Sabina and Saleem June 1999 - How did you meet? We met in the Summer of 1996, when she was over here on a holiday, she came back and we…
Written by Paula Jones Last updated: August 9, 2006
We met in October 2000 at a cheesy nightclub called Bentleys, which is in Mumbles, near Swansea – where we are both originally from. Neither of us were really looking for love at the time as coincidentally, we were both due to go traveling to Australia. We got on so well we decided to bite the bullet and go on a few dates before heading our separate ways. We got on so well we decided to keep in touch, and met up in Perth, Western Australia, 4 months later. We have been together ever since!
I am 30 and Wyn is 31.
It was Easter weekend in April 2003. We drove to Swansea as the weather was perfect and went for a walk to Rhossilli on the Gower coast – where we went on our first date. Wyn caught me totally by surprise to the point where I actually said ‘Are you sure?’ as opposed to ‘Yes!’
Wyn spent a weekend with about 16 mates on a barge, touring the pubs along the canals of Bradford on Avon. They had a nautical theme and he went dressed as Captain Hook. As you can imagine, they caused quite a stir… I went to Prague a few weekends later with 7 friends. We rented a rooftop apartment overlooking the Old Town and spent the weekend sightseeing (with the odd bit of drinking thrown in!)
I must admit that I did take over a lot of the planning. I am a PA and I guess it is in my nature! Wyn was happy with that but I made sure that we made decisions together. Wyn organised our honeymoon to Mauritius – which was out of this world.
Oh, all the time!!! I think I became addicted for a while! The online guest book was brilliant as I could add all my contacts to the list, and the table planner really saved me a lot of time and effort.
No but I have a couple of other sites. I have set up www.weddingpath.com/helenandwyn and http://www.photobox.co.uk/album/thumbnails.html?c_album=1639949&page=all
My dress was a halterneck, A-line style, by Sincerity (number 3023). Once I had tried it on, nothing else came even close, so I guess I was lucky in that respect as I knew it was ‘the one’. I chose to have it in cream as I am quite pale, and looked rather washed out in ivory. I teamed it with a cathedral length veil, also in cream, which was scattered with diamonte crystals. My tiara was from Rhapsody in Swansea. They were fantastic and also made a bracelet using my late grandmother’s pearls.
My bridesmaid was my very special friend from Australia, Jacqui. We have quite an interesting background. We originally got to know each other during school where we choose each other as penpals. After 15 years of writing to each other we met when I was traveling around Australia. I knew I would never have anyone other than her as my bridesmaid, and was thrilled when she said she was able to make the trip. I chose a dress from BHS as it was easier to get something off the peg which didn’t need much in the way of alterations – bearing in mind I had to post it to her in Australia beforehand. It was a bronze/chocolate colour and had shoestring halterneck straps which complimented my dress perfectly. Jacqui also wore a wrap, and bronze sandals.
Wyn’s best man was his brother Aled, and his ushers were his close friends Rob, Alan and Frog (aka James!). They all wore morning suits from Moss Bros in Cardiff. Wyn chose the gold cravats along with the Gloucester style waistcoat.
We had a religious ceremony with lots of singing. We also arranged for a Welsh male voice choir to perform three of our favourite Welsh hymns whilst we signed the register.
We married at St Hilary’s Church in Killay, Swansea. I was Christened there, went to Sunday school there and also had ballet lessons in the church hall, so I always knew my wedding would be held there as well.
We chose The King Arthur Hotel in Reynoldston on the Gower.
Wyn drove his beloved Chrysler Crossfire to the ceremony, complete with cream ribbon. I think Aled his best man was over the moon when he found out he would need to drive it to the reception for him! I arrived in a cream Beauford open top tourer – except the top wasn’t open as it had threatened to rain on the way to the church!
We invited about 80 of our close family and friends and decided against having extra guests in the evening.
We both love to travel and decided to name our tables after our favourite beaches in Australia. For the centrepieces, I bought vases and filled them with sand, shells and a candle, to continue the beach theme. For colours, I stuck to cream, dusky pink and chocolate brown.
I kept things quite simple in terms of the table decorations as I prefer the look of an uncluttered table. Although I did make menus which copied the design I made for our invitations – a picture of our wedding rings on a pink background, with chocolate ribbon down the spine.
We decided against individual favours but had a mixture of heart shaped chocolates scattered on the tables in pink foil and chocolate brown foil.
We used Bay Tree Florists in Sketty, Swansea and they were fantastic. I had a good idea in my mind of the look I hoped to achieve and went along with photos of styles I liked which I think helped to create the look I wanted. My bouquet had 4 types of rose – vendella (cream), halloween (pink) and dolce vita (mix of pink and cream), in addition to this I had dots of bouvardia with a pearl centre (they are a lot like stephanotis but don’t bruise so easily). The bouquet was tightly packed and the stems covered in cream ribbon. My bridesmaid’s bouquet was a smaller version of mine but had more pink roses than cream.
Our venue handled the catering and to start we had a refreshing combination of chilled Galia, Canteloupe and Water Melon with Citrus Fruits. For the main course, the meat eaters had Chicken Supreme served with a Shallot, Red Wine and Mustard Seed Sauce, and the vegetarians had Goats Cheese and Red Onion Tartlet. For desert we had our chocolate wedding cake served with a local specialty – legendary Joe’s ice cream!
Neither of us are particularly fussed with fruit cake so opted for a three tier stacked chocolate cake from Celebration Cakes in Uplands in Swansea. We kept the colour scheme running in this by having dusky pink roses grouped on each tier, with swathes of chocolate draping down the sides.
We used the in-house DJ at our reception venue and provided him with a list of songs before the day.
We decided against a formal wedding list and instead had contributions towards our honeymoon fund.
We spent our first night in the honeymoon suite at the King Arthur Hotel, and then the following day flew to Mauritius. We spent 10 nights all inclusive at La Pirogue on the West coast of the island. As it was our honeymoon, we splashed out and flew business class on the way out – to accommodate Wyn’s long legs! We also stayed in a superior room. It was all booked via Susie Freeman Travel who provided an excellent service.
I think for me it was definitely when Wyn and I went for a quiet sit down at the end of the garden at the reception, for a glass of champagne and some quiet time together. I was so glad we did this as otherwise we may not have had time to chat to each other at all!
I don’t think we did actually – good planning saved the day!!
I know some brides have said that they worried they were planning things too soon – I don’t think you can do anything too soon. The months soon fly by and before you know it your day has come and gone. I am so glad I got started early and booked as many of the essential things like reception, church, cars, photographer etc. as soon as I could. I would have been so disappointed if I hadn’t and couldn’t find a supplier at short notice. I wouldn’t do anything differently – I had a fantastic wedding day!