Should we have our Ceremony inside or outside?

A question we often get asked is “Should we have our ceremony inside or outside at The Sun Pavilion?” As one of the wedding venues in Harrogate that is able to offer an option for couples to say their vows outdoors, it comes down to personal preference really. Here we explore the two options available to our couples…

Let’s consider an outdoor ceremony…

Hire of the Sun Pavilion includes for exclusive use of our terrace, that’s our outdoor spot that is licensed for civil ceremonies. The terrace overlooks the much-loved, English Heritage Grade II listed, Valley Gardens with its 17 acres of park, woodland and floral displays. It is undeniably a beautiful backdrop for a wedding ceremony, and one of the main reasons why lots of our couples choose to marry outside. It’s often very peaceful (despite being a public space) and because of all the natural greenery and planting in the gardens the terrace doesn’t require a huge amount of additional decor to look spectacular.

Amanda Manby Photography
Susie Lawrence Photography

The terrace is covered overhead to give that extra privacy and shelter when theweather isn’t gloriously warm and dry. For colder days we also have heaters out on the terrace, to take the chill off guests as they await the main event. The sheer amount of natural light during an outdoor ceremony, particularly on slightly duller days believe it or not, makes for fantastic photographs and you should get some wonderful results. You can also make use of the surrounding gardens for your photographs with some truly beautiful and secluded spots.

Civil ceremonies (that are being led by a registrar) can be held from April through to October (weather dependent) but if you’re opting for a humanist wedding ceremony then there is a lot more flexibility around when the terrace can be used and at what time your ceremony can be held. Whatever type of ceremony our couples choose, we work with them to identify the best solution. We can accommodate up to 110 seated guests for a ceremony on the terrace.

The only thing to bear in mind is that Valley Gardens is a public space. Although we’re able to chain off the terrace to prevent the public gaining access we can’t control what goes on outside that boundary. Happily though we find that most people are really respectful of a wedding taking place and just want a glimpse of the happy couple!

IG Time Photography
Stevie Jay Photography

What about a ceremony indoors, beneath theglass dome?

Of course we are biased but for us an indoor ceremony, held beneath our glorious stained glass dome, is just as special as getting married on the terrace. The dome dominates the room fantastically and makes for some beautiful photographs as your guests gather beneath it to witness your vows. The room is flooded with lots of natural daylight, both from the dome itself and from the windows and doors which run all the way round one half of the venue. This also means you still benefit from views of Valley Gardens.

Lily North Photography

An indoor ceremony is available all year round whether you’re opting for civil or humanist led. Plus, our staircase down from the main doors makes for a very grand entrance! We can also accommodate larger numbers indoors than out with a capacity of 150 guests.

The one thing to bear in mind about an indoor ceremony is that, as a venue with just one space, we do have to ask wedding parties to enjoy their drinks and canapes out on the terrace whilst we transform the room from ceremony to reception. We’re well practiced at this so it doesn’t take us long! We’ll keep the drinks flowing whilst you enjoy that just married, post ceremony glow (or is that the Prosecco?!)

Chris Milner Photography