Looking for a venue like no other? We’ve rounded up some of the most unique wedding venues in Essex. These licensed, lesser-known gems have magical settings that are beautiful just the way they are #SecretEssex

Bride and Groom inside Hedingham CastleHedingham Castle

How many people can say they tied the knot in a castle? Arrive in true style by Rolls Royce, say I do in the candle lit castle and choose to remain there for your reception or move to the Georgian house and ballroom marquee, both on the estate. The stunning grounds provide an amazing backdrop for your cherished photos. Overnight at the top of the keep and feel like lord and lady of the manor! Rest your head in a four-poster bed; the double bathtub is even hidden in a chest! And wake up to beautiful countryside views from your lofty height at this fairy tale venue.

1hr from London by direct train, 20 min drive from Braintree station.

Wedding Reception in Princes TheatrePrinces Theatre 

Every couple takes centre stage at this original 1930s venue. Feel like a star as you and your bridal party get ready in the backstage dressing rooms before entering the ceremony on the red carpet. Seating up to 400 guests, with room for an additional 400 in the evening, you can go BIG. You would have your very own theatre technician dedicated to lighting up your big day and providing surround sound for the ultimate party. You can even have indoor fireworks, from silver jets to confetti and streamer canons!

1hr 25 mins from London by direct train, 5 min walk from Clacton station, parking on-site.

Rayleigh WindmillRayleigh Windmill 

A hidden gem just off Rayleigh High Street, the Windmill is an iconic venue in which to say “I do”! Invite up to 20 guests. With exclusive use of the Windmill and its peaceful garden, it’s a great location for quirky photos too. Get in touch with the dedicated wedding co-ordinator for a pricelist and to discuss your special day further.

40 min by direct train from London, 10 min walk from Rayleigh station.

Teepee Wedding at Chalkney Water MeadowsChalkney Water Meadows

If you are looking for a wild wedding with a more relaxed and natural vibe, this bohemian lakeside glamping village is for you. From seating between 80-150 guests on hay bales and tucking into a feast underneath huge tepees, to dancing the night away under twinkling fairy lights. Your guests will be within steps of their bed come the end of the night while you make the short distance to your secluded lakeside lodge nestled amongst woodland.

1hr from London by direct train, 10 min drive from Marks Tey station.

Bride and alpaca at Great LodgeGreat Lodge, Bardfield Vineyard

Get hitched in a beautiful Tudor barn, once owned by royalty and now forming part of a vineyard estate. From feeding the alpacas, and croquet on the lawn to fairground stalls in the garden, and wine from the vines, the options are endless at this pretty country retreat. Seating up to 150 guests with on-site accommodation in converted barns oozing character for up to 14 guests. 2024 dates available.

1hr from London by direct train, 20 min drive from Braintree station.

Electric PalaceElectric Palace Cinema

Spent many a date night at the cinema? Both love the big screen? To our knowledge, the Electric Palace Cinema is one of only three cinemas in the UK with a marriage license. Built in 1911, this picture house is full of charm and character, seating up to 200 guests. Why not incorporate film into your ceremony, hire pop-up caterers (venue has an alcohol license) or create your own cinema tickets for your guests!

1hr 45 min from London by direct train, 15 min walk from Harwich Town station.

The Canary ShedThe Canary Shed

Celebrate BIG style in a crazy beautiful barn with up to 120 of your favourite people. The walls are made from old potato boxes and the ceiling is covered in thousands of birds! Overnight at the on-site accommodation within the pretty farm, chill in the spa, nurse your hangovers, revel in the memories of the night before and bask in the glow of actually being married! Check out isn’t until 3pm! Make a weekend of your wedding… because why wouldn’t you?

1hr from London by train, 6 min drive from Burnham-on-Crouch station.

If you liked this blog, follow us on Instagram @visitessex for lots more #SecretEssex ideas. And if you’ve got your heart set on a more traditional wedding venue, check out Essex County Council’s full list of licensed wedding venues




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