Top Wedding Venues in Dorset
1. Highcliffe Castle
Set high on a cliff, amidst a 14 acre park, this Grade 1 listed mansion, situated on the borders of the New Forest offers you the most perfect views across to the Isle of Wight, the island located across the stretches of the Solent. Highcliffe Castle’s architecture bears the description ‘romantic and picturesque’ – and that is exactly what you would want for your perfect wedding day! Highcliffe Castle holds a license for Civil Weddings so where better to hold your ceremony than in the Winter Garden?
There is room here to seat up to 100 guests, followed by an informal champage and canapé interlude in the garden for your guests while you enjoy having your wedding photos taken along the sandy beach. Receptions can be held in the State Dining Room which has the capacity to seat up to 80 guests. The management of Highcliffe Castle would like to extend a welcome invitation to couples who would like to just hold their wedding ceremony at Highcliffe Castle: there are many suitable venues for large receptions to be held close by. Highcliffe Castle is situated just 10 miles from Bournemouth International Airport.
2. Compton Gardens
Elegance and a charming timelessness are connotations that spring to mind when you think of Japanese gardens, and sumptuous sophistication are synonymous with Italian gardens. Where else could you experience both in the same day, other than Compton Gardens? Compton Acres was built early in the 20th century, set amongst 10 glorious acres of the loveliest gardens, retail outlets, restaurants and even a delicatessen! Why not choose to hold your wedding ceremony in the Italian Villa, with its three function suites set over three floors – all of which are served by an integral lift, with full disabled access.
Each of the suites is independently heated and air conditioned, each offering integrated sound system, broadband access and radio microphones. Just think of the opportunities for keeping kids of all ages occupied while adults enjoy the more adult delights of a sumptuous wedding breakfast: put on a kids’ buffet party separately in one of the other rooms and you will be remembered for being the wedding hosts from heaven! You can book individual reception suites or, for the more exclusive wedding party, why not arrange to hire the whole Italian Villa for the day?
Catering is the speciality of the Michelin Star and award winning chef, Tony Beales who, with his catering team, Beales Gourmet, provide a wide range of delectable delights that you can choose for your wedding breakfast and evening buffet. For a top-of-the-range wedding celebration, with a 5-star wedding in mind, there is no better place to enjoy the expertise of such an experienced and highly motivated catering team. Compton Acres would be the perfect location for your 5-star wedding.
3. Bennetts Water Gardens
Close to Dorset’s Jurassic Coast, near to Chickerwell Village, and just 2 miles to Weymouth Harbour, Bennetts Water Gardens lays claim to being one of the very few locations in Britain where you can get married out-of-doors. Hold your wedding ceremony in the Gazebo and gaze over towards the water lily ponds and the Monet-inspired Japanese Bridge. Current laws in the United Kingdom preclude weddings to be held out of doors, except in specific locations, this being one of the very few. For indoor weddings there is The Conservatory and The Tropical House, both of which are elegant and aesthetic venues as well.
Hiring the whole of Bennetts Water Gardens would be perfect for that 5-star wedding celebration, where 250 guests can be catered for within a marquee erected on the Green, overlooking one of the lovely water lily ponds. Why not arrange champagne and canapés for your guests in the Cafe Monet while bride and groom are enjoying their photo shoot: guests can relax and enjoy the panoramic vistas over the lakes and towards the wedding gazebo, ready to tackle the spontaneous delights of the forthcoming wedding breakfast!
4. Merley House
Merley House is an 18th century manor house, just a 2 hour drive from the centre of London, between the towns of Bournemouth, Ferndown, Poole, and Wimborne, with Dorchester and Southampton not much further afield. Whether you choose the Dining Parlour or the Drawing Room for your wedding ceremony you will be delighted by the decor and be enthralled by the impressive fireplaces and charming ceilings. The Old Library is a much larger room, making it the ideal location to hold the wedding breakfast, the evening buffet, and for dancing the night away.
When your hire the whole of Merley House you can be assured of complete privacy, where bride and groom can entertain their guests knowing that all their requirements will be taken care of. Merely House offers full disabled access, plenty of parking, kitchens and even the Old Nursery where you could hire a Play Coordinator to entertain the kids away from the adult activities if you choose. Merley House offers a variety of wedding packages as well as assistance in planning and organising the perfect 5-star wedding event, including all the various services such as flowers and catering, car hire and photography, as well as any other facilities you may wish to include on your special day.
5. Salterns Harbourside Hotel
Sea views, boats bobbing in the breeze, Brownsea Island: all are synonymous with the ethos of Poole Harbour. Salterns Harbourside Hotel is certainly a romantic setting and perfect as a wedding venue. The hotel may be awarded 3 stars, but don’t let that put you off: weddings held here is 5-star quality all the way! Take in the Bridal Suite, overlooking the harbour, with its four-poster bed; the sea views from the windows of the function rooms and raucous cries of the sea gulls that are everywhere: it all adds up to an ethereal aura of bygone jolly-tars and a life on the ocean wave!
The main function room, the Brownsea Suite, has the capacity for up to 120 guests to be seated for your wedding ceremony. There is room for 110 guests to be accommodated at a sit-down wedding breakfast, or room for 160 wedding guests to be catered for at an informal buffet. The VIP Lounge is rather smaller, with room for up to 70 guests to be seated for your wedding ceremony, allowing for up to 50 people to be catered for at a sit-down meal. There is also the Waterside Restaurant that can be hired privately; again, this venue can cater for up to 50 guests seated. The Brownsea Suite has been completely refurbished and, with its private bar, individual air conditioning and direct access to the lawn and the harbour, this makes it the perfect location for you to hold your 5-star wedding – a romantic setting against one of the loveliest harbours in the south of England.
6. The Eastbury
The setting is perfect, the location is perfect, the venue is perfect: The Eastbury really has that extra ‘something’ that can elevate a perfect wedding event into something that can only be described as ‘heavenly’. Set in the middle of Sherborne, an historic town with its own share of romance, The Eastbury prides itself on offering a professional and discreet service, attentive to all their guests’ requirements and sensitive to the romance that invokes memories of that most special of days: your wedding day. Whether you consider the excellence of the food or the charm of the venue as contributing to the best part of your wedding day, The Eastbury has is all – and more!
The Eastbury really is the perfect location for the best quality, 5-star wedding, no matter how exclusive: The Eastbury effortlessly rises to the occasion. The Eastbury is housed in a lovely Georgian building of refined and mellow brickwork, each room contemporary to its surroundings and sumptuously decorated in the most elegant of styles. There are 23 guest bedrooms, as well as the reception rooms.
Catering is handled with the expertise of The Eastbury’s Executive Chef who will arrange the food for your wedding reception with flair and imagination, incorporating local and home grown produce wherever possible. The Eastbury is able to provide you with all the services you need to make a 5-star wedding the perfect event that you had dreamed about. Everything will be planned and taken care of, from the services of the Toast Master to the provision of the cake knife to make that all-important first cut of your cake.
You will be able to choose the Conservatory Restaurant which is situated over two levels, with windows running the full length to capture the light and warmth of the afternoon sun. This room looks out over the walled garden, an acre cultivated with care to produce a traditional-looking English cottage garden. The Conservatory Restaurant is the largest room, able to accommodate up to 90 guests. However, if you would like direct access to these exquisite wall gardens you could choose to hold your wedding ceremony in The Garden Suite, although this room is smaller and can only accommodate up to 40 guests.
For those with a larger wedding party, you don’t have to lose the charm and romance of The Garden Suite: there are interconnecting doors to the Conservatory Restaurant: join the two rooms together and have the best of both rooms! This will provide you with access to a dance floor, bar and sufficient room for up to 120 guests to party the night away. The smallest room of all is the Library. This is kept specially for that more intimate wedding party, catering for just 20 people.
As if The Eastbury doesn’t have enough sumptuous splendour to woo you with its charm, weddings booked for January and February 2011 will be available at a 20% discount off the whole wedding package. Exquisite, sumptuous, elegant, sophisticated – and now with a substantial discount: are there sufficient superlatives to describe the perfect wedding package at The Eastbury?
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