Jack and I live less than 200 metres from our Church and less than two miles away from our reception venue. So, it would make sense to stay at home the night before, especially as our parents don’t live near us so we can’t crash at their houses in our old bedrooms.
But no, we’re not doing that. I like the tradition of not seeing the groom the night before and I’m all for making my wedding last longer than 12 hours, so starting the celebrations early and staying in a nice hotel the night before seemed like a good idea to me!
I started looking at hotels in my city and believe you me, the nice ones are niiiiiiiiice! Absolutely beautiful, posh, Mr & Mrs worthy hotels. I wanted to spent a maximum of £250 for the bridal suite per night and I thought that was pretty reasonable for a good room! In my job I book hotels for meetings and £200 gets a very nice room, so for £250 I could get something swish, right? Wrong.
This is Hotel du Vin.
|Image via Paul Fletcher Photography|
Our reception venue is at the top of that road! Doesn’t it look beautiful in photos? I could imagine having my picture taken outside whilst our Rolls Royce waited to take me to the church…And the suite!
|Image via Laterooms|
With double baths, that sofa and huuuuuuge bed…it would look stunning in our getting ready photos, and would make for a rather romantic evening on our first night as husband and wife…champagne in the bath, anyone?
Well, I would have to just continue dreaming about that, because the reality wasn’t quite as pleasant. This room costs £490 a night—that’s $787.00! Almost £1,000 for two nights? Um…no. I like it, but maybe not that much. Definitely not that much.
So! Back to square one.
I came to realize that all the pretty hotels were going to cost a similar price, and I was crushed. I had dreamt about a suite—all the girls getting ready without being squished…was that dream really not going to come true?
I had almost given up when I was in the middle of Googling some photos of our venue and I came across the following picture.
|Image via Mark Carey Photography|
Why didn’t I recognize this room?? I had searched all over for hotels like this and I hadn’t seen it! It looked a good size and that wallpaper! Oh my goodness, that wallpaper. It was that wallpaper that did it for me, I think. I just loved how it looked in black and white.
It took me a while, but I found that room in a hotel called The Royal York and it was right in the centre of town—a five minute walk away from our reception venue. I wasted no time and called the hotel straight away for a quote—it was less than my £250 per night budget. And it was available.
I could have cried tears of happiness. I arranged to go and see them that very evening to have a look around and see what it was like in person.
The entrance hall made me happy. More “classic” than modern, but not old fashioned and stuffy. I was impressed.
We headed upstairs to the first floor where he took me to the room—the Clarence Suite. We walked in through the first door and I was greeted with a hall! A hall in the room! I liked it (apologies for the blurry pics, btw—I just quickly snapped them and didn’t take much thought about the quality because I was admiring the room too much!).
There was the wallpaper. Gorgeous coral and turquoise parrots—it was so charming. We then entered the main room and it was just as beautiful as the photos I’d seen.
The picture really doesn’t do it justice (because it was so dark), so I think the professional one definitely shows the room for what it is! But this is what I snapped whilst I was there. The view from the window is of the statue and the gardens outside—really pretty.
He showed me the bathroom (forgot to take a picture—oops) and then opened another door and showed me this.
Whaaaaaaaaaaat?! Another room?! Inside my room?!
Now, some people may be thinking Bridesmaid sleepover—I started thinking “Omg we can totally shove all bags and dresses and things in there so the main room stays nice for the pictures!” I swear, all I think about is making things look pretty.
I basically skipped out of that room in happiness, and we wandered down the corridor to another room—a Junior Suite that Jack would be staying in the night before. It was almost identical to the main room in the Clarence Suite but for one difference—the parrots were on black wallpaper instead of cream.
Nice! I liked the contrast, and this room felt a bit more “manly” for him. Again, I kept thinking about the photos and how cool it would look with us both getting ready in rooms that matched, but were different. And again, I was happy.
The hotel was also big enough that there were more than enough rooms to sleep both our immediate families, which would make things a lot easier the morning of the wedding for getting ready. I can just picture the men going downstairs for a cooked English breakfast, and the girls all tucking into a continental breakfast in my room!
We went back down to the reception and I met the manager. When I introduced myself, I mentioned that I was getting married and looking for rooms for myself, my fiance and our families and instantly his manner changed—I felt very important! He said that for large parties and weddings that of course they would give us the best rates possible. He asked me to let him come up with prices and he’d get in touch with me the following day.
When I got that email I was shocked beyond belief—not only was the suite less than my budget, but it was £145 a night. The Junior Suite was £135 a night and the standard rooms for our families were £125 a night. It meant that both our families could absolutely afford to stay with us, and we’d spend less than we’d accounted for. I couldn’t have been happier.
This might have been the only hotel I’d gone into to look at, but I knew it was the one. As with the venue, I knew I didn’t need to search anymore. I emailed him back to say yes. Yes, please.
It looked like I was definitely going to get the wedding I was dreaming of after all.
Have you found the perfect hotel yet?