One thing I truly love about my job is the ability to help couples with their wedding planning. My brain is like Pinterest, filled with huge amounts of wedding related knowledge, not just about wedding photography, but also wedding dress designers, music, schedules, venues, favours, decor, hair and make-up… you get the picture!
So following our engagement in Iceland in January, we are now wedding planning. It should be easy right? Many people have said to us ‘Oh I bet you’re all sorted and know exactly what you want.’ That and ‘Who will do your wedding photos?!’ Well the answer to the first question a few weeks ago was, no, not really. You see when you have been to as many weddings as we have, and seen so many lovely styles and ideas, it’s actually quite difficult to pick through all of the Pinterest board that is our brains and ask ourselves, but what is US?
Starting the wedding venue search
Thankfully, we were already one step ahead of most couples when it comes to choosing our venue, as we have already seen hundreds! One thing was essential, we really wanted a venue that we hadn’t shot at before, so it would feel like ours on the day. We love many of the wedding venues throughout Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire but we just didn’t want to possibly feel like we were going to work. So I set about trying to find the ones we may not have heard of or may be at bit unusual, and OMG how annoying a process was this!!! I envy couples who either a) have always known the venue for them, maybe because they had been to another wedding there before or it may be the Cambridge college they went to or b) they are not that fussed about the venue and just want a good space to have a party. Looking for venues online was such a hassle! How many venues don’t bother putting their specs up? Why on earth would you not write how many people you can accommodate?
Also, some of these venues obviously have no idea what a good photograph is. Yes this stock picture of a bride and groom kissing may be romantic but does it show me your rooms? No! No help at all! We also seriously doubted what is thought of as a good photograph, with some truly dreadful shots attempting to showcase the venue. So we were ruthless, no proper information or terrible photographs and it didn’t get a look in. I had no idea it was this bad out there, all you couples about to embark on finding your wedding venue you have my sympathy, you really do.
Tom and I have a love of historical venues, so the terrible websites combined with the need to have not shot a wedding there before narrowed it down to three venues in Hertfordshire. Thankfully they were all within a half an hour drive of each other, so we had one full day of looking round. Now that was weird. Actually being shown around as a bride and groom to-be, with the coordinators not having any knowledge of what we did for a living. Being told things like ‘after your ceremony…’ and not just listening in on a behalf of a client felt strange. After working in the industry for over five years now, it really is our turn!
Finding the One
We instantly loved the Jacobean romance of Fanhams Hall Hotel in Ware. The Long Gallery where our ceremony will be (eek!) has gorgeous wood-panelling which we love, as does the Great Hall where our reception will be. So after a week of, ‘is that the one?’ conversations, having another search through venues, getting frustrated all over again, we knew we needed to return to Fanhams. So back we went with our parents, and after the thumbs up were given all round, we sat down to their popular Sunday carvery, which was AWESOME. If they can do mass catering that well (it was very busy!) then the wedding food must be amazing. We also really liked the coordinator Amy, who we instantly got on with and believed that Fanhams would cater to all our wims and thoughts. So that is it, it’s booked. A Christmas wedding here we come…
Hertfordshire Wedding Photographers Lina and Tom are wedding planning!