Now that Christmas is over we have started the process of choosing a Hertfordshire wedding venue. I really didn’t know what to look for. You go to other people’s weddings and see the good things about their wedding, but it’s such a personal time. You really do have to look deep inside yourself and decide what you really want from your day and if your venue can provide that.
Some of the things that we want are:
- Something unique. Having both worked in hotels we aren’t a fan of ‘package’ weddings.
- Family friendly. We now have quite a few friends with children and obviously we have Oliver too as well as nieces and nephews.
- Somewhere that is licensed to hold a ceremony as well as the reception. We want to spend the whole day together without worrying about transporting people.
- Somewhere that can be split in to different ‘zones’. We can then have an area for children, a quiet area for elderly relatives as well as all the lively action you’d usually expect.
- An easy-going feel. We are both pretty relaxed people so I couldn’t deal with a place that felt too uptight or regimented.
- Raw beauty. I know that everybody wants a beautiful venue, but I really love seeing the raw beauty of a building, for example the beams in a barn. I really love places that have a bit of rustic charm.
- Good food that isn’t standard ‘wedding’ food. A plate of chicken, veg and potatoes just won’t do it.
- The ability to bring in our own AV requirements. R is quite fussy about sound (it is his job!) and I know a bad sounds system would be irritating him the whole day!
I’m not naive though, I know that our list of wants will probably get bigger as we look at more venues, and also find that some of the ‘ideal’ venues are out of our price range. Not to mention finding a venue where you have to let your head rule your heart. The other thing is compromise. I completely understand that we are never going to get every single thing that we want from a venue. We have to decide which are the most important aspects and where we can compromise.
From the list above we have been searching for wedding venues online and gave ourselves a shortlist. We live in Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire so we are looking at places that are within an hour’s drive from our house to give us a broad range of locations.
The Hertfordshire wedding venue shortlist:
The Grange and Cavendish Country Houses – only one of which is licensed for civil ceremonies in Northwood and Eastcote respectively
Micklefield Hall in Sarratt, near Rickmansworth/Watford.
The Priory in Little Wymondley
Chiltern Open Air Museum in Chalfont St Giles
They all have a similar theme – barns or old houses. We really like the look and feel of them, but I’m not sure any of them really have everything that we want when it comes to choosing a wedding venue. However they are all pretty much within our budget.
If budget weren’t so much of an issue we’d include South Farm in Royston too.
How did you choose your wedding venue? Was there anything that you had to have? What did you compromise on?
Linking up to