So last Sunday myself and Conor went to see our first few venues. We want to see a good few places before we make up our minds so we thought we better make a start.
We were really looking forward to it and I was a little nervous when we got out of the car at the first place, but luckily we got a good one to begin with.
I won't say names of places, cos you never know! We had to visit places on a Sunday as we both work and thats the only day off we both have in common. We didn't get to meet with the wedding coordinators but the Duty Managers were able to give us a tour of the rooms and give us a little information.
The first place we went to was in a country area outside a town, which was nice (as a country girl myself), and there were ponies and goats in the fields around the hotel which I really liked. We went in and approached the girl at the desk. She offered us tea or coffee and had us take a seat in the lobby area with some of their wedding literature. The lobby in this place was really pleasant to sit in, it has a double height ceiling with a skylight and some really comfy armchairs. This is where the arrivals/tea/coffee take place on the day. The guy who showed us the room was very nice too. We only had to wait about a minute for him to come greet us. I didnt really like the big function room, but it did have a lovely private garden. There is a smaller function room that I much prefer but its not big enough for band and dancing in.
Overall really liked the feel of this place, its family run and it shows it had a more personal touch than the other place we visited nearby.
Which brings me to the other place...
This one was in the same town as the first but is part of a well known chain of hotels. Here we did the same thing as the last spot and approached the receptionist. She was not as friendly as the first place but asked us to have a seat. We weren't offered any refreshment here which was a pity because we were kept waiting for about 10 minutes to be seen despite having made an appointment.
When eventually we were seen the guy just showed us the one function room and proceeded to give us his complete philosophy on weddings whether we wanted it or not! He told us what time of year we should have our wedding, what type of band we should get, when we should go on our honeymoon, he was nearly telling us who we should and shouldn't invite! It was crazy!
Both places were unable to show us the Bridal Suite as they were in use, but this probably won't effect our final decision too much anyway.
After that we went to see a resturant in a nearby town that has a function room that they use for weddings. I thought this might be an option for the type of wedding I'm imagining in my head. The room is without a doubt the nicest we had seen all day. It had exposed stone walls and so much more character than the standard square box of a function room. We had a great chat with the manager, who was very helpful, and stood up well to my interogation. It probably isnt the venue for us, as we will need a place with accommadation for people who need to travel, but I would have no problem recommending it to people apart from this.
We are going to hit another town soon, so I'll post about the options there later.