Stories from Your Wedding Friend - The Wedding Planner's Blog
When it comes to wedding venues it can feel like all hotels offer the same thing. If you want everything on one site with the minimum amount of hassle then it seems like the easy option, and it can be. Fanhams Hall Hotel in the Hertfordshire countryside is one of those all-in-one-place venues…
Part of the 'Exclusive Collection' branded hotel chain this Jacobean manor house venue has a lot to offer. First up is your choice of indoor or outside ceremony space and then two main options for your reception. Your choice is basically modern or traditional. The modern side is encompassed in the Lakeside Pavilion and Hertford & Ware Suite for your ceremony. As the name suggests, you have gorgeous views over the lake and wider garden, and a patio area that you can enjoy. This part of the venue can accommodate up to 130 people, though I thought it was a bit of a squeeze fitting that many for dining. For evening receptions, they can hold more like 200 people across the room, patio and bar areas. In case you're not aware of how that works, basically the venue remove some of the dining tables and chairs making room for people standing/dancing, which let's face it is what you want people to be doing at a party!
The more traditional ceremony is held in the Long Gallery with receptions in the Great Hall. It's a couple of quirky, beautiful, but possibly a bit 'old fashioned', spaces for some couples. Not as bright and airy feeling as the Lakeside Pavilion but then I like a bit of dark wood and oak beams, so it suits me down to the ground. Ideal if you're going for a slightly more rustic/medieval feast feel to your big day, but still elegant and pretty. Adding lighting is key to making this space sparkle. The official capacities are similar to the other parts of the venue and again I would suggest you'll be more comfortable at 110 people but 130 guests dining is doable.
One of the things that most appeals to me is that although there might be another wedding happening at the same time as yours, you'll likely never bump into each other. This is because the venue team go to great lengths to keep you separated and the with hallways and areas between you, you shouldn't disturb each other in terms of noise either. Though a second wedding might mean that areas of the grounds or around the building will likely be out-of-bounds to you.
The grounds of this venue are Amazing. There are so many areas to chose from for your photographs. And yes, you can choose to use the mansion house as a backdrop to your nuptials or even their unique Japanese Tea House, which I'm sorry to say I haven't seen in person yet! Obviously, this is restricted to summer weddings only and only in good weather, which is never a given in this country.
The food is exquisite and beautifully presented, with a choice of menus which include canapes as well as a traditional 3 or 4 course meal, and of course your evening buffet/hog roast/bbq or snacks. Uniquely they also offer a Caribbean Street Food option, which is a great additional offer. They pride themselves on changing their menus seasonally and on their flexibility, so if there's something you really want but don't see in their sample menus, I really recommend you ask them because you never know.
Ok so onto the stickier bit, the cost. This isn't a cheap venue but then this type of venue with their offer was never going to be. You don't get this amount of gorgeousness on a tiny budget! My top tip if you love the venue but can't afford their peak season prices is to go off peak - there are great savings to be had if you do. Even moving your date by a couple of weeks can make a huge difference to the costs.