Adam Bird

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Monday, 19 May 2008

A Big Day at Little Silver

It seems as if we have been catching up for lost time. No sooner had we announced our engagement just a month later we have booked a venue and set a date for our 'Big Day'. We will be getting married at the Little Silver Country Hotel on September 11th 2010 at 2pm!

During the saga that was my proposal of marriage I assumed that Stephanie would want to get married abroad, a European destination such as Cyprus, Greece or Turkey. I had actually told people when asked that this would be the plan! It surprised me therefore that she wanted a slightly more traditional wedding at home surrounded by her nearest and dearest.

In the week that followed our proposal I hit Google with vengeance and our postman seriously considered retirement due to bad back having been forced to deliver brochure upon brochure advertising wedding venues across the UK and Ireland! Admittedly I did go overboard looking at stately homes and medieval castles fit for people with larger budgets than ourselves.

Even so, we were shocked that even the more humble venues charged extortionate prices and we sweated slightly that our proposed 2010 date may be set back to 2020 just to accommodate the prices that they were charging!

Still, we figured that we had time on our hands and with Stephanie bringing in some extra money from Slimming World our task should be a little easier in meeting a budget that is achievable for the pair of us, even if it is at the expense of what the Slimming World role was originally for - more time off work and more time at home with Oliver.

Stephanie had the unenviable task of filtering through my mountain of brochures, looking through and selecting the ones that appealed to her, ready for us to make arrangements to view.

Over the course of four weekends in May we would be visiting four venues, appointments set up randomly with no order or preference. Having visited Salomons in Tonbridge Wells and admired the building and the grounds, which were spectacular, set upon a hill with a view over the South Downs. We decided that it wasn't really for us as the room set up was complicated and people would be here there and everywhere, when ideally we want people all in the same room and cutting shapes on the dance floor!

Last weekend we visited Little Silver Country Hotel, and from the brochure we both admitted on the journey down that we had high expectations. We were on our own this time, without Steph's parents, but we had Oliver with us, which proved to be a blessing, as on arrival we were met by a gentlemen who introduced himself as Oliver and the first 'sign' was illuminated.

Having been given the grand tour and shown wedding photo albums as to other people day at the Little Silver it was clear to me that this was the place that Stephanie wanted to get married. Seeing her getting misty eyed in the bridal suite and lumpy throaty in the main reception hall I figured that she was quite impressed!

As Oliver, the proprietor busied himself with putting together some estimates for us to take away and look over Stephanie and I had a brief conversation that reaffirmed both of our thoughts, which were that the place ticked all of our boxes and that this was the place that Stephanie wants to get married.

We both felt that the venue offered homely comfort, and that although it is a hotel it offers us the exclusivity we wanted. The Kent Hall, where our wedding breakfast will be held (and ceremony in case of inclement weather) offers a unique setting in it's octagonal shape, and bar within the same room layout. Being a family run enterprise and the first impressions we got from Oliver were highly impressionable with sensible advice and 'nothing is too much effort' attitude.

Both Will and Reaso told us that we will know when we go somewhere whether or not it is the 'right' place, and both their words rang true. It was confirmed to both of us yesterday as we visited Chilstern Park Hotel and a Ramada Hotel on the outskirts of Leeds that we were making the right choice. Both venues yesterday were lovely in there own right, but, like Solomons, there were question marks over certain things - questions that the Little Silver had all the answers to.

With our minds made up, Stephanie called the Little Silver this morning and confirmed our date. It may be a long way off yet, but it is a lot closer than Stephanie would have thought just five weeks ago!

My wedding blog updates will probably fall quiet over the next year or so as we save and plan. No doubt come 2010 they will be frequent and be full of nervous anticipation! We hope to see you there!

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