Joanne and Neil’s Real Life Wedding

Written by    Last updated: August 14, 2006

Joanne and Neil

24/09/2004 – St John’s the Evangelist, Old Coulsdon, Surrey
The Surrey National Golf Club, Chaldono

Joanne and Neil's Wedding

How and when did you meet?

I was invited by a friend of mine to Neil’s BBQ over seven years ago!

Where, when and how did he (or you!) propose?

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!

Did you have hen and stag celebrations?

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.

Did your groom help you with the wedding planning?

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!

Did you use confetti to plan your wedding? If so, how did the website help you?

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!

Do you have a confetti web page?


Did you buy any confetti products for your wedding? If so, did you visit a store, buy online or by mail order?

I bought various bits and pieces through the website including the guest book, table confetti, ribbon and place name cards.

Tell us about your outfit, and where you bought it.

My dress was a very simple design in ivory Thai silk – very simple but also stunning!

Did you have bridesmaids? If so, who did you choose and what did they wear?

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.

Who did your groom choose for his best man and ushers, and what did they wear?

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!

Did you have a civil or religious ceremony?

We had a religious ceremony.

Where did you hold your ceremony?

St John’s the Evangelist in Old Coulsdon, Surrey.

Where did you hold your reception?

The Surrey National Golf Club in Chaldono.

Did you have any special wedding transport?

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!

How many guests did you invite to your wedding, and did you have a separate evening guest list?

We invited 54 to the day and the evening extended to about 110 in total.

Did your reception have a particular theme in terms of colour or style?

We had white tablecloths, silver confetti, pink and ivory roses and rose petals on the tables and rose pink ribbons on the menus etc.

How did you incorporate this in to your table settings?

As above!

Did you give your guests favours?

No, but we had Love Hearts sweets scattered on each table.

Describe your flowers (bouquets and table decorations). Who was your florist?

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.

What did you choose to have on your menu? Did you have an outside caterer or did your venue handle the catering?

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.

What did you choose for your wedding cake?

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!

Did you have any entertainment during the day or evening?

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!

Did you have a gift list? If so, who did you have your list with?

We asked for vouchers as we didn’t have time to sensibly organise a gift list!

Where did you spend your first night and honeymoon? Who did you book your honeymoon with?

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!

What was your most memorable moment of the day?

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!

Is there anything you would do differently, or any advice you would give to other brides?

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.

This article was written by

More in Real Wedding, Real Weddings (975 of 1245 articles)

Join Our Bridal Club

...and start receiving exclusive discounts