Second time bride Karen Turner returns for her monthly blog instalment, this time sharing her quest for the perfect wedding venue
From the time we got engaged, Mark and I had some quite strong ideas about our wedding; we were both keen on an informal venue which we could make our own. We spent many hours looking at wedding magazines and searching the internet and visited one or two locations just to see how they felt and we very quickly discovered that a hotel style wedding wasn’t for us. They just didn’t feel right, and we felt restricted by menu options and wine packages. And of course given that we have both been married before, we wanted to do something neither of us had experienced while still feeling like a wedding.
So on a cold but sunny day in March we headed over to Waxham Great Barn which is a 15th century barn in Norfolk. It has been beautifully restored, and we both knew as soon as we walked in that we had found our venue.It is very much a DIY wedding venue and the barn provided the blank canvas we desired. When we left we were both buzzing with ideas.
Soon after this we visited a wedding fair and met a very lovely lady who offers vintage props and venue dressing. She seemed to understand our ideas straight away and every time we have met her since she comments on Mark’s quirky shirts and the fact that we are so chilled about our wedding. She has also dressed weddings at Waxham Great Barn previously and had some ideas we would never have thought of. She also introduced us to a lighting company whose owners had got married there themselves - just perfect.
It mattered to us that we could have whatever catering we desired at the barn as we didn’t want the traditional sit-down meal. During the summer we decided to head over to the barn for tea and cake in the coffee shop and to have another look round now that our ideas were taking shape. To our delight, we discovered that a wedding was happening that day and the bride arrived just as we did. They had a fabulous barbecue caterer and we spent much of our afternoon watching their food being prepared as well as eavesdropping on the guests who said they wished they had known there was a gravel courtyard and an uneven floor in the barn. This has subsequently informed my choice of footwear for the day, and we will be advising our guests not to wear stilettos.
When Mark was married for the first time in 1987 he was in the Royal Navy and was subsequently away for much of the time and had no input at all; it was very much a matter of going with the choices made by his ex-wife. My first wedding was very traditional and we had a sit-down wedding breakfast in a local pub with a function room. It was lovely at the time, but these days choices for couples getting married are limitless; you can marry in so many venues and the choice of caterers, cakes, transport, flowers and entertainment is vast but bewildering.
Our wedding is now only 180 days away as I write this and our vision is slowly taking shape. We are really looking forward to seeing Waxham Great Barn ready for our wedding and can’t wait for May 2018 to arrive.