A view to romance

Helen Beer, Assistant Editor, National Trust Magazine Helen Beer Assistant Editor, National Trust Magazine
Helen and Martin McHugh married at Lyveden in August 2015

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.

Aelia and Stuart Youngs married at Kedleston Hall in May 2012

Aelia and Stuart Youngs 

Find out how Aelia and Stuart found the perfect venue for their country house wedding.

Claire and Hannah Garrett married in May 2015 at Quarry Bank

Claire and Hannah Garrett 

Claire and Hannah held their reception at Quarry Bank, Cheshire. Read their story of how they found the perfect venue.

Helen and Martin McHugh at Lyveden, Northamptonshire

Helen and Martin McHugh 

Helen and Martin explain how they decided upon Lyveden, Northamptonshire for their wedding reception in August 2015.

Bride from side view in Georgian house with portrait on wall


From castles and ruins, to abbeys and even pubs, we have a wonderful selection of venues for your wedding day.