photos by Ewen Forsyth who won Best Wedding Photographer 2005
How and when did you meet?
I was introduced to Richie by a mutual friend that we had both known for years. We met up one evening after work in the city and had a very pleasant evening but, I was not sure if I would bother seeing him again.
We went out on a total of three dates and then he texted me to say he was going back out with his ex-girlfiend who had emailed him to say she’d made a big mistake and wanted him back.
I went from not really knowing if this guy was someone I wanted to see or not, to being completely upset and beside myself, but I couldn’t put my finger on why, as he did not owe me anything, as we had only been out on three dates (a girl always wants what she can’t have!).
He split up with his girlfriend again and it took quite a few texts before we finally got together but a year later we met for dinner and we were inseparable.
Richie has really made my life complete. I have never really had a proper family life, due to my parents splitting up at an early age and for the first time in my life I have all the love, support and security that I have always longed for.
How old are you both?
Richard 42 and Karen 39.
Where, when and how did he (or you!) propose?
It was a Tuesday evening and we were having our usual supper on our laps when we started talking about Richard’s house that we shared and I said “it’s not our house it’s yours” so he saw his moment, pulled out the little blue Tiffany box and said ” well it will be ours if you marry me”.
Not the most romantic gesture but I couldn’t finish my cheese and biscuits so he knew I was shocked! I was glad it happened this way, as I was at home and could ring all my friends and family to tell them!
Did you have hen and stag celebrations?
Fifteen girls in pink cowgirl hats went to Whittlebury Hall for a fantastic spar weekend. It has all the luxury of a 4 star hotel and we got lovely rooms and treatments within our weekend package. The food is great there too!
Did your groom help you with the wedding planning?
He found the venue and booked the hotel and left me with all the attention to detail. I work in the fashion industry so I am quite creative anyway and loved putting it all together.
Did you use confetti to plan your wedding? If so, how did the website help you?
I loved the Real Life Stories. Its great to read about other brides’ ideas.
Do you have a confetti web page?
No – we have a wedding website www.thisdayforward.co.uk.
Did you buy any confetti products for your wedding? If so, did you visit a store, buy online or by mail order?
Yes I found some great cream and black feathers. Both the quality and price were great.
Tell us about your outfit, and where you bought it.
I had my dress made by Yemi at Kosibah Creations (www.kosibah.co.uk). I spent so much time looking for a dress that was a bit different, as I did not want an all-cream dress. I was looking for something that would be fitting for a castle wedding and it had to be right for the evening. I saw a dress made out of cream feathers and a red corset in a magazine and thought how great the feathers would look for a winter wedding. I really wanted a dress with black in so I called Yemi and he said he could make a dress to my specifications, making a few toiles first to ensure the fit was absolutely right. I went for Yemi’s own signature dress but changed the cream feathers to black. Yemi put me in his sample corset and then wrapped black fabric around me as a skirt. I was blown away, the contrast looked fantastic and the feathers were going to look even more striking.
Yemi also fits everything according to your shape and what flatters you. He makes the waist 3 inches smaller on the corset so it pulls you in but, as it is proper corsetry, it’s so comfortable. Yemi will fit the dress to flatter your figure, no matter what size, so that on the day you know you have nothing to worry about, even if you have not been to the gym. He loves curvy size 12 women so I knew I was onto a winner. Yemi and I have now become great friends and he even attended the wedding to ensure I looked amazing on the day. He helped me choose everything from my shoes to my choker to achieve the whole look which included a cream and black feater headdress. I just don’t know what I would have done without him – he is fantastic!
Did you have bridesmaids? If so, who did you choose and what did they wear?
Yes I had 3 bridesmaids and they wore an LK Bennett black prom dress and LK Bennett black shoes, as well as a black and cream feather headdress and a black feather bolero to complete the look.
Who did your groom choose for his best man and ushers, and what did they wear?
He chose his closest friends. They wore a black kilt and jacket, with white shirt and cream tie to complete the scottish castle look.
Did you have a civil or religious ceremony?
We had a religious wedding and flew our own local minister to the castle to marry us. It made it so personal and special.
Where did you hold your ceremony?
Auchen Castle in Scotland.
Where did you hold your reception?
Auchen Castle in Scotland.
How many guests did you invite to your wedding, and did you have a separate evening guest list?
We had 66 guests who all stayed in the castle (no evening guests).
Did your reception have a particular theme in terms of colour or style?
Scottish castle. Black, white and gold. Feathers and crowns.
How did you incorporate this in to your table settings?
The tables were kept in the theme of the castle with a cream crown table plan, menu scrolls wrapped in black organza and a single black feather. The centre pieces consisted of a crown candle holder with three cream church candles in the middle (the base filled with gold dust), placed on top of 4 bronze mirror tiles. We then placed 6 clear glass tea lighters with gold dust in the bottom. Each champagne glass had a single cream or black feather placed in it and we placed a single lottery ticket in an envelope with the guests name on the front, to use as place settings.
Did you give your guests favours?
Lottery tickets placed in an envelope with the guest name on it as a place name.
Describe your flowers (bouquets and table decorations). Who was your florist?
I had a simple bouquet of cream roses, wrapped in black organza with diamante and black beads between each flower. The bridesmaids had a cream rose wrist corsage on a black organza stap. The flowers were from Garlands in Scotland.
What did you choose to have on your menu? Did you have an outside caterer or did your venue handle the catering?
At the wedding breakfast we ate fresh lobster and avocado assiette served with crème fraiche and garnished with caviar and toast fingers followed by medallions of scotch beef served pink with Bordelaise sauce and then we finished with belgian chocolate truffle served with Chantilly cream. This was prepared by the castle.
What did you choose for your wedding cake?
At 10pm we served the wedding cake made of cheese, complemented with oat biscuits and grapes. We also had a personal cake topper that was made in America.
Did you have any entertainment during the day or evening?
We hired a live band to play all the ’80s music we all know and love. They also showed us how to do ceilidh.
Did you have a gift list? If so, who did you have your list with?
Where did you spend your first night and honeymoon? Who did you book your honeymoon with?
The first night was spent in the honeymoon suite in the castle. Booked through Kuoni, we went to Jiva Grande Spa that opened in April 2006, the first authentic Indian spa outside of India, which offers a spectrum of traditional Indian wellness treatments in a beautiful ambience. Drawing from ancient Indian healing wisdom, the spa envelops visitors in an exclusive, royal experience. In true time-honoured Indian philosophy, Jiva Grande Spa believes that a spa unfolds a way of life wherein Jiva or the life force is the bedrock of wellness.
What was your most memorable moment of the day?
All the guest wearing evening gowns, black tie or kilt. They all looked fantastic. Everyone made such an effort. Also my husband crying when he first saw me walk up the aisle and then started off the ushers and the bridesmaids.
Did you experience any ‘nightmare’ moments in the run up to your wedding or on the day?
Nope – it was perfect.
Is there anything you would do differently, or any advice you would give to other brides?