Summer has and will always be the most popular time of year to get married. It’s easy to see why: the warmer and longer days mean you can celebrate your…
Written by Paula Jones Last updated: October 24, 2006
We met in a night club in Hartlepool Called “Chicago Rock.”
31 and 33.
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?”
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!
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
The Hardwicke Hall Manor Hotel in Heseldon, outside of Hartlepool.
The same place.
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.
94 to the day and an extra 15 guests to the evening.
Blue, silver and white. Simple but elegant.
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.
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.
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.
Fruit and sponge cake. My mum made the fruit cakes.
Disco karaoke for the evening along with a chocolate fountain.
Did not have a gift list. We just asked for money.
In the hotel we got married in.
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.
No nightmares leading up to the day.
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.