Your Questions

Booking

 

How do we book a Registrar?

Civil Ceremonies are non religious occasions and must be conducted by a Registrar and not by a religious body. You need to contact the Registrars on 0345 603 7632 or registration@essex.gov.uk. A separate charge for this will apply.

How do we book a Wedding with you?

Regardless of which venue of ours you are interested in booking, please fill out our contact form where a member of our team will respond to you as soon as they can. Alternatively they can contact us on 01206 506905.

On the Day

Will we be the only wedding at the venue on the day?

We stagger our bookings so that you will never cross paths with another wedding. If you hold your reception here too, from the moment you arrive you will be the only wedding taking place at the venue.

It is important to remember however that Colchester Castle is open to the paying public until 5pm – this does not prevent hire activity, but certain areas will be visible to our visitors.

What time should we arrive for our ceremony?

Guests can start arriving up to an hour before the start time of your ceremony. The Groom/first partner should arrive half an hour before the ceremony and the bride/second partner about 15 minutes beforehand.

Where do the smokers go?

Guests are requested to leave the venue via the main entrance to smoke.

Who will be our contact on the day?

If you require extra chairs, tables, help with the AV system or similar on the day, please approach the Duty Manager who you would have been introduced to in advance or on the day of your event.

Are your venues easy to find?

Yes, all of our venues are located in the heart of Colchester and maps can be found under each venue page on our website.

Can we get ready at the venue?

This is purely dependent on what available space we have at our venues during the time of your wedding. Please speak to our events team to discuss this further as there may also be additional charges depending on the duration you need an extra room for. 

Are your venues suitable for wheelchairs and pushchairs?

Yes, we are fully accessible; the only restrictions apply to Castle Park where some historic areas such as the Bandstand and boating lake can only be accessed by steps. Our disabled facilities vary across our venues but most include toilets, induction loops, level access into function rooms and wide doorways. We also have baby changing facilities. Please discuss any particular needs in advance with the Events Team.

 

 

The Rooms and Decoration

What decoration is provided by the venues?

We have a list of suppliers who offer exclusive discounts for all of our customers wishing to decorate and style their wedding. 

When can we set up our room?

We try to set up where possible the day prior to the wedding. If this isn’t possible, our team will set up the morning of the wedding. We can usually store some items the night prior.

How will our room be set up?

Room plans are for guidance purposes only and tables will be laid out as closely as possible to your requests. We allow enough spacing between chairs for the comfort of your guests, and appropriate space to allow catering staff to serve food and drink and adhere to health and safety policy for building evacuation procedures. We will try to accommodate any last minute changes to your plan. A final plan will be agreed with the client and the Events Coordinator prior to the event.

Where are your outdoor photo opportunities?

Castle Park is a beautiful setting for some outdoor photographs and it is close to all of our venues. We can contact the Parks Manager on your behalf to seek special permission to do so.

The Castle

How many people can you accommodate?

For the ceremony or wedding breakfast, we can accommodate up to 80 guests.
For a reception using the whole of the Castle, we can accommodate up to 200 guests.

What time can we get married?

It is important to remember that the museum is open to, and no areas are restricted from, our paying visitors until 5pm – this does not prevent hire activity or ceremonies prior to 5pm, but certain areas will be visible to our visitors.

Is there parking available?

The Castle unfortunately doesn’t have any parking but vehicle access to the Park for your caterers, entertainers or for equipment can be accommodated by prior arrangement only. Numbers will be limited to one or two vehicles. We do allow entry to the park to ‘drop off’ the bridal party. Vehicles must drive no faster than 5mph, with hazard lights on. The park entrances are protected by bollards which we will lower to allow entry & exit only – between times the bollards will be raised.

Where are your outdoor photo opportunities?

Castle Park surrounding Colchester Castle is a beautiful setting for some outdoor photographs. We can contact the Parks Manager on your behalf to seek special permission to do so. Please ensure that your photographer and wedding party allow free access for our other visitors by not obstructing areas of the building or bridge, as we remain a public venue throughout opening hours.

Can we light candles during our ceremony or reception?

The Castle does not permit any kind of naked flame so we encourage the use of artificial candles where possible. Indoor fireworks are also prohibited from use within the building.

Can we display banners or literature?

Due to planning laws we are unable to put up banners outside of the building. However, it is possible to use banners internally in some instances, although nothing should be attached to the walls, fixtures or fittings by tape, blue tac or nails.

What AV equipment do you have on site?

The Castle has a TV Monitor which can be hired at an extra cost. Free internet access is available. Please talk to the Events Team regarding your requirements.

Is there anything my DJ and/or band needs to know?

If you choose to book your own DJ who we do not recommend, please note that all electronic equipment should be PAT tested if being used for a function, and they must have a Public Liability Insurance too. Any Band you hire must have these too. They will be unable to use disco smoke or dry ice machines. Bands and DJ’s should vacate the building no longer than an hour after the function or event has finished, and an extra cost to the hirer may apply if the vacation of the building takes an excessive amount of time. The same applies regarding guests vacating the premises.

Is alcohol permitted at my event?

All of our venues are licensed but there are some restrictions within Colchester Castle. Food and drink may only be consumed in the areas agreed with events and museum staff. Alcohol also cannot be consumed outside the Castle in the park. You may not supply your own alcohol.

What kitchen facilities are available?

There are no facilities for caterers within the Castle and any hot food must be prepared off site. Naked flames, heating or cooking equipment are also not permitted within the Castle. All rubbish, empty bottles etc must be removed from our venues by the hirer and/or caterer. Our in house caterers can provide you with the best facilities for any of our venues. No food or drink can be consumed in public areas until after 5pm. Food and drink may only be consumed in the areas agreed with museum staff.

Is there anything else we need to know before booking suppliers?

All fresh flowers and greenery must be treated to avoid any chance of pest, insect, bug infestation in the Castle. We will need verification from a professional florist that this has been done. We do not allow any living plants/trees/wildlife/pets within the building. Fresh petals cannot be thrown inside the Museum, but artificial petals are permitted.

You must insist that all your suppliers contact and visit the Castle in advance of your event/wedding as the building is somewhat quirky! Your suppliers should be aware of anything that could potentially be awkward for them (or for us!). Failure to do this may result in the museum refusing entry.

We allow a half hour ‘pack down’ for you & your suppliers to vacate the building.

How do we play music for our ceremony?

Please supply your music on a portable music device (smart phone, mp3 player); this can be connected to our Bose music player by a lead. We recommend testing your music before your ceremony. You will also need to nominate someone on the day of your ceremony to operate the music player.

Can we throw confetti?

The use of confetti outside the Castle in designated areas is permitted, and this must be dried flower confetti if thrown in Castle Park. Confetti is now allowed on the bridge. Authentic flower petals may not be thrown inside the Castle, but artificial petals are permitted.

Are there any other restrictions we need to know about?

Due to the nature of our buildings, all décor for your event must be discussed and agreed with the events staff in advance. The use of Helium Balloons are prohibited in all of our venues. Party poppers and bubbles are prevented in the Castle and any ‘sparkles’ must be easily swept away post event. Nothing can be attached to the walls/ceilings in any area of the building, we are Grade 1 listed, and have very strict guidelines on this. The Museum staff work carefully to ensure that we balance the conservation requirements of the building and collection, whilst still helping you to create a personal touch for your day. Please discuss your ideas with the events staff who can advise on the best way to achieve this as compromise may be necessary.

 

Town Hall

How many people can you accommodate?

For the ceremony we can accommodate from 4-300 guests.
For a wedding breakfast we can accommodate up to 160.
For a reception we can accommodate up to 200 guests.

Is there parking available?

Yes, we have a limited number of car parking spaces at the Town Hall which may be included in your package already.

Can we light candles during our ceremony or reception?

The Town Hall has a sophisticated fire alarm system so unfortunately advocates the use of tea light candles only; they must be housed in a short, wide based glass container. Traditional style candles and candelabras are not permissible within the building and will be removed from the function. Indoor fireworks are also prohibited from use within the building.

Can we display banners or literature?

Due to planning laws we are unable to put up banners outside of the building. However, it is possible to use banners internally in some instances, although nothing should be attached to the walls, fixtures or fittings by tape, blue tac or nails. We are also able to place posters in the external display cabinets or in some internal areas of the Town Hall.

What AV equipment do you have on site?

Some rooms within the Town Hall have a basic microphone, speaker set ups, a smart board and large screen monitor. Projector screens can be supplied if required, however The Town Hall does not supply projectors, we hire these in externally. All equipment used will be charged for. Free internet access is available.

Is there anything my DJ and/or band needs to know?

If you choose to book your own DJ who we do not recommend, please note that all electronic equipment should be PAT tested if being used for a function, and they must have a Public Liability Insurance too. Any Band you hire must have these too. They will be unable to use disco smoke or dry ice machines. Bands and DJ’s should vacate the building no longer than an hour after the function or event has finished, and an extra cost to the hirer may apply if the vacation of the building takes an excessive amount of time. The same applies regarding guests vacating the premises.

Is alcohol permitted at my event?

All of our venues are licensed, but alcohol cannot be taken outside and consumed on the High Street. You may not supply your own alcohol.

What kitchen facilities are available?

The Town Hall has a small kitchen and preparation area which are suitable for most types of catering. Our in house caterers can provide you with the best facilities for any of our venues.
All rubbish, empty bottles etc must be removed from our venues by the hirer and/or caterer.

How do we play music for our ceremony?

Please supply your music on a CD or portable music device (smart phone, mp3 player); this can be connected to our player by a lead. We recommend testing your music before your ceremony. You will also need to nominate someone on the day of your ceremony to operate the music player.

Can we throw confetti?

The use of confetti outside the Town Hall in designated areas is permitted, and this must be biodegradable. Ideally, we recommend dried flower confetti to remain as environmentally friendly as possible. You are welcome to use flower petals within the rooms and spaces across the Town Hall.

Are there any other restrictions we need to know about?

Due to the nature of our buildings, all décor for your event must be discussed and agreed with the events staff in advance.
The use of Helium Balloons are prohibited. Nothing can be attached to the walls/ceilings in any area of the building, we are Grade 1 listed, and have very strict guidelines on this.

Please discuss your ideas with the events staff who can advise on the best way to achieve this as compromise may be necessary.

 

Outdoor Spaces

How many people can you accommodate?

For a wedding ceremony we can accommodate up to 84 guests.
For a wedding breakfast or reception, the capacity will vary depending on your Marquee hired. This usually doesn’t exceed 300 guests.

Is there parking available?

Anyone holding a wedding in Castle Park can also make use of this car park as it is the closest to the space.

Can we light candles during our ceremony or reception?

Castle Park does not permit any kind of naked flame so we encourage the use of artificial candles where possible. Outdoor fireworks are also prohibited.

Can we display banners or literature?

Due to planning laws we are unable to put up banners outside.

What AV equipment do you have on site?

For outdoor ceremonies, we provide a portable PA system which is battery operated. This only plays music via a smart phone or mp3 player. Please talk to the Events Team regarding your requirements.

Is there anything my DJ and/or band needs to know?

If you choose to book your own DJ who we do not recommend, please note that all electronic equipment should be PAT tested if being used for a function, and they must have a Public Liability Insurance too. Any Band you hire must have these too. They will be unable to use disco smoke or dry ice machines. Bands and DJ’s should vacate the premises no longer than an hour after the function or event has finished, and an extra cost to the hirer may apply if the vacation of the building takes an excessive amount of time. The same applies regarding guests vacating the premises.

Is alcohol permitted at my event?

All of our venues are licensed but there are some restrictions; alcohol also cannot be consumed within certain areas or situations when taking place in Castle Park. You may not supply your own alcohol.

What kitchen facilities are available?

If hiring a marquee for an event, your caterers will bring a field kitchen from which they will cater from. Our in house caterers can provide you with the best facilities for any of our venues. All rubbish, empty bottles etc must be removed from our venues by the hirer and/or caterer.

How do we play music for our ceremony?

Please supply your music on a portable music device (smart phone, mp3 player); this can be connected to our portable battery PA by a lead. We recommend testing your music before your ceremony. You will also need to nominate someone on the day of your ceremony to operate the music player.

Can we throw confetti?

The use of confetti must be dried flower confetti if thrown in Castle Park. Authentic flower petals may also be used within the Park grounds.

Are there any other restrictions we need to know about?

Due to the nature of our areas, all décor for your event must be discussed and agreed with the events staff in advance.
Nothing can be attached to the walls/ceilings in any area of the structure or park.

Please discuss your ideas with the events staff who can advise on the best way to achieve this as compromise may be necessary.

 

Charter Hall

How many people can you accommodate?

For a wedding breakfast we can accommodate between 400-700 guests.
For a reception we can accommodate up to 700 guests.

Is there parking available?

Charter Hall has in excess of 500 parking spaces with an overflow available, and anyone holding a wedding in Castle Park can also make use of this car park as it is the closest to the space.

What decoration is provided by the venue?

We have a list of suppliers who offer exclusive discounts for all of our customers wishing to decorate and style their wedding. Charter Hall are also able to provide white ceiling drapes. This will not be included in the costing and is charged as an additional fee.

Can we light candles during our ceremony or reception?

Charter Hall do not permit any kind of naked flame so we encourage the use of artificial candles where possible. Indoor fireworks are also prohibited from use within the building.

Can we display banners or literature?

Charter Hall has a prime location outside the building which is seen upon entry to Leisure World. For the best results we recommend a 8′ x 3′ weather proof banner. We also have A1 poster boards located outside the building and noticeboards and flyer holders around Leisure World, as well as A4 Clip frames in the toilets. Please speak to the Event Team for more information.

What AV equipment do you have on site?

Charter Hall’s Technical Specifications can be viewed here. Most equipment will be hire din externally and provided to you via a production company and technician. Please talk to the Events Team regarding your requirements.

Is there anything my DJ and/or band needs to know?

If you choose to book your own DJ who we do not recommend, please note that all electronic equipment should be PAT tested if being used for a function, and they must have a Public Liability Insurance too. Any Band you hire must have these too. Disco smoke or dry ice machines are permitted at Charter Hall, but they will need prior notice if this is due to happen. Bands and DJ’s should vacate the building no longer than an hour after the function or event has finished, and an extra cost to the hirer may apply if the vacation of the building takes an excessive amount of time. The same applies regarding guests vacating the premises.

Is alcohol permitted at my event?

All of our venues are licensed, however alcohol also cannot be consumed outside of Charter Hall. Corkage costs will apply if you supply your own alcohol.

What kitchen facilities are available?

There are no facilities for caterers within the Charter Hall and any hot food must be prepared off site. Naked flames are not permitted in Charter Hall but heating canisters are allowed. Our in house caterers can provide you with the best facilities for any of our venues. All rubbish, empty bottles etc must be removed from our venues by the hirer and/or caterer.

Can we throw confetti?

The use of confetti outside Charter Hall in designated areas is permitted, and this must be biodegradable. Ideally, we recommend dried flower confetti to remain as environmentally friendly as possible. You are welcome to use flower petals within Charter Hall.

Are there any other restrictions we need to know about?

Due to the nature of our buildings, all décor for your event must be discussed and agreed with the events staff in advance.

The use of Helium Balloons are prohibited. Nothing can be attached to the walls/ceilings in any area of the building, especially on the wooden sports floor.

Please discuss your ideas with the events staff who can advise on the best way to achieve this as compromise may be necessary.