1. Timeline for Couples
2. Venue Questions
3. Food & Drink Questions
4. Accommodation Questions
5. Venue Rules & Information
1. Timeline for Couples
We are delighted that you have chosen Ashton Lodge as your wedding venue, and we will do our upper most to ensure you have your dream day with us. The following information is here to give you guidance notes and a comprehensive list of things to think about that you might like to do and by when.
Our normal office hours are 09.00 – 16.30 Monday – Friday. You can also contact us via email, or by leaving a voice message and we will come back to you as soon as possible. If you would like to arrange to revisit us at any time, you are more than welcome to do so. However, as this is a private venue, you will need to make an appointment with us as there is not always someone on site.
Hold a date for 7 days whilst you check diaries and the availability of a church or registrar
Book the church or registrar
Confirm the date by completing the booking form and paying the deposit
9 Months prior to your Wedding
Pay the balance of your venue hire
8 – 12 Months prior to your Wedding
Enjoy a complimentary tasting event
1st Meeting: 7 – 8 Months prior to your Wedding
Meet our wedding planning team to select your drinks & menu choices
6 Months prior to your Wedding
Pay 50% of catering and drinks based on your expected minimum numbers
2nd Meeting: 8 Weeks prior to your Wedding
Provide final information and choices
6 Weeks prior to your Wedding
Payment of the final invoice
3 Weeks prior to your Wedding
Final sign off of your event schedule and menus documents. No changes can be made at all inside 2 weeks
Access to the venue and dressing room will be from 09.00. Access to bedrooms from 14.00
After the Wedding
Room check out and collection of decorations by 10.00. Finish Breakfast and have all cars off site by 10.00
2. Venue Questions
How many guests can be catered for at any one time?
The venue can seat up to 150 guests for dining.
How many guests can be catered for with an evening reception?
200 for an unseated buffet.
Are you licensed for civil ceremonies & what is the maximum number of guests?
Yes, we are licensed for civil weddings, partnerships and naming ceremonies. The maximum number of guests is 120.
Will you have a dedicated wedding planning team?
Yes, absolutely. Our wedding planning team are very experienced and they will guide you through everything to help you plan your perfect day, and ensure it all runs smoothly.
Will you have a dedicated Event Supervisor on the day?
Yes. There will be one or more event supervisors who will be on site throughout the day to assist you from the moment you arrive in the morning, until the time you and your guests leave at night.
Do you offer exclusive use hire?
Yes, this is an exclusive events venue.
What time can we get access to the venue?
Your hire of the venue is from 09.00 until midnight.
What time does the venue close?
The music goes off and bar closes at midnight, with guests being asked to finish their drinks and leave the building and off site by 00.30.
Is all the furniture included in the price?
Yes, your venue hire includes all the rustic wooden tables, chairs, fairy lights, napkins, outside furniture, PA system, cake table, stand and cake knife, easel. All glassware, cutlery and crockery are included in the catering as well as disposable plates and napkins for your evening buffet.
Can we bring in our own DJ or live entertainment?
Yes, absolutely. They will need to provide relevant insurance documentation and PAT testing certificates where necessary. Please note that bands will be required to use electronic drum kits. Smoke machines and confetti canons are not allowed.
What is not included in the venue hire price?
Accommodation and breakfast, chair covers, DJ, catering & drinks, decorations, candles & candelabra, outside ceremony area, the registrar, table cloths for rustic tables & entertainment.
What are the music restrictions?
We do have a licence for live music up to 95 decibels. All music to finish by midnight.
Is there a PA system?
In the Marquee there is a wireless microphone and PA system for speeches.
How should I supply the music for the Wedding Ceremony?
We require your music on a CD playlist. Alternatively, you can provide a phone or music player, but you MUST bring the connecting lead. You will need to provide 5 songs, (walk down the aisle, 3 during signing of the register and then one as the new couple).
Can music be played outside?
We allow music outside during your day. This is controlled by the venue. Certain live music is permitted on the terrace during reception drinks and photographs.
Is it possible to bring things in or set up the day before?
You can bring things in the day before which can be put in our store room, however, you will not be able to do any setting up of the venue until your hire period starts at 09.00.
Where can wedding gifts be stored?
The venue is cleared and cleaned throughout the night after your wedding, so that it is ready for the next couple to come in. We will therefore place all your belongings in to safe storage for collection the following day. You MUST take home all wedding gifts, cards and personal items with you on the night as you depart as we will not be responsible for these.
When do we need to collect everything by?
By 10.00 the following morning, unless by prior consent. Please note that we reserve the right to withhold the security deposit until you have collected all your belongings, including any waste.
How many toilets are there?
There are 2 ladies cubicles, 1 gent’s cubicle, 3 urinals, and a disabled lavatory with baby changing facilities.
Is there a cloakroom to hang coats and hats?
Is there sufficient parking space?
We have hard parking space for 50 vehicles which is adjacent to the venue and lit up at night for safety.
Is there access for coaches?
The main entrance is not generally wide enough for coaches.
Can cars be left overnight?
Yes, but at owners risk. Please ensure that cars are off the property by 10.00 at the latest as respect for the incoming wedding party to ensure there is enough parking.
Can our guests bring tents or camper vans to stay on site over night?
No, unfortunately we are neither licensed, insured or equipped to deal with camping on site.
Are there grounds around the venue for photos?
Yes, we have 3 acres of gardens with countryside views which provide the perfect backdrop for your photographs.
Can confetti be used on the premises?
Yes, as long as they are natural flower petals, lavender. We do not permit paper confetti or rice as it gets wet and is very difficult to clear up, making it look untidy for other couples. Confetti canons are not allowed. Confetti can only be used on the main lawn.
Can table gems be used?
No, we do not allow table gems within the venue.
Do you have any preferred suppliers you can recommend?
Yes, we have a number of preferred suppliers we recommend that we have worked with and are confident in what they provide.
Can we bring in our own outside suppliers or do the venue dressing ourselves?
Yes, absolutely but you will need to remove all decorations or equipment after the event that evening. Please note that access for suppliers is from 09.00 on the day of the wedding.
Do you need anything from our suppliers?
They will need to provide relevant insurance documentation and PAT testing certificates where necessary.
Can photographers / suppliers visit the venue prior to the wedding for a viewing?
Yes, if they contact us we can arrange a convenient time.
Is there a dressing room?
Yes, the dressing room which is included in the venue hire price which will be available between 09.00 – 20.00. This has toilet facilities only for you and your wedding party to get ready before the ceremony. Your party are then responsible to move all of the belongings into the bedrooms once check in has opened.
Is the venue insured?
Yes, The Venue Group as an operator take insurance and health and safety very seriously.
Is a deposit needed and is there a cancellation policy?
Yes, we require a £2,000 deposit on signing the contract which is non-refundable. If the deposit is higher than your venue fee, the additional money will go towards your catering and drinks menu.
Do your prices include VAT?
Yes, all our prices are inclusive of VAT.
Are your prices fixed?
The venue and accommodation hire price will be fixed at the point of the deposit payment having been received. Food and beverage package prices will be fixed at the prevailing price 24 months before the date of your wedding.
What is the payment structure?
- £2,000 deposit.
- The balance of venue hire and the accommodation 9 months prior to your wedding.
- 50% of estimated catering and drinks based on minimum numbers, 6 months prior to your wedding.
- The balance of the catering and drinks package along with a £500 refundable security deposit, 6 weeks prior to your wedding.
Can I make changes inside 6 weeks before my wedding?
Yes, but for each change there will be a £25.00 administration fee up to 2 weeks prior to your wedding. There are no changes to be made inside 2 weeks before your wedding date. If you do require changes to be made inside 2 weeks, then there will be a £250.00 administration fee. Payments must be made on receipt.
Are there any hidden charges?
No, we try and make everything very clear about what is and isn’t included, and make recommendations you might not have considered.
How do we make a reservation?
If you would like to hold a date, you can do so free of charge for a period of 7 days whilst you go and consult diaries and make a reservation with the registrar, or church for your ceremony.
How do we confirm our booking?
We require you to complete and sign a booking form which you can send back to us by email and we will then send you an invoice for your deposit. You can pay by BACS, debit or credit card. We do not accept cheques or cash. Please note that if you intend to pay by card that you will need to allow 5 working days for bank clearance.
3. Food & Drink Questions
Is there in-house catering?
We have partnered with The Chopping Block Catering Company as our in-house caterers as they have a tremendous amount of experience, passion and flair for all things food and drink.
Do you offer any tasting events?
Yes, couples are invited to one of our tasting events throughout the year where couples can experience a tasting menu with wine pairings. This includes a Prosecco and canape reception, followed by a selection of choices from our menu. Please note that short term bookings may miss the opportunity to attend one of these evenings.
Can we use our own caterers?
No, The Chopping Block have invested significantly into the Venue by installing their own kitchen, bar, equipment and staff, and are very much part and parcel of Ashton Lodge.
Can we have an individual tasting?
Yes, this can be arranged with the Chopping Block team, but there is a nominal fee of £150 to include no more than 6 x canapés, 1 x starter, main & dessert with vegetarian options. Any additional dishes are an extra £15. This cost simply covers the cost of the ingredients and the chef’s preparation time to deliver this tasting for you.
What if we would like something your caterers cannot provide?
The Chopping Block has a very experienced team of chefs who can turn their hands to most things. Unfortunately, there may well be circumstances that they are not able to meet your requirements, so if this is likely to be the case, it is important you ask at the outset before booking with us.
Is there any flexibility on the menu?
The Chopping Block have an extensive catering repertoire and are happy to discuss bespoke menus. Please note that bespoke menus will carry a minimum surcharge of £500 depending on your menu requirements.
Will the caterers serve our wedding cake?
Yes. We recommend serving the cake as part of the evening buffet. The catering team will cut the cake and put it on platters and provide napkins. They won’t however cut up the cake and put it in to individual boxes.
Is there a minimum spend on food or drink?
Yes. All food and drinks packages have no minimum numbers, but we do require a minimum spend for the Wedding Breakfast, Drinks Package and Evening Food. Additional charges are levied for events between Christmas and New Year, and on Bank Holidays to cover increased staffing and supply costs.
What provision do you have for children’s meals?
Children’s menus are priced at £25 per child for a 3 course meal or £20 for a 2 course meal. The children’s option is not available with the Casual Menu.
Do you charge for babies and young children, and do you have any high chairs?
If we are not providing a meal for a baby or young child, then we will not charge you for them. Parents are welcome to bring in food for children in a high chair, which we have a number of and will provide these free of charge.
Can we offer our guests a choice of menu?
Included in the price of the menu you get 1 starter, 1 main course, 1 dessert as well as any vegetarian options. However, should you wish to offer guests a choice of any dishes there will be a supplementary charge for starters and desserts of £1.75 and £3 for main courses. Please note that is price is applicable for all guests and not just those who choose the option. We will need all food choices to be made ready for the final planning document.
Do we have to feed our suppliers?
Yes, most suppliers including photographers and bands often require feeding, so it is important to find out from them if this is required, for how many and at what time, so that we can build it in to the plan for the day.
Can we bring in a cheese wedding cakes?
If you want to bring in your own cheese wedding cake instead of a traditional wedding cake, we will provide plates and knives, but not any of the biscuits or chutneys. Please note that couples will not be permitted to bring in a traditional wedding cake as well as a cheese wedding cake. There will be a flat service charge of £300.
Can we bring in our own food?
No, with the exception of the wedding cake or cheese wedding cake. Due to new food laws any cakes delivered for the catering team to serve, will need to be supplied with a full list of storage instructions and allergens. If the cake contains fresh ingredients that need to be refrigerated, the cake will be temperature checked on arrival before being placed in to the fridges. Please note that whilst we are happy to serve your cake free of charge, we are indemnified against any damage.
Can the catering team provide for specific dietary requirements?
If any of your day or evening guests have any dietary requirements other than vegetarian, then we request that they must complete an online form at www.ashtonlodgecountryhouse.com/dietaries. This includes allergies, religion or medical requirements and is there so that our chefs can accurately and diligently address their needs. Please note that failure to do so will mean they will be served the same as other guests.
Do you have a licenced bar?
We have a fully licensed bar to serve alcohol until midnight 7 days a week. We accept credit and debit cards as well as cash, although we do not accept cheques.
How do you manage underage drinking?
We operate a strict ”Think 25” policy and will only serve alcohol to over 18’s with valid identification. Please advise any young looking over 18 year olds to bring valid ID to prevent any embarrassment and disappointment on the day.
Can you supply your own alcohol?
No, all alcohol must be purchased from Ashton Lodge.
Are we allowed to bring in beverage favours?
Unfortunately, we do not allow couples to bring in beverage favours, although these can be purchased as part of your drinks package.
What is the average price for a pint and a price of a glass of wine from the bar?
Our bar prices are based on standard bar / restaurant prices and are subject to change occasionally throughout the year.
Can we pre order drinks?
Yes, our experienced team can recommend how many drinks you will need at different stages throughout the day. Any bottles that are left over can be collected and taken away the next day. However, no refunds are given based on what is not drunk.
Can we set up a tab for drinks?
Yes, and we can let you know when you are reaching your limit throughout the day so that should you wish to extend it, you can. Bar tabs are at standard bar prices. Payment can to be taken in advance, or alternatively paid for on the day.
Can you make cocktails?
We do have an experienced bar team that can make cocktails, although our bars are not specifically set up to do so. However, if you want to discuss a bespoke cocktail package, then please ask and we’d be more than happy to discuss this with you.
Does the bar serve draught beer and lager?
We do serve draught lager, but due to the short shelf life of beer, we do not serve draught beer. However, we do have a selection of bottled ales.
What time does the bar open and close?
The bar will be open from midday and will close at midnight.
4. Accommodation Questions
Is there any accommodation on site?
Yes, we have 14 en-suite bedrooms, 1 of which is a single room.
Ashton Lodge is an exclusive use venue and therefore you are responsible for all the bedrooms. You need to provide Ashton Lodge with all the guest names and address 2 weeks before the wedding.
What time can guests check in to their room?
14.00 on the day of the wedding.
What time do guests need to checkout?
Guests need to vacate their rooms by 09.00. Guests are required to have vacated the venue by 10.00.
What is included in the accommodation price?
Apart from the single room, all the rooms all have a double bed, dressing table facilities with an en-suite bathroom with shower, hair dryer, and tea & coffee. A full English breakfast is included.
What time is breakfast served?
Breakfast is available from 09.00 and is cleared at 10.00.
Can I book rooms for more than 1 night?
No, we reserve the accommodation for couples booking the venue for the night of their event, and as we do not operate 7 days a week, we are not able to take bookings for more than 1 night.
5. Venue Rules & Information
Ashton Lodge is registered with Rugby Registration Office. You will need to book with them independently to hold your service at our venue informing them which area you are looking to get married at. Their charges vary for different times of the week and year.
They are very helpful and will try to accommodate you where possible. Our recommended time slot is 13.30 or 14.00. The registrar will turn up 30 minutes before the ceremony and spend 15 minutes with each of you on your own before the ceremony starts. The ceremony will then take approximately 30 minutes, at which point when you have signed the register they will go on to their next appointment. As they are so busy, they will not make themselves late and so it is really important you are ready on time.
Setting up the venue:
We ensure that by 09.00 in the morning of your wedding that the venue will be ready, with tables and chairs set out and napkins placed on the tables. From this point on, the in-house catering and bar team, plus any of your other chosen suppliers, or family and friends can come in and start to get set up.
If anyone wishes to bring in things the day before, they are more than welcome to do so and place them in our store room for easy access in the morning. The venue generally takes about 2 – 3 hours to get set up depending on how many guests you have and how much there is to bring in to the venue. A venue wedding coordinator will be on hand throughout to ensure everyone knows where things are to be set up or where to find things.
Decorations – house rules:
Please do not damage the premises in any way or use nails, screws, staples, glue, tape or any other permanently damaging fixatives to decorate and adorn the building or marquee. We do not provide any ladders, steps or equipment.
You or your venue dresser are responsible for taking down any decorations that you bring with you at the end of the evening, and you will be liable for any damage, decoration removal or excessive clearing up as a result of not doing so. Please note only our recommended suppliers are permitted to hang decorations in the marquee ceiling lining.
Lit candles are only permitted in the ceremony room during your ceremony. All candles for this must be a in an enclosed container. For all other areas of the venue battery operated candles must be used.
Fireworks & Chinese lanterns:
We do not permit lanterns or fireworks due to our location. We are surrounded by working farms.
Outdoor heaters, braziers & fire pits:
We do not have our own outdoor heaters, but these can be hired for an additional fee. We do not allow braziers or fire pits due to the mess they make with logs and ash blowing in the wind, and the potential risk they cause.
We have 30 handmade 6ft long trestle tables which we can either set up in a banquet style or 2 side-by-side creating a table to seat up to 12 guests. Additionally we have two smaller handmade tables for the wedding cake and the registrar.
Smoking & vaping:
Smoking and vaping are prohibited inside this venue.
Plug in chargers:
Please ensure that if you need to use one of our power points to charge a device that you ask the Venue Manager prior to doing so. All chargers must carry the registered CE trade mark.
The venue is generally cleaned directly after the party has finished so that if anything is found, it will be put with your things to go through the following day. If it is not immediately found we will gladly take the name and number of the person that has lost something, so that should it turn up we can contact them directly.
Personal possessions or belongs that are damaged or go missing:
Please note that The Venue Group shall not be liable for any loss or damage to property at the venue and is left at the owners’ risk.
No alcohol may be brought on site without prior permission including drinks bought by guests for personal consumption. The venue licensees reserve the right to confiscate any unauthorised alcohol and ask the offending guests to leave the property. Persistent offending may result in the venue closing immediately and a £500 fine being issued to the wedding couple.
If any alcohol is given as a gift, please ensure that you make one of the management staff aware so that they can put it in safe keeping, and prevent any fines being incurred.
If any of the Ashton Lodge staff find any, or find any person using what they believe to be illegal drugs on the property, those guests will be escorted from the building and the local authorities will be contacted immediately to investigate the matter further.
We love to see children enjoying being at Ashton Lodge, but please be aware that they must be kept under strict supervision at all times to try and prevent any unnecessary accidents. This will be an unfamiliar environment for everyone attending with a lot of noise and distractions throughout the day.
Health and safety is everyone’s responsibility. Please do your part to ensure everyone has a safe and enjoyable day.
We do not allow guests to bring animals on site as they may cause offense to other guests. However, if you need to bring an animal on site for medical reasons, we kindly ask that you seek permission beforehand and look after your animal responsibly. No pets of any description are permitted in the bedrooms.
We have a number of taxi companies we use on a regular basis and our management team will be more than happy to provide numbers or call one on your behalf. Please do not leave it until the last minute as you may be disappointed and it is a long walk.
Ashton Lodge has good access on the ground floor, with wide paths and doors, gentle ramps instead of awkward steps and a designated disabled lavatory. If there is anything further that we can do to make it more user friendly, we will be glad of any advice.
Tips to staff are entirely at your discretion, but are very much appreciated if you are pleased with the service you receive.
We just wanted to thank you all for your kindness, support and patience over the last few months.
We credit the marriage we are able to have now, to you. Throughout the process, especially the ceremony, we appreciate every time you put our minds at rest, reached out to see how we were and did everything you could to make our marriage a reality.
The ceremony itself was absolutely perfect. You made us feel so warm and welcome, on a day that could have easily been distant and clinical. All of our guests agree that your genuine smiles and positivity made the ceremony what it was, a celebration. We can't fault your handling of the pandemic, you have all been incredible. So thank you.
We cannot wait to party hard next march!
Megan & David (6th July 2020)
Myself and Michael got engaged In November and wanted to find a venue for a strict time period when Michael’s brother was over from Australia in 6 months time. Luckily we came across Ashton Lodge and noticed they used the same catering as my sister two years previous. The food at my sister’s wedding was stunning, and we knew having such a short amount of time to plan we could trust them. We fell in love with ceremony room and marque straight away (it was dark so hadn’t yet seen how lovely the grounds were) also the room where we got ready was just so special and I loved we could all get ready together there. Sarah was very helpful throughout the whole process always there to answer any questions we had big or small.
When it came to the day, I felt so at home at Ashton Lodge and we could decorate everything how we wanted and added our own special touches. Everyone commented on how lovely the venue was, and how wonderful the food was. Natalie was brilliant, calm but also completely ‘on it’ just the right combination to make sure the day ran well but kept us chilled and happy. The head of the bar (I’m so sorry I can’t remember her name) was excellent too. Everything was taken care off.
We loved our wedding at Ashton Lodge and would fully recommend this venue and their team to any couples looking.
Lots of love
The McIntyres (8th June 2019)
Fabulous venue for our daughter’s wedding!
Ashton Lodge is a quintessential English Edwardian house in the the most idyllic setting, something a little different. It has class but remains warm and friendly.
The day couldn’t have run more smoothly from moment we arrived until we all left the next morning thoroughly refreshed from a very relaxed sleep in a superb room and well fed with a traditional English breakfast.
The staff were discreetly ensuring all the bride and grooms wishes were carried out to perfection and were both professional and friendly too.
I think we would all love to do it again! Thank you all for the adventure!
Richard & Jan Cole
Our daughter celebrated her wedding day at Ashton Lodge on 11th May. What an amazing venue. Lucy and Tom couldn't have wished for a better day. All the staff went out of their way to ensure that everything was perfect, even mowing the lawns on the morning of the wedding ensuring the grounds were immaculate. The marquee looked fabulous and the size of the venue was just perfect for hosting all their family and friends. The canapes and wedding breakfast were beautifully presented and were enjoyed by all. The overnight accommodation was excellent and guests appreciated the cooked breakfast the following morning. A special mention to Mel who was very welcoming and did a wonderful job of ensuring that everything ran so smoothly so all the guests had a very happy and memorable day. If you are looking for a wedding venue that offers the opportunity for a fabulous day then look no further than Ashton Lodge. Our thanks to the whole team at Ashton Lodge. Liz and Graham
Me and my husband celebrated our wedding day here on the 17/11/2018. I couldn’t have asked for a more amazing day. The venue and grounds are absolutely stunning. Our guests couldn’t stop complimenting the place. Everyone worked really hard the make our day special and they really did. I can’t thank them enough. Thank you so much for making our day one we will remember for the rest of our lives.
Mr and Mrs Edgington x
On behalf of myself, Julie; my husband David and Rebekah & Gilmour......the happy couple;
I would just like to say a very sincere thank you to all staff at Ashton Lodge for making the Wedding day so very special.
Your staff worked tirelessly and went above and beyond. We all loved the venue from the start and enjoyed many set up evenings and planning meetings.......we thank you for attention to detail. The day went really well with many positive comments amongst our guests.
From the organisation; the running of the bar; the setting up of the Candy Counter for us; to the extensive cleaning up into the early hours........we are very grateful to you all.
The breakfast set up for us the next morning was lovely, varied and well appreciated!!
It is a beautiful venue in a gorgeous location and my daughter Rebekah says that she will always be glad she chose Ashton Lodge.
Our memory of the day will always be special thanks to your committed team. You will be well recommended!
Please thank everyone so much who worked on the 15th September 2018 and helped make the day run smoothly snd so special for us.
Thank you so very much........
Just wanted to drop a quick note to say thank you very much for providing a lovely venue for our wedding day. The day was perfect and thanks to all the staff the day ran smoothly and no one was left stranded at the end of the night. We are so glad we chose Ashton Lodge for our special day.
Kelly & Graham