IF you go down to Ecclesall Woods, you could be in for a surprise.
For Sheffield’s largest ancient woodland is the latest place for couples to get married.
As increasing numbers of couples look for somewhere a little different to tie the knot, the council is preparing to add Ecclesall Woods is to its list of wedding locations.
The new JG Graves Discovery Centre will be available for bookings from next spring, although some couples are already putting down their names.
There is the choice of the Sycamore Suite, which accommodates up to 70 guests and faces into the woods, with large glass doors that open on to a decked area, or Hectors House, a little cottage in the woods for up to 40 people.
Ceremonies and receptions can take place in the Discovery Centre and receptions can be held under canvas in the woods or in a clearing on the other side of Abbey Lane. A wigwam is an option.
Sheffield already capitalises on its many parks by licensing civil wedding and civil partnership ceremonies in the bandstand in Weston Park and the central dome of the Paxton Pavilions in the Botanical Gardens. Marquee wedding receptions can also be held in various parks and woodlands across the city.
Now there is the option of Ecclesall Woods, which is now a focal point for wood-based businesses and craft courses.
Council cabinet member Leigh Bramall said: “It is great that we are able to open up our parks, woodlands and open spaces for everyone to enjoy, after all they belong to everyone in the city.
“Sheffield is the greenest city in the country and what better place to hold a ceremony or reception than in beautiful natural surroundings.”
The cost of receptions in parks is set at £1,000 – and £3,000 for a ceremony and reception in the Botanical Gardens pavilion and on its West Lawn. Couples hire the space from the council and organise the event themselves, including the catering and a marquee. Parties have to leave by midnight.
No receptions are allowed in Weston Park because of its proximity to the Children’s Hospital.
All parks remain open to the public while ceremonies take place.
Ceremonies co-ordinator Alison Matthews can be contacted on 2053500, 07875541333 or by email at email@example.com.