For my big day I knew I wanted a church wedding and the village we live in has a perfectly quaint church, so it left us with decision-making revolving around reception venue. We made a list of the obvious selection within a sensible radius (I don’t think there’s anything worse than a massive journey from church to reception at a wedding) and these included silly fancy ones and small intimate ones. Some well thought of venues disappointed, others were a surprising revelation but to fit what we wanted we were left with two.
A lovely pub just up the lane from the church with a separate building which you can add a marquee onto. I had a vision of a country fayre, bunting decorated, relaxed, small wedding reception. The other was the complete opposite. A large hotel in an 18th century house with golf course and spa, 2 ornate rooms for the day and the whole upstairs of the golf club for the evening do. I loved both but they both provided two very different styles, styling options and vibes, it came down to the question of what kind of wedding we wanted. I think this is an important question to ask yourself when planning your wedding or any other party for that matter, what kind of image and atmosphere do you want to create?
For us the hotel had a special connection from our childhoods. Not only had The Husband stayed there as a child while the new development they were moving into was finished he even had his picture at the entrance about to go off on his first day of school. But I had gone as a child with my parents and aunty and uncle for a fancy meal, I associate the place with my aunty who is no longer with us, and apparently I declared as we left the meal about 20 years ago that; “I would be married there one day.”
I felt torn, small and cosy was the Pinterest in my head but you got a red carpet at the hotel and although it is grand the actual rooms were not conference sized; they were cosy in their own high ceiling kind of way. The large venue won out in the end, the freedom not to have to think too much about restricting the guest list, the experienced support team on site and the value for money. I did worry along the way that we had picked somewhere too big and we’d be lost inside but these doubts were never realised on the day and it was perfect for the size of our party, it felt cosy and homely while looking fabulous with very little effort from us. I guess the lesson is to go with your gut. I love weddings held in tents and tipis in gardens of family and friends and in churches where family members have been christened or wed, I think a personal connection where possible will always win out.