Written by Paula Jones Last updated: September 22, 2006
Clare and Nick
St John the Baptist Church, Wonersh, Surrey
Horsley Towers, East Horsley, Surrey
How and when did you meet?
We met in 1993, sharing the same halls of residence corridor at University. We finally got to together in 2004, got engaged in 2005 and married in 2006.
How old are you both?
Nick is 31 and I am 30.
Where, when and how did he (or you!) propose?
At Lainston House Hotel, in the poshest hotel room I have ever seen. Nick had arranged a surprise weekend away to celebrate us being together for a whole year. We arrived at the hotel, checked in and within minutes of being in the room he proposed with a Tiffany engagement ring ready and I said yes. He had even asked for my Dad’s permission.
Did you have hen and stag celebrations? If so, what did you do?
I had afternoon tea at a posh hotel and then cheesey dancing at a club in London. Nick went horse racing and then went for some beers in the evening in Guildford.
How did your groom help with the wedding planning?
Nick realised early on that he had to have an opinion on the planning and that he should be involved. He sorted out the photographer, cars, honeymoon, church and negotiations with the venue over costs! He also surprised me with his opinions on flowers and the cake!
Did you use confetti to plan your wedding? If so, how did the website help you?
I used the Cafe area to pick the brains of other brides-to-be.
Did you buy any confetti products for your wedding? If so, did you visit a store, buy online or by mail order?
Yes, I visited the store and bought balloons, umbrellas and other bits and bobs online.
Tell us about your outfit, and where you bought it
It was a Forever Yours gown, bought from Elys in Wimbledon.
Did you have bridesmaids? If so, who did you choose and what did they wear?
Yes, two: my sister Jules and Nick’s sister Tor. They wore midnight navy satin dresses that were made especially, by a family friend, as I couldn’t find anything I liked. For the ceremony they also wore faux fur wraps – it was February!
Who did your groom choose for his best man and ushers, and what did they wear?
Nick chose his best friend Charlie as best man and his oldest friends and (twin) cousins as his ushers – Tony, Andy, Alex and Frank. They all wore traditional morning suits with silver cravats and waistcoats. Nick had his whole outfit made for the wedding and the tailor also embroidered our initials and the date of the wedding inside his coat – a reminder for him!
Did you have a civil or religious ceremony?
Where did you hold your ceremony?
St John the Baptist Church, Wonersh, Surrey.
Where did you hold your reception?
Horsley Towers, East Horsley, Surrey.
Did you have any special wedding transport?
We had a 1934 Rolls Royce in Ivory and Black and a 1974 State Laundalette in the same colours.
How many guests did you invite to your wedding, and did you have a separate evening guest list?
We had 90 guests to the wedding and an additional 30 or so to the evening do.
Did your reception have a particular theme in terms of colour or style?
We went for midnight navy, silver and ivory. I wanted ‘sparkle’ to stand out against the possible grey day of a February wedding – it worked.
How did you incorporate this in to your table settings?
The tables were white and silver and the table centrepieces were four foot lily vases with navy blue and silver floral displays in them.
Did you give your guests favours?
No favours, but each guest did have a chocolate silver sixpence on their napkin.
Describe your flowers (bouquets and table decorations). Who was your florist?
Gabi Burton at Fine Flowers Company, Surrey.
What did you choose to have on your menu? Did you have an outside caterer or did your venue handle the catering?
The venue did the catering. To start we had goats cheese mousse, red pepper chutney with sage and paprika shortbread or traditional smoked salmon with capers, shallots, lemon and brown bread.
The main course was char-grilled loin of beef, horseradish mash, shavings of roasted root vegetables and truffle scented gravy or crisp filo parcel with oyster mushrooms, pumpkin seeds and dolcelatte cheese followed by a Baileys crème Brule with vanilla shortbread for dessert.
What did you choose for your wedding cake, and who made it?
A simple, chic four-tier square fruit cake which my mum made for us.
Did you have any entertainment during the day or evening?
We had a DJ in the evening.
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?
Our first night was spent at the venue with our guests.
For our honeymoon we went to New Zealand and booked through Turquoise holidays
What was your most memorable moment of the day?
The firework display on the Thursday evening before the wedding. The venue doesn’t allow fireworks so Nick organised one for me! We had just had the wedding rehearsal – it was so fantastic! The display was called Feisty Bridesmaid and finished with two rockets that formed red hearts in the sky. The whole day was memorable, I would do it all again, I had a great year planning it all and had such a wonderful day
Is there anything you would do differently, or any advice you would give to other brides?
Not really, I would say to other brides-to-be though not to worry about the small stuff – you won’t notice on the day if the favours clash with the table cloth or if the sun shines – the day goes so quickly you don’t want to be worrying about it! But saying that I wouldn’t go through all the little stresses and worries again!
My one serious tip would be to delegate to those you can trust; I did and I wouldn’t have been able to do it all without their help!