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 29, 2007
4th August 2007
We met on my first day at Loughborough University. Mat was in his second year helping the freshers settle in!
I am 25 and Mat is 26.
Mat proposed on Christmas eve on a walk down by the river. Christmas is one of my favourite times of year, but Mat thought it would be too obvious on Christmas day itself, so he told me he wanted to go for a nice long walk as we were going to be stuck indoors the next day. I had no make up on and my comfy clothes that aren’t the most flattering! Then we walked next to the river which was all lit up with fairy lights, we walked over a bridge and he popped the question!
I had my hen day in Milton Keynes. We went shopping, had a nice lunch and then I got a nice nail technician to come round and do everyones nails before the big night out. We had dinner at a tapas restaurant and then went and boogied the night away! Mat’s stag do was organised by his best man, Tom, and took place in Birmingham. They went round a few bars, got up to a few antics and they made Mat wear a superhero’s costume!
Mat let me make most of the decisions so that it all came together, but he helped decide on the photographer, etc.
The forums in particular were excellent for inspiration and giving me ideas I had never thought of before. I was on here everyday! I also got lots of sweeties from the shop to put on the tables.
Mail order, although I had visited the London branch in the past to give me ideas.
My dress was an ivory corset and skirt from Pronuptia. It had little flowers attached to the bodice and the skirt was ruffled. It was a lace up back and I wore a tiara and pearls in my hair. When I bought my dress I was careful not to pick anything too sparkly as we were getting married in a barn and I wanted everything to look rustic and romantic. The detail in the skirt was perfect.
I chose two of my close friends from home, Charlotte and Laura. They wore full length gowns in a rose pink. The dresses had a chiffon overlay which looked very pretty when caught in the breeze and had roses on the side of the dress to give them some detail.
Mat chose one of his good friends from university, Tom, to be his Best Man. My brother Dan and Mat’s sister Emma were Ushers. All the men wore Black Edward suits with ivory waistcoats and ruched ties, although Mat wore a pink tie to compliment the bridesmaids.
Batemans Barn, South Elmham Hall, Suffolk. The barn is on a working farm and it was wonderful to get married in the middle of the countryside where I grew up. The surroundings were so beautiful.
Also at Batemans Barn.
A family friend drove us in his beautiful Jaguar.
80 and another 30 to the evening.
The theme was pink roses and pearls. I also wanted to keep things inkeeping with the countryside surroundings, so I kept things unstructured and romantic.
The florist created some beautiful centrepieces with pink and ivory flowers and I tied little pink bows on all the place cards. The table names were Loughborough University halls, as that is where we met and I put these in table names in champagne glasses filled with pearls.
My flowers were a mixture of roses, lysianthas and other country flowers. I asked the florist to keep my bouquet informal and to look as though it had just been picked that morning. They tied it with ivory organza and a satin ribbon to match my bridesmaid dresses. The table flowers and pedestals continued with this theme. Our florist was FW Bales near Bungay, Suffolk.
The venue catered for the reception and the food was amazing! For starters we had a smoked chicken salad and then we had new potatos and cold cuts of beef that actually came from the farm. For dessert we had a trio of puddings for each guest, a dark chocolate cup, a fruit pavlova and a baked raspberry cheesecake that everyone is still talking about!
The company that did the flowers also made the cake. This worked really well as they were able to match the flowers from my bouquet to the flowers for the cake. We had a three tier cake, fruit cake and chocolate cake, that had iced pearls around it and each tier was seperated with a ring of pink roses.
We had a string quartet for the ceremony and the daytime. They were Sole Bay Strings and were fantastic. We told them the music we would like for the ceremony and asked them to play whatever they enjoy for the rest of the day. They entertained the guests whilst the photos were being taken and during the meal they played lots of familiar songs, including Abba which sounded fantastic! We then had a disco in the evening to play lots of cheesy hits.
We spent our first night in the hall in an amazing room filled with antiques, which overlooked the fields. We went to Sorrento in Italy for our honeymoon, which was very romantic. We booked it ourselves through Expedia.
Seeing all the people we love in one place was a feeling we will never forget.
Sadly Mat’s grandfather passed away the week before the wedding, but Mat acknowledged him in his speech which was a difficult moment.
It isn’t always cheap to get married in the UK, but looking back I am glad that we did it here so that we could have everyone with us.