Charlotte Balbier
Luxury Wedding Fairs

dream venue: acklam hall

October 6th, 2015 | Julia Braime

Acklam Hall (c) Gary Walsh Photography (3)

Today’s dream venue might be new to the wedding scene but the building itself has been around for many, many years!

Yet to open its doors, acklam hall, Middlesbrough’s only Grade I listed building, is currently undergoing renovation work to restore the historic building back to its original grandeur, retaining its incredible original features from the late seventeenth century along the way.

Once open, the impressive hall will offer bespoke weddings, events, celebrations and corporate events, whilst also inviting diners to experience its two restaurants.

Keen to learn more about what Acklam Hall has to offer brides and grooms-to-be, we’ve spoken to wedding and events manager Kelly Mennear, who has given us all the details on what’s to come whilst also sharing some fabulous shots from a special bridal photo shoot which has taken place at the hall during its transformation.

Images by Gary Walsh Photography.

Acklam Hall (c) Gary Walsh Photography (5)

Tell Brides Up North about Acklam Hall, what is its history?

kelly says: From late 2015 Acklam Hall, the only Grade 1 listed building in Middlesbrough, will provide a beautiful venue for weddings, events, fine dining, serviced office accommodation and conference facilities. A new beginning for a building with a long and interesting history.

For almost two hundred years Acklam Hall was the home of the Hustler family, and since 1935 has, in various guises, been a place of learning. The hall retains many of the original architectural features created when it was first built in the late seventeenth century as well as features added just over 100 years ago by one of the finest architects of the early twentieth century, Walter Brierley.

What facilities does it have? 

The hall has two restaurant settings The Dining Room for fine dining, and The Salon, which serves a brasserie style menu including afternoon teas, lunch, dinner, cake and coffee. There are three splendid function/private dining rooms which are licensed for civil ceremonies:  The Boudoir, The Parlour and The Drawing Room. There is also a bridal dressing room with ensuite facilities for pre-wedding preparations and beautiful gardens and grounds, which provide stunning photo opportunities.

When will Acklam Hall open its doors for weddings and what types of weddings will it be able to cater for?

Weddings will officially take place from 1st April 2016, although we hope to have the hall open at the end of 2015.  We can cater for small, intimate weddings or larger celebrations of up to 120 guests within the hall’s wedding function rooms. The Boudoir is the smallest of the rooms and can hold up to 20 ceremony guests while the The Parlour can accommodate up 60 ceremony guests. The spacious Drawing Room is deal for larger wedding parties.

Acklam Hall (c) Gary Walsh Photography (1)

Will Acklam Hall be licensed for civil ceremonies?

Yes, we will have a number of fabulous rooms for civil ceremonies. We also have St Mary’s Church located just behind the hall which is a beautiful setting for a religious ceremony.  If the couple are getting married elsewhere we can of course welcome the bride and groom and their party to the hall to host their wedding reception only.

What makes Acklam Hall a special wedding venue?

Acklam Hall is one of the most beautiful wedding venues in the North East of England, and as the only Grade I listed building in the Tees Valley, it provides a unique and stunning backdrop for a wedding.

Special features such as a beautiful bridal dressing room with all the facilities a bride and her bridal party will need to prepare for the big day, specially designed manicured grounds and gardens which will provide many fabulous locations for wedding photographs, and plans to resurrect a pathway through the grounds to St Mary’s Church, which will provide a picturesque and convenient way for the bride and groom and their guests to make their way to and from the ceremony.  This pathway was originally used by Sir William Hustler and his family, now the bride and groom will play the role of the nobility on their wedding day and use this historical setting plus the wedding pictures will be incredible!

What sort of bride would be an Acklam Hall bride?

An Acklam Hall bride would be anyone who is looking for a truly spectacular and unique location for the wedding of her dreams. The building itself is a magnificent backdrop for a bride’s big day and the surrounding grounds offer countless opportunities for those all-important photographs. The beautiful avenue of trees and the picturesque ornamental pond are among the pretty features within the grounds. I imagine Acklam Hall brides will be attracted by the passionate and dedicated service that they will receive from the team here throughout their whole experience.  We will pride ourselves on delivering a truly joyful and memorable day for every bride.

Acklam Hall (c) Gary Walsh Photography (6)

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

Our dedicated team at Acklam Hall will provide bride and grooms with unparalleled service and attention to detail, everything to make their big day special.  There will be an emphasis on exceptional customer service and presentation for all staff working at Acklam Hall.

We will also ensure that the team helping the couple to plan their big day prior to the wedding will be the team present on the day of the wedding to ensure everything goes to plan.

We are also planning to work with some fantastic wedding suppliers who we have a good relationship with and are trusted to provide a brilliant service.

Can guests stay over at your venue?  

We do not have accommodation on site at Acklam Hall but we do recommend some fantastic hotels close by.  We have made sure that the bride and her bridal party have the facilities to get ready at the hall creating a beautiful bridal dressing room complete with ensuite facilities and a salon hair wash unit for those all-important preparations!

Tell us about what catering services you will offer? 

The bride and groom and their guests will dine on sumptuous dishes prepared by the very experienced Acklam Hall chefs, using the finest fresh local produce.  We are happy to discuss any special requirements with the couple to make their wedding day as individual and special as they envisage.

Acklam Hall (c) Gary Walsh Photography (4)

Will you offer a choice of wedding packages?

We do not operate wedding packages but instead offer a bespoke service with flexibility on the food and beverage elements to a wedding and how the hall can be used.  This should allow for more tailored and individual weddings, letting couples be as creative as they like.

How is the transformation of Acklam Hall going so far?

The refurbishment and restoration of the hall is going very well, there are often challenges along the way due to the nature of the work that is taking place, some structural, but the hall is really starting to take shape and once the rooms have been painted, carpets fitted and furniture installed it will really come back to life again.  We are really looking forward to opening our doors and welcoming guests to experience what a special place Acklam Hall is.

Acklam Hall (c) Gary Walsh Photography (2)

How can our readers find out more about the venue?

Visit our website www.acklamhall.co.uk for the many ways to contact the Acklam Hall team. Viewings are currently being taken giving couples a behind the scenes look at the hall during the refurbishment.

Do you have any other news for us?

We are hoping to hold a Wedding Open Day at the venue in January and more details will be released on our website and social media soon. Also do keep an eye on our social media accounts where we will post the most up to date images and progress as it happens.

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Beautiful On A Budget: A Real Wedding In The North East – Bryde & Rob

December 16th, 2012 | Julia Braime

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Middlesbrough Wedding by Sally Thurrell Photography

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Welcome to Sunday Brides Up North.  The air may be filled with freezing fog, but look closely and you’ll see fairy lights twinkling through the grey:  there’s only one working week to go until Christmas!  As you wind down in the office, indulge in the communal Quality Street and take a few more long lunches than normal, make sure to stop by as there’ll be a double dose of wedding pretty waiting for you on these pages right up until the big day itself.

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Speaking of pretty, today we are in Middlesbrough for the beautiful wedding of Bryde and Rob, who are proud to have brought their special day in on budget without compromising on style.  It prides me to feature weddings of every style, denomination and price point here on Brides Up North:  basically, if it’s stunning, it’s in.  Bryde and Rob’s wedding is most certainly in – by penny pinching on the things that were less important to them, they added more costly details where it mattered and carried off the whole celebration with aplomb!  With images by Sally Thurrell Photography

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North East Wedding by Sally Thurrell Photography

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Bryde says:  The day that we got engaged I came home from work to find our apartment filled with candles, a piece of classical music playing and rose petals all over the floor, leading to Rob kneeling in the bedroom with the most beautiful engagement ring. It was a day before we were off for a weekend away together to celebrate our second anniversary.

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Sally Thurrell Photography

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We were married on August 10th 2012 at Ormesby Hall in Middlesbrough. 

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Sally Thurrell Photography   Sally Thurrell Photography

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We were on a tight budget as I’m still a student but we felt that the ceremony venue was the most important part of our day, so after months of looking and getting very nervous that we’d never find the perfect place, we finally came upon Ormesby Hall, that was in our price range and fit our theme of a English country garden wedding. It was absolutely beautiful.

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We both love the 50’s and 60’s eras so we decided on a vintage theme with lots of lace, a pastel colour scheme and charity shop nick-knacks which were essential to us staying within budget.

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Sally Thurrell Photography

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My wedding dress was always going to be lace, but finding a vintage inspired lace dress within budget was the hardest part of the whole wedding. I finally found my perfect dress, on eBay of all places for £85.

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Everyone commented on how beautiful the dress was and when they found out how cheap it was they were shocked to say the least. It just shows you don’t have to spend a fortune to have a perfect day.

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Sally Thurrell Photography

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My bridesmaids wore beautiful, pale pink chiffon, floor length dresses from www.missguided.com, with our flower girls in ivory tea dresses from eBay and the men wore King Edward suits from Psyche in Middlesbrough.

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Although we chose a pastel colour scheme I didn’t want to put the men in anything too feminine or garish so Rob decided on the colour of the suits. So I was relieved when I saw him and the groomsmen looking very dapper in black and ivory suits!

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Sally Thurrell Photography

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Sally Thurrell Photography

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My bespoke lace veil (which I actually loved more than my dress) was created by the talented Katy at What Katy Did Next. She also created our own personal cake toppers which our guests were very fond of.

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Sally Thurrell Photography

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Sally Thurrell Photography

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My bouquet was filled with pale pink and ivory roses, with sprigs of lilac and greenery. I wanted the flowers to look very natural and not too tidy; our florist did a great job.

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My Granddad has a beautiful garden, so it was wonderful for his flowers to decorate our reception, he even created the bouquets for our flower girls himself. We also had the reception filled with candles, tea cups and vases that had been collected by many of our friends and family.

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Sally Thurrell Photography

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Sally Thurrell Photography

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We found our amazing 60’s wedding car, The Digby at Lovedubcars.  I’d recommend their company to anyone, and our driver was lovely.   I travelled to the ceremony with both my Mum and Dad with me in the car, as I’m really close to both my parents and my Mum was a massive part of my day so I wanted her with me too. And on the way to our reception Rob and I enjoyed champagne with the roof down, which led to lots of cheering and beeping from onlookers. It was so much fun.

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Sally Thurrell Photography   Sally Thurrell Photography

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My favourite part was the ceremony. Rob had sworn he wouldn’t cry but as I walked down the aisle, to the same piece of classical music that Rob had played when he proposed, he was crying his eyes out, as were were all three of my sisters. My youngest sister Annie gave an emotional reading of Bob Dylan’s Forever Young, I think by the end of it there wasn’t a dry eye in the place. After our vows we walked down the aisle to the Match of the Day theme tune, much to everyone’s amusement and we drank champagne in the gardens with all our loved ones, and the weather was perfect!

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Sally Thurrell Photography

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Sally Thurrell Photography

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Our photographer Sally (Sally Thurrell Photography) was just like having a lifelong friend with me, as soon as she arrived on the morning she gave me a massive hug and my family loved her. Having a good relationship with her helped a lot.

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For our wedding cake, we had my own personal favourite from The Olde Young Teahouse made which was a raspberry, coconut and chocolate cake, Rob’s favourite which was a Dime Bar cake, and a classic chocolate sponge with vanilla cream and strawberries.

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Sally Thurrell Photography

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Sally Thurrell Photography

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My Dad was an unexpected piece of entertainment when he brought out his guitar for his speech, which was lovely as he had done the same at his own wedding to my Mum 11 years ago. We had a DJ for our evening reception who kept us dancing all night to classics by Elvis Presley and The Beach Boys

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Sally Thurrell Photography

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We stayed in a log cabin at Whinstone View the next day for the weekend, and four days later we set off for a 5* all inclusive week in Egypt.

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Sally Thurrell Photography

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Sally Thurrell Photography

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Even though our wedding was cheap compared to what is normally spent on the average wedding, I don’t think that effected the quality of the day at all, so my top tip for other Brides Up North would be to shop around, eBay was a godsend and have a dig through loads of charity shops for decoration ideas, and if you make invites, table plans and decorations yourself, it’s not only cheaper but it adds a personal touch to the day. At the end of the day it’s about you marrying the person you love, so don’t be nervous, ha!

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Sally Thurrell Photography

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Congratulations Bryde & Rob!

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Get in touch to see your own Real Wedding featured on Brides Up North.  Here’s how.

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  – Images © 2012 Sally Thurrell Photography

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