Wedding Guide: Part I
Introducing the MUDDY MEGA WEDDING GUIDE: PART 1. Oh yes, it's packed with brilliant local venues and suppliers from food and drink, cakes and our list of trusted photographers, giving you peace-of-mind as you prepare for your big day...
The Wilderness, Wingham
Want a unique wedding brimming with boho glamour and rustic charm? The Wilderness is an idyllic woodland venue, hidden away on an enchanting farm in Kent, unspoilt and far from the crowds. Gather your friends and family for an unconventional day in complete privacy, surrounded by woods and water meadows, lakes and fragrant wild flowers. With tipi tents for the reception and glamping if guests want to stay overnight – this is the perfect escape into a magical, world of nature. For a laid-back, bohemian-style festival wedding, look no further.
The Beacon, Tunbridge Wells
Tucked away down Tea Garden Lane by the edge of the woods in Tunbridge Wells, sits The Beacon, winner of Best Wedding Venue in Kent in the Muddy Awards 2021. Full of character and charm for a relaxed and intimate celebration, The Beacon is a little bit like home, with cosy corners, snugs and stylish interiors. It’s also the ultimate party house, wonderful for an exclusive-use wedding of feasting, celebrations and fun.
Say ‘I do’ in the beautiful surroundings of the gardens or dining room, feast on your favourite dishes with a custom menu created for you by head chef Scott and the team, and party till the small hours with your loved ones. With all the hidden nooks in the gardens and house – and the incredible view of Happy Valley stretching out beneath you – there’s no shortage of stunning backdrops for your photos.
Preston Court, Canterbury
Set within 550 acres of private estate, this listed Georgian manor house and Kentish barns provides the perfect place for a relaxed informal day. From bluebell woods, lawns, lakes and paddocks to peacocks – and even a vintage carousel – this wedding venue certainly combines traditonal beauty with artistic, fun touches. At Preston Court they can tailor and decorate to suit any style; from rustic to vintage, festival, country house, boho or woodland. Plan your special day, from the ceremony, to the reception, food and drink to the theme – decide every detail with the team to make your special day truly unique.
Frasers of Egerton, Ashford
Set on a 300-acre working farm estate deep in the Kent countryside, Frasers of Egerton is an idyllic, tucked away oasis of calm surrounded by nature and an expanse of wildflower planted fields, woods, and grasslands. Better still, boasting a strong eco ethos, this stunning rustic venue aims to keep any carbon footprint low – using renewable energy for example.
The perfect venue for weddings of varying size – from an intimate ceremony and private dining in the beautiful Kentish oak barn through to a large celebration in an exquisitely dressed marquee on the lawn. Licensed for civil ceremonies and partnerships both inside and outside, the space available for celebrations encompass an oak-framed barn, a large party marquee, two outside terraces and an expanse of lawn.
On-site accommodation provides rooms for up to 20 guests in three beautiful period buildings: a former cart-barn, a converted former stable block and a Kentish ragstone oast house, the latter housing a romantic honeymoon suite.
Port Lympne Safari Park, Hythe
A wild animal park wedding can be the most memorable way for your nearest and dearest to help celebrate your special day. The unique surroundings at Port Lympne allows you to mingle with your guests in a variety of settings – from the colourful gardens and Moroccan courtyard, admiring the panoramic views of the Kent countryside from the stunning terraces, or inside the charming Grade-2 listed mansion – there’s something for everyone’s tastes (and both indoor and outdoor spaces) as well as options to fit everyone’s budget.
If you feel that there is an inner wedding-princess lurking inside you, then you should definitely consider marrying at one of England’s most romantic castles, Hever Castle. Whether it’s the stately grandeur of the Castle itself, the classic, country house atmosphere of the Astor Wing or the stunning lakeside location of the Italian Garden, there are just a few spots for you and your guests – whatever the season.
This beautiful grade II listed Georgian country house in Horsmonden, near Tonbridge, is tucked away in 100 acres of parkland at the end of a long sweeping driveway. Nestled deep in the heart of the Kent countryside, Sprivers makes a secluded and private venue and the perfect year-round setting for your civil ceremony and wedding celebrations. A wonderful plus-point is that you’ve got onsite accommodation for up to 10 people, including a luxury bridal suite, for 2 nights (more nights are available), so you and your close family and friends, can take over the whole place. This exclusive-use accommodation will create a country house weekend feel for your wedding and give the couple loads of time to set up and prepare in the house and marquee
Found your Mr Darcy? For the ultimate in fairy-tale romance, follow in the footsteps of Jane Austen’s brother and tie the knot at Goodnestone Park which sits in 15 acres of land and manicured gardens, close to Canterbury in Kent. The house has been sensitively restored to its former glory and is available to hire for weddings. For those wanting a religious ceremony, the historic Holy Cross church is a stone’s throw from the house.
Bewl Water, Tunbridge Wells
Panoramic views across the reservoir and hundreds of acres of outstanding natural beauty makes Bewl Water the picture-perfect location for your special day and one of the most unique venues in Kent. Licensed to host both ceremony and reception means couples can choose to marry to the backdrop of the South East’s largest stretch of open water. Weddings are held at The Boat House, which is perched by the edge of the water, away from the main visitors centre, plus Luxury ‘Glamping‘ Bell Tents are available including a special bridal tent for you to spend your first night together under the stars.
Elmley Nature Reserve, Isle of Sheppey
Not only the only National Nature Reserve in England where you can spend the night but also an exceptional venue if you are looking for a wedding which embraces your love of the outdoors. As seen in Vogue, you’ll have the perfect set-up at Elmley Nature Reserve with Kinghill Barn, a spectacular traditional Kentish barn, which is available for hire. Kinghill Barn is a rustic wooden building with all the original features intact, and completed with twinkling fairy light canopies surrounded by a wide-range of accommodation for all of your nearest and dearest. Just maybe expect a few extra wildlife guests in the congregation!
Bore Place, Sevenoaks
Bore Place is a stunning venue based in 500 acres of beautiful, organic farmland, near Sevenoaks in north Kent. Here you get exclusive use of the whole site for two nights so you have all the time you need to make the day yours. You can have the ceremony in Bore Place House or alternatively they can arrange for a marquee or tipi to be erected in the beautiful gardens. Want to arrange your own catering? No problem. Or you can use their chef who will cook organic food, much of which will have been grown in their very own Bore Place garden.
Plus there’s a barn where you can eat or have a band or disco. Inside the house oozes character and the overnight accommodation consists of 12 bedrooms (sleeping up to 25 guests) as well as the Old Stables and Small Barn as part of your wedding package. With more options outside for anyone happy to make the most of on-site glamping in yurts or the gypsy caravan, you put up 50 of your guests so the celebrations can carry on….
If churches and confetti aren’t your thing, the 9,500 ft rustic clubhouse at Kingdom is set in 13 acres of ancient woodland, surrounded by birds, trees and nature, just might be. Providing a chilled-out festival vibe, you and your guests can sit out under the stars and under the trees, huddle round the campfire with blankets or gaze out over the tree tops of the Weald from the open roof terrace. Just 35 miles south of London, Kingdom is a wonderful choice if you are looking for an alternative, nature-inspired, memorable, wedding day.
The Swan Wine Kitchen, Tenterden
This dining destination sits in a stunning and unique setting – surrounded by the award-winning Chapel Down vineyard – where wine is as important as the food they serve. The Swan Wine Kitchen can be hired as a beautiful venue for your wedding, and exclusively yours. Licensed for ceremonies in the Herb Garden, say your vows surrounded by scented roses and fresh herbs. Guests will raise a glass of award winning Chapel Down Brut whilst your first photographs as Mr & Mrs are taken against the backdrop of vines.
FOOD & DRINK
Silver Birch Fine Foods, Faversham
You’ll love this rising star of the foodie world – whose delicious food is sourced locally and who works hard to avoid any single-use plastics. Anthony Birch and his team from the pop-up food stall that features at Macknade in Faversham, has created this unique catering company – Silver Birch Fine Foods. Available to hire for private parties and weddings – the food influences are a fusion of the tastiest flavours from around the world and the dishes are constantly being tweaked and updated. If you have an event coming up – this Kent catering company will make your hearts and taste-buds sing – and your guests talk about it for days.
Kitchen of Kent
Whether a garden marquee or a stately home, Kitchen of Kent can take care of all your needs allowing you to enjoy your special day. Food is traditionally British with a contemporary twist and on your special day you’ll be provided with Waiting Staff and an Event Manager to ensure things run smoothly. There’s also the option to include a paid bar from their sister company K Bar Limited.
The Cocktail Social
Whether you’re planning an intimate gathering or a bigger lavish party for your special day Charlie Sweet and his team of knowledgeable mixologists can create a luxury experience your guests will remember. The Cocktail Social deliver the ultimate experience for your event – serving exquisite drinks and a bespoke service. They will turn up at your venue and install their pop-up luxury bar, staffed by the experienced team – throw the wedding party that everyone talks about!
Baking You Better, Sheldwich Lees
If you’re searching for handmade contemporary cakes and modern bakes in east Kent – look no further! If you have a special ocassion coming up – including tying the knot – Lucy founder of Baking You Better will hand make beautiful and delicious cakes to order – using her own unique and playful style. All cakes are made with the best ingredients; cruelty free eggs, the finest Belgium chocolate, quality butter, flour and sugar.
Hollie’s Little Cakery, Tunbridge Wells
Known as the sweetest cakes in Kent, Hollie’s Little Cakery was created through a passion of art and a love of baking. There is a show-stopping selection of flavours to choose from – whether its food trend of the moment: salted caramel, or a fragrant, rhubarb and rose, for that little something different. All of its cakes are handmade and hand sculpted meaning every one is an original piece. Furthermore, they can also make allergy specific cakes including gluten free, egg free and dairy free ensuring that nobody misses out!
Macknade, Ashford & Faversham
Say cheese… It’s your big day! With over 150 cheeses at their disposal, the team at Macknade know a thing or two about crafting the perfect celebration cheese cake. The extensive delicatessen counter is the focal point of their flagship food hall on the outskirts of Faversham and showcases varieties produced both locally and further afield. Macknade Cheese Cakes can be designed to any budget, or number of guests and the experienced team will work with you to make it truly unique.
Simon Hawkins Weddings, Faversham
We love Simon‘s style of natural wedding photography that captures unique moments and tells the full story of your special day – as well as truly reflecting your personality. With his documentary wedding photography and attention to detail he ensures that his wedding couples, families, portrait and commercial clients are completely happy with the whole experience from start to finish.
Emily Brown Photography, Paddock Wood
Say hello to our Muddy Award Winner of Best Photographer in Kent 2021 as voted by you! Emily will capture your story and create memories you’ll cherish forever. Having trained at the London School of Photography and as a member of the Society of Wedding & Portrait Photographers, Emily can create the perfect photography package to meet your needs. Also, with a passion for sustainable products, including vegan options, she will ensure you can showcase your images without harming the environment.
Helen England Photography, East Peckham
Helen has been a wedding photographer for the past 14 years and during that time has been to hundreds of beautiful weddings, from intimate and rustic country weddings to exotic destination weddings so she is up for any challenge that you throw at her. Helen believes it is her job to capture the full story of your day: the big moments as well as all the not-so-big in-between moments that matter just as much. Her style is relaxed, natural and authentic, and captures real moments as they unfold. If that sounds like the kind of person you are after to zoom at you all day long, then I suggest you get in touch.
The Life Narrator, Tenterden
Hannah Dougal specialises in Wedding photography (as well as branding and family photography). She was Finalist in our Muddy Awards 2021 and creates films as well as photos that tell a story, documenting you with your nearest and dearest – and will bring you joy for many years to come.
Lottie Topping Photography, Tunbridge Wells
Here at Muddy, we adore Lottie‘s golden warm style offering timeless and cinematic photographs. With a degree in Commercial Photography, Lottie now specialises in Wedding Photography and she works hard to capture special moments to the smallest details so when you look back on your photographs, you’ll still remember how your big day felt. Lottie is super laid-back and she’ll relax you immediately, you’ll forget she’s there half the time! Promise!
Jackson & Co Photography, West Malling
Award-winning husband and wife team Jackson & Co based in West Malling specialise in creative, fun and colourful documentary wedding photography. They offer both one or two photographer collections and are happy to travel. Michael prides himself on being the ‘extra guest with the nice camera’ rather than ‘the wedding photographer’, he’ll be getting involved with the guests on the day putting everyone at ease to capture those natural moments that truly matter.