Cote How Frequently Asked Questions

Cote How Frequently Asked Questions

Your Wedding Questions Answered

How do we arrange a look around Cote How?

Please make an enquiry here, then download our Wedding Brochure and follow the links. First, arrange a telephone chat to go through your ideas and dates. We can book a show around once we know we have availability to deliver the wedding of your dreams!
As Cote How is also our private family home, show rounds are by appointment only, and just for the couple. Please note that weekends are extremely busy, and show rounds are unfortunately not available on ‘wedding days’, as our weddings have complete exclusivity. 
To save time and travel costs, we also offer virtual guides via our YouTube channel, or we can arrange a live virtual tour.  

What is included in the venue hire?

Each wedding style lists which areas of the venue are included. 
Summer weddings (May–Sept) can use the our Woodrow reception room and bar, one of three house ceremony rooms, the house terrace and grounds, and the barn and barn terrace. The house is closed once the wedding party moves down to the barn for security reasons. 
Winter weddings (Oct-Apr) use the house and outdoor house terrace. The barn is not available during the winter season.  
Total Exclusivity  Cote How is proud to be one of a few venues that offer true exclusivity. You can rest assured that there are no other people on the premises for the duration of your wedding. 
Decor and Equipment  As a fully wedding-ready venue, all the decor items, such as fairy lights, festoon lights, candles, greenery, crockery, cutlery, glassware, linen, tables, chairs and outdoor seating, are all included. 
Ceremony Spaces: Each wedding package is carefully curated to make use of the best sized ceremony spaces for your particular wedding style. 
Elopements include the options to have an outdoor barn (summer only – weather dependant), Woodrow or Wordsworth ceremony rooms in the house.
Weddings of more than 8 people include the use of the Fairfield ceremony room in the wedding package.
Additional Options: If you wish to hold your ceremony either inside the barn or are eloping and wish to hire the Fairfield room there is an additional £250 supplement to your package price.  

Can we get married outside?

Cote How is licensed to hold outdoor wedding ceremonies on our barn terrace. Due to the weather, we only hold outdoor barn ceremonies between 01 May and 30 September. Please note that Cote How is a non-smoking/vaping venue, and smoking is not permitted in the house, barn, or terraces. A designated smoking area is available on request.

What happens if it rains?

If you have booked an outdoor barn ceremony and the weather is very poor, the Registrars will make the decision to hold your ceremony indoors. We ask our couples to choose an indoor ceremony option in the event of wet weather as part of our wedding planning process. Ceremonies can be held inside the barn from May to September for select wedding styles only. Supplements apply. Please ask for details. 

Can we decorate the venue ourselves?

Cote How is a ‘wedding ready’ venue. Our rooms are tastefully decorated with lighting, candles, and floral displays. Our barn is decorated with fairy lights, candles, faux flowers, and trees with festoon lights decorating the barn terrace. Additional flowers are quoted for separately or may be included with some wedding styles. Couples are not able to set up their own venue décor in advance, due to other weddings, appointments and health and safety considerations.  

Do we need to pay extra for crockery and tableware?

At Cote How, all glassware, crockery, cutlery, and venue décor are included in the price. You can add ‘optional extras’ to your wedding style if you wish, such as additional venue flowers. 

Can we walk to the lake on the day for photographs?

Yes, the meadow leading to the edge of Rydal Water is ours too, so you can take a stroll along the riverbank and dip your toes into the lake! Rydal Water is 200 metres from our barn gate, and we encourage you to take advantage of this beautiful scenery. Your photographs at Cote How are breathtaking! 

What is your maximum capacity for guests/numbers?

Please note that all guest numbers include the happy couple! We can cater weddings from 2 – 24 during the summer (May to September) and from 2 – 12 during the winter. These numbers apply to the entire day, as extra guests don’t attend for the evening.

Can we have an evening reception?

Full-day weddings finish between 19:00-21:00. At the weekend it is possible to extend your evening reception to 22.00. Children (maximum of 3 under 10 years) are welcome at the venue until no later than 21.00. 

Do you allow marquees or teepees on the grounds?

We do not allow marquees or teepees on site. We specialise in smaller, intimate weddings, which suit our venue and infrastructure. If you are looking for a larger wedding, then a different style of venue would accommodate your wedding more easily. 

Do you have a Wedding Planning Service?

At Cote How, dedicated wedding planners guide you through every step of your wedding with resources to help and support your wedding planning journey. Whether a simple elopement or a full weekend wedding, we are here for you, and our wedding checklist and full planning service will keep you on track!  

As a Cote How couple, you will access your own WEDDING PORTAL, where personalised resources are stored. You can update forms and checklists, book appointments online, check invoices and payment plans, and sign paperwork through our digital and easy-to-use online service. 

How do we book our wedding at Cote How?

Once you have decided that you want Cote How as your venue and we are able to offer your preferred date, you will receive a personalised wedding quote, contract and invoice. You will pay a £750 or £1500 booking fee (dependent on the style of the wedding) whilst the paperwork and the registrars are confirmed. A booking is not confirmed until this is received and your wedding contract is signed. There is then a 14 “Cooling Off” period, after which time the Wedding Contract becomes binding. Please see the full terms and conditions for more information. 

Can you supply details of local registrar so we can contact them?

The local registrar’s office is in Kendal: County Offices, Busher Walk, Kendal  LA9 4RQ 


Tel: 0300 373 3300 

Can we visit Cote How again closer to the wedding date?

Venue appointments are limited, so we invite couples to one ‘Final Planning Meeting, usually around 12 weeks prior to your wedding date. After completing our online wedding planning checklist, we meet to check the detail of your wedding day. If you have suppliers wishing to view the venue, you must arrange for them to attend this meeting too. For elopement weddings, we arrange a final planning meeting online. 

Do you allow parking on site?

We try hard to enable ‘car-free’ photography in our wonderfully natural environment, moving our own cars off-site too. Guest parking on site is not possible due to National Park restrictions and the need to prevent congestion on the single track lane leading to the venue. Further information is available in our Guest Information Pack 

We highly recommend pre-booked transport, such as Mountain Goat or Cumbria Classic Coaches, to collect all your guests from local accommodation. 
Taxis can be extremely difficult to get hold of and some cannot be pre-booked. Unfortunately, Cote How cannot be held responsible for transport bookings. 
If you have no wedding guests (e.g. you are eloping) we can accommodate your own car alongside the registrars and your photographer. 
If you require accessible parking or drop off/collection for disabled guests, please talk to us before your wedding day and we can organise this. 

Are there any local car parks nearby?

The nearest car park is Pelter Bridge Car Park, 50m before Cote How. This is a Pay and Display Car Park, patrolled by the National Park. During busy times of the day and in peak season, parking may not be available, hence pre-booked transport is strongly recommended. 

If you are staying in local accommodation very close by, you may be within walking distance of Cote How.  

We ask that you and your guests do not park in the nearby pub car park unless you are a resident. 

CAN WE USE OUR OWN caterers?

We have our own caterers and source all our food locally. We develop our menus ensuring that we have control over the quality, in addition to the provenance of the food we serve. We offer a wide and varied selection of food options, but if you have any special requests outside our normal menu selections, we will do our very best to accommodate them. Menu options are available here. 

Can you cater to special diets?

We have a reputation for attention to detail and flexibility, so whether vegan, dairy-free, gluten-free or nut-free we can cater for you! There are additional charges for special diets outside of the normal menu’s meat or vegetarian options. 

Can we bring our own food to help keep the cost down?

Unfortunately, we cannot serve any food which has not been prepared or sourced by us. There is a legal implication associated with this. 

Do you have a licensed bar?

Yes, we have a licensed bar in the house and barn serving a comprehensive list of wines, local real ales, beers, ciders, lagers, spirits and cocktails, plus soft drinks. We base all our bar pricing on local pub prices, with a complete price list available on request. 

Can we bring in our own wines and champagnes?

As a fully licensed premise we do not offer any form of corkage. 

Can we have a pre-paid bar tab?

Yes, the minimum amount for a bar tab is £500. Pre-arranged arrival drinks and post-ceremony drinks are included in most weddimg styles. Any bar tab not used is refunded after your wedding. 

Can you play our ceremony music?

We take responsibility for music throughout your wedding. We have a Sonos sound system in the house and barn, playing music simultaneously. We play your ceremony music for you, plus your own playlists as background music during the duration of the wedding. We can provide background music for you if you would prefer however, ceremony music must be chosen by you in advance. 

Can we have an external supplier to play live music?

You can source your own entertainment to suit your style and budget if you wish. Please note that there is only time for evening entertainment if you’re having a full weekend wedding. If you would like a single musician to play your ceremony music, then please let us know. 

What happens if my guest list changes after booking?

We can accommodate changes anytime up to your final planning meeting or 12 weeks before your wedding. We will credit any downward changes and invoice any upward changes. Some styles of weddings have a minimum guest list

Do you allow dogs at Cote How?

As you may know, dogs have always been able to join couples for photos down by the lake, after their wedding. We now have a specially designed package, working exclusively with the excellent Ambleside Dog Walkers, so couples can involve their dog in an outdoor wedding ceremony. Although we love dogs, after renovating our beautiful Lakeland home, we cannot accept dogs anywhere inside the house. Any dog attending a wedding at Cote How must be accompanied by a member of the Dapper Dogs Wedding Team (Ambleside Dog Walkers) at all times. As devoted dog owners, we understand why you might want your dog to be part of your wedding. If you would love to have your wedding at Cote How, to include your dog, please enquire for more details.

Is the venue and accommodation child/family-friendly?

Cote How specialises in relaxed and adult-focussed weddings. 

We love children and have children of our own, but after years of experience hosting weddings and due to the nature of our historic house and grounds, we now limit the number of children aged under 10 to a maximum of three. For our small weddings, we feel this is the right balance. Many couples feel that this request facilitates a more relaxed day, with their guests taking advantage of a child-free Lake District break!

Children are welcome at the venue until no later than 21.00. We considered our policy very carefully and appreciate your understanding.

We can offer children picnic bags in place of a meal and have one highchair for guest use.  Please note that all children are counted in the total number of guests, and we do not offer discounted places for children.  

Do you have accommodation at the venue?

We have a Honeymoon Suite, which is for the wedding couple to stay overnight. This is only available with selected wedding styles and must be reserved at the time of booking. 

Can a bride or groom get ready onsite?

We have a luxury Beauty Suite which is included in selected wedding styles, or you can add this room hire as an additional upgrade if time allows. Please ask for details. 

Our relaxed and purpose-designed Beauty Suite for you and up to 3 guests, plus a hairdresser and or makeup artist and allows for a ‘getting ready together’ experience in a relaxing environment. Registrars can interview you in the privacy of your own room ahead of the ceremony if you wish.  

Not all weddings have the option of getting ready onsite, and you will arrive just in time and ready to go! 

What our couples say...

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