EXPERT ADVICE

FAQs and expert advice about venues

Here is a selection of Q&As from Your Yorkshire Wedding magazine whether it be about flowers, hair and makeup, fashion, wedding themes, health & beauty, cakes, stationery, legal advice. If you would like your question answered by our experts, please email it to editor@youryorkshire.wedding

Sustainably Minded

Sustainably Minded

Q What is your advice on planning a sustainable wedding?
A Naomi Ward says: The two main ways to increase the sustainability of your wedding is to source local and avoid waste, which in turn helps to reduce costs!

Our venue doesn't need a lot of dressing, so you can just add little touches to make it completely your own. Dried flowers are more sustainable, reduce waste and look beautiful any time of year. Alternatively, identify which flowers are in season at the time of your wedding, especially those grown in the UK rather than imported varieties. There are also plenty of great options with artificial flowers.

Working with a local caterer who also has a sustainable ethos and will use locally, and responsibly sourced ingredients will also help to reduce your carbon footprint. At Camblesforth Hall, you're welcome to use any caterer you wish who can work with you to create a menu that's right.

It's also worth considering wedding favours. Often, these can be expensive and from a venue's perspective, we see a lot of them being left behind. Edible treats can be a great alternative or small bottles of liquor or prosecco, which could double up as the toast drinks. We don't charge corkage, s you don't have to worry about any additional costs there.

Naomi Ward, Camblesforth Hall

No Need To Compromise

No Need To Compromise

Q What is your advice on planning a sustainable wedding?
A Kirstie Clemmings says: Our sustainability pledge is something we pride ourselves on. Each year we aim to decrease our output and encourage our guests to join us.

Your special day can be just as sensational when using silk flowers, as these are a wonderful way to bring stunning arrangements into your décor, and they can be re-used making them a much more sustainable option. What's more, using a local supplier for your cake can reduce transport emissions. You can be sustainable without compromising your big day.

Finally, if your guests are staying with us for more than one night, you can opt for our eco-clean where we'll donate money to our chosen charity in return for not servicing your room, allowing us to reduce detergent use, water and energy.

Kirstie Clemmings, Hotel du Vin York & Malmaison York

Cosy Elegance

Cosy Elegance

Q What is your advice on creating an elegant winter wedding?
A Rebecca Barker says: Finding the perfect venue to host your elegant winter wedding will set the tone for the wedding plans to come! A perfect venue will provide everything from spectacular indoor spaces for wedding photographs, cosy spots for guests to relax in while enjoying a drinks reception of delectable canapés, to backdrops only enhanced by a dusting of snow.

Rise Hall in East Yorkshire is an ideal choice when it comes to a venue that encapsulates elegance. Arriving to a wedding weekend hosting 62 of your nearest and dearest, welcomed by the house butler, means your guests will enjoy relaxed luxury at its best. With a sweeping elegant staircase, cosy library, open fire and views of the Yorkshire countryside blissfully dusted by Jack Frost, it's a must see.

Taking seasonality across your menu choices will allow the stunning winter wedding theme to continue. An elegant wedding breakfast showcasing dishes with winter flavours, rich decadent desserts and velvet wines will leave guests blown away.

No elegant winter wedding vibe is complete without a showstopping experience for guests and ending the evening with a firework display held at Rise Hall is the perfect choice to light up the inky darkness of the star-filled nights sky. While loved ones cosy up around the firepit watching the display, a hot toddy in hand, winter will suddenly become everyone's favourite wedding season.

Rebecca Barker, Rise Hall

Winter Wonderland

Winter Wonderland

Q What is your advice on creating an elegant winter wedding?
A Andrea Graham says: Winter can be the most beautiful season of the year for your wedding as it brings a sense of magic and romance. Here at High Trenhouse we boast the warmth of a 17th-century farmhouse and the incredible views are the ideal backdrop for photos. You can also enjoy the cosiness of log-burner fires in both of our bars and inside the ceremony areas as just one of our many features that bring the feeling of welcome and homeliness at this time of year.

We also have three outside areas available as well as the lawn, even if they're covered in snow! There's our bespoke firepit, which is used for toasting marshmallows (or your treat of choice) and for snuggling up alongside to enjoy the warmth and glow of the fire. We pride ourselves on making our guests feel welcome for the most romantic winter weddings possible. It's what we do, as we're the blank canvas for you to bring your special day to life, and is as idyllic as you could wish for – a perfect winter wonderland!

Andrea Graham, High Trenhouse

Love In Leeds

Love In Leeds

Q We're struggling to find a venue in Leeds centre to get our guests talking! We want something stylish but different from the norm. What can you suggest?
A Ian Harker says: In the heart of Leeds City Centre lies a hidden jewel! Leeds Library is the oldest library of its kind in the UK, and to step into its Georgian Grade II listed building is to step back in time over 200 years, leaving the bustle of the modern world behind. This unique venue is available for ceremonies with up to 88 guests. The 150-year-old New Room provides the setting for intimate and atmospheric ceremonies; and the galleries, spiral staircases, sash windows, window seats, book-lined office and reading room are the perfect backdrop for lovers of both books and history.

Ian Harker, The Leeds Library

Barn dance

Barn dance

Q My partner's sold on a barn wedding, but I'm yet to be convinced. Convince me!
A Georgie Bestall says: There is no place more magical than our rustic barn, which is open and inclusive meaning no interrupting room changes. Our barn is also a blank canvas, which gives you the flexibility to create the wedding of your dreams. There are so many ways you can put your own stamp on a barn wedding, with opportunities to be creative, whether it's the twinkle of fairy lights or the large white drapes from the high ceiling – you are free to explore and personalise every part of your day, with no limit to your options. Our barn is unique, charming, full of character and history, with a dramatic rural setting and breath-taking views over our beautiful valley and forest. It's the perfect backdrop for rustic country weddings! Here at Stepney Hill Farm, we pride ourselves on doing all we can to make every couples' vision come true.

Georgie Bestall, Stepney Hill Farm

Feeling festive

Feeling festive

Q We're looking for a venue for our Christmas-themed wedding. What should we ask before booking?
A Angela Jackson says: First of all, ask how many weddings a venue conducts around Christmas time, as you ideally want to be their main focus and choose one which limits weddings at this time. Ideally, you should ask for any images the venue has of previous Christmas weddings, so you know what to expect. It would also be useful to know the extent of a venue's grounds for festive photographs and what contingencies there are in place for 'indoor' shots. Once you know the extent of the venue's Christmas style, you need to check if they'll allow you to add any extras for yourselves, such as the addition of presents under the tree, extra decorations in a style of your own choosing, or whether they mind a visit from Santa himself! Another point would be to determine whether the venue is prepared to cater for a full Christmas wedding breakfast to include all the trimmings, if that's what you're looking for. Finally, as the day draws to a close, it would be useful to know if the venue is happy to host a carol concert, play festive tunes, allow party games or host anything in particular you have in mind. Most venues are always happy to do what you want, but it is always best to check.

Angela Jackson, The Gamekeeper’s Inn

Finishing touches

Finishing touches

Q We want to wed in Harrogate but are struggling to find a venue contemporary in design. Can you help?
A Simon Cotton says: The Yorkshire Hotel is located in the heart of Harrogate, and is the perfect venue for your day. We've undergone a stunning refurbishment, staying true to our Victorian heritage while preparing the hotel for the next 100 years of its life, with modern and contemporary touches throughout. Located on the fifth floor, our wedding suite offers breath taking views of the historic town and further afield, while our wide range of catering allows us to tailor packages to fit your vision and budget. Both our food menu, crafted by the group's AA rosette Head Chef, Richard Ferebee; and our drinks, blended by Barman of the Year, Dario Silveria, can be built to suit you as a couple, for an unforgettable, carefree day.

Simon Cotton, The Yorkshire Hotel

History lesson

History lesson

Q I'm set on a venue packed with history, but my partner wants something contemporary. We're stuck!
A Claire Askham says: There's no reason you can't have both! A lot of modern venues require additional input to create an atmosphere or theme, whereas a historical setting can easily be modernised with details, from outfits and floral arrangements to food and decorations. Adopting a more minimalist approach creates an interesting contrast to a venue with character, which serves to please everyone's taste and helps to make your wedding truly unique. The Orangery at Newby Hall is a perfect example of a historical building, restored in a simple, contemporary style, perfect for such a dilemma.

Claire Askham, Newby Hall

A warm welcome

A warm welcome

Q I'm looking at historic venues, however, my mum keeps questioning whether it'll be warm enough! I'm wearing a strapless dress and I know she's just being thoughtful but what questions should I ask the venues beforehand? My husband and I just love the romance and history behind some of Yorkshire's amazing monuments!
A Jacqueline Naylor says: We have a lot of weddings which take place in the autumn and winter as it's very romantic with its large open fires and braziers. The castle does get cold in these months, however there are a few things we do to ensure the comfort of our guests just like other historic venues will also do. We hire in heaters to warm the rooms and we also have the fires lit in good time. The warming glow and ambience is all part of the romance of the day. The doors to each area are closed as much as possible to ensure the warm air doesn't escape. Talk to the wedding team and I'm sure they'll ease yours (and your mum's!) mind.

Many of our couples have been able to capture their day with dramatic photographs in areas around the castle and are always able to find a nice warm fire to come and sit by afterwards.

Jacqueline Naylor, Bolton Castle

Festive finds

Festive finds

Q We're looking for a venue that will be able to help us achieve our Christmas-themed wedding. What should we ask the wedding team before booking?
A Sarah Dannatt says: So many couples dream of a Christmas wedding, with a wonderful winter feel having the snow falling around you and all the beautiful features covered with a white blanket of snow. Although every dream can turn into a nightmare if you don't choose the right venue for your special day.

Will we be cold if we book in winter? Some venues such as Spicer Manor, may have underfloor heating throughout.

Check if the venue has firepits, these are perfect to snuggle around with heat holding blankets to keep lovely and cosy. What if it rains? At Spicer, we supply pretty, transparent umbrellas for you and your guests to ensure you won't ruin any stunning suits, dresses or hairstyles. What if it snows? Check the venue is well equipped with snow shovels to clear any walkways needed to make everything safe for guests.

The perfect addition for a Christmas themed wedding has to be fairylights, You can also discuss Christmas decorations with your wedding coordinator to finish off your festive theme perfectly.

Sarah Dannatt, Spicer Manor

Whatever the weather

Whatever the weather

Q My fiancé and I have just started looking for our dream wedding venue, and we'd like to get married outside. What should we keep in mind before booking?
A Sharon & Emily says: There are a few practicalities you need to consider – plan A and plan B! Take the weather for example. Even if the forecast is amazing, you may want to consider some form of shelter, just in case! Make sure your guests are aware of what's in store too, so they can plan their outfits accordingly. Be prepared with umbrellas and wellies – don't let the rain dampen your sprits though! Props like these can be personalised to the bride and groom and create some wonderful photo opportunities.

Utilise your surroundings and take some inspiration from nature. The Coniston Hotel's 1,400-acre private estate is bursting with colour and texture, whatever the season. Incorporate this into your day and save on your décor budget! Have an open mind. We all have a dream and vision, but when incorporating unpredictable elements to your day such as weather, you may need to be prepared to flex on a few of the details. Finally, trust the experts! For example, our dedicated wedding team live and breathe weddings – they'll offer the best solution, for the comfort of you and your guests, whilst still exceeding your expectations.

Sharon & Emily, The Coniston Hotel Country Estate & Spa

Customise your venue

Customise your venue

Q What's your top planning tip when it comes to looking for and booking the venue
A Lisa Hunt says: When it comes to finding your venue, you have to be sure you've found the perfect location for your perfect day!

At Spicer Manor our team firmly believe you must have the full support and advice from your venue, who will be by your side throughout your journey and be with you on your special day.

Somewhere to suit your individual needs is essential, if you have some of your ideas already, then make it clear what you're hoping for on your big day from the start so you know if your venue can cater for this. We strive to achieve everything our couples desire to make their day as special as possible for them.

A venue without a flexible structure means you may not have the choices to make your day just as you'd like it, to compromise for such a special event is not ideal. You should be able to choose a venue that will help you personalise your day and make it the day you always want to remember.

Lisa Hunt, Spicer Manor

The venue checklist

The venue checklist

Q I have just got engaged and have started looking at venues. My mind is boggled, where do I begin?
A Laura Shinkfield says: There are so many venues out there it's no wonder you're boggled! The key thing which any venue will ask first is how many guests. Make your list, argue about your list, and come up with a number. Then consider are all those people coming for the whole day, or are you having an evening do? Do you want to have a civil or religious ceremony? Are you wanting a specific type of food? Will you have a live band or a DJ? Do you want the whole place to yourself? Do you prefer a modern or traditional setting? Have you got a budget to work to? All of these questions are really important to have clear in your mind, and will define the starting point for any venue discussion.

Next, decide on a date. With pandemic restrictions, a lot of weddings have had to be rescheduled, so you can expect venues and suppliers to be busier than usual, therefore availability is key. You might need to be willing to compromise.

For a small Yorkshire wedding with total exclusivity, consider The Yorke Arms in Ramsgill. For larger weddings, consider Bowcliffe Hall. Both come with dedicated teams ready to make your wedding day dreams come true.

Laura Shinkfield, Bowcliffe Hall & The Yorke Arms

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