No one said choosing the ultimate wedding venue would be easy. But, with such a glistening array of enchanting properties, Britain’s offering of grand stately homes at least make the process a pleasant experience.
So, if you’re looking for a venue for your big day, push the churches to one side, dismiss the walled gardens and scoff at the castles – for who doesn’t want to tie the knot in a mini-palace that boasts grand architecture, acres of space and a rich family history?
And a final piece of advice, gentlemen, the venue – as all choices from date to dinnerware – will fall not to you, but your bride to be. So here are a few suggestions that’ll keep you in her good books (because “but Spectre was filmed here” may convince you, but it won’t cut any with her).
Wimpole Estate, Cambridgeshire
Located within the Parish of Wimpole, this grand estate was built in 1640, and its 3,000 acres of parkland make it an ideal venue for your special day. The house was held by the Chicheley family for over 250 years – and is now managed by the National Trust.
And whether you’re planning a small civil ceremony or huge traditional white wedding reception, Wimpole Estate hosts both small and grand-scale weddings, thanks to its generous rooms and building, such as the Grand Dining Room or Old Rectory.
Gosford House, East Lothian
This beautifully imposing, neo-classical mansion was one of the last great architectural commissions of the celebrated Scots architect, Robert Adam. Currently the seat of the Earls of Wemyss and March, it was built between 1790 and 1800, is set in 5,000 acres of combined coast and parkland, and is just a convenient 30-minute drive from Edinburgh.
And when it comes to wedding venues, it doesn’t get much better than this. The elaborate marble hall and grandeur of the main staircase with its Venetian windows is guaranteed to make your special day a memorable one.
Kenwood House, Hampstead
This former stately home sits imperiously over the rolling hills of Hampstead Heath, and served as a seat for the aristocratic Murray and Guinness families before it was left to the care of the nation under the care of English Heritage. The handsome, white-washed Georgian facade serves as a complimentary focal point for the perfect wedding venue – a secluded spot that’s undoubtedly one of London’s best hidden gems.
The 18th century stately home boasts a maximum reception capacity of 480, and with a ceremony in the Orangery, guests would be able to overlook the clipped lawns that stretch down towards two lakes. The lush greenery – surrounding you on all sides – means you’d be forgiven for not believing you’re just a stones throw from central London.
Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire
Arguably, one of Britain’s greatest country houses, Blenheim Palace was built between 1705 and 1733 for John Churchill, the 1st Duke of Marlborough, to celebrate his victory over the French in the Battle of Blenheim on 13th August 1704. And unsurprisingly, the grandeur of the estate has seen it as the centre for notable filming locations including Spectre and Cinderella.
As the only non-royal non-episcopal country house in England to hold the title of palace, Blenheim is the ultimate choice for the grandest of weddings. Focal points like the lavish state rooms, Italian Terrace and The Orangery Complex, allow you to tailor your wedding depending on your guest size, too.
Bodrhyddan Hall, Denbighshire
Bodrhyddan Hall is a Grade 1 listed building and has been the home of Lord Langford and his family for over 500 years. This picturesque home is one of the few remaining family-owned stately homes in Wales. Bodrhyddan is largely of 17th-century design with Victorian additions and contains extensive historical artefacts to boot.
Allowing a grand ceremony and reception, the stately home allows you the choice to marry within the main house or amongst the beautifully landscaped gardens where grand marquees allow up to 200 people to be accommodated. If you see your dream wedding in a beautifully secluded North Wales location, then Bodrhyddan is your answer.