I was meant to blog yesterday and tell you all about our weekend trip to visit two venues in West Sussex. Which I suppose, as if I was telling a story, I could still do in cronological order and the reason for my cryptic-ness will become clear....
So we got up early on Sunday morning, one of our rare mornings off as Scarlett was in Bromley and we headed down to the beautiful countryside in Sussex. We headed first to Fitzleroi Farm Barn and were met by Mark. The venue was lovely, everything I had hoped it would be. But, there were a few things we weren't so keen on - no permanent dancefloor, carpeted floor, one door = quite dark in there and one side of the courtyard was their family home. It did have things going for it, slightly cheaper, big kitchens. It was nice and Mark was very helpful and gave us a few insider tips which was nice.
We left there at 11:00 and had an hour to kill before heading to Grittenham Barn. We passed a little church on a hill, All Hallows, Tillington which looked lovely. However, we knew it was only going to be necessary if we used Fitzleroi as they didn't have a wedding licence and had stated quite clearly that they had no intention of doing so.
Carried on to Midhurst where we glugged down a cup of tea in a little cafe and headed back to Grittenham. I think I knew almost as soon as we pulled up and I saw the huge mirrorball suspended from the ceiling that this may be, 'The One'. We were met by Paul who was really lovely and down to earth. He seemed really quite enthusiastic about weddings in general.
The barn itself is over two levels, a large main part and a smaller lower part. He told us how the lower part can be used as a chillout area in the evening (like the sound of that) with the provision of sofas and chairs. The view from the barn was gorgeous, you could see the lake and gardens and the South Downs. Windows on both sides meant it was so light in there, with the sun streaming in one side. I was innapropriately dressed to see the lake where we can have a drinks reception so I think we will be making another visit down there.
The kitchen was small although we were assured that there are other kitchens the caterers can access via a back door. Curtains can be pulled at various parts of the barn to allow a band to set up, ready for a big reveal in the evening! You can decorate how you like. Paul can provide lights and a sound system meaning that we could save money on a DJ by just having an iPod plugged into it. I tell you, you have to check out his website, he has a lighting company and they do such amazing things - parties in lit up woods and projections on marquees! I can't find his website, I've left all our Grittenham details at home, but I'll post it later!
So basically, we came to a decision pretty quickly that it was The One. Although it's a bit more than Fitzleroi and we have to take extra things into consideration; no tables or chairs (which we can get from the caterer) and extra for the Registrar (which we would've had to do for Fitzleroi anyway, plus a venue if not a church....) we could just really see ourselves getting married and having a great time there.
One problem. Deposit. Chatted it over with my parents, none of us have a grand lying around. Mum mentioned it to my Grandparents and they've offered to lend us the money for our deposit! Am so pleased and made up and EXCITED!!! So anyway, I'm off to give them a call. I'll list some websites later so you can see what this place looks like.