Ian and I met in a club in June 1998. We moved in together 2 months later and have been living together nearly 7 and a half years.
I'm 47 and Ian is 40.
A year ago we moved to a larger detached house and one day Ian said now that we have taken on this huge commitment I suppose we should go the whole hog and get married! I said it was not the most romantic of proposals but my answer was “Yes!”
Ian and 9 friends went to Prague for a long weekend. I had two hen dos: a long weekend in Alicante with 7 friends and a night ‘on the razz’ in our local town with about 15 girlies.
Ian didn't show much interest in the beginning but closer to the time he took more notice and was very helpful.
The message boards were a Godsend.
Yes, mainly bought on-line.
My dress was by Berkertex with a lacy bodice and sleeves, a sweetheart neckline and a very long train. I had it altered to incorporate the now popular corset lacework at the back. It was an ivory/cream/buttermilk colour.
I had 2 bridesmaids, 1 flower girl and 1 page boy. The eldest bridesmaid (18) and the page boy (12) were Ian's children from a previous relationship. My niece was the second bridesmaid; the flower girl was the daughter of my friend who was also my witness.
Ian chose his friend Terry as best man as they had known each other over 12 years. As it was a civil ceremony and there were only 40 guests to the day we felt it unnecessary to have ushers.
We had a civil ceremony.
The ceremony was held in the Emperor Suite at the Marriott Hotel Peterborough.
The wedding breakfast and evening reception were also held in the Emperor Suite.
My brother collects vintage cars and let us use his Rolls Royce Silver Shadow which he drove himself; he also went on-line and obtained a real chauffeur’s hat for the occasion and definitely looked the part.
We had 40 guests to the wedding and another 70 to the evening reception.
Ian chose the colours, we had navy, cream & silver.
We had cream table cloths with navy throws, all the flower decorations were navy & cream silk. We had navy petals scattered around the cream tablecloths and in the evening we had silver and navy metallic table confetti.
The ladies had small scented candles wrapped in cream tulle with silver edges, silver favour boxes filled with almonds and the men had alcoholic miniatures. We also arranged goody bags for the page boy, flower girl and youngest bridesmaid.
All our flowers were silk, navy and cream roses. Each table decoration had a big cream candle in the middle which looked absolutely stunning when lit in the evening.
The venue handled the catering. We had prawn and baby gem salad or tomato and mozzarella salad, roast beef with Yorkshire pudding or roast breast of guinea fowl, Eton mess or chocolate truffon.
My sister-in-law made the cake. It was a 3-tier cake, the bottom tier being fruit and the other two sponge.
We had a string quartet for the ceremony and drinks reception and a disco in the evening.
We asked for John Lewis vouchers or cash.
We spent the first night at the hotel and flew the next day to Turkey for our two week honeymoon.
Walking up the aisle and the look on Ian's face; being announced to our guests as Mr. & Mrs. Camb for the first time; all the speeches were very moving. Our first dance to Westlife's Flying Without Wings, which Ian picked, was just so appropriate and special.
Yes, there was a catalogue of 5 unfortunate events:- 1) Sister-in-law dropped the cake the day before the wedding and the royal icing was ruined. She ended up having to fondant ice it; our car broke down after Ian delivered various items to the hotel; the registrars were late which made the wedding late; the hotel posted the wrong surname up on the notice board for our wedding; we had two separate gate crashers to the evening reception but they did not ruin our day at all, I don't think anything could have ruined our day as it was the happiest of both our lives.
There are one or two very minor things I would have done differently, but no, in the main I think my planning went well and the day was a success for everyone concerned. My advice to other brides would be don't let anything spoil your enjoyment, no matter what goes wrong and do try to step back and take notice of what is going on around you. The day really goes by far too quickly. I would like to do it all again but in slow motion.