Venue Showcase: Allerton Castle

If you’re dreaming of a fairy tale wedding, a castle as your venue seems like a no-brainer! What if we told you we found just the place, and it also happens to be charity-run?!

Libby, the Wedding & Events Planner at Allerton Castle, tells us more about this breathtaking, 19th century venue.

Tell us a little bit about yourself!

Brunette woman with glasses smiling into camera.

I have been in the wedding industry for five years, working over 250 weddings. My experience has come from different venues; I have worked at hotels and museums, but Allerton Castle is unlike anything else! I work as a Wedding and Events Planner, assisting couples in making their dream come true. I also study part time to complete my Event Management Masters. I have just become a bride-to-be myself with my wedding due to happen in November 2020, so it is exciting to get to understand the other side of the business firsthand!

I am obsessed with all things weddings; I have just finished co-authoring a wedding planning book, I was a guest speaker at a wedding podcast and even wrote my own wedding planning guide for Allerton Castle couples. You could say I am a fan of all things Happy Ever After!

What drew you to the wedding world?

The Jennifer Lopez film ‘The Wedding Planner’ told me I’d be amazing at assisting couples make their special day perfect. I thrive making lists, budgets, spreadsheets and having all the information. Some would call me organised and self-motivated, I would say I am prepared to make every day special!

Since working my first wedding, I have been hooked. The moment the bride smiles at me before taking a deep breath, and making their way down the aisle is the best feeling in the world.

What do you think makes Allerton Castle unique?

Bride and groom hold hands in a garden outside a castle.

Allerton Castle is unique, not only because of its immense architecture and historic location – but also because it is charity run! With only 7 members of staff in the entire site, including the gardener, we pride ourselves on our personal approach. Every wedding and event is special, we take the time to get to know the couples and add those extra details that the couple will love. Part of this experience is my services as the couples’ personal wedding planner, all included in the packages. I assist couples with all those tricky tasks like booking suppliers, creating your order of day, timelines and seating plans, helping you create the wedding of your dreams!

Being charity run means we are upfront about money, we ensure there are no hidden costs and everything is out there! We provide inclusive packages, including venue hire and catering to make the experience so much easier and stress free. We offer exclusivity at no extra cost because your special day is yours, and you shouldn’t have to share it!

What do you think makes for the perfect wedding?

Bride and groom posing for a photo in an elegant room.

The perfect wedding is when the couple really get involved. When their signs are handmade, their theme reflects their personality and they have made the day all about them – it is all about the love the couple share and what makes them who they are. Even if the couple have a strange request or something truly unique, ask those questions! We want to make their day as unique as the couple themselves.

What’s the most memorable wedding you’ve had at Allerton Castle?

We have hosted so many unique weddings and they truly have all been amazing! We have hosted some great DIY weddings, rustic weddings, fairytale weddings, Harry Potter weddings (which even included a Hedwig delivering the rings!) and goth weddings. You name it – we have done it!

I would say our most unique wedding featured 5 guests (including the couple!) who loved the goth vibe and brought it to their wedding day. The bride even wore a black wedding dress with biker boots, which was great to see, because it was her style!

Why should a couple book Allerton Castle?

Photograph of the outside of a castle and a pond.

We offer couples the perfect location for their special day with the option of making it as unique as the couple is themselves, without breaking the bank! As we offer inclusive packages, this enables couples to really use their budget to their advantage and book all those other things that they have been dreaming about.

How do you get to know your couples before the big day?

I am the couples’ personal wedding planner, so we get to know each other pretty well! Along with me being there for every email and call, we also have meetings and an amazing tasting session with our caterers, Bradshaws of York. This means that not only do you get to taste your delicious wedding breakfast menu (and the wine!), you also get to sort your wedding plans all in one meeting.

What’s the best photo spot at Allerton Castle?

A grand inside staircase and chairs decorated with flowers for a wedding ceremony.

There are so many beautiful spots at Allerton Castle. Firstly, the Great Hall is just perfect for the ceremony photos, it really starts your day with that wow-factor and leaves your guests in awe. The Drawing Room is a dream come true for any history lovers or regal wedding themes, the gold of the mirrors and tables really adds something else to your images. And then of course, there are the gardens; the lake, temples and ponds! Personally, my favourite photo is on the mezzanine, just above the Great Hall, which offers the perfect archways for those silhouette and romantic photos.

What is your #1 wedding planning tip for couples?

Bride and groom standing under a floral archway with guests on either side of the aisle.

My biggest piece of advice would be to ask all the questions! It seems so simple, but so many times a couple suffers in silence, because they were struggling with a planner or made an assumption that something was not possible. Never the case! Ask all the questions – if something is impossible, leave it to me to make it happen. Don’t be afraid to voice your opinions, tell your suppliers exactly what you want. Leave no room for regrets.

What part of your business are you most proud of?

Outside photograph of a castle overlooking a lake.

Allerton Castle is a charity which puts the couple first, in addition to ensuring the preservation and restoration of the historic venue.

What is the one piece of advice you would give to couples that are currently struggling amidst the COVID-19 crisis?

Our advice to all couples is to not lose hope. I know that is easier said than done, but it is such an important time to remember that ‘love always wins’. You may have had your wedding cancelled, postponed or maybe there has just been a setback to your wedding plans, but remember: you both love each other and love continues throughout all of this.

It is such an unfortunate time, we have seen so many couples have been disappointed as their day could not go ahead – we have done our best to ensure the situation has disrupted couples as little as possible, simply moving their date with no additional fees or payments! Speak to your suppliers and venues, get to understand what their thoughts are and ask how they can help you!

How do you feel technology is changing the industry?

The only way is up. Technology opens so many doors, showing you the possibilities and adding to your wedding ideas. From putting together digital mood boards to joining online communities, you can really immerse yourself in this experience and make your day truly special. Our social media accounts have been so helpful for couples who book us, getting ideas for photos, in addition to connecting with other couples and getting more wedding inspiration. Although, it should be said the photos don’t do our stunning venue justice – it offers so much more when you see it in person!

What do you love about Bridebook?

We love Bridebook because the app is so friendly and allows you to see all the information right in front of you. No easier way to book the wedding venue of your dreams with one click!

Check out Allerton Castle on Bridebook!