Our Wedding Venue

If you cast your mind back to last Friday, I began to share about our wedding day, back in August 2009 as part of my ‘Flashback Friday’ series.

Having been very busy this week, I’m now back a week later to carry on where I left off! In this post I’ll be showing you our venue. The photos in this post were taken back in 2008 when we first visited the place and fell in love. It ticked all the boxes for us as far as a wedding venue was concerned…

  • 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

and despite initial reservations from my hubby (to-be at the time!) it was a perfect venue for us, and I highly recommend The Reid Rooms.

The Reid Rooms is a lovely country wedding venue in Margaret Roding, Essex, and whilst it is tucked away off the beaten track a bit, I’m so pleased we held our wedding here.

What we loved about The Reid Rooms was that there were different rooms (hence the name, I guess!) to hold the various events during the wedding day.

Starting with the ceremony room, which at that time seated 65 people, and ideal for our numbers during the day. As we wouldn’t be getting married in a religious building (we are of two different faiths), for me, it felt like being in 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.

After our wedding ceremony, we walked back out as husband and wife and into the Courtyard. I remember when we saw this area, and knowing we were having a summer wedding, I was imagining all kinds of things – 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…As it happens, the day was so hot, that after dinner, every one pretty much stayed out here for the evening reception!

This area was the Confetti Area – the only place where we could have confetti thrown. It was also where we had a lot of our formal photographs taken.

After the couple of hours during which time there were photographs, entertainment and canapes, everyone moved into the main building which housed several rooms, for the receiving line, dinner and speeches, cake cutting and first dance.

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.

At the end of the room was where the DJ set up for the evening disco. Our wedding singer also performed in here – but as I said before, with the heat, everyone was outside! I felt so bad for him as he was singing 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, hubby and I had a dance, and he said, as long as we were there, that is what mattered!

We used this sideboard to hold our wedding favours which we handed out during the receiving line.

This is the lounge area – a place away from the loud music in the bar. In here we had our card box, and wish jar (in lieu of a guest book). 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 the 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 favours, 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 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, moated building which sleeps up to 20 guests. It is where myself and my bridesmaids all got ready on the day, and where my husband and I, along with some of our families and friends stayed over night.

The lounge in the farmhouse 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…my apologies for the watermark covering the names of some of these! We also loved how the rooms could sleep varying amounts of people – up to four in some cases! Ideal for family groups.

The Bridal Suite


The Bridal Suite


The Egg Room


The Egg Room


The Game Room


The Mahogany Room


The Oak Room


The Old Dairy


Peggy’s Room

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’ll be sharing more photos in further posts!