If you are looking for the perfect venue for your wedding perhaps the best place to start is For Better For Worse. Over 2000 venues listed including Castles, Country House Hotels, Rustic Barns, Gardens, Inns and City Centre Chic. Superb venues for your perfect day.
Gate Street Barn, Bramley, near Guildford, Surrey - http://www.gatestreetbarn.com/ - Not only one of Surrey's finest wedding venues but also one the best in the country. Tucked away in the secluded Surrey Hills yet only five miles from Guildford with its superb transport links and accommodation. More than just your average wedding barn.
Tithe Barn, Petersfield, Hampshire - http://www.tithe-barn.co.uk - If you are looking for a rustic touch to a modern wedding it's worth checking out Tithe Barn, Petersfield. An exceptional location combined with exceptional service.
Bury Court Barn, Bentley near Farnham, Surrey - http://www.burycourtbarn.co.uk - Everything about Bury Court Barn is quite simply stunning. The huge oak beams and lofty ceiling are truly impressive. This country venue, the ideal location for civil ceremonies and wedding receptions, offers an impressive combination of rustic and modern styles. The original beams are offset by a natural oak floor and clean minimalist lines. Check it out.
Farbridge, West Dean Near Chichester, West Sussex - https://www.farbridge.org.uk/ - A complete gem in the Sussex countryside but so convenient to the gorgeous city of Chichester. This venue offers some unique bonuses such as the most amazing courtyard (with stunning view) for your afternoon reception, a picturesque beamed barn for your wedding breakfast and plenty of on site accommodation too. I love working here as its an all in one type of venue. Within touching distance of Chichester it also offers accommodation opportunities for extended guests. The barn can host between 60 and 150 guests, has seven bedrooms and a special set of private room for the couple. This is the real deal.
Avington Park, Near Winchester, Hampshire - http://www.avingtonpark.co.uk - A truly stunning venue with an amazing sense of history, architecture and style. An absolute photographer's dream and a location to remember forever.
Jacaranda - http://www.jacarandacatering.com - Jacaranda have built a reputation for Creatively Catering and Co-ordinating dream Weddings, Elegant Parties and Inspirational corporate events throughout West Sussex, Surrey and Hampshire. I've worked with Jacaranda at countless weddings mostly at either Tithe Barn or Bury Court Barn. I feel fortunate to have such exceptional caterers on my door step and am always delighted when I arrive at a wedding to find they're providing the food.
Vanilla Catering - http://www.vanillacatering.co.uk - Their dishes are made from the finest, freshest ingredients, and seasonally and locally sourced wherever possible. Each of our dishes is prepared with flair and skill at our professional kitchens, so your menu can be tailored to suit your exacting needs. Totally friendly people keen to make the most from your wedding or event.
Sass and Grace - https://www.sassandgrace.co.uk - A Winchester, Hampshire based bridal boutique offering a sensational array of wedding dresses, bridesmaids and flower girls dresses and wedding accessories. They offer a broad range of styles and price points in beautiful and tranquil surroundings. This is a full wedding dress service that doesn't stop until you pick up your dream dress for your big day. You'll love the experience of working with Sass and Grace and their creative style and experience.
DJ Ashley Riggs - http://www.djashleyriggs.co.uk - I spend a lot of time getting to know DJs. We often meet during the meal when I let the guests 'rest' and the DJ arrives. See someone a few times and before you know you're friends. This is exactly what happened with Ash and I. So from casually meeting him to Thursday Night Chicken Club (where a bunch of us go out and have a cheeky Nandos). So yes, Ash is a great friend. But don't be mistaken when I tell you he is one of the finest DJs in the country. I've seen some basic set ups...some average DJs in my time. Spend 15 minutes watching him and you know you've found a total professional who is on top of his game. He even studied music theory to help him understand how songs in different keys work in tandem. He's quite simply amazing (and his wife makes great cakes).
Brian Mole, Wedding DJ - https://dancemix.co.uk/brianmoleweddings/ - I've had the pleasure of working with Brian many times over the years. Brian is more than just a DJ. He also is a Master of Ceremonies. One of my most fond memories was a rapturous welcome of a Bride and Groom with Brian leading the cheers of the guests encouraging them to wave their linens in wild circles over their heads. Magic. He's an entirely likeable guy, fantastic DJ and a commanding Master of Ceremonies. He also has one of the coolest DJ set ups around (which is new this year) in the form a split screen VW campervan front. Totally unique.
Kate Avery Flowers - http://www.kateaveryflowers.co.uk - Basend in Chiddingfold, Surrey, Kate offers a luxury floral design service that is completely bespoke. She's have been flowering from her garden workshop since 2005 and in 2014 I won the "Best Wedding Florist" in the National Wedding Industry Awards. Superb service!
Heavenly Scent Floral Designs, Liss - http://www.heavenly-scent.co.uk/ - Heavenly Scent is a Wedding & Event Florist based in Greatham, Hampshire at a country workshop. Established since 1996, they have a wealth of experience in the Wedding and Event industry and regularly feature in 'Wedding Flowers' magazine.
Hair and Make-up
InParlour - http://www.inparlour.co.uk - InParlour offer all your bridal beauty needs from make up to manicures and are experts in making you look beautiful!
Natasha Wiggins - http://www.nwmake-up.co.uk - Totally professional and super nice, Natasha and her team of hand selected artists can help you find the perfect bridal makeup combination. I've worked with her so many times I can't count. Totally recommended!
Ever After Video Productions - http://www.everaftervideos.co.uk - Ever After Videos (aka Sylvia & Niels) are two fantastic videographers whom I can't recommend enough. Often times Bride and Grooms hire an unobstrusive photographer only to leave the door wide open to the complete opposite in videographers. Even though Ever After use two 'shooters' I can honestly say they were a breeze to work with...easier than most single shooters which is saying something. They cover the whole of the UK so don't let their Sheffield base put off anyone south of Watford Gap.
Zeus Films - http://www.zeusfilms.co.uk - Whenever I turn up to a wedding and first me a new videographer, my knees start to shake and I get hot under the collar. I start thinking, just how is this guy going to ruin my coverage. I felt the same when I first met Andy. But within about 3 1/4 minutes I realised he was the type of guy you add to your video all stars list. Easy to work with and great to have around I can honestly say you won't be disappointed...and if I'm your photographer, neither will I.
From The Hip - http://www.fromthehip.tv - With a name like that you would think we might be related. But, in fact, the answer is no. Its just coincidence on the name. What we do share is simple approach to capturing the moments that make a great day without forcing a thing. I really enjoyed working with Dan and think you will too. Too often videographers and photographers seem to clash on the day. I've been fortunate to meet some great like minded videographers and these guys are right at the top of the list.
Oliver Sheen - http://www.oliversheen.com - Pianist and Vocalist based in Petersfield (near me). Genuinuely decent chap with a great hair cut (hey, check out his site to find he was in an 80's pop band and had hair that makes Brian May look tame). Sensational musician with a calming personality. Highly recommended.
Alexandria Ensemble - http://www.alexandriaquartet.org.uk - Not your average string quartet. Whilst the classical and baroque genre is part of their standard repetoire they also have a wild side. They even played a few bars of Superman...just for me I reckon. Have a click and a listen.
A Good Reed - http://www.agoodreed.co.uk - If you are looking for something a little different in a music ensemble you would be hard pressed to beat the girls at A Good Reed. This all girl saxophone quartet can provide the gentlest of background music to toe-tapping entertainment all during the same event. Check out the website to get a demo CD. You'll be glad you did.
Just for Guys, Liss - How many times have I seen it this year. Size 32 trousers for a size 42 groom...or 2 shirts and no tie. Break away from dealing with spotty teenagers in a high street store and trust your hireware decisions to true professionals. Jan and her team deliver excellent customer service with friendly local service. Ring her on 01730 818477 or 07879 456773.
Venue and Supplier Directory
So often supplier directories are just cash cows for some IT bod in the West Midlands. Occassionally someone bucks the trend and sets something up that is selective in who they select ensuring the cream of the crop. The Good Country Weddings Guide is such a guide. Don't be confused as the name is similar to another guide which is simply a paid for listings company. In fact, look closely and you may notice a few of the good folks above.
The Bridal File - http://www.thebridalfile.co.uk A wicked new bridal directory that sets itself apart by being a) useful and b) good looking. Search by supplier section as well as county, get involved in the forum and set up your own online planner