Bridesmaid’s finally going to be the bride - in 2015

BAE Systems engineers

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Regular readers will know I’ve spoken at length about the fact Matt and I have been together for almost 14 years.

I’ve also banged on about how I’ve been engaged for four of those and that everyone around us is getting married while Matt and I are still pretty much in the same place we were back in 2000.

Well, guess what people? We’ve only gone and booked the wedding!

Yippee. I, Cheryl Gibbs, the ‘Bridget Jones’ of Portsmouth, the girl who’s always been the bridesmaid but never the bride, am actually getting hitched.

I know everyone says that it won’t change anything. But you know what? I think it will – hopefully for the better, although to be honest I’m not sure what else we’ll learn about each other that we don’t know already.

So when and where, I hear you cry. We’ll we’ve booked St Mary’s Church in Fratton for the wedding ceremony and we’re having our reception at Southend Barns in Chichester.

My goodness, it’s the most spectacular venue I’ve ever seen. In fact, it’s so stunning and so unique I literally haven’t viewed any other venue.

I fell in love with it and so did my mum who came along with me on the initial visit.

Is it bad that I actually went and provisionally booked it before Matt had even seen the place?

Ah well, we know each other so well that I knew he’d love it like I did – and he did!

It’s a converted barn near the Witterings, once used for threshing and which still has all the old rustic charm and character of a working barn.

But they’ve done the most incredible job transforming it into a luxury high-end wedding venue.

It even has underfloor heating! I was so impressed by that. Easily pleased, you see.

What I love so much about the venue is its location, in the middle of glorious countryside.

We get the whole place to ourselves and it’s so intimate and private. I’m just so over the moon – can you tell?

Now I’ve got 16 months to plan THE wedding of the century. Advice, suggestions and ideas welcome!