As the cost and the stress of finding a venue started dawning on me I turned into a crazy frantic sleep deprived loon. Poor Matt had to put up with me bless him, I’d have random moments of just stressing and pacing back and forth as I spilled all my thoughts and worries to him and the whole time he calmly sat on the couch and listened. He never got stressed or shouted at me he just waited until I’d vented and then would tell me it was all going to be fine. Now seriously ladies he is a saint because I was one stressed women. It’s great though because it just goes to prove he is definitely THE ONE. We have a saying in our house he’s ice to my fire which has never been so true.
So we went to see more venues and I was adding all the costings to another one of my spreadsheets. It hurt everytime I looked at it because the costs can be staggering but we ploughed on trying to find a way to lower the costs. We thought about a weekday wedding, even though we wanted a Friday or a Saturday but we had to compromise.
I own a business called Destiny Designs (www.destinydesigns.co.uk) offering marketing, web and graphic design services so I get to work at home. One sunny day I was working away like the busy bee I am, feeling a bit stressed and emotional when I got an email from Matt.
The night before I’d had another insomnia driven rage rant to Matt about how we’d never find a venue to fit our budget.
So he emailed me and said he’d been having a look online and what did I think of this one. www.mangappmanor.co.uk.
Talk about knight in shining armour.
He found a venue that wasn’t advertised on the big wedding venue websites and got all of its business by word of mouth. He’d stumbled onto it by accident after looking for a review on a particular venue. It’s a family run venue and they hold about 40 weddings a year. When I looked at the venue I immediately fell in love it was beyond what I’d dreamed, it looked so tropical almost as if it wasn’t even in this country. And to top it off it was only a 5 minute drive from my mums house so I knew the area. I rang them right away and set up a visit for 2 days later.
When we arrived I was in a weird mood the venue’s website is good and the images are fab but after all the bad experiences with other venues I didn’t want to get my hopes up because the price was probably too steep.
We drove up the drive and finally emerged before the manor house. It was STUNNING and took my breath away. I faintly remember hearing Matt say Wow as we got out of the car. We were instantly greeted by Kate the owner who I immediately clicked with. She gave us a tour and minute by minute I was barely keeping my feet on the ground it was PERFECT.
It was everything I’d ever dreamed of and more.
Have a look at the pictures on the website they speak for themselves. The grounds are immaculate not one leaf was on the grass areas and every flower bed was pristine. But the most amazing bit was the gazebo. We were just shocked because normally brides do the walk and go straight to the hubby to be. But on our day I will be walking to the foot of the gazebo walkway where my dad will pass me to Matt.
Then together we’ll walk the ‘aisle’ towards the actual gazebo, its poetic like were walking into our future gives me chills just thinking about it.
After an amazing tour where everything ticked all the boxes we went inside the beautiful Manor House. We had a quick chat with Kate who explained how everything worked and she handed me THE BIBLE. It’s a very in depth document detailing everything we need to know about getting married at the venue. I mean seriously you cannot get more detailed than this. In the Bible document were all the costings which with Matt being an accountant he knew already it would fit into the budget. After that we said our goodbyes with Bible and costs in hand and left. In the car I turned to Matt with the biggest smile on my face and said it’s the one isn’t it.
He turned back to look at me and I’ll never forget that moment his gorgeous bluey green eyes were sparkling with mischief and he said “Yes it is and I found it.”
He had done it, he’d found THE VENUE and its way more than I had hoped for AND we’re getting married on a Friday.
A few days later we scheduled for Matts mum, my mum and Step dad Ray to have a look. They loved it as well so we paid the deposit and bam that was one big thing ticked of my very long wedding to do list.
What I have learned along the way:
Finding a venue is not easy, it is very stressful but also fun as well. As I said before see as many as you can, really hunt for them don’t just go on the big websites dig deep as there are so many that are not advertised that widely. Also really consider a weekday wedding because the costs for a Saturday wedding are in some cases 50% more expensive. Another thing to consider is if you are happy to share the venue with other brides or if you want an exclusive venue – remember if you go for the exclusive option it is a lot more expensive but it all depends on what you want. I wanted an exclusive venue where I could have the civil ceremony and the wedding breakfast in one place. If you would like to get married in a church don’t forget to add in the costs for this because its not free and I believe you have to attend church a certain amount before the wedding, so just something to take into consideration.