The small print...
There are a few things that you need to do before you book your wedding here at the Hall:
The first thing to do is to arrange an appointment to come and have a look around the house, to see the rooms and discuss your plans with the Administrator who acts as Wedding Co-ordinator for the Hall.
Once you have decided that the Hall is the place that you want to marry you need to start looking at dates and find one where the Hall is available.
Once you have ascertained a possible date (or dates) you need to contact two other sets of people – the Harrogate Registrars who will conduct the Civil Ceremony, and the Dusty Miller Caterers who will provide you with drinks, canapes and the Wedding Breakfast. The Dusty Miller have their own page on this site HERE and the contact details for the Registrars can be found on our Links page.
Once a date has been agreed with all three parties, we will send you an invoice for one-third of the final amount of the hire fee, along with a copy of our Terms and Conditions. These are also detailed below. Please read them carefully as they form the contract with the Hall.
Housekeeping Notes & Legalities
Stipulations Following one recent occasion when the Bride and Groom invited nearly 70 guests and were then surprised to hear that we could not accept them all, this is a small reminder that the maximum number per wedding is 35 and that this should include the Bride and Groom. This limit has now been set by the Fire Brigade and is therefore not flexible. The only exception to this rule would be a baby carried by a person. Any child needing a chair of their own must be included in the 35.
We also ask that your celebrations finish in time for our cut off point of 6:00pm. This is to allow the family back in to their home in reasonable time, and we would ask that you respect this.
Disabled guests Could you please let us know prior to your wedding if any guest suffers from any form of disablement, and we will discuss with you all that we can do to make the Hall more accessible for them.
Smoking Markenfield is a non-smoking house. We ask that guests who wish to smoke kindly do so either in the Courtyard or at the rear of the Hall. Buckets painted dark green and containing sand will be placed just outside these doors for cigarette butts.
Danger of drowning Strictly speaking, Health and Safety regulations suggest we should put up notices all around the moat saying DANGER – MOAT but we would rather not do so, as it might have an adverse effect on the charm and happiness of the occasion. Would you kindly explain to any guests who might not have worked it out for themselves that if they fall into the moat it will be by their own choice, not ours, and the same would apply to any legal consequences.
Minor injury Markenfield is nearly 700 years old and there are naturally irregularities in the paving, steps, cobbles and other surfaces; which may cause the unwary or infirm to stumble. Of course, we earnestly hope nothing of the sort happens – it hasn’t so far – but we live in such a litigious society we have to be ultra-careful. Could you please tell any guest who you think might be at risk to be extremely careful when venturing outside.
Children are always welcome at Markenfield Hall, however they must be supervised be an adult at all times, and therefore not allowed to wander around the surrounding farm buildings unchecked.
Open fires Unless you are marrying in the height of summer (and most times even then) there will be at least one roaring fire. As adults we are well aware that fires burn, and we would not dream of touching the fire surrounds or the surface of the wood burning stove – children however are not always aware of this and we would ask that all children present are supervised at all times.
The deposit We ask for a deposit to confirm your booking, and when this has been received your date is locked off in the diary and other wedding applicants are told that it is unavailable. The deposit is non-refundable.
However, if you subsequently wish to cancel your booking we immediately make the date available to others. Should another wedding or similar event come along, request that date and book it, we will then refund your deposit.
The balance We will invoice you for the balance approximately six weeks before your wedding, and ask that the payment is received by us at least one month before the date of your wedding.
Insurance We cannot recommend strongly enough that you consider taking out an insurance policy for your wedding. This will cover you for cancellation (subject to circumstances set out in the small print of each policy), loss and non-delivery. Wedding insurance does not unfortunately cover the weather.
Confetti If you intend to ask your guests to throw confetti, we ask that it be real (fresh or dried) petals, rather than the artificial, paper-based variety or (even worse) the metallic variety. Please note that confetti is not to be thrown inside the Hall. It is however fine to incorporate petals into the table decoration for the wedding breakfast.
Entrance It is possible to mark the entrance to the drive at Markenfield with balloons, to show guests where to turn. These need to be tied to the footpath sign to the right of the entrance. We would recommend normal balloons – as opposed to helium – as helium have a habit of floating out and catching in the hedge where they then burst.
Use of the Courtyard As you will see when you visit the Hall, Markenfield is a working farm. The farmer and his family (the Fosters) live in the Farmhouse-wing of the Hall, to the right of the courtyard as you enter. The Fosters are more than happy to accommodate weddings at the Hall – which is their home too – but we would ask that you respect their privacy by ensuring that your guests congregate in front of the Hall, if you wish to use the Courtyard for reception drinks as your guests arrive, and not in front of the Farmhouse.
Musicians We are more than happy to supply the contact details of harpists, mediaeval musicians and string quartets as we believe that musicians help to bring the Hall alive; however we ask that you do not ask them to perform within the Courtyard. Seating can be provided for string quartets within the Undercroft or opposite the Orchard should you wish for them to play outside.
Point of Contact We would be grateful if you could supply the name and telephone number of a person we can contact after the wedding should we need to be in touch – for example if anything has been left behind at the Hall.
Time of Wedding Following a couple of recent occasions when the Bride has arrived just before the ceremony in a wedding car – but has been held up en route – the Registrars have asked that we point out that they are only required to wait for 20 minutes after the official start of the ceremony before they have leave for their next venue. They have asked us to point out that the Groom must be at the Hall at least 30 minutes before the start of the ceremony and the Bride must be at the Hall at least 10 minutes before.
Catering All catering at Markenfield Hall is provided and carried out by Brian and Elizabeth Dennison of the Dusty Miller Restaurant, providing that they are available on your chosen date. If you require any form of catering at your wedding, we ask that you discuss your requirements with them.