Emily: 302 days to go
The engagement excitement has almost died down; I have swigged enough champagne to pickle a herring, the congratulations cards are sufficiently dusty, and friends have sadly stopped getting in touch suggesting that we ‘simply meet up to celebrate’.
With my engagement ring now nicely moulded to my finger, it’s time to throw project wedding well and truly into action and get started with the first check box on the to-do list – FIND A VENUE!
First things first, we had to get down to the tricky business of selecting a location. I had always pictured myself getting hitched in my historical home town of Lincoln. One thing that had never crossed my mind was the option of getting married abroad. However, after attending many a lovely classic English wedding, myself and Chris decided we wanted to do something a little different and tie the knot overseas (the almost guaranteed hot weather did sway our thinking a bit too!).
We knew we wanted somewhere warm, but also somewhere which meant something to us. Chris has many happy memories of Spain; he spent all of his family holidays there as a child, and we’ve also enjoyed many a summer as a couple dining out on paella and drinking sangria. One month later, after much discussion, plane tickets and note pads in hand, we set off for Spain. We had four venues lined up, all sourced with the aid of the internet and a map.
A sweet boutique hotel – charming, however we swiftly declined because the wedding had to be held indoors.
An amazing villa, deep in the heart of a valley – stunning, however we ruled this one out because it proved a little tricky to navigate down into the valley, not ideal for 85 confused English drivers.
A Moroccan-style retreat, it had an air of mystery about it and was an amazing setting, however there were no sleeping quarters, so this was a non-starter.
A hacienda in the mountains – clichéd, but as soon as we saw it we knew it was the one. It had a rustic charm, beautiful views over the mountains of Mijas and was practically a blank canvas, ripe for decorating and creating the perfect location for our Spanish fiesta wedding.
A surprisingly swift decision – I normally like to weigh up the pros and cons, check prices, compare a thousand different options, create a spreadsheet and then eventually go with my first choice. In this instance we both agreed – it felt right. One deposit cheque and several emails later, we had our venue and our date, 6 June 2015. We are ready to move onto the next ‘to do’ and probably the most daunting task – guest list, bridal party and the save the dates…
A word of advice: Whether you’re visiting venues at home or abroad, be prepared with drinks and comfy shoes – it’s so tiring!