Written by Paula Jones Last updated: December 11, 2006
Wayne and I met in March 2003 through my boyfriend at the time. It was love at first sight!
I am 26 and he is 28.
We were at home doing paperwork for my visa extension to stay in the UK when he looked at me and said, “Marry me?” I thought he was joking and laughed at first but he took my hand and said “Marry me, then we will never have to be apart again.”
The wedding was held in South Africa and our best man and matron of honour planned both our hen and stag night to be at my mother-in-law’s house. We were both dressed in the city prison clothes with a ball and chain around our left foot and our wedding date as our “prison numbers”. The girls were all inside the house where I was spoiled with a Lingerie Party, and the men did their own do outside by the pool. We later spent the evening together with all our friends having a BBQ and catching up with life in South Africa.
My groom wasn’t too involved in the planning as such. I would now and again ask his opinion on some of the ideas I had, but as you will find out, the men aren’t as fussed as we are about all the details! Wayne and I decided to use little miniature knights from Warhammer World as our table number holders. He really enjoys the game and as our wedding had a medieval theme we wanted something different on our tables. He hand painted 12 of them which he mounted onto cliffs that he had made out of polystyrene. They looked stunning!
Not to plan my wedding, but I did use a lot of ideas for our table settings and layouts.
I love the confetti shop on Tottenham Court Road in London. I bought lots of goodies that included the silver wedding beans, white organza bags, milk chocolate silver coins and the Wedding Planner book.
My wedding dress was a one off that my Dad bought for me while I was visiting them in South Africa to look for wedding venues. It was an ivory one piece strapless dress made from Duchess Satin that had an organza overlay that opened in the front to reveal a stunning design in beadwork. The fitted bodice was also detailed in same style and the 2m train at the back was beautifully hand embroidered with the same clear glass beads, copper thread and little pearls as the rest of the dress. It had a matching bolero bell sleeve jacket, shawl and if I wanted to an extra strap to change the strapless dress into a halterneck. I loved the dress so much I had to bring it back to the UK with me!
Yes, I had two bridesmaids, my sister and my groom’s sister. Then I also had a little flower girl that wore a stunning ivory satin and tulle dress, and my brother’s little boy who had a cute little Knights outfit on which we bought on the Internet from America. My mother-in-law made the bridesmaids dresses for us and the girls looked stunning.
Wayne picked his sister’s husband as his best man and my brother was the usher. The two groomsmen wore dresses like musketeers without the hats, and Wayne had a medieval cloak which they hired from our venue.
We had a civil ceremony here in the UK with all our friends who live here and then we had a religious ceremony in South Africa with all our family and friends who live there.
The venue we picked is a medieval town called Camelot in South Africa. The venue has a castle with its own beautiful chapel, and was perfect for us.
We had the reception at Camelot Castle which was the perfect setting for our medieval theme.
No, we hired another castle for the whole weekend that was on the same estate and in walking distance to the chapel. However on the day, my dad decided that I couldn’t walk and his best friend drove us there in his Mercedes.
We invited 85 guests to the wedding and then another 20 to join us in the evening. Unfortunately the reception hall that we used could only seat 85.
Our choice was apple green, white and silver which looked stunning with the royal medieval theme.
We had white table clothes on round tables and all the crockery was white with the cutlery silver. The chairs were covered in white and the tiebacks were apple green. It was the flowers and the favours that brought in the rest of the green colour.
Yes, while we had our photos taken our guests had drinks and brochette and each guest received a lottery ticket in a “Lucky in love” envelope with their glass of champagne. Once they were inside there was a little white organza bag filled with the silver beans and chocolate coins on each guest’s side plate. They also received a Kit-Kat chocolate wrapped in green foil that had our personal thank you wrapper. As we were not going to cut our wedding cake, each guest received their own miniature cake that also doubled as the name setting.
We used the service of a little florist close to my mother-in-law’s house for our bouquets and corsages. My flowers were 25 hand tied white roses with rustic berries and a little bit of green foliage and the bridesmaids each had 18 white roses hand tied with 3 wire butterflies. We did all the reception flowers ourselves and used 860 white rose heads and 10 green seedling trays as the centre pieces. The knights that Wayne painted were used in the middle of each tray to indicate the table number. There were four white candles in each tray that was lit later in the evening.
The venue handled the catering and the food was absolutely amazing! We had the following : Anne Boleyn Buffet Menu A Welcoming Drink Bruschetta (Char grilled Italian Bread with a Selection of Toppings) Served to the Guests after the Service STARTERS Platters on the Tables An Assortment of Savoury Dips and Patés & Melba toast Marinated Olives, Feta Cheese, Mushrooms, Calamari, Mozzarella, Tomato & Basil Salad Asparagus Wrapped in Ham Home Baked White & Brown Bread Buffet Style Spicy Butternut Soup MAIN COURSE Buffet Style Line Fish Poached in Lemon and Herbs Leg of Lamb Roasted in Rosemary & Garlic Thai Chicken Curry served with Basmati Rice and Sambals Vegetarian Lasagna Mélange of Vegetables Roasted in Olive Oil New Potatoes in Parsley Butter Served with all the accompaniments Fresh Green Garden Salad DESSERTS Buffet Style Crème Caramel Chocolate Mousse Cheesecake Fresh Fruit Platter Ice Cream & Chocolate sauce Coffee / Tea
We wanted something that had the “wow” factor. It didn’t have to be edible but it had to make a statement. My mother-in-law is extremely artistic and wanted to try her hand at sugarcraft. I bought her a Debbie Brown Sugar craft book, and she started straight away. She made us a castle with a green dragon on top within days and we both absolutely loved it! My mom makes the most amazing fruit cake, so we asked her to bake us 85 individual square cakes of 5×5 cm which we covered in white marzipan icing and toped off with a green seal that matched the seal we used on our wedding invites. We then wrapped some personalised ribbon which I had ordered from confetti around the base of each cake and placed them in their own see-through box tied with silver string. Everyone loved them!
We didn’t have any entertainment during the day as it was an afternoon wedding but we had a DJ in the evening that played until the last guest left.
Because we had to travel back to the UK after the wedding we couldn’t set up a wedding gift list, but we had a wishing well which my dad made for us where our guests could drop in their cards and if they chose to make a wish they added a “lucky coin”. We had some really generous “wishes” which were much appreciated on the honeymoon!!
We rented a castle for the weekend of the wedding where we spent our first night as husband and wife. We had a room for each of our wedding party members and their partners and on the Sunday morning we had champagne breakfast in the Royal Dining room with all our guests. It was perfect!
At the end of the night, my dad and three of his friends sang us the most beautiful song called “Life begins with happiness.” It was a song written especially for us and made the day so much more memorable.
No, not really, the only stress we had was that we only had until 4 in the afternoon on the Friday to set up the reception hall. The manager of the venue understood our time problem and they left us with the keys to finish on our own time which was amazing! That was the only slight hiccup we had. Both our families were wonderful and although we had to plan the wedding mostly on the phone there were no problems at all!
I really wanted to make a speech on our wedding day, but unfortunately the nerves got the better of me and I decided not to. If I could go back for anything on that day, it would be to make that speech!