Self Catering Wedding Venue

A special self catering wedding venue based near Carsington Reservoir, Ashbourne, Derbyshire. Knockerdown is a DIY exclusive use site which includes use of a swimming pool, games room and fabulous meadow


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Exclusive Use Wedding Venue in Derbyshire provides complete amenities, including wedding accommodations for a 3-night weekend stay or a 2-night mid-week stay, for up to 93 loved ones and friends.

Book a viewing to see one of the best countryside wedding venues in the UK. Our location is situated near Carsington Water, on the edge of the Peak District National Park, which is about 6 miles away from Ashbourne. If you are unable to visit us in person, then book an online meeting with one of our wedding coordinators. We will take you on a journey of all the wedding site has to offer.

Our wedding planner looks forward to meeting you.

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Wedding Brochure Read Our Wedding Reviews

Perfect Wedding Venue

A truly unique destination, your Peak District wedding venue awaits you and your guests at Knockerdown. Fiona and Justeen welcome you to our wonderful countryside wedding retreat where you will find your every need catered for by our friendly and experienced  team, who are here to help you create your perfect day. 

Our highly experienced team are on hand to offer advice, support, recommend suppliers and local knowledge to help you create the big day of your dreams. You can appoint a caterer of your choice, choose your own entertainment, decorations, photographer, cake maker, and bring in your own drinks (we are a no corkage  wedding venue!!)  Read our self catering wedding checklist and our steps to planning your big day.

We can offer as much support as you need or if you are wanting a more laid back affair, with the freedom to enjoy the ‘DIY Wedding’ option, we can step back and let you enjoy the site exclusively for your use. We are able to offer weddings all year round including the cold winter months for special snow coated winter weddings. For those looking a budget wedding venue a winter wedding can be the perfect option. Please contact our team if you wish to discuss the winter options. 

Whatever your plans are the team at Knockerdown take great pride in providing couples, their families and guests with a  celebration that is truly unique, individual and unforgettable. 

Top table set up in BR

What Our Wedding Guests Say

Your Wedding Ceremony

Bride and bridesmaids coming down the street

Say "I Do"

Getting married at Knockerdown means you can create a wedding day that is truly unique and special to you.

You can choose to hold your ceremony outdoors, in the meadow surrounded by far reaching views over rolling hills and open countryside, and we are fully licensed to host civil wedding ceremonies under the specially designed oak framed garden gazebo.

The outdoor gazebo includes a wonderful alfresco aisle, guests benches and registrar table. You can even walk through the avenue of trees, down the meadow and to the gazebo to make for a truly stunning start to your ceremony.

With years of experience, we are super flexible, so no amount of inclement weather will spoil the day, the Brackendale Suite has plenty of scope to be turned into a beautiful space for an indoor civil ceremony complete with the all-important aisle.

The room can be easily reset and transformed for wedding breakfasts whilst enjoying reception drinks on the private terrace.

Our wedding planning team at Knockerdown are always on hand to help with your choice of styling, layout and decoration and each of these areas can be decorated as you wish to suit your style, beliefs and personality. We also have a wide variety of tried and tested suppliers who we will be able to provide you with everything you need to create your special day.

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Derbyshire Wedding Venue With Accommodation For Up to 93 People

Once you have arrived, you and your guests can just park up, check in and relax for the duration of your stay.

Your guests can choose to stay in one of our 16 individually styled self-catering holiday cottages. We provide towels, linen, iron, ironing board and a hairdryer in each cottage.

We are a dog friendly wedding venue with 4 of our cottages  specificaly allocated so you can even bring along your furry friends for a dog friendly wedding!

We are an exclusive use wedding venue and this includes free use of our on site facilities include an indoor heated swimming pool, children’s play area, a communal games area and lots of grounds to explore. 

Situated in an idyllic setting of rolling Derbyshire countryside Knockerdown is the perfect hideaway to bring your family and loved ones together for your special occasion. There is a great pub across the road which is dog and family friendly so perfect for anyone who fancies a bite to eat and a pint after arrival.

Knockerdown is 6 miles away from the charming market town of Ashbourne so if any of your guests need to pick up supplies or indeed want to explore the local area whilst they are here then Ashbourne is the perfect place to start!

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Knockerdown Location Map

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A Wedding To Remember

Brackendale room set up for wedding reception

After the nuptials, its time to celebrate and at Knockerdown you can create a celebration that will be unforgettable.

We have a variety of options for you to use and enjoy. The large purpose-built Brackendale Room is a large blank canvas which can be decorated as you wish to suit your style and personality. The suite comfortably seats up to 100 guests with a choice of formal or informal layouts to suit. The high windows on two sides, allow natural light to shine through and with a neutral coloured interior, it really lends itself to any style of wedding including rustic, natural, modern and contemporary.

The Brackendale Room also boasts a lovely outdoor terrace area, which is perfect for an open air drinks reception with the perfect backdrop of the  Derbyshire Dales.

Food and drink are a hugely important part of any wedding and our experienced team are hand to help you source the best caterers for your needs. Choose to have a formal three course meal or for a more laid back affair why not have a feasting table for guests to help themselves throughout the day. Hire in food trucks, hog roasts, pizza ovens or keep it really simple and provide your own delicious food. 

At Knockerdown we love a celebration and that of course means Fizz! We can offer a variety of spaces for toasting the happy couple and can provide drinks reception stations anywhere on site. The wedding garden gazebo and Brackendale terrace are both popular spots for fizz and canapes. We don't have a licensed bar at Knockerdown so we ask that you provide your own drinks, but you can bring as much as you like and there is no corkage charge from us.

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How to make your wedding more affordable? - A DIY Wedding Venue

Couples choose to tie the knot with a DIY wedding due to costs and personal choice,  you can make your wedding more affordable by choosing your own suppliers like caterers, DJ’s, florists, activities which means that you can create your perfect day, unique to you.  

Knockerdown is a non traditional and unique wedding venue where we can offer couples the opportunity to choose your perfect day with the flexibility and freedom of using outside suppliers like street vans and food vendors and personal handmade decorations made by your family and friends. You choose your day with a complete do-it-yourself approach to your blank canvas wedding. The Knockerdown wedding coordinators will be with you every step of the way and they can advise on tried and tested ideas such as a street festival wedding to a rustic style gazebo wedding and different layouts for your wedding breakfast room. 

We are proud to host same sex weddings, hand tying ceremonies and celebrant marriages and provide the blank canvas for you to let your imagination run wild and host the wedding that you imagined on the day you got engaged. 

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Bride & groom in the swimming pool

DIY Wedding FAQ's

Our Top Tips For Your DIY Wedding

Bride & Groom in trees

DIY weddings are becoming more and more popular, as they allow couples to personalise their special day and save money. Here are a few  DIY and self catering wedding ideas  that you can incorporate into your dream wedding:

  • Invitations: Creating your own invitations can be a fun and creative way to set the tone for your wedding. You can use a variety of materials, such as cardstock, ribbon, and lace, to create unique and personalised invitations.

  • DIY Wedding Decorations: Decorations can be one of the most expensive aspects of a wedding, but by making your own, you can save money and add a personal touch to your special day. You can create your own centerpieces, garlands, and other decorations using materials such as flowers, candles, fabric and fairy lights. 

  • Flowers: You can save a lot of money by arranging your own flowers. You can pick up flowers from a local supplier and make your own bouquets and centerpieces. You can also use flowers from your own garden or ask your friends and family to contribute blooms as well.

  • Favours: Instead of buying expensive favours, you can make your own. You can create homemade jams, baked goods, candles, or other homemade items. You can also give your guests a small plant, such as a succulent, as a token of your appreciation.

  • Music: Hiring a band or DJ can be expensive, but you can create your own playlist to save money. You can also ask a friend or family member to play music during your ceremony or reception.

  • Photography: Hiring a professional photographer can be expensive, but you can ask a friend or family member who is skilled with a camera to take pictures for you. You can also set up a photo booth with props and a backdrop for guests to take fun photos.

  • ​Self Catering Wedding Ideas: You can save money by cooking your own food or by asking friends and family to contribute a dish. This can also add a personal touch to your wedding and make it more intimate

Keep in mind that DIY weddings can take a lot of time and effort, so make sure you plan ahead and enlist the help of friends and family to make the process more manageable.

To discuss your DIY wedding ideas further please contact our events team. 

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Past DIY Wedding Itineries At Knockerdown

Jenny & Liam

  • Friday night  -  Pizza Pi arrived and served pizzas in the courtyard for their guests arrival and magician plus informal photos by their photographer
  • Saturday wedding day  -  Kilner jars full of cocktails, games on the lawn in the courtyard, confetti shot down the street
  • Sunday  - Aunty self catered bacon and sausage cobs, followed by crazy golf on the meadow,  BBQ by Greedy Pig, ice-cream cart, photographs taken throughout the day.
Jenny & Liam Crazy golf
Cara & Sam Photobooth

Cara & Sam

  • Self catered homemade curry served in the courtyard for their guests arrival
  • Outdoor tipi tent with a photobooth inside
  • Caricaturist, Project D Doughnuts,
  • Bouncy castles on the meadow for Sunday
  • Cara made all her own door signs and itinerary for the weekend

Rachel & Jack

  • Rachel and Jack got deferred due to Covid and had a little girl in the meantime
  • On the Friday night they hired a Celebrant for their daughters naming ceremony followed by a homemade buffet
  • Drinks package from Drink's Now based near Nottingham
  • They utilised their decorations from down the aisle to the tables for the delicious wedding breakfast
Rachel & jack Aisle flowers

Martha & Ryan

  • They visited the pub Friday night for wedding drinks with their family and friends
  • Saturday involved a Jester that walked on stilts and fire breathing acts
  • Martha’s mother provided and arranged the flowers into bouquets and decorated a flower arch
  • Ryan organised the photobooth himself by making a photobox with a computer and screen
  • A Ceilidh band entertained in the evening

Annette & Jonathan

  • KK Catering provided fish and chips in the courtyard on Friday evening for their guests arrival, Jonathan played his own DJ decks Friday night in the Brackendale
  • Saturday,  Butlers Pantry served their wedding breakfast, followed by Sweet-A-Fayre serving crepes from their Pod, a magic mirror was erected in the marquee, the bride provided cupcakes instead of a wedding cake
  • Sunday, the caterer served a full English breakfast followed by cocktails in the Brackendale, Mashtinis were served by Sweet-A-Fayre in the evening
  • Decorative hire from a local decoration company
Annette & Jonathan Cake Table
Sarah & Adey Fish & Chips

Sarah & Adey

  • Friday night consisted of decorating the venue, then relaxing in the courtyard with their guests
  • A magician arrived to entertain at the wedding breakfast
  • Fish and chip supper fed the guests for the evening
  • A family friend cooked breakfast cobs on the Sunday, Lay-z-days set up an inflatable tent in the Brackendale room with neon lights, wristbands and the groom provided the music on his own DJ decks
  • Wood-fired pizzas served the evening food

Amy & Crystal

  • Home made chilli in the cottages on the Friday night
  • The girls made their own drink bottles with black board paint on small milk bottles (that glass was yours then to keep)
  • Love letter sign for the Brackendale room
  • Nacho’s cart, tapas style wedding breakfast
  • Outdoor inflatables, bingo, play your cards right, sheep style rodeo and a quiz
Amy & Crystal Hoffness

And Finally .... Chris & Carolyn's DIY Wedding | Marryoke 

  • A Marryoke wedding party  from AVP Video Marketing Derby
  • Pub Grub next door on the Friday evening
  • Wedding day - canapes and drinks on the terrace followed by hot jointed meat platters and plated desserts
  • Played own music all day and provided own decoratrions
  • Walked to Carsington Water and then back to site for afternoon tea on the Sunday

Self Catering Wedding

Food set up outside for wedding party

Many of our wedding guests choose to manage all the catering for their wedding themselves! Your very own self catering wedding with personal surprises for your guests is a lovely way to make your special day unique. At Knockerdown we have seen many great ideas for food. Here are a few ideas to tickle your tastebuds. 

  • Have a potluck-style wedding reception where guests bring their own favorite dishes to share.
  • Set up a DIY drink station with a variety of mixers and garnishes for guests to create their own cocktails.
  • Hire food trucks to serve a variety of cuisines for guests to choose from.
  • Wedding photos taken by a friend of the family.
  • Have a build-your-own salad or sandwich station for guests to customise their own meals.
  • Create a "signature drink" for the wedding and have a self-serve dispenser for guests to enjoy.
  • Have a dessert bar with a variety of homemade treats for guests to enjoy.
  • Have a BBQ or pig roast as the main meal at the reception.
  • Host a brunch reception with a variety of breakfast foods and mimosas.
  • Have a food station with a variety of appetisers and finger foods for guests to nibble on.
  • Have a catering service provide the food but have it delivered ready to serve, so you can avoid the hassle of cooking on the day of the wedding.
  • Hire a food truck or a street vendor to serve up traditional fair foods like hot dogs, corn dogs, or funnel cakes.
  • Set up a charcuterie and cheese board station for guests to enjoy.
  • Have a family-style meal where large dishes of food are placed on the table for guests to serve themselves.
  • Have a dessert table with a variety of individual desserts like cupcakes, macarons, or truffles.
  • Have a popcorn or cotton candy machine for guests to enjoy a sweet treat.
  • Set up a "s'mores station" where guests can make their own s'mores over an open flame.
  • Create a "grazing table" with a variety of fruits, cheeses, nuts, and other snacks for guests to enjoy.
  • If your wedding is in the summer consider having a ice cream truck or a ice cream bar with a variety of ice cream flavours for guests to enjoy.

For further ideas for your wedding catering please speak to some of our wonderful recommended suppliers or contact our events team. 

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Bride and bridesmaids coming down the street