Hot on the heels of Valentine’s Day, it’s the wedding season - and the time of year when couples often begin the search for a venue for their happy day.
While getting married on sunnier shores has become popular in recent years, there are still plenty of great venues for civil ceremonies closer to home. In fact, there’s no need to leave Kirklees when seeking out the perfect place.
Kirklees Council lists 30 approved premises in the borough that include everything from country house hotels and gastro pubs to sports grounds and even a park bandstand.
There are venues for budget weddings, niche weddings and lavish weddings.
Surveys by bridal magazines put the average cost of contemporary weddings at a staggering £20,000, with the venue and reception costs eating up a sizeable chunk of that. Hosting a local wedding, however, can cut costs for both couples and their guests; as can avoiding Saturdays and choosing a week day for the event.
All couples planning a civil ceremony have to pay basic fees that include two notices of intent to marry at £35 each, as well as registrar’s fees of between £50 and £170 for a register office wedding and between £360 and £430 for an approved building ceremony.
It’s usual to book a wedding venue a year in advance. Mike Garside, events manager for The Three Acres in Shelley, says couples need to think at least that far in advance, particularly if they want a luxury venue.
He explained: “In the last couple of years we have seen an upturn in people wanting marquees and tepees and higher end weddings. We’re not really sure why; but it’s keeping us busy.”
Our guide lists 10 of the Kirklees-approved wedding venues – all within a few miles of Huddersfield town centre. For a full list and contact details visit kirklees.gov.uk and search for approved wedding premises.
Civic splendour: Huddersfield Town Hall
The town hall’s magnificent concert hall has hosted some of the biggest names in music and the arts. It can be yours to use for both the wedding ceremony and reception (for up to 200 sit-down guests) at a cost of around £1,600. You’ll need to pay for food and drink on top of that. But if you’d like the glamour of the classically-designed town hall but at a more reasonable price, then the plushly-carpeted and beautifully-decorated reception rooms cost £50 to £170. There are wedding packages, including register office ceremony and reception room wedding breakfast, from £1,800 for 40 people. The borough’s other ornate town halls at Batley, Dewsbury and Cleckheaton are also available for weddings.
Country estate: Oakwell Hall
Another council-owned property, Oakwell Hall is set in acres of lush, green countryside. A ceremony in the oak-panelled Great Hall of the Grade 1 Listed Elizabethan manor house, as well as the use of the premises for the daytime and evening receptions, costs £2,125. The restored 19th century Grade II Listed barn is also available for larger weddings, at a cost of £2,225 for the same package. There’s no hotel on site but plenty of parking. Couples need to find their own caterer.
Big wedding: Bagden Hall, Scissett
This former 19th century mill owner’s house, now a large hotel with extensive gardens, has its own folly in the grounds available for weddings, as well as a series of indoor rooms, of varying sizes, to accommodate parties of between 10 to 160 day guests – more in the evening. Wedding packages at Bagden cost from £2,749 for 50 day guests and 80 evening reception guests.
Beauty on a budget: Beaumont Park Bandstand
Following a campaign by a local couple, backed by the Friends of Beaumont Park, the picturesque bandstand in the park became a licensed wedding venue back in 2013. It has since hosted a number of al fresco civil ceremonies. The structure can accommodate around 24 people seated or 50 standing. It costs £800 to hire the bandstand, with Friends of Beaumont Park volunteers supplying dressed chairs, red carpet and other decorations. Email email@example.com for availability.
For sports fans: Huddersfield Rugby Union Football Club, Lockwood Park
This sporting club’s Waterloo Suite got its licence for weddings only last year and already has a number of couples lined up to tie the knot this year. However, there are still a few Saturday dates left. It costs around £2,000 to host 40 wedding breakfasts guests and 100 guests at an evening reception, which makes it a great-value venue. For devoted Giants or Town fans the John Smiths Stadium also hosts weddings.
Traditional Pennine pub: The Huntsman, Greenfield Road, Holmfirth
Perched high above Saddleworth Moor, this traditional Yorkshire pub is a venue with a view. A wedding breakfast, evening buffet and drinks will cost from £55 to £85 per head and there’s a charge of £200 if the happy couple want to get married at the inn rather than just hosting the reception there. A few weekend slots are still free for 2017 and the venue can accommodate up to 120 people for a sit-down meal. A midweek package works out cheaper, at £2,017 for 40 daytime guests and 60 evening guests.
Community wedding: Marsden Mechanics Institute, Peel Street, Marsden
The hall was opened in 1861 and has been at the hub of community events in the village ever since. The hall can be booked for civil ceremonies for £250 and receptions from around £500. To host both, prices start at £550. This includes use of the kitchen and fully licensed bar. The hall can seat up to around 150 people for a wedding breakfast, and up to 200 people for an evening party. For full details email firstname.lastname@example.org
Marsden Mechanics is hosting a wedding fayre and pre-loved dress sale from 10.30am to 3.30pm on Sunday, February 26.
Vintage chic: The Spiced Pear, Sheffield Road, near Hepworth
Famous for its afternoon teas, served in a 1940s-style tearoom, the Spiced Pear also has a fine dining room and is in a peaceful rural location outside Holmfirth. It can offer a package for 60 day guests and 100 evening guests for £5,000, including canapes, afternoon tea and evening meal; or £6,000 for a more traditional canapes, wedding breakfast and evening buffet. The packages also include entertainment and photography.
For foodies: The Three Acres Inn & Restaurant, Shelley
This popular rural inn, with a great reputation for food, is licensed for civil ceremonies with up to 50 guests. It costs from £45 per guest for a wedding breakfast, with evening reception menus starting at around £6.95 a head. Up to 150 evening guests can be accommodated in a marquee, at an extra cost.The Three Acres
has extensive cottage gardens and a rural setting.
Country garden: The Woodman Inn, Kirkburton
Featured in The Examiner’s Win a Dream Wedding competition, this 18th century Pennine inn has both indoor and outdoor venues for weddings, with the newly-created Thunderbridge Gardens. Packages atThe Woodman
, including hire of venue, wedding breakfast for 40 and evening reception for 80, start at £3,199 for Sunday to Thursday weddings in 2018.
Don't forget you can enter our Win a Wedding competition worth more than £18,000! To find out more information and to enter now click here