Wedding Planning: Venues

by Jemma on January 10, 2012

in Operation Wedding

Since getting engaged last November a lot of readers have been asking whether I would be sharing my wedding planning ideas here on the blog.  Planning a wedding is such a beautiful journey full of excitement and because I share so much of my daily life and goings on with you all it just seemed right to share this part of my life with you too.

Since Alfie is always busy working during the week and I am busy with my thesis and have a part time Saturday job we are struggling too find the time to confirm plans and have a look around at what is out there.   But, on a rare occasion Alfie may get a week day off, like yesterday.  I’m pretty much my own boss at the moment so we decided to use this rare opportunity to go an look at some potential wedding venues.

We are quite a modest couple and like to be frugal with our money.   We are trying to get married on a budget, which does make things a little harder.  I sometimes wish I could say yes to everything with a total disregard of the price, but unfortunately that is never going to happen any time soon. With a budget in mind many of our friends and family have advised to use most of the our budget towards the venue and the dress as that what people are going to remember from the big day.

Putting most of our money towards the venue is something that we couldn’t agree more with.  Although we are on a budget we still want the day to be extra special and memorable.  There are so many places that hold a special place in our hearts- we have been together for almost 7 years so we have visited lots of places and created so many memories.  However, we decided to stick with tradition and hold the wedding in my home county where we went to look at some potential venues yesterday.

1) Prestwold Hall

 

Not only is architecture and the grounds stunning but the inside is just full of character too with something to see at every turn…

2) Belvoir Castle

image

Alfie felt quite at home in this castle which predates the 16th century.  I really liked it and thought it was beautiful and I think the wedding pictures would look great.  But, I also thought that it was a bit too much, in price and grandeur.

3) Brooksby Hall

 

Brooksby Hall is actually and fully working college and with a little bit of work and planning could look really pretty.  We went to view it as our cheaper option and has so much potential as it is basically a blank canvas.  Despite this being are cheaper option when all of the extra decoration costs and food were added it actually became more expensive than Prestwold Hall, which doesn’t really require any extra decoration as it is already stunning.

st mary's church 

st mary's

Ideally we would really love a church wedding an Presthold Hall and Brooksby Hall have churches on site which would cut down the transport costs as the houses are literally a two minute walk from the churches in both locations.  Although part of me gets a very nostalgic feeling when I think of St. Mary’s Church where my Nan married my Granddad all of those years ago in 1955.

Well it looks like Operation Wedding is in full swing!

There is lot’s to sort out and decisions to be made.  We have already picked our colour schemes, flower girl dresses, the groomsmen’s suits and my bridesmaid’s and I are currently discussing their dresses.  So look out for future posts on all of that soon.  I guess first things first and on top of the list would be setting the date!

Which venue do you like the look of? Do you have an ideal venue that you would love to get married in? 

Where did you get married? 

Have any of you had to get married on a tight budget?

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{ 34 comments… read them below or add one }

Ellie@Fit for the Soul January 10, 2012 at 7:46 AM

ahhhhhh how exciting! And hi Jemma! It’s been too long, haha. As soon as I saw the tweet I got so excited. :D

Oh my gosh everything looks so gorgeous!! It’s amazing to see how different the UK’s venues are from the ones in the US. And I like Prestwold Hall and Belvoir Castle. So pretty~~And yes, Greg and I are definitely planning everything on a smaller budget than the average. But I like it that way b/c it gives me more peace of mind! In addition, it makes me want to be more creative with the wedding details. :) Thanks for sharing!

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Maria January 10, 2012 at 8:58 AM

I think any venue with outside space is lovely- I think it is nice for people to have some time outside, plus of course you can have more photos too.
We are not married, so my only experience is when friends get married, but the price of everything always shocks me (it seems that once they see the word “wedding” places/ shops add on an extra 20%)- I always think what sort of holiday you could have for that money! :)
It will be lovely to see how you go through the planning though.

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Jenny Bridger January 10, 2012 at 9:06 AM

As i scrolled through each they just seemed to get better & better! I love the inside of the church at Brooksby Hall. Is it me or do the dining arrangements become more spacious as you go down that list?

I think i like Brooksby Hall the most because it is less decorative – i wouldn’t want any distractions from how amazing i would look as the Bride! :)

But the if was actually me planning it – it would all come down to cost, even if parents offered to pay lol! Because i’m just such a cheap skate :)

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Jemma @ Celery and Cupcakes January 11, 2012 at 9:59 PM

Cost is a big factor for me too. Brooksby is lovely and virtually a blank canvas.

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Katy Aubrey January 10, 2012 at 9:27 AM

They are all gorgeous venues! But I have to say my fave is Belvoir Castle!! It looks like a fairytale venue!!

We got married back in May 2010. We had the ceremony in Cardiff Castle, then the reception in the Museum of Wales, in Cardiff. It was definitely the best day EVER!

I agree about the venue and the dress being the two most important things to splash out on!

Enjoy the planning …. for me that was as fun and memorable as the day itself! xx

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Jemma @ Celery and Cupcakes January 11, 2012 at 9:45 PM

I am still trying to get to grips with all of the planning. It is fun though! :D

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sarah@onedayiwillseethesun January 10, 2012 at 9:30 AM

oh my how exciting!!!! I would love to get married in a castle!!!! I love the look of belvoir castle.

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Jemma @ Celery and Cupcakes January 11, 2012 at 9:44 PM

They are awesome!

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Asha @ Before 30 January 10, 2012 at 12:07 PM

Oh wow they’re all beautiful! My favourite is Prestwold Hall. I got engaged last year and am starting to look at planning the wedding. Looking forward to more of your posts to give me some ideas :)

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Jemma @ Celery and Cupcakes January 11, 2012 at 9:44 PM

Congratulations on your engagement! :D

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Emma @ La Mia Vita Sana January 10, 2012 at 1:50 PM

Ahh so exciting! They’re all beautiful venues. I’m looking forward to hearing more of your plans!

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Jemma @ Celery and Cupcakes January 11, 2012 at 9:59 PM

They are pretty! :D

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Laura Agar Wilson (@keephealthstyle) January 10, 2012 at 3:05 PM

All those venues look amazing! The biggest piece of advice I would give you as someone who has been married would be to stay true to yourselves and try not to worry about other people. Its your big day and its about what you and Alfie will remember, not other people. We went to Italy with just a very small party of guests and it was perfect and pretty stress free, we had a big family party when we got home (lucky me, I got two wedding cakes!) and I was more stressed then than my wedding day! Whatever you do will be magical :-)

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Jemma @ Celery and Cupcakes January 11, 2012 at 10:00 PM

Thank you! Your wedding sounds idyllic! :D

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Shannon from Healthiful Balance January 10, 2012 at 3:54 PM

Wow! I think all the venues look amazing!!

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truepenny January 10, 2012 at 4:34 PM

All gorgeous! I would have loved to have a UK country wedding, but as my spouse and I are both Canadian and all our family were in Canada, it just didn’t make sense.

I got married on a very tight budget, most of which went to food and booze – a decision I definitely do not regret! We had it in my aunt and uncle’s back yard, did all our own food (I made my own wedding pies instead of cake), and I wore a simple sundress. My aunt has an amazing garden so no decor was needed, and I picked my own bouquet. My sister and her friend provided the music for down the aisle, and she, myself and my trusty laptop did the DJ’ing. Me and my friends even camped out in tents for the night, which ended up being ridiculously fun – we sang campfire songs, made s’mores and ate all the leftover wedding food into the wee hours of the morning. I know this isn’t everyone’s style, and with only 40 people at our wedding having a huge venue wasn’t necessary – but I honestly couldn’t have imagined a more perfect day!

So anyway, my point is, however you choose to spend your money just make sure the day is very “you” and I’m sure it’ll be perfect. Budget weddings can be fun, beautiful and very memorable too!

Good luck with your planning – I love the beautiful churches. In Canada we just don’t have many venues like that! So stunning.

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Jemma @ Celery and Cupcakes January 11, 2012 at 9:44 PM

You are right you wedding has to be perfect to you and no one else. Your wedding sounds lovely! :D

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~Jessica~ January 10, 2012 at 4:41 PM

My vote would go to Prestwold Hall – I think it’s elegant, luxurious yet slightly understated and non-pretentious. The Castle is opulent to the point of being a bit over the top for me – a bit Beckingham Palace-esque even ;) And although the third venue is nice, if it’s going to end up being more expensive than the first then it’s working on the principles of false economy, as you say.

I think it’s lovely of you to share your plans with us – despite being clueless when it comes to fashion myself, I think the part I am most looking forward to is the dress. It’s not that I’m not interested in stylish clothes, more that I’m not the person to wear them!

xxx

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Jemma @ Celery and Cupcakes January 11, 2012 at 9:43 PM

I’m in total agreement. Belvoir Castle is very ostentation where as Prestwold is very elegant in comparison. The Duke and Duchess of Rutland actually live in the castle. I don’t think I could as it felt too much like a museum.

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whitney January 10, 2012 at 4:44 PM

How exciting! and what a tough decision. They are all beautiful, either one you pick will be perfect, im sure!

Whitney

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Jemma @ Celery and Cupcakes January 11, 2012 at 9:41 PM

I love them all. :D

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Lauren @ Lawfully Wedded Wife January 10, 2012 at 5:07 PM

SO exciting! I know how crazy planning can be and I can relate to your situation, I did most of my wedding planning in my senior year of college while writing my thesis and working two part time jobs! It got stressful at times but I found wedding planning was a nice escape. These venues are all so beautiful, congrats again!!!

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Jemma @ Celery and Cupcakes January 11, 2012 at 9:41 PM

Thank you! It sounds so hectic-how did you manage it all?

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Sarah(everydaysapicnic) January 10, 2012 at 6:21 PM

They all look so beautiful! I think you’re right that the venue is really important. I would actually place food in a close second because the dress doesn’t bother me so much … although ask me again when I get around to getting married ;-)
My housemate is getting married in the autumn, so I’m getting in the wedding mood!

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Jemma @ Celery and Cupcakes January 11, 2012 at 9:40 PM

It’s great being in the wedding mood. I hope you enjoy the wedding. :D

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Ffion @ Chocolate and Rapsberiies January 10, 2012 at 6:49 PM

They all look lovely! I don’t think I’d be able to chose! I think I’m drawn to the last one cos you could really make it unique to your day.

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Jemma @ Celery and Cupcakes January 11, 2012 at 9:39 PM

It is a really tough decision!

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Tamizn January 10, 2012 at 10:05 PM

I just hope I get asked which seems pretty unlikely but fingers crossed! I think they all look nice but favorite would have to be no.1 x x

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Jemma @ Celery and Cupcakes January 11, 2012 at 9:39 PM

I have a fondness for no.1 too! Anyone would be a fool not to ask!¬

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The Quirky Kitchen January 11, 2012 at 3:52 AM

i’m with u on the wedding planning expedition! :-)

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Jemma @ Celery and Cupcakes January 11, 2012 at 9:38 PM

It’s so much fun! :D

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leashieloo January 11, 2012 at 1:01 PM

OH em gee, those venues are stunning. We don’t have ANYTHING like that around these parts!

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Leigh January 12, 2012 at 2:49 PM

I definitely prefer no.1 over all the rest: its so elegant and beautiful! The ground look stunning too. It all seems very Jane Austen.

Here is where I’m planning on getting married: http://www.historic-scotland.gov.uk/propertyresults/propertyoverview.htm?PropID=PL_283&PropName=Sweetheart%20Abbey Its an old ruined abbey in Scotland, which I stumbled upon when we were driving through New Abbey (the village next to it). You literally can’t see any kind of acknowledgement or sight of the abbey until you turn a corner in New Abbey and then its there, and its just so beautiful. And the story behind it is so romantic! The abbey was commissioned by Lady Dervorgilla of Galloway who was married to John de Balliol (and English baron and about 20+ yrs older than her). He died when away in France and his heart was mummified and brought back to Scotland in an ivory and silver casket. For the next twenty or so years the casket went everywhere with her, even to the dinner table where servants had to serve breakfast, lunch and dinner to it. When she died, she was buried in Sweetheart Abbey and the casket was laid over her own heart.

I think that’s amazing! When I heard that story I knew I’d have to get married there…now all I need to do is find a husband!

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Jemma @ Celery and Cupcakes January 12, 2012 at 2:53 PM

That is such a beautiful story and the perfect setting for an amazing wedding!

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