#2) Finding a venue
We were quite lucky really, as we knew even before we were engaged that we would love to marry in mount Stewart, we’d been on walks around the grounds loads of times over the years and walked up the hill to the Temple of The Winds one day whenever it just happened to be set up for a wedding and just thought it was gorgeous.
Then Ross took me to Mt Stewart for a picnic for my birthday and we sat under a willow tree by the lake, feeding the ducks, looking out for little fish and dragonflies, and Ross got down on one nervous knee and proposed – Mount Stewart just seemed like such a special place to us and we couldn’t imagine marrying anywhere else!
A week later I requested information through the National trust website on hiring Mount Stewart as a venue, there was a lot of information, which seemed a little overwhelming but was needed!
We arranged to view the Temple and a wonderful girl showed us around, she was so passionate about the place and so friendly and open, it was a great help!
Mount Stewart suits us as a ceremony venue but we need somewhere else as a reception venue, this is where things got a little tricky!
I spent weeks looking online at all the different Hotel packages on offer, and there were some great deals, but as a crafty / DIY kinda girl I really wanted somewhere where I could have a bit more control over decor and how things are done.
A few of my friends were marrying last summer and could give me good advice on the packages they received, the deals some of them got seemed fantastic, but when I looked at the venues I just couldn’t see it being for us! Ross wasn’t as opinionated as me but agreed.
My mum works part time in the yacht club and suggested we take a look there, we met her one day when it was quiet and had a good nosey about... and loved it!
So we’ve just booked that too!
We’ve really been very lucky, we’ve only viewed two venues and loved and booked them both! Although hats not to say I didn’t shop around, I think I currently have 50-60 wedding package brochures downloaded on my laptop or in a pile under my desk!
My advice when looking at potential venues is;
· Visit places that aren’t necessarily your first choice, it will give you a good idea of what the competition are offering, and something to compare other place to.
· Ask to view venues while they are set up for a wedding, it can be hard to imagine a big empty space as anything else! Plus it may give you ideas of how you want/ don’t want things set up for your big day!
· Print out as much info as you can before you view, do your homework and you’ll know the right questions to ask and what to expect.
· Don’t put all your eggs in one basket – somewhere you’ve been dreaming of might just turn out to be unsuitable, make sure you won’t feel too disappointed if this happens!
· Take notes, wedding and event co-ordinators show couples around all the time, you may only visit a place once – make sure you get all the info you can and get them to confirm what you write - it will mean you can show prices/ sizes/ offers they quote if you decide to book!
This all started six months ago nearly and in the very early days of our engagement so a bit overwhelming and it wasn’t a great time to focus and take in a lot of info, now we are planning properly; we have booked Mount Stewart and the Yacht club, but not yet finalised the details, so I’m sure I’ve still a lot to learn!!