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 10am on Wednesday morning. Should you need to access the site the day before (more than likely) that is no problem, you can do so 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?
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 four vehicles next to the big barn (usually reserved for those staying there). 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 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 £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?
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; a bar area; a big, green Paddock and a Patio under the stars. As well as this we supply vintage trestle tables and wooden chairs (for up to 60 guests in the Shed and 100 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 outdoor lighting and heating too.
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.
I want to hire the Shed for a Midweek Mini, but there are more than 60 guests. Is this possible?
Our Mid-week Mini rate is for smaller weddings of no more than 60 for the festivities (you are welcome to invite one or two more folk in the evening). If your guest list is between 60 to 100 you can still book the Midweek, but you must pay a surcharge of £1000, making the final amount for the hire £4000.
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 £100 will be deducted from the security deposit. There can be no fireworks either folks. Local farmers have stock grazing all year round and wouldn't be best pleased 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, as well as nearby Bed & Breakfasts and Holiday Cottages. Booking sites such as Airbnb and Booking.com give a decent list. 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, but we've had to come down on the smokers. After too many morning-afters painstakingly picking up cigarette buts in the fields, along the pathways, in the garden and along the Shed patio wall, we have decided to make the Old Cow Shed a smoke-free venue. If you REALLY must have a cigarette while you're here, you must use the small designated smoking area where fire buckets are provided to put out your ciggie. If folk do not follow this policy, £100 will be deducted from your deposit.
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.
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. We have put together some truly mouth-watering menus for you, or if you prefer you can go all out and create (with Thomas there to help you) a completely bespoke menu. In the evening, you are free to use whoever you please - from fish 'n' chip vans to artisan pizza horse-boxes. If you're looking for inspiration, we've listed a few local food stalls in our little black book.
Do you charge corkage?
There is no corkage charge at the Old Cow Shed, so if you prefer to bring your own table wine and bubbles - 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 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 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 11:45pm. 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 11:45pm, the Shed is locked up at midnight and the farm gates close at 12:30am. Boom!