Essex is an absolutely stunning place to get married, and is also one of the most popular, with an incredible 7,283 couples getting married in 2019 in churches and county registry offices, plus over 200 approved wedding venues. And this year, as we emerge from lockdowns and restrictions on gatherings, there will be more couples eager to get married than ever before.
But choosing your venue can be difficult – it’s one of the most important aspects of the special day and sets the essential atmosphere needed for your dream wedding. Guides for Brides, one of the UK’s largest wedding planning websites, has compiled a list of the ten most sought-after wedding venues in Essex, ranging from stunning hotels to grand mansions and rustic barns.
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Scroll down to see which of Essex’s many amazing wedding venues have been crowned the best in the county.
1. Down Hall Hotel
At the top of the list is the Down Hall Hotel in Bishop’s Stortford. This historic country hotel ticks a lot of boxes for couples. It offers breathtaking views, extensive grounds, an elegant exterior, beautiful ceremony and reception rooms, a luxury spa and is conveniently located approximately 15 minutes from the M11. We can certainly understand why so many couples consider this venue for their wedding!
2. This amazing place
This incredible location in Old Harlow is a very popular setting for weddings. The venue features neutrally themed function rooms, beautifully landscaped gardens and offers exclusive use, allowing couples to enjoy the spacious mansion in complete privacy. Plus, with the option to add a marquee, couples have the ability to expand their guest list from 80 to 150! It is a very Instagrammable place, so one can imagine that it is particularly popular with millennial couples.
3. Orsett Hall Hotel
The Orsett Hall Hotel in Grays is popular for many reasons, one of the most desirable features being the pretty chapel on its grounds. This 4-star boutique hotel offers shimmering chandeliers, 12 acres of landscaped gardens, incredible views and space for up to 350 guests for a formal reception. This is a great option for a lavish wedding in Essex!
4. Valentine’s Mansion
Dating back to 1696, the Valentines Mansion in Ilford has over 320 years of history. It is set in extensive grounds and is right next to a lovely boating lake. The best part about this Essex location is that its lovely gardens are manicured all year round, so there’s always a great photo opportunity. For couples wanting to have a taste, this place is open to the public on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, completely free of charge.
5. Blake Room
Blake Hall, located near Chipping Ongar, is the most sought after barn location on this list and for good reason. The beautifully restored 17th century barn has a truly magical feel with its vaulted ceiling and rustic exposed beams and can accommodate up to 150 people for a civil ceremony or 200 for a breakfast and wedding reception. For couples wanting a church ceremony, Bobbingworth Church is a short walk away, located at the end of the aisle.
6. Crondon Park
Crondon Park in Stock is another stunning Essex barn wedding venue, offering a stunning ceremony hall, bar, private garden and bridal suite. It’s easy to see why this location is so desirable; they have thousands of five-star reviews and have won numerous industry awards. The mood lighting really makes this venue so enchanting, while sweeping views of the Essex countryside are perfect for wow guests.
7. The Warren Estate
The Warren Estate offers its immaculate gardens, 18th century barn, terrace, bar and dance floor for the exclusive use of couples getting married in Essex. For sunny spring and summer weddings, their Oak Pavilion is available for outdoor ceremonies and vow renewals. Located in Maldon, this breathtaking Essex venue is ideal for couples wanting a rustic theme and, as the home of Essex golf, is ideal for a quick 9 or 18 hole on the morning of the wedding!
8. Colville Hall
Colville Hall is another beautiful historic Essex wedding barn that makes the list. The gardens at Colville Hall are well maintained and include pretty ponds and gazebos, creating an ethereal ambience. This venue can accommodate up to 150 people and is located in the beautiful village of White Roding. A luxurious bridal suite is available for the happy couple to relax after a night of partying in the site’s heated barn.
9. Wedding Venue Chains
Couples love a tranquil and relaxing setting for their wedding and one venue that fits the bill is Channels in Chelmsford. The barn has a newly refurbished outdoor garden which is the perfect place to serve canapes and reception drinks. Featuring a fountain, a lily pond and an avenue of mature trees, this venue is a particularly beautiful location for summer weddings. Ceremonies can take place in the “roofless church” or in the inner barn, both of which can accommodate 90 people.
10. Smeetham Hall Barn
Smeetham Hall in Sudbury completes the top ten. This charming venue is set in an idyllic location, right in the heart of the Essex countryside. It offers a number of packages and can accommodate up to 250 people. It is therefore ideal for large wedding celebrations. One of the biggest benefits of booking this wedding venue is that couples have access to the barn the day before their wedding, meaning they have plenty of time to make sure everything is absolutely perfect for the big day !