This page is for couples booked to have their big day at Cott Farm. If something’s not covered below, please do get in touch! Please also do have a look at our Questions & Answers page.
Marriages and Civil Partnerships
If you are having a civil marriage or partnership ceremony at Cott Farm, you will need to do the following:
1. Book your Registration Officers
As soon as you have chosen your venue and wedding date, you should book the registrars for your wedding ceremony. Regardless of where you live, you need to contact our local office. The Barn at Cott Farm is within the Somerset Registration Service (Somerset Council) region, telephone: 01823 282251.
Registrars can be booked up to two years in advance of your wedding date and we recommend booking your registrar early to ensure they are available. It is your responsibility to make the necessary booking with the registration office.
Somerset Registration Service now accept new ceremony booking requests online. Send a Ceremony Booking Request to Somerset Registration Service here and select ‘Cott Farm’ for the venue.
2. Give notice
You need to give Notice of Marriage before your marriage can be solemnised. The Notices must be given in person by both of you. They cannot be given more than 12 months in advance and no less than 29 days before your wedding date. Notices are valid for 12 months so we recommend giving your notice three to six months before your wedding.
Notice needs to be given in the county in which you live. If you live in a different county to your future spouse, a separate notice must be given in each county.
3. Plan your ceremony
This is your big day and to a large extent it’s up to you how you celebrate your marriage. You need to agree on what legal declarations and vows you want to say to each other. The details of everything you want to include need to be given to Somerset Registration Service at least 4 weeks before your ceremony, or they can prepare a standard ceremony format for you. As a guide, a civil wedding ceremony will last between 20 and 30 minutes, depending on which personal readings and music you choose.
Please see the marriage and partnerships guidance from Somerset Registration Service for more details.
You are required to obtain wedding / event insurance as part of your booking with us.
Please see the links below for more information on wedding insurance and price comparison sites. We cannot recommend specific insurance companies because of the law governing the selling of financial products.
Note: Wedding insurance is often only available up to 2 years before your wedding date. If you have booked a date with us that is more than two years ahead, you will need to arrange suitable cover at the earliest opportunity.
Order of the day
We are here to ensure you have your best day ever and are on hand to work with you to plan the order of your big day.
Every wedding is different and timings are largely determined by the format and contents of your ceremony, the number of guests, your wedding breakfast menu and your entertainment. As a rough guide we recommend allowing:
- Ceremony: 30 minutes (if having a civil ceremony at Cott Farm)
- Welcome drinks, canapés & photos: 1 – 2 hours (depending on whether you are having canapés)
- Wedding breakfast: 1.5 – 3 hours (depending on menu, number of courses and number of guests, but roughly 45 minutes per course + 15 minutes)
- Speeches & toasts: 45 minutes – 1 hour (they’ll probably take more like 30 minutes, but it’s good to allow a buffer before your band arrives to set up)
- Band set up: 1.5 hours
- Evening food: 1 – 1.5 hours (depending on menu and number of guests)
We will work through these timings with you to make sure your day runs as smoothly as possible.
Master of ceremonies
We expect you to arrange a master of ceremonies for your day. This is typically a job for your best man, maid of honour or an usher, but any guest who enjoys public speaking would be suitable! We don’t need this person to ‘keep track of time’ or anything else other than make announcements when prompted by us – we provide wedding coordination throughout the day and will find your master of ceremonies at the time they are needed to announce each part of the day.
- The Barn can seat up to 150 people, with ten people on each of our 15 handmade wooden tables.
- We recommend seating at least eight people per table.
- Each table is 2.4 metres long x 1 metre wide.
- Our tables do not require table cloths, but we think a table runner looks good.
- Recommended table runner lengths: if you’re seating ten guests to a table (i.e. one either end and four down each side), we recommend allowing a space of at least 30cm for each place setting. A table runner of 1.8m long x 40 cm wide is ideal. If you’re seating eight to a table (i.e. no one either end), a table runner longer than the table length (to create an overhang) looks pretty. Please contact us if you’d like us to hire these for you.
- Chair covers: our chairs are all wooden to suit the style of the barn and you do not need to use chair covers.
- If you have hired the venue for the weekend, you are free to decorate The Barn, its grounds and the ceremony pergola as much, or as little, as you’d like. We ask that you are mindful to not damage the fabric or contents of the building and grounds. Hooks are provided on the walls inside the barn for you to hang your own decorations (or to use ours) – please use these and not drawing pins, Sellotape, blu-tack or any other fixings. All decorations provided by you must be removed by you at the end of the hire period.
- The barn is approx. 20m long and 10m wide. There are 7 wooden beams spanning the 10m width. Each beam is fitted with fairy lights (which are included). You are welcome to use the beams to hang additional decorations.
- In addition to the fixed decorations, we have a wide range of wedding styling props and decorations. See our range of wedding venue styling props…
We provide a lace curtain at the back opposite the steps. If you wish to provide a garland, swag, or similar, this space is 210cm wide.
If you wish to decorate the railings at the front, each side is 160cm wide.
We will always try to make everything happen as you want it on your big day. This includes your preference to have your wedding outside, but unfortunately the weather is one of the things we cannot control. However, we do have the perfect back up plan in place as the barn itself is licensed for ceremonies.
There’ll be no other weddings taking place anywhere at the venue, which means right up until the morning of the big day itself you (or indeed the weather) can choose your ceremony location. We can leave the ceremony location decision until the last possible moment, with all our fingers crossed, but please note the Registrars may insist you have your ceremony inside if the weather is awful, and we can’t overrule them as it is a legal ceremony. Please do trust us – we will always try and work to your wishes and will help you make a decision in the best interests of everyone!
Please choose one type of welcome drink for all guests. This will be served with a non-alcoholic alternative. Your welcome drinks must be served by the glass; we do not serve individually pre-bottled or canned drinks as welcome drinks. Our licensed bar will be open throughout the day should your guests wish to purchase a different drink.
If you are having a full wedding with us and are providing your own table wine, you will need one bottle of wine per six adult guests. We have legal obligations as a licensed premises and you must not exceed this quantity. Any left over table wine will be packed away after your meal and stored for you to enjoy at home. Please remember you are responsible for removing all waste and recycling from the wine you have provided by the end of the hire period so please allow sufficient vehicle space on Sunday!
Guests are strictly not permitted to bring their own drinks at any point.
Alcoholic ‘favours’ and thank you gifts are strictly not permitted.
Catering prices include individual place settings for the menu and drinks you have chosen, for example serviettes, cutlery, crockery and glasses. Plus tableware for each table, such as salt & pepper mill, water jug, serving equipment and wine cooler.
We do not restrict the number of children you may invite but, if more than 10% of your guests are under 14 years old, you must arrange a suitably qualified and insured creche or childminding service for the duration of the wedding. Please see our list of local wedding suppliers.
Children must be fully supervised throughout the day and night.
Children over 10 will be served the same meal as adults. We can usually offer under 10s smaller portions of your chosen adult main course but unfortunately cannot change starter and dessert portions. We do not currently have highchairs so parents will need to bring their own if required.
- All food must be provided by us. The only exception to this is your wedding cake, which must be supplied by a registered food business (this means they must be registered with their local authority for food hygiene purposes).
- All other food, including savoury cakes such as those made of cheese, must be provided by us due to strict food hygiene rules.
- As with all suppliers you have arranged, you do need to send us your cake baker’s documents in advance.
- You must ensure your wedding cake takes into account your guests’ food allergies. For example, no food containing nuts can be on the premises if you have a guest with a nut allergy.
- Once you’ve done your ceremonial wedding cake cutting, we transport it to the kitchen and process it into slices to be served informally ‘buffet-style’ during the evening. There is no charge for informal cake service for full weekend weddings; you will just need to supply equipment for your guests to consume your cake – typically serviettes (or we can arrange plate and fork hire at cost price). Please contact us for options and pricing for single day wedding/event venue hire.
Setting up & access
The agreed booking period for a full weekend wedding is:
Friday 10am – 5pm to set up
Saturday (the Event Date) 1pm – 1am
Sunday 10am – 1pm to collect possessions.
Please refer to the booking terms and conditions if you have booked something other than a full weekend wedding with us.
Deliveries & collections
You are responsible for liaising with your own suppliers (any person or company you have contracted directly). This includes their delivery and collections, and removing all items supplied by them (including rubbish and recycling) between your agreed booking times. We cannot accept deliveries or collections from your suppliers on your behalf so please ensure you arrange their arrival on Friday and Sunday when you will be there between the agreed hire times.
You must ensure each of your suppliers have appropriate insurance and credentials, and supply us with written evidence of this in advance of your event date. We cannot allow suppliers on site without this written evidence.
Catering for your suppliers on the day
You will often be expected or contractually required to provide food and drink for your suppliers. Photographers usually always need to be included in your daytime guest numbers for catering. They will normally sit separately to eat their food while you and your guests are eating.
We would expect you to include your evening suppliers (especially your band, and often your photographer) in your evening food numbers.
Some suppliers expect a provision for drinks from the bar too, and we are happy to accommodate you if you wish to set up a small soft drinks bar tab for suppliers. Please check with your individual suppliers what they expect or require and let us know what has been agreed. We are unable to provide food or drink for suppliers without prior arrangement with you.
- Real flower confetti is allowed. This must be used outdoors only.
- We do not allow any synthetic (including that labelled ‘biodegradable’) confetti anywhere within the grounds.
- Confetti is not permitted inside the barn. This includes table ‘confetti’ decor.
- Please tell your band or DJ music must finish by 12 midnight on Saturdays (11pm Monday – Friday and 10pm on Sundays). This cannot be extended.
- The usual spot for bands in the top right corner is 5m x 2.5m. More or less space can be agreed with you. The Barn is equipped with 13A power sockets.
- We recommend your performer(s) arrive prepared for their performance. There are no private rooms or spaces them to use.
- All entertainment providers must have public liability insurance and are liable for the safe use of their equipment. In the case of equipment such as bouncy castles, it will only be permitted if they are fully staffed throughout its use. Please contact us to discuss.
- Catering for your entertainers and other suppliers must be pre-ordered, if required (please see above).
- We do not permit Chinese lanterns or fireworks.
- We do not permit smoke bombs.
- Please contact us if you wish to have sparklers. These are permitted but need to be arranged and managed through us for obvious reasons.
Camping & parking
- If you have booked our glamping & camping option, this includes five bell tents and your guests can bring their own camper vans, and caravans, as well as tents. We do not have electric hook up facilities.
- Our glamping and camping option is one price for the exclusive use of the whole camping field (including the bell tents). We don’t offer an option for guests to book individually with us. Likewise, breakfast can only be provided for the minimum number of guests and we can’t offer this to individuals. It’s not a problem for you to ask your guests to pay you for their camping pitch and breakfast, however you are responsible for making such arrangements with your guests.
- You have exclusive use of the venue from Friday morning. Your guests may set up and take down their tents at anytime during your hire period. Staying overnight is only permitted on the night of the wedding.
- All guests must leave The Barn by 1am. Those camping must head back to the campsite. No sound systems/amplifiers etc are permitted in the campsite.
- Sorry, but we cannot permit overnight stays by anyone if you have not booked our glamping & camping option.
- Guests may leave their cars parked overnight at Cott Farm at their own risk. Guest vehicles must be removed by midday the following day.
- Guests must prebook taxis because of our rural location.
- As you’re aware, we built this room firstly as a level access loo for less-mobile guests. The nook has proved a popular addition to our venue, and especially with grooms getting dressed pre-ceremony. You’re very welcome to use the nook for this purpose but please do note this is subject to the agreed access times.
- The dressing room is intended as a private space for couples on the day. Though we don’t strictly limit use of the space to you (the couple) and your less-mobile guests, fire regulations limit the capacity to a maximum of three people at any one time.
Visiting Cott Farm
- In addition to your initial viewing, we find it helpful for you to make an additional two visits to the farm between booking the venue and your wedding day.
- One visit shortly after you have booked with us is perfect for you to re-visualise the space, make plans and ask any questions. This often includes bringing parents and/or friends to show them the space.
- The other visit is normally around six weeks before your wedding day so that we can finalise your plans with you.
- If you would like to arrange additional visits for you, your family/friends or your suppliers, we will always try to accommodate you but there may be a small additional charge for this. Please remember visits to the farm are by appointment only.
Changing your booking
Are we able to make amendments to our booking – for example guest numbers and changes to booked requirements?
We appreciate your final guest numbers may increase or decrease by a few people between your completing your booking form and receiving your RSVPs, and that is expected. However, if your numbers look like they’re going to vary significantly either way from your booking, or if you would like to change anything else you have booked from us, please let us know as soon as possible.
All amendments to your booked requirements must be agreed in writing with us. This is because your booked requirements (as specified on your booking form) are used to calculate the estimated price and payment schedule for your booking using the costs specified in our brochure for venue hire, catering and your other requirements. We use these to plan and book everything from our suppliers for the booked date to the wider schedule of maintenance, renewals and other annual costs. It’s therefore really important we are aware of – and agree to – any amendments you wish to make to your booking.
Are we able to change our wedding date/postpone our wedding?
Your booking with us is date specific and we’re not able to offer voluntary postponements. If you wish to change your booked date, you will need to cancel your existing booking with us and book a new date. Cancellation is subject to the terms and costs set out in our booking terms and conditions. You are required to obtain wedding/event insurance as part of your booking with us so please check your wedding/event insurance covers your circumstances before contacting us to discuss booking a new date.
Note within 14 days of booking with us: We can sometimes accommodate date changes to another available date within one month either side of your booked date. For example, if the registrars have no availability on your booked date we will endeavour to move your booking with us to the next or previous available weekend. However whilst we will try to accommodate your request if made within 14 days of booking with us, no guarantee can be made.
Please do in touch if you have any questions or need any help!
Becca & Ollie x