We both worked at Tescos, on the checkouts and finally got together
after the Christmas party in December 1996; I then became his boss!
I am 29 and Mark is 26.
It wasn't the romantic proposal that it could have been. We went
out for dinner on Valentine's Day in 1998 and half-way through the
meal he asked if I wanted another ring to wear. I, of course, had
to ask on what finger the ring was to be placed and I finally got
the "Will you marry me?" part!
Most definitely; my bridesmaid, Hayley, organised a superb evening
up in London, going down the Thames on a disco boat; we danced until
the early hours of the morning. Mark's best man, Matthew organised
a great day for him. They went to Nutfield Priory to take part in
clay pigeon shooting and quad biking and then out in Reading for
a fair amount of drinking and dancing.
He was very good, did all the running around and sorted out any
of the problems that occurred.
Confetti was great. We got a lot of advice from the 'girlies' on
the Cafe forum and found a couple of suppliers through here.
Mark is a computer 'geek' so, as we have our own domain name, we
set it all up ourselves.
We purchased our attendant's gifts. Both of our ushers received
a personalised tankard, which they drank out of in the evening,
and our best man received a personalised money clip, along with
some other bits.
Went to many shops and bought many magazines, but finally settled
on 'Riley' by Maggie Sottero. I purchased it from the Confetti Bridal
Centre in Wokingham and they were great. I went for the ivory with
silver stitching, as that suited me best.
I had 3 attendants: Hayley was my bridesmaid and she wore a Mori
Lee dress in wine; Caitlin was our flower girl and I purchased her
dress from the Celebration range in Debenhams; Morgan was our page
boy and we hired his morning suit from Moss Bros.
- Matthew was Mark's best man, a university buddy, along with ushers
Dave and Dennis.
As we aren't very religious, we decided to have a civil ceremony
in a country hotel.
Stanhill Court Hotel in Charlwood, Surrey; they were superb. Very
professional throughout the entire process - we couldn't have asked
for anything better.
We hired out Stanhill Court exclusively, so we held the entire day
Mark and the guys were picked up in a Rolls Royce Silver Spur, which
then came on to pick up Hayley, Caitlin and my mum. My dad and I
went down in a burgundy 1936 Rolls Royce limousine, which went with
my colour scheme.
We had just fewer than 100 guests during the day, along with another
30 guests in the evening.
Mark chose the colour scheme of burgundy, ivory and silver, as these
are some of our favourite colours.
On the tables we just had square vases of black baccara roses, aroma
roses and deep red gerberas, along with a bit of foliage.
We decided against favours.
- A lady by the name of Jessica was our florist, from Jessica's
designer florists in Felbridge, Surrey. I had an idea of what I
wanted and she brought it to reality. My bouquet was a hand-tied
posy of black baccara roses, with Swarovski crystals placed into
a number of the rose heads. Hayley and Caitlin both had smaller
posies of aroma roses. The mothers both had pink corsarges and the
men had aroma rose button holes apart from Mark who had a black
baccara button hole.
The hotel did all of our catering. We started off with melon with
basil and black currant sorbet, then onto char-grilled chicken on
a bed of potatoes with vegetables and for dessert with had strawberry
meringue with cream - it was delicious.
We had a 3-tier square cake made of fruit, lemon Madeira and then
plain Madeira, from Sweet Dreams in Horsham.
Our guests were greeted by Stringendo, a string quartet who then
played Pachebel Cannon in D as I walked down the aisle. In the evening,
we were entertained by Neil Munday from Music and Lights disco and
we danced on until the early hours.
We decided to use John Lewis for our gifts and they have been great
and very easy to use online.
We stayed at Stanhill that night and jetted off to the Maldives
for a week in the beautiful Laguna Resort. We booked it through
Kuoni and Going Places in Reading.
My dad's speech and Mark's speech. My dad doesn't get emotional
that easily and Mark bought the entire party to tears towards the
end of his speech.
- Apart from the suit-hire company almost getting the entire order
wrong, everything went off without a hitch.
Looking back, I definitely would have gone for a videographer. Mark
and I both thought that we wouldn't look at it after the day, but
we missed so many things that would have been great to see again
Also, if you are having a civil ceremony and they don't do appointments,
when you come to book the timings, get there early. We got to our
registry office at 10 past 8, a year before and there were already
6 people in the queue! After heated discussions and many phone calls
we got our time changed from 4.45pm to 12.30pm.