What Jo Did… Venue, Dates and Rock n Roll.

My, oh my, oh my.

Note to self… simultaneously planning a wedding and training to be a teacher was not the best decision you’ve ever made…

It’s been a bit of a manic 6 weeks lovely people. I am officially a student again, based at uni one day a week, and school for the other four days – Ker-razy, but I’m loving it!

I have no further news on the veil (Mrs A Snr has been on her hollibobs), but we have made some progress in other areas…

So, our venue is now confirmed. Big relief. So, here it is…


We’ve both lived here, both worked here, and I’ve been to school here. It was also where we had our first date (not bad, as romantic strolls go!) Suffice to say, it was a no-brainer when we came to choose a venue, and we didn’t even consider looking elsewhere. It may be prudent to point out that Mr A was NOT my teacher… I left school before he joined the staff. No overlap.
Although I did work in their events department for a while, and used to time my breaks around his… I may have had a teeny crush on him…

I digress.

It has a ruddy long aisle. I am notoriously clumsy, and lack the grace and poise of Kate Middleton. In short, I am concerned. As a pupil, I walked it hundreds of times, but as a bride… eeeeeeek!
Has anyone seen the episode of Kath & Kim where Kath sticks Velcro on her W-day shoes, so she doesn’t slip over? Well, Velcro won’t work on shiny wooden floors, so I’m considering Blu-tac…

I digress again.

So, confirming the venue could only mean one thing… time to send our Save the Dates (can’t get my head around the STD acronym, so have to write it in full every time!). As I mentioned in my last post, these were seriously fun to make, and cost absolutely nothing. Our guests loved them!

Hope you likey! To explain…

  1. Mr A with his beloved Triumph TR6 (our W-day wheels!) in the Lake District.
  2. ‘Tis me, on the Isle of Mull, the day after my cousin’s W-day. I may be hungover…
  3. Mr A at Stowe, on the South Front Portico, where our drinks reception will be.
  4. On a windy beach on the Isle of Mull. Managed to write neatly, despite the hangover. And then a dog ran over what I’d written. ‘Never work with children or animals’… Oh dear.
  5. Us outside the Temple of Ancient Virtue, Stowe. We once hosted a dinner party in here!
  6. At Stowe (again!). The bridge in the background is where we walked to on our first date and, weather permitting, we’ll have some W-day photographs taken here too.
  7. Outside our house – Spider Cottage – with an unexpected appearance from Elvis.

We had to include a list of accommodation with the Powerpoint, as we are struggling with availability because of the Moto GP at Silverstone. Most people have booked, which is marvellous, and means another thing has been ticked off the ever-growing to-do list!

Last weekend, we took out wedding insurance. Cheap as chips, and worth every penny. Seriously peeps, I can’t tell you how many couples I’ve met, who consider NOT taking it out. I honestly think it should be up there with venue, photographer, catering etc, in terms of importance. I worked with a couple a few years ago, who had booked a venue for their December 2007 wedding, only to hear after the July floods that it was so badly damaged, it was going to take over a year to restore. Thankfully, they were covered by insurance, but it could’ve been a different story. I’m really not trying to scare any of you, and I don’t work in insurance, promise! I just think it is invaluable for peace of mind pre-wedding.

We have also booked our fantabulous band, The Dukes of Havoc! Now, I’ve seen some good bands, and some not-so-good bands, at weddings over the last five years, but we saw these guys at our friends’ wedding in July, and thought they were bl**dy marvellous! Every song they played was genuinely brilliant, and there was something in there for everyone. It takes a lot of talent to play a Springsteen classic, followed by a Cee-Lo Green number, followed by The Kings of Leon, and then Stevie Wonder, and to do them all justice. And they played All Night Long, by Lionel Richie. SOLD!

To top it off, they are thoroughly lovely chaps to deal with, have offered to learn our first dance song, and have given us the option of adding in additional players (keys and/or brass) nearer to the wedding. Such a pleasure to deal with, and great value for the talent and service they offer. We’re so excited about having them play for us!

Rather scarily, I lost a diamond out of my engagement ring a fortnight ago! I was quite nervous about contacting the company who made it, in case they thought I hadn’t been looking after it, but they were so, so helpful, and had it fixed within a week! In fact, it arrived back a few days ago, looking VERY shiny (they’d cleaned and polished it too), just in time for us to celebrate being engaged for a whole year!

I can’t believe how time has flown, and am über-conscious of how quickly the wedding will come around. There have been quite a few occasions in the last month, where I’ve wanted to be back in Venice – ultimate escapism!

Finally for this post, I wanted to introduce two very important girls, who reliably informed me a few months ago that walking up the aisle will be fine, after their Mum (Chief BM) and I had watched them walk up and down it roughly ten times! They are SO excited about the wedding, that I thought they might just burst when I took them to try on bridesmaid dresses…

I think there is a good chance they might steal the show ;o)

And that is all I have to report… I do know that my hen do is being planned, but other than the date, I’m in the dark. Dolly Parton theme = still unconfirmed(!)

Big ‘Can’t wait until Half Term’ Love

Jo / MrsA-to-be

Author: Adam Crohill
Adam likes Pina Coladas and getting caught in the rain.

27 thoughts on “What Jo Did… Venue, Dates and Rock n Roll.

  1. Gorgeous, gorgeous . gorgeous! The venue looks amazing!! You must be so happy to have it all confirmed. Slightly concerned that all your guests have already booked their accommodation! – I need to get on to mine!

    Oh and thank you for reminding me about wedding insurance – I put the deposit down on my dress on the weekend and have been meaning to purchase it since then! I’m going to do it today…

    Oh and wanted to you are such a cute couple and your engagement ring is v similar to mine so obviously i love it!

    Lovely post!
    Rachie xo

  2. Loving the save the dates, too cute! Jo could you possibly let me know where you got those gorgeous bridesmaids dresses from in the pic I’m struggling to find ones that are right! Xx

  3. Cutest bridesmaids EVER!!!!!! They are definitely going to steal the show, no doubt about it. And what an A.M.A.Z.I.N.G. venue …. its massive and gorgeous and sentimental as well – the pics are going to be fab! Great post honey x

  4. Jo – I love your save the date cards, they are amazing!

    But what I am more excited about is the fact that we are also having The Dukes of Havoc as the band for our wedding in March! I am yet to see them live but my fiancé saw them at a gig in London last month and thought they were fantastic. Your comment just confirms our decision!

    Happy Wedding Planning! xx

  5. Those save the dates are so brill! how do you even do that?!

    Agree with Shirley that they are some very cute BM’s 🙂

  6. Hello lovely Jo…

    I am agreeing with everyone else that your Save The Dates are 1) immense and 2) super cute…And your bridesmaids are very pretty indeed….

    But that ring… bedazzling I tell you – what a beaut!

    Charlotte xxx

  7. WOW Jo, superb choice of venue!! LOVE, LOVE, LOVE!!

    As a teacher and wedding industry ‘person’ I know exactly how you feel!! Well done for balancing the challenges of teacher training and wedding planning at the same time … you’re a star!! x

    Have a fantastic day – we miss you lots at our Dodmoor House weddings 🙁

    Love and ridiculous amounts of hugs, Helen. x

  8. Love this post Jo!

    @LauraLoves – they sent the Save The Dates (also hater of STD) out as a Power Point Slide show… for this post though I created what’s called an animated GIF (*geek alert)

    It’s essentially an image that rolls through as many states as you want – you need to watch that file size though as it soon adds up!

    Maybe there is an RMW D.I.Y tutorial in the making here… 😉

  9. Jo those save the dates are fab! Love them! And Adam I think that would be a great DIY tutorial.

    Stowe is a beautiful venue and how lovely that it holds so many memories for you. Looks like your day will be amazing!

    Insurance was something I kept meaning to do whilst wondering how I was going to fit it in the budget, then once I got a quote and realised how relatively cheap it is for how much money you’re spending, I booked it straight away!


  10. Wow your venue looks amaze!!! Is that really a school?! And your e ring is defos really pretty. Thanks to you Jo I have wedding insurance sorted, and you are right, it does give you a wee bit of piece of mind.

    @Adam, I love tec geek stuff!

    Well done Jo…and only one day till half term, come on!!!!!!!

  11. Jo, I wanted to make sure I got on here early today…. looks like time got the better of me again! (work…pfft)

    You’re getting married the day before us, how exciting! (but you have scared me a bit I havent done STDs…(oh thats so wrong!)

    They are great though and your venue is awesome!

    Insurance… again, I havent got round to that yet! Any recommendations???

  12. Hi Jo… Would you mind if I pinched your Save The Date idea? I felt I have to ask! it’s great and we’ve been struggling with what to do for ours. Thanks Lisa x

  13. Jo, what a great post! You’ve crammed so much in!

    Your venue is amazing, can’t wait to see inside!

    As for your SaveTD’s (does that work instead of STD’s?) are great such a lovely way of doing them!

    As for you ring – lush and you maids are so very very cute! I’ve got a cutey too and I’m sure she’ll be stealing the lime light too!

  14. Beautiful venue! It looks stunning. I planned my wedding whilst doing my PGCE (and living 200miles from my fiancé!) it was stressful at times but totally worth it.
    Good luck with it all

  15. What a fab blog hunny! I am sat at my desk reading this and feeling a little emotional as i get even more excited about sharing your big day with you.
    Your save the dates are the best EVER!
    Love to you and Mr A.xxx
    p.s. You may be in the dark about your hen for a while!!

  16. Folks – massive apologies for the delay in responding to this. End of term = MANIC!

    Thank you for your lovely comments about the save the dates/ring/Stowe/flowergirls, and Adam – if only I’d known about this .GIF business, our save the dates would have looked even better than they did!

    @Jo – The Dukes of Havoc are brilliant – you will definitely not be disappointed!
    @Rachie, Kelly & Jenny – big up the wedding insurance! I’m on a one-woman mission to make sure every couple has it for their big day ;o)
    @Abi – we did ours through E&L, who are fantastic! Don’t worry about save the dates – we had to, because of the Moto GP/accomodation situation, but otherwise it wouldn’t have been such a priority :o)
    @Rachie, Heather, Amanda & HelenHtobe – thanks for the e-ring comments! I totally heart it (MrA did well there!!)
    @Sammi – the BM dresses are Kelsey Rose. Too much for our budget, but I think we could get similar ones made.
    @Natasha & Kelly – thank you for the encouragement re: school/training/wedding planning – I’m SO glad half term has arrived!
    @Tim & Helen – I MISS YOU GUYS!!! And Dodmoor House, of course! Lots of love and hugs back to you!
    @All of you who wanted to know about the Save the dates – I’m sure Adam will explain it so much better than me, but we attached ours to an email (as a powerpoint), and also attached a word doc with accomodation info. All the email said was: 1. Open the powerpoint and press F5 straight away. 2. Open the word document afterwards.

    Once agin, apologies for the delay in responding, and thank you for all the messages – they made me tres happy!

    Much love, and happy weekending!

    Jo xx

    PS: We’re off to wedding #12 of 2011 – Cheshire here we come!

  17. Wedding #12, how do you know so many people who are getting married?!?!? Does that mean you’ve had to buy 12 new dresses or can you rotate them around?! At least you get lots of insporation, although you must have had that in your old job too! Have a great half term 🙂

  18. I can empathise with your workload whole heartedly Jo as I too have stupidly decided to combine planning a wedding with teacher training. A bit hectic and stressful at times but i figure I should just get on and make the lemonade! Good Luck

    p.s. I love your posts -they are the ones I look forward to the most 🙂

  19. Awwww, thank you so much jingles & Charlie – so nice to know I’m not the only one :o)

    Anita – these are BRILLIANT!!!! Thank you! x

  20. Mrs A to be…O M G
    got all the garden games and hearts in a safe place ready for you.
    Too excited for words!

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