Choosing your Wedding venue is an important box to tick on your Wedding Planning To Do List.  As well as the ‘Where’, booking your dream venue will also help decide the ‘When’ part of your Wedding.  With so many things to think about I’ve compiled a venue ‘checklist’ to take with you when you view potential places and this week I’ll be looking in detail and three fabulous (and very different) Derbyshire Wedding Venues… 

The Rutland Arms Hotel  Casa Hotel Hardwick Hall

This week I’m starting close to home and  featuring Casa Hotel in Chesterfield,  The Rutland Arms Hotel in Bakewell and Hardwick Hall in Chesterfield.   Each of these beautiful venues offers both the ceremony and reception and I must warn you from the start that Hardwick Hall hosted my Wedding Ceremony so I’m slightly biased! More on that later…
So before we chat about the venues here, as promised, is my ‘Wedding Venue Checklist’ – The 6 ‘W’s’ for Wedding Venues.   Keep a copy in your ‘Wedmin’ file and whip it out when you visit different places.  In my experience the Wedding Planners are so helpful and ready to answer all of your questions.  Don’t be afraid, remember that this is your special day and every Wedding Professional worth their salt will want to help make everything perfect.
  • What?  

What do you want your venue to do?  Will you want them to host your Ceremony, Reception or both?  Ask what the venue offer, from   meeting and greeting your guests to ‘people movement’ whilst the rooms are prepared. 

  • Where?

Is your venue close to where you live?  Consider how far you are willing to travel for your perfect venue and how far your guests will have to travel too.  If you are looking at separate venues for your ceremony and reception consider the travel time between the two and how you plan to transport yourselves and your guests.

  • Will We Fit?

What is the capacity of your chosen venue and does this tally with your guest list?  Consider how many people you would like to invite and keep in mind that many venues have a larger capacity for the reception than for the ceremony.

  • Who?

Who will be managing your Wedding?  Ask to meet the Wedding  Coordinator who will be looking after you on the day.  Do they engage you?  Do you feel as though they understand you and your vision?

  • Willing to Pay?

One of the most important parts of Wedding Planning is the amount of money you would like to spend.  Make sure you discuss your budget together beforehand so you have your ideal prices in mind.  When discussing prices ask if you can change times, dates etc to fit with your price range and check what’s included (and what’s not!)

  • Wow!

My favourite ‘W’!  Does your venue make you say’Wow!’ ?  ‘Wow!’ is different for everybody, think about your Wedding Day.  Do you want a grand entrance or a more homely feel?  Are you a modern or traditional person?  Are you more at home in the City or the Country?  Your perfect venue should make you feel that little flutter of excitement, a little bit like falling in love!

Hardwick LJ

Now your equipped with your 6 ‘W’s’ checklist lets have a look at some beautiful venues – hooray!

Each venue I’ve chosen to show you this week is different and (in my humble opinion) fabulous!  We have the contemporary chic of Casa, the stylish Rutland Arms Hotel and the magnificent Hardwick Hall.  Let’s start by taking a peek at Chesterfield’s 4 star hotel Casa.

Casa by Candlelight

Each time I visit Casa I’m struck by their friendly and professional team and the feedback I get from the Weddings they’ve hosted is excellent.  Voted the number one hotel in Derbyshire and number four in the UK, Casa is a lovely choice for your Wedding Day.

We often showcase our Wedding and Engagement Rings at Casa’s Wedding Fayres which they hold twice a year, in the Spring and the Autumn.  Having met their dedicated Wedding Coordinators I feel certain that you will be in safe hands and the team are happy to book an appointment for you to meet them and look around their beautiful hotel.

As I mentioned, Casa can cater for both your Ceremony and Reception with a choice of suites to suit your guest list.  Stylish and sleek, Casa is perfect ‘City Chic’ and also has the option for some beautiful country photographs at their farm Walton Lodge.

With a choice of menus featuring locally sourced food and an option to create your own bespoke menu, Casa is fab for foodies too.  Choose the option of a BBQ on the private terrace of the Barcelona Suite  for an alfresco evening and enjoy the stunning modern architecture of this wonderful hotel.

Rutland Arms interior

Bakewell has to be one of my favourite places in Derbyshire, it’s so friendly with some lovely walks in the park and by the river.  The Rutland Arms Hotel stands proudly in the centre, a beautiful place for your Wedding.  You’re sure to be inspired following in the footsteps of Jane Austen, Lord Byron and Charles Dickens and Hazel and the team are so welcoming!  The hotel offers a choice of packages but are so flexible they can help you build a bespoke day that is perfect for you.  The Rutland Arms Hotel stands proudly in the centre, a beautiful place for your Wedding.  

We visit The Rutland Arms Hotel for their Wedding Fayre so I’ve had the opportunity to view the beautiful Ballroom which hosts your ceremony and reception.  You can also chose The elegant Emerald Suite for a more intimate celebration.  The hotel also offers an exclusive use option giving you the use of the entire hotel and all 35 bedrooms including the 4 poster Bridal Suite!  The team are available to show you around the venue, just give them a call.

My top tip for this venue is the breathtaking scenery around the hotel.  There are pretty formal gardens just over the road that would make for stunning photographs.


Now to my favourite venue.  I love this venue so much I chose it to hold my own Wedding Ceremony.  When Adam and I were looking for a venue I wanted somewhere with an isle.  As a little girl when I went to Weddings the enduring image was the Bride floating down the isle so when I saw the Grand Entrance at National Trust owned Hardwick I fell in love.

Ceremony’s are held in the Grand Entrance Hall which you can decorate with your own flowers.  We took the opportunity of using the gallery for our string quartet ‘Bow Belles’ to play the entrance and ceremony music.  Our guests were seated either side of the famous long table (which featured in the Harry Potter films) and we took our vows at the end of the Entrance Hall.


Rachel and the award winning Hardwick Hall team were fabulous from our first meeting.  We viewed the venue one summers evening and as I drove up the winding pathway I remember thinking how amazing it would be to drive up on my Wedding Day (I was right!).  For me Hardwick had the formality of a traditional venue with the romance of the walled gardens and the orchard for wilder more natural beautiful photographs.

Couples also have exclusive use of the long gallery and high great chamber for stunning photographs, it is an amazing experience to walk the footsteps  of Bess of Hardwick on your Wedding Day and the photographs from inside Hardwick are sensational.

If you choose to have your reception at Hardwick Hall their ‘wineglass’ field can hold a sumptuous large marquee and guests can enjoy drinks and canapes on the East Colonnade.

Adam and his family stayed the evening before in the holiday cottages next to the Hall and I’m reliably informed that they are super especially as the Groom had just a short walk across the lawns on his Wedding Day! 

Hardwick Hall is a superb venue with a magnificent history that adds an amazing sense of occasion to your Wedding Day. If you’re planning a Derbyshire Wedding it really is a ‘must view’ venue.

I hope you feel inspired by our lightening tour of these three wonderful venues.  Derbyshire has so many amazing Wedding Venue options so I’m sure we’ll visit different places on future blogs.  For now remember that you can visit all of the places I have featured today even if you’re not getting married, what an excellent excuse for a cream tea!  

Happy Wedding Planning!
Laura Jo at Adorn xx


ADORN Jewellers of Chesterfield ~ Unusual Jewellery Stockists Derbyshire