EVERYONE has an opinion about what makes a good wedding. Friends, family, the lady in the shop up the road, and even the horse farrier were all happy to share their ideas about what we should do for our big day.
Being newly engaged and not really having a clue about weddings, we were keen to listen.
‘You should go abroad,’ my friend Lisa said. ‘It’s great. No Stress. Nice and relaxed.’ Lisa and her husband married in Mexico. With white sand, blue sea and beautiful weather, it was a stunning setting for a wedding.
‘Sand,’ I replied. ‘I’ve got a thing about getting sand in my toes.’
‘You don’t have to worry about that. They picked me up on one of those buggy things and took me to the ceremony.’
I couldn’t see myself on a buggy either. ‘I think I’d like a church.’
‘You could have a church abroad.’ Lisa was doing her best to sell the overseas wedding. ‘Sarah did.’
My sister Sarah got married in a church in Cyprus. That too was a wonderful wedding, with a reception on the cliff top.
‘Or, you could have a blessing in church when you get back. We did and it was lovely. The only thing was the bells.’ Lisa raised her eyebrows.
‘They didn’t work.’
‘I’d like bells.’ I was certain that I wanted a church, preferably one with bells.
Chris was more than happy to get married in a church with bells. We were also in agreement that we wanted to marry in this country. Where in this country was another matter entirely. We love the Lake District and Northumberland, so they were options. We were considering having a few days in Crastor, one of our favourite places in Northumberland, to look for potential wedding venues when Chris realised that we had a problem.
‘What about them?’
‘If we’re all away. Who looks after the horses?’
It was a good question. Normally, Mum or my good friend Zoe look after the horses. But both Mum and Zoe will have starring roles at the wedding.
‘Right.’ I said. ‘We’ll have to get married within a few miles of the stables. Someone will have to pop back to feed them.’
Apart from the horse dilemma, Chris and I were both very happy to marry in Yorkshire. I’m from Barnsley. Chris is from Rotherham. We love living here. We love the countryside on our doorstep. It made sense to have a Yorkshire wedding in a wonderful Yorkshire setting.
With the location sorted. The only thing was to find a venue. We’d already ruled Waterton Park out. Waterton is beautiful. It just wasn’t for us.
‘What do we actually want?’ Chris asked.
We thought about this for a few minutes. ‘Food.’ We both said it together.
Good food was top of the list.
‘Not a traditional wedding venue.’
‘Down to earth.’
‘A party from start to finish.’
‘Dance floor.’ A dance floor is very important to me because I love dancing. After a few shandies, Chris is also quite a mover.
‘We’re sorted then!’ Now that we had an idea of the kind of place we were looking for, we felt better.
‘All we have to do is find it.’