Dorset/Somerset/Gloucs/Oxfordshire venue needed - preferably dry hire

Hi,

I'm newly engaged and new to this forum and just starting the big venue hunt! We're looking at May-Sep 2020 and definitely a Saturday or at a push a Friday in school hols.

We're looking for a venue for around 140 people, with an outdoor ceremony option and lovely indoor spaces for the meal and party (no marquees etc). We would love to have enough on-site accommodation for family at least (if we could have 25+ rooms that would be amazing!). The tricky bit though is we are looking for dry hire if possible (we really want great food, cocktails etc and an open bar without spending a fortune) and a whole weekend would be the dream so we could enjoy it with the family for longer. If we have to use in house caterers and/or bar that might be OK so long as they are flexible and don't charge loads for options within courses, evening food etc.

Ideally we'd have it in Dorset or Somerset, or potentially Oxfordshire though we could go up to Gloucestershire/Wiltshire area too. But we want it to be nearish to a station with a direct train from London (preferably under 2 hours) - we and friends are London-based, but my fiance is originally from the SW and we also have people coming from the Midlands.

Does anyone have any ideas? The best option I've found so far is North Cadbury Court, although it's not cheap even once you charge back rooms to guests! Others I've found are:

Grittleton House

Elmore Court

Clearwell Castle
Notley Abbey
Orchardleigh
Brympton House
Axnoller

 Does anyone have any other ideas or comments on any of these venues? (sorry not sure what's going on with the line spacing there!)

Thanks in advance! :)

 

Posts

  • Hi and congratulations on your engagement! 

    We found ourselves in a similar situation to you and really wanted an exclusive use venue where we felt like we could take over for a couple of days!

    I also looked at Orchardleigh but had had a few friends get married there so had decided against it- it is a stunning venue though.

    Eventually we booked our wedding at Grittleton House. I found Grittleton a pretty unique venue - it just doesn't feel like they roll out wedding after wedding! I did have a wobble about 8 weeks after booking, the team were amazing and answered all of my questions promptly. I have been back twice since and am so very excited about getting married there! 

    Good luck in your search! xxx

    September 2019 Bride
  • MrsTwizbeMrsTwizbe Posts: 3,347 New bride

    I can recommend a new venue called Laurel Farm. They are dry hire but not sure if they are licensed for the actual ceremony. That said they have plenty of space for you to have a symbolic ceremony outside (they have a lovely courtyard where you could get 'married' under a tree)

    It is a farm and they have a barn which you can use for the evening do / cocktails. My friend got married there and had a marque but depending how you do it, they will do the dinner in the barn.

    There is no onsite accommodation as such, but they have a field you can camp in (which is what a lot of people did at her wedding)

    It is really close to Banbury for a train station but is also just off the motorway so easy to get to by car.

    It is a new venue so best to find them via Facebook.

  • Luna2019 wrote (see post):

    Hi and congratulations on your engagement! 

    We found ourselves in a similar situation to you and really wanted an exclusive use venue where we felt like we could take over for a couple of days!

    I also looked at Orchardleigh but had had a few friends get married there so had decided against it- it is a stunning venue though.

    Eventually we booked our wedding at Grittleton House. I found Grittleton a pretty unique venue - it just doesn't feel like they roll out wedding after wedding! I did have a wobble about 8 weeks after booking, the team were amazing and answered all of my questions promptly. I have been back twice since and am so very excited about getting married there! 

    Good luck in your search! xxx

    Thanks for your reply! Good to hear positive things about 2 of the venues. I've emailed Grittleton to see what their weekend dry hire rate is, if they have one, as they sent over prices for a weekend package and a one-day dry hire. When's your wedding? Were there any other similar venues you came across that looked good?

  • MrsTwizbe wrote (see post):

    I can recommend a new venue called Laurel Farm. They are dry hire but not sure if they are licensed for the actual ceremony. That said they have plenty of space for you to have a symbolic ceremony outside (they have a lovely courtyard where you could get 'married' under a tree)

    It is a farm and they have a barn which you can use for the evening do / cocktails. My friend got married there and had a marque but depending how you do it, they will do the dinner in the barn.

    There is no onsite accommodation as such, but they have a field you can camp in (which is what a lot of people did at her wedding)

    It is really close to Banbury for a train station but is also just off the motorway so easy to get to by car.

    It is a new venue so best to find them via Facebook.

    Thank you - I will have a look. It sounds good location wise but I should have said I would like to avoid barns if possible as in my experience they are quite dark and it's a shame in summer to lose the light. Also we will probably need a licenced wedding venue but thank you!

  • We were looking for exactly the same thing, didn't like north Cadbury when we visited as we didn't think the spaces flowed, but would recommend Huntsham Court which is where we've gone for instead :)

  • Autumn18 wrote (see post):

    We were looking for exactly the same thing, didn't like north Cadbury when we visited as we didn't think the spaces flowed, but would recommend Huntsham Court which is where we've gone for instead :)

    Thanks! looks lovely but just a tiny bit too far I think - as we have lots coming from London and the Midlands.

  • Have you looked at Kingscote Barn in tetbury?  It's not your typical barn - it's lovely and light and airy.  Absolutely stunning.  I've photographed at Orchardleigh House Estate and it is absolutely beautiful!  However are they definitely able to accommodate your number of guests in one room?  The reception room that was used when I was there is quite small for large weddings.

    Here are some of the photos from weddings I've shot in both so you can get a fell for a real wedding there:

    Kingscote - https://www.lauragracephotography.co.uk/single-post/2018/10/01/Previews-Kirsty-Scott-Kingscote-Barn

    Orchardleigh - https://www.lauragracephotography.co.uk/single-post/2018/02/11/Wedding-Chloe-JJ-Orchardleigh-House-Estate 

  • Laura Grace wrote (see post):

    Have you looked at Kingscote Barn in tetbury?  It's not your typical barn - it's lovely and light and airy.  Absolutely stunning.  I've photographed at Orchardleigh House Estate and it is absolutely beautiful!  However are they definitely able to accommodate your number of guests in one room?  The reception room that was used when I was there is quite small for large weddings.

    Here are some of the photos from weddings I've shot in both so you can get a fell for a real wedding there:

    Kingscote - https://www.lauragracephotography.co.uk/single-post/2018/10/01/Previews-Kirsty-Scott-Kingscote-Barn

    Orchardleigh - https://www.lauragracephotography.co.uk/single-post/2018/02/11/Wedding-Chloe-JJ-Orchardleigh-House-Estate 

    Thanks - I've emailed Orchardleigh to ask about rooms, and will look at Kingscote too :)

  • Hi,

    Just wondering how you have got on? Have you made any decisions? 
    September 2019 Bride
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