“When you own a wedding venue, and the day finally comes to actually get married yourselves, you begin to feel the pressure build!”
We hear from Serena Saunders, Managing Director of Sheene Mill.
‘Jordan and I had been together for 9 years when he popped the question… It was in a moment of complete surprise, when I was feeling anything but glamorous! Whilst we had been together for a long time, we had a business to run together and always had bigger, more important things to focus on within the business – The concept of even planning a wedding for ‘myself’, just felt like something I would never have the time to do!! However, as every ‘bride to be’ does, I found my time and started to begin the planning process!…
The first thing we needed to confirm was the venue!… Holding our wedding at the Sheene Mill was a ‘no brainer’! Whilst I admit, I was a little worried about the potential added pressure and the concept of being ‘at work’ at first, I also recognise how beautiful our venue is and could think of no place better for us both to get married!
The Sheene Mill is so much more than just a venue to us – it is, quite literally our home! I worked at the Sheene Mill from the age of 11, when my parents owned the business, to then come back 10 years after they left to own the business together with my partner, Jordan. The Sheene Mill has been the home to so many of my happy memories, from my childhood swims in the river, to the recent years… My Mum and her now husband got married at Sheene Mill, my Dad and his Fiancee got engaged here!
Getting married at our own venue also meant I had complete trust in my staff and that they would execute everything the way they know we’d want it to be done. It also gave us the flexibility to really go ‘to town’ and actually enjoy the venue from the other side for once! Selecting the suppliers was perhaps slightly easier for us than most, we see a lot of different wedding suppliers on a regular basis. After what felt like years, the day finally came!…
Walking into the Sheene Mill everything suddenly became very real. The place looked absolutely beautiful, and for a moment I felt so proud, proud of my amazing staff and of our lovely venue.
After being ‘officially’ married, the fun could properly begin and I was able to try and ‘soak in’ everything around me! The pavilion looked stunning, with beautiful deep red, cream and soft peach flowers draping softly from the railings and arching over where Jordan and I had said our vows.
Big flower displays lined our walkway and rose petals to match lined the cream carpet I’d walked down, matching the cream bows on the chairs and little hearts of rose petal confetti on each seat.
As the drinks circulated, our magician started to make his way around our guests, the string quartet began to play and the divine canapés were in full flow! I could hear laughter, beautiful music, and smell beautiful food…
I felt happy and relaxed, knowing everything was just as I had imagined. With the canapés starting our appetites off, it was soon time to make our way through for our favourite 8 course, exquisite wedding breakfast menu!!
As I walked into our dining room, I was literally blown away!… There was a beautiful, floor to ceiling blossom tree as soon as we walked in, with stunning crystals, candles and our guests names hanging from it, there was a guitarist sat underneath it, playing our favourite songs… And the table set up looked, well, absolutely breath-taking! The speeches too were certainly interesting!
As the day progressed feeling fat and full, Jordan and I disappeared for a few pictures, whilst our evening guests began to arrive… They were greeted to Moet Ice, served with fresh strawberries and a range of savoury and dessert canapés. We danced, we laughed, we ate (some more!) and we partied hard!…
When we left at 5am, my feet were so sore I could barely even walk across the road to our home! We can’t thank our staff and suppliers enough for all their efforts and for making our wedding day the most AMAZING day of our lives!’