How to make your second marriage celebrations a fantastic success! Second weddings are just as important as your first ‐‐ it's a commitment between two people and deserves a big…
Written by Paula Jones Last updated: September 27, 2006
How and when did you meet?
We originally met when I was seven years old. Scott was a couple of years above me at school and we always knew of each other and occasionally saw each other at parties. Scott then asked me out for a drink one Christmas and the rest is history!
How old are you both?
I am 22, he is 25.
Where, when and how did he (or you!) propose?
I proposed on February 29, 2004! In a vodka bar in Winchester, where I was at university. After discussing it with a friend that day and after a few drinks, I plucked up the courage and luckily he accepted!
Did you have hen and stag celebrations? If so, what did you do?
Scott went to Scotland where his family lives and had a weekend there with some friends. They went walking and did lots of drinking. I went to Bournemouth for my hen night with the girls for a meal followed by drinks and dancing. We met up with a colleague who was getting married the week before us and had a hen/stag do in a big group, which was great.
How did your groom help with the wedding planning?
Scott decided on the outfits for the groomsmen and also made generally constructive comments on ideas I had for the wedding. But he generally left most of the planning to me as I am a control freak anyway!
Did you use confetti to plan your wedding? If so, how did the website help you?
I spent endless hours on the forums. The people there are so helpful with ideas and support. I often couldn’t drag myself away!
Tell us about your outfit, and where you bought it
I wore a one piece ivory satin dress from the Pallas Athena range at Venus Bridal. It had a trumpet skirt, chapel train, crumb catcher neck line and a low back with detailed halter neck straps. It was quite simple but slinky and elegant, which was exactly what I wanted. I wore matching ivory shoes from the range at BHS which I added extra coloured beading to by hand and also had an elbow length veil with scattered diamantes by Trudy Lee. I had a tiara hand made for me by a local lady, with green crystal details and leaves to match my theme.
Did you have bridesmaids? If so, who did you choose and what did they wear?
I was meant to have three bridesmaids, but unfortunately one dropped out at the last minute. My chief bridesmaid was my childhood friend Kerry, and she wore a chocolate brown silk chiffon tea length dress from Ted Baker. My second bridesmaid was Scott’s sister Laura and she wore the same dress in pale green (as would my other bridesmaid if she had been there). They both wore silver accessories.
Who did your groom choose for his best man and ushers, and what did they wear?
Scott had his older brother, Antony, as his best man and had many ushers, mainly old friends from school. One of our ushers was a close friend of mine, who uncannily is called Paul Usher! So it was very appropriate. They all wore a Jacobean kilt outfit with Scotland’s national tartan to reflect Scott’s heritage.
Did you have a civil or religious ceremony?
We had a civil ceremony.
Where did you hold your ceremony?
Our entire wedding and reception was held in a beautiful converted water mill on the Hampshire Dorset border (Riverside Sopley Mill). It is set in lovely open water meadows and was perfect for the type of wedding we wanted.
Where did you hold your reception?
Same as ceremony.
Did you have any special wedding transport?
Some friends of ours very kindly offered us the use of their amazing vintage Jaguar, which meant I really arrived in style!
How many guests did you invite to your wedding, and did you have a separate evening guest list?
We had 70 guests right through and about 25 extra in the evening.
Did your reception have a particular theme in terms of colour or style?
Our wedding theme was based on a Midsummer Night’s Dream. Our colours were ivory, pale green and chocolate and we tried to gently incorporate butterflies and fairies wherever possible to give it a woodland/garden feel.
How did you incorporate this in to your table settings?
My auntie runs a decor business and did amazing decor for us. We had fairy lights all over the place, for the meal we had large martini glasses on the tables with floating candles, lights in them that gradually changed colour and little fairies sitting on the edges. There were also copper mushrooms and butterflies dotted around – too many little details to list! The ceremony room and reception were also decorated in a similar theme.
Did you give your guests favours?
Yes, we gave each person a tumble stone, of various different semi precious stones for them to keep to bring good luck.
Describe your flowers (bouquets and table decorations). Who was your florist?
I had only ivory flowers. My bouquet was hand tied and had ivory roses, freesias, veronica and rosemary and little crystals. I wanted it to look very natural and rough. The bridesmaids had wrist corsages with the same flowers. Our florist was Natalie at Flowers by Design in Highcliffe. She interpreted my ideas wonderfully.
What did you choose to have on your menu? Did you have an outside caterer or did your venue handle the catering?
Our venue catered and we had country vegetable soup to start, roast beef and Yorkshire pudding (or sun dried tomato, goats cheese and basil tart) and wild berry tart for dessert.
What did you choose for your wedding cake, and who made it?
We had a three tier white iced stacked cake by Nina at Slice Cakes in Hants. It was part carrot cake and part vanilla sponge, with a layer of fairy cakes on the bottom. It was decorated with butterflies and tasted amazing.
Did you have any entertainment during the day or evening?
We had a harpist for our drinks reception and a disco in the evening that went down a storm.
Did you have a gift list? If so, who did you have your list with?
We had our list with Debenhams.
Where did you spend your first night and honeymoon? Who did you book your honeymoon with?
We stayed at a hotel called the Fisherman’s Haunt, which was a stone’s throw from the venue and had a lovely four poster bed! We went to the Dominican Republic for our honeymoon with Thompson. The weather was spectacular and we felt thoroughly relaxed afterwards.
What was your most memorable moment of the day?
There are so many little things that stick in my mind. There are too many to list! In particular, I remember my dad’s face as he gave my hand in marriage. He was very emotional, which was lovely as he normally doesn’t show his feelings.
Did you experience any ‘nightmare’ moments in the run up to your wedding or on the day?
Unfortunately we had many problems. Our original venue was sold to developers and we had to totally change all our plans and move the date. By the wedding day we were on our third photographer, second dress as I changed my mind, second venue and second date! One of my bridesmaids also dropped out on the morning of the wedding as she had issues at home that she needed to get back to, which was very upsetting at first. But I can honestly say that none of it mattered, on the day we didn’t care what went wrong as long as we said “I do”!
Is there anything you would do differently, or any advice you would give to other brides?
I would love to do it all again as it still seems very surreal! But other than that it was awesome! The planning is worth it, but don’t worry yourself if things go wrong on the day because it really doesn’t matter in the great scheme of things. And definitely try and sit back and take in as much as possible as it goes by in such a blur.
Mel and Ben 12/08/2006 Ansty Hall Hotel, Ansty How and when did you meet? We met at university....