So, since the last update (which was the one where I told you that we’d got engaged) I’ve been in wedding planning bliss. I’ve started off by looking at venues and having a think about what we might like to begin with. Yes, we’ve also looked at colour schemes, bands, entertainment, music.. erm, pretty much everything but for the most part we’ve been concentrating on venues.
There is so much to consider. In fact I feel completely out of my depth with trying to arrange and choose a wedding venue. We know that we would like a barn/country house type venue, so that was where we started looking. We also know that we want to host our wedding in the South East, around Berkshire/Oxfordshire which is where most of our family are based. So that helped narrow down the venues slightly!
I have made a list of our current top five wedding venues which we have been looking at, and I want to share them with you today. I am still not sure which one we will go for, we need to arrange to look around them and ask lots of questions. In fact, our venues might completely change, but these some are options as it stands.
Cantley House Hotel
Cantley House Hotel is a privately owned hotel set in the outskirts of Berkshire, and boasts 50 acres of stunning countryside, a victorian manor house and a 17th century barn. We absolutely loved the look of this setting. Not only do they have the ability to adapt to the size of your wedding party, but there are some stunning grounds for wedding photographs and a beautiful, beautiful barn to host our wedding reception in. This one is definitely near the top of the list.
Notley Abbey is a part of the Bijou Weddings Company, an award winning country house venue in Buckinghamshire. And it’s absolutely stunning. I think that this is currently my favourite wedding venue, we just need to work out our budget! With capacity for up to 172 guests in the day, and 250 in the evening, it’s an intimate venue which has exclusive use and a choice of locations on site to hold your ceremony. It’s truly beautiful and definitely one we are considering.
VOCO Oxford Thames
VOCO Oxford Thames is again another stunning venue, which is just the kind of thing which we are looking for. On the banks of the River Thames and considering itself one of “oxfords best kept secrets” what isn’t to love. It’s full of character and seems to have plenty of choice, you can even get married on a barge on the river if that’s what takes your fancy! How snazzy is that. This is also in our top 3 venues, and one which we will definitely be looking around for sure.
Audleys Wood Hotel
Audleys Wood Hotel is another Victorian mansion, based in Hampshire. There’s a stunning conservatory and a garden pavilion, as well as a gazebo, oak panelled indoor room and plenty of grounds too. Also, they have accommodation on site so there’s plenty of rooms for your guests to use, as well as stunning bridal suits and honeymoon rooms for the bride & groom – perfect!
Herons Farm is a working farm and stunning wedding venue. Set in the heart of West Berkshire with 450 acres of beautiful land. A barn, wood circle, pavilion and gallops give you plenty of choice for your ceremony and provide perfect scenery for the big day. I love the idea of getting married in the outdoors. In a barn with picturesque scenery surrounding us, so this one might be just perfect.
We have picked our current top five wedding venues based on them being manor houses and barns. Which is something we both definitely want. We’ve already spoken with a couple of them and are looking to arrange conversations to discuss our wedding package and what they can offer. I’m really hoping that one of these could be our perfect venue. And that our next update might be to tell you that we’ve set a date and booked our venue!
Have you recently been looking at wedding venues? Can you perhaps give me some advice on what to look for in a wedding venue? Or some good questions to ask when we visit? Leave a comment below, or drop us an email using our contact form because we always love hearing from you! We will be sure to share any useful advice on the blog and our social media accounts as well.