about wearing a white wedding dress, pick a fruit-pastel inspired shade or something a little bolder 74 BEAUTY BUZZ Get the look with the latest must-haves 76 BEAUTY QUEEN We chat to Hannah Martin about her new book, Makeup, and all things bridal beauty 78 WELL GROUNDED If wedding planning stress is getting the better of you, take this time-out with Ground Wellbeing’s Peigin Crowley 80 FASHION & BEAUTY Q&A Local professionals solve your problems 59 HONEYMOONS 86 HONEYMOON NEWS Our travel editor reveals the newest openings and honeymoon essentials 88 THE ITALIAN DREAM Discover the delights of Sardinia with a stay at the impressive Forte Village 90 AN ICONIC ISLAND A honeymooners’ paradise, Grand Palladium Hotels & Resorts in Montego Bay have it all 92 WHAT A TREAT! The stylish Retreat at Elcot Park is country-house comfort at its best GROOMS 82 GROOMS’ NEWS The latest best buys and product launches 83 MANE ATTRACTION Influencer Eyal Booker and his brother Ariel reveal their top hair care tips for grooms-to-be 84 DRESSED TO KILL Channel your inner James Bond with these black-tie options for the groom-to-be 86 25 37 30 4

HARVEY NICHOLS, 65 WHARFSIDE ST, MAILBOX, BIRMINGHAM B1 1RE INFO@THEWEDDING-CLUB.CO.UK WWW.THEWEDDING-CLUB.CO.UK @TheWedding_Club theweddingclubuk theweddingclub theweddingclubofficial 0121 440 8276 theweddingclubofficial theweddingclubofficial theweddingclubofficial

Read all about the latest openings and honeymoon destinations for couples post-vows. 86 93 WINA romantic break in Rhodes, Greece, worth £1,300. Just like that, it’s the end of another year. I don’t know about you, but the older I get, the quicker time seems to fly by. It seems like only yesterday that I was writing about my upcoming wedding, and here we are over a year later. If you’ve recently become engaged and the wedding feels like it’s forever away, trust me, it will be here before you know it. The best piece of advice I can offer is to enjoy the planning process and celebrate the small things. If you’ve said yes to the dress or booked that special venue that you’ve had your eye on, take the time to celebrate – go out on a date, treat yourselves, and make a scrapbook of those key moments. Once the wedding is over, you’ll love having those memories to look back on. It’s been wonderful seeing the wedding industry flourish again this year. I’ve loved seeing your nuptials, businesses beginning to return to normal, and new companies opening their doors, so to celebrate and end the year with a bang, we’ve gone all out with an issue full of must-see venues, photography and wedding dresses. Happy planning! Meliss Melissa Cullen, Senior Editor Festiv chee 59Check out the hottest bridal trends for 2024, with delicate details, texture takeovers, and playful shorter styles. 65 With trends constantly changing and the added pressure of looking your best, we understand how overwhelming the wedding planning process can be. To help make things a bit easier, we’ve asked suppliers for their top beauty tips. 43We know how stressful planning a wedding can be, so to help, we’ve asked local experts for their advice. 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 @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 ADVERTISING Account Manager Kirsty Brindley | 01376 538 490

15 30 25 49 37 Me’sha and Darren are both musicians who met when she was performing her original music at Shepherds Bush Cricket Club. Years later, Darren proposed on New Year’s Eve while they were watching TV and welcoming in the New Year. Looking for the perfect venue for your wedding? Check out our Herefordshire, Worcestershire and Shropshire venues feature for heaps of inspiration. Rebecca and Bradley met in March 2020, but after five dates, lockdown hit, and they spent the next few months talking via FaceTime, and at that point, they knew they were meant to be. A team of local suppliers created a soft, floral theme for this styled shoot to highlight the natural charm of a tipi while adding an element of romance and elegance. Lauren and Jon met on a train in 2013 and spoke for a few months before the relationship fizzled out. They met again three years later at a train station, went for drinks, and the rest is history. 55 The Grade II-listed Anglican Chapel was built in 1847 using Hartshill stone in a Norman style. The chapel has undergone extensive restoration and is now beautifully equipped with underfloor heating, bronze casement double glazing, and all the facilities to accommodate a range of events, meetings, and ceremonies. To highlight its beauty, a team of local suppliers worked together to create this beautiful styled shoot. EDITOR’S LETTER 7

All the latest from around the West Midlands DATE FOR THE DIARY Alrewas Hayes, a stunning wedding venue in Staffordshire, is hosting an open day on Sunday 21st January 2024. The historic country estate will be opening its doors for couples to see the elegantly dressed wedding spaces and meet the friendly and knowledgeable wedding and events team. Enjoy a glass of fizz upon arrival and talk all things wedding with a handpicked selection of talented suppliers. With full access to the venue and grounds, you can take a tour and begin picturing your dream wedding day. Doors open from 1pm to 4pm and entry is free of charge. Please register at to get your allotted time slot. If you’re hosting your wedding at Alrewas Hayes and would like to come back and visit the venue that captured your heart, the team has allocated the time slot of 12pm-1pm for you. If you would like to attend, please email To find out more about Alrewas Hayes, visit NEW AND IMPROVED Often described as one of Worcestershire’s best-kept secrets, Hagley Hall has recently partnered with Fews, an awardwinning marquee company, to launch its new breathtaking structure for Summer 2024 and 2025 called The Orangery. Set within 350 acres of breathtaking parkland, the Hall itself dates back to the 18th century and is considered to be one of the last great Palladian mansion houses, steeped in history and supreme architecture. Home to the Lyttelton family for more than 250 years, the opulent stately home is available for exclusive use and offers panoramic views of the enchanting estate, including St. John’s Church and Deer Park, which are situated within the grounds. Hosting your wedding at Hagley Hall guarantees undivided attention and service from the entire team. Between them, they have more than 40 years of experience in organising and managing events, so you can relax in the knowledge that you will always have a safe pair of hands to guide you throughout your wedding journey. Hagley Hall has a dedicated catering team that is passionate about creating fantastic food and bespoke menus to suit every guest. They use local, high-quality, seasonal produce, and many of the ingredients are home-grown and sourced from the estate. Discover more at Nearlywed NEWS BEAUTY QUEEN Townhouse, one of the UK’s leading luxury nail care brands, has launched a new store in Birmingham. Nestled in the heart of the city, just across the road from Hotel du Vin and a 30-second walk from Cathedral Square, Townhouse Birmingham is set to become a go-to nail care destination for flawless nails. To celebrate the opening, the salon hosted a launch party with drinks, delicious canapés, handcrafted personalised bracelets and gift bags. For more information, visit LOCAL NEWS 9

AWARD-WINNING Stockton House, situated in the beautiful Shropshire countryside, received the accolade of ‘Best Venue (Other) in the West Midlands’ at the Wedding Industry Awards, an evening that celebrates suppliers across the wedding industry. Stockton House and the dedicated team will now go on to compete in the national finals, which take place in London in January 2024. Owned and run by the estate, the Georgian Grade II-listed venue opened its doors in August 2022 and has had a successful first year. There are two other tenant businesses on the Apley Estate, Brides View at Astol and Emmie Hair, based in the Estates Farm Shop courtyard, who have also been nominated as regional finalists. Venue manager Amy Applegarth commented: “We are absolutely thrilled to be announced as regional winners at The Wedding Industry Awards. We only opened our doors in August 2022, and to win such a huge accolade like this is amazing. We are striving to offer our couples a wedding weekend experience with very few limitations. I believe our personal and dedicated approach is what sets us apart while always providing a warm welcome. We’re now looking forward to showcasing our venue at the National Finals in January.” Head over to for more information. DRINK IT ALL IN Couples looking for something special for their guests will love Warwickshire Gin Company’s miniature spirits, which make the perfect table favours. Great conversation starters, the inspiration behind the award-winning distillery’s collection comes from a desire to capture a moment in history, develop flavours to fully represent the county’s own unique story, and bring the range of hand-crafted flavours to life. The new special-edition rums are among those also now available in 5-cl servings, with the added option of rope-handled gift bags and tonics or even handmade chocolates infused with their own gin or rum. The rum collection is inspired by Warwickshire’s own legendary boxing champion, Randolph Turpin, who earned himself the nickname Leamington Licker. The distillery also offers visitor experiences, including gin tastings, cocktails at the distillery, afternoon gin and tea, and a range of build-your-own branded gift bundles. Visit for more information. NEW VENUE ALERT! Plans to transform a former antiques centre into an exciting new luxury wedding venue in the West Midlands have been unveiled by property consultants Burley Browne. Blackbrook Barns, prominently located between Lichfield and Sutton Coldfield, is set to be re-imagined by its new owners as a high-class wedding venue set within beautiful rural surroundings against the backdrop of a Grade-II-listed hall and outbuildings. The venue will be able to accommodate wedding ceremonies and all the subsequent celebrations. The development will also boast eight retail units, which are ideally suited to retailers and businesses associated with the wedding and wider hospitality sectors. David Hemming, the joint managing director of Burley Browne, said: “The redevelopment of Blackbrook Barns offers some really exciting opportunities for retailers operating in the weddings sector. Our client will transform the current site into a fantastic new luxury wedding venue that will be surrounded by high-quality shops. It will provide couples getting married in the region with superb new facilities in an extremely convenient location.” Check out for more information. A HISTORIC SETTING Weston Hall is a magnificent Grade II* listed building nestled in the heart of the Staffordshire countryside. Encompassing four large pitched roofs, a striking exterior, and a mixture of modern and Elizabethan features, the venue has several beautiful wedding spaces to choose from. The Shrewsbury Suite’s impressive countryside views and original mullioned windows allow for a magical backdrop for an enchanting ceremony of up to 110 guests. On the other hand, the Westminster Suite provides elegance and charm with its oak beams and stone fireplaces. Boasting a private bar and custom-made dancefloor, The Westminster Suite is the ideal setting for up to 150 loved ones to enjoy the celebrations. Weston Hall is hosting an open day on 13th and 14th January, 2024, from 11am to 4pm. This is the perfect chance to see the venue for yourself and meet the wonderful team. To find out more about the venue, visit or call 01889 271 082. 10

Enigma studios brings you the first of its kind, a mobile tattoo studio for your wedding reception! For a free quote contact us today! The couple and guests can choose tattoos and take home the most unique wedding favour - A permanent memory of the special day! 01242 805786 Say ‘I do’ to wedding insurance Financial protection for weddings up to £50,000 Cancellation and rearrangement Financial failure of wedding services suppliers £2m personal liability included as standard Additional cover for Public Liability, Covid-19, overseas Weddings, Marquee and more Prices from just £43.99 one-off payment Policy Terms and Conditions apply. Wedinsure is a trading name of Insuremore Ltd. Registered Office: 282 Leigh Rd, Leigh on Sea, Essex SS9 1BW. Registered in England No. 10525133. Insuremore Ltd are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority No. 824996.

We can create a spectacular displays to your requirements for amazing fireworks to celebrate your big day LOW NOISE FIREWORKS TRADITIONAL FIREWORKS PYROMUSICAL DISPLAYS AND MORE... Call: 0800 118 2921 or email: /ShinePhotographyStaffs /ShinePhotographyStaffs Capturing Moments That Matter With eight years of expertise in creating unforgettable weddings, we’ll take care of every detail to ensure your special day is nothing short of perfect. Contact us to make your wedding vision a reality. EFFORTLESSLY STYLED UNFORGETTABLE WEDDINGS Are you planning the wedding of your dreams but feeling overwhelmed by the endless to-do list? Let our experienced wedding event styling team help you bring your vision to life. 07854 116116 Kara-Mia Venue Styling @karamiavenuestyling From selecting the finest décor to executing flawless design, we’ve got you covered. Sit back, relax and enjoy every minute of your wedding day while we handle the event décor.

Take advantage of these gorgeous giveaways and fab offers WIN A PRIVATE PARTY BUS WORTH £1,000 That Gin Company, based in Warwick, is offering one lucky reader a private bus cocktail tour worth up to £1,000 – perfect for hen and stag parties or as a unique way to transfer your guests to the wedding reception. The Cocktail Tours are the latest acquisition of That Gin Company, which also owns That Gin & Cocktail Bar in Warwick. The converted double-decker Cocktail Tours Bus can host up to 50 guests and features state-of-the-art LED lighting, a sound system, a DJ booth, as well as a bar stocked with a wide range of alcoholic drinks, including cocktails and mocktails, spirits, beers, wine, and fizz. Guests can choose from That Gin Company’s huge range of made-to-order cocktails and gin recipes, as well as their signature favourites. The winner will have a choice of two packages, each worth £1,000. The first package offers exclusive use of the bus for one hour and includes two premium drinks per guest, with a paid bar option after the first hour. Based on a party size of 50 guests at £19.95 per person. The second package is based on a party size of 25 guests at £39.95 per person. You will receive exclusive use of the Cocktail Tours Bus for two hours, including a drive of up to 30 miles and three premium drinks per guest. To be in with a chance to win this fantastic prize, enter at Terms and conditions apply; please visit our website for details. For more information about The Cocktail Tours, visit WIN TWO STRIKING ACCURIST WATCHES WORTH UP TO £538! County Wedding Magazines has teamed up with British heritage watch brand Accurist to offer readers the chance to win this ultimate prize package for nearlyweds. Brides-to-be have the choice of a stunning set from Accurist and Sarah Alexander collaboration ( Priced from £209 to £289. This curation of nine unique giftsets, combines Sarah Alexander jewellery with Accurists best-selling, vintage-inspired Rectangle and Jewellery collections. All gift sets have been hand curated to showcase a coordinated look, featuring bangles, bracelets, earrings and necklaces with a wide variety of unique gemstones such as Rose Quartz, Mother of Pearl and Blue Kyanite − winners will be hard-pressed to choose! Grooms-to-be have the tough choice of selecting a dashing watch from one of Accurists men’s collection ( Priced from £119 to £249. Whether you go for a 1950s-inspired ‘Classic’ collection or the bold design of its ‘70s bestseller ‘Origin’ collection, all of Accurists’ collections have taken inspiration from 77 years of British watchmaking. Each watch comes with quick-release interchangeable straps, a five-year extended warranty and unique features in each collection. What’s more, whether you require the above two sets, or two brides or grooms, both come presented in Accurists watch roll gift packaging and can be personalised with engraving on the case back − perfect for the happy day. Check out Enter online via the website by 31st January, 2024. Terms and conditions apply. Freebies& OFFERS FREEBIES & OFFERS 13

www. @ esugarpeony Custom Wedding Cake Designer Wedding C kies, Individual Cakes & De ert Tables Image: Stu Ganderton Avoncroft Museum of Historic Buildings, Stoke Heath, Bromsgrove, B60 4JR T: 01527 831 363 E: Avoncroft Museum of Historic Buildings with its 19 acres of grounds, historic buildings and views over the Worcestershire countryside, is truly a beautiful, unique and romantic setting for your wedding. Say ‘I do’ in the majestic New Guesten Hall with its beautifully detailed medieval roof which was originally part of Worcester Cathedral.

THE FIRS WEDDING & EVENTS, B60 4AR 07866 473 332 | The Firs Wedding & Events is nestled within 22 acres of picturesque Worcestershire countryside and is surrounded by secluded and intimate barns, delightful gardens and far-reaching views. Beautifully refurbished and stylishly appointed, the Grade II-listed Georgian farmhouse boasts a secluded Honeymoon Cottage and a luxury two-bedroom cottage with views of the lake. There’s also glamping bell tents and on-site camping, which can be added as an option for your guests with a second-day extension if you’re looking for a weekend-long celebration. Celebrate in style Weddings take place in the three big hat Nordic tipis, which are situated opposite a small lake with a stunning fountain. Your big day can be booked on an exclusive use basis from April through to September. The space seats around 150 friends and family, depending on the configuration. These tipis are a blank canvas for you to dress to your desired taste for your special day. The tipi includes fairylights, up-lighters, seating and tables, a dancefloor, disco ball, sound system, a cake table, a firepit, an on-site bar, overnight parking, and much more. We love... All weddings come with a full planning service, which includes on-site meetings, supplier contacts, a timetable and layout for the day, morning set-up, and on-the-day coordination to help make sure everything runs smoothly. Spotlight on... Venues in Herefordshire, Worcestershire and Shropshire 15 LOCAL VENUES

BROMWICH PARK FARM WEDDINGS, SY11 4JQ 07808 297 161 | Bromwich Park Farm Weddings is a former dairy farm situated in the heart of the Shropshire countryside. Made up of traditional single-story red brick farm buildings adorned with climbing ivy and vines, the property has a paved courtyard reception area next to the large 1930s-style farmhouse. Surrounded by open green fields, including a camping field and glamping orchard, the venue feels like a peaceful oasis but is only 10 minutes from Oswestry Town. Celebrate in style The venue is licensed for ceremonies outside in the courtyard, on the Promise Knoll in front of the farm and inside the Ceremony Stables. Receptions take place in The Cow Barn, a large rustic brick barn with rich red walls, quirky wood panelling, raw iron beams, and a bar made from chunky oak bookcases. This area can accommodate up to 250 of your friends and family. Late-night dancing happens in the Milking Parlour, a bohemian, festival-style lounge decorated with an eclectic selection of original farm fittings, old furniture, lamps, and fairylights. We love... The Granary Cottage, at the heart of the farm, is available on the night of the wedding. 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 venues. Couples can expect a grand and special setting with a team that is passionate about making celebrations unforgettable. Celebrate in style Set within the scenic grounds, Spring Grove House is a Georgian manor that has built its well-deserved reputation on impeccable service, luxury menu selections, and attention to detail. 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 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, a dancefloor, and cosy alcoves, which can be hired as part of Spring Grove House or separately. We love... Safari Venues offers bespoke wedding packages and the opportunity to work directly with the on-site chefs to create your dream menu. 16

AVONCROFT MUSEUM OF HISTORIC BUILDINGS, B60 4JR 01527 831 363 | Situated in the picturesque Worcestershire countryside, Avoncroft Museum of Historic Buildings is surrounded by character-filled grounds and stunning wedding spaces perfect for tying the knot. Celebrate in style New Guesten Hall is a large and flexible space located near the museum’s entrance. Boasting a 14th-century roof that was originally part of Worcester Cathedral’s reception hall, the space has beautifully detailed Medieval carpentry and room for 120 guests for the ceremony and wedding breakfast. It can be expanded to accommodate an extra 60 loved ones for the evening reception. Surrounding New Guesten Hall is a manicured lawn lined with trees and historical buildings, which is the ideal area for couples wanting to mingle and entertain their guests. The 19 acres of grounds provide a stunning backdrop for wedding photographs, with the Windmill, Threshing Barn, and Telephone Kiosk collections being favourites with couples. We love... The Bromsgrove Society of Model Engineers Railway is available to hire, which adds a quirky element to your big-day pictures. KARMA SALFORD HALL, WR11 8UT 01386 871 300 | Karma Salford Hall is a Grade I listed manor house that has retained its Tudor charm, boasting stained-glass windows, a bell tower, and 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 of your loved ones for the service, and the Tudor Court Lawn, which has room for 60. Large receptions are held in the marquee, which can hold 100 of your friends and family. Intimate celebrations take place in either the Tempest Restaurant, which can hold 40 of your 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. LOCAL VENUES 17

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 HANDCRAFTED PIZZAS, HASSLE FREE SERVICE & picture-perfect moments +44 (0)7399 401648 Experience the ultimate blend of rustic charm and contemporary flavours with our mobile pizzeria from our handconverted horse trailer - as seen on TV. Let us elevate your wedding with a fusion of vintage allure and exceptional taste. Secure your date with us now and let the festivities begin. “From start to nish, the lads were fab” “ e most delicious pizzas” “ e team were incredible and nothing was too much trouble” “Served amazing pizzas to our wedding guests without any drama and le no mess”

Walking in a winter wonderland Tie the knot in a venue perfect for a festive celebration HAGLEY HALL, DY9 9LG 01562 887 290 | Often described as one of Worcestershire’s best-kept secrets, Hagley Hall dates back to the 18th century and is one of the last great Palladian mansion houses. Steeped in history and architecture, the property has been home to the Lyttelton family for over 250 years and is available for private hire. The opulent stately home is nestled within 350 acres of landscaped parkland and offers impressive views of the estate. Celebrate in style New for 2024 and 2025 is The Orangery, which can hold up to 450 guests. The Orangery will be situated within the landscaped grounds, offering panoramic views of the Hall, St. John’s Church, and Deer Park. For larger occasions of up to 1,000 guests, there is a choice of two marquee sites, or for smaller parties of up to 120 loved ones, the grand and exquisite State Rooms are perfect for your celebrations. We love... Hagley Hall has a dedicated head chef and catering team that are passionate about creating fantastic food and bespoke menus to suit every guest. They use local, seasonal produce, and many of the ingredients are home-grown and sourced from the estate. THE TELFORD HOTEL, SPA & GOLF RESORT, TF7 4DT 01952 429 977 | The Telford Hotel, Spa & Golf Resort is nestled within 170-acres of picturesque grounds in Shropshire. The hotel has plenty of places to capture those all-important photographs, including the manicured Darby Lawn, the meticulously kept 18-hole golf course, and the dramatic Ironbridge Gorge. For a truly timeless experience, you can book exclusive use of Darby House. The one-time residence of Abraham Darby, designer of Ironbridge, offers a slice of authenticity in the heart of the Shropshire countryside. Home to seven bedrooms filled with period features and a relaxing 17th-century lounge. Celebrate in style The contemporary wedding venue fits up to 200 of your friends and family. The team will work with you to ensure the space fits your needs; for example, you could swap neutral tones for a bespoke palette for the chair covers, table covers, and bows at no extra cost. We love... With food and drink served by an experienced team and over 100 inviting rooms, The Telford Hotel supplies all the facilities you need to entertain your loved ones and give them a warm bed for the night. The QHotels Collection The QHotels Collection WINTER WONDERLAND VENUES 19

STOCKTON HOUSE, TF11 9EF 01952 730 894 | Stockton House is a beautiful Grade II* listed building nestled in 8,500 acres of Shropshire countryside on the Apley Estate. Stockton has been newly renovated, transforming what once was a family home into a boutique wedding venue. The 18th-century building is full of history, and during the renovation, the team wanted to preserve the original features and architecture the house has to offer and pay homage to the history and heritage this amazing house has. Celebrate in style St. Chad’s Church is an 11th-century church, just a short walk from Stockton House. With stunning architecture and historic features, St. Chads is perfect for religious ceremonies or blessings. The Walled Garden Dining Room is a purpose-built 100-seater secret dining space. This incredible open-plan room is licensed for civil ceremonies and can host your wedding breakfast and evening party. The building has four and a half-metre-high walls and, to your guests, looks like a secret garden. When you open the grand, double doors, you will be transported into a large open space with a double curved ceiling, chandeliers, and open windows to the gardens and grounds at the back of the house. Exchange your vows outside underneath the tree canopy in The Victorian Turning House. Your guests will take their seats on the lawn and watch you say your vows, surrounded by striking views. We love... The intimate vaulted cellar is available for you and your wedding party during your stay. The team can host an exclusive tasting where you will select champagne and wines. Served alongside delicious canapés or cheese board selections, this tasting experience can be a magical addition to the night before your wedding day or before you retire to one of the seven luxuriously designed bedrooms in the main house. STRATFORD MANOR HOTEL, CV37 0PY 01789 731 173 | Stratford Manor Hotel is a spacious 104-bedroom venue with newly refurbished rooms in the peaceful Warwickshire countryside. The modern retreat in the heart of Shakespeare Country is just three miles from Stratford-upon-Avon and boasts modern surroundings, extensive facilities, and an expert team who care passionately about planning your occasion perfectly from start to finish. The contemporary design and facilities at the Stratford Manor Hotel make it a fantastic place for unforgettable celebrations. From romantic and intimate to large and contemporary, the hotel has three rooms for you to choose from. Celebrate in style The largest event space, The Stratford Suite, has an adjacent bar, high ceilings, and large windows. The suite can hold up to 250 of your guests for a banquet or 220 with a dancefloor and disco. Doors lead out onto a terrace area, providing the perfect setting for reception drinks and canapés or, if the weather permits, a delicious barbecue. Salmon & Avon is ideal for more intimate celebrations or can be used as one larger room for up to 70 of your loved ones. The Leamington has a maximum capacity of 100 friends and family, an abundance of natural daylight, and an adjacent bar. We love... At the Stratford Manor Hotel, a dedicated team of chefs will create a mouth-watering selection of food for you and your guests. From delicious canapés to sumptuous dining, they combine contemporary cuisine with familiar home comforts. All dishes are made with the best possible ingredients and tailored to your requirements. The QHotels Collection The QHotels Collection 20

YOUR perfect VENUE IS WAITING JUST for you Considered Worcestershire’s best kept secret is our 18th century Palladian mansion, set in 350 acres of spectacular landscaped parkland, in which we are an exclusive and luxurious wedding venue. We would be honoured to host your upcoming ceremony, reception and party and work with you to bring your inspiration to life at Hagley Hall. Our highly experienced and dedicated team would love to meet and discuss your special day. We can host any size of occasion either within our opulent State Rooms or outdoors in our beautiful grounds, within a marquee or tipi structure. To book an appointment to view or to receive a copy of our wedding brochure: T: 01562 887290 | E: | | The Orangery at Hagley Hall New for Summer 2024 and 2025 Panoramic views for up to 450 guests Let us set the scene for your wedding at Ettington Park, a magnificent Neo-Gothic mansion surrounded by 40 acres of stunning parkland, with the River Stour meandering its way through the estate. Blend this with our unique contemporary style, modern British food and impeccable service, and you have the ultimate venue for your special day. Whether you are planning a classic wedding or something a little different, we will help tailor a unique wedding day that celebrates you. For wedding showcase dates throughout the year along with packages and exclusive use options, please visit our website. 01789 450123 YOUR SPECIAL DAY ETTINGTON PARK HOTEL STRATFORD-UPON-AVON, WARWICKSHIRE

Photography: R Yardley For further details please email: helen.winter@lich or tel: 01543 309850 / 01543 250011 BORE STREET | LICHFIELD | STAFFORDSHIRE | WS13 6LX | www.lich Lich eld Guildhall is located in the heart of the historic City of Lich eld, Sta ordshire. is wonderful Grade II listed building is over 600 years old and steeped in history. e magni cent main hall is oak-panelled with a high beamed roof and large stained-glass window. e Guildhall has seen considerable improvement over the past few years including major renovations of the main hall so the venue now boasts excellent, modern facilities. e two largest rooms are licensed for Wedding Ceremonies and ideal for receptions too. ere are also two smaller rooms available for hire, all of which are fully accessible. Close to local transport links and car parks the venue is hired at an hourly rate leaving you free to make your own arrangements for caterers etc so you can tailor make your own package. e maximum capacity in the Main Guildhall is 130. Weddings A T LICHFIELD GUILDHALL VENUE FOR HIRE ROOMS CATERING UP TO 300 GUESTS No matter the occasion - be it wedding, birthday, baby shower, work party or any other special event, our versatile venue located in Sandwell has everything you need to ensure an unforgettable experience. 2 rooms available for hire Full functioning bar in both rooms Packages or dry hire available Car park spaces available Newly renovated space Perfect for private or corporate events Competitive pricing Your event! Our expertise! Our dedicated team customises every detail of your event, from planning to execution, surpassing your expectations and turning your visions into reality. To see more of our events space follow us on Instagram. | 07888 369 241 | LUXOR EVENTS VENUE 152 REDDAL HILL ROAD CRADLEY HEATH B64 5JJ Contact us via 07888 369 241 or RECENTLY FULLY REFURBISHED This brand new venue opened in June 2023

THE BELFRY HOTEL & RESORT, B76 9PR 01675 238 600 | The Belfry Hotel & Resort is situated within 550 acres of rolling countryside on the outskirts of Sutton Coldfield. There are plenty of outdoor spaces to explore, including three world-famous golf courses, a terrace, lakes, majestic fairways, and water features that look fabulous in photographs. The manor house, the oldest part of the building, has heaps of character and charm. While the lobby, with its imposing fireplace, is flooded with natural light and leads to the elegant Brabazon Bar, which has a magnificent oval central bar, plush seating, and a glass canopy. Home to 319 bedrooms and suites, the hotel oozes style and elegance by combining luxury and grandeur with a contemporary design while also retaining its charm and heritage. Celebrate in style The Woodland Suite is an exclusively contained space with room for 410 of your friends and family for the ceremony. Situated on the ground floor in the heart of the resort is the Warwick Suite. Boasting a dedicated bar facility, glittering chandeliers, and doors that open onto the courtyard, the room can hold up to 310 loved ones for the vows. The Wishaw Suite overlooks the famous 10th hole of the Brabazon Golf Course and has high ceilings, lots of natural light, a private bar, and a maximum capacity of 200 nearest and dearest for the service. Alternatively, the Lichfield Suite is a versatile room featuring lounge areas and an adjoining room with a dedicated bar. It extends onto the Lichfield Lawn, where 160 people can make the most of the summer weather and watch you say ‘I do’. The Sutton Suite leads onto an outdoor patio and has its own bar facility, wood-panelled walls, and space for 120 of your friends and family for the ceremony. Featuring panoramic views, The Ryder Room boasts a seating and bar area, a spiral staircase, floor-to-ceiling windows, high ceilings, and room for 100 guests for the service. We love... When booking The Belfry Hotel & Resort, you will receive a menu tasting, a personalised cake knife gift set, one-night accommodation in the Signature Suite, a bottle of champagne on arrival, and an anniversary dinner. CHEYLESMORE MANOR HOUSE, CV1 2ND 02476 833 141 | cheylesmoremanorceremonysuite Cheylesmore Manor House is the remnant of a Medieval royal palace in Coventry city centre. The magnificent timber building is a key piece of Coventry’s rich and important heritage. Previously the only unfortified royal palace outside of London, Cheylesmore Manor House is now used as a ceremony venue. The manor is believed to have been built for the Earl of Arundel in 1237. By 1320, it had passed to Queen Isabella, wife of Edward II, along with the lavish Cheylesmore Park that surrounded it. Her grandson Edward, the Black Prince, took possession of it after her. The building we know today is, in fact, only the gatehouse and parts of two cross wings of the original manor house. Celebrate in style The property houses three ceremony rooms: the Queen Isabella Room, the Black Prince Room, and the Library Room. The Black Prince Room retains a wealth of original features, including a magnificent vaulted beamed ceiling with an impressive stone fireplace, and is furnished to a high standard with Medieval chandeliers. Once the ceremony is over, your guests will exit from the room via a winding staircase down to a huge oak door leading into a large stone-flagged courtyard, where a section of the city wall still remains. A small wooden bridge within the courtyard provides delightful opportunities for photographs and memories of the special day. This is the largest of the manor’s ceremony rooms, accommodating 50 people. The Queen Isabella Room, with its beautiful beams, is tastefully furnished to a high standard. The room accommodates up to 20 people, including the two of you and your witnesses, with direct access into the room from the archway outside. Alternatively, the Library Room can hold up to 10 people, including you and your witnesses. The room is on the ground floor of the manor house, making it accessible for wheelchair users. We love... The venue’s rich history and stunning ceremony spaces. 23 WINTER WONDERLAND VENUES

A beautiful manor house set in stunning grounds, Alveston Manor Hotel & Spa in Stratford-upon-Avon offers luxury, elegance and a real sense of history. With 16th Century origins, the hotel has retained many original features such as oak panelling, stained glass windows and an Elizabethan staircase. Licensed for wedding ceremonies of up to 120 guests, Alveston Manor Hotel & Spa makes the perfect setting for your special day. Alveston Manor Hotel & Spa, Clopton Bridge, Stratford upon Avon, CV37 7HP • 01789 205 478 Find us on: To book an appointment or for more info, scan the QR code

Once upon A TIME Rebecca knew instantly that Bradley was her prince charming Images courtesy of Emily Jayne Weddings Rebecca and Bradley met in March 2020 and had an instant connection. “After five dates, lockdown hit,” says Rebecca. “We spent three months talking via FaceTime, and at that point, we knew if we could get through lockdown, we could get through anything. Straight after the restrictions eased, we went house hunting and nine months later, we finally managed to move in together! “In October 2021, we went to Kos, Greece, for a holiday, and Bradley turned to me and told me he had a gift for me,” continues Rebecca. “He looked into my eyes, got down on one knee, and asked me, while trying to hold back the tears, if I would marry him. I obviously said yes. I couldn’t believe it; my dream had finally come true.” Read on to see some of Rebecca’s favourite moments from their big day... 25 REAL WEDDINGS

To decorate the space, we chose light-up ceiling drapes and a dancefloor. We loved how Alveston Manor looked, and the main room where we got married was stunning. The décor throughout was wonderful, especially the stained-glass windows and beams. Our tables tied in with our fairytale theme and showed my love of Disney. Our cake was a beautiful white design from Compton and Kennedy. It had petals falling down in various colours and white Mickey Mouse silhouettes. For our favours, we gave our guests pieces of rock that said, ‘just married’. 26

The bridesmaids chose different-coloured dresses that matched our theme. To keep our guests entertained, we had an amazing DJ, and our friend handed out candy floss while the room was being changed over. We had a lovely moment during our vows where the registrar paused, and Bradley said ‘I do’ faster than he should have, and we all laughed because it was a very sweet moment, proving how much he wanted to say it. For our honeymoon, we went to Los Angeles and Las Vegas. It was amazing! We visited Disney for four days, which was a lovely way to end all the wedding hype. All of the speeches were beautiful, but we had a lovely surprise from my brother, who gave a speech that we did not know about. I wore a princess-style Rachel Allan dress and accessorised with a veil and tiara. Bradley chose a lovely grey suit that matched the groomsmen. REAL WEDDINGS 27

REBECCA AND BRADLEY’S CONTACTS Venue, catering and DJ, Alveston Manor, | Photographer, Emily Jayne Weddings, | Videographer, Swift Wedding Films, | Bride’s dress, accessories and alterations, The Dressing Rooms Bridal, | Groom’s suit and accessories, Slater Menswear, | Bridesmaids’ dresses, Infinity Dress, | Mums’ outfits, The Continental Collection, | Hair stylist, Hairdressing by Amelia, | Make-up artist, Amy Louise Beauty Makeup and Hair Artist, | Cake, Compton and Kennedy, | Stationery, Tilly Fudge, 28

ABPHOTOGRAPHY Capturing how the day feels, Not just how it looks. For more information visit @andrewabweddings on Instagram and Facebook SPECIALISTS IN PREMIUM, MOBILE BAR HIRE FOR PRIVATE OR CORPORATE EVENTS, NATIONWIDE. We o er a wide range of packages and bespoke options that can be tailored to suit you requirments - we’re here to make your event extra special and bring your imagination to life. WWW.COOPERSCOCKTAILS.CO.UK 07539 149280 |

PERFECT pitch Me’sha and Darren met when he auditioned to be the drummer in her band Images courtesy of Artisan X Photography 30

Me’sha and Darren are musicians who met when she was performing her original music at Shepherds Bush Cricket Club. “He’s a drummer, educator, and two-time all-natural bodybuilding champion; I’m a singer, actor, and vocal coach,” says Me’sha. “I had a habit of firing drummers from my band, so when I first set eyes on Darren, I thought, ‘Oh no! He’s really handsome!’ Annoyingly, he’d been really attentive when learning my music, brought his own drumkit to the gig, knew all the lyrics to my songs, and was really good with children. We were also both members of the faculty at a specialist music school in London, so not long after that, we started dating, and I didn’t have to fire him from my band!” Darren proposed on New Year’s Eve in 2021. “We’d been watching Alicia Keys perform on TV,” shares the bride. “He left the room, came back, got down on one knee, and proposed to me next to the sofa. Sadly, I don’t remember any of his proposal, because as soon as I heard him say my name and I saw the ring in the box, it was like I was suddenly underwater. I do, however, remember our hug afterwards and the look of relief on his face when I said yes.” SETTING THE SCENE “We knew we didn’t want a venue that was too modern, as we prefer buildings with a bit of history to them, and it had to have greenery and wildlife surrounding it as Darren’s a big nature lover,” explains Me’sha. “We did a lot of research online but couldn’t start viewing venues until September as many hadn’t reopened due to the pandemic restrictions. We came across Stockton House at The National Wedding Show in Birmingham. Upon meeting Marc, the former owner, we were immediately drawn to his warmth, genuinely caring nature, and passion for making couples feel special on their wedding day. We could only view artists’ impressions of the venue, as the building was basically uninhabitable and the secret walled garden dining room didn’t actually exist. We visited in early November, and the grounds were absolutely stunning. As soon as we saw the sheep and pheasants roaming around as we made our way up the driveway, we knew it was the place for us. We toured the house with Marc and decided to take a leap of faith, putting down a deposit in order to secure our wedding date. We were one of the first couples to sign up to get married at Stockton House, and we visited the venue on several occasions during the build-up to our wedding to see how the refurb was going. We went from wearing hard hats for safety to seeing the secret walled garden spring to life from a muddy patch to the beautiful venue that it is today. We even took the opportunity to film a couple of music videos in several rooms pre- and post-refurb, which have become great memories for us.” The happy couple incorporated lots of beautiful colours into their day. “I’m a colourful person and used to have blue hair, so I knew I wanted bright florals for our special day,” recalls the bride. “Our florists from Big Little Things really thought about our story and incorporated bachelor buttons, also known as drumsticks, into our arrangements, which was a nice touch. We are quite handy DIY people; we refurbished our 1950s house from top to bottom, knocking down and building walls, upcycling furniture, and bringing our once-overgrown garden back to life, so we always knew we wanted to make some of the decorations. Origami immediately came to mind, so we bought paper online and started making hearts, cranes, and butterflies. They were used as decorations on either side of the aisle. On the wedding breakfast tables, each person had a heart along with their name laser cut in natural wood and a favour bag filled with love hearts, chocolates, and drumsticks, of course! Darren also built two easels that held our welcome mirror and a photo collage that we had printed online.” As musicians, it was important for the couple to have a few nods to their profession throughout their décor. “Our seating plans were attached to one of Darren’s crash cymbals inside the drawing room, and the card box was a floor tom with a slit cut out of the top head so that cards 31 REAL WEDDINGS