5 Quirky Places to get Hitched
With more and more couples shunning the traditional church wedding – and laws on where you can wed being relaxed – there are more reasons than ever to choose somewhere unusual for your big day. From cinemas to windmills, we round up the most unusual five venues for getting hitched Norfolk-style.
In a Windmill:
Getting married in a windmill – now wouldn’t that make a great story to tell the grandchildren? Well, in Norfolk, this fairytale can become a reality. Cley Windmill in North Norfolk is licensed for weddings and civil ceremonies and offers dining and accommodation in a beautiful setting.
The Sitting Room is the location for an intimate ceremony, after which you can enjoy a glass of Champagne in the Windmill Dining Room or, if the weather is kind, in the beautiful gardens with views of boats on the river and rolling countryside (which had a sort of lilac hue on my stay). After a better view? Climb to the top of the windmill and walk around the summit, ideal for wedding photographs with the sails in the background.
Adjacent to the windmill is a beautiful B&B offering eight bedrooms, including a Bridal suite. There’s also a self-catering cottage next door housing 20 guests. Not too shabby eh?
At a Football Ground:
If your husband-to-be is glued to Match of the Day at weekends, owns a season ticket and is always engineering things so that he can be in the pub to watch key matches, then this wedding venue may be ideal for you (it’s certainly different).
So, get your yellow and green wedding dress out for a ceremony at Norwich City Football Club, catered for by local Chef Delia Smith and delivered by her team Delia’s Canary Catering. With four suites licenced for ceremonies of between 40 and 400 guests, plus a large dining area overlooking the football ground, guests can have their service and reception in one place.
As for photographs, how about at the side of the pitch? Or a group shot in the stands? Or, even, in the changing rooms? It’s all to play for…
In the Earl of Leicester’s House:
Venues don’t get much more beautiful than the home of the Earl of Leicester. This fine Palladian house is surrounded by lush countryside and picture-perfect beaches – forming part of North Norfolk’s Champagne Coast – while the grounds themselves boast a deer park, woodland and a temple.
Licenced for weddings and civil ceremonies, wedding parties to Holkham Hall have a choice of four rooms for the service – the grand Saloon, the Marble Hall, the Statue Gallery and the more intimate North Dining Room – while ceremonies can also take place at the temple, a unique venue surrounded by secluded woodland.
This year will also see the opening of the brand new Lady Elizabeth Wing providing, a modern space for receptions and parties – if the sun due to shine on your big day, why not opt for a marquee in the gardens?
In an English Country Garden:
If you’re confident about the English weather being on your side – and really want to celebrate in outdoors – then Norfolk’s newest wedding venue may just be for you.
The Garden Pavilion in Thursford is a spacious and airy fixed marquee erected in a traditional English Cottage garden. Seating up to 240 guests, this outdoor venue is cleverly landscaped with immaculate lawns, flowered borders and panoramic views. The organisers can make proceedings as simple or as lavish as you like, with the option of adding quirky extras to the day, such as a traditional Carousel or a Gondola for guests to take a little boat ride during the reception.
So, if you’re an English rose about to marry your perfect English gent, look no further than this English Country Garden (if the song of the same name has just popped into your head, please be assured that toilet facilities are included).
At the Flicks:
It might seem like an odd location at first, but think of all the romantic black and white movies that must have played out on screens over all the country since cinemas first opened?
Cinema City isn’t just the Country’s oldest independent art house cinema, but is located in an early 13th century Suckling House; its bar has stained glass windows and vaulted ceilings, while its outdoor terrace – with views out onto the quaint Cathedral Quarter of Norwich – is the ideal spot for photographs.
Why not host your ceremony in one of the projection rooms, your names appearing on the big screen in front of you while a movie of your choice rolls on? You can even arrive by red carpet if the mood takes you or how about your guests throwing popcorn at you instead of confetti? Just make sure you capture it all on film!