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Pictures of the venue including the front view of the building, the view from the main venue into the parkland beyond, a picture of the main space set up for a reception and close up of a table centre made from a gin bottle and flowers on a log slice, the

Venue View: Forest Centre Marston Vale

There's something about quirky unusual venues that I love and I'm sure you will too when you see what they have to offer. This one's a doozy. If you've not visited the Forest Centre in Marston Vale near Bedford, you're in for a treat. Read on to find out more about what they offer for wedding planning couples.

Set in acres of parkland with woods, grasslands and lakes, this is so much more than a venue with nice grounds, this a beautiful area with a lovely venue in which to celebrate your wedding. The drive up to the venue gives just a hint of what's to come. The panoramic views available from the main part of the centre are what really sells the space.

Fully licensed, so you're not just restricted to receptions only, they'll also welcome celebrant-led ceremonies in the available outdoor spaces. The rooms used for indoor ceremonies also has views of the park, making the most of the stunning backdrop. They are also air-conditioned, which is much appreciated on super-hot days.

Receptions are held in the main restaurant seating area and the 'canteen' turns into a funky bar. Ceremonies held inside have a capacity for up to 80 people but the main space (the Lakeside Room) has capacity for up to 220 guests with room for a band or DJ. The main space can't be used until after the centre closes to the public (plus set up time! Obvs) but a smaller space is available for daytime receptions, drinks or wedding breakfast. But don't let that put you off.

The big bonus with this venue is the good feelings you get because you're contributing to the growth of the forest, leaving a real living legacy. And they have the option for you to add donations to the venue to your gift list, which is a fab idea and if you've already set up your home it's a great alternative to being giving more stuff than you really need.

Ok details time. They also offer the option to hold your wedding reception in a marquee, so lots of flexibility available at this venue. Menus are lovely, good value, fairly traditional but also with other options like afternoon tea, hog roast, barbeque, drinks packages and canapes too. This isn't a 'cheap' venue, it's about mid-priced, on a par with independent hotels and other unique venues. There's a bargain to be had if you opt for a later ceremony time and go straight to evening reception, which is great for those on a tighter budget but still love the venue.

As non-hotel venues go this is as I say, a doozy. You're not just hiring a venue, you're contributing to the earth! X