These days, many couples choose to have a smaller wedding and reception. Not only does this often save on cost, but with only the closest of friends and family sharing…
Written by Paula Jones Last updated: August 14, 2006
I was invited by a friend of mine to Neil’s BBQ over seven years ago!
Neil proposed to me on Valentine’s day this year as we were about to leave for a meal at our favorite restaurant. We were planning to get married in 2005 but in July decided to do it this year instead!
I went to the Greekvine in Claygate – all the hens bought me presents (some very rude!) and I wasn’t very well when I got home!
Neil went to The Belfry with a few friends for a golfing weekend.
We only had 10 weeks to organise the wedding so it was ‘all hands on deck’ – the planning went really smoothly and Neil was great in giving his input on most things apart from the cake and the flowers which was my job!
I used Confetti for some ideas and for shopping. It was great to have such a variety of different ideas available to help me decide!
I bought various bits and pieces through the website including the guest book, table confetti, ribbon and place name cards.
My dress was a very simple design in ivory Thai silk – very simple but also stunning!
I had my two-year old daughter and my best friend Heidi. Georgia’s dress was made for her with a pink bodice and organza skirt with roses sewn in. She also wore a fresh flower on an alice band. Heidi wore a Watters and Watters Peony dress which was also stunning with a single rose in her hair and a small posy.
Neil had his oldest friend Mark as best man and we had three of his nephews and two of mine as ushers. Neil’s older brother did a reading and sat at the top table in honour of their father who passed away a few years ago. They all wore black suits with ivory waist coats, ivory shirts and ivory silk ties with pink button holes – and they all looked very handsome!
We had a religious ceremony.
St John’s the Evangelist in Old Coulsdon, Surrey.
The Surrey National Golf Club in Chaldono.
We had a chaffeur driven Mercedes from a company that we use regularly – the church is less than five minutes from home and I refused to pay over £250 for a Rolls!
We invited 54 to the day and the evening extended to about 110 in total.
We had white tablecloths, silver confetti, pink and ivory roses and rose petals on the tables and rose pink ribbons on the menus etc.
No, but we had Love Hearts sweets scattered on each table.
My best friend Lisa has just passed a floristry course and has always been talented at arranging flowers. We chose ‘Dolce Vita’ roses for my bouquet and also used them in Neil’s buttonhole and on the cake. The table decorations were tight clusters of ‘Aqua’ roses with china grass and snowberries – they all looked stunning.
Our venue did our catering and we tried to choose something that most people would enjoy. We started with a warm cheese and onion tart. For the main course we had chicken wrapped in bacon with madiera sauce, and pudding was a chocolate Grand Marnier cup.
I chose a style that I had seen on the internet and asked a friend of a friend to make it for me. We had two tiers of rich fruit cake made with Drambuie and my friend Lisa who did the flowers decorated it for me on the morning with ‘Dolce Vita’ roses. It ended up costing about £45!
As I walked in to the church my dad whispered that there had been a change in the music but I wasn’t to worry. Instead of entering to the Trumpet Voluntary played by the church pianist there was a string quartet organised by Neil as a surpise for me. They played me ‘down the aisle’ played along to most of the hymns and then played a special song for me when Neil and I came out from signing the register which Neil had asked for! Then they came to the reception with us and played throughout the drinks reception and dinner – they were able to play requests for our guests and did a wonderful job. In the evening we had a DJ who was great and really got everyone joining in!
We asked for vouchers as we didn’t have time to sensibly organise a gift list!
We went to Nutfield Priory in Surrey for our wedding night. It was beautiful and I didn’t want to go to bed when we got there so we ended up in the bar drinking and eating cheese sandwiches. The room was lovely with it’s own terrace and stunning views. We went to Stratford-upon-Avon for three days as we have a two year old daughter and we didn’t want to go too far and too long without her. We’ve had some fab holidays just the two of us before Georgia was born so didn’t feel the need. We go to Cyprus on Sunday for a week with Georgia and some other friends and family – so the party continues!
When Neil had asked the String Quartet to play ‘I only want to be with you’ as we came out of signing the register and before we left the church. It was all memorable and quite perfect – I don’t feel it could have gone any better!
I personally wouldn’t have done anything differently. My advice would be to make sure you are happy and comfortable with all the things you chose to make up your day – savour every moment as it goes so fast and get as many people as possible to video it from different angles.