How did you meet?
We met at a party when we were both 17. I went to sixth form with a few of Danny’s friends. These friends of his worked part time in a local supermarket and knew someone who was having a party so my best friend and myself tagged along.
Describe the marriage proposal.
Well there wasn’t one as such. I went to university eight months after we met and Danny decided to leave home and move in with me so we could stay together. In 1996 Danny’s mum was ill with cancer and as we knew she did not have long to live Danny told her that he was going to ask me to marry him. He asked me on the way back from the hospital the night before she died which was also his birthday. We both knew it would be a while before either of us would want a wedding as my brother had died in the same year and it would have been to emotional so we just left it. In 1998 our daughter Katrina was born and as I felt I wanted the same name as the rest of my family we started discussing wedding plans! So no romantic on one knee stuff really – we just knew it was meant to be.
How long did you spend preparing for the day and how was it?
From the time we decided for definite we were going to do it we had two months to prepare. My mum had informed us she had got a job in the Maldives for six months and was then travelling around India so we decided to do it before she left. I loved the planning, Danny was not much help – every suggestion I mentioned the reply was ‘yep that’s great, whatever you want dear’! My mum helped out a lot and so did my best friend (Sarah) who was going to be bridesmaid. Danny’s mate Simon who was best man was more interested in the organisation until I mentioned bouncy castles – then Danny became excited! The planning was great because it
was a low key wedding so there were no pressures from relatives or friends. I think Sarah was more harassed than I was.
What type of wedding ceremony did you have and where?
We had a register office ceremony. Neither of us are religious so we didn’t see the need for a church ceremony and I didn’t like the idea of being the centre of attention in a big hotel. The register office we used was our local one in Bishop’s Stortford – a nice Victorian building.
Where did you hold your reception and what was it like?
After the ceremony we all went to a small local pub for sandwiches and bubbly. Then we had hired a hall for a big party with bouncy castles (one for adults and one for kids). We had a disco (very reasonable as we run a mobile disco company) and a friend owns the hall. Between the pub and the evening, my mum, my friends and I had decorated the hall and prepared the food ourselves. The party was very informal with friends from school, work and elsewhere all mixing with family – many friends and family we had not seen for years. It was amazing the number of people who were there – we didn’t know we knew so many people! Afterwards (unknown to me) the best man and his wife (Jenny) had paid for us to stay in a posh hotel for the night – lovely to know that I would not have to worry about our daughter in the morning as my mum would look after her.
Is there anything you’d change, with hindsight?
The only thing I would change is the photos – Jenny (the best mans wife and a good friend did them) as I only wanted informal ones. However I wish I had some of me with my sister and my dad as well as all of us together. Oh, and I would have made a speech to thank everyone for their help – especially my mum – I had the mic to speak but went blank!
What advice would you give to couples currently planning their wedding?
Just to do whatever they feel comfortable with – there are no rights or wrongs – it’s a day of celebration, not a day to spend worrying about everything. You may have family suggesting things, especially if they are paying for it, but it is your day and you should be the happiest people there. Most of all, have fun!!