A view to romance
Every year, hundreds of couples choose Trust places to celebrate one of the biggest days of their lives. Helen Beer asks some of them why.
It’s no surprise that our places are so often chosen for proposals and weddings. Beautiful landscapes, history-steeped houses and castles, rustic barns, wild coastline and even a theatre licensed for marriages – at Smallhythe Place in Kent – means there’s a perfect romantic spot for every couple.
But a Trust setting is about more than providing a good-looking backdrop. For many who choose to marry, weddings are synonymous with continuity and permanence, which Trust places offer in abundance. There’s something special about knowing that the place where you shared one of the most significant moments in your lives is being looked after for ever.
It’s a notion that strikes a chord with many couples. At East Riddlesden Hall in Yorkshire, 2016 is a record-breaking year for weddings booked in at the property’s rustic 17th-century barn. ‘We have 16 staff and three volunteers dedicated to running weddings, and we manage the entire event from planning to setting up on the day – we can even provide a toast master,’ says Wedding Coordinator Chloe Judge.
Couples who marry at Trust places have the satisfaction of knowing that the venue fees go straight back into looking after it. ‘At East Riddlesden, weddings are our main source of income, and most of our conservation work has been done as a result of money from them,’ says Chloe. ‘It has enabled us to do a lot of pointing work on the mansion, and the Great Barn is next up to be restored as the timber is rotting.’
With many places offering a year’s free membership for Trust newlyweds, they can return time and again, as well as finding new places to explore.
Read on to hear from couples who celebrated their wedding days Trust-style.
This article first appeared in the National Trust Magazine spring 2016 issue.