Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Choosing our venue


Choosing your venue is one of the most important parts of wedding planning, and until it's booked you can't give wedding suppliers or guests the date!

We knew we wanted to get married near to where we live in Devon...but how would we find a venue that suited all of our requirements? We needed somewhere big enough for us and a bunch of family and friends to stay; with a garden big enough for a marquee; and in an historical setting! Not much to ask? Ha ha!

Luckily, it was while my Mum was looking on holiday lets websites that she came across Cadhay - an Elizabethan Manor House - with two holiday cottages on the grounds. On their website it looked beautiful and when we went to visit, it was even more so!

Cadhay was perfect for us. Near Ottery St Mary, set in lovely East Devon countryside, its only around 20 minutes from our church. As well as the stunning house packed with history and an inner courtyard for alfresco dining; the large gardens and lake are stunning.

The best thing was that we had the place to ourselves, and were able carry out our DIY wedding reception in the garden (I'll write more about this in other posts).

After we fell for the venue and started looking at available dates in summer, we then hoped that the church we wanted to get married in was also available on the same day. This was quite nerve-racking to be honest as we had our hearts set on both!

It all worked out fine, but mostly because we did this 17 months before the wedding! It's hard at first to believe venues when they say you need to book soon, but it is in most cases true that they are getting booked up way, way in advance.

My advice is when you start looking at venues have your deposit ready, to hold the venue and date you want! And if your ceremony is in a different location get your name down asap for that too (after some possible juggling!).

A good venue directory can be found on the weddings site by South West Tourism; where you can search by type of wedding, amount of guests, and by area.

Photo credits: Lumen Photography and our friends The Warrens

Monday, 14 February 2011

Love is in the air

It's my first Valentine's Day as a newlywed...so I thought it was about time I started blogging again about our wedding last June!

It was a huge success and we had a wonderful time thanks to all our family and friends who made it so special. Here's a selection of our romantic moments beautifully captured by Liz Armitage from Lumen Photography.

I'll be sharing how we made our dream vintage English countryside wedding come true on a budget, with DIY ideas and signposts to great local and online suppliers. I hope it's of use to any couples out there planning their big day...Kate and Wills watch this space!