Claire and Mark’s Real Life Wedding

August 3, 2007. Written by

Claire and Mark's Real Life Wedding
When was your wedding?
21st July 2007

How and when did you meet?
We met at a party in October 1995 (12 years ago!)

How old are you both?
I am 29 (28 when I got married!) and Mark is 30

Where, when and how did he (or you!) propose?
On a balcony on my 27th birthday. It was at breakfast and we were on holiday in Falmouth, Cornwall. It was a complete surprise!

Did you have hen and stag celebrations? If so, what did you do?
I went to Leeds – we did a spa session in the day and then went to Room for a great meal. We then went to the Birdcage – a cabaret style club with live acts and a drag queen DJ, A perfect hen venue!

How did your groom help with the wedding planning?
Mark was very patient throughout – which was very useful! He was responsible for the confetti cones, the wedding card post box and camera post box. He also designed the worlds most elaborate table seating plan with a border made up of an individual photo of all of our wedding guests. It will be something we will keep as a great reminder of the day.

Did you use confetti to plan your wedding? If so, how did the website help you?
I used the shop and suggested ideas for designing our table decorations. The forums are an invaluable source of information and advice.

Did you buy any confetti products for your wedding? If so, did you visit a store, buy online or by mail order?
Yes – I bought chocolate trivia squares which I tied in to bundles of two squares with pink ribbon (fiddly but looked effective) and these were placed on the side plates along with our individual menu cards. We used pink and green feathers in the red wine glasses – they added height and colour to the tables and were unexpectedly used by some of the men to add in their buttonholes! We used pink champagne bottle bubbles in the white wine glasses. These were loved by both the adults and children and everyone blew bubbles as we were announced at the wedding breakfast. We also used confetti tins for all our favours (more later!) We bought tonnes of table confetti which looked great (pink irridescent hearts, hexagonal sparkly stuff etc etc!)

Tell us about your outfit, and where you bought it
I wore an Alan Hannah dress – Francoise. I loved every minute I wore it! It is Thai silk and was very light all day long (and easy to dance in with the train hooked up). It has a rouched bodice, beaded Swarovski neckline and draped skirt. It was worth every penny! My dress was from The White Room in Loughborough – they were brilliant!

Did you have bridesmaids? If so, who did you choose and what did they wear?
We had three adult bridesmaids. They wore pale green (celadon) bodice and skirts by Alfred Sung. The bodice had a floor length bow at the back and the skirt had a small train. They were in a nu-georgette (matt chiffon) fabric as I really didn’t want satin! They went down very well with lots of our guests.

Who did your groom choose for his best man and ushers, and what did they wear?
Mark chose his friend of 13 years Barrie as his best man and he did an excellent job. Mark’s cousins children Daniel and Andrew were ushers. They wore charcoal grey morning suits with sage green cravats from Formal Affair.

Did you have a civil or religious ceremony?
A religious ceremony.

Where did you hold your ceremony?
St John Fisher Roman Catholic Church, Coventry

Where did you hold your reception?
At Brownsover Hall Hotel in Rugby. A stunning gothic building where Sir Frank Whittle designed the jet engine. It has beautiful grounds.

Did you have any special wedding transport?
We had a white Daimler limousine – It was a gift from our Matron of Honour and her family and was a real treat.

How many guests did you invite to your wedding, and did you have a separate evening guest list?
We had 52 for the day and around a 100 in the evening.

Did your reception have a particular theme in terms of colour or style?
Our colour scheme was pale green and pale pink.

How did you incorporate this in to your table settings?
The table centrepieces were vases with pink hydrangeas and tea roses with the vases wrapped in pink and green ribbon. The tables had pink and green and cream fabric petals from ikea on as well as table diamonds (flown in from Australia via ebay!) and sparkly table confetti. The favour tins were lined with pink and green tissue paper and we had pink and green feathers in the glasses (as mentioned above!) Our table names were backed in pink and green card – the names of the tables were photographs of road names in the streets around where we grew up (we lived only half a mile apart when we grew up)

Did you give your guests favours?
Our older male guests received favour tins with sweet pea flower seeds (meaning ‘thanks for a lovely time’) along with planting instructions. Younger male guests received tins with mint imperials. The ladies received tins with mini pewter magnets in the shape of different handbag designs these were from Past Times. Children received tins with chalky alphabet letter sweets. Each tin was labelled with the the recipients name and a message. Guests also had traditional chocolate foil wrapped favour hearts in their place setting. Their place setting was in the shape of a chair (with the chocolates in the seat of the chair) their name was printed on vellum strips and positioned in the chair back. These were from Princess for the day and I loved them the moment I saw them!

Describe your flowers (bouquets and table decorations). Who was your florist?
We had dolce vita roses in cream with pink tips. I had a large hand tied bouquet and bridesmaids had a smaller version. Table centrepieces were hydrangeas and tea roses.

What did you choose to have on your menu? Did you have an outside caterer or did your venue handle the catering?
We had smoked duck and wild mushroom terrine with a mango salad and brioche to start. We had prosciutto wrapped chicken stuffed with pine nuts and spinach on a sweet potato puree with asparagus for our main course and a glazed lemon chiboust with red berries for dessert. Yum!

What did you choose for your wedding cake, and who made it?
We had a three tier stacked cake in pink and white with one vanilla one chocolate and one fruit layer. It was bought from The Cake Shop in Bedworth who were really helpful and terrific value. It was decorated with sparkly butterflies bought from butterfly babes on ebay. We had a personalised cake topper from Artlocke Designs who I can highly recommend. Her toppers are beautiful and ours is now proudly positioned on our mantlepiece.

Did you have any entertainment during the day or evening?
We had my old primary school’s choir singing at the ceremony who were fantastic. We had a live band in the evening called 3AC (3′s A Crowd) they were brilliant and kept everyone dancing all night. We also had a DJ who did a great job too, he came with the band and shared speakers to save space.

Did you have a gift list? If so, who did you have your list with?
We had lists at both John Lewis and Debenhams. We also had alternative gift ideas such as gift experiences and other special items which my sister (and bridesmaid) looked after.

Where did you spend your first night and honeymoon? Who did you book your honeymoon with?
We stayed at Brownsover Hall after the the wedding and went straight on honeymoon to Southampton to board our cruise on P&O’s Oceana. It was our first cruise and a great relaxing experience.

What was your most memorable moment of the day?
Our first dance – we had prepared a routine to Lionel Richie’s My Destiny – we really enjoyed it and so did our guests!

Is there anything you would do differently, or any advice you would give to other brides?

Keep a photobucket (or equivalent site) for tracking your planning ideas. It is well worth the effort. Ebay has almost anything a bride could need – don’t miss out on a bargain! Keep a clear track of what you are spending – we accounted for every penny by keeping a spreadsheet and it really helped to keep track of the budget. Sounds boring but it saves lots of arguments!

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