It’s fair to say that we’ve visited a substantial amount of wedding venues in the 10 years we’ve been in this industry; building up a detailed picture of what makes a perfect location to host one of the most important days of your life. There’s so much choice available to recently engaged couples that it can be hard to know where to start.
In our professional experience, picking the perfect wedding venue can be a giant balancing act between budget, location requirement and taste. When the dust settles on the whirlwind of being asked to marry your partner, it’s likely you’ll need to discuss the following questions:
Do we want a church wedding or civil ceremony?
Are we going for a glamorous or rustic feel?
What time of the year do we want to get married?
Do we want to get married indoors or outdoors?
How many guests are we likely to have?
Do we want to book a wedding package or bring in our own suppliers?
Do we need accommodation?
How much can we afford?
Answering these questions above will immediately help you eliminate many top wedding venues and leave you with a short list of venues that might be suitable.
However, speaking from personal experience rather than professional; the perfect wedding venue is all about the feeling you get when you’re being shown around and how you feel once you leave. When looking at potential wedding venues with my (now) wife, we both had a pretty good idea of what we wanted because we had an answer for each of the questions above. But after visiting our chosen location (which happens to be in this list) on a whim having almost disregarded it before arrived, we left both knowing that it was the right place for us.
In this article, we won’t be able to give you that feeling, but we will help you refine your shortlist by taking a look at some of our favourite wedding venues across the Yorkshire region; highlight some of the positive aspects of choosing each one.
Venue Type: Castle, Hotel & Spa
Location: Tadcaster, West Yorkshire
Accommodation: Yes, 32 bedrooms and suites on site
If you’ve ever dreamed of getting married in a castle, this venue might just be what you’ve always dreamed of and more! Hazlewood Castle is set in some of the most beautiful grounds we’ve seen at a Yorkshire wedding venue, and surrounded on all sides by sprawling fields; despite being a minute or two from the busy A64 linking Leeds, York and the East Coast.
It’s multiple grand function rooms are known to date back to as early as 1086 and provide regal feeling throughout. Some of the original features around the venue are breathtaking and have to be seen to be fully appreciated. Hazlewood Castle also has it’s own on site Chapel, outdoor Pagoda to host civil ceremonies and has recently started taking bookings for it’s beautiful outdoor Woodland Wedding Venue, which offers a stark contrast for those looking for a more rustic wedding.
Hazlewood is nearly 1000 years old in parts and it’s history is everywhere to see. The courtyards are a wonderful spot for drinks receptions and on a Summer’s day, you’ll be hard pushed to find a more impressive spot. There’s even space to land in a helicopter if that’s how you plan to make your big wedding entrance!
Venue Type: Barn Wedding Venue
Location: Bolton Percy, North Yorkshire
Accommodation: Yes on-site cottages sleeping up to 44 guests
Set within a working farm, Hornington Manor is a real surprise package. The huge barn has been expertly converted to combine the best of brick, stone, glass, wood and glamour! If it’s a rustic character-filled wedding venue you’re looking for (minus the sawdust on the floor) then they don’t come much better than Hornington Manor.
The barn has a capacity of 160 wedding guests who can all be catered for by your own choice of supplier, meaning that you’re not restricted to a limited menu dictated by the venue. This theme continues throughout, with a ‘blank canvas’ approach meaning that you’re free to decorate the venue how you wish. Not that there’s much need to change what’s already there – the barn is beautiful from the word go. From an entertainment perspective, the stone dance floor is huge and performance space allows for bands of any size. The high ceilings mean that the acoustics in the venue are brilliant, despite never being intended for that purpose!
There are several spots to say your vows at the venue, whether it be in the barn, the contemporary Hornington Gallery or outside in front of the Manor at the Lych Gate. Across the courtyard, guests can get comfortable in a variety of converted accommodation offering rustic farmyard charm mixed with modern chic décor.
Venue Type: City Centre events venue
Location: Leeds, West Yorkshire
New Craven Hall offers a fantastic blend of urban Industrial architecture with modern luxurious furnishings. Whilst the venue isn’t located in the prettiest of locations, inside is another world altogether… with exposed brick, copper piping and and steel beams are well complimented by beautiful décor and soft lighting. You can even take a 3D tour of the venue on their website before booking your meeting!
The outdoor yard area is ideal space for bringing in your own street food vans to curb the hunger of guests during your evening reception, whilst the inside offers enough space to seat up to 200 guests. Although a huge space, the Grand Hall can be sectioned off to make it feel more intimate if required. Unlike some venues who restrict the amount of flexibility they offer, New Craven Hall allow couples the option to create their own bespoke wedding package and take complete control over most aspects of their day. This is ideal for couples who want to add their own stamp on every small detail.
The venue also works with a number of highly recommended catering suppliers to bring you and your guests a wedding breakfast that will live long in the memory. Whilst there is no accommodation on site, there are a host of hotels to suit all budgets in nearby Leeds City Centre.
Venue Type: Mansion, Hotel, Spa and Golf Resort
Location: Oulton Village, around 8 miles from Leeds City Centre, West Yorkshire
Accommodation: On Site Hotel
Oulton Hall is set in a beautiful location set in the Yorkshire countryside away from the hustle and bustle of Leeds City Centre. The main house dates back to the 18th century and is littered with stunning period features and countless locations for the all important wedding photos. The grand high ceilings, statues and manicured lawns give a sense of royalty when hosting an event here. Renown for it’s golf course and spa facilities, the venue is also hugely popular for weddings and availability is fierce; particularly in the Summer months. However, the venue is large enough to be non-exclusive and can host several weddings at once without any compromise on facilities. 152 on site bedrooms means that all your wedding guests will be able to head up to their room after a long night of partying!
Whilst there are several large function spaces in the main house, couples can also host their wedding at The Claret Jug, a beautiful self-contained brasserie restaurant, bar and events space. This venue offers a modern to the main house and is well worth exploring when looking around Oulton Hall. Many couples choose to host their wedding ceremony in the grandeur of the the main house before holding their wedding reception in the slick surroundings of The Claret Jug. Oulton Hall made £1,000,000 of upgrades in 2016 and it really shows in all areas of the estate.
Venue Type: Castle and tourist attraction
Location: Ripley near Harrogate, North Yorkshire
Accommodation: Yes, 24 bedrooms in The Boars Head on site
Another jewel in Yorkshire’s crown, Ripley Castle is a classic wedding venue for those looking to book a once in a lifetime experience. Packed with a multitude of options of where to say your vows, where to host your drinks reception or your wedding breakfast – not to mention where to have your photos taken, this vast site has a lot to offer. When considering a venue such as this, it’s really worth booking a meeting and tour of the grounds to get a true sense of where each part of your day might work.
Not the most ‘traditional’ looking castle you’ll ever see, the venue still boasts stunning period features, amazing art and architecture whilst being thoroughly modernized to accommodate today’s bride and grooms. Despite the choice of rooms inside, Ripley Gardens also offer another option should you want to get married whilst being closer to nature. Set next to the sprawling Ripley Lake, choosing Ripley Castle as your wedding location offers plenty of tranquil walks and scenery once the craziness of your special day has subsided.
The venue has number of wedding packages to choose from to suit a variety of budgets and food requirements. Guests can also stroll through the walled ground to The Boars Head where they can lay their head in tastefully decorated rooms with views of the chocolate box village of Ripley.
Venue Type: Mansion, Hotel, Spa and Golf Resort
Location: Follifoot, 3 miles from Harrogate, North Yorkshire
Accomodation: 90 room hotel onsite
Set in 300 acres, Rudding Park is an upmarket wedding venue with a luxurious feel in every direction you look. This multi-award winning venue has countless spaces and vistas for you to soak up throughout the day, not to mention it’s own gorgeous 19th Century chapel onsite! If you love the beautiful surroundings but the main house isn’t to your taste, Rudding Park has plenty of room to accommodate outdoor weddings using Marquees, Papakata tents or Tipis.
Although famous for it’s gold course, Rudding Park doesn’t have the feel of a sports club at all. The Jupiter Terrace, for example provides a wonderful outdoor space for hosting drinks receptions overlooking countryside for as far as the eye can see. The grand stairway in the main house is also a hugely popular spot for bridal photos and tossing the bouquet. Whilst retaining its classic feel throughout, the venue has been tastefully decorated to the highest quality. Staff are incredibly attentive and the wedding coordinators will help guide you through every decision ahead of your special day. Rudding Park is one of the most in-demand wedding venues across the Yorkshire region and it’s not difficult to see why – newlyweds can feel as though they are in their own luxury resort, away from the normality of everyday life – a life without manicured lawns, four poster beds and Moulton-Brown hand wash in the toilets.
Venue Type: Golf Course, Restaurant and function venue
Location: Flaxton, around 25 miles north of York, North Yorkshire
Accommodation: Yes, Griffon Forest Lodges (www.griffonforest.co.uk)
This place holds some very special memories for us as it is where we got married ourselves… When visiting the venue, the Grand Function Hall is what initially attracted us to the venue once inside. With it’s beautiful oak beam roof, outdoor terrace and floor to ceiling windows overlooking the course and countryside beyond, this room is Sandburn Hall’s major selling point. With several other smaller function rooms, bar, restaurant and terraces available, there is plenty of space to house event the largest of weddings. We eventually chose to gamble on the Great British weather and hold our ceremony outside in the beautiful Rose Garden before hosting the rest of our wedding in different spaces around the venue. Whilst some venues can look tired and in need of updating, Sandburn Hall is very much a venue for current trends. The food and drink packages available are excellent and everyone’s tastes are well catered for.
Another huge selling point of this venue are the log cabin lodges at Griffon Forest, a 10-minute stroll from Sandburn. Ranging from 2 to 5 person lodges with dozens available, there is more than enough accommodation available for your entire wedding party! Set beneath the trees of the forest, each lodge has a hot tub, kitchen and BBQ area. Golf buggies even ferry guests to and from their accommodation at the end of the night!
This venue is ideal for anyone who wants a wedding space with plenty of character, required indoor and outdoor spaces and wants private, secluded accommodation nearby.
Venue Type: 14th Century Listed Building
Location: York Museum, Garden, York City Centre, North Yorkshire
The Hospitium in the center of York is stunning both inside and out. Nestled in stunning manicured gardens and overlooked by the grand York museum building and ruins of of St. Mary’s Abbey – providing an ideal backdrop for those gorgeous wedding photos.
The whole place is a wedding photographer’s dream as inside the medieval building, guests are transported back in time by way of incredible 14th century beams, latticed windows, stone walls, floors and pillars. Set over two floors, the venue can hold up to 140 guests or drinks receptions up to 180.
York has such a rich history, and this beautiful wedding venue complements the aesthetic of the whole city perfectly. Guests can arrive courtesy of the nearby central Railway station and stroll through the gardens back to their city center accommodation. The venue also has a license allowing couples to get married on site if you didn’t fancy tying the knot at the world-famous York Cathedral just around the corner.
Something to consider when booking this venue is the sound limiter that’s in place – meaning that certain louder entertainment and bands may not be suitable. Acoustic Acts, Jazz bands, String Quartets and or even our Silent Rave & Disco would all suit the venue perfectly, however.
The KP Club
Venue Type: Golf Club and events venue.
Location: Pocklington about 15 miles from York, East Riding of Yorkshire.
Accommodation: Multiple Timber Lodges and hotel pods on site.
The KP Club (or Kilnwick Percy Resort) in Pocklington is a stylish modern events venue that is up and coming on the Yorkshire wedding scene. With a number of events spaces to suit different tastes and size weddings, the KP isn’t just a one-size-fits-all kind of place. On top of the crisply decorated main spaces, there are a number of breakout spaces for various parts of your day. The venue is of a medium size, so they can accommodate the majority of weddings without guests feeling as though they’re rattling around in a giant mansion or estate. That said, the accommodation is at a separate part of the site to the main venue and the site is deceivingly big. This quiet, seclude venue gives you the impression that you’re miles from anywhere when in reality, it’s not the case.
Huge windows overlook the sprawling countryside and grounds, whilst the upstairs terrace offers a great spot for wedding guests to mingle and tuck into the buffet on a hot summers evening. The highly revered Glasshouse Restaurant provides a wealth of great food options for guests leading up to or after the wedding day, whilst chefs from the restaurant will deliver a feast for the big day itself.
The on-site KP Rooms and Suites offer luxury accommodation for your guests in slick multi-story lodges. Wedding guests can chill out in the outdoor lodge hot tubs or use the state of the art on-site gym.
Venue Type: Converted Warehouse
Location: Sheffield City Centre, South Yorkshire
This 1930’s warehouse in the heart of the Steel City has been totally transformed in to a modern, trendy multi-events space, without loosing its industrial charm. With a capacity of over 400, this vast space can easily play host to weddings with a larger number of guests. Although there is no on-site accommodation, the city center location means all guests can get back to their hotels within stumbling distance of the venue – plus the benefit of good transport links
Aside from it’s size, a huge selling point of Trafalgar Warehouse, is the ability to customize the venue to your tastes. Whilst working with a blank canvas, couples can transform the spaces in to anything from festival arenas with hay bails and food carts, to a Winter wonderland with Christmas trees and fairy lights. The choice is limitless. This means that you can create your very own ‘boho chic wedding’ or be your very own ‘Rock n Roll bride’.
They also offer a pop-wedding service, which includes supplier recommendation, set up the day prior, on the day coordination, styling, and use chairs and tables. The venue is now licenced to perform civil ceremonies in several of it’s large events spaces meaning that your guests don’t have to move from one location to another.
From an entertainment perspective, the rooms are vast meaning that you can hire that 7, 9 or even 12-piece band you always wanted without having to bump some of your distance relatives off the invites list!