Before anything else we had to organise our wedding venue – without it, there would be no wedding!
When choosing our venue we had several criteria:
- ability to hold a civil ceremony
- ability to have our own caterers
- within 45 minutes drive from London
- somewhere for me to get ready on the day
- somewhere for us to stay overnight
- reasonably priced
We went and visited several wedding venues, and fell in love with The Reid Rooms, which I will still recommend to any Essex brides, ten years later!
The Reid Rooms is a lovely country wedding venue in Margaret Roding, Essex, and whilst it is tucked away, and off the beaten track a bit, I’m so pleased we held our wedding here. For us, it was perfect.
The photos of the venue in this post are mainly from our planning visits. I know the photos are not the best, this was a long time go after all!
What we loved most about The Reid Rooms was that there were different rooms (hence the name, I guess!) to hold the various events during the wedding day.
The Ceremony Room, which at that time seated 65 people, was ideal for our numbers during the day. We were having a civil wedding ceremony as we are of two different faiths. For me, the ceremony room reminded me of a little chapel, with the oak panelling on the walls, and the almost pew like seats.
Leading up to the Ceremony Room was a walkway, edged with shrubs and flowers. I remember walking down this pathway with my Dad towards the Ceremony Room – a bundle of excitement and nerves and hearing my entrance song being played.
There was a large Courtyard where everyone could mingle after our wedding ceremony. I remember seeing this area and imagining all kinds of things we wanted for our wedding: entertainment for the guests as we were having our photographs taken, giant games to keep the kids (and the big kids!) amused, canapes and bucks fizz…
The Confetti Area was the only place we were allowed to throw confetti. It was also where we had a lot of the formal photographs taken on our wedding day.
After the photographs, entertainment, and canapes, everyone moved into the main building (which housed several rooms), for the receiving line, dinner and speeches, cake cutting, first dance, and the evening reception.
This was the bar/dance area. It was here that we held our receiving line – a little on the formal side, but knowing how swept away we would be on our wedding day, we wanted to have this so that we could say thank you to every guest – just in case we didn’t get around to it during the rest of the day! On the bar, we put our escort cards which guided everyone to their tables.
The DJ and the dance floor were at the far end of the room. Our wedding singer was also set up here. However, with the heat of the day, most people were outside, and so for a lot of the night, this room was quite empty. I felt so bad for our singer, as he was performing to an empty room for most of his set, and it was such a shame that no one told him he was allowed to set up outside! Nevermind, Steve and I had a dance, and he said, as long as he was able to sing for us, that is what mattered!
The Lounge Room was a place to escape from the loud music in the Reception Room. We set up our card box, and wish jar (in lieu of a guest book) here.
There was also a grand piano (out of shot), where we put up wedding photographs of our grandparents, parents, and of my aunt and uncle. We thought it was a nice way to celebrate weddings in our families, and for some, to include those who are sadly no longer with us.
Here is the Dining Room all set up for our wedding breakfast. It looked so pretty, and I love how everything came together!
From the flowers to the favors, to the chair sashes, I was amazed. Our hard work had paid off!
Behind this room was the Garden Room, which is where the buffet was located for both the day and the evening. We decided on a cold fork buffet due to lots of different dietary requirements of our guests. It went down really well and didn’t seem so formal.
When all was said and done, and the last guest went home, it was time to retreat to Marks Hall Farmhouse, a lovely 15th Century, Grade 2 listed, a moated building which sleeps up to 20 guests. It is where I and my bridesmaids all got ready on the day, and where my husband and I, along with some of our families and friends stayed overnight.
The farmhouse lounge is where my girls and I had breakfast on the morning of the wedding, and where I retreated to freshen up between photos and dinner!
We loved how each room had a name, and we also loved how the rooms could sleep varying amounts of people – up to four in some cases! Ideal for family groups.
And finally, this was the Breakfast Room where we all had breakfast together, the morning after the wedding.
And that concludes the tour of our wedding venue – I love it just as much now, and would pick it all over again!
Our Wedding Day Index
- Our Wedding Venue
- Our Wedding Invitations
- Our Wedding Stationery
- Our Wedding Jewellery
- Our Wedding Favors
- Our Wedding Attendants’ Gifts
- Our Wedding Memories & Keepsakes
- Our Wedding Flowers
- Our Wedding Cake
- Our Wedding Candy Buffet
- Our Wedding Food
- Our Wedding Attendants
- Our Wedding – The Groom
- Our Wedding – The Bride
- Our Wedding Music
- Our Wedding Entertainment
- Our Wedding Dining Tables
- Our Big Day!
After Our Wedding Day…