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On since 2022

Last update: November 2023

Downing College is a historic wedding venue set within 20 acres of stunning lawns and trees just half a mile from Cambridge's enchanting centre in Cambridgeshire. A beautiful setting for a wonderful wedding celebration, the 19th-century building, boasts elegant style and spectacular surroundings in a convenient central location. Embraced by a neo-classical style, you can enjoy ample flexibility and beauty, whether you seek a grand occasion or a more intimate event.

Facilities and Capacity

Downing College offers a fantastic selection of versatile function rooms licensed to hold civil ceremonies. The Howard Building can hold up to 120 guests, while the West Lodge is ideal for smaller weddings with 40 guests. The college offers a choice of dining locations for your wedding breakfast, from the classic College Hall to the West Lodge. Meanwhile, the idyllic college lawns and gardens provide a delightful spot for a relaxed drinks reception in the warmer summer months. Moreover, they feature a wealth of stunning backdrops for those all-important wedding photos. For weekend weddings or overnight stays, the venue also provides some of the finest accommodation in Cambridge, including a range of ensuite rooms to suit a variety of budgets. The College and its facilities are available throughout the summer months of July and August. Please note Downing only hosts weddings for College alumni, Fellows, current members and staff.

Downing College is now fully booked for 2024 but we would be delighted to speak with you about your wedding plans for 2025 and beyond.

Services Offered

At Downing College, you can enjoy the dedicated services of a personal wedding coordinator, who will guide you through your plans with a friendly, professional approach. Under their care, you can make the most of the venue's signature wedding package, which can be tailored to suit smaller weddings if required. Features include:

  • Exclusive hire
  • Sparkling Wine and soft drinks on arrival
  • A four-course wedding breakfast
  • Coffee and petit fours
  • Champagne for the toast
  • A wedding cake stand and knife
  • An overnight stay in the superior guest room
  • Complimentary Parking (subject to availability)
  • A croquet garden game set

Frequently asked questions

Venue type:

In the city

Ceremony options:

Civil ceremony licence

Dining options:

Seated meal facilities
Alcohol licence
Buffet meal facilities
In-house catering

Evening entertainment:

Dance floor
Entertainment licence
Live band facilities
Evening reception facilities
DJ facilities

Overnight accommodation:

Overnight accommodation for wedding couple
Overnight accommodation for guests

Venue staff assistance:

Wedding coordinator

Other features:

Exclusive use
Accessible facilities
Car parking
Confetti permitted
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Reviews for Downing College

5.0 out of 5 rating
5.0 out of 5 rating
6 reviews
100% recommend it
  • Quality of the service
    5 out of 5 rating
  • Response time
    5 out of 5 rating
  • Professionalism
    5 out of 5 rating
  • Value for money
    5 out of 5 rating
  • Flexibility
    5 out of 5 rating
Abigail D. Sent on 26/07/2022
5 out of 5 rating

Wonderful day

We had an absolutely magical day - thank you so much to the Downing team for making it so special!
John Sent on 03/07/2017
5 out of 5 rating

A little hidden Jem

You have just organised the wedding of my son, Buster to Santina (Barresi). It was a truly wonderful event with excellent food and very good overnight accommodation. The College and its facilities are of course exceptional - enhanced by a day of fine weather.
What really made the whole event extra special was the staff. This included everyone we came into contact from domestic staff to the porters and everyone connected with the catering. Well done and thank you to everyone for making a special day that bit more memorable.
Sam Sent on 08/09/2016
5 out of 5 rating
We had the most perfect wedding day at Downing! All your wonderful organisation paid off fabulously. The venue looked stunning, the food was exquisite - please do thank and compliment your chef most warmly from us - the serving staff were attentive but not intrusive, and you personally co-ordinated all the different elements superbly. Our overnight guests enjoyed their lovely rooms and great breakfasts in that impressive hall, and both they and our day guests felt looked after by you and the porters wonderfully and were able to find their way around the site comfortably and happily in all respects. We have had so many positive comments from our guests who were all blown away by every detail of the day. When we receive our invoice we know we will feel every penny was very well spent.

Thank you too for handling Madeleine Bradley's lateness efficiently but with a light hand so we were not too alarmed during our important preparation phase. That allowed us to retain our cool and remain relaxed and happy, which was so important to the atmosphere of the whole day. And finally, thank you for staying long enough to see us sorted before you set off on your holiday. We really appreciated that and hope you have had a well deserved break.

Many, many thanks for all you did. It was a truly unforgettable, magical day.
Holly Sent on 08/09/2016
5 out of 5 rating

An Absolutely Fantastic Day

Downing provided an absolutely fantastic day! They had a high attention to detail, throughout the months of planning beforehand and on the day itself. We were very impressed at their speed when replying to emails to every question we had and they were very happy to fulfil all our requests. They also took charge of coordinating the other suppliers (flowers, cake, evening entertainment and photographer) so that we did not have to deal with them at all on the day.
The food was delicious and they catered to everyone’s dietary needs including gluten free, garlic allergies and even noticed on the day that one of the guests was pregnant and offered an alcohol free alternative to the sorbet course and to also cook her duck well done.
The grounds at Downing are stunning and provided a beautiful back drop to photos. Guests also enjoyed exploring the vast grounds in small groups whilst the band were setting up in the evening. In general, all guests expressed how much they enjoyed their day at Downing, especially those that chose to stay the nights around the wedding. Thank you to everyone at Downing who made the day so amazing!
Nevin Sent on 16/08/2016
5 out of 5 rating

What a Weekend!

Just a quick note before we board the plane to say a massive THANK YOU to you and everyone at Downing for a truly perfect wedding weekend. We had the best time, felt so supported and relaxed throughout the whole wedding and couldn't have asked for a better experience. We know that is all down to your hard work in the months, weeks and days leading up to Saturday, as well as on the day itself. All of our guests had so much fun and were so impressed by the college, staff and the food. The food was incredible!! Please pass on our deepest thanks to Mike. Also Lorna was an absolute rockstar, she made the evening run so smoothly and her team were great.
Linda Sent on 21/06/2016
5 out of 5 rating

Perfect Civil Ceremony at Downing College

I'm mailing to thank you very much for coordinating my daughter's wedding service and drinks reception at Downing College last Saturday, 30th April.

Thank you for your patience and composure when the Registrar arrived late and for every aspect of the event, which we all thoroughly enjoyed. Please thank your staff on our behalf for their precise timings and professionalism. The service, drinks, canapés and photo opportunities were perfect.

The bride and groom, Catherine and Max, are former students of the college and your attention to detail ensured they had an ideal wedding in the college where they first met.
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Regent Street CB2 1DQ Cambridge (Cambridgeshire)
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