Written by Paula Jones Last updated: September 26, 2006
Alexandra and Nicolas
04/08/2006 – Ardencote Manor Hotel in Claverdon, Warwickshire
How and when did you meet?
We met at work in 1997.
How old are you both?
I am 26 and Nicolas is 33.
Where, when and how did he (or you!) propose?
At approx 6 am Christmas morning 2003. After six years together, in our living room, on one knee under the mistletoe. Yes,I do get up this early on Christmas morning. I get very excited.
Did you have hen and stag celebrations? If so, what did you do?
For the hen night, 15 of us had pole dancing lessons in the daytime and then 25 of us had Chinese food & karaoke in the evening with a bunny girl theme. The stag night was a drunken weekend in London. Of all the weekends it just so happened to be Gay Pride, so the lads had loads of fun!
How did your groom help with the wedding planning?
Nicolas chose the men’s suits. We chose our venue together. We chose our ceremony readings and rings together. Everything else he was there for the giving of his opinion.
Did you use confetti to plan your wedding? If so, how did the website help you?
Yes, we used Confetti. I used the forum for advice and tips, the shop for butterflies, favours and crafty bits for making the table plan and cards. Nicolas used the groom’s part to research his speech.
Do you have a confetti web page?
Did you buy any confetti products for your wedding? If so, did you visit a store, buy online or by mail order?
Yes, we bought from the store and online.
Tell us about your outfit, and where you bought it
My dress was from The Pantiles Bride in Henley in Arden. It was Rabelais by Cymbeline. I loved it! It was a two piece sweetheart neck bustier and skirt. The skirt was a loose fishtail in Thai silk, with a lace hem and tulle layered bustle at the back. The bustier was covered in delicate lace and subtle sparkle. The back laced and had a gorgeous sash across the back. I wore a short veil also bought from the same shop covered in AB crystals. My tiara was from www.blossom.co.uk, silver with pearls and AB crystals which caught the light.
you have bridesmaids? If so, who did you choose and what did they wear?
We had three bridesmaids and one flower girl. My sister, Jennifer, was chief bridesmaid, Nicolas’ daughter, Jodie, was another bridesmaid along with Nicolas’ niece, Abigail. My cousin, Meg, was flower girl. The chief bridesmaid was in a chocolate brown tea length dress from Monsoon, the two younger bridesmaids wore ivory dresses from Next and the flower girl wore an ivory dress from Debenhams.
Who did your groom choose for his best man and ushers, and what did they wear?
Nicolas chose his brother, Dave, and his friend, Sean. They wore black suits, Prince Edward length jackets with ivory waistcoats and traditional ivory cravats.
Did you have a civil or religious ceremony?
Where did you hold your ceremony?
Our ceremony was held at the Ardencote Manor Hotel in Claverdon, Warwickshire inside the Palms Conservatory.
Where did you hold your reception?
At the same venue as our ceremony.
Did you have any special wedding transport?
I stayed in the hotel the night before however Nicolas had a brand new Aston Martin.
How many guests did you invite to your wedding, and did you have a separate evening guest list?
We invited 62 guests to our wedding ceremony/breakfast and an additional 100+ guests for the evening reception.
Did your reception have a particular theme in terms of colour or style?
The colour theme was predominantly ivory with touches of chocolate brown, with ivy, pearls, roses and butterflies. We wanted it to be classic and chic.
How did you incorporate this in to your table settings?
We bought mini artificial topiary trees for table centres and decorated them with pearls and butterflies. Feathers in the glasses and artificial flowers wrapped around the glass stems. I made our menus and they were chocolate brown and ivory.
Did you give your guests favours?
The favours were either ivory top hats or butterfly topped ivory boxes. For the adult favours, we bought charity pins for the three charities that our families closely support. For the children, they had boxes topped with decorative angels and were filled with sweets. They each had a thank you bag with their names and wedding date filled with presents.
Describe your flowers (bouquets and table decorations). Who was your florist?
Our Florist was Stephanie’s in Knowle, Solihull. My bouquet was hand tied with esperanza (antique pink) roses, vendella (ivory) roses, ivory lisianthus, ivory freesias and ivy trails. The bridesmaids’ were posies made up of vendella & esperanza roses. The men’s buttonholes were vendella roses and Nicolas had an esperanza rose. The moms and nan had corsages of vendella roses and freesias.
What did you choose to have on your menu? Did you have an outside caterer or did your venue handle the catering?
Our venue did our catering, the menu was lovely. Seasonal melon with lemon and tarragon sorbet, roast beef with burgundy jus, Yorkshire pudding, etc. Raspberry & Mango cheesecake with coconut macaroon for dessert.
What did you choose for your wedding cake, and who made it?
Our wedding cake was made by my aunt, Vicky. The bottom and middle tier were traditional fruit cake and the top tier was sponge. It was ivory with ribbon around each tier and handmade roses and ivy on top.
Did you have any entertainment during the day or evening?
We had a DJ in the evening who kept everyone dancing until the early hours.
Did you have a gift list? If so, who did you have your list with?
No, we didn’t.
Where did you spend your first night and honeymoon? Who did you book your honeymoon with?
We spent our first night in the Bridal Suite at the hotel where we got married. We booked our honeymoon to the Maldives, through a local company.
What was your most memorable moment of the day?
Walking down the aisle on my granddad’s arm toward my husband to ‘our song’ with all the people I love around me.
Did you experience any ‘nightmare’ moments in the run up to your wedding or on the day?
I was very emotional the day before, crying for no reason. I found out in the few days before the wedding that my flower girl had a black eye and had cut her own hair. On the day, my husband’s trousers’ zip broke. I got lipstick on my dress before walking down the aisle. A waitress spilled gravy all down my veil during the wedding breakfast but apart from that everything was fine!
Is there anything you would do differently, or any advice you would give to other brides?
Relax. I do regret being so stressed and emotional. Just enjoy, take it all in and don’t forget it is you and your husband’s day. Make sure you spend as much of it together as you possibly can!