Your Herts and Beds Wedding - August/September 2023 (Issue 99)

WIN! A luxurious getaway Read local love stories Love is IN THE AIR LOOKING your best Beauty inspiration BLOOMING BEAUTIFUL AUG/SEP 2023 £3.55 Discover stunning garden venues


REGULARS 6 EDITOR’S LETTER Olivia Gibson shares her top picks from this issue 9 NEARLYWED NEWS Catch up on news from around the counties 11 FREEBIES & OFFERS Great giveaways and discounts up for grabs 72 HOT TOPIC Local experts offer stellar advice on wedding dilemmas 84 COMPETITION Win a romantic getaway to the upscale Avani+ Samui Resort in Thailand CONTENTS AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2023 VENUES 17 GOING LOCAL Tie the knot in North Hertfordshire 21 BLOOMING BEAUTIFUL Exchange vows at these stunning venues with glorious gardens On the cover This issue’s cover is taken from the styled shoot on page 45, which was captured by the talented Nikki Watkins Photo & Film, check out: 41 21 FEATURES 41 SUMMER VIBES Check out this romantic and whimsical-styled shoot at Waresley Park Estate 45 INTIMATE ROMANCE Local suppliers came together to create this modern and stylish shoot at Hatfield House 49 LOOKING YOUR BEST Beauty suppliers share their top bridal looks 69 PLANNING SOS Wedding experts share their advice for wow-factor nuptials 3

REAL WEDDINGS 25 LET THE GAMES BEGIN Arthur and Megan’s gorgeous reception featured a peach and gold colour scheme 30 TRUE LOVE George and Sean had a beautiful wedding surrounded by their nearest and dearest 35 THE PERFECT DAY Hanbury Manor provided the perfect location for Emma and Greg’s wedding HONEYMOONS 78 HONEYMOON NEWS Our travel editor reveals the newest openings and honeymoon essentials 80 MY FIRST, MY LAST, MY EVERYTHING Discover five-star, desert island luxury at Conrad Maldives Rangali Island 82 A CELTIC HAVEN Peace and tranquillity await honeymoons at Galgorm in Northern Ireland 85 DO NOT DISTURB We head to Staffordshire to check out the spa mini-moon options at Moddershall Oaks FASHION & BEAUTY 52 FASHION FOCUS The latest bridal fashion news, buys and launches 53 IT’S AN ILLUSION These bridal dresses with barely-there detail are sheer perfection 58 LOOK SHARP Nothing says girl power like a tailored bridal suit or jumpsuit 61 FRUIT PASTELS The mama figure in your life will love these stylish muted dresses teamed with delicate gold accessories 62 BEAUTY BUZZ Get the look with the latest must-haves 64 BEAUTY Q&A Our local professionals solve your problems 66 BEING SOPHIE Sophie Stonehouse on body positivity, self-love and flawless skin 58 61 80 76 GROOMS 74 DRESSED TO IMPRESS The team at Colour Me Beautiful share their fashion advice for the groom-to-be 75 GROOMS’ NEWS The latest best buys and product launches 76 NOT JUST ANOTHER KEN Stand out from the crowd with these pink and white menswear options inspired by this summer’s hot new Barbie film 52 4

I became a full time nanny in August 2010 after completing a Level 3 qualification. I am also trained in Paediatric First Aid, have an enhanced DBS, OFSTED Registered and fully insured. We cover a wide range of events whilst providing a specialist and flexible childcare service, tailored to your needs, for your event. We enable you to have a stress free celebration knowing your child/children are being well cared for. WWW.LP-EVENTNANNIES.CO.UK 07985 350 047 | FULLY-QUALIFIED EXPERIENCED NANNY based in Hertfordshire WWW.RMEVENTSOLUTIONS.COM +44 (0)7977 091774 djrossmac rmeventsolutions Scan to view video

Nothing says girl power like this tailored bridal suit that’s sure to add the wow factor to events. This styled shoot at Hatfield House celebrated relaxed luxury and intimate weddings. 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 Hello lovely readers, and welcome to another Your Herts and Beds Wedding issue! Summer has entered the chat, and I couldn’t be more excited! We’re seeing many festival-themed weddings and outdoor nuptials thanks to the more consistent weather, various seasonal blooms and extra daylight for celebrations. If you’re embracing the outdoors, remember to provide loved ones with some shaded areas so they can take breaks from the sun. Why not supply sun cream for favours and opt for an ice cream truck for some real summer vibes? If possible, avoid direct sunlight at the hottest points of the day and look for breathable attire to stay cool. For those concerned about the heat, your suppliers will help advise accordingly. As the time of year is so popular for weddings, ensure you book companies as soon as possible as they’ll get booked up quickly. Start the planning process with an open mind and ensure you ultimately plan a wedding that symbolises you both. Remember that teamwork makes the dream work! Once you have set a budget, decided on a theme and booked a venue, everything else will fall into place. To help with the process, we’re hand-selected suppliers around the region to help bring your vision to life. We’ve got you covered from showstopping venues, styling inspiration, expert advice, the latest news and trending fashion. We’ve even got stunning local weddings and styled shoots to help inspire. That’s all from me; happy planning! Olivia x Olivia Gibson, Editor Summer lovin’ 45 58 86 Win a romantic getaway to the upscale Avani+ Samui Resort in Thailand. ADVERTISING Account Manager Julia Owen | 01376 538 556 @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 These stunning blooms were the perfect addition to George and Sean’s rustic wedding! 30 6

Calling all grooms-to-be! Colour Me Beautiful has shared their fashion advice to help you find dream-worthy attire 35 Set on 250 acres, Knebworth House is a showstopping wedding venue waiting to be discovered. 74 25 21 41 These lovebirds met working together at Somerset House in London and bonded over their love of Game of Thrones – the rest is history! This stunning shoot was inspired by all things neutral and natural with a touch of glamour. Arthur and Megan’s whole reception was centred around the Highland Games theme with tug of war, cricket and welly wanging. EDITOR’S LETTER 7

BON APPÉTIT Craft & Cleaver Catering are super excited to announce their 2024 wedding menu. The talented chefs specialise in rustic feasts cooked over live fires, and the on-trend menu includes showstopping dishes such as cedar-plank hot-smoked salmon served straight to the table still nailed to the plank, tendersmoked beef brisket and sticky maple squash with creamy miso cauliflower. Canapé options include lamb tacos with wild garlic and nettle chimichurri as well as rockefeller oysters cooked on the coals. Adam Richardson, owner and firemaster, talks us through the concept. He says, “We’re on a mission to redefine wedding food with rustic feasts cooked over sustainable wood and charcoal. Our idea was born out of our sister business, St. Albans barbecue restaurant Craft & Cleaver, with the same principles of using fire and smoke as an ingredient paired with excellent customer service. Couples can expect the same quality that has made the restaurant a Hertfordshire firm favourite, and we love going above and beyond to make weddings memorable.” Contact the team to discuss more details and what else they can offer. Check out: REST YOUR HEADS The Manor of Groves Hotel is currently offering a Romantic Getaway package, which is perfect for pre-wedding escapes to take a break from wedding planning and spend quality time together. Located on 150 acres of stunning grounds, the venue is where Georgian splendour meets a modern twist. The neo-classical property features traditional white pillars and tall glass windows that provide views of the 18-hole golf course and beautiful gardens. The package includes a one-night stay, a three-course meal in the Parisian-style Brassiere, a full English or continental-style breakfast and complimentary use of the Health Club, which consists of a 20-metre swimming pool, sauna, steam room and jacuzzi. A bottle of sparkling wine and a box of chocolates will be waiting in the room upon check-in. Lovebirds will even receive a discount on green fees to play on the Par 71 championship golf course. Please note this offer is subject to availability. All other Hotel terms and conditions apply. To book, call 01279 600 777 or email Check out: PLANNING SOS The team at Ezy Organizer are delighted to announce they have released a new version of their app, which is jam-packed with new features such as voice control. Couples can now spend more time doing what comes naturally and use their voice to tell the app what they want to do, and it will perform the actions for them. The new addition makes planning and organising events easier. Couples can also use the app to flag appointments, activities, goals and to-do lists to keep clients on track with their busy lives. So head to the Apple Appstore or Google Play to download one of the most helpful, advanced and easiest-to-use wedding planning apps available. Check out: All the happenings from around the region NEWS Nearlywed 8

FOOD FOR THOUGHT Based in Hertfordshire, Brookmans offers a complete dining experience for memorable moments with loved ones. Great food is vital for a successful gastro pub, so I was eager to try the dishes and spoiler alert – I wasn’t disappointed! Located in the heart of Brooksmans Park, a peaceful village surrounded by countryside, the pub offers a contemporary setting with luxurious and charming interiors. As we walked through the doors, the friendly staff welcomed us to our table before providing a menu featuring various meals. For starters, I opted for the flavourable twice-baked cheddar and comté souffle, which was light and airy, paired with a walnut and rocket salad. Both the taste and texture were spot on! Next was the pan-fried seabass with butter beans and sun-dried tomatoes. When I tell you this was the best seabass I’ve had in the UK, know I’m not exaggerating. The team perfectly cooked the delicately flavoured fish, and the salsa verde complemented it perfectly. Each mouthful offered all types of wonderful flavours to enjoy. What better way to finish the meal than a smooth, creamy lemon mascarpone cheesecake? The sweetness of the white chocolate and raspberries worked well with the sharp lemon and tangy flavours. The passionate chefs beautifully presented each dish with plenty of love and care, making our experience even more special. General manager, Mitch Brummitt, ensured we had the perfect meal from start to finish. As did the enthusiastic team, who were attentive, professional and knowledgeable about the dishes. We had a wonderful evening full of delicious food in such a beautiful setting – I will definitely be returning soon! The atmosphere provides the perfect setting for relaxing with loved ones before the big day or pre-wedding date nights. With multiple events coming up, seasonal menus, private dining and outdoor space for al fresco meals, what location could be better for memorable occasions? Discover more about the gastro pub: WINE AND DINE The Wee Vinoteca has received the Regional Retailer Award for Best Bar for the second consecutive year after IWC (International Wine Challenge) recognised the team’s exceptional shops in Hitchin and Cambridge. The remarkable recognition truly showcases the staff’s commitment to providing a warm and inviting environment where customers can relax and savour the finest drinks. The incredible achievement is a testament to the team’s expertise in sourcing the finest wines and creating an exceptional customer shopping experience. They’re incredibly grateful for the unwavering support and loyalty of their customers, as it is because of them that these remarkable achievements have become a reality. The company’s first wine festival was a huge success! The team welcomed more than 500 wine enthusiasts to the stunning Lucas Lane Cricket Club. It was a remarkable day, filled with outstanding wines, tantalising street food and live music that created a vibrant atmosphere. Check out: IT’S PARTY TIME The Forest Centre’s team in Bedfordshire is getting ready to host the Bee Gees tribute band Stayin’ Alive UK on September 29th, 2023. The band recreated the most accurate portrayal of The Brothers Gibb; their uncanny resemblance has to be seen to be believed! They will be playing hits from all decades to ensure there’s something to enjoy for everyone. The doors will open at 7 pm before the show starts at 8 pm. Between this time, food and drinks will be available. Guests will be blown away by the band’s talent and dancing shoes are recommended! The event is perfect for hen or stag dos, so get ready to boogie with loved ones and enjoy an evening of entertainment from start to finish. Tickets are only £15 per person, and parking charges do not apply to this event. For more information, check out: Scan to view video 9 LOCAL NEWS

Beautiful, creative, natural light wedding photography We create a bespoke package to all your requirements with the option of our ice cream van or trike to choose from. EMAIL: frankies.icecreams Our one of a kind 1955 Austin A30 ice cream van is ready to impress you and your guests on your special day.

ENTER ONLINE AT WWW.YOURHERTSBEDS.WEDDING BEFORE 30TH SEPTEMBER 2023. MADE WITH LOVE Weddings are joyful celebrations shared with loved ones, and each person contributes to the magic of the occasion. Surprise loved ones on the day with live painting and beautiful bespoke gifts to take home. SP Wedding Art specialises in creating quick, whimsical watercolour paintings of wedding guests. Each picture takes four to 12 minutes, depending on the number of people in the picture. These are then propped up on mini easels to dry, creating a gallery for guests to find their family and friends. Each piece is packaged into sleeves with border mounts as mementoes to treasure. We’ve teamed up with the company to offer readers a free engagement painting when they quote Your Herts & Beds Wedding for bookings made this year for 2023 and 2024 weddings. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with the team for any enquiries. Check out: Great giveaways and discounts up for grabs BEHIND THE LENS Wedding photography is the perfect way to capture treasured moments to share with future generations. Weddings by Alexandra Arlett is a Hertfordshire-based wedding photographer with a natural and relaxed documentary style. By working with lovebirds, owner Alexandra captures stunning weddings across the UK. She says, “I’m passionate about capturing the perfect light and those magical split-second moments to cherish forever. I combine my editorial photography experience with my love for documentary and photojournalism to create timeless images.” We’ve teamed up with the company to offer readers a free engagement shoot with wedding bookings when they quote Your Herts and Beds Wedding before October 1st, 2023. Contact the team to find out more about the offer. Check out: WIN A STAY IN THE LAKE DISTRICT Lakeside Hotel & Spa blends country house character with contemporary four-star luxury set within the stunning panoramic views of Lake Windermere – part of the spectacular Lake District World Heritage Site. With its unique location and choice of reception rooms and private suites, the hotel can cater for intimate wedding parties, larger weddings of up to 80 guests and even secret escape weddings just for two, making it the ideal setting and venue for an unforgettable Lake District wedding. The winner of this fantastic prize will be greeted with a glass of Lanson Champagne upon arrival and enjoy a three-course dinner for two before settling down for a good night’s sleep in a double room. The following morning, the winner can enjoy a delicious full English breakfast or Continental version. Classic Lodges is a nationwide collection of exclusive hotels that all have exceptional charm and character, whether that’s a peaceful country getaway or a city centre stay. Each of the hotels provides a friendly, relaxing atmosphere while maintaining Classic Lodges’ signature style, comfort and luxury. Steeped in history, all of the hotels have equally stunning views to accompany the suites and rooms. Visit to book a stay. For your chance to win, visit our website. Terms and conditions apply. Freebies& OFFERS FREEBIES & OFFERS 11

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. 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 KENT SUN 24 SEP | RACKLEY’S CHILTERN HILLS Marlow Road, Cadmore End, Bucks, HP14 3PP SUN 12 NOV | PENSHURST PLACE Penshurst, TN11 8DG SUN 10 SEP | CHENIES MANOR HOUSE Chenies, Rickmansworth, Bucks, WD3 6ER SUN 15 OCT | BRADBOURNE HOUSE New Road, East Malling, ME19 6DZ BERKS, BUCKS & OXON

ESSEX SUSSEX SUN 8 OCT | LAYER MARNEY TOWER Layer Marney, Colchester, CO5 9US SUN 29 OCT | HOUCHINS WEDDING VENUE Houchin’s Lane, Coggeshall, Colchester, CO6 1RT SUN 1 OCT | MULBERRY HOUSE Chelmsford Road, High Ongar, CM5 9NL SUN 22 OCT | BRAXTED PARK Great Braxted, Witham, CM8 3EN SUN 15 OCT | THAT AMAZING PLACE Hubbards Hall Farm, Harlow, CM17 0NH SUN 22 OCT | SELDEN BARNS Selden Lane, Patching, Worthing, BN13 3UL EAST MIDLANDS SUN 15 OCT | RUSHTON HALL Desborough Road, Rushton, Kettering, NN14 1RR SUN 1 OCT | NUTFIELD PRIORY Nutfield Road, Nutfield, Redbridge, RH1 4EL SURREY 12PM-4PM 12PM-4PM

• 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 8 OCTOBER 2023 | 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 1 OCTOBER 2023 | 11AM - 3.30PM ASCOT RACECOURSE

Pre-register for all of our events at ASCOT RACECOURSE, 1ST OCTOBER, 2023 WEMBLEY STADIUM, 8TH OCTOBER, 2023 MERCEDES-BENZ WORLD, 29TH OCTOBER, 2023 X 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

Weddings In the heart of rural Bedfordshire Ceremonies & Evening Receptions Inclusive Wedding Package Spacious Wedding Suite Wedding Garden for Outdoor Photographs Wedding & Civil Ceremony Licence Dedicated Wedding Team Free Parking for Guests The Rufus Centre, Steppingley Road, Flitwick, MK45 1AH Tel: 01525 631905 Email: Treat our space like a blank canvas and make it your own 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 these stunning North Hertfordshire venues VANSTONE PARK WITH COUNTRY TIPIS 01438 900 269 | Nestled in Hertfordshire, Vanstone Park with Country Tipis is a romantic setting surrounded by a beautiful woodland. The three giant tipis are perfect for memorable weddings, with a rustic wooden floor and entrance porch, making it the perfect location for year-round special events. The vast open green space is ready for mingling and dancing, while the woodland area offers the perfect backdrop to memorable days. The venue doesn’t have a ceremony licence, but couples can have celebrant-led weddings or blessings with 150 people in one of the photographic spots around the grounds. Continue the celebrations in the giant tipis, which can host wedding breakfasts with 150 guests and evening receptions with 250. The blank canvas design lets couples get creative to bring their dream wedding to life. Dance the night away amongst the stars, surrounded by festoon-lit walkways for the ultimate rustic vibes. The property offers the complete setting thanks to the team, who cover everything like parking, power, toilets, a rustic bar and gorgeous furniture – allowing couples to focus on the personal details. The staff will work with lovebirds to help them achieve wedding dreams and are there to ensure events run smoothly from start to finish. With plenty of experience, they can offer tips and tricks along the way. Couples will have access to the venue to set-up the day before their wedding and the day after to pack everything away. 17 LOCAL VENUES

DUNTON LODGE FARM WEDDINGS 07849 918 568 | For those dreaming about tying the knot surrounded by picturesque English countryside, look no further than Dunton Lodge in Hertfordshire. The stunning property has fantastic uninterrupted views of the surrounding area and provides many photographic backdrops to discover. From the moment guests travel down the private driveway, they’ll fall in love with this enchanting space. The beautiful English garden provides the perfect base for any tipi or marquee for wedding breakfasts with 120 loved ones or 150 in the evenings. Or pairs can celebrate on the lawns with the family-owned Victorian farmhouse nestled in the background. The blank canvas venue allows couples to create their special day using their suppliers or the venue’s preferred companies. No matter what, the hardworking team will help couples create showstopping weddings while supporting them every step of the way. They’re on hand to help answer any questions, concerns or offer advice, as they know wedding planning can be overwhelming. The venue offers the ultimate setting with plenty of space outside for seating, props and games. It’s perfect for those searching for a relaxed and exclusive space that will wow guests while providing the ideal backdrop for events. THE BARNS AT REDCOATS 01438 729 500 | Located in landscaped gardens and surrounded by Hertfordshire countryside, The Barns at Redcoats offers the ultimate wedding setting with beautiful views. Built-in 1771, The Barns are the original buildings of The Farmhouse at Redcoats Green. Refurbished in 2018, The Barns now boast all the quirky historic features intertwined with stylish design and the latest technology – purposely built with weddings in mind. The adjoining Cowshed bar and lounge is stylish, quirky and fun, making it the perfect place for ceremonies and receptions with 120 loved ones. Whatever the tipple, the experienced bar team will shake couples’ favourite cocktails and recommend the best whisky and gin. Come together to enjoy an unforgettable culinary experience where all the dishes are prepared with the finest ingredients from nearby farmers and suppliers. Whether pairs opt for canapés, banquets, fine dining or hog roasts, the chefs will create food that strikes the imagination, tickles taste buds and wow guests. For those after outdoor ceremonies, the lawn or under the Grain Store is the perfect location for the vows during the summer months. After all the celebrations, guests can rest in the 26 on-site bedrooms, either in the charming Farmhouse or the stylish renovated barn bedrooms, while the newlyweds enjoy the luxury honeymoon suite. 18

OFFLEY PLACE COUNTRY HOUSE HOTEL Surrounded by 27 acres of manicured lawns, Offley Place Country House Hotel is located within beautiful grounds that create a picturesque backdrop to weddings. The historic architecture boasts character and charm, which is echoed delicately throughout. Check out: NEEDHAM HOUSE HOTEL Nestled in the quaint Hertfordshire village of Little Wymondley, Needham House Hotel is a four-star boutique venue with two AA rosette brasseries. The décor of the private dining rooms, guest rooms, spa, fitness room, bar and restaurant captures the essence and history of the building. Check out: Also check out… THE PRIORY Steeped in history, The Priory is grand by anyone’s standards. Built in the 16th-century by the King’s carpenter, the exposed oak structure of the spacious barn makes this venue an absolute stunner. The picturesque gardens and terrace provide the perfect backdrop for outdoor celebrations and the all-important big-day photos. Check out: THE CLOISTERS There’s nowhere quite like The Cloisters, a fascinating venue that never fails to enchant visitors. Designed and built at the turn of the last century, this special space displays distinctive architecture featuring towers and turrets that are perfect for wedding photos. Check out: 19 LOCAL VENUES

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 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

In full bloom Check out these stunning venues with glorious gardens 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 lovebirds can get creative to bring their vision to life – the bigger the imagination, the better! Lovebirds 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 the site for their wedding day, including the six-bedroom farmhouse. Dating back to the 18th-century, the space has been newly 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. Couples can relax knowing their wedding is in safe hands. There’s also parking, power and water to ensure memorable weddings. GLORIOUS GARDENS 21

THE CONSERVATORY AT LUTON HOO 01582 459 216 | Nestled within the historic 18th-century Walled Garden, The Conservatory in Bedfordshire offers a beautiful backdrop to events. The venue’s grounds were established in the 1770s by John Stuart, 3rd Earl of Bute. It’s now continuously developed to reflect the traditional use of the grounds with beautiful flowerbeds, plants and fruit trees. The luxury marquee is finished to the highest specification with a music system and decorative lighting, including a starlight ceiling and customisable coloured up-lighters. Couples can exchange vows inside the marquee, and blessings can occur on the lawn. After the “I dos”, the marquee opens onto a private patio area within the garden to provide the perfect setting for drinks receptions and games. The Conservatory has been designed flexibly and has a separate reception area for wedding breakfasts with 300 guests. There’s a spacious dancefloor and stage for those all-important speeches and entertainment, suitable for up to 400 people in the evenings. KNEBWORTH HOUSE & BARNS 01438 813825 | Set on 250 acres, Knebworth Park has been home to grazing herds of deer for even longer than the Lytton family. The 28-acre formal gardens are delightful every season and offers a perfect backdrop for beautiful wedding photography. The romantic exterior of Knebworth House, with its turrets, domes and gargoyles silhouetted against the sky, does little to prepare visitors for what to expect. As well as being a beautiful setting, guests may be intrigued to learn about Knebworth House & Park, also known as The Stately Home of Rock. The Rolling Stones, Queen, Oasis and more than 100 other major artists have played at Knebworth Festivals. The site has also made starring appearances on the big screen in major feature films, series and music videos, including Batman, The Crown and The King’s Speech. The beautiful 16th-century barns are filled with charm and character. The Manor Barn can accommodate up to 150 guests for ceremonies and wedding breakfasts, while the Lodge Barn is the perfect place to dance the night away with space for up to 250 guests. Alternatively, The Lytton Barn can host up to 80 for ceremonies, whereas the Cobbold Barn can accommodate up to 120 guests for wedding breakfasts and 200 guests for evening entertainment. The stunning Knebworth House Banqueting Hall is steeped in history, creating a magical atmosphere for guests. The space can host 100 people for the vows or 60 guests for wedding meals. Or, St Mary’s Church of England is also located within Knebworth Park, and the venue’s team will happily contact lovebirds to discuss options directly with the church. Why not tie the knot in the beautiful formal gardens for those looking for al fresco celebrations? The staff at Knebworth House are on-hand to discuss how they can enhance special events. They understand the importance of weddings and will be there to help coordinate events so everything runs smoothly. 22

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. Also check out… BRICKENDON GRANGE GOLF CLUB Located within the rolling Hertfordshire countryside, Brickendon Grange Golf Club is set amidst 160 acres of natural parkland and creates the perfect venue for wedding receptions. As couples drive up the picturesque driveway, they discover the magnificent 19th-century manor, which makes lasting first impressions. Check out: SANDON MANOR Located in Hertfordshire, Sandon Manor is a Georgian mansion surrounded by 1,200 acres of estate, which is being converted to rewilded countryside. Guests spend quality time together during their stay with exclusive use of the grounds while they relax in comfort and immerse themselves in nature. Check out: THE SHUTTLEWORTH TRUST Situated in 425 acres of historic parkland in Bedfordshire, Shuttleworth House offers an unrivalled wedding experience. Couples can have exclusive use of the Jacobean-style venue and choose between an array of grand and finely furnished rooms to host ceremonies, wedding breakfasts and evening receptions. Check out: ESSENDON COUNTRY CLUB Situated on more than 400 acres of stunning Hertfordshire countryside, Essendon Country Club is the perfect location for weddings. The venue’s dedicated wedding planner will support couples every step of the way to ensure they receive their dream day. Check out: FANHAMS HALL There’s a surprise around every corner at Fanhams Hall, which is the perfect venue for weddings. The house never stops being a feast for the senses with a Medieval hall, Jacobean mansion, stunning surroundings and 21st-century mod cons all rolled into one. The grounds are a magical outdoor oasis featuring Japanese gardens complete with a tea house, regal water fountains, a wisteria walkway, woodlands and manicured formal gardens. Check out: MANOR OF GROVES HOTEL Located on 150 acres of stunning grounds, the Manor of Groves Hotel is a stunning venue where Georgian splendour meets a modern twist. The neoclassical property features traditional white pillars and tall glass windows that provide showstopping views of the 18-hole golf course and beautifully kept gardens that are the ideal settings for wedding photography. Check out: 23 GLORIOUS GARDENS

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LET THE GAMES BEGIN Arthur and Megan’s gorgeous reception featured a peach and gold colour scheme Images courtesy of Lorna Newman Wedding Photography These lovebirds were originally friends but decided to date three years later when sparks began to fly. As they were already good friends, the pair knew plenty about each together and spent years making special memories before Arthur proposed at a ruined castle on the Isle of Skye over a picnic – it was a big surprise for Megan! After tying the knot on the island, the pair planned a large reception to celebrate with all loved ones. Here Megan shares details about their special day… REAL WEDDINGS 25

We used fairylights, lanterns and flags to decorate the marquee. We asked our guests to bring their favourite photographs of us to hang around the bar area with notes written on each. We dotted around peach roses, eucalyptus and bunny tails around the venue. We wanted a games theme, so the large garden and the pool area at Shortmead House were perfect! The groomsmen and our fathers had buttonholes, while the bridal party had wrist corsages. Our whole party was centred around the Highland Games theme, which involved tug of war, cricket and welly wanging. We divided our guests into teams and designed a round-robin tournament so everyone got involved. 26

Guests played water polo in the evening, which was competitive and brilliant to watch! Our mums and Arthur’s grandma made our semi-naked cake, which was decorated with fresh fruit. Arthur wore a gold cummerbund and a larger buttonhole to stand out with his tuxedo. A brilliant band performed after dinner, and some guests are booking the team for their special day. We let our wedding party wear what they wanted, as long as it was in keeping with the black-tie theme. I wore a Justin Alexander dress with long sleeves and opted for a ponytail to show off the beaded back. I finished the look with some simple silver earrings and trusty Birkenstocks so I could properly compete in the competitions! REAL WEDDINGS 27

One of the groomsmen made our day extra special; he was the masterof-ceremonies and let us borrow his Land Rover for photos! We enjoyed the day and were so happy to celebrate with loved ones. ARTHUR AND MEGAN’S LITTLE WHITE BOOK Venue, | Photographer, | Bride’s dress, | Hair, | Make-up, | Flowers, | Stationery, Entertainment, | Dancefloor banners, Our photographer Lorna Newman was terrific and I’m so pleased we chose her to capture the day! I was so pleased with how our friends and family got stuck in and enjoyed the games together. 28

Helping you tell your love story with unforgettable flowers 07557 029862 Charlene Webb Photography - WEDDING & EVENT FLORIST - 01767 682286 Based in Sandy • Lewis Henry • Ann Balon • Dressed up • Veromia Established 47 years Mother Of The Bride Specialist Condici • Veni Infantino • Ispirato • Couture Club • Irresistible Sizes 6 – 28 • Free Alteration Service • Matching Hats, Fascinators • Shoes & Bags available Lingerie from Fantasie, Charnos, After Eden, Royce & Triumph. Cup sizes AA-H John Street, Royston, SG8 9BE Tel: 01763 244073 For That Special Occasion CREAM

TRUE LOVE George and Sean had a beautiful wedding surrounded by their nearest and dearest Images courtesy of Angels With Dirty Faces Photography 30

REAL WEDDINGS 31 George and Sean met at the Barn Theatre in Welwyn Garden City in a production of Blue Stockings. But it turns out they’d met before! The pair both went to the same secondary school and were in the same form for a few months before George moved. They never crossed paths again until meeting 13 years later! Sean proposed on a clifftop in Cornwall just before lockdown in 2020. George grew up camping every summer at Mother Ivey’s Bay with family, and this particular spot overlooking the beach is her favourite place on earth. The pair made it even more special over the years together, so what location could be better for such a memorable moment? The bride says, “It was an extremely rough day with high winds and I stood on the cliff edge looking out to sea, totally oblivious to Sean down on one knee behind me asking the big question – I didn’t hear a word! I nearly took too many steps backwards in surprise when I eventually turned around!” SETTING THE SCENE When planning the wedding, the couple wanted a relaxed day surrounded by many wonderful people. The bride says, “We didn’t want to get bogged down in frills or details; it was all about the people for us and making mum’s presence felt as much as possible. My mum's dear friend Selina is a reverend and used to read at our local church. She took the service for my mum’s funeral shortly after we got engaged. The current reverend at St Giles was kind enough to let her officiate for us, which was special as mum always loved the idea that she might marry us one day.” Having a lifelong family friend conduct the ceremony was incredibly special, and Selina ensured the day was extra personal – she was a dream come true. The couple wanted a big garden party for the reception, which was perfect as the bride’s family home was just a short drive from the church and had ample outdoor space. George says, “The location holds a special place in many hearts, not least of all my mum’s. So it was an easy choice for us, and luckily my dad was up for hosting 150 revellers!” The lovebirds were very chilled about all the arrangements and the day itself. They just wanted everyone to kick off their shoes and feel relaxed. The bride’s godmother, mother-in-law and mumma C pulled together a team of the mother-of-the-bride's friends in the days before to decorate the huge stretch tent with flowers from the garden, table runners made from coffee bean sacks, wrapped jam jars in hessian filled with flowers, a wooden palette with timings of the day and fairylights. The pair hired trestle tables, benches and borrowed haybales from the neighbouring farmer, which were covered in blankets. The same farmer let them use the field behind the garden for parking. The bride says, ”Another of mum's close friends is an incredibly talented florist who made the bouquets and buttonholes, which were stunning.” To keep guests from going hungry, loved ones enjoyed a three-course meal with wine and fizz from Majestic Wine. The bride’s brother baked 500 of their mum’s famous sausage rolls for canapés, and the lovebirds booked a fantastic vegan caterer Veg Heads to keep guests from going hungry. The team served burgers and hotdogs from a food stall and a doughnut wall for pudding. The overall effect was a garden fit for fairy royalty, filled with light, magic and the very best of people who literally kicked off their shoes and danced the night away – just as the pair had hoped for. LOOKING THE PART The bride wore Somerset by Wtoo from Heritage Brides at Hatfield House, and her rose gold Louboutins were a wedding gift from the

32 groom. She says, “I’d always envisioned a classic silk fitted dress, but it didn’t fit the relaxed garden vibe we were going for. My consultant Sam picked a lightweight, sleeveless gown with a thigh-high split off the rail that sang A Midsummer Night’s Dream. George borrowed a veil and garter from her maid-of-honours, and Steve at Godshaw Jewellers let her borrow her favourite pieces for the day – a fortunate bride indeed! Thanks to her make-up artist, she felt amazing after getting ready and couldn’t wait to see Sean. The groom wore a tailor-made suit from Beggars Run, which he'd always dreamt of, and it happened to be the final one being made when he placed the order! The groomsmen chose their suits as the pair wanted everyone to be comfortable. The man-of-honour and Sean’s eightyear-old groomsman were in matching suits by chance, which looked so lovely in photographs. The maid-of-honours wore the well-known infinity dresses in mauve and looked radiant! Two just had babies, so the bride was fortunate to have two beautiful flowergirls three weeks and six weeks old. So, the mums needed to be comfortable and able to move and feed easily. TIME TO CELEBRATE The newlyweds were fortunate to have many creative and talented people in their lives, including a reverend, florist, artist and musicians! Pete Dawson played the cello for them during the ceremony and the reception. He’s an exceptional musician that’s a master of many instruments and musical languages. So many dreams come true thanks to the generosity and kindness of friends. In the evening, the pair dragged the tables and benches aside to make way for a dancefloor, which the brilliant DJ kept filled all night, knowing exactly what music guests wanted! MEMORABLE MOMENTS The couple felt happy, excited, overwhelmed and a little nervous on the day. But once the official bits were over, they were buzzing to spend time with everyone and enjoyed every second of the day – particularly the first dance to Mumford & Sons' Lover Of The Light. The speeches were fantastic; there was so much laughter and a few tears. George comments, “We loved having all our loved ones' children with us too! Nothing adds to the joy of a day like kids running wild and having fun!” So many people went above and beyond to ensure the lovebirds had the perfect day. The bride says, “Selina created a service that brought mum into the room, Julie stepped in as mum when I needed her most, my brother baked for us, Sam’s best man speech was terrific, everyone came to party and our loved one Jenny read a beautiful poem that had us bawling. Plus, our photographer Denise captured everyone and the vibe of our day beautifully – we can treasure the images forever." HONEYMOON Eight months after the special day, the pair spent 10 days in Sri Lanka thanks to guest contributions towards the trip. The lovebirds planned the honeymoon and had a fantastic time adventuring around the coast and mountains, swimming with turtles, watching whales, eating lots of food and relaxing by the sea.

REAL WEDDINGS 33 Photographer, | Bride’s dress, | Hair and make-up, | Bridesmaids’ dresses, | Groom’s suit, | Stationery printers, www. | Entertainment, | Catering, | Stretch tent, Wine, | Tables, benches, wine glasses and water jugs, GEORGE AND SEAN’S LITTLE WHITE BOOK

A beautiful selection of vintage and fine china which is available to hire - mix and match to create the perfect setting to match your style. We will work closely with your planner and other suppliers to make sure your big day goes off without a hitch. We are also able to provide recommendations of suppliers we collaborate with. Please contact us for an initial chat or visit our website. 07905 347842 | The oldest, independent family-run jewellers in the UK, Gatwards of Hitchin is renowned for its dedicated customer experience to help you choose that special piece from its awe-inspiring collection of exquisite fine jewellery WWW.GATWARDSOFHITCHIN.CO.UK GATWARDS, 20 MARKET PLACE, HITCHIN HERTFORDSHIRE, SG5 1DU More than a Moment AWARDWINNING WEDDING CAKES Ideally located in Hertfordshire and serving the surrounding counties, Angela will work closely with you to capture your wedding cake vision and create a stunning and elegant cake for your wedding celebration. Using only the finest ingredients, your dream cake will taste delicious, look amazing and be beautifully styled for your special day. Get in touch to book your discovery call: T: 07939 554 242 E: Find wedding cake inspiration, information and client reviews: |