If you’re looking for a wedding venue that makes you feel immersed in the middle of the countryside, look no further than Wasing Park. Located within the 4,000 acre Wasing Estate in West Berkshire, which dates back to the 18th century, this venue is only an hour’s drive from London and yet feels like an oasis. The surroundings are immediately alluring, while there is no ceremony whose needs can’t be met by its expert team.
It is 10 years since Wasing Park first opened, and over this time the site has developed from a few core buildings into a sprawling community of converted barns and gardens. It has become one of the most versatile wedding venues in the country, with three entirely unique options for ceremonies.
Each of these options makes use of the estate’s unique architecture. The on-site Church of St Nicholas dates back to the 15th century. Set in the heart of the estate, it offers an intimate setting with stunning stained-glass windows. Just across the lawn, the Garden Room is filled with natural light ready to be transformed with bespoke floral arrangements. Alternatively, on a sunny day, the Victorian Summerhouse located within the Terrace Garden provides an enticing option for outdoor ceremonies, featuring hand-painted floral murals and exquisite views of the landscaped gardens.
The staff have excellent working relationships with local florists and wedding dress suppliers, all of whom have extensive experience in helping visitors find the right look for their big day. The catering is provided by Surrey-based Galloping Gourmet, who offer up meals for all tastes and requirements. Many of their ingredients are sourced from the estate itself, foraged by the head chef and his team. The Castle Barn provides a picturesque setting for dinner and dancing, with the brick interior riddled with arrow slits and supported by oak beams. The barn can host up to 140 people for seated dining, and there is also a stage set up for a band or DJ. Outside a large terrace is fitted with a barbeque for those looking to take the party into the open air.
One of the greatest advantages of holding your wedding at Wasing Park is that everything is on your doorstep. The venue has the capacity to sleep as many as 75 guests on site, and each accommodation option is is within a minute’s walk of the communal spaces. The honeymoon suite, which boasts “the biggest bed in Berkshire”, features the wooden beams that date back to when the room was a hay loft. There are also 17 contemporary suites and a selection of Old Estate Rooms to choose from, which include the Granary raised up on staddle stones, The Dovecote with its winding staircase and triangular bed, and The Smithy, which once functioned as a blacksmith shop. These buildings are Grade-II listed, and each one combines original character with an individual sense of luxury.
For those seeking an added adventure, there are two blank-canvas outdoor wedding venues on the estate that are available for exclusive hire. The Secret Walled Garden is a private paradise, complete with rustic iron gates, beautiful flower arrangements and The Folly, an outhouse that is fully licensed for civil ceremonies. In keeping with Wasing Park’s versatile offering, the adjacent Bothy can function as a honeymoon suite or an additional space for guests. Hidden deeper within the leafy grounds, the Woodland Venue is covered by ancient trees and overlooks a large glittering lake, which was once used for storing ice. Featuring carved wooden benches and a stage, this space can easily be turned into a festival with lanterns, street food stalls and a fire pit. Both the Secret Walled Garden and the Woodland Venue have ample room for camping and luxury “glamping”, with the Wasing Park team on hand to recommend providers who can bring that extra bit of magic to the celebrations.
Whether you’re looking for a church ceremony or a forest festival, Wasing Park has it all to offer. To find out more, check out their Funky Weddings profile here.
Photo: Ed Dabney