My Favourite Wedding Venues in the North West
The Ramblings of an indecisive Photographer Bride-to-be
This week i’m going to be talking about my favourite wedding venues in the North West, based on the places i’ve looked at for my own wedding. Me and James have been busy visiting lots of local wedding venues over the past few weeks then summarising our findings in a totally adult fashion, in the pub!
Now ladies, we’ve all done it, we lure them to the pub under the guise of ‘day off, quality time, food and drinks’. They think all their christmases have come at once. But then BOOM we hit him with our wedding hopes and dreams, colour schemes, invite list and full throttle into wedding planning we go! Now anyone that knows me will tell you I’m pretty chatty! Give me a drink and I’ll talk you to sleep, add Wedding planning to that and you’ll understand why James spends his summer throwing balls at sticks in a field (also known as cricket). The problem is, whenever I bring up the subject of weddings I get the eye roll and a “can we not talk about weddings just for tonight”. Seriously, is this just me? I didn’t think so. Most men just aren’t that interested what colour the flowers are, how many bridesmaids you have or what colour knickers you wear on the day! Which just further compounds my problem of indecision, because the decisions are mostly down to me!
So i’ve decided it’s about time we started making some actual decisions. I’ve stopped fantasising about the far flung depths of Africa, don’t get me wrong I’d love to get married in a Safari lodge in the middle of the desert and spend the night stargazing, but, let’s face it, two ginger’s in the hot African sun in wedding attire probably isn’t going to make for attractive wedding photos!
So back to the U.K. And if I’m really honest my ideal wedding would be in the woods, I’ve always wanted to let my inner hippie out, flowers in my hair and a party outdoors surrounded by nature, I rather liked the idea. James however, seemed genuinely concerned I’d lost the plot, so, back to the drawing board we go!
So first of all we went over to Holmes Mill in Clitheroe, this is a new wedding venue, an old converted mill with a huge bar downstairs and equally large industrial chic styled function room upstairs. With old wooden cinema seating for the ceremony, if you’re looking for something unique this place has such a quirky industrial charm and bags of space for large wedding parties.
They have a fab and varied menu of food options from a mad hatters tea party to street food or a full on formal meal and prices are very reasonable so it might be worth checking this one out whilst its new before the prices start to rise!
We were looking for somewhere with outdoor space in the hope of gorgeous September weather so this one didn’t make the cut for us but if you’re looking for a reception venue and not bothered about the greenery this place is a great choice.
I’ve worked at Browsholme Hall quite a few times, it’s absolutely beautiful and definitely has the wow factor. Located in Clitheroe surrounded by countryside, a huge mansion and its own tithe barn which has been converted especially for weddings.
We have a guest number of around 50 people so one thing that became an issue with most venues is that they have a minimum of 70/80 day guests. The Tithe Barn does have a minimum of 70 for the reception but we are planning a Sunday wedding so Rebecca and the Parker family very kindly agreed to let us have our ceremony in the house. For me, being a wedding photographer, weather is high on the worry list and a wedding venue like this means that if the weather is bad there’s lots of big windows and and stunning features inside that can be utilised if needed(obviously the universe will be bringing gorgeous sunshine that day but its always good to have a back up plan!)
So thats the wedding ceremony sorted, the next stop was sorting a venue for the reception. Knowing we had such a lovely place for the ceremony and bulk of the photos, i was initially pretty laid back about the rest! I know. Shocker!
Hurst Green Village Hall
Village Halls can be the perfect non-wedding venue allowing complete control over everything, for us, this was the fact we could invite as few people as we wanted but for you it may be that you want a huge number of guests without paying over £100 per head to feed them.
With a blank canvas your decoration budget will probably need to be considerably higher, things like drapes, covering curtains, adding in colour with table decorations are more of a necessity here than with a wedding venue, but when you’re paying around £300 for the hire if you do the maths right you can still save yourself a pretty penny!
Hurst Green Village Hall is set within a lovely little village with two pubs both offering accommodation. The Hall itself has its own football field which can also be hired so if you’re looking for a indoor/outdoor wedding – maybe hay bales for informal (and super cheap) seating then you’ve got it all here.
Slaidburn Village Hall
Slaidburn Village Hall was only built in 2007 and forms the perfect venue for a wedding and a complete blank canvas. It has a more modern feel compared to the traditional ‘village hall’ but its surroundings are idyllic with its location on the side of the river in Slaidburn. With its own stocked bar you’ll not need to worry about hiring anyone in and kitchen facilities are available for caterers.
One thing to consider here is accommodation, theres a pub nearby with some rooms but if the bulk of your guests will be wanting to ditch the car and get on the ale, this one might not be for you unless your from this area.
Inn on the Lake
The Inn on the Lake is just stunning, set in Glenrididing with panoramic views of Ullswater its definitely scenic! It has multiple suites available for wedding parties and if you fancy yourself an outdoor ceremony theres a gazebo overlooking the lake.
Amazingly this place doesn’t cost the earth and we were surprised to see that it was actually cheaper than some of the top Lancashire venues so if you’re looking for that epic scenery and a slightly more laid back wedding this one is well worth a look!
Inn at Whitewell
The Inn at Whitewell is pretty much in the middle of no where, about as far as you can go into Clitheroe countryside. I remember the first time i drove over there for a wedding i was shooting and having to stop to look at the views, it was that beautiful!
So when I emailed them about their minimum number (60) and they agreed to lower it for our Sunday wedding, I was pretty happy! James was instantly sure it was ‘the one’ after spotting the cricket themes with the cricket ball room keys and door stoppers and I love the informal feel to it, as its essentially an old english pub with a wedding marquee on the side which will suit our family perfectly with its laid back feel.
The Inn at Whitewell also has a lovely church right next-door so if you’re wanting a more traditional ceremony this would be a great option. The Marquee is set to the side of the main building and accessed through the Inn itself and has its own courtyard with views of the ribble valley countryside. There’s plenty of accommodation with 23 rooms plus a separate cottage- The Piggeries which we’ve decided to rent for three nights so we can get ready somewhere nearby.
I can’t believe it! We’ve actually made a decision and booked our wedding venues!
So the indecisive bride-to-be finally made a decision, but don’t worry there’s plenty more arguments and deliberations for me to tell you about as we consider my fear of formalities and an ‘unplugged’ ceremony. I’ll be trying to convince my rather traditional fiancé that it’s ok to do things a little differently!
You can follow all of my wedding planning tips over on the blog and keep your eyes peeled for more next week!