A west country affair for 2014

Hi all,

I've been lurking on the boards for a few weeks, but think I've finally got the gist of things and want to join in. And so begins my planning thread... I have a tendency to provide too much detail so hopefully I don't bore anyone!

The meeting

I don’t imagine many people meet their h2b when he is completely starkers, but I did. It was September 2004 and my fresher’s week at university. H2b and an equally naked small Welsh man (who remains a close friend of ours) introduced themselves to me mid-streak while hiding from campus wardens. It turned out they were practically neighbours and on the same course as me so we made quick friends.

There was always a certain amount of flirting between me and h2b and we shared our first kiss not long after. I’m not sure exactly how it happened or how it finished, but our next few meetings were marred with awkwardness. Neither of us was in a position to begin a relationship and we were both happy to leave things as they were, but perhaps uncertain of the other’s feelings.

We remained friendly, but when we found ourselves in different classes in the second year, we drifted apart. The next couple of years passed with maybe just a handful of meetings, either passing each other in the corridors with short, but polite conversation or bumping into each other on nights out with somewhat more enthusiastic (but equally brief) exchanges. Plans to catch up were hatched, but never followed through on. When I graduated and moved back to London, I didn’t give two thoughts as to whether I’d see him again, but if I had, I could be mistaken for thinking the chances were slim to none.

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  • Getting together

    And so I found myself at work over a year after graduation one Friday afternoon in September 2008 when I received a text. It was from h2b. My first thought was, ‘I didn’t even realise I still had his number’ and my second was, ‘why would he be texting me?’. It happened that he was on a coach to London to visit our mutual friend (the naked welsh man from our first meeting), who I remained in contact with, and wondered whether I fancied joining them for drinks the following evening.

    I was nervous and strangely excited about seeing him again and I wasn’t sure why. The attraction was certainly still there and I found it growing over the course of the evening, resulting in our second kiss almost three years after our first. I knew straight away that it was finally right between us and I would say the rest is history, but it wasn’t quite that straight forward. He was returning to Cornwall the following day, but we talked about him coming to London again soon, only this time to visit me. From that day on we spoke every day. He came to London, I went to Cornwall. Hundreds of miles travelled, lots of money spent, but it was always worth it. H2b spent the first few weekends together apologetically explaining that he didn’t want anything serious; the distance made him reluctant to want to commit. I would laugh, because I saw things as they were. We were already in a relationship, we were already committed, we just hadn’t labelled it officially.

    It took him six months to realise what I had know from the beginning. For someone who was so hesitant when we were starting out, he certainly made up for lost time when he moved to London and in with me a short time later. We were both nervous about how things might change between us going from a long distance relationship seeing each other for a handful of days a month to suddenly living together. While h2b took a little time adjusting to London life, living together was a non-issue and any nerves we might have had before proved unfounded.

  • The proposal

    My birthday was in June and I was totally convinced that he was going to propose, but instead he gave me tickets for a trip to Brussels in August. I was actually a little bit gutted (how ungrateful do I sound?) We had agreed at the start of the year that we wouldn’t do presents so that we could start saving towards our wedding ‘someday’. Everyone was prodding me going ‘so, do you think he’s going to propose in Brussels?’ And to be honest, I did. However, I didn’t want to get my hopes up again and have the weekend marred with disappointment if it didn’t happen.

    A week before we went he sent me a link to the hotel we were staying in. It was a bit grim and the reviews on Trip Advisor were less than favourable. If I had any inkling he was going to propose, those thoughts were quickly put to rest when I saw the hotel he had booked. Still I was determined we would have a fantastic time no matter what.

    We arrived off the Eurostar and began the trek towards our hotel. As usual, I had printed off a map and was navigating the way in a half sprint. I turned to h2b to let him know we were half a block away when he asked me to stop...

    H2b: We’re actually staying here... it’s a 5* hotel

    Me: Are you serious?!

    H2b: Absolutely, come on

    Me: You’re so sneaky!

    H2b: In a good way, I hope?

    Me: Well, yes, but still ever so sneaky.

    Suddenly the proposal seemed like it was back on the cards. He kept going on about booking us into a really nice restaurant for Saturday evening so I kind of assumed that if he was going to do it, he was planning to do it there.

    I was wrong again.

    Instead, we found ourselves enjoying a beautiful day in a park to the south of the city that’s surrounded by forest. He’d been a bit restless and we were walking through the forest to the exit when we found ourselves in a lovely deserted clearing and he said something along the lines of:

    “You know that I love you very much and that I want to spend the rest of my life with you. Which leads me to ask just one question: Echo SW, will you marry me? You’re the most incredible person I know and so beautif-”

    At which point I promptly cut him off with a ‘yes’ and pulled him off his knee so I could kiss him. I feel bad that I can barely recall his words, but I honestly couldn’t think straight! We had such a wonderful evening together and kept the news to ourselves until we returned to London the following evening.

  • Location and date

    We had always agreed that we would get married in h2b's home area (the border of Devon and Cornwall). So the hunt is underway for a suitable venue down there. I have a large family, who I am very close to, so our initial draft of the guest list is approaching 140 people, with the majority having to travel from the South East of England.

    Due to the distances involved, we want to hold the wedding during a school holiday to allow everyone plenty of travel time and the option of extending their visit into a mini break.

    We're currently looking at the end of August 2014 or the autumn half term (late October 2014).

    Nothing has been booked yet so I'll post an update once we have agreed our venue and date. So much to do!

  • TadpoleTadpole Posts: 2,134 New bride

    Aww that is such a sweet proposal. Looking forward to reading more xx

  • JodielouJodielou Posts: 4,058

    Hooked already!  Congratulations on your engagement  image x

  • Looking forward to following your thread. My partner and I are from cornwall and are getting married in March 2014, our reception is at Polhawn Fort as it is 10 mins from where we are from. Such a great part of the country. I might be able to give you some venue ideas (thats if you need them) image

  • Thanks all!

    Hannah, Polhawn Fort is lovely and somewhere we considered, but they had no availability for our potential dates.

    We did a bit of a venue scout at the weekend and one of our front-running venues is the Orangery at Mount Edgcumbe. I'll do a proper update on venues shortly. There are lots of beautiful places to consider for sure, but our numbers have restricted our options somewhat.

    It's nice to know a bride in the area image

  • the orangery is beautiful, are you looking at getting married on the Cornwall side particularly? We are from Torpoint so have looked at a few venues within the area. Nice to know some one else getting married close by image

  • Hannah I'm from the Torpoint area!!!! Edgcumbe is lovely, I know quite a few people who have got married there. We are getting married not too far from Plymouth, its about a 15 minutes drive from the centre but feels very secluded. 

     

  • Ahh it's so nice to know another bride from the area, where exactly are you from? I am living in Scotland at the moment but we are gettin married in Torpoint then to polhawn fort. Where is you wedding? image

  • I used to live in St John, went to Torpoint school as well image Polhawn fort is lovely, my friend sometimes works up there at weddings when she is home for the summer holidays.

    We're getting married at Langdon Court, did not know it existed until I stumbled across their website!

  • oh no way small world. I'm sure we probably know some of the same people! Langdon court is gorgeous, a friend looked there for hers but it wouldn't hold enough. beautiful venue! 

  • We problably do!! A very small world image It is such a lovely venue, we're not having too many people so it's perfect for us. When do you get married? 

  • 15th march 2014, so not far away, feel like I still have tons to do. What about you?

  • 20th April 2014, its creeping up way too quickly!! Slightly panicking that we've got loads of decorative stuff to do (tea cup candles, decorative jam jars (no idea why I thought that was a good idea!!!)) so its going to be a busy 7 months.

     

     

  • Ah, nice that there are a few of us. My other half grew up a little further up the Tamar in Calstock.

    We're getting married in the village church so weighing up whether the hour drive is justifiable to get to the reception at Mount Edgcumbe.

    I'll upload some pictures tomorrow and let you know which venues we have looked at and are deciding between. Hoping to have our deposit down by the beginning of next week!

  • a girl I work with lives in calstock, lovely village!  yeah an hour is quite far but if you love it people will understand. oooo excellent look forward to seeing them. There are so many nice venues around the area.

  • Ohhh Calstock is lovely!! I think there are quite a few venues around that way. I used a wedding venue search engine when just looking at places around devon (I'm up in North Devon) and there are loads of places.

    I would say an hour is fine, a friends wedding we went to a few years ago had an hours drive between the church and venue. Edgcumbe is so beautiful as well, people would be very impressed image

  • Thanks for the words of encouragement. Everyone tells you to do what you want for the wedding day and not get too bogged down thinking about what guests would prefer, but I really want everyone to have a great time.

    Have you guys got planning threads?

  • I know what you mean, so many people have said don't think about anyone else but that is so hard, I want everyone to be happy and enjoy the day! 

     

    I don't I wouldn't know where to start really! Sorry for hijacking yours image

  • We're in exactly the same situation, we want everyone to be happy but want to be able to enjoy ourselves too!

    I don't have a planning thread, the one's on here are fantastic. Pinterest has been brill too, if you need any help with suppliers like flowers or cake feel free to message me as we got some brill deals with them. Nice and local too image

  • Same here if I can help in anyway just let me know. Depending on your budget and if you want one I know of an amazing videographer

    http://www.fosterfilming.com/Wedding-Video-Cornwall.html

  • Hannah, I was looking at the Foster Filming page the other day and love the films they produce! H2b and I are seeing if we have any money in the budget to stretch to a videographer.

    I'm sure I'll be hitting you both up for tips, especially as I'm not local.

  • They are great aren't they, I met with him (Ben) he is a lovely guy but H2B put his foot down and said we can't afford it. image

    Any help you need just shout I'm sure ill know someone that knows someone!

  • The ring

    At the beginning of the year I had a few chats with my friends about the engagement rings we all have or would like. Little did I know that one of them later got in touch with h2b to say 'whenever you plan to propose, give me a shout as I know what rings Echo likes'.

    I was quite resolute that I didn't want a diamond solitaire. As beautiful as they are, it just didn't feel like me. I wear no jewellery the rest of the time, so I wanted whatever I was going to wear for the rest of my life to be something very personal to my tastes and style.

    What I knew above everything was that I wanted a blue stone so I was more than delighted when h2b presented me with this sapphire ring:

    image

    I had admired sapphires, but really wasn't expecting to receive one (I would have been happy with coloured glass, but don't tell h2b). I love it and everyone comments that it suits me well.

    It was slightly too small when he gave it to me so I had to have it adjusted when we got back to the UK. If anything, now that the weather's gotten a bit cooler, it's a little loose. *sigh* I'll see how it goes before I rush back to the jewellers for another re-sizing.

  • Lovely proposal image I'm from south Devon so planning in a similar area too! image Will keep an eye on your thread!

  • That ring is beautiful 

  • Sorry for the delay in updating, the past week has been pretty busy planning-wise.

    Venues

    A few weeks ago we travelled down to Cornwall to celebrate our engagement with friends and family from down there and view some venues.

    We saw some lovely places, but quickly eliminated the following:

    Moorland Garden Hotel - Great space, convenient location, accomodation onsite, but I wasn't keen on a 'hotel wedding', which this of course was.

    Lakeside at Roadford Resevoir - A modern function room overlooking the resevoir; OH really wasn't keen, I thought it had potential (and was the cheapest of all the venues once catering and drinks were accounted for); the space wasn't ideal though and it might have been a bit of a squeeze.

    Dartmoor Zoo - I had liked the idea of this place because the money goes straight back into caring for the animals. A unique venue, but it didn't feel wedding-y and I lacked the vision to see how the day would be there. It was also the most expensive of all the venues, which didn't feel justified.

    Mount Tavy BnB - Lovely owners and great grounds, but we would have required a marquee for the day and the cost would have been prohibitive.

    So we had three venues on the shortlist...

  • Venues (continued)

    Mount Edgcumbe House

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    The estate is beautiful and we loved the views while arriving over the Rame peninsula. Because of our numbers, it appeared that our only option here was to hold the reception in a permanently sited marquee at the rear of the house and it was quite an expensive option. We were a little disappointed when we viewed it as there were no views from the marquee, it didn't feel spacious and smelled a little musty.

    I knew they also held receptions at the Orangery restaurant, but that they were limited to no more than 120 guests. I figured with some dropout, we might be on around 120 guests and decided we should look at the restaurant anyway. The person who had shown us around couldn't accompany us there as it's quite a distance from the main house where she works so we headed down by ourselves.

    When we arrived, we were blown away. Huge windows (as you might expect from an Orangery), beautiful formal gardens and it felt much bigger than the marquee we had just seen. We asked one of the waiters there about holding receptions there and why the limit on numbers since the space looked as though it could accomodate far more. He was great and basically said our numbers would be possible (especially considering 10 guests are babies) and that we should liaise with the restaurant manager if we're interested.

    image

     

    We left there totally in love with the venue, but still thinking the price would be prohibitive; however on reviewing the wedding brochure, we found that the Orangery was significantly cheaper than the marquee at the top of the estate. It was our front runner.

    Tavistock Town Hall

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    This was the closest venue to h2b's village and would have given us the flexibility to bring in our own caterers and make the day really personal. The space inside was perfect for our requirements and it is very well equipped for events. The main drawback was the lack of any outside space (it's in the middle of a busy market town) and no parking other than public pay-and-display car parks that are a short walk away. Cost-wise it was quite good, but a corkage charge on all alcohol brought into the venue did make it more expensive than we had initially anticipated.

    Colehayes Park House

    image

    This was a very interesting venue. It required three day dry hire of the entire house and grounds, but included in that was accomodation for 40 guests in 20 bedrooms. The rooms themselves were sort of dormitory style so it was possible to sleep up to 70 (though further guests would be charged pro-rata). The grounds were great and for an evening reception, the rooms inside would work well. However for a formal wedding breakfast, we'd need to hire a marquee and the venue charges for weekend pass for guest that are not staying, which is an additional cost to consider.

  • The venue decision

    Availability played a big part in our final decision, though I'm sure it's of little surprise from the way I described each of our shortlisted venues that in the end we decided to go with Mount Edgcumbe Orangery. It was available on an August date and we both loved the space.

    We are booked in for Friday 22nd August 2014. I am so happy to have our date and it leaves us just under 11 months to plan!

    Here are some more pictures of the estate and inside the Orangery:

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