Chris and Kate’s November Wedding

For our final blog of 2023, we look back on the recent wedding of Kate and Chris who married on Saturday 4th November.  As always, we are very grateful to the wedding couple who have kindly chatted with us about their wedding planning experience and the big day itself!  We hope you enjoy reading about their special wedding day and looking at a small selection of their fantastic wedding photos.

(Karen – Wedding Coordinator)


When did the proposal take place and how did it happen?

It was a frosty Monday lunchtime on 6th February 2023.  We had planned lunch at the Anchor in Hullbridge and a dog walk.  I was hangry so wanted to eat first but Chris was persistent, so we walked Diego first.  For the whole walk Diego was wearing a “will you marry my Daddy” tag on his collar and I was oblivious.  Diego was only 6 months old and he was being a bit of a pain, so Chris took control of him.  Eventually we stopped at a bench and Chris had to point the tag out to me.  He got down on one knee and asked me to marry him.  We had a fabulous lunch with some prosecco to celebrate.

Did you have an ideal venue in mind before you began your search?  How did you research your venue?

I quite liked the rustic barn vibe, but neither of us really had a picture in our minds of wheat the ideal venue would look like.  I researched venues on Google, Hitched and Bridebook.  I found Layer Marney Tower on Bridebook.

How many venues did you visit and why did you choose Layer Marney Tower?

We had a band in mind, The London Function Band, prior to even getting engaged.  We had seen them at one of our friends weddings and we knew we had to call them straight away.  That’s when we found out that the venue couldn’t have a sound limiter, otherwise we couldn’t have the band we really wanted.  This massively cut down our search.  I think I emailed more than twenty venues in Essex and only three of those didn’t have a sound limiter.

Layer Marney Tower was the last venue we visited  and we 100% saved the best until last.  It had the rustic barn vibe that I loved but it also had the traditional, grand Tudor tower with the beautiful Corsellis room.  We were wowed by the Long Gallery; it was a great backup weather room for reception drinks with a warm, cosy fire (which we did use in the end). The gardens were jaw dropping too.  Layer Marney Tower literally had everything we wanted and more.

Chris was sold when Karen told us that Layer Marney Tower is a dog friendly venue, so Diego could be our ring bearer.  It was nice to have him be part of our day.

We also really like the fact we could bring our own alcohol up until the evening bar opened.  We were able to choose the wine we wanted for the wedding breakfast without any extra corkage charges.  This also meant we could have the shots we wanted as wedding favours.

How far in advance did you book your wedding day?

8 months in advance; we didn’t want a long engagement.

Did you have a theme?

We went for an Autumnal vibe.  The bridesmaids were in rust orange and we went for foliage rather than flowers, with lots of chestnuts and wood, which looked great in the Barn.

As a family we love red wine, so the table numbers were corks. The table plan was wine bottles and people’s names were on the wine labels. Everyone’s table place names were in corks too.

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How did you choose which suppliers you used?

The photographer/videographer Filmmakers of London had an amazing deal on if we chose both packages.  I found him on a blog whilst searching in Google “36 outstanding wedding photographers in London”.

As mentioned previously, the band, including production and lighting we had seen at a friend’s wedding.  They did a 20 minute set from 4pm and welcomed everyone into the reception room.  There was a main course dinner set, which turned into a massive party all before the dessert had even been served!  There were two sets in the evening and in between they had a DJ that filled in.

I wrote on an Essex Weddings Facebook group that we needed a florist (at very late notice) and the wonderful Emma from The Flower Collective messaged straight away and gave us an excellent quote. She is very local to the venue too.

My hair stylist and décor supplier Hire My Decor I found on Hitched.

The venue recommend these amazing suppliers too: Becky from Woofs and Weddings who chaperoned Diego on the day, DJ Samuel Hann for the 360 photobooth and pianist Philip Keith.

A special mention to the incredible caterers Bouquet Garni, who are the sole caterer at the venue.  We couldn’t get over how fast they were feeding 120 people in such a tight time frame, especially with the band playing numerous sets during service.  Our guests are still talking about the food 6 weeks later.

Have you enlisted help from family and friends with the planning, or was it mainly the bride and groom that made arrangements?

The planning process we did most of ourselves. The day before, a few of the wedding party helped set up the Barn with the caterers; we were there for quite a few hours! My two lovely friends also helped the morning of the wedding ensuring the Barn and ceremony room was ready, and they decorated the cake for us.

What were the highlights of your day or particularly memorable moments?

Dancing on the grand piano during our wedding breakfast; the photo absolutely sums up the whole day.  Chris also gave his speech standing on the grand piano, which was brilliant.

Another memorable moment was when Diego walked down the aisle with the wedding rings. We took him home on 4th November 2022 and we were married on 4th November 2023, so it was great he was a part of it on his “Gotcha Day”.

Do you have any advice for wedding couples just starting their wedding planning?

Try and make bits yourself, as on the day it’s great when you see all your hard work come together. Don’t forget to eat the evening food; everyone was raving about the pizza but neither of go to have any.  Don’t stress and take your time with decisions.  We managed to do it in 8 months and thankfully everything went to plan.

Lastly, definitely go for a drive in the Rolls Royce following your ceremony; it was great having 15 minutes or so for just the two of us together.