How did you meet?
We met in a pub in Guildford in 1990 – and actually, although he was rather inebriated, the first thing Scott ever said to me was, ‘Will you marry me?’ I never thought that nine years, later it would come true!
Describe the marriage proposal.
One weekend in May 1997, we went to a little seaside village called Lynmouth in Devon and stayed in a hotel that is surrounded by water when the tide comes in. It was such a lovely place and Scott suggested that we go for a walk along the river. We walked for a long time, and the woods around us got denser and, eventually, there was no footpath and we had to clamber over rocks. There was a big flat rock covered in moss and we sat down on it. There was a waterfall right next to us and I could see trout swimming around. Then Scott asked me to marry him and I cannot fully convey the emotion that I felt at that moment – in fact, I started to cry and so did he! What I will remember most about that time is the wind blowing and hundreds of tiny petals falling down on us, taking our shoes off and walking on the softest greenest moss and Scott picking me the tiniest bunch of wild flowers on the way back. I still have them in the ring box!
How long did you spend preparing for the day and how was it?
We started with some plans a year in advance – booking the reception venue, buying my dress, booking a car etc. I did not realise that things got booked up so quickly and was really relieved when we found a venue to hold our reception that we both liked and agreed on. We were engaged for about two and a half years all in all, so that gave us a lot of extra time to arrange things how we wanted them. The day itself went really well with only one hitch, and that was that we had hired two rooms at a hotel for myself and the bridesmaids to get ready in as our flat at home is quite small. The hotel staff put us in the darkest, dingiest rooms that hardly had any light coming in and it really upset me as you need to know if you look OK for your wedding day! I went off to the hairdresser’s and by the time I came back, we had two nice big light rooms, thanks to my sister!
What type of wedding ceremony did you have and where?
We were married in St Mary’s Church in Guildford by Reverend Cotton, who was the most wonderful vicar ever! It was very emotional and I was trying not to cry because every single word I said was so important. You hear people saying the words a lot – at weddings and on TV – but when it is you saying them to the person that you love, they become the truest, most wonderful words ever.
Where did you hold your reception and what was it like?
We held our reception at The Hauteboy Country House Hotel in Ockham, Surrey. Everyone tried really hard to make our day special and it really was unforgettable. We had our meal in the Chapel restaurant, which is decorated with murals inspired by the owners’ trips to Italy. Our friend David played the cello throughout the meal, which was really beautiful. It was a wonderful place. Later, we had a jazz band which played for us in the Cellar Bar and were amazing – even the grannies were dancing!
Thinking back to the ‘big day’ what things did you especially enjoy?
The bits I enjoyed the most were actually getting married, the journey to the Hauteboy in a Rolls Royce drinking Champagne (the chauffeur drove down a little lane and went on a walk on his own so that we could have ten minutes together before we went to the reception), destroying our wedding cake (we had a French croquembouche covered in little pink roses – really beautiful to look at – but you smash it with a mallet – it is supposed to be good luck!). It was great to have my sister as my chief bridesmaid and my two fabulous friends, Lucy and Yvonne, as bridesmaids. The whole day was the best ever and I loved every minute!
Is there anything you’d change, with hindsight?
I would have chosen a less pushy photographer!
What advice would you give to couples currently planning their wedding?
It is so important to do what you want and arrange things the way you both want them to be. Just because someone else did this or that, it doesn’t mean you have to feel obligated to do the same – watch this especially with family members! If people are contributing towards the wedding, get them to say how much they will give and ask for it so that it can be paid into an account especially set up – it can be really awkward when you keep having to go back to people to ask them to write out cheques.