Written by Paula Jones Last updated: August 11, 2006
Aimee and Matthew
St Mary’s Church, Ewell
Nonsuch Mansion House, Cheam, Surrey photos by Lesley Nel
He was my boss many years ago. We used to hang out with a lot of people from work and after a while we became inseparable. It was magnetic.
Where, when and how did he (or you!) propose?
He whisked me down to Rye for a valentine’s surprise weekend this year and his well laid plans went to pot when we got trapped in a lovely old pub to escape the rain. After a hilarious afternoon/evening drinking we grabbed a curry and then went back to the Hotel. The hotel was small and gorgeous with big huge four poster beds. He got down on one knee as I was sitting on the edge of the bed and proposed. Of course I said yes, and then I saw the ring!
Did you have hen and stag celebrations?
They were both a surprise.
I had a weekend of girly fun which started with a sleepover at my house on the Friday. On Saturday morning we went to an adventure playground for adults and Saturday night was dinner and dancing in London. It was perfect.
Matt went down to Brighton to join the masses but they went crazy with the outdoor activities. By the sounds of it a good time was had by all.
Did your groom help you with the wedding planning?
There was kind of an unwritten rule that he got involved in the big decisions (i.e. church, venue, food and booze, ushers gifts and the gift list) and then everything else was left to me. To be honest, this worked really well because I know he would have really struggled to get excited about napkin ribbon – that’s what my girlfriends are for!
Did you use confetti to plan your wedding? If so, what did you use and what products did you buy?
I bought all my stationery and favours from Confetti… Invitations, place cards, table confetti, heart-shaped chocolates, and disposable cameras. Oh, and the wedding car ribbon!
Tell us about your dress
See pictures! It was one of the first dresses I tried on and I loved it. It was from a local shop with wonderfully helpful staff and reasonable prices!
Did you have bridesmaids? If so, who did you choose and what did they wear?
My two oldest and dearest friends were the adult bridesmaids. There was a risk in the colour selection but I chose a dusky sage green to go with a white, hint of green and silver theme.
Our three little nieces looked adorable in traditional, pretty white dresses.
What did your groom and his best man and ushers wear?
Grey morning suits with cream waistcoats and sage green ties.
Did you decide upon a civil or religious ceremony?
We had a Church of England ceremony at St Mary’s Church in Ewell.
Where did you hold your reception?
Nonsuch Mansion House in Cheam, Surrey
Did you have any special wedding transport?
We were travelling such a short distance, it seemed like a waste of money. My dad’s Range Rover did the trick!
How many guests did you invite to your wedding, and did you have a separate evening guest list?
We invited 160 guests and it was a good turn out at 136.
There wasn’t really a separate evening as such. We really wanted everyone to come to the whole day and feel truly part of it. As it was on a Friday in London, a few friends and work colleagues who lived locally or who couldn’t take the day off work came along for drinks and dancing later.
Did your reception have a particular theme in terms of colour or style?
White with hints of green and silver.
How did you incorporate this in to your table settings?
The tablecentres were tall, green-tinted vases filled with white gypsophila that was dusted in silver glitter. Napkins were tied with silver ribbon and favours were silver heart chocolates. The tables were elegantly covered with white linen tablecloths and white china and decorated with silver heart confetti and silver disposable cameras.
Did you give your guests favours?
We put a single silver chocolate heart on each napkin which was then placed in the centre of each plate.
Describe your flowers (bouquets and table decorations). Who was your florist?
We decided to make up our own table centres which involved getting up very early the day before the wedding and heading to New Covent Garden Flower Market!
My bouquet was assorted white flowers and foliage and the adult bridesmaids had tight posies of white roses and gypsophila. The three flower girls had pretty posies of gypsophila tied with ribbon.
We had one large dramatic entrance vases and buttonholes and corsages for the bridal party.
Fortunately, the church supplied flowers and pew ends.
What did you choose to have on your menu? Did you have an outside caterer or did your venue handle the catering?
We employed the services of an outside caterer and opted for a light, summery menu. For starter, we chose a tart and salad and this was followed by chicken wrapped in Parma ham. We decided to cut our wedding cake before we sat down to eat, so the wedding cake was served as pudding with fresh summer berries.
What did you choose for your wedding cake?
It was a fantastic four-tiered cake with white icing and tiny green dots of royal icing to decorate, along with fresh flowers. Inside was a delicious sponge with butter cream and raspberry.
Did you have any entertainment during the day or evening?
One of our friends is a professional singer. Allan sang for an hour out on the lawn during the champagne and canapés doing an old Rat Pack set. It was amazing; in the grounds of a beautiful old house with the sun shining and everyone sitting on the grass… you really couldn’t dream of anything better.
In the evening, he came on with an eight-piece band and got all the generations dancing their socks off!
Where did you spend your first night and honeymoon?
We spent our first night in a local hotel where lots of guests were also staying. It meant we could continue the party after we left the reception venue! Breakfast was just what the doctor ordered!
Our honeymoon was a sophisticated and incredibly relaxing week in beautiful Taormina in Sicily.
What was your most memorable moment of the day?
I really couldn’t pin point any particular point, it really was all amazing. Maybe when we sloped off and walked onto the grass away from the building to catch our breath and let it all sink in. We turned around and looked at the house, the candle torches burning in the dark and the lights on inside and the music and seeing everyone dancing – that was a perfect moment to freeze.
Is there anything you would do differently, or any advice you would give to other brides?
Be decisive and don’t let too many people get involved. If you go with your gut feeling, you won’t get overwhelmed. Enjoy ALL OF IT, the planning, the day, the honeymoon and the rest of your lives.