Written by Paula Jones Last updated: October 14, 2009
We met through my old school friend who’s boyfriend played hockey with Martin, about 5 years ago.
I’m 28 and my husband is 30
In June this year, 2009. We were on holiday in Spain visiting my parents who live there. On the first night we went out for dinner, and stopped off at the top of a mountain overlooking rice fields and he asked me there with a ring – which was too big so I wedged it on with my plastic H&M ring I was wearing !
I had 2 – a meal out with our mums and bridesmaids and a couple of girls who couldn’t make the main event, and then we had a day out in London – Burlesque lesson for 10 of us, followed by afternoon tea in a Knightsbridge hotel with a few others who joined us, dropped our stuff at Clink hostel for the night and went to Zebrano’s for nibbles and drinks. The boys had a rather tame weekend away playing golf, with a night out in Reading on the Saturday.
He was great, apart from the support he was great at making decisions and came up with the table theme – Spanish towns we’d visited, with the top table named after where he proposed.I also gave him the job of picking our first dance as we don’t have an ‘our song.’
I used the forums a lot, and checked out the inspiration section for ideas on decor for the tables. We went to the shop and saw a layout with chiffon ribbon round the napkins which we used too.
Ribbon and place cards came from Confetti shop in London.
I didn’t want to and couldn’t spend a huge amount on my wedding dress, so I decided to look in the high street shops. We went to Lakeside and first shop was BHS where I tried on 2 dresses – first of which sealed the deal. It was on offer, and they gave me a discount opening a store card too.
I had 2, both old school friends, and 1 of which was responsible for us meeting – and her boyfriend was one of the best men! After my quick success shopping for my dress, we went to a concession in a department store and found a lovely 2-piece – cream bustier with green fishtail satin skirts – also in the sale! I didn’t have a colour theme in mind so it helped just being able to chose a nice outfit instead of hunting out a specific shade of pink, for example!
He chose 2 of his oldest friends to be best men, the ushers were 2 other close friends all knew each other through hockey. They chose a grey suit from Moss Bros and I’d found a tie in Debenhams that matched the girls skirts perfectly.
Turkey Mill, Maidstone
Same venue, Turkey Mill
As the ceremony and reception were to be held in the same place and none of my guests would see me arrive I had 2 of my brothers take me, dad, mum and the bridesmaids. I arranged taxi’s back for any guests staying at the hotel afterwards.
We had 80 for the day and a further 30 or so for the evening.
The tables were themed Spain – we had rice in the vases for the centrepieces, and bags of Calasparra paella rice on the table for guests to take as well. Each of the table names were places we’d visited around Spain together. The bridesmaids outfits were cream and green so we kept the flowers the same and added purple to brighten it up.
The table linen, place cards and cake icing were all ivory with green and purple used to add detail – green chiffon ribbon tied round the napkins, and purple ribbon tied into bows on the place cards.
We made wine charms in the colour theme of purple and green and these were placed on their wine glasses. The Bride and Groom had special ones with Mr and Mrs on.
My bridesmaid’s mum did the flowers. I had a trailing bouquet with avalanche roses and purple vanda orchids and berries. The bridesmaids had a tight posy of avalanche roses with purple lisianthus around the edge adding a border of colour, the Groom wore a vanda orchid button hole, and the rest of the bridal and grooms party and parents had rose buttonholes.
We chose our menu about 2 months before the wedding. Martin knew he wanted lamb, and as a vegetarian (who eats fish) I was open to suggestions! The venue had 3 caterers to chose from and we narrowed it down to 2 who gave us a tasting – prices were the same so we based our final decision on taste!
We decided we just wanted a cheap option for the cake so we ordered from Marks and Spencer a traditional wedding cake – 3 tiers with 1 fruit and 2 sponge layers in ivory icing. I put the top 2 tiers on new cake boards and put dowels in the layers so I could stack them on top, my mum assembled it on the morning.
We had a DJ for the evening after the meal. He also does karaoke so my husband asked him to do a power hour of that, the guests were so excited when the slips and song books went out with coffee!
We used Trailfinders, having lived together for 2 years we thought money towards a honeymoon would be the best gift.
We went to the local Hilton hotel with a few of our guests and family members which was lovely. Honeymoon will be sometime next Spring.
Everything, my husbands speech bought a tear to everyone’s eye, especially when he presented me with a gift; a star named in my maiden name.
Only nightmare was when I realised the M&S cake came with marzipan which I don’t like but I didn’t have any anyway!
Nothing I’d do differently. I always used to say if I got married I’d run away and do it on the beach but I’m so pleased we got to spend it with so many people who mean so much to us and have them all there to share in our special day. We didn’t spend a huge amount either, you don’t need to go over the top with expensive favours, and entertainment, your guests will amuse themselves and just be happy to spend the day with you.