Confessions of a Bride-to-be: It would appear that I'm a control freak

Hello again! July!! One year until the wedding! I am crossing all fingers and toes that the weather we’re having now, is a reflection of what’s to come next year; although the garden (where we’re having the celebration) is currently very brown and sad looking. The only green spots are where the (many) weeds and brambles are still managing to thrive. Craig is very unsettled by it! The lawn is his baby…he has wasted many hours looking at water irrigation systems and looking on Ebay for farm style sprinklers. We were at the pub yesterday for lunch with my family. My brother was reading the specials menu, which he’d taken a photo of on his phone. I noticed Craig hadn’t been paying attention and was just looking at his phone, so, like the annoying wife-to-be that I am, I called him out on it, “What was that starter again, Craig?” … “…eerrmm…..?” We all laughed as Craig being in his own little world isn’t a rare occurrence! “I..I..I was looking at hose reviews!!” Oh dear. Of course, Dad wanted to check his phone to check what kind of “hose” he was talking about and my brother made the “Bro’s before hose!” comments. We’re all suck geeks, aren’t we!

Confession 10: It would appear that I’m a control freak

This month, I thought I’d give an insight into the pros and cons of having the venue as your garden, a field near your house etc.. A lot of people have said to me that they think that is something they would like to do. It seems to be a way people are going nowadays, with venues asking for extortionate amounts of money to hire them for the day. I know I have always wanted a relaxed “get together” in the garden. However, when I was temping, as a receptionist at a very well-known company, but was situated in the middle of nowhere and had around 5 guests a day, I found I had a lot of time on my hands and ended up on Google quite a lot!

I found a venue that looked absolutely incredible and would give me the exact kind of day Craig and I had spoken about. We could have got married in the morning with our family and then had friends over in the afternoon to play games and chill out in the huge gardens there. There was swimming pool, place to have a BBQ and all guests would have been able to have accommodation on site. I got so excited because it was going to take the pressure off us a little a bit so I requested a price and got a quote of £50,000 back!! I know that that is exceptionally high, a lot higher than average, but, even if we had that money, it didn’t feel like that was worth the price of us having a little less stress. I think a normal price for a venue seems to be around £20,000 - £25,000. Food is often not included in that so will need to be added on, as well as DJs, bands, photo booths, bar etc.. Sometimes “wedding planners” are included in that price, to help you sort things out for the day and arrange everything on the morning of. So is that price actually worth it? Is it better to have it at a zero cost venue and have the responsibility of sorting everything out yourself? Or is it better to pay £25,000 and have that pressure reduced.

I suppose it totally depends on you as a person and as a couple. Having your own garden as your venue means you can get it exactly how you picture it in your head (although does that actually ever happen?!). You can put flowers where you want flowers, or decking where you want decking but it also means that things have to go on hold. For example, I would love a vegetable patch in our new garden and I reeeeaaaally want a “sunken garden” – more of a sunken patio – in the middle of the garden.

 

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(Images from Pinterest)

They are hey will have to wait so that we have enough space for the food truck, marquee, people in general, though. For me this is really difficult as I hate not being able to tick things off my to-do list! There is also, and I suppose this is unique to us, the worry of the house not being finished. It will be built but I worried about whether we’ll have had time to make flowers beds, the patio near the house, have demolished the garage and lean to and then had time for a lawn to grow where they once stood!!

 
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If we’d hired a venue, we wouldn’t be having these stresses and we could get everything done as we were ready to. Then again, if it was at a “proper” venue, then I’d be worrying about having so little time to set up at a venue and not really having much control over it. It would be someone else’s responsibility – for me that’s a bit scary but for someone else that could be brilliant! Another reason I’m excited to have it in our garden, is that it’s our home. I can totally relax. Home is my happy place. I would feel on edge if we were somewhere posh! I’d worry about accidentally breaking things! It is a silly one, I know! I don’t really know how to explain it! We’d like a more relaxed feel to the day anyway, with people in casual clothes that they feel comfortable in, and I think having it in a garden, where we’ve had lots of family get-togethers before, will help. One concern I do have, with having it at home, is that people will be too polite! I want it to be easy for people to help themselves to drinks, for example, so will have a table top where they can do this.

I will ask some special people to replenish this when required too…but, in all honestly, will probably just do it myself as I enjoy doing things like that! I’m sure, as the day goes on, people will settle into it and start to help themselves more. I am also worried that people will get bored! It will be quite a long afternoon. It will start around 2pm and go on until 10:30pm ish. It’s quite a long time for people to be in one place. At a “normal” wedding, you’d probably have the ceremony around 2pm, then some photos and nibbles, then go to the venue at around 4, have a sit down meal around 5 and then some dancing and speeches from around 7. There are lots of different parts to it and lots of moving around to break it up. To try and solve this, we’re making our own photo booth area and buying some garden games. I’m hoping to have quite a lot of food at different times of the day and a musician coming to play for an hour. Hopefully it will be ok. I think, so long as it’s sunny, people are always happy to chill out in a garden! At most venues, you organise your own food and music anyway, so this hasn’t been an added stress for just us. The only worry is, it’s our problem if there is a power cut from an overdose of electricity. Argh!

I am really happy with our decision and I think Craig is too. I would totally recommend having your party at a venue you’ve created yourself. It saves money, to spend on a honeymoon, or on creating more memories for your life together. It gives you freedom to make your own decisions and to be in control of what happens. Then again, ask me again in June next year, and I may give you a very different answer!!

See you next month,
Emma