30/04/2005 – The Hind Hotel, Wellingborough, Northamptonshire
photos by Emma Jane Brookes
How and when did you meet?
We met many many moons ago when I was serving behind the fish counter at a well known supermarket. Jerry was the in-store maintenance man and had such a lovely bum in his overalls that I just had to keep breaking things in the department that required the fix it guy to arrive! We hit it off instantly and I still fancy him as much now as I did 16 years ago.. and yes he still looks great in a boiler suit!
Where, when and how did he (or you!) propose?
After our son started school I decided it was time to take charge of my life. I decided to go back to college and took a course which led me to enter university. It was four years later at my graduation that Jerry proposed. He said it had something to do with the fact that he had never seen me in a dress before but I’m not sure! We had the most fantastic night and celebrated our engagement with our dearest friends (apologies to the other hotel guests who were trying to sleep at four in the morning when we were playing hide and seek with bottles of champagne in hand).
Did you have hen and stag celebrations?
Jerry had a very quiet evening with his family and I.. well, we had a night on the tiles. Firstly my friends and I gathered in fancy dress at a pub, then we went off to play lazer quest dressed as hobbits, tarts, punk rockers, tinkerbell, a cowgirl and lots of naughty school girls. Sadly for me I decided to dress as a nun which didn’t go down very well as it was the evening that Pope John Paul died. I felt a bit bad about that one. A good night was had by all ending the night with champagne in a club.
Did your groom help you with the wedding planning?
How did he help? He sat back and supported my every crazy whim. He loved me and hugged me and looked after me with chocolate and flowers when it was all getting too much. He took the children on days out so that I could go shopping and told me he admired me for doing what I was doing and that he couldn’t wait for the day.
Did you use confetti to plan your wedding? If so, how did the website help you?
I loved confetti in the lead up to the wedding. The support shown by the cafe members was incredible. If any one remembers the hippo chat they will know who they are when I say thank you! I did buy a few things from the confetti shop and also used the planning tools – not rigorously I must admit.
Do you have a confetti web page?
Sorry no.. no confetti page as I already had one of my own previously
Did you buy any confetti products for your wedding? If so, did you visit a store, buy online or by mail order?
I visited the store in Birmingham on occasion yet a trip there was a very long process.
Tell us about your outfit, and where you bought it.
My dress came from Ebay (yes girls there are bargains to be had out there). I couldn’t find it in my heart to justify spending loads of money on a dress I would never wear again. I spent £139 including P&P from a great seller out in China. He altered the dress to my size and posted it afterwards. It took three weeks in all from order to delivery. I wanted a big train and boy did I get one. The dress was originally a halterneck yet my friend who made the bridesmaid dresses and waistcoats decided it needed a change. The halterneck came off and the dress was underlaid with antique gold silk fabric which matched my bridesmaids. Totally unique I think!
Did you have bridesmaids? If so, who did you choose and what did they wear?
I had two bridesmaids, a flower girl and a ring bearer. Firstly I chose my older sister. She is my rock! I was bridesmaid for her many many moons ago. My other bridesmaid was my very dear friend who I studied with. I couldn’t have spent my special day without her by my side. My flower girl was my 13 year old daughter. She wanted to be first down the aisle. She was beautiful. My ring bearer was my nine year old son – a true star who made everyone laugh and cry all day. My bridesmaids wore dresses made by my dear friend in antique gold and burgundy fabrics with shawl collars. The same fabrics were used to make the waistcoats, ring cushion and to cover the lollipops in our bouquets.
Who did your groom choose for his best man and ushers, and what did they wear?
Jeremy hired suits from a local shop and chose the most expensive in the range. He said he felt great wearing it and isn’t that what it’s all about? His brother was our best man and thoroughly enjoyed getting suited and booted for the day too. Our ushers were my (fantastic!) brother who saved the day on more than one occasion from moving peoples cars to taking children to sweet shops to just being there when we all needed him, and our nephew who promised to be on his best behaviour and not wear a Hawaiian shirt….. he didn’t, and neither did Geoff, just a dark suit was all we asked.
Did you have a civil or religious ceremony?
We had the most fantastic civil ceremony which was light hearted and fun. We wanted everyone to share in our special day.
Where did you hold your ceremony?
We married at the Hind Hotel in Wellingborough Northamptonshire. It’s a beautiful grade II listed building only ten minutes drive from where we live.
Where did you hold your reception?
At the Hind Hotel too. It was so convenient to have it all under one roof.
Did you have any special wedding transport?
No, there was no need.
How many guests did you invite to your wedding, and did you have a separate evening guest list?
We had 43 guests at the ceremony – all close family and very dear friends. Our acquaintances and colleagues were welcome in the evening. It was wonderful to have so many children.
Did your reception have a particular theme in terms of colour or style?
We carried on the theme of reds and gold’s yet had an unusual twist to our reception. We had a sweet buffet! It was literally, all sweets and lollies and chocolates.
How did you incorporate this in to your table settings?
Our tables were scattered with red, gold and ivory silk petals. We had balloon clusters in red, gold and ivory and we had ivory candles. All of the flowers for the tables had lollipops coming out for our guests to enjoy.
Did you give your guests favours?
Our favours were heart-shaped gold boxes with paper roses attached to cinnamon and gold ribbon. Inside we placed a note which thanked our guests for sharing our special day and held a red heart shaped chocolate.
Describe your flowers (bouquets and table decorations). Who was your florist?
My bouquet and those of the bridesmaid were made from paper roses intermingled with lollipops covered in fabrics and ribbons. My bouquet also had diamontes in to accent my husbands button hole. Each of the girls bouquets had something unique to them. Caroline’s had a teddy bear in it, Sue’s had a frog and Vicki’s had a Hoob all attached to the underneath with ribbons. All of the flowers, decorations, button holes and cake were from Sweetbitz.com – a local shop in Wellingborough.
What did you choose to have on your menu? Did you have an outside caterer or did your venue handle the catering?
We wanted our wedding breakfast to truly be traditional and therefore opted for roast beef with yorkshire pudding followed by spotted dick, jam roly poly or apple pie and custard. The hotel provided the wedding breakfast and the company who provided the bouquets and decorations provided the evening sweet buffet.
What did you choose for your wedding cake?
Our wedding cake was a three tier floating cake. I bought the cakes from M&S and had them re-iced and decorated. We had figures put on the top which she personalised so that Jerry had a lightsabre (as he is in to Star Wars) and mine with a vampire slaying stake (I like Buffy).
Did you have any entertainment during the day or evening?
We had a disco for the evening.
Did you have a gift list? If so, who did you have your list with?
We had a gift list with Argos, although we put really expensive items on it in the hope that people would buy us gift vouchers. We already have our own home and did not want to ask for money. We used our vouchers towards a new bed…marital bliss!
Where did you spend your first night and honeymoon? Who did you book your honeymoon with?
We spent our first night in the hotel’s honeymoon suite and then jetted off the next day to Menorca for two weeks all inclusive. And I do mean all inclusive – the children were included too!
What was your most memorable moment of the day?
The night before the wedding, we were having a girly session (bridemaids and I) and we realised that one of the dresses had a mark on the front! Thank you to the inventors of Vanish!
Is there anything you would do differently, or any advice you would give to other brides?
Differently? No! Advice? Do what you want to do… don’t be pressured into having the “perfect wedding”, make it what you want it to be – a celebration of your love for each other… and enjoy!