Your West Midlands Wedding- December 2021/January 2022 (Issue 77)

DEC 2021/JAN 2022 HONEYMOONS, BEAUTY, FASHION, GROOMS, EXPERT ADVICE, FREEBIES AND MORE £3.55 TREND SETTER WIN! The latest wedding dresses A break for eight guests at Whitley Hall, Yorkshire Tie the knot in a magical setting Local wonders Transport options Walking in a winter wonderland Arrive in style Venues in Herefordshire, Worcestershire & Shropshire


REGULARS 6 EDITOR’S LETTER What to look out for in this issue 9 NEARLYWED NEWS Catch up on the latest from around the West Midlands 13 FREEBIES & OFFERS Great giveaways and discounts up for grabs 49 HOT TOPIC Our experts answer your questions 77 COMPETITION Win a fun-filled sleepover for eight guests at Whitley Hall in Yorkshire CONTENTS DECEMBER/JANUARY 2021/2022 VENUES 15 SPOTLIGHT ON HEREFORDSHIRE, WORCESTERSHIRE & SHROPSHIRE Discover some of the best venues in the area 19 WALKING IN A WINTER WONDERLAND Tie the knot in a magical venue FEATURES 43 IT’S THE JOURNEY THAT MATTERS The latest transport options 46 MEMORABLE MOMENTS County Wedding Magazines editor Melissa Barker shares her wedding planning journey 53 STAND OUT FROM THE CROWD Tips for looking your big-day best 59 MODERN ROMANCE Inspired by autumnal colours, this styled shoot took place at the beautiful Blithfield Lakeside Barns Cover look This issue’s cover is from Sarah and Matt’s wedding on page 25. It was photographed by Michelle Williams Photography ( at the gorgeous Hoar Cross Hall ( 49 53 3

REAL WEDDINGS 25 CHILDHOOD SWEETHEARTS Sarah and Matt have been together for 10 years and celebrated their love with a romantic celebration at Hoar Cross Hall 30 THE ONE FOR ME Alexandra and Darryl met as children and years later celebrate their love with a gorgeous wedding at Barns and Yard 37 RUSTIC ROMANCE Laura and Sam fell in love with Barnutopia and knew it was the perfect wedding venue for them HONEYMOONS 86 HONEYMOON NEWS UK special 88 ESCAPE TO GREECE Bustling cultural centres or tranquil secluded spots, the choice is yours GROOMS 83 GROOMS’ NEWS All the latest news and product launches 84 CHECK PLEASE! Look dashing in this on trend print FASHION & BEAUTY 62 FASHION FOCUS Fashion editor Claire Ridley reveals her latest bridal fashion news, buys and launches 65 DRESS UP Trousers, statement sleeves, sleek A-line silhouettes and voluminous skirts are just some of the styles that brides will be wearing in 2022 68 SURPRISE, SURPRISE! Whether you’re choosing an engagement ring for a Christmas proposal or shopping for your big-day jewellery, sparkle in these pieces from the latest winter collections 69 NOT ALL WHITE These pastel and champagne gowns prove that you don’t have to wear white 72 PARTY DRESSING We chat to model, television presenter and radio DJ Vogue Williams about her latest venue Vogue X Roco 74 BEAUTY BUZZ Beauty editor Kelly Andrews reveals all the latest must-haves for the bride-to-be 76 NAILED IT! Team CWM put the latest bridal nail polish shades to the test 78 FROM THE INSIDE OUT We caught up with owner and founder of Simone Thomas Wellness, Simone herself, to discover how taking care of yourself from the inside out is the ultimate path to wedding wellness 80 FASHION Q&A Local professionals solve your problems 63 25 30 37 4

For the best collection of Boho and Disney Fairy Tale Wedding Dresses Email or call 0121 706 6060 to book your private appointment now

Win a fun-filled sleepover for eight guests at Whitley Hall in Yorkshire. Local experts give their top tips and showcase the latest products to ensure you look your big-day best. 77 63 53 Trends come and go quickly, so to help, we’ve rounded up the latest fashionable dresses. 69 Looking for something different for your big day? Be inspired by these striking wedding dresses. @CountyWeddingMagazines @CountyWeddings @cwm_wedding Can you believe it’s that time of year again? After everything we’ve all been through in the last two years, I think we all deserve to relax and what better time than Christmas/New Year? This festive season feels strange to me as it’s my last as a Miss. I’m getting married in July 2022, and the countdown is officially on. Everything is booked and I’m starting to get excited and nervous about the idea of walking down the aisle. I love writing about your weddings and sharing your stories with our wonderful region, and it’s given me some great ideas for my own big day and is helping keep my nerves in check! The December/January issue has always been my favourite, and we’ve gone all out to create an issue full of inspirational weddings, transport ideas, make-up tips and gorgeous venues. To be featured in the magazine, email me at or via our website Merry Christmas and happy New Year! Melissa x Melissa Barker, Editor All I want for Christmas is you 6 ISSN 1759-4723 EDITORIAL 01376 535 611 Melissa Barker| Editor Danielle Harvey | Managing Editor, Grooms Editor and Travel Editor Kelly Andrews | Senior Editor and Beauty Editor Claire Ridley | Fashion Editor DESIGN 01376 535 616 Graphic Designers | Sarah Hill Stephanie Hodder | Vicky O’Connor Production Assistant | Lorna Butcher Digital Marketing Coordinator Katie Laley Web Development Manager Stuart Weatherley ADVERTISING Sales & Events Director Sarah Ellis | 01376 538 490 Account Manager Christopher Meer | 01376 538 558 Subscriptions 01376 514 000 ACCOUNTS 01376 535 616 Accounting Manager | Derrick James Your West Midlands Wedding is solely owned, published and designed by KD Media Publishing. Whilst every effort was made to ensure the information in this magazine was correct at the time of going to press, the publishers cannot accept legal responsibility for any errors or omissions, nor can they accept responsibility for advert content, or of the standing of advertisers or by the editorial contributions. The views expressed do not necessarily reflect those of the publisher. Your West Midlands Wedding is published six times a year. Subscription rates are £17.60 per annum (incl. p+p). Cheques should be made out to KD Media Publishing and sent to Your West Midlands Wedding, c/o KD Media Publishing, Pantile House, Newlands Drive, Witham, Essex CM8 2AP. Visit us online at and DIA SHING NTS SHING EVENTS & PUBLISHING cwe COUNTY WEDDING EVENTS @CountyWeddingMagazines @CountyWeddings @cwm_wedding

Local suppliers send in their top tips. Find out all about my wedding planning journey. 46 49 Check out these winter wonderland venues. The latest fashion ideas. 80 19 We love Laura’s gorgeous Stella York dress. Read all about her wedding to Sam in our real wedding section. On your big day, all eyes will be on you, so why not impress your guests with wow-factor transport? Whether you’re looking for something traditional, fun or quirky, our wonderful region has something to suit. 37 43 EDITOR’S LETTER 7

NEWS All the latest from around the West Midlands ESPECIALLY FOR YOU Antona At Home, created by Bake Off: The Professionals finalist Bharat Chandegra, has launched a range of luxury Michelin starred Christmas hampers. Founded in the wake of Covid when restaurants were unable to trade, Antona At Home fulfilled a new demand for excellent restaurantquality meals delivered to your home. During lockdown, it flourished, and the chefs’ Michelin meal boxes sold out week after week. As restaurants reopened, Antona At Home evolved and now boasts a home delivery service, an artisan chocolate and patisserie company and a soon-tolaunch bespoke catering and events business. The hampers are perfect for a wedding guest who has gone above and beyond or as a gift for the happy couple. Each one contains cherry and chocolate macarons, mince pie bonbons, chocolate and orange cake, praline and milk chocolate spread, nougat, festive cookies and cinnamon candles. Head over to for more information. CAKE EXPECTATIONS To celebrate the wonderful job that the emergency services has done for our country during the Coronavirus pandemic, Cake Fantastique kindly offered all NHS staff a 25 discount during the height of the pandemic. This gorgeous cake pictured was made for an NHS couple who booked their day during the first lockdown. Based in Worcestershire, Cake Fantastique is a small family-run business run by Samantha, who has a passion for creating cakes. “I endeavour to create fresh bakes with the best ingredients available all within your budget,” says Samantha. “I’m fully registered and insured, and orders can be placed online, over the phone or in person. We offer a wide variety of flavours, and all our creations are vegetarian and nut-free unless otherwise specified.” To find out more, visit Nearlywed A WINTER GLOW Hoar Cross Hall, a grand wedding venue in Staffordshire, has launched a limited-edition Winter Glow Spa Day. The Winter Glow Treatments are the perfect antidote to an increasingly fast-paced life. The soothing 60-minute treatment helps to eliminate stress and increases endorphins as you breathe in warming scents of winter spice and exotic citrus and cocoon in a luxurious moisturising wrap infused with sweet mandarin and lime. Leave your winter aches and pains behind as the spa’s expert therapists carry out a rejuvenating facial and relaxing scalp massage featuring comforting seasonal aromas. To round off your day, explore the rest of the spa’s varied and extensive facilities in a cosy bathrobe, and enjoy a leisurely three-course lunch as you relax the day away. For the ultimate relaxation escape, Hoar Cross Hall is offering guests the Winter Glow Spa Stay. Guest can opt to experience one of Hoar Cross Hall’s luxurious hotel suites. During your stay, you can enjoy full access to the spa and spend the evening dining like royalty in the AA Rosette-awarded Grand Ballroom. Both experiences are available until the end of January 2022. To find out more, visit YOUR ESSENTIALS 9

NEW VENUE ALERT! Oakfield Gardens and Events is new wedding venue in the grounds of Worcester-based The River School. Pete Graham, the business manager at Oakfield Gardens and Events, said: “We’re so delighted to have launched this fabulous initiative. The grounds at The River School are so beautiful and will lend themselves to both wedding and corporate events with both inside and outside spaces available.” Brides and grooms-to-be will benefit from their own wedding co-ordinator and a package – entitled the Honeycomb Package because there are seven on-site beehives – which includes two giant tipis, warm white lighting, bamboo candle lanterns, two flambeaux fires, a dancefloor, tables and chairs, a fully staffed bar and luxury toilets. Extras include personalised honey jars, hay bales and photo booths. Adrian Parsonage, the headteacher of The River School, said: “Our school grounds have long been cherished and nurtured by our school community. Opening them up to the wider public has always been part of our plans, and we’re thrilled that this has come to fruition.” For more information, visit WINTER RELAXATION Moddershall Oaks Country Spa Retreat in Staffordshire has launched a new Winter Wonders Spa Package. Encouraging guests to take time to chill with loved ones this winter, the seasonal package provides the perfect balance of festivity and relaxation for guests. Available as a spa day and break, the limited-edition package is available throughout December, January and February. Guests will be spoilt for choice with access to the award-winning indoor and outdoor spa facilities. Whether you prefer to snuggle up in front of the crackling fire in the peaceful relaxation lounge or soak up the crisp winter air in the outdoor vitality spa pool, heated to a toasty 38 degrees, there is something for everyone. Making use of their spa experience, you can also relish in the experience showers, 10m swimming pool, Kelo sauna, hydrotherapy pool, heated loungers, reflexology footbaths and enjoy the new 20-minute Winks of Wonder massage. Guests on the spa day package can enjoy an indulgent two-course lunch in the newly refurbished restaurant. For those who have chosen to indulge in the Winter Wonders Spa Break, will enjoy the spa facilities and check into a luxurious five-star suite before enjoying a scrumptious two-course evening meal. After a night of deep relaxation, you will awaken to a freshly cooked breakfast in the restaurant before checkout. On the day of departure, the spa facilities are open for guests to enjoy last-minute relaxation until 4:30pm. Visit for more information. MUSICAL SAVINGS Staffordshire-based harpist Helen Barley is running a special discount for couples who book her carbon fibre harp. “The harp sounds amazing and is so easy to transport,” says Helen. “It makes my life much easier, so I’ve decided to offer couples their ceremony music for the special price of £200. This includes music for guests to enter and wait, the bride’s entrance, a song as part of the ceremony in place of a reading, during the signing of the register and for the exit of the happy couple. It also includes a free home consultation to help you choose your music. “I’m a graduate of the Royal Manchester College of music and working with a group of autistic children led me to buy a small harp as an experiment. Both the children and I completely fell in love with the harp, and so a period of intensive training followed, including lessons from some of the country’s top harpists. I now play with several local orchestras and enjoy singing at weddings and other functions. I cover many different genres of music and offer a wide range of styles in my repertoire. I also teach the harp and am the director of the successful 12-strong Dudley Harp Ensemble.” Please note the offer is unavailable on bank holidays. Discover more at JUST ONE SLICE Jackie Diamond Cake Design, based in Warwickshire, is offering all bookings placed before the end of January 2022 free favour cookies for the top table. Jackie creates quirky and traditional handmade wedding and celebration cakes. Each design is made to suit the customer’s personality, tastes and budget. If you’d like to meet Jackie and see more of her work, she’ll be exhibiting at The National Wedding Fayre ( at the CBS Arena in Coventry on 19th and 20th February, 2022. Check out for more. 10

Fall in love with your perfect wedding dress Choose your designer wedding dress and create memories to last a lifetime. Book your exclusive appointment at Caroline Clark Bridal Boutique 8 VICTORIA SQUARE, DROITWICH 01905799474 WWW.CAROLINECLARKBRIDALBOUTIQUE.CO.UK Divine lady Divine Lady is a premier Hair Salon in the Wolverhampton area. Since I started hair styling, I’ve offered a wide range of services and products to give you the elegant and fabulous look that you deserve. | 07908694545 | divineladycosmetics Your #1 Hair Stylist Formal Mens Hirewear Where traditional meets contemporary Visit our historical menswear store to view the very best range of in-house outfits, in our continuously evolving hire department. Our friendly and professional team are here to help you with those important decisions on your big day where every customer is given a personal shopping experience. Open Monday - Saturday 10am to 4pm 13 Sansome Walk, Worcester WR1 1LU t: 01905 22814 e: TWITTER FACEBOOK Menswear • Made 2 Measure • Alteration Service

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

ENTER ONLINE AT WWW.YOURWESTMIDLANDS.WEDDING Closing date is 4th February, 2022, unless otherwise stated. HERE COME THE GIRLS Kates Dresses in Birmingham specialises in multi-way bridesmaids’ gowns. The boutique offers jumpsuits, flowergirl’s dresses, short gowns and floor-length versions in more than 80 different colours, so there’s something to suit every theme. Matching cravats and ties are available as well as a range of luxury face coverings, brooches, accessories and bandeaus. The adult gowns are available in sizes six to 18, and there’s also a curve range that fits sizes 18 to 28. “You can book in to come and visit my dress suite with your maids where you will have full access,” says owner Katie. “We will provide you with one-on-one tutorials on how to wrap your gowns, and I will find a style to suit everyone. Our service works on an appointment-only basis, so to book, get in touch via Facebook or email me at” We’ve teamed up with Kates Dresses to offer our readers an exclusive 10% discount. To receive this fab offer, simply enter the code ‘YWMW’ on the website when purchasing. Valid until 28th February, 2022. To find out more about Kates Dresses and to see the full range of dresses, visit Take advantage of these gorgeous giveaways and fab offers Freebies &OFFERS Luxury gifting company is bringing joy to all occasions. Each of its gift hampers is lovingly curated and handpacked in Oxfordshire, with perfectly paired food and drink from carefully selected makers and producers. The team at is giving County Wedding Magazines readers the chance to win a Luxury Food & Wine Basket worth £115. The beautiful wicker basket is packed full of tasty snacks and moreish treats for nearlyweds to share together. The stars of the show are an excellent bottle of Prosecco, and a full-bodied Argentinian Malbec from the Gauchezco Estate, paired with award-winning cheese, hand-baked biscuits, and luxury Belgian chocolates. For your chance to win enter via our website, and for more details about and it’s range of delecatble gifts for the wedding day and beyond visit WIN A LUXURY HAMPER WORTH £115! FREEBIES & OFFERS 13

your special day with us at Lilleshall House & Gardens. Make your wedding dreams come true in our stunning heritage setting. Whether you’re looking for an intimate wedding or a larger celebration, we have a wedding package for you. We have availability for 2022 and 2023 dates, so please get in touch to book a venue tour – we would love to show you around. For more information on celebrating your wedding at Lilleshall House & Gardens, please contact us on 01952 603003 or WedInLilleshall Lilleshallhouseandgardens lilleshall Celebrate © Frances Stephenson West Midlands’ Award Winning Florists 01743 792333 AnneWhysallFlorists AnneWhysallFlorist Photography: @kimshawphotography Bridal wear: @jessicasbridalshrewsbury Menswear: @peterposhsuits Bridesmaid: @perlacocodesigns Florist: @annewhysallflorists Hair: @elegance_hair_design MUA: @emily.mulan.makeupartist G E O R G I N AMA I PHO T OG R A PH Y . CO . U K | 07912 112777 georginamaiphotography F A C B O O K & I N S T A G R A M @ A M Y C O Y N E M U A A M Y C O Y N E M U A @ H O T M A I L . C OM | 0 7816 9110 2 3

HEREFORDSHIRE, WORCESTERSHIRE & SHROPSHIRE Spotlight on... SAFARI VENUES, DY12 1LF 01299 406 460 | Set within the grounds of West Midland Safari Park, Safari Venues is home to three gorgeous wedding locations, each one lavish and filled with traditional decorations. Experience animal encounters, special safari-inspired gifts and a four-mile safari drive-through, which can be incorporated into wedding celebrations. Celebrate in style Spring Grove House, a Georgian manor, is the perfect location for an elegant wedding. Set within the scenic grounds of the Safari Park, it has built its well-deserved reputation on impeccable service, luxury menu selections and attention to detail. There are a variety of rooms to cater for all numbers, including the use of a private bar and lounge facilities. Equally impressive are the grounds, comprising of beautifully landscaped gardens and a spacious private terrace. For large wedding celebrations, Treetops Pavilion is big, bold and beautiful. As one of the most exclusive wedding venues in Worcestershire, it will create a magical atmosphere. Its vast proportions and capacity make it one of the largest entertainment facilities in the county, perfect for civil ceremonies, wedding breakfasts and evening receptions. Nestled beneath the grandness of Spring Grove House is Cellarz, a intimate, brick-vaulted venue with an impressive atmosphere. Rich in character with a current and contemporary style, Cellarz has its own chic bar area, dancefloor and cosy alcoves, which can be hired as part of Spring Grove House or separately. We love... The wedding team offer bespoke wedding packages and the opportunity to work directly with the on-site chefs to create the perfect menu. REGIONAL VENUES 15

LILLESHALL HOUSE AND GARDENS, TF10 9AT 01952 603 003 | Nestled in secluded surroundings in the Shropshire countryside, Lilleshall House and Gardens were built in 1831. It was the former home and hunting lodge of the Duke of Sutherland and overlooks the Grade II listed Capability Brown-inspired gardens. There are plenty of places to take photographs, including the Golden Gates, which are the exact replicas of those adorning Buckingham Palace and the 70-foot high obelisk. This grand stately heritage site boasts historical features with oak-panelled walls in the reception area, original fireplaces and decorative ceilings in the 29 newly refurbished bedrooms. Celebrate in style The Duke of Sutherland Room is a traditional oak-panelled space that’s formerly the dining room of the Duke and Duchess of Sutherland. It has a feature fireplace and bay windows overlooking the beautiful gardens with room for 60 guests. After the ceremony, receptions are held in Chapters, the Duke of Sutherland’s former library, which features oak-panelled walls and a fireplace. We love... W-day couples will receive a complimentary bridal suite on the night of the wedding, and friends and family can relax in one of the newly-renovated bedrooms. THE ORCHARD AT MUNSLEY, HR8 2SQ 07974 249 656 | The owners of The Orchard at Munsley tied the knot at the property in 2010 and launched it as a wedding venue in September 2019. Situated in an apple orchard in the heart of Herefordshire, the venue overlooks a beautiful old church and duck pool. It oozes rustic charm, scenery and peaceful surroundings that are perfect for taking photographs. Celebrate in style Bespoke packages can be tailored to suit couples ideas and budgets or there are three set options available. The team provide a stocked and manned bar as well as organise the basics, including the tipi/marquee, the generator for power supply and toilets. Lovebirds will work closely with a wedding planner who offers a planning option or on-the-day coordination. Couples who wish to have a church wedding can get married at Munsley Church and then stroll down the drive to The Orchard. We love... The bespoke service and stunning grounds. 16

KARMA SALFORD HALL, WR11 8UT 01386 871 300 | Karma Salford Hall is a beautiful Grade I listed manor house that retains its Tudor charm with stained-glass windows, a bell tower and historic engraving into Cotswold stone. Set in manicured gardens and nestled amid rolling hills and farmland, the property has a quintessentially English feel with new and period furnishings creating a traditional yet contemporary setting. Once the guest home for the monks of Evesham Abbey and later owned by King Henry VIII, the building is steeped in history and old-world charm with grand fireplaces, wood panelling and oil paintings. When Charles Stanford married Elenor Alderford, he marked the occasion by gifting her a bell that hung in the belfry for four centuries before being stolen in the 1980s. It later turned up, being offered at auction. The owners of the hall at that time bought it back and returned it to the tower, where it remains today. Celebrate in style There are several spaces available for weddings, including the Walled Garden, which can accommodate 100 loved ones for the service and the Tudor Court Lawn with room for 60. Large receptions are held in the Marquee, which has space for 100 friends and family. Intimate celebrations take place in either the Tempest Restaurant, that can hold 40 nearest and dearest, or the Palm Court Conservatory with room for 16. We love... The happy couple will have access to the bridal suite on the night of the wedding and receive a menu tasting. HAWKSTONE HALL & GARDENS, SY4 5UZ 01630 685 242 | Hawkstone Hall & Gardens is a Grade I listed 18th-century mansion that’s a vision of Georgian elegance. The venue encompasses 88 acres of countryside, rolling hills and ancient trees. At the front of the property are breathtaking views of the Shropshire countryside and to the rear are gardens featuring a lily pond, rose garden, apple orchard, trees and stew pond with waterfalls. Inside is a collection of historic features, beautifully complemented by modern touches. There are plush fabrics throughout, the ceilings are gilded with gold, and original artwork adorns the walls, all with an Art Deco twist. Guests can enjoy a private film screening in the cave, which boasts a flat-screen TV, PlayStation 4, pool table, darts board and arcade game with its own lounge area. Celebrate in style There are several spaces available for the ceremony. The Chapel, a grand room, can accommodate 170 guests while The Ballroom can hold 150. The Tapestry has a period marble arch and stunning views with room for 100 loved ones, and The Saloon has gold gilded ceilings, original artworks and space for 150 people. Receptions are held in The Refectory. Boasting a glittering dancefloor, personalised lighting and a private bar, it can accommodate 200 nearest and dearest. We love... The Bridal Preparation Wing is complimentary the night before the wedding, with individual make-up stations, a personal butler, 15 large sash windows and beds for everyone. Couples will also receive a menu tasting and exclusive use of the venue. 17 REGIONAL VENUES

WHEN A FAIRYTALE CELEBRATION BECOMES A REALITY... Dovecliff Hall Hotel is a Grade II listed property situated in Burton on Trent, Staffordshire which offers the perfect backdrop for weddings all year round. Eye-catching Georgian architecture with scenic gardens adjacent to the River Dove | Packages tailored to meet individual needs and requirements | Exceptional experienced staff | Incredible locally sourced food prepared by experienced chefs | Can accommodate 90 seated guests with formal dinners, ceremonies, receptions | 15 recently refurbished bedrooms ONCE IN A LIFETIME OPPORTUNITY Receive exclusive use of the full venue at a 50% discounted rate for all newly-weds who book their wedding to take place in 2022*. Saving couples between £1250 and £3000! (Terms and conditions apply in relation to minimum numbers). Simply quote: Your East/West Midlands Wedding when making a booking before 31st January 2022 DOVECLIFF ROAD, STRETTON, BURTON UPON TRENT, STAFFORDSHIRE, D13 0DJ | | 01283 531818 | Facebook & Instagram@dovecliffhall

WINTER WONDERLAND Walking in a Tie the knot in a magical venue BOURTON HALL, CV23 9QZ 01926 940 900 | Bourton Hall is an Italianate mansion set within 15 acres of lawns, gardens and woodland. Offering extensive views across Warwickshire’s countryside, the property has all the charm, elegance and grandeur needed to create the perfect wedding. Outside is a sandstone ashlar, a romantic balcony, and two large three-story canted bays that give the notion of a fairytale castle. Guests will be impressed as they step foot in the door and see the large reception hall with the original feature grand staircase set underneath two stunning glass cupolas that fill the space with natural light. Perched on a ridge above the Leam Valley, the main terrace is perfect for enjoying cocktails in the afternoon sun while appreciating the expansive views. Those that venture out into the grounds will find hidden gems around every turn, including an original feature Italianate pond. Just 10 miles South East of Coventry and 25 miles North West of Northampton, Bourton Hall offers a secluded country setting in an easily accessible position. CELEBRATE IN STYLE For an unforgettable ceremony, choose between the former Catholic chapel, the grand Italian Room or under The Portico. The Italianate former Catholic chapel provides an idyllic backdrop for your civil ceremony, complete with an ornately carved wood and gold leaf ceiling, and seating for up to 120 guests. Alternatively, choose to wed in the Italian Room, with a crystal chandelier, ornate ceiling and double-height sash windows, it’s the perfect choice for a more intimate affair. On sunnier days, The Portico, which adjoins the Italian Room, provides the perfect outdoor ceremony setting for couples to exchange their vows. The Banqueting Hall seats up to 120 guests and is ideal for the wedding reception. Boasting extensive views across rolling countryside to the Draycote Water beyond, guests can enjoy a cocktail in the Chandelier Bar, relax in the Lounge or dance the night away in the Draycote Bar & Disco. Both bars are fully stocked with draft lagers, ales and ciders. WE LOVE... Throughout the year, Bourton Hall holds exclusive dinner dates as well as a winter ball. This allows couples to come and enjoy a three-course meal and stay overnight in one of the delightful main house bedrooms. THEMED VENUES 19

BLITHFIELD LAKESIDE BARNS, WS15 3NY 07508 194 992 | Accessible via a 1km long driveway, Blithfield Lakeside Barns is a working farm with plenty of privacy and luscious grounds. Overlooking the Blithfield Reservoir, the glass-fronted property has a large patio, wood cladding to the side of the barn and a large car park to the rear. CELEBRATE IN STYLE Couples tie the knot in the Lakeside Wedding Barn. Finished with whitewash walls, exposed beams and a neutral décor throughout, it can accommodate 180 seated guests, but there is also a marquee available for larger celebrations. WE LOVE... Accommodation for 32 friends and family is included in the wedding packages, and couples will also receive exclusive use of the property between Friday and Monday. BOUNDLESS WEDDINGS, BELL HEATH, DY9 9UU 01684 574 546 | Situated within an area of natural beauty, Boundless Weddings, Bell Heath is the perfect location for a private countryside celebration whilst remaining within easy reach of transport networks. Set amidst 20 acres of beautiful woodland there are endless areas to explore and take photographs. This property is a blank canvas that’s ideal for couples looking to add their own touch to the big day. Accommodation for up to 80 guests is included in the hire price, and there is a range of on-site activities to keep everyone entertained, including zip wires, climbing, archery and more. CELEBRATE IN STYLE Blessings can take place at any location within the centre or grounds. With rolling countryside and wooded areas, couples can create their own magical space in which to say their vows or use the main hall before it’s transformed for the reception. WE LOVE... The woodlands are perfect for an outdoor wedding, evening campfires and roasting marshmallows under a starlit sky. 20

Bird Street, Lichfield, Staffordshire WS13 6PR 01543 414822 Set in the heart of historic Lichfield, The George Hotel is a charming 18th century coaching inn which offers a delightful setting for civil ceremonies and wedding receptions of up to 110 guests. Our All Inclusive Wedding Package starts at £3,750 in 2022 and £4,000 in 2023 and includes a welcome drink, a three course meal with a glass of sparkling wine for the toasts, an evening finger buffet, room hire, complimentary overnight stay for the couple and much more! Based on 50 adult day guests and 80 adult evening guests. Sunday 20th February 2022 11am to 2pm | Free Entry

Moor Hall Drive, Four Oaks, Sutton Coldfield B75 6LN 0121 308 3751 Moor Hall Hotel & Spa is a 4* country house hotel, full of character and set in beautiful grounds. Our family-owned venue is the perfect venue for your civil ceremony, outdoor wedding and wedding reception for up to 180 guests. Our Silver Wedding Package starts at £114 per person in 2022 and £125 per person in 2023 and includes a welcome drink, a four course meal with half a bottle of wine per person, a glass of sparkling wine for the toasts, an evening finger buffet, room hire, complimentary overnight stay for the couple and much more! Sunday 2nd January 2022 11am to 2pm | Free Entry Sunday 27th February 2022 11am to 3pm with a fashion show at 1pm | Free Entry And so the adventure begins.... | 01684 574546 | Situated within an area of natural beauty, Bell Heath is the perfect location for a private country wedding that you can truly make your own.

MOOR HALL HOTEL & SPA, B75 6LN 0121 308 3751 | Moor Hall Hotel & Spa is a country house hotel set at the end of a long tree-lined drive. The sunken garden is a magical setting with a doublestone staircase, fountain feature centrepiece, Victorian grottos and space for 180 guests for the vows. There are plenty of places to take photographs, including the sweeping lawns, natural woodlands and beautiful gardens. The venue’s new wedding preparation suite is an elegant space, ideal as a base for the bride or groom as they prepare for their big day. The room has a double bed and sofa bed, large mirrors with lots of lighting and plenty of dressing table space for a make-up artist. There’s also a connection room so the bridesmaids can sleepover too. There’s also a modern and relaxing spa that can be used for prewedding treatments. The facilities include an indoor pool with a spa bath, a sauna and steam room, a refurbished gym and four treatment rooms. CELEBRATE IN STYLE The Charter Suite is an elegant and spacious ground-floor room with its own direct entrance from the car park, a separate bar and views of the gardens. It can cater for up to 180 loved ones for the service and breakfast and 250 for the evening reception. Alternatively, The Bracebridge Room and Longmoor Room are located on the first floor and can both hold up to 60 friends and family. Receptions can take place in The Charter Suite or The Oak Room Restaurant, both offer sweeping views over the surrounding parkland and can accommodate 60 nearest and dearest. WE LOVE... The bride and groom will receive an overnight stay and menu tasting. MODDERSHALL OAKS, ST15 8TG 01782 399 000 | Designed with a contemporary feel in mind, Moddershall Oaks has a state-of-the-art sound system, Swarovski crystal lighting, hand-made Italian glass chandeliers, a glass bar and moveable walls. Situated in the heart of Staffordshire, the venue sits on the water’s edge and is surrounded by acres of stunning countryside. This warm and inviting property has a fresh and neutral décor throughout that’s ideal for couples looking to add personal touches. CELEBRATE IN STYLE Weddings take place outside by the water’s edge under the handmade gazebo or indoors in a space that will wow guests. The Courtyard, adjacent to the venue, is often used in the evening as a lovely break out space for guests to retreat to should they need to rest their dancing feet. It features a wishing well, a fish pond with a waterfall, seating, umbrellas and heaters. WE LOVE... Included in all wedding packages is a luxurious spa retreat on the night of the wedding. The happy couple will enjoy a bottle of champagne after a delicious cooked breakfast while relaxing in the heated outdoor vitality pool or the private hot tub (available exclusively to overnight guests only). THEMED VENUES 23

Wedding Venue Cover 300x230 AW.indd 1 17/09/2014 16:36 Our Grade II listed Georgian hotel is one of the most elegant wedding venues in the West Midlands. Set in five acres of landscaped gardens, with distant views of the Staffordshire countryside, you can be sure of the perfect venue for your wedding day. • GRADE II LISTED GEORGIAN HOTEL • CAPACITY FOR UP TO 550 GUESTS • INDOOR AND OUTDOOR WEDDING LICENCE • HEALTH CLUB & SPA • 73 BEDROOMS FOR GUEST ACCOMMODATION • FREE PARKING Tel: +44 (0) 1902 349510 Email: P A R K D R I V E , G O LD T HO R N P A R K WO LV E RHAMP T ON WV 4 5 A J Your Special Day at Park Hall Hotel & Spa...

sweethearts CHILDHOOD Sarah and Matt have been together for 10 years and celebrated their love with a romantic celebration at Hoar Cross Hall Images courtesy of Michelle Williams Photography Sarah and Matt met when they were 15 and 16 years old. “We became boyfriend and girlfriend two years later,” says Sarah. “This year we have been together for 10 years! What attracted me to Matt and still does is his sense of humour. He never fails to make me laugh.” Matt proposed at the couple’s favourite Indian restaurant in July 2019. “When he popped the question, he also revealed a tattoo he had dedicated to me on his chest,” shares the bride. “It was a massive surprise.” Here the bride shares some of her favourite moments from their big day... REAL WEDDINGS 25

Frankies Fancies provided a simple cake with cream buttercream and real flowers. The flowers were ivory and grey and tied in with the men’s suits. I chose heart plaques personalised with everyone’s names for the place settings so they could take them home as a keepsake. We had visited Hoar Cross Hall for my birthday and fell in love with it and knew when it came to choosing our wedding venue that it was the one. For our centrepieces, we opted for beautiful bay trees that lined the aisle. The ivory complemented our colour scheme, and as we wanted to keep things simple, they worked perfectly. Our favours were made by my mum. Together we run a small bath products business from home called L & G Soaps. She made soap and bath bombs in emerald green to match our colour scheme. 26

I was extremely nervous the entire morning, and I felt like I was shaking, but as soon as I saw Matt waiting for me at the end of the aisle, I just felt calm. The groomsmen and Matt wore steel grey suits with white shirts from Peter Posh Formal Suit Hire. Matt was calm on the day, and he said as soon as he saw me, he just felt love. The thing that made the day so special was how small and intimate the wedding was. We were restricted by COVID-19 numbers, but it ended up making the day more intimate, and we were able to share it with those closest to us. I wore a trumpet-style fitted dress with a sheer back and beading from Heavenly Wedding Belles, a lovely bridal shop near where we live. The bridesmaids chose emerald green dresses from ASOS. REAL WEDDINGS 27

SARAH AND MATT’S CONTACTS Venue and hair stylist, Hoar Cross Hall, | Photographer, Michelle Williams Photography, | Bride’s dress, Heavenly Wedding Belles, | Groom’s suit, Peter Posh Formal Suit Hire, | Bridesmaids’ dresses, ASOS, | Make-up artist, Amal X Beauty, | Stationery, Simply Beautiful, | Cake, Frankies Fancies, | Favours, L & G Soaps, 28

Jane Williams Photography Discover amazing wedding venues in Wolverhampton For more information visit @Wolveswedding @Wolverhamptonwedding Laura Jayne Photography

for me The one Alexandra and Darryl met as children and years later celebrated their love with a gorgeous wedding at Barns and Yard Images courtesy of Daniella Marinos Photography 30

Alexandra and Darryl met when they were children. “I was friends with his sister,” says Alexandra. “We then met later at a mutual friend’s engagement party. We share a love of Formula 1 and have lots of mutual interests.” Darryl popped the question on Christmas Day. “He wrote it on a card and woke me up early as he was so impatient,” shares the bride. “He thoughtfully sought the permission of my dad before proposing, and it was wonderful being able to share the day with family. It was definitely a surprise, and I didn’t even believe him when I read it!” SETTING THE SCENE “The Barns and Yard is a gorgeous setting, and the owners have done an incredible job at renovating the space, giving it a very relaxed yet smart vibe,” adds Alexandra. “The shed was an instant draw due to the wonderful combination of modern and rustic décor, and the on-site accommodation gave the day a lovely atmosphere.” Daisy Belle Floral Design provided the flowers. “I chose a waterfall bouquet with sunflowers, gerberas, an abundance of eucalyptus and blue delphiniums to honour our friend Del who is no longer with us,” explains the bride. “The bridesmaids carried smaller versions which we then used as decorations for the main tables. We also chose copper pillar candles to emphasise the lighting in the barn.” “We purchased a semi-naked cake from Home Farm Kitchen,” recalls Alexandra. “The three-tier design was made up of lemon, elderflower, white chocolate, fresh raspberries and black forest with kirsch and cherry compote. It was beautifully decorated with lots of delicious buttercream and fresh flowers to match our colour scheme. We displayed it on a hoop stand embellished with eucalyptus and blue delphiniums.” The happy couple chose four round tables for their guests and a top table. “We allocated our nearest and dearest with a table but asked them to sit where they liked,” says the bride. “For our place names, we printed them on seed paper with everyone’s food choices.” “Our favours were tree seeds,” shares Alexandra. “We also gave out bags of sweets in biodegradable glassine bags. Darryl and I supplied some of the décor ourselves as we run a stationery company called HiveWeddings. We made a rose gold welcome sign, a seating plan, cards and a gift sign. The Cotswold Vintage Party Hire provided the floral arch, garland and wreaths. It used mainly artificial flowers with a few fresh versions from the owner’s garden. This was tailored to fit our theme and was the perfect backdrop for the day.” The food and canapés were provided by Martin Lovell - Professional & Private Chef Services. “He kindly let us choose our food options, so we went for a classic roast option,” adds the bride. “The food was amazing, especially the Eton mess! The evening food was provided by Ian at The Old Dough Hook. The pizzas and accompaniments were delicious. We cannot recommend both caterers highly enough!” DRESSED TO IMPRESS “I wore an A-line dress from La Boutique, a fantastic shop in Exeter that sells new, used, and sample designer dresses and all of the profits are donated to charity,” explains Alexandra. “My gown had a beaded bodice with a lovely V-neck back and long REAL WEDDINGS 31

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train. I accessorised with deep red heels and a stunning belt and back necklace made by my best woman, Lucy. She spent days painstakingly making these with tiny beads. After the band’s first set, I changed into a short yellow dress from ThePrettyInfinity with rose gold shoes that I could dance easily in. My necklace was a wedding gift from Darryl, my earrings were from MyHartBeading, and I wore two bracelets.” Darryl and the groomsmen opted for grey checked suits with white shirts and yellow ties. “The bridesmaids chose full length, light grey dresses from ThePrettyInfinity,” recalls the bride. “They all picked different styles that suited their tastes and body shapes which looked beautiful. They also had flower crowns provided by Eve at Daisy Belle Floral Design.” TIME TO CELEBRATE “We hired a band called The Mini Big Band who were absolutely fantastic,” says the bride. “We cannot praise them enough! They performed swing and jazz songs, which I love as I used to play the trumpet. Darryl chose this specific band as he liked the magical delivery of the singer as well as the talent of the whole band. They were professional and fun at the same time. It went down really well with all our guests.” MEMORABLE MOMENTS “We were relaxed on the morning of the wedding as the setting was so perfect,” shares Alexandra. “I was nervous about standing in front of our friends and family during the ceremony as we’re both very shy people, but the day was mostly relaxed and fun. The photos certainly show how the smile never left my face. Having everyone there to celebrate with us meant a lot, especially after a hard year due to COVID-19.” Alexandra and Darryl were nervous about their first dance, but it turned out to be a magical moment. “We weren’t sure if we would do the first dance, but I decided to ask my grandparents to join us,” adds the bride. “They had a difficult time after my grampa had a stroke the previous year, but his recovery has been wonderful, and it meant so much that they were able to dance with us. Luckily all eyes were on them!” “One of our favourite moments was the speeches,” explains Alexandra. “My best woman, Lucy, wrote a gorgeous poem for us which was so moving. All of the bridesmaids were great at helping me get ready, doing my hair and make-up and generally making the day a lot of fun. I want to thank my parents too as they helped us have the wedding of our dreams. Our close family were incredible with helping us to prepare the venue, and Nicky and Lisa from Barns and Yard were amazing at making sure everything ran smoothly on the day. Our photographer, Daniella Marinos, was also fantastic at making us feel relaxed, and she got so many photos that really showed how fun the day was.” REAL WEDDINGS 33

ALEXANDRA AND DARRYL’S CONTACTS Venue, Barns and Yard, | Photographer, Daniella Marinos Photography, Bride’s dress, La Boutique, | Groom’s suit, Mens Tweed Suits, | Bridesmaids’ dresses, ThePrettyInfinity, | Jewellery, MyHartBeading, | Cake, Home Farm Kitchen, | Flowers, Daisy Belle Floral Design, | Stationery, HiveWeddings, | Entertainment, The Mini Big Band, | Décor, Cotswold Vintage Party Hire, | Catering, Martin Lovell - Professional & Private Chef Services, | Evening catering, The Old Dough Hook, | Bar, The Watering Hole Event Bars Ltd, Confetti, The Real Flower Petal Confetti Company, | Furniture, Valley Furniture Hire, 34

A U T H E N T I C . B E S P O K E . R E L A X E D . Our unique, outdoor venue nestled in the apple trees, gives you the flexibility to create a wedding you and your guests will be reminiscing about for years to come. W W W . T H E O R C H A R D A T M U N S L E Y . C O . U K

WARWICK HOUSE 10 Warwick Road Warwickshire CV47 0HN 01926 815738 Warwick House is set in stunning gardens and a landscaped terrace, creating a romantic setting perfect for exchanging vows and celebrating with loved ones. A variety of elegant indoor and outdoor spaces can facilitate weddings from a small and intimate to large lavish celebration. At the end of your celebrations retire to our Honeymoon Suite, the real charm of this room lies in its sumptuous four-poster bed and iconic windows Warwick House is yours exclusively – your wedding, your way and your home for the day. A luxuriously elegant venue set amongst trees and stunning gardens

RUSTIC romance Laura and Sam fell in love with Barnutopia and knew it was the perfect wedding venue for them Images courtesy of Andy Boyle Photography Laura and Sam first laid eyes on each other at a bar. “I liked how nice he was and that we had lots in common,” says Laura. “I was in university at the time, and Sam would come to see me, and we would watch the rugby in Cardiff. When I moved back home, we moved in together.” Sam proposed in May 2016. “It was a few months after my dad and brother had passed away,” shares the bride. “We had booked a couple of nights away in Trearddur Bay in Anglesey. We walked to the shop, and I was quite surprised that Sam had bought a bottle of prosecco because he doesn’t really drink it. We went for a walk along the coast and sat down in a lovely spot. The sun was shining, and there was nobody else around. Sam started to unload his bag, and he pulled a ring out of a pair of socks and asked me to marry him. I said yes, of course, and was so happy that he had asked. It’s nice knowing that someone wants to spend the rest of their life with you. After the trauma of the previous months, it was lovely having something positive to look forward to. Everyone was pleased. I loved the ring because he had designed it himself from Clogau Welsh gold. I was definitely not expecting it on that day. I had been to see a psychic who said he was going to propose in Cornwall during a holiday we had planned. I had told Sam this and it turns out he was going to, but after I told him, he changed his mind.” Here she shares some of her favourite moments from their big day... REAL WEDDINGS 37