A place of unexpected wild beauty, with 350 miles of coastline and rural landscapes, Essex is a gorgeous place to tie the knot. The county boasts over 2,000 years of ancient history and some extraordinary hidden cultural and creative gems. Here are 5 beautiful wedding venues in Essex, each with a different style to suit every taste.
Images courtesy of Visit Essex
1. Leez Priory
This magnificent multi award-winning Tudor mansion is said to be one of the most sought after wedding venues in the country. Set in the heart of rural Essex amid 40 acres of parkland it is just 15 minutes from Chelmsford, Leez Priory is a venue with everything you could ask for including lakes, lawns and even a sweeping driveway, plus a choice of seven stunning settings for your civil ceremony including the Great Tower.
For your reception, choose from the Great Hall which seats up to 74 guests for your wedding breakfast or the newly converted Coach House which seats 100 guests. With exclusive use of the entire house you can invite up to 250 guests for your evening reception. There are also 15 beautiful bedrooms which are exclusively reserved for you on your wedding night, as well as a pretty hidden cottage within the grounds for the bride and bridesmaids to stay in the night before the wedding.
2. Gosfield Hall
Once a royal residence, this Georgian manor house is full of grandeur and located deep in the Essex countryside. Gosfield Hall has a choice of elegant reception rooms including the Queen Charlotte’s oak panelled gallery with its grand 120 ft long aisle, or the stunning carriageway for outdoor ceremonies on sunny days.
Formerly the Marquis of Buckingham’s ballroom, with its sparkling chandeliers and ornate design is a splendid setting for your wedding breakfast for up to 116 guests. Exclusive use of the entire house means you can also invite up to 250 guests for your evening reception. Your guests will be truly wowed by the grandeur and elegance when they finish the night in one of the twenty beautiful bedroom suites.
3. The Lawn
A magnificent listed Georgian manor house, set in 3 acres of landscaped gardens and surrounded by over 100 acres of parks and woodland. The Lawn has all the grandeur and charm of an historic country mansion, you can take your vows in the Grand Hall after making a suitably dramatic entrance down the elegant sweeping staircase.
Hold your reception in the pretty newly air-conditioned Orangery which seats up to 140 for your wedding breakfast and opens to 100 ft of covered terrace with its own bar, looking out onto the beautiful gardens and illuminated fountain. For small weddings to parties of up to 350 guests, the entire venue can be exclusively yours for your wedding day.
4. Marygreen Manor Hotel
An historic Tudor house dating back to the 16th century, that is now a luxury 4 star hotel. The Marygreen Manor Hotel is set in beautiful grounds and is a house is steeped in old English charm with its attractive oak beams and inglenook fireplaces.
The lounge has beautiful wood panelled walls and ornate ceilings and for winter weddings, you can relax in front of the roaring open log fire. Summer weddings are the perfect opportunity to relax in the beautiful secluded courtyard gardens. Choose from 30 courtyard rooms facing into a peaceful secluded garden or the original Tudor bedrooms luxuriously furnished with either four-poster or antique carved beds.
5. Wivenhoe House Hotel
This is a newly renovated luxury 18th Century Grade II listed country house hotel. Wivenhoe House brilliantly fuses historic style with the comforts of modern living and only holds one wedding a day. Offering a choice of three elegant reception rooms, a dramatic sweeping staircase and the individual splendour of spacious rooms and suites, many with delightful views over the gardens and parkland in the contemporary garden wing. Each room is impeccably finished to the highest standards reflecting the history of the house.
Hold your civil ceremony in the Drawing Room with its three large bay windows offering stunning parkland views and terrace leading to the sunken garden. Access to the garden courtyard, makes this room the ideal choice for summer wedding celebrations of up to 80 guests. Alternatively, the serene Signatures, with its high ceilings and period features, also overlooks the parkland and is perfect for smaller ceremonies of up to 60 guests or a more intimate wedding breakfast of up to 30 guests. The contemporary Garden Suite comprises three rooms with removable partition walls, enabling a variety of room options for your wedding. For instance one room can be used for the ceremony for up to 60 guests, with the remaining two rooms opened for the wedding breakfast, for up to 70 guests.
For larger weddings hold your ceremony in the traditional Drawing Room or Signatures, leaving the whole Garden Suite to accommodate up to 110 guests for your wedding breakfast, and for evening receptions you could invite up to 150 guests in the Garden Suite.
For more inspiration and for venues in other places please visit the Venues Directory where you can search for your ideal wedding venue by region and type.
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Kate Thompson is Confetti's features editor and wedding expert, and has worked in the wedding industry for 15 years. A widely published lifestyle writer, she has made BBC television and radio appearances discussing wedding trends in the UK.