Alison and Charlie
05/08/2005 – St. Bartholomew’s Church, Streatham Vale
Coulsdon Manor Hotel, Coulsdon
How and when did you meet?
I met Charlie when I was 16, and we have now been together for 15 years.
How old are you both?
Where, when and how did he (or you!) propose?
He proposed when we were 18. He had booked a meal for us and he met me from work and we went back to my mum’s so I could get changed. When I was ready, I went into the front room where I found him down on one knee and when he began to speak, my mum called me! I asked him to wait there and I went to my mum. When I went back in to the front room, he began to speak again and again my mum called. I giggled, and went to see what my mum wanted, and again went back to Charlie. Bless him, the nerves were now showing, and again my mum called me into the kitchen! I went in and this time I said, “Please, mum. Charlie is trying to propose. Can we have a minute?” She left us to it then, and Charlie managed to ask me without further interruptions. I was over the moon. We headed off for our meal together and I asked him why he hadn’t waited to ask me at the restaurant. He said it had been his plan, but he was so nervous and couldn’t wait to ask that it seemed like the right time.
Did you have hen and stag celebrations? If so, what did you do?
We did have hen and stag celebrations. I went to a Mexican restaurant. There were 22 of us so we stayed there all night and had a fantastic night. Charlie went to School dinners. There were 15 of them and they went on to a club afterwards. He felt a lot worse than I did the next day…
How did your groom help with the wedding planning?
Charlie was brilliant. We went through everything together and all our decisions were joint.
Did you use confetti to plan your wedding? If so, how did the website help you?
I did use Confetti to plan. I found it so helpful. Being able to speak to other brides about ideas that worked and ideas that didn’t was fab.
Did you buy any confetti products for your wedding? If so, did you visit a store, buy online or by mail order?
I did buy Confetti products. I bought most of my table decorations, table cameras and invitations from Confetti. I bought them from the store.
Tell us about your outfit, and where you bought it
I loved my dress. It was by Rosetta Nicolini and was called Michelle. I bought it from House of Fraser. It was beautiful. It was a one piece with a corset back which was stunning! It had blue crystals around the top and around the corset with some down one side.
Did you have bridesmaids? If so, who did you choose and what did they wear?
I did. I had two bridesmaids and one flower girl. I had my two sisters as bridesmaids and my daughter as our flower girl. They all looked so beautiful on the day.
Who did your groom choose for his best man and ushers, and what did they wear?
Charlie had two best men. They have been his best friends since they were all very small.
Did you have a civil or religious ceremony?
It was a religious ceremony.
Where did you hold your ceremony?
It was in St. Bartholomew’s Church in Streatham Vale.
Where did you hold your reception?
In the Coulsdon Manor Hotel in Coulsdon.
Did you have any special wedding transport?
We had a Beauford 1930 style Open Tourer, which was just perfect. We hired a bus for our guests.
How many guests did you invite to your wedding, and did you have a separate evening guest list?
We had 120 in the day and a further 30 for the evening.
Did your reception have a particular theme in terms of colour or style?
Our main colour was light blue but we used this with cream. My Dad had died two years before the wedding, and blue had been his favorite colour.
How did you incorporate this in to your table settings?
With blue cornflower roses on the table name cards and cream roses, blue and cream cameras and confetti.
Did you give your guests favours?
Yes, we did. My new surname is now Jelley, so we put light blue Jelly Belly jelly beans in a cream box with light blue ribbon around it.
Describe your flowers (bouquets and table decorations). Who was your florist?
Our florist was my best friend. She was fantastic and did everything that I loved. I love white roses and we had them everywhere! My bouquet was filled with beautiful roses and greenery held together with fabric which was from my wedding dress. My sisters had roses with peonies and my daughter held a bag which matched her dress and was filled with roses.The church had two massive displays at the front, and roses with greenery wrapped around the pew ends. The reception had table trees which were covered again with roses, the main table had roses and greenery all along the front of the table, and the cake table had rose petals scattered. We had roses around the entrance to the room and up the staircase.The smell of roses in the air was amazing!
What did you choose to have on your menu? Did you have an outside caterer or did your venue handle the catering?
We were able to choose all that we ate. We had vegetable soup and a fresh roll for a starter, with roast chicken and all the trimmings for the main, and strawberries and cream for dessert.
What did you choose for your wedding cake, and who made it?
A friend of ours made it. It was amazing how much detail was on it. It was a three tiered cake with roses made from icing all around it.
Did you have any entertainment during the day or evening?
We hired a magician for the day time for the children and had a disco for the evening.
Did you have a gift list? If so, who did you have your list with?
We asked for Next vouchers.
Where did you spend your first night and honeymoon? Who did you book your honeymoon with?
A number of us stayed at the hotel were we held the reception and all shared breakfast together the next morning. It was really wonderful. And then the following day, my husband, our daughter and I went to Cuba for two weeks.
What was your most memorable moment of the day?
I loved every single second, but I have two fond memories. The first was seeing the smile on Charlie’s face. He had said that he wouldn’t watch me walking down the aisle, but didn’t take his eyes off me and was very tearful!
And the second was when our daughter said a bidding prayer which was dedicated to our fathers. She said, “We pray for those of our dear ones who have departed this life, may God give them eternal rest” There wasn’t a dry eye in the house. We are so proud of her. She’s only four and read so clearly.
Did you experience any ‘nightmare’ moments in the run up to your wedding or on the day?
No, we had been so lucky with everything.
Is there anything you would do differently, or any advice you would give to other brides?
I wouldn’t change a thing about my day. It was perfect. I would say, make sure you take a moment out where you simply take everything in. I was told that and it was really lovely just to look at everyone sharing and enjoying the day.