Hilton Hall

Where: South Staffordshire and close to M6 and M54.

What: A superb 18th Century mansion surrounded by an ancient moat which is in turn surrounded by mature parkland, walled gardens and open fields. There are several suites in the house you can use for smaller weddings and then there is a fully equipped marquee in the grounds that can take up to 650 guests.

Weddings: Three rooms/spaces are licensed for weddings including the circular, domed and unique Victorian glass and wrought-iron summerhouse next to the moat.

Who: The ever-helpful Alana is available to assist you on 01902 249247 or e-mail her on alanabaguley@hiltonhallevents.co.uk

Web: www.hiltonhallevents.co.uk



Cool Ingredients for a Magical Winter Wedding

There are lots of great reasons to opt for a winter wedding rather than going the more predictable summertime route.

For one thing, it’s likely to work out a fair bit cheaper if you’re not trying to compete with everyone else at the height of summer’s peak wedding season. Venue hire is the single biggest area you stand to save on: renting a space can cost you half in December, January or February what the same location would do in June-August.

On top of that, you can really go to town for a winter wedding; creating a cosy, romantic wonderland for your guests – the colder months are truly the time when the increasingly trendy hygge style really comes into its own.

Make use of glinting fairy lights, intimate candle glow, crisp winter evergreens, and encourage your guests, bridesmaids or groomsmen to dress in more vibrant jewel tones than they typically would for a more delicate, pastel-shaded summer garden environment.


There are a few other great décor and food ideas we’d always recommend you consider for your winter weddings, including:


Start with white

Reflecting that most picturesque of winter weathers – gentle drifts of pure driven snow – you can use a predominantly white theme for winter weddings that feels both traditional and whimsical, yet modern, clean-lined and minimalist.

However, a touch of minimalism needn’t be boring in the slightest: selecting pure white linens and coverings as the basis of your colour scheme effectively creates a blank canvas for you to play around on to your heart’s content. We suggest pairing crisp, clean expanses of white with little flourishes of silver, gold and deep, seductive jewel tones – ruby, amethyst, sapphire and jade – to create a cosy and truly magical ‘Aladdin’s cave’ vibe that will warm the cockles of all attendees.


Serve spiced soups and mulled drinks

Planning catering options for winter weddings also gives you a great chance to deliver some real crowd-pleasers. There’s just no denying that a steaming pot of creamy, nutty, velvety seasonal soup, lifted with festive spices (and perhaps served with an oven-warm crusty garlic bread) is just fundamentally more alluring on a basic human level than any scattering of fridge-chilled canapes.

Mulled wines, ciders, cinnamon-spiked hot toddies and buttery rum punches also appeal to similar hard-wired comfort-seeking instincts. And, for those not looking for a double warming whammy of heat and alcohol, why not try setting up a DIY hot chocolate bar, where guests can personalise a lush cocoa mix with any number of sweet treats and toppings?


Bring the outdoors in

With its romantic imagery of snow-speckled pines, vibrant holly, romantic mistletoe, glistening berries and aromatic chestnuts, winter is a fantastic season for giving nature pride of place at weddings – and what better way to do so than by making use of the vast range of wreaths, runners and garlands we all associate with the festive season?

These little oases of deep forest green, ruby red, soft browns and pearlescent white are an uncomplicated way to turn any bleak midwinter scene into an instant Narnia. Pine cones, winter fruits and baskets of nuts can be adorned with all manner of artistic decorative touches and used as place markers, ornaments and even traditional costume accessories for a stunningly different organic look.


Additional top tips for a smoother winter wedding:

Keep it to one venue if you can. You don’t want your guests to have to keep switching locations, particularly if the weather is harsh when getting around town in your finery can be complicated and expensive. If a single location isn’t possible, try to find somewhere where the reception area is as close to the actual service venue as you can manage.

Leave blankets, shawls and wraps by exits for those that will want to pop outside now and then. You can also set up fire pits or chimeneas for cosier outdoor spaces that people will want to linger and chat in with a glass of something warming.

Encourage people to bring a sensible pair of shoes as backup. Nobody will want to be wearing wellies or hiking boots on the dancefloor, of course – but in the depths of winter, it’s usually a fair bet that anyone who doesn’t have anything sturdier than strappy sandals in their car boot will soon wish that they did!

Plan travel in advance, allow more time, and have several ‘plan Bs’ in place. If you’re unlucky – or lucky, depending on your perspective – you may even end up being snowed on. That’s a fantastic slice of good fortune in terms of your wedding photos, of course…assuming the photographer can still make it. If not, who’s been nominated to step in? Is there someone on hand who can fix makeup and hair in the event of a sudden flurry, gale or shower?

Factor in extra room and personnel for coat, bag and shoe check-ins. Everyone will be turning up with a lot more baggage for a winter wedding than they would for a summer wedding, so plan accordingly and make sure you don’t end up having to give up half your venue space to an enormous mound of damp parkas, gumboots and snoods!

Article provided by Plato Catering Hire

Tarte au Citroën (Mobile Coffee, Tea & Cake Company)

Artisan Coffee, Luxury Tea and Home-made Cake

This 1963 vintage Citroën  H van (called Nicole) brings amazing coffee (plus tea, hot chocolate and a range of home-made cordials, cola and lemonade) to the Midlands. Kate uses the very best ingredients including Staffordshire’s own Shining Stone coffee beans.

This fab looking ‘bake-off’-esque vehicle can be hired for your wedding and decorated with ‘just married’ bunting.

Kate is looking to serve alcohol in the very near future, to include summery limoncello and prosecco cocktails and espresso martinis – developed by Lichfield’s Fifth Spire Gin Company.

Email Kate on kate@tarteaucitroen.com or visit her website: www.tarteaucitroen.com to find out more about Nicole, Kate and her home-made cakes!





Peak District Holiday Barn

What: The Peak District Holiday Barn is exactly that – a large, yet cosy self catering holiday barn that is suitable for intimate weddings. The barn sleeps up to 24 guests in 6 bedrooms and features a wonderful open plan kitchen, dining area and lounge for socialising.

Where: The Peak District Holiday Barn is near to Tideswell in the heart of the Derbyshire Peak District. A great base for exploring, walking and climbing!

Weddings: Not yet licenced for civil ceremonies. The barn is a great venue for pre and post wedding celebrations. There are lawned gardens for a marquee, a BBQ area and even an outdoor pizza oven and fire pit for weddings with a difference.  We have lots of contacts for all of the ‘DIY’ wedding equipment that you may need – portable loos, generators etc. There are also camping facilities at the farm next door to facilitate extra guests!

Who: Amanda and Mark will help to make sure that you have everything you need for your intimate wedding. You can get in touch by calling Amanda on 07525 051226 or mark on 07791667027, or email bookings@peakdistrictholidaybarn.co.uk

Web: www.peakdistrictholidaybarn.co.uk
Peak District Barn Weddings Peak District Barn Weddings Peak District Barn Weddings





Wedding venues in Derbyshire
Barn Wedding Venues



Darwin Lake – Peak District Holiday Village

What: Darwin Lake is a breathtaking exclusive wedding venue set in 10 acres of natural woodland. The perfect setting for a weekend or mid-week wedding break with accommodation for up to 110 guests on site. This beautiful village includes a private lake and lawns, the charming Darwin Hall and 17 four star, stone built cottages – all wonderfully decorated and each named after local, historical landmarks. Make sure you head to the lake to watch the sunrise and sunset it’s truly magical.

Where: Hidden away in the very heart of Derbyshire’s Peak District, with rolling hills and pine forests. Just three miles from Matlock.

Weddings: They are licenced for civil wedding ceremonies and have two large function rooms within Darwin Hall, which can seat up to 130 people on either floor. You never have to leave!

Who: Maurice will make sure that you have everything you need for your mini wedding holiday. You can get in touch by calling 01629 735859 or email enquiries@darwinlake.co.uk.

Web: www.darwinlake.co.uk

Darwin Lake Wedding Village Darwin Lake Wedding Village Darwin Lake Wedding Village





Images courtesy of Frances Milburn & Lifeline Photography

More Independent Wedding Venues in Derbyshire > 

Somersal Cottages

What: Somersal Cottages is the perfect rural retreat for a whole weekend of wedding fun! This venue has ample garden space for a large marquee or Tipi wedding, with accommodation for around 80 guests in 31 bedrooms. For smaller weddings, they can comfortably seat up to 40 guests without the need for a marquee.

Arrive at the venue on Friday afternoon, celebrate your wedding day on the Saturday and carry on the celebrations on Sunday with a lazy brunch or BBQ before returning home. This self catering venue allows you to do things your own way, in true Independent Wedding style.

Where: The cottages are situated in the small countryside village of Somersal Herbert in Derbyshire. Just a short stroll away from Somersal Church.

Weddings: Not licenced, but just a short walk away from the beautiful St Peter & St Blaise Church, or 15 minutes from Ashbourne Registration Office.

Who: Bridget will do all she can to help you with the preparations and planning for your wedding weekend. You can get in touch with her by phone: 01283 840252, or email: office@somersalcottages.co.uk

Web: Somersal Cottages website: www.holidaycottagesderbyshire.uk 


Portland House c1870

What: Portland House c1870 is a gorgeous gentleman’s residence. This TripAdvisor ‘Excellent’ rated house features 12 bedrooms, as well your very own bar room for intimate weddings of up to 24 guests. You can keep your guests in check with the ‘Downton Abbey’ servant bells and organise your intimate wedding just as you’d like it.

Where: Perfectly positioned on the edge of Matlock Bath in the Peak District. With breathtaking views of ‘little Switzerland’ outside, you’ll want to make this wonderful wedding break last as long as possible.

Weddings: Not licenced – yet. But a wonderful venue for a weekend wedding with lots of beautiful places to marry nearby.

Who: For more information about this small wedding venue in Derbyshire, get in touch with Juliet on 01629 734414 or email stay@portlandhouse1870.co.uk.

Web: Portland House c1870 website: www.portlandhouse1870.co.uk

Emily Wisher – Artisan Florist

Emily has a fantastic reputation for creating beautiful wedding flowers in Staffordshire. Her arrangements have a unique ‘untamed’ style, inspired by wild English meadows and home grown. Always using seasonal flowers to create beautiful and elegant displays, with English roses, peonies, dreamy dahlias and trailing foliage.

For your wedding, Emily can create almost anything! From bridal bouquets and headdresses to beautifully filled vases and stand alone arrangements.

Emily is based near Lichfield, Staffordshire – but works Nationwide. When you talk to Emily about flowers, her passion for her work shines! You can give her a call on 07962 913351, email hello@emilywisher.co.uk or book a visit to her studio.

Website: www.emilywisherartisanflorist.co.uk

Emily Wisher Wedding Florist Emily Wisher Wedding Florist Staffordshire Emily Wisher Wedding Florist Midlands

Celebrant Belinda Clark

Belinda in an Independent wedding celebrant based in the West Midlands. With 20 years experience of public speaking under her belt, she offers a truly personalised service in some wonderful venues. Belinda believes that weddings should reflect the bride, groom and key people in their lives, even if that means getting married in the forest – or even in the supermarket! Anything is possible…

You can get in touch with belinda for a no obligation initial meeting by sending her an email: bespokebybelinda@yahoo.co.uk or visiting her website.


The Drunken Pug (mobile bar services)

The ultimate mobile bar service in Cheshire.

Sophie Beever can provide a fully licensed pay bars, free bars, a ‘you-supply-the-drink-we’ll-do-the-rest’ bar.

She has stylish glasses that sparkle and the friendliest staff imaginable.  And NOTHING is too much trouble.

They’ll also lay your daytime glassware, pour (and supply) wine for your tables, pour your welcome drinks, toast drinks, mix cocktails – in fact anything you want where drinks are concerned.

Contact Sophie on 07792 563036. Or visit their website at www.drunkenpugmobilebars.co.uk for more on their mobile bar packages and prices.

Kemp and Kemp customers qualify for free glass hire for all your daytime and evening drinks (and no washing up charges) when they book any Drunken Pug Mobile Bar package!

The Drunken Pug Mobile Bar