Many people start and end their start and end their wedding venue research with hotels, and why not, it makes your wedding planning journey so much easier. Everything can be done in one place, you have plenty of staff to help you and all the amenities you could need. But the stunning Villiers Hotel in Buckingham stands out amongst hotels, and I’ll tell you why.
The Villiers Hotel is split between the main hotel on one side of the street and its function facilities on the other. The hotel is steeped in history and looks small and beautiful from the outside. And on the inside is perfectly modern and sophisticated but sympathetically decorated to suit the age of the building. It feels homey. The function suite however, is in a whole other equally historic building, that used to be the town hall. There’s a lot more besides in that same building including smaller meeting rooms and other hotel facilities not housed in the main hotel building, but we’re going to focus on the wedding facilities. Photo Credits: Villiers Hotel
When I say the building is on the other side of the street to the hotel we’re talking about a very narrow street, no more than about 20ft from one side of the street to the other. It’s an easy enough walk but some couples choose to hire a car or carriage anyway, which is a great way to really feel like you’ve arrived but can also mean you can go somewhere else for your photographs after the ceremony. The only thing this venue is missing is some beautiful gardens or grounds, but the front of the building is very grand and with the right photographer, there are ways to create some really interesting shots. If pretty gardens and woodland are more your thing for your couple shots, then Buckingham is perfectly placed with some gorgeous places a short drive away.
SEE VIKKI’S OTHER VENUE REVIEWS HERE . The Old Town Hall has a large entrance hall and a grand staircase, highly photogenic staircase for your arrival but be aware that there is no lift at the front and only a goods lift at the side of the building. This is one of the quirks of using older buildings, which means they come with some interesting challenges, but given a bit of thought by the owners nothing should be insurmountable.
And for further interesting photographs I’d highly recommend you use the back smaller staircase. The close space and windy staircase is gorgeous and perfect for more intimate pictures. The main function suite is well laid out with high ceilings, tall windows allowing for lots of daylight and colour adaptive lighting, to match to your theme. The room is intentionally neutral in grey and white, which means that every colour scheme will match, and they have a cleverly hidden dance floor in the middle of the room. There’s also a room divider so that pars of the main space can be used for different purposes as necessary, and a bar area just out of some huge doors.
Because of the venue really being one big space, you may need to allow time for staff to ‘turn the room around’, which basically means they do all the moving of furniture and setting up of decorations between say the ceremony and wedding breakfast and then again before the start of the evening reception. Post ceremony is when you’ll want to head off to do photographs, but post wedding breakfast is slightly trickier – you might want to use this time to capture more couple pictures or give your guests the opportunity to head out for a breather and a relax before the party gets going.
Photo Credits: Villiers Hotel
The Villiers staff have pulled together a brilliant team of preferred suppliers, to offer a range of packages to suit a middle range budget. From flowers to décor, by including lots of items in your package a lot of pressure is taken off your planning. And because these suppliers are used to working at this venue, they already know the ins and outs of delivery, set up and collection.
As you’d expect, Villiers also have a fantastic range of menus available and a very well stocked bar. They are fully licensed for ceremonies (at time of review) and will work with you in order to accommodate both a ceremony and receptions. This popular venue is unlikely to have availability in peak time on a Saturday for ceremonies only but off season, and on other days of the week, it’s worth an ask. Be flexible and you won’t regret it at this venue.
I hinted earlier about the age of the building. The trouble with quirky older buildings is they come with their own challenges, for Villiers the big one is accessibility. There is a lift up to the kitchen and prep area leading to the function suite, but it is accessed via the side of the building, that doesn’t have parking and up a fairly steep ramp/slope. You can park at the front of the building for dropping off but for any less mobile guests, you’ll need to speak to the venue directly. Once they’re in the reception room, they will be well looked after.
Villiers Hotel is right in the centre of Buckingham, which is very handy should you or your guests need anything last minute. In the beautiful heart of the county, Buckingham is stunning and historic, with lots to offer visitors so why not make a weekend of your wedding and get out and about too. In usual times Villiers hold regular open days and wedding fairs giving you the chance to meet and talk to their regular suppliers. Fairs may be on hold currently, but one-to-one appointments are possible so check out their website for the details of this fabulous venue. Happy Planning X