Your Kent Wedding - March/April 2024 (Issue 113)

HEVER CASTLE & GARDENS 01732 861 800 | Nestled in 125 acres of award-winning gardens, Hever Castle is the epitome of Tudor charm, and offers three award-winning Kent wedding venues. The double moated castle was once the childhood home of Anne Boleyn, now its splendid, panelled rooms contain fine antique furniture, tapestries and a unique collection of Tudor portraits. The Astor Wing is a series of beautiful Tudor-style buildings joined to Hever Castle, offering magnificent oak panelling, ornate fireplaces, antique furnishings, and an eclectic art collection. For a castle wedding, ceremonies (48 seated, 12 standing) take place in the Inner Hall where panelled walls, beautifully carved columns and an elaborate staircase gallery set the scene. There’s a fine display of antique furniture and an exceptional collection of portraits depicting Tudor monarch too. For a wedding in the Astor Wing, ceremonies (48 seated, 12 standing) take place in the Tudor Suite sitting room, surrounded by private lawns and oak panelled throughout. The Tudor Suite has unparalleled views of the castle, moat and gardens, while leaded windows fill the rooms with light, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere. For any of the above ceremony options, receptions take place in the Moat Restaurant (for Astor Wing weddings taking place before March 2025) accommodating up to 120 guests for dancing with a licensed bar until midnight. For couples looking for al fresco nuptials, they can tie the knot under the beautiful arched columns of the Italian Loggia overlooking the lake, the stunning gardens providing a picture-perfect setting. This magical, Italian-inspired lakeside location can also host your drinks reception; guests can take in the views from the stone piazza complete with its very own Trevi-inspired fountain. Receptions for up to 180 take place in the Guthrie Pavilion. Extensively refurbished in Palladian style, offering vaulted ceilings and floor-to-ceiling arched windows, this space provides a light and airy atmosphere from day into night without losing the romantic backdrop. When choosing this big-day venue, couples benefit from a menu tasting and a complimentary annual pass as a wedding gift from Hever Castle where you can continue to experience 125 acres of award-winning gardens. Stroll through the Italian Garden’s grandeur, with its classical statues and Pompeiian Wall. Inhale the fragrance of over 5,000 roses, marvel at the giant topiary chessboard, or find peace in the Sunken Garden. Tudor charm awaits, with seasonal blooms in the Blue Corner and Rhododendron Walk, whuile tranquillity reigns by the 38-acre lake, perfect for reflecting on the castle’s rich history. MERCURE TUNBRIDGE WELLS 01892 628 298 | Built around the original Georgian Dower House, Mercure Tunbridge Wells is a charming four-star hotel showcasing the perfect combination of traditional and modern. The Oast House provides a grand entrance for you and your guests while the original Georgian House and terrace provides a warm and welcoming atmosphere. All of its function rooms are neutral, providing the perfect backdrop for any theme. The Parkside Suite hosts up to 150 day and evening guests; located on the ground floor, it’s fully accessible and has its own private function bar inside the room, toilets and direct access to its own private garden – this means your guests have everything they need all in one place. Park Avenue Suite, accommodating 70 day loved ones and 50 evening attendees, is located on the first floor in the original Georgian Dower House part of the building. It boasts original Georgian windows and is the perfect space for more intimate wedding breakfasts and gatherings. Finally, Park View Suite (40) is ideal for more intimate ceremonies and overlooks − and has direct access to − the courtyard. When choosing this venue for the big day, couples receive a complimentary menu tasting prior to the wedding day, a complimentary stay in the bridal suite (including breakfast), and also, to celebrate their one-year anniversary, a complimentary dinner in the hotel restaurant! 22