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Spotlight on Staunton Harold Hall


Wedding couple at Staunton Harold Hall, Leicestershire.  Photo by Sarah Solotti

Staunton Harold Hall sits at the heart of the Staunton Harold Estate in rural Leicestershire.   Originally built by the Shirley family and home to the Earl Ferrers it was described by Nicholas Pevsner as ‘Unsurpassed in the country, at least as far as Englishness is concerned.' After a short period (relatively speaking) as a hospice it was bought by the current owners in 2003 to be restored and returned to its former glory as a family home.  For just ten days each summer Staunton Harold becomes the ultimate wedding venue.  


I was lucky enough to meet with Caroline who lives at the Hall with three generations of her family.  Her passion for creating the perfect event for both bride and groom as well as all the guests is clear from the off.  This is her home and as such she welcomes couples into her family - many return to Staunton Harold to walk the grounds, enjoy the refreshments and facilities of the Ferrers Centre (in the old stables) time and time again.


Wedding couple at Staunton Harold Hall, Leicestershire.  Photo by Sarah Solotti

Caroline explained that because they limit the number of weddings they host, each and every one is as big a deal for the whole family as it is for the Bride and Groom and their families.  Unlike many corporate venues, you have exclusive use of the wedding rooms - no bumping into another bridal party here!  And boy what rooms they are - from the Great Hall used for the reception and later the dancing, to the Ballroom which can seat around 100 for a wedding breakfast, to the exquisite library which provides a much valued quiet space for guests preferring to chat than dance, the State rooms, as they are known, are truly stunning.  They are, I would suggest, the perfect balance between home and grandeur.  


Wedding couple at Staunton Harold Hall, Leicestershire.  Photo by Sarah Solotti

Of course there is the obligatory grand staircase (perfect for bridal photos) which leads to a suite of rooms offered for your exclusive use.  These include a games room equipped with ping pong ideal for calming the nerves of a groom and his party (as well as a children’s room if required).  There is also a luxurious living room and fully equipped kitchen adjoining the bridal prep room - ensuring the bridal party is fully catered for.  


As to the specifics of how couples can marry at Staunton Harold, there is plenty of choice.  Literally a stone’s throw opposite the house is a stunning National Trust church - built in 1653, the High Anglican church was a protest against the puritanical Oliver Cromwell.  Traditionally only long-standing parishioners of the hamlet of Staunton Harold were allowed to marry here but nowadays provided you are prepared to attend services in the lead up to the wedding and are successful in your application to the Archbishop of Canterbury for the licence required, anyone can marry there.  For secular weddings, the family provides a magnificent, formal ceremony room licensed for civil weddings and able to seat a few over 100 in supreme comfort.  This setting is also available if you prefer a celebrant wedding although in this case you are free to choose whichever location inside or out best suits your personal preferences.


Wedding couple at Staunton Harold Hall, Leicestershire.  Photo by Sarah Solotti

One of the things I enjoyed most in my chat with Caroline, after acknowledging her enthusiasm and love for making your wedding perfect, was her many top tips that she offers her brides.  Have you thought for example about having speeches at the start of the Wedding Breakfast - much kinder on the nerves of those speaking.  Experience tells her that starting wedding events a little later in the day ensures you and your guests can maintain full energy throughout.  Caroline will suggest that prior to your guests’ arrival all the windows are shuttered - no sneak previews into the spectacular rooms stunningly adorned as you have chosen - this ensures excited gasps as guests enter the rooms.  Caroline has lots more tips and advice all gained through the many years of running events at Staunton Harold.


What resonated with me was that at Staunton Harold, you are free to create the perfect wedding for you.  Traditions are important to people but only where they serve us well.  If something isn’t right for you, don’t do it. As Caroline put so eloquently, almost everything else in life has moved on and yet people still feel the need to fulfil wedding traditions that are outdated and cumbersome - if you don’t want a top table, don’t have one; if your father dreads public speaking, consider asking a friend to do a bridal toast.  After all this this is your day, it should reflect your values.


Wedding couple at Staunton Harold Hall, Leicestershire.  Photo by Sarah Solotti

By Catrina Young, Leicestershire Heart-led celebrant, Marking Life’s Moments.

© Hardingstone Ceremonies, Feb 2024



For more details about holding your wedding at Staunton Harold see Weddings at Staunton Harold Hall



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2 Comments


Guest
Feb 23

I hadn’t heard of Staunton Harold Hall but what an incredible venue and gorgeous setting! I also love that it’s still a family home!

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Catrina
Catrina
Feb 24
Replying to

Yes, it really is a very special place. x

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