On the look out for a premier Yorkshire Wedding Venue? One that blows your socks off and takes your breath away? Here it is, Denton Hall has you covered!
Listen to Brooke on the Wedding Espresso Awesome DIY Wedding Planning Podcast…
James [00:00:05] Hello Brooke. Thank you very much for sparing the time to join me today.
Brooke [00:00:10] Oh it’s my pleasure. I’ve been looking forward to it.
James [00:00:12] Awesome. So have I! Because you are Brooke from Denton Hall, you are the Wedding and Events Manager there and…
I love Denton Hall! It’s an amazing place. It’s one of my favourite wedding venues not only in the U.K. but also in Yorkshire.
So we’re really, really, really pumped. I think it is such an incredible place. It would be right at the top of my wish list if we were going to get married in England, but everybody already knows that we got married in Scotland. So it wasn’t on the wish list, but would have been if we were getting married in England.
James [00:00:48] I think there are a number of things that stand out for me. I love the fact that it’s exclusive use which we’ll dig into in a minute. I love that. I also love the fact that friends and family can stay. Amazing. And I just love, love, love the views. You walk out onto that terrace and it just blows your mind. It’s the most beautiful setting ever.
So now that I’ve beefed it up a little bit, Denton Hall is a premier wedding venue, a premier Yorkshire wedding venue. So from your perspective then what do Brides and Grooms enjoy most about getting married at Denton Hall?
Brooke [00:01:27] I think it just becomes their home away from home for the weekend. Like you said before it’s exclusive use. So from Friday through to Sunday there’s none of this, you know, one wedding’s coming in and another one’s going out, we’re churning through them, we do one a weekend. And you get the whole family, all your friends the Friday night, to help set up the wedding. And you’ve got the full day on the Saturday, and on Sunday morning it’s a nice big family breakfast for everybody. And then, you know, people help you pack up and sort out the flowers.
It’s just a real experience as opposed to it just being a 12 hour period of time. It’s a Friday through to Sunday affair.
And like you mentioned before, the views – they are, especially on a sunny day like today, they’re just out of this world.
James [00:02:13] It’s absolutely brilliant. I know I’m just kind of picturing it now, that kind of winding down the drink reception, after the ceremony, everyone just wants a drink and they go outside and it’s a lovely day and they just hit that terrace and you couldn’t be in a better place. It’s absolutely amazing. I love the fact that you brought up the Friday thing because the weekend wedding was Rachel and my template for the ideal wedding party, if you can get that wedding to go over the weekend. Such an incredible experience, because I love the idea of the party on the Friday night, and we filmed them at Denton Hall! You know those sort of pre-wedding parties and they’re amazing because it’s so nice to be able to mingle with your guests the day before the wedding. There’s a chance to get together.
Brooke [00:03:09] Also some extended family might not have met each other. There may be people that have travelled from overseas, and then you find on the actual day, you may not have an awful lot of time to catch up with them.
The Friday’s are there to catch up with long distance relatives, your Granny who’s travelled from Australia, your Aunt who’s come from Canada. Then on the wedding day you don’t feel like it’s a high pressure networking event where you’ve got a minute with each guest.
You get to see half your wedding guests on the Friday night and have a really nice casual laid back social affair with them, then on the actual wedding day itself you feel like “Oh well, I had a good 45 minute conversation with that person yesterday, so I’ll just say hi to them and I’ll go speak to work colleagues or friends”.
James [00:03:50] The pressure’s off.
Brooke [00:03:52] Yeah. And also setting everything up on the Friday, that means you can be fully relaxed on the Saturday, on the wedding day. Apart from just getting yourselves ready, everything else down here is done.
James [00:04:05] Super duper. Now we’ve talked quite a lot now about the outside, but the inside is totally noteworthy as well isn’t it? What have you got going inside? Because that’s special as well.
Brooke [00:04:15] Oh, what don’t we have! We’ve got massive crystal chandeliers. We’ve got a beautiful spiral staircase. Georgian architecture everywhere you turn. The Hall’s maintained really, really well. Every January and February we do redecoration of certain areas, we just keep on top of the maintenance. New carpets, new paint on the walls, dry cleaning the curtains. We like everything to look as fresh and clean as possible throughout the whole year for everybody.
So every wedding couple gets to come and experience Denton Hall in all it’s glory. But I think the number one kind of unique selling point, my most favourite area, is our spiral staircase.
James [00:04:54] It makes it into a lot of photographs.
Brooke [00:04:55] Oh yeah.
James [00:04:55] If you go online and do a search you’ll see tons of them.
Brooke [00:04:59] And like we say to every couple who comes in, a lot of them… I say “oh now we’ll go have a look at the spiral staircase”. They are like “Oh this is the one I showed you on Instagram” or “this is the one I’ve seen on Pinterest”. But when they see it in real life… the pictures… it’s so difficult to take a picture of just how big the full thing is and you really have to see it in real life to get the full kind of “wow that is a massive crystal chandelier!”.
James [00:05:24] I know it’s something that maybe a lot of brides and grooms haven’t even considered, but staying overnight at the wedding venue is totally an option at Denton Hall. So can you tell us a little bit about the facilities for staying over?
Brooke [00:05:37] Of course! we’ve got 24 bedrooms onsite, as well as what we call the Lodge Suite, which is usually used by the bride and bridesmaids or Grooms and groomsmen on the Friday night, and then also a Bridal Suite. The lovely thing about the Lodge Suite and the Bridal Suite, and the bedrooms, they’re actually in separate buildings. So the bedrooms are here down in the main hall.
The Bridal Suite is actually in it’s separate own little building. That means on the Friday night, you can have that traditional separation.
And so if the Groom’s staying overnight, normally they stay down here at the Hall and then the Bride would head up to the Bridal Suite, to be sort of a little bit separate from each other. There’s a mixture of double rooms, twin rooms and we’ve also got some single rooms, all the rooms include breakfast. They vary in size, some of them could take extra beds, so if you’re having little ones coming to the wedding, we can accommodate them in the bedrooms as well.
James [00:06:29] Awesome, now the room where the Bride gets ready, remind me what that’s called.
Brooke [00:06:33] So there’s the Lodge Suite, then it interconnects through to the Bridal Suite with a beautiful lounge area. That’s got to South facing window. So it’s really…
the lounge is the perfect area for hair and makeup to take place, loads of natural daylight coming through there. There’s a cocktail cabinet with a fridge for your bottles of champagne and plenty of champagne flutes underneath as well.
So it’s a really nice little communal space, perfect for a large group, or even if it’s just you and your Mum getting ready, again a really nice little space.
James [00:07:03] And I love the fact it has… it almost feels like a mini cottage. It’s like a little cottage where you go to get ready in the morning. Such a unique feeling.
Brooke [00:07:14] Oh yeah.
James [00:07:14] When they’re getting ready in there it’s like their own little world isn’t it? It’s an amazing place.
Brooke [00:07:20] It is! And we bring up a big hamper on the Saturday morning full Bacon Butties, Croissant, Pan Au Chocolate’s and toast and Cereal. It’s a very carb heavy breakfast we bring up on the Saturday morning because it’s a long day that normally involves a lot of drinking, a wedding day. So we like to give you a good spread in the morning. So whilst everyone’s getting ready, tucking into the breakfast stuff and we always bring a bit extra for the hair and makeup guys as well.
James [00:07:45] Awesome. What would you say you particularly enjoy about weddings at Denton Hall?
I think the number one thing for me is just the relationship we make with our couples.
Like I said earlier, we only have one wedding a weekend so we can give you a hundred and ten percent of our time. We don’t have to think about other guests. We don’t have to think about other couples. And just the relationship that happens from the first time people come in, to the actual wedding day itself. Normally an 18 month kind of time period. And within that time you get to know so much about people and they get to know about us. And as any of our past couples will say, you know, when me and the girls in the Box Tree are talking about something we love whether it’s, where to eat food, drink cocktails, walk dogs, we’ll go off on a tangent but then we find that couples really like that because they get to know a little bit more about our lives. We get to know about their lives, what their likes and dislikes are. And it’s just such a lovely feeling seeing them on the Saturday.
Brooke [00:08:41] So rather than handing over all the planning, we’re not handing it over to anyone.
We’re all here on the day as well and we get to see them walk down the aisle, we get to see them do the first dance, we get to see them do the cake cutting. And it’s just a really lovely kind of story that comes to an end on the wedding day for us.
The worst part is always saying goodbye because you know, we don’t do a loyalty card where you get 2 for 1 on the third wedding you have with us! It tends to be a one time only thing, so it’s always a bit sad to say goodbye to people but, yes, it’s the getting to know people that’s my favourite part.
James [00:09:14] Awesome. Well it’s a very personal service.
Brooke [00:09:17] Oh yeah. That’s what we try and pride ourselves on. You know we want it to, again, I said it before, it’s your home away from home, it’s your home for the weekend.
We are hosting your family at our house and that’s how we want you to feel.
James [00:09:29] Cool. So Denton Hall’s actually just outside of Ilkley which is also a very special place. So if people stay for the weekend, what facilities in the surrounding area could people enjoy? What else is there to explore?
Brooke [00:09:43] Well the town centre of Ilkley is less than two miles away. And then obviously in Ilkley you’ve got Betty’s tea room, obviously famous tea rooms with Betty’s there. All the walks you can do down by the river and you can actually go up to what’s called the Cow and Calf rocks, which is on the opposite side of the landscape to us. There’s a little bit of a slight incline, or a big incline up to there, but the views from the Cow and Calf are amazing! You can actually look all the way across to Denton Hall.
Ilkley’s also got really nice little independent shops, cafes, bars and restaurants as well, so although it’s a tiny town, there’s still lots to do for everybody.
James [00:10:20] Amazing. So you know, we’re painting the picture of a dream wedding destination, it’s a fantastic place. So if people are considering Denton Hall for their wedding, what sort of lead time… how quickly do they need to get in touch with you? What’s availability like?
Brooke [00:10:38] We find obviously key dates such as Summer, we find Summer tends to fill first. Followed by the School Holiday periods and Bank Holiday weekends. Normal time is about 18 months to two years for those key dates. But we do still have a couple of dates left for next year. We’ve got some in September and October. We’ve got one left in May and we’ve got one left in August as well, so still a few days left for next year. And 2021, that’s starting to fill up nicely now too. So not heaps left in July and August but we still do have June, May and September October as well for 2021.
Right, I suppose not to reiterate too many times, but I suppose the key thing is because you are an exclusive use Wedding Venue, those dates, once they are booked, that’s it, it’s gone.
Brooke [00:11:27] Yeah. And we provisionally hold dates for couples once they’ve been into see us and then sometimes our dates are not showing on our availability. But it may be that we’re just holding the provision for someone else. So if your preferred date is not available, do check with us, it may be that we’re holding it provisionally.
James [00:11:45] Brilliant stuff. I know that… because we filmed weddings there, we’ve had clients coming from abroad. It’s not just local people, they come from everywhere, because it’s such a special place. So if somebody is looking to explore the options at Denton Hall, what would you suggest to do? Can they reach you or maybe Skype, if it’s not that easy to get to and have a look.
We’ve done Skype viewings before using my iPad. We’ve kind of walked people around the venue, shown them the rooms.
We’ve then sort of spoken to them with myself and the girls from The Box Tree, we’ve spoken to them on the iPad and kind of explained a bit more about packages. We tend to find that for our international couples, email tends to be the best way forward. Time differences can sometimes mean that it’s not always possible to do a Skype call. Although I remember we had a couple who live in Hong Kong, who I think set their alarm for something ridiculous in the morning to get up and have a Skype tour with us.
James [00:12:47] Dedication, that’s amazing!
Brooke [00:12:48] Yeah we were really impressed and they did end up booking and going ahead with us so that was really nice. Yeah.
James [00:12:54] Awesome. And for everybody else, where can they see Denton Hall stuff, where can they see more weddings, pictures. How could they get in touch with you?
Brooke [00:13:03] We say go to our website as a first port of call. But then our Instagram pages and our Pinterest pages are the ones that kind of have the wealth of photographs on there.
There’s hundreds and hundreds of pictures on our Pinterest page. All the various areas of the Hall. And it’s split up into sections such as Party Time, Bar, Dining Room, Civil Ceremonies and Staircase. And then all the other things like cakes, decoration, that type of thing.
Our Instagram, every weekend now when we have a wedding taking place we’ll put sneaky behind the scenes on our stories on Instagram. Then on the grid when we get lovely photos back from photographers, we’ll post them on there as well.
James [00:13:42] I’m just going to say those Pinterest boards, they sound very organised, it’s very cool that you’ve put them all into categories. I love that.
Brooke [00:13:49] I know for myself when I was looking to get married, I’m looking for things, or even just house decor and stuff. If I’m looking, I want it to be very clear and concise. So that’s why we kind of break the day out into all the different sections. It means it’s easier when you’re showing your Mum, Dad, your Aunt, your Uncle, your other half. This is this bit of the day, this is this bit of the day. Yeah. We love organisation here at Denton, we love spreadsheets. We’ve got a spreadsheet for everything. So when you do plan your wedding with us, there’s a spreadsheet for your table plan, there’s one for the guest list, there is one for the timings of the day. We just love a spreadsheet! We always boast about it, We’re like “We love excel, not gonna lie”.
James [00:14:31] That’s amazing. So you don’t hear that from every Wedding Venue. So obviously they’re getting a lot of planning tools as well, along with the package.
We always say ask us as many questions as you like.
We sometimes come in after a wedding on a Tuesday morning and we’ll have seven emails from the same couple, because they’ve thought of one question and thought “we should have asked this, we should have asked this” But we much prefer our couples to ask us questions, no matter how silly it seems, ask us! You’ve not got married before at Denton, so you don’t always know. So ask any question no matter how silly you think it may be. It’s probably a really good question to ask.
James [00:15:07] And not only have they not been married at Denton Hall, but most of the time they haven’t been married. So there’s like a whole lot of “I don’t know what’s going on” and it’s great that you’re at the end, sort of helping in guiding them and so approachable.
Brooke [00:15:21] Oh yeah. We love to help people, we don’t want it to be a scary time.
You know you often hear that “planning a wedding is the most stressful thing you’re ever going to do”. People turn into Bridezilla, Groomzilla. We like to try and take that stress away from you by giving you reminders when we need stuff, giving you a six month reminder, giving you a three month reminder for stuff, giving you a one month reminder.
If we need information from you, we ask for it. We don’t wait for you to give it to us. And we think that can sometimes help as well to kind of take the load off rather than having everything happen in the last three weeks of the planning process. We try and take as much away from you as possible, six months before or a year before, however long it may be.
James [00:16:02] Awesome. Well there you have it guys, Denton Hall is a short list, is a must have shortlist Venue, so you need to check it out online and check those Pinterest and Instagram accounts definitely! See all those lovely pictures organised into categories.
Brooke [00:16:17] Yes of course.
James [00:16:18] Well Brooke thank you so much for sparing the time to share that information with us, we really, really appreciate it.
Brooke [00:16:26] And we hope to see some new faces through the door very soon!.
James [00:16:31] Brilliant. Well thanks again Brooke. Really appreciate it and hopefully we’ll speak to you again soon. Take care, Bye for now.
Brooke [00:16:36] Bye!