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Brides Up North Wedding Fairs

dream venue: matfen hall, northumberland

January 19th, 2018 | Julia Braime

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And just when you thought we couldn’t provide you with anymore inspiration for your big day setting on the blog this week, we come along with another dreamy venue for you to consider.

This time it’s one for all the North East brides-to-be out there, as we’re sharing details of our Sponsor venue, Matfen Hall, which has a lot to shout about in 2018.

Having undergone a first-class refurbishment during the winter months, the team at this award-winning Northumbrian venue are set to reveal the spectacular results of the transformation during a Luxury Wedding Show with none other than Brides Up North and, luxury bridal magazine for the north, UNVEILED.

And the best bit? You’re all invited and it’s FREE ENTRY! So, be sure to block out 11am to 2pm on Sunday 4th March when we’ll be opening the Hall’s doors so you can view this stunning venue, while meeting its super team and a special collection of suppliers from the surrounding area.

In order to give you a glimpse of what’s to come and build the suspense further, we’re getting all the details from the Matfen team on what makes the Hall such a stunning venue, and hearing how the refurb will boost its glowing reputation even further…

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Where is Matfen Hall located? 

matfen hall say: Set in 300 acres of beautiful Northumbrian countryside, Matfen Hall is located in a picturesque village only 17 miles from Newcastle city centre. The stunning Northumberland countryside Matfen Hall is set within offers so many options for your wedding imagery – from stunning golden corn fields to manicured gardens to wild woodland. The benefit of such dramatic interiors mean that even if the weather is not with you on your big day, your opportunity for photographs with amazing backdrops is still available!

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Can you tell us a little about the history of the venue?

Matfen Hall and its surrounding estate has been in the Blackett family for more than 250 years.  The Hall was built on the site of an earlier Jacobean house in 1832 by Sir Edward Blackett, the 6th Baronet. Following a massive programme of work to the fabric of the building Sir Hugh and Lady Blackett opened the doors as in 1999. We have so many original features in the Hall, including a fireplace in our Terrace Room that was originally intended for Buckingham Palace.

How would you describe the look and feel of the venue?

Matfen Hall is a unique and historic venue set in stunning Northumberland surroundings; it boasts a luxurious and traditional atmosphere for a wedding. We offer exclusivity of the East Wing, so that our couples can relax in the knowledge that they will be the only wedding taking place that day and have the utmost dedicated team to take care of them with more than 35 years’ experience between us!

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Matfen Hall is currently undergoing an extensive refurbishment that will transform several of its main reception rooms for weddings. Please can you tell us more about this?

We are delighted with the refurbishment work to the Hall’s East Wing, which has been underway for several months, and that will be completed by the end of February. This investment will transform the Great Hall, Terrace Room and Sir Edwards Bar. We are working with the talented interior designers Space ID, who are Newcastle based, though they have completed some incredible projects across the UK.

Entering the theatrical space that is the Great Hall, eyes will be drawn to the spectacular original oak ceiling, sensitively highlighted with led lights and suspended contemporary orbs of light creating a virtual firework display overhead. A dance of coloured light will spill over the bespoke gold ring seats from the original rose window, across the sweeping oak staircase with teal carpet runner, and will reflect in the antique mirror arches.

Leading from the Great Hall to the left, guests will be entertained within the sumptuous cocktail lounge with crystal lights, enveloping wingback chairs and relaxing music. Sir Edward’s Bar provides a relaxing space, with textured wall finishes, in rich blues and greens accented with artisan brass metalwork on the bar counter.

Leaving Sir Edward’s Bar, guests will be guided to the pièce de résistance, The Terrace Room. The original Jacobean windows with centuries old timber panelling frame the spectacular backdrop of Matfen Hall gardens and golf course. The high ceilings adorned with decorative plasterwork, sympathetically picked out in muted colours to match the panelled walls inset with crystal cut antique mirror panels.

We are really looking forward to revealing the East Wing once the work is complete and can’t wait to host many weddings in the new space.

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Can you tell us how couples can use the various areas of Matfen Hall on their wedding day?

The Great Hall is the ultimate setting for the most romantic and intimate part of your day, make your entrance down the magnificent Great Hall staircase before taking your vows in front of the large feature fireplace. This room can cater for up to 120 guests for a seated ceremony.

We also have our Dutch garden and cloister courtyard, for a more unique outdoor ceremony! Our private south facing Dutch Garden also makes a beautiful area for a cocktail drinks reception, then venture off into the surrounding woodland and estate, or, on a winter’s day, take your drinks reception in front of the roaring log burning fire in the Great Hall.

For those who would like a church ceremony, our neighbouring village only a short walk away from the East Wing hosts the cosy Holy Trinity Church, originally built by our current owner’s great-grandfather, Sir Edward Blackett, the 6th Baronet who also built Matfen Hall.

The choice of rooms for your wedding breakfast makes Matfen a truly special venue, the high ceilings and garden views out of the bay windows are just breath-taking.

Your evening celebration takes you to the Vault Bar and Cloister, historically the cellars of the original stately home. The décor creates a stylish and unique space for you and your guests to dance the night away! The Cloister courtyard can be used throughout various parts of your wedding day – the magical festoon lit area is perfect for outdoor ceremonies, alfresco dining or your sparkler send off at midnight!

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What makes Matfen Hall a special wedding venue and sets it apart from others?

The Great Hall is a truly magical room; its breath-taking features, romantic ambience and grand atmosphere makes it such a special room to share the most important part of the big day – the I do’s. I think every bride or groom has imaged the moment they see their significant other for the first time as part of the ceremony, even before they are engaged, so coming down the sweeping staircase really is a fairy-tale moment and the anticipation for the guests and the for that special someone waiting for them is something else!

What sort of bride would be a Matfen Hall bride?

A Matfen Hall bride is someone who wants their wedding to have a relaxed and friendly atmosphere in a truly beautiful space – where guests and the couple themselves really do feel at home.  As a privately-owned hotel, we have a family orientated philosophy towards all of our couples, we love welcoming them back for anniversaries, baby showers or just a catch-up coffee over their wedding albums!

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How can your staff help to make the planning process easier and the big day amazing?

From your first meeting with our wedding team, Victoria, Lisa and Laura love to know your hopes and dreams for the big day. We are passionate about weddings and take great care in ensuring every detail of your day goes without a hitch! We love a theme, knowing your special story and working with you through each step towards the celebrations. Our expert on the day team lead by Head Master of Ceremony Peter, are meticulous with their attention to detail, we enjoy hosting your friends and family and sharing the day with you.

Can you tell us about the accommodation at the venue?

We have 53 bedrooms in the hotel in total, across our East and West Wing’s. Inclusive as part of all wedding packages is our Bridal Suite, a stunning corner room with glorious views of the golf course and Dutch Garden as well a beautiful feature four poster bed. Our couples receive a preferential rate on a number of these bedrooms, which they can also make the most of the night prior to the big day, because of our separate wings we can also have the bride and groom stay without bumping into each other (if you are the traditional couple that is!). All guests receive full use of our Aqua Vitae Spa Facilities as part of their stay, which include a 16-metre swimming pool, Aromatherapy Room, Sauna and Steam room as well as our Monsoon Shower! Guests also receive discounted golf rates, on our championship 27-hole course.

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Tell us about your catering services and what makes them special? 

Our executive chef Paul Blakey prides himself on the presentation, taste and quality of ingredients that go into all of our wedding dishes. We use produce sourced locally to ensure that everything that is served is as fresh as can be, even picking wild garlic and rosemary from our gardens.

All of our couples will have a tasting evening to help them in the task of choosing what to serve on the day, this evening is hosted within the Great Hall so is a lovely taste of exactly what is to come. A selection of canapés, cocktails and wines are served alongside a delicious three course meal, complimentary for the bride and groom.

Paul is a great believer that a couple’s wedding catering should be reflective of their own personal tastes and therefore is always open to suggestions, even creating completely new dishes for just that day. One of our brides wanted to serve a family recipe ‘Lily’s Broth’ which Chef replicated as a warming canapé for her winter wedding afternoon, we also created a fully vegetarian Mexican themed buffet for an evening reception, for one couple who it was important to incorporate their love of this style food in to the day!

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What is the feedback like from couples about Matfen Hall?

We have such incredible feedback from couples and after building a relationship with them leading up to the day, it is always lovely to see them on the day itself or the morning after at breakfast! We take the reins on the day with welcoming suppliers, setting each favour in exactly the place where you imaged it to be, ensuring all the timings planned our executed but most of all making sure that you relax on the day and enjoy every single moment.

One of our lovely brides earlier this year loved the fact they could include their adorable dog Minnie as part of the celebrations, being a dog-friendly venue we can accommodate dogs overnight or for them to come along – she said: “It was really important to us to have our dog Minnie with us at our day and Lisa the wedding coordinator made sure that Minnie was made to feel as important as any other guest. She was invited along to all meetings, to make sure she felt at home for the day and was given extra cuddles from the staff”.

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Can you give Brides Up North an idea on price/ packages?

We can cater for a variety of budgets and offer flexibility around our packages, we know that every couple will bring their own personality to their wedding and whilst we do offer packages we absolutely love it when we can do something out of the ordinary!

How can our readers get more information on the venue?

Get in touch! We would love to hear from you and add your story to our history. To make an appointment with the wedding team, please call us on 01661 855712 or email weddings@matfenhall.com.

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Do you have any special events or open days coming up shortly that our readers should know about?

We’re collaborating with Brides Up North and UNVEILED magazine on a very special Luxury Wedding Show, taking place on Sunday 4th March, 11am to 2pm, that we can barely contain our excitement for, as the event will reveal the fabulous refurb that has been carried out here at Matfen Hall. The event is free to attend so please do come along. As huge fans of both Brides Up North and UNVEILED magazine, which offer so much inspiration to our brides, this event is something we are really thrilled about!

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about the author

Julia Braime
Former lawyer and bride to be Julia founded Brides Up North in 2010 with a chip on her shoulder. Frustrated by the poor Northern presence in glossy bridal magazines and online, she decided to do something about it herself. Astounded by the rapid growth of her blog and brand, Julia now manages Brides Up North’s online content alongside their busy wedding exhibition season, industry events and related commissions. And she’s always, always, got a new project on the go…

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