Every little girl imagines their storybook wedding, the magical fantasy of getting married to the man of their dreams – driving down a long tree-lined drive through sweeping parkland, revealing a grand elegant house surrounded by beautiful gardens, making the perfect backdrop for perhaps the most monumental day in your life.
Few ever get to live out their imagination of becoming ‘Lord and Lady’ but the Crossley (Somerleyton) family are well versed in playing fairy godmother and making those childhood dreams come true for lucky couples on their wedding day.
For Hugh and Lara Somerleyton have Somerleyton Hall to call home; but being a stately home, theirs comes with dozens of grand rooms and over eight centuries of history.
As much as it is distinctly stately, the Hall is very definitely also a home. Hugh Somerleyton and his wife Lara live here, running the Grade II*-listed house and estate as well as juggling the demands of a young family. Having been married back in 2009 at Somerleyton village’s Parish Church of St. Mary on the edge of the estate and celebrated their own wedding in style in the Hall and beautiful grounds, Hugh loves to see other couples enjoying the grandeur and romance of this special venue: “Being one of five children all who have been married at Somerleyton you could say it is something of a family tradition. Places like the Hall were built to show off and entertain friends on a lavish scale and the weddings we host for other couples who choose this magical house in all its glory are using it for what it was absolutely intended, continuing that sumptuous heritage of merriment and celebration.”
Lara continues: “Hugh and I enjoyed a February wedding here, the Hall’s two towers were beautifully lit and we chose to eat on a long table in the winter garden and dance in tepee-style marquees. One of Hugh’s sisters had an Indian-themed wedding in the fabulous white garden, which worked so well with an ornate open -sided marquee in such a magical setting.”
It is the variety of backdrops and opportunities which Somerleyton presents to their guests which give every happy couple the individuality they deserve and the opportunity to be centre stage. Lara loves working on her clients’ great ideas for what they want: “The wonderful thing about helping to plan their big day is that Somerleyton is such a rich and diverse tapestry to play with – everyone sees something different when they visit and so each wedding has its own uniqueness which is very special.”
2013 sees the Crossley (Somerleyton) family marking 150 years of residence at Somerleyton; to coincide with this milestone anniversary, the fifth generation of Crossleys have smartly refurbished the two main wedding venues at the Hall so that they can host celebrations in even more style, showcasing the aristocratic charm and fairytale magic of these sumptuous surroundings. Catering for any number with no minimum, there are intimate areas in the house or gardens, ideal for a smaller occasion or the expansive grounds offer the necessary grand scale to accommodate up to 500 guests.