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 email@example.com. 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.
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.
How many people can you accommodate?
We have various sized function rooms which can host an array of guest numbers. For ceremonies, we can hold between 4-300 people, and for wedding breakfasts anything from 10-700.
Do you have parking at any of your venues?
Yes, we have a limited number of car parking spaces at the Town Hall which may be included in your package already.
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.
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.
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.
Can we erect a marquee anywhere?
If an outdoor wedding is more your style, we offer the beautiful Castle Park which has areas for housing marquees. Our team can discuss this with you in more detail should you wish.
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. Charter Hall are able to provide white ceiling drapes. This will not be included in the costing and is charged as an additional fee.
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 items the night prior.
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. The Castle and Charter Hall do not permit any kind of naked flame so we encourage the use of artificial candles where possible.
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. Various floor plans are available at Charter Hall. 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.
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. 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. Please speak to the Event Team for more information.
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.
Please discuss your ideas with the events staff who can advise on the best way to achieve this as compromise may be necessary.
AV, Entertainment, Catering and other Suppliers
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. Free internet access is available. The Town Hall does not supply laptops or projectors. Charter Hall’s Technical Specifications can be viewed here. Please talk to the Events Team regarding your requirements.
Is there anything that 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. At Charter Hall, disco smoke and dry ice can be used in the hall but they will need prior notice if this is due to happen.
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?
The Town Hall has a small kitchen which is suitable for most types of catering.
There are no facilities for caterers within the Castle and any hot food must be prepared off site. Heating or cooking equipment are also not permitted within the Castle.
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.
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.
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.
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 venues in designated areas is permitted, and this must be biodegradable. If confetti is being used outside Colchester Castle or inside Castle Park, dried flower confetti is recommended.
You are welcome to use flower petals within the rooms and spaces across the Town Hall and the Park, but not in Colchester Castle.
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 Front of House Manager who you would have been introduced to in advance of your event.