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Town Centre Barn Wedding - August 2019

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Bridezilla

Hello all, 

I've been engaged for over a year but joined recently and have enjoyed reading your planning threads so thought I'd start my own. I'm a terrible rambler so I'll try not to go on too much!

How we met

OH and I met in 2010 when we moved into the same house share - me having just left a 7 year relationship, him having moved into the area for a 1 year work placement as part of his degree (he was a mature student, having qualified in accountancy then deciding in his 20s that computer science was his real love). We were friends at first then one night a few months later got very drunk on a night out and ended up kissing, and it went from there! The next year he went back to uni an hour away for a year and I was working so we were a bit long distance, then when he graduated we rented our first flat together.

We bobbed along happily until 2014 when we decided to start trying for a baby, and in late 2015 our son was born. 

OH knew from early on that I wanted to get married and have children as that was the reason I left my previous relationship - ex was adamant he didn't want either. This was cemented when our son came along as I really dislike not having the same surname as my little boy. OH is so laid back he is almost horizontal and while not opposed to marriage, isn't particularly bothered either way so I waited a while for him to pop the question!

My planning thread: http://www.youandyourwedding.co.uk/forum/your-planning-threads/town-centre-barn-wedding---august-2019/452338.html

Bridezilla

The proposal

Prepare yourselves for the least romantic engagement story ever.

Early one Friday evening in February 2017, we were chilling with our son in our living room, watching a bit of TV and playing with his building blocks with him. OH kept trying to get our son to give me a red building block but as is the case with 16 month olds, he wasn't playing ball!

Eventually OH picked up a red block and handed it to me...at this point I realised it wasn't actually a building block, it was a red ring box, and OH asked me if I would marry him while looking scared witless. I was absolutely stunned but said yes immediately and tried to slip the ring on to my finger....only it was far too small 😩😂

Now my birthday is in February, and my OH always likes to go to central London on the rare occasions he shops, so when he told me he was going the previous evening, I assumed he was buying my birthday present - turns out he had randomly decided to propose on either Valentine's Day or my birthday so bought the ring, but he's rubbish at keeping secrets and couldn't wait for either of those! My best friend had got engaged a few months previously and I think he knew I was feeling a bit sad that we still weren't, so it gave him the kick up the bum he needed to sort it out.

Anyway, none of our relatives were answering the phone so we did our son's usual bed and bath routine then I popped to Tesco Extra for some shopping we needed still in absolute shock. Later on we got hold of relatives and friends and told them the news, and the next day we went back up to London to swap my ring for one which fitted. I was devastated when the jeweller told me it wasn't in stock in my size and I had to wait a week for it to be couriered to me, which felt like a year 😂

My planning thread: http://www.youandyourwedding.co.uk/forum/your-planning-threads/town-centre-barn-wedding---august-2019/452338.html

Bridezilla

Yay another thread to follow!!


                                  My Planning Thread - 'Tis The Season to be Married

SW - 10st 12lb

CW - 10st 4lb

GW - 8st 5lb       

Bridezilla

The Budget

A few days after proposing, OH went abroad to work for a month, leaving me to start manically Googling venues and writing lists (I bloody love a list!). I'd have loved to get married abroad but for various family reasons that idea wasn't a goer, and OH has always wanted a traditional wedding with all his family and friends there anyway as he is incredibly close to them.

When he returned, we looked at rough pricing online and discussed budget. We aren't flashy people and we'd both feel a bit silly wafting about in a stately home so we decided to keep the venue fairly low key. Also, our priorities had changed since we had our son so we were saving to buy a house, and tbh we'd both rather spend money on the honeymoon than the wedding! We ideally wanted to spend £6k or less, but we realised £9-10k was a more realistic budget. We also decided that we would wait until 2019, as though we would have liked to have done it this year, my 14 month maternity leave had somewhat decimated our savings! 

We are paying for it all ourselves, the only help we are receiving is that OH's nan has offered to buy our cake, bless her.

My planning thread: http://www.youandyourwedding.co.uk/forum/your-planning-threads/town-centre-barn-wedding---august-2019/452338.html

Bridezilla

The Venue

We had looked online at lots of places within our budget and went to a few wedding fairs to get a feel. I'd been to some wedding fairs with my engaged best friend the previous summer but her budget is probably 3 times ours so none of them were appropriate. OH's hometown is 90 minutes by car from where we live in Kent, and we have lots of friends in London also, so it was important that venues were close to public transport and accommodation as over half of our guests aren't local. We looked briefly near OH's hometown in Essex but it isn't great for weddings, in fact all of his friends have chosen to get married elsewhere. OH and his family are also incredibly plain eaters while I love good food so we wanted somewhere where we could have multiple food options as one size certainly wouldn't fit all in our case!

The 'Hell No's'

Dale Hill Golf Club - very corporate looking, not near any public transport or hotels, and the place looks like a swirly carpet showroom - they are everywhere, all clashing with the furniture, the curtains, each other. It was a no from us. It's also a lot more run down than it looks online.

East Sussex National Golf Club

Much bigger, nicer interiors but still very corporate, plus they can have several weddings on the same day, and again, it's in the arse end of nowhere so we ruled it out. In fact we realised golf clubs aren't for us at all and ruled them out altogether.

 

 Mountains Country House

Went to a wedding fair here while OH was abroad, and to have a nose as it's the private school my mum went to and I'd never been there. IT IS STUNNING!  If money was no object I would have my wedding here in a heartbeat, but sadly it is 😢😂 You can get married either inside or outside, then they have a stunning marquee for the reception in beautiful grounds.

 

The Royal Wells Hotel

On paper this was perfect - within budget, disabled friendly, has it's own rooms, close to public transport. We arranged to go and see it and the wedding coordinator didn't show up to our appointment. There was a wedding on that day and a groom was also frantically searching for her - none of the other staff knew where she was. Another staff member showed us around and the ceremony and reception rooms are lovely but it only has a tiny, non private courtyard garden. He also told us they are very short staffed!

The coordinator was meant to call us to re-arrange, she didn't. I called her and she made a pathetic excuse and we made another appointment, which she cancelled the day before with another weak excuse. We decided she was too unreliable so discounted the venue.

 

 

My planning thread: http://www.youandyourwedding.co.uk/forum/your-planning-threads/town-centre-barn-wedding---august-2019/452338.html

Bridezilla

The serious contenders;

The Plough at Leigh

Country pub with an attached barn and a nice garden. Very professionally run, really good food offering too. Top end of our budget but do-able. Only thing that put us off is that there are tiers of hire- exclusive, part day exclusive or barn only, with exclusive hire really expensive. We didn't want to pay out all the money for exclusive use as with our numbers we only really needed the barn, but that would have meant sharing the garden with pub customers, and with 10 young kids attending we wanted them somewhere secure. The barn is also quite dark and cold, and the heating is from 2 indoor fireplaces that look pretty dangerous for kids to be near. The whole event takes place in the Barn too which means you have that turn around time where everyone has to sod off somewhere else for an hour which I don't like.

The landlady reacted incredibly snootily to a joke my OH made about people getting drunk at weddings and basically said it wasn't acceptable which we found bizarre for a pub and wedding venue 🙄 It was also the most expensive of the final 3, and is in a bit of a hotel black hole, with only one Premier Inn nearby, so sadly we crossed it off our list.

My planning thread: http://www.youandyourwedding.co.uk/forum/your-planning-threads/town-centre-barn-wedding---august-2019/452338.html

Bridezilla

Second contender was the Mercure Tunbridge Wells Hotel. The wedding coordinator is lovely and the ceremony room is very nice, but the reception room is quite small and the outside space is just concrete as far as the eye can see. The only nice place for a photo is the little pond and it was dirty with litter floating in it the day we visited!  They do packages and were prepared to be quite flexible about the menus but ultimately it's just too soulless a space. Also the ceremony room is upstairs with no disabled access. My grandad is very elderly and a wheelchair user so he wouldn't be able to get there, and it's likely the ceremony is the only bit of the wedding he will attend.

My planning thread: http://www.youandyourwedding.co.uk/forum/your-planning-threads/town-centre-barn-wedding---august-2019/452338.html

Bridezilla

Third contender was The Barn, a pub/restaurant in the centre of Tunbridge Wells.. I know some of the past and present staff and have done birthday meals etc there before, plus a good friend had her wedding breakfast & reception there so I had a pretty good idea of the offering. We went for a first visit to see it when it was dressed for a wedding, and as I already knew, the conservatory area where ceremonies are held is very small. Plus points are that the food is fab and gives your guests 4 options to choose from for each course, it's very close to a train station and surrounded by hotels, they have a really good, reasonable all inclusive package, don't charge venue hire, and while the courtyard garden isn't huge it's really lovely, secure and we would have exclusive use. The wedding breakfast is in the restaurant upstairs, while the ceremony and evening reception are downstairs, so you don't have to worry about them turning the rooms around either. Also did I mention the price is INCREDIBLE?

They only do weddings on Sundays so OH was adamant if we chose this venue it had to be on a bank holiday weekend as so many of our guests would be travelling. The only thing that put  us off a bit was the small ceremony area.

 

My planning thread: http://www.youandyourwedding.co.uk/forum/your-planning-threads/town-centre-barn-wedding---august-2019/452338.html

Bridezilla

Sadieee wrote (see post):

Yay another thread to follow!!

 

Thank you :)

My planning thread: http://www.youandyourwedding.co.uk/forum/your-planning-threads/town-centre-barn-wedding---august-2019/452338.html

Bridezilla

Venue decision - May 2017

OH then went away to work abroad for a month again, and when he returned, we weighed up the pros and cons of each venue and decided to choose The Barn - their offering was the best value, they have wheelchair access for the ceremony, we know the food is good and they offer multiple options, and most importantly we know and trust the manager. We arranged a meeting at the venue to book a date, which had to be a bank holiday. 2018 was fully booked, but the Spring 2019 BH dates had been free on our first visit.

I have always wanted a spring wedding as I love spring flowers and I don't like heat, plus I just wanted to get married ASAP. OH had been lobbying for high summer as he loves heat and wanted the best chance of a sunny day.

Well, he got his way - by the time we went for the second meeting all the Spring bank holiday Sundays had been booked and August BH Sunday 2019 was the next available date. So 25th August 2019 is our wedding date!

My planning thread: http://www.youandyourwedding.co.uk/forum/your-planning-threads/town-centre-barn-wedding---august-2019/452338.html

Bridezilla

Theme/Colours

I've always known I would have navy blue included in my wedding, it's my absolute favourite colour and suits everyone. I've decided on gold and coral as accent colours, with tiny hints of mint. Here are a couple of pics from my Pinterest:

My planning thread: http://www.youandyourwedding.co.uk/forum/your-planning-threads/town-centre-barn-wedding---august-2019/452338.html

Bridezilla

Flowers

I've decided to do all the wedding flowers myself, with fresh flowers.

My brother got married a few years back and they had a real DIY wedding, so SIL asked me to do the flowers. I did a lot of practice in the run up to their wedding, learning from books and Youtube tutorials, and it went well - I did buttonholes, bouquets, centrepieces, top table arrangement, pew ends and a simple floral arch. So I'm pretty confident I can do it again.

Flowers will be bought from Triangle Nursery who I used before - they are a wholesaler who also sell to the public and will courier the flowers to you. Here are a few examples of bouquets I like:

 

My planning thread: http://www.youandyourwedding.co.uk/forum/your-planning-threads/town-centre-barn-wedding---august-2019/452338.html

Bridezilla

Feel a bit like I'm talking to myself here 😂

Anyway once we'd booked the venue, I started shopping for bits and bobs as I saw them - I love a sale!

First thing I bought were these pouches/clutches for me and the bridesmaids - reduced to £3 each in the Accessorize sale!

My planning thread: http://www.youandyourwedding.co.uk/forum/your-planning-threads/town-centre-barn-wedding---august-2019/452338.html

Bridezilla

Second thing was the frame for our seating plan, dirt cheap in The Range - I'm going to spray it gold.

My planning thread: http://www.youandyourwedding.co.uk/forum/your-planning-threads/town-centre-barn-wedding---august-2019/452338.html

Bridezilla

Next were my shoes. I can't walk in very high heels & I have exceptionally wide feet and it's really hard to find glam shoes to fit me, so when I spotted these in the New Look sale I pounced - they are much sparklier in real life!

My planning thread: http://www.youandyourwedding.co.uk/forum/your-planning-threads/town-centre-barn-wedding---august-2019/452338.html

Bridezilla

Lovely ideas!  The shoes look fab - can't resist a sparkle!!




Bridezilla

Love your shoes ans those little cluthes are fab!


                                  My Planning Thread - 'Tis The Season to be Married

SW - 10st 12lb

CW - 10st 4lb

GW - 8st 5lb       

Bridezilla

Oh love your shoes & those clutch bags - need to remember to have a look at the sales!! xx

http://www.youandyourwedding.co.uk/forum/your-planning-threads/intimate-villa-cyprus-wedding---october-2018/432750.html

https://uk.pinterest.com/ruththomas1979/here-comes-the-bride/

Bridezilla

Thanks ladies, I'm normally quite a plain dresser and don't do bling, but sod it, I'm going full on sparkle  for my wedding day!! The shoes are comfy which is the main thing as I have 'problem feet'. I didn't want to spend alot as I'm bound to be in a pair of flip flops after a couple of hours anyway.

I buy everything in sales, even my MIL calls me the yellow sticker queen as my freezer is always full of reduced food from the M&S opposite my work 😂

My planning thread: http://www.youandyourwedding.co.uk/forum/your-planning-threads/town-centre-barn-wedding---august-2019/452338.html

Bridezilla

Wedding party

Bridesmaids

I have 2 best friends, it's always been a given that they will be my bridesmaids. I do have half sisters, sisters in law etc. but I'm not particularly close to any of them, so I'm happy to leave it at that. 

Page boy

Our son who will be almost 4 will be our pageboy. I feel a bit like I should have my nephew but haven't decided yet, as then I'll feel I should have OH's nephew and my 3 Godsons and the whole thing will snowball...we'll see!

Best men

So the OH has decided he must have THREE best men  🙄 I feel it's a little excessive and 2 of them could be ushers, but it's the done thing in his group of friends so I'll just roll with it...

Flower girls

I didn't originally want kids in the wedding party except our son, but my oldest niece has never been to a wedding where she wasn't a flower girl (3 times already and she's only 4!).....so as soon as we announced we were getting married she assumed she was going to be a flower girl 😂 I didn't have it in me to break a 4 year old's heart so her and her 2 sisters will be flower girls!

My planning thread: http://www.youandyourwedding.co.uk/forum/your-planning-threads/town-centre-barn-wedding---august-2019/452338.html