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…!

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Potential Venue No. 2..

… was massively disappointing.  So much so, that I didn’t even bother taking any pictures, not even to show how disappointing it was.  The venue was Uplands House Hotel near High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire.  They were holding a wedding fair, run by ‘Guides for Brides‘, and it was possibly the emptiest wedding fair I’ve ever seen, and when I say empty, I mean of suppliers.  About 5 minutes and we were done!

So here we go..

First impressions as we drove up were quite good, nice grounds at the front of the old bit of the hotel, and a lovely view over the valley, lots of fields and greenery.   The car park then goes all the way round to the left of the venue, and there’s a lot of car park!  The newer parts of the hotel are the majority of what you see.  They aren’t in themselves ugly or particularly out of step with the rest of the venue, apart from one thing – they’ve all got bright blue window frames.  Plastic window frames.  And door frames.  And it just looks odd.  Really odd.

From where we parked the car, in the second bit of car park, although there was a sign to the wedding fair and reception, it wasn’t actually all that clear where we were heading.  And the way we arrived at the marquee was through what could only be described as the ‘trades man’s entrance’, but what lead directly into the marquee.  The kitchen was on the right hand side, so imagine mid-morning kitchen smells, and through the window, the kitchen didn’t look particularly .. erm.. appetising!!  The marquee itself is a permenant fixture, and is situated in a courtyard of the newer building, with all of the hotel rooms looking onto it.  There’s no nice areas for photos outside the marquee, and the whole area just looked like the back-end of a hotel.  Not like a dream wedding locations.

However the marquee itself is lovely on the inside.  It’s all white panelled with the white draped ceiling, and is suprisingly big.  There’s hard, carpetted floors throughout, and then a wooden style dance floor, with a black ceiling with twinkly lights.  There’s a bar at one end, and the whole thing looked very nice, a total blank canvas for us to put our stamp on.

At one end, there were double doors which led through to the outside, a pretty wall with gravelled steps going up, leading to the back gardens of the hotel.  However when you get to the top of the steps, the first thing you see is a very run down, manky looking basketball / tennis court on the right hand side.  Ignore that, and look to the left, and there’s a very cute little band-stand type structure in amongst landscaped gardens and gentle rolling slopes.  But what’s that in the background, framing the band-stand in any pictures?  Yes, that’s right, it’s the car-park.  Stand in the car park to take the pictures, and you’ve got the basketball court in the background.  Really disappointing.

So overall, we weren’t very impressed.  The marquee was lovely, and the venue is very competitively priced.  But there’s quite obviously a reason for that.  The fact that they were holding a wedding fair today didn’t seem to have encouraged the venue to brush up at all, the whole place looked like it needed a very thorough tidy up and spruce up.  And, they didn’t have the ceremony room open for people to look at either, so we couldn’t even go a nosy inside the house to get an idea if there would be a nicer space for pictures in there.

I think I can safely say, that Uplands House is off the list of potential venues.  Lets hope the next few are much better!!

Pretty paper

Today I’ve been taking a gander at wedding stationary.  And I seem to be leaning towards designs with flowers on them, which has come as a bit of a surprise to me!

However, I’m a bit inbetween places at the moment, as I think until we’ve worked out where the wedding reception will be, I can’t really start thinking about how the rest of the styling will go.  For example if we go for a barn reception, I’m thinking that the decor will be a lot of greens and pale colours – cream, ivory, peach etc, with trailing ivy and wisteria and light, airy summer meadow flowers, perhaps a bit like this

DIY Wedding Flowers, Floral Hair Garland, How-To, Junkaholique, Wedding bouquet, Wedding Jewellery (17)

but if we go for a marquee wedding, then I think the colours will be a lot brighter, big blooms and long, slender leaves, mixed with bunting and colourful crockery.. a bit more like this…

Calla lily with milano roses and gerbera - big impact

or this… (but with more flowers)

But for now, I love these three wedding stationary designs, and I think I could make them work with both ideas… (!!)

This first one is called Emse by Emma Jo

And these next two are both by Vicky Trainor

But at prices of between £680 – £950 for invites, RSVPs and place cards, I’m thinking I might go back to the idea of making our own!!

So back to the drawing board for now!!