Groom’s column: On location

Entertainer, magician and newly-engaged groom-to-be Chris Cox has finally named the day at his dream venue. There’s just one thing: he hasn’t actually seen it yet


You know what’s a great thing to do in the middle of planning a wedding? Move house. (Can you sense the sarcasm?) As I write this, my fiancée, Helen, is loading up boxes; I’ve already spotted two saying ‘wedding bits’, and it’s still over a year away. I’m starting to wish our new flat had a second bedroom just for big-day stuff, as it’s beginning to take over our lives.


We finally found the perfect venue and set the date, which is very exciting. I’m not sure about the whole save-the-day etiquette, though. Sadly, Helen said no to my idea of a Game of Thrones-inspired photo with me as Joffrey, her as Sansa and changing the show’s tagline ‘Winter Is Coming’ to ‘Wedding Is Coming’. So I’ll probably just email round a snapshot of us with the date, rather than splashing the dosh on nicely printed cards: in my head, fewer fancy cards equals more cash for cocktails.

We did loads of venue hunting – the choice is even more overwhelming than the cost of removal men – and as soon as we saw the Arnolfini arts centre in Bristol, we knew it was ideal. Well, as soon as Helen saw it she knew it was ideal; I’ve yet to set eyes on it, despite putting down a deposit. But I trust her. I think. It takes a lot of faith in your other half to confirm a venue without even seeing it, but that’s exactly what a marriage is all about: trust, faith and understanding each other well enough to know exactly what the other person wants. And anyway, if our venue’s not exactly how I imagine, maybe I can use it as a bargaining tool to get that Save The Date past Helen’s quality control.

The top floor at the venue is new to hosting weddings but is the New-York-loft-style blank canvas we were after, all floor-to-ceiling windows with 360-degree views and loads of opportunities to make it our own through fancy lighting, projection and design. The space is big enough to divide into different areas for eating, chilling, dancing, speeches and performances. We can organise our own bar and catering, and can even borrow a load of cool props from the art gallery downstairs. Add those props to the surrounding harbourside and we’re going to have photos to rival the dinosaur attack wedding picture (trust me, Google it).

So now I can’t wait to see the space. A venue that allows you to do exactly what you want and make it your own? Seriously rare. And having so much choice helps stretch the budget, so by this time next year, those two boxes labelled ‘wedding bits’ will probably be more like 22 boxes. Right, I’d better go do some packing.


For Chris’ 2013 tour dates, go to magiccox.com.