Sabina and Saleem June 1999 - How did you meet? We met in the Summer of 1996, when she was over here on a holiday, she came back and we…
Written by Paula Jones Last updated: August 9, 2006
photos by Paul Hart Photography
We met at work in 1994 but didn’t start seeing each other until 2 years later.
He proposed on a cold sunny February day on a walk along the south west coast path near Worbarrow in Dorset. I was sitting on a bench and he got down on one knee to ask me. It was so muddy he spent the rest of the day with one dirty knee!
The hen weekend was in Bath, a gorgeous gorgeous city. We hired a beauty salon for several hours on a Saturday and had lots of treatments between us. We had meals out and drinks on the Friday and Saturday nights with a spot of shopping in the sales on Sunday morning!
The stag do was the same weekend, only in Glastonbury. They did some cycling on Saturday followed by the usual beers/curry of a men’s night out…and Sunday was go karting and a lunchtime stop in a country pub on the way home.
We visited venues together in the early stages and he helped decide on the invitation design which my cousin and I did between us. He also helped with the order of service, sorting out all the men’s suits and was always a good sounding board for me if I got too bogged down with organising!
Loads! I was on the forum almost every day at one point, I posted and responded to lots of threads and have so many confetti users to thank for all their great advice and ideas.
My dress was by Sincerity, it was a halterneck fishtail and I bought it in a shop in Poole.
I had four bridesmaids – my oldest school friend, Vicki, who I’ve known since primary school was my chief bridesmaid. My cousin Jill, my groom’s daughter Naomi, and another old school friend Becky. As my cousin had only had a baby in the few months before the wedding, and Naomi is a child, I decided it would be too difficult to find outfits in the shops that would fit and suit all. I was very lucky as my mother-in-law and sister-in-law kindly offered to make them for us. My sister-in-law had made her own wedding dress a few years before so I knew I was in good hands! I selected a pattern which everyone liked and bought some gorgeous purple tafetta shot with black. They looked stunning and each one was made to fit perfectly!
The best man was a very good friend of ours, Alan and his ushers were also old friends, Simon and Warwick. The groom, father of the bride and best man all wore tails – black jackets, with grey pinstriped trousers, cream waistcoats and purple ties. The groom also had a matching hankerchief showing. The ushers wore their own suits but had matching ties.
We had a civil ceremony but chose to have a blessing in a local village church immediately after the civil ceremony.
The civil service was at The Purbeck House Hotel in Swanage, Dorset and the blessing was in St Nicholas of Myra, Worth Matravers.
The reception was in a beautiful converted barn on a ridge in the Purbeck Hills, overlooking Corfe Castle. The barn is called Kingston Country Courtyard.
My father and I arrived for the ceremony in a cream Beauford Convertible car which then took my husband and I to the blessing and onto the reception after we were married.
We had 51 guests attend the day and we did invite further people to the evening, such as work colleagues.
The reception venue had open stone walls so needed little dressing. Our flowers were predominantly cream and purple and all the linen was ivory.
The table centres had vases of cream tulips to mirror my bouquet, and all the extras we’d done ourselves such as the menus, table names etc. had purple writing.
No, we decided not to follow this tradition and to spend the money elsewhere on the wedding.
My bouquet was white tulips and lily of the valley and the bridesmaids carried simple bouquets of gypsophila. The tables had crackle vases of white/cream tulips. We ended up using two different florists as it made sense to use a local one to the venue for the reception and a local one to my house for delivery of the bouquets.
As the barn did not have an in house caterer, we chose an outside caterer who came very highly recommended. This gave us a lot more freedom and flexibility to create a menu. To accompany reception drinks, everyone tucked into little round shortbread’s with fresh cream and strawberries on top. The three course wedding breakfast consisted of a choice for each course. To start either; homemade fresh tomato and basil soup or crab and prawn cocktail. For mains; a chicken dish of either roast chicken breast with sage and onion stuffing, served with seasonal vegetables and new potatoes or chicken breasts cooked in red wine with Mediterranean vegetables served with seasonal veg and new potatoes. The pudding; homemade individual raspberry pavlovas or Homemade apple pie with cream or custard.
We had a three tier cake – the bottom was fruit and the top two were Madeira sponge. A friend of dad’s made the fruit layer some months in advance and my mother-in-law to be and I made the two sponge tiers in the week before the wedding.
We hired a singer for the evening who we were a big fan of when we’d watch him play in a local pub a few years ago. We managed to track him down on the Internet and after contacting him, he agreed to come down from London to do our wedding! He sings a mixture of songs, with a steer towards indie/rock stuff. As it was a wedding he did a bit more of a mix to include older hits.
We had a list with John Lewis who have been fab.
We had a room at the reception venue for the first night and my husband took me to Grand Caymen for our honeymoon. He’d booked and arranged it as a secret so I didn’t know where we were going until the moment we checked in! He booked the honeymoon independently, so booked a flight and then booked the apartment directly with the owners.
Our first kiss having just been pronounced man and wife and also the drive from the blessing to the reception as the roof was down on the car and we both had champagne to sip! As it’s such a beautiful part of Dorset, we saw a few ramblers along the way who were waving and smiling at us. It was perfect.
Not really, obviously a few stresses like any bride but the most stressful thing for me was the delay on my dress and shoes. I ordered my dress eight months before the wedding and it arrived in the shop seven weeks before the wedding (arrgh!) and I ordered my shoes at the beginning of January and they didn’t arrive until about six weeks before the big day!
I have a tendency to worry too much about the detail, and with a wedding to plan that was only heightened. I guess I wish I could’ve completely relaxed on the day, but found myself still orchestrating things from the top table when, for example, the speeches ran way over and I was concerned about evening guests and where they would go etc. So my advice would be worry less about the details and savour every moment of the day as it goes by far too quickly. Let someone else do the worrying on the day!