Written by Paula Jones Last updated: August 9, 2006
photos by xxxxxxx Photography
My boyfriend at the time introduced us back in 1990. We got together briefly in 1991 but more as friends, became a couple in 1994 but sadly drifted apart in 1996. We got back together in 1999 and have been together ever since. True soul mates always end up together!
I’m 33 and Graham is 39.
I’m still waiting for the official proposal! We planned everything backwards – we moved in together and had a baby, I bought my wedding dress, we then booked the venue. Graham bought me a gorgeous ruby and diamond ring, we got married and now he’s going to do the whole ‘down on one knee’ proposal! At least he knows I’ll say “Yes!”
I went out to our local Italian restaurant with 13 family and friends and Graham went to the pub with the lads.
He didn’t really! He was happy for me to plan the day, which I thoroughly enjoyed doing!
I found the wedding ‘To Do’ list very helpful and the table planner was a god send!
No – most of our wedding stuff came from eBay as we were on a very tight budget and we paid for the wedding ourselves.
It came off eBay! I had it custom made as I was seven months pregnant when we got married. It was made from ivory satin and had silver bead and pearl detail round the neckline, waist and sleeves. The sleeves were full length chiffon and looked amazing! There was a small train and I truly felt like a princess in my gorgeous dress.
My cousin Claire was my matron of honour and she wore a full-length, midnight blue velvet dress. I also had 3 bridesmaids – my Goddaughter Rachael, Graham’s daughter Georgina and my niece Leah who all wore dresses which had blue velvet bodices and ivory skirts.
The best man was Graham’s best friend Nick. Our 2 sons, Alex and Adam were our Pageboys. The men wore silver grey morning suits and the boys wore navy blue morning suits. All wore dark blue cravats and white wing collar shirts.
We had a civil ceremony in a gorgeous hotel called The Morritt Arms which is near Barnard Castle in County Durham (about 20 minutes from where we live.)
The ceremony was held in the Ballroom of the hotel.
In the same room as the ceremony.
I stayed at the hotel the night before the wedding with my Mum and several members of my family who had travelled from around the country to be with us on our wedding day.
We had a total of 46 immediate family and close friends who attended the ceremony and wedding breakfast and a further 50 friends and work colleagues who joined us in the evening.
The colour scheme was midnight blue, ivory and silver which we thought was ideal for our 5th November wedding. Being Bonfire Night we kept everything quite cosy – the log fires in the hotel were all lit, we served mulled wine after the ceremony and kept everything quite sparkly with the decorations. We also had a firework display in the evening.
The flowers were blue and cream with ivory church candles in the centre of each arrangement. We also sprinkled silver and blue glitter confetti on the tables.
EThe ladies received a silver gel candle in an ivory treasure chest shaped favour box; the men received mint imperials which were wrapped in blue tulle and placed in mini beer tankards and the children received organza goody bags containing a toy and some sweets.
The flowers were done for us by a lady called Kim Stone. We used silk flowers and they were blue velvet roses, ivory carnations, lilies, gyp, silver twisted willow, silver pearls and trailing ivy. I carried a shower bouquet which also had ivory marabou feathers in it. All the flowers co-ordinated beautifully and several guests commented on how lovely they all looked.
We used the hotel caterers and they did a fantastic job. We offered our guests a choice menu: Starter: prawn cocktail or broccoli and stilton soup.
Main: traditional roast chicken or poached salmon with hollandaise sauce, both served with new potatoes, carrots, cauliflower and broccoli.
Dessert: steamed chocolate sponge and custard or strawberry pavlova and ice cream. All followed by coffee and mints.
I made our 3-tier wedding cake. I chose a flower/petal design and each tier was a different flavour – fruit, chocolate fudge and lemon curd. All the cakes were stacked on top of each other and covered in marzipan and ivory icing. This was then decorated with silver sugar balls and I hand-made a feather and crystal cake topper.
We had a disco in the evening which kept all our guests dancing the night away.
We had a gift list with Argos, but had asked for vouchers so that we could put them towards a couple of larger items. All our guests were very generous.
We spent our wedding night at the venue in the beautiful bridal suite, complete with 4 poster bed. The next day we travelled to the Lake District where we stayed at a fabulous hotel called The Derwentwater Hotel near Keswick. We booked our honeymoon direct with the hotel and they couldn’t have been nicer – they made sure we had a wonderful, memorable honeymoon. We’ll definitely be going back!
When the registrar said "I now pronounce you husband and wife." I didn’t stop smiling all day because I had finally married the man I had been in love with for over 11 years.
I had a few bad dreams of things which could go wrong, but thanks to all the planning and the wonderful hotel staff, the whole day ran like clock work and we couldn’t have asked for a better wedding day.
I wouldn’t change a single thing about our wedding day – it really was perfect! My advice to other brides is plan, plan and plan some more! We took 2 years to organise our day and it was definitely time well spent.
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