Getting to Know – The Prop Factory

Company Name: The Prop Factory

Interview with: Carys Jenkinson

Location / Coverage: Based in Exeter but cover all areas of the UK

Introduce The Prop Factory

The Prop Factory is a seven year old amazingly unique prop and furniture hire company. We hand-make beautiful items to hire for weddings and events from nearly 90% recycled, reclaimed and second hand materials. We don’t use any nasty chemicals and say “NO!” to fibreglass. Most of our items to hire are handmade from wood or fabric and a little bit of metal. We don’t sell any of our products either so you’ll only find them here.

Bride sitting on pink sofa available to hire from from The Prop Factory

Who works at The Prop Factory and what are your roles?

We are a small team of six working in the heart of Devon, obsessively foraging, creating, following trends, setting trends, drinking tea and being generally inspired and excited by all things pretty, weird and fun.

  • Carmen: Director, Prop designer and Marketing Manager
  • Adam: Director, HR and Customer service manager
  • Jim: Logistics Manager
  • Laura: Prop Maker
  • Carys: Stylist
  • Tricia: Website Creator

Cream and gold candelabra available to hire from from The Prop Factory

What’s your story? How did The Prop Factory come about and how long has the company been running?

The Prop Factory started in 2011 by 23 year old single mum Carmen Croxall, while she was at University. It has now grown into a warehouse of wonders.

Carmen started in the industry with a small vintage china hire business, and soon after had the passion and knowledge to create something amazing with prop hire. The company began as ‘The Very Vintage Hire Company’ and then changed face to ‘The Prop factory’. This is indeed an accurate description as we are a Factory making wonderful Props.

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Orangery with wedding ceremony seating at Gaynes Park

Getting to Know – Gaynes Park

Venue Name: Gaynes Park

Location: Near Epping, Essex

What type of venue is Gaynes Park and how old is the building?

Gaynes Park is a breathtaking barn wedding venue in Essex, with a wealth of ceremony and reception spaces, glorious gardens and remarkable views. The venue has everything you could need on your big day, from a stunning cottage to prepare beforehand to fantastic fine dining wedding food. There is luxurious accommodation on-site too, provided separately by Gaynes Park Ltd.

The estate has been in the Chisenhale-Marsh family since the 1780s. The 1,000-acre estate comprises approximately 300 acres of woodland, with wood milled in the listed barns. Seasoned in the open-sided Gather Barn, the wood was then used as ship masts and supports in mines. This rich history is still clear to see and provides a wonderful sense of authenticity to Gaynes Park.

Orangery with wedding ceremony seating at Gaynes Park

How long has Gaynes Park been a wedding venue?

Gaynes Park has been a wedding venue for 12 years. In that time we’ve catered for many magical weddings, helping couples make one the most important days of their lives extra special.

What is the capacity for a wedding ceremony and wedding reception at Gaynes Park?

Couples will find plenty of space for 150 guests for a civil ceremony in the Orangery, Mill Barn and Gather Barn. All options can use different seating plans, offering flexibility and choice. Wedding breakfasts in the Mill Barn can hold a maximum of 150 guests too, with space for a further 50 for the evening reception.

Gather Barn at Gaynes Park

What rooms are available for couples having their wedding at Gaynes Park?

On your wedding day you have exclusive use of the peaceful and private Apple Loft Cottage before the ceremony, the light-filled Orangery, the unique, open-sided Gather Barn and rustic Mill Barn. Set within the grounds and picturesque gardens, every aspect is yours to enjoy as you wish. Exclusive use comes as standard for weddings at Gaynes Park.

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Classic car on drive of Combermere Abbey

Getting to Know – Combermere Abbey

Venue Name: Combermere Abbey

Location: Near Whitchurch, Cheshire

What type of venue is Combermere Abbey and how old is the building?

Combermere Abbey is a delightful country house wedding venue with breathtaking grounds and a rich history. Original parts of the house date back to the 12th century.

Founded by Hugh de Malbank, Lord of Nantwich in the 12th century, it began as a Cistercian monastery. Over the following centuries it was transformed and remodelled, predominantly serving as a private residence.

In 1919 Sir Kenneth Crossley of Crossley Motors bought Combermere Abbey and its estate. Used as an evacuee girls’ school during the Second World War, the house began to show signs of increasing decay.

Sarah Callander Beckett took over the estate in 1992 and began an extensive restoration project. Since this time, we have seen the restoration of estate buildings and the Walled Gardens, the conversion of the stable block into luxury cottages and the exciting restoration of the magnificent North Wing.

Combermere Abbey became a wedding venue in 1995, and was one of the first venues to obtain a civil license.

Classic car on drive of Combermere Abbey

What is the capacity for a wedding ceremony and wedding reception at Combermere Abbey?

Couples can marry with up to 120 guests in the Edwardian Glasshouse or outside in the centre of the unique fruit tree maze. The Pavilion can accommodate 150 for wedding breakfasts and receptions.

Aerial view of maze at Combermere Abbey

What rooms are available for couples having their wedding at Combermere Abbey?

Couples have exclusive use of the venue and the Walled Gardens for the whole day, including the characterful Glasshouse and stylish Pavilion. The luxurious North Wing honeymoon suite is also included, while guest accommodation for 49 is available on-site in the charming Courtyard Cottages.

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Entrance to Morden Hall wedding venue in South London

Getting to Know – Morden Hall

Venue Name: Morden Hall

Location: Morden, South London

What type of venue is Morden Hall and how old is the building?

Morden Hall is a stunning country house wedding venue in South London that combines history, contemporary style and picturesque grounds.

The building dates back to 1770 and belonged to the Hatfield family, who used the river to power mills to produce snuff. In 1941, the hall was sold to the National Trust and, following an impressive renovation in 2015, became the wedding venue we know and love today.

Entrance to Morden Hall wedding venue in South London

What is the capacity for a wedding ceremony and wedding reception at Morden Hall?

Morden Hall can cater for up to 120 guests for wedding ceremonies and 150 for receptions.

Couples have a wonderful choice when it comes to tying the knot at Morden Hall. For more intimate weddings, the Hawthorn Suite, with space for up to 70 guests and exquisite views out over the grounds and parklands, is the perfect choice. For larger ceremonies, the Willow Suite at the centre of the house is ideal. There is space for up to 120 guests and you can make a grand entrance from the impressive staircase.

You can also choose to hold a blessing in the picturesque garden of Morden Hall, soaking up the sun on the banks of the River Wandle.

Willow Suite wedding ceremony seating at Morden Hall

Do you offer exclusive use as part of the packages, or is this an extra charge?

Exclusive use comes as standard at Morden Hall.

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Blackwell Grange Wedding Venue in Warwickshire

Getting to Know – Blackwell Grange

Blackwell Grange Logo

Venue Name: Blackwell Grange

Location: Shipston-on-Stour, Warwickshire

What type of venue is Blackwell Grange and how old is the building?

Blackwell Grange is a breathtaking barn wedding venue in the Cotswolds, and parts of the venue date back to 1543. The family home of the Vernon-Millers for generations, the venue was initially a breeding stud for National Hunt racing and then a pedigree sheep farm. The latest incarnation of this idyllic setting is one of the finest wedding venues in the Cotswolds.

Blackwell Grange Wedding Venue in Warwickshire

How long has Blackwell Grange been a wedding venue?

The venue has been open for around a year and a half following years of deliberation and planning. The project has been a real labour of love for the owners, and their commitment to making it extra special is clear in the result.

Bride and Groom in Front of Circle Hole in Wall at Blackwell Grange

What is the capacity for a wedding ceremony and wedding reception at Blackwell Grange? What rooms are available for weddings?

Blackwell Grange can accommodate 150 guests for a ceremony in the Thatch Barn and 150 for breathtaking receptions in the Orchard Barn.

Couples can start their day in the Potting Shed; a private space that’s perfect for pampering before the ceremony. The four-hundred-year-old Thatch Barn provides an atmospheric setting in which to say ‘I do’, while the purpose-built Orchard Barn offers plenty of space to enjoy wedding breakfasts and receptions. It also comes complete with a stylish bar and secluded Snug – a mezzanine floor that provides guests with a quiet space that’s not too far away from the fun.

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