FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
When can we access the venue?
If you have weekend hire, the site is available from 12pm Friday. Our gates open at 7am each morning and shut at 10pm (except for event nights when they close at 12:30am). Should you need access outside of these hours, just ask for the gate code. If you have mid-week hire (Wednesday 12pm-12am), access is from 10am on Wednesday morning. Should you need to access the site the day before (Tuesday) - which is more than likely - no worries, you can do so between 12pm and 4pm.
I'm staying in the big barn/one of the tipis. What time do I have to check-out?
Please leave no later than 11am. Or as close to 11 as possible.
What security do you have?
Like I said before, the farm entrance is gated and cannot be accessed between 10pm and 7am without a code. There is also CCTV which monitors the driveway and yard. Myself and my family are also onsite (main farmhouse) and are always keeping an eye on things!
Is there parking available?
Yes! There is parking for 4 vehicles next to the big barn (usually reserved for those staying in the big barn). Parking for everybody else is in a designated field. The parking area is signposted for guests and is only a minutes stroll from the venue.
How do we pay and secure our booking?
Once you've decided on your date and you're happy with all the charges, we'll send you a booking form to complete. Get this back to us nice and sharpish and we can send you an invoice for a 50% non-refundable deposit of hire cost. Once received, you will have 7 days to pay. Please note we cannot secure your booking if we do not receive payment. If no payment is received in 7 days, the date will be offered to others.
When do we pay the balance?
You will receive a final invoice 8 weeks before your wedding/event. It will include the final 50% hire fee, plus a security deposit. Again you will have 7 days to pay this from date of receipt.
What is the security deposit?
A £300 deposit is required prior to your event date. This is completely, 100% fully refundable as long as no damage or loss of property has taken place during your event. The deposit will be returned to you within 7 days of your hire date.
Do your prices include VAT?
Yes. All our prices are inclusive of VAT. This will be stated on your invoice.
What comes with the hire of the Old Cow Shed?
We supply vintage trestle tables and wooden chairs for 60 guests in the Shed. There is a well-stocked bar and a patio (about 4m x 12m) overlooking the Paddock. (There is the option of covering the patio in the colder/wetter months so you will always be able to use it.) Additional seating can be found in the courtyard, as well as wooden benches for guests should the happy couple chose to have a ceremony here. There are unisex loos right next door to the Shed and plenty of outdoor lighting too. Apart from that, it's over to you guys to work your decorative magic.
Do you have any suppliers you would recommend?
Yes. Check out our little black book to see who takes your fancy.
Are we allowed to use confetti?
Only if its an environmentally friendly and decomposable one. If it's not be warned - a charge of £100 will be deducted from the security deposit.
What accommodation is nearby?
Melton Mowbray is the nearest town, followed by Oakham in the other direction. You can find a number of hotels and B&Bs in both, and we'd recommend going to local tourist websites or airbnb to find what you've after. If you want to be VERY close, Eye Kettleby Lakes is opposite (15 minute walk away) who hire out lodges and glamping pods all year round.
Are you dog friendly?
We sure are. As long as dogs are friendly and well-trained we are more than happy for them to join you. Please be aware that there are often sheep grazing nearby, and we ask that dogs are kept under control at all times. Clean up any mess obvs.
FOOD & DRINK
Can I bring my own caterer?
Afraid not. Our partner in catering crime is Thomas the Caterer and he handles all food and drink at the Old Cow Shed. However, you do have complete control of what's eaten. Thomas does not use fixed/standard menus. Instead, he and his crew spend time getting to know you and what vibe you're after, before the two of you put together a completely bespoke menu. It really is what you fancy. Team Thomas also handle the booze (welcome drinks, table wine, the bar). Again, just let them know what you're thinking and if they can do it, they will.
Do you charge corkage?
There is no corkage charge at the Old Cow Shed, so if you prefer to bring your own - do so guilt free! Please leave your bottles with the catering team the day before the event. Any unused bottles will be returned to you afterwards.
What will the bar serve and when will it open and close?
The bar is well stocked with soft drinks, wine, bottled beers, ciders and spirits (not forgetting the ice and fresh fruit!) If you have any special requests, please just ask! The bar will be open from the off and last orders are at 11:30pm. (p.s. the Shed is locked up tight at midnight.)
Can we have a wedding ceremony at the Old Cow Shed?
At present, you can have a humanist celebrant conduct a ceremony. The courtyard makes a beautiful setting for this, or if you are hiring a big tipi/tent for the festivities, you could actually use the Cow Shed for the ceremony (we can supply wooden benches for guests should you want them). We are looking into maybe getting a marriage license for 2021. If enough people want it, we'll get it.
What is a Humanist Ceremony?
A non-religious wedding ceremony that gives you the opportunity to marry where you want, when you want and how you want. You do not have to be a humanist to have a humanist ceremony. It is focused on the couple's relationship and allows them to have a completely unique and meaningful service designed solely by them. In England, Wales and Northern Ireland humanist weddings are not recognised in law, so couples have to go to a registry office to take care of that in the days before or after their wedding.
Do you allow bands and DJs?
We most certainly do. We do not supply any equipment for this however, so they must bring their own PA systems and whatever else they need. Our music licence covers the Shed and tipis/marquees until 11:45pm. Amplified music is allowed outside in the Courtyard or Paddock until 8pm.
What time does the party end?
Last orders are at 11:30pm, music must end at 11:45pm, the Shed is locked up at midnight and the farm gates close at 12:30am. Boom!