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Beginner September 2018

Struggling with venue?!!

Ker2018, 9 of March of 2016 at 20:36 Posted on Planning 0 41

Hi!!

Ok so we started the hunt for a venue for our 2018 wedding - I don't know about anyone else but I am struggling to find venues I like enough online to go and look at!

We went and saw Gaynes Park this week it looked great but the visit was a disaster and for the 8.5k venue price we were less then impressed.... we are from Berkshire and although not ideal will travel for the perfect venue with accommodation on site and must be exclusive!

Suggestions anyone?? Booked to see Wasing Park in the next week

41 replies

Latest activity by CantwaittobeMrsDavies17, 17 of June of 2016 at 15:23
  • Jayne E
    VIP
    Jayne E ·
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    Can't help I'm afraid but hello ? congratulations and welcome to Hitched. Good luck with your venue hunt.

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  • E
    Beginner
    ExpensiveBrownDiamonds1257 ·
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    It would probably be helpful if you told us what kind of venue you had in mind. Are you looking for a country house or something different? I ended up booking an exclusive use venue by chance because we had other criteria (on site lodging for our international guests, longer than normal reception time) that really limited the number of venues we could pick from. Also, do you want to hold your ceremony at the same venue?

    Another thing I would recommend is that if you are interested in a venue that requires you to choose from a list of suppliers, do research on and get quotes from these suppliers before you put down a deposit on the venue. The last thing you want is to book a venue you love and then realize you are stuck using suppliers that you don't like or who are more expensive than you were expecting.

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  • K
    Beginner September 2018
    Ker2018 ·
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    Ha that would be helpful!! ? thanks for responding!

    Looking at a venue to have a civil ceremony and reception at, I liked the idea of Gaynes because it was more then one building/room.

    We also viewed Leez Priory the same day it was beautiful but had a couple of niggles which I am sure most venues will just didn't get that this is the one feeling from it.

    I like the idea of somewhere with a country feel to it I do seem to be drawn to venues that have barns!

    looking at 75-90 for the ceremony and 125-150 for the reception.

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  • R
    Beginner May 2018
    rusticbride90 ·
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    I had thiis exact problem and have turned into the worst bride to be ever because of it. I couldnt find anywhere, all the pics online put me off looking and i ended up with nowhere left other than to book a venue which i hadnt even seen as it wasnt finished being built....and now i regret it big style!!

    Last night i went to a wedding fayre at somewhere i point blank refused to look at as a venue and i loved it! Im now considering giving up my deposit on the unfinished venue and booking this one instead. My unwillingness to look at venues because of what they looked like online is looking as if its going to have wasted me a big chunk of money which i paid as a deposit!

    I would say look anywhere and everywhere, the more the better, even if you dont like the look of them online as in person they could really wow you, and this is speaking from experience.

    Dont turn into me, its a nightmare haha xx

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  • M
    Beginner August 2016
    Moonbeam88 ·
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    Finding a venue took us ages also, be prepared to go visit loads as others have said and don't stress if it takes you a while, it's more important that it's right for you! Make a list of what you want into absolutes musts, then pretty important then would likes. That should help you ensure the venue suits what you need.

    We are marrying at Stubton Hall, an exclusive use country house in Newark, Nottinghamshire. It is probably too far for you...although when we went to one of our planning meetings I was shocked at how many of the other couples were London based. We needed it to be within an hour from home for our grandparents travelling but if you are happy to travel wherever you have free reign so embrace the search and enjoy it!

    xx

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  • K
    Beginner September 2018
    Ker2018 ·
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    Thank you for the advice that's why we looked at Leez ha ha because we thought we do need to look at more!

    The only thing I am worried about is getting a date sorted we are pretty easy going but I am very conscious of how quickly venues fill up!!

    I promise to look at not dismiss so quickly!!!

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  • S
    Beginner September 2017
    Sorbet ·
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    I feel the pain... venue is the hardest part, we have looked at about 10 and NON have looked like their photos - most you couldnt even swing a cat in dispite looking big in pictures ? guess its all just trick angles

    we cant find anything that is what we want so I have a huge list of things that tick some boxes... its driving me insane

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  • E
    Beginner
    ExpensiveBrownDiamonds1257 ·
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    The part I found most difficult was finding a venue that was scenic but just as nice inside. There were so many venues in my area that have beautiful grounds, but if the ceremony and reception are inside you don't really get to see them. So the venues were charging high prices for scenic locations and then offering function rooms with low ceilings and minimal windows.

    If you're struggling, try to think outside the box. One of my friends really wanted a barn venue, but in our area they easily rent for 10-15k and a lot of them don't have toilets or tables and chairs. She was able to find a country club/golf course venue that had a beautiful function room with cathedral ceilings, exposed wooden beams and lots of windows. So although from the outside it doesn't look like it would have the rustic vibe she was looking for, the actual function room is very different. And as a bonus she has all the beautiful grounds of the golf course for photos.

    Another thing you might want to consider is lighting. My SIL was married at a country house in a barn, but when you look at all the photos there is zero ambiance because they relied on the stark overhead lighting. Subtle uplighting, or even the ability to dim the overhead lights of the venue and use candlelight or cafe/twinkle lights instead, can make a huge difference.

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  • L
    Beginner May 2016
    littleredfairy ·
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    I back the idea of a golf club. Barns are stunning but they often need to be dressed which is an additional cost. We got married at Woldingham Golf Club in Surrey having looked as far afield as Wiltshire and Berkshire. Toilets and catering are already in place!

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  • Mrsjones2024
    Rockstar June 2024 Essex
    Mrsjones2024 ·
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    I live in Essex and we looked at about seven venues. I also dismissed loads online!

    Here are a few that I can think of:

    Maidens Barn (I've never been here but have heard it is nice and my colleague at work is getting married there this year)

    Vaulty Manor (I have been to two receptions here. I think they have separate ceremony and reception areas)

    Hylands House ( I LOVED this place but it only accommodates 80 day guests unfortunately so wasn't big enough for us)

    Prested Hall (we very nearly booked here)

    Newlands Hall (I didn't like how you would have to get married in the marquee if it rained and nowhere to stay overnight)

    Stockbrook Manor (lovely if you like modern venues)

    Orsett Hall (I didn't like the reception rooms but the chapel is lovely there)

    Gosfield Hall (I have been to two weddings here. Lovely venue but it is very "separate")

    Reid Rooms (I have been to a wedding here and it was nice)

    Blake Hall (I was bridesmaid here and venue and grounds are lovely)

    We are getting married at Creeksea Place which is the last place we visited. We almost didn't go to see it but as soon as I walked in, I fell in love. When you find your venue, you will know. All of the other places that I visited were just missing a little something for me (besides Hylands House. I would have booked that but OH said no as not big enough!

    Can I ask why Gaynes Park was awful? I have been to two weddings here (bridesmaid at one) and both were amazing! I would have seriously considered booking here if two of our close friends hadn't have got married here!

    Good luck with your search! X

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  • Neil Walker Photography
    Neil Walker Photography ·
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    Braxted Park is a beautiful venue

    http://www.neilwalkerphotography.co.uk/braxted-park-wedding-photographer-essex-wedding-venue/

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  • K
    Beginner August 2017
    katiepoppycat ·
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    Don;t rule out slightly off the wall venues like museums and council properties . . . one of the lovelliest venues I've ever seen is Avoncroft Museum of Buildings in Bromsgrove. Equally, we're getting married in a council owned Jacobean manor house, and having our reception in a brewery's community building (in Leeds) - an art deco dance hall with a fully sprung floor. I knew about the hall because it's a dance venue, but they are so accommodating and are only charging me £400 for room hire!!!!!!!

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  • K
    Beginner September 2018
    Ker2018 ·
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    Hey!

    Thanks for your advice I will have a look at them! Gaynes Park was not for us, the lady was not ready for us no lights on etc, we did not like the fact the gather barn looks out to the car park and the toilets, the main barns and orangery were in need some maintenance peeling paint round windows etc. Just felt it lacked real wow factor esp given the price tag - the viewing felt like an open house where the estate agent just does the needful no 'special' feeling at all.

    Really hoping that Wasing Park is better as that is nearer home and I love how it looks online!

    X

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  • K
    Beginner September 2018
    Ker2018 ·
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    Thanks to all that have responded to my thread!

    I am hunting online again and attempting not to be so dismissive!

    Ker xx

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  • Laura Ellen Photography
    Beginner May 2014
    Laura Ellen Photography ·
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    We married in 2014 and the venue was one of my biggest headaches too! Keep open-minded and take a notebook with you to write down the pros and cons of each venue. It can be tiring and frustrating at the best of times, so having notes helps massively.

    Off the top of my head, South Farm and Bassmead Manor Barns might be worth a peek. Both in the Cambridge area have accommodation too. There's also Farbridge in Sussex or Gate Street Barn in Surrey. Coco Wedding Venues is a pretty fab site for venues actually.

    Hope it helps.

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  • B
    Bruce Neville Photography ·
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    Oh my son got married last year and what a nightmare that was finding a venue. Now we are looking again for my daughters wedding, well I'm not looking they are?, mainly online but I do know what you are going through.

    Wasing park looks stunning by the way?

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  • Mrsjones2024
    Rockstar June 2024 Essex
    Mrsjones2024 ·
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    Ah I see. The venue does centre around the car park and what I didn't like was how small the dance floor was. Pallas, if you got married I'm the summer, I imagine that everyone would be outside in that car park bit and not inside as there is no "flowing outside space". Good luck with your search! X

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  • hazelnut_whirl
    Beginner June 2016
    hazelnut_whirl ·
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    Hi

    I saw some Essex venues mentioned. We are getting married this June in Channels, Chelmsford, Essex.

    The venue is on a golf course so it has amazing grounds and we are getting married/having our reception in a barn. The barn does not look like much on the outside but inside it is beautifully done so needs minimal decoration. The ceremony is held in a side section which overlooks a patio area and the reception is in the main central part. You also have the option of getting married outside with your guests sitting on beautiful old restored church pews. There is also a lodge and a cottage on site for accommodation.

    I do not know if it what you are looking for but it might be worth checking it out. I was surprised how much a lot of venues charge but Channels seemed a bit more reasonable than most we looked at.

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  • Justkeepswimming
    Beginner July 2016
    Justkeepswimming ·
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    Wading park looks lovely! That was one of the ones on my shortlist but I never actually went to look at it. I would say just book a few viewings in and don't put too much pressure on yourself, enjoy the process of going to different places and having a nose around! I think it's hard to tell from online what it's really like, you need to go in person to get a feel for the place. Some that looked great online were awful in real life and some looked OK online we loved! I think I must have looked at about 10 venues over the course of about 6 months but I went with my mum and we just enjoyed it as a day out really! it soon becomes clear whether you want a barn/stalely home/hotel/vintage/country venue, which should help narrow down your search.

    good luck!

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  • K
    Beginner September 2018
    Ker2018 ·
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    Hi All!!!

    Thanks for all of your advice! Went to see Wasing Park today it was stunning but no 'this is the one' feel! However it is top of the list, the only thing that got me was they wanted 50% venue fee plus £1800 catering fee upfront but only accepted BACS or Cheque???? In this day and age?

    I don't know about anyone else but I don't happen to have over 5k lying around! Are other venues asking this of you if you go to book?

    I get that deposits need to be paid but its the payment part that I am baffled by!

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  • Mrsjones2024
    Rockstar June 2024 Essex
    Mrsjones2024 ·
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    Wow that's a lovely venue! I've never heard of it before. I don't think that's the norm. We paid a £1500 deposit to our venue via credit then we just paid that off first before we started saving the money in a joint account. I'm not sure if any of that money went to the caterers or not. How are they justifying that much? X

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  • K
    Beginner September 2018
    Ker2018 ·
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    Hi FutureMrsSmith!

    Well when we looked at the availability they had there were lots of Saturdays left for June to Sept 2018 and I am not surprised when asking for such a big lump up front!

    Only looked at three so far:

    Gaynes Park - even more expensive then Wasing and was just not good at all

    Leez Priory - booked as something else to see being that Gaynes and Wasing are so similar we both really liked this one but it has niggles

    Wasing Park - I have loved this venue from afar for ages and although it did not disappoint it didn't blow me away either

    So it's back to the drawing board!

    Feels like one extreme to the other Wasing wants over 5k yet Leez only wanted £500 to secure a date!

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  • Mrsjones2024
    Rockstar June 2024 Essex
    Mrsjones2024 ·
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    Hi.

    Hmm I'm not surprised! We had to save for about 3/4 months before we could start booking other things! I didn't bother looking at Leez as I know it has lots of separate rooms which I didn't like. Did you look at Maidens Barn online? Or Blake Hall? They are both barn type venues which you may like. Or Crabbs Barn? Crondon Park? Vaulty Manor? Smeetham Hall Barns? Old Brook Barn? How many guests have you got? I loved The Old Parish Rooms in Hockley but they can only accommodate 75 guests. It's bugging me now that you can't find anywhere ha! X

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  • E
    Beginner
    ExpensiveBrownDiamonds1257 ·
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    I've only had one vendor so far that has accepted a credit card and that was my videographer. Everything else needed to be paid by cheque. My venue actually needed to be paid completely up front: 50% deposit and the second half one month later. ? At least that is one big expense we don't have to worry about anymore.

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  • S
    Beginner October 2017
    SunnyPurpleDecor523 ·
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    I am planning on getting married 2017/2018 and also live in essex , I am having trouble choosing a venue , I looked at gayness park but didn't love it as much as I thought I was gonna , the garden didn't seem that nice the flowers and trees were lifeless , I looked at gayness park , three rivers golf club , orsett hall , fennes and friern manor . so 5 venues and got it down to 3 , orsett hall , friern manor and fennes and I cant decided
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  • katieJ2b
    Beginner October 2016
    katieJ2b ·
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    I'm getting married at Maidens Barn in Chelmsford this October. I'm biased but it's gorgeous ☺️

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  • Peter
    Peter ·
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    Add Fanhams Hall to your list of possibles.......excellent venue inside and out and the grounds are absolutely superb...

    This was a very very late in the day wedding

    Peter

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  • K
    Beginner September 2018
    Ker2018 ·
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    Hi All!!

    Thank you so much for all of your responses, I should mention that I do not actually live in Essex I just picked Gaynes Park because I really liked it and Leez Priory was one my OH picked out!

    Have you all got a 'feeling' when you've looked around 'the one'?? I have told my OH to just book in visits the she thinks we both will like because I cannot help but be super dismissive, as I said previously Wasing was stunning and this is a venue that I have cooed over for a long time but it just felt like something was missing and I don't know what?!

    As it works the areas/rooms to stop in/location but I didn't get that spark, I just don't know if I am putting too much pressure on something to be perfect!

    I am located in Berkshire but I am willing to travel as lots of family have to travel anyway so as long as there are sufficient rooms on site I don't mind!

    MrsFutureSmith - it is around 80 in the day and 125 for the evening! ?

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  • Mrsjones2024
    Rockstar June 2024 Essex
    Mrsjones2024 ·
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    Ah I see! I thought you lived in Essex, so sorry! I definitely got the feeling with my venue. I saw about five others. Really liked the first one I saw but I wasn't sure about the room we would have to get married in if it rained and we couldn't get married outside. Looked at other venues and they all lacked something. I was considering just booking the first venue we saw. I then booked an appointment with my venue. I had already kind of ruled it out as it was expensive. On the day of the appointment, OH had just come back from a stag do and was feeling rather delicate. He didn't want to go and wanted me to cancel it. I said we couldn't as I had confirmed the appointment and we had to be there in 45 minutes! Anyway, we went and as soon as we parked up, I loved it. Then, as we looked around, I just knew it was "the one". You will get there, don't worry X

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  • M
    Beginner July 2017
    Much_ado_about_weddings ·
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    Yeh, we also got the feeling that our chosen venue was 'the one'. Just as well, as we only viewed three! We both loved th first one we saw and decided it was probably going to be a yes before we even left Smiley smile

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  • AnthonyWinyardEntertainment
    AnthonyWinyardEntertainment ·
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    When drawing up venues for a shortlist it can be helpful to not just look at the venue website and their photos of the venue but to look at video of the venue on YouTube. That can help give you a better idea of each place.

    If you're in Berkshire there are lots of great venues near you - all around Berks, Herts, Bucks etc.

    To name just a few:

    The Priory, Herts WWW.THEPRIORY.NET/

    Henry Moore Foundation, Herts https://www.henry-moore.org/

    The Manor, Herts www.lauraashleyhotels.com/themanorelstree/default-en.html

    Ashridge House, Herts WWW.ASHRIDGEWEDDINGS.ORG.UK/‎

    Bisham Abbey, Bucks www.bishamabbeynsc.co.uk/weddings/

    Remenham Club, Henley www.remenhamclub.co.uk/


    And there are many other beautiful venues around Henley, Marlow and areas close by

    The advantage of some of the non-traditional venues is they can be a blank canvas and allow you to stamp you own mark on the venue with the help of decor experts, wedding planners etc.

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  • T
    Beginner May 2016
    Tidal Wave ·
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    There are some lovely barns and golf courses around surrey. However if you're wanting something a bit different I really have to recommend our venue. They have been fantastic and definitely unique.

    http://www.brooklandsmuseumhospitality.com/weddings.htm

    All guests also get free entry to the museum and only in Surrey.

    Happy venue shopping!

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