Tags: Suffolk

Inside Suffolk’s newest venues

07 Jun 2013

Inside Suffolk’s newest venues

We’re so lucky in Suffolk to have some of the most stunning and diverse settings for a wedding. We’ve hunted out the best of the county’s up-and-coming venues, all with their own unique selling point...

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If you’ve yet to book your wedding, and want a venue that’s out of the ordinary, then look no further. We’ve searched from the depths of the west Suffolk countryside to the east coast to find the sort of places that you’ve been dreaming about!

Whether you’re an am-dram enthusiast who wants to tread the boards on your big day or a conscientious bride-to be who’d love to help an animal charity, we have something for you.

If you envisage a venue with character, we’ve found historic properties restored to their former glory.

We’ve even found settings where you can enjoy your wedding night under the stars by going glamping!

If you have a creative mind, then we have details of venues which offer a stunning backdrop for you to decorate and really make your own. Don’t miss our guide to decorating a venue on page XX ¬¬- from vintage chic to a simple, minimalist theme.

Take centre stage on your big day

Theatre Royal, Bury St Edmunds

Picture the scene... You, Cinderella, marrying your Prince Charming on stage in front of an auditorium packed with your friends and family. And it’s not just a dream! Because now you can get married at the Theatre Royal, Bury St Edmunds. Oh yes you can!

You can take centre stage at the regency playhouse, which hosts civil ceremonies, civil partnerships and renewals of vows. The theatre was granted a wedding licence at the end of 2011 and has been holding weddings since the start of this year.

Whether you’re a regular theatre-goer or an am-dram enthusiast, or even if you just want to add a bit of drama to your day, this is the venue for you.

While you take your vows on the stage, your family and friends can watch the ceremony from the auditorium, so you really will be the stars of your very own show.

As the theatre holds a busy calendar of events, it doesn’t offer many dates for weddings, so yours will be a truly unique day. You can even use some of the theatre’s costumes and props – although traditional attire is as equally welcomed!

Afterwards, you can have your reception dinner on the stage or in the theatre’s Greene room. The Greene room can also be used after your meal for you to enjoy coffee and cake while the stage is being set for music in the evening.

Even if you don’t marry at the theatre you can hold your reception here. Also, you can choose just to have your ceremony at the theatre. Prices are competitive, and are based on what each individual wants for their big day.

Although the venue can hold 200 guests for your wedding, the surroundings ensure it is an intimate occasion. The theatre can hold up to 130 people for a reception.

Trusted suppliers can be recommended, but you are also welcome to use your own if you wish.

If you’d like to be in the spotlight for your big day, contact the Theatre Royal for more information. Email weddings@theatreroyal.org or call 01284 829957.

Give something back

Lanwades Park, near Newmarket

Imagine your wedding day held in a Tudor-style manor house which is full of character and offers beautiful gardens. Now imagine all the animals you can help by choosing this venue for your big day!

Lanwades Park, which is just outside Newmarket, is the perfect place to book for conscientious brides-to-be.

The park, which is home to the Animal Health Trust, began to offer the stunning Lanwades Hall as a wedding venue this year. Any profits made from weddings held there go back to the charity, which aims to help reduce suffering for animals in the UK and around the world.

So by marrying in this gorgeous location, you’ll also be helping to improve the lives of dogs, cats and horses. And, by arrangement, you can also take your own pets along for your big day!

After arriving at Lanwades Hall via a sweeping, tree-lined driveway, you can marry in one of four licensed rooms. Your seated wedding breakfast for 60 people or buffet reception for 150 people can be held inside the hall. Then you can enjoy champagne and canapes in the gorgeous sunken garden, or even hold your evening reception there. It can hold 150 people. Alternatively, a marquee can be accommodated on the lawn if you’d prefer.

The venue can also offer a wedding reception if you’re marrying at one of the several churches which are nearby.

Hire of the venue costs £3,750 in 2013 and £4,250 in 2014. The price covers use of the hall for three days – the day before the wedding, the wedding day itself and the day after, so you’ll have plenty of time to set up beforehand and collect your decorations afterwards. Also, the hall will be private and exclusive to you for that time.

The venue is flexible in that it can offer recommended suppliers, but you can use your own if you’d prefer.

Would you like to marry in this stunning venue, and help the Animal Health Trust at the same time? Get in touch with Lanwades Park for further details. Visit www.lanwadespark.co.uk, email weddings@lanwadespark.co.uk or call 01638 555620.

A chilled out celebration!

Kenton Hall Estate, near Debenham

If you’re more of a laidback bride than a bridezilla, the relaxed atmosphere of the Kenton Hall Estate might just tick of all your boxes.

Travelling along a tree-lined avenue by grazing Longthorn cattle, you’ll get a glimpse of the picturesque Tudor hall, which dates back to around the 1200s.

In the beautiful grounds of the double moated property is a fully furnished marquee, which can be reached by footbridge. The marquee, which can hold wedding blessings and receptions with capacity for up to 200 people, is complete with carpeted flooring, chandelier lighting and uplighters, tables and chairs and a dancefloor.

There are lots of beauty spots for you to pose in for photographs, particularly the formal and rose gardens plus the Thai breeze house in the grounds.

Afterwards, you can enjoy your wedding night under the stars by going glamping, the estate’s other speciality! Glamping is the more luxurious way to go camping, which at Kenton Hall Estate includes sleeping in a king-size bed and having your own shower room. There are two glamping choices at the venue ¬- the Yurt and the Shepherd’s Hut, which are both based in a woodland setting.

You’ll be helped in the booking and planning of your reception by a member of the events team. As the venue only offers eight events per season, between the months of April and September, the grounds would be private and exclusive to you.

Prices start at £3,750 for a wedding reception booked for 2013. At an extra cost, the venue can also arrange fitted chair covers, a secure cloakroom, bridal lounge and a full wedding planning service plus glamping accommodation.

So if you’d like a chilled out wedding party, the Kenton Hall Estate could be the venue for you. For more information, visit the website at www.kentonhallestate.co.uk , email info@kentonhallestate.co.uk or call 01728 862062.

Coastal retreat

12 Lost Churches, Dunwich

Would you like to celebrate your marriage near the beach plus some of the county’s most beautiful countryside? Then the 12 Lost Churches in Dunwich could be the wedding reception venue for you.

Nestled between the National Trust-protected Dunwich Heath and RSPB Minsmere nature reserve is the tranquil Cliff House Holiday Park. Situated in the cliff-top park is the 12 Lost Churches, a modern building with character which offers a bar, restaurant and function and wedding suite.

The venue, which is named after the 12 churches which were lost to the sea in the area during the 12th and 13th centuries, opened two years ago and already has experience of wedding parties.

Here, you can have a seated wedding breakfast for 100 people, plus there’s room to invite a further 150 people for an evening reception.

You and your guests will also have the option to stay afterwards as the holiday park offers eight self-catering properties, consisting of cottages, apartments and suites, to rent for short breaks all year round. There’s also a glamping option between April and October! Plus standard camping pitches are also available.

The venue can give you advice on all aspects of your wedding reception, from flowers to decorations.

It can also offer the help of a wedding coordinator to help you organise your day from the time of booking until the day you leave.

Menus are changed seasonally and can be designed by the head chef with your budget in mind.

Would you like a modern wedding reception venue with tranquil surroundings? If so, contact the 12 Lost Churches for more details. Visit the website at www.cliffhouseholidays.co.uk, email info@cliffhouseholidays.co.uk or call 01728 648986.

Make it your own

The Granary Estates, near Newmarket

How do you envisage your wedding? Are you a creative person who’d like to showcase your style by decorating your wedding venue yourself? Then the Granary Estates could be for you. The family estate, in the countryside on the Suffolk/Cambridgeshire border, encompasses the Granary Barns and Dullingham Polo Club.

At the Granary Barns, you can hold your civil ceremony under a romantic pergola, a new addition which will be ready for spring 2013, or in the smaller barn, which can hold up to 50 people.

The barns are set on a lawn surrounded by trees, so there are lots of photo opportunities to be had.

Both barns host wedding receptions – the smaller offering a more intimate setting while the larger has capacity for 200 people plus space for a dance floor.

The historic barns, both clad in flint work and inside displaying their original timbers, are blank canvases just waiting for you to personalise them.

For some more ideas on how to decorate a wedding venue and make it your own, see see our guide on page XX. We think the minimalist theme would work really well with the Granary Barns.

The Polo Club, which is set in 32 acres of land, is also an ideal spot in which to hold a wedding reception. There’s plenty of space for a large, traditional marquee or even a round, Morrocan-style tent. Or perhaps your guests could sit around on straw bales while enjoying a hog roast. The choice is yours.

If you’d like some help from the venue then it can recommend some trusted suppliers, a list of which is provided on their website.

Prices at the Granary Estates start at £4,500 for a wedding reception. It is currently running a special offer, giving 10 per cent off any midweek wedding booked for 2013.

Want the Granary Barns or Dullingham Polo Club to be the stunning backdrop for your wedding?

Visit the website at www.thegranaryestates.co.uk, email info@thegranaryestates.co.uk or call 01638 508062 for more information.

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