We met in June 2002, through mutual friends, at a nightclub in Worcester (after I had just been to my uncle's wedding reception!)
I am 23 and Alex is 27.
We had been talking about getting married for a while so Alex decided to ask my parents for my hand in marriage... except he chickened out and asked me to help him do this! After they had said yes we went out looking for an engagement ring. Alex had recently moved into a new house so after the house warming party when everyone had gone home, he got down on one knee and the rest is history!
I had my hen weekend in Nottingham. About 10 of us enjoyed a pampering weekend at the Hilton hotel and went out lots! Alex went to north Devon for his stag weekend with his friends. I think they mainly got drunk and sat on the beach! We both had 'alternative' nights at home where we invited the more mature guests to join in a celebration. Alex's brother in law Robbie even composed and performed a song just for Alex!
Alex is a DJ so he sorted out the disco and marquee etc. He also helped with the suits (of course!), sorting out travel and directions etc. and he kept me sane... or tried to at least!
I used Confetti a lot during the run up to the wedding. I found the message boards very useful, whether it was for information or just general advice.
We bought some party items at the Birmingham store for our evening reception. I also purchased personalised bears from the website for our flower girls.
As I was to be a 'big and beautiful' bride I was worried about finding a dress that didn't look like a tent! I needn't have worried as I found my perfect dress at A-Z Wedding Services in Stourport (Worcesterchire.) It was an Alfred Angelo ivory dress with a beautifully beaded bodice and semi-cathedral train. I bought the dress because the train was exquisitely beaded and I was told that it twinkled!
I had three adult and three little bridesmaids. My adult bridesmaids were my three best friends Lois (matron of honour), Rachael and Louise. They wore custom-made dusky pink dresses. My three flower girls are relations... Ella (Alex's niece), Rebecca and Alice, who are daughters of two of Alex's cousins. They wore custom-made ivory dresses with a dusky pink sash to match the adult bridesmaids. They all looked gorgeous!
Alex wore an ivory jacket with gold stitching and black trousers. His waistcoat was specially made for him and was a dusky gold colour. This was also the colour of the cravats the best men and ushers wore. Alex had two best men (two of his best friends, Tim and Mike) and four ushers (Robbie - Alex's brother in law, Michael - my brother, Jon and Graham - Alex's friends). Everyone wore black tails with an ivory and gold waistcoat (to match Alex's jacket) except Robbie and Michael, who wore kilts!
We had a religious ceremony.
At St. Barnabas Church in Worcester.
At The Hadley Bowling Green Inn.
My wedding transport to the church was a black and cream Daimler, however, Alex had very special transport arranged to take him to the Church and us both to the reception - a fire engine! It was in honour of Alex's late Granddad who was a fireman.
We invited 150 guests to the day and an extra 100 to the evening (thank goodness we had a marquee as well as the whole pub/restaurant!)
ur colour scheme was dusky pink, gold and ivory.
We used stems of ivory lilies on the tables with a scattering of pink rose petals. At the evening reception there were ivory and gold balloons along with gold streamers, party poppers and bubbles!
We gave the adults five pink heart chocolate dragees and gave the children a party bag with various things in to keep them occupied! We had two babies at the wedding who we gave toys to. Our main favour on each table was a 'gift' from World Vision, so our wedding was able to benefit those who weren't as lucky as us.
We used 'Flowers Etc' in Worcester. My bouquet was a shower bouquet consisting of ivory lilies and pink roses. The adult bridesmaids had hand-tied bouquets with the same flowers while the flower girls had small hand-tied bouquets consisting of pink roses and heather. The buttonholes were ivory roses with heather and Alex had a double rose and heather buttonhole.
As out venue is a top restaurant, they handled the food! All guests had sent us their menu choices before the wedding. Everyone could choose a starter from cucumber and melon gazpacho or smoked chicken and mango salad or whitebait. The main course options were roast beef, salmon or asparagus and goats cheese tartlet. The dessert choice was between chocolate fondant, lemon tart or strawberries and cream. In the evening we had a buffet with a cheese board.
We chose an s-shaped cake stand for our cake. The top tier was fruit cake and made by Alex's nan. The middle tier was vanilla sponge and the bottom tier was chocolate sponge. We had a further fruit cake tier in the kitchen made by my uncle as we are keeping the top tier. The whole cake was iced wonderfully by a colleague of my mum. The cake decoration was ivory lilies with pink roses and gold buds and also the same dusky pink ribbon we had used for our invitations.
We had a disco in the evening as Alex has his own disco company!
We had three gift lists: one with a local cooking shop (for our crockery), one with Marks and Spencer and one with John Lewis. Unfortunately we had many, many problems with John Lewis!
We sent our first night at our reception venue. The bridal suite was lovely with a four poster bed and jacuzzi bath! We had a brunch the next day at the Hadely Bowling Green for guests to come along and say hello! We went to Southern Ireland on honeymoon (with our two dogs) and had a fabulous time!
Everything was memorable! I think most of my favourite memories are of our ceremony, especially seeing Alex at the end of the aisle and laughing as my bridesmaids as they danced along to one of our hymns (we had a band in the church).
Our only nightmares were really based around the John Lewis gift list! We had a few 'blips' such as guests who had declined the invitation and then thought it would be a lovely surprise if they 'just turned up!' Luckily we have a lot of family and friends who were able to sort things out quickly for us!
I don't think I would do anything differently. I would have loved to have been able to speak to everyone more in the evening but it really isn't possible! My advice would be to enjoy every minute of the day and do whatever you want to do (regarding planning and on the day itself), also be prepared! We had our wedding in the middle of August and it tipped down with rain and was a little chilly! Fortunately we had a marquee and exclusive use of the reception venue so there was enough space for everyone - and somewhere we could still have photos!