Winter Wonderful - Dec 2019 (the higgledy piggledy thread edited!)

CavalierBrideCavalierBride Posts: 224 New bride
edited 30 January in Your planning threads

Hello everyone. Well I’ve been reading threads on here for a little while, although only got officially engaged this weekend, and although it’s very early days and we’ve no date or venue or anything yet, I thought I’d like to start a thread here because I’ve so enjoyed reading others, and because I like the idea of putting the whole process down in one place that I can look back on later. 

 

I hope thats ok, other threads seem to start with at least a date and venue if not a whole theme in mind, I had no idea what to even call this thread for starters, maybe I can edit it later when I have some details - I’m not sure if the forum lets you.

 

Anyway, I’ll do some introductions.

 

About us:

Me: E, aged 39, teacher, dog-lover, auntie many times over. This will be my first wedding but not my first engagement, more later.

Him: R, aged 41, does something in IT that makes my eyes glaze over whenever he tries to explain, not a dog person when we met, now a convert, owns more coats than anyone I’ve ever known but only ever wears one of them (scruffy and knackered though it is). 

Most importantly: Fred, my 11 year old ginger cavalier King Charles Spaniel. R was as I said not a dog person when we met, I said ‘oh what a shame because Fred is a dealbreaker’, R swiftly became a dog person and he and Fred are now fairly devoted to each other, which is lucky because I meant what I said about it being a dealbreaker. Fred is an absolute diva and is currently licking my feet/head butting me in a most insistent fashion whilst doing what we call ‘the sneeze of disapproval‘ because I’m typing this instead of fussing him. 

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  • The story of us:


    I got R off the internet, we met on match. We’ve been together just over 3 years.

    My romantic past is rather chequered. I got together with my ex when I was 17. We were together 12 years, all through my time at university, him joining and then eventually leaving the forces, we moved down to London together and then a few years later back to our home town gain. Most of our friends were mutual. We were a big part of each other’s families. We got engaged and planned (and paid for) a wedding. I figured I was set for life. I can’t even say we had an unhappy relationship as we really didn’t, things were very good with us for a very long time. We were just under a week from getting married and he called it off. 

    It turns out there was someone else, she was pregnant suspiciously quickly afterwards, they did go on to get married and then divorced I believe. Anyway, old news now but at the time I was devastated and it certainly changed who I was as a person- for the better I think now, but it was not so clear at the time! That all happened 10 years ago. The very best thing that happened during that time was that, after moving back in with my mum, one day she met me from work with a little ginger dog that had needed a good home and told me she had rehomed him for me as she wanted to see me smile again. Well it bloody worked, Fred was the love of my life from that moment on. 

    So after my break up and at not quite 29 I had to learn how to do the whole dating thing again. It took me a good few years to think I could contemplate anything serious again but I had some fun and made some mistakes and learned some stuff. I went to work abroad and was loving it but sadly had to return to the uk Early when my mum became terminally ill. Caring for her became my focus, and when she died in Dec 2012 I was utterly broken. I slowly rebuilt and continued with work, friends, travel etc. And of course I had my beautiful Freddie, my absolute rock and always guaranteed to make me smile just like mum had intended. 

    I began to think about how much I wanted a family of my own, I tried online dating and met some nice guys and some not so nice ones, had a few short relationships here and there, but nothing was really working out. I knew I wanted children and was looking into routes for going it alone, I even had an appointment to visit a fertility clinic. I’d kind of accepted that I was going to end up alone (although with a great family and wonderful friends) and I thought I’d dealt with so much on my own and even quite liked it in some ways. 

    I did however decide to give match one last go. I fancied a snog if nothing else. I had the usual messages from idiots and there was one guy I was chatting to who seemed quite promising ...

  • Had to break off as my friend arrived! 

     

    Anyway, as I said one guy seemed promising and I’d arranged to meet him for a drink. I wasn’t overly in the mood when it came to the day and did consider cancelling but I went along. I remember pulling into the car park and seeing a tall, smart looking man walking into the pub and thinking ‘oooh I hope that’s him!’. Of course it was, and we had a very nice date, I felt comfortable with him immediately and just all round got a great feeling. At the end of the date he gave me a very gentlemanly kiss on the cheek and said it was nice to meet me and I thought ‘oh, he’s not interested then’. But not long after I got home he text to ask me out again that Saturday, we were texting back and forth all night and that has been pretty much that ever since! I said above that I was sure id never be able  trust anyone in a relationship again, I’d become so cynical, but with R it was just never a question. I trusted him with my life from day one. I was still a little prickly and a little hesitant but he was patient and although he can be a grumpy old man and I can be too quick to jump down his throat over the smallest thing, we make it work.

    Fred and I moved in with him after about 15 months, and we started trying for a baby not long after - unsuccessfully so far and we are in the early stages of workin with a fertility clinic. 

     

    So thats us! 

     

  • I love your thread so far :) 

    Xx

  • cs2thecoxcs2thecox Posts: 252 New bride

    Welcome!

    My thread started with a "we're engaged!" and that was about it, so it's never too soon to jump in here.

    You're also one step up from me - I met my fiancé on Tinder!!

  • Congratulations! After reading what you a journey you have been on I am so happy that you have now met your person and are planning your lives together :) All the best with both your wedding planning and fertility journeys xx <3

  • Thanks for commenting guys! Wasn’t sure if I’d be waffling to myself (and I’d be ok with that ) but it’s really nice if people are reading. cs2thecox just caught up with your planning thread - all looks so great. And Anxiousbride2 wow 15 days to go! You must be super excited. (Can you tag people on here when you reply to them?)

     

    Anyway I’ve waffled A LOT (standard for me really) without getting onto anything wedding related so I’ll try to get a move on now, Im on last day of half term and supposed to be packing up the bedroom ready for some furniture swapping and redecorating but this seems like far more fun. 

     

    The proposal

    Was, inkeeping with my thread title, a bit of a jumble. R is not the most outwardly romantic of souls although he’s capable of surprising me on occasion. This was not one of them! In the summer we went down to Dorset with Freddie and stayed in a lovely cottage close to Chesil Beach. It was a pretty perfect holiday (says the girl who is usually more a ‘white sand, turquoise seas and cocktails for breakfast, lunch and dinner’ type of holidaymaker). On our last evening R put together a picnic and prossecco and we sat on the beach to watch the sunset. When I shared a picture on social media, a few people told me later they fully expected me to announce we’d got engaged that evening. More recently R tells me that that had been his original plan, but he’d not found a ring he was confident I’d like in time, and had got himself into a bit of a tizz about rings and ‘getting it wrong’ so he’d not asked me. I should point out here that I’m not actually a dragon who would have unhinged my jaw, flambed and then eaten him for getting the ring wrong, and would have loved anything he’d chosen but there we are, he is silly. Luckily I wasn’t really expecting a proposal or disappointed or anything like that, so I just remember a really nice evening. 

    Not long after in August we were at a party and really quite drunk and at some point he was showing me a picture of a ring on his phone. I’m not sure what I thought was going on, or why he decided to show me in that setting, and I doubt he knows as it was all very alcohol induced. Anyway, without realising it was actually the ring he’d chosen and was about to buy I’d made some kind of half hearted comment about it being nice before grabbing his phone to scroll through and point out about 15 different rings I liked, all wildly different from each other so giving him no real clue as to what I actually wanted. A similar kind of drunken conversation/phone picture swapping session happened a few weeks later (we‘re not drunks in general I promise, this summer was a bit hectic with celebrations of various sorts). This time though I actually remembered it properly the next morning so asked him what all that was about and he told me he was trying to buy me a bloody ring but I seemed incapable of finding one style I preferred above others and just kept pointing randomly to shiny objects on the screen so was giving him no clue. 

    We talked about using my mums engagement ring which I have, I also have my birth mother’s engagement ring (long story, my birth mum died in labour, I was unofficially adopted by her sister who I call my mum). Also another sapphire ring of my mums I’d have been happy to use as an engagement ring. If anything I am over provided for when it comes to rings. R however wanted me to have a ring that was just from him and symbolised the start of a new chapter. 

    Clearly looking at pictures wasn’t helping to narrow down what I would like, and although he th

  • GinAndBlingGinAndBling Posts: 1,078 New bride

    Love your thread so far, can't wait to read more. Freddie sounds like an angel (picture please :D !) x

    Our planning thread: We're completely winging it.

    My weightloss thread: Diet denial! 
  • Oh bloody hell I got cut off!

     

    Clearly looking at pictures wasn’t helping to narrow down what I would like, and although he threatened to just leave me out of it altogether and pick one he liked and have done with it, at the beginning of this month he steered me into a jewellers to try some on and narrow it down a bit. Well I not only narrowed it down I fell completely in love with one, an 18ct white gold 1/2 ct diamond oval halo ring. R said some sensible things about the practicalities of a ring set with tiny stones on my exceptionally clumsy fingers, plus the quality of the stone and 4cs blah blah and I said ‘ssshhhhh I’m trying to look at my ring here‘. So R paid a deposit to order the ring in my size to try on again next week. Then we went for cocktails and Italian food. The following Saturday, this one just gone, we went back to try the correct size ring, I loved it even more so R bought it, and after some persuasion I allowed it to be placed in its box for safekeeping until the actual official proposal. We went to the church opposite the jewellers to light a candle for my mum, and R said ‘thank you June for bringing me Emma’ which made me cry. Then we went for cocktails and Italian food again, there’s a theme here (potential wedding theme maybe?)

    The ACTUAL proposal

    So the very next morning R woke me up early to suggest taking Freddie to Llandudno. I am not a morning person and, despite having literally JUST bought a ring, I really didn’t get it and tried to suggest a local park before going back to sleep, but eventually R managed to marshall me and an equally sleepy Freddie into the car. We love to walk Fred by the seaside and Llandudno is one our favourites. We had a nice walk along the front and then a little way up the Great Orm. We stopped in the little garden/park overlooking the sea and R took Fred off to ‘see about something‘ whilst I sat on the bench feeling like it was all a bit silly but very very lovely and doing this weird nervous laugh. Then Freddie came trotting back towards me, R had tied a little pouch to his collar with the ring in, which is so cheesy but really cute ’one way to guarantee you would say yes’ he told me later. He went down on one knee and said lovely things and asked will you marry me and for some reason my reply was ‘yes will you marry me?’ Luckily his answer was yes too, that would have been awkward otherwise, and Fred seemed broadly in favour although more interested in sniffing around the bench, so that was that. We had another walk, watched the sea cadets parade and band which R claimed to have organised specially, got pie and chips to eat on the front and came home engaged. 

  • We were here image 

     

    The ring image image

     

    Fred gave his blessing image

  • Congratulations on getting engaged :D I guess you probably have some ideas on what you do and don't want from your previous planning. Sorry that didn't work out, but I'm glad you found R who sounds lovely :) 

  • Telling everyone

    We tried to call in at his grandmas where his parents usually are on a Sunday to tell them all together. However his parents weren’t there, and then only his dad arrived as his mum wasn’t feeling too well, so we didn’t say anything. R’s parents are lovely, they’ve always been very welcoming to me and they are obsessed with Freddie. That’s not hyperbole, they are actually obsessed, they’re our go to dog sitters and look after Fred in the day when we‘re both at work and basically talk about and fuss over him to an extent that even I find excessive, and I am very much a crazy dog lady. We wanted to tell them together so decided to wait till the following day. We phoned my two sisters and my brother that evening, I’m very close to my sisters and to a lesser extent my brother (no bad feeling we get on great we just don’t see a lot of each other). They are 12, 17 and 19 years older than me, with grown up children of their own - I have 8 grown up nephews and nieces and 8 little great nephews and nieces. Sisters and brothers were all very happy - my whole family adore R which is lucky, I’ve never been with anyone who was such a hit across the board. Text the nephews and nieces. Called my aunt in Spain who I am very close to and who also loves R to a slightly concerning degree! She was very happy and cried. 

    Mondays R plays football after work and always goes to his parents to collect Freddie afterwards. I met him there and we told his mum and dad who were really happy too, his mum is very crafty and good with things like flowers etc (I am very not those things) so she’s already sketching ideas happily.  She makes cards for charity and has tons of craft supplies so she’s offered to make invitations etc which is nice. Tuesday we visited his grandma again, she had a rather subdued reaction and then chose to talk about and show us some limited edition Lurpak egg cups she’d bought 20 odd years ago. Bizarre but she’s 92 so we just go with it, it was pretty funny. We then called R’s brother who lives in America who asked about the stag do. Family done we could tell our friends, so we did that, lots of lovely excited reactions which have just been making me feel very happy and loved this week. 

  • Ashley72Ashley72 Posts: 1,135 New bride

    Awww congratulations. Your ring is gorgeous, as is Freddie! Your proposal story is so sweet too. I do love hearing how people get their happy endings (even though I suppose technically it’s a happy beginning!).

  • Wedding thoughts

    When? Again we’re in a bit of a jumble. R’s parents have very kindly offered a contribution of 2K which we weren’t expecting. We have some (not nearly enough) savings but they are earmarked for other things like a bigger house or work on our current house and hopefully starting a family and I can’t in good conscience splurge that on one day. R is exceptionally sensible and good with money (or ‘boring’ as I like to call it) I am exceptionally not like that, but I am trying to learn as at nearly 40 it’s probably about time. So wedding planning will be interesting, ideally I don’t want to go above £5k total but more realistically about £8k is the very top. Not including my engagement ring obviously, nor a honeymoon which if it happens will probably be a mini moon with emphasis on the mini. 

    So factoring in saving up we’re looking at Autumn/Winter next year. As a teacher I’m limited to October half term or Christmas holidays if I want to have any preparation time/breathing space either side. Either of those work with me, Autumn is my favourite season and I also like the idea of a Christmas wedding. R slightly prefers the October option, but can see the advantages of another 2 months to save also. 

    This is all further complicated by trying for a baby. At our ages we don’t have the luxury of putting that on hold until the wedding is out of the way. We have an appointment in November at the fertility clinic and having done all the initial tests and got the results back (mixed bag) we’re starting to look at treatment options. The sensible thing to do would be plan for a long/indefinite engagement and focus on trying for a baby. But we’ve had nearly 2 years of focusing on that and being disappointed, and we want to be married. I’m 40 next year and like the idea of starting my new decade married to R. R’s proposal to me included him saying he wanted us to be a family, and baby or no baby that’s what marriage means to me. I don’t want to put off marrying him another year or so and still not have gotten pregnant as we’d still be in the same position then. We have no idea what treatment we will need, how long it will take or if we will be successful in the end. So all we can do is begin to plan our wedding and play things by ear a little bit. If I’m pregnant on my wedding day or even if things go better than we could have dreamed and we have a newborn by the end of next year, well I’d be freakin’ overjoyed to be honest. I might not look my most princess like glamorous or be able to drink champagne till dawn in that case, but that’s not really what any of this is about (as nice as it would be!).

    So that’s the current plan, aim for Oct/Dec next year and see what happens really. I’m thinking if we booked a venue and paid a deposit, then it turned out we had to change dates, that might be doable? I’ve no idea really, something to find out about when speaking to venues. 

    Where? In my initial searching, which may or may not have taken place pre official engagement, I came up with two options I was quite keen on, and R agreed. The first was a pub around 40 minutes from us that has a converted barn for weddings and had quite a bargainous package advert on their website. Obviously the offer was for smaller numbers than we’d need and I’d want to upgrade the drinks package, but even with those additions it seems doable providing the official quote isn’t too different to my scribbled calculations. http://www.theploughinncheshire.com/weddings/

    <
  • cs2thecoxcs2thecox Posts: 252 New bride

    I'm loving all this more and more! But yes, the text box is of finite size and has a habit of cutting you off without telling you! I also haven't worked out how to tag people yet...

    I was planning on autumn next year too, before it ended up in June! What I *did* find out is that the prices go up again for Christmas, so if you're budget conscious then October may actually be a better deal than saving for two more months and going for December.

    My friends who live just outside Leeds ended up getting married at the Three Daggers brewery in Wiltshire this summer. My fiancé and I couldn't make it as we'd already RSVPd to another wedding the same day before this couple even got engaged, but apparently it was AMAZING. And looks sensibly priced as long as you're going small:

    https://www.threedaggers.co.uk/weddings-at-the-micro-brewery

    In retrospect, I found the venue hunting (and the dress hunting!) the best bits of the planning. I'm a bit sad I was so efficient and most of it's done now!

  • MrsCToBeeMrsCToBee Posts: 2,086 New bride

    Loving the thread so far! I'm getting married in a pub, and our budget is £8-9k, so I'll be following with interest! 

  • Thank you for reading and for the congratulations everyone! I’m sorry it’s such an epic! Perhaps I should have waited till I was less excited to share every tiny detail! 

    Venues continued .... 

    So last night we talked properly about venues. R seems pretty underwhelmed by the two former front runners now. He wants to look more locally first and rule out the Lake District for now as, although it’s beautiful and we’ve both visited separately many times before getting together, we’ve not made it up there in the last 3 years. He doesn’t like the idea of every guest having to travel albeit not toooooo far, and it kind of rules out any separate evening guests as we couldn’t ask people to do a 3hr plus round trip just for an evening do - I’m not sure if I want a separate evening guest list I’d rather invite everyone to everything, but with an ever growing guest list and smallish budget it’s nice to have the option! I’m a tiny bit gutted to rule Broadoaks out however, and might try to wrangle a visit at some point if we don’t fall in love with any of the more local options. 

    The Plough is still on the list, although R is less keen than me. We’re visiting next weekend so we will see. 

    Another addition to the shortlist is Bramhall Hall, round the corner from us and a place we take Freddie often. R has lobbied quite hard for this one, I just haven’t ‘felt it’ somehow. It’s a council property, so a slightly more realistic budget than other ‘historic’ buildings in the area. I do love the building, I just struggle to see it as a wedding venue. Looking at the website, there are 3 properties that are managed for weddings etc by ‘Stockport Events’. One is the town hall and the other is an old chapel, now licensed for civil ceremonies. I phoned the lady to arrange a viewing of Bramhall Hall and was wittering to her about how I loved the look of the chapel but it wouldn’t work for us as there’s no reception facilities and we want ceremony and reception in one place. She told me that it’s not on the website yet but the chapel at Bramhall Hall has recently been licensed for civil ceremonies. Have to admit that made me more interested. I love the symbolism, tradition and history inherent in church settings, however we are not religious (I’m probably slightly more that way inclined than R but still not very) and a religious ceremony would make us feel like hypocrites. I also don’t particularly like the idea of a ceremony in the room they usually use at Bramhall, so the chapel seems more appealing. We’re off to see that in 2 weeks. http://www.stockportevents.co.uk/weddings-at-bramall-hall/

    I also found a couple of restaurant venues with lovely settings/views and licenced for ceremonies. I had a few other budget/low cost ideas too like the community centre, village halls, just family at the registry office, a meal in town and then a party at the pub later, and eloping just the two of us. I’ll post about those ideas/venues as and when we see them.

    R (who is very money cautious and has been fretting about the budget since long before he even proposed, who ’joked’ my dress would have to come from Primark who keeps reminding me we’re on a budget and who I genuinely thought would be happy with a few sandwiches in his mums garden) sat looking distinctly bored and unimpressed through my various budget suggestions for venues and then announced he fancied Hyde Bank Farm. 

    Now Hyde Bank is not by any means the most expensive venue round here, we’re right on the edge of

  • Oh, I got cut off again twice it seems, learn to shut up Emma! 

    Ok Broadoaks I was waffling about R discounting is this one - https://www.broadoakscountryhouse.co.uk/

    I prattled on about it being my favourite but would require charging guests for rooms to afford as you have to take it exclusive use including bedrooms and, although people would be staying and paying for rooms anyway, having that sort of directly going to the wedding bill makes me feel all kinds of wrong. Then R went off the idea of the Lake District so it’s kind of irrelevant although I still really want to see it. 

     

    And the last post post cut off as I was just saying that Mr ‘don’t forget the budget’ R wants to see Hyde Bank Farm despite it being over budget - serve him right if I fall in love with it and throw a strop when we can’t afford it! We’re going tomorrow https://www.hydebankfarm.co.uk/

     

    Love the look of that place cs2 - maybe a bit far for us but it looks so cool, and good point about October vs Christmas budget wise. 

    MrsC yours was one of the threads I’d stalked pre-engagement, love your venue and have been picturing something similar. 

  • other initial thoughts


    dress - genuinely no idea. My last dress was a Suzanne Neville strapless a-line duchesse satin number with not a bead or bauble on it. It was everything I didn’t want when I started looking, but it was so beautiful and exquisitely cut, with amazing corsetry/boning that made my not insignificant bosom look bangin’ and gave me an amazing waist. It cost £2K and I never got to wear it, gutting! Probably should have kept it but I sold it for pennies and some lucky bride got the bargain of her life. Anyway that kind of spend is just not an option this time (it wasn’t really then, not sure what I was thinking!) and despite knowing that’s the style and silhouette that works best on me I still don’t know if it’s what I want. I’m tempted by the 50s style tea dresses, and also like the idea of a blingy sequin evening gown rather than something more obviously ‘bridal’ but who knows. Will depend on the venue to some extent, no cathedral length trains for a pub type thing. 

    music - There’s a list of songs that I/we would like included at some point. My niece plays guitar and sings beautifully and I’d love her to play for the ceremony but she suffers terribly with her nerves and I dont want to put pressure on. I’d like to walk down the aisle to ‘Can’t Help Falling in Love’ and back up to something really upbeat. If we brave a first dance then ‘our song’ is ‘This Years Love’ by David Gray. I’d love a band in the evening but think it will be out of budget.

    Cake - I’m a good baker but only an okay cake decorator. But then I don’t care all that much about cake either so I may make my own. I like the idea of different flavours, I make a Christmas/fruit cake that the family go nuts for, but then also some sponges for those who don’t do fruit cake. 

    Flowers - My mum’s favourite flower was freesia and she also loved roses, they were in her bouquet and I’d like them in mine too. My birt mum’s favourite flower was iris so I’d like to incorporate that too.  Ill pay a professional florist for my bouquet to get it right, but right now I’m thinking of doing other flowers myself with help from MIL (former church flower lady) and SIL who did a proper wedding flowers course when her son/my nephew got married. For the venue I’m happy with mismatched jars/vases with whatever is in the supermarket arranged in there, but we’ll see what venue we end up with. 

    Colours - I’d like rich jewel and berry tones, maybe some blush and metallics in there too. 

    Bridesmaids/bridal party - 3 Great-nieces currently aged 11, 3 and 2. Adult maids - definitely my best friend J, but there’s 4 other strong claimants/ very good friends plus 4 adult nieces and I could go on forever so I’m not sure what I’ll do. R’s best friend as Best Man. I‘m not sure if I’ll ask my brother to walk me down the aisle or just Markle it down on my own. Fred as Best Dog, obviously. 

    What we’re aiming for - relaxed and intimate with plenty of food and drink. A meaningful ceremony followed by a bloody good party. I’m not a princess and have no desire to be one even for the day, I just want to throw an awesome party for all the people we love and end the day married to my lovely R. 

     

  • RB2SRB2S Posts: 45 New bride

    I love this thread already and will definitely be following! I also love that you’ve given us all the details, I now feel emotionally invested in your story...how silly I know haha

  • Cecilia13Cecilia13 Posts: 369 New bride

    Loving your thread so far! You both sound like such lovely people and Fred is ADORABLE. Can't wait to read more :)

    Also,  about the bridesmaid conundrum, I totally understand. I've ended up with 8, because I couldn't cut it down any further. To stop it being ridiculous, I just gave them a vague colour scheme and said they could wear whatever they want, so they're all gradually finding bargains/things they could wear again, meaning they'll feel comfortable and themselves and we don't have to buy 8 expensive dresses that half of them would probably hate, and they're all really happy with that. So if that kind of thing is acceptable I say the more the merrier :)

  • Thank you for the nice comments RB2 and Cecilia! 

     

    Cecilia yes I know what you mean about the bridesmaids. It would be so much easier to just say I’m only having the nieces, but then I think I need at least one adult to be there ‘for me’ and not just to look cute! I quite like the idea of mismatched dresses with a vague colour theme. 

     

    We are off to see a venue shortly. This feels a bit quick and maybe we should have enjoyed just being engaged for a bit, but it seems to have taken on a momentum of its own. We have the one booked in today, that’s it for this weekend, but then 4 more over the next 2 weekends. 

    Its because I tried to get R to talk about the sort of thing he was envisaging/wanted for his wedding and what kind of venue etc as I thought it would give us a better idea of how much we’d need to save and therefore timings. He had zero ideas basically, ‘just a wedding’ and ‘whatever people normally have’. So we started looking at specific venues to see if that sparked anything, and so we figured out he’d like it to be local and all in one place for ceremony and reception. We found a range of options that came up more or less within a budget we’d be comfortable with (I mean how comfortable is anyone paying thousands to buy everyone they know dinner, but you know what I mean.) With R’s strict admonishments about budget in mind I was only offering options that came to 5K or under for venue, food and drink (ideally under but man that’s hard to find) but then R remembered a wedding he’d been to previously and suggested today’s venue. 

    I did explain that it’s 4.5K just for hire never mind food and drink, theres no accommodation onsite and it’s probably not the best fit for us, but it’s kind of the one thing he’s actually said he likes so far, so I want to show willing. But then once we arranged to see it there seemed no point holding off on the others so they’re all booked in, and now I feel like we’re  in full planning mode when I wanted to hold off on that a little and just enjoy the engagement. 

    Still, it’s very exciting to be seeing a venue even though I don’t think it’s the one, or that we could afford it even if it were. We’ve just had the stupidest discussion about what one wears to visit a wedding venue, I just have this weird impulse that i should look less like my usual thrown together self and more like a bride haha. 

  • Well I loved the venue far more than I thought! Its a family business and very local to us so I like the idea of supporting that, and the guy who showed us round was lovely - straight talking, no hard sell. They won’t do more than 2 weddings a week which is nice. The space is great, very lovely ceremony room, quiet room downstairs, nice outdoor courtyard/grounds (not a huge consideration for Autum/Winter but still) and then a huge room for wedding breakfast and reception- this was a great space actuall, light and airy with stunning views. The bar is within the main room but slightly separate, great bar prices too - think Wetherspoons! Which I like because we couldn’t manage a free bar but don’t want people to feel ripped off either. Everything is quite compact in that it’s not massively spread out or separate - all one building - but theres enough space that it doesn’t feel cramped and there’s no turnaround necessary between ceremony/receptio/evening. 

    But ... It is over budget - basically would cost what we’d want to spend total just for venue and food and drink.

    It’s definitely on the list but I’d like to see if we could get close to matching it for less money. 

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  • On the way back from the venue we called in to R’s parents again. They had about 600 more venue suggestions and we looked at various ones on the computer and to be honest it all fried my brain. We’ve already got 5 more booked to see over the next 2 weekends, and to be honest I’m thinking of culling a couple of those. One is a big fancy hotel and, whilst it offers a pretty amazing package which would cover pretty much all our catering and room needs for a surprisingly good price, the idea just leaves me a bit cold somehow. Another is Bramhall Hall which I mentioned above in the thread, which is such a great fit in theory but again the idea doesn’t make me feel excited at all. Then there’s two restaurant venues, one more budget friendly than the other. but both could be promising although having seen the space and high ceilings etc available in the barn we saw today, I’m not sure these will live up but I should keep an open mind. And then The Plough which is a pub with converted barn and Im hoping will give me a similar feel to today for less money. 

     

    Theres at least another 6 or 7 I would consider, but I’m already feeling confused and frazzled and we’ve only seen one, so    I think we need to narrow the search a bit. 

    MIL was showing me her design ideas for invitations, to be honest I’m not a huge fan of the crafty homemade look for stationary and would prefer something a little sleeker and just a printed card with a nice design on. She makes cards which are always quite ‘busy’ and I can just see our stationary looking like an entire branch of hobbycraft exploded all over it! However it’s not worth upsetting MIL over, ultimately I don’t care enough about invites to hurt her feelings, so I’ll let her have at it. She did have some fairly naff ideas for table decor though which I will be shutting down as nicely as possible when we get to that stage! 

    We‘re now back home in our comfies catching up on Bake Off - far more in our comfort zone! 

  • Venues (again) 

    Im totally repeating myself here but just trying to get my thoughts about venues into some kind of order - sorry this is boring! 

    So I really loved Hyde Bank Farm but honestly I don’t think we can afford it. I can absolutely picture the wedding here, but obviously we need to see more to see if we can get closer to the price point we had in mind. 

    Also with thinking about venues has come the thoughts about what we want the wedding to look like. Hyde Bank Farm appeals to the side of me that wants something a bit rustic, bit more home made, photos of the flower girls playing on the tractor, everything covered in hessian and lace type vibe. I know that’s in no way unusual - it seems to be the theme of every wedding blog/article/Pinterest board I come across. However I can totally picture that for us, with an Autumn slant - toffee apples, sparklers, rich coloured Autumn leaves down the aisle runner etc.

    Hyde Bank Farm 

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    A venue we’re seeing that I’m hoping might give a similar feel for less money is the Plough

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    My issue with The Plough is that 1) I really don’t like the curtains or the naff lights on the beams in the barn, (the fixed lamps I mean the fairy lights are fine and pretty) and 2) its all one room so there would be 2 room changeovers where we’d have to figure out what to do with the guests. The pub/b&b/ outdoor space would be being used by other customers so you’d loose that exclusive feel. I’m trying to decide how bothered I am by that - not massively but hmmmmmm

  • Or ....


    Do I want to go more glamour and glitz than ‘rustic charm’? I’m turning 40 around the time we’re planning to have the wedding, and I had visions of a fancy party with a proper blinged out dress. I obviously won’t be having a big 40th bash AND a wedding now, but I could combine the two. 

    We’re seeing Mottram Hall which is your standard posh hotel type venue. It actually does a super reasonable package and whilst I understand when people talk about wanting something more individual, it’s actually a pretty good package that will cover the essentials whilst giving us some scope to add a few personal touches. It has a bit more of a ‘grand’ feel about it and, whilst we’re not grand people, it does feel like something special for a big celebration. I teach, and it’s looking like this wedding will be on the first weekend of October half term (or still not totally ruling out Christmas holidays) so choosing somewhere that we can just check into the night before, get married and then chill out at the spa has an appeal to be honest. I won’t have time off beforehand to be setting up and crafting. 

    Mottram Hall

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    Downsides - a lot of the pictures give me ‘yep yep, standard hotel wedding’ vibes. Plus Fred wouldn’t be able to be involved I don’t think. 

     

    Then theres two restaurants that are also wedding venues, I think these could give a bit of both of the above - not as grand and slightly more personal but would make good ‘fancy party’ venues. 

     

    The Yellow Broom - quite excited about this one

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    Peruga - amazing setting but I’m not sure about the room(s) particularly for the ceremony. Want to see it before I rule it out though. 

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  • Or or or

    Bramhall Hall

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    There‘s some serious chair issues here that I’m not sure I can get past! 

     

    Viewings arranged for all of the above. 

     

  • I have a couple of other venue thoughts also, but I think I’ve bored on enough for now, so I’ll see what these bring when we see them. 

  • MrsS85MrsS85 Posts: 688 New bride

    Really enjoyed your thread, Wow you have some lovely venue to choose from there, re the chairs and the lights that you don't like, I would try and find some pictures of the venues full of people and then see how much you notice them, it might not bother you so much on the day.

     

  • Thanks MrsS - they do all look lovely don’t they? We are spoiled for choice in this area really, although they’re all pushing the budget somewhat with the possible exception of The Plough. 

     

    Youre right about chairs/lamps etc too - I’ve been looking at The Plough for weeks and weeks, since we first started talking about weddings as a possibility, and it was only today putting picture collages together that I even noticed the lights. The chances of me caring on the day are pretty slim I‘m sure. 

  • Also whilst I’m playing with pic collage here’s a few mood board inspiration type pics:

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