Wedding date dilemma

MrsH2020MrsH2020 Posts: 62 New bride
Hi everyone, I have a bit of a dilemma I could do with some input on, although I don't think there's any easy answer. Me and my other half want to get married in 2020 - we have always dreamt of a rustic, autumnal barn wedding, and last weekend we found our dream venue, that we have fallen in love with and it ticks every box - we can even just about afford it. We have scoured the options in every county vaguely accessible from London where we live, and viewed eight, and this is THE ONE.

Now here's the snag - my best friend and maid of honour, who has been practically a sister to me since I was 12, who I can't imagine getting married without, lives in Japan and is a teacher. She has one week of holiday in October that she could use to come back but our dream venue is already booked for the Saturdays in that week, and the Friday too. We can't pull the wedding forward to the summer as I will be abroad on a big work trip for much of July and August, plus it's more expensive, and if we pull it right forward to early next year we won't have long enough to save as we're funding the wedding mostly ourselves. We also really don't want to delay it to 2021. So we are left with the option to have the wedding on the Thursday in the week my MOH can be here, but without a fair few of our other friends, who are teachers in this country, OR have it on a different Saturday but MOH wouldn't be there, unless she has moved back to the UK by then, which is a possibility but a fairly small one. She can't get leave to come back as it's not a family wedding, and anyway the costs and times to fly back for a couple of days are ludicrous.

Almost everyone would be travelling between 1-4 hours to get to the wedding as all our friends and family are very spread around the country, and several others would be coming from abroad but without the date restrictions that come with being a teacher. I am reluctant to have a wedding on a Thursday in case it's too hard for too many people to get time off work  - I think our close friends and family would definitely still be there but we'd lose quite a few, and certainly a lot of people's partners. Or we go back to the drawing board, give up on the idea of a barn etc and try to find somewhere else to do it on the right friday/saturday.... Any help/views appreciated! xx

Posts

  • OmRumOmRum Posts: 728 New bride
    edited 16 April
    Obviously this is something that only you can decide, but for me it would be more important to have the people I want there than the dream venue. Also, if your close friends and family can do the Thursday that the MOH can do, then for me that would be preferable than doing it on a Saturday to accommodate some friends you are less close to, and certainly their partners.

    I know you don't want to delay it to 2021, but if that's the only option for you to be able to find the perfect date for your perfect venue to get as many of the people you want there possible, is that too much of a hardship? Long engagements are fun!
  • MrsCToBeeMrsCToBee Posts: 2,771 New bride
    Only you can decide who you want there more. One of my best friends lives in NZ and I always thought she would be coming to my wedding (as did she), but due to a redundancy, job change and finances she now can't afford to come when our wedding is, but is coming back a few weeks later after the summer holidays when the flights are much cheaper. Obviously I'm a bit sad, but all our other friends and family will still be there, and when she is back we'll go out for a meal, show her photos and celebrate then.

    In your shoes I'd either do the wedding on a Saturday or move the whole thing to 2021 on a weekend she can do - I wouldn't plan my wedding around just one person unless it was a parent personally. It wouldn't be that long to wait from October 2020 until spring of 2021. We've had a 2 1/2 year engagement (wanted one of the spring bank holidays at our venue, could only get August) and it's flown by.

    Unfortunately, when you choose to move to the other side of the world you do miss out on things - it's lovely you're being so considerate of her but you can't plan your whole wedding around someone else's life choices.
  • Laura GraceLaura Grace Posts: 330 New bride
    Is there definitely no way she could make it?  My friend got married yesterday (a school holidays Monday as most of her friends are teachers).  One of our mutual friends is a teacher who has moved out to Dubai.  Technically she is missing a few term time days (even though they are 'just' friends, not family).  Apparently in some cases they can be slightly more lenient if they want to due to the difficulties of working abroad etc so as long as their attendance is pretty perfect, they could certainly put a case forward.  I think in my friend's case she basically told them she was going and good luck trying to stop her :D
    Also "like a sister" in some cases can be closer than a "blood relative" which they really should take into consideration these days.  Alternatively, would they know if you weren't actually related? She could always say you were her cousin, would be difficult for them to disprove.
    If it's still a no then yes you've got a tough decision to make.  Only you can decide what is a bigger priority: dream venue / moh / guest list
  • MrsH2020MrsH2020 Posts: 62 New bride
    Sadly it would seem as though there would only be the slimmest of chances she could make a Saturday - basically only if she moved back here before then, which obviously is a massive decision that she can't make now. I have thought that surely she could swing a couple of days but I think they are fairly strict and it would still mean a 17hr flight back for just 24hrs, which I would feel terrible about.

    I've definitely considered pushing it back to 2021 but the earliest she could get back then would be May, which is eight months later - I've been with my other half for over 10 years already and we both kind of want to get on with it! But maybe that is the only option I could live with...

    I certainly never thought it would be so hard to find a barn venue that ticked our boxes, but having exhausted pretty much every one in south-east England, it really is! Anyone else found the same??
  • MrsRendall2BMrsRendall2B Posts: 744 New bride
    If you've been together over 10 years already, what difference is 6/7 extra months going to make? Honestly, it will fly by. Seems like only 2 minutes ago we booked our venue and now we're only 4 months away.

    Failing that, get her to lie and say it's a family member's wedding?
  • MrsCToBeeMrsCToBee Posts: 2,771 New bride
    @pollybryan12 which venue is it you have chosen?
  • MrsH2020MrsH2020 Posts: 62 New bride
    @MrsCToBee the one we have fallen in love with is Upwaltham Barns near Chichester. It's at the top end of our budget (at least for the Saturday - the Thursday would save us 2k although that isn't our primary concern) but it ticks every box and is simply perfect. If only it was available the weekend before!
  • MrsCToBeeMrsCToBee Posts: 2,771 New bride
    @MrsCToBee the one we have fallen in love with is Upwaltham Barns near Chichester. It's at the top end of our budget (at least for the Saturday - the Thursday would save us 2k although that isn't our primary concern) but it ticks every box and is simply perfect. If only it was available the weekend before!
    It's a bit out of my area, I'm in West Kent and there are a lot of nice barn venues locally. Have you decided what you are going to do?
  • Ambam19Ambam19 Posts: 581 New bride
    If she is that important to you to be there then you'll need to change the venue.
    To do this though she would need to make a commitment and book those flight tickets! So many people drop out for destination wedding (tech is for her as she's abroad!) after stuff happens and the car breaks, or they get a new partner and want to spend their holiday time with them instead etc etc.

    Some other suggestions in sussex are Long Furlong Barn (findon) and Pangdean Barn (nr Brighton) 
  • MrsTraceyMrsTracey Posts: 837 New bride
    Upwaltham Barns bride here! We got married there last summer! 

    I was was going to comment saying I’m sure there are other venues you could look into, but when you said it was Upwaltham I totally get it! It won us over the minute we stepped out the car on our first visit. I would say it’s worth the wait, and go for May 2021 to have everyone there. Six months more is really nothing, and it will go by so quickly and be so worth it for the gorgeous venue. Also, Upwaltham are great with their pre-wedding meet ups, along with a wedding experience evening when you get to go and try lots of canapés and a three course meal for free, and it’s a really fun evening with other Upwaltham couples, so this will help pad out the time? Can you also use the extra time as an excuse for extra celebrations? I know we totally milked it with wine tasting in my parents back garden, a recce of the nearby pub for pre wedding dinner the night before (tip - visit The Fox Goes Free!), pre-wedding drinks with my mum and auntie etc. 

    Of course, if you do postpone you’d have to make really clear that you’re doing it for her, of course if something completely out of the ordinary prevented her from attending that would be understandable, but you’d hate to hold out and then have her flake or be casual about it. Good luck with whatever you decide xxx
  • MrsH2020MrsH2020 Posts: 62 New bride
    @MrsTracey SO lovely to hear how much you loved Upwaltham. We viewed eight venues over a weekend, and it was by far the most wonderful in every way. We have actually decided to go back for a second viewing this weekend of Upwaltham and our second favourite - Southend Barn, which is available on the Friday that we want, but is more expensive and we don't love it quite as much. We have made the decision that we just can't do it without my maid of honour though. It would be like my OH getting married without his brother, who is best man - unthinkable.

    We have re-considered May 2021 on all your advice, but have opted not to postpone until then - the one weekend my MOH could come home for that month clashes with another big family event that means it wouldn't work - plus even a Friday in May would push us over budget as it's a lot more expensive than October.

    At the moment it's a toss up between spending more and going to Southend on the Friday - anyone have any experience with this barn? - or staying with Upwaltham but on the Thursday or Sunday. My OH is strongly opposed to a Sunday wedding as he thinks that while people would happily take a Friday off, most would try not to take a Monday and will therefore leave early/not drink. I disagree as everybody would be travelling at least an hour so I don't think many would attempt to get home on the Sunday night. Anyone have any experience of Sunday weddings?
  • MrsRendall2BMrsRendall2B Posts: 744 New bride
    No experience with a Sunday wedding but I don't see why it would make a difference - if you do it on the Thursday, people potentially have to take the Wednesday, Thursday and Friday off for travelling/recovering from the party. At least on a Sunday, people can travel down on the Saturday and will only need to take Monday off. If it were me, I'd much prefer to only have to take one day off work rather than three...
  • MrsCToBeeMrsCToBee Posts: 2,771 New bride
    @MrsTracey SO lovely to hear how much you loved Upwaltham. We viewed eight venues over a weekend, and it was by far the most wonderful in every way. We have actually decided to go back for a second viewing this weekend of Upwaltham and our second favourite - Southend Barn, which is available on the Friday that we want, but is more expensive and we don't love it quite as much. We have made the decision that we just can't do it without my maid of honour though. It would be like my OH getting married without his brother, who is best man - unthinkable.

    We have re-considered May 2021 on all your advice, but have opted not to postpone until then - the one weekend my MOH could come home for that month clashes with another big family event that means it wouldn't work - plus even a Friday in May would push us over budget as it's a lot more expensive than October.

    At the moment it's a toss up between spending more and going to Southend on the Friday - anyone have any experience with this barn? - or staying with Upwaltham but on the Thursday or Sunday. My OH is strongly opposed to a Sunday wedding as he thinks that while people would happily take a Friday off, most would try not to take a Monday and will therefore leave early/not drink. I disagree as everybody would be travelling at least an hour so I don't think many would attempt to get home on the Sunday night. Anyone have any experience of Sunday weddings?
    My venue ONLY holds weddings on Sundays and is booked for almost every weekend of the year. I really don't think it's an issue. We did choose a bank holiday for our Sunday wedding, but that's only because my partner is from a different area of the country, so over half of our guests will be travelling quite long distances to attend.
  • CoffeeDogAddictCoffeeDogAddict Posts: 1,043 New bride
    We picked a Sunday as then at least for most of our guests it didn't involve taking time off, and for the few traveling it means just taking the monday. 

    I was a bit worried but we've had no negative feedback so far! I personally think a Sunday is better than a Thursday for the reasons above. If I was local it would still mean 1.5/2 days off depending. 
  • jjward2019jjward2019 Posts: 121 New bride
    We’ve been to a Sunday wedding and it was fine! A few people left an hour to half an hour early for a midnight finish but not many. People will much prefer the Sunday because they either won’t have to take any days off or only one for the Monday. Like others have said above Thursday could be awkward. I know quite a few of my friends (teachers and those with limited holiday) would have struggled to come midweek. 
  • MrsH2020MrsH2020 Posts: 62 New bride
    Thanks everyone for all your advice with this! We have actually gone ahead and booked the Thursday at Upwaltham barns - it means my MOH can be there which makes me so so happy. We've spoken to the people that the weekday could prove tricky for and are pretty happy that we've made the best decision — our closest teacher friend had actually decided to quit teaching after this school year anyway. So excited to get married at Upwaltham - @MrsTracey I came across your wedding report from there on here and it was so great to read!
  • MrsTraceyMrsTracey Posts: 837 New bride
    MrsH2020 said:
    Thanks everyone for all your advice with this! We have actually gone ahead and booked the Thursday at Upwaltham barns - it means my MOH can be there which makes me so so happy. We've spoken to the people that the weekday could prove tricky for and are pretty happy that we've made the best decision — our closest teacher friend had actually decided to quit teaching after this school year anyway. So excited to get married at Upwaltham - @MrsTracey I came across your wedding report from there on here and it was so great to read!
    Oh yay!! Have the best time, you’ll be well looked after! X
  • longhaullonghaul Posts: 22 New bride
    its a shame but I wouldn't make it hard for everyone else just for 1 person, as a possible compromise could you not set up a 'skype' with your best friend?

    I've heard of it being done before and then she can do a speech or something projected onto a screen etc...
  • longhaullonghaul Posts: 22 New bride
    sorry just seen you replied already so ignore my answer
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