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Hatfield House – An elegant Wedding venue in Hertfordshire

A stunning historic venue for wedding ceremonies and receptions

The Old Palace and Riding School are a pair of elegant wedding venues set within the magnificent grounds of Hatfield House in Hertfordshire, home to the 7th Marquess of Salisbury. Whether you're looking for an intimate wedding or a large celebration, Hatfield House is the perfect setting for the wedding of your dreams. Both of our stunning wedding venues provide a unique and magical backdrop for your special day.

The Old Palace

The Old Palace is a Grade I-listed building built in 1485 and is famous for being the location where Queen Elizabeth I held her first Council of State. Its medieval brickwork, beautiful wall hangings and stunning gardens make it the perfect setting for your fairytale wedding.

The Riding School

The Riding School blends historic features with modern architecture to offer a contemporary wedding venue. Its glass roof allows the room to be flooded with natural light and the mezzanine level adds to the style of this unique space.

A Brief History of Hatfield House

Hatfield House was built by Robert Cecil, first Earl of Salisbury and completed in 1611. The deer park surrounding the house and the older building of the Old Palace had been owned by  Henry VIII, who had used it as a home for his children, Edward, Elizabeth and Mary. It was while she was living in the Old Palace in 1558 that Elizabeth learned of her ascension to the throne.

The Cecils’ former home was at Theobalds, also in Hertfordshire. In 1607, Elizabeth’s heir James I offered to exchange Theobalds for the Old Palace and manor of Hatfield. A draft Parliamentary Act of exchange survives in the Cecil Papers at Hatfield, dated May 1607. Salisbury began building work immediately. The main architect of the house was Robert Lemynge but Simon Basil, the Surveyor of the King’s Works and Inigo Jones also contributed to the design.

Salisbury had been appointed Lord Treasurer in April 1607 as well as Chief Secretary, but he became ill and died, aged only 48, in April 1612. Although he was buried in Hatfield, he didn’t live to enjoy the house that was to become the home of his descendants the Cecils for the next 400 years.

Today, Hatfield House is the home of the 7th Marquess and Marchioness of Salisbury.


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Hatfield House Wedding Packages

Gold Package – Old Palace
£100.00 plus vat per person (2020) / £110 plus VAT per person (2021)

Venue hire does apply in addition to package

  • Dedicated wedding co-ordinator
  • A glass of Prosecco on arrival
  • 3 course wedding breakfast with coffee
  • ½ bottle of house wine per person
  • Jugs of iced water
  • A glass of Prosecco for the toast
  • White table linen and napkins
  • Table Stationery (table plan, table names, menu cards and place cards)
  • White chair cover with sash, colour of your choice
  • Silver cake stand and knife
Platinum Package – Old Palace
£150.00 plus vat per person (2020) / £165 plus vat per person (2021)

Venue hire does apply in addition to package

  • Dedicated wedding Co-ordinator
  • Cocktail hour (based on 2 drinks per person)
  • Selection of 4 canapés
  • 3 course upgraded wedding breakfast with coffee and petit fours
  • ½ bottle of selected wine to match your menu
  • ½ bottle of mineral water per person
  • A glass of house Champagne for the toast
  • White table linen and napkins
  • Table stationery (table plan, table names, menu cards and place cards)
  • White chair cover with sash, colour of your choice
  • Silver cake stand and knife

““Just wanted to send a massive thank you to you and all your team who were working on Saturday – they were exceptional! Everyone complimented us on the venue and thought it was beautiful and they also loved the food. Thanks so much for everyone’s hard work.””

Alison & Grant

October 2015

Frequently Asked Questions


Both the Old Palace and Riding School are licensed for civil ceremonies and partnerships.


Hatfield House has an easel for your table plan as well as table numbers and stands for you to use. We have 2 cake stands available on site and can provide one of these at no extra cost, providing it is available on the date of your wedding when you request it and that it matches the size of your cake. We can provide a knife to cut the cake


This is allowed with a corkage charge of £10.50 plus VAT per wine bottle and £15.50 plus VAT per sparkling wine/champagne bottle.  (75cl)


All catering is provided by Hatfield House Hospitality.  The chefs are flexible and are happy to adapt menus to suit your requirements.  The exception to this is if Chef is not able to provide the catering due to your cultural reasons when you have opportunity to make your own arrangements for catering (subject to approval by Hatfield House Hospitality) and can hire the venue on a “dry hire” basis.

Making your big day happen

The Hatfield House Hospitality team are dedicated to making your wedding day perfect and will work with you from the early planning stages to the day of your wedding to ensure everything runs smoothly and stress free. We also work with a selection of approved partners who can add those finishing touches to your special day, from florists to musicians and cake makers to photographers. We are happy to provide a list of our recommended wedding suppliers.

What catering is offered

Hatfield House Hospitality prides itself on offering a high standard of catering and a variety of menus to cater for a range of tastes. Dietary requirements can be catered for and Chef can prepare menus to suit any youngsters attending the wedding. Our in house Chefs use the best of fresh local produce wherever possible and are happy to discuss your requirements to create your perfect wedding menu.

Civil Wedding Ceremony

The Old Palace and Riding School are licensed for civil ceremonies. An additional set up charge is applicable and this is £250.00 plus vat. If you are getting married in the Riding School and wish to have chair covers for the ceremony an additional fee of £3.00 plus vat per chair cover applies.

Cultural and Kosher Weddings

We welcome cultural and kosher weddings with the Old Palace available for Dry Hire, Saturday’s £8,000 plus vat per day, Sunday & Friday £6,000 plus vat, Monday – Thursday £5,000 plus vat during 2017.

Wedding Insurance

Hatfield House Hospitality require that you take out adequate wedding insurance to cover cancellation or any other unforeseen circumstances. A minimum of 2 million pounds public liability insurance is required. A copy of the insurance certificate should be provided to your wedding co-ordinator.

Booking Details

Once you decide on your wedding date we can hold the date on a provisional basis for no longer than 2 weeks after which we require a decision. A booking contract is then sent to you for signature together with our terms and conditions. A deposit of £2,000 is required on confirmation of booking. 100% pre payment of the expected catering spend is then paid at least 3 weeks prior to the wedding with any outstanding amount settled on the day of the wedding.


As the date of your event approaches, you'll be able to discuss with your wedding co-ordinator the additional options that the Hospitality team offer to truly make your day unforgettable.

From upgrading to Champagne and canapés, adding a private tour around Hatfield House, a hog roast on the lawn or a sumptuous evening buffet after the wedding breakfast, Hatfield House Hospitality strive to offer everything imaginable to make your wedding day unique and magical.

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