January 17th, 2018 | Rachel Parry
Following the festive period, we’re seeing a surge of newly-engaged readers to the blog (including myself – eep – !) and we’re super keen to help you with the first, and possibly most challenging part, of your planning journey – picking a venue.
We’re very fortunate in the North to have such a diverse range of amazing settings for big day celebrations; from cool urban structures, to grand countryside retreats, modern new-builds and fascinating historic venues. But it’s a case of finding the one that’s a reflection of you as a couple and the special day you dream of.
For those on the hunt in the Yorkshire area, we highly recommend adding our Sponsor venue, the stunning Bowcliffe Hall to your ‘to explore’ list. Exclusive and individual, the venue located in Bramham, near Wetherby, only holds a limited number of weddings a year, ensuring those that it does host are totally tailored to the couple exchanging their vows.
With a choice of magnificent spaces and wow-factor-worthy food as standard brides and grooms can have an influence on everything from how the rooms are used on their day to the menu that is served to their guests.
So prepare to take note as we hand over to Bowcliffe Hall’s team now to tell us more about their bespoke approach and personal service…
Can you tell us a little about the history of the venue?
bowcliffe hall say: At the heart of the Bowcliffe Estate is Grade II listed Bowcliffe Hall, built between 1805 and 1825. Once home to the Lane Fox family and subsequently aviation pioneer, Robert Blackburn, Bowcliffe Hall hosted many guests including Winston Churchill and Amy Johnson. In 2013, the current owner and custodian, Jonathan Turner, began an extensive restoration and development programme, sympathetically restoring many rooms to their former glory and creating a diverse collection of spectacular event spaces.
How would you describe the look and feel of the venue?
Set in 38 acres of spectacularly landscaped grounds, Bowcliffe is no ordinary country estate. From the Georgian splendour of Grade II listed Bowcliffe Hall with its glamorous Ballroom and sumptuous Bowcliffe Drivers Club, to the multi-award-winning Blackburn Wing, a copper and glass masterpiece which took more than 50 weeks and 30,000 man hours to build, Bowcliffe is a personal and unique venue offering an unparalleled choice of venue space and flexibility for any wedding.
Can you tell us about the ceremony and reception areas and how many guests the venue can cater for?
Bowcliffe offers total flexibility for weddings of all sizes, with a choice of event space available across the estate. The seriously stylish, multi-award winning, Blackburn Wing is a modern-day treehouse shaped like an airplane wing. The fairytale Ballroom has a romantic and glamorous feel harking back to a bygone era with its elegant sparkling chandelier and art deco bar. The Bowcliffe Room is a splendid drawing room with beautiful Georgian period features and double doors leading to spectacularly maintained gardens. The Bowcliffe Drivers Club is the estate’s private members club. Dark mahogany panelled walls, 1920’s inspired décor and the largest collection of motoring art and artefacts outside London create an opulent, sumptuous and intimate atmosphere. For a larger wedding, Bowcliffe’s 38 acres of beautifully maintained grounds offer a perfect location for a marquee wedding.
What makes Bowcliffe a special wedding venue and sets it apart from others?
An unrivalled choice of spectacular venue space allows the flexibility to create the perfect day that truly reflects your personal taste and style. With fully exclusive use for every wedding, Bowcliffe offers a truly bespoke approach where exceptional service is a given and the belief is that the food should be as much of a wow factor as the dress or the venue.
What sort of bride would be a Bowcliffe bride?
A Bowcliffe bride appreciates exclusivity, exceptional standards and meticulous attention to detail, whether in the presentation of the venue, food or the service, as well as the opportunity of creating a truly bespoke wedding day based on the flexibility that Bowcliffe can provide.
How can your staff help to make the planning process easier and the big day amazing?
We believe that offering outstanding service should be the norm. Because we only host a limited number of weddings each year, the highly-experienced events team have the opportunity of delivering a very personal service. A dedicated member of the events team will be the single point of contact throughout the whole planning process, taking the time to work with each couple to create their perfect wedding day.
Can you tell us about the accommodation at the venue?
At the end of the evening we will transfer you and your guests free of charge to one of our carefully selected hotels, all within very easy reach of Bowcliffe. If you’d prefer to stay with us then we offer a range of glamping style accommodation; from Shepherd’s Huts to Luxury Bell Tents, please ask for further information.
Tell us about your catering services and what makes them special?
Passionate about food, our executive head chef Andy Lawson, in conjunction with director of excellence Simon Crannage, will work with you to create a sensational bespoke menu, that’s a real talking point of the day. If you’d prefer us to do the thinking for you, we have several wedding packages which include suggested menus but please remember these are a starting point; we always welcome with further discussion and inspiration.
What is the feedback like from couples about Bowcliffe Hall?
Our couples compliment us on the venue’s individuality, our attention to detail and our personal approach. Here are just a few testimonials we’ve received:
“We wanted a venue that was both contemporary and modern with beautiful outside space. Whilst we visited many beautiful wedding venues in Yorkshire, nothing compared to Bowcliffe, it had everything we wanted plus more. Our guests absolutely raved about the venue, it was unforgettable.” Kevin & Phil
“When we were looking for a venue we wanted something different and every place we visited seemed to have pre-set ideas of what a wedding should look like. Bowcliffe is totally unique – the Blackburn Wing instantly captured our imagination and the Hall, Drivers Club and gardens created the perfect package. As we left for the first time we were stunned into silence – we knew we’d struggle to find anywhere comparable.” Wendy & Steve
“As soon as we visited Bowcliffe we knew it was the venue for us. In terms of variety and sheer quality there is nothing like it. The Blackburn Wing was without doubt the crowning glory for us and we knew we wanted to get married and hold the reception inside this magnificent treehouse. Michael and the entire hospitality team couldn’t do enough for us and when they say every wedding at Bowcliffe is bespoke, it really couldn’t be closer to the truth. We designed our own meal and added every little detail we wanted to make the day entirely our own. We were given so many options as to where we could get married, hold the reception and take photographs – we had the entire estate to play with.” Gemma & Ben
Can you give Brides Up North an idea on price?
Costs start at £4,950 for venue hire (reduced rates available for weddings held between October and March), plus a per guest charge starting at £84 per person. Full details available here.
How can our readers get more information on the venue?
By visiting our website, emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or contacting 01937 541111.
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Rachel joined the Brides Up North editorial team as Features Editor in February 2015. Rachel draws on her news reporting background, experience in features, bridal & lifestyle editing for previous regional titles and time spent working for Yorkshire’s most successful PR agencies. Yet to tie the knot herself, Rachel's own wedding looks set to be very, very pretty...
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