Wedding FAQs

Frequently asked questions about weddings at The Walled Garden

What are wedding venues?

As you know there are 2 parts to most weddings: a ceremony and reception. There are certain ancient laws about where the ceremony can or cannot take place. Unfortunately, we are not registered for marriage in The Walled Garden. That said many couples have had the legal ceremony at a local registry office and afterwards a ceremony unique to them in The Walled Garden, leading into the wedding breakfast and evening celebration. At your viewing we can talk through the possibilities.

How much do wedding venues cost?

If you are researching weddings, you’ll undoubtedly have come across a huge range of locations – with a vast range of prices! If you are looking for a historic and unique setting for your reception, you’ll find The Walled Garden, with prices starting at under £4,000 for a peak-season Saturday wedding, is one of the most reasonably priced fully-equipped marquee locations in London and Essex. Visit our “Prices” page for full listings of our wedding reception packages.

How to find wedding venues

Search engines and review sites are a great source for venue ideas. Try asking your friends about which wedding venues they have attended and what opinions they formed. The Walled Garden is something of an insider secret (we only host 10 weddings each year), so you may not find out much about us, which is why it’s a great idea to book your personal private tour of the venue.

When should you book a wedding venue?

The sooner the better! The Walled Garden is taking bookings up to 3 years in advance, but it’s always worth checking if we have a weekend free for you.

When should you start planning your wedding?

There’s a lot to do when planning a wedding, and the time will fly by faster than you think. By booking The Walled Garden you will wipe out a hundred of your wedding reception headaches in a stroke, as we’ll be able to take a lot of the organisational chores off your hands. Once booked, one of our venue managers and our catering supervisor will guide you through the planning with face-to-face consultations starting 3 months and 2 weeks before the day. Of course we are just on the end of a telephone line or email for questions in between.

Does the price include catering?

Catering prices can vary greatly according to the type of menus you would like at your wedding. Once our caterers have an idea of your budget and preferences, they will provide a quote for you. Ideally you will have this discussion before confirming the venue. Our caterers provide food and staff to a very high standard and can cover just about any request. In the build-up to the day, you will be able to make changes to the catering.

Can we provide our own catering or caterers?

For many reasons we are unable to allow self-catering. But we understand that you will want a high quality of food and serving staff. Our partner caterers are fully familiar with The Walled Garden facilities and you can be assured that your guests will be well looked after. If you are looking for something a bit different, our catering manager can work with you on that. For instance we can recommend a super ice-cream bike that suits the venue perfectly.

Can I bring my own decorations to dress the marquee?

We love it when guests choose to personalise the venue, but we do ask that nothing is taped, glued or tied to the marquee canvas, windows or poles. The Venue Manager will be able to advise you on how decorations can be installed inside the marquee.

Do you allow for a wedding venue theme?

The Walled Garden would lend itself perfectly to a ‘Secret Garden’ or ‘Victorian’ theme, but for anyone more adventurous, it could easily host an ‘Alice In Wonderland’ or even ‘Narnia’ themed wedding! Access from 12pm on the Friday before the reception would allow you to dress the area as you wish (to be agreed with the Venue Manager as above).

Do my guests have to pay for drinks?

Guests can pay over the bar by cash or card, or drinks can be charged to a host’s card. If the host is buying, we can cap the bar bill at a certain sum or specify that only certain drinks are available on the tab – it really is up to you.

Can we provide our own drinks?

We’re afraid that we are unable to allow you to provide your own drinks. The caterers realise that the wine bill can be high so some couples provide their own table wines for the wedding breakfast. We are unable to store alcohol overnight so arrangements need to be made to have these wines delivered on the day of the reception.

What time do we have The Walled Garden for?

You will have access from midday on the day prior to your reception until midday the day after your event. So you have a generous amount of time to set up and kit down your accessories and decoration. All deliveries and collections should be planned to occur within those times. On the day The Walled Garden can be open to guests from 12:30pm until 11pm. Please note that our standard price allows for the bar to be manned for a maximum of 6 hours.

How late can the wedding reception run?

Evening events are permitted to run until 11pm, but no later. Contractors will have up until 11:59pm to clear down and depart, after which the site must be locked.

Is the reception party entirely contained within The Walled Garden?

Everything your guests need for the evening is hosted within the garden, but there’s no reason why they can’t stretch their legs in the surrounding grounds. We simply ask that guests are polite, behave appropriately and that children are accompanied. For licensing and health and safety reasons, we ask that no drinks are to be taken out of the garden.

Is The Walled Garden accessible for wheelchair users?

Immediately adjacent to The Walled Garden are several allocated access parking spaces for wheelchair users. Although the main guest entrance is too narrow for both wheelchairs and push chairs, our stewards are happy to help wheelchair users to our second access-friendly entrance. Unfortunately, due to the age of The Walled Garden and its status as a listed site, the venue toilets are difficult to access for wheelchair users. Again, our stewards will gladly assist wheelchair users to our more access-friendly facilities a short distance from the venue.

There will be a number of children at our wedding reception. Do you have any advice?

It’s lovely to have youngsters around on your special day. The Walled Garden is a fragile environment so we need to ensure that children use the space appropriately. For reception with 10 or more children attending we provide Play Leaders for the first 2 or 3 hours to settle the children in and give parents a break. Many couples provide games for children and adults alike. If so please note that ball games are not permitted and we suggest avoiding any games equipment that can cause damage or injury in the wrong hands.

What if there is bad weather?

We try our best to ensure bad weather doesn’t drown out your day. In cases of rain, our stewards can provide umbrellas and festival footwear to help keep guests dry as you move from shelter to shelter. And, during rare cold snaps, we can provide vintage-style gas heaters throughout your marquee, so guests stay comfortable indoors. Plus, a number of our 6m gazebos come with radiant heaters. You should be aware that exceptionally high winds would make the marquee unsafe. We can advise you on safety limits which, to be honest, have not yet been exceeded during the wedding season. In the very unlikely event that wind is an issue we would be working with you to find alternative venues.

Do we need to take out insurance?

We highly recommend that you take out wedding insurance. There are plenty of packages to be found online of generally excellent value given the big investment of money in most weddings. When selecting options, be sure to select marquees as protection against any wilful damage caused by guests. By booking The Walled Garden for your wedding, you have the comfort of included 3rd Party cover for injuries to guests caused by our negligence or equipment failure. But we don’t accept liability to guests, client or contractors for personal accident, injury or loss or damage to personal property.

Can I set off fireworks?

You are welcome to set off fireworks to celebrate your special day provided they are safe and you are finished by 11pm to comply with statutory noise regulations. Firework displays will need a detailed risk assessment and 3rd party liability insurance, so are best done by a professional provider. We can recommend a fantastic display company who have already carried out the necessary risk assessments to operate at our venue.

The best-kept secret in
   Wonderful Weddings

When it comes to parties, your wedding should be the biggest you ever have. If you’d like to hire our unique venue in Essex to host the most important day of your life, we’d love to welcome you and make it truly magical for everyone.

Discover the hidden treasure of The Walled Garden for your wedding reception.