Hosting a celebration in a York venue

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Whatever your occasion, be it a wedding, family birthday- or dare we say it -Christmas party, it’s important to get your venue just right. But how do you choose in York? With everything from historic churches to trendy bars, here are a few things to consider in selecting a superb setting.


The success of any occasion depends upon your guests being comfortable. If the venue is too small and crowded, it may be difficult to talk and the room may get hot and stifled. Choose a space that’s too big however, and you’ll lose that intimate atmosphere which helps guests to connect.


At Bedern, we can comfortably accommodate 80 guests in our main hall. We find this makes for a lively gathering without it being overly packed.


If you really like the venue but it’s not quite the right size, you could always consider partitioning off a section or extending the gathering outside to make it work for your guests.

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While a light and bright room might be perfect for brunch, it could lack the warmth needed for a cosy Christmas party. Consider features such as lighting while you research venues in York and imagine what vibe they will create.


We find that our large windows at Bedern Hall suit wedding photos well since they ensure there is always plenty of light in our Medieval refectory.


A historic Roman pillar might be a great talking point for a sit-down meal. However, if there’s dancing or a presentation in which it wouldn’t work to obstruct anyone’s view then a more open-plan space could be a better alternative.


When you visit halls, function rooms and conference spaces, look around you and consider the practicalities of hosting your specific type of celebration there.


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Once you know how where you’re going to hold your celebration, it’s a good idea to make a plan for the space. Will you seat your guests at tables or will you have a standing buffet? Do you need to allow room for a band, ensemble or speaker? What will be your guests’ journey from entering the room to joining the activities of the event?


When you come to prepare the venue, bring paper and pencil so you can sketch out a quick floorplan to take the stress out of worrying where everything will go on the big day. Check with the venue owners whether they have enough furniture to accommodate all of your guests. Source anything extra that you might need, such as a high chair for small children, well ahead of time.











Of course, no celebration would be complete without refreshments! As you visit potential venues in York, don’t forget to collect sample menus and ask the owner what they can offer your guests in terms of food and drink. Will the quality be in-keeping with your type of event and will there be dishes to suit all palates?


Be sure to ask your guests early about whether they have any dietary requirements or allergies. That way, you can check that the venue can prepare something safe for them.


If catering is not provided in house, consider where you’ll be able to find food and drink nearby and whether you’ll have a fridge or freezer to store it.


At Bedern, we have an experienced in-house catering team who’d love to chat more to you about what dishes and drinks we can serve. Find out more here.

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It’s easy to forget that your gathering begins long before your guests arrive at the door. As soon as they read the name of your venue and search it online, they will begin to form a picture of the celebration and anticipate whether they will enjoy it.


Drinks inside a York city wall café might be perfect for heritage lovers and history buffs, but lots of uneven stone stairs could put off elderly attendees.


A village hall will suit energetic families keen on party games and present giving, however it probably won’t inspire the right impression amongst professional stakeholders at your company Christmas party.


Pitching just the right tone for your event can make a huge difference to its success. Take time to ponder the context of the space and decide whether it’s going to excite your guests.


Bedern Hall at night









At Bedern Hall, we’re fortunate to have hundreds of years of history behind us. Once home to the Vicars’ Choral from York Minster, our 14th century space is a special treat for Medievalists or those fascinated by York’s past. At the same time, it’s accessibility in the centre of the city and situation on one single level means it’s a sensible choice for less mobile guests.


If you’d like to come and see our venue in preparation for a wedding, family gathering or Christmas party please get in touch with us on 01904 646030 or email


You can read more about hiring the hall here.