frequently asked questions
Your Wedding Questions
Cote How is a small family business which offers its home as a private hire venue. We live onsite and welcome you to our home where we host your wedding with fully exclusive use, however we are not a hotel which offers services to non residents, or the general public. You will benefit from hiring a bespoke venue which specialises in intimate and exclusive weddings and can be completely flexible.
We can arrange a show round of Cote How by appointment only. If you wish to bring any friends or relatives with you then can we suggest that you limit your visits to 4 people. Weekends are an extremely busy time for us particularly in wedding season and we cannot offer show rounds when the venue is in use as each couple have sole exclusivity for the duration of their stay.
For those travelling from afar we offer virtual guides via our Youtube channel or we can arrange a live virtual tour.
To book a show round please request a CHAT first. You will receive an email with links to book a chat once you have made your wedding enquiry with us here: ENQUIRE HERE
The venue is used on an exclusive basis so rest assured that there are no other guests on the premises throughout your wedding. Your wedding style will determine how much of the venue is in use on the day for you. Some weddings are for the house only and some include the barn too. These areas are clearly defined in your wedding contract. There are also some areas of the house and grounds that are marked as private as these are ‘staff only’ areas, are off limits due to health & safety, or is our private living accommodation. Access to the main staircase that leads to the bedrooms is strictly limited to residents only. Therefore on the wedding day we ask that any additional members of the bridal party that are not residents arrive ready and wait in the downstairs reception areas of the house and not in the bedrooms.
Yes, Caroline agrees all of your arrangements with you during your planning stages and it is her, Steve and the family team that serves you and your guests on the day ensuring that every detail of your wedding is carried out to perfection.
Yes, we believe that your wedding is a private and intimate affair and so we only offer total exclusivity for every wedding on-site, whether a 2 hour ceremony for 2 people, or a full weekend package for 24 people.
Yes you can hire either the house, lawn and house terrace only (these are the only options for Winter Weddings, as the barn closes) or the house and barn which includes barn courtyard. Some parts of the venue are closed after use to suit the flow of your event. For example the house ceremony room and guest lounge are closed in the evening once the party has moved to the barn. If your wedding is in the house only then all rooms will remain in use.
As Cote How is busy all year round as it is delightful whatever the season, so we don’t differentiate on price. However, if you are on a budget and need to make savings to your budget please ask Caroline for expert ways of trimming budgets without impacting on quality – She is an expert in this!
Yes, the meadow leading to the lake edges of Rydal water is ours too, so unlike other venues you can actually take a short stroll along the river bank and dip your toes into the lake! Rydal Water is literally 200m from our barn gate and we do encourage you to take advantage of this amazing treat. Your photographs are so important and the views on the lake side are truly amazing!
We have two bars which are open throughout the day. The house bar is situated off the main reception room, and the barn bar serves bottled local real ale and chilled lager on draft. The house bar does close once the party moves to the barn for dinner and evening reception in order to keep your wedding in one place.
All guest numbers include the happy couple!
- 24 people for the wedding ceremony
- 12 for a formal wedding breakfast
- Up to 12 for fine dining in the main reception room
- 2-6 people for the wedding ceremony
- Elopement ceremony for 2
- Up to 12 for fine dining in the main reception room
- Up to 24 for a wedding ceremony or wedding Breakfast
- Up to 6 for a wedding ceremony
Midweek weddings all finish between 19:00-21:00 and include a little time for chilling at dusk.
Weekend weddings include an evening reception from 19:00 – 23:00
We do not allow marquees or teepees on site. As we specialise in smaller more intimate weddings, which suit our infrastructure, therefore additional capacity is not really required. If you are looking for a larger wedding then we feel that larger venues can accommodate this much easier.
Yes you have your own dedicated wedding planner in Caroline. With over 30 years experience in the wedding. design and hospitality business, you can be assured of the best advice. Caroline will guide you through every step of your wedding, plus we will offer you a whole host of guides from the client area of our website once you have booked your wedding here. These guides are a valuable step by step guide and timeline to ensure that you know exactly when things are due or need addressing. This service is all free of charge.
Once you have decided that you want Cote How as your venue, email Caroline to let her know and she will guide you through the steps.
You will be required to pay a £500 or £1,000 booking fee (dependent on the style of wedding) to secure the date whilst the paperwork and the registrars are confirmed. A booking is not confirmed until this has been received and your wedding contract signed. There is then a 7 day “Cooling Off” period after which time the Wedding Contract becomes binding. Please see full terms and conditions
Yes! To arrange a viewing, please make an enquiry by downloading our wedding brochure and following all the links. First you will arrange a telephone chat where we will go through your ideas and dates and we will book you in for a viewing once we know we have availability to deliver the wedding you are hoping for!
Yes we encourage this in order to go through the details again closer to the wedding date. As our time and venue vacancies are extremely limited between events we do need to limit your visits to just one ‘Final Planning Meeting’. This is timed to be 8-12 weeks prior to your wedding date. You will come prepared having completed our online wedding planning client checklist and time line so we literally just need to check the finer detail at this stage. If you have suppliers such as photographers and venue stylists wishing to view the venue you must arrange for them to attend this meeting too.
We try very hard to make the venue car-free enabling photography from any angle at any time, in this wonderfully natural and beautiful environment.
We move our own cars off-site too.
People driving to the venue expecting to park on site is what we wish to avoid. We do explain all of this in our Guest information Pack which is available from our client area once booked.
To avoid any stress on the day we highly recommend PRE-BOOKED TRANSPORT.
Mountain Goat Executive MiniBuses will collect from B&B’s and Hotels nearby leaving you to focus on yourselves, and not worry about your guests.
For overnight residents we can accommodate 3 cars, though these are moved to the lane or car park down the lane for the wedding itself, then brought back on site after the wedding photos are completed.
DISABLED ACCESS: Of course if you need to drop off and collect guests, or are happy to have the odd car parked on-site then we are happy to accommodate this too. Please talk to us before your wedding day and we can organise this.
Yes, the nearest is called Pelter Bridge Car Park just 50m before us on the lane. This is a Pay and Display Car Park and is patrolled by the National Park. It is £7 per day and only takes £1 coins! It does however get full first thing in the morning and is not a reliable fallback – Taxis or mini-buses are strongly recommended.
If you are staying in local accommodation and can walk here that is great. Please make sure we are aware and if the back gate onto the field needs unlocking we can be ready for you at your arrival time.
*DO NOT PARK IN THE PUB CAR PARK unless you are a resident there, as the landlord has recently taken to clamping unknown cars! *
We have our own on-site caterers and we source all of our food locally. We develop our own menus seasonally and have tried and tested our menus ensuring that we have control over the quality of what we offer, 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
Yes! we have many years of experience and have built a fine reputation for attention to detail and flexibility, so whether vegan, dairy-free, wheat-free, gluten-free, or raw diet only, we can cater for you! There are additional charges for special diets outside of the normal menus meat or vegetarian options.
Unfortunately we cannot serve any food which has not been prepared or sourced by us. There are legal implication associated with this.
We offer an all-incluve wedding package which include your wedding cake which we will then serve as your third course.
If you do wish to bring your own cake into the venue this can be arranged and we can serve it too. There is a £6 per head additional charge for this service.
As a fully licensed premise we do not offer any form of corkage, but do have a flexible range of beers, ciders and lagers plus a selection of red and white wines, Prosecco and English Sparkling wines.
We have a comprehensive list of wines, including our standard ranges, premium, ethical and organic options. We also offer local real ales and Peroni on draft in the fully stocked barn bar.
Yes a bar tab is a great idea. This way we can offer your guests their own choice of drinks as and when they would like one.
This does not replace the need ofr certain parts of the wedding to have pre-arranged and pre-paid rounds of drinks, such as your post-cermeony celebratory drink, wine with dinner and a toast.
These are included in most packages. Arrival drinks and additional “rounds” can be arranged too for times when al lthe drinks need ot be ready at the same time. Likewise, we advise wine with a formal meal, to save queuing at the bar during food service.
Any further drinks required can be purchased from the bar or, if authorised, added to the wedding tab.
We base all of our bar pricing on local pub prices with a full price list available on request.
Our house wines are a mid range selection for mour suppliers at EWGA and include:
- Reds: Merlot, Rioja, Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon.
- Whites: Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio and Sauvignon Blanc
Yes. Unlike many venues we will take responsibility for this (very stressful) element of your wedding. We have a Sonos sound system throughout the house and barn and can play the same music simultaneously. We will play your ceremony music for you, plus we can play your own playlists as background and milling music throughout your wedding. This way you have personalised music which plays a major part in setting the tone of your wedding day.
You can use our Sonos System and playlists for a low key evening in the barn. If you want anything more then you can source your own entertainment to suit your style and budget. You only have time for evening entertainment if you’re having a full weekend wedding, there is not time with our 6 hour all-inclusive package.
If you are wanting arrange a single musician to play your ceremony music let us know, however you will need to explain to them that we don’t have parking for them on site.
We recognise that some couples are very into their music and this is a really important element of their day, others are very relaxed about the music and would prefer us to play background music from our archives. If you wish to design your own playlists then we can play these for you via our Sonos Sound System..
To complete your wedding booking we require an initial £1,000 holding fee to save the date. This is retained for a maximum period of 7 days whilst your contract is agreed, signed and returned. After this time your holding fee and any payments made on account are non-refundable. In addition to your holding fee, full payment of the wedding is required in stages with the final payment being due not less than 3 months before your wedding date. Any estimated extra costs must be paid in advance e.g.: Bar Tab, extra guests added at late notice, damage or loss (see below), any surplus is refunded to you within 7 days of your wedding.
We usually ask for £1,000 deposit / booking fee on booking
25% deposit payment 30 days later
25% 9 months before the wedding
25% 6 months before the wedding
Final 25% 3 months before the wedding.
You can make over-payments towards your wedding at any time, provided that the full amount is paid in advance of your balance due date as quoted on your wedding contract.
If you cancel your wedding, the monies paid towards your wedding on account can be refunded on a sliding scale – Please refer to our website for our full terms and conditions for details. The initial holding fee is non-refundable after 7 days have elapsed from paying this. For these reasons we therefore strongly advise that you take out wedding insurance to insure against any unforeseen circumstances.
We are dog friendly at Cote How and can allow ONE well behaved dog (the wedding couples dog) to the ceremony and drinks reception part of the wedding if you so wish. Ambleside Dog Walkers are great and they have a specially designed wedding package so your dog can be part of the day but the dog will have a good day out walking too.
However, they are not permitted upstairs in the house and therefore overnight stays are not possible. Some of our local accommodation providers do take dogs. From the meal onwards we ask that you employ a dog sitter/walker to look after your dog off-site. There is an additional charge for dogs if they are going to be at the duration of your wedding.
You must ensure that your dog is taken out of the grounds for toilet breaks!
Take a look at our blog about “Tips for happy dogs at weddings”
Cote How is not a “child friendly” environment with many hazards evident.
We also feel that although we love children (having had three ourselves) that the relaxed chilled style of wedding we promote cannot be achieved if there are lots of children and strict supervision required at all times by all parents – who then themselves would find a full day’s wedding hard to relax and gain the most enjoyment from.
As such, rather then ban children, we set a limit to the children of the happy couple only (maximum of three under 10 years old)
We do not offer a child’s menu, but a smaller plate of the adult choices or a picnic bag with your choice of cheese, ham or jam sandwiches
Children are all those aged below 10 years of age.
Children aged over 10 are classed as adults for catering purposes.
We have one high chair which is free to use. Children under the age of 2 are not charged but do take a place at the table and so will be counted in capacity numbers.
We have a Bridal Suite which is for the wedding couple to stay overnight with our full weekend wedding, however we don’t have accomodation for the rest of the wedding party.
No. We do not have any accommodation on-site other than that reserved for the wedding couple.
If you have booked a midweek one day wedding, then there is no accommodation included and we will expect you to arrive ready to go!
If you have booked a weekend wedding then you will have the opportunity to arrive the night before, enjoy breakfast then get ready in your own room.
If you are travelling a distance, then we advise that you book the venue for a 2 night wedding. This allows access from 16:00 the day before the wedding, and also allows for any venue styling that you may wish to attend to ahead of the wedding. The barn is available from 16:00 – 18:00 the night before the wedding, provided that you have booked the venue for that evening too.
If you booked a midweek wedding then we can allow the use of one bedroom for final touches and dressing. This is limited to the bride and one helper only. You will only get access from 30 minutes before your partner and guests arrive.
Always refer to your wedding contract for check in and check out times as midweek weddings all vary.
Weekend weddings allow a check in time of 16:00 on the Friday afternoon and check out is 11:00 on the Sunday morning.
Cote How is wedding ready and is already decorated for your ease and convinience. So no need to bring anything other than place cards if you’re having a sit down meal. If you wish to have items such as chair covers, sashes, any other items then we encourage you to hire these in from a professional who can set this up pre-wedding for you. If you wish to add any finishing touches to the venue yourselves such as table dressing, table decorations favours and flowers etc this can only be accommodated as a weekend wedding when we will be on hand the night before to assist with this. If you have booked a smaller mid week wedding then there is no time to dress the venue yourselves.
It would depend on the numbers involved, but we will advise on best layouts for each wedding.
All the chairs and tables needed for your wedding are provided by Cote How and included in your wedding price, the venue is wedding ready and is always decorated with an abundance of silk flowers, foliage and fairy lights.
Yes. We include white linen tablecloths and napkins in all weddings and this is calculated into your wedding costs.
Any additional styling such as chair covers and sashes are at an additional charge
Can we access the barn and venue the night before to decorate it ourselves?
Access to the barn and whole venue depends on the package you have booked. To access the barn the night before, you will need to book the venue for the night before the wedding, in addition to the wedding night. Weekend packages include a check in from 4pm on the Friday night. the barn is then available from 4-6pm for decorating.
The barn already has a plethora of twinkling fairy lights and the beams are adorned with festoon lights. These are fixed into place and cannot be changed. Due to health & safety implications we cannot allow any further electric decorations to be brought onsite. Table decorations can include battery operated lighting. The rectangle tables are narrow, therefore large table decorations will not fit. Please limit your table decorations to jars of flowers interspersed with tealights / battery operated lighting.
Can we pre-book transport to shuttle guests to and from the venue to Ambleside and Grasmere accommodation?
Yes, it is easier for you to book the transport for your guests in minibuses as this helps to make sure they arrive and depart in a timely manner. There are a few companies that will offer a private booking using minibus shuttles between here and their accommodation.
Taxis are sometimes reluctant to take advance bookings which is why we recommend minibus / private hire companies. However – if you do need a private taxi it is worth enquiring now, then confirming any booking closer to the date.
All taxis must be pre-booked to collect for the agreed departure time.
Please note that we cannot ring taxis for guests. All pre-booked taxis will wait on the terrace in front of the house and will not go down to the barn. Make sure you are waiting on the front terrace if you have booked a taxi. Cote How cannot be held responsible for any taxi bookings.
For contact details of coaches, minibuses and taxis please refer to our Wedding Suppliers page of our Client area once you have booked your wedding here.
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