Poised on the 'Publish' button for the review of the first of five venues that we visited in our search, I realised that I have not properly shared the hazy criteria with which we armed ourselves for our illuminating visits.
The guest list of large families and plentiful friends is currently topping out at 140 guests and that is without allowing for single friends to bring partners (unlikely to happen but an indication of our attempts at frugality).
We wanted a venue that would manage civil ceremony and reception for the full contingent. Something about guests missing the important bit of the day but being invited along for a few beers just strikes an odd chord with me.
While both of us have religious backgrounds, inasmuch as we both sang in choirs for a large chunk of our childhoods, neither of us are comfortable with a fully religous ceremony, but neither are we prepared to go without the awe and splendour of a full service of celebration. Music and words are important to both the Boy and myself, and we are determined that the service will not be over in a matter of moments but bring together the most important elements of our relationship and how we feel about one another.
So, in short, we have looked for:
- Seating and feeding 140 with flexibility of menus and alcohol provision a bonus
- Ample accomodation at a fair price within easy distance of the venue
- Barn/countryside feel but within a reasonable distance of our new home in southern Hertfordshire
We set out believing that a barn was a barn was a barn.
How very wrong we were...