Essex comes with a mixture of serene coastlines and thriving countryside – so why not make the most of the outdoors with an alfresco wedding? Whether you want to be at one with Mother Nature while you say your vows, or you’re hoping for a country garden tea party in the sunshine (fingers crossed!), Bridebook.co.uk have got your back.
While we’ve put together a list of our favourite outside wedding venues in Essex, they may not all be to your taste! If so, head over to our Essex Wedding Venue Search and click ‘Outdoor’ in venue types. Best of luck!
1. Gaynes Park
Wonderful Gaynes Park in the Epping area has a gorgeous country feel, with a homely barn and a spacious walled garden for a quaint drinks reception. Perhaps you’d like to say ‘I Do’ in the open-sided Gather Barn or, if the weather takes a turn for the worst, the magnificent glass Orangery is the next closest thing to an outdoor wedding in Essex!
A 19th Century barn in 13 acres of secluded countryside could be the one for you! Not to mention the stunning Courtyard Gazebo setting… a firm favourite of all marquee wedding venues in Essex. If you’re into scenic views, you’ll want to take a look at our top picks of wedding venues in the UK with stunning views!
3. Downham Hall
This family-run, exclusive-use wedding location is situated just a few miles from the Essex ‘capital’ Chelmsford. Downham Hall epitomises grandeur and sophistication while featuring historic interiors and, most importantly, spacious gardens that will be perfect for an alfresco ceremony and a luxurious marquee set up.
This converted Manor House dates back to Georgian times and boasts 6 acres of lush grounds and countryside views. And once you’ve explored the outdoors, you can enjoy Stifford Hall Hotel’s Garden Suite with its very own patio and private garden area.
West Essex brings the delight that is The Barns at Lodge Farm. Aside from a choice of 4 wonderfully renovated barn wedding settings, it is described as a ‘rural oasis just a stone’s throw away from the big city’, and we would 100% agree! Glorious outdoor spaces and meadows galore.
What if we told you there’s a gorgeous gazebo wedding venue in Essex with a Georgian country house as a backdrop? Hatfield Place is the perfect place for a luxury marquee draped with chiffon, nestled within 15 acres of riverside parkland in the centre of the county. It would be hard not to resist!
7. Moor Hall
Picture yourself walking down the aisle in a pretty country garden – a very memorable ceremony, right? Moor Hall offers just that, plus it’s an Essex marquee wedding venue too – where you can dine semi-alfresco beside wonderful woodland walks and awe-inspiring trees. Just amazing.
History lovers unite! With three Grade I listed barns, a Tudor walled garden and the Temple dating back to the 1100’s, Cressing Temple Barns is sure to be a hit. There’s also a rustic outside area that is ideal for an intimate ceremony if you’re looking for something a little more low-key.
Near the Hertfordshire border stands Down Hall Hotel & Spa, an exquisite outdoor wedding venue in Essex where historic elegance and luxurious charm meet. Offering panoramic views over the gardens and beautiful countryside backdrops, this would be the most classy choice for a stylish lawn ceremony and marquee reception.
Make your outdoor ceremony be one to remember at Gosfield Hall, where the carriageway in front of the house makes the perfect ceremony aisle on a sunny occasion. This stunning Georgian manor house overlooks the glistening Gosfield Lake and the grounds are exclusively yours for the duration of your stay.
Ingatestone is home to the fantastic Greenwoods Hotel & Spa, boasting their exclusive Garden Suite which is set in the ground’s beautiful gardens and is able to 200 seated guests and 300 evening guests for a rustic-style ceremony. Landscaped gardens and open-fires make this alfresco wedding venue in Essex an idyllic setting.
12. Hedingham Castle
160-acres of formal garden, woods and lakes make a wedding at Hedingham Castle a majestic and captivating one. Outdoor receptions in the venue’s permanent marquee and the sheer magnificence of this 900 year-old Norman Keep’s aesthetics make this an outdoor wedding opportunity not to be missed!
Houchins are extremely well prepped for an outdoor ceremony, ever-ready to display their dainty, elegant gardens and outdoor marquee. Their delightful set up ensures a perfect blend of indoor grandeur and outdoor chic on a suitable day with beautiful, naturalistic ceremony possibilities.
14. Leez Priory
Seven licensed settings are available to choose from at Leez Priory, Chelmsford, including beneath the outdoor carriageway – set in 40 acres of lawns, lakes and more. The amazing grounds and Great Tudor Tower make for stunning backdrops to any ceremony or photo shoot.
15. Maidens Barn
Fancy being wed in a garden, underneath a heavenly, flowering wedding arbour? Maidens Barn might be the place for you! A rustic outdoor setup combined with simple, tasteful decor is a great way to make your guests (and selves!) feel comfortable and content for your big day. Even if you get married in the Oak Barn, plenty of french doors enable you to let the outside in.
16. Prested Hall
75 acres of stunning parkland call Prested Hall home – peaceful waters and pristine lawns are a must for a bride and groom’s wedding photography. A romantic ceremony setting can be provided inside their spacious gazebo, at the end of a timbered bridge on the grounds.
This working farm has a historic and rustic feel to it and boasts great outdoor reception spaces, including a green that sits alongside waterside views. Smeetham Hall Barn is also pet-friendly, ideal for those of you that can’t imagine being without the family dog on such a special day!
Located in Romford, and with easy access to the city, Stapleford Abbotts Golf Club offers plentiful outdoor space, golf course views and greenery. Golf lover or not, this splendid setting will certainly bring the fresh air into your marriage.
Not only does That Amazing Place have an extremely unique name, this country house is also unique in that it offers exclusive hire of the venue and it’s stunning grounds. Ceremonies are held outside in a homely wooden gazebo, with views to a small lake.
A lovingly restored 16th Century timber barn is the main feature here at The Barn Colchester, however there is plenty to explore outside including tying the knot next to rustic thatched outbuildings. If you can’t stop dreaming about a barn wedding, take a look at some of our favourite barn wedding venues in Essex here!
21. The Boundary
Set on the edge of a cricket ground, The Boundary is surrounded by absolutely stunning English landscapes. Their beautiful marquee offers a blank canvas for couples to create the wedding day that they’ve always dreamed of.Could this be the ideal place for you to tie the knot? Check them out!
22. The Lawn
If you’re looking for a true English country garden wedding, call off the search! The Lawn’s brand new cedarwood wedding gazebo sits in front of their spectacular rose garden, providing an amazing backdrop for your ceremony on a warm summer’s day.
The Thurrock Hotel stands in the Thames-side town of Purfleet, where you’re less than an hour’s drive away from Central London. Contemporary decor combined with intimate private gardens make this an ideal outdoor wedding reception venue to remember.
This venue fuses ancient with modern, showing off its new garden wing that sits alongside the meticulously renovated historic house that is The Thurrock Hotel, Colchester. Located on the Sunken Lawn, you can find their Garden Gazebo – perfect for summer ceremonies, overlooking the historic parkland and magnificent cork oak trees.
25. Colville Hall
This working organic farm is situated in the village of White Roding, on the Herts/Essex border. Colville Hall’s 14-acre ancient wood (nicknamed the ‘Bluebell Wood’) is a romantic setting in the spring and summer months. Check out the red brick archway and thatched duck pond gazebo for some fabulous photo opportunities.
This traditional Tudor house in Bishop’s Stortford has been transformed into The Legacy Great Hallingbury Manor Hotel, where lush lawns and quaint country gardens can be the setting for your big day. And if you’re loving this place to tie the knot, you should most definitely have a sneak peek at these other wedding venues with outdoor spaces!
A classy drinks reception is to be had on The Rayleigh Club’s spacious decking area, overlooking the seemingly endless golf range. Situated in the south of Essex, parkland views are aplenty in the pleasant countryside surroundings of Rayleigh.
Ashwell Sports & Country Club provides an idyllic setting for your open-air wedding day, exhibiting remarkable views, immaculate landscape gardening and even a barbeque package upon booking. Have an alfresco feast with your nearest and dearest!
29. The Reid Rooms
If you’re looking for an authentic farm experience, with a touch of style included, The Reid Rooms have an outdoor wedding gazebo that you will be transported to by tractors and trailers! You can even have a post-ceremonial boat ride on the river to round off your memorable day.
30. Little Channels
The courtyard suite at Little Channels, Chelmsford, opens up directly onto a private outdoor courtyard that is a perfect location for your ceremony or drinks reception. Keep your wedding low key and intimate whilst enjoying outdoor games with your guests!
31. Forrester Park
For those who like their privacy, Forrester Park is able to offer a bespoke ‘secret garden’ area, where you can tie the knot whilst surrounded by beautiful, green golf course views. A remarkable terrace and garden area is also available for your celebratory drinks reception, great for mingling with your guests.
32. Le Talbooth
Le Talbooth is truly a magical setting for any wedding day, but most importantly for an outdoor enthusiast! What makes it a standout outdoor wedding venue in Essex is it’s unrivalled position beside the river Stour, offering fantastic views over the open water.
That’s it – our top 32 alfresco wedding venues in Essex! But don’t worry if you haven’t found the setting that you’ve been daydreaming about…
Simply head over to Bridebook.co.uk’s Wedding Venue Search, type in Essex or your preferred location and click ‘outdoor’ in the filters for some more fresh air wedding goodness! It also doesn’t take long to make a guestlist, input your figures to the budget page and tick off your checklist along the way – this allows you to have all your wedding plans in one place!
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