PUBLISHED: 11:08 20 July 2012 | UPDATED: 11:34 28 September 2017
Find the perfect Essex venue for your wedding day with our guide to the latest and greatest near you...
It's as if Prested Hall was designed with romance in mind. A part-moated, 15th century country house, it is in a 75-acre setting, at the end of a long, tree-lined drive through lawns and parkland. Ten comfortable, en-suite bedrooms and many handsome reception rooms can all be yours for 24 hours.
At Prested, you can invite a group of your closest friends and family to stay overnight, then gather for breakfast to round off the occasion. Hidden discreetly in beautiful Essex parkland, it is conveniently located just off the A12, a mile from Kelvedon train station and 30 minutes from Stansted Airport.
Able to accommodate: The Dining Room can seat 48 and the Ballroom 65 for civil ceremonies. For a reception, 100 guests can be seated in the Orangery, (140 if the adjoining Dining Room is also used), 140 in the marquee, (from May to September), and 160 for a finger buffet in the Hall.
We love it because: The house has been lovingly restored and makes a fairytale backdrop to your day.
Prested Hall, Feering, Colchester CO5 9EE
Call 01376 57330 or visit www.prested.co.uk
The Bell Inn
Dating back to 1445, The Bell Inn served as a coaching inn from its earliest days. The Bell Inn now has a private dining room seating 36 and 16 bedrooms, including a converted stable block. The names of the rooms reflect historically- famous mistresses and have lavish, individual decor. The inn has two bars which offer a wide selection of well-kept real ales and the restaurant offers a full menu that changes daily.
It makes the ideal setting for a smaller, more intimate wedding reception and the exposed beams and roaring open fires make a beautiful backdrop to your day.
Able to accommodate: 36 guests for a seated reception, 50 at a buffet reception.
We love it because: It makes an intimate location for a private reception.
The Bell Inn, Horndon on the Hill, Essex SS17 8LD
Call 01375 642 463 or visit www.bell-inn.co.uk
Set within the perimeter of Stansted Airport, the Hilton London Stansted makes the ideal venue for a reception if you have guests travelling from abroad by air.
The hotel is ten minutes by shuttle bus from the Stansted Airport terminal and just 30 minutes by train from central London. You can enjoy international cuisine at Amy's Restaurant, relax in Amy's Bar, or chat over coffee at Caff Cino at the Hilton London Stansted Airport.
Able to accommodate: A wedding breakfast for 250.
We love it because: Guests can easily access the hotel, no matter where they are travelling from.
Hilton London Stansted Airport Hotel, Round Coppice Road, Stansted, Essex CM24 1SF
Call 01279 680 800 or visit www.hilton.co.uk
From a contemporary to a classic wedding, Woolston Manor is designed to impress. Situated on the outer fringes of Abridge Village, the modern building overlooks the stunning 18-hole golf course with stunning views. It has a luxurious, modern feel, with professional staff who can guarantee your wedding will be a memorable event for both you and your guests.
Woolston Manor is licensed for civil ceremony marriages, renewal of your wedding vows and civil partnerships.
Able to accommodate: 100 for a ceremony, 200 to 600 for a reception.
We love it because: It's ideal for a groom mad about golf.
Woolston Manor Golf & Country Club, Abridge Road, Chigwell, Essex, IG7 6BX
Call 020 8500 2549 or visit www.woolstonmanor.co.uk
Menzies Prince Regent
The combination of an elegant Georgian house and the imaginative conversion of an old chapel make the Menzies Prince Regent a unique wedding venue. The picturesque grounds make the perfect backdrop for your wedding photographs and the superb selection of banqueting suites ensure your gathering will be supremely well catered for.
The Menzies Prince Regent is licensed to hold wedding and civil partnership ceremonies, enabling your whole day to be hosted at the hotel. Whether you have a small family get-together in mind or a grand formal banquet, you'll find the facilities and flexibility to provide your perfect wedding package. From stylish printed menus, place cards, invitations and table plans to a top class range of cabaret artistes and even a professional toast master, everything can be arranged.
Able to accommodate: 300 guests
We love it because: They can organise every aspect of your day for you.
Menzies Prince Regent, Manor Road, Woodford Bridge, Essex, IG8 8AE
Call 0208 505 9966 or visit www.bookmenzies.com
Set in eight acres of woodland, conveniently located just two miles from Bishop's Stortford and within easy reach of the M11, the permanent marquee at the Stansted Manor Hotel is an ideal venue for your wedding reception.
It can offer a range of packages to suit your requirements, and with 70 en suite bedrooms, your guests can take advantage of the discounted room rates.
The hotel is also licensed for civil ceremonies and civil partnerships.
Able to accommodate: 100 for a ceremony, 200 for a reception.
We love it because: Having your own marquee on hand makes guest numbers no problem.
The Best Western Stansted Manor Hotel, Birchanger Lane, Birchanger, Essex CM23 5ST
Call 01279 859 800 or visit www.compasshotels.co.uk
Parklands, Quendon Hall is a beautiful 17th century mansion house and gardens located on one of the oldest deer parks in the country and is offered to you exclusively for the day.
Licensed for civil ceremonies, the exquisite Elizabethan decor within the house gives the atmosphere of a luxurious family home, with personal touches of modern art next to antique furniture.
On the ground floor there are three elegant reception rooms which can accommodate a large celebration or an intimate occasion.
Overnight accommodation is also available for you and your guests and the gorgeous bridal suite is located in the deer park, with a Bentley on hand to chauffeur you there.
Able to accommodate: 130 guests for ceremony, 140 to 450 wedding breakfast
We love it because: The surroundings are so sumptuous and the Bentley on hand is a fabulous finishing touch for pictures.
Parklands, Quendon Hall, Quendon, Essex CB11 3XN
Call 01799 543 800 www.quendonhall.co.uk
Gaynes Park Barns
The eco-chic, listed wedding barns at Gaynes Park have been imaginatively and artistically restored offering the most outstanding and unique facilities for your wedding.
The Mill Barn is light and airy with a mezzanine floor and gallery that give the venue a spacious and versatile added dimension. The open-sided Gather Barn, forms a porte-cochere for the larger barn and may be used for outside weddings. All three wedding barns are licensed for civil ceremonies and may be used for seated wedding receptions.
The beautiful Orangery, built on the site of an old Victorian conservatory, is licensed for weddings and civil ceremonies too. The venue is privately owned and available on an exclusive basis only - it even has a beautiful honeymoon cottage you can stay in.
Able to accommodate: 150 for a ceremony, 150 to 180 for a reception.
We love it because: There are so many beautiful places to hold your ceremony and the honeymoon cottage is gorgeous.
Gaynes Park Barns, Banks Lane, Coopersale, Epping, Essex, CM16 7RJ Call 01992 560 830 or visit www.gaynespark.co.uk
Hedingham Castle, set in landscaped parkland, is one of the most romantic settings in England. The splendid Norman keep, which stands 110 feet high, has dominated the local countryside for more than 850 years.
Have your wedding in the fairytale Banqueting Hall of the castle, where the Earls of Oxford entertained royal visitors in the past. This historic room, which is spanned by the largest Norman arch in Europe, is the setting for your candlelit ceremony.
The venue will be exclusively yours for the day and you can also stay in the grounds with family and friends, to enjoy the atmosphere of warmth and welcome.
Able to accommodate: 130 guests for the ceremony, 200 for the wedding breakfast and 250 for an evening celebration.
We love it because: It is a truly fairytale setting for the kind of wedding every little girl dreams of and is so conveniently close to London and Stansted for guests.
Hedingham Castle, Castle Hedingham, Halstead, Essex CO9 3DJ
Call 01787 463 862 / 460 261 or visit www.hedinghamcastle.co.uk
The Mill Arts & Events Centre
The Mill Arts & Events Centre, which lies between the historic Grade II listed Rayleigh Windmill and the National Trust's historic Rayleigh Mount, offers a modern setting in unique surroundings.
Specialising in weddings, multicultural events and the arts, the centre comprises two suites for wedding parties, a lovely terrace garden, two licensed bars, superb caterers who provide sumptuous menus and ample parking for guests.
Able to accommodate: 230 for a wedding breakfast, 350 for an evening celebration.
We love it because: They can accommodate so many guests.
The Mill, The Mill Arts & Events Centre, Mill Hall, Bellingham Lane, Rayleigh, Essex
Call 01268 778 737 or visit www.themillhall.co.uk
The Fennes is the ideal location for a truly intimate wedding, as you can easily imagine it as your own home.
Exclusively yours for the day, you and your guests can wander the elegant reception rooms of the Georgian manor house, which have open fires in winter, and the tranquil gardens with two stunning pavilions and a Banqueting Hall. For smaller, more intimate weddings, the elegant Drawing Room is licensed, or for a larger gathering, you have the choice to exchange your vows in the beautiful pavilions.
The Fennes reputation for fine food and outstanding service is second to none. Specialist celebrations requiring outside caterers for cultural or religious beliefs are also welcome.
Able to accommodate: 150 guests for the ceremony, 400 for the wedding breakfast and 450 for an evening celebration
We love it because: It feels so much like having your own palatial mansion for the day.
The Fennes Estate, Bocking, Braintree, Essex CM7 5PL
Call 01376 324 555 or visit www.fennes.co.uk
Marygreen Manor Hotel
This charming 16th century manor house in Brentwood has many original features, including exposed wooden beams and antique furniture, complemented by a beautiful manicured garden which makes a perfect backdrop for wedding photography.
Civil ceremonies are held in the Samuel Pepys Room. Your wedding package can be tailored according to individual requirements and the hotel's experienced staff are happy to help.
Able to accommodate: A ceremony for 50, a wedding breakfast for 85 and an evening celebration for 150
We love it because: It makes such a fabulous backdrop for your wedding photographs.
Marygreen Manor Hotel, London Road, Brentwood, Essex CM14 4NR
Call 01277 225 252 or visit www.marygreenmanor.co.uk
Set majestically in 500 acres of parkland, Braxted Park offers a most romantic and photogenic backdrop. Exclusively yours for the day, they can cater for 50 to 300 guests. Braxted Park is licensed for civil marriages and also has a 12th century parish church located within the grounds.
High quality food for your wedding breakfast is provided by premier caterers and there is a full managed bar with experienced staff. The Garden Cottage is available as a bridal suite and there are a further nine en suite rooms also available for overnight stays.
We love it because: Having your own private church and venue is such a treat.
Braxted Park Estate, Witham, Essex, CM8 3EN
Call 01621 892 305 or visit http://www.braxtedparkweddings.co.uk
Le Talbooth enjoys an idyllic and romantic setting beside the River Stour. Nestling in the heart of Constable Country and the beautiful Dedham Vale, Le Talbooth was discovered by Gerald Milsom in 1952, when it was a simple tearoom, and over the next 50 years created an international reputation for culinary excellence and fabulous accommodation.
The Weavers Room, a private dining room on the first floor, provides an intimate venue ideal for small wedding parties up to 34. The River Room's terrace opens on to the riverbank and from April to October, a marquee is available on the upper garden terrace.
Able to accommodate: 50 guests for the ceremony, 80 for the wedding breakfast and 160 in the marquee
We love it because: Such a fabulous setting makes you feel lucky to be able to enjoy a truly English country wedding.
Le Talbooth, Dedham, Gun Hill, Dedham, Colchester, Essex, CO7 6HP
Call 01206 323 150 or visit www.milsomhotels.com