Ali and David
11/11/2006 – Brentwood Baptist Church
Marygreen Manor Hotel in Brentwood
How and when did you meet?
We met at Southampton University in 2003. However we lost touch in 2004 and met up again by chance at a club in Clapham Junction in July 2005.
How old are you both?
I am 23 and David is 26.
Where, when and how did he (or you!) propose?
David proposed in a restaurant in Brighton on 8 April 2006. He went down on one knee after the first course – I burst in to tears, the restaurant burst in to a round of applause and we were given free champagne!
Did you have hen and stag celebrations? If so, what did you do?
I went to see Guys and Dolls in London on the Friday evening then on to a bar in Leicester Square. On the Saturday I had a pamper party followed by a night out in Brick Lane! David went to Bournemouth for a weekend of paintball, bowling and a large quantity of alcohol!
How did your groom help with the wedding planning?
David helped make the stationery and was a huge emotional support throughout all the planning. We chose rings together and he sorted the men’s attire out himself too.
Did you use confetti to plan your wedding? If so, how did the website help you?
I used the ‘to do’ list to remind myself what needed doing.
Tell us about your outfit, and where you bought it
My dress was an Eternity Bride dress. I fell in love with it in a shop in Leigh on Sea however it was discontinued and I eventually found one I could buy in a shop in Bexeley. It was far too big and had to be taken in around 8 inches around the bust! I loved it – it was a halter neck and fitted me like a glove!
Did you have bridesmaids? If so, who did you choose and what did they wear?
I had two bridesmaids – my sister and my best friend. I chose their outfits, although made sure they were OK with them. My mum made the dresses – 1950’s style tea length dresses with matching boleros and fur shrugs.
Who did your groom choose for his best man and ushers, and what did they wear?
We decided early on that there would be no top hats and tails. David had a bespoke spoke made for him and we asked all the ushers and the best man to wear a dark grey suit. We bought all the men a matching silver tie.
Did you have a civil or religious ceremony?
Where did you hold your ceremony?
Brentwood Baptist Church – it is not the most attractive building, with peach chairs and mustard walls, but I am a member there and am part of the worship group. My dad is also an Elder so the Church is my second family!
Where did you hold your reception?
Marygreen Manor Hotel in Brentwood – the log fire swung it for us!
Did you have any special wedding transport?
We hired a Rolls Royce Silver Cloud.
How many guests did you invite to your wedding, and did you have a separate evening guest list?
We invited 60 daytime guests and a further 70 evening guests.
Did your reception have a particular theme in terms of colour or style?
Did you give your guests favours?
My father-in-law’s new wife made silver boxes tied with orange ribbon. Each box had 5 sugared almonds in them.
Describe your flowers (bouquets and table decorations). Who was your florist?
My florist was a friend of my mum’s. My bouquet was made of orange gerberas, white roses, mini orchids and berries. The men had white rose button holes and the women had orchid corsages. The table decorations were made by my mum and me – vases from Ikea with 5 gerbers in each! Simple but beautiful.
What did you choose to have on your menu? Did you have an outside caterer or did your venue handle the catering?
The venues did our catering and we had leek and potato soup followed by roast beef and Yorkshire pudding with lemon pie to finish.
What did you choose for your wedding cake, and who made it?
We had a three tiered fruit cake with orange icing gerberas on top. It was made by my aunt as a wedding gift.
Did you have any entertainment during the day or evening?
A friend of the family, who is also a professional DJ, provided the evening disco.
Did you have a gift list? If so, who did you have your list with?
Our gift list was with John Lewis.
Where did you spend your first night and honeymoon? Who did you book your honeymoon with?
Our first night was spent in Down Hall Country Manor near Stansted Airport. We then flew out the next day to Rome for four days.
What was your most memorable moment of the day?
Saying our vows and smiling the whole way through!
Did you experience any ‘nightmare’ moments in the run up to your wedding or on the day?
The flower wholesale warehouse who was providing the gerberas for our handmade table decorations went bust a week before the wedding. They did, however, honour our order and it all turned out right in the end!
Is there anything you would do differently, or any advice you would give to other brides?
Never underestimate the weight of your dress – my ribs were killing me at the end of the night. However, smile and enjoy the day! It is the best day of your life!