In Conversation With Sarah at Heaton House Farm

by Michelle

Heaton House Farm is a gorgeous bespoke, exclusive use wedding venue nestled on the borders of Cheshire and Staffordshire and surrounded by beautiful scenery.

Whether you’d love nothing more than a rustic barn for your civil ceremony, or a wedding reception with a stunning backdrop, Heaton House Farm delivers. Large and extravagant, or quaint and intimate, the expert team at Heaton House are always more than happy to discuss a whole range of personal options with you.

After diversifying from a dairy farm in 2003, Mick and Margaret Heath were joined by their daughter Sarah to host weddings all year round, for all faiths and backgrounds. You can hold a civil ceremony in any one of their four country-style areas, or simply enjoy your reception in the beautiful grounds, framed by the charm of rustic, converted farm buildings.

We’ll let Sarah tell you more about her family business and what awaits should you choose this delightful venue to host your wedding.

Tell us a little about yourself and your business

Hello! I’m Sarah Heath, one third of the family that own and run Heaton House Farm Wedding Venue based in Cheshire, UK.

I live with my Mum and Dad, Mick and Margaret, and our pet Jack Russell, Jack, at the wedding venue, where we eat, live (literally) and breathe weddings! There’s also a few cows, and my pet texel sheep, Gin and Tonic and now their little lambs, Lemon, Lime and Juniper along with our rare breed Swiss Black nose sheep, Tina, Whitney and Sheena. 

Scenic location… Breathtaking views… Flexible… A blank canvas… A tardis!

Just some of the phrases that our couples have been used to describe the wedding venue!

Set on the border of Cheshire and Staffordshire, we are engulfed with the scenic countryside that surrounds us, and we are lucky enough to have the most amazing 180 degree view on the back patio which makes it an ideal location for outdoor weddings.

The venue is hidden behind the farming facade, so as your guests arrive and see the farm yard, they are flabbergasted when they turn the corner to see the venue, and the surprise keeps going all the way through to the evening as the next part of the venue is revealed when it’s needed.

Having the looks and flexibility of a marquee makes it personal to each couple choosing Heaton House Farm, but having the permanent features such as the award winning toilets (yes, our loos!) makes it affordable too!

What motivated you to start your business?

My family has been involved with charity events since I can remember, and annually we used to host concerts in our cowshed for charities close to our heart such as Cancer Research UK, British Heart Foundation and Alzheimer’s Research. Musicians such as Showaddywaddy, the Barron Knights and Houghton Weavers have all featured here!

One year, my Dad as very eager to ensure the sound was the best it could be as he used to be a mobile DJ, so he hired a marquee lining to ‘soften’ the acoustics. A couple in the audience were looking for a marquee styled wedding for their daughter who lived in London, but they didn’t have the land to host the event, so contacted us the next day to enquire. Not really knowing what we had let ourselves in for, we agreed! So in June 1999, we opened our family home to the first wedding reception.

The immediate years following, we grew busier from recommendations, and people that had attended the weddings and in 2003 we made the decision to diversify from being a dairy farm to conducting weddings within the barns full-time.

Since then we have developed the venue, adding Steeles Barn, a dining area with panoramic views, the Green Oak Entrance Barn, and even converted our old Milking Parlour to more luxury accommodation for the bridal party, as well as a breakfast dining area for up to 80 guests to rekindle all the stories from the night before.

Tell us a little more about the day to day activities of your business.

Every day is so different! We can have a busy day showing recently engaged couples around, to the next where we might be hosting an Asian wedding for 400… It really is so variable!

If our readers were to order from you, what can they expect?

Our motto is ‘we meet as strangers but part as friends’ and it’s so true. I think the part that makes us stand out is the fact that we genuinely love meeting people and getting to know them, and not forgetting keeping in touch after the wedding too! I’d like to think that every couple we meet, and get the pleasure of working with, enjoys the whole experience, and feels part of our family as opposed to being a star on a sales chart.

Here’s a few kind words from one of our couples:

“The team at Heaton House Farm were, and still are, very friendly and approachable, whilst being extremely knowledgeable and professional at all times. Without their help, support and advice I doubt that our special day would have been as spectacular as it was. The whole day was seamless and carefree for us due to the whole team at Heaton House. They truly are passionate about what they do.”

How can couples judge if a company is the right fit for their wedding?

I think when it comes to the venue; gut instinct plays a massive part! You need to find somewhere which is not only beautiful and fits in with your vision, but somewhere you feel at home and can imagine spending time with your friends and family around you.

What are your favourite moments from previous weddings you’ve been involved with?

Gosh! There literally is too many! I suppose a couple of highlights would have to be hosting a don’t tell the Bride wedding in 2013 which was incredible as we really didn’t know if the bride was going to like the venue… Luckily for us, she LOVED it!

Hosting Olympic medallist and MBE Joanne Rowsells wedding a couple of years ago was also an immense privilege and highlight. They had the most amazing full size, old fashioned merry-go-round you have ever seen!

The bigger picture – does your business offer goods/services outside of the wedding world? Tell us more.

We do! We offer 15 luxury B&B rooms all year around, as well as corporate events, and a fantastic themed Christmas Parties for 600 guests in December which sell out earlier each year.

What have you got planned for 2017?

We are not looking at doing much to the venue as we’ve developed so much of it recently, but we are tightening up with our office procedures to make it as quick and easy for our couples to get the information they need as well as launching a new accommodation booking system for guests in the next month.

And finally, what or who inspires you and why?

As cliched as it sounds, my parents. They work 7 days a week, from 7am-2am most days. I really don’t know how they do it! They will never rest until they know everyone is happy.

Images courtesy of Heaton House Farm

Additional Image Credits: Photo 3 Cris lowis Photography, Image 4 Reportage Gallery, Image 6 Charlotte Giddings Photography, Image 8 Chelsea Shoesmith Photography, Image 9 Jonny Draper Photography, Image 10 Reportage Gallery, Image 14 Lee Brown Photography.

 

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