Planning a wedding feels so huge, it's hard to decide where to start. But, as Simon and I wanted to get married a year after our engagement, we made it our priority to lock down dates and places first. Did you know people book their venues TWO YEARS in advance?
First on the agenda was where to say "I do". I'm Scottish, met Simon - a Suffolk boy - in Stirling, then lived in London for seven years, before moving to Suffolk to live with him. We both love Scotland but the idea of trying to plan a wedding in another country made me panic. So, we have decided Suffolk is the location that makes the most sense. In the countryside with lots of flowers, leaves, grass and (hopefully) sunshine.
Our budget is miniscule, so we had to get creative and to be honest this has made finding a venue unbelievably gratifying because ours' - Hawstead Village Hall - is wonderful AND cost very little. Hurrah! I stumbled across it on SuffolkVillageHalls.co.uk and loved it instantly.
It has high ceilings, is barn-like, opens out onto Hawstead Village green and is surrounded by beautiful trees. It's in the middle of the countryside (tick) and renting the place from midday Friday to midday Sunday costs £650. WOW.
Also, the nicest thing about it is the money goes back into funding the hall which hosts yoga, bowling and events for local people. Sonja - a resident who helps look after it - showed us (me, Simon, my dad George, my mum Isabel and their dog Archie) round on a sunny Saturday morning and was completely lovely.
So we've got our reception venue (*air punch*) and the ceremony itself will take place in Sudbury Town Hall. Now, I've just got to track down a caterer, a dress, bridesmaids' dresses, decorations, flowers, bands... yep, still a lot to do but booking venues feels like a good start.