Wedding Venues in Exeter
Wedding Venues in Exeter
The best of Exeter's castle, manors and Georgian houses, nestled among acres of stunning scenery and rolling hills
Nestled in secluded parkland just a few miles from Exeter, a pair of elegant white pillars marks the entrance to Rockbeare Manor, setting the tone for the grace and romance that lies beyond. You’ll catch the odd glimpse of the property as you weave your way along the meandering tree-lined driveway before arriving at the magnificent country house venue.
Originally built in 1760 as a home for entertaining, this stunning Grade I listed manor house has been a cherished family home, passing from generation to generation, since its purchase in 1855. The manor has recently undergone a thorough and loving restoration, being sensitively transformed into a wonderful contemporary venue. Now returning to its former glory, it has come full circle as a place for entertaining and, furthermore, a truly outstanding setting for a wedding.
Rich in the beauty of the past, those dreaming of a wedding in an elegant country house will fall in love with Rockbeare’s graceful architecture and 100 acres of glorious parkland. Features such as the striking façade framed by stately pillars, the balcony with intricate detailing spanning across the front of the house, the grand entrance hall and large bow windows add to its palpable air of romance.
Rockbeare Manor hosts exclusive use weddings for 50 to 160 guests. Dedicated to delivering a highly personal service, the events team will ensure the utmost care and attention will be given to every aspect of your day with their professional, bespoke service.
The bridal drawing room is the dreamiest of settings to prepare for the ceremony; later, you might even throw open the floor-to-ceiling windows and step onto the balcony to throw your bouquet. Meanwhile, The Billiard Room, with its low lighting and antique billiard table, is an ideal retreat for the men of the wedding party while the bride is preparing for the ceremony.
Civil ceremonies may take place on the pretty outdoor terrace or in the formal dining room – an elegant setting with handcrafted ornamental plasterwork and marble pillars. After drinks and canapés with your guests, it is on to the majestic, light-filled ballroom for the festivities to begin. The giant contemporary chandeliers, high ceiling and full-length windows overlooking acres of parkland give the room an expansive, airy feel, making it the perfect space for the wedding breakfast. Led by the venue’s own experienced head chef, the team has put together a mouth-watering and imaginative selection of dishes, lovingly prepared using the finest ingredients. Wherever possible, they use free-range or organic produce from local suppliers, ensuring every dish is of the highest standard.
With such picturesque grounds on the doorstep, you’ll want to venture outside to take in the sweeping views across the lake, lawns and formal terraces, the Haldon Hills and heights of Dartmoor beyond. At every turn there is a dreamy backdrop to capture memorable photographs.
A new addition to the venue, there are now 12 elegant bedrooms for your guests to stay overnight and savour Rockbeare’s special atmosphere a little longer. Each room is individually styled to offer the height in comfort and luxury while retaining the manor’s original features; think plush soft furnishings, slipper bathtubs and far-reaching views across this enchanting corner of Devon.
Rockbeare Manor, nr Exeter
EXETER GOLF AND COUNTRY CLUB
This elegant venue might be located on the outskirts of Exeter – as soon as you turn into the driveway, however, you are enveloped by the charms of a different time and the bustle of the city seems worlds away. Nestled amidst pretty gardens and acres of parkland, the crisp white Georgian manor house, Wear Park, overlooks an impeccably maintained golf course scattered with mature trees.
Steeped in history, the house dates back to the era of Henry III; the palatial architecture evokes a sense of decadence, from the huge pillars and grand doorway to the stunning floor-to-ceiling windows ushering in views across the grounds. Inside, a majestic double staircase, heavy drapes and twinkling chandeliers echo the drama of the building’s façade. Sumptuous furnishings and candelabras, teamed with a palette of cream and champagne, fuse a sense of classic romance with a contemporary mood.
There is a choice of Regency suites, which are licensed for wedding ceremonies. From the elegance of the Topsham Suite to the grand scale of the Duckworth Suite, which can accommodate up to 150 guests, there is a setting to suit a ceremony of any size. The Mews Room, with its own bar area and outdoor terrace overlooking the pools and tennis courts, will undergo a refurbishment this summer to provide a new, contemporary setting for both ceremonies and receptions. For a more intimate mood for the wedding breakfast, the stylish restaurant is available for celebrations with up to 60 guests in attendance.
After you have exchanged vows, celebrations may spill out onto the veranda where guests can enjoy bubbly alongside views across the putting green and landscaped gardens.
The wedding breakfast might be a relaxed buffet, seasonal afternoon tea or a decadent banquet designed around your tastes. The culinary team is passionate about delivering a menu executed with creativity and flair using fine quality and locally sourced, seasonal ingredients.
It is rare to find this sense of historic elegance combined with modern amenities and leisure facilities. The country club is home to the multiple award-winning Wear Park Spa, offering ESPA, nail, waxing and body treatments. Set on the first floor of the Georgian house with views across the golf course, it is the perfect venue for hen spa days with the restaurant on the ground floor below for lunch or an afternoon tea. The club’s heated indoor pool, Jacuzzi, steam room and sauna, and heated outdoor pool set within a Victorian walled garden, are available to spa day guests. The venue offers a series of pre-wedding packages, which allow you to kick back and relax prior to the nuptials, and emerge feeling radiant, energised – and raring to tie the knot in this magnificent historic setting.
Exeter Golf and Country Club
Countess Wear, Exeter
Powderham Castle has hosted celebrations, from the very grand to the very intimate, for over 600 years. Steeped in history, the majestic building stands amidst an ancient deer park and 3500 acres of rolling landscape on the edge of the Exe estuary. It is timeless, tranquil and unfeasibly beautiful.
Offering the quintessential wedding fairy tale, the castle houses a selection of state rooms that lend themselves to a stirringly romantic ceremony; choose from The Marble Hall, an intimate setting with access to the Rose Garden; the State Dining Room with its dramatic panelled walls and grand fireplace; the elegant Georgian Libraries or the Music Room, with its opulent interiors and breathtaking domed ceiling.
For those seeking a more whimsical vibe, venture into Powderham’s magical grounds, where you’ll discover the woodland wonderland that is the American Garden. Planted over 200 years ago, the garden is brimming with ornamental plants, lofty trees and woodland flowers. At the heart of the garden lies a Gothic pavilion, abloom with daffodils in the spring and rhododendrons in the summer, where you can marry to the sound of birdsong. Or, for vows with extraordinary views, hold your ceremony in the Belvedere tower where you can exchange your ‘I dos’ flanked by sweeping views across the gardens and estuary beyond.
The castle can host small-scale receptions for 10 through to 180 guests. From the grandeur of the State Dining Room – complete with musicians in the Minstrels’ Gallery should you wish – to the sheer beauty of the Music Room – perhaps with an accompaniment from the restored 18th century organ – each of the spaces offer romance and splendour in equal measure. The spaces are available to hire in a range of combinations to suit your individual requirements. You might even opt for a marquee celebration with the castle or the surrounding lakes as your backdrop.
The captivating charm of Powderham is present throughout the seasons: whether you envision al fresco celebrations amidst a carnival of flowers in the warmer months or feasting before a roaring fire in the State Dining Room for a magnificent winter affair.
A choice of accommodation is available, allowing you to stay on and savour the charm of this historic building a little longer. Choose from the four-poster beds and antique furnishings in the castle itself, or the newly refurbished Georgian Stables House, which is just a short walk from the castle, and offers ideal family accommodation. As versatile as it is enchanting, create your very own fairy tale in this spellbinding spot.
THE GREAT BARN
Hidden in an idyllic valley just eight miles from Exeter, surrounded by 120 acres of dreamy Devon countryside, you’ll find one of the county’s most extraordinary wedding venues. Marrying 15th century history with 21st century design to spectacular effect, the Great Barn is a vast – and breathtakingly beautiful – space.
Often referred to as the ‘thatched cathedral’ for its wonderful vaulted oak roof, The Great Barn offers the drama and spine-tingling atmosphere of a cathedral wedding for couples seeking a non-religious ceremony. Those dreaming of a traditional church wedding might marry in the picture-perfect church of St John the Baptist, which is just a short and pretty walk from the venue.
Lovingly restored by owners John and Emma Birkin, the historic barn offers complete privacy, a striking scale – meaning that all the celebrations may take place in a single sociable space – and exceptional attention to detail, including state of the art sound and lighting. The simple lime plastered walls also offer something of a blank canvas – from a pared back, elegant affair to country garden chic or a bold, beautiful aesthetic, this stunning backdrop can be styled according to your vision.
There is also an enchanting walled garden – a picturesque setting for the drinks reception, where guests can enjoy refreshing drinks and exquisite canapés while meandering the sun-dappled gardens and playing garden games on the lawn. Gardens strewn with roses, lavender and blossom-cloaked trees make unfeasibly romantic backdrops for photographs in the warmer months. In autumn, a creeper casts its deep red veil across the walls, while the structured shrubs and aged trees look particularly striking during winter.
An atmospheric and versatile space flooded with natural light, the newly refurbished West Barn blends historic charm with contemporary touches – it makes an ideal wet weather setting for the drinks reception, a comfy spot for coffees and children’s entertainment or simply a break-out zone for the evening party.
Completing the exclusive offerings, two beautifully restored cottages sit either side of the medieval courtyard. Offering stylish and comfortable accommodation for 13, the cottages allow couples to extend their celebrations over the course of three magical days. They also offer an elegant backdrop for the bridal preparations and timeout for tired children during the celebrations; complete with fine furnishings, luxe bathrooms and cosy sitting rooms, each is a wonderful bolthole to savour the celebrations in this oh-so special place.
The Great Barn
A majestic avenue of trees lines the drive of Pynes House. Believed to be the inspiration for Jane Austen’s Barton Park in ‘Sense and Sensibility’, the elegant Georgian house provides the most breathtaking location for your very own love story.
The surroundings have probably changed little since Austen’s rumoured visit. The house stands amidst its own 37-acre park, comprising stunning gardens – from the lush lawns and ornamental terraces to the rose garden with a fountain at its heart – a swathe of woodland and the verdant countryside.
Sitting deep in the Exe Valley countryside, you’d never know you’re just three miles away from Exeter; the exclusive use venue offers the perfect combination of a convenient location and away-from-it-all seclusion.
Stepping inside the huge ornate doors, you’re greeted by a spectacular stone entrance hall, complete with sweeping steps, a statue and intricate detailing.
This romantic arrival sets the tone for the magnificent staterooms and staircase, with its lovingly restored ceiling and striking stained glass window. Then there’s the Ballroom; crowned with twinkling chandeliers, this stunning space is light, airy and romantic, with picturesque views across the gardens. It is a dream setting for a ceremony or lavish wedding breakfast.
Several of the staterooms are licensed for civil ceremonies, from intimate affairs through to gatherings of up to 130 guests; each comes with its own individual features and charm – not to mention beautiful views that sit beyond the large Georgian windows – and can be styled as you wish. For an al fresco feel, you might even choose to marry before the majestic doors on the entrance steps.
And as the celebrations begin, you can spill onto the lawns and the beautifully manicured gardens to take full advantage of the grounds. From a woodland stroll as newly-weds to photographs with the verdant valleys as your backdrop, it’s the perfect spot for your guests to enjoy drinks, canapés and garden games. Inside, guests can enjoy mingling in the staterooms, perhaps relaxing by the fireplace for drinks in the Drawing Room or taking a dance in the Ballroom.
When it comes to relaxing before and after the wedding, the accommodation is second-to-none. The 12 recently renovated bedrooms scream of classic style and impeccable design. While each room carries reminders of the building’s past, such as elegant fireplaces and ornate ceilings, the beautifully restored spaces also offer the finest in modern comfort, with luxury linens and contemporary bathrooms, ensuring an indulgent and comfortable stay.
Romantic details such as the Romeo and Juliet-style balcony to the myrtle bush in the rose garden, which is believed to have grown from a clipping from Queen Victoria’s bridal bouquet, simply add to the dreaminess of this picturesque – and oh-so inspiring – place.