Whose the keeno who wanted to get her wedding venue booked right away? Yep that’s me. I mean are you really surprised? This wedding has been secretly being planned in my mind for years and when I got engaged everything changed. My best friend told me this right after she got engaged and it’s true. I always imagined having a big fat Indian wedding but I couldn’t be more wrong…
Ceremony and compromises
Before looking for a venue, we decided on what we wanted. As *most* Gurdwaras in the UK do not perform interfaith weddings, we knew that was out of the window. In an ideal world we would have two ceremonies to reflect both religions but reality had other plans. We decided to have a civil ceremony for the actual day but include as many as the Punjabi pre-wedding traditions. Find out more about them here.
Organising our requirements
I love a spreadsheet, ask my colleagues, they’ll tell you the same. So I put together a spreadsheet of venues with the following criteria that was part of our requirements:
- Distance from parents home
- Day capacity
- Reception capacity
- Civil ceremony price
- Thursday, Friday and Saturday prices
- Licensed for weddings
- Late licence
- In-house or preferred catering
- Catering cost per head
- Evening food cost per head
- Corkage fee
- Bridal suite
- Brochure received
- Site visit
I had narrowed the location down based on the ease for our family and friends. A lot of our friends and some family are still in Cambridgeshire so it made sense to have the wedding near there. On top of that, it was quite important to my mum to have me at home as it’s custom for the bride to leave her family home. This is the closest to the tradition as I’ll get as Mark and I already live together. Besides that, I needed to be at my parents house for all the pre-wedding fun!
Introducing the Granary Estates
As we’re having a civil ceremony, I definitely decided on a barn. I wanted the venue to look beautiful on the inside and have lovely grounds if we’re lucky to have sunny weather. The day after our friends wedding, a slightly
hungover, tired MARJ (Mark and Raj) took my mum to Newmarket to check out this venue. (This was the second one we saw as the first was beautiful but had ridiculous catering prices that we couldn’t justify).
You know when you see something and you just know. The venue was getting ready for another wedding so it gave us a chance to see how it would be laid out. It was stunning. You didn’t need to dress the venue with too much decor which reflects the natural beauty of the barn. The Granary Girls (GGs) have thought of everything. From having a dedicated area for the guests if it rains, to the new second bar, to the cottages and more. My mum had never been to an all day non-Asian wedding so it allowed her to understand how the whole day would play out. (She got her head around it in the end, ha!).
The venue consists of two original barns linked by an open glass walkway with a stunning private courtyard in between, ideal for a relaxed drinks reception. Holding a license for ceremonies, the barns are perfect for intimate celebrations and can also accommodate larger weddings for up to 175 guests. We’ll be in the large barn because Mark is inviting our whole home town at this rate haha.
The Granary Estates also have cottages that you can rent out for your wedding. We’ve booked both for the night before so we can wake up and get ready on site without having to travel, which pleases me a lot. The Meadow cottage has a bridal suite which is perfect for me and my bridesmaids to get ready in. The Appletree cottage next door also accommodates 6 people so it means you have 12 people stay in the two cottages.
I can’t wait to wear my bridal lengha, marry my fiancé, eat, drink, make speeches, dance to Bhangra and celebrate with our family and friends at this gorgeous venue.
Find out more about the Granary Estates here:
*Featured image shot by Ania Ames Photography