FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What is the charge for the hire of the venue for a ceremony?
This will depend on your requirements, the day of the week you prefer and the month of the year. Please see Tariff & How to Book for full information.

What does the venue hire include?
The price includes exclusive use of the Lawrence Room on the ground floor, the Palk Room on the first floor for the ceremony plus the use of the roof terrace at the top of the building, and the grounds for the three hour hire period. Any drinks services and canapé catering will be organised separately with our dedicated bridal team.

Do you hold ceremonies for the renewal of marriage vows? We do! Please call Debbie for further information.

How do I know what dates are available?
Please check our availability page for all available dates.

How much will a typical wedding with canapés and drinks cost?
As a guide our wedding and civil partnership ceremony costs range from £595 to £895 without refreshments.

With refreshments - a typical high season Saturday wedding based on 50 guests attending would cost approximately £1320 which would include the venue hire, waitress serving of drinks (supplied by yourself), canapés after the ceremony, glass hire, linen and table hire along with all setting up and clearing away. The total however will depend on the number of guests and the day of the wedding.

Does the cost include the Registrar’s fee?
No, this is a separate fee of around £475 paid direct to the Registrar. You need to liaise personally with the Devon Registration Service (Exeter) to book your Registrar for the required date and time for your civil wedding or civil partnership. Details on our How to Book page.

Can I use a celebrant for my marriage ceremony? Under the legal requirements of English marriage law you will need to call Devon Registration Service and fulfil the legal requirements to marry - couples can hold a simple ceremony at the Register Office, or invite the Registrar to come to their venue (as above).  Then, once the legal elements of your marriage have been witnessed and signed, a celebrant can conduct a ceremony created especially for you while you enjoy every precious moment of your unique wedding ceremony.

Will prices such as venue hire, food and drinks rise after I book and pay my deposit?
The charge for the venue is fixed on the date that you pay the deposit,  The cost of serving the drinks is also fixed at £2.50 per head. However the prices for food may vary; you will need to check these with Janet.

Is there a best time of year for weather?
As with any venue in Britain we are in the lap of the gods as our weather is so variable, however it can be amazing on any day during any month of the year.

Do you offer winter weddings?
Yes we do and the first floor Palk Room offers spectacular views during the winter months.

What times are available for our wedding/civil ceremony?
There are two ceremony times; 11.00am in the morning and 3.00pm in the afternoon. However weekdays and low season (November-February) we are able to be more flexible.

Is the Castle exclusive to us?
Yes; your ceremony will be the only wedding or civil partnership taking place at the Haldon Belvedere during the hire period and your fee gives exclusive use of the Lawrence Room and the Palk Room. The roof terrace, the lawns, the grounds and the King’s Bridge are available for your use.

We do not live locally, will this be an issue?
Many of our couples do not live locally and our dedicated Wedding Coordinator Janet will be able to assist in making your day a success. Take a look at Real Weddings for testimonials.

What is the maximum number of guests?
The Castle is a venue for the intimate, smaller ceremonies of up to 65 guests. The Palk Room caters for a maximum of 55 people (including children but not babes in arms). This number includes the bride and groom, the two Registrar’s, photographer and musicians if arranged. An additional 15 guests can utilise the video link in the Lawrence Room on the ground floor giving a total of 65 guests.

Do you have any suggestions or ideas that have worked well before?
Choose an accompanying canapé menu to go with your drinks to keep your guests happy after the ceremony giving time for those all-important photographs.
Create a relaxed and informal garden party atmosphere and allow guests to make full advantage of the lawns, the roof terrace and the stunning views.

A typical wedding might follow these timings for morning 10.00am to 1.00pm or afternoon 2.00pm to 5.00pm. Times shown in brackets below are for the afternoon.
10.00am (2.00pm) Access for florist, musicians, drinks or entertainers.
10.30am (2.30pm) Guests arrive. Groom meets Registrar.
10.50am (2.55pm) Bride arrives and meets Registrar before proceeding to Palk Room.
11.00am (3.00pm) The Ceremony begins; the length depends on the Registrar and your wishes.
11.30am (3.30pm) Canapés and drinks served by waitresses whilst photographs are taken in the Palk Room, on the roof terrace and in the grounds including the King’s Bridge.
1.00pm (5.00pm) Wedding party departs to the reception venue.

Could we supply our own drinks and is corkage charged?
Yes; you can supply your own drinks but our in-house drinks service via Janet must be utilised. The in-house drinks service of £2.50 per person (min charge £75) covers the services of waitresses and the hire of glasses, tables and linen for the 3 hour hire period, with you supplying any drinks (alcoholic and non-alcoholic) you wish us to serve. We have facilities to keep your drinks chilled. Corkage is not charged.

Could we supply our own food?
We do not allow clients to supply food or bring their own caterers but if you wish to offer catering - we have range of canapé and finger buffet menus specifically designed to complement your drinks. Simply contact Janet to discuss your requirements but we would recommend that catering is booked well in advance to ensure availability. Waitress service included.

Do you have a solution for less able guests to view the ceremony taking place on the first floor?
Yes; there is a video link from the Palk Room to the Lawrence Room on the ground floor where less abled guests may sit and watch the ceremony. Alternatively, arrangements may be made to use a specialist medical facilitator to transport your guest up the spiral staircase. Details on Contact page.

Do you have a ground floor ceremony room?
The Lawrence Room is licensed for ceremonies enabling a smaller ceremony if required to take place on the ground floor which is useful if the bridal party or a number of guests struggle with mobility. The Lawrence Room can seat a maximum of 20 people with many more guests standing. However that maximum number of guests is no more than 65.

Do you have a sound system?
No – You simply bring along an iPod or laptop with speakers or a CD player; or arrange some live music such as a harp, string quartet or close harmony singers. The acoustics are wonderful in the Palk Room. For musicians who have performed at the Castle see Suppliers.

Are there any restrictions on music for the ceremony?
Yes; due to regulations imposed by the Registrar the use of ‘religious music’ is prohibited during the ceremony while the Registrar is present.

Could we have our reception or an evening party at the Castle?
Due to the configuration of this historic building we are unfortunately unable to accommodate a traditional wedding reception feast. However Janet would be pleased to discuss an intimate reception for under 30 people if you have an afternoon ceremony.

What decorations will we need?
The character of this historic building does not require extensive decoration. As a Grade II* Listed building no decorations are to be attached to the walls. Many couples arrange for the stairwell to be dressed with flowers or other decorations such as ribbons. Floral arrangements for the Palk Room are also worth considering. You will have access from the start of the hire period for decorating purposes.

Is confetti permitted?
As the grounds are open to a range of wild life including deer we only permit biodegradable confetti or bubbles. Foil or metal confetti in any form is prohibited. Confetti of any type is not permitted within the Castle. Confetti can be used outside and away from the premises. The main entrance door will be closed prior to confetti being thrown.

Will we be able to send off Chinese sky lanterns, fireworks, firecrackers or helium balloons?
No, we are sorry but they cannot be released within the grounds or from the Castle. This is part of the Devon Historic Buildings Trust ecological policy.

Will we be able to have candles?
Candles are not permitted anywhere within the premises but we suggest using LED tea lights or LED candles that are easily available online.

Smoking policy
In line with Government legislation Devon Historic Buildings Trust operates a ‘no smoking’ policy within the building and on the roof terrace.

Is there parking available?
There is a private car park below the Castle for approximately 20 cars. Alternatively there is further parking on the public Haldon parking splay area at the bottom of the drive. Seven designated spaces are available outside the Castle for the wedding cars, the disabled and the Registrars. We would recommend that an usher/friend guides your guests to park.

Can large coaches, minibuses or double decker buses manage the drive at the Haldon Belvedere?

Absolutely!  The vehicles can come up the drive, drop off passengers and turn around.  However the vehicles must be removed and parked on the Haldon Gate splay at the bottom of the drive until it is time for your guests to be collected.

What is your Wedding cancellation policy?
• All deposits are non-returnable
• Cancellations must be made in writing
• Cancellation time:
ϖ Up to 6 months prior to the booked date – the deposit will be withheld
ϖ 4-6 months prior to the booked date – 50% of the estimated cost at the time of booking
ϖ 2-4 months prior to the booked date – 75% of the estimated cost at the time of booking
ϖ 2 months or less prior to the booked date – 100% of the estimated value at the time of booking

What happens if we cancel?
We are conscious of the difficulties that can arise from the customer in the event of cancellation. With that in mind, we recommend that you take out adequate wedding insurance to cover any unforeseen eventualities. Policies are available from a variety of sources including online retailers from as little as £20.

If we have hired the apartment and we cancel the wedding, and wish to cancel the apartment too what is the cancellation policy?
The apartment policy is the same as the wedding cancellation policy.

Could you help us find companies to make our day special?
Yes - Janet has a wealth of information and there are superb local wedding suppliers, who specialise in flowers, cakes, photography, transport, as well as makeup artists/beauticians and entertainers; all of whom know the Haldon Belvedere. Please talk to Janet or see Suppliers for more information.

Do we have a personal contact for our ceremony at the Castle?
Yes – Janet our dedicated wedding coordinator is on hand to help you from the initial viewing through to looking after you on your special day. Debbie from Devon Historic Buildings Trust will be your contact for booking and payment.

Janet Unwin - email or call 01647 252834 or 07711 261655

Debbie Parnall email or 01392 833846