Making the Most of Your Big Day

It's Our PleasureThere is no doubt that weddings can be stressful – the planning, co-ordination and financial pressures involved can turn the most serene bride-to-be into what has commonly become known as ‘Bridezilla’.

An experienced wedding planner can remove most of the sources of stress so that you are able to focus instead on the enjoyable aspects of your big day such as your dress, your bridesmaids, your hen do and honeymoon – all of which can be overshadowed by detail when you are trying to manage it all yourself.

The wedding planners at outstanding Essex wedding venue, Hylands Estate in Chelmsford, are highly accomplished and know all of the best local suppliers to ensure that your day goes smoothly and meets all your expectations. With an experienced team of professionals working behind the scenes to make it all happen, you can relax and enjoy the company of your nearest and dearest who have come to share your special day.

In terms of your own comfort on the day, you could make use of the sumptuous Bridal Suite in the striking Grade II* listed mansion – it will give you a place to retreat to should you wish to gather your thoughts, reapply your bridal makeup or change outfits.

On a more practical level, you’d be well advised to check that your wedding dress is comfortable when you sit down – bodices and other corsetry can be very uncomfortable after a while and you’ll be seated for a long time for your wedding breakfast and speeches.

Similarly, wear your wedding shoes around the house before your big day to make them as comfortable as possible – there really is very little worse than painful feet. With that in mind, it may be advisable to bring a change of shoes with you – after all a change is as good as a rest!

Consider the fact that the weather could be changeable and make sure you have umbrellas and wellington boots should it rain, a shrug, jacket or blanket for colder weather and parasols and sun cream to guard against a hot sun.


Samantha MattamsFor childhood sweethearts Ryan and Samantha Matthams there was never going to be any better place than Hylands House, Essex, to celebrate their special day in July 2014. The Chelmsford couple met twenty years ago, when they were just 13 and 14, whilst cycling in their local park and have always admired Hylands House and its surroundings. “We only viewed other venues online, as we had pretty much set our sights on Hylands from day one”, said Samantha, “and we often take walks around its pretty grounds with our children”. The use of the grand house and its sweeping drive and gardens turned out to be an excellent choice, particularly as Ryan and Samantha’s wedding took place on the hottest day of the year. The house with its large windows and patio and its adjacent vast parkland, ensured that all guests could take advantage of the weather.

At the start of the day, Samantha and her bridal party were given the new, exquisitely light and stylish Bridal Suite to get dressed in and ensure that hair and makeup were picture-perfect for the day. Meanwhile, Ryan settled into the Repton room, with his groom’s party and a couple of nerve-calming cold beers, whilst they changed for the big day. “The fact that we had these rooms too just helped add to the specialness of the occasion”, said Samantha.

With 61 people attending in the day and a further 50 in the evening, the couple also made use of the rest of the large house, so that they could properly share this beautiful venue with family and friends. The Ceremony took place in the dual aspect Drawing Room, which overlooks beautiful parkland towards a lake. Following this, the wedding breakfast was in the lavishly decorated Banqueting Room, which has 24 carat gold leaf swag and scroll decorations, and silk lined walls.

The Dining Room and outside Patio were used for the reception drinks and the evening buffet was held in the Terrace Room. Last but certainly not least, the stunning and impressive Entrance Hall, with its chequered marble floor flooded with natural light in the day, was also commandeered as their evening dance venue.
The couple decorated Hylands to make more of their chosen colour scheme. “For the wedding breakfast, the seats and tables were covered in white linen, with brown sashes on the chairs. We had tall standing martini glass centre pieces placed on round mirrors with scattered crystals for extra sparkle”, continued Samantha.

“We put a great deal of thought into our colour scheme”, added Samantha. Ryan and his Groom’s party wore chocolate brown suits, with white shirts and brown shoes. Samantha’s enchanting traditional dress was in ivory with a lovely long train and veil. The bridesmaids toned in beautifully, wearing rum pink strapless evening-style dresses.
Tamsin and Tom from Hylands House wedding team helped with the initial preparation for the day, “All of the staff, from the day we booked the venue to end of our wedding day were brilliant”, said Ryan, “and were always happy to assist where needed.”

Samantha continues, “Hylands House is timeless and offers such an amazing, fairy-tale feel for your wedding day and is the perfect setting for some truly memorable pictures. We would highly recommend it to anyone.”

Following the wedding Ryan, Samantha and their children flew to Spain. We wonder if the weather there was as gorgeous as it was on their lovely wedding day.


Black Brides Cake Black Brides COuple blue room Black Brides Gardens Black Brides pPink DressHylands House has provided the backdrop for many a film set and of course thousands of Essx weddings over the years. Recently our beautifully maintained Grade II Listed Georgian Villa was chosen by a top wedding magazine for a stylish shoot. Our lovely large white house, breath-taking park and gardens and additional Grand Pavilion offered a spectacular and stunning setting, but we were still in awe of the beautiful pictures they took.


Black Brides and Weddings magazine created an enchanting shoot entitled ‘Just upon a Wish’. This shows a gorgeously dressed couple strolling hand-in-hand in our gardens, standing next to an elegantly decorated table and posing against large windows in our Terrace Room.

For a while Hylands House was flooded with cameras and lights as the photo team, models, stylists hairdressers and make-up artists explored every inch of Hylands, sighing at each superbly decorated room.

Our serene Bridal Room, a perfect location for a bride’s party to get ready in and also as a place for the bride and groom to relax in during the day, is shown with the bride on her own and then again with the couple together. There is a really lovely shot of them in the house, stealing glances at each other over a magnificently decorated wedding cake and there are photographs taken in the architecturally stylish Terrace Room, which has floor to ceiling windows overlooking the terrace, lawns and the landscaped parkland towards the Serpentine Lake.

The inspiring photography gives a gorgeous view of how Hylands House greatly enhances a wedding and highlights how the house is such an utterly romantic setting.


country styleGone are the days of simply picking a colour for your wedding day. Today’s couples not only tend to select a whole colour palette, but they also work to a theme when styling their dream wedding.

A trend appearing in more and more weddings is shabby chic / country garden with plenty of bunting, old apple crates and paper pompoms helping to achieve the look.

Have a look through some of our unique wedding styling ideas for your own country themed wedding…

• collect old jam jars, decorate with lace and twine and fill with gypsophila to display around your wedding venue
• use an old battered suitcase as your wedding card holder. Display a sign or mini bunting reading “cards” so your guests know where to deposit their cards
• why not turn an old rickety stepladder into your table plan! Decorated with handpicked, garden flowers with cards outlining who sits where, this can be a striking wedding venue detail
• if your wedding venue has pretty grounds or gardens, make use of them! Hold your drinks reception in the gardens, offer cups of tea and finger sandwiches to keep with the theme and keep the hunger away until the wedding breakfast
• make contact with a farmer who will be able to provide you with hay bales to position around your wedding venue grounds for country style seating for your guests
• fresh cut, garden flowers can be a more affordable yet perfect accessory to your country style wedding. If you or your friends or relatives are keen gardeners, why not grow your own and pick them fresh for the wedding!
• get your creative friends together for a fun pre-wedding styling party where you can make your own bunting, paper pompoms and signs for the day from old pieces of wood
• hessian is another wonderful and useful wedding accessory – use it as table runners or decorate your old jam jars with it; you can even wrap it around the stems of your floral displays around your wedding venue. The opportunities are endless!


Hylands Wedding Estate Bride & GroomStunning wedding venue, Hylands Estate, Chelmsford, is basking in glory once more as it has been awarded the title ‘44th best place to wed in the UK’ by luxury bridal magazine, Brides.

The Conde Nast publication, home to the likes of Vogue, gave its top 70 places to tie the knot in a special spring feature and Hylands was the only venue in Essex to make it on the list.

Tamsin Beeson, Wedding Planner, Hylands Estate, says: “We’re thrilled to be chosen by Brides magazine as one of the top places to get married in the UK. There were some really impressive venues in the line-up including the Kensington Roof Gardens, London, Warwick Castle, and Raymond Blanc’s Belmond Le Manoir Aux Quat’Saisons in Oxfordshire.”

Hylands Estate recently won Best Wedding Venue (Heritage) in Essex in 2014 and has also been shortlisted for a host of other awards too.

Hylands range of celebration spaces presents the perfect setting for intimate gatherings or lavish receptions. The venues overlook landscaped gardens and parkland beyond, providing romantic settings for a couple’s special day. The banqueting room is extravagantly decorated in a neo baroque style, with a marble fireplace and floor to ceiling windows. The room provides a stunning space for wedding parties.

The spectacular contemporary Grand Pavilion allows Hylands to accommodate a wide range of weddings, including cultural weddings too. The pavilion can accommodate up to 300 people and offers the latest in style and sophistication with romantic lighting and creates an ideal space for large receptions.

To find out more, visit, or call:01245 605500.


You’ve got the venue booked and the date is set, so what next? One of the most important suppliers to choose for your dream wedding is the photographer.

Once the big day has gone by in a flash (and it will!), your head will be bursting with the most wonderful memories of the day you said: “I do”. But, nothing quite beats sitting down and sharing photos of those special moments with your friends and family. You will also want to recapture the memories in years to come, maybe with your children and grandchildren.

Of course, your guests will no doubt take plenty of snaps, but will they know to get a photo of your precious aging nan or the cousins you’ve not seen in years?

Have a read of our top tops on picking your wedding photographer…

• Do your research into the style of wedding photos you want. Do you want the traditional family line-ups or would you rather a photographer mingles quietly, capturing more natural, non-staged images? This will help to narrow down which photographer you go for.
• Meet your photographer in person before appointing them. If you don’t like their personality, they could become a real irritant on what is a very important day. They will be by your side all day long, so it’s vital to find one you get along with.
• Ask to see plenty of examples of their work. It’s best to see complete wedding albums as any photographer can get the odd lucky shot – you want to see how they cover an entire wedding day.
• Be clear on what you get for your money. Photographers can be expensive – avoid the post-wedding argument over extra fees and establish from the outset what you get for your money and what will need paying for separately. Also, ask whether you will get a disc of all of your photos after the day – not all are willing to hand over their work in this way.
• What is their contingency plan? What if they are ill on your wedding day, have they got back-up?
• It will be helpful to show your photographer any style of images you would like to recreate on your day. Give some thought to what group shots – if any – you want taking and what parts of your wedding venue you particularly want to feature in your photos.
• Have an engagement / pre-wedding photo shoot at your wedding venue. This gives the photographer the opportunity to get to know you as a couple and learn the types of shots which will work for you or not. You can then also walk around your wedding venue together to highlight particular shots or backdrops you like.
• Have a clear plan of how you want your photographer to work on your wedding day – do you want coverage of both of you getting ready, do you want them to stay for the first dance, etc? Work out timings between you so every part of your wedding day is captured how you want it.

If you’ve picked the right photographer and done the right planning together, you’ll be able to relax on your wedding day, safe in the knowledge they have got it all covered.



Photograph: mckinley-rodgers

Colour and fun was the order of the day for Jo and Paul O’Connor when they married at Hylands House on 6 September 2014. The stylish bride and groom used a mix of styles for their big day with items that included a gorgeous gold original 50s wedding dress and 60s style blue suits for the groom and best men. Adding more joyful zest, they even had matching pink and blue campervans as the wedding transport.

“Before we got engaged, we would talk about if we ever got married, where we would go and we have always had our hearts set on Italy as we love the natural beauty, romance and of course the food!”, said Jo. However, when it came to the crunch, the couple thought it was more important that as many of friends and family as possible could attend, and so they chose to stay local.

Hylands just felt right…

“Hylands House was the first venue we both looked at – we booked it straight away as it just felt right”, continued Jo. “It also has beautiful grounds and the staff were flexible on what food and entertainment we had, which was what made it for us.”

Making great use of the space…

The couple made good use of the space at Hylands House, holding their wedding ceremony in the Drawing Room, having drinks and a pianist in the Small Dining Room, the wedding breakfast in the Banqueting Room and then the Terrace Room and Entrance Hall for the evening party.

 Jo liked the idea of being in such a grand, elegant building but having the flexibility to move around. “I loved that even though we would spend the whole day and evening there, we would use separate spaces to make the day more interesting and break it up a little – which it definitely did.  We were concerned that you can’t trust the great English weather so wanted to make sure that if it did pour down all day, we would be ok inside. We also used the garden for games and a bouncy castle, which was a real hit and a highlight of the day”

The Bride also had use of the Bridal Room, a new addition to Hylands, to freshen up in, to change shoes and to take a breather! 

The wedding team…

 “I had lots of queries and questions and the staff at Hylands House always came back to me promptly and tried to accommodate our every need” said Jo. “They did not put a dampener on our plans and made sure they could do as much as possible to help – however mad the idea”


Sunday 25 January 10am – 4pm

Hylands Estate proudly welcomes couples looking for a special venue to host their dream day. View the House and Grand Pavilion at your leisure or be shown around by a member of our dedicated wedding team.
Please call or email us to arrange a viewing or for further information.

We look forward to welcoming you to Hylands Estate and congratulate you on your forthcoming wedding.