10 Top Tips from Yorkshire’s Best Wedding Experts

We are now entering the height of wedding season, which is so exciting! We absolutely love hosting each and every one of our couples here at Grassfield Hall and sharing their magical experience with them.

Every single wedding is different, and everyone has their own unique taste. However, some things are consistently important on your wedding day – and these things are your suppliers! Your wedding suppliers really are the experts. They have attended hundreds of weddings during their careers, and therefore have the inside scoop on what works and what doesn’t.

In this article, we have rounded up some of the best local suppliers in North Yorkshire to find out their number one tip for an extra special wedding. There are some great bits of advice here, and we hope you find them useful in your planning.

And, as for our top tip, well, of course, that would be to pick your wedding suppliers wisely!!!!

The Aisle Ilkley

 

“My advice would be to always remember that the only people that really matter are the two of you. Don’t do something to please someone else. It’s your day, do it exactly how you want to – traditions don’t have to be followed!”

Katie Brewer, The Aisle Bridal Studio, Ilkley

www.theaisle.online

 

 

 

 

 

“When thinking about your wedding menu, the best advice we can give is to be selfish! Go with the food you love! If you have a dish that is sentimental to you as a couple or a certain cuisine, go for it! The day represents the love between two people and what better way to express that than by sharing food you love with those who are celebrating your day.” 

Ashley Hyde, Director, and Owner of Baba Ganoush Catering, York

www.babaganoushdining.com

 

 

 

 

“My top tip would be to enjoy every minute as the day goes so quickly. Also, if having a wedding cake, ensure that your venue/caterers cut a small section from each flavour and have them wrap it to be kept separately as on the day you will be so busy you might not get to try your wedding cake. This way you have a little treat to eat the next day or just before you go on honeymoon.”

Dominique, Poppy Pickering Cake Design, Yorkshire
www.poppypickering.co.uk

 

 

 

 

“Two top tips from me! Consider choosing a celebrant to lead your ceremony so you can make your wedding ceremony as personalised, unique, and memorable as the rest of your day. And if you can, definitely use live musicians for the ceremony itself – not just for the reception drinks or evening entertainment. It makes for a much more atmospheric and special walk down the aisle, and a much better exit, and it takes away all the stress and imperfection of someone using a playlist on a phone!”

Rachael Meyer, Humanist Wedding Celebrant

www.rachaelmeyer.com

 

 

 

“My number one top tip for my couples would be to ignore the rules and cherish your journey! It’s your day and you should do exactly how you want. Don’t get too wrapped up or stressed out about the small details that you think need to be perfect, your guest won’t mind if your flowers don’t match the groom’s tie perfectly, they are there to celebrate your love! Make sure to enjoy your planning stage and if you don’t want to cut the cake or have a first dance then don’t! Make the planning stages special, you will miss them when they are over, and why not celebrate finding your perfect dress, venue, or photographer with a cocktail or two with your bride tribe!”

Katie, Daisy Bell Photography

daisybellphotography.co.uk/

 

 

“Think about what’s happening when you’re not there! The drinks reception, following on from the ceremony, is the only time during a wedding day when the couple may not be around! Often whilst guests are coming together and mingling at this time the couple is with the photographer getting pictures taken. It’s important to think about your guests and consider arranging something entertaining that engages them and brings them together. Live music is great at creating the right atmosphere, but a closeup magician, caricature artist, and even lawn games are a great way to keep people engaged. The last thing you want is an awkward lull to develop right at the heart of your day, so thinking about what your guests will be doing when you’re not with them could make all the difference! “

Matt Case Sax

www.mattcasesax.com

 

 

 

“Take a moment to take everything in. Maybe when you’re having your wedding breakfast just take a minute to look around at all the details and the people you love. Your day goes by so fast! Ohh and don’t forget to eat a slice of your cake!”

Where the Ribbon Ends, Cake Design, North Yorkshire  

wheretheribbonends.com

 

 

 

 

 

“I always advise my couples to not wear a watch on their wedding day unless it was a gift or has a special sentiment behind it. We will have spent days, weeks, and months, discussing all the timings for the big day, and I like my couples to have that ‘not a care in the world’ feeling where timings don’t matter. Only that they are enjoying their time with their friends and family…not what time are the band arriving, have the fireworks all been set up, has the cake been delivered, etc…Time management on the day is my job as your wedding planner…..my couples should enjoy their time being the newly married couple!”

Lucy Wright, Lucy Wright Events

www.lucywrightevents.co.uk

 

“Don’t forget your guests! You’ve got the rings, booked the venue, the photographer, and DJ, and planned your day to be perfect for you, but have you thought about your guests? So much planning goes into a wedding to make it the perfect day, but sometimes that means we forget the guests! The key thing is to make sure your guests are kept happy, relaxed, and engaged whilst you’re away with the photographer getting those perfect first shots as a married couple. This is where I can help. As a magician and wedding host, I’m there to keep your guests entertained whilst they enjoy a drink (or three!). This is a real icebreaker, bringing people together who’ve never met before, bonding everyone together, and providing a whole lot of laughter & fun to a part of the day which can sometimes be a real lull for guests.”

Neil Smith, Magician & Wedding Host

www.neilsmithmagic.com

 

 

“My no.1 top tip is to trust your florist – we know how to create whimsical floral magic with your budget.”

Petra Schouten, owner of Erica Berry Flowers, Ilkley

www.ericaberryflowers.co.uk

 

 

 

 

 

 

For more information on our Grassfield Hall wedding packages or to discuss your bespoke requirements, get in touch with Lisa on 07958 038134 or email info@grassfield-hall.co.uk

How to choose the right wedding suppliers?

We all like surprises occasionally, but when it comes to a wedding day, the fewer surprises the better in our opinion! That’s why choosing your suppliers carefully is so important. You want to be able to trust all your suppliers to do their job seamlessly so that you can relax and enjoy your day to the max.

Here at Grassfield Hall, we always stress the importance of great wedding suppliers. Therefore, we have compiled a handy guide for those of you who are in the process of organising your big day.

Trust your venue

Choosing a venue is an extremely personal choice and the first place you will undoubtedly start your wedding planning journey. As part of your venue selection process, it’s important to determine if there are any supplier restrictions at your venue of choice. Some venues have strict policies on caterers and entertainment suppliers that you must choose from, and you may not be allowed to use the supplier you wanted to work with or the photographer you love. Other venues may simply have a list of suggested suppliers they like to work with but don’t enforce. Either way, you need to know before you commit to anything.

Once you have confirmed your wedding venue, it’s likely you will organise a meeting with their team to go through all your requirements for the wedding day. It’s very important that you trust your venue as they will have had experience planning many weddings before and will be able to recommend suppliers who they know, firsthand, will do a good job. After all, it’s in a venue’s best interests to make sure the suppliers they recommend are reliable and efficient to make the day run smoothly.

It’s vital for us, as a wedding venue, to have a close relationship with all our couples so that we know each of their preferences and how they want the day to look and feel. We send all our couples a supplier brochure so that they can see all the local vendors we suggest and trust to make the day amazing and flawless.

Look local

Choosing local suppliers to the venue is not only a sustainable option (less transport and fuel emissions), but it also makes sense for ease and peace of mind. The last thing you want is your caterers stuck miles away on the motorway on the morning of your wedding with all your food in the back of their van!

Using local suppliers will also help to give your wedding authenticity of what’s so great about that particular region. From locally made wines to DJs with a local accent, there are many ways to embrace the surroundings in a big way. Another bonus is that using local suppliers will often come at a price reduction as there will be minimal transport fees added on and no expensive accommodation costs to pay.

Ask for referrals

Your caterers may claim to make the best Eton Mess in the world, but don’t simply take their word for it! Get as many referrals and recommendations as you can to be able to make a well-informed decision. After all, the best advice you can hope to receive is from other couples who have been in your exact position previously.

Take the time to contact previous venues they have worked with before in order to get to know the business you are interested in hiring. Their former clients are further proof of their success in designing a beautiful product or event. All good supplier relationships take time and trust to build, and these former partnerships can help validate that for you.

Look further than just the product

It’s hard not to get sucked in when you see a beautiful floristry display on your Instagram feed and not want to instantly hire that florist for your wedding day. But, before you do, it’s time to go beyond the product a little to see if their expertise goes further than just the flowers. In other words, there’s no use in hiring a supplier with an amazing product, just to find out that their service and delivery are completely inadequate and unreliable.

A good wedding supplier will provide the whole package – lovely product choice, a fair price, and great service. It’s totally acceptable to demand all three.

Get Social

Social media is an excellent tool for research and identifying great wedding suppliers local to your venue. From make-up artists to chauffeurs, hairdressers, and wedding cake bakers, you are sure to find lots of ideas for people and products you want at your wedding.

Once you’ve made a shortlist, you should arrange calls or meet-ups with two to three of each type of supplier. This may seem a little excessive, however speaking with multiple suppliers will help you with cost comparisons, as well as getting to know the suppliers a little better themselves before you decide.

Hire people you genuinely like

It is HUGELY important that you recruit a wedding army of people who you trust and genuinely like working with. Not only will you be spending many hours on your wedding day with your suppliers, but you’ll also have to work with them in the months leading up to the main event, so any clashing characters could cause unnecessary stress and anxiety. This is why face-to-face contact is always better before you confirm any of the important suppliers.

Ask yourself if you can see yourself going out for a drink with this person and feeling comfortable? If the answer is no, then you probably shouldn’t book them for your big day! Make it a joint decision too. Both members of the couple should feel more than happy with your chosen team. You are likely going to be spending a lot of money on this wedding, so you want to ensure you feel happy with all your selections.

Get everything in writing and put down a deposit

Once you have made your decisions on the suppliers you love, it’s vital you get everything confirmed officially. Word-of-mouth confirmations just won’t do. Although it may seem a little formal to ask for an official contract, especially if you’ve chosen a local hairdresser with whom you get on really well with, however, a written contract protects both sides and ensures you both know what you have committed to.

Contracts help to prevent any future disputes or wedding-related payment issues down the road. Plus, often suppliers are hired months or even years in advance, and when it comes to the run-up to the wedding, either party might have forgotten what was actually agreed all that time ago. Putting down a deposit also ensures that you are officially on the supplier’s books – so there is much less chance that they will let you down nearer the time.

We hope you have found these tips on finding the right wedding supplier useful. Our team at Grassfield Hall is always here to provide you with the most honest advice and all the suppliers we recommend are genuinely amazing at their jobs.

Don’t hesitate to get in touch with Lisa for recommendations of local suppliers in our area, or for any other wedding-related questions you have

How to plan the perfect weekend break at Grassfield Hall

Taking over Grassfield Hall for a weekend is a special treat. It’s a chance to spend precious time with friends and family, celebrate special occasions and enjoy the magical setting within the Yorkshire Dales.

To help you enjoy your luxury mini-break in Yorkshire even more, here we have compiled an article to give you the inspiration to help you plan your weekend. From private dining experiences to yoga lessons and cycling routes, let us share with you some of our best local secrets to help with your organisation.

Get to know the house before you arrive

We recommend to all our guests try to get to know the layout of the hall before they arrive, therefore, once your booking is confirmed, we will send you a planning guide via email.

Within the guide, you will find a floor plan of the hall, so that you and your guests can get to know the layout of the house before arrival. You might want to allocate bedrooms to each guest in advance, to save time and deliberation once you arrive. This way you can each settle and relax into your own space as soon as you arrive.

There are 8 beautiful bedrooms in the hall, each with their unique style and facilities, therefore you might feel that certain rooms suit certain guests more than others. Elderly friends may want a ground floor room, while others may love a jacuzzi bath or appreciate the best view in the house, or perhaps want their own private lounge area if they are early risers!

Make the most of the surroundings

The Nidderdale AONB is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, bordering the Yorkshire Dales National Park to the east and south. Grassfield Hall is ideally situated at the halfway point on the Way of the Roses coast-to-coast cycling route and is in the middle of both the Six Dales Trail and the Nidderdale Way. Therefore, you are perfectly positioned to explore the local surroundings on one or both of your weekend days.

You could spend a long day walking or cycling in the Dales using the maps and guidance from the website www.uppernidderdale.org. Or, perhaps you fancy a visit to How Stean Gorge for some outdoor pursuits, Brimham Rocks for a spot of climbing, or Fountains Abbey to explore the wonderful lake, gardens, and café.

Wherever you choose to go, we can organise a delicious hearty breakfast before you leave, as well as a packed lunch for all guests prepared from our local bakery. Once you return after a long day, all guests will be looking forward to soaking their aching limbs in one of our spa baths or enjoying an invigorating shower in the luxurious bathrooms.

Plan a private dining experience

There are many choices available when it comes to dinner. You could allow us to arrange some transportation and visit one of the many gourmet restaurants in Harrogate or the surrounding areas. From gastro-pubs to International cuisine, we would be happy to recommend some of our favourites in the area.

You could choose to prepare dinner yourselves – perhaps each couple taking on a course to share with everyone. There are many fabulous local producers nearby, where you can get fresh meat and vegetables, as well as some delicious bakeries for dessert.

Alternatively, private dining is always popular with our guests, and we can help you plan a perfect dinner party to wow all of your guests. You can use our private dining room to make your evening that little bit extra special, dressing it exactly as you choose with crockery, name places, and decorations to suit the occasion.

We can suggest local caterers depending on what style of theme or cuisine you would like, and with a team on hand to serve dinner, clear away and refill glasses, you don’t have to spend time running around to accommodate everyone as you would when throwing a party or dinner at home. Simply sit back, enjoy your dinner and your company, and don’t worry about a thing – it’s all under control.

Organise some evening entertainment

After dark, the hall really comes alive, with plenty of potential for fun and games. After spending time in your rooms getting ready for the evening, you and your guests can meet up in the grand hallway for a champagne reception, and why not hire an acoustic singer or pianist to add a relaxed atmosphere.

You could surprise your guests with a magician who magically appears in the dining room before you eat to perform a parlour show. Or, what about dressing up for a murder mystery night – you can hire actors to join in with the dinner party before you find out who done it, or even a Casino night, giving you the opportunity to don your finest black-tie attire and have a flutter on the tables!

A cocktail masterclass is also a great idea for those who love a tipple, and we can arrange for an expert mixologist to come in and give you lessons on how to make your favourite classics.

Alternatively, if you fancy something a little more chilled, we can hire you in a hot tub to splash around on the patio, while sipping on some chilled rosé and admiring the stunning views.

Incorporate some wellbeing

It’s always nice to have a balance of indulgence and wellbeing while on your weekend away. Therefore, as well as the dining and drinking elements, you might want to consider some holistic therapies and activities to leave you all feeling zen and relaxed before you depart.

We can arrange yoga classes, sound baths, or meditation retreats, as well as massages, manicures, or reflexology sessions to have at your leisure.

Also, if healthy eating is your thing, then we can always source specialist dieticians or caterers who can help you to prepare delicious and nutritious meals, juices, and snacks to leave you feeling refreshed and nurtured.

Make it personal

We always believe that it’s the small things that make the most lasting impressions, therefore you could add personal touches throughout your stay to bring a smile to each of your guests.

Why not make an itinerary to leave in each of your guest’s bedrooms for when they arrive so that they can see exactly how the weekend is planned out, or even prepare them a little goodie bag to collect when they arrive with some little keepsakes and local gifts in to remember the weekend.

However, you want your weekend to plan out, our team are here to help you as much or as little as you need. Whether you want complete relaxation, or adventure and activities galore, the opportunities are endless when it comes to creating the perfect weekend at Grassfield Hall! Get in touch to start the planning…

10 springtime décor ideas for your next event

With the brighter mornings, lighter nights and daytime clear blue skies, it really feels like spring is almost here.

With springtime officially declared on the 20th of March, it’s time to start planning your next event with this wonderful season in mind.

From seasonal blooms to springtime colour pops, here are 10 ideas from Grassfield Hall to fill you with plenty of inspiration…

Beautiful blossom branches

With plenty of pastel-coloured blossom appearing on the trees, there’s no better springtime floral display than this. Select a few long branches with plenty of blossom buds on them and place them in a pretty glass vase or jar on your dinner table or resting on surrounding fireplaces. Whether you have friends over for dinner or are planning an intimate wedding, this idea is very flexible and can be incorporated into most interior themes.

Spring-inspired cocktails

Drinks don’t come more enticing than this! When choosing drinks to offer your guests, think about fruits and herbs that are in season at this time. This peach melba cocktail has been topped with chunks of fresh fruit and sprinkled with pretty petals for the ultimate tempting finish.

Eggs on branches

Easter is the perfect time to have some fun with your event décor. If your event is outdoor, you could hang hundreds of painted hollow eggs onto the branches of a nearby tree. Or inside, on the branches of a potted olive tree or palm. The key is for as much colour and diversity as possible when it comes to the decoration of the eggs, so get painting now!

Understated florals

Springtime flowers are so beautiful, that they don’t need to be overcomplicated. These stunning hydrangeas look gorgeous and natural in their clear jars and don’t need to be mixed with anything else. Play around with different heights using multi-sized jars and pair with crisp white table linens.

Gorgeous grazing boards

Not only can grazing boards make a fantastic and colourful visual impact on your dining table, they also offer a laidback and casual way to share food and engage in conversation with other guests. Swopping the usual starter course with a springtime grazing board can also be very cost-effective compared to individual servings.

Confetti lighting

Adding colour to an event space can often be tricky. You don’t want to go in too heavy or you run the risk of making the space look busy and chaotic. But then often sprinkles of colour here and there are not quite enough to make an impact. Confetti lighting bridges this gap by allowing you to keep your room décor simple but adding enough colour to bring the space alive. They also look fantastic once the sun goes down and the lights shine brightly around your guests.

Quirky centrepieces

 

Centrepieces don’t always have to be serious. And, springtime is a great time to have a play around. The above centrepiece idea is a play on a floral centrepiece, but with the blooms being made out of paper. Perfectly matched with beautiful floral plates, rose-coloured glassware and pretty pastel napkins. Lovely for a mother’s day lunch.

Coloured water vases

Colour blocking is still a big trend in both the interiors and the events world. And, this idea is just great for accentuating all the colourful springtime flowers. Choose a selection of flowers of varying colour shades, and then experiment with different food colouring samples until you get the perfect match of coloured water to place them in. A really simple idea with a big visual impact.

Bunny napkins

 

The only other thing better than the abundance of chocolate eggs during the Easter season is the cuteness of all the bunny-inspired accessories. If you are hosting an Easter party, then treat your guests to a cheeky table setting to fill them with joy. Here’s a quick Youtube video to show you how.

Floral lighting displays

Lighting displays don’t get much lovelier than this! Cherry blossom is the ultimate signal of spring and will brighten up even the plainest of room decors. Drape around pendant lights hanging over your dining table or wrap around standard lamps for a firm nod to the season of new beginnings.

How to stay calm and relaxed on your wedding morning

The lead-up to your big day is full of both excitement and nerves. It’s very easy to become overwhelmed by all the organisation and decisions you need to make for a wedding, and it’s normal to feel apprehensive in the days and weeks running up to it.

Before you know it, the morning of your marriage will come around, and this should be a really important and enjoyable part of your day. It’s the chance to take time for yourself, to spend time with friends and family, and to make yourself feel amazing and comfortable in your wedding attire.

So, to help you prepare for a calm and relaxing wedding morning, we have written up some

top tips on easing into your day with zero stress and maximum enjoyment…

Arrive at your venue the day before 

No matter what time you choose to get married, the hours running up to it seem to go very fast. Therefore, we always advise our wedding parties to arrive the day before the wedding, in order to feel settled before the big day arrives.

You want to make your wedding morning as chilled as possible, so you definitely don’t want to be dashing around or travelling across the country in bad traffic, which is likely to make you feel very anxious.

We also encourage couples to arrive an hour or so before their guests the night before to get settled and unpacked. Once you have done this, any initial nerves will be eased, so you will be ready to welcome your guests and show them around the venue like it’s your own home!

Have a great night’s sleep

It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of seeing friends and family that you might not have seen for a long time. However, remember that you want to feel refreshed and full of energy on your wedding day, so an early night is a good option.

Your nerves and excitement might make it a little harder for you to drift off to sleep that night, so take time to have a nice, relaxing bath with oils, download a sleep meditation and practice some mindful breathing exercises to help you ease into a peaceful slumber. Try to avoid too much alcohol or rich food the night before, as these will affect both your sleep as well as your mood the following day.

When you wake up in the morning, remember to have a nutritious, light breakfast, such as fruit, granola, and yoghurt, as well as herbal tea to keep any nervous stomachs under wrap!

Hand over the stress to someone else

It’s likely you and your partner will have had to make hundreds of decisions in the lead-up to the wedding, including the selection of your venue and suppliers including musicians, caterers, and florists. But, once all the decisions are made and you are happy with your selections, it’s time to hand over all the hard work to your venue team to manage.

Here at Grassfield Hall, once you have had your final meeting with us and the timeline is complete, then you’ve really handed over all the stress. We will be in contact with all your suppliers on your behalf, ensuring they arrive at the right times and come to the right places. Don’t worry about timings or room turnarounds…that’s our job and good suppliers keep the timeline in their mind at all times. You can simply relax knowing that you’re in safe hands and we will take care of every detail just as you want it.

You can also hand over some tasks to your bridal party too. Perhaps ask your bridesmaids to prepare a chilled playlist for you all to get ready to or bring along some calming scents or candles to use in your room to create a peaceful vibe.

Choose the perfect place to get ready

The room you get ready in on your wedding morning is very special as it’s likely to feature in many photographs and will also be the place where you share many lovely moments with your family and wedding party before you say “I do”.

Your bridal suite should be light, spacious, and have a great atmosphere that makes you feel happy and relaxed. Many of our couples choose our Dolly & James Room as their wedding suite for its calming caramel and gold tones, which blend in perfectly with all wedding themes (not to mention the heavenly sleigh bed!). We also have an area outside the bridal suite for the make-up and hair team to work from, so that the bridal suite can be kept tranquil and tidy at all times.

If you suffer from anxiety or are especially nervous about your wedding day, then try to only surround yourself with the people who have a calming effect on you. It could be your mum, your sister or your best friend – and just politely ask everyone else to get ready in their own rooms, telling them you need some space and want it to be a secret when they see you later on. Everyone who has been married before will 100% understand your need for time to prepare.

Enjoy each moment

The most important piece of advice to remember is to savour every moment of your wedding morning. It’s all part of the amazing experience that you will remember for the rest of your life.

We provide complimentary fizz for the ladies getting ready and can arrange golf or cycling for the men if they want to leave the house for a bit. We generally have a long breakfast on the wedding day so that people can come and go between getting ready, and it’s a very social occasion.

The bride may like time to herself to think about the day ahead, maybe take a jacuzzi bath with her favourite products or simply sit and chat to friends on the sofa, reminiscing about great times together. We can even suggest a nice short route for a walk in the beautiful surrounding Yorkshire Dales if you fancy some fresh air.

Whatever you choose to do, be sure you allow for plenty of time as you don’t want to feel rushed at any point. We recommend that you aim to be ready an hour before your ceremony begins – this means you can be relaxed and ready to go while allowing time to enjoy being with your bridal party.

We absolutely love hosting weddings here at the Hall and do everything we possibly can to make each day as magical as possible – with all the special touches that make a difference.

 

If you haven’t yet selected your wedding venue, we would love to hear from you and arrange a time for you to come and look around the venue so we can give you some inspiration on how your wedding day could look.

Contact Lisa on 07958 038134 or email info@grassfield-hall.co.uk

Tips for the perfect small Yorkshire wedding

Here at Grassfield Hall, we are firm believers that bigger doesn’t mean better. In fact, we happen to think that the best things are bespoke and bijoux – especially when it comes to wedding days.   

After all, the day of your marriage should be about the love you two share and celebrating that with the people who you absolutely love the most. We definitely don’t think you should be spending the day worried about whether all your guests will get on together or whether you have spent enough time going around everyone checking that they are okay.

As well as the obvious budget implications a smaller wedding solves, it also creates a much more relaxed and intimate setting. It means you can spend more time with your close friends and family, and enjoy a more personal and unforgettable experience overall.

If you think an intimate wedding sounds like the perfect choice for you and your partner, then here we offer some tips to make your day all the more special.

Choose your venue carefully

If a guest list featuring hundreds of people doesn’t interest you, then it’s likely you are going to be looking for a Yorkshire venue that specialises in smaller weddings. Big hotels in Harrogate, York or Leeds can be great for those who want to invite lots of guests but can often feel too spacious or soul-less for smaller groups. Also, if your guest list is small, often hotels will try to fit more than one wedding on the same day, and do you really want to share the limelight with another wedding party?

Luxury private venues in Yorkshire, like Grassfield Hall, specialise in holding only small, intimate weddings so we know exactly how to make the most of your guest list. Here, we seat a maximum of 32 guests for your wedding breakfast, with the possibility of a further 25 guests joining for your evening celebrations. You will have exclusive use of the hall and its beautiful grounds during your stay and be totally looked after by our small family team.

Take time over your guest list

When your invite-list is small, you need to be very selective and your guests will understand this. You are perfectly entitled to say no to plus ones if you haven’t yet met the person, and many modern couples don’t invite children so that they don’t have to provide entertainment for them (and also so that the kid’s parents can relax a little more on the day too!)

Every single person you invite to a wedding this size should be someone that is close to you and you can’t imagine marrying without them there. A good question to ask is ‘Would we want to go for an intimate dinner date with this person/couple next week? If the answer is no, then they just don’t make the cut.

Go with local, recommended suppliers

Your wedding suppliers can make a big impact on the smooth running of your day. And, if you’re not living in the area you are getting married in, or are not used to planning events, then it can be pretty overwhelming when it comes to choosing your A team for the day. 

You really can’t beat the assurance from another bride or groom that the supplier you are considering provided and excellent service at their wedding. Although everyone has varying views on quality and style – it will help to know that your supplier has experience and rates highly with others.

Caterers, florists, photographers, and entertainers all rely on reviews and recommendations for future bookings, so don’t be embarrassed to ask them for recent reviews, images, and videos, or to be put in touch with a couple of previous clients that you can get in touch with.

We recommend choosing local suppliers, not only to offset your wedding’s carbon footprint but also to get the most out of the beauty of the local area. North Yorkshire is home to amazing caterers who specialise in seasonal, Yorkshire produce, as well as florists who get their plants and blooms from local growers.

Focus on your favourite things

A big benefit to having a small wedding is that you will be spending less money on the number of guests coming and can therefore put more budget towards all the things that matter to you as a couple.

Together, write down a list of what your priority items are: it could be having Michelin star food, a special type of champagne that you love, beautiful floral displays in every corner of the venue, an open bar for the whole day, a live music act that you’ve heard before or going all out on your clothes and accessories for the day.

Try to focus on two to three priorities and then make those the stars of the show when it comes to designing the look of your reception.

Personalise it all

When you have only a few select guests invited, the nano-details matter, and personalising certain things can make everyone feel so much more special and appreciated.

Why not get creative with your place cards: you could write guests’ names on small potted orchids; personalise mini bottles of champagne; use crystal birthstones for everyone coming, or even ice their names onto pretty biscuits.

With your saved budget, you could hire a calligrapher or illustrator to handwrite each order of service, menu, and place setting with your guest’s name and maybe even a sketch of the guest – just imagine how beautiful they will look on the seats as your guest arrive. 

Take the stress out of it

We know that planning a wedding can be exhausting, no matter how big or small they are. With so many things to consider and remember, it’s nice to share the load with someone who you both trust and can rely on.

Our small, family team at Grassfield Hall wants to be the one to take the stress away from you. We work extremely closely with our couples so that we get to know them personally. Unlike many other venues, we will liaise with your suppliers directly in the run-up to the event, to ensure everything is planned to perfection, meaning that you can really enjoy the days leading up to your big day with the safe knowledge that everything is under control.

Every small wedding is so special and important for us too. And, we will do everything in our power to make things even more magical than you imagined.

 

Considering a wedding in 2022 or beyond? Contact Lisa today to talk about your plans and arrange a date to come and view the hall.

Ingredients for a perfect New Year’s Eve

In the current climate, many of us are opting for scaled-back celebrations with a few special people. And although the group might be smaller, it doesn’t mean that you need to lack on fun! Small New Year’s Eve gatherings can be even more enjoyable as you get to enjoy each other’s company more and really spend quality time together.

Intimate dinners and cocktail parties are definitely the way forward this year, so here are some key ingredients to ensure you let 2022 in with style.

A great venue

Many of us like entertaining at home in our own comfort zone, however, if you love hosting but want a change of scenery, then why not hire a private venue to accommodate your group?

Private hire venues are great at NYE as you can enjoy dinner and fun during the evening, as well as sleeping over and having breakfast together on New Year’s Day (sore head or not!).

Here at Grassfield Hall, we can sleep up to 16 people for a private hire, with a dedicated dining area, bar area and lots of cosy places to relax and catch up with those you love.

Delicious food

Nothing makes a great party like amazing food and drink. The nice thing about hosting in a private venue is that you can either choose to cook yourself or hire local caterers to take the hassle away.

North Yorkshire is home to some fantastic caterers, so you really are spoilt for choice. You can also choose whether to have caterers prepare food at the venue and serve you and your guests at the table. Or, another option would be for your caterer to prepare you a big sharing dish, for example, a curry, casserole or paella, so you can just pop it in the oven before everyone arrives, and then dish out later.

As it’s going to be a long night – try to space out the food as much as possible. Start with canapes or nibbles when people arrive about 7.30 pm, serve the main course around 9 pm and consider saving desert until around 10.30 pm so people aren’t starving as the clock strikes midnight! You could always have some bacon sarnies or toasties to serve in the early hours if it’s going to be a late one!

Fun & entertainment

Eating and drinking will take up a lot of the night, but it’s nice to have some other things up your sleeve to entertain your friends and family.

Perhaps you fancy a games night with poker, roulette or a darts championship? Or maybe Cherades, Pictionary or Jenga are more your thing? Either way, a few games can help people relax and get into the swing of the evening.

A great playlist can also make your evening more enjoyable, especially if you have space to dance. Choose some uplifting but softer music for dinner, and then crank up the volume and the beat later on when everyone has kicked their shoes off!

Thoughtful details

Memorable events are all about the small details – the flowers, the name cards, the candles, the treats.

Think of a theme that you want to have for the night and make everything consistent. For example, if you are having a casino theme, then you could give everyone a wad of play money next to their dinner plate, as well as Bond-inspired music on the playlist.

Gold and silver are popular colours for New Year’s Eve – so you could use sparkling confetti on the dinner table, as well as golden party poppers and crackers in these colours.

However you choose to spend NYE this year, we hope you have a fantastic time! And, remember, if you are looking to plan a party or event in 2022, then Grassfield Hall could just be the perfect place to host it!!

Ideas for the perfect Harrogate winter getaway

North Yorkshire is the perfect place to take a mini-break and winter is a time when this area really comes into its own.

With cosy luxury accommodation, festive events, and feel-good food, Harrogate is a great stay for a girlie retreat, a family jaunt or a romantic weekend.

To give you inspiration when booking your next trip here, we’ve noted down some ideas to make your getaway even more special…

Pick the perfect accommodation

When it comes to choosing where to stay, the 5-star accommodation near Harrogate offers many different options.

Harrogate town centre itself is home to many wonderful places to check-in, or you can venture a little further out of town, giving you access to stunning scenery and idyllic vistas of the Yorkshire Dales.

You can pick from lovely big hotels with spas, small & quirky B&Bs with character, or choose to stay in an exclusive private hire venue if you are travelling with a larger group. Here at Grassfield Hall, we offer both B&B weekday stays, as well as full venue hire over weekends for up to 16 people, so you can select what suits you best.

Eat, drink and be merry

Winter food is all about comfort and warmth, and when you visit Harrogate, you can be sure that your tastebuds are in for a real treat!

In town, you will find a host of restaurants, offering a variety of cuisines, and the most wonderful thing is that the majority of them are independent. FISK is great for sustainably sourced seafood with Asian inspiration, while William & Victoria is Harrogate’s longest-running wine bar and perfect for a cosy meal with friends. There are lots of quaint little pubs to pop into including The Montpellier, The Old Bell Tavern, and The Fat Badger, and no visit to Harrogate would be complete without a Fat Rascal from Betty’s Tea Rooms!

Further out into the Dales, our favourite local country eats are Olleys Italian in Pateley Bridge, The Sportsman’s Arms at Wath and Grassington House in Grassington.

Walking and cycling

When you’ve indulged in the best food and drink, you might fancy a little hike or a cycle to burn some of it off!

Luckily, you are spoilt with great walks and cycle routes in Harrogate and its surrounding areas. In fact, Harrogate is a melting pot for keen cyclists, who flock here to spend the day cycling around Pateley Bridge, Nidderdale, and Brimham Rocks, before popping into one of the cycling cafés in town when they are finished.

The Nidderdale Way is also a very popular hike for many of our guests here at Grassfield Hall, and a great achievement to complete. The 53-mile roundtrip is usually spread over four days and offers incredible scenery and a great chance to explore the delightful villages of Middlesmoor and Ripley too.

Check out the festive events

This year, Harrogate is putting on a real festive show. Already, kids (and big kids) are enjoying the carousel, helter-skelter, and Ferris wheel that are dotted around the town. And, this Friday, the Christmas Fayre arrives in town with over 50 festive traders and independent foodie stalls.

There will also be a festive market in the gorgeous Valley Garden from 4th-5th December, and a free festive train will be travelling around the town until the 12th December to ensure you don’t miss a thing!

Out of town, you can see a stunning display of Christmas illuminations at the Enchanted Forest at Stockeld Park or visit Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal for a winter walk followed by a big mug of hot chocolate!

 

We hope we’ve tempted you enough to book a last-minute winter break to Harrogate or the surrounding areas! And, if you want to find out our availability for B&Bs or venue private hire over the next few weeks or months, then please get in touch via info@grassfield-hall.co.uk and we will get back to you asap.

 

 

 

How to create a stylish Christmas dinner table décor

With just over six weeks to go until the big day, chances are you will have already decided how you are going to spend it this year.

For those of you who are hosting friends and family at your home, we know it can be a pretty stressful time – deciding who to invite, what to cook, where to seat everyone and how you are going to decorate your space!

Here at Grassfield Hall, we are great lovers of beautiful table décor, and the festive season gives us the chance to be really fun and creative with our displays. Therefore, in order to make things a little easier for you, we have put together a little list of tips and ideas to help you make this year’s Christmas dinner table sparkle like never before…

Choose your colour palette

Deciding on your colour scheme is a good starting point. There are many ideas available to consider – whether you want to stick to a traditional colourway or choose something a little more contemporary.

You could give your dining table some Nordic charm using crisp shades of white and silver. In this theme, you can add homely highlights with ceramics and candles and bring it all together with the gleam of clear glass, silver cutlery and natural wood serving utensils.

If you are a fan of the traditional red and white, then you could use striped ribbon to tie decorations to guests’ chairs and dress the table with a red and white striped cloth. Red placemats with gingham check napkins give a nod to the festive trend, and team with white tableware with green and red decoration and cranberry-coloured glassware.

For something a little more modern, you could opt for a blue-base colour scheme this year. Mix in some rose gold metallics and soft velvet in midnight jewel tones for an effortless yet luxurious Christmas table setting to impress your guests. Inky indigo tableware also contrasts perfectly with warm copper, so you could choose this metal type for your cutlery set, candle bases and coasters to complete the look.

Welcome the outside in

Wintertime offers us a selection of beautiful, natural foliage that can help you to connect with nature as well as create a cosy and welcoming atmosphere at your dinner table.

Bring gathered greenery to your table made into simple arrangements such as string-clustered bundles of holly, mistletoe or sweetly scented winter herbs and foliage tied with garden twine. Alternatively, you could use small potted plants or succulents around the table, or thoughtfully placed sprigs on place settings to tie in further elements of nature at the table.

To further embrace the beauty of nature, you could opt for seasonal fruits to help add a touch of colour to place settings. Try pairing the soft green tones of your foliage with dark berries, burnt orange clementines or deep red cranberries arranged at the side of plates or glasses.

Create a centrepiece

If you want your Christmas table to have a real impact, then a centrepiece is always a good idea.

Begin with a table runner as a base, and then layer up your look by adding various levels to your table setting. For a more traditional centrepiece add holly, baubles, ribbons, pine cones and tea lights to your central garland. Or, for a more modern look, use fresh flowers, teamed with battery-powered tea lights inside clear glass baubles, and perhaps some sprinkles of metallic confetti.

Take your centrepiece to new festive heights with candles of varying sizes and lengths, and also perhaps glass jars of various sizes filled with tempting sweet treats such as candy canes, homemade gingerbread and macaroons.

Add personal touches

A little goes a long way when it comes to personalising your Christmas table.

So, this year why not make your own crackers? Not only will you save on budget and waste, but you can personalise your crackers to each individual guest – selecting them a gift that you know they will love or that will make them laugh! Simply place a treat inside a cardboard roll, wrap crepe paper or even fabric scraps around, then tie the ends with pretty ribbon. You could even write your own jokes inside, neatly jotted in a metallic pen.

Other personal touches could include hand-written name place cards, individual wine glass stem markers or balloons hung on the back of everyone’s chair with their initials on.

We hope you found this guide helpful and now feel more confident about creating your Christmas dining table decor. Remember, here at Grassfield Hall, we have a stunning dining room – The Hanley Room – which is available to hire for private dinners and events. We can also provide chefs, locally-sourced food and staff to look after you and your guests – ensuring you achieve the perfect dinner party atmosphere. Give us a call to check availability for your next dinner party date.

 

 

Wise words from a 2020 Grassfield Hall Bride

Its been a rollercoaster ride for couples planning their wedding this year. The ups and downs, and will it won’t it happen has been enough to test any relationship, but our beautiful bride Melissa from a wedding we hosted in September here at Grassfield Hall, sums up what is really important….All you need is love! https://www.theaisle.online/blog/really-an-intimate-wedding