From lush green countryside in the north to bustling metropolises in the south, Essex is one of the few counties that really does have it all. One of the oldest regions in the UK, the region boasts an array of perfectly quaint villages and lovely old towns.
Centuries of history can be admired in the county of Essex; yet its proximity to the thriving capital makes it easily reached and frequented by many, making it one of the most popular areas for weddings in the country.
Essex boasts some of Britain’s most eccentrically charming civil ceremony licensed buildings – choose Essex to marry in a windmill or a Martello tower! If outside weddings are more your style, Essex boasts the option of some gorgeous open spaces; some of which can be transformed into ‘enchanted woodlands’, or you could even hire out your own private island off the Essex coast.
If you’re a history fan, you have the chance to wed in the oldest timber framed barn in the world or a castle with nearly a millennium of history. Or if you crave a day of splendour, get married in one of the county’s finest country houses.
Essex was historically selected by the nobility as a place to build their estates due to its proximity to London and wealth of green spaces – and many of these country houses operate as wedding venues today.
The most popular place to get married in England and Wales
A lot of brides and grooms have opted to marry in Essex.. In 2011 (the latest available statis-tic year at the time of writing) there were 7331 weddings; the highest amount of any county in England and Wales.
But it is still entirely possible to marry in the county and feel worlds away from everyday life, with many venues offering exclusive use. Here’s the TWS roundup of our favourite Essex venues:
Osea Island – Maldon
If you dream of a wedding day completely isolated from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, how about hiring your own private island? Accessed by a tidal causeway, Osea Island can accommodate your entire day, from a charming wedding ceremony to a fantastic reception party. There is a plethora of accommodation options on site; including both self-catered apartments and luxury glamping.
Rayleigh Windmill – Rayleigh
For something completely unique, how about tying the knot in a beautiful windmill? The 200 year old, Grade II- Listed Rayleigh Windmill has been perfectly refurbished to accommodate civil cer-emonies and smaller receptions. Its location next to the Rayleigh’s historic mount makes for stunning wedding photos!
Jaywick Martello Tower – Jaywick
Or you could exchange your vows in Jaywick Martello Tower – a quirky building on the Essex shoreline! These edifices were built alongside the British coast during Napoleonic times as a form of protec-tion. Up to 60 people can enjoy services in this wonderful historic venue, which has stunning and far reaching views over the English Channel.
Cressing Temple Barns – Braintree
Licenced for beautiful civil ceremonies, the barns at Cressing Temple are among the oldest in the country. The plot of land on which they stand was given to the Knights Templar in 1137 and the Barley and Wheat Barns were constructed in the 13th century. Nowadays, the barns are Grade I- Listed and make for a serene location for your wedding celebrations.
Fennes – Bocking
If there ever was an epitome of the perfect British country house, Fennes is just that. The Georgian manor house basks in 100 acres of land and contains various ceremony and re-ception location options, including a delightful outside gazebo! Absorb the stunning gardens during your celebration, which perfectly harmonise with the rural atmosphere. And, once the celebrations are finished, there are plenty of fantastic accommodation options available right on site.
Gosfield Hall – Gosfield
Gosfield Hall was once a royal residence and is now available especially for you, to treat as your wedding day palace. During a stroll around the majestic grounds, you will sense an in-escapable air of prestige. The mouth-watering catering options are unmatchable, and twenty on-site bedroom suites mean that you and your guests will not have to travel far after all the celebrating has finished.
Hedingham Castle – Braintree
The keep, the Georgian house and the stunning landscaped gardens make the timelessly romantic Hedingham Castle one of Essex’s finest. Bask in 900 years of history as you begin your new life at this stunning Essex venue; having your service in the historic banqueting hall underneath a unique Norman arch, and celebrating your reception in a marquee, where you can enjoy stunning views of the fascinating castle, or in the castle itself.
There are so many wonderful reasons to get married in Essex; from the sprawling countryside hosting a variety of beautiful venues, to the fascinating history surround-ing various areas of the county, to its proximity to the capital and excellent transport links, choose Essex for a wedding day that you and your guests will cherish forever.