We decided to have our wedding in our parent's back garden, which is such a brilliant thing to do, if your parent's back garden is big enough! Firstly, it's cheaper. So much cheaper. Secondly, with Alice we wanted to make sure that she was familiar with the place and could put her to bed when she got tired without anyone having to leave or us being worried about her. And thirdly, it is a brilliantly relaxed day.
But it was hard work. We hired a huge marquee complete with chairs, tables, lights, flooring and table cloths. You can get some really great deals out there, so it's worth getting a few quotes. When the marquee was up, it was completely our job to decorate it and set up all the tables. This meant that we could be as creative as we wanted and as a complete fuss pot, I loved having that sense of control over every last detail. But it was hard work. I spent ages sorting out the tables, filling the wedding favour jam jars with sweets, writing out name place cards and putting napkin holders round all 50 napkins. We also had to put up 70 paper flowers and hang them from the ceiling, set up the DJ bits and bobs as we did our own music and make sure the kitchen was cleared for the caterers!
But I wouldn't have liked it any other way. The fact that it was in our parents garden meant that 99 per cent of our guests already new how to get there and felt relaxed and at home in the venue. I was so pleased with the decorations in the end and even got to see the florist put the flowers out on the table before I left for the registry office.
Any tips? Yes! Book everything way in advance. Make sure you keep track of all your suppliers and how much you owe each one. Don't forget the details, I wasn't exactly over the moon about writing out 50 name place cards at 11pm the night before the wedding! And most importantly, make sure you let your toddler run about the place while you decorate it. It is hilarious and I have never seen her so excited!
Alice loved the dance floor. She thought it would be the perfect place to ride her toy car. And she wasn't in the way of the DJ bits and bobs at all! (she was!)
I would have probably paid someone else to put up all those blooming paper flowers in hindsight, but they looked so pretty!
I will show you some pictures of the finished marquee as soon as I have them!