Where dreams come true
Whether you’re after grandeur or glamour, heritage or history, coastal or countryside, our local area has a wealth of wedding venues to suit all tastes and budgets.
A novel idea
You’d be forgiven for thinking you had stepped into a Jane Austen novel as you walk around Groombridge Place – and having been used for filming Pride and Prejudice, the surroundings create the perfect venue for a wedding that brings to mind romance and happy endings.
Whether you’re looking for an intimate affair or larger occasion, Groombridge Place has a choice of stunning venues for all style of weddings. The enchanting 17th century moated manor house is surrounded by award-winning gardens, full of colour all through the year, making for a magical backdrop for your big day whatever the season.
Choose from a ceremony in the Baronial Hall seating up to 100 people (with a number of dining venues on offer from for the wedding breakfast), the Orchard Hall seating up to 80 guests for a sit down meal or 120 for a buffet, or if you fancy taking it outside, the Marquee lawn with uninterrupted views of the countryside accommodates from 70 to 200 guests.
• Groombridge Place, Groombridge Hill, Groombridge, Tunbridge Wells TN3 9QG, 01892 861444, weddings@groombridge place.com, www.groombridgeplace.com
Fit for a queen
With a venue to suit all your wedding dreams, whatever they are, you can mark your special day at Hever Castle while enjoying the stately grandeur of the castle itself, the classic country house atmosphere of the Astor Wing or the stunning lakeside location of the Italian Garden.
Having been the home of not one but two queens, the historic charm of this venue spans more than 700 years. Set in 625 acres of idyllic countryside, Hever Castle can cater for a variety of size weddings.
If you choose the castle itself, the inner hall can accommodate 60 for the ceremony, where paintings of former Tudor monarchs will watch down on you as you make your vows, followed by a banquet-style wedding breakfast in the Castle Dining Hall.
In The Astor Wing, you can have up to 60 guests for the ceremony in the Tudor Suite Sitting Room, followed by the breakfast in the Dining Room, and you can then move to the Moat Restaurant to dance the night away.
If you are planning a bigger affair, the Italian Garden offers room for 180 guests with the ceremony at the Loggia where you can say ‘I do’ under the beautiful arched columns overlooking the 38-acre lake, followed by dining in the Guthrie Pavilion.
With onsite accommodation, you can also wake up at the castle as Mr & Mrs for the first time.
• Hever Castle & Gardens, Hever, Edenbridge TN8 7NG, 01732 861800, email@example.com, www.hevercastle.co.uk
The historic venue of The Margate Winter Gardens, the largest banqueting venue in Kent, is situated on the beautiful Kent coast boasting breath-taking sea views as a backdrop to your big day. With five separate spaces to choose from, each offering their own character and history, it is the perfect setting for your celebration.
The building retains many of its original Edwardian features with the main hall providing dancing and dining for up to 700 people, while the main stage provides an impressive backdrop for any occasion. The adjacent Queens Hall comfortably caters for 100 to 350 people.
The Margate Winter Gardens’ professional team can help you put together the package with an extensive range of menu choice. They can also help provide finishing touches such as chair covers, balloons, flowers, linen and help with providing a professional toastmaster.
• The Margate Winter Gardens, Fort Crescent, Margate CT9 1HX, 01843 296111, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.margatewintergardens.co.uk
Something a little different
Voted Wedding Venue of the Year 2016 – Something Different in the Kent Wedding Awards 2016, Port Lympne Hotel is truly a unique venue. It offers ornate private function rooms, vast gardens, far reaching sea views, all while being nestled in the heart of the animal reserve – providing a magical backdrop for your big day.
Whether you want an intimate ceremony of 10 or a big party of up to 180, Port Lympne can provide the special day you are looking for.
The Edwardian mansion is surrounded by 15 acres of landscaped gardens offering wonderful romantic backdrops for your photographs. With indoor and outdoor locations to choose from, the venue is suitable all year round, and the Aspinall Suite adjoining the mansion is ideal for eating, drinking and dancing and can be decorated to your theme.
If you are looking to make the day one your guests will never forget, why not organise for them to take a private safari after the ceremony? The African Experience will take guests through 100 acres alive with giraffes and black rhino as well as many more species to delight.
• Port Lympne Reserve, near Ashford CT21 4LR, 01303 234111, email@example.com, www.aspinallfoundation.org
A private affair
If exclusivity is what you are looking for, then Chiddingstone Castle is for you as it will close the castle and grounds to the public for your wedding. Summer weddings can be catered for in the Orangery, followed by drinks on the lawn and then the wedding breakfast and evening reception in the Great Hall and drawing room.
If you’re planning a winter wedding, or want a back up in case the British weather proves unpredictable, the majestic Great Hall makes for a stunning location to say ‘I do’.
The castle can accommodate for parties fewer than 50, with space for up to 80 in the Great Hall for the wedding breakfast and up to 120 for the evening ceremony. If you are planning on inviting more guests for the ceremony, their marquee is regularly used, offering space for 120 guests for the full day.
Being situated on the edge of the idyllic Tudor village of Chiddingstone with its parish church of St Mary’s, couples often opt for a traditional marriage service, followed by a procession to the castle for celebrations.
• Chiddingstone Castle, Hill Hoath Road, Chiddingstone, Edenbridge TN8 7AD, 01892 872744, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.chiddingstonecastle.org.uk
History in the making
Leeds Castle is a beautiful historic venue with magnificent state rooms, providing a perfect setting for each and every stage of your big day. Say your vows in the newly-refurbished Ceremony Room adjoining the Library – which is perfect for Champagne drinks reception afterwards. Then head to the largest room in the castle, the Henry VIII Banqueting Hall, for a banquet-style wedding breakfast.
Next, retire to the opulent 1920s Castle Drawing Rooms, before heading to the Heraldry Room for dancing and continuing your celebrations into the evening. Leeds Castle has capacity for 70 guests for the ceremony and breakfast with room for 120 in the evening in the Castle or up to 200 in the Fairfax Hall.
Alternatively you can hold your wedding in the Maiden’s Tower – a 16th century stone building adjacent to the castle, with room for 80 for the ceremony and breakfast and 120 in the evening.
If you are looking for a more laid back affair, the ‘Garden Party Wedding’ has been designed for a more informal style of celebration where you can take the day at your own pace with exclusive hire of the Maiden’s Tower and walled garden. Capacity is for a wedding party of 80, with an evening reception of 100.
With The Fairfax Barn and Battel Hall available, as well as marquee receptions there really is something for every couple.
And there’s no need to worry about getting home as you can stay the night in one of the luxurious Castle bedrooms.
• Leeds Castle, Maidstone ME17 1PL, 01622 767877, email@example.com, www.leeds-castle.com