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Today and tomorrow are venue search days as my beloved is over from Ireland. However, I think we may have found our place today, although not perfectly what we wanted, but more anon. In the search for a venue that allows us to bring our own caterers it quickly became obvious, as I have already said on previous occasions that this is very difficult in Edinburgh. However, I had managed to identify a couple of places that might do. Firstly there was the Walpole Hall which is the church hall for St Mary's Cathedral. I liked the pictures on the website, but my issue was always going to be that I would feel a bit uncomfortable getting married in one church and using the premises of another for my reception. Anyway we went along this morning, and knew almost immediately that it wasn't for us. It was pretty shabby, and while I realise that dressing it properly would make the world of difference, I still thought it on the large side for what we want.

Next up was the French Institute in Randolph Crescent. We really liked it and would have been happy to book it, unfortunately although I had been told on the phone that the larger room could sit 60 for dinner, it turned out that this was really for a stand up buffet and the maximum it could sit was 40. Boo.

Our final viewing today was Edinburgh City Chambers, a beautiful, imposing Victorian building in the High St, really convenient for the church. Sadly no images on the council's web pages any more, for some reason. We didn't take long to decide this was more like it, and made a provisional booking for our date. Sadly we can't bring our caterers and have to use the in house catering service, but the menus look OK, although obviously they won't be the same in 18 months time.

We decided that we would still go and have a look at the other places we arranged to see. The first is the Ellersley House Hotel at Murrayfield, a bit far out, but I thought it looked lovely, The Bonham at the West End, and Dovecot Studios in Infirmary Street, in fact the old Infirmary Street swimming baths. This last was a bit of a mistake - I phoned them up and got an indication of price telling me they were out of our league, but I proceeded to dig myself into a hole as the events woman said she would arrange specially to see us tomorrow. Couldn't see any way of backing out gracefully, so we'll have a look.

Fingers crossed though, that's us sorted. Yay!

Venue woes

Sep. 17th, 2010 08:34 am
latestarter: (Default)
I said in my last post that I thought that we had our venue sorted out. It is a lovely old nineteenth century sports pavilion, belonging to the local cricket club, a couple of miles from the church. The huge benefit for us is that they are quite happy for us to use our own caterers. I went along last week to make a formal booking. I was a bit taken aback when the steward said it was far too early to make a booking (our date is April 2012 so it's not that far away) and she wouldn't take a deposit from me at this stage. She then dropped the real bombshell. When we had originally viewed the place back in the spring, we had been advised that Saturday was not a good day for them as there was always cricket on Saturdays during the season, so we changed our date to a Friday. No problem for us at that stage. Last week the steward told me that not only was there always cricket on a Saturday, but there was always the possibility (however remote) that there could be a major test match on which would totally preclude their being able to host our reception. There are four or five of these over the course of the season and they last several days at a time. While the steward felt it was extremely unlikely that one of these would coincide with our wedding date, the clincher for us was that she would be unable to tell us until the fixture list was announced in December 2011. Great. Just great.

I talked it over with my beloved, and we both feel that we can't risk it - for one thing our wedding insurance wouldn't cover the rearrangement costs. Back to the drawing board in the venue search. Sigh. I've lined up a few places for us to look at the next time my beloved is over here, but I suspect that they won't be quite what we're looking for - one is on the other side of the city for one thing. The other option is to accept that we're not going to be able to take our own caterers and go for one of the nice city centre venues- money is less of a factor than it was six months ago, for the reception at least, so we could certainly afford some of the lower end ones. I found rather a nice one within walking distance of the church - the City Chambers. We are going to have a look at it and we'll see.
latestarter: (Default)
As I said in my last post we have already looked at a couple of venues. We decided almost immediately that we wanted our favourite French restaurant to do the catering- either that or have the reception in the restaurant. The only problem with having the reception in the restaurant is that it's not very big. However, it turns out that it's quite hard to bring your own caterer to a venue in Edinburgh. Most of the ones that don't do their own in-house catering have a preferred list of (extremely expensive) ones that you must choose from. I had a look at the Scottish Book Trust who hire out their garden and meeting space, but unfortunately they're going to be undergoing renovation when we want to get married. I should say that before we had decided on La Bagatelle, we had a look at the Braid Hills Hotel which is a fairly traditional mid-range sort of venue, but it really wasn't our scene. Edinburgh has some fabulous venues unfortunately at fabulous prices, and since our budget is characterised by the phrase 'as cheap as possible', we can't afford any of them. We'll be looking at a few other places over the next few months, but I would like to get this sorted out asap.


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At long last, love

April 2012

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