It’s The Secrets You Discover…

Diary of a Wedding Planner

One of the exciting things about my job as a wedding planner is having the opportunity to head out on the road visiting lots of fabulous venues on behalf of my couples. I love a bit of history, and I certainly get my fair fix of it visiting manor houses owned by old wealthy families, castles steeped in centuries of legend, and historic venues with views across miles of Welsh farmland. I also love finding little hidden gems and contemporary hide-outs, and quite often find myself taking a couple of side notes on my visits for places to stay with friends, or hotels with rather inviting spas for if I should find myself with a rare day off…!

Since Saturday morning, I have found myself out on the road visiting several venues from West Wales, to Powys, to The Vale of Glamorgan, to Bridgend, and I sure have seen a whole range of different shapes, styles, exteriors, interiors, atmospheres and offers from a host of buildings able to make your big day special in their own unique way.

But it is the secrets you discover whilst out on the road that make venue searching all the more fun, and often when planning a day out of the office I’ll try to fit in a little bit of time to make the most of an opportunity to see something extra on my trip, a little bit of indulgence for my own enjoyment, if you will!

Whilst visiting the Powys area on Sunday afternoon, I found myself only 20 minutes from one of my favourite Welsh towns, Hay On Wye. Mr Perfect and I  fell in love Hay On Wye a few years ago whilst attending an experimental poetry jamboree held in the town along the same weekend as the legendary Hay Festival (Mr P being a self-confessed poetry nerd) and have visited every summer since. It was during one of these festivals that I discovered what is now my favourite vintage and antique shop in the world, ‘The Olde Curiosity Shoppe.’ I had escaped the jamboree for 10 minutes (being a self-confessed poetry novice) and discovered this little beauty of a vintage wonderland tucked away in a secret corner behind the castle – an hour and a half later I was still hiding in amongst the attic beams, thoroughly enjoying myself surrounded by mountains of clothes, hats, gloves, handbags, pill boxes, oxo tins, magazines, milk jugs, glasswares, suitcases, sunglasses et al. It’s a wonder Mr Perfect hadn’t sent in a search party by this point! So, since I was only a few miles away from the shop I love so much, it would have been rude not to pop in after my final venue visit, wouldn’t it? I am now the proud owner of a very fabulous 1940 Harrods handbag, and a 1920s Chinese, hand-painted sugar bowl.

Whilst zipping around the Vale of Glamorgan visiting more venues yesterday afternoon, and with my assistant for the day, Margaret, in tow we made a little stop by Ogmore Castle on the way home, as Mags had mentioned some tipis she’d spotted in a nearby field there once before. We found the castle, we also found the tipis, and a whole host of horses grazing and cooling down by the river – what a perfect end to an afternoon wedding-site-shopping! We stopped by the castle for a quick cup of tea before heading home and were lucky enough to meet the owner of the tipi company enjoying an afternoon in the sunshine there too.

Sometimes it pays to take a little time out to stop and see the things you love. Now I have a handy contact for wedding tipis and yurts on my books, and a glamorous new handbag to swing about my arm on my next road trip!

With love,
Samantha x

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