I’ve been lucky enough to photograph in lots of unusual wedding venues in Essex over the years. I love a quirky wedding and I thought a guide to some of my favourite places in Essex would be helpful to anyone looking for an alternative venue to have their wedding day at.
What makes a wedding venue unusual though? I guess, for me, it just means something away from your traditional country house or classic barn venue.. It’s somewhere with a bit more personality or a venue that’s in an unusual location. All of these venues are quite different. Some of them are more like your ‘classic’ venue with a traditional feel and some are nothing like your normal place. Not all of these are certified venues so you might need to do your legal ceremony elsewhere or just stick to an informal ceremony on the day. Enjoy reading about these alternatives to host your day at. And if you’re looking for a photographer who loves a wedding away from the norm then I’d love to hear from you!
Top 10 unusual wedding venues in Essex
- Hedingham Castle A proper castle. You can have your whole wedding here, from ceremony to meal and the party, you’ll get to use all the castle and the beautiful gardens. This is a really fun place if you want to add a bit of history to your day. Quite traditional in a lot of ways but you could make this quirkier but really embracing the castle theme.
- Eaton House Studios You don’t get more full of personality than than this place. It’s not a wedding venue but you can hire the whole house. There was talk of them doing one wedding a year, so a very limited amount and only for the right people. But if you’re looking for a really unique place for a small venue I think this would be hard to beat. The venue manager here is great too.
- Chalkney Water meadows. A classic if you’re after a fun festival style wedding.
- Wivenhoe Sailing Club I’ve done a few weddings here now. It’s such lovely spot, right by the river so it’s perfect for any water lovers. It’s not a legal venue but there’s space for a non-legal ceremony and party. You get both the upstairs and downstairs area. So quite a bit of room and all the space outside by the water. You can even turn up in a boat!
- Osea Island Another venue for the water lovers. You can book a whole island to yourself! This beautiful location has lots of quirky venues, accommodation, amazing views and is completely unique.
- Rayleigh Windmill A really little ceremony spot but this licensed venue is great if you’re looking for something more unusual than a registry office
- Captains Wood Barn The owner adds a touch of eccentricity to this unique woodland venue. There’s space for an outdoor ceremony in the woods and the barn is like a blank canvas for you to do as you wish with. Plus you’ll get a roaring bonfire at the end of the night.
- The Canary Shed An unusual venue that I’m dying to photograph a wedding at. I can’t believe it’s here in Essex. It looks like it’s full of personality and fun and the accommodation looks ace too.
- Teybrook Orchard. Another venue run by the Browning Bros. This one has lots of alternative accommodation dotted throughout the woods
- East Anglian Railway Museum A really fun venue, this railway museum has a real life train inside the venue plus a miniture steam train for rides. You’ll get to make the most of all the carriages there and you and and your guests can even rock up on a train as the museum is part of a working trainline.
Save this page to refer back to and if you’d love an Essex based photographer who totally gets why you’d want an unique wedding venue I’d love to hear more. My full day package includes my planning advice too so I can help you with the rest of your planning for your day!