I’m officially creeping up to the 6 month wedding countdown and I would be lying if I said that there haven’t been some stressful moments behind the planning process however all in all I have loved every minute of it and feel confident that no matter what preparation challenges still lie ahead, nothing will shatter the excitement that is building up to know that the most important thing to happen on that day is that Jason will call me his wife. The thought alone of hearing those words stands my arm hairs up on end.
So the question is, where do you begin? Truth is, I don’t think anyone begins with a plan and instead just starts by searching all sorts of everything without actually knowing what they want, unless of course you are like me and have had a secret wedding board on pinterest that’s been running for the past year prior to your engagement. You will buy a wedding planner, file out the first page and then get lost online and spend excessive amounts of money on bridal magazines just so that you can somehow find out what you want out of your day and gather endless screenshots of ideas (some impossible) that you want to incorporate within your plans without any idea or concern over cost. All of this is fine, and probably the most fun part.
The reality however will kick in as soon as anyone mentions the word budget. All of a sudden you get a rush of panic and begin to question how it is even possible and where are you actually going to get that money from which you haven’t seemed to have spare in your whole lifetime. There is a moment in every bride and grooms life where their idea of what their wedding day will look like suddenly gets overshadowed by a £ sign. So when it comes to money talk, set yourself some realistic goals, search around to get a good idea of what price tag wedding suppliers hold and choose your priorities. From the minute that Jason and I got engaged we knew that to get the most out of our day we needed to find a venue that would allow us to put our own stamp on it and as beautiful as many stately homes appear we just knew that this wasn’t right for us and didn’t reflect our character as a couple. One of the selling points for me was that the venue we chose has a limited amount of rooms and guests can only wander between the outside lawn, inside a beautiful brick barn dancing away or grabbing a tipple from the bar area (Unless of course they need to pee). I find there is an increased feeling of togetherness and family when everyone remains together, yet still can catch some space should they wish. Having a large space but small number of rooms also provides a great base for creativity, ensuring that you don’t feel overwhelmed by making every space look amazing as you simply don’t have additional rooms but instead can turn one large space into various sections and this can tie in the whole venue beautifully.
So, after that little piece of wedding reality, let me tell you a little about our chosen venue, the magical Godwick Great Barn.
To begin, Jason and I both considered the fact that we wanted a traditional church ceremony and needed to keep in mind that this meant we would be in two places across the course of the day therefore we began our search for a venue close to home. We wanted something that could cater for our large party but had a natural feel about it and didn’t portray a message of being too showy or extravagant. It’s become increasingly popular over the past few years however the rustic theme has been set in our minds as it allows a relaxed atmosphere and encourages the day to reflect our lifestyle, this then helped when choosing where to begin our search. My sister Natalie held her beautiful wedding back in 2010 using our home back garden as a venue so we already had a heads up as to how much it was likely to cost by the time we had added on necessities such as outside toilets and generators etc. and so this had ruled out our decision to hire a venue just for the grounds in order to add a marquee and instead we began our search to look for a barn that fits the bill. We wanted all these essentials included but did not want an ‘all in’ package as such as we still wanted to apply our own vision. That is when we came across a wedding fair in october 2014 called ‘The Most Unusual Wedding Fair‘ held at Godwick Great Barn, inviting brides and grooms across the county to visit the barn and enquire about everything with a slight twist, from serving up waffles on a stick as dessert down to very fine touches on the day such as crafty invitations and favours. Attending this allowed us to seek out some inspiration and view the venue as a possible option, speaking with the owners getting a full price breakdown so that there were no hidden surprises and also gaining opportunity to grab some wedding fair discount if we decided to book. Note: It really does make attending wedding fairs beneficial if you are serious about what your looking for.
As we entered the drive down to the barn, we were surrounding by nothing but greenery and a working farm opposite the parking entrance which was stacked up with hay bales and had a small tractor sat stationary with additional touches of hessian and bunting. We hadn’t even entered the barn yet but knew we felt the right vibes from the atmosphere. It felt secluded yet intimate and as if the surroundings were there to compliment our wedding day without interruption of outsiders (except for a sheep or two).
The good thing about viewing the venue whilst a wedding fair was on was that it enabled us to visualise how we can make use of space, in particular the outside lawn area and also to see people inside the barn, creating an atmosphere whereby muffled voices and twinkling lights fit perfectly together.
The barn interior was just what we’d hoped, with high beams, brick work, small candle alcoves and freedom to put our own stamp on it with enough natural light entering the barn to create a relaxed ambience. However, this was not the only selling point as a new addition to the venue in 2015 meant our stay here the night of our wedding will be just as cosy and relaxed as the venue itself and by this I am referring to Shepherd’s Huts which take ‘glamping’ to a whole new level.
It’s obvious to say we are very excited about this and cannot wait to share our day with those closest to us.
Keep your eyes peeled in the early months of 2016 for a peek at the next chosen supplier in our wedding planning check list and how pleased we are with our decision.