If you were under the impression that getting married ‘al fresco’, meaning in the open air, was something that only people in other countries did, then you may be pleasantly surprised to discover that you can get married in the great outdoors right here in the UK.
Although it’s still not legal to hold your marriage ceremony in your own back garden or unlicensed open air spot of your choice, there are many open air venues that are licensed for civil weddings outdoors. Of course al fresco ceremonies in the UK will be weather permitting but a balmy summer’s day with all your loved ones seated in the open air by a beautiful lake or stunning grounds could be just what you’ve always dreamed of.
Here’s our pick of some of the best UK Venues with where you could get married al fresco:
Kent’s Little Silver Country Hotel offers ceremonies in their beautiful garden gazebo. With landscaped gardens, a pretty pond and even a waterfall, this is a very beautiful outdoor setting. The inside is just as special with its luxury 4-poster bedrooms with whirlpool baths!
Hedingham Castle in Essex is a fairytale Norman keep and a Georgian mansion house with breathtaking grounds. Built c 1140 with a magnificent banqueting hall, it offers outdoor ceremonies in historic medieval surroundings under its Tudor bridge.
Hampton Court Castle and Gardens in Herefordshire is the epitome of a fairytale castle. Wedding ceremonies can be held in the outdoor courtyard or in the medieval chapel.
For Victoriana lovers in Kent there is Salomons, an historic Victorian mansion set in 36 acres of beautiful gardens, woodland, rolling parkland and lakes. Outdoor ceremonies take place on their south facing terrace.
For something old, something new, The Orangery at Turkey Mill in Kent brilliantly mixes modern with historic and offers an outdoor ceremony under its exquisite pergola or within the orangery itself, surrounded by award-winning landscaped grounds.
Cain Manor on the Surrey/Hampshire boarder is one of the Bijou wedding venues chain and used to be the home of actor Laurence Olivier. An impressive 13thc-15th century manor house, it is Grade 1 Listed and offers civil ceremonies outside in the pretty gardens.
The Dairy at Waddesdon Manor performs wedding ceremonies outside on the Pavilion overlooking the lake. Inside the glass conservatory and high vaulted ceilings are perfect for wedding breakfasts complete with huge fireplaces and log fires for winter wedding.
Lovely Rowhill Grange Hotel & Utopia Spa, in Kent is also filled with Victorian splendour and features an award-winning spa that you and all your guests could take advantage of. Outdoor wedding ceremonies take place in its beautiful walled gardens.
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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.