We met on my first day at Loughborough University. Mat was in his second year helping the freshers settle in!
How old are you both?
I am 25 and Mat is 26.
Where, when and how did he (or you!) propose?
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!
Did you have hen and stag celebrations? If so, what did you do?
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!
How did your groom help with the wedding planning?
Mat let me make most of the decisions so that it all came together, but he helped decide on the photographer, etc.
Did you use confetti to plan your wedding? If so, how did the website help you?
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.
Do you have a confetti web page?
Did you buy any confetti products for your wedding? If so, did you visit a store, buy online or by mail order?
Mail order, although I had visited the London branch in the past to give me ideas.
Tell us about your outfit, and where you bought it
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.
Did you have bridesmaids? If so, who did you choose and what did they wear?
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.
Who did your groom choose for his best man and ushers, and what did they wear?
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.
Did you have a civil or religious ceremony?
Where did you hold your ceremony?
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.
Where did you hold your reception?
Also at Batemans Barn.
Did you have any special wedding transport?
A family friend drove us in his beautiful Jaguar.
How many guests did you invite to your wedding, and did you have a separate evening guest list?
80 and another 30 to the evening.
Did your reception have a particular theme in terms of colour or style?
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.
How did you incorporate this in to your table settings?
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.
Did you give your guests favours?
Describe your flowers (bouquets and table decorations). Who was your florist?
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.
What did you choose to have on your menu? Did you have an outside caterer or did your venue handle the catering?
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!
What did you choose for your wedding cake, and who made it?
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.
Did you have any entertainment during the day or evening?
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.
Did you have a gift list? If so, who did you have your list with?
Where did you spend your first night and honeymoon? Who did you book your honeymoon with?
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.
What was your most memorable moment of the day?
Seeing all the people we love in one place was a feeling we will never forget.
Did you experience any “nightmare” moments in the run up to your wedding or on the day?
Sadly Mat’s grandfather passed away the week before the wedding, but Mat acknowledged him in his speech which was a difficult moment.
Is there anything you would do differently, or any advice you would give to other brides?
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.