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), access is from 9am on Wednesday morning. Should you need to access to the site the day before, you have it between 12pm and 4pm.
I'm staying in the Big Barn/one of the Shepherd Huts. What time do I have to check-out?
Please leave no later than 12pm.
What security do you have?
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 all around the venue. 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 oodles of cars in the main carpark - with overflow if necessary. Parking next to the venue is not allowed on the day of an event. The area must be left clear for suppliers, blue-badge holders, and incase a member of the emergency services is called out. Vehicles may park next to the venue to load/unload
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 the 50% deposit. The deposit is non-refundable, but can be used against another event or the same event another time. Please try and pay within 7 days of receipt - 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.
Can I pay with a credit card?
Yes. If you prefer to pay with a credit card instead of a bank transfer, you can. However, it will incur a charge of 2.5% for each transaction.
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. It is around this time we will ask you for an 'order of the day' (timings etc) and a list of your suppliers.
What is the security deposit?
A £400 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?
You don't just hire the Shed when you hire the Shed. You are getting the amazing four-bedroomed Big Barn; the canvas-covered Courtyard; the Shed bar; a big, green Paddock with a Patio under the stars. As well as this we supply vintage trestle tables and wooden chairs (for up to 66 guests in the Shed and 120 in the Courtyard); additional seating for outdoor areas and wooden benches for ceremonies. There are unisex and disabled toilets next door to the Shed and plenty of festoon/outdoor lighting.
As for flowers, table settings, decorations, bunting, balloons and silly string? That is all up to you. We are essentially a 'dry hire', so what you see is what you get. This way you get to put a truly unique and individual stamp on your day.
What if we want to get married in Winter?
Because of lower temperatures, we recommend a wedding of no more than 70 guests from November to February. This way you can have everything take place in the Shed itself. For this reason, the Big Weekender price is reduced to £4999 and the Midweek but Mighty to £2999. These prices DO NOT include weddings taking place over Christmas or on New Years Eve.
Do you have any suppliers you would recommend?
Most definitely. We have had some incredible wedding suppliers come through our doors of late, and we can hand-on-heart recommend all of them! Whatever it is you're after, they can create it for you (and take away the stress at the same time). You can see their creations here...
Are we allowed to use confetti or fireworks?
Only if the confetti is an environmentally friendly and decomposable one. If it's not be warned - a charge of £150 will be deducted from the security deposit. There can be no fireworks either. Local farmers have stock grazing all year round and would not be happy about fireworks going off every weekend.
What accommodation is nearby?
We have three Shepherd Huts available to guests. Once a date is secured, the huts can be booked by contacting us directly. There are also a handful of hotels in Melton Mowbray. We have a list of recommended hotels/B&Bs/holiday lets - please ask us to send you a copy. Don't forget to book your taxis in good time. They get busy quick, especially at the weekend.
Can we smoke?
We don't like to be the smoke police, there are rules in place regarding smoking. After too many morning-afters painstakingly picking up cigarette buts in the field, along the pathways, in the garden etc, the Old Cow Shed is a smoke-free venue. If you REALLY must have a cigarette while you're here, you must smoke in the designated area where fire buckets are provided to put your ciggie buts in. If folk do not follow this policy, £150 will be deducted from your deposit.
Are you dog friendly?
We 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.
FOOD & DRINK
Can I pick my own caterer?
We have a preferred list of our favourites. We hope to offer a mix of tastes, styles and budgets so you can find whatever it is that you're after. We believe that sharing delicious food and a glass of wine around the table with those you love most in the world is simply stupendous. All of our food recommendations can accomplish this for you. If you have found some taste sensation not on our list, that's fine. But we will need to contact them ahead of your booked event/wedding to go through the Old Cow Shed rules and ropes. Don't forget about the evening too. You If you're looking for inspiration, we've listed a few local food stalls in our little black book.
Do you charge corkage?
We can supply wine and Prosecco for your day, but you are more than welcome to bring your own if you prefer. We do not charge corkage for table wine or welcome fizz, so please fill your boots! We are happy to supply you with wine glasses and flutes at no extra cost, and take your empty bottles to the recycling centre the following day.
If you prefer something different, and would like to serve up 'gin-in-a-tin', bottles of beer or cans of soft drink out of ice buckets/baths (for a welcome drink or during the meal) then please let us know. We can supply these drinks for you - along with the ice, bottle openers and the metal buckets and wheelbarrow to keep them in. Just ask for a price list.
What will the bar serve and when will it open and close?
The bar is well stocked with soft drinks, wine and Prosecco, bottled beers and ciders, and spirits (not forgetting the ice and fresh fruit!) If you have any special requests, don't forget to tell us. 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?
Yes you can. You can have a humanist celebrant conduct the ceremony OR do it all legal and book a Registrar from Leicestershire County Council. The number to call to book the Registrar is 0116 305 6565. The covered courtyard makes a beautiful setting for this, or the Shed itself. We supply wooden benches for all your guests for the ceremony.
What is a Humanist Ceremony?
A non-religious wedding ceremony that gives you the opportunity to marry where 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 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, Courtyard, and tipis/marquees until 11:30pm. Amplified music is allowed outside in the Paddock until 8pm.
What time does the party end?
Last orders are at 11:30pm, music must end at 11:30pm, the Shed is locked up at midnight and the farm gates close at 12:30am. Boom!