Stories from Your Wedding Friend - The Wedding Planner's Blog
There are plenty of beautiful venues to choose from in Herts, Beds and Bucks, but Chicheley Hall is one of the best that Buckinghamshire has to offer. This weeks' venue has acres of gorgeous grounds and stunning back drops to offer for your wedding photographs but what more can be said about the fabulous Chicheley Hall? Read on for the full review.
Chicheley Hall has bags of amazing structural features, as you would expect for a Grade 1 listed 18th Century historic venue. Their website gives you the bullet points: capacity for 80 guests for a ceremony and wedding breakfast in the main hall, 100 elsewhere, or 150 people for an evening reception, sweeping staircase and 14 premium hotel rooms available for you and your guests. This is just scratching the surface of what is on offer at the fabulously elegant Chicheley Hall wedding venue.
The grounds of Chicheley Hall are gorgeous and extensive. You've got formal gardens, a river, orchards and spectacular views of Buckinghamshire in every direction. Ideal for your wedding photographs. There's also a small path (and a great wall for a back drop) that links the hotel to the St Lawrence's Church of Chicheley. If you want a traditional service at the church, you'd need to contact them as far in advance as possible and attend the church on several occasions - there are strict rules laid down for those wanting a religious ceremony out of your area of residence, and not all churches will accept non-resident weddings. Check your local registry office for details.
The most spectacular part of this venue is the driveway. It's a fantastic view of the hall and a very dramatic entrance, though you actually drive round to the side of the main building (and other buildings) to go to the real entrance. If you're staying in the hall to get ready though and using the main hall for your ceremony, you get to make the grandest entrance down the superb staircase to the top of your aisle. Photographers love it because you can get a single picture with the couple stood in different areas, nervously waiting for that first look but where they can't see each other. A unique view and an amazing picture for you to look back on.
As you might expect for a venue of this calibre, Chicheley Hall isn't cheap. I'd say it's on the upper end of mid-priced. However, it's worth it as you basically get exclusive hire of a grand house and surrounding gardens. You're tied to their catering offer for use of the hall but can bring in your own suppliers if you have a bespoke marquee in the grounds (NB this isn't necessarily a 'cheaper' option because a bespoke marquee is a very different offer to those venues who have a semi-permanent marquee). The restaurant opens at different times, so if you want to 'secret' shop their food, you can. Obviously if you want a full tasting menu then you can get in touch to book that, but I find the secret shopper method gets you the best idea of what their waiting staff service is like as well as their food.
The event staff at Chicheley Hall are lovely and experienced, and will do their level best to look after you. And they work with some amazing preferred suppliers, again very experienced and knowledgeable people. These suppliers are great for knowing how to make the most of the venue - such as placing your live musicians on the balcony overlooking the ceremony area in the hall; the best view in the house.
There's ample parking available for your guests at Chicheley Hall, though some of it is on rough ground and a short trek, so be prepared to make provision for this in particularly bad weather, and it's not totally ideal for high heel shoes. Hotel rooms are modern and comfortable, as you'd expect, though there aren't very many available, especially if you doubling the number of guests attending by opting for a marquee in the grounds. Fortunately, with Chicheley you're not to far away from a Holiday Inn and lots of other options in Milton Keynes and the surrounding villages.