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Let's-a-go!

tl;dr – Invites are back from the printers and they are looking good! For the daytime the numbers are bit tight, so we’re sending them out in batches to make sure we can fit everyone in.

“Awesome”, “Amazing”, “Weird”

Just three of the words used so far by the closest members of our families to describe our invites! I can’t imagine three more appropriate words to sum up what we’re aiming for. We really want it to be memorable and fun for everyone. Try not to worry if you don’t get all the references—although there might be a competition to see who gets the most—we just want everyone to have a great time.

For those who are curious to know more about the save-the-date cards, they were in the style of Windows 3.1x. This operating system was the first I ever used with a GUI and coincidentally uses the two colours we have chosen for the wedding: blue and yellow.

Our invitations were inspired by two Super Mario games: Super Mario Bros. for the NES and Super Mario World for the SNES. These two video games are part of the world's best selling video game franchise which is 35 years old in July this year.

Information

Travelling to Glangrwyney Court

The venue is set just off the A40 so the options are driving or a taxi. The entrance to Glangrwyney Court is quite sudden so it’s worth approaching with care. There are dark red signs on both sides of the road at the turning for the estate, although these have been installed since Google last passed by so do not appear on Street View.

If approaching from the west you will pass The Llanwenarth Hotel on your left, then a sign for the county of Powys also on your left. The turning is not much further on your right hand side.

If approaching from the east you will pass The Bell on the corner of Glangrwyney Road and the A40, carry on past the turning on your left sign-posted for Llangenny, shortly after that the road goes back to the national speed limit and very soon after that, the turning is on your left.

Drive past the house at the entrance and continue up the driveway to the main house. The car park is beyond the house and will be sign-posted. It is a small cark park and although there is overflow parking in the adjacent field car sharing would be appreciated to make the most of the available space. Minibuses are allowed, but please contact us beforehand so we can make sure it will be able to get in and out.

Gifts

We haven’t had a decent break in several years so our biggest need is a holiday. To this end we have booked a wonderful honeymoon to La Reunion Island followed by Mauritius and are very much looking forward to it! Contributions to our honeymoon can be made via our John Lewis gift list (number 653194). There is no password, and the gift list is open between the 23rd of January and the 19th of March. We have also put a few things on the list which we know we need. As we’ve lived together for three years we tend to have most of the things we need.

Update: There's a secret hidden bonus gift list! There are a lot of awesome things which John Lewis hasn't realised are awesome. So we've opened a special gift list on Amazon here.

If you have any questions do get in touch.

“I’m confused, is it a wedding or isn’t it?”

We’ve heard that some guests aren’t sure whether they’re being invited to a wedding or not so I thought I would try to explain. Please bear in mind the views which follow are mine and are not necessarily the same as Hollie’s.

The landmass we live on now became its own island roughly 8000 years ago and for the past 1400 or so Christianity has been the dominant religion. This means most people in the U.K. today have grown up with the concept of a wedding being strongly linked with Christianity. The act of a two people spending their lives together is in no way specific to Christianity though. It's not even specific to the human race.

I spent a long time playing a game called Everquest when I was younger which first introduced me to the concept of being agnostic. Everquest is an MMORPG set in a fictional universe where mortals and gods can meet and therefore the concept of atheism doesn't exist. Instead the character you play can choose to have no allegiance to any god, and therefore is agnostic.

Coming back to the universe we live in, there is no compelling evidence to support or contradict the existence of “god(s)” so it follows that there is no logical reason to support or contradict any particular religion over any other. That is the essence of my choice to be agnostic. To me, it doesn’t matter what a person believes in so long as the result of those beliefs is a person who’s existence doesn’t contribute to the demise of the human race. If that sentence sounds a little heavy, it’s not, it’s just the shortest sentence I could come up with which accurately summarises my beliefs. The real thing to worry about is what actions will contribute to the human race's success, and which will contribute to its demise but that is a topic for another day!

Coming back to the subject of marriage, we are signing the document (which forms a legal bond in the U.K.) on Monday 29th February because it’s a memorable date and we thought it would be fun! However on Saturday 5th March we would like to celebrate our commitment to each other in front of those we care most about. The 5th is much more meaningful to us so yes, we want you there, and if it helps you to understand whether you should come, what you should wear, or how you should behave, then by all means pretend it’s a good old fashioned wedding.

Would you like to save the date?

tl;dr – Hollie Thomas and Samuel Harmer are celebrating their marriage on Saturday 5th March 2016 at Glangrwyney Court.

But you probably already knew that or you wouldn't be on our website. This will be the first of many informative and hilarious posts full of useful and amusing information about our wedding.

Glangrwyney Court

The estate contains a converted barn for the ceremony, a large country house with nine bedrooms, and four cottages. On the Saturday night we have exclusive use of the site and it is up to us to decide which guests may book which rooms. We are currently working through this with guests and will be in contact with you should there be rooms available here. However we have discovered that there is a walking festival (I'm sure it's more interesting than it sounds) on the same weekend just up the road which may have an impact on the number of available rooms in and around Abergavenny. Subsequently if you are one of those organised folks here is a list of some of the accommodation nearby should you want to book now to avoid disappointment.

From what we can tell, the "w" in Glangrwyney is silent so it is pronounced more like Glan-gry-knee. In general, non-Welsh speakers struggle with Welsh words. Don't fret, this is normal. In South Wales, English is the primary language and most Welsh can understand the name of the place you're referring to. However although English is used, words can have very different meanings from their entry in the OED so later on we hope to post a translation guide for any oddities you may come across.

Another interesting fact about our venue is its TV fame, having been visited by Channel 5's The Hotel Inspector back in August 2010. This is still available to watch online here and is well worth a watch! We visited the venue earlier this year and I am happy to confirm there are substantially less nudes on the walls now.

The Plan So Far

We aren't actually getting married on Saturday the 5th—we are just going to pretend we are. We appreciate how this might be confusing but its really quite simple. We have chosen the amazingly awesome and memorable date of 29th February in Cardiff. It will be a fairly low key event as, for us, this is really just paperwork. As an added bonus, for three out of every four years we will be celebrating our anniversary on St. David's day which is a big deal if you're Welsh. It also helps those of us with terrible memories to stay out of trouble. However as this date falls on a Monday we decided rather than try and coerce people into taking days off work, we would simply have a day which looked and felt like a wedding (although without that terribly boring and awkward bit where all the guests try to look interested whilst watching people sign stuff in a book). So basically, for all intents and purposes, you can treat Saturday as if it were a real wedding with speeches, dining, plenty of drinking, and awful dancing later on.

This site will be the best source of up-to-date information but invitations will be going out some time in the autumn and will contain the final details.