Recently featuring in the Sunday Times, the Ribble Valley has been pinpointed as the country’s wedding capital
For those of us who live and work in the Ribble Valley it comes as no surprise to read in the national press that this rural idyll has become England’s ‘wedding heaven’.
Featuring in the Sunday Times, it has become apparent that we have a higher rate of enthusiastic marriers in this picturesque part of the world. A report by the Office for National Statistics, published recently, identified Clitheroe as one of only six areas in England and Wales that increased its proportion of married residents over a 50-year period – in fact out of the six, it was Clitheroe’s numbers that increased most sharply.
It would appear that while the beautiful rolling countryside and scenic landscapes play some part in couples’ eagerness to get married here, it is the sheer number of beautiful wedding venues within just a few square miles, that inspires locals to tie-the-knot at above-average rate.
Interviewing local wedding specialists including bridal boutique owner Liz Metcalfe, the Flower Shop’s Jim Hardman and Simon Barnes of Bashall Barn, the Sunday Times reported that the weddings industry was booming in the Ribble Valley with suppliers and services, swamped with orders and bookings.
Following the easing of lockdown wedding rules, there is a backlog of couples eager to get hitched in this picturesque part of the world and while some agreed to a ‘micro-wedding’ with reduced numbers, most have postponed and have booked for 2022 or 2023 with some venues starting to see bookings for 2024.
Here in the Ribble Valley we have traditional and contemporary venues, and we are most definitely spoilt for choice. Couples can choose to marry in a marquee set on the riverside on an impressive country estate, they have the option to tie the knot in converted barns that have been transformed into wedding-specific venues in beautiful, rural locations or they may opt for a smaller boutique venue. At the opposite end of the scale, we also have a good number of grand country houses set amidst rolling Ribble Valley countryside. Wherever they choose to marry, couples can be assured that the occasion will be made all the more memorable by the stunning location.