Clare and Mark
05/08/2006 – Sacred Heart, Moreton on the Wirral
How and when did you meet?
We both lived in the same area and were friends for about a year before we actually got together. Mark was baby-sitting for a friend and he asked me round. I didn’t have a clue he was going to ask me out. The date was 29th October 1993.
How old are you both?
Mark was 18 and I was 16. Young love!
Where, when and how did he (or you!) propose?
We had been together for 12 years. Mark had asked me a few times to marry him and each time I said no. I didn’t think I was ready then. Believe it or not, I asked Mark to marry me! It was the end of January 2005 and we were having a drink in the house with our close friends, Kenny and Jill (Kenny was Best Man).It wasn’t long after his nan had passed away and we were talking about families and how you should appreciate them, then I knew that was the time to ask him. He didn’t believe me for about an hour and of course he said yes. We set the date for the 5th August 2006, the day before his birthday.
Did you have hen and stag celebrations? If so, what did you do?
We both celebrated our hen and stag nights with our friends on different days. I went out first, three weeks before the wedding, to Liverpool city centre. There were about 20 girls that went. I was in a fancy dress shop a few weeks before and I had seen some lovely feathery face masks that we could all wear. We all looked great and had a laugh. Thanks a lot, girls!
Mark went out the following week to the same place with all of his mates.
How did your groom help with the wedding planning?
He came and decided on the daytime reception with me and then he left the rest to me. Oh, he also had to work a lot to pay for it all. I loved planning the whole day myself. It was exciting to see the day come together. I don’t know why people pay for wedding planners when you can do it yourself and at the end of the day you can say “what a great day I planned.”
Did you use confetti to plan your wedding? If so, how did the website help you?
I got a lot of ideas from confetti and also looked in the catalogue as well.
Tell us about your outfit, and where you bought it
I bought my dress from a lady my friend knew. She got married the year before. It was exactly what I wanted so I thought why waste money and buy a new one when I could have that one for about £400 less. It was a white satin, strapless dress. It had a heart shaped top with embroidery on it and the bottom went out like a ballroom gown with a long train on the back.
Did you have bridesmaids? If so, who did you choose and what did they wear?
I had three bridesmaids—my daughter, my niece and my sister was my Chief Bridesmaid. My sister wore a Dusty Pink top and a-lined skirt which looked like a dress. My two other bridesmaids have the same colour top and a cream a-lined skirt.
Who did your groom choose for his best man and ushers, and what did they wear?
As Mark’s nan passed away, he decided to ask his granddad to be his Best Man. He always got on well with him and went to darts match too. Unfortunately a few weeks before the wedding, his granddad found out he had to go into hospital for an operation so asked Mark if he minded picking another Best Man in case he was not well enough. Mark was a bit disappointed but decided on his close friend, Kenny. We also had two ushers, Geoff and Kev, to help out at the church. They are also Mark’s friends. They all wore black morning suits with tailcoats, cream cravats and waistcoats to match the bridesmaids. We also had our son, Luke, as a pageboy. He wore the same.
Did you have a civil or religious ceremony?
I had a religious ceremony at our local church.
Where did you hold your ceremony?
Our local Church is Sacred Heart, Moreton on the Wirral. The Priest from our church, Canon Hoban led the service. It was lovely.
Where did you hold your reception?
The King’s Gap Court Hotel in Hoylake. We had a sit down meal.
Did you have any special wedding transport?
We had a Silvershadow Rolls Royce. It took the bridesmaids from my house then came back for myself and my Dad and took us to the church. It then took me and Mark from the church to the hotel.
How many guests did you invite to your wedding, and did you have a separate evening guest list?
There were 70 guests in the day for a meal. Then we had the night time celebration in the Poulton Vic’s Social Club. About 160 guests were invited. Great night!
Did your reception have a particular theme in terms of colour or style?
My colour scheme was dusty pink and cream so the hotel arranged the tables with dusty pink serviettes, balloons, favours and table confetti. The hotel staff was brilliant and they looked after us all day.
How did you incorporate this in to your table settings?
Our neighbour and also friend, Steph and Ian, kindly printed out our table plan and also our invitations. I designed my own place cards. I bought blank cards and printed the name of our guest through my computer. I then added a photograph to the name card for every guest. I had some fun making them. Some were funny, some old. Our guests thought they were hilarious.
Did you give your guests favours?
Yes, I made the favours myself. Very easy and a lot cheaper. Sugared Almonds wrapped in two layers of mesh with ribbon and our name and date tags around them.
Describe your flowers (bouquets and table decorations). Who was your florist?
Big dusty pink teardrop bouquet with roses and carnations.
What did you choose to have on your menu? Did you have an outside caterer or did your venue handle the catering?
All of our day guests had a three course meal. For starters, we had pea and ham soup or melon. For the main course we had a traditional roast dinner with turkey and all the trimmings and for dessert we had chocolate fudge cake with ice cream. In the night time our friends John and Jan kindly did the catering for us. Everybody was impressed and it was delicious!
What did you choose for your wedding cake, and who made it?
This was a surprise off Mark’s mum. I described what I would like and that my colours were pink. On the day it was presented lovely in the hotel. It was a creamy white three tiered sponge cake with no pillars, pink trimmings and flowers. On the top there was a posy of pink roses.
Did you have any entertainment during the day or evening?
In the day we had love songs played low and of course a disco in the night
Did you have a gift list? If so, who did you have your list with?
Great idea! I had a gift list with Argos. In a couple of months I’m getting a whole new kitchen and bathroom so I listed new appliances for both rooms. Plus you don’t get two of same present!
Where did you spend your first night and honeymoon? Who did you book your honeymoon with?
As we have two children already to look after, we had it at home sweet home! We had both had an amazing night.
What was your most memorable moment of the day?
I suppose it would have to be my nephew falling in the pond. Wasn’t nice at first but thankfully he was okay.
Did you experience any ‘nightmare’ moments in the run up to your wedding or on the day?
All the planning arrangements sorted and no one pulling out. Then eight weeks before our big day a young member of our family died in an accident. The first thing we both thought of was ‘cancel the wedding.’ It wasn’t time to be happy. Family and friends told us not to and to try and carry on. It was hard but we got there and our day we magnificent.
Is there anything you would do differently, or any advice you would give to other brides?
Happy Planning and enjoy it all! If you are creative and like making things, give it a go. I did. From buttonholes to invitations, to favors, to menus, to the order of service, to bouquets, to place names—they all looked great and professional. And I saved myself hundreds, believe me!