Stop press!!!

We’ve almost managed to tick something off our list!!  The Mr came home with a rather exciting surprise last night… A sample of a wedding invite!!! And it was beautiful, I’m quite happy to not do any more looking at invites anymore.  So we still have to decide the colour and the layout, but other than that, done!!!

And the best bit… They will be printed andassembled by one of The Mr’sclients, the fabulous Media Ace of Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, who are looking to branch out into wedding stationary, for a very reasonable (read bargain!!) price!!

So excited!!


Venue no. 9

So here it is, the venue that is top of our shortlist…

The Tythe Barn at Launton, near Bicester, Oxfordshire.  Which also, slightly to my dismay, was featured on Rock My Wedding today as they are hosting a wedding fair in a couple of weeks time.  No-one go booking up my venue!!

It’s just beautiful, I’m going to let the pictures speak for themselves (for once!)

Oh. My. Goodness.


Now for the dilemma… it’s an hour’s drive from the Church.  And after much consideration, I don’t think I could bear to give up the idea of getting married in the Church where I grew up (for more details, and other people’s opinions on this dilemma, see my question featured on ‘Ask Jenny‘ over at Rock My Wedding).

So, how far is too far?  We’ve contemplated asking guests to all stay at the same hotel the night before near the venue, and then putting on a coach / bus to the Church, and then back to the reception venue.  But this would be an hour on a bus, each way.  So two hours.  Lots of people have said ‘it’s your day, do what you want’.  And ‘if people want to be there, they will’ and ‘an hour isn’t that far – provide some drinks and nibbles for the journey and it’s a great chance for people to get to know each other’.

But we’re still undecided.  Throw into the mix that this venue is right at the very, very top end of our budget (read over our budget), it’s all a big dilemma.  We can probably scrimp and save over the next 12 months to come up with the extra pennies, in fact we KNOW we will, as this is the venue we want.  But our guest’s comfort is also important to us, and is two hours on a bus just too much to ask??  All those lovely dresses and suits so carefully packed, now getting creased.. oh Lordy, what a mess.

Because here’s a secret.  This has ALWAYS been my number 1 wedding venue.  For like, ever.  Well, since I attended a wedding here a good few years ago (before I even met The Mr, who knew such a time existed!?).  But I refused to look at it, because I knew it would be too far from the Church in Amersham.  And now I have looked at it, I just know how much I want it.  And it makes me feel sad.

So in summary, it’s back to the baked beans on toast student lifestyle for us for the next 12 months!

Please, if you’re reading this, let me know your thoughts on asking guests to travel a two – hour round trip, just so I can have my perfect wedding day.  Am I turning into a Bridezilla?!

Venue no. 8

I’m telling a bit of a fib.. this one was actually venue no.9, but I wanted to save the best ’til last!!  So this has become venue no. 8.. Notley Tythe Barn, near Thame, Oxfordshire.

The pictures on the website look lovely, we were really looking forward to going to see this place.  The weather was good, and the views as you drive up to the Barn are fantastic, all fields and trees and landscapes.. lovely!  Car park – great amount of space, outside of the barn, lovely.  Here’s a few piccies to get a feel for the place..

Stunning, right?  All the lovely paving, landscape gardens, beautiful.

And then we went inside.  To start with, it didn’t help that the barn is only heated when there is a wedding on.  Which there wasn’t today.  And it was blooming freezing!!  I know, what was I expecting, it’s a barn, right!!  Well, I wouldn’t have been suprised to find cows in this barn!

It was like stepping into a completely different world inside.  It felt dated and gloomy, and in some ways just outright bizarre… I have no idea why there are a pair of skiis (ancient looking, faded, dusty skiis) attached to the ceiling beam above where the civil ceremony would be held.  On other walls I’m sure there were deer heads and antlers.. although that could just be my memory playing tricks on me!

Now, this could have all been because we’d just come from another venue that was just absolutely everything we could have dreamed of, and looked even better than it did in the pictures.  But this place just made me feel sad.  And I hated the fact that the whole place seemed to be on a slope, I just felt disorientated.


On the left hand side of the barn, is another barn, attached to the first one.  But it’s not water-tight, so there’s a permanent marquee that’s been put up inside the barn. It looks claustrophobic, it felt claustrophobic.  I felt like the whole ceiling needed to be lifed up by about 6 inches!

To top it all off (and yes, I really am moaning now), the toilets were minging.  And the disabled toilet, that my much loved granny would have to use.. let’s not even go there!!


Disappointed is an understatement.  It was such a promising start, it looks AMAZING from the outside, but then the inside just felt like it needed so much work.  It’s still on the shortlist, but I would have to factor in that I would want to do a lot of interior decoration, and possibly rent some porta-potties before I would consider having our big day there.


Plus, the best is still yet to come…!

Venue no. 7

Venue no. 7 was going to be the Crown Plaza Hotel at Marlow.  The Mr was already not very keen, as he thought the downstairs restaurant looked like a school canteen (really?? I wish my school canteen had looked like that!!), and that the upstairs room was too ‘corporate’.

In the end, we never ended up going.  We were delayed by the previous venue that morning (Bisham Abbey), and had also driven past the back of the hotel on the way to Bisham.  I hadn’t realised that the lovely lake with water feature at the back of the hotel, is overlooked by the A404.  Like, we could see the patio of the hotel (where our guests would be having their arrival drinks) from the road.

So we just drove straight past on the way back too!

Venue no. 6

Ok, ok, I’ve been slacking, big time!  So here it is, in super quick mode, I’m going to try and do a really quick run-through of all that we’ve seen in the past 2 weeks, starting with Venue number 6… Bisham Abbey, in, erm.. Bisham?

In a very brief summary… lovely, but not right for us.  I mean, totally not right for us.  This really helped to cement for us, that we do not want some big, grand, manor / country house with dark wood panelling and big posh pictures of ancient kings and queens or whatever.  I mean, totally lovely, regal, elegant and grand.. pretty much everything we’re not  – haha!!  So here are just some pictures to sum it up.  One thing I did LOVE was the idea that you could arrive by boat into the back garden of the Abbey! Lush!

Here come the pictures.. view from the front:

Views of the inside of the hall – where the wedding breakfast would be…

Picture-perfect staircase:

Outside patio and garden space at the back of the venue:

And the chill out space / bar area / dance floor:

Finally, the room which would usually be the ceremony room, but which we could use for whatever we wanted:

Lovely, just not lovely for us!


Moving on!!

Lazy Sunday Afternoon

Ok, so I haven’t posted with details about the venues we went to yesterday (which, in the end, we only went to one, but more about that later).

Instead, I’ve spent the afternoon trawling the interwebs for more inspiration, and put together an inspiration mood board.  I’ll admit – there was a motive, it’s part of my entry to the Rock My Wedding Real Brides search.  But I still loved doing it, and it also pushed me towards narrowing down what I really do and don’t like.

So here it is, my wedding inspiration mood board!  Enjoy 🙂