Karen and Dean How did you meet? We used to work together at Air UK/KLM in Sales. Describe the marriage proposal. On my 30th birthday, Dean presented me with a…
Written by Paula Jones Last updated: October 23, 2006
We met over six years ago through mutual friends. We were actually friends for a couple of years before Martin asked me out on a date. I said no to begin with as I was worried it would spoil our friendship if it didn’t work out. But Martin persisted and asked me out again and this time I agreed. The rest is history!
I am 28 and Martin is 24 (my toyboy!).
Martin proposed on Valentine’s Day after we had had a romantic meal in our new home. It was a real surprise and I burst into tears and put out my hand so he could put on the gorgeous ring before even saying yes!
We both had two hen/stag celebrations! I went to London with eight of my closest friends for a Sex in the City inspired weekend. It was all organised by my best friend and chief bridesmaid who made sure we all had a fantastic time! My second “do” was in Maidstone. 18 of us went out for dinner then drinking and dancing! Even the mum’s came clubbing – it was a great night organised by my other two bridesmaids.
Martin was quite involved in the preparations – we talked through all ideas, colours, etc. He chose the cake, men’s suits, music for ceremony and DJ. He helped when ever I needed him – he was great.
I was obsessed with the forums – they really helped me with all the little bits I was unsure of. All the b2bs were really friendly and so helpful. I also loved looking through the real life weddings – partly because I am nosey but also because it was great for ideas for my wedding.
No, I just didn’t have time to do one.
I visited the London store a couple of time, plus my best friend works just up the road from that store so I used to send her in there for any bits I needed! We also bought our thank you presents online.
I wore a Maggie Sottero dress called Jacinda – it is gorgeous! It was in diamond white with lots of sparkle on the top with a sweetheart neckline. It wasn’t what I thought I would wear but as soon as I put it on I loved it. It was the third dress I tried on but I was enjoying trying on dresses so much I carried on and tried on another ten! I bought my dress from Bridal Gowns at Jodi in Tunbridge Wells – the ladies were so lovely and made me feel so relaxed and special.
I had three adult bridesmaids – my chief bridesmaid was my best friend, Chloe. We have known each other since we were four and she was a great help during the planning process. My other two bridesmaids were my close friends, Rachael and Becci. They all wore Raylia bridesmaids’ dresses in dark red. They all looked stunning.
Martin chose Aaron, his best friend, from school as his best man. My brother, Richard, and our good friend, Oliver, were our ushers. They all wore morning suits. Martin and Aaron had grey striped trousers and dark red cravats. Richard and Oli had black trousers and ivory cravats. They all had ivory and dark red waistcoats. They all scrubbed up really well and Martin looked very handsome!
We had a civil ceremony. Neither of us is religious so a service in a church wasn’t even considered.
We had a wedding at Turkey Mill in Maidstone. It is a fantastic venue and the people there are so helpful. The ceremony was under a pergola with all our guest sitting in the warm beautiful sunshine.
Our reception was also at Turkey Mill. The wedding breakfast was in the Orangery. As it was such a glorious day our guests enjoyed the amazing grounds, lakes, and waterfalls at Turkey Mill. It is perfect for a summer wedding – I’m just glad we had hot weather!
Martin is a Ferrari fanatic! He had always said he would love to arrive at his wedding in his favourite Ferrari, a Ferrari 355. Luckily we know someone who has one so his dream came true and he arrived at our big day in his dream car! I arrived in a lovely new Jaguar driven by a close friend of my family. The bridesmaids arrived in an old Jaguar which was the same colour as mine driven by my chief bridesmaid’s fiancé.
We had 80 to the ceremony and wedding breakfast then another 40 for evening.
The colour theme for our wedding was dark red, I had always wanted dark red as the colour of my bridesmaids and it fitted perfectly seeing as Martin loves Ferrari’s! We also incorpoated roses, gerberas (my favourite flower), crystals and hearts into our theme.
Red Gerberas were used for our table displays, and red rose petals and silver hearts were scattered on the tables.
Yes, the women had little glass candle cups filled with red sand and a vanilla tea light. Each tea light holder had a sticker on it which had our names and the date of our wedding They were wrapped in clear cellophane and tied with red ribbon. I made them all myself. The men had lotto scratch cards in red envelopes – two of Martin’s uncles won a total of £60!
Wendy Andrade was our florist. She works from her home and was recommended by my mum. All the flowers were stunning and they took my breath away. My bouquet was a teardrop shape made up of red gerberas, red roses, red rose buds, foliage, grasses and heart shaped crystals. It was better than I had pictured in my head – I cried when Wendy delivered it! The bridesmaids bouquets were posies made up of ivory roses with crystals in the middle. Round the outside were a ring of grasses, very striking and modern. The table decorations were tall thin vases with four big gerberas, palms, ferns and grasses. Wendy had treaded crystals on the grasses so they hung down. Turkey Mill has a lovely bridge that the bride walks over to then walk up the aisle – we had this decorated with white muslin and gerberas. It looked out of this world. Wendy really understood what I liked and what I wanted. She got my taste down to a tee. She is brilliant and I would highly recommend her!
Turkey Mill have four caterers that they let use their facilities. We chose A FORM of Catering to do our wedding breakfast and evening buffet. Oscar at A FORM of catering is fantastic and made the whole process so easy. He was always at the end of the phone if we had any questions. Our starter was warm goat’s cheese and sun dried tomatoes. Main was rosette of chicken stuffed with sage, onion and bacon. Veggie option was mushroom Wellington. Dessert was Martin’s favourite strawberry pavlova. The evening buffet was meat lasagna, veggie lasagna, cheese pasta, mixed salads, breads, etc, with our wedding cake as dessert. All the food was delicious!
Martin chose our wedding cake. It was a three stacked tier chocolate cake. Neither of us like fruit cake and love chocolate so it was a pretty easy decision. It was made by Kate of Sophisticakes of Maidstone.
We had a magician during the time we were having our photos done to entertain our guests. Even though we didn’t really see him, our guests said he was good. We had Noss Ryan do our disco in the evening.
We had a gift list at John Lewis. It was great fun going round the store scanning the gifts! John Lewis were really helpful and it was such a stress free experience.
We spent our first night at the Tudor Park Hotel. We met the rest of the bridal party for breakfast the next morning as they all stayed there too. We went to Canada for our honeymoon. We spent seven nights in Toronto, seven nights in Vancouver and four days in Banff. We saw so much and have some wonderful memories – we loved it so much we plan to go back next year!
There are so many! My dad getting emotional when he first saw me in my dress, seeing Martin waiting for me under the pergola, saying our vows, being announced as Mr. and Mrs. McKirdy, seeing all our friends and family enjoying themselves. The list goes on…
Three weeks before our wedding, my Nan died suddenly. She wasn’t ill so it was a great shock. She was so looking forward to the wedding and I was heartbroken not having her there. But I know she was watching me along with my other grandparents and they all made the sun shine for me.
I wouldn’t do anything differently. It was my perfect day that I had dreamt about. My advice to other brides would be relax and enjoy the day. It really does go so fast! A tip for other brides would be to get up in between courses at the wedding breakfast to go around the tables and see our guests – lots of people said it was a nice touch.