I always thought that as soon as found my groom, the wedding I had been planning in my head from the age of six could just be put in place. I knew (roughly) what I wanted to wear, where we'd exchange vows, what flowers I would carry and what the favours would be like; but it's funny how quickly that vivid vision goes out the window.


My imaginary wedding at St Pauls for 300 suddenly didn't appeal as much as a wedding for 60 at home. (The fact that my father reminded me that my wedding fund had already been spent as an investment in Maids to Measure helped make that decision somewhat, I'll admit, but I'm not sure that even if that weren't the case it would be the right choice for us.)

So a wedding at home it is! (Maybe.) While I wish it were a conveniently located cottage with beautiful grounds as far as the eye can see, that isn't quite the case...

Home is a town house in the centre of Portsmouth. A home I love and treasure for all sorts of reasons, but it isn't exactly the easiest (read: prettiest) venue to work with…


For starters, there are four garages on a backyard with a few oversized pots. Not to mention the number of logistical problems that would come with making a non-venue function.

I know all brides want something 'different' for their big day, but this is perhaps a bit OTT-different. And not in a good way. Lucky, I have bloved wedding stylist Louise on hand to help! She's looking at a way of creating an 'ugly pretty' in this exact space.

So while I wait for Louise to work her magic, I think of venue alternatives in London and Hampshire, just in case.

First up in my alternative list: Spitbank Fort. This exclusive fort in the middle of the Solent is totally different (in a good way) and I love the idea of my guests getting a boat to reach the venue. But is it a good idea in March? The tour is booked so will mull that over then…

Next up: Fetcham Park, pictured. Perfectly located between London and home, this historic mansion is simply one of the most beautiful venues I have ever seen. I've been fortunate enough to visit it on various occasions, both for weddings and on business, and utterly love it. But it is so grand! Is it too grand for a smaller party?

Finally, there is Caswell House, a Cotswold barn venue that has the ability to set my heart soaring. Yes, it is that romantic. The only problem? I have no personal ties to Oxfordshire. Is it weird to marry somewhere that we have no connection to?

The final venue decision will have to wait... Who knew weddings could be such a minefield?