Q: How did you meet?
A: We were introduced, at nineteen, by a mutual friend at college. After a party Darren drove me home. We have been together ever since.
Q: Describe the marriage proposal.
A: We moved in together very soon after meeting and soon found we had two beautiful daughters, Georgia and Katherine. We decided together to get married in the registrar office in Taunton. It was after the birth of our fourth child, that we thought that it was time that we had the marriage blessed in our local church, where we had all been christened.
Q: How long did you spend preparing for the day and how was it?
A: In January 2002 we chose the date as the twenty-seventh of September, so really from then we were working towards it. The first thing we did was book the church and then together we went dress shopping. Darren went around just about every wedding dress shop in Exeter and Taunton with me choosing a traditional style dress in the sale. I was so happy with the dress and he was delighted with the price. I enjoyed this part the most but I must admit that every time I saw another dress I did think, “Oh, perhaps I should have gone with that one!” It did teach me one important lesson, and that is that I have no patience, once I want something I go blind folded forward. Now I do think about things and consequences.
We found the perfect reception venue by complete accident. We thought we would have something local to consider the children etc so we called the local pub/restaurant but the owner told me that it had just been sold and the new owner was there measuring up! Well you could have knocked me down with a feather when on to the phone came John, who we knew well from their previous pub, which was renowned for weddings!!!! Judy and John helped us with everything from choosing a suitable menu, to the professional disco, which John so kindly did for us. Judy was so helpful it made everything so much easier for me. The reception was going to be so important and it could not have been better. Where we failed in hostessing our guests, John and Judy and their staff took over. They even put up outside lights and landscaped the gardens in time for us. I made all the order of service and bonbonierre, and my flowers were made by a delightful lady called Mo Turner, whom I met through the vicar. They were gorgeous flowers.
Q: What type of wedding ceremony did you have and where?
A: Our wedding blessing was very traditional but we did have the church music group “high spirits” sing for us. It was so moving. The service was at St. Andrews in Wiveliscombe, where we had the children baptised. Although it is in the next village to us it is where we always go. Our vicar, Reverend Graham Owen is particularly special to our family and we knew that it wouldn’t be the same without him.
Q: Where did you hold your reception and what was it like?
A: The reception was at the Royal Oak Hill common.
Q: Is there anything you’d change, with hindsight?
A: I would have made sure to have all four children in one photo with us, unfortunately the baby was asleep having cried through the ceremony, so she was left out. Everything went so quickly, I always thought wedding videos could be tacky but I really wish I had one now. I gave my wedding bouquet and top tier of the wedding cake to my Grandma, and wanted to make a speech but when faced with everyone I chickened out, so I do wish I had done that.
Q: What advice would you give to couples currently planning their wedding?
A: Take time to plan and although you may have definite ideas on things, gather all your information then decide, especially on colours. The one other thing I would say, book early! If you want to get the car, reception and day of your choosing don’t risk not getting it by leaving it until the last minute.
Q: Is there any other detail that you would like to share?
A: I had this brilliant idea that lollies would keep the children quiet but they looked so dreadful sticking out of their mouths in all the photos. Normal sweets would have been so much better.
I did take the advice I saw on here though and kept taking Darren aside for the odd few minutes so we could enjoy it together, and those moments are the moments we both treasure so much. I love him so much and the service was so special. The whole day from the moment I got ready to our first dance to Elvis “The Wonder of You”, to the food and the walk to our house, laughing all the way. One last thanks goes to Confetti, the decorations from you were fantastic and everyone complimented them and I would not have come up with the extra ideas had I not kept reading this site and sharing stories with the other brides-to-be, it kept me calm. THANK YOU ALL.