Ali and Ian’s Real Life Wedding

Written by    Last updated: August 9, 2006

Ali and Ian

10/08/2004 – Manor House Hotel, Castle Coombe, Wiltshire

Ali and Ian's wedding photos  

How and when did you meet?

We met before an arranged blind date on the 10 August 1998. We haven’t spent a day apart since and got married on our sixth anniversary.

Where, when and how did he (or you!) propose?

He originally proposed on 22 May 1999, but we stayed engaged for what seemed like ages. Out of the blue, on the last day of our 2003/2004 Christmas – New Year holiday in the Mandarin Oriental Hotel, Kular Lumpar, he suddenly said “Let’s do it. Lets get married this year.” We had eight months to organise the wedding!

Did you have hen and stag celebrations?

We had a joint Thai buffet theme meal in the hotel where we got married, on the night before with a few close friends.

Did your groom help you with the wedding planning?

He was amazing and did loads, from picking up catalogues and searching the net to co-ordinating with the hotel manager and paying!

Did you use confetti to plan your wedding? If so, how did the website help you?

We bought lots of items online from confetti and from the shop. I found the online cafe really helpful too.

Did you buy any confetti products for your wedding? If so, did you visit a store, buy online or by mail order?


Tell us about your outfit, and where you bought it.

I wore a two piece – a corsetted top with subtle embroidery and a straight long skirt with a huge split up one side. It came from America, and I bought it from a small bridal shop in Carshalton in Surrey. The lady who owned the shop was so helpful.

Who did your groom choose for his best man and ushers, and what did they wear?

Ian chose his best mate Martin for his best man. We didn’t have any ushers. All the men wore black tie and dinner jackets and they looked fantastic on the day.

Did you have a civil or religious ceremony?

We had a civil ceremony.

Where did you hold your ceremony?

In the Manor House Hotel, Castle Coombe, Wiltshire.

Where did you hold your reception?

At the same venue.

How many guests did you invite to your wedding, and did you have a separate evening guest list?

We had 24 guests for the day and a sit down meal, and a further 26 – 30 for the evening.

Did your reception have a particular theme in terms of colour or style?

Our theme was red. Ian and Martin wore red bow ties (instead of black) and we had red roses as buttonholes. I had a red bouquet and red lipstick of course!

How did you incorporate this in to your table settings?

We had red feathers in the glasses which looked fab and red heart confetti scattered everywhere. The party poppers and favours were decorated with red ribbons.

Did you give your guests favours?

Yes, boxes of Very Cherry Jelly beans (red of course) as we thought chocolates would melt in the hot weather.

Describe your flowers (bouquets and table decorations). Who was your florist?

I held a simple hand-tied bouquet of red roses.

What did you choose to have on your menu? Did you have an outside caterer or did your venue handle the catering?

The venue handled the menu. We had smoked salmon to start, then breast of duck with vegetables and a sorbet in-between. Our pudding was our wedding cake.

What did you choose for your wedding cake?

We found an Italian guy in Stockwell, south London, to make our cake. We had to transport it 200 miles in the back of our car and our friends car, with the problem of keeping it cool on the journey.

Did you have any entertainment during the day or evening?

We had JustLiveJazz to entertain us for the evening. They were amazing and I would recommend them anytime. Ian even danced with me!

Did you have a gift list? If so, who did you have your list with?

Our gift list was money, as we have been together for six years. We are going to buy some art for our flat.

Where did you spend your first night and honeymoon? Who did you book your honeymoon with?

Our first night was spent at the Manor House, and we decided to stay the following night too, which was not planned or arranged until our first morning as Mr & Mrs Campbell.

What was your most memorable moment of the day?

Saying our vows. We both had quivering bottom lips, and I nearly gave way to the tears, but just managed to hold back. It was a very emotional day for us both.

Is there anything you would do differently, or any advice you would give to other brides?

I would have got married earlier in the day, as I didn’t feel like I had got around to talking to everyone, and that was only 50 people!  

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