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Engagement ring trends for 2023

Whether you're future-gazing about your dream proposal or just like keeping up to date with the latest styles, Lorna Haddon, head of diamonds and jewellery at Beaverbrooks, predicts the new wave of engagement ring trends that will be taking over our Instagram feeds in 2023. Here at County Wedding Magazines it's hard to pick our fav? Really, can we only choose one?

Posted: 3 February 2023

Bristol’s directory of independent shopping locations has relaunched

Bristol's directory of independent shopping locations has relaunched this year, focusing on locally-made, unique, consciously-created products, for customers who want to support small businesses.

The online directory is a collection of fantastic independents offering a diverse range of products from jewellery to plants, homewares to clothes. It's a great place to look if you want to support Bristol businesses when compiling your wedding gift list and can find everything you could need to start your married life together all in one place, as well as thoughtful gifts for your wedding party. Whether you decide to shop in store or online, the support for your neighbourhood shops will always be appreciated.

Posted: 2 February 2023

Abroad stag and hen dos not an option due to cost of living crisis

Couples planning stag and hen festivities this year may need to think again as Brits admit they would not attend an abroad celebration. Luxury fashion retailer Fenwick, has surveyed the nation to find out opinions on stag and hen dos, including the amount they'd be willing to spend and whether they'd travel abroad. Many people now take their bridal parties or groomsmen on holiday to celebrate their big day. These trips can often end up costing a lot of money especially if heading to popular destinations such as Marbella, Budapest or even Vegas which when the majority of the UK is being squeezed by the ongoing cost of living crisis, isn't something many can afford. Of the 1,000 people surveyed, 50.70% would refuse to attend a stag do abroad, preferring to celebrate closer to home in the UK.

Posted: 1 February 2023

The Bishop’s Palace and Gardens sits in the heart of the Medieval city of Wells

Steeped in history, The Bishop's Palace and Gardens sits at the heart of the Medieval city of Wells, Somerset. Whether your arrival is by car or a relaxed stroll across the drawbridge, you'll be greeted with breathtaking views of the stunning, 800-year-old Medieval building.

The Bishop's Palace and Gardens boasts 14 acres of perfectly-kept gardens for you and your guests to enjoy, and there's something quite magical about them. With the moat surrounding the Palace offering the tranquil sounds of flowing water, the stunning backdrop of Wells Cathedral, picturesque willow bridge and seasonal flowers and plants all year round, this is a beautiful place for you and your loved ones to gather after the "I dos" elsewhere.

Posted: 31 January 2023

The most eye-catching wedding decor revealed

A new study, conducted by the wedding financial experts at money.co.uk, involved surveying 1,000 future newlyweds and asking them to estimate how much they will spend on 70 wedding items. Images of these 70 items were then used in an eye-tracking study to reveal the specific elements that people spend the most time gazing at. Fairylights came out on top, with guests staring at them for 5.53 seconds which is impressive considering they are the decorations that those planning a wedding expect to pay the least for (£106.25). So, if you're looking to impress your guests without splurging then try draping your venue in tiny, twinkling fairylights.

Posted: 30 January 2023

A man’s perspective to changing names after marriage

NameSwitch has interviewed some trail blazing men who took a bold step into the future. When you're planning a wedding, whether small and informal or grand-scale, there's a myriad of tasks to organise. And, these days, guys are expected to pull their weight when it comes to sorting everything from flower arrangements and wedding cakes to transport and catering. But, before you even walk down the aisle to say, "I do", there's another important factor to consider – whether you intend to take your partner's surname.

Posted: 27 January 2023

Introducing online bottle shop, Cave Bristol

Introducing Cave Bristol, founded by hospitality veteran and wine specialist Martin Hagen, it's an online bottle shop specialising in selling a carefully-curated selection of small producer- led, organic, biodynamic and low-intervention wines, mixed discovery cases, premium store cupboard essentials and spirits.

Cave Bristol on Gloucester Road opened two weeks before the first lockdown in 2020, but plans quickly had to pivot. Martin kept the store open, operating under government guidelines, but acted quickly to take the concept online. The online store launched soon after with great success offering a selection of properly sourced wines, local cheese and provisions unlike any available elsewhere in the city. Orders were, and still are, delivered by bike in Bristol using zero-carbon.

Posted: 26 January 2023

Is keeping your maiden name at work right for you?

NameSwitch shares its advice on the dilemma that many women face in the workplace, and that's whether to keep your maiden name? Read on to find out more... The process of getting married comes with a million personal choices to be made along the way – do you want a big white dress or something more minimal? Do you want a DJ at your celebration or a live band? Do you want to keep your maiden name or embrace your married one? Each choice is personal and unique and there is no one-size-fits-all answer. Even when it comes to something as momentous as what name you'll be known by for the rest of your life, there are different options and choices to be made. And just like decisions about what kind of dress to buy, the choices you make about your name will also be influenced by your personal preferences and life experiences.

Posted: 25 January 2023

Bath Mill Lodge Retreat is surrounded by meadows, a babbling brook and beautiful countryside

Situated in a peaceful oasis, just a short journey away from Bath city centre, Bath Mill Lodge Retreat is surrounded by meadows, a babbling brook and beautiful countryside. It really is a slice of tranquillity in the middle of the city. Inside, the venue offers a blend of traditional yet quirky décor, and you have complete freedom when it comes to styling the space for your reception, along with a range of food options to suit you, all prepared with fresh, local ingredients.

Located in the 350-year-old mill house, the Newton Suite offers an idyllic setting for your celebrations. Throughout your big day you'll be able to take advantage of the private bar, dancefloor private entrance and secluded patio area. The Newton has ramp access, all facilities are on the same level meaning they're accessible and features a fully- equipped modern entertainment system. It can host 70 of your nearest and dearest.

Posted: 24 January 2023

New interactive feature to make hen and stag dos less stressful

A new randomised spinning wheel feature has been launched by Hen Weekends and Stag Weekends in an effort to make the planning process of hen and stag parties easier and less stressful. This comes as their recent study of hen and stag party bookings found that 30% of hen and stag party organisers have no idea which location to book, with so many different options on offer creating quite the predicament.

Posted: 23 January 2023

Free Valentine's wedding with Frankie & Benny’s

Top Italian American restaurant Frankie & Benny's has been swamped with applications after offering a free wedding for Valentine's. The popular restaurant has launched the ultimate cost of living crisis busting wedding and they've already had thousands wanting to say 'I do'. The team at Frankie & Benny's have been astounded by the number of applicants, many of the lovebirds had their first date at one of the restaurants and want to celebrate their special day where they first met. You still have a chance to win, so long as you've just tied the knot, or about to, have a great love story, then you can apply for the free wedding. All applications need to be submitted via Facebook/Instagram by January 29, 2023.

Posted: 23 January 2023

New honeymoon experiences for couples with a conscience

Hotelgift is the ideal way to share the joy of travel with a newlywed couple with a conscience; from uber luxury glamping to wellness journeys for two. For every Hotelgift bought and for every gift card that is redeemed for a new hotel stay, 1,000 litres of water are donated to support local communities in places that need it most through a partnership with Made Blue.

Posted: 20 January 2023

Bailbrook House is hosting a Weddings and Celebrations Open Day on Saturday 28th January, 2023

The historical Bailbrook House is reached via a private tree-lined drive, at the end of which you'll be greeted by the hotel's handsome and impressive Georgian mansion-house facade. Made of stone in various shades of soft gold the building boasts intricate stonework including carved pillars, decorative stone flowers and pretty bows above the entranceway, it offers a memorable and grand setting for your big day. What's more, with 20 acres of grounds, you won't be short of picture-perfect backdrops for your couple's photoshoot.

Posted: 19 January 2023

Average ages we are hitting life’s milestones

A new study from Confused.com has revealed the average ages we are hitting life's milestones in England & Wales, including getting married at age 35! So how does your milestone timeline compare? Typically, the first milestone people in the UK reach is moving out of their parent's home at age 20, followed by moving in with their partner at 27. The next life milestone those in the UK usually meet is having their first child, with couples seeming to have children before marriage. The average age for having children is 29, while the average age for getting married is 35. The data also suggests that on average, people are choosing to have children before purchasing a property. This could be a result of house prices continuing to rise making it harder to save for a deposit.

Posted: 18 January 2023

If you dream of a countryside wedding, then Croydon Hall could be for you

If you dream of a countryside wedding then Croydon Hall could be for you. Situated in Exmoor National Park, this newly-refurbished venue offers an idyllic haven away from the hustle and bustle of urban life. Accommodation includes the stunning bridal and honeymoon suites, as well as 13 additional en-suite bedrooms.

Whatever the weather, Croydon Hall has indoor and outdoor spaces to suit your ceremony. The Drawing Room is ideal for winter weddings with up to 70 guests, as is the Barn for up to 150. Alternatively, for summer vows, there's the beautifully landscaped Italian garden for up to 130 loved ones or the terrace for up to 170.

Posted: 17 January 2023

Couples are opting for eco-friendly weddings

One of the UK's leading waste and recycling management companies BusinessWaste.co.uk collected data, which shows how much attitudes to environmental and sustainable choices in regard to weddings are changing. According to the research searches for 'sustainable wedding' has skyrocketed by 75% over the last year, while 'sustainable wedding venues near me' saw an 80%+ increase along with 'sustainable engagement ring' which saw a staggering 96% search increase. What's more, us Brits came out on top overall for our eco-friendly mindfulness, with France and Greece also seeing the biggest increase in searches for sustainable wedding venues.

Posted: 16 January 2023

Calling all newlyweds and nearlyweds - County Wedding Magazines need you!

Here at County Wedding Magazines HQ, there's nothing we love more than our real wedding features - and we couldn't do them without you! If you would like to see your wedding grace the pages of one of our County Wedding Magazine titles, featured across four whole page, then please do get in touch! Grand and big-budget extravaganzas, to small and intimate I dos, themed from beginning to end, or personalised with a sentimental touch - we want to hear about them all!

Posted: 16 January 2023

Keep your wedding guests warm this winter

Putting the chocolate back into drinking chocolate with their unique fine beads, Cocoa Canopy are making winter weddings super cosy with its sample-szie offering. Perfect for winter wedding favours, they offer the ultimate in comforting hot chocolates, guaranteed to put a smile on the receiver's face! Cocoa Canopy is the only UK drinking chocolate brand to craft unique fine chocolate beads for beautifully smooth, real chocolate drinks made from only a handful of sustainably sourced ingredients.

Posted: 13 January 2023

Somerset ceremonies will be getting an exciting refresh in 2023

Somerset ceremonies will be getting an exciting refresh in 2023. Somerset Registration Service has launched a survey to help them rewrite ceremonies that reflect what couples want. If you feel like sharing your thoughts on your ideal big day, now is the perfect time to have your say.

Readings, personal vows, optional extras, planning meetings, even the style of the ceremony itself, everything is up for review, and the team is keen to hear your ideas. Modern or traditional, relaxed or formal, just the basics or something elaborate: what kind of day is your dream wedding?

Posted: 12 January 2023

How to throw an insta-worthy engagement party

You never have to scroll too far to stumble upon a celebrity engagement party on instagram and if you've recently got engaged yourself, you're probably thinking - should I throw one too? The short answer is yes, absolutely. While planning the wedding is always top priority, there's no reason why you shouldn't have a party to get all your loved ones together and celebrate the big news straight away - particularly when most weddings take place a good 12 to 18 months post-proposal. However, hosting an engagement party of your dreams can still be quite a daunting task. To help, wedding jewellery experts, Queensmith have pulled together 11 tips for taking your celebratory soirée to the next level.

Posted: 11 January 2023

Orchardleigh is a family-owned country estate in Somerset

Nestled amidst 500 acres of parkland and lakes, Orchardleigh is a family-owned country estate in Somerset. It boasts a beautiful 19th-century stately home, romantic island church, 18-hole golf course and plenty of luxurious accommodation. Orchardleigh House and grounds will be exclusively yours for the duration of your day complete with plenty of stunning backdrops for your photographs.

The venue offers a selection of elegant indoor spaces and cosy log fires, making it ideal for winter weddings. The grand Ballroom provides a beautiful space for the wedding breakfast and because Orchardleigh is a private house, residents and guests can celebrate until dawn! The house can sleep 85 guests within 41 opulent bedrooms, with further accommodation available in the estate cottages if required.

Posted: 10 January 2023

Spotify data reveals the most popular wedding songs

Luxury engagement ring retailer, Diamonds Factory, has scraped Spotify to find the top 100 most popular wedding songs to include in your playlists. To do this, Diamonds Factory analysed over 100 Spotify playlists containing the word 'wedding' and found the most featured songs across all playlists. These playlists included 3500 unique songs, and the data scrape also used additional keywords to reveal the top wedding ceremony songs, wedding party songs and top wedding artists, too.

Posted: 9 January 2023

New planner reveals when you can afford to tie the knot

With wedding costs rising by 3,000% since the 1950s, and set to reach an all-time high in the 2020s, making and sticking to a wedding budget can be a real headache for couples. To help would-be newlyweds with the complex task of budget planning their big day, the wedding finance team at money.co.uk have created a new wedding budget planner, to help couples account for all their costs for each stage of their dream wedding. The new planning tool also helps you calculate the earliest date you should set for your big day, based on how long it will take you to save up enough money to pay for your dream wedding. The wedding budget planner page also has lot of tips to help couples save cash, including:

Posted: 6 January 2023

Win a ‘One Night Luxury Four Poster Hotel Break for Two’ in Essex

County Weddings Magazine has teamed up with The Rose and Crown Hotel to give our readers the chance to win a 'One Night Luxury Four Poster Hotel Break for Two' in their 700 year old hotel. The lucky winner will receive a voucher which can be redeemed any time in the next 18 months. Also included is a bottle of champagne waiting in your room on arrival, breakfast in the morning, early check-in and late checkout, and a delicious three course dinner in their onsite restaurant

Posted: 5 January 2023

Local vocalist and saxophonist Lucy Harvey has won an award

Local vocalist and saxophonist Lucy Harvey has won the Wedding Entertainment category for solo, duo or string quartet musicians at the 2022 South West Wedding Awards held in November. The annual awards recognise wedding suppliers throughout the South West who exceed the expectations of their customers by providing outstanding service, crowning these very special wedding suppliers as the best of the best in the region.

Wedding companies covering all aspects of the industry can enter the various categories available, including photographers, stationery, bridal hair and more. Votes can only be placed by couples who've used the suppliers for their own nuptials, making the winners very much the people's choice.

Posted: 5 January 2023

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