Set the scene for a day you’ll remember forever at one of these fabulous venues, all within easy reach of Cambridge
Celebrate at Cambridge’s elegant Hotel du Vin, housed within a historic townhouse close to the iconic Fitzwilliam Museum. Choose from the Ruinart room or the Library, or hire the whole hotel exclusively. You’ll be assigned a wedding organiser to ensure everything goes like clockwork, and the menu options are exquisite – not to mention the wine.
Say ‘I do’ at a glittering riverside ceremony in Cambridge’s historic centre.
The hotel, occupying a leafy position by the Mill Lane punting station, can host up to 150 guests in its prestigious Granta Suite for the wedding breakfast and 190 for the evening reception.
There are smaller suites too, many overlooking the riverside gardens. In summer months, the beautiful garden gazebo comes into its own, and can be dressed in your choice of flowers and decorations.
Accommodation can be provided for you and your guests so you won’t ever have to cut the party short.
If your guest list just keeps on growing, consider having your reception at Murray Edwards College, which can cater for up to 270 guests – far more than most venues. An elegant, contemporary setting, it’s convenient for the city centre and just a five-minute walk from Shire Hall Registry Office. ‘The Dome’ dining hall is perfect for a large, splendid spectacle or for a more intimate gathering choose the Fellows’ Dining Room which seats 35.
Says Freya Vaughan, marketing and events officer: “We also know that our gardens are popular for drinks receptions and as a backdrop for photographs, as well as a place for guests to wander around and relax in one of the informal seating areas – or even on picnic blankets which we can provide.”
Set in enchanting gardens away from the bustle of the city, Hotel Felix (above) is a charming Victorian villa with stylish, twinkling interiors.
They currently have a winter wedding offer in place at £99 per head for ceremonies held between 1 October-31 March. Includes a civil ceremony in the Atlas/Calypso Suite, private room hire, drinks reception, three-course meal with wine, DJ, evening buffet, bridal party accommodation and more.
If you feel more at home in a rose-strewn garden than a formal hotel or stately home, consider the Secret Garden Marquee at Burwash Manor, Barton. Now available all year round, it can be customised to suit you exactly.
If you dream of a rustic, countryside venue, set in gardens abundant with flowers, leading down to a lake, The Sheene Mill (below), near Royston, probably has your name all over it. Hold your ceremony in a 16th century converted mill – all open fireplaces and exposed beams – or tie the knot in the gardens beneath their stunning outdoor wedding pavilion. Rooms are available, and the bridal suite is just charming.
Says owner Serena Saunders: “At The Sheene Mill we offer exclusive packages from £85 per head and very competitive midweek packages from £3,995 for 70 guests and above, fully inclusive. Our more intimate setting is perfect for large parties who want to take over the entire venue or for smaller parties, who want an intimate, cosy setting.”
With its marquee, ballroom and island (yes, really!), Longstowe Hall (pictured at the top of this article) oozes splendour and refinement and provides lots of options to make your day truly unique. This Elizabethan stately home, just ten miles from Cambridge, is tucked away within ancient woodland, with spectacular gardens, a majestic lake and gorgeous interiors – perfect for Jane Austen heroines and their Mr Darcys. It’s open for wedding ceremonies and receptions from April to October.
Quirky and full of character, Anstey Hall in Trumpington seems to have been made for weddings. Being a more compact – but none the less beautiful – stately home means you and your guests will have the run of the place all day, then everyone can crash in one of the Hall’s gorgeous rooms at night: like one big, exquisite house party. Book lovers can get married in the ornate but intimate library (80 guests) then dine in the colourful ballroom, or hold your ceremony in the ballroom and invite a larger party to celebrate in the marquee.
A beautiful Georgian villa, set in gorgeous grounds just outside Newmarket town centre, Bedford Lodge oozes elegance and class. The venue has just announced a £300,000 refurbishment of its Classics Suite, which will accommodate 180 guests. It’s set to be finished by next month.
Says chief executive Noel Byrne: “We are delighted to announce these major refurbishment plans and look forward to welcoming our guests into a completely modern and updated space. We are the only four-star hotel in Newmarket and feel this significant investment will continue to make us the Suffolk destination for weddings and conferences.”
This exclusive venue in Godmanchester is home to Sir Christopher and Lady Linda Vane Percy and hosts only a handful of weddings each year.
The property incorporates a splendid Georgian house, breathtaking ornamental gardens and its own picturesque island.
Weddings are available for up to 80 guests in the main hall (180 in the marquee in summer), or sail out on boats to the island for a magical photo shoot like no other. Inside, the richly-furnished saloon with open fireplace is perfect for up to 30 guests. You’re free to bring or source your own wine, free of corkage charges.