I went with one of my bridesmaids to visit Woodhall Manor in Woodbridge (near Ipswich, Suffolk) on Sunday.
Oh. My. God.
I knew it was going to be good (their Facebook page has some fabulous pictures of the venue: https://www.facebook.com/WoodhallManorSuffolk and so does their website: http://www.woodhallmanor.co.uk/) but holy moly was it AMAZING. I swear I practically hyperventilated at the point in time I wandered into the bridal suite and spotted the biggest four-poster bed you’ve ever seen. When I turned around and spotted the enormous bath (could easily seat 4) I think I Ally and I both stopped breathing.
The grounds are absolutely stunning, they even have a dove house complete with doves just above the area where you can get married (if you wanted to get married outside). The venue and grounds are immaculately kept, which is not always the case (Braxted Park, Layer Marney Tower, more on those later). The building is amazing and I love that there are lots of rooms to get lost in so if you don’t want to spend the evening dancing you can go and spend time in the lounge-cum-bar area (I expect to find my husband there from about 7pm onwards on the day, given that he is positively phobic when it comes to dancing).
There are some lovely little touches. The room where the bride gets ready (right at the top of the house, away from everything and lavishly decorated) is beautiful and has a little balcony overlooking the grounds. There are at least two different rooms you can get married in, and you can also choose to get married outside just under the dove house.
According to the price list I picked up on Sunday, at time of writing you are looking (for their basic package, in May) at around £105 per person but that does include drinks, 3-course wedding breakfast and evening buffet amongst other things. Also includes exclusive hire of the venue for the day. You pay extra for accommodation, I believe there is a minimum number of rooms you must book depending on the time of year (e.g. during peak season you have to book quite a few of the rooms).
So, in summary, I think it is safe to say that Woodhall Manor is looking like a _serious_ contender…