The Mode for… Events Top Three DIY Wedding and Events Venues

The Mode for…Events Top Three Wedding and Events Venues 2017


Now, it’s not unusual for you to hear me say I love a DIY wedding and events venue and I spend a lot of time researching great places where you can host your absolutely perfect, intimate and unique wedding or event without blowing your budget on grand facilities and gardens that you may never use.

I’m also a huge fan of the ‘dry hire’ venue because, to be quite frank, I don’t like being told what to do and which suppliers to use. I like the personal touch, creating a unique event with facilities that allow me to use the suppliers I love to work with or to be able to do things myself.

I don’t like to be told what menu I have to select from that only has 3 options and I definitely don’t like ridiculous bar prices for my friends to pay, so a menu of my favourite food and a free or realistically priced bar is a huge incentive for me to book a venue.

This was definitely the driving force and the brief in hunting for our own wedding venue  in 2015 and when hunting for venues for our own series of The MF Tasting Notes events in the last few months; I want blank spaces that would have a great feel about them, that I could personalise for the style of event, that I have complete freedom for food choices and no ridiculous bar or corkage charges.

I’ll be honest, that brief is not as easy as it may sound; these venues are tricky to find and they usually come on recommendation or luck! But I’m going to make it easy for you and give you my Top Three DIY wedding and events venues and save you some of the leg work in research.

These three venues, which are in no particular order because actually I love them all, are on point for creating a fabulous unique wedding or event. They have fabulous owners and staff and really give you the opportunity to let your creativity run wild and bring your wedding and event in on a sensible budget.

The Mode for… Events top three DIY wedding and events venues are:

1. Parwich Memorial Hall, Parwich, nr. Ashbourne

parwich VH
Parwich Memorial Hall Photo by Olivia Photography UK

2. Hargate Hall, Wormhill, Buxton

Hargate Hall Photo by Adam Wilkinson Photography

3. East Keswick Village Hall, East Keswick, nr. Wetherby

East Keswick Village Hall Photo courtesy of EKVH

Still not sold on the whole DIY element of doing everything yourself? Don’t panic. We’ve got you covered. With services from planning to coordination, styling to catering, here at Mode for…Events we can arrange your whole wedding or event for you and take all the strain off you and you’ll still get that unique and personal style whilst sticking to a sensible budget. We take time to really get to know you and your family so we totally deliver your dreams.

Recent DIY bride Laura Stroud had this to say after her wedding in October at Parwich Memorial Hall: “We are so grateful for everything you did for us.  It felt like you were part of our family. We had the most perfect of days and we will always be so thankful that you made everything run so smoothly and you even smiled the whole day with us when we know you must have been exhausted!  I know I said it on Saturday, but I knew as soon as we met I could trust you with our wedding ❤️. I’m not sure many people could handle my OCD planning like you did!”

We actually supplied planning support, coordination, catering, floral bouquets and ran the bar for the wedding of Laura and Graham at Parwich Memorial Hall and we loved every minute. The hall itself is one of the best equipped and most beautiful halls we’ve had the pleasure to work in. It was so easy to deliver a perfect event there and we can’t recommend it enough. We’re also dying to go back and do another wedding or event there now we’ve found it, not just for the hall itself but the beautfully amazing village it’s in. Definitely a perfect location.

Hargate Hall obviously holds a special place in our hearts as it’s where Simon and I got married in 2016 but with around 17 weddings undertaken there now in the last two years, supplying planning, coordination, catering, floristry and styling we are always wowed at how every wedding is different and would recommend this venue to everyone that wants somewhere that everyone can come and stay and have a great big party in your ‘own home’ for the weekend and we know just how to make it work for every style of event.

Recent bride Tiffany Chevis said: “Thank you so much for all your hard work. It was the perfect day and we couldn’t have done it without you.”

East Keswick Village Hall is a very special venue and a real gem in the crown of village halls. With lovely people helping to run the hall, a fabulous space that really can be styled from rustic to luxury and a fabulously beautiful location it offers a wonderful opportunity for your wedding and events. With great facilities for you and your suppliers, this hall is a perfect choice and again it’s getting us a little bit excited as it’s also our venue of choice for our own ‘A Little Gin and Jazz’ and ‘Wines of the Wars’ events in January and March 2018. So, if you want to check it out, come and party with us at these events and see how amazing it is for yourself!

So there’s our Mode for… Events Top Three DIY wedding and events venues. Go check them out now and drop me a message with any DIY wedding or events questions you have. Or, got Amazon and check out my Guide to DIY Weddings here!

Happy planning!

Much Love

Tabby xxx

A Little Tropical Fun at The Arches

At Mode for… Events one of our most frequently spoken top tips has always been “Don’t plan your wedding day around the weather.” The weather should always act as the icing on the cake of a wedding, it should never be dependant on the sun shining gloriously or a crisp layer of white snow creating a picture-perfect image!

At Mode for… Events one of our most frequently spoken top tips has always been “Don’t plan your wedding day around the weather.” The weather should always act as the icing on the cake of a wedding, it should never be dependant on the sun shining gloriously or a crisp layer of white snow creating a picture-perfect image!

However, it can often feel serendipitous when the perfect weather for the style of the event happens to occur…

On the 26th May we opened the doors to The Arches for the wedding of Erin and Jordan and raised a glass to both their marriage and to the hottest and most beautiful day of the year so far! With the theme of the wedding being set as ‘tropical and brightly coloured,’ it was an easy brief to meet with regards to beautiful florals and greenery. Mode for…Event’s own styling featured a mixture of splendidly colourful flowers including sweet Williams complimented by vivid greenery such as ivy, eucalyptus and a sprinkling of moss. As an out of the ordinary tropical touch the banqueting tables also featured gold  sea creatures lovingly hand decorated by the groom. As temperatures soared to a balmy 27 degrees, you could definitely forgive guests for briefly confusing Yorkshire with the tropics while sat in our courtyard catching the sun and sipping ice cold drinks!

Tabby was in her element creating beautiful arrangements with the most vivid of flowers. As a request from Erin she used striking Ranunculus with a threaded finish for the bridal party’s buttonholes, with the addition of a variety of Lego pieces for the children’s buttonholes. The Lego pieces added a fantastically fun element to the buttonholes and allowed the suited and booted toddlers to have a bit of fun!


Erin and Jordan had aimed to have a fun and relaxed day to mimic both their character and their relationship. We think it’s fair to say that all involved would agree that they by far exceeded their initial brief, and blew their guests away with the additional detail they went into to assure all guests had an amazing day. From glitter face painting supplied by ‘Wish Upon a Sparkle’, to fantastic live music supplied by ‘Bare Brass Band,’ from flamingo topped naked cakes supplied by ‘Sweet Sugar Sixpence’ to our favourite VW camper van photobooth, Herman, supplied by ‘The Volkswagen Wedding Co.’ guests were entertained at every stage throughout the day! Plus, two ‘Arches firsts’ as we even welcomed a dance troop (featuring Erin’s Aunty) who kicked started the party in excellent fashion and a doggy ring bearer called Jack (the family’ Border Terrier) who also acted as Chief Videographer with a Go-Pro camera strapped to him (and he did an awesome job!).

Here’s to Erin and Jordan – may their marriage be as fun as their wedding, always entertaining, and with plenty of sunshine!

Love Abi xxx

Get the Look:

Venue – The Arches @ Dean Clough

Wedding Planning & on the day Coordination – Mode for…Events

Styling & Floristry – Mode for…Events

Food – Eat Me – Drink Me

Cake – Sweet Sugar Sixpence

Meringues – The Meringue Girls

Photographers – The Twins

Photobooth – VW Wedding Co.

Live Music – Bare Brass Band

Glitter Face Paint – Wish Upon a Sparkle

Tables – All Things Borrowed




Hit The High Street for your Dream Wedding Dress

Come on ladies, admit it! We’ve all lost a good few hours over the years mindlessly ogling the beautiful gowns featured on programmes such as ‘Say Yes To The Dress.’ We watch the conveyor belt of designer dresses being pulled from the racks and tried on in glamorous stores and we formulate our opinion as if we were sat in the waiting room helping the lucky lady make her decision. However, anyone who’s ever tuned in will know there’s one golden rule that all girls wedding dress shopping should adhere too; never try on a dress out of your budget – it’ll only end in either disappointment, or a lack of food in your fridge for the foreseeable future!

But what if your budget is limited to whatever you can scrape together? Or if the reality of spreading your budget across the venue, the catering, the transport, the flowers, the suits and everything else that goes along with building the foundation of a fabulous wedding day, means that you have to sacrifice the flow of cash towards the dress? You still deserve a beautiful gown. You still deserve the style you’ve dreamed off. You still deserve that dress shaped piece to complete the jigsaw of your wedding day.

Fortunately, while the price of weddings is definitely on the incline (reportedly reaching an average price of around £27,000), beautiful wedding dresses have never been more affordable! As Gok Wan raved of on the fashion segment of ‘This Morning’ today, thanks a few trusty high street brands identifying the gap in the market for affordable yet stylish bridal wear, Brides all over the UK can now purchase beautiful dresses from as little as £69.99. Even Primark is jumping on the bandwagon with the introduction of their own Bridal range, currently including lingerie, nightwear, accessories and other novelty wedding related paraphernalia.

Here are a few suggestions on the shops to hit for the latest stylish yet affordable Bridal Wear:

  1. If you’re trying to keep your Bridal outfit below £100, then take a look at this pretty number from Quiz and Debenhams… With an on trend plunge back and a fishtail hem, this dress is sure to extenuate your beautiful curves! And guess what? It’s only £69.99! That’s right. You heard it here first ladies.
  2. If you’re looking for something with a little more sparkle then cast your eyes over this Little Mistress Dress… The embellished belt coupled with the layered tulle skirt creates a stunning silhouette. This £200 dress is perfect for any bride who wants to keep things classy and understated, but doesn’t want to hide her inner princess too much!
    Little Mistress
  3. Did you know good ol’ Dotty P’s are now designing wedding gowns too? They have a range of lovely dresses, but one of our faves has to be this LBD (little bridal dress!)…. This vintage inspired design featuring a sweetheart neckline under semi sheer lace is both dreamy and romantic, and for only £150 you can’t go wrong!
    Dorothy Perkins
  4. ‘What about something a little different?’ I hear you ask. Maybe something a little more festival inspired, with an edge of ‘Rembo Styling’ thrown into the mix?… Enter the ‘Bodyfrock Bridal Pleated Maxi Dress’ by ASOS. At the price of a mere £300 we can’t fault the delicate lace and the flared pleated cuffs.
  5. Always dreamed of a jewelled 1920’s style show stopper? Feast your eyes on this… You’ll find this beauty in Phase Eight, and although it’s one of our pricier recommendations at £595, we’re sure you’ll agree that the flattering silhouette and the dazzling embellishments warrant the price.

Although Bridal gowns have been found in the likes of Debenhams, Monsoon and lest we forget, BHS, for a number of years, it seems as though the high street in general has been slow on the uptake when it comes to the need for affordable bridal wear. However, I can’t help but feel as though this spluttering of brands joining the wedding industry is merely the beginning. I’d like to doth my cap to the brands making the bold move into budget bridal wear, and I’m super excited to see how the affordable bridal wear market will grow in the next few years. After all, everyone deserves their perfect wedding dress, regardless of their budget!

Love Abi @ Mode for…Events


Stairway to a Perfect Wedding – Brooke & Arron, April 2017, The Arches @ Dean Clough


For me, an empty space is a bit like a playground. The only thing an empty space can be limited by is a lack of imagination. However, not everyone has the ability to look at an empty space and realise that the possibilities are endless, and that with a little hard work and TLC you can create anything you want!

Working as the in-house coordinators at The Arches @ Dean Clough, myself and Tabby often have the privilege of watching a couple fall in love with the venue, and when we saw this moment with Brooke and Arron (who married in April), we also witness their minds beginning to race with ideas on how they could use the ample space and beautiful industrial backdrop The Arches offers to create the vision they had for their wedding day.


You could tell that throughout Brooke and Arron’s planning they were thinking of how they could create a wedding like no other their guests had attended. There was nothing that this beautiful couple hadn’t thought of – the detail they went into was superb, and their guests LOVED it! I think the most touching of their decorative features was the ‘Stairway to Heaven’, which featured images of loved ones who were no longer with them. I think it’s safe to say they’ll have made everyone watching very proud that day!

However, for those of you who know the Mode for…Events Team, you’ll know that the key to our hearts is always food! They kept their wedding both fun and on trend with special features such as the increasingly popular ‘donut wall’ and the timeless cheese board as a late night snack. Not to mention the beautiful menu for the day created by our in house catering team, consisting of: Chicken Liver Paté served with Rustic Bread and Spiced Apple Chutney, slow cooked Featherblade of Beef with Mashed Potato and a delicious Glazed Lemon Tart with Clotted Cream and Summer Berries.

Alongside Herman the Volkswagen campervan photo booth (from The Volkswagen Wedding Co), Arron and Brooke also created their own photobooth using beautifully painted door frames and a basket filled to the brim with props!

With well over 150 candles featuring in the décor for the day, the venue really came alive as the sun went down and the guests lined the dancefloor with sparklers, perfectly framing Brooke and Arron’s first dance to The Courteeners “Take Over The World”.


From both myself and Tabby, along with the team at The Arches, we’d like to say a massive congratulations to Brooke and Arron. It was an honour to have been involved in their wedding and we’re so happy that they’re now beginning married life together!

Abigayle xx


The Barcelona Story…

Sometimes, one of the most valuable things you can do as a human is invest in experiences. Experiences are things you remember forever, that shape you, guide you and inspire you and I would take experiences over material things any day of the week.


This ethos applies to what we do here at Mode for…Events too. We take every opportunity to grab experiences to help us learn and develop for the benefit of ourselves as individuals, for our colleagues that we work with and for our clients. So, Tabby jumped on the idea of taking Abigayle and a group of fabulous girlie wedding industry friends and heading over to the world-renowned Barcelona Bridal Fashion Week last week.

Joined by the lovely Katherine and Lisa from The Bridal Market, The Bobby Pin and Hook Box and Charlotte from Love Lights the Way, this was an opportunity to explore an area of the wedding industry that is not as familiar to us… wedding fashion; and we saw everything from the absolutely sublime to the totally ridiculous!

Attending the catwalk shows of Isabel Sanchis and Inmaculada Garcia, our eyes were opened to all the new fashions and some of the most amazing gowns I have ever seen came from the fashion house of Inmaculada Garcia. They are stunning, beautiful, feminine, high fashion but yet totally wearable by a wide variety of brides, unlike the gowns of Isabel Sanchis which, whilst stunning and high fashion, would not be what you would find worn at a standard UK wedding.

See the links here to videos of the shows:

Inmaculada Garcia

Isabel Sanchis

The trade fair was an experience too. A hive of activity of buying and selling wedding gowns to the global market. It was fascinating watching key buyers in action, designers chatting through new ideas and concepts and models parading in the latest gowns from around the world and the gowns were all about the sparkle! More glitter, crystals and beading than you’ve ever seen in one place.

For me though, it was interesting to note the lack of accessories, menswear and even bridesmaid gowns…. this was all about the outfit for the main lady, and still it was those Inmaculada Garcia gowns that stood out for me (and some gorgeous ones from House of Mooshki).

I was also really struck by the lack of imagination of each ‘boutique’ area of the trade show. Having been to numerous trade shows and wedding fairs, exhibitors always make an extreme effort to make their areas stand out from the crowd, but here (with a few exceptions of course) the designers stuck to stark white and just their gowns on display; no window dressing, design or anything more…it left me a little saddened that in such a glamourous industry such as weddings very few were going for the eye-catching display…but this did at least make the main spectacle the gowns. But to be honest, in a sea of rows of hundreds of mini boutiques behind glass walls, one dress merges into another unless it is amazingly special. Moral of that story…. Come on boutiques, get the stylists and florists involved and make an impact!

I also can’t help but think this show offers a great opportunity for young British bridal designers to exhibit their collections, maybe as a collective of UK fashion designers to give it all more impact.

The overall experience of Barcelona Bridal Fashion Week has been incredible, from the VIP shows and soirée to trade fair and research opportunities. Whilst not directly our part of the wedding industry, it’s definitely been educational to go and I think there is so much scope for people from all parts of the wedding industry to be involved in an event which is purely fashion focused. It’s all about networking and making more of opportunities and I think shows such as this offer a great platform for that.

From left to right…My #tribe… Charlotte Tomlinson (Love Lights the Way), Tabby Kerwin (Mode for…Events), Abigayle Freeman (Mode for…Events), Lisa Steane (The Bobby Pin), Katherine Cocksedge (The Bridal Market).

But the best thing about the trip? The time I got to spend with industry friends sitting and developing our collective businesses. Chatting through plans and ideas to develop, extend and fulfil every dream we have for our individual businesses and I got to advise on ways for each of us to flourish going forwards, something I love doing. Now that makes any work trip worthwhile; coming home inspired, stronger and continually developing…and with even closer awesome friends… priceless.

Lots of Love

Tabby xxx