As specialists in luxury wedding venues, we are often asked for the best exclusive use stately home wedding venues and destination wedding venues with on site accommodation within easy reach of London.
In the UK we are very lucky that we are spoilt for choice when it comes to luxury private hire wedding venues with beautiful grounds which offer privacy and seclusion and the feeling of 'getting away from it all' which is so highly valued by our couples.
For couples who engage us for our signature Full Wedding Planning Service, including securing their dream venue, we take a full brief and then prepare a shortlist of recommended venues tailored completely for them but for the purposes of this blog, I'm simply going to pick my personal favourites to recommend to you - but I have plenty more up my sleeve!
All of the venues below I know personally and can vouch for as being absolutely tip top, guaranteed to create an unforgettable destination at which to host your big day.
One of the vemues we love working at is Hedsor House, Buckinghamshire.
Hedsor House is a truly epic stately home venue for your wedding and it comes as no surprise that it has been voted Tatler’s Number 1 Top Venue.
This exclusive use Georgian mansion, with over 100 acres of private parkland, is surprisingly only a stone’s throw from London and ticks all the boxes for couples looking for an excellently located quintessential stately home venue – as you approach the house via its kilometre-long driveway, you are guaranteed to feel a palpable sense of anticipation and excitement that this incredible venue is going to be all yours! You’ll drive past the House’s striking Highland cattle (with their familiar faces and names if you follow the venue on Instagram Stories!), as well as colourful rhododendrons and sweeping fields of bluebells - it is truly the most traditional of English country estates.
As a dry hire venue, the house and all its state rooms are then completely your own to make use of as you wish. Wedding ceremonies can be held on the lawn, in two of the local churches or in the Great Hall; similarly, guests can enjoy your canape reception on the lawn or inside the drawing rooms, prior to dinner and dancing in the Ballroom and Great Hall; for couples with more guests than the house can accommodate, a luxury bespoke marquee on the lawns is the perfect solution.
An added bonus of hosting your wedding at Hedsor House is the most stunning Bridal Suite –which is in fact one of the largest and most luxurious Bridal Suites in Europe! Complete with massive bathroom, dressing room and panoramic double aspect views across the grounds, it provides the ultimate space for bridal preparations as well as a grand space to retire to at the end of your most special day.
The House also offers a further 12 beautiful bedrooms including two incredible suites, or those couples wishing to depart and spend their wedding night off site, the exquisite Cliveden House is literally 5 minutes further along the road – I would naturally simply request that they send a car to collect you at midnight and take you back there in style!
Next in our list of top exclusive hire stately home wedding venues is Loseley Park in Surrey - which just happens to be 15 minutes from Couture HQ, which is rather handy!
If you are looking for a stately home venue for your wedding with a range of locations to explore then Loseley Park is not to be missed.
This exquisite privately owned Elizabethan Mansion is set within 1400 acres of glorious rolling countryside and offers couples a range of options for how to host their wedding day.
Access to the Manor is limited to the majestic panelled Great Hall, whose history stretches back over 500 years, but this is entirely understandable not only so the historic fabric of the original rooms can be carefully preserved but also because it still serves as a family home – and it is this current connection which makes the venue so special. From the huge paintings of ancestors hung on the walls of the Great Hall through to more recent portraits and family photos of the current generations, Loseley is very much loved and enjoyed by its owners.
You are spoiled for choice then when it comes to where to host your wedding ceremony – your main limitations being (as always!) time of year and guest numbers.
There’s the Great Hall as described above (along with adjacent gracious drawing room for photos and a glass of celebratory champagne for close family!) or the beautifully renovated and styled 17th Century Tithe Barn just across the lawn or for summer weddings, the beautiful Walled Gardens.
Similarly for dinner and dancing, choose from the Tithe Barn or a beautiful bespoke marquee on the lawns, with the House as the most wonderful backdrop.
One more lovely touch at Loseley is the beautifully styled Bride’s Dressing Room – a separate cottage adjacent to the Tithe Barn which has been sensitively renovated and is now a large, airy space designed with complete relaxation in mind – there is a large private dressing area, a super stylish and comfortable seating area for your attendants, plenty of space to enjoy champagne and brunch and of course those all important pre wedding photos! A brand new luxury bedroom and bathroom (complete with outdoor garden bath tub!) is currently being added to enable overnight accommodation here too.
Within the grounds, cottages have been recently refurbished ready for 2021 weddings - the Bothy sleeps 4 guests in 2 bedrooms and the Cottages will sleep 12 guests in 6 bedrooms, so with the Bridal Suite as well, a total of 18 guests can be accommodated on the grounds.The owners really have thought of everything!
If you are looking for the ultimate country house as the destination venue for your luxury wedding, then Cowdray House is hard to beat. Located in the heart of the South Downs National Park, this exquisite privately-owned stately home is the jewel in the crown of the 16,500 acre Cowdray Estate and is breath-taking in every way.
Owned by the Cowdray family since 1908, the manor house is surrounded by 110 acres of incredible private gardens, grounds and parkland, guaranteeing you and your guests total privacy; the grounds also offer limitless opportunities not only for your guests to enjoy over your wedding weekend but also for your all-important wedding day photography.
The lovely team at Cowdray House don’t believe in offering ‘wedding packages’ to their couples – instead, the House and all that it offers is hired exclusively and couples may then make use of the spaces as they wish depending on their guest numbers and the time of year; whether the wedding is small and intimate or large and lavish, Cowdray Park is so versatile that guests can hosted across multiple spaces to create a unique experience which is tailored completely to the weather and the guest list.
Naturally, there is the option of an outdoor ceremony on the beautiful lawn or if preferred, this can be held in the historic Buck Hall, under its beautiful vaulted ceiling, complete with stained glass windows and an arched minstrel's gallery.
Similarly, your canape reception can then be hosted either on the lawns or inside, in the drawing room, prior to a sumptuous dinner in Buck Hall with dancing in the adjacent drawing room.
For couples with a higher number of guests, a luxury bespoke marquee would be installed on the lawns – a wonderful blank canvas to be styled exactly to your taste, with the stunning Cowdray Park as the most beautiful backdrop.
In terms of your destination wedding weekend guest experience, the house can accommodate up to 44 guests over its 22 exquisitely styled bedrooms, all with luxury ensuite bathrooms, and weekend guests are encouraged to make full use of all the facilities on offer including croquet lawn, tennis court, outdoor pool, indoor pool, snooker, library and drawing rooms, bowling alley and for those wishing to arrive and depart in style, a helipad. Naturally, for those preferring a round of golf, a game of polo or traditional country pursuits such as fly fishing and shooting, we can arrange all this for you with ease in the local area.
Cowdray Park is a truly spectacular exclusive-use venue and would appeal to couples looking to host both large wedding receptions or more intimate gatherings – one of the most outstanding features of Cowdray is how despite its impressive features and grandeur, it manages to retain the warmth and charactre of an ancestral family home and guests are guaranteed to be made to feel very much welcome.
For a more in depth review of Cowdray House and everything it has to offer, do read my earlier blog on it here
If you are recently engaged and would like some help finding your perfect wedding venue, get in touch and let us help you find the perfect backdrop for your big day.
If you are looking for the perfect luxury country estate as the venue for your wedding, and you'd like some venue ideas tailored specifically for your exact requirements, drop us an email to arrange a telephone consultation and we'd be happy to help.