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Wedding venues in Surrey - vineyards, historic homes and palaces

PUBLISHED: 19:53 09 July 2012 | UPDATED: 14:53 20 February 2013

Hampton Court - Couple and car outside West Front

Hampton Court - Couple and car outside West Front

Out of this world locations for civil ceremonies are not only reserved for super stars. Surrey brides can chose from several fabulous, year-round wedding venues, much closer to home, as Janet Donin finds out

For her special day Elizabeth Hurley chose Sudeley Castle while John Terry, the England and Chelsea Captain, selected Blenheim Palace. But if you want to get married in style with all the razzamatazz, yet without the paparazzi, there's no shortage of impressive wedding venues right here in Surrey.

In fact, you don't have to be a super star to get the right royal treatment; just head to Hampton Court Palace. With its own entrance, to the side of the palace, William III's Banqueting House is ideal for small weddings of around 50 guests. Here, the walls are painted and panelled, while the tall windows give views of the River Thames beyond.

For summer weddings, the conservatory style Garden Room, seating around 200 guests, is enchanting and exclusive, with huge windows on two sides opening on to paved terraces and lawns. "This is a really lovely room to work with because it is so flexible," says events manager Erica Rees-Werder. "Plus, you have the advantage of the palace and beautiful rose garden as a photographic backdrop."

The venues costs from 3,500, while catering for the reception and evening, including the tableware, is about 100 per person. For anything else, Erica has all the contacts you'll need to make your wedding very special.

Palaces apart, there can be nothing more quintessentially English than Loseley Park. As you ride up the endless drive passing through beautiful parkland, you'll eventually reach the impressive stone manor house. The panelled Great Hall is the preferred venue for the wedding ceremony, which is especially pretty in winter with its open fire and candle lit chandelier. The reception and dancing usually take place in the beamed 17th Century Tithe Barn, which is large enough for 140 guests and where Michael Newton-Young, of Classic JMK, arranges all the catering effortlessly.

The four-course menu costs a reasonable 45 per head and I spotted an interesting Sauvignon Blanc for just 13.50. The cost of hiring the venue varies but can be as little as 1,800.

And at Loseley Park, there are plenty of unique photo opportunities in one of the many gardens brimming with roses, aromatic herbs or wild blossoms. "The gardens are a perfect place for sipping champagne or Pimms," says events manager Nicky Rooney. "It's a lovely setting where the bride can really enjoy her big moment."

Of course, if fabulous grounds are important to you, another place that's hard to beat is Kew Gardens. Famous for its exotic blooms and impressive conservatories, Kew was also the training ground for our best-known celebrity gardener Alan Titchmarsh.

But whether you're a keen horticulturist or not, you're bound to love the Georgian Drawing Room in Cambridge Cottage that is Kew's wedding venue. From the polished wood floors to the impressive bow windows, the lovely room opens out on to lush gardens with accessible routes into Kew itself. The adjacent Gallery, so named for the beautiful botanical prints that line the walls, has ample room for 80 people seated for the wedding breakfast.

The Cottage venue costs from 2,000 and you could hire the amazing glass Orangery for the reception from 6,000 as well.

When it comes to catering, entertainment, flowers and photography, events co-ordinator Charlie Tauchert told me that Kew has a host of tried and tested suppliers who, although not on site, are so well acquainted with the venue that everything always runs very smoothly.

If you're looking for something a little different Cranleigh Golf and Leisure Club could be an ideal choice. The approach to the club will set any golfing heart a flutter with perfectly manicured greens and sandy bunkers, and at the end of the drive, you'll see a pair of loving Cranes, which are both synonymous with romance and of the area.

The wedding venue is a surprisingly huge 400-year-old barn. The lofty pitched ceiling of the Oak Room soars to some 30ft and it, together with the walls, is lined with chunky wooden beams. "Couples love the barn for winter weddings as flowers, candles and fairy lights can totally transform the room," says assistant manager Paul Bradford. "In summer, guests can enjoy the terraces outside as well."

Hiring of the venue starts from around 2,000 and the Club usually does the catering for around 55 per head. Other outside catering companies are also approved, as are several local florists, bands and entertainment.

Besides the barn and the terraces the photo opportunities are endless within the grounds of the Golf Club - you could even take a buggie to the perfect spot.

Modern brides however, might prefer a quirkier form of transport - a train perhaps? At Denbies Wine Estate, there are two on offer. One train will take you up to the hilltop giving you the rolling vineyards as your photographic backdrop, while the other runs inside on a whistle stop tour of the winery.

The Denbies Suite is used for the wedding ceremony and there's a choice of locations for the reception. The Gallery restaurant, with its views over the vineyards, is ideal for small parties of around 50 but the Conservatory is best for guests of over 100. This is a huge glass atrium, dotted with exotic plants. "The conservatory looks lovely whatever the season," PR Manager Jeanette Simpson. "It is especially pretty at night when our fairy ligh ts mingle with the view of the stars."

Two other spaces are also available for the wedding party. Drinks can be taken in the Garden Room, with its huge Mediterranean mural and adjacent cloistered garden, and for unusual winter weddings you could take over the cellars in the basement with their heady smell of fermenting wines.

To hire Denbies costs from 500 for the gallery restaurant to a maximum of 3,000 for the conservatory. Catering is created by chef Kevin Carter at 31.75 per head, and as this is a winery the wine list is pretty good, not least of which is the best selling Surrey Gold.

So eat your heart out Penny Lancaster and Katy Holmes; Surrey brides have wedding venues to die for right here on our doorstep.

Contact details

  • Hampton Court Palace, East Molesey: 0203 166 6507

  • Loseley Park, Guildford: 01483 302026

  • Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, Richmond: 0208 332 5641

  • Denbies Wine Estate, Dorking: 01306 876616

  • Cranleigh Golf & Leisure Club, Cranleigh: 01483 268855

Originally published in Surrey Life magazine September 2007

Out of this world locations for civil ceremonies are not only reserved for super stars. Surrey brides can chose from several fabulous, year-round wedding venues, much closer to home, as Janet Donin finds out

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