Bride and groom lying on grass, aerial view taken with a drone.

Your Guide to a Stress-Free Wedding

When it comes to weddings, it’s fair to say I’ve been around the block a few times. With almost 20 years of experience in wedding photography, I’ve seen it all. So, I’ve compiled this guide to assist you in planning your wedding in the North Yorkshire area. While I’m not a wedding planner, my extensive experience at hundreds of weddings has given me insight into what contributes to the most memorable and, crucially, stress-free day.

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Choosing the Perfect Wedding Venue in North Yorkshire

Pick the Season

Choosing your wedding venue should top your to-do list. Still, it’s equally important to consider what season you envision tying the knot. Each time of year casts its own unique glow, from the fresh blossoms of spring to the cosy ambience of winter. Being flexible with your wedding date can significantly increase your chances of securing your first-choice venue.

The following wedding venues are some of my favourites, each offering a unique and enchanting backdrop for your special day in North Yorkshire.

Carlton Towers

Carlton Towers is a jewel in North Yorkshire. It offers a blend of historical grandeur and private, exclusive charm, making it a truly unique venue for your wedding day. I’m proud to be a recommended wedding photographer for Carlton Towers, and they kindly showcase a sample wedding album of mine, allowing you to envision how beautifully your own moments can be captured within their stunning setting.

Address: Carlton Towers, High St, Carlton, Goole, DN14 9LZ

Allerton Castle

With its majestic Gothic revival architecture, Allerton Castle provides a breathtakingly picturesque setting for weddings, nestled in the heart of North Yorkshire’s scenic landscapes. As a recommended wedding photographer for Allerton Castle, I’m delighted that a sample wedding album of my work is on display there, offering couples a glimpse into how their magical moments can be immortalised against the backdrop of this historic venue.

Address: Allerton Castle, Allerton Mauleverer, HG5 0SE

Hazlewood Castle

Hazlewood Castle, nestled in the heart of Yorkshire between Leeds and York, offers an idyllic and historic setting for weddings. It is surrounded by 77 acres of beautiful woodland and provides a picturesque backdrop for any wedding day. I have had the privilege of photographing several weddings at Hazlewood Castle, capturing each celebration’s unique beauty and romance within its ancient walls. With its stunning landscapes and elegant interiors, this venue is an elegant choice for your big day.

Address: Hazlewood Castle, Paradise Lane, Hazlewood, Near Leeds & York, Yorkshire, LS24 9NJ

The Parsonage Hotel & Spa

The Parsonage Hotel & Spa in Escrick is a charming venue that combines elegance and tranquillity, making it a perfect setting for wedding celebrations. Its picturesque gardens and stylish interiors offer a variety of stunning backdrops for photographs. I’ve had the pleasure of photographing several weddings at The Parsonage, discovering new angles and moments in its enchanting surroundings each time. The warmth and beauty of this venue have always provided the perfect canvas for capturing the joy and love of the wedding days I’ve been a part of.

Address: The Parsonage, Escrick, York, YO19 6LF

Choosing your Photographer

As soon as your wedding date is set, it’s crucial to start looking for your photographer as soon as possible. Securing your photographer early ensures you have the best chance of booking your first choice, someone who can capture your day exactly how you envision it, creating memories you’ll cherish forever.

Your chosen photographer should have experience with your wedding venue. Familiarity with the location means they’ll know all the perfect spots for stunning shots, understanding how the light plays throughout the day and where the most picturesque backdrops are found. They should also be able to present you with a selection of sample wedding albums, allowing you to dive into their style and see how they’ve captured the essence of weddings at your venue. This insight will give you confidence in their ability to document your day beautifully and help you envision how your own story might be told.

I aim to tell a story that is as unique as the couples I photograph, paying close attention to the details and nuances that make your wedding uniquely yours. My goal is to provide you with a collection of images that you’ll look back on with joy and love, which bring back memories and evoke the emotions you felt on one of the most significant days of your life.

My Favourite Local Wedding Suppliers

All based in or around the North Yorkshire region

Over the years, I’ve had the pleasure of working with many excellent wedding suppliers. Below are a few of my favourites.

All Occasions – Florists

I’ve enjoyed working alongside Angela and Sarah from All Occasions, a florist renowned for crafting remarkable wedding flower arrangements. Their dedication to detail and ability to translate visions into vibrant floral arrangements are consistently impressive. Each bouquet they produce adds a personal and exquisite touch to the wedding day, enhancing the beauty of every moment.


Lisa Cooper Makeup

Lisa Cooper Makeup offers a level of artistry and professionalism that truly stands out in the world of bridal beauty. Lisa is a bridal makeup specialist whose expertise and passion for makeup have made her a sought-after artist for weddings and special occasions. I’ve had the opportunity to work with Lisa on several occasions, witnessing firsthand how her meticulous attention to detail and ability to enhance each bride’s natural beauty contribute to making their wedding day even more special. Her work is about creating stunning looks and ensuring each bride feels confident and radiant throughout their big day.


Bride having lipstick applied, at Allerton Castle.

Silver Star Wedding Cars

Silver Star Wedding Cars is a wonderful company I’ve worked with many times. They provide elegant and stylish vintage-style cars that add a touch of class to any wedding day. My personal favourite is the Beauford Sedanca De Ville. Their professionalism and commitment to excellence have always stood out, making each wedding memorable. Their chauffeurs are courteous, ensuring a smooth and enjoyable experience for the bridal party. Working with Silver Star Wedding Cars has always been a pleasure, and their service is truly excellent.


Vintage silver car on gravel against a grassy hill.

Rich Reynolds – Magician

Entertaining your guests is a key element of creating a memorable wedding day, and one exceptional way to add a touch of magic and surprise is by incorporating a magician. I highly recommend Rich Reynolds, a magician with whom I’ve worked several times. Rich is genuinely impressive, captivating audiences with his skill and charm, ensuring that your guests are engaged and entertained, making your special day even more unforgettable.


Magician performing fire trick at wedding reception.

Spectra Entertainments – Wedding Disco and Venue-Lighting Specialists

Over the years, I’ve had the pleasure of working with David from Spectra Entertainments on numerous occasions. Known for exceptional wedding disco services, bringing a vibrant atmosphere to celebrations with quality sound and expertly curated playlists tailored to each couple’s preferences. Their venue lighting services, including room uplighting and personalised names in lights, truly transform spaces, creating enchanting environments that enhance both the visual appeal of venues and the overall experience of the wedding day.

Their external wedding venue lighting is a sight to behold.


Illuminated historic building at night, purple lighting, Victorian architecture.

Other Suppliers to Consider

When planning your perfect wedding in North Yorkshire, selecting the right team of suppliers is crucial to bringing your vision to life. Beyond the essential choices of venue and photography, there are other key players who will play a significant role in ensuring your day is as seamless and magical as you’ve dreamed. From the ethereal glow of floral arrangements to the enchanting melodies that will fill the air, every detail contributes to the tapestry of your wedding day. Here are some other suppliers to consider as you embark on this exciting journey:

  • Caterers: Whether you envision a formal sit-down dinner or a relaxed buffet-style meal, the right caterer will provide delicious cuisine that reflects your tastes and wows your guests.
  • Cake Designers: Your wedding cake isn’t just a dessert; it’s a centrepiece of your celebration. Find a designer who can create a cake that’s not only beautiful but also deliciously memorable.
  • Videographers: A skilled videographer will capture the essence of your day, ensuring you have a moving memory to look back on for years to come.
  • Hair Stylists: Look and feel your best with professionals who can enhance your natural beauty and ensure you shine on your special day.
  • Toastmaster: Add a touch of elegance and sophistication to your day by providing an authoritative yet warm presence to guide your guests through the celebrations.
  • Stationery: Invitations, save-the-dates, and day-of stationery like menus and place cards are the first impressions your guests will have of your wedding – make sure they reflect your personal style.
  • Chocolate Fountain: This indulgent centrepiece allows guests to dip their favourite fruits and treats into a flowing stream of rich, warm chocolate, enhancing the joy and sweetness of your celebration.
  • Sweet Cart: This whimsical and charming touch invites guests to indulge in a nostalgic selection of treats that add a layer of joy and colour to your celebration. It also keeps the kids quiet.
  • Live Band: Infuse the celebration with unmatched energy and charisma, creating memorable moments on the dance floor as they bring your favourite songs to life in a way that recorded music can’t match.

Choosing suppliers who share your vision and whom you trust is vital. They are the architects of your day, dedicated to creating a celebration that reflects you as a couple.

Wedding Planning Timeline

Creating a wedding planning timeline is essential to ensure your big day unfolds without a hitch. Here’s a comprehensive timeline to guide you through the process, starting from 24 months out:

24 Months Before

Set a Budget: Decide on your overall budget.
Wedding Insurance: Often neglected but very important! As soon as you start paying deposits you should look to secure yourself with wedding insurance.
Pick a Date and Venue: Secure your wedding venue as soon as possible for a smoother planning process. Bear in mind that top venues will have the most popular dates booked early.
Book a Photographer: As a wedding photographer, I can’t stress enough the importance of booking early to secure your preferred photographer. Check out my 10 Reasons to Book a Professional Wedding Photographer.

18 Months Before

Think About Themes and Colours: Start envisioning your wedding style.
Choose Your Wedding Party: Think about who you want by your side.
Create a Guest List: Draft a preliminary list of guests and send ‘save the date’ cards.
Hire Vendors: Book your caterer, florist, and entertainment.

12 Months Before

Wedding Dress Shopping: Begin the search for your perfect dress. If you have something bespoke, it can take eight months to produce! Check out my guides on How to Choose the Perfect Wedding Dress, Choosing the Perfect Wedding Shoes and Should I Wear a Veil on my Wedding Day.
Start Planning the Honeymoon: Decide on your dream destination.
Order Invitations: Choose your design and place an order.

9 Months Before

Send Out Invitations: Make sure to include RSVP instructions.
Check in with your Vendors: Reach out and double check they have all of the correct details about you and your big day. Find out when final balances are due.

6 Months Before

Purchase Wedding Rings: Go shopping and select your rings together.
Plan Transportation: Consider how you plan to arrive at the wedding ceremony.
Plan Hen and Stag Parties: Begin thinking about the hen and stag parties – whether you want a night out, a weekend getaway, or a day of activities, start planning now to give your best man, maid of honour, and anyone else involved ample time to organise these events.

4 Months Before

Cake Tasting and Ordering: Decide on your cake design and flavours.
Finalise the Menu and Floral Arrangements: Confirm your choices with your caterer and florist.
Buy or Rent Attire for Groom and Groomsmen: Ensure their outfits complement the wedding theme.
Create a Seating Plan: Finalise seating arrangements for the reception.
Trial Hair and Makeup: Schedule a trial to ensure you’re happy with your look.

3 Months Before

Book your Pre-Wedding Photo Shoot: Think about where this should be. Either your chosen wedding venue or some place special to the both of you. Your photographer will be able to offer advice.
Apply for a Marriage Licence: You must give at least 29 days notice before the date of the ceremony. Also, the ceremony must occur within 12 months of giving notice. Check the local requirements and timelines.

2 Months Before

Finalise the Ceremony and Reception Plan: Confirm the timeline of events with your venue and vendors.
Finalise the Formal Photography List: Your photographer will have a standard list of wedding-party line-up photographs which you can edit.

1 Month Before

Final Dress Fitting: Ensure your dress fits perfectly. Arrange adjustments if necessary.
Confirm RSVPs: Follow up with any guests who have yet to respond.

2 Weeks Before

Finalise Details with Vendors: Confirm times and any special requests.
Have a Final Venue Walkthrough: Make sure everything is as you envision.

1 Week Before

Pack for Your Honeymoon: Start getting ready for your trip, don’t leave it until the last minute!
Provide the Final Guest Count: Inform your caterer and venue of the final numbers.
Prepare Payments for Vendors: Organise envelopes for easy distribution for any vendors that require payment on the day.

On The Day

Relax and Enjoy: Let the professionals handle the details so you can enjoy the most memorable day of your life. Have a wonderful day!

This timeline is a guide, and it’s important to adjust it based on your personal preferences and unique wedding plans.

Planning a wedding can indeed feel overwhelming at times, with so many details to consider and decisions to make. I hope this guide has provided some clarity and direction, helping to make the journey towards your special day a little easier. By planning thoughtfully and choosing the right suppliers – those who are not only talented but also share your vision and commitment to your day – you can ensure everything runs smoothly, allowing you to focus on what truly matters: celebrating your love. If you need further guidance or have any questions about planning your wedding in North Yorkshire, please don’t hesitate to contact me. I’m here to help and would be delighted to share more of my experiences and advice to make your wedding day as beautiful and stress-free as possible.

People Also Ask

How far in advance should I book my wedding venue in North Yorkshire?

Ideally, you should book your wedding venue 18 to 24 months in advance. Popular venues in North Yorkshire can get booked quickly, especially during peak wedding seasons.

What factors should I consider when choosing a wedding venue?

Consider the venue’s capacity, location, availability, style, and whether it aligns with your vision for your day. Also, think about the logistics, such as parking, accommodation for guests, and if the venue offers exclusive use.

Can I hold my ceremony and reception at the same venue in North Yorkshire?

Many venues in North Yorkshire are licensed for civil ceremonies, allowing you to hold both your ceremony and reception in one place. This can simplify logistics and create a cohesive experience for you and your guests.

What hidden costs should I know when booking a wedding venue?

Ask about additional costs, such as external catering, corkage, extended hours, or decor restrictions. Ensure these are outlined in your contract to avoid any surprises.

How do I know if a venue fits my wedding theme or style?

Visit the venue and visualise your day there. Check if the venue’s aesthetic complements your theme or if it offers flexibility to decorate. Some venues are a blank canvas, while others carry a distinct style.

What questions should I ask during my venue visit?

Ask about the availability of dates, the capacity for guests, catering options, restrictions (e.g., noise levels, curfew), and what’s included in the package. Also, inquire about plan B options in case of bad weather.

Is wedding insurance required for venues in North Yorkshire?

While not always required, wedding insurance is highly recommended. It can cover unforeseen circumstances like cancellations or damages, giving you peace of mind.

Can I book my own suppliers, or must I use the venue’s preferred suppliers?

This varies by venue. Most venues allow you to book your own suppliers, while others might require you to choose from a list of preferred suppliers. Clarify this early in your planning process.

What is the cancellation policy for wedding venues in North Yorkshire?

Understand the venue’s cancellation policy, including any deadlines for full or partial refunds. This information should be clearly stated in your contract.

How can I personalise my wedding at a venue in North Yorkshire?

Discuss with the venue how you can personalise your day. This might include bringing in your own decorations, creating a unique floor plan, or incorporating special lighting. Venues often have suggestions and examples from past weddings to inspire you.

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