There are a great variety of beautiful and spectacular venues for weddings in Norfolk, Suffolk and throuout East Anglia and my role as toastmaster has taken me too many of them. here is a selection of venues where I have carried out my toastmaster duties and hopefully you will find somewhere to suit your budget. Many couples, when viewing a particular venue have commented, “We knew it was the venue for us as soon as we walked in”. They are listed in alphabetical order and at some I am a preferred supplier. Click on the name of each venue to take you to their website.
When booking your venue, a key question to ask is “Who will be looking after us on the wedding day?”
Some venues may have a professional toastmaster as part of their packages or they may have a toastmaster on their preferred supplier list. Sometimes the venue will say that they will provide you with a toastmaster, but in reality it will be the duty banqueting manager who you probably won’t meet until the day. They will no doubt do a good job but may not have received the training of a professional toastmaster. They will also have other duties within the venue and not be with you all the time.
You may plan to have your best man, groomsman or member of your family to do the job. Bear in mind that first and foremost they are a guest and will no doubt wish to partake in the celebrations. Giving them the responsibility of organising your day is not really fair and if there should be any problems they may not be equipped to sort them out in the correct and diplomatic way of a fully trained professional toastmaster.
There are several advantages in employing your own personal toastmaster. Firstly, a professional toastmaster will be working for you and will not have to attend to other matters in the hotel. He, or she, will be able to make announcements in the correct way and be on hand throughout the day to keep guests informed of what, when and where everything is happening. They will make sure everyone is present to witness the key moments like cake cutting, speeches, throwing the bouquet and the first dance. The toastmaster will assist the photographer in gathering guests for group photos and be on hand to sort any unforeseen problems that may arise. In terms of your overall budget, the fee a toastmaster will charge is minimal compared to the peace of mind that your day is being handled by your friendly and professional toastmaster. He or she will have helped you plan your day and will ensure that everything goes according to your plans and wishes.
“In smart red coat and shoes well shined, I will ensure your peace of mind”
Privately owned and family run, Applewood Hall is a stunning, versatile venue for your wedding. With seating for up to 200, you will enjoy exclusive-use of Applewood Hall complete with private garden, licensed bar and dance floor. There is also luxury glamping accommodation available for up to 36 guests.
Assembly House in Norwich could be the perfect backdrop for your wedding day. This beautiful, Grade I-listed Georgian building boasts a wide selection of rooms that can cater for any wedding large and grand or small and intimate. In the Summer months the lawn and courtyard are the perfect place for your guests to gather for drinks and photographs.
Boathouse Ormesby is a stunning venue. In the Summer months the Bride has the option of arriving by boat with the ceremony taking place in the arbor that overlooks the broad.They also have unique accommodation available for guests to stay overnight.
Brasted’s at Framingham Pigot is a popular venue just outside Norwich. The team provide an excellent service and the food is first class. They are licensed for ceremonies as well, so you can have your whole day in one place.
Brome Grange Hotel is near Eye A140 between Norwich & Ipswich This venue has a beautiful oak beamed tithe barn that provides a lovely setting for your wedding. I am a recommended supplier for this venue.
Situated of the Dereham Road on the outskirts of Norwich they hold only one wedding at any time so you have the hotel event suite and grounds for the photographs all to yourselves!
Caistor Hall(recently rebranded as Boudicca Hotel) can be found on the outskirts of Norwich at Caistor St Edmund. Surrounded by beautifully landscaped gardens this venue provides ideal settings for photographs of your special day. All of the beautifully furnished function rooms have direct access to the gardens so guests are able to enjoy drinks and canapés on the lawns surrounding the hotel during the warmer months. During the winter months guests can gather around the original working fireplaces in the function rooms and lounge.
Chaucer Barn is a beautiful setting for your wedding in North Norfolk near Cromer & Holt. It has landscaped gardens and accommodation for up to 18 guests. Their guiding principal is what every venue should say to Brides & Bridegrooms – in a nutshell, your wedding your way.
Dunston Hall on the outskirts of Norwich is a very popular venue for weddings. It has a number of suites that cater for large, medium and small weddings. They also have a permanent marquee during the summer months and beautiful garden areas for your photographs. The video on my home page was filmed here and I am a recommended supplier for this venue.
Elm Farm Country House is a smaller but very pretty venue just outside Norwich. It is located at Horsham St Faith and will provide an intimate and picturesque setting for your celebrations.
Elms Barn at Toft Monks near Beccles is a beautiful 17th century barn venue for both your wedding and reception. They only hold one wedding at a time on Wednesday’s or Saturday’s and there is a stunning rose garden for your photographs.
Fishley Hall is the perfect idyllic country wedding venue for a ‘do it yourself’ wedding. With an original old grain barn in the grounds dating back to the 1700s, its the perfect venue for celebrating. It is licensed for ceremonies which can be held outside. The house has 8 bedrooms for all the family and wedding party to stay in over the weekend. There is also the enchanting St Mary’s Church of Fishley at the end of the driveway.
Garden Pavilion, Thursford is a great venue for that wedding with a difference that you and your guests will be sure to remember. The Pavilion is a beautiful setting for your wedding breakfast with contemporary lighting and dance floor for the evening celebration. Your ceremony can be held inside the main Thursford attraction building with the option of rides on the carousel and gondola for your guests. There are plenty of options for beautiful photographs.
A beautiful rustic barn set in the heart of Norfolk at Carleton Forehoe near Wymondham. This is the perfect blank canvas for you to create your own special event. There is an outside open barn for welcome drinks and a separate barn you can decorate to your own design.
Glen Lodge is set within the picturesque scenery of the Bawburgh Golf Club overlooking the Yare Valley just outside Norwich. The recently opened Barnard Suite is ideal for your wedding celebrations.
Set in beautiful rural South Norfolk in the heart of the Waveney Valley, this Grade I Listed Tudor barn is an idyllic setting for weddings or large events. The Great Barn and the Hall itself were
built in 1478 and the present Hall is the surviving wing of an even larger house built by Sir James Hobart, the Attorney General to Henry VII. The Great Barn is licensed for Civil Marriages and Civil Partnerships and can comfortably seat up to 200 guests for ceremonies and wedding breakfasts. The gardens are stunning.
Great Melton Old Rectory is a Victorian house set in four acres of gardens and woodland. Hidden in the heart of rural Norfolk this beautiful venue is licensed for civil ceremonies and is perfect for a country wedding, either outside in the woodland glade or a traditional marquee on the lawn or a bit of both.
Great Yarmouth Town Hall is a splendid venue in the centre of the town. There are a number of rooms which can cater for between 30 to 200 guests. They are also licensed for wedding ceremonies.
Built in the reign of King Edward VI in 1555 Hautbois Hall is a beautiful grade II listed Elizabethan country house. Situated near Coltishall this 52 acre garden estate features a number of locations within the grounds for you to plan your ceremony and celebrations.
Hockwold Hall is becoming a very popular venue for weddings in Norfolk. It is a spectacular Grade II listed Manor parts of which date from the 1500’s. The Hall is mentioned in the Domesday Book and has a rich history with royal connections as it was the home of Prince Victor Duleep Singh godson of Queen Victoria. There is beautiful accommodation available and the secluded ornamental gardens are a photographers dream with many stunning backdrops for photo’s. I am arecommended supplier for this venue.
Holiday Inn Norwich –North (near airport) has a number of suites that vary in size and have recently been updated and refurbished. The Lancaster Suite is one of the largest in East Anglia and is equipped with a stage that means your band can setup behind closed curtains if necessary. There is also a hidden garden in the centre of the hotel which is ideal for photographs. I am a recommended supplier for this venue.
Hoveton Hall Gardens near Wroxham is a beautiful setting for your wedding. The unique Spider Garden (named because of it’s layout, not because there are spiders there) is a picturesque setting for both drinks reception and photographs. You can then move into the marquee for your wedding breakfast.
Lynford Hall at Mundford is a stunning venue steeped in history. It was also the location for many of the scenes in the TV series Dad’s Army. Once again beautiful gardens are an outstanding feature for photographs.
Maids Head Hotel is a popular venue for weddings in the centre of Norwich. It claims to be the oldest hostelry in the UK and I helped to promote this fact last year in my role as town crier. You also have the option (for a fee) to go across to the grounds of the Cathedral for you photo’s.
The Mercure on Boundary Road has three unique suites, each with traditional decor in neutral tones to complement your personal wedding colour scheme. There is a beautiful secret garden providing a perfect spot to capture your photographic memories of the day.
They also offer courtesy airport transport for hotel guests travelling to or from Norwich International Airport. I am a recommended supplier for this venue.
Here is something completely different. A fully restored 1950’s station complete with the opportunity to take a 22-mile steam – or diesel-hauled train ride through the lovely Norfolk countryside to Wymondham Abbey and back. Afternoon tea can be served on the train and the undercover platform is an unusual setting for the band to play for your evening reception.
The historic Morley Old Hall is a beautiful setting in the heart of the Norfolk countryside with a large area for a marquee and first rate accommodation. A glamping area is also available. If you are looking for a unique and beautiful venue for weddings, corporate events or just a family get away, a visit to see the venue is a must.
The ‘Garden Room’ in the grounds of the Norfolk Mead Hotel is a comfortable and flexible space that can accommodate up to 140 seated guests for weddings or 250 for a party. Located in the walled garden, the venue has a private bar and the entire hotel can be hired if your guests require rooms for the evening. The Norfolk Mead holds a wedding licence, so you can hold your civil ceremony in the beautiful grounds.
An exquisite Grade II* home, surrounded by a plethora of pretty gardens, both formal and open, sprawling woodland and a picturesque lake, Oxnead Hall is an idyllic spot. From the historic building itself to the medieval church on-site, to the Orangery and the Great Barn, Oxnead Hall is one of the most beautiful and versatile wedding venues in East Anglia.
Ravenwood Hall in Suffolk is another venue with many opportunities for photographs in the beautiful grounds after your wedding in the Pavilion.
Southwood Hall is an exclusive wedding venue in stunning Broadland countryside. It is recognised by the National Wedding Industry Awards as the UK’s Best Country Wedding Venue. You will be able to hold your ceremony outside in the grounds or inside the Coronation Barn.
They do not advertise as a wedding venue but they have held a number of weddings here. You will probably have to book the cottages for the family for the week prior to the wedding, but this gives you ample time to decorate the barn in your own way for your wedding, whilst also giving you a relaxed break in the lead up to the big day.
St Giles House Hotel is also situated in the heart of the city of Norwich. It’s an amazing Baroque, Boutique Hotel and is licensed for Civil Ceremonies which can be held in the Walnut Suite. There is also a stylish lounge and art deco styled bar. Photographs can be taken on the sweeping staircase or outside on the Parisian styled terrace.
Located in a beautiful country house setting on the borders of Cambridgeshire, Essex and Suffolk, it’s only one hour from central London and easily accessible from the M11 motorway and London Stansted Airport. The drinks reception can be held on the terrace of the main hall and the reception in the magnificent Pavilion. The extensive grounds provide photograph opportunities and room for games/bouncy castle etc. for all ages.
This timber-framed barn, dating from the late 16th Century, is linked to the kitchen, bar, bridal suite, and luxury toilets by a spectacular up-lit glass walkway, which also forms a breath-taking entrance lobby to the venue. The 7 acres of landscaped informal wooded grounds that surround the Tudor Barn provide the perfect backdrop for wedding photographs.
Voewood near Holt is a splendid and unique venue. You can hire the house and grounds for the whole weekend of your wedding. It is a real house and has to be viewed to be fully appreciated. With beautiful gardens and the option to erect a marquee this is a very special Norfolk venue. Photographer Chris Taylor has some wonderful photographs on his blog that will give you an idea of just how unique this venue is.
Waxham Barn is a vibrant, DIY, large wedding barn close to the beach and set amongst gorgeous countryside. The impressive barn has 2 rooms and a huge courtyard and outbuildings! If you are looking for a wedding venue where you can get as creative as you like, then look no further!
The barn has a stunning formal courtyard perfect for photographs and a drink after the wedding ceremony allowing you to enjoy the far reaching views out over the Suffolk countryside with the sun setting in the distance after the wedding breakfast.
A full list of approved venues for civil marriages and civil partnerships in Norfolk can be found on the Norfolk County Council website.