On day two of our engagement I awoke from a troubled sleep, doubtless caused by certain events that had occurred the previous day. (Hang on, is that one of Ayckbourn’s lines? I need more sleep!!) The main event being the discovery of the first basic costings of just how much it might cost to create Dominique’s dream wedding (though in truth it was the vision of the love of my life exiting the church in a flurry of confetti alongside a small dog with a diamond ring on it’s collar that finally startled me awake from my slumber!)
Our first look had established where some of the major costs lay and I was well aware that, although my future wife is a woman of expensive tastes, we were going to have to balance the budget somewhere. And so, after 42 cups of tea, with a slight feeling of trepidation and an oxygen mask standing by I powered up my computer once more and steeled myself for another day of wedding planning.
At some point in the night (probably about the time that Dom kicked me in her sleep (AGAIN!) I had experienced a brainwave, a frankly astonishing feat considering I must not have had any tea in several hours! I realised that, whilst we had looked at a range of different venue types in an effort to find something different, we had in fact fallen into the trap of following a very traditional wedding format, something Dom in particular had initially striven against. Regardless of the type of venue we had investigated we had still looked at the usual champagne reception and canapés followed by a sit-down meal (probably a roast dinner) and later a finger-food buffet. Now there’s nothing wrong with this at all, it’s become almost an expected format precisely because it works: it ensures that no-one is hungry and breaks up the day nicely for the guests. However providing for everyone in this way was proving incredibly expensive and didn’t seem very us!
So as I opened up the website of my good friend Mr. Google I tried something different, something I’d not seen before but was VERY us! Barbecue Wedding Receptions. We were thinking summer for the wedding and who doesn’t love a good barbecue!? Ok yes maybe vegetarians and the odd pig but other than that who doesn’t love a good barbecue!?
Incredibly several of the venues we had discovered the day before under more generous search criteria reappeared on my screen. The BBQ or Hog Roast Wedding was clearly something growing in popularity! It offered the chance for a much less formal and relaxed meal where people could help themselves to as much or little as they wanted at about half the price of the formal sit-down dinner. We both wanted it to be a relaxed affair and turning it into almost a garden party sounded really cool! Whilst looking at the options available on the barbecue front I stumbled across some other options as well: options very in keeping with our home town!
The Fish & Chip Van: amazing!! Not for the main meal (that would just be chaos) but replacing (or as an alternative to) the evening buffet. You just can’t beat those Scarborough fish & chips and again it would be both fun and fitting to our home town (plus fish & chips is my favourite meal in all the world…apart from maybe Christmas dinner!). Speaking of our home town there’s one other thing Scarborough’s famous for and could be provided for in similar fashion (whilst being guaranteed to get my little nephew excited!)…
“Matt what is it with you and Ice Cream Vans???”
“Well you said I wasn’t allowed any more cupcakes so I’ve moved on!”
“YOU ATE NEARLY THE WHOLE STAND FULL!!”
“Gotta help with the research somewhere!”
Anyway, the point is that the more I looked the more variety I found. Some of the venues coming up on the search had huge picturesque gardens and some even featured amazing old ruins and architecture: perfect for Dom’s ever-important photos. These days weddings really can be whatever you want them to be, whether you choose to hold the whole event in one venue or separate the ceremony and reception to give two spectacular different parts to the day. With so many venues now holding wedding licenses you can choose anything from an Edwardian house tea-party to a castle Hog Roast to an Italian meal in a treehouse! Whilst there are definitely elements of the more traditional wedding that we would want to keep perhaps there was some fun to be had and ideas to try out… I wonder how much it would cost to be married in the garden shed with a burger van for the reception…
So, armed with new (more affordable) options and possibilities I presented my ideas to my bride to amazing success! She loved the idea of doing something more quirky and unorthodox and didn’t even flinch at the idea of a fish ‘n chip van!
“This is all great Matt, well done… why are you putting the computer down?”
“Well I’ve got all the stuff, you can have a look at it, I’m gonna go play Lego Indiana Jones!
“No no no, you need to book some visits!”
“Wha?? When for?”
“But we’ve only been engaged two days, surely there’s time to… (evil stare) maybe we should keep looki… (more evil staring) I mean we don’t need to get THAT far into the wedding pl… (raised eyebrows) Yes dear.”
And so as I pour myself a wee dram and chain myself back to my laptop I guess it’s time for more epic wedding planning. Stay tuned to Bride Vs Groom to hear how we got on with our initial look at some of the venues!
Now where did I put that last cupcake?