If I was getting married again, this would be my venue
I'm kicking off this new blog series by living out my 2022 wedding fantasies and diving into what I would choose if I was planning a wedding right now.
It's been five years since I was planning my own wedding and in that time not only has the wedding landscape changed, but I've become a wedding supplier too! My husband and I are also totally different people to the ones who got married in December 2017 - we've lived through a pandemic, become parents, and found ourselves in our early thirties; all things that have impacted how we see things and where our priorities lie.
So this week, I wanted to kick off with the VENUE - generally the very first thing couples decide on and arguably the most important. Without somewhere to host your shindig, there's no way of moving forward.
What we did:
Back in 2017, we married at the gorgeous Aynhoe Park. It was a stunning venue that we fell head-over-heels with. It had room for our nearest and dearest to stay in the most stunning accommodation, it was bursting with beautiful and quirky curiosities, and a floating giraffe to watch over us in the ceremony space (giraffes have been my favourite animal since I was a little girl). My husband and I were both working corporate jobs and with no dependents or big financial responsibilities, we could afford to splash the cash on our dream venue. I don't regret it for a minute, but if I was planning a wedding now? Impossible. Our financial situation is completely different and - heartbreakingly - the iconic Anyhoe Park was sold last year and is no longer hosting events. If Aynhoe is your vibe, the owners have purchased Parnham House (now Parnham Park) which they are in the process of working their particular brand of luxury magic on!
Anyhoe Park on our wedding day - photo credit Especially Amy
What I'd do now:
We had a late December wedding which was absolutely the right choice for 2017 Tom and Petra; it celebrated our love of Christmas and the planning of those details gave me so much joy. However, now we have a family, our Decembers are manic. We barely get chance to celebrate our anniversary as December is bursting with family birthdays and Christmas preparations. There's already so much joy in December, we could afford to spread it out a bit if we were to do it again!
So, if we were planning this now, I'd want an outdoor ceremony in late spring, closer to home and with plenty of space for our guests.
The first place that springs to mind is the incredible Wellington Wood in Norfolk. It is 30 minutes from our home and the moment I stood in that ceremony space, surrounded by the cathedral-like trees, I felt a sense of complete and utter peace. There is a gorgeous giant tipi for the evening reception which looks incredible in those twinkly evening lights, and plenty of on-site accommodation ranging from a cottage for the couple, and shepherd huts and bell tents for guests. The owners, Vicky and Paul, are just a dream - so welcoming, accommodating and environmentally focused. All in all, there's nothing not to like about this gorgeous place. It would definitely be top of our list if we were looking for a venue now.
In summary, Wellington Wood is the perfect venue for 2022 Tom and Petra because:
choice of ceremony spaces (the woodland circle is a dream)
it has plenty of on-site accommodation
the vibe is brilliant - laidback, peaceful, chilled
gorgeous giant tipis for the evening reception - disco balls and festoon lights galore!
nothing is too much trouble for the super-friendly owners
couple's choice of catering
super-cute licensed bar
If you're looking for a stunning outdoor or woodland venue, then go check them out!
Next week in this blog series starts I'll be getting into the nitty-gritty of the ceremony and reception by focusing on all things musical. See you there!