Amira and Martin’s Real Life Wedding

Written by    Last updated: October 3, 2006



26/08/2006 – Hartsfield Manor in Betchworth, Surrey


How and when did you meet?

At university. Martin wasn’t doing the same course as me but he was just a few doors away in our halls of residence!

How old are you both?


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

Martin firstly asked my dad for his consent to my hand in marriage. On the Sunday before Valentine’s Day 2005, I had been doing my usual household chores and thought I had done a good job. Then on Valentine’s Day, Martin told me that he would be taking me somewhere nice for dinner so I should put on a nice frock ready for when he got home from work. Then in the evening on Valentine’s Day, once Martin got home from work, I was in the kitchen and Martin said that whilst doing my chores I had missed a bit on the kitchen floor! I was very taken aback and asked him to point where. Martin promptly did so and whilst doing this, he knelt, flashed me one of his famous cheeky smiles, and asked me to marry him! I was so happy and excited I cried all evening afterwards. Tears of joy of course!

Did you have hen and stag celebrations? If so, what did you do?

About 20 girls and I went to Brighton for a weekend whilst Martin and his friends went to Bratislava, Slovakia.

How did your groom help with the wedding planning?

To be honest, Martin didn’t really help with the planning at all but he did help lots with all the stress and emotions I went through in planning it so that was a massive help in itself and helped with the planning indirectly!

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

Yes, lots! I loved the budget planners and reminders page. The real life weddings page gave me lots of inspiration. I especially liked the chat page because I got lots of help, support and advice there from other brides and brides to be.

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

Yes, ribbon and one of the little books they do for fathers of the bride which was quite helpful for him.

Tell us about your outfit, and where you bought it

I had a beautiful Ashley Love by Jasmine dress. It was an ivory A-line dress with intricate (and sparkly!) embroidery on the bodice, hem line and train. The dress was made of satin and was extremely elegant. I definitely knew it was “the one” as soon as I tried it on and I definitely felt like a princess wearing it on my wedding day!

Did you have bridesmaids? If so, who did you choose and what did they wear?

I had four beautiful bridesmaids. My sister was my chief bridesmaid and then I had my two best friends and my cousin. They wore beautiful tea-length taupe dresses (my favourite colour) that were strapless and had a belt with a lovely diamante buckle on it. The dresses were by Alfred Angelo.

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

The groom had his brother as his best man and three of his closest friends as ushers. The groom wore black tails and trousers, ivory waistcoat (that had an intricate pattern on it) with a taupe cravat and handkerchief to match the colour of the bridesmaids’ dresses. The best man and ushers wore the same but had a plain ivory waistcoat and grey pinstripe trousers.

Did you have a civil or religious ceremony?

We had a civil ceremony as neither of us is particularly religious and my parents prescribe to two different religions so it made everybody happy!

Where did you hold your ceremony?

Hartsfield Manor in Betchworth, Surrey.

Where did you hold your reception?

Also in Hartsfield Manor in Betchworth, Surrey.

Did you have any special wedding transport?

I actually got ready at the venue but Martin got ready at home and I arranged for an Aston Martin DB7 to pick him up with Pierce Brosnan’s real life double to drive him! He loves Aston Martins and James Bond so it was perfect and he loved it!

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

We had 70 people to come to the day ceremony and a further 30 that came to the evening reception.

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

We kept to the colour scheme of taupe ivory and fuchsia.

How did you incorporate this in to your table settings?

We had ivory and fuchsia flowers and taupe shred in the men’s favour bags. We also had fuchsia ribbon tied around the napkins.

Did you give your guests favours?

We did. We gave the ladies diamante earrings and the men had a small tube of shaving moisturiser.

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

I had a bouquet of ivory roses in a dome shape with crystals within them and a tiny bit of foliage around the edge. It was tied with ivory organza ribbon and pearl headed pins. My bridesmaids had ivory and fuchsia roses. The tables had fuchsia roses and foliage on top of tall vases and floating fuchsia petals midway in the vases. We also put fuchsia roses on the napkins. We also had a long top table arrangement. Our florist was Gabi at the Fine Flowers Company.

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

We had a goat’s cheese starter, then lamb and lemon tart for dessert. The venue’s caterers cooked for us and it was wonderful!

What did you choose for your wedding cake, and who made it?

We had a four round tier cake that had sparkly ivory icing and fuchsia roses between each tier and on the top. My friend’s mum made it for us and it was fab!

Did you have any entertainment during the day or evening?

We had violinists to play before, during and after the ceremony and then we had the groom’s band “Redhouse” play in the evening and a disco.

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

We had a gift list with John Lewis.

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

We spent our first night in the honeymoon suite at the venue and then we jetted off to Thailand. We spent four days in Bangkok before spending another 10 days in Koh Samui.

What was your most memorable moment of the day?

There are so many but I think the main one was the moment the registrar pronounced us husband and wife. Walking down the aisle was very emotional too and that was very memorable.

Did you experience any ‘nightmare’ moments in the run up to your wedding or on the day?

A few. The bridesmaids’ dresses were too big and late in being made, sorting out guest accommodation and my hair and make up lady pulled out the day before my wedding! All very stressful!

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

I wouldn’t do anything differently but I would advise other brides to get organised as early on as possible and enjoy every moment of the day because it all goes so quickly!


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