It is safe to say 2020 wasn’t what we envisioned it to be, but that doesn’t mean we have stood still!
With over 140 weddings meant to take place this year, we began what should have been one of our busiest years to date with some beautiful winter weddings – we even had a sprinkling of snow to really complete the theme!
Since lockdown began our team have postponed a multitude of weddings, with some couples opting to hold an intimate ceremony with us, a trend we are sure will stay with amazing memories being made with those nearest and dearest to our couples.
We welcomed some of our past couples back, many of them joined us for a picnic under the tree or a staycation in our accommodation rooms. It was great to show them how we had developed over the years and truly lovely to catch up and hear all about their next chapters after their special day with us.
Ironically, we had a fantastic start to the year with some incredible large events that were able to take place.
In January, we teamed up with our Marketing Consultants, Hillsgreen, who hosted a brand-new agri-business event, Cultivate, which welcomed over 250 delegates from rural business across the country. The day featured fantastic presentations from 3 guest speakers and delicious food from our onsite caterers Stable Yard Catering and was a huge success, we can’t wait for the next event in 2022.
Our Experience Events see our future couples come to the venue with their family and friends whilst gathering ideas for their special day with us, always a great day and lovely to see so many excited faces!
For those who attend our Christmas Parties each year, (and if you don’t, we highly recommend it!), will know just how quickly tickets sell out and this year was no different as we sold out 2out of the 3 nights in record-breaking time – under 8 minutes! We’ve had to delay ‘The Roaring 20s’ party until December 2021 but we’re sure it’s going to be a HUGE celebration and we cannot wait!
This year’s Charity Ball theme saw the venue transformed into Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory, and it was certainly a real sweet treat for our guests! Over the past 15 years, Biddulph Moor Friends of Cancer Research UK have been fundraising for this incredible charity and have raised over £300,000 with this year’s ball adding £22,753 to the grand total – not forgetting to mention the £50 that the toilet roll (which was in high demand!) sold in the auction for!
The August Bank Holiday bought the beautiful summer sun and so we hosted a ‘Pop up Restaurant’. We opened the bar and Stable Yard Catering provided food stalls which were popular with the locals and people enjoying staycations in the area.
Even through a global pandemic, farm life continues! The fields still need ploughing, the animals still need feeding and our vegetable patches need lots of nurturing ready for the Stable Yard Catering team to use to create their delicious dishes.
Farmer Mick was overjoyed to show the team a Combine Harvester, here on the farm for the first time EVER, it was certainly a memorable day in the farm’s history! And we, of course, LOVE the calving and lambing seasons here on the farm! We have some real characters this year, with Bridie the cow, and Boris, Rishi, Matt and Florence the pet sheep.
Due to the increase in staycations, and most caravan sites being full, we were able to welcome guests looking for a few peaceful nights away in the countryside. So many complimented the stunning location in which we are located, and said our Bride and Grooms must have great taste!
As the weather became colder, and the tier restrictions changed, the site became quiet once again but this was soon filled with beautiful Christmas trees from our Christmas Shop!
With over 2 million extra people staying in the country this Christmas, we have been extremely busy, with extra deliveries of trees needed to keep up with demand, and our Christmas Poultry selling out before the usual deadline!
Our trees looked even more incredible this year and we have some very talented decorators too!
We have to thank our amazing team who have worked so hard to care and support our couples throughout this time whilst also dealing with changes to their home and work life. Our office team have been working from home to postpone weddings whilst also being there to guide our couples planning their special day with us; including hosting a live interview with our suppliers – with many laughs and interesting stories along the way! If you missed them – catch up here!
Our onsite caterers, Stable Yard Catering, have kept busy by taking on the lease of our local pub, The Royal Oak, Rushton. The community-owned pub had been closed for many months, but with a bit of TLC, the doors opened in October for a short while, but they have continued to offer takeaways which have been extremely popular!
We may have been quiet but we have utilised this time to develop our beautiful countryside venue to make it extra special for our upcoming weddings.
We have started work on a brand new entrance which will give your guests a memorable first impression from the moment they draw into the car park. We have never had the opportunity to work on our courtyard (and hope we won’t again!) but this summer has seen our yard completely broken up, reinforced and resurfaced, ready for all of the guests that will be walking across it next year!
Our bridal preparation room now has the ramp finished ready for our brides to make their way down the aisle of the Oak Pagoda. Along with the Oak porches at the venue, our Pagoda is also looking new after being sanded down and stained, it really does gleam all ready for our outdoor weddings.
The lambs and calves aren’t the only new life we have here at the venue, as we have been busy planting new trees and pretty new flower beds line the edges of the courtyard. Our beautiful barns have also been freshened up as our team have jet washed them all and a protective layer has been applied so they look sparkly and new, ready to be the backdrops of wedding photographs.
We are very much looking forward to welcoming back laughter and celebrations to the venue and we can’t wait to get back to doing what we do best – giving our couples incredible memories that last a lifetime!