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 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

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.

 

 

Where will you go on holiday this year?

Staycations at Grassfield Hall
Around 18 months ago we launched our first house rental here at Grassfield Hall,  Renting the entire house and gardens to one group of people for a family get together.  It worked like a dream, in fact it seemed like the house was made for this purpose, people coming together to celebrate their Special occasion and filling the house with fun and laughter.
During the past year we have mixed our house rentals with bed and breakfast nights and small weddings which has worked perfectly.
The recent pandemic has changed how every business operates and also how we all live our lives, so going forward for the next few months we will be focusing on our house rentals. Getting families together after they have been apart for so many months feels like a perfect way to use the house.
We love helping our guests plan their perfect stay here at Grassfield, and to assist you we have written a guide, including information about private dining experiences in the house with some of the most talented chefs In in the region. We can also recommend suppliers to make your stay memorable, what about having a murder mystery night, or a magician to entertain you after dinner or splash the weekend away in a hot tub.
Locally the area has so much to offer, waking with llamas, trekking the Nidderdale Way or having an adventure at How Steam Gorge, one thing is for sure, you will have a fabulous time.
We have some incredible special offers for rentals which are more than 2 nights long, our brochure has all the information.