Happy Otter Photography

Real weddings in and around York

Merchant Adventurers’ Hall wedding

Merchant Adventurers' Hall winter wedding in December - photos of Hannah and Charlie's real wedding and some extra info about the wedding venue
Merchant Adventurers' Hall winter wedding
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Hannah and Charlie's Winter wedding in York

With bad weather and short days we all need something joyful and warm to keep spirits high in the winter.

Just after Christmas, Hannah and Charlie’s wedding at the Merchant Adventurers’ Hall ticked all the boxes!

The historic wedding venue was tastefull decorated with traditional Christmas decorations includeing numerous large christmas trees. Open fires and twinkling fairy lights added to the warm and cosy feel.

With the ceremony taking place in the grand hall upstairs, and then drinks and canapees downstairs before the weddign breakfast and evening do back upstairs again – guests could stay indoors for the whole wedding – which is a bonus in the winter months!

Arrival at the Merchant Adventurers' Hall

The historic venue certainly wowed guests as they arrived. Everyone was in good spirits as they entered the grand hall.

It’s a significant bonus when the wedding is in a top tourist attraction! One thing to note is that no high heels were allowed without protectors! I think that added to the unique feel of the place – it reinforced to guests that the venue was special.

Hannah’s bridesmaids arrived in a lovley old car, followed by Hannah in a camper van.

The entrance to the Hall is through a small alleyway and unfamiliar passers by could easily miss the fantastic building hidden behind. This is good for keeping guests separate for the bride’s arrival.

The Wedding Ceremony

The wonky wooden floor and amazing tall beamed roof created a soft and spaceous feel despite the grandeur of the place.

The Great Hall is licenced for ceremonies and can seat up to 180 guests.

The generous dimensions of the hall meant the ceremony iteself did not feel at all uncomfortable. Some venues struggle for space, and having the registrars, couple, photographer, and guests all crammed up can result in a less relaxed atmosphere, but this was not the case at all here.

As the wedding photographer I had plenty of space to stand back and observe without intruding, and I was able to quietly (nice soft wooden floors) move around to view the ceremony from different angles.

Merchant Adventurers' Hall winter wedding
Merchant Adventurers' Hall winter wedding

Reception drinks at the Merchant Adventurers' Hall

After they were married, Hannah and Charlie lead guests downstairs for drinks and canapes.

The downstairs area had lower ceilings and was darker so provided a lovely cosy contrast in atmosphere to the grand space above.

Wedding Photos

The sun was dues to set just before 4pm, so there wouldn’t be much opportunity for outdoor photos.

As the weather was nice, but a little cold, I gathered the main guests outside for a few formal portraits, before caling the whole crowd outside.

The walled gardens surrounding the Merchants Adventurers’ Hall are perfect for photos – there are plenty of varying backdrops within a few meters, and hard paths, so no one had to sink into any mud!

Wedding Photos at Merchant Adventurers' Hall

Wedding breakfast and speeches

Once the grand hall was ready, guests were invited back up to be seated for the wedding breakfast. Catering was privided by Bradshaws of York, and OH my goodness! It was amazing! Such luxury which perfectly matched the grandeur of the setting… an excellent perk to being a Merchant Adventurers’ Hall wedding photographer!

Hannah had made individually personalised wedding favours for each guest – a champagne cork decorated to look like them. They were a massive hit! Everyone loved them, and it made a great ice breaker.

wedding planning - diy favours

Weddings at the Merchant Adventurers' Hall (General Info)

A quick Merchant Adventurers’ Hall fact file for anyone looking for a Medieval wedding venue in York!

Capacity: 180 guests seated
Licenced for weddings: Yes
Link to wedding brochure: PDF Wedding Brochure Merchant Adventurers’ Hall
Hall hire charges for weddings from 2021 fall in the £2000-£3000 bracket.
Parking: There is no car park for the hall, it’s in the very centre o York, so if guests are driving they will need to use one of the cty centre ones.
Picadilly is the closest, but not ideal as it closes at 6.30pm (I noticed a few guests having to leave and move there cars at this wedding). 
Public transport: 20 minutes walk from York train Station, and the Grimston Bar Park and Ride stops right outside.
Wedding Photos: The walled garden surrounding the hall are perfect, and it’s only a 2 minute walk to the Shambles if you want some more touristy photos in York.

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York Wedding Photographer

Happy Otter Photography
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