Wrest House, Silsoe
The stately English home of Wrest House is a short distance off the A6 in Bedfordshire, and halfway between Luton and Bedford amid rolling farmland. It has a 92-acre garden with gravel walk and waterway leading to an ornate folly, where there are opportunities for wonderful wedding snaps.
Wrest Park offers facilities for civil weddings and civil partnerships, and there is so much to choose from it is difficult to know where to start! Every Friday and Saturday, you have a choice of afternoon and evening hires. These are in a variety of richly decorated spaces in the main palatial building with oval entrance hall. Should you prefer a private event, you can book one every evening of the year.
The Wrest House Drawing Room accommodates 60 wedding guests in Versailles-style space with opulently decorated gilded ceiling, and matching wall panels and a fireplace. The entrance doors are massive so the bride can really arrive in style!
- The Dining Room accommodating 60 guests (or 50 for a private dinner) is if anything even more elaborate, with columns along the length of it, a regally maroon carpet and a ceiling that would do justice to a cathedral.
- If you prefer something more expansive, then the Grand Library seating 100 wedding guests (or 100 persons dining or at a cocktail part) might suit you better. The cases filled with historic books almost fade into insignificance compared to the high breath-taking ceiling with plenty of room for toasts to echo
- Just beyond this lies the smaller Ante-Library with doors leading to a Terrace where there is ample room for 100 reception guests to admire views across vast lawns and gardens. It is a perfect place to do your thing alfresco in grand style!
- Bur that is not all by far. There is a separate pavilion called the Orangery and it holds 170 guests for weddings, private dinners and cocktail evenings. They used to grow orange trees inside it, and the conservatory-style roof gives it the feeling of being ‘inside outside’.
- And last but definitely not least there is a huge Marquee set on lawns beneath the generous shade of trees. Here, up to 1,000 people gather to dine and dance the night away in an atmosphere worthy of princes and princesses who like things more informal.
Wrest House hosts occasional ‘wedding showcases’ where the area’s best caterers, florists, lighting suppliers and photographers are on hand to help you with your planning. Remember that their prices are normally for venue only, and that all these things are extras. They have however recently made two exceptions to this in terms of dreamy offerings. These make weddings even more affordable and memorable at Wrest House.
Their Ultimate Wedding Parcel prices well for 50 guests considering that it includes venue hire, catering, flowers and DJ too. Their Grand Wedding for a Grand costs just that, and embraces room hire for the wedding ceremony and drinks reception, plus exclusive use of the venue as a backdrop for your wedding snaps.
Since Wrest House does not have an a la carte, we popped into the local village Silsoe that developed around the needs of the grand establishment in its heyday. We found a 17th Century Free House that serves good pub grub. In chatting over lunch, we learned that there are dozens of hotels within easy driving distance of the venue. This suggests that wedding guests need have no problem finding stopovers in the area.
Image credit: english-heritage.org.uk
Tagged in: Venue Visits