Civil ceremonies & Civil partnerships
Hartlip Place has been a venue for civil ceremonies since 1989 and is also proud to have held one of the first civil partnership ceremonies in 2006.
The majority of ceremonies take place in the loggia next to the large pond with its fountain. It is the ideal setting for a relaxed and memorable ceremony with your family and friends. The ducks are usually gliding around on the pond and the peacocks are frequently to be seen sitting on the roof watching the ceremony.
If preferred, or in the case of bad weather, the ceremony can be held in the formal drawing room. This is a particularly elegant room and is equally attractive in the winter with the open fire alight as it is in summer with the sun streaming in through the large south facing windows, which overlook the gardens.
Receptions are usually held in a marquee on the croquet lawn next to the secret rose garden. Whether you would like a formal sit-down meal, a buffet or a more informal hog-roast or barbeque, we will do our utmost to ensure that your day is tailored to your exact requirements.
We will introduce you to the marquee company and any caterers, florists, photographers, bars etc. that you may wish to use. (We even have a chocolatier in the village who can make you a beautiful and exclusive chocolate wedding cake!) If, however, you have contacts we are very happy for you to use them.*
We limit the number of ceremonies and receptions that we hold each year so that each can be a unique occasion. We do not aim to be a big commercial venue. Hartlip Place is our family home which we are very happy to share with you on your very special day.
We have a frequently asked questions page on our website that may help you if you have any other queries.
Hartlip Place is only a few minutes drive from both the M2 and the M20, which makes our location ideal for guests from all areas of the country. We are 45 minutes from Gatwick , Dover and Eurotunnel.
We have two guest bedrooms. These are available for Bed and Breakfast or can be hired just for the day of the ceremony so that you have a private room in the house in which you can change or just take time out.
The main bedroom has a four-poster bed, the luxury of an open fire in winter and a large en-suite bathroom which is often used by brides and their bridesmaids to have their hair/make-up done the morning of the ceremony.
The Indian Room is a lovely sunny room which has a recently refurbished luxurious private bathroom just across the corridor.
Price per room (including breakfast): £90
Day hire rate on application
I am always pleased to answer queries and we will do our best to help you with any special requests that you may have. Do telephone or e-mail us and make an appointment to visit so that we can talk through your requirements.
Frequently Asked Questions
How many people can we have? A maximum of 60 people can attend the ceremony and 120 people can attend the reception. These numbers are restricted by available parking and the space available inside should you choose to have the ceremony inside or should be weather necessitate it.
Where is the reception held? The majority of our receptions are held in a marquee on the croquet lawn next to the secret rose garden. Small receptions – 20 people for a sit-down meal or up to 60 people for drinks and canapés – can be held in the house. We have a lovely dining room which is ideal for a small intimate reception. We are not, however, able to have dancing and music in the house.
What are your charges?
We charge a ‘venue hire charge’ as follows:
Ceremony only: £650
Reception only: £1300
Ceremony & Reception: £1600
What is included in the price? The prices are just for the hire of the venue. We do not produce ‘wedding packages’, and can, therefore, ensure that each ceremony and reception is individual to the couple. Other costs, such as the Registrar’s fee, marquee hire, music, catering, florists etc. are additional and payable direct to the contractors. We do not charge a corkage fee.
What other costs will there be? Costs involved vary according to your requirements, but for a reception of 120 people the costs for the marquee will be from £3,500 (ex. VAT) (this would include linings, tables, chairs, flooring, dance floor, catering tent, generator, luxury portaloos and lighting). Catering starts from c.£20 per head for a 3 course meal; waitresses are from £8 per hour and you would need a minimum of 5. Other costs such as florists, drink etc. will vary.
We have limited toilet facilities and, where a marquee is being used, luxury portaloos are provided by the marquee company.
Can we serve drinks to our guests if we opt for ‘Ceremony Only’? Drinks may be served after the ceremony whilst photographs are being taken. Food cannot be served. One hour is allowed after the ceremony for drinks, photographs etc.
Do we have to use your contractors or can we choose our own? You are welcome to choose your own florists, caterers, bar, disco etc or we would be delighted to introduce you to contacts that we use regularly. Except in exceptional circumstances, we do ask that our recommended marquee contractors (Best-in-Tents, based in Faversham) are used as they know the venue well and this avoids unnecessary complications.
Can we have a band/disco? Bands and discos are allowed for marquee receptions but the music must be kept at a reasonable level as we are in a village. We ask that music stops by 11.30pm at the latest and that guests have left the venue by midnight. Contractors (other than marquee contractors, who will usually need access two days prior to the wedding) are able to have access the day before the ceremony.
Where can our guests stay? As mentioned we have two bedrooms which we rent out on a B&B basis. Couples or their families are most welcome to stay with us. There is one other B&B in the village (Pope’s Hall) details of which can be found on the Alastair Sawday website. Other places are: Suffield House (B&B) in Upchurch; The Beaumont in Sittingbourne; Hempstead House in Sittingbourne; The Hilton Hotel, Maidstone.
Can children to play in the garden? We love children and are delighted for them to enjoy the grounds but please be aware, and make your guests aware, that there are two ponds in the garden and small children should be carefully supervised.
What deposit do you ask for and when do we have to pay it? We ask for a 50% deposit on confirmation of booking and the balance to be paid 2 weeks before the event. We also ask for a £100 refundable deposit against damage.