Here's my second post for Bridalwave, on picking the venue:
Since we got engaged, I'd heard horror stories about wedding venues, which apparently get booked up years in advance. The people telling me these stories were the ones who were most shocked when I told them we were planning on getting married in September - "as in THIS September?!"
So we knew we had to start thinking about the venue pretty fast.
We decided on having our wedding in Shropshire, which is where I grew up and where my parents still live. This was mainly because I wanted us to be married in my childhood church, and it seemed easier than having two sets of relatives descend en-masse to London (especially as Alex and I live in a one bedroom flat, so space is at a premium!)
We enlisted the help of our Shropshire-based wedding planners - my Mum and Dad - to scout out all the local venues, and we went down one weekend in late February to view their top three.
In the end we decided on Madeley Court in Telford, which is a restored 16th century country house and hotel, with a really lovely mill building which is where our reception will be held. We picked it because it's practical - easy to get to, lots of rooms for visiting guests to stay in - but mostly because we both just instantly loved it.
Conveniently there was also a free Saturday at the end of September...and so we set the date.