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The East Midlands’ Finest Wedding Magazine


F lagship s tore , 23 Caxton Street St James’, London SW1H OPY +44 (0)20 7222 2877 www.ianstuart-blewcoat. com bridal , evening



special occasion




What Katy Does taps into the boho vibe and goes back to nature with A Big Neon Glitter Photography


Pack your bag and go first class to Zara and Pete's ‘travel’ inspired wedding




The Duchess of Rutland talks about her historic home and what makes Belvoir Castle the perfect fairytale venue


Ian Stuart shares his secrets to going all out for glamour on the big day


56: 60:



Red carpets to early nights with a good book discover the private life of designer Charlotte Balbier


Heavenly details descend on angel wings for this divine display of opulence at Burghley House


Discover the secret Victorian language of flowers with florist, Mrs Umbels


Pre-register for your FREE tickets to our forthcoming wedding fairs this season




We challenge the top cake makers to bare all in our naked cake exposé.

Inspired by the young Queen Victoria during our recent visits to Belvoir Castle, Leicestershire, our cover image evokes regal elegance for brides who demand to be queen for the day. Location: Belvoir Castle, Leicestershire Art Direction: Buckinghams Photographer: Sophie May Morris Make-Up & Hair: Adele Coxon Tiara: Ivory & Co Model: Lucy Inkely © Buckinghams Wedding Magazine 2014-2017. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part is prohibited. All prices correct at time of printing. Buckinghams, Lower Lenthill Farm, 120 Main Street, Newtown Linford, Leicestershire LE6 0AF

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Designed & Handmade in England



Award Winning Wedding Catering in Leicestershire & the Midlands 0116 283 3327






Letter from the Editor

e’ve gone unashamedly grand and glamorous for our fourth issue. Channeling our Queen Victoria vibe for the cover, we’ve been wearing that fabulous tiara by Ivory & Co. whilst sat at our desks! Victoria is one of the most famous visitors to have stayed at Belvoir Castle, Leicestershire, so read my exclusive interview with Her Grace, the Duchess of Rutland about weddings at her incredible home (page 36). We’ve been chatting to bridal designer Charlotte Balbier too about her deisgner life (page 30) whilst Ian Stuart shares his secrets for MOTB’s and going big on the glam (page 42). Prepare yourself for a breathtaking styled shoot by Dottie Photography at Burghley House (page 48). It will have you swooning for more so pop over to to see more photos and inspiration from all the features in this issue. There’s plenty of tips and advice too. Thinking of making your own wedding cake? Don’t go near the oven until you’ve read our naked cake expose (page 45). Plus learn the secret Victorian language of flowers with Mrs Umbels (page 56) and make-up artist Adele Coxon shows you how to get our regal cover look (page 54). Prepare the cucumber sandwiches, put on your tiara and enjoy! EJ x


BRIDES CLUB TWITTER @BuckinghamsMag PINTEREST BuckinghamsMag INSTAGRAM buckinghamswedmag

Buckinghams Wedding Magazine is a trading name of Buckingham Events, Lower Lenthill Farm, 120 Main Street, Newtown Linford, Leicestershire LE6 0AF Buckinghams Wedding Magazine is solely owned, designed and published bi-annually in print and online by Buckingham Events. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part is strictly forbidden. All prices are correct at time of going to press but subject to change. We cannot guarantee availability of any item, service or offer featured in this issue. Although every effort has been made to ensure the information in this magazine is correct at time of going to press, the publishers cannot accept any responsibility for advert content, or of the standing of advertisers or editorial content. The views expressed do not necessarily reflect those of the publisher. Wedding Collective: It is your responsibility to check any supplier or venue is right for you before engaging them. You are strongly advised to make your own checks and Buckingham Events take no responsibility for any loss or damage, howsoever caused, by any business, individual, website, supplier or venue found in this magazine or on our website. Buckingham Events cannot be held responsible for the acts, omissions or errors of third parties. Any contract for services or sales is made directly between you and your chosen supplier or venue and Buckingham Events make no recommendations or claims regarding, but not limited to, the fitness for purpose, suitability, reliability, availability, quality of product and/or service of any venue or supplier. Offers featured in this magazine may be withdrawn at any time and without notice and Buckingham Events are not responsible for any supplier upholding an offer featured in this magazine or online. All images submitted to us have been received by us in good faith and on the understanding that the sender holds all rights and permissions to the usage of that image. Buckingham Events have made every effort to obtain the credit details of photographers and we cannot be held responsible for any failure by the submitter of the image to provide us with accurate credit information. Editor’s image by Lesley Bee Photography ISSN: 2059-2361

AUTUMN 2017 WEDDING FAIRS Sunday 17th September 2017 The Walled Garden at Beeston Fields, Beeston, Nottinghamshire NG11 3DA Sunday 8th October 2017 Prestwold Hall Leicestershire LE12 5SQ Sunday 15th October 2017 Norwood Park Southwell, Nottinghamshire NG25 0PF Sunday 19th November 2017 The Carriage Hall Plumtree, Nottinghamshire NG12 5NA Sunday 26th November 2017 Belvoir Castle Grantham, Leicestershire NG32 1PE Buckinghams Wedding Magazine Page 13

specialist wedding and event floristry Nottingham 0115 958 5775
















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Photography: Bridal Designer: Make-up & Hair: Florist: Model: Shot on location in Notting Hill, London


outure bridalwear designer Chantal Mallett has been creating beautiful, showstopping bridal gowns for over 20 years. Starting her company in her early twenties, Chantal’s signature style, both then and now, fuses period corsetry with modern design creating fashionforward looks and future classics. Championing real couture, Chantal works one to one with brides on their design and choice of colour, materials and finish to create their own one-ofa-kind creation. She is famous for her silhouettes and originality, couture workmanship and premium finish. “‘Paris’ is the first design from my latest collection: Modern Deities. Created in tulle, the A-symmetric, sculpted corset features tulle draping and a single detachable shoulder strap embellished with dramatic oversized bows. The frothy waterfall, panelled tulle skirt has

an unbelievable thirty-two meters of fabric around the hem.” Shooting with a wisteria background had been on Chantal’s wish list for some time, but the season is so short

“...the shoot was centered around the essence and style of the woman who would choose this dress.”

that timing and weather make for a challenging reality. Having repeatedly seen this location on Instagram when the wisteria was in full flower, Chantal headed to London to track down the house. Turning a corner in Notting Hill she was met by a wall of heady perfume even before the wisteria came into view. Buckinghams Wedding Magazine Page 17

In an instant she fell in love with the magical backdrop, enchanted by the white facade and famous pink front door enveloped in lilac. Determined to make contact with the owners, and having secured their agreement, she pulled together a fabulous team and set about organising a Springtime shoot. “The concept for the shoot was centered around the essence and style of the woman who would choose this dress for her wedding. She’s an elegant and sophisticated London bride. Hair and makeup artist Patricia Soper went for a beautiful but not overdone look, jewellery was kept to a minimum with vintage Dior earrings and to complete the look we went to florist Amie Bone who created a fabulous, loose bouquet. Talented fashion photographer Umbar Shakir brought an editorial vibe to the images and captured the effortless chic we were after.”

Bohemian Wilderness


What Katy Does


A Big Neon Glitter

at Hazel Gap Barn, Nottinghamshire


he inspiration behind the shoot was the beauty and wilderness found in the Welbeck Estate itself ” says Kate Teofilo Sanchez, owner and stylist at ‘What Katy Does’. “I opened my new studio here earlier this year and I’ve been captivated by its history and the enigmatic stories it holds. There’s a natural beauty and an amazing landscape.’ Katy’s love for organic, handmade and natural styling mixed with the energy and artistic flare of her co-collaborator, Andrew Acford, photographer at A Big Neon Glitter, meant their theme of ‘Bohemian Wilderness’ was a perfect collaboration of talents. “We wanted to create images that captured the Proustian-like memories of the Estate’ Kate explained “in all its splendour and wild beauty, with modern styling and clean lines. I love working with seasonal, available and abundant hedgerow flowers and foliage, creating willow work and using natural materials and the newly constructed Hazel Gap Barn is the perfect backdrop for this style. With its mix of exposed history and modern comforts and with the help of some fabulous local suppliers and crafts people I think we’ve created some beautiful imagery to inspire the wild at heart brides who want to embrace the natural bohemian vibe.”


Hazel Gap Barn The Welbeck Estate BRIDAL

Frances Day Bridal, Southwell FLOWERS

The Flower Pod, Southwell CAKE

The Confetti Cakery MAKE-UP & HAIR

Kay’s Hair & Glamour JEWELLERY

Lou Lou Jewellery PROPS

Stylists own & Garden Trading

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Romantic Norwood Park As one of the Midlands’ premier stately homes, Norwood Park is set in beautiful landscaped gardens and can host weddings for 50 - 180 guests plus our new Georgian gazebo is registered for Civil Ceremonies meaning you can say ‘I do’ al fresco in our breathtaking grounds.

All inclusive 2018 Wedding Reception for an amazing £6,195* For weddings held in January - March and November plus selected dates throughout the year for up to 50 day guests and 50 extra evening guests. Further guests can be catered for at an additional cost and we will be delighted to discuss this with you. *T&Cs apply

Norwood Park, Southwell, Nottinghamshire, NG25 0PF Tel: +44 (0)1636 815 649

Zara & Pete Prestwold Hall - Leicestershire Photography by Dottie Photography


e met at university in also spent several enjoyable afternoons 2005. Pete was in his at wedding fairs, including one at our second year studying gorgeous venue, Prestwold Hall. We Geography and I had just used wedding magazines and Pinterest started my Biology degree. Since then we to collect images of ideas we liked and have done a lot of growing up, travelling then searched for the companies and and eventually we moved in together in individuals involved.  Our vendors also 2009, renting a flat in Fulham.  It wasn’t gave us recommendations for other until January 2014 however, nearly 9 suppliers that they worked with.  The years after we first met, that Pete finally most important features for us were proposed to me! He suggested we go for the photography and music and we a walk in central London like we used to are so glad we found our wonderful when we were at uni. We walked towards photographer Mandy, from Dottie a little spot on the river where we used Photography and also our band, to sit and chat and (once I’d finished Champagne Skies. the scotch egg I had insisted on buying The church was the easy bit. It’s in the just before we got there) Pete surprised town where I grew up and I couldn’t me by dropping onto imagine us getting one knee. There was "Prestwold Hall was married anywhere else. a beautiful vintage The reception venue the last venue we diamond ring staring was a bit trickier.  My back at me! I was visited and as soon as Dad spent a day shocked, but of course we walked in we just driving us around to accepted straight away! look at venues. I think knew it was the The planning process we looked at 7 in one was great fun, if a little day! It was quite a tour. right place." stressful at times! We Prestwold Hall was the never appreciated how much time could last venue we visited and as soon as we be spent choosing a font or deciding walked in we just knew it was the right on a specific hue. I really enjoyed being place. It was beautiful. It had an intimate creative and making our ideas come to feel about it, but grandeur at the same life. time. We also liked the fact there was We decided on a vintage travel theme, plenty of inside space for our guests if it partly because we love travelling and rained, and beautiful grounds if it was a Pete is a Geography geek, but also nice day. Luckily we had the latter! because it looked good and seemed to fit When it came to our guest list we with the venue. We wanted lace, vintage found it easier than we expected. We books and a vintage bike, mini suitcases each wrote a list, then compared and and luggage tags. It looked amazing! discussed. We settled on the guest list To source our suppliers we spent a very quickly. The table plan was a little huge amount of time on Google! We more complicated but we got lots of

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small sticky notes and kept moving them around on a mock table plan until it worked! Choosing the food was one of the best bits about the wedding planning. Prestwold Hall took the hassle out of it. We went along to a group tasting session at the venue and got to try all of the food they offer! We decided on lamb rather than the usual chicken and cod as a pescatarian option. It was delicious, though Pete and I didn’t get to eat much as we were so nervous about the speeches! We chose some delicious red wine, Italian Barbera, and our white wine choice was a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc. It couldn’t have been better. The whole day was brilliant! It flew by so quickly but I feel like I can remember every tiny detail because I loved it all so much. The best part of the day was probably saying our vows and the most memorable moment has to be just after our first dance and seeing everyone’s face when Pete got up to sing ‘Are You Gonna Be My Girl?’ with the band. A few days after the wedding we departed on our honeymoon. We started with a night in a spa hotel, the Alexander House Hotel near Haywards Heath close to Gatwick airport and from there we flew out to the Maldives, transferring to our island on a sea plane. It was great fun! >>

We spent ten amazing nights there and then flew home via three nights in Dubai. It was a relief to relax together after the mad run-up to the wedding! Scuba diving with the rays was a real highlight. The best advice I can give to couples is to just have fun! Get stuck in to the planning  and you won’t feel rushed closer to the time, which means you’ll get to enjoy the build-up more. Then on the day make sure you spend time with all your friends and family but don’t forget about each other. This is probably going to be the only time in your life where you can get all your friends and family in the same place at the same time so make the most of it!  Pete and I made a promise that after 10pm we would hit the dance floor together and not stop until the end. It was simply the best day!

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MARQUEE WEDDING VENUE The Georgian style marquee sits comfortably on spacious lawns, holding up to 220 guests for exclusive events. With its graceful combination of history, nature and contemporary design The Walled Garden is an exceptional award winning venue.

WEDDING SHOWCASE Saturday 13th January 2018

WEDDING SHOWCASE Saturday 3rd March 2018


Sunday 22nd April 2018

WEDDING SHOWCASE Sunday 13th May 2018

SUMMER GARDEN PARTY Sunday 15th July 2018

WEDDING SHOWCASE Sunday 23rd September 2018


Sunday 25th November 2018 The Walled Garden at Beeston Fields , Old Drive, Wollaton Road, Beeston, Nottingham, NG11 3DA

0115 925 7062


CHARLOTTE BALBIER Lover of all things pink, pretty and romantic, Charlotte Balbier has planted her bridal brand firmly on the market for young brides seeking fresh, modern designs for their wedding day. Buckinghams speaks exclusively to the designer who started it all and takes a peek into her private world.


harlotte, tell us something about yourself? I am the Founder and Creative Director of Charlotte Balbier which I established

in 2003. How did you get into the bridal wear business and what made you start your own company? I was brought up surrounded by bridal dresses, materials and sketches of bridal gowns so it was only natural that I went into the bridal industry. My mother is the famous bridal designer Amanda Wyatt and my family has been in the bridal business for generations. I actually come from a very long bridal line as my grandfather manufactured gowns in the 60’s and ran a successful bridal business for years. We have a bridal empire going on and we love it everyday! I started Charlotte Balbier because I saw a need for fashion-forward gowns and designs for the young bride. What do you love most about what you do? Being in the bridal industry has a feel-good vibe because you are a part of one of the most special days of a couple’s life. I receive so many thankyou cards and photos from happy brides so it is certainly a job to be proud of! What do you love least about what you do? The job is 24/7 so you actually have to love what you do as it’s allencompassing! I’d love to be designing gowns all day long but there are many different aspects of a business with accountancy being one of my least favourite! What’s your dream for your business? We would like to carry on expanding the business in the UK and Internationally! I’d love to be a brand that stands the test of time like Chanel and be around for generations! If you could go back to day one of your business what, if anything, would you do differently? I actually feel as though I did everything quite well from the beginning! We knew branding was key for Charlotte Balbier and I knocked on many doors and kept going to gain sales. We were early adopters of social media too because we recognized the power of it from the beginning. I did a great deal of the work myself though as I wanted everything to be perfect. Looking back I could have asked for help earlier on in the brand and I would try not to take things so personally but it’s so hard when it’s your brand because

it's your baby and sometimes it’s easy to forget business is business. Does the responsibility of your business ever scare you? There are challenges and successes with every job and business out there and I have learnt to overcome challenges over the years. Every day though you come up against large and small problems but with experience you learn how to handle them. How do you start your day? I have an organic de-caf breakfast tea whilst

“I am not a morning person so no early morning yoga sessions... ”

catching up with the news online. Shower, make-up, dressed and out of the door so I can be at my desk to start my day. I am not a morning person so no early morning yoga sessions or runs in the park for me! What do you eat for breakfast? I love to start the day off healthily so a bowl of cereal and fruit but I have this at my desk as I find eating as soon as I wake up makes me more tired. Are you a morning or night person? I am more of a night person but I am trying to get better in the mornings. When it’s peak season at work I come in a lot earlier and work really late. When we are less hectic (November/ December) I do go into hibernation and tend to be slower in the mornings and want to go to bed earlier in the evening, I make up for all the lost sleep over the crazy season. What do you do to unwind? I am a long-term dedicated fan of Clarins and I go for either a facial or massage once a week to unwind. I also love long walks with my dogs as it helps me take a breath of fresh air and come up with new ideas for the Charlotte Balbier brand! Favourite meal? I love Asian fusion food. Lot’s of delicious small plates to share is my idea of heaven. We are lucky we have some great places in Manchester and Cheshire where I live who do superb Asian style food. Favourite colour? You only have to look at the branding and social media of Buckinghams Wedding Magazine Page 32

Charlotte Balbier to note I am a major pink fan! Favourite tipple? I love a glass (or two!) of Veuve Clicquot. Favourite mug? I only really like very fine china mugs and prefer a small mug too. Pet hate? Bad manners. People who don’t say please and thank you. Manners cost nothing but hold so much value. Dogs or cats? 100% dogs! I have two dogs. A twelve year old chocolate Labrador called Buster Bear and a five year old Fox Red Retriever. Both are absolutely spoilt rotten but I would not have it any other way! Who is your favourite super hero? Wonder Woman. I mean those boots! LOVE! Do you have a nickname? So many! Charlie, Lottie, Balboa and Rocky are the most popular. The Rocky Balboa started as a joke at University and I can’t even remember why now but it stuck and even my husband calls me Balboa sometimes! Most people though call me Charlie. Favourite holiday destination? I love Barbados! Myself and husband Teddy have many fond memories of eating in the amazing restaurants there like The Cliff and relaxing on the stunning beaches. I adore it. Favourite animal? Dogs for sure! Favourite biscuit? I am a major fan of EatMyCake London after using them for bespoke biscuits at an event recently. They make not only the prettiest biscuits but really yummy too. If I am just picking up a pack from the store then I do love a fig roll. Favourite shoes? I love ALL shoes and have many pairs from Valentino’s, Gianvita Rossi, Jimmy Choo’s, Freya Rose and Rachel Simpson! Favourite author? I honestly don’t have one. I read all the time but I read everything from thrillers, autobiographies to chick-lit. What are you reading at the moment? Lot’s of baby books as I have just given birth to our first baby; a beautiful baby boy! Which is your favourite Quality Street? The Vanilla fudge because the wrapping is pink of course! Coke or Pepsi? Coke Do you like Marmite? Yes I love marmite! Can you cook and if so what’s your speciality? I love to cook and I am a big

fan of Deliciously Ella and can often be found cooking her recipes for something healthy. I like to experiment too and I make an amazing pork noodle dish and a mean curry. Most famous person you’ve ever met? I am very lucky, I have met many. I have attended the Oscars and lot’s of red carpet events so I’ve met many stars. Madonna, Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt to name just a few. Secret crush? Kit Harrington who plays Jon Snow in ‘Game of Thrones’. He’s so handsome. Which four people would you like to have dinner with? I’d love to have dinner with Marilyn, Debbie Harry, Kate Moss and Prince to spice up the table! Favourite room in the house and why? My bedroom is my little piece of heaven. It’s very relaxing and has lovely low windows as it’s an Edwardian property so the light is lovely and you can see right out onto the road I live on. I have a really comfy bed with many cushions and blankets so I can get comfy, relax and read. What colour is your kitchen? It’s pale grey wood with an old fashioned white sink and white tiles with a black and white tiled floor. We have white plantation shutters and accents of rose, gold and silver. Favourite household appliance? My nutri-bullet! It’s so versatile. I make soups, sauces and smoothies with it. Are you a gardener? No but I would love to be. Every year I try but I just end up killing all the flowers! Can you keep a houseplant alive for more than a month? Houseplants I have more luck with than my garden flowers so yes, I seem to be a little more green fingered with lower manintance plants. What do you want for Christmas this year? I’d love a new hand bag; maybe a Chanel or YSL. As it will be my first Christmas as a Mummy it will have to be a large one so I can keep babies things in it too.

Your scariest moment? Launching the Charlotte Balbier brand and whether people were going to love the dresses! What is your proudest moment? In 2007 I launched the ‘Summer Of Love’ collection. This was the collection that put Charlotte Balbier on the map. This was my fifth collection and I pushed the boundaries to create a range that was different and really got the Charlotte Balbier brand out there! What is your favourite memory from your own wedding? It is most definitely the wedding vows. The rest of the day was of course lovely and spectacular but the vows you and your husband make to each other are the best memory of the day and last a lifetime. If you weren’t doing what you do now, what would you be doing? I love my dogs Buster & Dennis so much, and animals in general, so it would probably be something animal related! Or maybe something fashion related as I am a big lover of clothes, shoes and handbags! If you could change one thing in the world what would it be? An end to terrorism. If you could change one thing about yourself what would it be? To have more discipline when it comes to my work-life balance, eating well and exercise….. I struggle with them all. If you could relive one moment from your life what would it be? My wedding day over again! We had a marquee filled with pink, gold and ivory flowers and we had hundreds of candles lit across the room. The day went far too fast! >>


1b Newgate Lane, Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, NG18 2LB 01623 661309

(cont. from page 33) How would you like to be remembered? As a kind, loving and caring wife, mother, daughter and friend who always made time for people and put other people first. For me kindness is everything in life. What can brides expect from you if they choose a Charlotte Balbier gown for their wedding? Choosing a Charlotte Balbier gown is more than just choosing a wedding dress. The boutiques who stock the gowns are an extension of the brand and offer a unique and wonderful experience when buying the gown. The Charlotte Balbier brides become part of the Balbier brides family and we encourage interaction via social media. Not only are the gowns beautiful but they are well made in the finest fabrics and embellishments. What advice do you have for brides? I always give this piece of advice to brides. I highly recommend that they ask the bridal store for advice on the perfect dress. These ladies live and breathe bridal and they will be able to pick out a dress instantly to suit your body shape. They will 99% of the time be right in picking out the perfect gown for you as they would have seen hundreds of brides try on gowns to suit all different shapes and sizes. Trust them. They are the experts.� To view the full Bohemian Blush collection visit:

BOHEMIAN BLUSH COLLECTION 2018 by Charlotte Balbier

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Queen Victoria and Prince Albert stayed at Belvoir Castle for three nights in 1843. Brides who marry at Belvoir Castle are offered the same suite of rooms used by the young Queen during her stay. The King’s Suite (originally designed for the use of the Prince Regent who later became King George IV) is a private suite of three stunning interconnecting rooms with oriental wall decoration, gold canopied sofas and beautiful panneled doorways. Art Direction: Buckinghams Photographer: Oehlers Photography Location: The King’s Suite, Belvoir Castle, Leicestershire Dress: ‘Draline’ by Pronovias at RS Bridal Collection, Melton Mowbray Coronet: ‘Ever After’ £420, Chantal Mallett Bridal Couture Pomander of Roses £80, Julia Dilworth Florals

Opposite page: Portrait of Emma Manners, Duchess of Rutland photographed at Belvoir Castle by 2017 Portrait of Britain photographer Sophie May Morris for Buckinghams Wedding Magazine

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Couples who marry at Belvoir Castle, Leicestershire are writing their wedding day into a history dating back over 500 years. Buckinghams talks exclusively with Her Grace, The Duchess of Rutland about her breathtaking home and what makes Belvoir Castle the most unique of wedding venues. EJ Wright


t is 7.30am when our team arrive at Belvoir Castle in Leicestershire. Her Grace, The Duchess of Rutland has agreed to an 8am start for her hair and makeup so we’ve arrived extra early to prepare. The plan for the day is to interview and then photograph the Duchess in selected locations around the Castle after which she will disappear back to her busy office and we will continue with a styled shoot. Although fairly familiar with Belvoir from past visits, and on several occasions having seen the Duchess fly by me in her Land Rover, I had not, until this point, met her in person. Other than sharing the same first name, Emma, both being of Welsh heritage and furthermore sharing the memorable date of January 2nd: I, because it’s my birthday and she, because it’s the day the then Marchioness of Granby became the 11th Duchess of Rutland, I can only imagine what life within these castle walls must be like. We’re informed the Duchess will receive myself and make-up artist Adele Coxon in her private beauty room. We follow our guide through the Estate offices into a stone-walled corridor that reminds us this is not a house; it is definitely a castle. We follow onwards and upwards; the tower’s spiral staircase leading us around and around and around again, past a glass door that looks in on what appears to be a private kitchen then up and around until eventually we are stepping aside from the stone steps into a stunning pamper room. Double white basins bearing the family’s famous peacock emblem sit

side by side above a low level window that looks out across the magnificent view. The theme is black and white with sparkling chrome and polished glass. A large white beauty-treatment bed fills most of the room and to the other side there’s a professional hairdressers’ basin with reclining white seat and next to it a stunning dressing table with an ornate mirror and white leather swivel chair. A selection of interior design magazines are neatly laid out on the dressing table and I allow myself to smile at the irony of ‘26 Extension Ideas’ featured on the cover of one. As if Belvoir Castle needs any more rooms. The soaps are individually wrapped and the towels are white, fluffy and perfectly folded. There’s Buckinghams Wedding Magazine Page 37

a selection of hair products ready for use and behind me, a large bath with shower. Immediately consumed by bathroom envy and reminded that the Duchess is, after all, an interior designer by profession, the room befits the status of the lady we are about to meet. Tea promptly arrives in peacock emblazoned white cups and saucers then stong coffee with a dash of milk for the Duchess. Adele has finished laying out her make up in preparation and we hear the sound of soft footsteps on the stone steps. Her Grace arrives, mobile phone in one hand, a bag stuffed with documents and paperwork in the other, and on her feet bespoke black velvet pumps embroidered with ER in gold thread. Emma Rutland, as is her name, sits in the hairdressers’ chair and before we know it we are discussing the interview and asking if the water temperature is to her liking. She advises us on where she thinks would be best for the photographs. “I think probably the Guard Room” she says, leaning her head back into the basin “and the Ballroom of course.” I take my leave and disappear down the winding staircase to inform the crew where to set up. Soon I’m heading back up the tower steps. No wonder everyone who works here is so slim! I return to find Her Grace in the make-up chair ready to talk to me about her home. “I suppose, like all women, my favourite room is my family kitchen. It’s the heart of the home and where I do all my family cooking; it’s the place where the children are all united and together. After that it would be the Elizabeth

Saloon. I love the French stlye, the statue of Elizabeth, the 5th Duchess of Rutland (1780-1825) and I suppose because it’s a more feminine room.” Although almost always roped off, a necessity for obvious preservation reasons but a restriction the Duchess admits she is not keen on, visitors may take two steps into the Elizabeth Saloon to marvel at the ornate ceiling which features the room’s namesake, Elizabeth and her husband John Manners, the 5th Duke of Rutland. There are floor to ceiling windows leading out onto a curved balcony affording breathtaking views. Freshly gilded candlestands tower over six feet high and anyone who has watched Emily Blunt as ‘The Young Queen Victoria’ will no doubt recognise the pink and gold adornments, stunning velvet and silk furnishings and ornate gilt mirrors. Newly married couples are given extra special priveledge on their wedding day at Belvoir Castle. They are permitted beyond the rope, just the two of them and their photographer, for a few stolen moments for photographs in this most stunning of rooms. You’d be hard pushed to find many pride of place wedding photos with such a backdrop. “The photograph bit can often be a hassle for the rest of the event as it can be drawn out so I always think it has to be well planned beforehand. It’s very good here at Belvoir because couples can always use another room. We have lots of space here.” Another favourite room for the Duchess is the Regent’s Gallery “I suppose because my own wedding photos were taken here with the tapestry behind the wedding group. That’s also quite a nice room to get away from the main buzz of the wedding.” In contrast to such opulence Her Grace tells me her favourite retreat in the gardens is near the Memorial Lakes where she erected a statue on the tercentenary of the birth of Capability Brown. “We’ve opened up the trout lakes” she tells me. “I placed a statue looking out over the Memorial Lakes at the bottom of Knipton Pastures which is the road that goes down to Knipton.” In answer to what, after all these years, still takes her breathaway? “The views. From the castle or towards the castle. The magic of being able to see the sunset and the sunrise.” Over the years many visitors of note have enjoyed that same view of the

sun rising and setting across this vast 15,000 acre estate. Winston Churchill was a regular visitor and it is said Walt Disney himself visited during his time at Norton Disney. Queen Victoria and Prince Albert stayed for three nights in December 1843 when the Queen was just twenty four years old but I think my favourite visitor has to be Anna Maria Russell, Duchess of Bedford (1783–1857) whom, during her stay at Belvoir, found herself somewhat peckish between lunch and dinner and took it upon herself to order a selection of cakes, sandwiches and a pot of Darjeeling. The quintessential English tradition of Afternoon Tea was born. It’s not just royals and notary visitors however that make Belvoir Castle unique. There is an abundance of historic memorabilia which couples are invited to incorporate into their wedding day. The

“When people get married here they are really getting the same experience that I had.” Duke’s 7 French Cannons for instance are fired in celebration of the special event. I’m also reliably informed by the Duchess that although the enormous punch bowl in the State Dining Room currently has a leak, couples will enjoy using the Duke’s ceremonial sword to cut their wedding cake while just across the hall from them, in the Elizabeth Saloon, should you know where to look, a slice of Queen Victoria’s wedding cake is neatly tucked away on a bookshelf. “When people get married here they are really getting the same experience that I had” says the Duchess “and I want people to experience it in exactly the same way. There is a great sense of arrival here, of grandeur, pomp and ceremony. It is the ultimate fairytale castle high up on the hill; a sleeping beauty castle set amongst the trees.” The Duchess admits to often stealing a peek at the bride’s dress. ‘My girls especially are always fascinated to see what the bride is wearing and what the couple have chosen for their special day. I think for a Summer wedding it’s lovely to have pink Champagne. There are some wonderful

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things that have been done to style the castle too. My particular favourite is when they turn the Old Kitchen into a nightclub with an internal lining and stars.” With the castle in constant demand for weddings, corporate events and private parties, not to mention film shoots which bring a steady stream of visitors from Hollywood through the impressive front door; Victoria & Abdul, The Haunting and The Da Vinci Code filmed scenes here; the Duchess is responsible for preserving the castle’s heritage whilst ensuring modern comforts are carefully and sympathetically woven into its tapestry of daily life. “I suppose one of my favourite projects was one of my first; the blue carpet that runs throughout the stairs and corridors. There was no carpet anywhere when I arrived. It was quite cold. As an interior designer one tends to know where to purchase things and I went to my supplier in Kidderminster. I remember the carpet cost £9 per square meter. It is 80% wool and 20% nylon. We had the border of peacocks specially made to display the family crest. People walk over that carpet wherever they go. It’s probably not a very inspiring carpet but it made the biggest impact to the castle.” Bearing in mind there are 300 rooms at Belvoir, each bearing its own challenge for repair, restoration and decoration, the responsibility must be a heavy one. It’s not as if the Duchess can just nip to IKEA. “I do get frustrated, yes. I mean it’s very expensive decorating the castle so everything has to be reused where possible. Nothing ever gets thrown away. We spend a lot of time sorting out our linen room which is enormous. One of my favourite projects was restoring the late Duke’s dressing room and reusing his bedspread that was in tatters, but very pretty fabric. I used fragments for the new bedspread in that room. I like recycling. Decorating wise you are never finished. It’s so big. If I had an unlimited budget I would definitely do up the round tower as a flat for my children. And I would redo the curtains we originally had in the Ballroom and for the two windows outside the Regent’s Gallery.” The Duchess frowns ever so slightly as she recalls her list of to-do’s, clearly ever

Art Direction, Buckinghams. Photographer, Sophie May Morris. Location, Elizabeth Saloon, Belvoir Castle. Hair & Make-up, Adele Coxon MUA. Dress ‘Draline’ by Pronovias available at RS Bridal Collection, Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire. (Wrap, editor’s own.) Tiara: ‘Lady Georgina’ by Ivory & Co., £165

Buckinghams Wedding Magazine Page 39

Art Direction: Buckinghams Photography: Oehlers Photography Hair & Make-up: Adele Coxon MUA Bouquet & Ivy Headdress: Bradgate Flowers Elizabeth Saloon dress: ‘Dreba’ and Castle Gardens: (right) ‘Danira’ by Pronovias at RS Bridal Collection, Melton Mowbray

Special Offer for Valentine’s Day 2018 £17,000 for up to 100 guests Full day hire of the State Rooms of Belvoir Castle A Civil Ceremony or Ceremony in the Chapel Prosecco drinks reception for 100 with Canapes 3 Course Wedding Breakfast for 100 in the State Dining Room Half bottle of wine per person Glass of Prosecco for the toasts A beautiful suite of rooms for the bride to prepare The Dukes sword to cut your wedding cake The firing of the Duke’s 7 French Cannon A choice of white or ivory linen and napkins with candelabras on each table, personalised menus, place names and table plan 01476 871001 ***

Belvoir Castle offers a selection of venue hire & catering packages to suit your wedding preference The Duchess of Rutland seated by one of two open fires in The Guard Room photographed by Oehlers Photography

Castle venue hire from £7250 to £8250 Catering packages from £125pp Lakeside Marquee Weddings for up to 450 (July and August) Civil Ceremony Hire from £3500-£4500 for 3 hours*

*T&Cs apply. Please note additional guests can be catered for at an additional charge. All prices & packages listed are subject to change but correct at time of writing

The family Chapel (left): Brides prepare for their wedding in The King’s Suite (above) where the young Queen Victoria slept during her visit in 1843

growing and tucked away at the back of her mind for when, if ever, the budget allows. “Plus I’d definitely remake the carpet for the Regent’s Gallery because I can’t bear that Victorian carpet in there but that would be an estimate of half a million for those curtains and carpets alone. We just have to keep tapping away at it.” Belvoir Castle, it seems, is forever evolving. While keeping one foot proudly in its past the other is firmly planted in the future. For today’s modern couple the list of key features continues to expand. The Ballroom and Guard Room are both licensed for Civil Ceremonies and a Lakeside Marquee, which holds up to 450 guests, offers a seasonal alternative for couples wanting even more space. “One of the latest projects is how I’ve created additional bedrooms. There are a number of bedrooms in the castle plus we now have Croxton Lodge which is four miles away.” Counting outloud in her mind’s eye she totals twenty bedrooms now available for guests. “The people who really embrace Belvoir are the families who arrive the day before the wedding. They have a family dinner in the State Dining Room the night before and the next morning the bride gets ready here whilst the bridegroom may be staying over at Croxton Lodge.” Brides at Belvoir Castle are offered a private suite of rooms to prepare for their grand entrance. ‘The King’s Suite’ with it’s gold silks, canopied sofas and oriental wallpaper is where Queen Victoria slept during her stay. Three

ornate rooms connected by beautiful panelled doors with the grandest of beds, a private bathroom, dressing table and all important full length mirror. If brides don’t feel like royalty here they never will. “The couple come together for their wedding service in the private Chapel or if they prefer, a Civil Ceremony and, should they wish, they can stay at the castle overnight. These weddings are becoming much more popular now. And of course our butlers run the weddings. Everything about a wedding here is real. The importance to me is that they feel they are a princess for the day so all my team, private butlers, family butlers, look after them throughout every step of their day. We have the most wonderful private family chaplain too who hand-holds couples through their ceremony. He has been with our family for eighteen years. I think sometimes people forget that a wedding is one, binding, hopefully, and two endorsed by the church. Having our own vicar means he organises the pre-wedding meetings with all the couples who get married here. And Belvoir I find is this very special place. It’s built on an ancient ley line so it has very good energy and its own blessing on a couple when they marry here.” Belvoir Castle certainly offers a spaceous backdrop. The daytime festivities are hosted mainly in the State Rooms on the first floor and outside in the gardens. The Duchess I believe is particularly fond of the Rose Garden. With the old adage ‘all the best parties end up in the kitchen’ guests head downstairs in the evening to party in the Old Kitchen and I wonder, does Her Buckinghams Wedding Magazine Page 41

Grace hear the music playing? “We can hear everything in the evening; the whole castle rocks! The children of course got so bored with fireworks” she laughs “but it’s just something you get used to. That and the cannons going off! In the morning for instance, around 6am, the bottles from the night before are all leaving the castle from the back door and my bedroom is just above the back door. We live over the job which we all accept; it’s part of the great privilege of living at Belvoir.”

Visit Belvoir Castle Wedding Fair Sunday 26th November 2017 11am-3pm To register for free tickets please visit:

Emma Manners, Duchess of Rutland stands beneath a portrait of Elizabeth, 5th Duchess of Rutland (1780-1825) painted in the Spring Gardens at Belvoir Castle

From bridal designer to MOTB extraordinaire Ian Stuart explains how his latest collection promises to meet with mother’s approval. Buckinghams Wedding Magazine Page 42


years ago, Ian Stuart launched his own bridal wear label after a decade designing for commercial labels in NYC. He was tired of restricting his creativity to appease the girl next door. He wanted to design for modern brides who yearned for something different. His collection was an instant success, with the dresses in demand from brides around the world. Clearly, brides were ready for a change. It didn’t take long before calls from exasperated mothers came in, desperately searching for an outfit that complemented their daughter’s nontraditional Ian Stuart wedding dress. Cries of ‘I don’t want to look frumpy’ ‘I’m a trendy mom’ ‘I can’t find anything that suits my personality’ ‘Everything I’ve seen is boring’ were repeated again and again. Ian began to create bespoke outfits for these mums. He loved the challenge of designing for a different age group, with different needs and body shapes. After many commissions, Ian saw there was an obvious need for trendy occasion wear. In 2008, Ian Stuart London was launched and was picked up by the most prestigious special occasion wear boutiques in the UK. Fashion starved mums finally had a designer to go to. Who wears Ian Stuart? Due to the unique story of how the label began, Ian has always known that the type of mum attracted to his aesthetic is quite a distinctive kind of woman; but

it was opening his own flagship store in 2014 that gave him a real understanding of the women buying his designs and what they want. He describes ‘The Ian Stuart woman is young in spirit, aged 35 or 95, she won’t be dressing like an old lady. Steering clear of the norm, she doesn’t want to wear the mother of the bride uniform. Not afraid to make heads turn, she makes the most of her best assets and hides her worst, she embraces the amazing fit, walks with confidence and feels damn sexy!’ The hidden secret to his success? Ian believes that confidence is what makes a women truly beautiful. His prerogative with his occasion wear collection is to make women feel confident and emanate a sophisticated Sophia Lorenstyle-sexiness. Over the years Ian has refined his collection to what it is today, concentrating on creating a flattering fit and covering up problem areas of the body, while keeping the designs hot, young and sexy. With hidden corsetry inside the bodice, every woman is given a nipped in waist, which Ian says is the key to feeling fabulous. He admits to getting emotional at the moment a mum sees herself in one of his designs for the first time. ‘I see the same glimmer in her eyes as that of a child on Christmas day, a mix of joy, excitement and disbelief, rolled into one euphoric moment. Many of the women I work with haven’t seen their waist in years, or question if they still have one. My outfits help them to recognise the beautiful body that is always there, it has just been hiding behind baggy jersey tops’. Ian’s expert tips for Mums: Alterations can make the world of difference. I always advise buying the size that fits the biggest part of your figure, whether that’s

your bust, waist or hips, and having the rest of the dress tailored to fit you. Your figure is unique, and such a special outfit should be altered that way. Spend some time in a dress when you are considering buying it, especially if you love it, but it’s not quite right. Talk through with your stylist where it feels comfortable and where it doesn’t, discuss alterations there and then, more is possible than you may initially think. A nip in the neckline, a pinch in the back, creating a sleeve, tweaking the hem length and manipulating a silhouette can transform that dress with doubts into your dream outfit. Find out what the colour story of the wedding is before you decide what colour to wear. Ask about flowers, bridesmaids, brides and groomsmen. It looks much better in photography if there is a correlation between the wedding party. There is nothing worse than standing out like a sore thumb. If in doubt, neutrals such as silver, gold, and platinum always work well. Consider the wearability of an outfit

“ The Ian Stuart woman is young in spirit, aged 35 or 95, she won’t be dressing like an old lady ”

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as well as the wedding you are buying it for. Could you wear the dress on its own for another occasion? Could you wear the shrug or wrap with white jeans? And take sunglasses with you… nothing says glamour like big shades! IANSTUART-LONDON.COM


arlier this year we shared a photo on our Facebook page of a beautiful naked wedding cake created by Helen Thacker at Cottonwood Bakery. The image showed a guide price ‘from £400’. Within a few minutes someone had tagged in a bride and said ‘£400! I could make you this for £50!’ Never ones to flee from a challenge, we set about contacting the professional cake makers we know, asking them to respond to this comment. After all, ‘it’s only eggs and flour’ right? Their responses have revealed some interesting facts about the true cost of making a wedding cake. For anyone contemplating making your own cake, or if you’re a friend or relative of a soon to be wed couple and you're about to offer to make their wedding cake - read on! You might just find you’ll be setting yourself up for more work and cost than you bargained for.

use Lurpak for its pale colour, quality and neutral taste. I pride myself on the quality of all the other ingredients I use, which all make for a superior cake. For example, I use Marriages flour and chocolate with a high cocoa quantity. There are also a few little expensive ingredients that get forgotten such as food colouring, vanilla bean paste or royal icing. All of these are at premium prices but it makes all the difference and wedding cakes deserve to be far nicer than those I knock out with my boys in the kitchen at the weekend. Your wedding cake should be the best cake you’ve ever eaten.” The often forgotten ingredient in making a wedding cake is ‘time’. Cake

Helen Thacker, Cottonwood Bakery “The cake in the photograph was a four tier naked cake decorated with fresh fruit and flowers. The tiers were 6, 8, 10 and 12 inch respectively, catering for 134 portions. I used approximantely 34 eggs and because I only use good quality free-range eggs these alone cost £25! Then there’s the butter. Packs and packs of butter which is probably my most expensive ingredient. I

Buckinghams Wedding Magazine Page 45

makers are professionals after all and deserved to be paid for their time as much as the rest of us. “The time producing a wedding cake isn’t just the hours baking and decorating” said Helen. ‘My average time doing this part is two days but in addition there’s also planning and sketching a design, meeting the couple, taking time to listen to their ideas and learning about their vision for their wedding. Add time for sourcing ingredients and equipment, delivery of the cake and making the essential final checks such as calling the bride and groom, the venue and the florist to ensure everything goes smoothly on the day. I also spend about an hour and a half setting up the cake and allow for this time in the cost. The naked cake shared on Facebook could only be put together on site and took almost two hours to stack, assemble and decorate. As a business I also spend many hours researching trends and new ideas, although I never charge for this part of the process!” Often non-professionals forget the cost of equipment needed to produce cakes the size of those often created for weddings. “I already have most of the tins and equipment I need to make a wedding cake as I’ve built up my equipment over time but there are always consumables such as cake boards which alone can be up to £10 plus dowels for stacking and boxes for delivery. Electricity and gas has to be taken into account

Image by Cottonwood Bakery

Professional Cake Designers bare all in Buckinghams Naked Cake exposé

with the many hours that a cake will spend baking in the oven. Again, I only use really good quality ingredients for the decorations and sometimes this can make up quite a large proportion of the total cost of ingredients. Flowers can be particularly expensive. On this cake, the cost of the fruit alone was about £15. The price for this particular naked cake breaks down to £2.95 per slice which is competitive with what you’d pay for a slice of mass-produced cake in a High Street coffee shop and those cakes are neither bespoke nor handmade!” Helen Alborn, Helen Alborn Cakes “When you order a cake from a professional cake maker you’re paying for peace of mind. You’ll receive a quality product that is freshly baked with the best ingredients and is designed to your very own specifications. And let’s not forget that particularly with a naked cake there is nowhere to hide. If you burn the cake or allow it to stick to the pans it will be plain as day! As with everything, you get what you pay for. We work to perfect our skills so that we can make consistently highstandard goods. Whether it be the baking itself or the production of homemade buttercreams, fruit compotes, curds and preserves, we have worked tirelessly to make them as perfect as possible. This is also true for icing the cake and the production of any intricate decorations. And of course, the final assembly is part of the service too; setting up the creation in situ and on time. Professional cake makers must also factor in their time as there is much more to a cake than just the decorating. We work diligently on our administration and communication, setting up cake tasting sessions and consultations to design the perfect cake. Although making fillings and baking does take time, so does ensuring that the working environment is hygienic and stocked with the boards, boxes and tins required to form the couple’s vision. Some requests are also very specific, so we make sure we have the tools needed to meet, or indeed exceed, the expectations that the bride and groom deserve. We aim for the wow factor, producing a cake that is memorable for all the right reasons."

Lynne Gardner, Gardner Cakes “I thought it would be helpful to breakdown the cost of ingredients for a four tier naked cake I made recently. 3kg flour £5.67 4kg butter £24.00 3kg sugar £4.80 51 eggs £22.50 2kg icing sugar £3.40 Jam £2.20 Lemon Curd £2.50 2.4kg chocolate £12.00 1200ml Double cream £3.20 Bailey’s Liquer £5.00 Dulce de Leche Caramel Sauce £3.00 Elderflower Cordial £2.55 3.7kg Massa Tacino Fondant £22.20 14” cake drum £3.00 Topper £20.00 Handmade sugar flowers £80.00 Sugar confetti £5.00 Edible gold leaf £12.00 Gold lustre dust £2.50 Ribbon £1.00 25 x Dowels £5.00

The total cost of ingredients and equipment alone was £273.02. Add to this: - Time spent shopping for ingredients and equipment - 2 hours -Preparation time of ingredients for all the tiers : 3 hours -Baking time: 6 hours 45 mins -Washing up/cleaning down: 1 hour -Decoration time: 20-25 hours -Electricity -Delivery and set up at the venue can take several hours and up to half a day in some cases! With regards to the comment stating someone could make a four tier naked cake for £50 I would say to them "good luck!". I do understand some people look at a cake and think ‘it’s only sponge’, but it’s way more than that; it’s hours of blood, sweat and tears! It’s years of learning, experience and knowledge. We are experts in our field, the same as photographers and florists.” Off The Shelf: Waitrose’ undecorated five tier naked vanilla sponge cake serves 90 portions and costs £149.00. That’s £1.65 per slice before you add on any additional costs such as decoration or a cake topper. We worked out a cost of roughly £60 at least to decorate your cake including a cake box to transport it,

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cake stand, ribbon, fresh flowers, cake topper, fresh fruit, delivery costs and dowels. This decoration would make your Waitrose cake £209 for 90 portions making the price £2.32 per slice. That’s an average saving of 63p per slice in comparison to a bespoke, one-of-akind wedding cake from a local cake maker. Obviously you’ll have to do the decoration and assembly yourself. In comparison, a 3-5 tier white ivory iced cake from Waitrose will set you back between £200-£599 depending on how many mouths you hope to feed. Do It Yourself: If you’re absolutely adamant you’re going to make your own cake, or alternatively offer to make a wedding cake for your friend, then here’s our list of tips, tricks and precautions to consider before you turn the oven on. Keeping it fresh: With a traditionally finished cake, most cake designers will bake three to four days ahead of the event to leave plenty of time for decorating. As naked cakes lack the outer layer of frosting which seals in the freshness and moisture, it’s a good idea to bake as close to the event date as possible, ideally the day before, and of course you’ll need to have the correct storing equipment. Choosing a filling: Most people love a nice pastry cream or a light and airy mousse, however a naked cake may not be the best cake for this kind of filling. A good judgement with knowledge and experience is needed when deciding what to use to fill your naked cake. Time to chill: A naked cake needs to be chilled before serving to keep things in place. Make sure you have the room and facilities to do so, but don’t chill for too long otherwise it will dry out. Grease up to go naked: Since the sides of your naked cake will be exposed for all to see there is no room for error by getting it stuck in the cake pans or worse still, if you burn the edges. Top toppings: It is vitally important to use the correct decorations on your cake. Do your research on non-toxic flowers, check which fruits will keep the longest and make sure you place your dowells, cake topper and ribbon correctly. No using pins or sellotape!

Trial run: Consider doing a trial run to alleviate hiccups on the final version. Do it for the right reasons: Only bake your own wedding cake for the right reasons. You really don't want to find yourself icing a cake the night before your wedding. If you’re doing it simply to save money or because you're not that fussed about having a cake, then it may be less stressful to go without. Don’t go nuts: Are you cooking in an allergy free space? Although your cake and ingredients may not contain nuts your environment might.

Think transportation: Professional bakers will handle this daunting task for you. Should it travel with tiers? Do you have time to assemble your cake at the venue? What will you transport it in? True Story: We spoke to a friend of a friend who recently made a wedding cake for a close relative. Although a success, the construction of this threetiered creation worked out to be more difficult than first anticipated. The time restrictions faced between balancing a full-time job alongside assisting with other wedding preparations meant meticulous planning was required. Part of the process entailed freezing the cake prior to its decoration. This technique, although regularly used, meant any leftovers were no longer suitable for re-freezing plus the cake won’t stay fresh for as long following the event. This emphasises the different considerations required when making a celebration cake. Practice attempts were also made to ensure no mishaps arose on the day. This proved a wise choice as unsuitable supports in earlier efforts meant the

Image by Helen Alborn Cakes

Check it’s cooked: This might sound obvious but a venue told us a true story of a wedding cake baked by Auntie Someone, taken to the chef for slicing only for them to discover it was raw cake mixture in the middle! Check too your venue’s policy. Ensure they’re happy to serve a cake made by yourself as some kitchens expect any third party food entering their kitchen to be prepared by caterers with a food hygiene certificate and public liability insurance.

tiers slipped from their places – oops! You can rest assured if you invest in a professional cake maker they should be well versed in their craft and produce high-quality creations first time. A great deal of time and care will have been given to your bespoke cake and they want nothing more than to dazzle you and your guests with the most important cake of your lifetime.


Dreams May

Heavenly details, a dream wedding cake and the most beautiful of gowns at Burghley House, Lincolnshire by Dottie Photography





Burghley House Dottie Photography


Wedding Dress (Inside) Martin Charles Bridal Gallery ......................

Wedding Dress (Outside)

Ian Stuart Bride


Flowers & Bridesmaid Wreaths Cake


Pollen Designs


Couture Cakes

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Make Up

Charlotte Wesson


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Dinner & Drinksware Gold Candelabra Groomswear Cars




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Robert Goddard VP Princess Wedding Cars


Bridesmaid Dresses Fabulous Tutu Dresses .................................................................

Bridesmaid Wings Bought from Amazon and embellished with gold spray, glitter and goose feathers by Dottie Photography .........

Photography Assistant Male Model


Natalia Vanezis


Female Model


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Georgia King

Shopping Basket Iconic London Illuminator Drops (shade Original), Lancôme Tient Idole 24h Foundation (shade 035), Tom Ford Bronzer (shade Terra), Tom Ford Highlighter (shade Reflects Gilt), Charlotte Tilbury Blusher from the Look In A Pallette Beauty Glow, Laura Mercier Translucent Powder, Tarte Cosmetics Shape Tape (shade Light Neutral), Anastasia Beverley Hills Modern Renaissance Eye Shadow Pallette, Anastasia Beverley Hills Brow Powder (shade Soft Brown), Charlotte Tilbury Mascara Legendary Lashes, Doll Beauty False Lashes (style Sophia), Mac Cosmetics Lip Liner Fruit Cocktail (orange) or Edge to Edge (pink), Bobbi Brown Lipstick (shade Guava (orange) or Pink)

Get The Look Make-up Artist Adele Coxon, the steady hand behind model Lucy’s cover shot make-up, tells you step-by-step how to get the look.

1. Apply Tarte Shape Tape to eyelids area & pat with a beauty blender sponge 2. Apply shade Raw Sienna & Burnt Orange from Modern Renaissance palette to eye crease & blend out 3. Apply shade Warm Taupe from Modern Renaissance to eye lid & blend 4. Apply shade Vermeer from Modern Renaissance to brow bone & inner corner of eye to highlight 5. Apply mascara 6. Apply Sophia lashes from Doll Beauty 7. Apply mascara to blend in lashes 8. Blend shade Warm Taupe & Burnt Orange under lower lash line 9. Apply Iconic Illuminator Drops all over the face 10. Apply Lancôme Foundation all over the face with a foundation brush & blend edges with a beauty blender sponge 11. Apply Tom Ford Bronzer to contour around edge of the face working from the temple, just beneath the cheek bone & jaw line in a ‘3’ shape 12. Apply blusher (mix the two shades) to apples of cheeks 13. Apply Tom Ford Highlighter (Gold shade) to cheek bone (just above blusher) 14. Blend any harsh lines with a clean face powder brush 15. Apply Laura Mercier Powder to any areas that are prone to shine / oily areas 16. Apply brow powder to brows with an angled brush & brush through with a spooly to soften 17. Apply lip liner all over the lip 18. Apply lipstick Photography by Sophie May Morris

adele coxon

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Florally Speaking

Ranunculus – Radiant with charm Tulips – Declaration of love Daisies – Innocence Hyacinth (White) – Beauty and loveliness Hyacinth (Blue) – Constancy

Image by Sarah Pike at Mrs. Umbels


hat do flowers mean to you? Nature. Beauty. Scent. Colour. All these things. Flowers are an important part of nature and life and we like to take advantage of their beauty to display them in our gardens and homes. We use them for many different traditions. Their form and scent bring us joy and can lighten the darkest mood. But there are so many more meanings than you might think. Before the invention of mobile phones and the internet there were limited ways of conveying a message or a thought to someone you cared about. The early Victorians created a whole secret language centred around flowers. Ladies bought books on the subject and proudly displayed them on their coffee tables; they were both intriguing and beguiling. Pretty bouquets were given and their message was not just the obvious. Flowers expressed hidden emotions during a time of extreme discretion where society was governed by strict rules of etiquette. Imagine a secret language through flowers. How utterly entrancing? Lovers communicating without writing a single letter. Some of these meanings have continued through the decades and become something with which most of us are familiar. Valentine’s Day is a good example of this. The deep red roses that are traditionally sent on this day symbolise passionate love. What could be more romantic? Well what about seasonality? Flowers have such a fleeting life that surely we should be celebrating every season by selecting blooms that flower naturally at the time. A lover or admirer can create a more bespoke meaning, personal to them and the recipient, by using flowers that are grown in this country. Imagine, if you will, a stunning bouquet of Ranunculus and white Hyacinths mixed with the vibrant red or yellow stems of Dogwood (Cornus alba); infinitely more seasonal and therefore surely even more beautiful.

look more deeply into the flowers that we send, as well as their provenance and their message. This amount of thought is surely far more romantic. For instance, my husband never buys me flowers. I’m a florist so it would be a little ridiculous as I spend nearly every working day surrounded by them. He does however, on random occasions, select a bloom from our garden or the cutting patch that is the most beautiful at that moment and bring it in for me to put in one of my tiny little vases. The first violet (true love), a sprig of Queen Anne’s Lace (fantasy) or a highly scented stem of orange blossom (generosity, your purity equals your loveliness). So it would seem that romance does pop its head up intermittently and is all the more appreciated for the time and thought that went into the gesture. I believe this hidden language deserves a revival and what better place than at your wedding. Flowers are an integral part of the day, one that is steeped in tradition, some of them spiritual (a flowergirl throwing rose petals is to signify the bride’s journey from purity to romance and fertility) and some of them physical (the scent of the flowers would help to disguise the smell of the unwashed in church, yuck!). But flowers

Dogwood – undiminished love White Hyacinths – Beauty and loveliness Ranunculus – Radiant with charm Whilst not a traditional Valentine’s Day composition, perhaps it is one that we should look to champion. We should

Image by Samantha Ward Photography

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can also be used to create personality and meaning on this most important of days. Let me give you some examples. The beautiful bouquet of spring flowers (left) is not just your average bridal bouquet. It is rich with meaning and symbolism. A bouquet of loveliness that also says ‘I love you, I will always be there for you.’ The perfect sentiment to be holding as you walk down the aisle. I created one of my favourite summer bouquets (below) for a truly stunning bride who got married in the middle of summer on a beautiful, hot July day. This is so very pretty both visually and in sentiment: Peach Rose – Modesty Stocks – Lasting beauty, (you will always be beautiful to me) Clematis – Mental beauty Mint – Virtue Whether you’re planning your wedding flowers or giving a bouquet to your Mum or best friend, pick the prettiest seasonal blooms that have a special meaning. It’s a gift that will live on long after the flowers fade. by Sarah Pike at Mrs Umbels Flowers

John Lewis stores offer a wide range of beautiful and unique wedding favours, table decorations, stationery and invitations for couples planning their wedding. There's even more to discover online including wedding cakes from Waitrose, not to mention the wide choice of lingerie, shoes, jewellery, accessories, hats and fashion instore. Find Kuoni Honeymoons in selected stores and register for the John Lewis Gift List service for your wedding gifts, vouchers or honeymoon. Visit in-store or go online. JOHNLEWIS.COM

Sort out your Stationery Whether you’re choosing a traditionally classic or a contemporary design your invitations and stationery will really set the scene for your special day. Browse over 150 designs and choose your ‘save the date’ cards, invitations, envelopes, table plans, place cards and thank-you cards, too. Tip: When you’re selecting stationery it cuts the cost if you print everything at once so it’s worth planning ahead just a little and getting all your printing done at the same time.

Fabulous fashion with Personal Styling We have expert advice and a great selection for dressing mums and bridesmaids. We can also help you choose a glamorous going-away outfit or a capsule honeymoon wardrobe. Why not spend the day together with a beauty makeover or a lingerie fitting while we hand-pick an edited collection that will help you all look your best? Tip: Adult bridesmaids will have their own style so it can be an idea to give them a palette rather than dressing them identically.

Lovely Lingerie Well-fitted lingerie will do wonders for your figure, improving both your posture and shape in an instant. We recommend you choose your dress when you’re wearing lingerie that fits so it’s worth booking a free appointment with one of our experts to get properly measured and fitted first. Tip: Many brides slim down a little in the months leading up to their wedding. Don’t forget that if you do lose weight you should get measured again before you get married to ensure a perfect fit.

Eat, drink and be merry Waitrose Entertaining can create, bake and put the icing on your cake. Depending on the type of cake you choose we recommend ordering it at least 5 weeks before you’d like it delivered. If you’re catering your own reception we can also provide the finest wines, canapés and party food, all made to delicious recipes using the very best, freshest ingredients. Delivery is free. Look online at and Tip: There are lots of lovely alternatives to champagne for your reception. For a summer celebration try authentic Bellinis with Prosecco or in winter, mulled wine is a delicious choice.

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Sunday 17th September 2017 The Walled Garden at Beeston Fields, Beeston, Nottinghamshire NG11 3DA

Sunday 18th February 2018 The Carriage Hall Plumtree, Nottinghamshire NG12 5NA

Sunday 8th October 2017 Prestwold Hall nr. Loughborough, Leicestershire LE12 5SQ

Sunday 4th March 2018 Norwood Park Southwell, Nottinghamshire NG25 0PF

Sunday 15th October 2017 Norwood Park Southwell, Nottinghamshire NG25 0PF

Sunday 18th March 2018 Prestwold Hall Norwood Park nr. Loughborough, Leicestershire LE12 5SQ

Sunday 19th November 2017 The Carriage Hall Plumtree, Nottinghamshire NG12 5NA Sunday 26th November 2017 Belvoir Castle Grantham, Leicestershire NG32 1PE

Book online for Free Tickets and a Free Gift Bag!* *T&C’s apply, while stocks last BUCKINGHAMSONLINE.COM/FAIRS

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The First 15 Documentary Photographer Ian Bursill explains his approach to capturing your big day


he first fifteen minutes of wedding coverage are vital for me. They’re crucial in helping your family and friends feel comfortable having me around. Not every photographer will share my view on this, but because of my approach they are the most important minutes of the day. As the soon-to-be-wed couple, by the time your wedding day comes around you’ll have booked your photographer and no doubt met them well before the big day. You’ll have already built a rapport meaning you’ll feel comfortable with them being around. But it’s important to remember you’re not the only one who’ll be present during the preparations. There may be bridesmaids, parents, relatives, makeup artists and hair stylists too and none of these people will have met the photographer before. During the bridal preparations some people will be in dressing gowns and curlers, others will be eating breakfast. Bridesmaids, relatives & vendors may not feel comfortable with a stranger just walking in and taking pictures,

especially if they don’t make the time to build up some rapport with them. When I arrive I’ll often walk in without my cameras. If I have them with me, I’ll put them down. I’ll chat with parents, bridesmaids, vendors; find some common ground and build on it. I’ll ask how they know the bride and talk about my family and their family. The more people present and the more

outgoing they are, the easier this is. After a short while I begin to see the barriers drop. People start to feel more relaxed in my presence and I’ll be able to pick up a camera and ease myself into the day. During the rest of the day I’ll blend in quite easily. People expect to see a

photographer in a church at weddings. They’re focused on the ceremony. I don’t draw attention to myself as I work quietly, patiently and respectfully. I’ll lose myself during the reception by working close in. I’ll mingle with the guests, often stopping to chat for just a short while, maybe to provide cover and assist with blending in. I’m also using my ears, listening to funny stories and anticipating the reactions. During the speeches I’ll work low down meaning you’ll find me between the tables! People are more interested in the stories, jokes, heckling and the toasting to notice the photographer. And when it comes to the dancing, most guests will have had a few drinks and be too loosened up to care about me. I’ll be on the dance floor with them, capturing their fancy moves. But those first fifteen minutes are the foundations upon which I build my narrative approach. If my ethos sounds like the perfect fit and you would like to book a consultation, please call me on 01509 323545 or email Quote BM4 to claim a 5% discount

‘Top UK Photographer’ The Wedding Photojournalist Association’s WPJA 2009 ‘UK Photographer of the Year’ 01509 323545

Bride and father, shortly before the ceremony.

‘Best Photographer’ for the East Midlands Region at The Wedding Industry Awards 2012, 2014 and 2015

SOMETHING NEW Image by Ian Bursill Photography

In the second of our professional wedding planning series, London-based wedding planner Tina Smyth guides you through the stages of wedding planning and answers the next big question: ‘How to choose your venue and suppliers?’


n this issue we’ll be looking at choosing your venue and your team of suppliers. Obviously you’ll want to build a supplier team which consists of experienced industry professionals who’ll work closely with you to bring your plans to life. Bear in mind however that the strength of their work will also need to suit the style or theme of your wedding and this will very much be dictated by your venue. First of all you need to set your wedding date. Setting your date and securing your venue most often go hand in hand and if ... you’re planning a church ceremony don’t forget to check the availability of the church too! If you don’t want a religious service you’ll find most venues hold ceremony licenses for both indoor and outdoor ceremonies. With so many unique venues across the UK you can really make the venue your personal statement. Whether it be an intimate ceremony in a lighthouse, an unusual botanical garden or your very own royal palace the options are endless. When choosing your venue keep in mind your budget, guest numbers and

consider its location. Is it easily reached or will you require guest transportation which will occur additional costs? Are there accommodation options on-site or somewhere nearby if guests wish to stay overnight? Are there any late night sound restrictions? Is the venue exclusively yours or will there be another wedding on the same day? These are really important questions which need to be answered and ones which will have a direct effect on your day. Once you’ve chosen the venue your vision for how the day should look and feel will start to unfold as you visualise your space. It’s time to take a look at the finer details and decide on the type and style of suppliers you need. Catering: is this provided by the venue or do you need an outside caterer? Flowers: consider all the areas that will be used and how you’d like these to be styled. Source florists that can emulate your style or theme. Décor: is furniture provided by your venue or do you need to hire tables, chairs and maybe even kitchen equipment. Some venues charge extra

“ the best suppliers get booked up well in advance.”

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for glassware and cutlery so check the small print before you book. Wedding photography and videography: what is your style preference? Formal, documentary or creative? Entertainment: do you prefer a live band, DJ or something unique? These key decisions should be considered early on in the planning process especially as the best suppliers get booked up well in advance. If you have specific ideas that are really important to you don’t be afraid to secure those key suppliers in the first months of planning. Establish early on the style which represents both you as a couple and your lifestyle. Whether you want an elegant, classic wedding with formal attire or if you prefer a relaxed boho-chic setting in the beautiful English countryside you’ll need to find suppliers who can match your style and vision. The most sought after suppliers often have strengths in a specific style so do your homework. Visit wedding fairs and trawl the internet but always get references and read the reviews. Always remember there are no set rules. It’s your day after all so have fun with it! TSWEDDINGDESIGN.COM

Christopher Scotney Wedding Wear Specialists 132 London Road, Leicester. Telephone 0800 525836 to request a brochure or for further information. Free Car Park • Air Conditioning

Wedding Collective

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Wedding Collective BRIDAL



Baroque Couture 07801 694934

EasyFlex Wedding Screens 07816 235843

Geoff Kirby Photography 07793 110297

Cherished Wedding Boutique 01623 661309


Ian Bursill Photography 01509 323545

RS Bridal Collection 01664 668076 Shade Bridal 01159 822820

Bradgate Flowers 01530 245411 Flowers by Philippa 07868 317724 Hiden Floral Design 01572 337394

CAKES Cottonwood Bakery 07917 450126 Gardner Cakes 07854 814059 The Cake Story 01636 636021

Julia Dilworth Florals 07754 007122


John Lewis Leicester 01162 425777 nottingham 01159 418282 GROOMS WEAR Christopher Scotney 01162 543957 HEALTH & WELL BEING



Real Flower Petal Confetti Co. 01386 555045

Ragdale Hall 01664 434831



Elite Wedding DJs 01159 789760

Adele Coxon MUA 07855 955910

Rebecca Diamond Music 07974 230564

PHOTOBOOTHS Pure Photography Booths 01777 701555 PHOTOGRAPHERS

Soraya Vermeulen, harpist 07732 385834

A Big Neon Glitter 07977 065256


Chris Snowden 07914 432110

Elite Candy Cart Company 01159 789760


Zinc Floral Design 01159 585775


Paul Martyn - Sax & DJ 07795 422275

Oehlers Photography 01159 73 6598

Lisa Jayne Creative 07788 646349


The Dimblebee Catering Company 07811 232801

Massey Photography 01455 271849

Mrs Umbels 07789 986558

CATERING Little Robin’s Cottage 07739 074654

Martin Neeves Photography 01455 271849

Daniel Hughes Photography 07969 488838

Belvoir Castle 01476 871001 Hart’s Nottingham 01159 881900 Norwood Park 01636 815649 Prestwold Hall 01509 880236 The Carriage Hall 01159 375300 VENUE STYLING & PROP HIRE Little Robin’s Cottage 07739 074654 Modern Heritage Styling 07985 297572 More Weddings 01455 615746 VIDEOGRAPHY Jmc Production 07770 659515 For details on joining Buckinghams Wedding Supplier Collective please call 01530 242860 or email

Although great care is taken to check all businesses in our directory you are strongly advised to obtain references and make your own checks as to the suitability of suppliers and venues. Buckinghams are not liable for any loss or damage howsoever caused by your engagement of a supplier(s) or venue(s) found in our magazine, at our wedding shows or on our website. *Any discounts & special offers are subject to change. Please speak directly with the supplier for details.

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Prestwold Hall Leicestershire


01509 880236


Weddings & Special Occasions



LE12 5SQ

Profile for Buckinghams

ISSUE 4 - Buckinghams Wedding Magazine  

ISSUE 4 - Buckinghams Wedding Magazine