Transforming rundown farm buildings into one of Lancashire’s most popular wedding venues was a massive undertaking for Celia Gaze, owner of Wellbeing Farm. The converted 18th century laithe barn and outbuildings, high on the West Pennine Moors in Edgworth near Bolton, had been in the Whitehead family for 132 years, and the fourth generation of the family was determined to take the farm in a new direction.
In 2014, the venue embarked on a renovation plan and attracted bookings for its first two weddings. Three years later, the venue booked 65 weddings in 2017 and recently won the prestigious Lancashire Tourism Award for best wedding venue. Appealing to couples from across the North West, Cumbria and Yorkshire, Wellbeing Farm’s rustic charm is given a magical touch by over 4,000 fairy lights, including a stunning star shaped installation adorning the barn ceiling.
Celia comments, “Finding the right solution to our lighting problem was a laborious process until we spoke to Festive Lights. The farm is self-sufficient – it’s powered by its own wind turbine and uses the most carbon efficient systems, so it was important for us to find a low wattage product. The suspended parachute ceiling has limited power supply points and other companies simply couldn’t help us as it was too much of a challenge.
To achieve the popular fairytale wedding atmosphere, Celia approached numerous lighting companies, but encountered difficulties in overcoming power supply issues. Fortunately, Celia approached us, and we came up with a solution that would make a centrepiece of the suspended parachute fixture in the main barn, whilst meeting the farm’s green credentials.
“Festive Lights were amazingly helpful and sent a representative to the farm to devise a way to install the fairy lights. It was difficult to weave the lights in and out of the military parachute, but the star formation addressed the power supply problem and looks amazing as a focal point in the room. That’s why we chose them as a supplier – they went the extra mile to provide a bespoke solution, which also met our needs for environmentally friendly lighting.”
Celia adds, “What is fantastic about the lights is the different effects they create with the natural light. They look even better when the days are shorter, than in the midst of summer. Since this is an old agricultural building with sky lights, as it gets darker it naturally creates lots of different light effects – which would ordinarily cost a fortune to achieve. It’s so effective how it’s done.”
Wellbeing Farm’s reputation as a standout venue, with a capacity to host up to 250 people, is now drawing corporate bookings. Major companies frequently hire the whole farm, with ‘It’s a Knockout’ and ‘Hoedown’ themed activities proving popular. The local economy is also thriving, and the farm now employs 6 full-time and 43 part-time staff. Local B&Bs, restaurants and attractions are also benefitting from the influx of visitors.