Some of the most famous and picturesque buildings on film and TV are available for wedding hire...
Stoke Park: Bridget Jones’ Diary
The name’s Park. Stoke Park. You may recognise this grade I listed building from Bond classics such as Goldfinger and Tomorrow Never Dies. Or, you might recollect the Great Hall, Pennsylvania Suite and lake appeared in the memorable mini-break scenes from Bridget Jones’ Diary.
Just four miles away from Pinewood studios, Stoke Park has always been a firm favourite in the British film industry. Now, it’s a favourite with brides too, thanks to its graceful interiors, 300 acres of parkland and convenient location just half-an-hour from London.
Packages from £150 per person. 01753 717188, stokepark.com.
Cornwell Manor: The Holiday
Follow in the footsteps of Cameron Diaz and Jude Law in guilty-pleasure Christmas classic The Holiday by celebrating at Cornwell Manor in the Cotswolds. Who can forget the scene in the film when a divinely-styled Cam and Jude take lunch and frolic in the gardens as they fall in love?
We can’t promise the Hollywood-worthy budget, but thanks to the beauty of the 16th century manor house set in 2,000 acres of grounds, you’ll certainly feel like a few million bucks. The ballroom is licensed for weddings, while there’s also the option of exchanging vows in Cornwell Parish Church, which is within walking distance.
Prices from £3000 per night. 01608 698673, cornwellmanor.com.
Castle Ward: Game Of Thrones
Game of Thrones fans might recognise Castle Ward in Northern Ireland from the early episodes, as the 18th century mansion doubled as Stark headquarters: Winterfell. The historic farmyard is seen in series one, and also provides the backdrop to scenes in the Whispering Wood, Robb Stark’s camp and the Baelor battle.
While nuptials throughout the series have a bad reputation (let’s not mention the Red Wedding...), a celebration at Castle Ward will run without a hitch. There are two sites for a marquee, and the stable-yard tea room offers additional space for an evening reception. All this, surrounded by the natural beauty of County Down. Wedding is coming.
Room hire starts from £1,250. 028 4488 1204, nationaltrust.org.uk/castle-ward.
Alnwick Castle: Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone
Who can forget the first glimpse we get of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry in Harry Potter And The Philosopher’s Stone? As the wide-eyed first years sailed towards the moonlit school in a fleet of candle-bedecked boats, it’s hard to image that anyone watching wasn’t as enchanted as they were.
So the good news is that you can have yourself a little piece of movie magic by hosting your big day at Alnwick Castle, Northumberland, which appeared in the films. The Norman castle features a banqueting hall with restored beams, stone arches, and a cobbled courtyard for a drinks reception. Magical soundtrack optional.
Off-peak room hire from £250. 01665 511100, alnwickcastle.com.
Blenheim Palace: Cinderella
The famous locale has been seen on screen many, many times but topping the list are two of this year’s biggest productions: campy E! drama The Royals and blockbusting fairytale Cinderella. So whether you caught a glimpse as Elizabeth Hurley’s Queen Helena stalked the property, or noticed it as the prince’s palace when Cinders passed by in her carriage, the important bit is that you can actually host your big day there.
The palace offers a variety of options where you can tie that knot including The Orangery and the double-vaulted Marlborough Room, while The Saloon, The Great Hall and The Long Library are all fitting backdrops for a suitably stunning reception.
Price on application. 01993 810530, blenheimpalace.com.
Highclere Castle: Downton Abbey
If you fancy yourselves as lord and lady of the manor, you’ll be delighted to discover you can marry with all due pomp and ceremony at Highclere Castle, the real house behind fictional Downton Abbey. This glorious Victorian building offers brides an elegant day, set in a stately yet familiar backdrop.
With period features galore, Highclere is home to myriad grand rooms you’ll recognise from the show, including the drawing room and the dining room. The opulent saloon, at the heart of the castle, is licensed for civil ceremonies and the bride can make her grand entrance down the sweeping oak staircase.
Exclusive use from £15,000. 01635 253210, highclerecastle.co.uk.