Prelude: In England the wedding day works differently. You have two parties in the one day:
Wedding Breakfast- celebrated with a close group of people who came to the church with you. This is a sit down few course formal meal in the mid afternoon.
Reception- Later in the evening all of your guests come to dance, drink and munch on cocktails and a fork buffet.
I have told you this now so you can skip the days and weeks of confusion I suffered
Tone can't remember the last wedding he went to... and all of mine have been in the states... so really how different can a wedding in England be?
Well having absolutely no knowledge we decided to go to the most reliable source... the movies. Four Weddings and Funeral to be exact (who wouldn't believe every word from Hugh Grants mouth). And here are my take away points (in proper English)
- Everyone will be absolutely pissed on Pims
-Your hat or fascinator must out do the other ladies
-You can rent an entire castle with castle staff on a reasonable budget
We went to check out a venue that Tone has seen in the summer and liked a lot. It fit most of our needs in terms of having a few rooms, close to town and size. So we decided while I was in England over Christmas to go check it out... just to set the scene it was raining, slushy and cold (it was Yorkshire in winter). After spending several hours in planes, trains and automobiles I had sufficiently covered the style of weddings in the UK via all their bridal magazines, however I was not prepared for this....
The Venue was down a lovely country road and across the street from the gas station and off license (liquor store). The grounds were..... well it was winter in Yorkshire. The inn has two function rooms, 16 rooms and a pond. We have a wedding guest count close to 150.
I still haven't figured out this wedding breakfast/reception thing (see prelude)... not to mention I am still thinking american breakfast time (breakfast, tea and dinner are very liberally used words in the UK) so my brain is on overdrive with the basic logistics
Both Ballrooms... well 150 people means 15 tables to sit min in my mind.... and lets just say it would have been a logjam in either. The sales lady is trying to tell me how they will move tables around in between the meal and dancing which I just thought would be a large amount of awkwardness.
Everything just looks tired. Very tired. Now I am a girl who loves her Victorian and Edwardian vintage look. But this was like Great Grandma's house with bad banqueting furniture.
Our american wedding is at my former University in the beautiful large church and banquet hall overlooking the hill. As happy as I am with this choice for nostalgia, convenience and the church being amazing... there are a lot of ideas and pictures I have fallen in love with that just don't work with our venue or scheme. I have taken to imposing all of these other ideas onto the English event.
Needless to say after a few discussions, a few fights and me finally getting the concept of how the day runs along we passed on this venue. We have verbally settled on a wedding breakfast at a hip gastro pub followed by an evening venue with a big dance floor, fork buffet and a real bar (the hubby wants the real bar). This is the plan at least for now...
With my move coming up in one week we will start need to nail down plans... hopefully at least this time I can understand what everyone is talking about!