We met several times before we really spoke to each other. I was working at BMRB in my sandwich year, and towards the end of the year my department were interviewing for a new executive and Steve was one of the interviewees. He was introduced around the office and was later offered a job but in a different department a few weeks after I left. The next time we met was a few months later at a work leaving party which I had come back for. He offered to sponsor me in Race for Life fairly late on that evening though he has no recollection of this and never paid up!
The first time we really got talking was at another party in November 2002 after I had graduated and moved to London in search of work. As he put it in the wedding speech ‘I saw her walking towards me, clutching a bottle of vodka, and I thought ‘there’s the girl for me’.
How old are you both?
24 and 25.
Where, when and how did he (or you!) propose?
There are two versions of his proposal (as with the wedding.) The official version is that for our first anniversary he bought Eurostar tickets for us to Paris as my anniversary present. Although we’d been talking about getting married in general we hadn’t really put any timings on it as we had only moved in together a few months earlier.
When we arrived in Paris on the Saturday we did the usual touristy stuff – boat down the Seine, Notre Dame, Eiffel Tower etc. and it was on the Eiffel Tower that he proposed to me.
The unofficial version however is that once he’d bought the ring a couple of weeks earlier he couldn’t wait that long to ask me and so, whilst watching Superstars one night, he turned to me and asked ‘If I had a ring now, would you marry me?’ I said yes and he produced the ring.
Did you have hen and stag celebrations?
I organised my hen do with my bridesmaid. I just wanted something small with close friends and family and something relaxing so we hired a couple of cottages near Bath for ten of us. We spent the weekend pampering ourselves and had a great meal out in Bath on the Saturday night.
Steve however had the traditional more boozy weekend and was whisked up to Blackpool by his wedding party where there was go-karting, drinking, clubbing, more drinking, football on the beach, burgers, more drinking and rollercoasters!
Did your groom help you with the wedding planning?
Steve and I did all the wedding planning ourselves as we don’t live that close to our families any more. He was involved in all the major decisions and came along to lots of wedding shows with me.
Did you use confetti to plan your wedding? If so, how did the website help you?
As I worked in North London I spent many a Thursday night at Confetti looking at wedding dresses, cakes, table layouts etc. with a glass of wine in hand! The Confetti cafe was a great place to let off a bit of wedding steam when I’d started boring my friends too much about it – and I used a recommendation from there to have my wedding dress altered.
Do you have a confetti web page?
We set up a wedding website using Confetti.
Tell us about your outfit, and where you bought it.
I had a diamond white Mon Cheri dress which attracted lots of comments on the day. It was one of the first few dresses I tried on and I loved it! I couldn’t afford to spend that much (nearly £1000) on just the dress but managed to source it in America and got it shipped over for a third of the price!
Did you have bridesmaids? If so, who did you choose and what did they wear?
As we were having quite a small simple wedding I had just the one bridesmaid, a friend from university who lived and worked close by. She was an absolute star and listened to me talking about the wedding for months.
She wore a two-piece skirt and bodice from Debenhams which we chose together.
Who did your groom choose for his best man and ushers, and what did they wear?
Steve chose his best friend Jordan as best man (and he is best man for Jordan this autumn), and Craig, another close friend, as toastmaster. We also had two ushers, who again were close friends. They all wore matching hired suits with pink cravats (to match the bridesmaid’s dress.)
Did you have a civil or religious ceremony?
We actually had two ceremonies!
We wanted to get married in a house my mum owns in North Wales but it was going to be too tricky to get a wedding license for the house so we had a civil ceremony in Harrow the week before and held a humanist wedding ceremony with all our family and friends in Wales.
Where did you hold your ceremony?
The main ceremony was in my mother’s house in North Wales.
Where did you hold your reception?
The reception was held at the same place.
Did you have any special wedding transport?
I stayed in the house the night before so only had to walk across the landing! Steve walked up from the village with the wedding party.
How many guests did you invite to your wedding, and did you have a separate evening guest list?
We had 60 guests to the wedding and meal and another 20 or so came along to the evening party.
Did your reception have a particular theme in terms of colour or style?
The reception was mainly outside so we didn’t really have a colour scheme as such.
How did you incorporate this in to your table settings?
The tables had white cloths and we had an aqua blue colour scheme in terms of candles and napkins.
Did you give your guests favours?
We had personalised matchbooks printed up with our names and the date and also had bubbles and party poppers on the tables.
Describe your flowers (bouquets and table decorations). Who was your florist?
We used a local florist for my bouquet and the bridesmaid’s bouquet and the buttonholes and corsages; these were all colour co-ordinated with the pink of the bridesmaid and the wedding party’s cravats.
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 caterer come in to do the main meal which was a sit-down buffet. I was up at 8am that morning making sandwiches for the evening and for the kid’s table but most didn’t get eaten as it was so hot.
What did you choose for your wedding cake?
We had an M&S cake and just decorated it with aqua ribbon and rose petals.
Did you have any entertainment during the day or evening?
We had a local DJ in the evening who was brilliant – we’d supplied a song list so were dancing all night!
Did you have a gift list? If so, who did you have your list with?
We had a gift list at John Lewis which was brilliant. We spent three afternoons going round with the zapper and made the most of the free drinks and cake.
Where did you spend your first night and honeymoon? Who did you book your honeymoon with?
We spent the first night in the house in which we got married and were up at 6am the next morning to drive to Manchester airport to catch our flight to Pisa. We spent a week in the Tuscan hillside exploring Pisa, Florence etc. and then a week on the Amalfi Coast which was beautiful and then a few days in Rome at the end.
We booked the honeymoon ourselves, which was a bit worrying as we didn’t really know how good the accommodation would be until we arrived but they were all great.
What was your most memorable moment of the day?
I don’t really have one memorable moment though there are lots of things that I’ve now seen on the DVD which are great: holding hands once we’d exchanged rings was a real relief, the speeches were great, taking off my shoes after the first dance and really relaxing was a great feeling.
Did you experience any ‘nightmare’ moments in the run up to your wedding or on the day?
The only real nightmare moments on the day were when Steve got wound up with the photographer and some of the wedding party and got a bit snappy but I just took him away from it all for a few minutes and it all was fine from then on.
Is there anything you would do differently, or any advice you would give to other brides?
Definitely a good idea to get someone to tape the day as you miss so much, but I would recommend hiring someone instead of asking a friend as we did as a lot of the DVD is of Steve’s friends as it was his friend we asked and I’d have liked to see my family more.
Try not to get too stressed out by it and enjoy it all as people will never know if you miss something or something goes a little wrong. Steve and I were meant to face the audience during the ceremony and due to a miscommunication we faced the other way – no one else knew it was ever meant to be any different and it made no difference to the day.