Six helpful tips on how to choose the perfect venue for your intimate wedding.

Header image by Creative Depictions 

Planning an intimate wedding is an exciting journey to embark on with your partner. A smaller more intimate affair is just as romantic and unique as the larger wedding but with more time to spend with your loved ones, making your special event more atmospheric and personal. Budget-wise, you will have more flexibility to spend on the finer, more spoiling details too.

Couple walking through hornbeam arches

Photo by Katrina Bartlam

There are many decisions that you will need to make in finding the perfect wedding venue for your Intimate wedding. With so many wonderful venues to choose from across the country, from a gorgeous country house venue such as Pauntley Court to a showstopping castle or a rustic barn, it can feel overwhelming at the start.

Photo by Matt Fox

Pauntley Court is a private and unique exclusive-use venue, ‘Grand in nature, intimate by design’ and so perfect for the smaller wedding. From as small as just the 2 of you for an Elopement, all the way up to a maximum of 40 guests. You and your partner can choose to marry either in the beautiful Norman church next door or in one of the six outdoor licensed garden rooms or two indoor licensed rooms inside the house. With ten wonderfully luxurious bedrooms on site, this stunning country house will comfortably sleep both of you, and your 22 family members and close friends, for three days and two nights. You can then invite up to another 16 family and friends for your Wedding Day. We have a fantastic Pauntley Team who will ensure that you create the intimate wedding of your dreams!

ceremony between the quince trees

Photo by Siobhan Beales

"If you are looking for an intimate wedding venue, I don’t think you can do better than the location and the team at Pauntley Court. The setting is superb, highly photogenic inside and out, and an amazing place to spend a few days. The attention to detail in the house is outstanding, whether in the formal rooms or the kitchen, where we found everything could possibly need (and a lot more!). From the outset we were extremely well looked after by Melissa and the team, and I can honestly say that I can’t think of any aspect of our wedding that could have gone better. We already want to come back to celebrate our anniversary!”
The Groom – Nic
April 2024 Wedding- a Petite wedding of 24 people

 

1. Your wedding location

Often people will choose a rough location before looking into specific venues. There are many things to consider when choosing a location for your intimate wedding. It could be an important location for you as a couple, easily accessible for guests or perhaps stress-free links to the airport for your honeymoon. As an intimate wedding venue in the Cotswolds, we cannot stress enough the breathtaking beauty of the Gloucestershire countryside that surrounds us. Couples from all over the world have chosen to get married at Pauntley Court, often for our proximity to the Cotswolds and the privacy and tranquillity as a hidden away hamlet that Pauntley’s location affords.

Couple walking into ballroom

Photo by Katrina Bartlam

2. What type of venue atmosphere are you looking for?

It is important to think about what resonates with you as a couple. If you already have other aspects of your wedding planned like a colour palette or a general theme or vibe this can help make your decision easier.
 
The pinkish-terracotta colour of Pauntley is often what can attract couples initially to our venue and this unique colour of the house can give you and your guests a feeling that they are in a heavenly hidden retreat in rural Italy or France - a destination wedding vibe in the Gloucestershire countryside!
Couple in front of Pauntley Court
Photo by Katrina Bartlam
 
The house itself is truly unique, both in architecture and design as well as interior décor. With the hand-painted ceiling in the Panelled Room and above the grand main stairs as well as the painted history on the landing, Pauntley Court has a very creative, characterful, and artistic energy about it. As a family home, there is a passion and love and care for Pauntley from the Hargreaves family and Melissa herself that gives you an instant feeling of warmth and friendliness when you step inside.
 
Photo by The Ferros
 
Pauntley Court is a grade II listed country house with lots of character and history. It is the birthplace of Dick Whittington (born 1352) and home to Elinor Fettiplace, whose cookery book (dated 1604) we celebrate as well as much loved by John Masefield, the Poet Laureate, who said of Pauntley Court ’ …a place of great beauty and strangeness..’ Very much a part of Pauntley Court’s uniqueness too, are the sensational formal garden rooms surrounding the house - clipped yew hedges, a sunken Elizabethan garden with its ornamental pond, the Quince tree orchard and the fabulous hornbeam arches for having your wedding breakfast under. Your photograph options are endless. A tennis court, croquet lawn, a petanque court, walks around the river and lake, and the Blissful Bower – a Shepherds Hut providing massages on site, also provide a wonderful sense of wellbeing for you, your family and friends.
 
Photo by Katrina Bartlam
 
   
Photo by Siobhan Beales
 
Photo by Lauren Juliette
 
 

3. View your potential wedding venues

We suggest viewing as many potential venues as you can during your decision-making process. It can be difficult to really get the true feeling for a venue through photos alone. Many venues will also have wedding open days.

At Pauntley Court, as it is a family home, Melissa loves to meet you and take you on a personal tour with her around the house and gardens.  You can book a viewing HERE or email Melissa directly.

We have many beautiful images taken by many talented photographers, and these still cannot compare to seeing this wonderful house and experiencing the magic of the gardens and grounds in person. The number of couples that we have done viewings with, who have fallen in love with the charm, atmosphere, and individuality of Pauntley Court, means that making an effort to come and meet Melissa and have an in person viewing is one of our top recommendations. Melissa is absolutely passionate about Pauntley and she will tell you about all the exceptionally special spaces you can use over your three day weekend here.

Photo by Patrick Partridge

4. What questions to ask when choosing a wedding venue

There are many questions you will want to ask when you visit a wedding venue. You will need to know about capacity, available dates, pricing, and nearby accommodation. You will also need to know who will be your venue contact during the planning phases and it can be worth asking if the venue has suggested photographers or a preferred supplier list.

At Pauntley Court, we have an amazing team of Wedding Coordinators as well as a brilliant housekeeper, Rachel, who you can ask to help you at any point over your weekend stay.  Melissa will be able to answer all your questions when you come and visit and absorb the wonderful friendly and warm atmosphere that pervades from this fairy-tale like place.

We do have a preferred list of fantastic caterers for your intimate wedding breakfast and also a preferred bar supplier if your wedding is 32-40 people.  Otherwise, if you are having wedding party of less than 24 people, you can bring your own alcohol at no extra charge.

Photo by Patrick Partridge

5. What type of marriage ceremony would you like to have?

Decide with your partner whether you would like a church, civil or celebrant-led wedding.  At Pauntley Court, all three ways for your ceremony are possible.

With the Norman church just next door to Pauntley Court, a church wedding is very special.  The bells can be heard on the morning of your wedding and you can walk up to the church with your bridesmaids.  For an intimate wedding, St John the Evangelist is not too large a church, so that your church wedding ceremony feels very personal.

For a civil ceremony we have the Panelled room and the Ballroom as inside licensed spaces and there are six beautiful outside licensed spaces in the gorgeous gardens.

Choosing a celebrant-led ceremony means you are free to marry anywhere at the Pauntley Court estate, even down by the lake, where the swans might just make an appearance!

Photo by Creative Depictions 

 

6. Do you require a venue with accommodation on site?

Having accommodation available at your chosen venue can help the day run as smoothly as possible for both you and your guests. If your venue offers on-site accommodation or has list of local air bnb’s and hotels, it can alleviate stress and logistical challenges associated with transportation and accommodation arrangements. Guests can relax and enjoy the wedding celebrations, without worrying about traveling to and from the venue.

At Pauntley Court, we offer you and your 22 guests 10 luxurious, beautiful and individually- decorated bedrooms, all with The White Company linens and towels as well as 100 acres toiletries and gowns and slippers and freshly cut flowers too.  When you book in for a personal tour with Melissa, she will tell you about the bedrooms and show you the layout of the house. We have a fantastic list of local accommodation too for any extra guests.

Planning your intimate wedding as a couple is a fun and exciting experience. Melissa would love to welcome you to Pauntley Court for a viewing and show you around.


Download a brochure or book a viewing today!



Gardens and grounds gallery



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We had the most incredible wedding at Pauntley Court, and we can't thank Melissa, Jilly, Rachel & all the team enough for making it a dream come true. The venue itself was breathtaking, with its picturesque surroundings and timeless decor. Melissa, the owner, was an absolute delight to work with. She went above and beyond to accommodate our every request, ensuring that every detail was perfect.

Jilly, our wedding planner, was nothing short of amazing. Her attention to detail, organisational skills and creative ideas made the planning process a breeze. She kept everything on track, allowing us to relax and enjoy the day without a worry in the world.

Our wedding was a flawless, magical day, and it wouldn't have been possible without Melissa and the team. Their professionalism, dedication, and passion for what they do truly shines through. We can't recommend this venue and its wonderful team enough. Thank you for creating memories that will last a lifetime!”

 Bride: Emma

July 2023

Photo by Lauren Juliette Photography

- Emma & Luke