Your day, your way
- Credit: Matthew Usher
Tying the knot or renewing your vows? Whatever your style, there are plenty of wonderful venue options in Norfolk, says Jo Malone.
We don’t mean small, we mean venues with a particularly romantic, personal, familiar feel. Many Norfolk venues offer bespoke days so couples can have their day, their way – romance guaranteed.
These include the atmospheric Hanse House on South Quay in King’s Lynn, which dates back to at least the 15th century. The only surviving Hanseatic building in England, ceremonies can be held in the Hanse Suite with its exposed timbers or in the Georgian elegance of the Blue Drawing Room. Its experienced and talented caterers can design a menu to suit different tastes and budgets.
Manager Kirsty Gauntley says: “It’s a very special place with a historic, intimate atmosphere. It’s for people who are not looking for an off-the-peg wedding, but wanting a day which is all about the feel they want. Each wedding here is unique, and our aim is for your day to be everything you want it to be.”
Kirsty’s tip: “Make sure it is what you want; that it is the venue where you walk in and know it’s the one. Ignore the pressure from others and go with what you want.”
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You may also like:
Barn Drift, Cley, www.barndriftnorfolk.com
Old Rectory, Great Melton, www.periodweddings.co.uk
Sculthorpe Mill, near Fakenham, www.sculthorpemill.com
47 St Giles, Norwich, www.47stgiles.co.uk
Haubois Hall, Coltishall, www.hautboishall.com
Cinema City, Norwich, www.corporate.picturehouses.co.uk/venue/cinema-city
Dragon Hall, Norwich, www.dragonhall.org
Nightingale Centre, Poringland, www.thenightingalecentre.co.uk
Pennoyer Centre, Pulham St Mary, www.pennoyers.org.uk
This doesn’t have to mean expensive, but a place where the imagination can run riot. A stunning backdrop for a magical day or simply feeling like lord and lady of the manor for the day. The latter is certain at venues such at Oxnead Hall on the Oxnead Hall Estate between Aylsham and Coltishall. A grand, historic hall with folly, barn, Long Room and manicured lawns, formal gardens and romantic walled kitchen herb garden, plus an orangery which overlooks the river Bure.
Megan Norman of Unique Norfolk Venues says it’s a truly magical venue: “It fits every bride’s need by creating a blank but beautiful canvas for every bride to bring their special touch.”
You may also like:
Kimberley Hall, near Wymondham, www.kimberleyhall.co.uk
Godwick Great Barn, near King‘s Lynn, www.godwickhall.co.uk
The Great Barn at Hales Hall, near Loddon, www.haleshallbarn.co.uk
Holkham Hall, www.holkham.co.uk
Sennowe Park, near Fakenham, www.sennowepark.com
The Hoste, Burnham Market, www.thehoste.com
Mount Amelia, Ingoldisthorpe Hall, www.mountamelia.com
Langley Abbey, near Loddon, www.brasteds.co.uk
Norwich City Football Club, Norwich, www.canarycatering.co.uk/weddings
The Red Barn, near Downham Market, www.theredbarnnorfolk.co.uk
Looking for something out of the ordinary, such as marrying outside or in a windmill? It’s all possible in Norfolk, especially with the new duo ceremonies where couples can say their vows outdoors.
Or how about marrying in one of Norfolk’s most famous landmarks – Norwich Castle? Evening ceremonies and receptions for up to 180 guests see couples married in the dramatic castle keep or the Colman Art Gallery. Exhibitions can be draped and walls lit so the emotive atmosphere of the historic building adds to the romance.
Catherine Irwin of Event House says it’s a versatile space ideal for all styles of weddings with packages, from £6500 including catering for 100 guests. She can’t wait for a medieval themed wedding at the castle: “Wouldn’t that be fantastic!”
You may also like:
Narborough Hall, near Swaffham, www.narboroughhallgardens.com
Cley Windmill, www.cleywindmill.co.uk
Albion Days, Great Melton, www.albiondays.co.uk
Keeper and the Dell, Ringland, www.thekeeperandthedell.com
Whitwell and Reepham Railway, whitwellstation.com/
Fakenham Racecourse, www.fakenhamracecourse.co.uk
Mangreen Trust, near Swardeston, www.mangreen.co.uk
Manor Mews, near Burnham Market, www.manormews.co.uk
The Tolhouse Museum and Gaol, Great Yarmouth, www.museums.norfolk.gov.uk
Pentney Abbey, www.pentneyabbey.com
Hockering House, Dereham, www.hockeringhouse.co.uk
The quintessential English wedding is a separate ceremony and reception venue, such as a church followed by the wedding breakfast in a marquee, village hall, hotel or restored barn.
Try venues such as Back to the Garden at Letheringsett, which welcomes couples following ceremonies at venues such as Voewood, churches and registration offices in the area. An award-winning café, restaurant and farm shop, it closes to the public so couples have exclusive use of the large, picturesque, converted threshing barn.
“When it’s dressed for a wedding it looks beautiful, it’s so easy to personalise,” says manager Chris Allen, adding that there’s space for buskers, bands and dancing. There are no set wedding packages. Couples tell the catering team the number of guests, and budget and a menu is created to suit them.
Chris’s tip: “A wedding is one of the most important days of your life, make sure the people you are dealing with treat you as individuals and understand your day and don’t just see you as clients generating money.”
Dreaming of a classic wedding? Some of the following are also licensed for ceremonies:
Dukes Head Hotel, King’s Lynn, www.legacy-hotels.co.uk/hotels/legacy-dukes-head
Dunston Hall, near Norwich, www.devere-hotels.co.uk
Drayton Old Lodge, near Norwich, www.draytonoldlodge.co.uk
Norwich Cathedral, www.cathedral.org.uk
Earsham Hall, Bungay, www.earshamhallevents.co.uk
Park Hotel, Diss, www.parkhotel-diss.co.uk
Titchwell Manor, www.titchwellmanor.com
Congham Hall, Congham, www.conghamhallhotel.co.uk
Assembly House, Norwich, www.assemblyhousenorwich.co.uk
The Oaklands Hotel, Norwich, www.oaklands-hotel.co.uk
There are many more amazing Norfolk venues. See the 2015 edition of Norfolk and Suffolk Bride available at most newsagents and Marry In Norfolk (available from all registration offices) for more ideas.