What are the capacities:
Catesby Lawn/The Drive/The Front Lawn – We have 18 benches which seat 5 (6 at a squeeze) people each, so we are keeping our normal indoor capacity of 90-96 guests, which tallies with our sit-down wedding breakfast capacity.
The Courtyard – We can set up 12 rows of five chairs (2 and 3 either side of the aisle) in a traditional set-up, making a total of 60 guests, this would be the maximum for a middle layout too. (For a ceremony in the courtyard, it needs to be guaranteed that there will be no chance of rain, as we cannot move all of the chairs inside at the last minute).
What if I have more guests for the ceremony (with an informal style meal):
We can squeeze a few extra guests on the benches (especially with small children) or add some chairs at the back. The total maximum capacity for this would be around 110 people so there could still be an indoor option.
Does it cost anything:
We are offering free set-up of the main outdoor ceremony area at The Catesby Lawn (with benches), or The Courtyard (with chairs).
If you wish to have a ceremony on The Drive or at The Front Lawn, there would be a £200 additional set-up fee payable in advance (which would be refunded if you let us know by 24 hours before if you no longer wish to have the ceremony outside, most likely due to the weather forecast - we can always discuss this on your 'drop off' appointment the day before your wedding).
What can I add to my outdoor ceremony:
You may wish to hire one of our wooden arch or moongate to help give the outdoor ceremony a stunning focal point - https://www.dodmoorhouse.co.uk/hire-at-dodmoor - and could ask your florist or venue dresser to add some extra decorative touches to these too.
Who decides if the outdoor ceremony can go ahead:
The registrars have the ultimate say on whether the weather will allow an outdoor ceremony, and while we will take an initial decision (with you) an hour beforehand if the weather forecast is uncertain, they have the power to over-rule this.
What happens if the weather is bad:
We will set up an indoor ceremony as well, so we can simply revert to this plan if needed on the day. If you are planning for the ceremony to be in the courtyard, you can only have this if there is no chance of rain on the day, as we cannot move 60 chairs inside if is starts to shower – this is the beauty of the benches as they can be left out and a last minute decision can be made.
Can we have confetti:
Confetti would be (and has always been) strictly banned anywhere except for the courtyard or inside the barn. There would need to be a £100 refundable confetti clear-up deposit for any outside ceremony here (this would be on top of any set-up fee, and includes the Catesby Barn lawn).
If you'd like a confetti photo, this can be done after your ceremony on the steps in the courtyard. Any confetti used must be real or dried petals please, as we cannot allow paper confetti (even if it's biodegradable).
What about music:
We have a PA speaker system that can play your recorded ceremony music, while obviously any live music can be played outside. We also have microphones for the registrars/celebrants and anyone doing a reading, so you don't need to worry about this!
What about drinks:
Guests are not legally allowed to consume alcoholic drinks anywhere close to the ceremony location (inside or outside) for around an hour before it takes place. The registrars prefer no drinks at all in this area (so there is no doubt whether there is a vodka in your coke!). The Dodmoor bar can still be open, but you would need to be careful about drinks not being consumed in the courtyard with an outside ceremony being held there.
When do I have to let you know:
You would ideally confirm where your ceremony will be taking place (and the set-up for the back-up option inside) at your main planning meeting 2-3 months before your wedding, but you can update this up to around a week beforehand. We need an absolute final decision the morning before.
Can I get married anywhere else at Dodmoor:
We have so far cleared only these potential options with the registrars; we would be happy to discuss any other ideas with you, but they have to be on our property, easily accessible and safe.
The Courtyard The Catesby Lawn
The Drive The Front Lawn
Photo by Ben Cotterill Photography
Photo by Sophie Ann Photography
Photo by Aaron Collett Photography
The Courtyard we can set up 12 rows of five chairs (2 and 3 either side of the aisle) in a traditional set-up, making a total of 60 guests.
This is a great layout for a long aisle walk and an ideal way to utilise the space.
The Drive makes a perfect setting, with a beautiful back drop of Dodmoor House.
You would also have an extended aisle walk as you walk down The Drive
We have 18 benches which seat 5 (6 at a squeeze) people each seating between 90-96 guests
Please be aware there is an additional £200 set up fee
Middle Layout In The Courtyard
Guests seated in The Courtyard will have a great view of the ceremony and it allows for a cosy and welcoming feel.
If you would like a more intimate ceremony a middle layout of up to 30-36 people could be perfect!
If you like the look of the middle layout in the courtyard, but have slightly more guests, we can seat up to 60 people! This layout is slightly less spaced out and chairs are lined up rather than curved inwards.
The Catesby Lawn
We have 18 benches which seat 5 (6 at a squeeze) people each, so we are keeping our normal indoor capacity of 90-96 guests, which tallies with our sit-down wedding breakfast capacity.
The Front Lawn
The Front Lawn centres on the mirror on the wall covered in roses and ivy.
We could use up to 18 benches which seat 5/6 people each, so we are keeping our normal indoor capacity of 90-96 guests, which tallies with our sit-down wedding breakfast capacity.
Please be aware there is an additional £200 set up fee