How and when did you meet?
We met when we both worked at the same company a few years ago. We were friends for a long time before we got together so by the time we did become an item, he knew all my secrets!
How old are you both?
Old enough to know what we wanted!
Where, when and how did he (or you!) propose?
In the middle of Virginia Water on a rainy November afternoon. He pinned “Will” “You” “Marry” “Me” “?” to a circle of trees, then went down on one very damp knee to propose.
Did you have hen and stag celebrations? If so, what did you do?
My best friend hosted a Pamper Party – an evening of total relaxation and indulgence! Followed by lots of pink champagne, laughter and tears. Richard went out with his two brothers for a few drinks and a meal in Chinatown.
How did your groom help with the wedding planning?
In every way! He was involved in every detail – other than anything to do with my frock!
Did you use confetti to plan your wedding? If so, how did the website help you?
Confetti forums were really useful – lots of advice and ideas. In fact – apart from the rings, florist and photographer- everything to do with the wedding was ordered as a result of information I got from Confetti!
Did you buy any confetti products for your wedding? If so, did you visit a store, buy online or by mail order?
Insurance! Luckily we didn’t need it.
Tell us about your outfit, and where you bought it
After a huge amount of searching, I found exactly what I had been looking for. It was an Alvina Valenta bridesmaids dress – very plain and demure from the front, but virtually backless! Confetti and Lace in Farnham got a sample over for me and did minor alterations. I ordered my shoes from them too (Rainbow Club) and had them dyed to match the dress. Tiaras by Fleur made a one-off Alice band of parchment flowers for me. I sent them a fabric sample and they matched it. My best bargain was my wrap – £19.99 in Tie Rack! We hired a funky Oswald Boateng suit from Hugh Harris in Woking – a frock length coat with red lining and a waistcoat, tie and hankie which matched my dress perfectly. And he managed to get the trousers on over his cast!
Did you have bridesmaids? If so, who did you choose and what did they wear?
We didn’t have any bridesmaids or a best man – which was great because that meant there were no speeches to worry about and everyone could relax.
Did you have a civil or religious ceremony?
We had a civil ceremony and the registrar really made it special. We met her a few weeks before the wedding and she really picked up on the mood of the day – very upbeat, emotional and occasionally irreverent – and threw in a couple of ad libs which were perfect!
Where did you hold your ceremony?
We hired a beautiful old house in Somerset – Tone Dale House in Wellington – and everything happened there. Because we were a small group of 30 close family and friends, everyone came down the afternoon before and stayed for two nights. It was like a wedding and mini-break combined! We wanted a very relaxed, informal non-traditional wedding and the house couldn’t have been better. We found it a few years ago and never looked at anything else.
Where did you hold your reception?
We were so lucky with the weather. We ate all our meals outside in the gardens.
Did you have any special wedding transport?
We didn’t need any as we only had to walk into the next room! But if crutches count as transport then – yes! Richard broke his heel three days before the wedding so the only way he could go anywhere was on crutches…
Did your reception have a particular theme in terms of colour or style?
The whole thing was very much “country house party”. Very English, very floral, very informal.
Did you give your guests favours?
We put little jugs of flowers in each room, plus plantable cards. After the ceremony we had bottles of bubbles handed out along with glasses of champagne. We also made up some party bags (from Molly Monkey) which we put in guest rooms during the evening – things like Rennies, eye masks, Resolve and Rescue Remedy to help get them in good enough shape for breakfast!
There were a few children so we made up special bags for them with personalised stickers, key rings, zip pulls and bubbles.
Describe your flowers (bouquets and table decorations). Who was your florist?
We used Sophie from Earth Gallery in Somerset. She was brilliant. We told her that we wanted country house flowers, blousy roses, peonies, sweet peas – nothing formal, just in keeping with the house. She also dressed the ceremony room with muslin and tie backs made from ivies, roses and hydrangeas. She also did some beautiful aged terracotta pots with flowers tumbling out of them. Perfect.
What did you choose to have on your menu? Did you have an outside caterer or did your venue handle the catering?
We didn’t have any formal printed menus, but we did include all the menus in the welcome packs which we left in people’s rooms. The caterer was the in-house chef for the venue and was superb!
What did you choose for your wedding cake, and who made it?
Because we weren’t really doing anything too traditional we didn’t want a formal wedding cake so we chose a combination of mini chocolate mousses and lemon tarts. And instead of a traditional cake topper we had a clay-dough version of the two of us – in our wedding finery. Richard had an electric drill in his hand, and I had our cat peeping around behind my dress.
Did you have any entertainment during the day or evening?
We had a silhouette cutter mingling around in the afternoon – again in keeping with the house. Very Victorian! It was a great success. We also made up competition boards with photos of famous people to guess the names and years of weddings, plus a “Perfect Partners” quiz. Something which turned into entertainment was the Polaroid Guest Book. We got some brilliant photographs.
Did you have a gift list? If so, who did you have your list with?
As we had been living together for so long, there was nothing we needed so we told our guests that we didn’t expect any gifts – just them traveling all the way to Somerset and taking three days out was enough for us. But in spite of that, our parents were very generous and gave us cash. Once Richard is back on both feet again we will have fun deciding what to spend it on!
Where did you spend your first night and honeymoon? Who did you book your honeymoon with?
We stayed at Tone Dale for the first night. Sadly because of Richard’s accident, we had to cancel the honeymoon because it was at a place called Haldon Belvedere – a folly near Exeter. The top floor has been converted into an apartment and sadly the only way to get to it is up a spiral staircase! They have been very understanding and have allowed us to postpone it until Richard is capable of hauling himself upstairs!
What was your most memorable moment of the day?
Meeting Richard just before we went in to the ceremony and just both being so excited and happy we were completely oblivious to anyone else around us – and kissing each other all the way through the ceremony.
Did you experience any ‘nightmare’ moments in the run up to your wedding or on the day?
Apart from Richard’s accident – nothing!
Is there anything you would do differently, or any advice you would give to other brides?
Nothing. It was perfect. As for advice – make sure you have the wedding YOU want! Do what feels right. Enjoy every moment. Oh – and having a casual, relaxed and informal wedding takes a HUGE amount of planning!
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