The wedding venue is one of the hardest things to pick for your wedding. How big? How much? How far? So many questions. But the one thing you must remember is that your venue should reflect you and your partner and everything you want from your day.
One venue that is full of character and could easily reflect the quirky yet classic style of any couple of is Chicheley Hall, which is just outside of Milton Keynes. Earlier in April I was lucky enough to spend some of our more pleasant weather at Chicheley Hall and it is definitely one to add to the venue viewing list.
The venue itself has a beautiful tree lined driveway that leads up to the grand house and I don’t know about you but this was always a must have on my wedding venue list. Nestled in 80 acres of stunning grounds, Chicheley Hall is a gorgeous venue for your wedding, or if you are feeling particularly extra, your engagement party. And depending on how extra you are feeling, you could even use some of the TV productions that Chicheley Hall has been used in as a theme? Take your pick from Pride and Prejudice, The Meaning of Life, and Black Beauty and don’t forget to theme your invites and stationary to match.
Ok, enough of the theme obsession, here is my verdict and star ratings on all the key aspects of the venue.
There is a great villagey feel to the location as it offers a nice contrast from the busyness of Milton Keynes and is super close to the M1 and fast-rail links to London Euston, which makes it super easy for guests and suppliers.
The main house can hold up to 80 guests for a civil ceremony and wedding breakfast and up to 150 evening guests - which is pretty perfect for an average sized wedding and also not too big for a smaller more intimate affair. But they do also have a beautifully modern glass building just outside of the venue called the Wolfson suite that can accommodate 100 guests for the civil ceremony and wedding breakfast and 150 evening guests. They can also host up to 600 guests in a marquee on the grounds if required.
The building is a Grade I listed mansion and is regarded one of the finest examples of early 18th Century architecture. Its main hall dates back to the 1700’s and is soaked in art, culture and history. The house itself is full of historical stories that include romances, love stories and even a history linked to monks. So this one absolutely passes the history test.
Style & Grounds ★★★
The hall is stunning and of course style is very subjective, but for me, the outside of the hall was a winner and would make the perfect backdrop for any wedding album, but the inside was a little dated and could potentially in some parts feel a little too conferency for my liking. The grounds are gorgeous and the immediate garden to the back of the house is stunning, as is the lake surrounding the hall. But, if you are looking for picturesque sweeping landscape gardens or secret little areas this one might not be for you.
The venue has 48 bedrooms which is perfect to accommodate the majority of your guests, unless you opt for the 600 guest option then you might need to think up a plan b. The venue also has free, superfast Wi-Fi which makes all your selfie sharing super easy!
Think gastro pub and you will be right on track to how the food was at Chicheley Hall. I really enjoyed the meal we had as it was traditional English with a classy twist. The best bit, it wasn’t a la carte portions, it was real portions fit for people who are actually hungry. However, if you are looking for more of a 5* a la carte experience that makes your wedding about the food I am not sure this would be your best option. However, if you do opt for the bigger marquee you can source your own caterers.
The Aisle ★★
The Aisle was in fact a really lovely sweeping staircase but for me the venue is about the entrance. Bride’s want to feel amazing when they walk down the aisle and have everyone oohing and aahing at their dress. And whilst the staircase was stunning, I am not sure I would have wanted to navigate it with heels, a train, a veil and one arm.
Wedding prices have skyrocketed in the last few years as more and more couples opt for grander and more statement affairs. So I was pleasantly surprised by the costings of Chicheley Hall at £15,499 for exclusive hire of the entire venue including all 48 rooms, a drinks and food package and a master of ceremonies, on a Saturday in peak wedding season. It is by no means the cheapest wedding venue but I do think if you are looking for a grander experience with a more affordable price then this is well worth a view.
You can see more about Chicheley Hall here.