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The 'Subtly Us' wedding- September 2018 Report

Wow! I can't believe just over a year after I started posting that it's all over!

I have had the best year filled with planning to the point I am definitely not ready to let go. Cue project #2- wedding hire. 

However...let's start at the very beginning, after all it's a very good place to start! I'm going to try and be absolutely (painfully) honest in this thread, rather than put on the sugarcoating as I learnt so much during the process which I think would be worth sharing. 



  • Sian91Sian91 Posts: 829 New bride

    STEP 1- Venue Hunting


    Finding a venue took us months- I feel like I looked at every venue in the country, after being explicitly told by my mother not to elope because it wasn’t fair. With hindsight we would be significantly better off if we had just ran off the two of us and through the process I wished multiple times that we had just upped and left. But we had the most incredible day, that all the ill feeling of cost was swiftly cancelled by literally the hugest smile on my face.


    See- that little face regrets absolutely nothing- except maybe I should have had teeth whitening that I’m planned. I’m cursed with yellowish teeth which the dentist reassures me means they’re strong- I’d rather they were whiter and weaker ngl. 

    As I say I looked at hundreds online and honestly think the venue was the most important part of the day. I guess we were different to most- I wasn’t bothered if there was onsite accommodation, but I really wanted a band and I wanted to be able to choose a meal (whether than was in house suppliers or bringing in our own) and best case scenario we did want to have an open bar.

    My top questions were- Is there a sound limiter, what time is the curfew, can we BYOB, If there’s corkage how much is it, When can we have access to decorate, How/who can do room changeover and what rooms do you have, is there any outdoor options- and can we have a back up plan, if you have chairs…what do they look like?

    I also decided through the process that I didn’t want to get married anywhere that someone I knew or knew of had got married. And I didn’t think I really liked typical wedding venues as they just didn’t really feel us. Nothing like making it hard for myself ey! Because of my strict criteria we only really looked at 3 in person. We were due to look at 4, but I’ll explain why we didn’t in a later post!

  • MrsGtoBMrsGtoB Posts: 712 New bride

    Oh you look beautiful!!! Looking forward to reading your report and CONGRATS!



  • britbirdbritbird Posts: 1,486 New bride

    Oh how exciting- I can't wait for the details.  You look so happy in this pic

  • Cecilia13Cecilia13 Posts: 512 New bride

    Yayayayay your report! You look gorgeous!

  • Yayyy!! You have started your report. Can't wait to read it!

    You look gorgeous in that picture

  • cs2thecoxcs2thecox Posts: 260 New bride


    And you look SO happy. That's the holy grail!

  • Yessss so excited to read this!! 

  • Candice9Candice9 Posts: 230 New bride

    Yay, congratulations! You look amazing, can't wait to read more! Xxx

  • Sian91Sian91 Posts: 829 New bride

    Thanks ladies- I was over the moon happy! I never really thought about it at the time/on the day, even though I had a bag and thought about my make up for during the day- I managed to leave it in the car with my phone. I didn't't even realise I didn't have these things (I'm usually glued to my phone). I was so happy and excited and enjoying myself so much, I didn't touch my make up or even look in a mirror once.

    I normally hate photos where I'm genuinely smiling- but thinking about how I felt at that time! Ahhh!

  • Sian91Sian91 Posts: 829 New bride

    VENUE NUMBER 1- West Mill (


    Some of you may be familiar with West Mill in Derby- it's only ten minutes from our house and insanely popular. 

    It is a gorgeous venue, with a super efficient team and a really nice feel, but lots of people appreciate that. In fact when we viewed in Summer 2017 they were on a run of 63 back to back weddings...yep- Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday etc. As soon as this was said, I lost all interest. I have no doubt that it is an incredible venue and they would absolutely do your day justice but because of the set up we wouldn't be able to have the personalised touches that I was drawn to. As I've spent the last year looking at weddings I've found a lot of photos from different weddings, but they all look a little same for me.

    For us it was also very expensive and realistically we would need to be Summer 2019 or beyond. We wanted a Saturday, ideally in Summer and the venue hire alone was £8,750 and food started from £40per head with a preferred caterer. It felt like it was going to get pricey quite quickly. 

    Until we got further in the process (depending what packaged you get with your venue), I never fully appreciated how many 'big costs' there were and how expensive food can be. Dress, Photographer, Band can be £5k without trying that hard. Food can be well over £50 per head and you may be forced to have a drinks packaged for at least £20. It can very quickly become expensive. 

    It was one off our list!

  • Yay can’t wait to read this ❤️

  • Sian91Sian91 Posts: 829 New bride

    VENUE 2- Sandon Hall (

    What an absolute shambles...we got an email at 2:06am cancelling the viewing when we were due to be there at 11am. We had already travelled to be nearby and stayed overnight. I was absolutely not impressed. I think the fact it was an email made it worse, no phone call follow up or anything...does everyone check their emails pre 11am on a Sunday? 

    It looked beautiful in photos and had the gorgeous orangery I was after...but definitely wasn't meant to be!


  • Sian91Sian91 Posts: 829 New bride

    Venue 3- Dewsall Court, failed to meet our expectations and would have definitely been miles out of budget by the time we had what we wanted. 

    The reason I say this as it is so so important to understand what you want and what you can afford and if these things go together with your venue. Then the timescales...

    The benefit of hindsight! 

  • Sian91Sian91 Posts: 829 New bride

    When we walked into our venue, we knew it was the one. We also knew it needed lots doing to it- so we would have lots of opportunity to be creative! 

    I’m going to start a week before, because thats when it all got going! The Friday (just over a week before), I had my final pre wedding facial which I would definitely recommend. I just wish I had started sooner!

    The weekend before the wedding we were still finishing the DIY, please do not underestimate how long this takes! I also thought it was a good idea to help my brother move house!? I also don’t recommend this...

    I had the whole week before the wedding off work which I definitely recommend! 


  • Sian91Sian91 Posts: 829 New bride



    I also realised that our 'Wedding day' started 6 months before we celebrated properly. I never posted about it on my thread, because it was never our real wedding but thought it would be useful to share to anyone needing/wanting/planning to separate the legal part from the celebratory part. 

    My husband's (!!!!) grandfather hasn't been well and at the ripe old age of 95, knew he absolutely wouldn't be coming to the wedding regardless of where it was, as the day would be too long for him (if he would be around then). After finding our venue, we knew we would always have to do the legal side of the wedding at a different point and thought it would just be the two of us having a cheap registry office wedding. struck me as the perfect opportunity to have R's Grandad there, and to feel part of the occasion. The poor bloke has 3 grandsons and I don't know if he thought he would see any of them marry, (but he ain't pushing up daisies yet anyway). 

    We decided we wanted to get married at Leyburn Registry Office in North Yorkshire as it was a) close to grandad and b) The prettiest one in the area. However, when we called to book in February there was a slight turn of events...the registry office was becoming privately licensed in the new financial year (yep, April) so we would need to pay for a registrar and hiring fee- significantly changing our cheap £250 wedding to a more substantial £ we got married on 23rd March with just our parents, my brother and his girlfriend and of course Grandad. It was cheap and cheerful- and we had a great meal after :)



    I was a bit worried that it wouldn't make our day seem like our wedding but it made absolutely no difference and we got to spend an extra special day with those close to us :) If you're worried about an unlicensed venue- don't be. I didn't change my name and only told a small number of people. Everyone treated our September wedding like it was THE DAY, which is what we wanted. 

  • How have I missed your report?! So glad I found it! 

    Such a lovely idea to include Grandad in the legal ceremony, I'm sure it was so special for him to get to see it. 

  • Ashley72Ashley72 Posts: 1,136 New bride

    That is so lovey that you included his Grandad! So special. It’s interesting to read you didn’t think it impacted  your day either - we only looked at licensed venues because I didn’t want to do a legal ceremony separately as I thought it would feel weird - so useful and interesting to know you didn’t feel like that at all! You look gorgeous in all of the pics so far, looking forward to seeing more!

  • Oh wow! Thank you for sharing that, i'm currently debating something similar (although our venue is licensed) for very similar reasons, as my Grandpa will be 97 (hopefully) by the time my wedding rolls around. I really love your honesty, thank you x

  • Aw those photos are gorgeous, I love you're whole outfit!  His granddad looks so happy.

    Just out of interest, which date will you celebrate as your wedding anniversary?  

  • GinAndBlingGinAndBling Posts: 1,311 New bride

    Aw how lovely- you look gorgeous too! Grandad looks so proud.

    Our planning thread: We're completely winging it.
    Our report: A fun, classic May day in navy and blush
    My weightloss thread: Diet denial! 
  • Sian91Sian91 Posts: 829 New bride
    Thank you ladies- I didn't want to go into it all at the time as it was super low key. But I know people have concerns about unlicensed venues and I would just say go for it! We had a lovely day and had something that was manageable for R's Grandad which he loved being part of it. It was also very fortunate that we had 2 'weddings' for reasons I will go into later!
    Jessica Rabbit wrote (see post):

    Aw those photos are gorgeous, I love you're whole outfit!  His granddad looks so happy.

    Just out of interest, which date will you celebrate as your wedding anniversary?  

    Thank you! I bought that white coat about 4 years ago with the view 'one day I might need a white coat'...guess that came true! 

    I'm pushing for all of them... dating anniversary ( we went out at the weekend), proposal anniversary, wedding 1 anniversary and wedding a anniversary...Who doesn't love a reason to celebrate!

  • Sian91Sian91 Posts: 829 New bride


    The last days before we left for Cornwall...

    We picked up our wedding signs that a friend had kindly made (photos will be later in the report) and packed the van. This took way longer than hours. We did end up having pizza because it was so late though- swings and roundabouts! 


    On Monday I was like a crazy woman- R was working and I had so much to do. I went to the tip (wedding sorting had made me into a crazy lady and I decided to throw loads away), the charity shop and exchanged a power tool I’d bought R for his birthday. His birthday which was in June...he told me it didn’t work as well as he thought it should...and had a battery issue. I’m not sure his timing was the best...

    i had my eyebrows done and went a bought a nose stud (my parents don’t like my nose ring and I thought I may appease them). Did some laundry as R’s parents were arriving that night, so didn’t want everything around. 

    And most importantly...collected my evening outfit. These are terrible pictures as I couldn’t do it up myself...but obviously needed to play dress up.



  • <3 that outfit is gorgeous!!!!

  • Love your evening outfit! Very beautiful.

  • Love the idea of two weddings! I was pushing for this x

  • MrsS85MrsS85 Posts: 688 New bride

    Wow I love the evening outfit, look forward to reading more.


  • Sian91Sian91 Posts: 829 New bride

    Thank you guys! 

    If you want a bespoke dress or need alterations (Derby based), I cannot recommend Fiona Elizabeth Couture enough! 

    She even made me a matching clutch as a surprise!


    Then R was coming home from work and I washed my hair and tried to have a chilled evening...

  • Ashley72Ashley72 Posts: 1,136 New bride

    That outfit is divine!! Serious heart eyes!

  • Sian91Sian91 Posts: 829 New bride

    The next day was CHAOS. I left earlier than R as I needed to collect my wedding dress from my Gran’s house and wanted to call in to my other grandma (very unwell and unable to make the wedding) and have lunch with my mum. 

    I left an hour later than planned and ended up calling R about 7 times in the first 40 minutes of the journey. I managed to forget my engagement ring, hair slides and small nose stud (Strong effort Sian); so was very grateful of the back up crew! 

    I also managed to send the poor bloke into mild panic by being unsure where the wedding rings were. I was like ‘well they were in that pile of stuff in the kitchen that didn’t have an obvious home- so as long as we take everything they’ll be in there somewhere’. The casualness that we would have them and it would be alright wasn’t sufficient. 10 minutes later I got a call back that they were not there. I pulled over and found them in my need to panic haha! 

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