27/08/2006 – The Hardwicke Hall Manor Hotel in Heseldon
How and when did you meet?
We met in a night club in Hartlepool Called “Chicago Rock.”
How old are you both?
31 and 33.
Where, when and how did he (or you!) propose?
After one year of being together, Simon phoned my dad who was working away to ask for permission to marry me. He had already asked my mum and both said yes as they have never seen me so happy. Simon returned from watching his beloved Hartlepool United football team and came to pick me up at my mum’s house. My dad was on the telephone and mum was talking to him. Suddenly Simon got down on his knee and mum was giving dad commentary over the telephone. Simon shouted to my dad “Mr. Hall, I want to ask your daughter for her hand in marriage.” Dad couldn’t reply because he was too emotional. Simon proposed on one knee in my mum’s living room, and obviously I said yes. Everything went quiet and I could hear dad shouting down the phone, “What did she say, what did she say?”
Did you have hen and stag celebrations? If so, what did you do?
Simon went to Amsterdam for five days with his best man, his brother and four other friends for five days. They went on the ferry from Newcastle and stopped in Amsterdam for two nights. He also had a night out with friends in Hartlepool four weeks before we got married. The theme for his Hartlepool night out was bright wigs, stick on mustaches, shades and the most outrageous trousers and shirts they could find. I went to London for the weekend four weeks before the wedding with three close friends. We went to see a show, did some shopping, visited Madame Tussauds and the London Eye. We also had a great night out in Leicester Square. I also had a night out in Hartlepool with about nine of my girl friends. It involved plenty of dares and the girls had to drag me away from the pole in Yates wine bar. Fantastic!
How did your groom help with the wedding planning?
He helped with printing out names for the tables, organising the music CDs for the service (we had a civil service in a hotel). I made sure he was consulted on everything from the invitations, order of service, cake ideas, favours. It was his wedding as well as mine and I wanted to make him feel valued and involved.
Did you use confetti to plan your wedding? If so, how did the website help you?
The confetti website is fantastic. It helped me to develop a seating plan, gave me ideas for suitable gifts for the wedding party, and gave me ideas for the favours. Mum used the website to find out how dad should structure his speech. I also spent many hours looking at the wedding and bridesmaids dresses for some ideas and inspirations!
Did you buy any confetti products for your wedding? If so, did you visit a store, buy online or by mail order?
I bought cuff links for the groom, best man and father of the bride, nine packs of silver, white and blue confetti and the little confetti book on readings for weddings. I thought the wedding trivia quiz was a fantastic idea for the reception and bought two packs. When I went to London on my hen weekend I made it my mission to visit the store on Tottenham Court Road so I could buy all the things I needed. It was like an Aladdin’s cave.
Tell us about your outfit, and where you bought it
My wedding dress was white with light and dark blue crystals and beads on the bodice and on the bottom of the dress including the trail. It had a “sweet heart neck” and the straps rested just off my shoulders. From a distance it looked like a bodice and skirt but it was actually one piece. Tiny buttons ran up the back of the dress. The “skirt” part of the dress was A-line, full length and I wore a net and hoop underneath. I also wore white shoes, a light sapphire blue tiara with Swarovoski crystals, and a shoulder length veil. My dress was bought form a bridal shop in Wingate (County Durham) called Exclusively Yours by Tara.
Did you have bridesmaids? If so, who did you choose and what did they wear?
I had three bridesmaids. My best friend Nicki was my chief bridesmaid. Simon’s niece and my cousin’s daughter were my other bridesmaids. They wore sky blue coloured dresses from Monsoon. Dressers were strapless, three quarter length. Around the middle of the dress the material was ruffled, skirts were A-line and had appliquéd flowers on the skirt with mother of pearl sequin in the centre of each flower. They wore matching necklaces and bracelets bought form Accessorize.
Who did your groom choose for his best man and ushers, and what did they wear?
Simon choose his best friend, who is also the husband of my best friend, to be his best man. His brother and nephew were the ushers. They wore navy blue tailcoats, navy blue trousers, white and navy blue waistcoats, and navy blue cravats. Best man and groom wore their cufflinks purchased from confetti!
Did you have a civil or religious ceremony?
Where did you hold your ceremony?
The Hardwicke Hall Manor Hotel in Heseldon, outside of Hartlepool.
Where did you hold your reception?
The same place.
Did you have any special wedding transport?
I arrived in a white Vauxhall viper car which belongs to my chief bridesmaid’s father. She also used this car when she got married.
How many guests did you invite to your wedding, and did you have a separate evening guest list?
94 to the day and an extra 15 guests to the evening.
Did your reception have a particular theme in terms of colour or style?
Blue, silver and white. Simple but elegant.
Did you give your guests favours?
Yes. Everyone got favours which doubled up as the place names. Favours consisted of a mini galvanised bucket, filled with white tissue paper. Champagne bubbles were placed into each bucket and to give the effect of ice, I used white mini marshmallows. The bucket was wrapped in clear cellophane and tied at the top with ribbon. Place card was also tied to the top.
Describe your flowers (bouquets and table decorations). Who was your florist?
I had a small hand tied bouquet of off white roses with light blue and white feathers and blue beads incorporated. The bridesmaids carried “cones” incorporating the same flowers, feathers and beads as in my bouquet. My florist was a lady called Judith who was recommended to me by a friend.
What did you choose to have on your menu? Did you have an outside caterer or did your venue handle the catering?
Leek and potato broth with crusty roll, sliced roast turkey with Yorkshire pudding, sage and onion stuffing, roast potatoes and selection of vegetables. Dessert was a choice of sticky toffee pudding in butterscotch sauce with ice cream or strawberries and ice cream. Vegetarians had Cannelloni Verdi. The Hardwicke Hall has an excellent reputation for their food and the wedding meal was beautiful.
What did you choose for your wedding cake, and who made it?
Fruit and sponge cake. My mum made the fruit cakes.
Did you have any entertainment during the day or evening?
Disco karaoke for the evening along with a chocolate fountain.
Did you have a gift list? If so, who did you have your list with?
Did not have a gift list. We just asked for money.
Where did you spend your first night and honeymoon? Who did you book your honeymoon with?
In the hotel we got married in.
What was your most memorable moment of the day?
I almost fainted whilst saying my vows and as the best man quickly put a chair under me to stop me from falling over he lost the rings which rolled under a chair three rows behind! I also became quite emotional walking down the aisle as I saw all my family and friends and especially my groom who was waiting for me at the bottom of the aisle.
Did you experience any ‘nightmare’ moments in the run up to your wedding or on the day?
No nightmares leading up to the day.
Is there anything you would do differently, or any advice you would give to other brides?
Delegate, delegate and delegate. It is a very stressful time for you and you groom-to-be. We couldn’t have done it without the help of my mum. Make sure you write lists, keep all receipts and correspondences you have with everyone involved in you wedding just in case anything does go wrong.