One of the most varied counties in the country in terms of scenery, Essex has the luxury of being able to offer beautiful, coastal views alongside cool and quirky towns. Combine this with vast, stunning countryside, an extensive history and the fact that it's only a short hop, skip and a jump from London, it's easy to see why this is such an attractive county for a wedding. If you're getting married in Essex or are considering it then let our guide below help you with your planning. recommendations, tips and advice from local suppliers and some local, real wedding inspiration.
Where to start?
1 You can't get far without first working out your wedding budget. Try and get a rough idea of what you can afford. Put this number into our handy, free budget calculator to get a guide on how this might be split.
2 Now that you're all set with your budget, it's time to get an idea of the guest numbers. You may need to go back and revisit your budget depending on numbers. Our free guest tracker in the planning tools section will help you store all names and details.
3 Next, it's time to find your dream venue. There's serious variety on offer in Essex. From romantic castles to rustic barns there's something for everyone. Note, you may need to book a separate venue for the ceremony.
4 Finding the dream wedding dress can take a while and there's no need to feel rushed. Check out our wedding dress section to browse 1000s of designers and styles. Get an idea for what you like and then see which boutiques near you stock the designs you like.
Look for bridal boutiques that are members of the Retail Bridalwear Association, which means you can buy from them with the confidence that your gown is underwritten by their Brides’ Protection Scheme.
5 Now that you've booked your venue it's time to find your other suppliers. We recommend starting with local, Essex photographers. They might be a bit pricier than you'd expect but they're well worth it!
6 If food and drink is not in the venue package and this is something you need to source separately then it's worth getting your catering sorted. Plus, you get to enjoy all the tasting. Fortunately, Essex has plenty of great catering suppliers and there's even more choice in nearby London.
7 So you know the date of your fabulous, Essex wedding! It's time to send save the dates to all your guests. If you're sending physical save the dates then check out our fantastic stationery section for some great suppliers and designs.
8 Entertainment! Are you have a band or DJ? 82% of our couples say they are most looking forward to the party part of the wedding. This is often the most memorable part of the wedding for your guests. Again, due to it's location, Essex is inundated with a plethora of incredible wedding bands and DJs.
9 Essex has an abundance of fantastic local florists. Can you get them to incorporate cowslips or bluebells into the flower arrangements? It's always fun to include flowers that grow locally.
10 Hair and makeup just for the bride or your bridesmaids too? Get your trial booked in (you'll have to pay for this) so you've got an idea of the whole look on the big day. Hair and makeup artists are usually willing to travel so may worth looking at suppliers in Kent, Hertfordshire and Suffolk too.
11 Cake! Lots of yummy cake makers in Essex and just like the catering before, this is your chance to get stuck in with the tastings. Find a local Essex-based supplier to ensure your cake doesn't have to travel too far on the day.
12 While we've only picked a handful of supplier categories above, we recommend you use our checklist planning tool to make sure you have everything ticked off. Remember, you'll also need to look at attire for the groom, groomsmen and bridesmaids along with Venue styling decor and favours.
For a further breakdown of local suppliers, we suggest that you search the venues and suppliers in the following regions:
Chelmsford, Billericay, Dagenham, Ilford, Chigwell, Rochford, North Weald, Thaxted, Ongar, Epping, Halstead, Gosfield, Theydon Bois, Canvey Island, Loughton, Upminster, Colchester, Braintree, Rochford, Southend-on-Sea