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Wedding Ceremony/Reception - tips for good York locations

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Germany
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Wedding Ceremony/Reception - tips for good York locations

Hi, I'm new - found this site surfing for venues for our wedding in York.

There's loads of great tips on here re: hotels and restaurants, but a search on wedding venues didn't yield too many results, so am crossing fingers that you have some good suggestions re: venues we might try.

Here are our criteria:

* we have a decent but not huge budget (so we're not looking at exclusive use of a stately home or anything like that, but neither do we want a grotty Little-Chef style location)

* current thinking is March 09 (in case that impacts suggestions)

* there will be 50-60 people, all but a couple of them are not based in York (and many are not based in UK)

* we definitely want a civil ceremony, but we don't mind too much if it's in the reception venue or the registry office itself (but if we go for the registry office, then the reception has to be within max 20 minutes travel time of the registry office)

* somewhere fairly central, or at least easy to get to - ideally with a bit of a wow-factor (bearing in mind all the beautiful locations there are in York, it would seem a shame to not take advantage)

* average age of guests (and us) is late 30's / early 40's - we're not too old for a good knees-up (disco is a must, really, else there'll be hell to pay), but we're not in the target market for Club 18-30 style do's

A little about us:

* we're both from Yorkshire (and I was born and grew up in York itself), and are now settled in Germany. So we're having to plan long-distance, but we're popping over for a long weekend next week to check out some venues

* my parents both still live in York, but are too old and infirm to jaunt about doing research for us (their state of health is one of the main reasons behind the choice of York as the locations)

We've done quite a lot of web research, phoned some venues, got some brochures etc. We've already made a few appointments (Grange Hotel, St. Williams College, Hospitium) for next weekend, and were planning on phoning Monkbar Hotel, Judges Lodgings and maybe Royal York to set up some more.

What I'm really looking for, if poss, is your personal impressions of weddings you (or your friends/colleagues) might have been to locally in the last couple of years or so.

Are the ones on our short-list any good? Any experiences of them, good or bad? Or even mediocre? Are there any great locations that we might have missed?

We don't have any friends or (mobile) family in York to ask for ideas or a second opinion on any of these places, so any input at all would be very gratefully received :)

Thanks in advance!

York
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1. Re: Wedding Ceremony/Reception - tips for good York locations

We had our reception in the Merchant Adventurer's Hall on Piccadilly, which is well worth a look as well.

They have a limited list of approved caterers, but that's fairly understandable in that they are the people who know their way around the kitchen, know about the wobbly floors and so on. We used the firm called "Bradshaws", I think, and they were excellent. The Blue Bicycle's catering arm is (or was at least) also on their list, and was our first choice except that they kept promising to send us a quote and never did. Still, enquiring with them was good for a free lunch at the Blue Bike while we talked menus.

I'd often seen weddings at the Merchant Adventurers and always thought "how cool would that be?" but assumed I wouldn't be able to afford it. However, when we asked, it turned out to be surprisingly reasonable (the wedding was in October, so we paid a bit extra to have a log fire going).

The way these things usually work is that the meal happens upstairs, in the grand banqueting hall, then everyone moves down into the brick undercroft for dancing and music.

The hall is often used for Antiques fairs in the afternoon, so it's often the case that you can't get in until sixish, though you can of course arrive earlier and spend the extra time doing photos outside.

You can have a civil ceremony there - there's a little chapel which doesn't look like it seats 60, but I dare say they can do it in the Great Hall otherwise. We're churchgoers anyway, so we had the actual service at our church and then came down for the reception.

Germany
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2. Re: Wedding Ceremony/Reception - tips for good York locations

Thanks for that, brickie!

Good to know that you were pleased with Bradshaws, they are approved caterers for quite a few venues.

Merchant Adventurers - I had for some reason ruled them out (I think I must have assumed they'd have a no-disco rule, similar to Barley and Bedern Halls). But have taken another look, and it looks fab! And you're right - not as expensive as you would assume. Will call them first thing tomorrow. Thanks for the tip!!

Germany
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3. Re: Wedding Ceremony/Reception - tips for good York locations

Anybody else been to any weddings in York where they thought the venue was especially fab or especially rubbish?

I'm thinking maybe my first post was a bit too long.... sorry!

Durham, United...
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4. Re: Wedding Ceremony/Reception - tips for good York locations

I've never attended a wedding in York but as you probably know, the registry office is in a pretty central location so maybe that and a nice restaurant or boat cruise afterwards.

However, I think Brickie's idea is an excellent one.

Yes you could have it at the Grange or the Monkbar but what is more uniquely York than the Merchant Adventurer's Hall?

north east
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5. Re: Wedding Ceremony/Reception - tips for good York locations

My sister and her partner got recently wed at a place called Beden Hall, lovely place inside and out, they do civil ceremony there although whatever you do , do not stay at Goldsmith's B&B as they chucked out my sister and her partner because they were gay.

They are currently being investigated.

Paul

Germany
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6. Re: Wedding Ceremony/Reception - tips for good York locations

Thought I'd pop back on to let you (and maybe future searchers) know how we got on, and saw the new post from anarchy77 - coincidentally we've plumped for Bedern Hall in the end as well.

Merchant Adventurers looked fantastic, but is really far too big for us (their capacity is 180, so 50 of us would just get lost in a sea of medievalness). But for someone planning a larger do then the price is indeed surprisingly reasonable, and the venue is of course fabulous.

Hospitium was probably the nicest venue we saw, but the expensive price tag reflected this. We just didn't want to spend that much money on venue-hire (2k GBP) before we even got started on the menu and drinks etc.

St Williams is a gorgeous venue and we were very very tempted, but our experience of their customer service tipped the balance against them.

If we were going for a hotel thing it would definitely be Grange, their customer service really bowled us over.

The people at the Monk Bar Hotel were really really friendly and helpful and the package they offered was reasonable, but I just couldn't think beyond the utter awfulness - and I mean total hideousness - of their curtains. My bloke thinks I'm insane, but there you go... I guess stuff like that is a matter of taste.

So in the end, Bedern it is :)

We loved the venue (great location near the minster, nice historic building), it's a perfect size for our 50-60 guests, the staff made a good impression on us, and the price is very reasonable. So fingers crossed.

And yes we will definitely give the B&B you named a wide berth, anarchy77. No way would we want to line the pockets of bigots so thanks for the warning.

middle england
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7. Re: Wedding Ceremony/Reception - tips for good York locations

If you are resident in Germany, you do have to be in England (or Wales) for at least 7 nights before giving notice of marriage (the civil equivalent of banns)and you need to do this within one year of your marriage date but no later than 16 days before the ceremony.

Durham, United...
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8. Re: Wedding Ceremony/Reception - tips for good York locations

That could be something worth thinking about.

Sugarchops - is that Bedern Hall off Goodramgate?

Germany
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9. Re: Wedding Ceremony/Reception - tips for good York locations

ange, yes it is.

aardvark10, you have to live in York itself for the 7 days prior to giving notice. That's the way the York register office interpret it, anyway (they've told us we need to provide proof of this in the form of hotel bills or similar).

I've no idea if register offices in other districts allow to stay just anywhere in England or Wales leading up giving notice, though.

middle england
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for Leicestershire, Norfolk
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10. Re: Wedding Ceremony/Reception - tips for good York locations

sugarchops, you can take it from me that either York Register Office are wrong or you have misunderstood what they told you.

I am assuming you are both British nationality. If so, you can reside anywhere within England and Wales for 7 nights immediately before you give notice of marriage. This must be done in the registration district in which you reside. You can marry at any venue within England and Wales which has a licence.

I am a registrar so you can quote me to York!!