A WEDDING venue in the heart of the Cheshire countryside has seen bookings increase by 60 per cent compared to pre-pandemic levels.

Larkspur Lodge in Knutsford has been inundated with enquiries and bookings throughout the last 12 months.

Dates continue to be snapped up in 2024 and beyond.

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The venue is set within a 200-year-old vintage barn that has been lovingly restored by two families who own and run the business.

Knutsford Guardian: Sara-Jane and Craig Bishop showered in confettiSara-Jane and Craig Bishop showered in confetti (Image: Adam Joe Roberts Photography)

Larkspur Lodge, which can accommodate up to 180 guests, is hosting an open day on Sunday, March 12, from 11am to 2pm.

Co-owners Matthew Mooney and Richard Walker said: “It’s hugely encouraging to see bookings surpass pre-pandemic level, and to see confidence rising among couples as they look forward to their special day.

Knutsford Guardian: Bethany and Daniel Greenwood Bethany and Daniel Greenwood (Image: Adam Hudson Photography)

“The disruption caused by lockdowns has given wedding venues time to reflect and make changes.

“We’re delighted that our approach is clearly working for many couples. Post-Covid, it’s no longer enough to simply offer a venue for hire.

“There’s a need for greater certainty, clarity, and control, things that were often in short supply during the pandemic.

Knutsford Guardian: Couples who married at Larkspur Lodge last year have praised the 'beautiful and intimate venue'Couples who married at Larkspur Lodge last year have praised the 'beautiful and intimate venue' (Image: Larkspur Lodge)

“As a team, we realised that as we emerged from Covid, we’d need to carefully consider the changing trends of the wedding industry.

“Many people moved away from largescale weddings in pursuit of smaller, more intimate occasions, perfect for a venue like ours.

“Sophie Bradley, our wedding and events director, has been really key on the planning and creativity side.

Knutsford Guardian: Richard and Carrie RichardsonRichard and Carrie Richardson (Image: Iamarnold Photography)

“The flexibility of a venue like ours allows couples to embrace their individuality, ensuring they can celebrate their big day, their way.

Sister business Fork & Field Catering has been appointed as exclusive caterers.

Matthew and Richard said: “This gives us and our couples greater control over their menu and the costs involved.

“With over 40 years of hospitality experience and some 1,000 weddings under their belt, the catering team are well placed to translate a brief into the perfect menu.”

The venue has attributed several other cost saving initiatives to its success.

A wedding date can be provisionally reserved for one week without a deposit.

Adding weekday wedding packages can also reduce the overall cost.

The pandemic gave the venue an opportunity to show its support for its external suppliers, who also faced significant challenges during lockdowns.

The pair added: “As a business, we’ve worked hard to support our most trusted suppliers to help them bounce back.

“The prosperity of our suppliers means our couples get the most choice when it comes to things like hotels, flowers and the cake.”

Couples who married at Larkspur Lodge last year have taken to social media to praise the ‘beautiful and intimate venue’ and ‘attention to detail of staff’.