After pricing up what must bt every civil ceremony licensed building in the West Midlands, we have a short list of affordable venues.
I’ve made appointments to be shown around, all are booked within a two week period.
Here’s what we’ve seen so far:
1) Manor Hotel
A lovely building, however the brochure gives the impression of it having a lovely garden. It had a small bit of grass (very well kept I must add) on a main road. It was car park front and back. Unfortunately not what we had in mind. The staff were friendly and the building was nicely maintained. The function room which would hold both ceremony and breakfast was huge. For our numbers it’d feel like practically no one had turned up!
2) Hillscourt Conference Centre
The venue up the road! I couldn’t tell you why, but I really like the idea of getting married up the road. Perhaps it’s because we’d drive past it frequently? Anyway, not likely to happen. Hillscourt was always a long shot. The wedding package is very reasonable. I’ve also been told that the food is spectacular. However, as the building is a conference centre, it’s very functional. It’s in the Lickey Hills and had a beautiful garden but the building looks like a hospital. It was a shame, the staff were also really keen and helpful.
3) The Curradine Barns
A bit of an unknown. I’d requested information from them but they’ve never sent a.brochure. I’m always suspicious of places that avoid giving you a tariff. They sent details of an open day they were holding, so we went along out of curiosity. The barns had been beautifully converted and had a clean and modern feel. However, despite being in the middle of nowhere, they only had a small courtyard for outside space. They displayed some wedding photos taken there and it looked a little scruffy. Also, there was the issue of tariff. We were right to be suspicious. To just hire the venue would eat up 40% of our budget. The food was also very expensive. All in all, lovely place just not for us.
4) Brandon Hall Hotel
Bit of an odd one this. I was looking for a website of anothet venye to arrange a viewing, a picture of this place popped up in an advert. It’s a very attractive, slightly quaint ex-hunting lodge over Coventry way. The last three viewings left me feeling disappointed, also worried that our budget wouldn’t allow us to have the type of venue we’d imagined. When I saw the Brandon Hall Hotel I was over the moon! It was an elegant white building with an art decco feel. It has lovely grounds and feels like it’s in the middle of nowhere. Inside, the building was neat, elegant and neutral. If you haven’t guessed already, I fell in love with it. I could almost imagine the day when we were being shown around. As the sales staff were not there, we couldn’t talk availability. I’ve since emailed them and they have lots of dates free July 2012, I’m just waiting for availability June and August.
One concern, they have been slow to answer my emails which leaves me slightly concerned. Lets see how it goes!
As much as I love Brandon Hall, we are still looking at the others on the list. They will have to be of a high standard to better Brandon.