He asked, I said YES !

Let’s take it way back to the beginning…… He asked and I said YES!

It was a beautiful setting on a Balinese beach in August 2017, I had a bit of an idea because we where at a really nice restaurant on the beach and they had laid the table out with flowers and candles, but I wasn’t quite sure it was going to happen!

It was a moment I will never forget and will always smile about. It’s a moment that made me so happy, shocked and overwhelmed at the same time. It was perfect and I couldn’t have been happier to be saying YES to marrying my best friend and partner in love and life.

It was only after we had returned from Bali and I started researching venue’s and wedding prices that my heart began to sink… Why is everything so expensive!

Now I’m not a very materialistic person and would happily get married anywhere, but when it’s your own wedding and you’re planning it you do want somewhere nice and a bit different, after all it is going to be a day you will remember for the rest of your life and so will most of your family and friends (hopefully). It shocked me at how much people where charging for venue’s and on top of that you could only select caterers from their list and the corkage charge was ridiculous. this is when I sure it would be a long engagement before we found the right place for us.

My family and friend helped by sending suggestions but in an ideal world we needed:

  1. a large enough venue for 150-200 (with my fiancé having a big Nigerian family and myself with a large Welsh family)
  2.  ability to choose our own caterers (we wanted Nigerian food and a mix of Welsh)
  3. somewhere with no corkage (being Welsh my family like to drink)
  4. somewhere not too far from London and with accommodation close by
  5. not too expensive for dry hire

It seemed impossible to start with, but here are some places I came across that ticked some of the boxes above

  1. Froyle Park Our friend got married their and we loved the venue.

Positives – it was beautiful, had 27 bedrooms on site so accommodation was fine, no corkage charge, complete use of the venue on the day, large enough, not too far from London

Negatives – it had a list of caterers we needed to choose from and their African caterers where not cheap plus it was a bit on the expensive side without any deals available.

2. Houchins–  a friend recommended this venue

Positives – was within our price range, had accommodation close by and on site, accommodation for up to 150, no corkage.

Negatives – a bit far away for us

3. Ardington House– a beautiful, picturesque venue/marquee

Positives – marquee for up to 200 people, accommodation close by, not too expensive, not too far from London.

Negatives – having to choose from their caterers or a charge to use outside caterers, corkage charge.

At this point I was beginning to think it was impossible to find a venue to suit our needs for no more than 3000-4000, but then I stumbled across this……….

Landmark Art Centre – an old church that is used as a community art Centre in Teddington. it ticked all of our boxes and was much cheaper than the other venues! I couldn’t believe my luck and within a week we had visited and paid a deposit! The venue is impressive due to it being an old church with high ceilings and a big enough space for up to 250 people. It was literally a 10 minute drive away from us and there are hotels around the corner – I couldn’t believe our luck! There is no corkage, you can choose your own caterers and basically do what you want with the venue for your special day.

It was perfect for us!

For all the brides to be out there desperately searching for somewhere to accommodate all your needs, regardless of what they are – my advice is don’t give up! Keep searching on forums, Google, wedding websites and try contacting places that may not be your typical wedding venues. It is possible to find a venue in London that is not too expensive and has flexibility to do your own thing.

I’m so glad I didn’t rush into booking something expensive out of convenience and have now managed to book this venue that is perfect for our needs and all at a reasonable price. You can do the same too!

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