Thursday, 5 February 2009
St John's Wilberforce and Oakville House
I found this image through a Google image search and loved it - that sky is so moody! The photo originally comes from this site; I recommend a visit if you like photos of old churches - these are fabulous.
DD was married in a fairytale princess dress and wanted a fairytale church. She and SIL searched the countryside for months, looking for an "old sandstone church" [our own church being an auditorium] and found this among others. The clincher? The minister was down-to-earth and easy to get on with, they all clicked from the first meeting. And so, the church was chosen.
And outside? Well, as you can see, it's on a hill so on the day of the wedding there was a good breeze blowing. Across the road is a large park with a war memorial. The photo above shows the view of the war memorial with the church and the old school house in the background. From the church grounds, there is a beautiful country view to the south east. Unfortunately, I can't find any photos on the 'Net and, of course, I wasn't using my camera straight after the ceremony.
The reception was held at Oakville House. Not only was it about twenty minutes from the church, it was out in the country on several acres and had horses. DD used to do show-jumping and dressage [never competitively]. The owners, Les and Jo who live on site, have only one wedding on any given day [unlike 'the other place' we visited that could do up to six in one day and sometimes three at a time!!]. We were told we could have any meals we wanted. This was very different to that 'other place' that said [in effect]: "Here is the menu, like it or leave it." Les, the chef at Oakville House, even made separate meals for two guests with special dietary requirements. The 'other place' gave a flat out "no" to this request!
And the clincher for this reception venue? Guests were allowed onto the property before the reception began to sit in the lounge in air-conditioned comfort, order their own drinks and be served canapes. How many weddings have you been to where you had to find something to do or somewhere to go between the ceremony and the reception because the bridal party was having photos taken? Our reception officially started at 6pm; the guests left the church at 4.30. The guests went straight to Oakville House where they were relieved to get out of the oppressive 37*C heat!
The MC was excellent, he knew exactly what he was doing. The staff were unobtrusive, polite and very attentive. The meals were large [no nouveau cuisine here] and good quality. The Chicken Cordon Bleu and the Chocolate Bavarian I had were delicious. Les and Jo told us: "Guests never leave Oakville House hungry" and they were right. Many guests commented on the lovely venue and the 'family feel'. The Bride and Groom were happy; the guests were happy. The only thing that bothered me was the volume of the music - twice we had to ask for it to be turned down; but I am very sensitive to loud noise. Besides, I want to have conversation without shouting! All in all, I would recommend Oakville House for a hassle-free reception venue.