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Brides Up North Wedding Fairs

party on: a wedding weekend at hornington manor

June 5th, 2018 | Rachel Parry

Thomas Thomas Photography

Thomas Thomas Photography

The most common comment from our featured couples on the blog has to be how quickly the wedding day whips by. As such we’re huge advocates of spreading such special celebrations across more than just the one day – after all, how often to you get to be the centre of attention surrounded by all your nearest and dearest? May as well milk it, right?!

One venue that is fully experienced in extended celebrations is our fantastic Sponsor, Hornington Manor, which offers wedding weekends as standard, with parties arriving on the Friday and staying put until the Sunday, or even the Monday, if they so wish.

With exclusive use of the whole venue, situated in a rural location in North Yorkshire, couples and their guests can make the most of their nuptials, arriving the day before the ceremony to prepare, pamper and break the ice, before enjoying a truly memorable and personal big day followed by relaxation and reminiscing with their friends and family on the day or two that follow.

As we host our Luxury Wedding Shows at this venue twice a year (the next one being on 1st November) we know first hand just how gorgeous the Manor is, with wonderful accommodation and fabulous celebration spaces indoor and out, plus an A-star team that really do go above and beyond for their couples. And with that, we will now hand over the blog to the Hornington team to inspire and inform you on what shape a weekend wedding at this stunning venue can take…

Thomas Thomas Photography 5

Thomas Thomas Photography

Can you give us a brief overview of weekend wedding packages at Hornington Manor?

hornington manor team say: Our weekend weddings run from Friday to Sunday or Monday, and our wedding parties have exclusive use of the whole venue for the entirety of their stay. Our wedding couples move in on Friday morning and begin setting up in the wedding barn for their celebration. Our prices include the exclusive use of the whole Manor: 19 bedrooms, four kitchens, living/communal areas, the Manor grounds, the Wedding Barn (including all tables and chairs for the ceremony and the reception) and the Gallery. The standard package is for two nights (vacate Sunday am) however our couples can choose to extend their stay by a further night on a per room basis, securing the whole venue until the Monday morning.

Why do you think the weekend weddings are so popular with couples and why would you encourage couples to extend their celebrations across more than just one day?

We pride ourselves on creating a relaxed and homely environment for our couples and their loved ones to truly make the most of the special occasion. Planning a wedding can be so incredibly stressful that having the weekend to prepare and enjoy it removes a lot of pressure. It is so rare that all of your favourite people are in the same place at the same time and having the Manor for the whole weekend really does make the most of this. The communal areas encourage guests to spend their time together, rather than being stuck in their rooms. Our couples love the fact they can set up the wedding barn through the day on Friday, and then relax with their family and friends in the evening before the wedding. Once the celebrations come to an end on Saturday, the wedding party can continue into the early hours in the Manor. On Sunday, the whole wedding party are together for breakfast and can enjoy each other’s company and reminisce on the big day.

Sarah Beth Photography

Sarah Beth Photography

What areas of Hornington Manor can couples and their guests make use of during the weekend?

Hornington couples have absolute exclusive use of the whole Manor for their entirety of their stay, meaning the space is completely theirs to use however and whenever they wish. Guests can enjoy the Gallery as a games room or host a pub quiz on Friday night. They can all enjoy breakfast together in the dining areas within the Manor on Saturday Morning. They can play games on Sunday with a barbecue on the front lawn, and not have to worry about packing a single thing away from the Wedding Barn until Monday morning.

Can you give us some suggestions on what types of activities couples and their guests have planned for the Friday daytime and evening upon arriving at the venue – any tips on ice breakers?

For the ladies, Friday night is pamper night. Our bridal parties often get have a spray tan and get their nails done, whilst getting excited for the big day! They could create a home spa and truly indulge and relax after all the planning and preparation. Our groomsmen love to have a few games of pool and relax with a beer (We can pop a hand pull in the Manor for a proper pint too!). We can turn the Gallery into a games room complete with darts, table tennis and indoor badminton for the whole group to enjoy. Our couples often host a big quiz for all their guests to get to know each other, or they could create a home cinema in the Gallery to relax and unwind. In the past, our couples have hosted pre-wedding parties with food vans in the courtyard or a Hog Roast under the Lych gate – the options are endless!

The wedding ceremony would take place on the Saturday; can you give us an idea of the schedule of a wedding day at Hornington Manor?

We are licenced for civil ceremonies at a number of locations across the site and the most popular time for the ceremony is around 1pm. We will be here on Saturday morning to get any suppliers settled in and make sure all the final touches are complete. We oversee the ceremony to ensure all runs smoothly and members of our team prepare the reception drinks for when the ceremony is complete. Civil ceremonies usually last around half-an-hour, with another half-an-hour or so for the confetti shots and group photos. If our couple is having a church ceremony, we will be there to wave them off and will be ready and waiting with reception drinks when they return. Our couples usually allow for one-and-a-half to two hours for their guests to enjoy reception drinks and for their photographer to get all the shots of the newlyweds. Once the wedding party moves into the Wedding Barn, they enjoy speeches and their wedding breakfast for two to three hours, before the evening do begins! Timings for the day are totally decided by the couple and we will always accommodate our couples wishes with regards to the running of their day.

Stott and Atkinson

Stott and Atkinson

After the main celebrations, what types of activities do couples tend to plan for the Sunday?

Sunday is always a day for relaxing and enjoying time together. In the colder months, guests can cosy up in the Manor House in front of an open fire and have a wonderful Sunday roast cooked up for them by any of our fantastic recommended caterers. They could take a trip to York or have a wander into Bolton Percy and visit the fantastic pub! In the warmer months, guests spill out on to the front lawn and enjoy games, music and a barbecue cooked on the patio areas. Hornington Manor is a home from home and we really do encourage our guests to make the most of the space and the family time on the Sunday.

Luke Bell Photo

Luke Bell Photography

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venue hunter: gibbon bridge hotel, lancashire

May 4th, 2018 | Rachel Parry

Lottie Designs

The setting of your big day has to be one of the biggest decisions you’ll make during the planning process and so it’s worth taking the time to thoroughly do your research and scope out all of the options available. Keen to assist in your search, we’re bringing you details of another stellar venue in the north of the UK, our brand new Sponsor Gibbon Bridge Hotel.

Situated in Chipping in the Forest of Bowland, Lancashire – an Area of Outstanding National Beauty – this family owned venue offers couples elegance, class and quality for their big day celebrations. With a choice of beautiful ceremony spaces both inside and out, brides and grooms can tailor their day to their exact requirements, working with the venue’s friendly team and experienced head chef.

Personal and punctual, the Gibbon Bridge team pride themselves on providing excellent attention to detail, and the venue’s exclusive-use policy means only one wedding takes place at the hotel per day, resulting in the staffs’ undivided attention from beginning to end.

Sounds perfect right?! For those of you eager to find out more we’re chatting more to the team about Gibbon Bridge’s spectacular wedding offering, plus the venue has a Wedding Open Evening coming up on Wednesday 6th June, from 5pm to 8pm, when you can go along and view this beautiful building for yourselves.

Images as credited or provided by Gibbon Bridge.

John Francis Photography (2)

John Francis Photography

Can you tell us a little about the history of the venue?

gibbon bridge say: Originally a family farm, Janet Simpson (the owner) and her mother created Gibbon Bridge in 1982. The hotel has developed over the years and now has 23 acres of beautiful award-winning gardens, a large elegant bar with dining rooms overlooking the terrace and gardens, as well as 30 unique and comfortably appointed bedrooms. Janet is still hands on and offers a personal service with a management team who have been with her since the early days. All the food is freshly cooked and sourced locally, whether from the kitchen gardens or local suppliers.

How would you describe the look and feel of the venue?

Gibbon Bridge is a warm friendly place with stunning gardens, an amazing view and an individual, eclectic but comfortable style.

Kerry Woods Photography

Kerry Woods Photography

Can you tell us about the ceremony and reception areas and how many guests the venue can cater for? 

From April to September, weather permitting, civil ceremonies take place outdoors in the Bandstand. The Bandstand is sheltered by trees and surrounded by beautiful gardens, which can then be enjoyed for the rest of the day. Drinks are served on the terrace adjoining the Conservatory; a room with a view and doors that open to let the outside in. Should rain prevail, and during the winter months, the Orangery is available for ceremonies. Light and airy with its unique pillars and glass collection, it is a beautiful and elegant alternative to the Bandstand. Gibbon Bridge can cater for weddings of up to 200 guests for the wedding breakfast, with additional evening guests, as well as smaller, more intimate weddings.  No number is too small.

What makes Gibbon Bridge a special wedding venue and sets it apart from others?

The personal service and attention to detail that Janet and her team offer, as well as its individuality, beautiful gardens and setting. We will only ever hold one wedding a day so couples can rest assure that they are our sole focus.

Lottie Designs

What sort of bride would be a Gibbon Bridge bride?

A happy bride!

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

Your wedding day is as important to Janet and her team as it is to you. The team’s experience and attention to the details of your wedding will ensure that it is a day never to be forgotten.

Mark Tattersall Photography (4)

Mark Tattersall Photography

Can you tell us about the accommodation at the venue?

The hotel has 30 bedrooms including the bridal suite.  The rooms are spacious and individually furnished.

Tell us about your catering services and what makes them special? 

Janet and the head chef, Gary, who has been with her for 22 years, have created the menus especially for you and your guests using local produce.  The food is always freshly prepared and cooked on the day to meet your timetable and to ensure it is served hot. However, we are always happy to discuss alternative dishes and menus to suit your tastes.

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dream venue: yorebridge house

May 2nd, 2018 | Julia Braime

Yorebridge-44

If your venue search tick list includes a country retreat, that’s grand as it is intimate, offering exclusive use, stunning accommodation and fabulous food then stop what you’re doing and take note as we introduce our new venue Sponsor, the beautiful Yorebridge House.

Nestled in the idyllic surrounding of the North Yorkshire Dales, Yorebridge House is a real home from home that encourages brides, grooms and their guests to fully relax and indulge during their stay.

There is a choice of elegant ceremony and reception settings, plus five churches nearby for those wanting to include a religious element. Celebrations can take place both inside and out, giving parties the opportunity to make the most of the Yorebridge’s glorious assets.

Furthermore, an attentive team of experienced wedding co-ordinator’s and a superb 3 AA Rosette menu will ensure that all elements of the planning and the big day itself come together perfectly.

Keen to find out more? Then let’s hand over to the Yorebridge House team to explain more about its offering, and also to share details of their upcoming Wedding & Events Open Weekend on 19th and 20th May.

Images as credited or provided by Yorebridge House.

Helen Lishman Photography

Helen Lishman Photography

Where is Yorebridge House located?

yorebridge house say: The venue is set in two acres of land, on the banks of the River Ure in Bainbridge. The absolute heart of the Yorkshire Dales with stunning backdrop of dramatic hillsides and rivers – four miles from Hawes.

Can you tell us a little about the history of the venue?

The House is a Victorian Grade II listed building and former headmaster’s house and school, renovated ten years ago by owners Dave and Charlotte Reill. The boutique bedrooms are inspired by their travels around the world together.

LP_ROOM_PRIVATE_DINE_V2_RT

How would you describe the look and feel of the venue?

Yorebridge House has an elegant and expensive feel, surrounded by nature and countryside. The interiors are beautiful with opulent chandeliers, oak floors and elegant furnishings, giving a modern and stylish feel. The open fire and candlelit rooms create a perfect atmosphere whatever the season. The stylish bar area and cosy snugs have recently undergone a refurbishment. Overall, the venue has an intimate feel and offers exclusive-use, so it can be just you along with your family and friends.

Can you tell us about the ceremony and reception areas and how many guests the venue can cater for? 

We have two beautiful rooms licenced for civil marriages and civil partnerships. The Orangery, a beautiful room with panoramic views of the Dale, is perfect for up to 75 guests seated, more with standing. The Masters Room, with its large bay window overlooking the lawn, creates an elegant setting ideal for an intimate ceremony for up to 25 guests. With five beautiful churches nearby, Askrigg, Hawes, Hardraw, Stalling Busk and Aysgarth, there is also the option for a church ceremony followed by reception at Yorebridge House. Your wedding breakfast can be enjoyed in the House for up to 75 guests or in a marquee or tipi on the lawn for up to 120 guests.

Collage 1 (2)

What makes Yorebridge House a special wedding venue and sets it apart from others?

We promise luxury, relaxation and beautiful interiors, as well as a superb 3 AA Rosette menu, a bespoke wine and bar list and a personal and professional service from the moment you book. We offer a very relaxed home from home feel which makes it feel like you are moving in for the weekend of your wedding – offering exclusive weddings only there is no limit to your wedding day – bring as much or as little as you like to dress the place. Take advantage of our fantastic suppliers list to find great photographers, bands and florists to give your day the wow-factor.

What sort of bride would be a Yorebridge House bride?

Style conscious, low-key brides with high standards and those who love attention to detail. Plus, brides who want their friends and family to feel pampered for the weekend of their wedding.

Joel Skingle Photography

Joel Skingle Photography

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

Your wedding co-ordinator is on hand from the initial show around through to your first dance and after! We love wedding planning with you as much as you love visiting us and imagining your wedding day here – we can guide as much or as little as you need and have plenty of experience with all types of weddings. We have three wedding co-ordinators – two of which are getting married here themselves and one who is also the owner of the business! We all have a passion for customer service, organisation and will help out wherever we can.

Can you tell us about the accommodation at the venue?

We have 12 boutique bedrooms and great links with other local accommodation in the area as well as a local taxi man who is on hand at the end of the night! All of our bedrooms are individually designed offering the ultimate in luxury, style and relaxation. Sumptuous furnishings, up to date technology, stunning scenery and with the utmost attention to detail, you and your guests will feel spoilt and pampered throughout your stay. Many of the bedrooms boast private terraces with hot tubs for you to relax in the bubbles whenever you wish.

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dream venue: rise hall, with sarah beeny

April 6th, 2018 | Julia Braime

Rise Hall Hull Weddings by Wedding photographer Joel Skingle Award Winning Wedding photography at Rise Hall-0001

Joel Skingle Photography

We don’t like to get too carried away, but with the temperatures reaching double figures over the past few days we’re inclined to believe that spring has finally arrived – hallelujah! This means that those of you set to tie the knot in the coming weeks can stop considering a snowmobile as a practical method of wedding transport as calm is restored across the country.

Meanwhile, for those of you just getting started on the big day planning, we’re bringing you details of a stunning East Yorkshire venue perfect for stately celebrations. Introducing new Brides Up North Sponsor, the gorgeous Rise Hall.

Sound familiar? You may well recognise the name of the building from Channel 4 show Sarah Beeny’s Restoration Nightmare, when the property guru and her husband Graham Swift brought the historic building back from the brink of dereliction.

From nightmare to dream, the determined couple painstakingly restored the Hall to its former glory, transforming it into a truly unique wedding venue that invites others to share its beauty and heritage, while also helping to safeguard its future.

A grand yet welcoming home from home, Rise Hall is available to hire exclusively for a full weekend of celebrations, giving couples and their guests use of the entire house, including all 29 bedrooms.

Here to tell us more about the venue’s incredible transformation and wedding offering, while also passing on some words of wedded wisdom, is the lady that know Rise Hall best, Sarah Beeny…

Sarah&Graham at Rise

Can you tell us a little about the history of Rise Hall?

sarah says: Rise Hall was built in 1820 and was the home of the Bethell family until the Second World War. During the war it was used for the army and shortly afterwards the family moved out to the rectory and rented the house out to a convent who opened a boarding school. This shut down around 1980 and it was then inhabited by the nuns for ten years falling further into disrepair until around 1990 when they moved out. It stood empty and on the market for ten years until myself and my husband bought it in 2000.

What attracted you to Rise Hall and what kind of condition was it in when you bought it?

It was pretty bad but unlike many of the houses ‘at Risk’ that we had looked at, the dry rot hadn’t taken hold too much and it sat happily in the centre of its land. It was solid and straight and surprisingly quick to get to from London, Leeds and York, despite looking a long way east on the map. The first few years were spent with a lot of buckets trying to keep the rain out, but we had fun there and had lots of hardy friends who used to come and stay on mattresses with electric blankets!

What was your vision for Rise Hall and can you give us an overview of the work that has been carried out so far

When we first bought it, I think I honestly thought we might just live there. However, when we had the children we had to make a decision about their schooling and as much of my work was based in London we based ourselves there. It made us look at Rise in a different way and we realised that for it to come out of a ‘building at Risk’ category, it needed a proper future that was financially secure and for that it had to have a purpose. Weddings seemed the perfect option as the dozens of friends who had visited Rise over the years all wanted to get married there so we started the major internal refurbishment which resulted in the finished home we have today.

Rise Hall Wedding photography by rise hall wedding photographer joel skingle photograpy yorkshire-0125

Joel Skingle Photography

What is the look and feel of the Hall like now?

We very much want people to feel it is ‘their home’ when they get married at Rise Hall. Yes, it is incredibly grand and walking down the amazing main staircase it is difficult not to pretend you are in a film, but it is also wonderfully relaxed with our ‘pub’ and ‘kick off your shoes’ style mixed with seamless, cheerful service. Rise is pretty classic and traditional in many ways (with a few modern exceptions in the bedrooms) and I believe this is what attracts a lot of our couples.

When did Rise Hall become available for brides and grooms?

It was about six years ago – we wanted Rise Hall to have a sustainable future and knew that weddings were a great place to start. We also have quite a lot of special birthday parties celebrated at Rise also and regularly host corporate getaways.

Is it still a home to you and your family too?

Yes, very much so – it is trickier now that the children are getting older to get there as much as we’d like but all the children, their cousins and most of our friends’ children all have childhoods full of memories of Rise Hall.

Wedding-Rise-Ally Byrom Photography2

Ally Byrom

Can you tell us about the areas of Rise Hall that can be used for ceremonies and receptions and how many guests the venue can cater for?

There are actually eight different spaces you can get married in at Rise Hall – and of course Rise Church, which is a lovely walk across the parkland. At Rise itself we have rooms that can seat from as few as 20 in the Gallery to 300 in the Ballroom. We want people to be able to have the wedding that perfectly suits them and their guests.

What makes Rise Hall a special wedding venue and sets it apart from others?

To be honest I think the proof is in the pudding – people rarely visit Rise Hall and don’t book it. It is exclusive yet accessible, impressive but informal, grand but comfortable. It truly is your stately home from home!

What sort of bride would be a Rise Hall bride?

We see such a variety of brides at Rise – from the more relaxed bohemian bride, to the dark red tartan bodice wearing bride and to the bride who has always dreamed of the 20-foot train! You name it, we can do it – we are entirely flexible and it truly is your day. I think the thing that all the Rise Hall brides have in common is a love for grand architecture, the feeling that they want the house to be all theirs for their stay and wanting a really great party with feasting and celebration.

Commercial -Photography-Rise Hall-214-Aly Byrom

Ally Byrom

How can the venue’s events team help to make the planning process easier and the big day amazing?

I believe that a perfectly organised event is generally down to how experienced the person delivering it is. We have amazing staff who not only know Rise Hall, but they are headed up by our general manager, Ed, who joined us last summer and is fantastically capable of ensuring the planning and delivery of a wedding is seamless. Our motto is that you should enjoy the journey as well as the destination and our team help to make that happen.

Can you tell us a little about the accommodation at Rise Hall?

We have 29 bedrooms. Graham is an artist and was very hands on for much of the design of all the rooms. We have three rooms that reflect the different periods that the house has lived through – Regency, Victorian and Millenium as houses such as Rise Hall would have had perhaps one or two rooms that were refurbished every generation, but most would have stood the test of time. All the beds are fantastically comfortable with loads of feather pillows and shutters or blackout curtains to ensure a great night’s sleep.

What is the feedback like from couples about Rise Hall?

They all say that it feels like home despite being amazingly grand – they never want to leave as the house and gardens are beautiful and somehow time stands still whilst they are there. I think the roaring fires in the winter and endless lawns that can be enjoyed in the summer are a big plus but also that they can have a truly bespoke wedding that is completely different to all the weddings they’ve been to before – that is probably the biggest selling point.

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a real gem: the biscuit factory’s jewellery collection

April 4th, 2018 | Julia Braime

Jewellery 2

Through our pretty pages we’ve often promoted The Biscuit Factory as a cool urban choice of venue for North East wedding couples, though it can be of service to brides and grooms in more ways than one.

Beyond its fabulous function spaces, The Biscuit Factory houses the UK’s largest independent contemporary art, craft and design gallery, featuring impressive work by both local and national artists with pieces ranging from paintings, prints and ceramics to furniture, homewares and jewellery.

Not only is the art showcased and admired through exhibitions, but numerous items are also available to buy at the Newcastle-based gallery or online. For wedding couples with an appreciation of art this means the option of setting up a gift account in the gallery, for a wedding present wish list with a difference.

Furthermore, through its impressive jewellery collections, brides and grooms can also source beautifully bespoke gifts for one another and their bridal party, and can even have wedding and engagement rings specially commissioned by jewellers based at the gallery.

We’ll now hand over the blog to The Biscuit Factory’s jewellery curator, Megan Collier, to tell us more about the options, including the latest Botanical Collection of jewellery with stunning handmade pieces inspired by the natural world.

Mabel Hasell

Can you give us a brief overview of the jewellery collections that The Biscuit Factory houses?

megan says: The Biscuit Factory houses one of the largest collections of contemporary handmade jewellery in the North of England. Our pieces are carefully curated each season and are all handmade, original and unique. From affordable statement pieces to high-value wedding bands – we stock a variety of jewellery from the UK’s most talented designers and makers.

How do you choose the designers that you stock/exhibit and do these change from season to season?

We have a few makers who are firm favourites in the gallery and have been with us for years, such as Jessica Briggs, Fran Stunt and Jill Stewart. Their work never fails to be popular with our audiences! Aside from that, I try to bring in a selection of new jewellers for each seasonal show to make sure the collection is fresh and exciting. I tend to find these through hunting online or looking at other galleries and trade fairs. Instagram has a wealth of new and exciting designers to discover so is always a good place to start! I try to look for designers who are doing something a little different or innovative with their work, so the collections at The Biscuit Factory are always giving our audience something new to discover.

Can you tell us about the current Botanical Jewellery collection?

The spring show seemed like the perfect time to explore the world of botanical jewellery, putting the spotlight on artists who take inspiration from the natural world at the time of year when everything is starting to bloom and flourish.

Botanics is a theme explored by many jewellers in many different ways, and our new collection perfectly showcases the diverse range of styles, materials and techniques that makers have used to interpret this theme, each coming up with entirely unique results. Some of the collections have even been specially created just for The Biscuit Factory, too.

From Sue Gregor, who uses real plants in her bright bold acrylic jewellery, to Farrah Al-Dujaili’s Oddical collection made from cutting-edge 3D printing – the jewellers in this show experiment with their craft and break from traditional methods of jewellery making. For this reason, the Botanical Collection appeals to a wide audience.

There are subtle, floral pieces like Yuki Kokai or Lisa Rothwell-Young’s collections, for those who like their jewellery elegant and understated, but there is also bold, statement jewellery, such as Lauren Bell Brown’s Grimms fairy-tale inspired collection, created using handcrafted wax carvings and cuttlefish castings combined with needlepoint embellishment.

Award-winning jeweller John Moore, meanwhile, captures the essence of feathers and the repeating patterns of fish and plants in his decorative Flight and Elytra pieces; and Nettie Birch of nbNg makes fold formed jewellery using aluminium, copper and Sterling silver to create beautiful flowing organic shapes.

Elizabeth Trueman earrings

Elizabeth Tueman

Couples have been known to have wedding and engagement rings commissioned at The Biscuit Factory. Can you tell us a little more about this option and what the process involves?

There are a number of jewellers who we work with who can create specially commissioned wedding pieces for us. We have a selection of their work in the gallery that couples can try on and explore for inspiration. We can then order directly from the artist in the right size and desired materials. It’s a great place to find your engagement and wedding rings as it ensures they will be truly unique and handmade by an artist. I think this makes them extra special!

Brides and grooms have also sourced wedding gifts for loved ones and each other from designers at The Biscuit Factory. What types of items have they bought and what would you suggest from the current collections that would make lovely wedding gifts?

There’s plenty to choose from in the way of wedding gifts from our collections. Handmade, unique cufflinks are always a popular choice when buying gifts for the groom or groomsmen. We also have very affordable and pretty silver necklaces, bracelets and earrings made with semi-precious stones and molten metals which could make perfect bridesmaid gifts.

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rachel’s diary: the wedding venue hunt

March 16th, 2018 | Rachel Parry

Andy & Rach

After riding that cloud-nine-feel of getting engaged over Christmas and New Year the realisation of planning a wedding hit me head on in mid-January. Even though I work in the industry my vision was clouded by the ring-finally-on-finger euphoria and I thought (possibly like many other couples) that we had loads of time to find a venue and start making plans.

However, when Andy and I started to seriously discuss timings we narrowed when would like to say our “I dos” down to a three-month-window next spring; being April, May, June 2019. Now, if you’re quite happy to have a long engagement, or perhaps, aren’t too fussed about what time of the year you get wed, you don’t need to panic just yet. For us it was a case of timing the wedding to fit in with a season that we like, months that would work well with our jobs, and also avoiding the peak summer season price hike – we, like the vast majority of brides and grooms, don’t have a bottomless budget and therefore are taking care to spend wisely.

With this in mind, we have also done the unthinkable and booked a, wait for it…Thursday wedding! We figured those that love/like/just about tolerate us will be willing to sacrifice a day’s annual leave to celebrate our special day with us – and, as a thank you, we will be investing the saving we made by opting for a week day into elements our guests will most definitely benefit from – being the food, booze and entertainment!

Middleton Lodge Fig House - Image by Gary Walsh Photography

Middleton Lodge Fig House – Gary Walsh Photography

So, where oh where will the big day take place? Well prompted into panic mode we went to view three venues which I know of and love; and so really it was a case of gauging Andy’s feelings on these. New addition to the stunning Middleton Lodge Estate in North Yorkshire, The Fig House was a front-runner from the off. Fresh and fabulous, this stunning Georgian inspired building is set to start holding weddings in the coming months, and we both loved the fact that none of our family or friends would have got hitched there before. Better still, The Fig House is concealed within a breath-takingly beautiful walled Kitchen Garden, and visions of beers and Bellinis on the lawns had us hooked. However, back home when we mulled things over, logistically it was going to be a struggle for us with pretty much all guests being from our home-city of Sheffield and even further south. Those of you on the venue search around the North Yorkshire area though must absolutely check out The Fig House and wider Middleton Lodge Estate.

Saltmarshe Hall - Image by Aden Priest

Saltmarshe Hall – Aden Priest Photography

Next up was gorgeous Grade II country house, Saltmarshe Hall, located in rural East Yorkshire. What I adore about this venue is its grand façade and gorgeous interiors, which offer an air of luxury and opulence, and yet it feels a real home from home, instantly welcoming and exclusive. Having recently added more stunning bedrooms to its offering it was another strong contender, with its light and airy reception rooms and speak-easy style bar adding extra ticks. Though in the end, for us, we felt we needed just a bit more space for the size of our wedding party (and also to accommodate Andy’s dance moves without people getting injured!) However, again, if your wedding venue search area covers East Yorkshire, please do look up this truly beautiful Hall.

The West Mill

The West Mill – Richard Murgatroyd Photography

And so that brings me onto our third and, as it turns out, winning venue – The West Mill in Derby. I’d never visited this place in person prior to our viewing but I’d often spent far too long staring at images of it, either via real weddings featured here on the blog or those I found on Instagram. What drew me to it was its cool, industrial luxe style and I thought (and hoped!) this would be right up Andy’s street too. Cue a wonderfully personal show around by owner Andrew, and we were sold.

The West Mill

Richard Murgatroyd Photography

The space within the Grade I listed former cotton spinning mill, situated next to the river Derwent, is nothing short of exceptional with space to wed, dine and party across four fabulous levels, plus outdoor space too – oh and eight brand new gorgeous on-site bedrooms.

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