Our Wonderland Wedding, Great Fosters 25/08/11

I now have been married for just over three weeks, going back to work on a busy maternity ward was defo a huge bump to reality! I have enjoyed reading so many real wedding reports that felt I should share mine so here it goes!


Rhodri and I met when we were 16, at College. We had been to different secondary schools and i had been to an all girls so quickly took notice of all the boys! Rhodri was in my tutor group and my history class but we didn't really talk much for that first year. Everyone knew that I liked him, must have been the baseball cap and baggy jeans! So it became my mission to get to know him better. Eventually at the beginning of year two we began hanging out more, going to same parties and because we lived in the same village, going home in same taxis etc. A couple of these nights at the rugby club ended in kisses. But that was it. Nothing else. So weird that this was so long ago, that I didn't even have a mobile! Otherwise I'm pretty sure I would have sent him a message saying get your act together! Anyways another Friday, another ruby club 18. At lunchtime we were sitting in the courtyard and he says something like, so are you going to get really drunk at this party tonight and kiss me again? I took this really bad and said no, i don't think I'll even talk to you and stormed off! In the meantime I went up to London to see Backstreet Boys filming CDUK. The trains on the way back were delayed so my best friend said she thought maybe we wouldn't get to the rugby club till late so was it really worth going. I was furious with Rhodri but still needed to see him so had a little melt down on the train and she saw that we NEEDED to go to this party. We arrived at the same time as him, but i didn't really say much and spent a lot of the night avoiding him, until one of his friends called me outside and Rhodri was there, a little bit merry. He went to kiss me and I said no, so then he said ok but will you be my girlfriend. My heart melted at this point and I couldn't really say much more than YES! So that was the beginning of us, nearly 11 years ago.

So fast forward 7 years, we'd gone off to uni, gone to China travelling, had ups, downs and what felt like round the corners but I knew we were really solid. However I wanted to get married. Rhodri is very laid back, I am not at all so guessing that is how we work. Rhodri kept saying he knew that we would get married, just not yet. This frustrated me! I wanted a huge wedding to plan, lol. So lots of times we'd be talking about things and I somehow would always bring it back to weddings then get upset, writing this down makes me sound like a bit of a psycho but I'm not! I promise!. Anyways I think there was something on TV and the woman was leaving the guy because he wasn't going to propose ever and I mentioned it and Rhodri got really cross, which he never ever does. He said to me that he did want to get married and to me, just not yet and if i didn't shut up about it then maybe it would happen. That was me well and truly put in my place! We booked a trip to New York for our 8 year anniversary and I tried to put enagement out of my mind!


  • New York was an amazing trip, we had so much fun together, went to amazing restaurants, and to central park. I ate as many cupcakes and cheesecake as I could find and was very happy. Until the last day. We were to the statue of liberty, it was freezing! I was tired and not wanting to go home! I wanted to go back to the hotel to get on a nice dress and go somewhere for a nice dinner, and Rhodri wanted us to go back to central park, to look at the John Lennon memorial. I was getting grumpy but agreed, pointing out not only do I not like the Beetles (I'm a bad person I know, I just don't like them), it was dark and we had already been to central Park. Rhodri said we could get the subway, so we did. Sat down to hear the announcement that there was one more stop then fast train to somewhere else. Rhodri was panicking and acting odd saying we weren't going to get there in time now etc, so I did think what is he going on about. Anyways eventually we get to Central Park, it is getting dark, i'm cold but there's promise of cheesecake at the end of the day. Rhodri leads me over to a rock and he sits down, i nearly fall off this rock and fail to notice the ring box coming out of his pocket! He didn't really say much, apart from I thought you might like to get married? With huge squeals from me! We decided then and there we would start planning as soon as we got back, wouldn't go overboard and crazy and only have a smallish wedding, max 70 people. We didn't tell anyone until we landed that we were engaged and actually Rhodri had not told anyone at all what he was planning so everyone was quite shocked that he had actually done it! I joke to people that after 8 years it was not a huge shock, but i was quite taken back.

    The Great Big Venue Search

    We'd barely been back a week and I had made appointments for 4 venues and ordered brochures for a couple more. I liked the idea of a barn, and near to where the parents live in Horsham so first place we visited was Upwaltham Barns, near Chichester. I was in love, was exactly what we were looking for apart from the only accommodation was a cottage for me and Rhodri. His sister had just had a baby and we just thought that maybe a manor house would be ideal. We were against hotels as we wanted something more personal and homely. We then looked at Waltons Oak Barn at the English Wine Centre, Alfriston, Gate Street Barn, Bramely, Laughton Barns, Lewes, The Barn at Bury Court, Fitzleroi Function Barn, Farbridge, Bartholomew Barn and Coltsford Mill. They were all nice but missing something, which we couldnt quite put our finger on. We then booked an appointment for Alexander House Hotel, we were going to be the Alexanders, it had a spa, I was sure this was the one. The hotel is amazing, the ceremony room is ok. The guy showing us it said over 60 will stand at the back, i was thinking surely the elderly sit? But he meant amount of ppl not the age! Anyways I immediately didn't like the ceremony room but had hope for the reception room. It was disappointing, quite new but didn't seem to fit in with the hotel and in a L shape so two tables would have to sit round the corner during the meal! Oh and about wanting only 70 max, we realised we have 58 family members and we actually like our friends so we were looking at about 110! It really does suprise you when you make the list. So it was close to Christmas, I was having a meltdown as sure we wouldn't find anywhere to get married and running out of places to look. We looked at Denbies Wine State, as soon as I walked in I wanted to leave, we went to Wistons, was I liked but still felt like there was something missing. We had hit about 18 venues when I found Northfields House, a great big house in the country. We went to look at it and I loved it, i imagined the whole weekend there with all the family and friends. However, when we actually asked about weddings we were told we would have to use their caterers, not a problem but further probing and we realised they hadn't actually catered for a wedding before or held one there. So after doing some searching on this website and finding out about Great Fosters, I ordered a brochure. When it arrived through the door, i seriously was in love. It was the 22 venue we looked at and the only one that ticked all the boxes!
  • OHHHH I cant wait to read more I am in Horsham and agree wiht a lot of the comments on the places you have seen around here!!!
  • I got engaged in NY too!!! image
  • I will come back and finish this, just started midwifery training so all a bit mental

    Here's our video highlights

  • Look forward to reading the rest! I've just finished my training, good luck with everything, it's hectic 3 years but well worth it!
  • Congratualtions! Are there any pics? image We love pics.
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