Oxfordshire A 17th-century stately pad set in beautiful Cotswold countryside? Yes please. You can get married in any room, from The Library to The Salon. The lawn makes an ideal spot for afternoon tea and there’s an orangery for dinner and dancing. Late-night revellers will love the cellar bar – a cross between a members’ club and a speakeasy. aynhoepark.co.uk.
Whether You Choose a Smart Manor House or a Grand Palace, Getting Hitched is The Perfect Excuse For Your Very Own Downton Moment Photo Gallery
Sussex We can’t think of a lovelier place for brides-to-be to get ready than ten-room Hound Lodge (a family brunch here the next day is pretty special too), tucked away on the Goodwood estate. Rock up to the State Apartments at Goodwood House in a Land Rover Defender (how cool!). The whole caboodle is yours, from the Yellow Drawing Room to the Ballroom adorned with Van Dyck and Canaletto paintings. Delicious food features estate-reared produce and the attention to detail from the team of butlers is exceptional. goodwood.com.
HAMPTON COURT PALACE
Surrey Magnificent Tudor and Baroque architecture, romantic walled gardens and Thames river vistas… Historic Hampton Court Palace has it all, including a handful of super-smart rooms for wedding celebrations. Step out of The Garden Room’s French doors after the ceremony for Champagne toasts under ancient trees; dine in the medieval Great Hall or The Orangery; and dance the night away in The Undercroft, once Henry VIII’s beer cellar. Quite literally, a venue fit for a king. hrp.org.uk.
ST AUDRIES PARK
Somerset If it’s a stunning picture-postcard setting you’re after, this Georgian manor house, surrounded by a 100-acre deer park and overlooking the rolling Quantock Hills, fits the bill. Get married in the heavenly Victorian Orangery with its vaulted glass ceiling (or St Etheldreda’s church in the grounds), before sitting down for a tip-top feast in the banqueting hall. Exclusive use means you can invite up to 250 guests along for a proper knees-up in the evening too. audries-park.co.uk.
STONOR PARK, HENLEY-ON-THAMES
You’ll get goosebumps within minutes of driving onto this giant estate. The misty rolling hills, the herds of wild deer and, finally, the big reveal of its drop-dead-gorgeous 850-year-old house. It all evokes something you’d expect to find in a Jane Austen love story: gallery-style corridors filled with paintings and antiques inside, and Italianate pleasure gardens outside. Not only that, but Stonor has numerous trusted partners (think cool bell tents, award-winning caterers and vintage car hire to whizz guests around the vast grounds), and its tried-and-tested planners can organise your ceremony to take place at the on-site 14th-century Roman Catholic chapel.
Goodman and Murley, Rosewood’s specially appointed ‘Directors of Romance’, have more than 12 years of wedding-planning experience between them, and have curated an ingenious event studio where couples can taste, touch and even smell all the wedding offerings this five-star grande dame has to give. From furniture to flowers, you can tailor-design the ceremony and reception of your dreams, all in a matter of hours. And when the big day finally comes? Make a million-pound entrance down the one-of- a-kind marble staircase, followed by dinner and dancing into the small hours in the chandeliered ballroom – there are over 300 bedrooms for your guests to fall into, too… Rosewood, London.
ILCHESTER HOUSE BY BIJOU WEDDINGS, HAMPSHIRE
At this country-house gem, each ceremony and reception has exclusive use of the bright and airy 14-suite manor, and couples can employ the stress-free planning service to arrange food, fireworks and everything in between. Our favourite bit? Host your wedding on the same day as the village fireworks and the bride (that’s Lady of the Manor to you) will have the honour of ceremonially lighting the bonfire. How very Downton!
If it’s privacy and space you’re looking for, this stunning West Dorset estate will suit you perfectly, offering exclusive use of its 100 acres for everything from a simple one-day ceremony and reception, right up to a three-day bash. Its three properties (two contemporary barns and the impressive main house) sleep up to 36 and are kitted out with en-suite rooms, spa facilities – two with swimming pools – and private gardens. And you’ll be in safe hands with the charming owner, Alo Brake, who’ll work her styling magic on all aspects of your day.
PRINCESS RESORT, SKIATHOS, GREECE
Sun; sea; sand. Seriously, what more could you want? How about an everything-taken-care- of venue? You got it. At this chic beach resort, you won’t have to think about a thing. Have a pedicure with your maids (you won’t need shoes for this ceremony), before walking down your soft sand aisle to say ‘I do’ against the backdrop of the brilliant blue Aegean. Then enjoy a lantern-filled wedding breakfast under the stars. The best part? It’s not bank-breaking, either – venue hire with decor starts at just £1,973.
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