Timeline for Couples
We are delighted that you have chosen the Milling Barn as your wedding venue, and we will do our upper most to ensure you have your dream day with us. The following information is here to give you guidance notes and a comprehensive list of things to think about that you might like to do and by when.
Our normal office hours are 9.00am – 4.30pm Monday – Friday. You can also contact us via email, or by leaving a voice message and we will come back to you as soon as possible. If you would like to arrange to revisit us at any time, you are more than welcome to do so. However, as this is a private venue, you will need to make an appointment with us as there is not always someone on site.
Hold a date for 7 days whilst you check diaries and the availability of a church or registrar
Book the church or registrar
Confirm the date by completing the booking form and paying the deposit
9 Months prior to your Wedding
Pay the balance of your venue hire
8 – 12 Months prior to your Wedding
Enjoy a complimentary tasting event
7 – 8 Months prior to your Wedding
Meet our wedding planning team to select your drinks & menu choices
6 Months prior to your Wedding
Pay 50% of catering and drinks based on your expected minimum numbers
8 Weeks prior to your Wedding
Provide final information and choices
6 Weeks prior to your Wedding
Payment of the final invoice
3 Weeks prior to your Wedding
Final sign off of your event schedule and menus documents. No changes can be made at all inside 2 weeks
Access to the venue and dressing rooms will be from 9.00am. Access to bedrooms from 1.00pm
After the Wedding
Room check out and collection of decorations by 10.00am. Finish Breakfast and have all cars off site by 10.30am
How many guests can be catered for at any one time?
The Milling Barn dining room can seat up to 168 guests.
How many guests can be catered for with an evening reception?
300 for an unseated buffet.
Are you licensed for civil ceremonies & what is the maximum number of guests?
Yes, we have two licensed areas to hold ceremonies, one in the Dairy Barn and the in the Woodland which both have a capacity of 150.
Is there an additional charge for an outside ceremony?
Yes, £500. Due to the fact that we are required to set up for an inside ceremony as well as outside, in case of rain this requires twice the number of chairs and twice as much set up time.
How soon can we leave it before making up our mind about an outside ceremony?
You will need to confirm the outside ceremony 9 months prior to your wedding.
Will you have a dedicated wedding planning team?
Yes, absolutely. Our wedding planning team are very experienced and they will guide you through everything to help you plan your perfect day, and ensure it all runs smoothly.
Will you have a dedicated Event Supervisor on the day?
Yes. There will be one or more event supervisors who will be on site throughout the day to assist you from the moment you arrive in the morning, until the time you and your guests leave at night.
Do you offer exclusive use hire?
Yes, this is an exclusive events venue.
What time can we get access to the venue?
Your hire of the venue is from 9.00am until midnight.
What time does the venue close?
The music goes off and bar closes at midnight, with guests being asked to finish their drinks and leave the building and off site by 12.30am.
Is all the furniture included in the price?
Yes, your venue hire includes all the tables, chairs, napkins, outside furniture, fairy lights on the beams, PA system, music docking station, cake table, stand and cake knife, Easel. All glassware, cutlery and crockery are included in the catering as well as disposable plates and napkins for your evening buffet.
Can we bring in our own DJ?
Is live entertainment allowed?
What is not included in the venue hire price?
Accommodation and breakfast, chair covers, DJ, catering & drinks, decorations, candles & candelabra, wall and tree up lighters, outside ceremony area, the registrar, table cloths for rustic tables, entertainment & Patio heaters.
What are the music restrictions?
We do have a licence for live music up to 95 decibels and a music limiter that musicians must use to play through. All music to finish by 12.00am.
Is there a PA system?
In the Milling Barn there is a wireless microphone and PA system for speeches.
What happens to our wedding music to walk down the aisle to?
We require an iPod/phone/mp3 with a charger and a clearly labelled playlist. No CDS.
Can an IPod / tablet / CD player be plugged into the system?
Yes, but only in the Milling Barn itself. No CDS
Can music be played outside?
We allow music outside for outdoor wedding ceremonies and drinks receptions, although we do not allow music outdoors beyond 5.00pm of respect for our neighbours.
Is it possible to bring things in or set up the day before?
You can bring things in the day before which can be put in our store room, however, you will not be able to do any setting up of the venue until your hire period starts at 9.00am.
Where can wedding gifts be stored?
The venue is cleared and cleaned through the night after your wedding, so that it is ready for the next couple to come in. We will therefore place all your belongings in to safe storage for collection the following day. We would suggest you take home all wedding gifts, cards and personal items with you on the night as you depart.
When do we need to collect everything by?
By 10.00am the following morning, unless by prior consent. Please note that we reserve the right to withhold the security deposit until you have collected all your belongings.
How many toilets are there?
There are 4 ladies cubicles, 1 gent’s cubicle, 3 urinals, and a disabled lavatory with baby changing facilities.
Is there a cloakroom to hang coats and hats?
Is there sufficient parking space?
We have ample hard parking space which is adjacent to the venue and lit up at night for safety.
Is there access for coaches?
The main entrance is not generally wide enough for coaches and large vehicles, however, if drivers are concerned please advise them that we can open the back gates which has a much wider entrance.
Can cars be left overnight?
Yes, but at owners risk. Please ensure that cars are off the property by 10.30am at the latest as respect for the incoming wedding party to ensure there is enough parking.
Can our guests bring tents or camper vans to stay on site over night?
No, unfortunately we are neither licensed, insured or equipped to deal with camping on site.
Are there grounds around the venue for photos?
Yes, we have 40 acres of fields and woodland on the farm to give you ample space for a range of beautiful photographs in the lovely Hertfordshire countryside.
Can confetti be used on the premises?
Yes, as long as they are natural flower petals, lavender. We do not permit paper confetti or rice as it gets wet and is very difficult to clear up, making it look untidy for other couples.
Do you have any preferred suppliers you can recommend?
Yes, we have a number of preferred suppliers we recommend that we have worked with and are confident in what they provide.
Can we bring in our own outside suppliers or do the venue dressing ourselves?
Yes, absolutely but you will need to remove all decorations or equipment after the event that evening.
Do you need anything from our suppliers?
They will need to provide relevant insurance documentation and PAT testing certificates where necessary.
Can photographers / suppliers visit the venue prior to the wedding for a viewing?
Yes, if they contact us we can arrange a convenient time.
Is there a bridal dressing room?
Yes, the bridal dressing room which is included in the venue hire price which will be available between 9.00am – 8.00pm. This has en-suite facilities for you and your bridesmaids to get ready before the ceremony.
Is the venue insured?
Yes, The Venue Group as an operator take insurance and health and safety very seriously.
Is a deposit needed and is there a cancellation policy?
Yes, we require a £2,000 deposit on signing the contract which is non-refundable.
Do your prices include VAT?
Yes, all our prices are inclusive of VAT.
Are your prices fixed?
The venue and accommodation hire price will be fixed at the point of the deposit payment having been received. Food and beverage package prices will be fixed at the prevailing price 24 months before the date of your wedding.
What is the payment structure?
- £2,000 deposit.
- The balance of venue hire 9 months prior to your wedding.
- 50% of estimated catering and drinks based on minimum numbers, 6 months prior to your wedding.
- The balance of the catering and drinks package along with a £500 refundable security retainer, 6 weeks prior to your wedding.
Can I make changes inside 6 weeks before my wedding?
Yes, but for each change there will be a £25 administration fee up to 2 weeks prior to your wedding. There are no changes to be made inside 2 weeks before your wedding date. If you do require changes to be made inside 2 weeks, then there will be a £250 administration fee. Payments must be made on receipt.
Are there any hidden charges?
No, we try and make everything very clear about what is and isn’t included, and make recommendations you might not have considered.
How do we make a reservation?
If you would like to hold a date, you can do so free of charge for a period of 7 days whilst you go and consult diaries and make a reservation with the registrar, or church for your ceremony.
How do we confirm our booking?
We require you to complete and sign a booking form which you can send back to us by email and we will then send you an invoice for your deposit. You can pay by BACS, debit or credit card. We do not accept cheques or cash. Please note that if you intend to pay by card that you will need to allow 5 working days for bank clearance.
Food and Drinks Questions
Is there in-house catering?
We have partnered with The Chopping Block Catering Company as our in-house caterers as they have a tremendous amount of experience, passion and flair for all things food and drink.
Do you offer any open evenings or tasting events?
Yes, we have two tasting events a year, where couples are invited to experience our tasting menu with wine pairings. This includes a Prosecco and canape reception, followed by a selection of choices from our menu. Please note that short term bookings may miss the opportunity to attend one of these evenings.
Can we use our own caterers?
No, The Chopping Block have invested significantly into the Venue by installing their own kitchen, bar, equipment and staff, and are very much part and parcel of the Milling Barn.
Can we have an individual tasting?
Yes, this can be arranged with the Chopping Block team, but there is a nominal fee of £150 to include no more than 6 x canapés, 1 x starter, main & dessert with vegetarian options. Any additional dishes are an extra £15. This cost simply covers the cost of the ingredients and the chef’s preparation time to deliver this tasting for you.
What if we would like something your caterers cannot provide?
The Chopping Block has a very experienced team of chefs who can turn their hands to most things. Unfortunately, there may well be circumstances that they are not able to meet your requirements, so if this is likely to be the case, it is important you ask at the outset before booking with us.
Is there any flexibility on the menu?
The Chopping Block have an extensive catering repertoire and are happy to discuss bespoke menus. Please note that bespoke menus will carry a minimum surcharge of £500 depending on your menu requirements.
Will the caterers serve our wedding cake?
Yes. We recommend serving the cake as part of the evening buffet. The catering team will cut the cake and put it on platters and provide napkins. They won’t however cut up the cake and put it in to individual boxes.
Is there a minimum spend on food or drink?
All food and drinks packages have a minimum price per person. Our prices are based on minimum numbers of 70 adults for Saturdays and Sundays, 60 adults for Thursdays and Fridays. There is no minimum guest numbers on Mondays – Wednesdays, although there will be a minimum spend. Please check at the time of booking.
What provision do you have for children’s meals?
Children’s menus are priced at £25 per child for a 3 course meal or £20 for a 2 course meal.
Do you charge for babies and young children, and do you have any high chairs?
If we are not providing a meal for a baby or young child, then we will not charge you for them. Parents are welcome to bring in food for children in a high chair, which we have a number of and will provide these free of charge.
Can we offer our guests a choice of menu?
Included in the price of the menu you get 1 starter, 1 main course, 1 dessert as well as any vegetarian options. However, should you wish to offer guests a choice of any dishes there will be a supplementary charge for starters and desserts of £1.75 and £3.00 for main courses. Please note that is price is applicable for all guests and not just those who choose the option. We will need all food choices to be made ready for the final planning document.
Do we have to feed our suppliers?
Yes, most suppliers including photographers and bands often require feeding, so it is important to find out from them if this is required, for how many and at what time, so that we can build it in to the plan for the day.
Can we bring in a cheese wedding cakes?
If you want to bring in your own cheese wedding cake instead of a traditional wedding cake we will provide plates and knives, but not any of the biscuits or chutneys. Please note that couples will not be permitted to bring in a traditional wedding cake as well as a cheese wedding cake. There will be a flat service charge of £300.
Can we bring in our own food?
No, with the exception of the wedding cake or cheese wedding cake. Due to new food laws any cakes delivered for the catering team to serve, will need to be supplied with a full list of storage instructions and allergens. If the cake contains fresh ingredients that need to be refrigerated, the cake will be temperature checked on arrival before being placed in to the fridges. Please note that whilst we are happy to serve your cake free of charge, we are indemnified against any damage.
Can the catering team provide for specific dietary requirements?
If any of your day or evening guests have any dietary requirements other than vegetarian, then we request that they must complete an online form at www.millingbarn.co.uk/dietaries. This includes allergies, religion or medical requirements and is there so that our chefs can accurately and diligently address their needs. Please note that failure to do so will mean they will be served the same other guests.
Do you have a licenced bar?
We have a fully licensed bar to serve alcohol until midnight 7 days a week. However, if a wedding is taking place at Milling Barn we are not allowed to serve drinks prior to the ceremony. We accept credit and debit cards as well as cash, although we do not accept cheques.
Where are the bars located?
Our main fully stocked bar is in the Milling Barn, however, we do also have a smaller bottle and house wine bar which is in the Dairy Barn which we use for drinks receptions.
How do you manage underage drinking?
We operate a strict ”Think 25” policy and will only serve alcohol to over 18’s with valid identification. Please advise any young looking over 18 year olds to bring valid ID to prevent any embarrassment and disappointment on the day.
Can you supply your own alcohol and what is the fee?
Yes, you can bring your own wine & champagne, but in order to cover the cost of handling, chilling, glassware and service, we charge £11.95 for a (750ml) bottle of wine and £15.95 for (750ml) sparkling wine or champagne. Magnums or other volume bottles will be charged at an appropriate price. If you require speciality drinks that we don’t normally stock, these will be sold to you (full cases / bottles) at wholesale prices with 35% handling charge, a corkage charge is then charged separately on top.
Do we get any money back if we don’t drink all of our drinks?
Corkage charges are charged in full prior to the day, and no refund on returned bottles or other drink is available, as staffing, equipment and handling has to be put in place on the amount of stock you supply, rather than what you actually drink.
Are we allowed to bring in beverage favours?
Unfortunately, we do not allow couples to bring in beverage favours, although these can be purchased as part of your drinks package.
What is the average price for a pint and a price of a glass of wine from the bar?
Our bar prices are based on standard bar / restaurant prices and are subject to change occasionally throughout the year.
Can we pre order drinks?
Yes, our experienced team can recommend how many drinks you will need at different stages throughout the day. Any bottles that are left over can be collected and taken away the next day. However, no refunds are given based on what is not drunk.
Can we set up a tab for drinks?
Yes, and we can let you know when you are reaching your limit throughout the day so that should you wish to extend it, you can. Bar tabs are at standard bar prices and payment will need to be taken in advance for an appropriate amount you wish to put on the tab.
Can you make cocktails?
We do have an experienced bar team that can make cocktails, although our bars are not specifically set up to do so. However, if you want to discuss a bespoke cocktail package, then please ask and we’d be more than happy to discuss this with you.
Does the bar serve draught beer and lager?
We do serve draught lager, but due to the short shelf life of beer, we do not serve draught beer. However, we do have a selection of bottled ales.
What time does the bar open and close?
We can open the bar from the moment the wedding ceremony is completed and then last orders are called at 11.45pm, with the bar closing at midnight.
(N.B: This is only applicable from 2019 onwards.)
Is there any accommodation on site?
Yes, from 2019 we will have 8 en-suite letting rooms available for you and your guests.
What time can guests check in to their room?
2.00pm on the day of the wedding.
What time do guests need to checkout?
Guests need to vacate their rooms by 10.00am. Guests are required to have vacated the venue by 10.30am.
What is included in the accommodation price?
The rooms all have a double bed, dressing table facilities with an en-suite bathroom with shower and a continental breakfast.
What time is breakfast served?
8.00am – 10.00am.
How much are the rooms?
All rooms including the bridal suite are £125 per room.
How do guests book and pay for their rooms?
Room bookings can be managed online at www.millingbarn.co.uk/room-bookings. You will be given a VIP code which will be valid until 6 months prior to your wedding to enable your preferred guests’ to book their rooms. After 6 months the rooms will then go on to general release for any of your other guests.
What happens if there are rooms left un-booked?
Milling Barn is an exclusive use venue and therefore all the rooms are reserved for you and your guests. Therefore, any rooms left un-booked 7 weeks prior to your wedding will be added to your final invoice.
Can I book rooms for more than 1 night?
No, we reserve the accommodation for couples booking the venue, and as we operate 7 days a week, we are not able to take bookings for more than 1 night.
Venue Rules and Information
The Milling Barn is registered with Bishops Stortford Registration Office. You will need to book with them independently to hold your service at our venue informing them which area you are looking to get married at. Their charges vary for different times of the week and year.
Bishop’s Stortford Registration Office, Riverside House, 2 Hockerill Street, Bishop’s Stortford, Hertfordshire, CM23 2DL
T: 0300 123 4045 | E: firstname.lastname@example.org
They are very helpful and will try to accommodate you where possible. Our normal time slot is 1.30pm. The registrar will turn up 30 minutes before the ceremony and spend 15 minutes with each of you on your own before the ceremony starts. The ceremony will then take approximately 30 minutes, at which point when you have signed the register they will go on to their next appointment. As they are so busy, they will not make themselves late and so it is really important you are ready on time.
Please be aware that if you choose to have an outdoor ceremony, we have to set up the Dairy Barn as a precaution for wet weather. The registrar will make the final decision when she arrives based on whether it is raining or there is a threat of rain during the ceremony.
Setting up the venue
We ensure that by 9.00am in the morning of your wedding that the venue will be ready, with tables and chairs set out and napkins placed on the tables. From this point on, the in-house catering and bar team, plus any of your other chosen suppliers, or family and friends can come in and start to get set up.
If anyone wishes to bring in things the day before, they are more than welcome to do so and place them in our store room for easy access in the morning. The venue generally takes about 2 – 3 hours to get set up depending on how many guests you have and how much there is to bring in to the venue. A venue wedding coordinator will be on hand throughout to ensure everyone knows where things are to be set up or where to find things.
Decorations – house rules
Please do not damage the premises in any way or use nails, screws, staples, glue, tape or any other permanently damaging fixatives to decorate and adorn the barns. We have already strategically placed hooks around the buildings on beams for you to use as fixing points to make things easier for you, but also to reduce damage to paintwork.
You or your venue dresser are responsible for taking down any decorations that you bring with you at the end of the evening, and you will be liable for any damage, decoration removal or excessive clearing up as a result of not doing so.
We do provide candle and tea light packages for you to purchase which our team will be responsible for setting up and clearing away. However, you are welcome to bring you own if you wish. Candles must be on a plate or mirror, or inside a container so that wax does not leak on to the table cloths causing damage. LED tea lights and candles can be used on the beams as long as they are secure and cannot fall.
Fireworks & Chinese lanterns
We do not permit lanterns at all. We only allow fireworks on or around November 5th or New Years Eve. If you have booked one of these dates and would like fireworks you must use a professional company with a minimum of £5 million insurance cover.
Outdoor heaters, braziers & fire pits
We do have our own outdoor heaters that you can hire for an additional fee. We do not allow braziers or fire pits due to the mess they make with logs and ash blowing in the wind, and the potential risk they cause.
We have 30 handmade 6ft long trestle tables which we can either set up in a banquet style or 2 side-by-side creating a table to seat up to 12 guests. Additionally we have two smaller handmade tables for the wedding cake and the registrar.
Smoking & vaping
Smoking and vaping are prohibited inside this venue.
Plug in chargers
Please ensure that if you need to use one of our power points to charge a device that you ask the Venue Manager prior to doing so. All chargers must carry the registered CE trade mark.
The venue is generally cleaned directly after the party has finished so that if anything is found, it will be put with your things to go through the following day. If it is not immediately found we will gladly take the name and number of the person that has lost something, so that should it turn up we can contact them directly.
Personal possessions or belongs that are damaged or go missing
Please note that The Venue Group shall not be liable for any loss or damage to property at the venue and is left at the owners’ risk.
No alcohol may be brought on site without prior permission including drinks bought by guests for personal consumption. The venue licensees reserve the right to confiscate any unauthorised alcohol and ask the offending guests to leave the property. Persistent offending may result in the venue closing immediately and a £500 fine being issued to the wedding couple.
If any alcohol is given as a gift, please ensure that you make one of the management staff aware so that they can put it in safe keeping, and prevent any fines being incurred.
If any of the Milling Barn staff find any, or find any person using what they believe to be illegal drugs on the property, those guests will be escorted from the building and the local authorities will be contacted immediately to investigate the matter further.
We love to see children enjoying being at Milling Barn, but please be aware that they must be kept under strict supervision at all times to try and prevent any unnecessary accidents. This will be an unfamiliar environment for everyone attending with a lot of noise and distractions throughout the day.
Health and safety is everyone’s responsibility. Please do your part to ensure everyone has a safe and enjoyable day.
We do not encourage guests to bring their animals as they may cause offense to other guests. However, if you need or would like to bring an animal on site, we kindly ask that you seek permission beforehand and look after your animal responsibly.
We have a number of taxi companies we use on a regular basis and our management team will be more than happy to provide numbers or call one on your behalf. Please do not leave it until the last minute as you may be disappointed and it is a long walk.
Milling Barn has good access throughout, with wide paths and doors, gentle ramps instead of awkward steps and a designated disabled lavatory. If there is anything further that we can do to make it more user friendly, we will be glad of any advice.
Tips to staff are entirely at your discretion, but are very much appreciated if you are pleased with the service you receive.
Our wedding was everything we wanted and more. You have been organised, flexible and most important available to speak to whoever we have needed you. During our meetings you were transparent with all of our choices and the costs that would go with these. You were able to help us adapt the choices available to meet our needs. You and your colleagues organisation and management of the day was spot on and the day flowed seamlessly despite the rain. The food/drink both at the wedding breakfast and the evening were fantastic and a lot of our guests commented on how tasty the burgers were :) Milling barn is truely a beautiful venue which I am so pleased we were able to use for our special day.
Hannah & Jamie
I just wanted to say thank you to everyone at Milling Barn for putting on such a great day for our wedding. You and Rob were so helpful throughout and all the staff made sure everyone was being looked after from start to finish.
Kelly and I are so grateful for everything and we wish you all the very best for the future. If anyone asks for a recommendation for a wedding venue I will be sure to put them in touch with you!
Kelly & Lewis
This was the first and ONLY venue that my now husband and I viewed at the beginning of the year, fell in love with it, and decided to go ahead and book. Working with the venue team was extremely easy from the outset, and we got everything we wished for in our wedding day, and more. The venue is incredible and beautiful even without any additional decorations, the chef's at the Chopping Block are great, and very accommodating of special requests, and all other staff were fantastic. The most amazing and memorable day in my life at Milling Barn.. Thank you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
We attended our friends wedding recently at Milling Barn. The venue is gorgeous, the weather held out and we managed to use the garden and surrounding grounds for some great photos. The food was faultless and all the staff helpful, professional and cared about every aspect of the day.
Our Wedding Day (17.6.16) was simply perfect!! The staff went above and beyond to ensure everything went exactly as planned and smoothly!! Couldn't have picked a better venue love this place!! Food, dressing room, surroundings for pictures and luckily for us the weather were all absolutely amazing!!
Highly recommended for Couples searching for their dream venue!
Thank you for hosting our wedding this weekend. The venue is beautiful and the planning team was brilliant. All queries answered quickly and everyone loved the barn! Milling Barn was our first venue we looked at and we didn't even bother to look at any others. Thank you again for being a massive part of making our big day so wonderful.
Rosalyn & Darrell Simmons