Victor and Mary's Wedding

Victor and Mary are getting married on Sunday, July 2nd, 2000, at Ramster in England.

Ramster is located in Surrey just south of Chiddingfold, a small village about 10 miles south of Guildford and an hour south of London.  It's within easy reach of both London Heathrow and London Gatwick airports via the M25.  Haywards Heath is about an hour's drive away.  You can find some map links lower down on this page.

The wedding ceremony will take place around 1:30 pm, followed by drinks in the courtyard (weather permitting).  The "Wedding Breakfast" ("dinner", for us Americans) will start around 4:00, followed by cake, coffee, and dancing.  We expect the party to break up around 10:00 or 10:30pm.

The detailed schedule is:

Guests Arrive:            1:00 PM
Ceremony:                 1:30 pm exactly!  Please don't be late, we must start on time...
Courtyard Reception:  2:00 through 4:00 pm
Dinner:                      4:00 pm
Speeches:                   6:00 pm
Dancing until 10:30 pm
On Monday, we will visit Petworth House (also see here), anybody who is interested is welcome to join us there around noon.

If you have any questions, please contact Victor or Mary. 

Useful information:

Pictures of the Wedding Venue:  Here are some pictures of the the wedding and reception site.

Ramster Brochure:  Here's more information about Ramster, from their brochure: Page 1   Page 2  Page 3  Page 4

Ramster Gardens:  Ramster also boasts some wonderful gardens: Gardens 1 Gardens 2  Gardens 3  Gardens 4

Maps:  Here's a map of the area around Ramster.  Here's a location map for Ramster using (this is a nice map), and another one using the UK MultiMap (includes accomodation and tourism links).  Here's maps for Haywards Heath using, the UK Multimap (Closeup), and the MultiMap (shows access routes).

Currency:  One English pound is currently worth approximately $1.60.

Travel Documents:  Don't forget to get a passport if you don't have one.  Children will also need passports!  This can take awhile (especially if you need to get a copy of your birth certificate), so start now!

Airline Information:  British Airways, Virgin, and United all have direct non-stop flights between San Francisco (and other major US cities) and London.  Virgin is nice because they have the seat-back entertainment systems which allow you to choose which movie you can watch.  Other airlines to look at include American and Continental.  Most flights fly into Heathrow, although there's a rumor that Virgin will begin direct flights into Gatwick.  (Gatwick is only 20 miles from Haywards Heath, so it's much more convenient...)  Continental also has code-share seats on the Virgin flights. If you are flying from San Francisco to London, I can recommend Celtic Travel at (415) 386-7774. I've used them before. All of the standard international car rental companies can be found at both airports.

Where to stay:  There are many hotels, B&Bs, or country manor's near to Haywards Heath or Ramster.  I've listed telephone numbers and WWW links here, along with other geographical information.  In the Guildford area, I recommend staying in the Guildford Travel Inn, which is a basic but decent motel chainAll rooms are 39.95 pounds, and they are convenient to the A3/M25.  Their telephone numbers is (01483) 304932 [011-44-1483-304932 from the US].  For other places, see my accomodations page.

Public Transportation:  Haywards Heath and Guildford both have good train links to London, and decent links to each other.  However, taxis from the train stations to your final destinations are likely to be quite expensive!  For the wedding, Haslemere may be closer to Ramster than Guildford.  Train schedule information is available from RailTrack.  The National Rail Enquiries telephone number is: (08457) 48 49 50.  Schedule and price information is also available from, but you have to register first.  Train pass information is available from BritainByTrain.

Renting a car:  Really, it's fun driving on the wrong side of the road!  As a visitor, you can drive in Britain with a valid US driver's license.  You don't need an International Driver's License (but if you want one, they're available from your local AAA office).  All of the standard international brands are available.  Based on a quick search on Expedia, price is similar to the US (including unlimited miles), but you'll pay more if you want an automatic instead of a manual drive.  VAT ("Sales Tax") is 17.5%, and you'll be charged a couple of other fees if you rent from airport or some other London locations.  A big gotcha is the cost of insurance (CDW/LDW/Theft, etc), which could easily double your cost if you're not careful.  Ask your insurance company if you're covered driving over there.  Alternatively, certain credit cards may give you insurance if you pay for the car using that card.  There are also some small local agencies, for instance Chequers of Petworth (Tel: 01798 344493), which has several small cars for rent at 25 pounds per day.

Jet lag:  England is 5 hours ahead of the East Coast, and 8 hours ahead of California.  Jet lag hurts!  Try to fly in a few days before the wedding, so you won't be too tired to enjoy the party.  I haven't found any medicines that help alleviate jet lag, besides getting some sleep on the airplane, and going out into the sunshine on the day you arrive.  If you're coming from California, I find the late afternoon flights are better, since they don't arrive at 6 AM.

Extra activities:  We will meet at Petworth House in Petworth on Monday, July 3rd at noon.  There are many other interesting things to do in the South of England.   The countryside is wonderful, and I encourage you to enjoy it in addition to spending time in London itself.  Other outings that you can make include a trip on the Bluebell Railway, visiting the Brighton Pier, National Trust properties, gardens, etc.  Contact me for other ideas.  Here are some links to tourism sites:

Weather:  Need I say more?  It rains in England in the summer.  And the rest of the year.  Bring an umbrella.  I expect July to be hot, and more humid than California but not nearly as bad as New York in August.  The days are long - it'll be light until 10 pm or so.

Wedding Gift Registries: