5 of the best wedding venues in Essex

Hedingham Castle

Hedingham Castle - Credit: Jarek Lepak

Weddings are back and for those with a shiny new rock on their finger, the first thing that you’ll need to think about is where you want to get married. From historic wedding venues to laid-back festival wedding venues in Essex, there’s something for every couple in the county. Here are our top picks, writes Julie Lucas

Down Hall Hotel & Spa 

What’s it like?  

Down Hall is nestled in 110 acres of beautiful woodland with spectacular views from every angle.

There’s a stunning outdoor ceremony area for gorgeous garden weddings, while inside the west wing has been extensively refurbished.

Expect twinkling crystal chandeliers and fresh light décor, making it perfect for any big-day theme.  

What’s the stand-out feature?  

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The exceptional grounds make a beautiful photo opportunity, as does the sweeping spiral staircase.   

Need to know...  

The venue holds up to 220 guests. All couples receive a menu tasting, bridal suite and a groom’s room perfect for a get-together the night before.   

Matching Road, Hatfield Heath CM22 7AS

downhall.co.uk 

Down Hall blends modern and traditional styling

Down Hall blends modern and traditional styling - Credit: Down Hall

That Amazing Place 

What’s it like? 

A picturesque location and with breathtaking views of the grounds and lake. From the long driveway up to the house, reception drinks on the patio with views of the lake, guests will enjoy the stunning scenery.

The Grade II listed house has large bright rooms with contemporary interiors.

A beautiful outside gazebo, with the lake as a backdrop is a perfect location for a summer wedding. 

What's the stand-out feature? 

The beautiful 15th Century manor house, along with its wedding cottage and four deluxe bedrooms, sleeping up to 29 guests, is exclusively yours for the day and night of your wedding.

The staff pride themselves on fantastic customer service. 

Need to know... 

The house can accommodate up to 80 seated guests and a marquee for 150 guests with up to 200 in the evening.

For ceremonies the Lakeview Lounge can seat up to 70 guests. The Hall up to 100 guests and the marquee can seat up to 150 guests.

Packages include menu tastings.

Hubbards Hall Drive, Harlow, CM17 0NH

thatamazingplace.co.uk 

That Amazing Place

That Amazing Place - Credit: That Amazing Place

The Lawn 

What's it like? 

This magnificent Georgian Manor House set in three acres of beautiful gardens on a 120-acre estate are exclusively yours.

A wedding gazebo adjoining the rose gardens provides a stunning backdrop or make a grand entrance down the sweeping staircase for a ceremony in the galleried Grand Hall. 

The house lends itself to entertaining with the Blue Drawing Room, Club Room dance floor, bar (there is also a terrace bar in the Summer) and Orangery all adjoining the Grand Hall. 

What's the stand-out feature? 

A family business with a hugely experienced team and attention to detail for a 'no worries' experience.

There are two large rooms available from 9am until midnight where couples can prepare, change and relax along with a link to a four-star hotel just six minutes away where all the guests can stay in one place and enjoy breakfast together. 

Need to know ...  

The house can accommodate 100 guests seated (with more standing, if required) for a ceremony; 130 for a garden ceremony.

For a wedding breakfast 130 guests can be seated comfortably with a maximum of 150 for the evening reception. 

Hall Road, Rochford SS4 1PL

thelawn.co.uk 

The Lawn

The Lawn - Credit: Archant

Hedingham Castle 

What's it like? 

For a bit of wow for your wedding photography, this 900-year-old castle is set within 120 acres of stunning countryside including beautifully restored gardens.

Our favourite spot is the lake, with the castle behind, or in between the huge Wellingtonia trees at the bottom of the pond.

The romantic Banqueting Hall, where ceremonies take place, is one of the finest examples of Norman interiors in existence.

The 20ft Norman arch is always a talking point amongst guests. 

What's the stand-out feature? 

The history and magical atmosphere of Hedingham Castle is hard to beat.

It’s not every day you get married in a castle. It really is one of the most romantic venues in the country, with stunning architecture and grand Mansion House and gardens.

Couples have the whole estate exclusively with each wedding as bespoke and personal as the couple.

New for this year are weekend weddings over a few days. 

Need to know ... 

Up to 130 can be seated for castle ceremonies and 150 dining in the marquee, and up to 200 for evening receptions.

For castle receptions, up to 70 can dine in the Tapestry Room. There are two cottages on the estate – The Garden Cottage for newlyweds and the Medieval Lodge, which can sleep up to 15. Free menu tastings are offered. 

Castle Hedingham, Halstead CO9 3DJ

hedinghamcastle.co.uk 

An aerial view of Hedingham Castle

An aerial view of Hedingham Castle - Credit: BroadHouseMedia

Greenwoods 

What's it like? 

This manor house has far-reaching views of the English countryside yet is only an hour from London.

Magnificent, quintessentially English gardens create a superb backdrop to the Garden Gazebo for outdoor ceremonies, drinks receptions and great photo opportunities.

The house with its sweeping staircase retains its original features but has been given a modern twist.  

What's the stand-out feature? 

The Garden Suite blends old and new architecture beautifully with its spectacular windows and a private entrance and terrace. 

Need to know ... 

Library and boardroom suites can accommodate intimate weddings of maximum 20 people.

Garden Suite and Garden Gazebo can accommodate 150 people for ceremony and sit-down meal and up to 300 for an evening reception.

There's complimentary menu tasting, complimentary chair sashes in the couple’s colour of choice and a complimentary bridal suite for the night. 

Greenwoods Hotel & Spa, Stock Road, Stock CM4 9BE

greenwoodshotel.com 

Greenwoods fountain

Greenwoods fountain - Credit: Greenwoods

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