Where: The Leicestershire/Derbyshire border in a low valley next to a sweeping surpentine lake.
What: A completely magical juxtaposition of Medieval Church (now National Trust), lake, 18th Century bridge and perfect stately pink pile overlooking sweeping lawns, crunchy gravel drives. Inside the house there are several spaces you can use, with an imposing entrance hall, lovely dining room and a library. The fully-equipped kitchen is great for us too. PLUS the friendliest, most helpful coordinators to help smooth the day.
Weddings: The first floor saloon is licensed for weddings, as the Church is not available.
Who: Contact Rowan in the first instance, on 01332 864435 or email her on email@example.com – fully booked for 2015, there are limited slots available for 2016.
Where: In undulating countryside under the watchful eye of Breedon Church with its famous Viking sculpture, perched high and visible for miles.
What: 18th Century manor house with accommodation in the house and in the adjoining mews houses. There is room for a small reception in the house or a larger party can be accommodated in a marquee.
Weddings: Licenced for weddings, and events.
Who: Contact the highly responsive Charles or Charlotte Meynell on 01332 864935 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Where: In the lush lower Trent valley in the village of Egginton, which is between Burton on Trent and Derby, easy for the A38 and M1 etc.
What: Historic Egginton Hall has sweeping grounds and a lake and makes the perfect setting for a marquee wedding. It also has cottage accommodation nearby sleeping 52 people. Exclusive use for your wedding.
Weddings: An outdoor summer house by the lake is licensed for weddings.
Web: Go to www.gainsboroughretreats.co.uk
Where: On a little hilltop just a few miles outside Shrewsbury.
What: A superb complex of ancient buildings and spaces ripe for your wedding. These include the medieval timber barn, outhouses, a dovecote (with perfect white doves!) and a courthouse, newly converted into an amazing bridal accommodation suite.
Weddings: The barn is licensed for weddings. There is then room for a spectacular reception in this most atmospheric of spaces.
Who: Call Ginny on 01939 291310 or e-mail email@example.com
Web: GREAT website with prices, availability and loads of GREAT pictures.. at www.pimhillbarn.co.uk
In one of the best kept villages in Staffordshire lies the wonderful Village Hall. Clean, bright and spacious with furniture, a bar, main hall (with stage), smaller hall, toilets and even a little external courtyard and a field. There’s great parking too.
To explore using the hall call Enquiries/Bookings on 01782 388784 or alternatively 01782 397629 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org – – or go to the great little website at www.fulfordvillagehall.org.uk
Where: In rolling, fertile, green hills on the edge of the Arrow Valley just outside Redditch in North Worcestershire.
What: You hire a huge purpose-built clearspan marquee with catering area, toilets, water, power, lawns for drinks, a wedding coordination service (an award winning Warwickshire wedding planner) and parking, all within the price. The site is within easy walking distance (down a quiet leafy lane) of several nice (& large) hotels offering preferential rates to your guess.
Weddings: Not licensed yet for ceremonies, but purpose-built reception venue for unique and highly individual wedding receptions. There is also a barn for bespoke ceremonies by a Celebrant.
Who: Call the wonderfully enthusiastic Stuart on 07725 890872… or e-mail email@example.com
Where: In open parkland within a loop of the River Sow, on the southern edge of Cannock Chase and all just 7 miles from Stafford.
What: A huge house (formerly Patrick Lichfield’s place) with the most incredible assemblage of classically-inspired 18th century monuments, perfectly set in open parkland.
Weddings: Two rooms are licensed for weddings. There are no reception facilities but Shugborough allow you to build your own marquee or Tipi on the lawns and then use your own caterers for a magical wedding far from the 21st century.
Who: Phone the wonderful Ruth Stanway on 01889 881388 or e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Where: In the leafy suburbs of East Birmingham.
What: An amazing 10 acres of 18th Century formal garden.
Weddings: Not licensed, but the nearby 17th Century church and hotel (the former ‘big house’) both are. Great site for a marquee or a tipi-based reception in utterly amazing surroundings comprising elements such as a holly maze, large lawned areas, ponds etc.
Who: Your contact at this venue is Glynis Powell or Sue Brain and both are available on 0121 749 4100 or by e-mail at email@example.com