Weddings

26 of the Best Cheap Wedding Venues in Essex

A windmill, a theatre and more beautiful barns than you can shake a stick at - all at a great price. You'll want to visit these affordable Essex wedding venues immediately.

Essex Venues

Essex Venues

Planning on getting married in Essex but don't want the high price tag? We’ve found some of the most elegant yet economical wedding venues in Essex that are sure to delight.

There are lots of reasons to throw a budget-friendly wedding. From saving up for the honeymoon to planning an intimate 'do with just close friends and family, we know lots of couples want to have a meaningful and memorable celebration without breaking the bank.

However, in the county that brought us the glitz and glam of TOWIE, you might not expect to find many venues that are full of character and charm but aren't prohibitively expensive. Don’t dismiss Essex, though. Here in this idyllic home county are plenty of breathtaking locations that won't cost a fortune, from windmills and castles to barns and country houses. We've rounded up the top 26 venues that will wow your guests yet are genuinely affordable.

Meet the best bargain wedding venues in Essex.

1. Pontlands Park – Chelmsford

This striking Victorian house and immaculate surrounding gardens are a wonderful backdrop to your wedding day. Pontlands Park offers everything from small informal wedding dinners and afternoon teas to your traditional sit-down celebrations, and has 35 bedrooms on-site. From April to October a wooden marquee is available on the lawns or you can choose one of the smaller rooms inside. Wedding packages start from £59.50pp but you can opt for cheaper evening-only packages or an afternoon tea celebration from £24pp.

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READ MORE: 33 Cheap Wedding Venues Across the UK

2. The Compasses at Pattiswick – Pattiswick 

Bursting with rustic charm, The Compasses is a former gastropub turned exclusive-use venue set among the pretty countryside of the Holfield Estate. Delicious seasonal and local food is still at the heart of what the venue offers, but there’s so much to love. The wedding preparation suite has a four-seat hair and makeup bar, tipis can be set up in the garden for summer soirees, and cosy roaring fires can be lit in the winter. The team strives to remain open and communicative about all prices.

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3. Best Western Rose and Crown Hotel – Colchester

This award-winning venue has a romantic Tudor style that will look stunning in your wedding pictures. It’s steeped in history and warm with character, making it a truly unforgettable place to host your big day. With 39 bedrooms on-site and a special four-poster honeymoon suite included for the happy couple, you and your guests can enjoy a whole day and night celebrating. They have three tiers of packages that range in pricing, as well as a winter wedding offer from £3,999 for 60 guests. 

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4. Rayleigh Windmill – Rayleigh

If you’re having an intimate wedding of 20 guests or fewer, there’s nowhere more atmospheric than Rayleigh Windmill. More than 200 years old, this Grade II-listed building is a truly unique venue, with a wooden beam ceremony room at its heart and a garden outside for memorable photos in front of the windmill. 

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5. Vaulty Manor – Goldhanger

If you’re after an exclusive-use manor house wedding, Vaulty Manor has brilliant wedding package deals. They have a beautifully renovated oak Essex barn where you can hold your ceremony before a wedding breakfast in the Baronial Hall. Normally manor houses are very pricey, but you can have an all-inclusive twilight wedding with 100 guests for £5,480 and an all-inclusive summer wedding package with 60 guests for £7,750.

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6. The Old Parish Rooms – Rayleigh

Originally built in 1863 as a parish hall, The Old Parish Rooms is now a bright and modern wedding venue, able to host up to 75 guests. It’s an unusual venue, bursting with light and renovated with a stylish, modern and characterful interior. With flexible catering options and mid-week packages for couples on a budget, this is a fabulous affordable wedding venue for intimate events.

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7. Smeetham Hall Barn – Sudbury

Set in the picturesque Belchamp countryside, Smeetham Hall is a lovingly converted 16th century barn that is a romantic spot for your wedding. As a working farm, it has 400 acres of land that are ideal for your wedding photos and are licensed for outdoor weddings, too. You can choose a venue-only hire price and there’s no corkage charge. Weekend wedding packages for 60 including your videographer, DJ and sit-down meal starts from £5,655 in 2020.

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8. Colchester Castle – Colchester

You might have thought that a castle wedding would be out of your budget, but that isn’t so at the stunning Colchester Castle. Host your big day among thousands of years of history, with a ceremony in the romantic and peaceful vaulted chapel. Follow with a wedding breakfast for up to 80 guests in the intimate Charles Gray Room. Saturday venue hire starts from under £3,000.

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9. Warley Park Golf Club – Brentwood

Located in the charming village of Little Warley, Warley Park’s all-inclusive packages start from £3,599 with an interest-free payment plan available. This gives you exclusive access to the Wedding Pier and Lakesview Room, which overlook the Essex countryside and three beautiful lakes. You’ll get a three course wedding breakfast, evening buffet, DJ entertainment and more included.

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10. The Barn – Colchester

A Grade II-listed barn with no hire charge? Yes, please! The Barn is a stunning country wedding venue surrounded by gorgeous grounds and landscaped gardens. It has a wonderful rustic feel but still suits a glamorous affair. All-inclusive packages are great value with select dates starting from £3,580 for 60 guests, or you can choose from a list of trusted suppliers.

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READ MORE: 25 Hotel Wedding Venues for Every Budget

11. Prested Hall – Colchester

Affordable Essex Venues

Prested Hall is a gorgeous, 15th-century manor house that epitomises romance and seclusion. Nestled down a leafy drive, this partially moated mansion features 75 acres of manicured parkland, a bridge over the tranquil water, a former chapel that doubles as a get-ready suite, and 14 bedrooms. It has even won "Boutique Wedding Venue of the Year" in the Essex Wedding Awards. With such a luxurious setting and amenities, it might surprise you to learn that this venue is still affordable. Weekday, off-season wedding hire begins at £2,700, and packages remain reasonably priced even on weekends in the high season. 

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12. The Lawn – Rochford

Affordable Essex Venues

Stately and sophisticated, The Lawn offers a quintessentially English setting for your wedding day. The Georgian manor accommodates civil ceremonies in its classic English Garden, where a backdrop of roses and landscaped hedges will accompany your exchange of vows. Afterwards, the Orangery welcomes you for your drinks reception and wedding breakfast. Perhaps best of all, this stunning estate, nestled on 100 acres of private parkland, has unbeatable rates. Winter weddings in 2022 and 2023 begin at £1,495, while Twilight packages start at £3,295. A steal if we've ever seen one!

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13. Muthu Westcliff Hotel – Southend on Sea

Affordable Essex Venues

If an affordable Essex wedding overlooking the sea is what you had in mind, there's no better choice than Muthu Westcliff Hotel. With its beautiful Victorian façade and breathtaking Cliff gardens, this venue offers a truly spectacular setting. Thames Estuary will sparkle in the background as you exchange vows with the love of your life, and 55 luxurious bedrooms will await you and your guests after a night of dining and dancing. With Twilight weddings for just £2,900, you will be able to enjoy a romantic occasion without any of the worry. 

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14. Maidens Barn – Chelmsford

Affordable Essex Venues

Rustic elegance is on full display at Maidens Barn, which dates back to 1804 and has been fully restored to exude a light and airy ambience. Ceremonies and wedding breakfasts are held in the Oak Barn or outside under the flowering arbour, and accommodations, including a Hideaway Honeymoon Cottage, are available for a relaxing stay in the Essex countryside. The venue is family-owned and the team takes a warm and welcoming approach. Their weekday off-season rates begin at £2,600 and peak at £6,000 on Saturdays in the high season. This includes in-house catering made with fresh, local produce. Not too shabby for shabby-chic, we say!

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15. Colville Hall – White Roding

Affordable Essex Venues

Step back in time at this unique wedding venue, a working wheat farm where you will find a number of historic thatched barns clustered around a charming courtyard. Colville Hall has two barns fit for celebrations, meaning you won't have to lose any time flipping a room. The Orchard Barn is licensed for civil ceremonies and features a rustic wood theme, while the Mill Pond Barn is perfect for wedding breakfasts and boasts 30-foot glass doors that overlook the duck pond. Add to this two outdoor gazebos, 10 acres of formal gardens, and venue hire beginning at £2,575, and we're sold.

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16. Ivy Hill Hotel – Ingatestone

Affordable Essex Venues

Draped in ivy on its pristine white exterior, Ivy Hill Hotel couldn't be more picturesque. Operated by Best Western, this former-country-house-turned-hotel is nestled outside of Chelmsford in Ingatestone. It can accommodate up to 160 guests in its functional event rooms and splendid orangery, which provides views of the extensive gardens. For those staying the night, 31 individually-styled rooms are ready and waiting. With room hire that starts at £300 for ceremonies only, this boutique is an undeniable bargain.

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17. Crooked Barn - Lake View, Stanford Rivers

Affordable Essex Venues

Dreaming of an al fresco dining experience under the billowing white canvas of a trapeze marquee? If so, then Crooked Barn - Lake View is the perfect choice. This outdoor wedding venue is run by Marquee Experience, which rents tents for celebrations of all kinds and can custom-build your marquee to hold between 40 and 100 guests. Set on four idyllic acres, the meadow offers a spectacular backdrop for photos and can accommodate loud music for dancing late into the night. With a venue hire of just £2,000, it is an affordable location that you can fully personalise to your preferences.

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18. Colchester Town Hall – Colchester

This Grade I-listed Edwardian building is found at the heart of Colchester, Britain’s oldest recorded town. With backdrops of beautiful stained glass windows, oil paintings and grand interiors, your guests will be ever so impressed by this elegant venue. It has packages to suit every budget, with the Saturday and Bank Holiday Sunday venue hire at £1,995 in 2021, or you can have your ceremony-only here for £650.

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19. Five Lakes Resort – Maldon

Considered one of the top wedding venues in Colchester, Five Lakes Resort has a choice of three ceremony rooms and three banqueting suites for your wedding. They can cater for everything from intimate weddings to Asian weddings of over 2,000! With gorgeous countryside views, a spa, and plenty of accommodation for friends and family, it’s ideal for a beautiful wedding day. Packages start from £60pp including room hire and they have lots of other affordable options.

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20. The Old Rectory – Brentwood

Looking for a midweek wedding? There’s no hire fee on The Old Rectory from Monday to Wednesday all year round, and high season hire starts from £300. There’s a minimum spend of £3,000 for hosting your day here, but that’s still a great deal for an idyllic country home that features a sun-drenched patio, indoor and outdoor ceremony areas and plenty of accommodation.

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READ MORE: 76 of the Most Unique Wedding Venues in the UK

21. Princes Theatre – Clacton on Sea

Princes Theatre is the largest wedding venue in Essex. The theatre is available for exclusive hire and can seat up to 820 in the main auditorium for your ceremony. Don’t worry if your guest list is much smaller than that – it’s great for more intimate weddings too. With a sprung dance floor, a professional stage for your entertainment, a cool backstage to get ready, a real red carpet, fantastic lighting and sound equipment, and additional pyrotechnics, you can make this venue a real showstopper. Weekday ceremony-only hire begins at £195, while hire for your whole day (including a wedding coordinator and theatre technician) starts from £995.

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22. De Rougement Manor – Brentwood

With Italian-inspired gardens and a pool for guests, we can’t think of many places more delightful for a summer wedding than this lovely country hotel. This family-run venue has three stylish wedding suites and can accommodate up to 250 guests. They offer a dry hire option should you want to bring in your own caterers and alcohol, but their in-house chefs can whip up a magical meal. Venue hire during May to September starts from £1,250, but you can get a bargain during the winter when it’s equally lovely.

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READ MORE: The 57 Best Small Wedding Venues in the UK

23. Southend Cliffs Pavilion – Southend on Sea

From either an intimate wedding of 40 in the Admirals Room to a sit-down dinner with more than 600 people in the main auditorium, there’s a beautiful space for every wedding at the Southend Cliffs Pavilion. Overlooking the Thames Estuary, room hire starts from just £450 for both your ceremony and reception. Weekday packages for 50 guests costs £3,850 including your DJ and all your food. What a bargain for those views!

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24. Holiday Inn Basildon – Basildon

Set overlooking a picturesque lake, the Holiday Inn Basildon is licensed for civil weddings under their summer pagoda. With a number of packages and rooms to choose from, wedding packages start from £1,000 and range to £5,500 for the elaborate Elizabeth Suite. You can celebrate into the early hours at their late-licensed bar before retiring to one of their many bedrooms. A toastmaster, DJ and microphone and PA system can also be provided.

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25. The Waterfront – Harwich

The Waterfront is a newly refurbished venue looking out over the sea in Dovercourt Bay. The versatile space can host up to 100 for a sit-down meal in the function venue, Sally’s, which features a unique glass-front exterior for great views and an abundance of light. Hall hire costs £350, with great value food options that’ll suit every kind of wedding theme. You can hire the restaurant’s resident DJ for £300, too, which is a bargain for your evening entertainment.

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26. The Rochford Hotel – Rochford

The Rochford Hotel’s wedding pavilion is a unique setting for a wedding. With church pews to seat your guests, views over their landscaped gardens, and the ability to be transformed into a gorgeous marquee-style reception, it has lots of charming details that make for great photos. Summer weddings are on special offers with a Saturday all-inclusive package only £3,999 for 50 day guests and 80 evening guests. Their Twilight packages start from only £1,500 for 70 guests.

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Pubs are one of the best places to look for cosy venues without a big price tag: here’s our pick of the 21 best pub wedding venues.

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