Your Herts and Beds Wedding - October/November 2023 (Issue 100)

WIN! A luxurious getaway Discover dreamy weddings HEART WARMING NUPTIALS Goin LOCAL North Bedfordshire venues IN FULL BLOOM OCT/NOV 2023 £3.55 Floral inspiration 100issu ! t HERTS BEDS & WEDDING

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REGULARS 6 EDITOR’S LETTER Olivia Gibson shares her top picks from this issue 8 NEARLYWED NEWS Catch up on news from around the counties 12 FREEBIES & OFFERS Great giveaways and discounts up for grabs 69 HOT TOPIC Local experts offer stellar advice on wedding dilemmas 88 COMPETITION Win a romantic break in Yorkshire worth £1,000 CONTENTS OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2023 VENUES 19 GOING LOCAL We’ve rounded up stunning venues in North Bedfordshire 23 SLAM DUNK Exchange vows at these sporting venues O th cover This issue’s cover was taken from Holly and Lewis’s wedding on page 26, which was captured by 40 19 FEATURES 11 HAPPY 100TH ISSUE The county’s incredible wedding suppliers have very kindly sent us their warmest wishes for our 100th-issue celebration 40 THE GREATEST LOVE A talented team of suppliers came together to create this circus-themed shoot 45 BOLD AND BEAUTIFUL This sustainable shoot at Edworth Manor is full of rustic and fun touches 49 NOW THAT’S ENTERTAINMENT Keep guests entertained throughout your wedding with these talented entertainers 73 FLOWER POWER Be inspired by these showstopping floral arrangements 80 WISHING HUE A WONDERFUL WEDDING DAY Check out our wedspirational guide to palette perfection whatever the season 3

REAL WEDDINGS 26 A DAY TO CHERISH Holly & Lewis had a Glastonbury-style wedding with lots of colour 31 TRUE LOVE Siobhan and Dale had a rustic wedding at Milling Barn in Buntingford 36 LOVE IS ALL AROUND Jen and Darren’s pub crawl wedding featured an emerald green and burnt orange scheme HONEYMOONS 82 HONEYMOON NEWS Our travel editor reveals the newest openings and honeymoon essentials 84 MAGICAL MAURITIUS Explore this year-round honeymoon hotspot for a taste of the local cuisine, lush scenery and sustainable hotel choices 86 RURAL ROMANCE Discover the delights of Provence at Hôtel Crillon le Brave 89 TOTAL BODY BLISS Louise Prance visited Warwickshire’s Ardencote Spa, where she experienced total body bliss and a weekend of wellness… FASHION & BEAUTY 52 FASHION FOCUS The latest bridal fashion news, buys and launches 53 STANDOUT SLEEVES Make your entrance in style wearing statement sleeves that will take you from day to dancefloor 56 STYLE ALERT Burnt orange, green, and champagne colours are trending for bridesmaids this season 57 ALL DRESSED UP The new season bridal edit of dreamy dresses features delicate details, fairytale-inspired florals and flowing fabrics 62 BEAUTY BUZZ Get the look with the latest must-haves 64 LADY OF THE DANCE Strictly’s Luba Mushtuk talks health, wellbeing and the all-important first dance 67 BEAUTY Q&A Our local professionals solve your problems 53 26 84 77 GROOMS 76 SKIN DEEP WarPaint For Men shares its make-up and skincare tips for grooms-to-be 77 GROOMS’ NEWS The latest best buys and product launches 78 SOMETHING BLUE We’ve rounded up some of the latest products for the groom-to-be 62 4

Knebworth House & Barns is set in 250 acres of beautiful Hertfordshire parkland with opportunities for elegant ceremonies in the House, outside receptions & vintage offerings in our rustic Barns. 01438 813825 KNEBWORTH HOUSE & BARNS Book now quoting KHHERTS on your enquiry for the wedding couple to go complimentary t: 01920 830256 e: w: @alternative_stretch_tents Stunning tents for stunning weddings! Step away from the traditional marquee with Alternative Stretch Tents. Based in Hertfordshire providing Stretch Tents up and down the country. WE LOVE STRETCH TENTS! Years of experience, passion and enthusiasm to get what you want from your event.

Pstt, Jennie’s Cakes & Catering is offer 10 per cent off wedding services! ISSN 1753-0911 Your Herts & Beds 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 Herts & Beds Wedding is published six times a year. DIA SHING NTS SHING EVENTS & PUBLISHING cwe COUNTY WEDDING EVENTS Your Herts and Beds Wedding is 100 and doesn’t it look great for its age? That’s right, well into our 16th year of publishing, we’re celebrating our 100th issue! I’ve been the editor of this title since issue 78 and feel incredibly proud to have been part of its history. The first issue hit the shelves in the 2007 and boy have things changed since then! I managed to find a copy of issue one in the archives and dusted it off to find that fashion had more in common with the 1990s than they do the 2020s. Designs were all about taffeta, boned bodies and bags of embellishment – words I hardly hear these days in relation to wedding dresses. What’s more, it was rare indeed to see a groom not sporting a cravat. However, some things don’t change. Looking into the world of wedding entertainment, the editor Demelza at the time told readers, “Your wedding music will have a lasting impression on your guests. It forms an integral part of the day and can create just the right atmosphere, meaning that you have to choose carefully and consider what is suitable along with what best reflects your personal taste.” It’s as true now as it ever was! Your Herts & Beds Wedding has been bringing local wedding content to lovely nearlyweds for the best part of two decades, becoming a much-valued go-to source of inspiration and advice for many tying the knot in these gorgeous counties. We exist to champion the local and very much hope that we can continue to do so for many moons to come. We’d never have reached this ripe old age (still looking good) without our lovely readers and the region’s amazing suppliers who’ve supported us all these years. A huge thank you to you everyone included. Here’s to the next 100 issues! Olivia x Olivia Gibson, Editor Happy birthday to us! 12 91 WIN! A romantic break in Yorkshire worth £1,000 As we pass through the seasons of 2023 and 2024, colour schemes can vary and adapt with trends. Here’s a guide to inspire you for your own big day! @CountyWeddingMagazines @CountyWeddings @countyweddingmagazines Visit us online at www. and DESIGN 01376 535 616 ACCOUNTS 01376 535 616 MANAGING DIRECTOR Sarah Ellis | 01376 535 602 EDITORIAL Editor Olivia Gibson | 01376 535 611 Holly and Lewis had a Glastonbury-style wedding with lots of colour. The couple aimed to create the best day for themselves and bring loved ones together for a big celebration. 26 80 ADVERTISING Account Manager Anita Bridge | 01376 538 565 6

Make your entrance in style wearing statement sleeves that will take you from day to dancefloor. Siobhan and Dale had a rustic wedding at Milling Barn in Buntingford, which was full of love and happiness! After several months of planning this fun-packed day, a friendly and talented bunch of like-minded people came together to create this shoot. 37 57 73 45 56 Burnt orange, green, and champagne colours are trending for bridesmaids this season – it’s not hard to see why! What’s not to love about these stunning blooms created by the talented Sarah Stuart Flowers? EDITOR’S LETTER 7

A PASSION FOR FASHION Alternative bridal boutique Gown Up is offering 50 per cent off all gowns in October for the ultimate sale! The small family-run shop at The Arcade in Bedford sells new, preloved and vintage wedding dresses as well as evening wear. These beautiful, unique and affordable gowns feature all styles, from boho and romantic to minimalistic, all in excellent condition – there’s something for everyone. Brides-to-be simply come into the shop to try the gowns on display until they find the one. As a business, the team aims to create more sustainable and affordable options for customers and the planet. So, the dresses are available to purchase or rent. After weddings, the team can also help customers with selling their own dresses. Discover: WEDDING SHOW For newlyweds-to-be embarking on their wedding planning journey, pop along to the County Wedding Events wedding show at That Amazing Place for inspiration on Sunday 15th October 2023! Sister company to County Wedding Magazines, the event brings couples desperate for face-to-face wedding planning in touch with local professionals who are on hand to help plan the wedding day. From photographers to cake makers, musicians to florists, pairs will surely tick a lot off their to-do list by attending one of the County Wedding Events. Dating back to the 15th-century, this historical grade II listed manor house has been beautifully renovated with stylish, contemporary interiors and elegant furnishings. Therefore, That Amazing Place now offers a cosy and imitate ‘home from home’ to welcome and entertain guests. Licensed for civil ceremonies, it can accommodate up to 70 guests for ceremonies in the Lakeview Lounge. The Lakeview Lounge takes its name from the spectacular views of the lake through its beautiful sash bay windows. The Hall, with its stunning mirrored wall and high ceilings, can accommodate up to 100 people. For larger weddings, up to 150, its garden and grounds marquee offer the perfect space. Alternatively, during the summer months, lovebirds can choose to say vows al fresco under the outdoor wedding gazebo situated next to the breathtaking backdrop of the lake. Visit the show to view the venue and gain inspiration from the range of experienced exhibitors from 11 pm to 3 pm. It’s free entry, and couples will receive a goodie bag as well as an opportunity to win their dream honeymoon. For more details and to pre-register, please visit: MADE WITH LOVE Introducing Iris & Lolli Jewellery, which creates nature-inspired accessories lovingly made by hand in Hertfordshire – perfect for weddings! Leaves, shells, seeds and flowers are recreated using recycled silver, giving the pieces a second life. Creating a beautiful, timeless jewellery collection means couples can treasure the items for years to come. Made using only sustainable materials and eco-friendly packaging, the team partnered with Ecologi to plant a tree for every piece sold. Proud to be female-owned and launched in 2022 by Julia Cordes, Iris & Lolli Jewellery is a tribute to her two daughters, after whom the brand is named after, inspiring them to build a better world. The team are celebrating their first year in business and are looking forward to many years to come. Discover more about the company: All the happenings from around the region NEWS Nearlywed 8

CAPTURING MEMORIES As the Bedford wedding scene continues flourishing, the Just Happy Together team are thrilled to unveil their latest addition – the wedding content creator service. Building on their legacy of capturing love stories, this new offering brings a modern twist that resonates with the digital age. Couples can imagine their big day, from the tender exchange of vows to the jubilant dancefloor moments – all immortalised in traditional wedding videos and through dynamic social media content. The experienced team, well-versed in wedding videography, has the latest iPhone technology. They’ll capture candid, behindthe-scenes moments that showcase the essence of all celebrations. The best part is that it will be shared on the lovebirds’ social profiles on the same day! Wedding content creation is about crafting engaging social media posts, captivating stories, and energetic reels that embody the soul of weddings. The service seamlessly complements the company’s wedding videography, offering an innovative way to relive the moments that matter most. Join them as they embark on this exciting journey, merging the traditional with the modern, to create wedding memories that are as timeless as they’re shareable. Contact the team today for more information and how the wedding content creator can enhance wedding experiences. Discover more about the company: PLANNING SOS Shendish Manor Hotel & Golf Course has released new Dry Hire Packages to help couples plan dream weddings. Located in Hemel Hempstead, the property provides a stunning setting with high ceilings, chandeliers and antique fire places. Lovebirds will fall in love as soon as they travel up the winding driveway through the parkland and discover the Victorian manor house. The team have released the Amber, Ruby and Sapphire packages that have been created to help support lovebirds through the wedding planning process. Each package includes exclusive use of The Apsley Suite and Bar until midnight, exclusive use of The Manor House from 9 am until 9 pm, a dancefloor, complimentary parking, discounted bedrooms, a four-poster bedroom for newlyweds, tables and chairs, corkage included and more. Visit the website to compare the packages to find the perfect option for your big day. Discover more about the venue: STUNNING SETTINGS As the main wedding season for 2023 ends, the Ware Priory team has been looking back with pleasure at some wonderful weddings that have taken place. Many of their lovely couples have had the opportunity to experience The Conservatory’s new look, which was refurbished at the beginning of the year. As well as a new floor, the mid-size function room was equipped with a new ceiling, blinds, lighting, fresh panelling, paintwork and a lovely new bar design. The neutral colour scheme gives a modern and contemporary feel while sympathetic to this traditional space, which offers views of the spectacular riverside gardens. Ware Priory are pleased to announce its Gold 2024 Wedding Package for just £7,530. The new package is based on 60 people, with a ceremony in the Priory Hall and reception in The Conservatory, where pairs will be served a delicious three-course meal from one of the team’s approved caterer, The Chefs Table. It includes Chiavari chairs from Mi Amor Events and a drinks reception in their landscaped gardens. All packages are fully adaptable. Discover the venue: 9 LOCAL NEWS

Based in Sandy, Bedfordshire I’m conveniently placed to also cover Hertfordshire and Cambridgeshire. Using only the finest quality ingredients I make everything, from the jams and curds to the flowers and decorations H H CAKE DESIGN BY HELEN’S HOMEMADE CAKERY 2016 EST. With my knowledge and design skills I will quiet the ‘noise’ and show you a clear path to the cake of your dreams! 07533111450 Book your consultation directly into my diary at Ware Priory High Street, Ware Hertfordshire, SG12 9AL Tel 01920 460316 CELEBRATE AT BE THE ONES TO SAY ‘I DO’ Facebook warepriory Instagram: @ware_priory ~ ESTABLISHED 48 YEARS IN ROYSTON ~

Happy Birthday Your Herts and Beds Wedding has reached an exciting milestone, its 100th issue! Issue one launched in back in 2007, 16 years ago. One hundred issues later, here I am celebrating this milestone with my lovely co-pilot account manager Anita Bridge helming the ship. It’s amazing to see how the magazine has changed over the years. Down in the depths of the stock room, I managed to find the very first issue and have a little flick through! What remains though is a dedicated team, passionate about weddings and promoting the lovely local businesses to couples tying the knot in the wonderful counties of Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire. Thank you readers, thank you supporters, lots of love Olivia and Anita. Happy 100th Birthday Your Herts & Beds Wedding! Think of all the couples that you’ve helped plan and organise their big day! As a supplier, we’re so grateful for your continued support. Here’s to the next 100 issues! Rachel Dixon | Untamed Florals Elegance China Hire would like to congratulate Your Herts & Beds Wedding on their milestone 100th edition. It’s been a pleasure to be on this successful journey with you over the last couple of years, and here’s to the next 100 issues!” Caroline Inglis | Elegance China Hire Congratulations on reaching 100 from all at Cream of Royston – specialist in outfits for the motherof-the-brides and groom. Sue Ross | Cream of Royston Happiest of birthdays from Toddington Park! We love keeping things local and everything you do for weddings in the Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire counties, so thank you. Enjoy your celebrations! Sarah Hyde Toddington Park A big congratulations on reaching a monumental 100th issue! As a hairdresser in the area, your magazine has not only been a great source of information and stories, but also a conversation starter with many of my clients. You’ve become a huge part of our local community. Here’s to celebrating the past and looking forward to many more years! Kim Sandford Kim Sandford Hairdressing Kerry Mavris | Ware Priory Wishing all the team the biggest happy birthday congratulations on reaching 100! Well done for creating a bi-monthly wedding magazine jam-packed with inspiration for couples across all the counties – an incredible milestone to be proud of! Angela Hodson-Jones | Angela Jane Cake Design Your Herts & Beds WeddING Lance James Jewellers_OBC_YHBW1.1 1 12/3/07 09:56:36 County Wedding Magazines Issue One April/May 2007 YOURWEDDING HERTS & BEDS venues fashion honeymoons grooms cakes catering win! PhotograPhy worth £2000 £2.95 Apr/mAy2007 HitcHin Where to marry in the area Bridal Jewellery In Your Element Enjoy your day, rain or shine reAl weddings advice from newlyweds flowers • local florists • celebrity style New York Honeymoon in luxury Venue Finder Superb settings for intimate celebrations Win A hen party worth £850 Mother of theBride Fashion to make her feel fabulous 4ppcover_YHBW1.indd 1 16/3/07 11:51:49 Scan to view video HAPPY BIRTHDAY 11

Great giveaways and discounts up for grabs LOVE AT FIRST BITE Located in Wyboston, Jennie’s Cakes & Catering offers tasty treats for newlyweds to enjoy using fresh ingredients and plenty of love. Owner Jennie Turnbull says, “From baking and cake decorating to seeing many happy guests, I truly love the company I’ve built over the last 13 years. We’ve grown to provide delicious handmade wedding cakes and various catering options.” The team’s most popular choice is the vintage afternoon tea, served on beautiful china with a delicious selection of sweet and savoury items that guests will love. Alternatively, the hog roast will keep everyone returning for more! Jennie knows how important weddings are and always endeavours to make each event truly special. We’ve teamed up with the company to offer readers 10 per cent off all wedding cakes and catering when they quote Your Herts and Beds Wedding before December 1st 2023. Get in touch with the team today to secure this offer. Check out: WIN PERSONALISED BRACELETS Are you dreaming of making your special day even more memorable for your beloved bridesmaids? Look no further! We have an exciting opportunity for you to win personalised bracelets for each of your bridesmaids, courtesy of Merci Maman. Merci Maman understand the importance of thoughtful and meaningful gifts, especially when it comes to your bridesmaids. Its handcrafted Personalised Pastille Chain Bracelet is a bestseller, a timeless and beloved piece testament to the elegance and charm that the brand’s jewellery carries. Crafted with love and attention to detail, these bracelets will serve as treasured keepsakes for your bridesmaids, a symbol of your lasting friendship and gratitude. Visit County Wedding Magazines has teamed up with Merci Maman to give readers the chance to win two personalised pastille chain bracelets worth £237. For your chance to win enter via our website, Freebies& OFFERS FIT FOR A QUEEN Inspired by organic shapes and capturing fluid elements in motion, Lucy Quartermaine creates stunning jewellery from remarkable designs that will transform your bridal style. Originally produced to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, the Royal Pearl collection complements 925 silver with freshwater pearls for a timeless design perfect for a wedding day. Visit County Wedding Magazines has teamed up with Lucy Quartermaine to give readers the chance to win a threepiece set of Royal Pearl pieces worth £237. For your chance to win enter via our website, 12

Stunning flower bouquets and venue decorations for Weddings, Events and all other occasions. +44 (0)7592 617742 SOPHIA ROSE ARTISAN FLORAL DESIGNER 3 Bedford Street (Rawlings Court), Woburn, MK17 9QB 01234 855537 | e beautiful Conservatory and private Walled Garden are an idyllic setting for your wedding reception, where you can enjoy summer drinks on the decking whilst admiring the enchanting garden. THE CONSERVATORY at the Luton Hoo Walled Garden The stylish interior of the venue, with its glazed windows overlooking the gardens, includes a starlight ceiling, pin-spot and atmospheric lighting that can be customised to your own colour scheme, along with club lighting over the dance floor, stage and integrated PA system with microphones, which can be used for those all important wedding speeches. It is really important to us that you have the wedding reception that you have always imagined. Our venue manager is on hand every step of the way, to help guide and advise at this special time, making sure that when the day comes you can relax and enjoy every minute. We will be happy to give recommendations for enhancements such as floral arrangements, master of ceremonies, musicians and bespoke furniture or tableware, and will also be there on the day itself as a friendly face making sure that the venue and proceedings run in perfect order. | | 01582 459 216

WEDDING SHOWS AUTUMN 2023 ALL EVENTS 11AM - 3PM unless otherwise stated /CountyWeddingEvents @CountyWedEvent @countyweddingevents At County Wedding Events each show is professionally and meticulously run to ensure a variety of suppliers are on hand to help you plan your big day and are hosted by some of the loveliest premier venues in your area. All our shows offer you free entry and parking, a goody bag each containing gifts, and useful local information to plan your wedding. You will also have the opportunity to enter prize draw competitions and take advantage of exclusive offers and discounts on the day. SUSSEX SUN 22 OCT | SELDEN BARNS Selden Lane, Patching, Worthing, BN13 3UL EAST MIDLANDS SUN 15 OCT | RUSHTON HALL Desborough Road, Rushton, Kettering, NN14 1RR 12PM-4PM

ESSEX SUN 29 OCT | HOUCHINS WEDDING VENUE Houchin’s Lane, Coggeshall, Colchester, CO6 1RT SUN 15 OCT | BRAXTED PARK Great Braxted, Witham, CM8 3EN SUN 15 OCT | THAT AMAZING PLACE Hubbards Hall Farm, Harlow, CM17 0NH 12PM-4PM As part of KD Events and Publishing Ltd, County Wedding Events (CWE) is ideally placed to offer you a wealth of experience organising events in the wedding industry. If you would like more information about either holding a wedding show at your venue or exhibiting at any of our shows, please contact us at, call 01376 514000 or visit our website WORK WITH US SUN 8 OCT | LAYER MARNEY TOWER Layer Marney, Colchester, CO5 9US KENT SUN 12 NOV | PENSHURST PLACE Penshurst, TN11 8DG SUN 12 NOV | MORDEN HALL Morden Hall Road, SM4 5JD LONDON

• Free entry • First 100 couples receive a free wedding journal keepsake • Goody bag for each couple • Up to 200 stands • Bridal fashion shows • Huge number of wedding specialists including venues • Demonstration areas • Competitions • Entertainment • Refreshments • And more... Pre-register and attend the show to have a chance to win a fabulous spa break worth £250 courtesy of Pre-register at London, HA9 0WS SUNDAY 28TH APRIL 2024 | 11AM - 4PM WEMBLEY STADIUM Brooklands Drive, Weybridge, KT13 0SL SUNDAY 29 OCTOBER 2023 | 11AM - 3:30PM MERCEDES-BENZ WORLD High Street, Berkshire, SL5 7JX SUNDAY 7TH APRIL 2024 | 11AM - 3.30PM ASCOT RACECOURSE

Pre-register for all of our events at MERCEDES-BENZ WORLD, TO BE ANNOUNCED SOON ASCOT RACECOURSE, 7TH APRIL 2024 WEMBLEY STADIUM, 28TH APRIL 2024 Sarah Here at County Wedding Magazines and Events HQ we’re looking forward to kickstarting our Autumn 2023 wedding show season – perfect for all those couples that got engaged over the Summer period. From must-visit local fairs in some of the region’s best wedding venues to our larger Signature Wedding Shows, we can’t wait to welcome nearlyweds to our events and help plan their wedding day. Each event will boast a huge range of specialists who will be on hand to talk through your planning ideas and requirements; venues, bridal boutiques, photographers, florists, cake makers and more, there’s everything you could need to plan your wedding under one roof. On the day refreshments will be available to purchase from each of the venue’s on-site restaurants, bars and cafés. Couples will need to pre-register in advance for an allocated arrival time, although on the day visitors are always welcome, and attending our shows are free! For more information, visit County Wedding Events’ website. We look forward to seeing you at one of our events. Sarah Ellis, Sales and Events Director County Wedding Events. Psst! Our pre-registered Signature Wedding Show visitors will have the chance to win a £250 gift voucher courtesy of A date for your diary... GREAT EXPECTATIONS

Samsa May’s was founded in 2018 by owner Sam who has a true love and passion for all things weddings. Making each wedding unique and capturing every couple’s personality through thoughtful details and attention to the nishing touches. - ylin eams - Call: 07900 521 054 or email: On the day coordination, wedding styling, prop and decor hire throughout Beds, Herts, Bucks and beyond... WWW.THEDRESS.HOUSE 43 GUILDFORD STREET • LUTON • LU1 2NQ • 01582 729385 SOPHIA TOLLI • MADISON JAMES MARK LESLEY • WHITE ONE • DESSY AND EMMA BRIDALS MARRY CELEBRATE STAY LAKESIDE THE AN IDYLLIC BEAUTY SPOT ON THE SHORE OF A VAST LAKE, SURROUNDED BY LUSH GREEN MEADOWS AND THRIVING WITH NATURE. WELCOME TO THE LAKESIDE AT WILD BERRY FARM, THE PERFECT LOCATION FOR YOUR TIPI, YURT OR MARQUEE WEDDING 07850 346144 @thelakesideatwildberryfarm

Going local Tie the knot in North Bedfordshire THE GARDENS AT POLEHANGER 07584 076 242 | As couples travel down the beautiful tree-lined driveway, they’ll discover The Gardens at Polehanger. The well-manicured gardens provide a secluded spot to host memorable wedding celebrations. Plenty of spaces have flowerbeds full of colour and uninterrupted countryside views. The blank canvas venue allows couples to bring in their own structure and all other suppliers, meaning they can get creative to bring their vision to life – the bigger the imagination, the better! Pairs can have a celebrant-led blessing and receptions in the beautiful gardens with 120 people, or couples might opt for structures such as marquees, yurts, stretch tents or tipis – there are many possibilities. Pairs will have exclusively use of the site for their wedding day, including the six-bedroom farmhouse. Dating back to the 18th-century, the space has been refurbished with bathrooms and furniture throughout. Each room is spacious, with comfy king-size beds and unique décor. There’s also more accommodation in the beautiful glamping cabins at The Meadows at Polehanger, meaning guests don’t have far to stumble when the wedding festivities end. The Gardens at Polehanger works with the wedding planner and event manager, Chloe from White Button Weddings, to liaise with couples and suppliers while overseeing the day. They can relax knowing their wedding is in safe hands. There’s also parking, power and water to ensure memorable weddings. 19 LOCAL VENUES

THE FOREST CENTRE 01234 767 037 | Set in an award-winning Millenium Country Park in Marston Moretaine, The Forest Centre is a non-traditional wedding venue focussing on the beautiful natural environment at the Forest of Marston Vale. This scenic setting includes woodlands, meadows, wetlands and lakes – perfect for taking memorable photographs. The venue is a modern and contemporary building with various spaces, food, drink and entertainment options for special events. With help from the in-house caterers and wedding coordinator, the team will do everything to help lovebirds create truly personal experiences. The venue can host alternative celebrant services at The Forest Centre or in the outdoor spaces, as well as more traditional ceremonies. The Willow Corner can host al fresco celebrations with up to 100 guests, which is set in the protected countryside overlooking the wetlands. The team can also provide marquee weddings if pairs want something more bohemian and rustic. The space includes a dancefloor, carpet, lighting, tables and chairs. It’s also perfect for al fresco dining, such as hog roasts, barbecues and street food vendors all available through in-house caterers or local food traders. As a special gift, the venue dedicates a tree to couples to celebrate their wedding, mark the importance of marriage’s lasting legacy and highlight their contribution to the venue’s work. The experienced wedding coordinator is always happy to show nearlyweds around the spaces, mix and match the best offers to suit lovebirds and discuss any personal touches. They also have brilliant relationships with local suppliers and can suggest various providers, including florists, DJs, bakers, venue stylists and bridal boutiques. The wedding coordinator will be there from the initial visit to ensure everything runs smoothly into the journey to wedded bliss. EDWORTH MANOR 07791 300 194 | Edworth Manor is a working farm just one mile south of Biggleswade, which one family has run for more than 200 years. Nearlyweds can expect a personal service from the experienced team, who will help guide them through the planning process. Guests get a glimpse of farm life as they travel up the drive past grass meadows and tractors before reaching the venue. Couples often comment on how peaceful and tucked away the setting is. The meadow offers a perfect space for photos with a rural backdrop; couples are often snapped underneath the trees or in front of the timber-clad barns. The venue doesn’t have a ceremony license, but the 12th-century church is available for blessings with permission of the Churches Conservation Trust. Celebrant-led ceremonies occur in the 18th-century barn at Edworth Manor, a rustic space that’s one of the largest in the area with plenty of historic character. Guests are taken back by the oak timbers and attractive alcoves, which offer a fantastic canvas for couples to personalise as little or as much as they like. The barn is only available for a limited number of occasions during the summer months each year. Available for exclusive use only and on a dry-hire basis, lovebirds are given access well ahead of the day to style the space as they wish. Double doors open out of the timber-clad barn onto a mown grass meadow, which couples can style for welcome drinks, garden games and outdoor catering. The recently restored The Old Granary is connected to the main barn, perfect for private dining receptions for up to 25 people year round and can also be used for celebrant-led ceremonies with 40 loved ones or as a place for the bridal party to get ready. 20

WOODLAND MANOR HOUSE Located on four acres, the Woodland Manor House is a historical property that dates back to the 1800s and offers lovebirds the perfect location to tie the knot. Arrive in style with the venue’s helipads at the rear of the property and wow guests with a dramatic entrance. Discover: THE SHUTTLEWORTH TRUST Situated in 425 acres of historic parkland in Bedfordshire, Shuttleworth House offers an unrivalled wedding experience. With rolling parkland views and steeped in compelling history, the estate offers an extraordinary setting for celebrations year round. Discover: Also check out… TREEWELL FARM Treewell Farm is situated between Moggerhanger and Willington in the heart of the Bedfordshire countryside. It’s available to hire exclusively with access to the field (including an orchard) for marquee set-up, a car parking field, a small wedding lodge, converted horsebox bar, the walled garden and the greenhouse. Discover: THE BEDFORD SWAN HOTEL Located in Bedfordshire, The Bedford Swan Hotel is the ideal venue for weddings of all sizes. The function rooms have a maximum capacity of 150 guests to pick from, so couples are sure to create their dream wedding. The stunning red brick exterior and arches are the perfect backdrops to memorable photographs. Discover, 21 LOCAL VENUES

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Hole in one Tie the knot in these sporting venues SHENDISH MANOR 01442 232220 | Nestled in 160 acres of idyllic Hertfordshire countryside, Shendish Manor offers the perfect setting for special events. The venue has plenty of parking and is located near major motorways and airports – perfect for guests travelling in. As loved ones drive through the breathtaking parkland, they’ll approach the stunning property with Victorian elegance and modern touches. The dedicated wedding team will be on hand to assist with all aspects of the planning progress by providing a professional and personal service. Couples can rest assured they’re in safe hands. Whether pairs are after intimate weddings or grand events, Shendish Manor won’t disappoint. Lovebirds can have dream-worthy al fresco weddings on the charming grounds thanks to the two stunning outdoor gazebos that are licensed for ceremonies. Or they can exchange vows in the Apsley Suite, Dickinson Suite or Longman Suite with 10 to 320 guests. When it comes to wedding breakfasts, the first meal for newlyweds must be unforgettable. That’s why the team offers delicious dishes created using the finest and locally sourced ingredients, accompanied by an extensive range of wines and champagnes. The dry hire package in the Apsley Suite is perfect for those with a particular cuisine in mind that the venue can’t cater for. The team also have a long-lasting relationship with many local caterers and can suggest companies if needed. The property dates back to 1853 and has 18 individually designed bedrooms in the main house. The contemporary extension has an additional 52 bedrooms and provides the perfect place for guests to rest their heads. SPORTING VENUES 23

THE CLUB AT MILL GREEN 01707 276 900 | Nestled in more than 200 acres of Hertfordshire countryside, The Club at Mill Green is a modern and spacious venue providing the perfect wedding setting. With beautiful views over the picturesque golf course and lake, the property provides the ideal backdrop for those all-important pictures. Exchange vows in The Salisbury Suite surrounded by 150 loved ones; this light and elegant space is ideal for creating cherished moments with loved ones. Continue the celebrations with 160 seated guests or 220 standing in the Lake View and Salisbury Suite. With modern and understated décor, the area allows couples to transform the room to match any colour scheme. The private terrace alongside the space has recently been renovated to match the interior and to give guests the ideal space to enjoy drinks receptions. Thanks to its heating and lighting, couples can use the area regardless of temperature or daylight quality. Included in the venue’s packages is a complimentary menu tasting session for the couple with the option to bring along friends and family to encompass what the venue truly offers. The team invites entertainers, their wine supplier and recommended companies to enable couples to plan all aspects of their day. Pairs will also receive an invitation for a complimentary lunch on their first anniversary or a tee time for golf with three guests. The staff try to include as much as possible within the packages, so lovebirds have less to think about during the planning process – they’ve got the chair sashes, an easel, a cake stand and a cake knife covered. METROPOLITAN BUSHEY EVENTS & SPORTS VENUE 01923 243 947 | Located near Watford in the leafy county of Hertfordshire, Metropolitan Bushey Events & Sports Venue is a purpose-built wedding property set among 36 acres of well-maintained sports fields. The venue offers lovely views and creates a stunning backdrop for those all-important photos, especially with the changing colours of spring, autumn and winter. Metropolitan Bushey’s function rooms have lots of natural light and a blank canvas to be decorated to match different colour schemes and wedding themes. The Ballroom is the largest space perfect for ceremonies and receptions, with 300 people for reception drinks and 250 in the evenings. Here, loved ones can enjoy the dedicated bar area and dancefloor, plus there’s space for extra entertainment. Another reception option is The Glindon Room, which accommodates up to 90 seated people. It features a small stage, a fully stocked bar and a private outdoor patio overlooking the gardens. Alternatively, The Aldenham Room can cater for 100 seated guests and has a fully stocked bar, DJ facilities, a dancefloor with disco lighting available and booths for groups to sit and relax. Couples who book the property will meet the experienced wedding team, including the wedding coordinator, the chefs, and the entertainment staff who will help lovebirds create the perfect day while meeting their requirements. 24

THE JETTY AT COLMWORTH 01234 378 181 | For those looking for a breathtaking outdoor venue, look no further than The Jetty at Colmworth. The Jetty has been lovingly created to offer couples a stunning blank canvas lakeside setting. A rustic decked ceremony area leads to the Jetty, which supports a wedding shelter and idyllic spot to exchange vows. A local chainsaw artist created the shelter, which boasts plenty of charm and character. After the ceremonies, take the flagstone steps to the top-tier lawn for receptions and stunning lakeside views. Lovebirds can pick the marquee of their dreams, favourite food and entertainment while the team provide the space. Don’t worry if this seems daunting, as the fabulous event manager will be there to help with wedding planning. The Jetty and the surrounding gardens are beautiful all year round and can be hired on its own or alongside the indoor spaces for those concerned about the weather. Welham Hall and Bassingbourn offer a warm welcome with ample character thanks to the reclaimed architectural materials. Welham Hall has extensive views of the golf course through the beautiful windows, while the Bassingbourn features eye-catching wooden floors reclaimed from Bassingbourn Barracks near Royston. The venue is licensed for 100 people, with a licensed bar and optional catering. The rooms will comfortably seat 50 dining guests. Those booking their wedding at the venue will have a tree planted within the grounds with a plaque to include their married name and wedding date. That way, lovebirds can return each year, reminisce and see their tree grow. The venue has four lakeside cottages with stunning views that can be hired for wedding weekends – ideal for bridal party preparations, guests from further afield and of course newlyweds! ESSENDON COUNTRY CLUB 01707 280 373 | Embraced by more than 480 acres of stunning Hertfordshire countryside, Essendon Country Club is the perfect venue to host special events. The team believe in bespoke weddings, creating individual packages to accommodate ideas, requirements and styles to make weddings as individual as nearlyweds. The grounds include two championship golf courses, offering a picturesque landscape of ideally kept countryside for wedding photography. The long driveway into the Country Club takes lovebirds through one of the courses, with beautiful views that add that wow factor. There’s a stunning large bridge across a lake embraced by beautiful woodland trees, which is a firm favourite for the all-important couple shots. Essendon Country Club’s Grand Barn is a classic, rustic and beautiful building with a real country wedding feel. The stunning large windows allow a lot of natural light into the space, which also features a stunning terrace for the drinks receptions where guests can enjoy the views and relax outside. The venue has so much to offer, starting with exclusive use of the entire barn and unlimited opportunities for photos to capture those all-important special moments. All areas at the venue are licenced for ceremonies; the main space used is the Upper barn level, which can host up to 180. For more intimate weddings, the glass conservatory can host 15 to 30 guests. Receptions in the Main Barn can host up to 120 guests seated and 300 informally for standing evening parties. Some clients also choose to use the Upper Barn level for seated wedding breakfasts as the spaces are connected by a grand staircase, which can host 80 for seated meals, giving an overall total of 200 people. The property is unique with many aspects and wedding offerings; the team prides itself on flexibility and bespoke tailored packages, ensuring the pairs have the day they’ve always dreamt of. They offer complimentary wedding planning from the initial show round to the wedding day, ensuring continuity and peace of mind for couples. They can also host complimentary food and wine tastings as well as a free prewedding shoot on the grounds. 25 SPORTING VENUES

A DAY TO CHERISH Holly and Lewis had a Glastonbury-style wedding with lots of colour Images courtesy of Bubear Photography 26

REAL WEDDINGS 27 These lovebirds met at the local gym, somewhere neither returned to once they got together! Lewis smiled at Holly while walking past a machine, and she had a Facebook add later that evening – it was obviously the smile that did it!” After many fantastic years together, Lewis proposed in June 2020. The pair had meant to attend the Glastonbury festival, but it was cancelled due to Covid-19. Holly had attended the festival with family each year from 2013, and Lewis from 2016 once they got together. Lewis arranged a ‘Glasto at home’, which Holly had no idea about! She says, “I went to work as normal on the Thursday and arrived home to our flat transformed into Glastonbury. As soon as I walked in the door, I was greeted by a makeshift ticket station with a personalised wristband, different stage areas and a pyramid centre stage around the television. He had also ordered my favourite snacks and drinks from Glastonbury by contacting the stalls in advance and having them post bits. Lewis created a programme for the weekend, with some of our favourite previous acts. After watching some, we moved to the ‘other stage’ where Lewis proposed. He even arranged a congratulations message from Emily Eavis, one of the festival organisers. It was everything I could have hoped for, a special moment we both treasure! We then enjoyed a long weekend together, celebrating our engagement and even slept in a pop-up tent in front of the ‘pyramid stage’. SETTING THE SCENE The couple aimed to create the best day for themselves while bringing together loved ones for a big celebration full of love. “I had always dreamt of a barn wedding, but it needed to be a space that had the potential to reflect our Glastonbury-theme”, comments the bride. “We both fell in love as soon as we visited Milling Barn! The traditional oak barn felt perfect for our ceremony, and the light spaces provided the perfect setting to mix the rustic barn look with our colourful vision. We're also big fans of crazy golf, so having outside space for this was perfect too.” The pair wanted to incorporate as much festival theme as possible throughout the décor. Holly had seen a few examples of people using wellies for flower ‘vases’ and knew immediately that she wanted to have these as centrepieces. Lauren, the florist, brought their vision to life and exceeded all expectations. The wellies sat on top of moss with little fairylights entwined throughout; it was the perfect talking point between guests. Colourful ribbons were hand-tied onto each chair for another element of fun, but also to mirror the ‘ribbon tower’ at Glastonbury. The ribbon backdrop in the ceremony barn was alongside lots of colourful petals and flowers scattered down the aisle. The multi-coloured lanterns and fairylights from the ceiling in Milling again add as much colour as possible. The lovebirds gave wildflowers seed packs filled for favours; guests could go away and grow something colourful to remind them of the special day. The pair decided against a traditional white cake and instead injected plenty of colour! The impressive bake was adorned with mini wellies, flags and the pyramid stage from Glastonbury. Finest Layers handmade a ribbon tower for the top tier to finish off the design. The newlyweds had a traditional wedding breakfast and woodfired pizzas to keep guests from going hungry throughout the day. Holly comments, “We’re big fans of wood-fired pizza’s having our first few at Glastonbury. We since invested in one for home and knew we wanted this option for our big day – guests loved it too!”

28 LOOKING THE PART The bride wore a Wendy Makin gown, which happened to be the first dress she tried on! “I looked at others after to ensure it was the one, but it just felt completely right”, says Holly. “It was not necessarily what I thought I wanted as it had thin lace sleeves, which isn’t something I thought I'd like. But as soon as I put it on, I fell in love with the figurehugging silhouette and small train at the back.” The accessories were kept simple, with some added gypsophila flowers in her hair to add an element of fun. The bride comments, “The look was everything I could have hoped for and more. After two years of planning and worrying about whether things would come together on the day, I can honestly say it was all worth it. Everything exceeded our expectations, and all the elements complemented each other well. The colour in the flowers, alongside the ribbons and lanterns, just screamed festival in every possible way. Lewis was very emotional seeing everything come together. We enjoyed such a special day, which was everything we had dreamt of and more.” The groom wore a three-piece brown tweed Marc Darcy suit with an orange tie, whereas his groomsmen wore just two pieces with colourful buttonholes from the florist. The bridesmaids all chose different coloured dresses to continue the colourful theme. TIME TO CELEBRATE The one thing Lewis knew he wanted to have from the start of wedding planning was a live band. He wanted a supplier that could play many artists they both loved and had seen live, whether at Glastonbury or other concerts they had attended. The couple found The Indie Killers after scrolling online and listening to different acts. They could see from their social media page that this band got everyone up dancing together and having a big party – exactly what they wanted! The band were a massive hit with guests and whenever the couple has seen people or spoken to them after the wedding, the band is what they mention. They had everyone up dancing and singing along with a mixture of music. The newlyweds provided large LED lightsticks, adding more colour to the evening party. Holly says, “We’re both from families who love to dance, so the evening reception was a hit with everyone. My dad even said when we were planning the wedding, ‘why don’t you have a big party with dancing?’ So that’s exactly how we treated it and enjoyed the evening.” MEMORABLE MOMENTS Holly and Lewis felt a whole mix of emotions throughout the day. They were both so excited for the wedding and couldn’t have been happier when it all came together. They felt so loved by everyone around them and loved seeing guests interacting. The pair wrote their vows, and reading them to each other was a highlight of the day. Holly says, “We recommend saying your own vows to anyone thinking about it. It made the ceremony even more personal, which was something we loved being able to do. Another special moment was having everyone join in with our first dance. It meant we started the evening celebrations immediately, surrounded by loved ones. My parents got changed into outfits for the evening reception. My dad’s outfit featured a sparkly mermaid jacket, a big surprise I couldn’t know about before the day. Let’s say it was nowhere near as bad as I had expected. His speech was great, and it exceeded all expectations. My dad was not one for large crowds or public speaking, but he shone on the day. I felt so proud to call him my dad and have him speak about our memories, love and future. Of course, he added a couple of embarrassing stories, but these were a great laugh for everyone. I was crying with how sentimental his speech was, and it’s a moment I will treasure forever.” The florist went above and beyond anything the lovebirds had hoped for. If the bride could have kept her bouquet forever and carried it around everywhere, she would have as it looked incredible. She