One weekend, three venues.
1) Rowton Castle
I made two huge mistakes with this one! Firstly, I booked the viewing for 9am. We had to leave the house at 8am. My H2B was not impressed. We hosted a fireworks party the evening before. It didn’t finish too late. But still, a few more hours of sleep would have helped!
Second mistake. I misread the wedding brochure. You had to take the exclusivity package, which added a further £6k to the cost. It was massively out of our price range. Needless to say, it was beautiful. I felt terrible, we travelled all that way to be teased by a lovely venue.
2) Ettingtin Chase Hotel
This one was near Stratford-upon-Avon. There was one original building that looked almost church like. There were also three times as many modern buildings. The modern buildings were in keeping with the old building style, however it did put my off slightly.
Inside was a mix of old and new. It was neat and tidy, however the function rooms were tatty. The hotel was going through a refurb. I’d like to see it after it’d had been redecorated.
It didn’t, in my opinion, match up to Brandon. Its a definite second place.
3) The Mill Hotel
Where to begin. My H2B and I left this venue with so many concerns. Our main concern was that it was likely that there would be three weddings in one day. Going by room capacity, one would be similar, perhaps slighty larger than our wedding. The other would be double the size of ours. It was explained to us that each photographer would be given a set time for pictures. That makes me worry about the weather. What if there is only one sunny hour and someone else has it? Also, how many bridal suites and bedrooms are there?
Another problem was the room choice. One choice was two very attractive connected rooms. We wanted one room for evening entertainment and seating. The other room was larger, self contained and had a stage and bar. Only problem was that it was dark and badly decorated. Our final main problem was that they were undertaking building work end of 2011. They couldn’t tell us if it would be finished by the time of the wedding.
No no no.
When we’d finished, we went for a surprise visit to Brandon. It was lovely to see it in the daytime. I still really liked it. We also spoke to a man who was setting up the banquet suite for a wedding. He talked us through the table layout and we could see the dance floor and dj box. Exciting stuff!!
We’ve provisionally booked Brandon for 7th July 2012. We’ll take our parents to see it 14/11/10. Assuming we don’t prefer the Abbey hotel (only one left to see) this will be the one. Exciting!!!!