Planning My Wedding – The Venue!

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Predicament number 2: Finding a venue.

Our engagement party took place on the lawns at my house. We bought a mini marquee and a few gazebos that we put up as it was expected to rain. We supplied loads of food and drink and my brother sorted out the music, as he is a pretty talented with music and DJ’ing, as much as it pains me to say ;). A few of our friends said at the time that this is what we should do for our wedding, but I shunned the idea immediately. I didn’t want to get married at home, where every other party we have had has been since we were children! I want something different, and special. I’m putting my foot down on this one.
The first week back, my plan had been totally taken over by spending all of our time enjoying a proper cup of tea and seeing family and friends. It was so lovely to see everyone, but we had so much to do in so little time.
So, we spend the day looking around wedding venues. We stay local to where I live in Worcestershire, but it is kind of limited as I live right out of the way.

Curradine Barn image taken by-Louise Holgate

I knew what I wanted in my mind. I was after a big spacious barn area, which could be transformed into a whimsical, country, vintage style venue with not too much cost. There were a few places, which looked beautiful, but for one reason or another it was too expensive or the mandatory catering wasn’t what we wanted. I also thought I knew what style dress I wanted and you really have to bear that in mind when picking your style of venue as there are some dresses and venues that simply don’t fuse together very well.
One of the first places we went to is a barn.  I spoke to the owners over email and it seemed to be pretty versatile and flexible, on price, times and decorations. You can near enough do whatever you want and they come up with a price based on that. I was excited about this one. I love to be able to add my own style into a place, and barns are great for that. However, as soon as the owners told me “the barn is great, unless it rains”, I started to worry. There was a hole in the roof, which they couldn’t fix as it is a national trust building. They weren’t allowed to do anything with it, and it had been like that for four years already. On to the next.

Curradine Barns looks lovely online. I arranged for us to go and see the venue. A lady met us, and showed us around.  She talked us through their procedure of how a wedding runs, step by step.  We both really liked it, and my Mum even shed a tear, but it did seem a tad pretty conveyer belt-ish. The bridal suite was beautiful, there was a spacious seating and bar area, plenty of space for eating and dancing and a lovely atmosphere. The accommodation was also nice, breakfast started at 7am the following morning, but you had to be totally checked out by 10am. Well I don’t know if it is just me, but the morning after my wedding I don’t particularly fancy being up and ready so early, to have eaten breakfast and be out by then. The other issue we had was the catering, it was going to cost a fortune and you had no choice but to use their specific company. For this venue and catering alone it was coming to nearly £10,000.  That is way over our budget as it is, and that’s without the dress, suit, photographer, flowers and so much more.  My final concern with this venue was that I already knew two couples that had gotten married there this year…and who wants to do the same thing? It would be like going to a party in the same dress! Two down.
A few more venues flew past us, and weren’t right for some reason or other. Whether it was their extortionate prices or lack of atmosphere, we eventually decided on having the wedding reception, wait for it, on the lawns at my house. If you can believe it! I still can’t sometimes. But surprisingly, I am okay with it now. With a proper marquee, live band, caterers and decorations, I think it could really feel so special. It will also have sentiment because it is at my childhood home, which I miss so much when I am away. And, it cuts the costs right down, which can’t be bad. The added bonus, is that there is no surcharge for having our wedding on a weekend, or in the height of summer, or even on a bank holiday! So we then decided on August 29th 2015…Its all becoming so real! Next stop, dress shopping!

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