Debbie and Paul’s Real Life Wedding

Written by    Last updated: September 26, 2007

Debbie and Paul's Real Life Wedding

When was your wedding?

28th July 2007

How and when did you meet?

We met at work 6 years ago in 2001. Just after I had found out my daughters dad was having an affair ! Paul and I were friends for 3 years before finally getting together on New Years Eve 2004-2005

How old are you both?

I am 37 and Paul is 35

Where, when and how did he (or you!) propose?

He proposed in March 2006, on top of a hill overlooking his parents home in Cork. He planned a big ruse to go out the day before me to set it all up, he collected me from the airport and suggested we go for a drive to our favorite spot. When we got up there he produced an ice bucket, with a bottle hidden so I could not see what it was. I wasn’t suspicious as Paul is always doing romantic things like this. He then handed me a large box and asked me to get the glasses out, I opened the box and there sat between the 2 champagne glasses was my ring. Unbeknown to me he had enlisted my best friend to find out what ring I liked. Months earlier she and I had been shopping and she’d said “lets try diamonds on for a laugh” – little did I know she was finding out what my favourite engagement ring was. Oh and the bottle in the bucket – was Dom Perignon. We spent the next hour sat on the hill drinking champers and grinning a lot !

Did you have hen and stag celebrations? If so, what did you do?

Paul went on an adventure weekend with his friends in Wales. They did Go karting and Quad Biking. Us girls had a much more relaxed City break in Birmingham – Sipping Champers in Selfridges and Shopping !

How did your groom help with the wedding planning?

He was always there to bounce ideas off, he “happily” got dragged around wedding shows, visits to florists, Dj’s, photographers. He booked the honeymoon. Whilst I came up with all the ideas, Paul did want to be involved in all the final decisions – But yes I did 75% of the planning

Did you use confetti to plan your wedding? If so, how did the website help you?

I got loads of tips of other girls on the forums. They were all fantastic, it was so great to bounce ideas around. And also to chat incessantly about the wedding.


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 shop in London on a couple of occasions

Tell us about your outfit, and where you bought it

I wore a Beautiful Maggie Sottero Gown called Bethani from Maid in Heaven in Ashford in Middlesex. The shop staff were out of this world – they even supply a “maid for the day”, for a small extra charge one of the women in the shop comes to your house for 3 hours on the morning of the wedding. She made breakfast, got the flowers girls dress , got me dressed (so helpful with a laced up dress) – she even went to the church with me to sort my dress out before I went down the aisle

Did you have bridesmaids? If so, who did you choose and what did they wear?

I did – My best friend Sarah was my Chief Bridesmaid and she wore a Chocolate Brown Amanda Wyatt Dress. Her shoes were Rainbow club which we had dyed to match her dress. My 7 year old daughter and Sarah’s 7 year old daughter were my 2 flower girls. They both wore Jasper Conran at Debenhams dress, embellished with Organsa Roses courtesy of Primark ! Their shoes were from John lewis

Who did your groom choose for his best man and ushers, and what did they wear?

His best man was his best friend mark – Another colleague of ours at work. His ushers were his two brothers Peter and Andy and my Brother in Law Rob and my nephew Jamie. He also had his 4 year old Nephew Jack as our page boy. They all wore Prince Edward Style Jackets, Pin stripe trousers. Paul wore a cream and gold waistcoat and cream cravat, whilst the rest of the bridal party work Chocolate Brown Waistcoats and Cravats

Did you have a civil or religious ceremony?


Where did you hold your ceremony?

St Barnabas Church, East Molesey, Surrey

Where did you hold your reception?

Holiday Inn Shepperton – Middlesex

Did you have any special wedding transport?

We had a silver Rolls Royce and Red Bentley

How many guests did you invite to your wedding, and did you have a separate evening guest list?

We had 100 adults and 22 children to the day, with an additional 40 evening guests

Did your reception have a particular theme in terms of colour or style?

We wanted to include my daughter – she is from a previous relationship – and wanted her to feel the day was as much hers as ours. So she got to pick the “theme” – Luckily she chose Butterflies. I chose the colours which were Pink, cream and Chocolate Brown

How did you incorporate this in to your table settings?

I handmade 100 Butterfly shaped place cards which sat on the sides of the wine glasses. I also tied the napkins with pale pink Organza ribbon and inserted a pink butterfly into each. The favour Boxes were cream pyramid shapes, the girls were tied with Pink ribbons and the Men with Choc Brown. We had beautiful Pink and Cream floral Table centres – which sat on Choc Brown Square Plates

Did you give your guests favours?

Yes we did – we gave the woman small Diamante Butterfly charms and a butterfly shaped Chocolate. Then Men had wine bottle stoppers and a liquer chocolate

Describe your flowers (bouquets and table decorations). Who was your florist?

My flowers were out of this world thanks to Steph at Wrap and Tie Floral in Sunbury. She met us at least 4 times in the run up to get a complete feel for what we wanted. I really wanted a lose natural feel to my flowers and she surpassed my expectations and then some. My bouquet consisted of Sweet Avalance roses – a beautiful pale pink large rose which turns pale green at the edges, I also had bouvardia, rosemary, eucalyptus, Asparagus Ferns and various other cream small flowers. The stems were tied with chocolate brown ribbon which dangled down about 1 metre. My Bridesmaid had a smaller version but with Cream Avalanche roses, her stems were tied with a cream ribbon. Paul had a matching Pink buttonhole, complete with Rosemary whilst the rest of the men had cream roses tied with choc brown ribbon. Our tables centres were out of this world. Similar to my bouquets in square glass vases which had been filled with moss. The top table had 4 of these all intertwined with Ivy. And at mine and Pauls place settings Steph placed a single pink rose head for each of us

What did you choose to have on your menu? Did you have an outside caterer or did your venue handle the catering?

Our venue did all the catering. We chose Chicken Liver pate with Fruit Chutney. Toulouse Sausages, mash Potatoe and Onion Gravy. For dessert we had Belgium Apple Pie and clotted cream. Although as a joke Paul had a Vienetta – its his favourite and joked about having it on his wedding day the whole way through – so the hotel arranged one for him The meal had a real “Home Cooked” feel to it and every plate was wiped clean

What did you choose for your wedding cake, and who made it?

I made it myself – I make wedding cakes in my spare time. I had a four tier contemporary Square cake. Each tier was a different flavour – Carrot, Chocolate, Lemon and Plain Sponge. Iced in Cream within minimal decorations of Handmade Sugar Butterflies – Two of the tiers were separated with an acrylic square box

Did you have any entertainment during the day or evening?

During the main meal we laid on a kids party for the 22 children in one of the hotels other rooms. Our evening Dj also does Kids entertaining so he came along and did a 3 hour disco for them whilst the adults had their wedding breakfast. My daughter goes to an after school club and 3 of the women there came in and looked after the kids during the party – It went down a storm. The kids loved it and so did the adults as it meant they could relax We then had the DJ for the evening which was fantastic. And some friends of ours provided their own entertainment. One of the couples had come over from Denmark – its Danish tradition to make the Bride and groom look as hideous as possible on the day they are supposed to look their best. At 9.30 pm everyone got called to the main hall – we walked in and everyone had a sheet of paper, on the paper were words to a song which everyone had to sing. At the end of each verse Paul and I were handed a parcel which we had to open and put on what it contained. We started off with false noses – and as you will see from the pics – it degenerated from there. It was hilarious and everyone loved it – it really kicked the evening off

Did you have a gift list? If so, who did you have your list with?

We asked for Honeymoon Donations

Where did you spend your first night and honeymoon? Who did you book your honeymoon with?

We stayed at the Hotel on our first night – So many friends and family had traveled that we wanted to spend as much time with them as possible. Our honeymoon was to Bali and Singapore and we booked it via Hayes and Jarvis

What was your most memorable moment of the day?

Without doubt my gorgeous husband singing to me on the day. I had no idea he was going to do it, but 3/4 of the way through the service he got up and walked over to the musicians -apparently my face was a picture as i was wondering where on earth he was going. He then burst into a rendition of Flying Without Wings (this was Number 1 the day my daughter was born so is very special to me). He had the entire church – me and The priest included in floods of tears. I loved that at the end everyone clapped and cheered him. He been practicing behind my back and only the Bridesmaid and Best Man knew he was going to do it – and he only told them the day before. It was magical I also remember my daughter walking down the aisle to Paul at the beginning of the service and giving him a huge kiss and hug before she sat down And my fathers speech – he suffered a stroke a couple of years ago and speaking is very difficult for him. His speech was both moving and funny

Did you experience any “nightmare” moments in the run up to your wedding or on the day?

The normal problems – family driving me slowly insane. But the main big problem was 3 days before the wedding my father collapsed at the hotel and was rushed to hospital. He has been ill for sometime and we think the excitement got to him. Luckily he was discharged on strict orders to rest ! Thankfully he listened and was there to walk me down the aisle

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

Not a thing. I loved our day. My advice would be to have what you want, to enjoy the planning but keep in the back of your mind why you are doing this. And on the morning – when you wake up – realise that if it isn’t done now it probably isn’t going to me so just relax and enjoy every second of the day

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