Today we are back with the lovely Rebekka & Lee, who are now onto the next stage of their wedding planning process. It is time for their venue hunting story. If you missed Lee’s proposal and their first planning dilemma you can check it out here.
Not every part of the planning process is simple. You sometimes get let down by people, don’t feel a spark where you were convinced you would. And sometimes it can become quite deflating. We love Rebekka’s honesty in this post. It is definitely a must read!
Venue Hunting – Rebekka and Lee | Plan With Us
After making the decision that we would get married in the UK instead of Mauritius, our next adventure was venue hunting and where we would get married. I made two initial appointments for venues across the water from where we live, around a 50 miles drive away.
First, I contacted a local venue; The Healing Manor Hotel. after waiting 2 days for a call back and leaving a few messages with the wedding coordinator. I received nothing back. I decided not to pursue any further interest in this venue. It is the most important day of your lives, if a wedding coordinator cannot manage to return a phone call, how can you trust them to manage your special day?
Venue One – Cave Castle
The first venue we did view was Cave Castle in South Cave, Brough. We chose this venue based on what we saw online. We thought the idea of getting married in a castle would be pretty cool. The drive up to the castle was quite picturesque. The castle was set back and I thought of the many potential amazing photo opportunities this venue would provide. However, this soon changed.
We were given a full tour of the different types of bedrooms, the function room that we would be using based on our package price. We had a good walk around so I’m positive we saw enough of Cave Castle, and that is probably what put me off. They had two types of bedrooms – newly refurbished bedrooms and then other more traditionally decorated rooms to coincide with the castle. I didn’t get the feeling I would want to stay in one of the new bedrooms, let alone the old. This was my initial concern. I have stayed in plenty of hotel rooms and it is normally the room visual that appeals to me but nothing stood out.
When we were shown the ‘Junior Suites’ the only one I liked which didn’t have a four poster bed had an amazing bathroom! The bath was risen from the floor with steps up to it. It was fully mirrored around the bath and even had stone statues. This was the only wow factor I had experienced, but then I thought – on my wedding night would I really be sat in the bath? Probably not.
After the room tour we viewed the function room. ‘The Sandringham Suite’ which is where our day would be held. For me it didn’t have enough light and I couldn’t envisage how the room would look. It had its own private bar and was quite large, however, you would have to share communal toilets with other hotel guests, which I didn’t really feel comfortable with. I didn’t like the idea of waiting around in my wedding dress surrounded by people that weren’t there for our special day. The room was quite dark as it only had the original small castle windows.
Then there was the menu. For the price we had been given everybody had to eat the same, with no choices offered. If we wanted to provide a choice, we would have been charged a further £5 per person, per extra choice of course. To offer our guests 2 choices per course would have cost an additional £15 per person. Plus the original price given was based on only one glass of wine per guest.
I then made the mistake of viewing ‘The Balmoral Suite’ which had a supplement of £1000 extra. This room was too large for our numbers, so I thought it would look a bit empty. However, it really appealed to me as it had floor to ceiling windows all around the room. An array of natural light, grand chandeliers and to top it off, a piano. Lee was happy to stick with the other function room.
Due to limited availability (27 months in advance) we made a provisional booking. I feel I only agreed due to Lee liking the venue. I only voiced my opinions after we left to not cause offence and give myself some time to consider the pro’s and cons. Along with the points I already raised, I felt it was a little too far out for our family and friends. When I came to think of it the only 3 positives I could come up with were; it has accommodation so people can stay over, it has an in house spa and salon so I could be pampered the day before and the day itself, and the backdrop for the photos would look amazing. It just wasn’t enough to get my heart racing.
Venue Two – Rowley Manor
We then went on to view ‘Rowley Manor’ in Little Weighton, just down the road from Cave Castle. It is described as a ‘Georgian grade II listed building’ which offers exclusivity for weddings due to its ideal number of just 16 bedrooms. Although I loved the interior design of the room we would be having our special day in, there was just no ‘wow factor’. It felt like you were staying in someone’s house. The drive up wasn’t as exciting. It is just down a farm lane and the building isn’t striking. The interior design and the idea of exclusivity was what appealed to me. I remained confident we would find the perfect venue for us.
Venue Three – The Oaklands Hall Hotel
A week or so later, we viewed The Oaklands Hall Hotel in Laceby – a mere 10 minute drive from where we live, and it ticked ALL the boxes.
The drive was down a long narrow road where the hotel presented itself at the end. The interior is tastefully decorated. We were shown the grounds, function rooms and the bedrooms by the operations manager Scott. When I saw the grounds, our honeymoon suite and the function room (The Churchill Suite) I knew this was the venue for us.
I felt really excited and could envisage how things would look. The actual wedding package itself was cheaper than Cave Castle and included much more such as 2 glasses of wine per guest with the meal, the DJ and a 3 choice per 3 course meal as standard. They even give you a voucher which is 10% of your total wedding cost back to use with a choice of 3 local suppliers for decorating the room, which I thought was a fantastic idea.
We are staying in the newly refurbished Junior Suite which is AMAZING! The TV is in a frame, it looks like a mirror until you turn the TV on. There is a separate bathtub and a shower. The room itself is furnished beautifully.
The Churchill Suite is everything I dreamed of – lots of room, a big dancefloor, floor to ceiling windows, grand chandeliers, our own bar and set of toilets and we get exclusive use of the patio and gardens. The gardens are stunning and I cant wait to have our day captured in those beautiful surroundings. I even had to go back with my mum to view the function room again, I was just so excited. I wanted to show the world!
The wedding team at Oaklands have been amazing. They have kept in contact and replied promptly to any question or query I had.
I’m now counting down the days to the 25th August 2018.