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.

LOVE.

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…!

To book or not to book…??

Lots of thoughts going round in my head about wedding venues over the last few days.  There seem to be a lot of places offering last-minute deals on dates left for this year, which I was surprised at.  6 months still left to plan a wedding in late August/early September seems relatively do-able, especially with the money you could save on hiring the venue.. could easily then be spent on other things to get them done in a short space of time.

So the thought on my mind most is.. to book or not to book?!  Do we look at venues now, then wait until this time next year and keep our fingers crossed there will be a deal for what we want, and possibly save ourselves a whole heap of money, or book now, and know we have the date we want, at the venue we want, and know for sure that bit is out of the way.

But in the meantime, here’s some more pretty inspiration I’ve found today.

I definitely want a ‘leaf tree’ style guest book for our wedding, what a wonderful way to have something a little bit personal from all of the guests, as something you can frame and hang on the wall.  A beautiful idea, and so cost effective and simple.  I must admit, I’ve done similar things for work, with children using either hand-prints of cut-outs of their hands for leaves on a tree, but never thought of bringing the idea to a wedding!

All of these images have been *ahem* borrowed from the amazing wedding inspiration / blog site that is Rock My Wedding.  Click on the pictures to go to the original pages ❤

It’s all about love.

Hello Wedding Blog!

In 4 days time, the ban which has been in place since two or three days after we got engaged will be over.  The ban on everything about our wedding – thinking about it, talking about it,planning it – even with each other – is finally almost over, and I’m equal parts nervous and excited.

On 1st March 2012, two whole months after we got engaged, I will actually be able to talk to The Mr about his thoughts/plans/aspirations for our big day.  And whilst I’ve not supposed to have been planning, organising or talking about the wedding during this time, it has been almost impossible to banish all thoughts of weddings from my head.  Hence the mixed feelings of excitement, ‘Yay, I can actually talk about it at last!!‘, and anxiety.  Anxiety because I know I have already started to think of ideas of what my dream wedding would be like, without being able to talk to him about whether that fits with what his dream wedding would be like.  Two whole months of these little ideas going around and around in my head, without being able to ask his opinion (because I’m not really supposed to be thinking about it at all, says the ban), has been really hard.  Really, REALLY hard.

I also know that The Mr is nervous about starting the planning, because he’s anxious about the whole big day altogether.  You may be surprised (especially those who know him), to hear that he doesn’t like being the centre of attention.  So those stereotyped ideas of what every woman wants her wedding to be; a day filled with childhood fairy-tales and Disney-infused pomp, are his worst nightmare.  And they’re also not what I would want either.  But because we haven’t been able to talk about it, I worry that he thinks that is what I want.  I think I know that The Mr may want to keep everything as low-key as possible.  Which I understand, and I empathise with, but is still different to what I think I want, that I still want it to be our ‘big’ day, even if it’s not a ‘big’ do.  So I already know there is going to be a fair bit of compromising.  I definitely wouldn’t say I’ve got my heart set on anything just yet, because I do really want this to be OUR day, but it doesn’t mean I haven’t started to get little bit of ideas of what I think I would like our day to be like, little things I would like to make it feel special.  And I’ll admit, I have caved at some moments and had a sneaky little whip round of some wedding blogs, and picked up a few bits of inspiration, which I really like.  I may even have the start of an idea of a theme, and colours I like..  But now that I know I can actually start talking about it soon, I’m a little bit nervous about how I’m going to say, ‘Actually, I’ve already thought that X might be quite nice like this‘, and for him not to get upset that I’ve started ‘planning’ without him.  But I’ve not set anything in stone, if The Mr doesn’t like it, then we’ll look at other ideas.  And then I get cross and think ‘But then this ban was his idea!‘ and think to myself that I shouldn’t have to not plan my own wedding just because he’s busy with work.  Sometimes I feel so angry about it, why can’t we just get on with it!  And then I actually hear myself thinking these things and realise how unbelievably selfish I’m being.  Oh, the inner turmoil!!

I’m not going to lie, I have hated not being able to start planning, and it’s make me quite angry and frustrated and even resentful at times (I know, how ridiculous, I’m resentful that the man I love has asked me to marry him, but won’t let me start planning the wedding yet.  Ugh, get over myself already!!).  Although I am often disorganised, scatty, and nearly always late for everything, golly do I love to plan, and feel like I have the element of control!  So not planning something which many people have told me will be the most important day of my life (at least, until the day we have kids) is like having an itch I’m not allowed to scratch.  The Mr even tried to distract me by telling me I had permission to start planning our summer holiday for this year, but even that wasn’t enough to stop me from feeling the frustration of not being able to start planning our wedding.  So why is it, now that the day is nearly here, I feel so nervous??  I think it might be because I’m such a perfectionist when it comes to planning, and I think a little bit of me is worried The Mr won’t take it as seriously as me, or won’t understand why the little details are so important to me.  But I don’t want to plan this wedding all by myself, I don’t want to be selfish and make it all about me, I want it to be an equal entity, something which is everything we both want it to be.  But most of all, I just want it to be ours, and to be a special celebration of our love.

And maybe that’s what I need to remember.  It’s all about love, and that’s all that really matters.