Venue Showcase: Applewood Hall

Located next to the Banham Zoo, this outdoor venue is a fun and unique way to celebrate your big day!

The resident wedding planner and venue manager, Kiera, gives us a taste of what makes Applewood Hall the ideal spot to say your vows.

Tell us about yourself!
Kiera, the wedding planner.

I’m a Head Honcho & Wedding Planner Extraordinaire, a gin lover and unofficial wedding cake taster – I love having a piece with my Sunday morning coffee before breakfast! And the owner of resident hound, Frankie Sausage.

And one thing you might not know… I have locked myself in the wedding garden at least 5 times (just this year!), which has meant having to climb over the gate!

What drew you to the wedding world?
A woman sets the table for the wedding feast.

Having worked in the corporate events world in London for 10 years, I felt the pull to return to Norfolk where I grew up. I missed the drive and challenge of being involved in the family business. Due to my events background, my Dad asked me to take on the management of Applewood Hall and its sister business, Applewood Countryside Park (family camping and glamping).

Helping couples plan the wedding day of their dreams and seeing it all come together is so rewarding. There’s no job quite like it!

What do you think makes Applewood Hall unique?
A couple looks at a lemur in the garden.

Applewood Hall is located right next to the award-winning family attraction Banham Zoo. So if couples fancy something a little bit different, whether it’s a giraffe feeding experience, private Bird of Prey display, a ceremony within the zoo grounds or photos with some of the stunning animals – anything is possible!

How do you get to know your couples before the big day?
At night, a couple embraces under the wedding gazebo.

When couples make a booking with us, we start with a planning meeting as it really helps us get to know our couples; along with their style, how they picture their perfect day and what we can do to make it happen.

This process really helps to pinpoint the small things that will make their day feel extra special and unique to them. For example, we have recently introduced bespoke cocktails and mocktails, offering couples the opportunity to choose seasonal flavors, favorite ingredients and personalize the cocktail names so they tie into their theme or tell a story!

What do you think makes for the perfect wedding?

Fun, laughter and a tipple or two. It’s that simple!

Why should a couple book Applewood Hall?
In the daylight, a couple kisses in the gazebo.

Applewood Hall is a proudly family-run business, offering a personal and friendly service. Our aim is to ensure that every couple is able to bring to life the day of their dreams no matter their budget. We achieve this by going above and beyond, getting creative with ideas, ingredients and scale to ensure we can give each couple a unique experience.

What is your #1 wedding planning tip for couples?

It’s YOUR day, so don’t be afraid to be a bit selfish when it comes to things like your menu choices, drink selection and seating plans. Prefer to have canapés during your drinks reception rather than a starter, why not? If you’d prefer to have a classic G&T rather than bubbles for the toast, do it! If you want the seating to be more informal with no seating plan, be bold! These small things will help your day feel special and unique to you.

What’s the best photo spot at Applewood Hall?
A couple stands and smiles for a picture with zebras in the background.

Our wedding garden! This beautifully landscaped space features a stunning gazebo, contemporary outdoor furniture, lots of lush greenery, fire pit tables and festoon lighting. The perfect backdrop for wedding photos and alfresco drinks in the sunshine!

What part of your business are you most proud of?
The interior of the venue decorated for a wedding.

Our team! We have a small, dedicated team, which means our couples experience a friendly, hands-on approach from their initial enquiry and showround appointment to their menu tasting, planning meetings and of course, the big day itself.

How do you feel technology is changing the industry?

Couples are planning their weddings online more than ever before. We have been making use of Facebook Live to host virtual tours and hosting monthly #wedminwednesday sessions to help couples along their wedding planning journey.

What is the one piece of advice you would give to couples that are currently struggling amidst the COVID-19 crisis?
A room with chairs that is empty of people.

We are in this together and we will all get through this together.

If you’ve had to postpone, it must be heartbreaking to move from your original date and to have to wait a bit longer for your wedding, but it will be so worth it. We want your day to be a day of celebration, love and special memories; focused on you (not coronavirus, that’s had enough attention!).

What do you love about Bridebook?

It’s great to be able to showcase everything we offer all in one place; from pricing and photos to reviews and offers. Tracking enquiries and following our analytics is super simple too.

Check out Applewood Hall on Bridebook!