V is for Venue…
The venue is one of the most important things you have to choose for your big day. Its a reflection of you and your partner and where you and your friends and family feel comfortable. Catherine and James consider some of the local hot spots for weddings before finding their perfect venue. 🙂
It has always been Catherine’s Dream to get married at the Sacred Heart Church in Omagh, as she put it
“I’ve chosen the church now you choose the reception.”
When considering the reception venue there are a few points that one must always be mindful of;
We took the time to consider the most popular venues within easy access of the Church in Omagh and this is what we came up with…
The Greenvale Hotel
The first venue we considered was the Greenvale in Cookstown.
The Hotel in situated just outside of the town, the wedding mass to the reception would only be around 35 miles which is inside the range we were hoping for. Any further and we wouldn’t feel comfortable asking our guests to make the journey. The Greenvale, for being in a large town like Cookstown, feels quite remote; a good distance from the main road, the large car park and all the greenery gives the sense of peace and quiet like a country house hotel. Another plus of the Greenvale was their price; they are very competitive (a full brochure can be found on their website). The Greenvale seemed like the perfect place for us.
However as I mentioned there are more things to consider. For me it was automatically taken off the table, my sister had used the Greenvale as her wedding reception (it was a beautiful day and the staff and facilities were second to none) also within 3 years I had been a guest to another 2 family weddings played host by the Greenvale. For me I had seen all they had to offer and considering that I will be inviting guests that have been to the same weddings a change of scenery is required. On top of this Catherine has forever associated the Greenvale with her memories of her time in the Tyrone Rose of Tralee, and so in an effort to conserve those wonderful memories for her the search for the perfect venue continues…
The Glenavon Hotel
The next venue on our list was the Glenavon Hotel Cookstown, this hotel is situated opposite the Greenvale hotel so the distance again is not an issue.
The Glenavon is a huge hotel meaning they could easily hold the number of guests we have in mind. They have several function rooms and the interior design of the hotel is very striking, it always puts me in mind of the decor of the fancy part of the titanic however, since most of our ideas for the day would be quirky and will require more effort on our behalf this decor would not suit us. It would be perfect for a lot of others but not for me or my Geeky Bride to be.
The Silverbirch Hotel
A major contender was the Sliverbirch hotel in Omagh. The ceremony will be taking place in Omagh so this would have been really handy for us and our guests. The Sliverbirch is located 5 minutes from the Sacred Heart Church. The grounds surrounding the hotel are very nice and the hotel itself is great. The one and only reason we went against the Silverbirch Hotel was that they hosted my sister’s wedding back in July 2013. Thanks to both my sisters the Greenvale and Silverbirch were off the list.
Corick House Hotel
Next up was Corick House Hotel and Spa in Clogher. Once again this venue looks stunning and has loads of great places for wedding photographs. The staff are friendly and they have loads of space that could accommodate our entire guest list doubled. This however wasn’t the place for us. The fact that I would be traveling to Omagh from Aughnacloy just to go back down the road again was too much for my compulsive nature to comprehend. Added to this my best mate (Dinky) had his reception there not but 4 months ago and we share a lot of friends.
It seems that when you really start to look into it, there are a vast number of venues you can choose from, even in a not so big corner of the world like Northern Ireland. This brings me to our next choice.
The Great Northern Hotel
The Great Northern Hotel Bundoran, Donegal. This venue is located on a golf course right next to the beach. The décor is stunning and it is altogether not that far out of the way from Omagh. However it just wasn’t the right fit for us.
The venue we chose drew Catherine and I too it. It was almost like we didn’t go looking for it, it simply found us. It was one of the first places we went to go and visit when we were deciding on a venue. From the moment we left there we were telling ourselves “that was nice… really nice… hmmmm… we had better keep checking around though”. The telling sign for us was that every other venue we went to see and thought about we inadvertently compared it to ours. I think the both of us fell for the place. It got to the point we were already making plans around our chosen venue whilst looking at others. My only advice would be, go looking around elsewhere and do consider different places. There are loads out there and without looking and comparing them you will not find the one that is perfect for you. We spent many nights discussing the pros and cons of them all, eventually it will click together and the place that reflects you as a couple will emerge from the pack and you will think to yourself, ‘why did you waste the time looking around.’ Believe me that wasn’t time wasted, for us it simply concreted our desire for our chosen spot.
Choosing a venue is probably one of most important decisions to make when organising a wedding, I am overjoyed with our choice, so much so that I find myself every now and again day dreaming and imagining our wedding photographs together. I’d be standing in the most fantastic surroundings holding tightly the most beautiful girl I could ever have dreamed up for myself.
The Big Reveal…
I guess this is the blog I have been most excited about writing. I get to tell you all where we are having our reception!
Like James has said, we have spent so much time planning out the pros and cons of all our options – distance from the Church, Space for those we are inviting (a surprisingly few spots were it would feel comfortable to have 200 people!) and it had to be a place where we could have the freedom to do some of our more “us” things.
Luckily for us the spot we are having has all these things and just feels so right!
James and I are happy to announce we are having our wedding reception in Lusty Beg in the beautiful County of Fermanagh.
It was a gorgeous day and we had so much fun. We both agreed the place was just stunning, but had a homely charm that we hadn’t seen anywhere else.
We made our appointment to meet with the wedding co-ordinator and have had a lot of contact with them since. But all those plans are for another post!!!
What a wonderful choice! With the venue set we can’t wait to see what ideas they fill it with. 🙂