Sunday, 25 January 2015

Wedmin Series | The Venue

The venue was quite an easy decision to make in the end – with a fiancé who isn’t the most comfortable in social situations, it couldn’t be a fancy country manor house (as I had always dreamt), we both agreed with didn’t want a hotel and neither are religious so it had to be somewhere the whole schebang could happen. That left us with few options and once we started searching, a barn wedding seemed to tick all the boxes for us both.

We visited 3 venues in total and viewed so many more online but decided that if we just weren’t getting that feel online, then there was no point in wasting our time driving out to see.

The first venue we viewed was Chester Zoo – I know what you’re thinking but they have a manor house on the grounds. The OH went along to this viewing more to just keep me quiet but we were both pleasantly surprised with what they had to offer. It fitted in perfectly with the informal/laid back atmosphere we want for our day with afternoon tea option, a guided zoo tour after closing for all guests and then a bbq for the evening. The only thing that was a let-down was the manor house. Because it’s a listed building, there were so many restrictions on what you could/couldn’t do with regards to décor and once they said no to hanging bunting, it was a done deal for me!

The second venue was Owen House Wedding Barn in Cheshire – we drove away from this venue with a great feeling. We both agreed we could happily have our wedding there with no hesitations. It had such a great feel to the place – it’s a family run working farm with the daughters running the wedding side of things and they were just lovely. It really had that feel that we wanted – very laid back, relaxed, not staged in any way and rustic. Our only thought with this venue was the location to hotels etc as all our guests will have to stay overnight more than likely.

Our final venue to view was Sandhole Oak Barn in Cheshire and on paper, this was the one for me. It looks absolutely stunning, especially the outdoor area to it and had enough accommodation on site to pretty much take all our guests. But the OH wasn’t a fan – it was too manicured for him and once I thought about it, I tended to agree. Everything had a perfect place and most of the ‘barn’ character had seemed to be lost.

So, after some more searching online, we thought sod it, we loved our second venue viewing so decided to just go ahead and book! And there it is, the venue is sorted - well booked. We have a blank canvas that we can do with what we want!

Here's my pointers on venue viewing...
  • Does it go with your theme/how you expected your wedding to look?
  • Is it big enough?
  • Do they have an in-house caterer you must use or do you have to hire your own?
  • Are there any restrictions on decorating etc
  • Will you be the only people at the venue on the day?
  • Is there accommodation for guests?
  • Is there a bar/licence to sell alcohol
  • Cost & any extra costs 

Monday, 19 January 2015

Tasty Treats (with Jus Rol*)

I'm not the best of cooks, I can do it but my OH is amazing so I don't often try my hand at anything because I just know that he'll do it better! I like simple things to make, that don't take me forever to prepare etc so when I was offered the chance to try out some of the Jus Rol* products, I thought why not.

The adverts I've seen on TV have always made their products look so simple so I had a look through the recipes they have online and decided to try my hand at making some sausage rolls.

I tweaked the recipe online a little and went with the Jus Rol puff pastry light (the OH and I are supposed to be on a diet after all) and I picked up some spicy chilli sausages.

It really was the simplest of recipes but here's my step by step guide...

1. Unroll the puff pastry and cut in half (down the width) - I did flour my worktop first just in case it stuck. Take the sausage meat out of their skins and place on to the puff pastry leaving a slight border.

3. Egg wash around the edges and fold the pastry over in half, pressing down around the edges to seal the pastry together.

4. Using a sharp knife, cut the pastry in to smaller pieces and then pop a few slashes in to the top of each sausage roll.

5. Egg wash then pop in the oven for around 15mins on 180 degrees.

Et voila - sausage rolls are done! Really was that quick and that simple - I think this may just become my new offering of choice when visiting friends etc - so simple but so so tasty!

Have you ever tried anything from Jus Rol? I think my next attempt will be the chicken & pesto tart back that I've seen on the TV - it looks so so delicious!

Sunday, 4 January 2015

Wedmin Series | The Bridesmaids

So, if you missed my first post on this, then I'm engaged - yay, go me! I wanted to document the different stages in the process of planning my big day and what better place to do this than here in my little corner of the internet. I shall hopefully be posting about each different section of the 'wedmin' process as and when it occurs so this may not be in the "right" order or anything, but it's our order.

The first thing I did after getting that ring on my finger was pick my bridesmaids - although there wasn't much picking to be done as I have pretty much known my bridesmaids for many many years. I am having 5 (possibly 6) in total which I think is a lot but they're all very special ladies to me and I'm only going to do this the once (hopefully) so why not have 5!

So the who | My 6 comprise of my childhood best friend (since we were 2yrs), my uni best friend, 3 best friends from home (although 1 is living in Sydney hence why there's a possible one) and last but not least a bestie who grew on me - we didn't like each other much when we first met but over the years we have become amazing friends!

And the how | I wanted to ask my bridesmaids in a way that was slightly different and wasn't just a me asking the question outright so off I headed to pinterest of course for some inspiration. I was initially looking at the cards that are out there but decided on the balloon proposal-if you've ever search for bridesmaid proposals then you'll most definitely of seen this. This was exactly the type of thing/statement I was looking for and so easy to make yourself.

This was such and exciting way for me to ask my bridesmaids and I loved watching their reactions as they were opening the box and being very confused by what it was!

If you're thinking of doing this yourself, a few notes to take on board - the balloons don't go that big unless you buy a massive box so there's not much a pop in reality; be ware of those that are scared of popping balloons - one of my bridesmaids in particular just wouldn't pop it which actually made the whole scenario hilarious as the other bridesmaid had already popped hers and was holding her breath waiting to say something. But those points aside, it was a great proposal and something my bridesmaids loved!

Next in my 'Wedmin Series' will be venue decisions...stay tuned!

The DIY version:
Boxes: I bought mine from 'The tiny box company' and chose the 15cmx15xm which I think was plenty big enough.
Balloons/ Confetti: I picked up bits from my closest card shop which was the card factory. You could always link the balloon colours to your colour scheme if you've already got one sorted.
Scroll: I downloaded the floral boarder online - can't remember where sorry but it was a search on pinterest and it was free to use for personal use. I then searched for the right question wording and this particular one fitted very well as I we didn't have a date/decisions made except for the bridesmaids.
Ribbon: The ribbon was just something I had lying about in my card/wrapping bag so nothing special - can again be used to fit in with the colour scheme.