Saturday, 19 February 2011

T minus 6 months: Visiting the venue again.

We booked our wedding venue in February 2010. We went to view it, chatted with the wedding coordinator and loved it (and the prices!) so much that we booked it and sent the deposit that same day.

That was a year ago (doesn't time fly?!) and, although it might sound strange considering how obsessed I am with this wedding planning business, we have had no contact with the venue over the last year. None at all, since they sent us the receipt for the deposit, back in February 2010.

I will admit, when I realised that it had been a year since we had spoken to the venue, it worried me a little. I mean, what if they had forgotten about us? What it the woman who took our booking had made a mistake, or forgotten to put our names in the book, or quit her job and not told anyone that we had actually made a booking? What if the prices had gone up dramatically and we couldn't afford it now? What if the venue said that all our ideas wouldn't work and we couldn't have them? What if the celebration garden, which hadn't even been built last time we were there, wasn't nice? What if the whole place had been burned down in a horrible kitchen accident and no-one had told me?

As you can see - I'm a worrier. You're probably wondering why, if I was so worried, I hadn't been in touch with the venue over the last year. I'll tell you - because I was worried they would think I was bothering them, being a bridezilla, or just a bit too OTT. You see, I didn't actually need to speak to them about anything over the last year, so what would have been the point in contacting them?

Anyway, since 6th February this year was exactly 6 months until our wedding, I decided to email our venue to find out when we could arrange things like food tastings and just general chats to iron out all the details. The coordinator got called us up and invited us to come in to have a chat with and another look round the venue. So that's what we did today!

We met with the lovely Carrie, who wasn't working at Pryors Hayes when we originally booked. She was so nice and extremely helpful - she answered almost every question I had written down, without me even having to ask them! We chatted about all the little details so she can get a full price quote emailed out to us soon and explained that we had booked at a good time because a few months after we did, they started charging for the use of the marquee. We still get it for free because we that's what was agreed when we booked - lucky us!

So many things have changed since we were there last - but all for the better! The menu's have been changed to be made simpler, but what we wanted was still on there, and they are willing to make us a different dessert just because that's what Karl wanted.

When we pulled into the car park, this was our view:

You can just about see the top of the gazebo where we will be married! Whoop! I was so distracted trying to see the celebration garden that I almost didn't notice the other big change...

Hang on a minute! That huge, white marquee looks much bigger than it did last time we were here! In fact, it looks like a different marquee altogether! Well, that's because it is! It is a much more solid structure, which walls and actual doors instead of just tent flaps and it is about 4 times bigger than it used to be!

To put it into perspective, last time we were there, we were told that the marquee could hold about 40 people for the meal, meaning we would have to have our meal in the club house. No big deal, the club house is still lovely, and we could use the marquee for the DJ and dance floor. However, withe new giant marquee, it can fit 150 people for the meal, meaning that we can have all of our tables set up in there, plus the DJ and dance floor! Hurray! This makes me very happy - the marquee is so lovely and it will be nice to have the whole wedding in there as opposed to dancing in one part and sitting in another. I also got very excited when Carrie started talking about the marquee being finished - it will be carpeted (dark grey) and have the white swag style curtains all around the walls. It sounds like it will be gorgeous, and here's the best part: the ceiling will have a star cloth! I might have even gasped when she told me that part - I love the look of star cloths! 
Star cloth example (source)
Amazing, right? 

We talked about the photo booth, and the various places it could go, about the timing of the ceremony and meal etc, the food we wanted, the drinks we wanted, the decorations we wanted, the music we wanted - everything! 

Then we went to look at the celebration garden. Remember, when we booked the venue, it hadn't actually been built yet. I've been drooling over the photos of it for months, but we never actually got around the driving up there to see it in person. 

It's a shame the weather was to rubbish, as it looks much nicer in the sunshine! But it's still lovely - smaller than I thought it was, but that's a good thing as it makes it more intimate and we don't have to worry about people not being able to see or hear us. 

Here is Carrie showing my mum the gazebo where we will stand to get married. It has lights in the roof so it will be lit up in the evening, and the speakers inside it will play our music, plus project our voices to out guests during the ceremony. 

Inside the gazebo will be just the registrars, our 2 witnesses and us. I'm quite excited about this because I think it will feel quite intimate, being slightly separated from our guests - I will be bale to pretend that we are alone! lol 

We discussed the seating for the ceremony - the chairs are gold with pink cushions, so we will be having white chair covers on them. Carrie suggested buying some purple and green ribbon and tying the together around the backs of the chairs along the aisle, which is an idea that I love! She showed me a photo of the covered chairs set up outside and it looked stunning! The chairs for inside the marquee are silver with black cushions, so we will probably cheap them as they are without the covers. I think if they were covered, it would be a bit too much white inside the marquee! 

We also discussed our photos, and Carrie told us about the pond they have out on the golf course. They will drive us over to the pond on golf buggies to have our private photos taken, which is something I am really looking forward to! Not only will it be loads of fun to ride around in a golf buggy, but it will be nice to have a few minutes away from all the noise etc, just us (and a photographer!). 

The pond is over there, somewhere...
Golf buggies!
I am so glad we went to visit Pryors Hayes again - it has renewed my excitement and put my mind at ease. The most exciting thing was finding out about the new, bigger marquee and that we can have our meal and reception in there. This also means that, since we are not taking up the golfers club house, we can set up the marquee the day before the wedding. I know that as much as I trust the staff at Pryors Hayes, I would be worrying all morning about whether everything was set up as I wanted it, and had already made plans to send a friend there early to move things around if needed. If we can set up the day before then I will be able to relax, knowing everything is perfect! 

There is a wedding fayre at Pryors Hayes on 6th March, and I will probably go along just to bask in the loveliness of our venue again. If you're int he area, you should definitely pop in to see it for yourself!

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