Posted: December 02nd 2019
by Belle Hutton
Historic houses and castle wedding venues have enjoyed some celebrity limelight of late thanks to the high-profile weddings of The Duke and Duchess of Sussex and Ellie Goulding and Casper Jopling held at stately homes and castles. While castles and stately homes have always been a popular wedding venue choice, these star-studded weddings reaffirmed the fact that they’re not just for classic and traditional weddings, but can accommodate the kind of weddings millennials are now having.
For lots of people, there are certain rules that must be followed for a wedding, such as the bride or brides wearing a white dress, the ceremony taking place in a church and the wedding cake being a fruitcake.
Perhaps, in the past, a stately home wedding venue might be more commonly associated with a traditional wedding. But more and more millennials are breaking with tradition, redefining what a wedding should look like. Whether you have you always envisaged a dramatic wedding, your own royal wedding moment or something intimate and quirky, a stately home wedding venue can offer so much more than the beautiful, grand interior of a historic house setting.
With the increase in unique wedding trends comes the emergence of less formal ceremonies. That said we do still find that the majority of couples who get married at Norfolk’s Holkham fall in love with the beauty of the Marble Hall. “People adore the Marble Hall, because, however much society has changed and weddings have become more progressive, there are still many people who want that classic ‘fairytale princess’ moment” says Lady Leicester.
However, other couples might want an alternative setting to say ‘I do’ and if that’s the case the six other licensed wedding venue around Holkham offer just that. “Marquees in the Walled Garden, by the Lake or outside the idyllic Temple in the parkland, are becoming increasingly popular too”, says Lady Leicester. “Brides adore the idea of a slightly more relaxed party after the church service or ceremony in the hall, and they can feel very at one with nature, especially at the Temple”.
For a country garden wedding, there’s the charming Walled Garden, where English flowers cascade up brick walls and across sunken greenhouses and a working kitchen garden could provide some of the produce for your wedding breakfast – ticking that sustainability box (more on that later!) The Walled Garden is beautifully whimsical and romantic and an ideal spot to put up a tipi or other style marquee.
But if having a stunning view is important to you, there’s nowhere more beautiful to watch the sun go down over your wedding day than from our lakeside marquee site. Your wedding photos will be out of this world and there’s plenty of space for several tipis or marquees, as well as food and bar trucks if you’re looking for a full-on festival-themed wedding. More bohemian still is The Temple, an ethereal space hidden away in Holkham’s Norfolk woodlands. You might end up exchanging your vows to an audience of wild deer.
Perhaps spearheading the move from traditional weddings is the increase in multicultural weddings among millennials. The coming together of two families and two heritages offers a fantastic opportunity for couples to get creative with how the celebrate their cultural traditions. Some might just want to add nods to their heritage, while others embrace them fully. One of the main ways do this is through the food. Our list of preferred caterers have ample experience putting together wedding receptions featuring anything from three-course English meals to Indian feasts or even traditional African braais.
Bringing two cultures together often brings a large guest list with it too. The Lady Elizabeth Wing is an ideal space for multicultural weddings, it has space for over 100 guests and acts as a blank canvas for couples to bring to life with flowers and decorations, putting their own stamp on the wedding venue. Lady Leicester says: “In general with wedding decor, and tablescapes especially, we are seeing couples being more and more vibrant and daring, which in a stately home is really exciting to see! I think people are tiring of neutrals, whites and creams. They aren’t afraid to be unconventional, despite being in a historic house.”
More frequently we are seeing Millennial couples elongating their weddings with parties before and after the actual ceremony. Within Holkham’s wider estate there is scope for couples to have picnics or brunch on the beach, group horse riding lessons, a pre-wedding dinner at The Victoria Inn, as well as a huge number of activities on and around the nature reserve. There is also plenty of accommodation for wedding guests – from hiring the Ancient House exclusively (Read more here), or putting up your wedding party in cosy lodges deep in the parkland.
More and more couples are turning to sustainable options when it comes to making choices for their weddings, particularly with concerns to catering, flowers and decorations. Conservation and responsible farming practices have always been at the heart of the Coke family’s ethos for Holkham Estate and this extends into weddings and events. We support local wedding suppliers who in turn use local produce for the likes of flower arrangements and food, lowering carbon footprints and ensuring sustainable manufacturing practices are followed. We are seeing couples prefer to hire decorations to avoid waste after the wedding celebrations or choosing statement decor pieces to use in their homes after the wedding.
Ultimately, cookie-cutter traditions are increasingly being replaced with personal touches that represent the couple as people, offering the opportunity for a completely personal wedding day and Holkham’s weddings and events team is here to help you do exactly that.