THE ANNUAL BY COCO WEDDING VENUES

And here we are in 2019. I’m already looking forward to a year packed full of fabulous weddings but I know that for many couples, this time of year is all about wedding planning. So, let me introduce you to The Annual by Coco Wedding Venues.

The-Annual---IG-Graphic.jpg

The Annual is all about inspiration and plenty of practical advice. It’s a beautiful beautiful planning magazine and over the 300 pages, you’ll find everything you need to know about creating a day that will be truly yours.

I’m absolutely thrilled to say that some of my words of wedding wisdom have made it into The Annual. I’m talking about bring fully present on your wedding day, not letting distractions (digital or otherwise) get in the way of the most memorable moments of your life.

This is something that I do feel really passionate about. It’s wonderful to see the reactions of guests as the bride arrives or as couples take their vows rather can standing before a sea of phones as people watch via a screen. More and more weddings I work on are ‘unplugged’ - everyone is asked to put their devices away, at least for the ceremony, so they can really be a part of things rather than being more concerned about taking photos.

However, there’s WAY more goodness in The Annual than this. Gorgeous shoots, ideas, ace advice from a whole host of top wedding professionals and much much more. It’s a wonderfully empowering read and if you need excitement or down-to-earth advice, The Annual is the best gift you could hope for.

Hop on over to Coco Wedding Venues now to have a peek inside or to download your copy.

NO LICENCE NO PROBLEM - 10 AMAZING WEDDING VENUES

If I had to choose just one of the many reasons why celebrant-led weddings are so fantastic, I'd definitely mention wedding venues. You see, with a celebrant-led ceremony, you can choose any venue you like. It doesn't need to be licensed for civil ceremonies, you don't have to worry about the availability of a registrar and, without these restrictions, the world is your wedding venue oyster. 

Coco Wedding Venues has to be your new best friend when you're searching for your venue. It's stylish, easy to use and I love the venue categories too. Coco also lists lots of venues that don't have licenses and are perfect for celebrant-led ceremonies. Here are ten of my favourite locations for weddings that prove that not having a wedding licence is absolutely not a problem...

1. STANSTEAD BURY

Oooh yes, Stanstead Bury in Hertfordshire is an absolute jewel. It's a gorgeous Grade II listed manor house that makes the most gorgeous backdrop for a marquee or tipi wedding. I love the fact that you can bring your pets and work with your choice of suppliers to make your day super personal.

2. HEATHFIELD HOUSE

Dorset's Heathfield House is pretty much the country house that you've always dreamed about. It's perfect for intimate weddings and you can hire the whole estate for a truly exclusive event. Enjoy your own 300 acres on the fringe of the New Forest that comes with a private chef, waiting staff and full housekeeping.

3. WILLINGTON LODGE

Willington Lodge  | Images courtesy of Willington Lodge

Willington Lodge | Images courtesy of Willington Lodge

Heading a little further afield now, we whiz up to Shropshire and Willington Lodge. Surrounded by walled gardens, ponds, stables and picturesque fields, this luxurious bed & breakfast is perfect for a celebrant-led wedding. It's warm, friendly and the Morris family who own the Lodge are just the best hosts.

4. FERN & FIELD

If you've been dreaming about an outdoor ceremony then Fern & Field is likely to be just what you've imagined. Set in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in the High Weald of Kent, Fern & Field host a limited number of weddings every year so that the working farm is protected but my goodness, those bluebells...

5. WISE WEDDING VENUE

You'll find Wise Wedding Venue tucked in 10 acres of established oak and silver birch trees (I swoon!). There are ceremony-perfect clearings tucked among the trees but it might just be the treehouse that steals your heart. Wise Wedding Venue is the most wonderful escape from the everyday.

6. AREA

Area  | Images courtesy of  jj Events

Area | Images courtesy of jj Events

If you're looking for a London vibe then Area might be just the spot for you. This blank canvas venue in the heart of creative Shoreditch has room for up to 150 guests and space for you to do just what you want. The huge windows overlook a private courtyard oasis and there's also a dedicated events team on hand to help you out.

7. GLYNDE PLACE

Glynde Place  | Images courtesy of Glynde Place

Glynde Place | Images courtesy of Glynde Place

Just a stone's through from Brighton and Lewes, Glynde Place in Sussex sits at the foot of the beautiful South Downs. You've got space for up to 200 lucky guests and Glynde Place simply ooze old school elegance. The spaces indoors that could be available for your celebrant-led ceremony are just heaven.

8. BEAGLE

Oh how I love Beagle. This tip-top venue sits under three restored Victorian railway arches just next to Hoxton overground station. There are four indoor spaces for weddings and a great outdoor heated terrace that features a retractable roof! Beagle has scooped a host of awards since opening and it's easy to see why.

9. KNEPP CASTLE ESTATE

Home to free-roaming animals and natural beauty, Knepp Castle Estate in West Sussex is the thing that wild weddings dreams are made of. You can pitch up to 10 bell tents in the grounds too for your guests and who knows, you might have a few extra visitors in the form of deer or an Exmoor pony or two.

10. FIRLE PLACE

Firle Place  | Image courtesy of Firle Place

Firle Place | Image courtesy of Firle Place

An absolutely gorgeous private estate, Firle Place in East Sussex is a truly memorable venue for your wedding. You've got oodles of options for your ceremony (and reception) so all you need to do is choose between the lawns, orchards, 18th Century herb garden and, of course, the historic house itself.

tamryn signature.jpg

PETS & WEDDING CEREMONIES

I am most definitely an animal lover. In fact, my beloved black labrador is sitting under my desk as I'm typing thing. So, it should come as no surprise that I'm also a big fan of inviting your pet to be at your wedding.

Let's be honest, if you've got a pet of any shape or size, you love it. There's also the possibility that you might well love your pet more than some of your human relatives! Family relationships aside, if you share your life with an animal, the chance are you'd like it by your side when you wed. If you're nodding along right now, read on...

If you're pet is going to be on the guest list, you need to make sure that the venue you choose is pet friendly. Obviously, if you opt for a celebrant-led wedding ceremony, you can go for any location that you like. Fields, paddocks, woods and lakeside glades are all perfect for pets and for ceremonies.

Alternatively, there are still plenty of options if you'd prefer a barn, country estate or stately home. Wedding venue directories such as Coco Wedding Venues even allow you to search specifically for locations that welcome furry friends.

Then, work out how best to include your pet. Whilst we're all seen those super cute videos of dogs delivering rings on cue, be realistic about your pet's abilities. Most of us would be happy for them to simply be present throughout with barking at the wrong moment or eating their floral collar.

So, have a good thing about everything (or ask your celebrant for some advice!). You might like to walk in with your pet and then encourage/bribe it to sit with you or with someone it knows. Just remember, there's no right and wrong - every animal has its own personality so choose something that suits yours without expecting too much. A stressed pet is never a good thing.

As with all things wedding, have a contingency plan (and, maybe, someone standing by with poop bags!). Remember that being able to have you pet with you on your wedding day is a special and beautiful thing. Even if they do get the odd muddy paw mark on your outfit...