How to choose frOM THE YORKSHIRE DALES TO THE YORKSHIRE COAST, FROM CASTLES TO TIPIS
You're marrying the love of your life. Congratulations - you're in for an amazing time! Basking in your engagement, you're now ready to choose where you will marry and celebrate. What information will help you find your ideal wedding venue whether it's in Yorkshire, the Lake District, Cornwall or anywhere else?... here's where I come in.
As this is my 12th year as Yorkshire wedding photographer, I have accumulated many top wedding tips that can help you from the start of your wedding planning adventure. Before we get specific about types of Yorkshire wedding venues, the first part is full of great location decision tips regardless of area.
So, are you more in favour of a romantic castle full of history, a delighful country garden or an impressive country manor? Are you more urban chic than boutique chic or is the seaside more your thang? Scroll on to see what you should consider.
Read on for tips on selecting your ideal venue
Top Tips from your Yorkshire Wedding Photographer
How Do You Begin...
A good starting point is to think about number of guests. How many can your venue comfortably accommodate? If too big or if there are many rooms to wander about in, then it could mean that your main wedding room rarely looks full. On the other hand, no-one wants to feel cramped in just one room most of the day.
Would you prefer exclusive use?
Of course you also have to think about the time of year you wish to marry. Snow is very romantic and it really does look magical but think about travel and access to your venue for your guests and your wedding suppliers if you're planning a winter wedding.
How do you want your wedding day to look and feel? Do you prefer light, bright rooms, wooden floors, tall, wide windows and great views or are you more about a rich, cosy feel?
This is the time to decide if you want a great big party with a live band, plenty of dance floor and outside space, or a smaller celebration in unique surroundings or maybe somewhere arty or quirky that's also renowned for it's delicious food.
Fancy feeling like the owner of a grand country estate? Fabulous country manors and grounds exist where you can do just that for a weekend.
My top tip, is for each of you to separately write down the answers to these, read each others, then see where you meet and where you might have to compromise. We ended up learning quite a lot more about each other in the year we were engaged!
Geographic location comes next, quickly followed by logistics
How far will you and the majority of your guests need to travel? Will your favourite great aunt or elderly grandpa manage a long journey and narrow country roads to the Yorkshire Dales, for example, with an overnight stay that's not at your venue? You might find that there are people so close to your heart that having them see you marry becomes more important than the location of your dreams.
Do you want your marriage ceremony at your venue, at a church or even outdoors? If your ceremony is away from your venue, think about the length and ease of the journey between the two, especially if you're having a winter wedding. Falling snow is magical but travelling in it really isn't.
And After That...
How about hiring it for a whole weekend - why start celebrating on a Saturday when you can have the Friday and Sunday as well. Would you be ok for it to be somewhere where members of the public would also be wishing you well as they walked nearby or would you prefer it enclosed and private?
Find out the time you are allowed to arrive at your venue to get ready, when the partying has to stop, and when you have to leave the next morning.
And...so it begins!
Maybe you already love somewhere in the Yorkshire countryside where you go every summer or have a favourite, fine resaturant that's super stylish and rather decadent? It's a time unlike any other after all.
Would you prefer grand and friendly or very relaxed with the option of selecting some of your own creative wedding suppliers and decorations? Maybe you are a fashion buyer or an interior or theatre design whizz and want to style everything or you simply want to enjoy the ride and employ creative professionals from the start to when you hang up your dancing shoes.
When you are almost ready to decide... does your venue have spacious rooms you can use if you have to spend a lot of your day indoors, if the weather is poor? Is there good, photogenic space for your photography if we can't go outside?
Lastly - wedding insurance. Please do look into it carefully and select the right policy for your wedding.
Right! Now let's say you are getting married in glorious Yorkshire. Firstly, you've made a great choice! Rolling dales, dramatic moors, romantic castles, delighful country gardens and impressive country manors, urban chic, boutique hotels and the seaside - Yorkshire has it all. As a Yorkshire wedding photographer for over a decade, I've photographed at the best wedding locations Yorkshire has to offer.
Read the following sections on Unique & Chic, Romantic & Dramatic, Countryside & Seaside, Grand Designs and Totally Creative wedding venues in Yorkshire.
read on for inspiring Yorkshire Wedding Venues
BOUTIQUE RETREATS & Unique DESIGNER GEMS
Would a boutique chic Yorkshire Wedding Venue suit your wedding day vibe? Do you fancy stylish or contemporary or something rather quirky or arty?
If you're all about unique, you must go and look at Bowcliffe Hall near Wetherby. It's an exclusive use wedding venue in country garden grounds where you can mix classic, art-deco and unique! Each space feels amazing with art-deco styling and its Drivers Club. Ask to see the Blackburn Wing too - it's a contemporary treehouse! Your wedding photography in each area will look completely different from the others. There isn't a Yorkshire wedding venue quite like it.
The Crab & Lobster/Crab Manor in Thirsk, North Yorkshire, is one of the quirkiest wedding venues in Yorkshire, combining gardens and relaxed elegance at the same time. With something interesting to look at around every corner, themed rooms and excellent food, it's sure to cover plenty of wedding day wishes as well as having plenty of backdrop choices for your wedding photographs.
Super ecclectic, eccentric, arty and oh so stylish, is the newly restored Grade 2 listed Wesleyan Chapel near Harrogate centre. With its baroque Italienate facade, and outside courtyard, its history and beauty strikes you before you have even walked inside. It's listed as The Chapel, Harrogate. You need to give your guests at least half an hour to look around before your ceremony or they'll be gazing at the art work before they have eyes for you.
And have you heard of urban chic? Well, we have that too.
For urban chic city lovers there's the super-stylish Malmaison, Leeds Club or Aspire in the centre of Leeds, West Yorkshire. Can you see yourself sipping wedding cocktails in a sequined dress and Jimmy Choos at the fashionable Angelica or Crafthouse on the 6th Floor of Trinity? With outstanding Leeds city views from the panoramic terrace, it's so en vogue!
For art and history, there's Leeds Art Gallery - hire the Victorian Tiled Hall or head out to Yorkshire Sculpture Park for its culture, its art, its grounds... and then of course, Yorkshire has the contemporary art space that The Hepworth Wakefield.
Only 15 minutes north of Leeds you have places like the contemporary Woodlands Hotel or The Mansion in the famous Roundhay Park.
Heading west from Leeds centre to Halifax, you'll find The Arches, an industrial wedding venue full of twinkling lights that was previously a Victorian mill. It retains its history with red brick vaulted ceiling, dark grey iron pillars and Yorkshire stone flooring. Its neutral palette so when decorated to your own taste, it will always look like your unique wedding.
Did you know that you can now marry in the Victorian glasshouse known as the Central Dome of the Pavillions and celebrate in a tipi or marquee at Sheffield's Botanical Gardens? Marrying in a glasshouse is definitely unique!
Scroll up for Dramatic & Romantic...
HISTORIC CASTLES Abbeys AND Rolling MOORS
Should history, romance and grandeur, or all theree, be more your fancy, there are plenty of castles and historic properties in which you can marry as well as monasteries and abbeys.
In North Yorkshire you will find Allerton Castle, Newburgh Priory, Castle Howard, Jervaulx Abbey, Carlton Towers, Fountains Abbey and Ripley Castle.
Hazlewood Castle between Leeds and Tadcaster is gorgeous too and has been a popular wedding venue for many years.
As a full-time Yorkshire wedding photographer for almost 11 years, I am often photographing weddings in Harrogate, voted the happiest place to live in the UK, and historic York.
You could mix it up and marry in York Minster, the largest Gothic cathedral in Northern Europe, then celebrate in a boutique hotel in York like Hotel Du Vin, The Churchill Hotel or the luxurious Middlethorpe Hall & Spa. You can even hire a part of the York Train Station!
YORKSHIRE DALES MOORS AND COAST
If you are a couple who love nature, and the outdoors, it makes sense to start somewhere with great views and the option to spend a good part of your day outside.
Now decide if planning your wedding day bliss in the Yorkshire Dales is for you or if beachy wedding fun on the fabulous, but often windy, Yorkshire Coast is more your thang?
With boundless stretches of unpoilt countryside, the Yorkshire Dales and the North York Moors are especially green and scenic. It's no wonder that that the Tour de France came to Yorkshire in 2014, and since then we have the annual Tour de Yorkshire going as far as Scarborough.
From weddings in the pretty grounds of country houses like Taitlands in Settle, the Georgian splendour of Middleton Lodge or Newburgh Priory, to the charming ruins and new barn at Danby Castle on the North York Moors, to remarkably British marquee garden parties, and village halls... to grand Yorkshire castles, and barns by lakes... wedding days are a joy to photograph!
If you're all about the country views, and serenity you can choose a relaxed, contemporary wedding venue like the Devonshire Fell in Burnsall with views over the Yorkshire Dales, and a two minute car drive for a walk along the River Wharfe for scenic pictures, and ice cream.
Visit the sublime boutique chic Yorebridge House in Wentbridge, the very elegant Devonshire Arms at Bolton Abbey.
Yorkshire - the largest county in the United Kingdom, often nicknamed God's Own Country with boundless stretches of unspoilt countryside, The Yorkshire Dales and North York Moors are especially green and beautiful.
Try Helmsley Walled Gardens if you fancy a tipi wedding in glorious gardens with a castle view, and the Star Inn in Harome which is renowned for its tasty food for a smaller celebration.
Near open fields and woods, Priory Barn and Cottages wedding venue near Wetherby can cater for the smaller wedding in the contemporary, light filled barn. For weddings over 60 guests, there's the marquee. It's a family run business and the barn and the cottages can be hired exclusively for the weekend.
Head over to the coast to see Raithwaite Hall at Sandsend. After your ceremony, we can go to the sandy beach for some of your wedding photography.
If a Yorkshire beach is just too far, but you're a water baby through-and through and simply feel more serene by a stream or near water, visit somewhere with its own lake, like Ripley Castle near Ripon or the light-filled contemporary Yorkshire Wedding Barn in Richmond.
YORKSHIRE GRAND HOUSES
Prefer a wedding venue with a wow factor? Try Wood Hall in Linton with it's sweeping driveway or the Georgian House at Middleton Lodge in Richmond, North Yorkshire.
Yorkshire has numerous Grade 1 listed buildings, country estates like the romantic Scampston Hall with a lake and a palladium, near Malton, Goldsborough Hall near Harrogate, and other manor houses like Newby Hall near Ripon, Falcon Manor or Taitlands in Settle.
On the East side of Yorkshire, the gothic grandeur of Carlton Towers will amaze you!
There's also the multi-award winning hotel, Rudding Park that is both modern and classic and can cater for initimate and large weddings.
Many couples find Oulton Hall a good mix of modern and chic, whilst some prefer Walton Hall at Waterton Park surrounded by water and a nature reserve.
The Blackburn Wing at Bowcliffe Hall also has to come in this section as a grand design, as has the ecclectic, The Chapel in Harrogate.
Glass houses BARNS & TIPIS
Thinking of tying the knot with a creative village wedding or living it up in a tipi/teepee? Experts like Papa Kata can pop up your tipi for your Yorkshire countryside wedding on most lawns.
Let your creativity shine through with a tipi wedding where every styling decision can be your own. Pick a village field, your gran's lovely garden or choose the country grounds of a grand country house like Tailtlands, in Settle, in the world famous Yorkshire Dales.
Then we have barns - of course we have barns... rustic ones, historic ones like the Airedale Barn at East Riddlesden Hall, and the stunning one, The Tithe Barn at Bolton Abbey, to whimsical and contemporary luxury ones, like Wharfedale Grange on the way to Harrogate or The Yorkshire Barn Wedding venue in Richmond, North Yorkshire. It's light, has a contemporary feel, and countryside views. A winner all round.
As you might imagine, there are plenty of charming village halls like the Victory Hall in the village of Thorner, East Kettlesing, as well as farm land on the Braisty Estate and woodlands at Camp Katur.
Just this year, we saw the completion of The Fig House at Middleton Lodge. A recently restored Orangery overlooking kitchen gardens, it's a great blend of a modern blank canvas space and elegance.