Venue Showcase: Ellingham Hall

From traditional exteriors to contemporary finishes, this is a must on your venue viewing list!

Rachel, the Marketing and Communications manager at Ellingham Hall, tells us a little bit about this beautiful venue.

Tell us about yourself!
A Big Stone house with a rustic style covered in plants from the roof to the ground.

I’ve been in the wedding industry nearly four years now and at Ellingham Hall for two years. I love everything about the wedding industry! The creativity and the happiness the industry brings to everyone involved, and the community spirit among venues and suppliers.

In what little free time I have, I’m either planning weddings of family and friends or I’m volunteering with the Royal Air Force Air Training Cadets, as a Civilian Instructor. As a CI, I am responsible for the enrichment and personal development of cadets aged 12-20 on a weekly basis. I must prepare for parade nights, organize events as well as looking after the general welfare of cadets.

What drew you to the wedding world?

I was actually in the process of getting married myself and working in marketing, I helped the venue I booked building up their brand. Once I was married, they invited me up for a coffee and asked me to come work for them – I’ve never left the industry since!

What do you think makes Ellingham Hall unique?
People at the tables smiling and eating.

At Ellingham, we specialise in our unique two-night weddings, giving couples a truly special experience. By choosing the Hall or the Estate, which includes seven picturesque cottages, couples get the special opportunity to invite their closest family and friends.

Arriving the night before the big day, couples enjoy full exclusivity and access to the venue. Whether they’re choosing to decorate with a glass of fizz, open up the board games in front of the fire or just sit back and be pampered, there really is no experience like it.

The morning after the wedding, couples love that they can wake up to a full English breakfast with all their family and friends. With a late morning check-out at 11am for all guests, this means everyone gets to enjoy the morning reliving memories from the night before.

We’ve tried to make the entire experience as relaxing as possible and couples really love it!

How do you get to know your couples before the big day?
Several cottages next to each other.

There’s a lot of ways we get to know our couples on the run up to their wedding experience with us. Like many venues, we have opportunities available to sit down with couples. This includes planning meetings, food tasting sessions and also open days. In recent times, we’ve started to put on ‘Ellingham Exclusive’ events for our booked couples. They include Q&A ‘Wedding Hours’, where our team are the panel and couples can ask questions in an open forum. The ‘Wedding Hour’ sessions have also allowed couples to pick up nuggets of information they wouldn’t have asked until much further on in their planning journey.

What do you think makes for the perfect wedding?
A white hall with a fireplace in the back. Several chais are lined up for a wedding.

A relaxed couple, lots of lovely surprises, incredible food, lots of laughter and a brilliant photographer to capture it all.

Why should a couple book Ellingham Hall?

When a couple books with us they have a total piece of mind that as soon as they come up to the venue the night before the wedding they can completely relax. No last minute rushing around on the wedding morning, checking if things have arrived at the venue, or worrying who has arrived yet – couples are booking an experience. When couples book with us, they’re not just another statistic, they become part of a wider family.

What is your #1 wedding planning tip for couples?

Possibly a tip which not many people think about… but start off your wedding planning journey by creating a dedicated wedding email. This way you can keep track of all your important updates and messages without them being mixed up or missed in your day to day emails. Sometimes you may get so involved in wedding planning you might just want a couple of weeks off. Having a dedicated email means you can dip in and out as often as you like without being overwhelmed.

Check out Bridebook’s wedding planning tools!

What’s the best photo spot at Ellingham Hall?

There’s so many! The two most popular are down by our miniature waterfalls with the Hall as the backdrop and a bit further along we have our woodland bridge, which is perfect when the sun is at its highest point. Indoors we have the most incredible stone window as a backdrop for photographs and as a feature to the venue.

What part of your business are you most proud of?
Several white tables for the reception.

The team itself! It’s rare in this industry to have so many dedicated workers who have worked at the same venue for so long. I’m possibly one of the newest additions at the Hall with most of the senior/events team having over 5 years at the venue, with the GM and Head Chef having recently celebrated their 10 year anniversary.

How do you feel technology is changing the industry?

The brilliant thing about the advances in technology now is that we’re able to communicate with couples in even more ways than before. We have a number of couples, nearly 20% actually, who live outside of the UK and nearly 25% live outside our region. We’re able to do pretty much all the planning through the use of modern technology – although I think food tasting is perhaps a bit too far!

In recent times, we’ve been able to run virtual tours as part of the Covid-19 crisis, allowing couples to walk the venue virtually with the help of our team who can point out key areas of the Hall based on requirements, what areas work best for the couples numbers and allowing couples to secure their dream date without having to wait until we reopen.

What is the one piece of advice you would give to couples that are currently struggling amidst the COVID-19 crisis?

If you haven’t booked your venue already but you know what you want, don’t wait! We’re seeing a real surge in enquiries and we’ve had a string of bookings from couples wanting to reserve dates since going into lockdown – chat to the venue you like and see if they have any options for virtual tours or if they have any options to reserve dates.

If you’re booked with a venue already for 2020, no doubt they’ll be keeping you updated – remember they probably know just as much as you do in this crazy ever-changing environment right now. Venues will definitely be making their own plans on how to look after their couples! So take their lead.

If you’re booked for 2021 onwards, as hard as it is to imagine, take advantage in this bizarre society stand still right now, start looking at suppliers and get them booked in because they’re booking just as fast as venues right now! Many are running offers or low deposits right now, so be sure to take advantage if you can.

What do you love about Bridebook?

How easy the platform is to work with as both a venue and also as a couple. It’s an app you want to go onto and engage with, and the people behind the business are brilliant!

Check out Ellingham Hall on Bridebook!