FAQ

Where are you based?

Howard Court is situated between the picturesque village of Great Ayton and the quaint market town of Stokesley in North Yorkshire. The venue is in easy reach of York, Leeds, Newcastle and Middlesbrough.

What types of weddings do you offer?

Howard Court offers barn weddings. Our ‘blank canvas’ approach means our couples can create truly unique and personalised weddings.

How do I book a viewing?

Please email us on info@howardcourt.co.uk or fill out or contact form to arrange a viewing.

How long does a viewing last?

As long as you need – we want to ensure you get a good feel for the place and ask as many questions as you like. We are also happy to show couples (and their friends/family) around more than once, so if you want to visit again, please just drop us an email.

How many guests can you accommodate during the day and for the evening?

For the marriage ceremony and wedding breakfast/reception, we can accommodate up to 100 guests in the barns. For the evening event, we can accommodate up to 150 guests.

For marquee and tipi weddings, we can accommodate as many guests as you book for!

Can more than one wedding/event take place at the same time?

No, when you book the venue it is for your exclusive use.

Do we have to use your recommended suppliers?

No you don’t, you’re free to choose your own suppliers. We have a list of recommended suppliers who we work with frequently, but the choice is yours.

Who will be our point of contact on the wedding day?

An Events Manager will be on hand to ensure the smooth running of your day. We will meet with you several times before your wedding to ensure we know exactly what’s happening when, so that you can focus on enjoying your special day.

Are there any restrictions on decorating the barns

Our couples are free to decorate the barns to match their tastes and personalities. If you have an idea that’s a little bit ‘out there’, just run it past us. 

The A-frame beams and manger are entwined with fairy lights, but we welcome our couples to add foliage and flowers, or other decorations. Lights and drapery can be hung from the walls and the beams. 

We cannot allow naked flames in the barns, so candles must either be LED or fully encased in a glass receptacle and placed in a position that doesn’t present a fire hazard.  This would need to be discussed in advance.

Rose petals are allowed as long as they are biodegradable.

Are pets allowed?

Yes, well-trained dogs are allowed within the venue, in Orchard Cottage and in the Kingfisher shepherds hut, as long as their owner takes good care of them and they don’t leave muddy pawprints in the barns or the accommodation! 

Horses are allowed in the fields but cannot enter the gardens, barns or courtyard. 

Couples are also able to book animal entertainment for their guests, such as a visiting alpaca. Please run these by us first so we can ensure we can accommodate your request!

Are we responsible for clearing down the venue?

If you wish to take away any of your decorations, etc. please do so on the morning after your big day. After that, we will clear down the venue and be on hand to meet any suppliers who arrive to take away their equipment, etc. 

We provide waste and recycling bins, and ask that guests use these throughout the event.

Is smoking permitted on site?

We have a designated smoking area, which is by the fire pit in the garden. Please ensure your guests do not smoke anywhere else in the venue.

Does the venue provide a Master of Ceremonies?

If a Master of Ceremonies is needed, we can recommend one who we regularly work with.

Is there amplification for speeches?

Yes there is, with a cordless microphone for anyone who likes to walk and talk!

Is the venue licensed to hold civil ceremonies?

Yes, we are licensed with North Yorkshire County Council, so you can have your ceremony and reception all in one place. 

We have licensed a number of areas in the venue, including the Barns, Courtyard, Orchard Cottage, the Shepherds Huts and the Riverside Cabin.

Are there areas for both of us to get ready in the morning?

Absolutely, we have plenty of space for you to get ready on the morning of your big day. If you have booked the accommodation the night before, this can be used to get ready with your bridal party/best man/ushers, etc. and there's lots of space in between so you can avoid seeing each other before the ceremony, if you’re going for a traditional approach.

What is the changeover plan from ceremony to reception room?

We will seamlessly change the room over whilst you and your guests sip champagne and enjoy canapes in the courtyard and gardens. If the weather is against us, we will quickly set up a reception area within the barns so that you and your guests stay warm and dry, whilst we coordinate the changeover.


All this will be discussed at your planning meetings, so we will know exactly how you want everything setting up.

How flexible are you with timings?

We are very flexible! The only restrictions are that bars must close and the sound must be dropped at 11pm out of respect of our neighbours, and celebrations must end by midnight in line with planning restrictions.

Is confetti allowed?

Yes, it is - please only use biodegradable or petal confetti.

Are there any photography restrictions?

We do not have any photography restrictions at the venue – the place is yours and photographs can be taken in any parts of the wedding venue (other than the areas that are for the private use of the family). However, you may wish to ask guests not to take photos during your ceremony.

Do you provide catering?

No, the beauty of our ‘blank canvas’ venue is that you can choose your catering. Some couples opt for a more formal 3 course meal, whereas others choose an afternoon tea, a BBQ or even a woodfired pizza van. 

We have ample space outside the barns or in the fields for food vans, if you’re looking for a more laid back / festival-style approach

Where does the wedding breakfast take place?

The wedding breakfast takes place in the barns. You can also have your wedding breakfast in the courtyard if the weather permits.

What size tables do you have?

We provide natural pine trestle tables which are 6 feet long. You can have them set up as single tables, seating 8, or join them together to make longer or wider tables. We can sit up to 100 people in the barns for the wedding breakfast.

What does the top table look like?

Again, couples can choose. You can also choose where your top table goes – against the manger or in front of the stunning backdrop of fairy lights. The top table measures 11 feet and sits 6 along one side.

Do you have equipment for children?

We provide highchairs for the wedding breakfast along with a travel cot in the cottage. We can arrange a baby change area on request.

Can we provide our own alcohol?

Yes, you can, which is a great way to keep costs down. We charge £5 corkage per bottle of wine, champagne/prosecco or spirit. There is no corkage for bottles of beer.

Do you provide a cake knife/slice?

Yes, we do.

What are the catering options for the evening event?

This is for you to choose. You may wish to have a buffet, or perhaps hire a food van to offer hungry guests pizza or fish ‘n’ chips.

Can you accommodate a live band and/or a DJ?

Yes, absolutely. Bands/DJs have the option to set up in the barns or in the courtyard.

Does the venue have a sound limiter?

Not until 11pm. From that point onwards, amplified music is not allowed, out of respect for neighbours and in line with planning consents.

Can we use a phone or laptop to play music?

Yes, we have a sound system that you can connect a phone or laptop to via Bluetooth. Please note the barn does not currently have WiFi.

Do you have an alcohol license?

No, we don’t. If you are opting for a pay bar, the bar will have to provide their own licence (this is very common – your bar will know what they’re doing!).

Can we have fireworks?

A firework display can only be part of your celebrations if it’s fired by a professional and fully insured company, and must take place in advance of 11pm so as not to disturb neighbours.

Can we have sparklers?

Yes, sparklers are allowed. If you want to use sparklers in the barns and/or courtyard, they must be for indoor use.

Do you have disabled access?

Yes, we have disabled parking and disabled access to the barns and Orchard Cottage, including widened doorways and step-free access.

Do you have accommodation on site?

Yes, we have Orchard Cottage which sleeps 4 and two cosy Shepherds Huts which sleep 2 each. The accommodation is included in the venue price for the Full Package, so one less thing to worry about, and extra nights can be booked at an additional cost.  We can accommodate babies/small children as extras, sleeping in travel cots (we can provide two of these).

We also allow camping in the field, in tents or campervans (up to 5 tents and 2 campervans per event).

Is there local accommodation available?

Immediately next door to our wedding venue is Angrove Country Park, which has lodges for hire. In the village of Great Ayton and the town of Stokesley there are numerous AirBnB rentals for a variety of budgets. On the High Street in the village, the Royal Oak Hotel and pub offers comfortable accommodation and in the centre of Stokesley, there is the Leven Hotel.

Is there parking on site?

Yes, we have ample free parking on site, including disabled parking. We also have space if you’re planning to arrive at the venue by an alternative mode of transport, such as horse and cart, a retro double-decker bus or even helicopter!

Guests can leave their cars parked overnight and make use of one of the local taxi firms, so there are no arguments about who’s designated driver!

Are there local taxi services available?

Yes, there are plenty of local taxi services available. Please ask us for details. We advise guests to arrange their taxis in advance.

Is there somewhere we can store our wedding gifts and cards?

Yes, if you wish for us to remove the wedding gifts and cards at a certain point and store them safely, we can do this. We can also store them safely overnight, so that you don’t need to worry about them until the next day.

How much is the deposit?

We require a 25% non-refundable deposit to secure your date.

How long can I provisionally hold a date for?

We reserve dates for 2 weeks. If you wish to go ahead and secure the date, we require a 25% deposit from you by the end of the 2 weeks.

When is the final payment due?

After you have paid your deposit, a second instalment of 25% is required 6 months before your special day, with the final balance due 2 months before.

Are there any extra charges?

A refundable damages deposit is required, which will cover any damages incurred during your event. 

Any charges for additional options, such as having your wedding ceremony on site, corkage, extra accommodation, etc. will be included in your invoice – there will never be any hidden charges.

Do you have insurance?

We are insured by the NFU with Public and Product Liability cover. We recommend couples also take out wedding insurance.

What are your (fire) safety regulations?

These are covered in a Fire Risk Assessment document, which is reviewed annually or after any change in circumstances (whichever is the sooner). Couples will be asked to sign a document as part of the Contract to say they have read and understood its contents.

Ready to book your special day?
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