Written by Paula Jones Last updated: September 22, 2006
Hayley and Paul
19/05/2006 – Ebenezer Baptist Chapel, Magor, South Wales
How and when did you meet?
I worked in a local pub in Chepstow and my colleague was going out with a local lad. She introduced me to her boyfriend’s mate and it was instant attraction…or not! He used to teach at play scheme and came bouncing into the pub afterwards in his shorts, play scheme t-shirt (which had been drawn on by all the kids) and sunglasses (even though he was inside). He was so full of energy he used to run up the stairs. Us girls in the pub used to laugh about it. I broke up with my ex and he found out. We soon got chatting but he was quite shy so it didn’t seem likely that he would make a move so, in his words, I pounced on him as we were leaving the pub one night.
How old are you both?
I’m 23 and he’s 27
Where, when and how did he (or you!) propose?
In Plymouth on 27th March 2004. We’d gone there for a romantic weekend. I had my suspicions as I knew he loved Plymouth as it was where he went to university but we had a discussion whilst away that put me right off track making me a little down hearted thinking it wasn’t going to happen. We got ready to go out and once I was ready, Paul asked me to do a twirl. By the time I was facing him again he was on one knee with the ring ready with Ribena in some champagne glasses as we drank the champagne the night before!
Did you have hen and stag celebrations? If so, what did you do?
I had a relaxing weekend at a cottage in Dursley which entailed a bridal shower and a dinner party with a three course meal cooked by our own personal chef. Paul went to Chester and went quad biking. The guys also dressed him up as a gay stripper…he he!
How did your groom help with the wedding planning?
He was a star! With the wedding, I wanted to be in control and know that everything was done exactly how I wanted. If at any point he could see I was getting stressed he would say “Tell me what I can do to help” and would do it as soon as possible for me so that it would be one less thing off my plate. But the rest of the time he left me to my own devices which was exactly how I wanted it.
Did you use confetti to plan your wedding? If so, how did the website help you?
Yes, it helped me get inspiration and ideas for the whole day from hymns at the church to table decorations for the reception.
Did you buy any confetti products for your wedding? If so, did you visit a store, buy online or by mail order?
I ordered loads of stuff online as it was useful having everything on the one site and delivered all at the same time.
Tell us about your outfit, and where you bought it
I bought it in a little shop in Newport, South Wales. It is by the Welsh designer Benjamin Roberts. I fell in love with two of his dresses and found it really hard to decide. A friend then said to me to think of all possible things that may get on your nerves with the dress, for instance the one was button up and the other was lace up, and that helped make my mind up.
Did you have bridesmaids? If so, who did you choose and what did they wear?
They wore some fabulous dresses. We were only able to pay 50 percent of the cost for them so I wanted the girls to have something that they would love and wear again. The dresses were black and very elegant. More evening dress than bridesmaid dress style.
Who did your groom choose for his best man and ushers, and what did they wear?
He had two best men, both have been friends for a long time. The men all wore black suits apart from Paul who had a fabulous ivory jacket which was embroidered in a gold design. The best men and the fathers had gold cravats and ivory waistcoats with gold embroidery and the ushers had ivory cravats with ivory waistcoats with silver embroidery.
Did you have a civil or religious ceremony?
Where did you hold your ceremony?
Ebenezer Baptist Chapel, Magor, South Wales. It was the church that I grew up in when I was a kid and in the village where my parents used to live.
Where did you hold your reception?
The Cwrt Bleddyn Hotel which was fabulous and the service given by the hotel during the wedding was incredible.
Did you have any special wedding transport?
Paul and I had a 1938 Rolls Royce and the bridesmaids had an old Daimler Limousine. Both were matching in colour (black & ivory).
How many guests did you invite to your wedding, and did you have a separate evening guest list?
We invited 102 to the reception but only 77 people were able to make it due to the wedding being on a Friday. There were about 100 people then for the evening.
Did your reception have a particular theme in terms of colour or style?
The colour scheme, as previously mentioned, was ivory and black. We used ivory rose petals and black feathers for the table decorations. We also had a wedding ring design incorporated into the wedding stationary including the place cards, table name cards and women’s favour boxes. This design was also made into an ice sculpture.
Did you give your guests favours?
Yes. All were given five Cadbury’s mini eggs (my husband’s favourite chocolate). The women’s were in cream boxes with the ring design on them and the men’s were in black boxes which looked like a man’s suit. We also had a sliver bucket in the centre of each table which held party poppers, rocket balloons and a disposable camera.
Describe your flowers (bouquets and table decorations). Who was your florist?
We used a local florist. My bouquet was ivory roses along with ivory mini gerbera and black feathers. My sister had just ivory Gerbera with gold reed weaved over the top and the other bridesmaids and ivory roses with silver reeds. For the reception we just had tall vases with gerberas in them
What did you choose to have on your menu? Did you have an outside caterer or did your venue handle the catering?
We used the venue. We had carrot & orange soup to start, turkey roast dinner and then a chocolate desert. For the evening we had bacon butties!
What did you choose for your wedding cake, and who made it?
Our cake was quite simple. It was three tiers and a hexagonal shape in ivory with just some white and black flowers on the top of each tier.
Did you have any entertainment during the day or evening?
We had a friend who was the DJ for the evening. I also sang a song to my husband after the buffet. We also put on a slide show with pictures of us both from when we were kids to present date.
Did you have a gift list? If so, who did you have your list with?
We used John Lewis and thevouchershop.co.uk.
Where did you spend your first night and honeymoon? Who did you book your honeymoon with?
We spent our first and second night at the venue. We then traveled to Heathrow and stayed at an airport hotel. For the official honeymoon we went to Miami and Mexico. Our honeymoon was booked through Virgin and in Mexico we stayed at the Moon Palace golf resort which was out of this world!
What was your most memorable moment of the day?
The end of the night I was sat on a chair saying to Paul’s brother how tired I was and that I wanted to go to bed. Paul’s brother spoke to Paul and within seconds he came over to take me to bed. He was really sweet as he hadn’t realised how tired I was. It sounds daft but that was the first time I actually felt married!!
Did you experience any ‘nightmare’ moments in the run up to your wedding or on the day?
There was a couple of family hoo ha’s but not too many. The worst point for us was the day before the wedding as we were still sticking stuff at 5 o’clock when we had to take everything to the venue and pack for the honeymoon and my sister was coming to pick me up to take me to hers for the evening at 6 o’clock!!
Is there anything you would do differently, or any advice you would give to other brides?
I wouldn’t change a thing. Everybody says to make sure you take it all in but it is so hard as when the day finally arrives it just feels extremely surreal. The best thing we did was to give our digital camera to some friends to take pictures with throughout the day. It then meant that we had some photos to look at whilst we were on honeymoon as it’s amazing how much you forget.