I’ve decided to document the important parts of the wedding planning process. And today I am sharing the very first official decision, the venue.
When we got back from holiday, I immediately started looking at venues.
The first step was to figure out what country we were going to have the wedding in. As the UK won that decision due to budget and keeping my sanity, I started looking at venues all around England. And holy crap, this country is beautiful.
I did about 4 days worth of research and narrowed it down to 8 places that were relatively in our budget and not too far from us. I sat down with D and had him pick out 3 or 4 places out of those 8 that he really liked and wanted to see and then I scheduled some appointments for viewings.
The main aspects that were important was that had the venue had on-site accommodation for our wedding party and immediate family. As there would be people travelling from very far away, we decided we wanted our wedding to be a little bit more than just a one day affair. So if we did a weekend celebration, then we could include our closest family and friends to come together and celebrate with us.
The other bit that was important to me was to have a barn. I fell in love with the rustic barn wedding look and it matched everything I had dreamed I wanted.
We eventually narrowed it down to 3 places to go visit: Godwick Hall and Barn, Dorfold Hall, and Delbury Hall.
Had it all: a big barn, a big hall to sleep 20 people, a bar, proper toilets, option for an outdoor and indoor ceremony, lots of parking, camp grounds, accommodation 10-20 minutes away for the rest of the guests, etc.
We both loved it. D was really impressed when we drove away from this place and I was on Cloud 9. It was perfect, exactly what I wanted. The only thing I wanted that they didn’t have was a bridal preparation room. I wanted a specific room with vanities set up where I could get ready with my ladies.
The second place we viewed as we were on our way to the Lake District was Dorfold Hall. It was incredible. It had a big hall to sleep around 20 people, a barn for the ceremony, a marquee for the reception, the grounds were absolutely stunning, and there was lot of accommodation under 10 minutes away for our other guests.
It was actually built for King James I as a summer home, but he didn’t get to use it as he passed before he was able to. It has a perfect mixture of old English countryside charm and modern decor. The bedrooms are beautiful, and there is a bridal preparation room just off of the honeymoon suite that will be remodeled this next year. The only thing I didn’t like was that we’d have the reception in the marquee. I really don’t want a marquee reception. I am in love with the barn reception and couldn’t get that idea out of my mind.
The main decider was that it was just way too expensive. It would definitely put us way over budget if we did the weekend thing here and we’re just not willing to go £10k over budget already.
Ok so we had an appointment booked to go see this one the weekend after we got back from the Lake District. Unfortunately, D hurt his back doing all that driving the weekend before so we had to cancel the viewing. I was going to reschedule but had to be quite honest…. I didn’t think this place was going to be magical enough to change my mind.
I made it up on our drive back from the first venue. I completely fell in love with it. I could see us getting ready in the hall and spending the weekend there with our families. I could see us in the barn with everyone. I just saw our entire day unfold and I had already started planning flowers and decor before we even saw a second venue. I shared all this with D and he knew I had made up my mind. And this was actually the least expensive of the three venues so we decided to put our deposit down without viewing the third.
Because when you know, you know.
Unfortunately, we can’t afford the deposit just yet as they don’t accept credit cards. We’ll have to wait a month or two until we do have the money ready to go through with the deposit. I am crossing my fingers our date will still be available in that time, and hope luck is on our side! As soon as it’s officially booked, I’ll share the date with you 🙂
EDIT 13-Dec: We talked with the amazing team at Godwick Hall and worked something else out. It is official now. We are getting married in 667 days from now. 10.10.20 <3<3 My heart is so full, and so excited!