Brief (but exciting!) update…

On Saturday I am going to The Wedding Shop to try on a dress I had them order in from the designer… I first went to them to try on dresses many months ago and had a lovely experience. To say I’m excited would be an understatement. I’ve literally been too excited to sleep some nights! Ridiculous I know. Hopefully it won’t be a massive disappointment on Saturday. It’s the dress I keep looking at, that ticks an awful lot of boxes in terms of it suiting me (in theory) and the one I’ve put off looking at because I thought I’d easily find something else in all the other millions of shops I’ve looked in… But after trying on over 37 dresses now I still haven’t found ‘The One’ or even ‘nearly The One’ so all my hopes, rightly or wrongly, are pinned on this dress… I don’t have a plan B yet, here’s hoping I won’t need one!

My wedding dress. Not.

My wedding dress. Not.

Perhaps rather bizarrely I’ve been having nightmares about the loos at The Barn Brasserie. I kept dreaming I couldn’t fit in the loo to go or that I had to go in the dodgy disabled loo that didn’t lock properly… All very strange. I decided it was about time I checked the loos out (I know I’m sad, I know I’m weird for worrying about these things!) and so husband-to-be and I went for a meal there last night which was absolutely delicious and I’m euphoric to say that the loos are possibly the nicest I’ve ever seen anywhere! And they are big – clearly designed for brides. Thank Jesus for that.

The Barn Brasserie

The Barn Brasserie

As well as trying on the dress I’ve been lusting after for months, I’m also going to see David on Saturday. My rings have come back from the engravers and I get to see the designs! I have to say I’m both excited and scared about seeing them. What if I don’t like them? Only time will tell… I will try and get photos!

After much designers angst I have at last finalised my ‘Save the Date’ design and have been liaising with the local printing company about getting them printed up. We’re looking at magnets and postcards at present. If postcards are much cheaper then we’ll go for those.

I went to Wivenhoe House today at lunchtime to take a look at all their lovely rooms (the suites and luxury suites are all decorated differently you see). I got a tour of the place and fell in love with one of the rooms (I can’t tell you too much here as it will be a surprise for husband-to-be). I have fired off an e-mail so hopefully we should be able to book it.

Wivenhoe House Hotel superior room

Wivenhoe House Hotel superior room

Exciting times!

Reviewing the situation – exciting news!

Back of Westwood Park

Following on from my last post, after some discussion the other half and I are (still) going to try for May 2014. Given the limited time we have to save, we have set ourselves a much more affordable budget of £10k.

Super exciting news – after considerable ponderance and investigative work we have found ourselves a stunning venue where we can have our ceremony: Westwood Park.
They will allow us to have just the ceremony and photos there for a very reasonable sum indeed! OH and I went for a look around Westwood Park a few weekends ago and I have to say… W.O.W. I got excited looking at the website, but Oh. Em. Gee it is truly stunning in the flesh. I had to try and contain myself when she was showing us around.

We are on the verge of booking it, just waiting for them to get back to me with possible dates. 😀

Once Westwood Park has been booked we will need to book a reception venue. The options we are considering (that are Colchester-based) are:

Wivenhoe House is lovely but very expensive, after some enquiries it became clear that it was outside of our budget but we will almost certainly stay there the night of our wedding. When they first opened after their refurb I was given a tour of the place and their feature rooms are stunning.

I went to Mimosa for lunch today and was very very pleasantly surprised by the venue, and I have to say the food was utterly wonderful (on a par with my favourite restaurant in the world, Mussi’s). It also has the bonus of having a grand piano and a small stage. I plan to have a singer in the evening and am very excited by the prospect of telling my singing teacher (who has very kindly offered her expert services!) that she will have a small stage and the option of a pianist!

I am currently waiting to hear back from Mimosa with regards to prices.

Weekend after next we will pay a visit to The Old Siege House (I haven’t been there in a while) to assess food and venue.

Exciting stuff! Once I’ve booked Westwood Park we can then book the photographer! There is only one photographer I’m interested in having: the amazing Hannah MacGregor of Funky Photographers.

Could I be making progress at last? I would dare not speak so soon! 🙂

Woodhall Manor Drool-a-thon…

Woodhall Manor, Woodbridge, Suffolk

I went with one of my bridesmaids to visit Woodhall Manor in Woodbridge (near Ipswich, Suffolk) on Sunday.

Oh. My. God.

I knew it was going to be good (their Facebook page has some fabulous pictures of the venue: and so does their website: but holy moly was it AMAZING. I swear I practically hyperventilated at the point in time I wandered into the bridal suite and spotted the biggest four-poster bed you’ve ever seen. When I turned around and spotted the enormous bath (could easily seat 4) I think I Ally and I both stopped breathing.

Grounds of Woodhall Manor

Grounds of Woodhall Manor

The grounds are absolutely stunning, they even have a dove house complete with doves just above the area where you can get married (if you wanted to get married outside). The venue and grounds are immaculately kept, which is not always the case (Braxted Park, Layer Marney Tower, more on those later). The building is amazing and I love that there are lots of rooms to get lost in so if you don’t want to spend the evening dancing you can go and spend time in the lounge-cum-bar area (I expect to find my husband there from about 7pm onwards on the day, given that he is positively phobic when it comes to dancing).

There are some lovely little touches. The room where the bride gets ready (right at the top of the house, away from everything and lavishly decorated) is beautiful and has a little balcony overlooking the grounds. There are at least two different rooms you can get married in, and you can also choose to get married outside just under the dove house.

Bridal suite

Bridal suite

According to the price list I picked up on Sunday, at time of writing you are looking (for their basic package, in May) at around £105 per person but that does include drinks, 3-course wedding breakfast and evening buffet amongst other things. Also includes exclusive hire of the venue for the day. You pay extra for accommodation, I believe there is a minimum number of rooms you must book depending on the time of year (e.g. during peak season you have to book quite a few of the rooms).

Woodhall Manor

Drive leading to Woodhall Manor

So, in summary, I think it is safe to say that Woodhall Manor is looking like a _serious_ contender…