Whether you’re looking for an elegant stately home, historic castle or a rustic barn, there’s a huge variety of wedding venues in Essex, which makes it the perfect location to host your big day.
With gorgeous quaint historic market towns, a stunning coastline – including the world’s longest pleasure pier in Southend-on-Sea – and beautiful countryside and forests, Essex is a great location for your wedding.
Image: Wivenhoe House
What’s more, there’s lots to see and do for guests, it’s only a short drive from London and is easy to reach from abroad thanks to Stansted Airport.
If you’re searching for the perfect wedding venue in Essex, we’ve rounded-up our favourite spots, including some quirky choices which we think you’ll love.
Here are our top 24 wedding venues in Essex.
READ MORE: How To Choose Your Wedding Venue
Hedingham Castle, Halstead
This 900-year-old castle is brimming with history, majesty and romance. Say “I do” in Hedingham Castle’s grand banqueting hall, before posing for photos on Henry VII’s Tudor Bridge and dancing the night away in their marquee, which features its own concealed dance floor and private bar. The happy couple can retire for the night to the peaceful Garden Cottage, set within its own private orchard. With 160 acres of tree-lined estate, Hedingham Castle is the ideal choice of wedding venue in Essex for privacy and for an unforgettable, picturesque day.
Blake Hall, Ongar
Within the grounds of Blake Hall sit two idyllic 17th century barns, perfect for anyone wanting a rustic barn or outdoor wedding. You can marry inside the newly restored Hay Barn or outside under the canopy of the Saddlery before joining your guests for a delicious wedding breakfast inside the airy barns, gorgeously dressed with fairylights and bunting.
Boreham House, Chelmsford
What better way to approach your wedding venue than sweeping up Boreham House’s tree-lined avenue to their stunning formal lake with the Grade I-listed mansion in the background. Able to host more than 400 guests, Boreham House is a fabulous choice for large capacity weddings and the venue has an established reputation for throwing impressive multi-cultural weddings. With the motto “everything is possible”, this is the wedding venue for you in Essex if you’re looking for something out-of-the-ordinary with every detail taken care of.
READ MORE: 24 Regal Wedding Venues Fit For Royalty
West Street Vineyard, Colchester
Didn’t expect to find a boutique vineyard in Essex? You can marry in a gazebo set amongst the vines at West Street Vineyard in rural Essex or in their indoor ceremony room with a terrace that overlooks the vines and the Blackwater Valley beyond. This is great for more relaxed wedding ceremony, with a BBQ or buffet on offer for larger groups and anything down to a charming vintage-inspired afternoon tea for smaller groups. If you want to be among nature or love wine, then this wedding venue is ideal. Naturally there’s an excellent choice of wine on offer and delicious locally-sourced food. Another big plus: pets are welcome.
Braxted Park, Witham
Set within thoudsands of acres of grounds and parkland, Braxted Park will make an instant impression. There’s a big choice of ceremony rooms, from the Roman décor-inspired Orangery to the idyllic Lower Walled Knott Garden if you want to say “I do” al fresco, and even a church on the estate. Whether you want contemporary or grand and historic, Braxted Park manor house can accommodate you. No need to worry about nearby accommodation either – you can relax and unwind in their romantic Honeymoon Cottage, while family and friends can sleep in their 12 ensuite bedrooms.
Creeksea Place, Burnham-on-Crouch
Think fairytale wedding, think Creeksea Place. This Tudor mansion has six locations to marry: from their elegant Panelled room to an outdoor wedding in their orchard, and new for 2018, you can even marry on a beautiful floating gazebo in their lake. Crammed with perfect spots for your wedding photos, the house is also beautifully illuminated at night with spotlights and candles, creating an enchanting atmosphere and a whole new look as the sun goes down.
Down Hall, Bishops Stortford
Down Hall Hotel and Spa are all about the details: from a delicious wedding breakfast using ingredients grown in their own vegetable garden to a resident Toast Master to ensure your day runs smoothly, every aspect is personal and special. If you’re hosting a large wedding, the hotel has 99 beautifully appointed rooms to choose from - many with panoramic views of the gardens - and a newly renovated bridal suite. Naturally there’s also an on-site spa so you can enter your big day as relaxed as possible.
READ MORE: Brides Reveal Their Top 10 Wedding Worries
If you want an impressive setting for your wedding but with an intimate feel, look no further than Fennes. Set within 100 acres of immaculate grounds, the manor house and gardens are the perfect romantic backdrop to your big day and your all-important wedding photos. The opulent banqueting hall can hold up to 500 guests under a starlit ceiling, but you can also opt for a smaller ceremony room in the house or their outdoor gazebo for more intimate weddings. One happy bride praised its “Pride and Prejudice feel” – is there anything more romantic?
Gaynes Park, Epping
With sweeping views over the London skyline, Gaynes Park is just a speedy 10 minutes from the M25 but you couldn’t feel further from the hustle and bustle of the city. The elegant and stylish Essex barn wedding venue is set within a peaceful private estate, offering various ceremony and reception locations filled with natural light and unrestricted access to their beautiful gardens. Whether you’re looking for a relaxed BBQ and hog roast or a fine dining experience for your wedding breakfast, their in-house event planners and caterers will make sure your day goes perfectly and exactly as you want.
Gosfield Hall, Gosfield
Formerly a royal residence, this august manor house oozes elegance and refinement. For a truly regal choice of wedding venue in Essex, Gosfield Hall is unrivalled. If you’ve got a princess-worthy wedding dress too, then the 120ft aisle in Queen Charlotte’s oak panelled Long Gallery is perfect for you (and that's before you see the bridal suite!). Ideal for a wedding during all seasons, Gosfield Hall really is a special choice for your big day.
Le Talbooth, Colchester
For an unique and unforgettable wedding, you can have your ceremony at the luxurious Maison Talbooth just a short drive away and move to the idyllic riverside spot of Le Talbooth for your reception. The happy couple can even choose to arrive by boat along the picture perfect River Stour. Le Talbooth’s marquee is a fabulous place to host afternoon drinks while their restaurant offers bespoke and delicious menus to make every aspect of your day as perfect as your surroundings. Leave your wedding in the safe hands of the dedicated events team at Le Talbooth.
READ MORE: The UK's Most Unusual and Unique Wedding Venues
Leez Priory, Chelmsford
This stunning Tudor mansion in Chelmsford makes the perfect backdrop for wedding photos. With five separate areas licensed for weddings, you can take your pick at Leez Priory from among their 40 acres of parkland to within the Great Tower. The croquet lawn and inner courtyard are perfect for summer weddings, while you can warm up by their open log fires in winter. With 25 years’ experience of hosting weddings behind them, Leez Priory is an excellent choice for your wedding venue in Essex.
Prested Hall, Colchester
Stunning settings for your wedding photos are plentiful at Prested Hall, from their charming gazebo to the bridge propped over the manor house’s moat. Choose from either a summer outdoor marquee or one of three indoor reception areas: the Garden Room, a former 1930s ballroom; the Oak Room, with its magnificent fireplace and stained-glass windows perfect for a winter wedding; and the elegant Orangery, an ideal summer wedding venue with views across their extensive parklands. Newlyweds mustn’t miss The Dingle, a former chapel near the orchard that’s now a beautiful bridal suite.
Princes Theatre, Clacton-on-Sea
Want theatrics, drama and good fun on your wedding day? Located in Clacton-on-Sea’s town hall, Princes Theatre is a unique venue that has offers everything you’d expect from a working auditorium: a huge stage, sprung dance floor, and the options for a red carpet, indoor fireworks, confetti cannons and streamers (tailored to your colour scheme, of course). Able to hold up to 1,000 guests for an evening reception, this is a statement landmark venue that a wedding no one will ever forget.
That Amazing Place, Churchgate Street
They kind of say it all in the name! Stylish, opulent and contemporary, the Grade-II listed house is a perfect setting for your wedding and reception, and you have exclusive use of it for 24 hours so you can dress it up exactly as you want. That Amazing Place have thought of everything, with pre-wedding pampering available in their fantastic beauty salon and a luxurious bridal cottage and 13 guest rooms so guests can enjoy themselves in the evening without having to worry about transport home. Did we mention the beautiful lake and grounds too?
READ MORE: The Ultimate Guide To Planning a Wedding For £25,000
The Barn, Colchester
After a charming rustic wedding venue in Essex? The Barn is a great romantic wedding venue choice for couples who want a stylish yet relaxed big day. You’ll get a dedicated wedding planner from the start to ensure that everything runs smoothly on your big day, from your ceremony to drinks in the courtyard to a tailored wedding breakfast so your day is worry-free and unique to you. This barn is full of gorgeous finishing touches to delight your guests and help you capture those perfect photos.
The Lawn, Rochford
The sweeping staircase in The Lawn’s galleried Grand Hall is the perfect place to capture your once in a lifetime entrance and show off that bridal gown to full effect. Afterwards, you can enjoy the beautiful surroundings of The Lawn’s Orangery as you move from day to night, with the landscaped gardens and floodlit fountain illuminated as night draws in. This Georgian manor house has been hosting weddings for 25 years so your day is in safe hands. If you want to make even more of an entrance, there’s a helipad so perhaps the groom can take the chopper while the bride steals the staircase.
The Roslin Beach Hotel, Thorpe Bay
Offering spectacular panoramic views over Thorpe Bay - one of the most beautiful beaches in Essex - weddings at the Roslin are all about lasting memories. The Roslin prides itself on a personalised service that makes your wish list a reality, whether it’s elaborate floral displays from their in-house creative floral design team to their award-winning chefs. The best bit is that all your guests can stay over so the dancing can go on late into the night.
READ MORE: How To Plan The Order of a Traditional Wedding Ceremony
Cressing Barns, Braintree
This cluster of medieval barns is the very definition of rustic charm. If your Pinterest board is full of DIY centrepieces, hessian and fresh flower, then Cressing Barns could be your ideal venue. Picture a warm summer day, guests playing outdoor games on the lawn, and a relaxed BBQ for dinner. Intimate weddings can take place in their beautiful Walled Garden, while the barns can fit up to 300 people.
The Old Parish Rooms, Rayleigh
Formerly a parish hall and school house, The Old Parish Rooms is an unusual and intimate venue that’s ideal for smaller weddings. With a bright modern look inside, this space is almost a blank canvas to dress up to your theme, and would really suit an alternative couple looking for something quirky. We love the lightbulb installation above the stairs and huge windows which flood the room with light.
Wivenhoe House, Colchester
Effortlessly elegant and utterly romantic, Grade II-listed country house hotel Wivenhoe House is a stunning wedding venue choice just outside the Essex town of Colchester. Their dedicated wedding team offer excellent value winter wedding packages, and a new garden gazebo is perfect for summer ceremonies if you want to enjoy the beautiful gardens. Inside there’s a huge choice of rooms to hold your ceremony and, if on-site accommodation is a big draw for you, there’s also 40 bedrooms so guests can relax and enjoy the whole day.
READ MORE: Should You Have a Child-Free Wedding?
The Compasses at Pattiswick, Pattiswick
A former award-winning gastropub, The Compasses has kept that country-pub charm and focus on the finest, locally-sourced food. Whether it’s bangers and mash or a gourmet tasting menu, their chefs can make a wedding breakfast completely personal to you. Set in the rolling countryside of the Holfield Estate, The Compasses is now a beautiful year-round wedding venue. Pitch teepees in the garden in summer or warm yourselves by roaring log fires in winter and watch guests relax and have fun. If a formal stately home wedding isn’t your thing, The Compasses might just be.
Layer Marney Tower, Colchester
The first glimpse of Layer Marney Tower is an unforgettable one. This breathtaking Tudor building is an incredible backdrop to your wedding photos and each room inside is full of character and atmosphere. If you love the idea of a formal reception, hire harpists or a string trio to add to the ambiance of the location. Outside you and your guests can sip champagne where Henry VIII and Elizabeth I once strolled, and if that wasn’t enough, each couple get use of the Tower’s 1931 chauffeur driven Rolls Royce to arrive and depart in style.
Royal Corinthian Yacht Club, Burnham-on-Sea
Brimming with history, famous for its stunning architecture, and offering commanding panoramic views of the river at Burnham from the huge balcony, the Royal Corinthian Yacht Club is a fantastic choice for couples wanting a party to remember. Brilliant as a winter wedding venue, it comes into its own in summer when the doors of the dining room are thrown open and the river provides a perfect backdrop to your wedding breakfast and photography. With a reputation for excellent food and friendly staff, this unusual venue might be the choice for you.
If you've been inspired by these Essex venues, then check out our favourite stately home wedding venues and outdoor wedding ceremony venues, perfect for spring and summer.