Kent Life Wedding Guide - Perfect Venues
PUBLISHED: 09:32 20 January 2011 | UPDATED: 20:30 20 February 2013
When you marry your own prince in 2011, you'll want a setting as memorable as that chosen by Prince William and his bride-to-be. Kent Life picks 12 of the loveliest...
The Maidens Tower, Leeds Castle
For the ultimate in romance, it doesnt get much better than The Maidens Tower at Leeds Castle. Set on the castle island, surrounded by a moat and 500 acres of parkland, this elegant new wedding venue is entirely self-contained.
The 16th-century stone building, originally a Tudor bake house, has been fully restored and refurbished to create a lavishly romantic wedding venue. The imposing entrance hall with its stone-flagged floor gives way to the Gallery and the Tudor Hall: two large reception rooms with huge fireplaces and polished oak floorboards that can accommodate up to 100 guests for a ceremony, 60 for a wedding breakfast and 100 for reception drinks.
French doors in the Gallery open onto a private walled garden, where guests can enjoy a glass of Champagne on the terrace or a stroll on the lawn.
Upstairs there are five stunning bedrooms, all beautifully decorated in period style, each with ultra-modern en-suite bathrooms and beautiful views over the moat to the golf course and across the estate. If required, there are 20 additional bedrooms available in the castle itself and a further 15 in the Culpeper Garden Suite.
Tel: 01622 767815
Satnav postcode: ME17 1PL
She may be the first commoner to marry an heir presumptive to the throne in 350 years, but Kate Middleton not only has Kent connections through her great-great-great-great-grandfather, but some noble blood too that links her with the county. Thomas Boleyn, 1st Earl of Wiltshire who was born and died at Hever, is Prince William and Kates 14th-generation grandfather and the Boleyn family owned Hever between 1462 and 1538. So if you really want to feel like royalty on your wedding day, make sure you head for Hever.
Tel: 01732 861800
Satnav postcode: TN8 7NG
Westenhanger Castle has catered throughout history for Kings and Queens, so why not continue this prestigious history with your very own day a day to remember?
All-inclusive tailor-made packages typically include exclusive use of the castle, manor house, grounds, marquee and bridal suite. Theres a choice of three-course wedding menus and the marquee seats up to 200 guests and 300 for an evening reception.
Tel: 01303 261068
Satnav postcode: CT21 4HX
This beautiful 13th-century Grade I listed building on a hill overlooking the Romney Marshes is a perfect venue for wedding receptions. For more intimate ceremonies, the West Wing Drawing Room, added in Edwardian times and boasting wood panelling and a stone fireplace, can sit 80 guests.
The wedding Breakfast can also take place in the Great Hall, where part-panelled walls, wooden roof beams and gothic arched windows lend an air of majesty to larger weddings, seating up to 120.
Tel: 01303 261666
Satnav postcode: CT21 4LQ
Chilston Park Hotel
This magnificent country house set in stunning grounds and approached by a sweeping driveway is the ideal venue for your Kentish fairytale wedding. Choose from the Regency or Tudor packages for your ceremony and reception, with capacity up to 90 guests.
Luxuriously furnished with exquisite antiques and hung with fine paintings, Chilston Park is steeped in centuries of tradition and heritage and each of its 53 bedrooms has its own individual character.
Next wedding open days:
16 February and 23 March, 6pm-8pm
Tel: 01622 853334
Satnav postcode: ME17 2BE
This handsome Grade II listed house near Ashford dates from the 17th century and makes a lovely setting for an intimate dinner for close family and friends or a buffet-style wedding breakfast for up to 50 guests in the Jacobean dining room. Individually styled bedrooms include a four-poster bridal room overlooking three acres of gardens.
Tel: 01233 633 772
Satnav postcode: TN24 0LA
Ideal for music lovers, this fine Grade I Georgian manor set in a beautiful garden surrounded by parkland and unspoilt Kentish countryside is well known as a musical museum. The collection of instruments, together with an exhibition of pictures and costumes, is on display during the hours of the wedding and music played on the period instruments is a special feature of your special day.
Tel: 01580 211702
Satnav postcode: TN17 1HH
The Secret Garden
Part of the beautiful Mersham Hatch Estate, The Secret Garden is one of Kents most romantic settings, inside and out. The main coach house can seat 60-70 guests for a three-course meal with an additional 50 guests coming in the evening.
Large double doors open onto the south facing undercover terrace which overlooks a walled Victorian garden partly laid to lawn, where a marquee holding 40 guests is available from May to October. Extensions can be added for larger guest numbers up to 120 for a sit-down meal and a further 50 in the evening.
Tel: 01233 501586
Satnav postcode: TN25 5NH
Boughton Monchelsa Place
This beautiful 16th-century manor house enjoys lovely views over its own deer park and some 15 miles of unspoilt countryside. The house is privately owned and still used as a family home, which helps give a special atmosphere of intimacy.
The vaulted entrance hall, where the marriage ceremonies are performed, can comfortably take 50-60 guests seated, with room for up to 20 more standing. If the weather is fine, the bride and groom can make their vows under the canopy of the Tudor porch, with guests seated or standing on the lawn.
Tel: 01622 743120
Satnav postcode: ME17 4BU
The Spa Hotel
An elegant 18th-century mansion dating back to 1766 and set in 14 acres of picturesque grounds on the edge of Tunbridge Wells, The Spa is an independent family hotel that offers a splendid backdrop for your wedding ceremony.
Whether youre planning an intimate gathering of just 20 of your closest friends and family, or a larger celebration of up to 250 guests, there is a range of beautiful suites to choose from.
Tel: 01892 520331
Satnav postcode: TN4 8XJ
The Knowle Country House
This fine Victorian mansion set in 14 acres of gardens is a perfect choice for those whose tastes incline to the gothic. You can have your wedding ceremony on the premises or in the gazebo within the walled rose garden overlooking orchards. The Garden Room, next to the panelled bar is available as a private dining room or a dancing area for your special party.
Tel: 01474 822262
Satnav postcode: ME3 7HP
Kents brides are becoming more romantic than ever, despite the recession, with wedding bookings up by 25 per cent at Dorton House, the lovely Georgian mansion run by the Royal London Society for the Blind in Seal, near Sevenoaks. The Grade II listed building, set in lovely private grounds, offers a choice of rooms each with its own unique style and atmosphere.
The magnificent Library is dominated by a sweeping oak staircase and can accommodate 120 guests for a celebration meal, while the elegant Thomas Lucas room is licensed for civil ceremonies and lends itself perfectly to the exchange of vows.
Tel: 01732 592511
Satnav postcode: TN15 0EB