So with the church booked, it was time to get somewhere sorted for the fun bit- the party!
We both knew things we didn't want.. hotels or marquees.
The difficulty lie in what we actually wanted- ha. We are both big foodies and so this was the key part of the day for us.
We also decided very early on that we would not put ourselves in debt for our wedding day. We have therefore set a budget of £18k, with plenty of wiggle room for our honeymoon.
So, the venue search...
We live in Greater London so decided to try and get as many viewings booked in in one weekend as possible. I had spent some time prior to engagement (ahem) looking at "fantasy venues" so we were able to draw up a shortlist.
Anything that was insanely over budget, too far away or that we didn't like the menu options was instantly out.
We were looking at a hall/ barn type thing which would let us put our spin on things.
So without further ado, a (brief) run down of the 5 venues that we visited!
1- The Old Stables, Swithland
Oh how I adored this venue on paper! It is gorgeous, and if you were to "draw" a wedding venue this would be it. We actually saw this last and both F and I walked out and said... "nah". Capacity was a potential problem (max 120 in the evening) and there was just no real flexibility.
We spoke to the wedding planner and she had said she had got married the summer before. We asked where she got married and it was the venue we have now chosen, so that's got to be good!
2- St Martins House, Leicester
I used to work in hospitality whilst at Uni and had worked some events here. It is a big old school in the city centre. It was a massive room, but that's about it. There are no gardens, unlike some others.
3- Wygston House, Leicester
So this is a 15th century building that has been recently converted into a bar and restaurant. It is stunning! The main issue, unfortunately, was that it has really really low ceiling beams (this sounds so stupid) but F and I are both very tall and there was just no way we would have been comfortable!!
Also, whilst it had a small garden, it was very open and in the centre of Leicester. We decided we didn't really fancy sharing our wedding with Leicester's finest on a Saturday night!
4- The Pumping Station
So this is an old pumping station (clue in the name) which has been converted to a gin bar. It's a relatively new venue. When we went to visit, we all went "wow" as we drove round the corner. It is a truly stunning venue.
We could have long tables (which we always wanted) and it had a gorgeous outside area.
As it is a bar, the drinks were more expensive than other places, and the caterers were provided by one outside catering company.
5- Brooksby Hall, Melton Mowbray
This is an old hall, with beautiful