Images by HEATHER BIRNIE.
fforest is the perfect location for a relaxed, informal, weekend-long celebration with family and friends. The 200 acre fforest farm is part of an area of unspoilt natural beauty, wrapped in woods, wildlife and wonder. fforest is flanked on one side by the Teifi Marshes nature reserve and on the other, Cilgerran gorge and the magnificent river Teifi.
fforest has been created as a place to enjoy the simplicity, pleasures and beauty of outdoor living in an outstanding natural environment. With its private tiny stone pub, large communal firepit and secret woodland sauna, a choice of event spaces including a giant hat tipi, garden pavilion and dining and party barns, fforest is yours exclusively for the whole of your wedding weekend.
Thanks to Heather Birnie’s beautiful photography, we’re taking you on a tour of this incredible woodland wedding venue.
Notes from fforest Weddings
Everything we have ever developed at fforest has been with the outdoors in mind. fforest sits in a valley with uninterrupted views out across fields, marshes and woodland from each of our event spaces and all of our accommodation. There are canopied terraces around the site, so that you can get outside at every opportunity and take advantage of the wonderful fresh west Wales air and the beautiful natural light, whatever the weather is doing.
All of our spaces and accommodation are designed to sit well in the natural environment and to encourage everyone to engage with the outdoors. We would always encourage our natural environment to be embraced, whether it’s for the ceremony, the drinks reception, lawn games, speeches on the terrace, dancing in the giant hat tipi or chatting around the big firepit.
As soon as the light starts to fade we can’t wait to light a fire, whether it’s our big communal firepit and firebowls or, in colder months, the woodburners in our lodge, pub and barns.
fforest design brings the best of Scandinavian simplicity to Wales. A natural palette, using natural materials, but with a real sense of place – timber and slate sit well in an ancient woodland dotted with old slate quarries.
James, one of the owners, spent a year working in a design agency in Osaka in the late 1970s and returned to Japan 40 years later to share the experience with Sian, his partner, and his 4 sons. Time spent by the family in Shibu Onsen, taking in the ritual of bathing Japanese style, inspired James to create the fforest onsen domes, each featuring its own outdoor timber bath house with cast-concrete sunken soaking tub. In Japan care is taken over the siting and landscaping of an onsen to create a place for relaxation and quiet reflection in the natural world and we have taken the same care in the creation of our bath houses.
Sian designed the coldatnight double cloth weave textiles based on traditional Welsh blankets. These are woven specially for us at a 180 year old water mill near the banks of the River Teifi. The water that turns the wheel that powers the loom that weaves our textiles is the same water that flows past fforest farm, downriver past fforest HQ and the Pizza Tipi and out into Cardigan Bay.
Lighting is so important. To complement the warm glow given off by the open fires, we light candles and tea-light chandeliers at appropriate times in your schedule to create the perfect atmosphere as you move between the spaces. Festoons are draped along paths, leading your guests between locations and back to their accommodation at the end of the night.
Our wedding style, like our menus, changes with the seasons. In spring and summer we encourage you to embrace the long days outdoors, with our giant hat tipi, little hat tipi, garden pavilion and firepit complementing the barns and pub, all decorated with fresh flowers from our gardens. As the days get shorter and cooler we make more use of the barns, creating cosy warm spaces with woodburners, candles and winter foliage.
We love every inch of fforest and, as it’s constantly evolving, each season we find something new to fall in love with. But this year we have really seen the rise of the quarry. Perfect for an outdoor ceremony or for an intimate post-ceremony atmospheric photo shoot, you develop a real sense of place and history as you stand surrounded by the steep slate walls and ancient trees.
But if the weather isn’t kind we always have a Plan B that won’t disappoint.
And the Bwthyn pub. Everyone falls in love with our private tiny stone pub, the oldest building on the farm, serving local craft ales, ciders and spirits including our own locally distilled gin.
Couples love the variety that fforest offers. You can have your ceremony in a number of locations, indoors or out, you can dine traditionally in one of our barns or have an informal festival style meal. For your entertainment you can move between the giant hat tipi, the lodge barn and the pub or keep everything under one very large roof in the beautiful cedar barn. This is our newest addition and probably steals the show. There are so many possibilities as it’s such a vast flexible space with high ceilings – perfect for hanging the most amazing flower bombs. The space moves seamlessly from afternoon dining to evening entertainment and dancing, with an outdoor terrace overlooking the vegetable garden running the length of the building, perfect for drinks and late night snacks. Situated at the heart of the farmyard, the wedding party can almost fall into bed in the grand Georgian farmhouse at the end of the night.
We think of fforest as wedding-ready. You can add as much or as little as you like to the décor. The spaces and furnishings are naturally beautiful, so minimal dressing is required. Despite this, no two weddings are the same. We will help you to realise your vision, utilising the spaces, formalising the schedule and finalising menus so that you create the wedding that you’ve dreamed of. We have 12 years’ experience of guiding couples through the process and we want perfection as much as you do, so we will work with you to ensure this happens.
Our greatest asset is our team. Our wedding and accommodation coordinators guide you through the planning process and introduce you to our operations team, who will exceed all your expectations with their relaxed, unobtrusive service and phenomenal food throughout your wedding weekend. Once you arrive on site, it soon becomes obvious that this venue is magical and filled with love which is clearly filtering from the family who own it through to every single member of the fforest team.
A wedding at fforest is a weekend-long celebration with family and friends. With a 2 night stay, you have time to catch up with everyone. All of your guests get to meet each other at an informal welcome supper on Friday evening, so that by the time you walk down the aisle everyone is acquainted. With most, if not all, of your guests staying on site and sharing a big brunch together on Sunday morning you really feel as if all of your closest family and friends are sharing in every moment of the best weekend of your lives.