Our Story, Our Farm
We believe we have a great story to tell and who better to tell it than the founder Celia Gaze.
Welcome to The Wellbeing Farm, born from true passion and a lot of hard graft!
So, how did the farm become the award-winning venue you see today? Let’s go back several years to when I was a stressed-out new mum working at a senior position in the NHS.
I don’t know if you can call it a mid-life crisis at age 40, corporate burnout or simply exhausted new mum, but I suddenly thought – is this my life?
From that moment, I vowed never again to have regrets, but to instead always make the most of my life.
I subtly asked my partner Stephen Whitehead if I could transform his farm (which was a bit neglected) into something special. My research began; travelling around the country (with a baby in tow) visiting 195 venues to gather inspiration for The Wellbeing Farm.
Back in Edgworth, I spent hours and hours online and scavenging around reclamation yards and auctions to provide the authentic characteristics which I hope you will now have the chance to enjoy.
I know this sounds a bit cliché, but I genuinely wanted to make the ordinary extraordinary in order to offer a unique, magical experience to our lovely guests.
The farm took just over two years to be developed by a local builder and Stephen and I launched during British Butcher’s Week in 2013; an important link to our family butchers’ shop which plays a key role within the farm.
At the time of launch, we had a cookery school, café, butchery courses, llama trekking and corporate events, but that all changed in 2014…
In the spring of 2014, I was approached by a couple who asked if they could get married at the farm. I had nowhere to put them… but not one to be easily defeated, I had a flash of inspiration (my bow tie in a llama moment) – why not transform the indoor livery school into a Wedding Barn?
Would it work? Well nobody would ever accuse me of procrastination – the exact opposite in fact, and without really thinking about it, the next thing our former horse arena had been transformed into a Wedding Barn and the result is a stunning wedding venue playing host to hundreds of weddings and many more happy times to come!”
Polly and Ryan’s wedding was held on the 5 July 2014 and we loved it and so did everyone else… I was then approached by Nina who lived in Edgworth who asked me if we could organise her wedding in two months – never one to turn down a challenge, Nina worked her magic on the Barn (through her amazing skills and styling experience) and her wedding was held in October 2014. I’ve got to admit Nina’s wedding put The Wellbeing Farm Weddings on the map. Love My Dress review of Nina’s wedding.
I had, at last, found what I was always meant to do with The Wellbeing Farm – Weddings…
In 2015 we doubled our size creating bespoke wedding facilities which included converting a former horse arena and stables in a new bar area, toilet facilities and an additional kitchen – at last we had a proper Wedding Barn which could cater for up to 260 guests. Thanks to Harry’s amazing vision, he helped me make it happen and I’ve got to say that every day when I open our blue steel barn doors (obtained from a Bolton steel factory) I am so proud!
Talk about a take-off – wedding bookings on the farm have grown from two weddings in 2014, to 15 weddings in 2015, 48 weddings in 2016 and the rest is history we now have bookings up to 2021.
I love the fact that as well as employing around 40 young people, the great news is that local accommodation providers, pubs and shops in Edgworth and the local taxi firm are also benefitting from the demand for weddings at the farm, so our venue is also great for the local community – in fact, we are now the biggest employer in the local area!
In January 2016 we were granted our wedding licence from Blackburn with Darwen Council and our journey gets even more exciting when we won Wedding Venue of the Year by the Lancashire Tourist Board. We’ve then subsequently gone onto win North West Wedding Venue of the Year by Bridebook and been branded as one of the ‘Best Wedding Venues in the UK to book in 2018’ by the London Evening Standard.
Do you know our story has even been turned into a book! Why Put a Bow Tie on a Llama? How a crazy idea can change your life and transform your business by Celia Gaze is the story of the farm which has been published and is available from January 2020. You can even get an extract of the book here or the book can be purchased from Amazon.
So in summary, we transformed this neglected, run-down farm and have put much thought and care into what we have done – I hope you have enjoyed reading about our transformational story. We try not to be ‘just another venue’, we deliberately set out to be special and to “make the ordinary extraordinary” and we strive to be unique and I do hope that this makes us stand out amongst other wedding venues – our aim is to create an amazing wedding experience.
So to this end, we want our weddings to have the wow factor – a magical experience where our weddings are caring, enthusiastic, beautiful and emotional – WE CARE”