Wedding venue ideas in Derbyshire
- Credit: Photo: Oehlers Photography
Somewhere old, somewhere borrowed and somewhere blue… Claire Bore investigates some of the best wedding venues in the county
‘Location, Location, Location…’ a wise TV duo once uttered. Indeed, nothing could be truer when it comes to choosing a wedding venue. Luckily in Derbyshire we are spoilt for choice, from traditional venues to stunning landscapes, and even underground caves.
‘Derbyshire has so much to offer for every style of wedding – from luxurious and grand to industrial city chic!’ says award-winning East Midlands-based wedding planner Val Mattinson. ‘There are breathtaking landscapes and gorgeous historical houses to choose from, or locations such as the Roundhouse and the West Mill which have been expertly converted and transformed into wow factor wedding venues.’
‘Whether you’re looking for a beautiful venue with lots of history and grandeur like Chatsworth House or a perfect location for your tipi or marquee wedding weekend like Shiningford Manor in Ashbourne, Derbyshire has something to offer you,’ adds Val.
Photography duo Pixies in the Cellar, who pride themselves on a photojournalistic approach to wedding photography, hail from Cheshire but regularly cover Derbyshire. ‘We love doing weddings in Derbyshire. It offers us a huge diversity of settings, from stunning rolling landscapes to gritty Victorian mills. The possibilities for our style of photography are enormous. Let’s not forget an abundance of grand classic and opulent stately homes, too. We’re totally spoilt with this magnificent county. Derbyshire does not disappoint with it’s unique character and endless possibilities.’
We take a look around the crème de le crème of Derbyshire wedding venues and discover a little bit of wedding heaven to suit everyone…
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Having been used as a location for many a period TV drama, Derbyshire is proud of its stately houses. There is something about the grandeur and intricacy in the architecture of these buildings that commands respect and shouts importance. Talented duo Honeysuckle and Castle, sisters Helen Stephenson and Sally Castle, manages an impressive portfolio of local National Trust venues. ‘We are an award-winning, family-run, Derbyshire-based event planning business. We are unique for the fact that we work in partnership with the National Trust to exclusively host weddings and special events at Calke Abbey, Kedleston Hall, Hardwick Hall and Clumber Park.’
From the 604-acre parkland of Calke Abbey to the majestic Elizabethan palace of Hardwick Hall and even dabbling in a spot of period drama at Kedleston Hall, where scenes from the blockbuster films The Duchess and Pride and Prejudice were filmed – these venues offer something truly remarkable. ‘What makes our venues so special is that they are all completely unique. Not only are most of them prime Hollywood locations, all of them have played a pivotal roll in our national history, as well as the personal lives, hearts and memories of many local people. For us, personally, all our venues hold cherished childhood memories and we know that’s the same for many of our clients,’ says Honeysuckle and Castle (www.honeysuckleandcastle.co.uk, tel: 01332 460122). ‘Our venues sit in their own green and exclusive little pieces of Derbyshire heaven. Surrounded by rolling hills, filled with rare breed sheep and English Longhorn cattle; there are not many other places where you can see better examples of Derbyshire past and present.’
If you want to be closer to nature, however, then look no further than Cuttle Brooke at Swarkestone. With the beautiful Pavilion as its backdrop, magical structures light up the skyline. The tipis, also known as Kata Tents or Giant Hats, create ‘an atmosphere like no other’ and can be used in different combinations and layouts to make the wedding truly unique.
‘We founded the company in November 2012 after seeing the tipis at a sporting event in Dubai. We came away knowing we wanted to work with these magnificent structures,’ says owner Jodie Bidder. ‘After spending some time looking at the wedding industry we could see a niche in the outdoor wedding market for a more relaxed and informal wedding for which the tipis are a perfect fit.’
For the team at Sami Tipi (Tel: 01332 806040 or view www.samitipi.co.uk), the Derbyshire countryside provides the perfect environment. ‘There are so many stunning places in Derbyshire and one of the benefits of the tipis is that they can be erected almost anywhere. The natural beauty of the wooden poles and canvas fits seamlessly within any Derbyshire countryside setting and with the sides of the tipis open this creates a venue with a view!’
The tipis themselves are much more in keeping with the natural surroundings of an outdoor wedding in comparison to a traditional marquee, explains Jodie: ‘We never tire of people walking into the tipis and being overwhelmed by them. They always bring a smile to people’s faces and their first response is often that they are bigger than they had imagined. What we love about the tipis is that they really do offer you the feeling of two amazing venues, relaxed with a cosy feel in the daytime and transformed into an atmospheric and magical space at night when the twinkly fairy lights take over. With the added bonus of an open fireplace it really is a great structure to celebrate in.’
If it’s exclusivity that you desire, look no further than The West Mill at Darley Abbey (tel. 01332 229029 or see www.thewestmillvenue.com). This magnificent Grade I listed former cotton-spinning mill promises ‘a quirky blank canvas with an abundance of props and vintage furniture and offers complete exclusive use,’ says event manager Mirlah Richardson. There is also something quirky, comforting and on-trend about The West Mill that has made it one of Derby’s go-to wedding venues. It promises everything on tap, yet there are no uniform weddings here. As Mirlah says, ‘All our weddings here are memorable in their own way.’
With an industrial look, The West Mill is set across four floors, providing lots of scope for creativity. ‘It’s a building steeped in history, charm and character, with masses of space inside each floor offering its own unique feel,’ says Mirlah. Set in a stunning location and with a spectacular view of the weir from the landscaped gardens, many people choose to have their wedding photos out in the garden using the river as a backdrop. ‘It’s an incredible secluded setting which gives couples the best of both worlds. It looks so striking all year round,’ adds Mirlah.