Guides for Brides Wedding Fair, Heythrop Park - 21st January 2018

I’ve been thinking about writing this for a while and I was going to write it, get it scheduled and forget about it. This was back when I was feeling a bit disheartened though, so in a way I guess I’m glad I waited.

How We Started Planning

We’ve been engaged since November but we decided we wanted to enjoy being engaged for a bit before starting to plan. We did however know that we didn’t want a long engagement and that it would be full-steam ahead once we did start planning. So once January got here, that’s how it was. We had appointments booked in before Christmas for every weekend apart from one this month, making sure we saw a range of places and getting our head around the fact that with 130 guests (hopefully not actually that many) it’s going to be £££.

I was in charge of the calendar and booking the venue viewings but there could probably have been a better way to organise ourselves rather than cramming in as many as possible and skipping precious Saturday lie-ins. The latter was probably a contributing factor to the dread and stress I felt after our first weekend.

Please don’t be a rip-off…

Calendar cramming aside, the main contributing factor to wedding stress for me was easily the prices. It’s not the fact that weddings are expensive that causes the stress, it’s the general feeling that you’re basically being ripped off around every corner. Hardly a romantic feeling for the ‘most special day of your life’. I know it’s just as easy to pop down to the registry office etc, but we’ve been together 12 years and I want the chance to celebrate in style and that kind of wedding isn’t what I want to do.

With that being said, I am also not up for paying close to £100 a head for food that comes with the promise of being the best but probably won’t be. I don’t think, in fact I know, I’ve never spent close to that for any meals out I’ve had at some of the best places I’ve eaten (even in Iceland) and I don’t see why I should be expected to compromise on that ‘just because it’s my wedding day’.

I’ve found that it’s very easy to get swept up in this weird mentality but it’s also pretty important to snap out of that and put some elements of your wedding back into the real world. I think it’s especially important to pay no mind to the nutters who think it’s cool for you to pay £11,000 for your day food (true life and ‘no nasty surprises’ 🙄) or £1000 for a cake…

I guess what I’m trying to say is, my wedding day is most definitely not going to be as special as it could be if I feel ripped off, whether that’s on the food or on something else.

Everywhere is nice… but that doesn’t mean it’s for you

As I said, we looked at a range of different places, from actual barns with gaps in the doors to fancy barns with huge windows, and then there were the mid-range barns decorated in fairy lights and filled with history… Ok, we looked at a lot of barns, but they were all different. They all had things about them that on paper and even when we went to see them in real life, we could take things we liked from and think about things that might not work so well for us.

After the first weekend, we had looked at five and while I felt like I was all venue’d out, I also knew we hadn’t found what we were looking for. Well, we had found one but that’s the one that came with the £11k food bill and after sleeping on it, something that’s also pretty important to do, it was back to square one. Which put me on a downer for the rest of the week – that we should elope, that we should just give up, that maybe we should just settle for the registry office wedding that we didn’t want…

The best advice we’ve received so far is that it’s important to take a day off from it. All this planning takes work, so naturally you need to take a step back. Doing this the day before the viewings we had last weekend was a great idea and it meant we were looking at everything again with fresh eyes. We knew the ones we’d seen the previous weekend weren’t for us so it was basically time to start again.

Well, as I said, it was good, because we’ve now found a venue, and we’ve booked it, and we’ve booked our registrar and we’re bloody actually getting married next year!

A lot can happen in a week, this time last week I was moping about what we were going to do and now, I’m ready to do the fun stuff, and I can’t tell you how pumped I am for crafting!

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