Julie and Mark 30/07/2004 - The Town Hall, Venice St Mark's Square, Venice Joanne Dunn How and when did you meet? We met in January 2004 through a work do.…
Written by Paula Jones Last updated: September 21, 2006
Antonia and Mark
Soughton Hall in Northop Flintshire
We met at work in 1992, where we became friends and then much, much later on we got together!
How old are you both?
I’m 35 and Mark is 38.
Where, when and how did he (or you!) propose?
He proposed at home over our usual Friday night curry – but then we cracked open a bottle of Champagne and ended up falling asleep on the sofa – very romantic!
Did you have hen and stag celebrations? If so, what did you do?
I had my hen night in Manchester, we took an amazing limo to the Midland Hotel and then hit the town. Mark’s stag weekend was in Edinburgh and involved lots of alcohol, clay pigeon shooting and other things I’m not supposed to know about!
How did your groom help with the wedding planning?
He organised the music, the men’s suits and took a great interest in the meetings with the venue and our other suppliers, such as the photographer and DJ etc. However, as usual I did most of the planning and then bored Mark by going on about it!
Did you use confetti to plan your wedding? If so, how did the website help you?
Yes, I was on the Cafe constantly asking for advice from other brides. They helped me with so many things from where to buy cravats online to how to cope with my pre-wedding nerves. It was such a great tool to use to get a quick answer from others in the same situation as me.
Do you have a confetti web page?
No, I had my own website written by my dad.
Did you buy any confetti products for your wedding? If so, did you visit a store, buy online or by mail order?
Yes, I used the online service and ordered extras for the tables such as tea lights and petals.
Tell us about your outfit, and where you bought it
I had a strapless corset-style ivory bodice from Kate Sherford, with a matching skirt with a tulle panel covered in crystals. I bought it from Cheadle Bride in Cheshire, who were fantastic. I got 10% discount on a designer day, so I met Kate and she made a few changes (free of charge) to the dress to personalise it for me.
Did you have bridesmaids? If so, who did you choose and what did they wear?
Yes, I had my two oldest friends as my adult bridesmaids who wore beautiful deep pink dresses from Linzi Jay with pale pink fur wraps from Karen Millen. My three year old daughter was my flower girl and she wore a dress from Debenhams and an ivory fur wrap from John Lewis.
Who did your groom choose for his best man and ushers, and what did they wear?
Mark chose his best friend Chris for his best man and his brother Pete and friend Neil to be his ushers. They were all fantastic and very well organised, a real support to Mark in organising all the guests at the venue on the day. His godson Jack who is four looked really cute as our page boy.
Did you have a civil or religious ceremony?
Where did you hold your ceremony?
Soughton Hall in Northop Flintshire.
Where did you hold your reception?
Soughton Hall’s beautiful dining room and library.
Did you have any special wedding transport?
How many guests did you invite to your wedding, and did you have a separate evening guest list?
56 were invited to the day and about 30 more in the evening.
Did your reception have a particular theme in terms of colour or style?
The theme was hot pink roses with ivory and gold accents.
How did you incorporate this in to your table settings?
I used hot pink flowers with lime green foliage and orchids on gold stands. The table cloths were ivory. The place cards and menus were ivory and gold with hot pink roses on them. The tea lights had gold bases and we scattered hot pink rose petals on the tables. The table names were on ivory shimmer card with the rose design and were in gold wire holders. The cameras were ivory and gold.
Did you give your guests favours?
Yes, we bought chocolate bars from eatyourwords.com that were personalised with our names and date of wedding and thanked the guests.
Describe your flowers (bouquets and table decorations). Who was your florist?
The bouquets were hot pink roses with orchids and eucalyptus, and lime green mini chrysanthemums. My florist was Daisies in Bramhall, Cheshire for the wedding party flowers and Soughton Hall made tall table arrangements using the same flowers. The boys wore hot pink roses for their buttonholes and my flower girl had a wand made from a long-stemmed rose wrapped in ribbons.
What did you choose to have on your menu? Did you have an outside caterer or did your venue handle the catering?
We had egg tagliatelle with roasted vegetables to start, followed by roast beef and all the trimmings and then sticky toffee pudding for the boys and lemon and lime tart with raspberry coulis for the girls. The venue did all the catering and it was fantastic.
What did you choose for your wedding cake, and who made it?
We had a four- tier cake with a layer of carrot cake, two layers of chocolate and a layer of vanilla sponge. It was covered in white chocolate curls and dressed with summer fruits.
Did you have any entertainment during the day or evening?
Yes, we had a DJ in the evening, and a caricaturist who was amazing and everyone enjoyed watching him draw his ‘victims!’ He stayed for three hours and never stopped drawing. It was a lovely memento for guests to take home with them.
Did you have a gift list? If so, who did you have your list with?
We had a gift list with John Lewis, but lots of guests also went ‘off list’ and we had everything from shrubs to stoneware.
Where did you spend your first night and honeymoon? Who did you book your honeymoon with?
We spent our first night at Soughton Hall. Our honeymoon is at Beaches in Jamaica which we booked through Blue Bay Travel, who we found on the internet.
What was your most memorable moment of the day?
Kissing Mark after the ceremony!
Did you experience any ‘nightmare’ moments in the run up to your wedding or on the day?
No, it all went nearly perfectly. The little things that happened I refused to worry about. My motto for the day was ‘don’t sweat the small stuff.’ I got a blob of pollen on my dress almost immediately but I didn’t care.
Is there anything you would do differently, or any advice you would give to other brides?
I wouldn’t do anything differently. The advice I would give is to plan and carry out as many tasks as possible, as soon as possible. It was the stuff I hadn’t done in the last week such as wrapping twelve gifts that made me feel stressed. However small the job, get on and do it and don’t leave things until the last minute. Plus don’t be precious about your dress. People will stand on it all day, and if you have photos done it will be filthy. My shoes are only fit for the bin!