A Wedding at yorkshire sculpture park


Two’s company

Searching for a wedding venue with a difference? Absolutely hears from couples who decided Yorkshire Sculpture Park was just what their big day needed


Married at YSP on 22 July

Photography by Cristian Barnett

The YSP has been an important location for both James and I throughout our lives. Long before we met, we both visited the sculpture park as children. James is a ceramic and bronze sculptor and I am a teacher of textiles, design technology & art, so the park has always been a source of inspiration to us. When we were looking to settle and find somewhere to live with our blended family which includes four children and a dog, West Bretton, where the park is located, was the obvious choice.

James has a studio and gallery space at Longside, part of the YSP estate. We regularly walk in the grounds and always say “Hello Barbara” when we pass the Family of Man Sculptures by Barbara Hepworth, who is a huge inspiration for both of us. With a plethora of delightful memories, we couldn’t think of anywhere more perfect to get married.

wedding 472

It was important for us to capture the magnificence of these important works of art. Nowhere else could we have our photos with such iconic sculptures with such a stunning landscape as the backdrop. We were lucky enough to convince our friend Cristian Barnett, an extremely talented and renowned food photographer, to shoot the wedding. He had some wonderfully unusual ideas for the pre wedding photography! We loved his vision for something truly unique. We had photographs taken with sculptures by Henry Moore, Barbara Hepworth, Anthony Caro, Robert Indiana and James Turrell.

The service itself was intimate, with just our closest family and wedding party, and it took place in the main visitors centre. The team took care of everything, really looked after us and accommodated all our wishes for the look and feel of the ceremony.  

wedding 524

My father and eldest son gave me away. My youngest son and my step brother played guitar for her to walk down the aisle (Big Love, by Fleetwood Mac). James’ son was the ring bearer and his daughter was one of the bridesmaids along with two of our nieces and three of my closest friends.

We chose to have our wedding reception at The Weston restaurant in the grounds of the YSP. We are both fans of contemporary architecture and the atmosphere and spectacular views were exactly what we wanted. Matt, the manager of the Weston, and his team served up an impressive three course meal for our 90 guests who joined us for the celebrations. It was a wonderfully relaxed vibe with impromptu speeches, readings and poetry, and music and dancing later on. The food was exemplary, beautifully presented, plentiful and sophisticated. With our wonderful family and friends travelling from far and wide, it was a true pleasure to welcome them all to be immersed in this beautiful part of Yorkshire and show off our art, food and warmest hospitality at its best.


Married at YSP on 4 August

Photography by @leowedphoto

As a couple, we’re pretty flamboyant. So we always knew that we wanted a venue which would offer something different and deliver a wow factor on our big day. YSP was a no-brainer for that reason, with incredible grounds and amazing artworks galore.


It’s also a special place for both of us. We’ve both been visiting together since we first met and Liam’s parents have been involved with the venue for over 43 years, making it not only beautiful, but emotionally poignant.

We decided to have a small service of 56 people outside in the formal gardens, as the grounds are so incredibly beautiful. We hired benches from a local company to seat our guests and had beautiful aisle sculptures created by Liam’s mum, artist Joanna Mowbray and constructed by Campbell Mowbray. We then enlisted the help of our friend and superstar florist Yan Skates to create bespoke flower arrangements to run down the aisle runner.


Although we knew YSP had an auditorium to fall back on, it’s safe to say we were praying for good weather on our big day, but it actually rained the entire morning. My stepdad Russell

ended up re-polishing the wedding car three times before picking me up. But, after a pretty stressful morning of panic and rain, a miracle happened. The sun shone down and it ended up being exactly as we envisioned it.

The YSP grounds were the perfect setting for me to walk down the aisle arm in arm with my grandad and for us to get married. My mum and grandmother were in tears – after 15 years together, finally we were married! It couldn’t have been a more amazing ceremony.


One of the things we loved most about YSP as a venue was the ability to roll everything into one, the ceremony, the photos and our wedding breakfast. So once we had tied the knot in the formal gardens, we briefly left our guests and went off on a Land Rover tour of the park to capture photos with Leo, our photographer, and my Maid of Honour, Rachel, for emotional and of course dress support. Being able to visit the different artworks in the grounds offered such an incredible backdrop for our photos, the only difficulty was trying to pin down which pieces to visit and avoiding the sheep poo. But we think the shots were well worth the stains.


We then headed upstairs to the dining room, which had been completely transformed by the staff and our YSP planner Lisa. You would never know it was a cafe during the day. We had five larger round tables seating the guests, a table displaying our amazing three tiered wedding cake made by Liam’s mum and a long head table to seat all our family. Each table was decorated with white table clothes, vintage bottles and brass candle stick holders we had collected, flowers curated by Yan our florist, bespoke name card holders designed by Liam’s dad and little crystal wedding favours created by our friend Florence. To some it might seem random, but for us it all came together to create the eclectic look we were after.

Then came the food. The catering at YSP was second to none, our guests enjoyed a selection of canapes, then an amazing three course meal consisting of salmon mouse, vegan tartlets, braised lamb & grilled sea bass, as well as a dessert of dark chocolate tart. The food was amazing, the service was seamless and the atmosphere was perfect. We didn’t have to worry about a thing.

All in all we loved using YSP as our venue, if you’re after something a little bit different it’s an amazing spot with a brilliant staff that made our day incredible.

Find out more about weddings at Yorkshire Sculpture Park at ysp.org.uk

Share this Article

Written by
Must Read

You May Also Like

Did you know you can now buy or subscribe to our printed issues?


Subscribe to our newsletter

Sign up to our monthly newsletter to find out what’s on your local area, exclusive competitions, the latest launches and much more!

Select the areas you want to hear about