Stories from Your Wedding Friend - The Wedding Planner's Blog
A large percentage of civil weddings and receptions take place in hotels. St Michael's Manor in St Albans have been hosting weddings for happy couples for many years. But what else does this venue have to offer discerning modern couples planning their dream wedding? Read on
This gem of a hotel is hidden in plain sight. Not too far from St Albans Cathedral, right in the heart of the city. That said, it has the most beautiful spacious grounds and ample parking, which you wouldn't expect on the drive up to the venue through the narrow streets of one of the older areas of St Albans.
They offer a choice of licensed ceremony venue options (4 in total), including an outdoor wedding in the Summerhouse, so whether your guest list is 14 or 140 people, they have an option for you. Receptions and larger ceremonies take place in the Orangery looking out over the patio and gardens. Their offer includes the option to ask them to set everything up for you, this is especially handy if you've bought everything on-line to save some pennies but don't want to be doing the set up yourself - NB not too many venues offer this! And it could offer you just enough savings to make this venue affordable.
The attention to detail at this venue is outstanding. They have room layout options for you to consider; you don't need to imagine what it will look like, you can see it all laid out neatly for you. You can choose exclusive use (terms and conditions apply) or you can mix and mingle, but you won't be disturbed in your booked space. I've mentioned catering for small ceremonies, well you're not just kicked out after the ceremony is done, oh no. You can choose to have an intimate private dinner with you and your select group of guests in the gorgeous Oak Lounge or Cedar Suite - perfectly petite for 10 - 30 people. And you'll still be looked after with the same level of service and attention as a bigger wedding party, though this is only available midweek (it doesn't hurt to ask the question if you're looking at a date outside of peak wedding period but they will reserve the right to say no).
Ok some restrictions to bear in mind - access to the patio is limited after 10pm and guests may be asked to keep the noise down. The venue is nestled between houses so it's only to be expected that residents don't want to be disturbed. This is also the reason for them not allowing fireworks, which I completely agree with. One other thing to bear in mind is that they have a no confetti policy; when you see the beautifully kept grounds you can understand why. Thankfully there are alternatives you can consider, like bubbles (ask me how you can do this without using tonnes of single use plastic).
Back to the good stuff. Food. As you would expect with a hotel venue of this quality, food is prepared by award winning staff to the highest standards. Menus are fairly traditionally English, but they pride themselves on their flexibility so if there's something you particularly want, try asking for it, just don't expect them to allow external catering: they have a reputation to keep and 2 AA Rosettes to live up to.
If you're looking for an elegant (not cheap) venue with wow factor, the gorgeous St Michael's Manor should make it onto your shortlist. Their website is full of useful information but for more detail you'll need to get in touch with their event team - follow the link below.