Sabina and Saleem June 1999 - How did you meet? We met in the Summer of 1996, when she was over here on a holiday, she came back and we…
Written by Paula Jones Last updated: September 25, 2006
I became friends with Andy’s brother, Jamie, during college and then we shared a house during university. Andy and I first became friends through Jamie and then gradually started dating after that. We have been together now for three years.
I am 26 and Andy is 30.
We were out for a drink on my birthday last year and Andy proposed over two pints in our local. It was very emotional and very ‘us’. We went out the next week and brought my beautiful engagement ring together.
We both had two celebrations. I went away for the weekend to Tenby with my close school friends, which was great. We hired a beautiful barn conversion in the middle of nowhere and just relaxed. We had a great night out at the local nightclub on the Saturday night too. One of my bridesmaids also organised a local night out with my friends that could not make the weekend do, which was also loads of fun. Andy went to Amsterdam with his two closest friends who were best man and an usher. He also had a night out on the town in Birmingham.
Andy was part of a lot of the main decisions – he helped with choosing the invitations and their wording, all of the reception plans, the flowers, etc. He was quite happy though to leave the smaller details to me.
We bought a Confetti wedding readings book, which was really useful. I mainly used Confetti for ideas. It was really invaluable.
Wedding readings book and rose petal confetti.
My dress was amazing, and I fell for it the moment I saw it. It was in the first shop I went to as well, which was great. It was a full satin bridal gown in red with a small train and crystal detail on the waist.
I had four adult bridesmaids, a flower girl and a page boy. The adult bridesmaids were in 50′s style tea length satin dresses in ivory. Our flower girl, Jasmine, was in an ivory organza shift dress and our page boy, Callum, was in grey trousers and an ivory waistcoat.
Andy chose his best friend, John, for his best man and he was a fantastic help on the day. Ushers were Andy’s brother, Jamie, my brother, James, and his two friends, Stuart and Warren. They all wore grey suits and waist costs with red cravats. Andy and John wore ivory waist coasts and tail jackets.
We were originally going to have a church wedding, but when we moved house we were not allowed to have the service in the church we wanted. Because of this, we had a civil service at our venue, which was the perfect choice for us. Our registrar was really great and made the service so personal and intimate. It was really emotional for everyone there.
We held the ceremony at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens. It was a beautiful setting and perfect for the time of year as we had use of the indoor conservatories for our photographs.
The Louden Suite at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens.
Both Andy and I had white limos to take us from our parents’ houses to the venue. We chose them mainly because they could transport a lot of people together. Traveling there with champagne and music though was a great way to calm last minute nerves.
We had a small daytime list of 55, just close friends and family. We had 120 people for our evening party.
Red and ivory was the main theme. I also carried calla lilies so we had them on the cake and all our stationery (from the invitations right through to the menu cards).
We kept the tables simple with ivory table clothes and napkins. I wanted the only red to be my dress and the men’s cravats. We used candles on our tables rather than flowers and then used these for the evening tables too, which gave a really intimate feel.
We gave every guest (apart from the children) a small envelope which held a lottery ticket for the day.
Our friend is a florist and she did our flowers for us. I carried eight long stemmed calla lilies tied with an ivory ribbon. The button holes were also single calla lilies.
The Botanical Gardens put together a lovely menu for us. We had tomato and basil soup, supreme of chicken in a tomato and olive sauce, tart au citron and cheese platters for each of the tables. The food was really fresh and hot and the food was a real talking point for everyone. Very yummy!
My school friend’s mom made our cake and it looked like a complete work of art. It was a two tiered cake – bottom tier fruit and top tier sponge – she made the sponge tier into vanilla and chocolate marble cake which looked lovely when it was cut up.
We had booked the venue’s resident DJ and he really knew how to get everyone on the dance floor. We had our first dance quite late on in the evening which really worked well. He played lots of our favourite songs and it was a really fun night.
We asked for money towards our honeymoon.
We went home after the wedding (as there were no rooms at the venue) but we arranged to meet all our close friends and family for breakfast at a restaurant the next morning. That was a nice idea as it kept the celebrations going a little longer. On the Tuesday after the wedding, we went on honeymoon to Tenerife for two weeks.
The ceremony was so fantastic and I will never forget it. Saying our ring declarations to each other was the best moment of our lives. The whole day was perfect though.
We had nothing go wrong at all really. Apart from a small panic about our page boy’s trousers not fitting. We chose our suppliers well, which took the stress away from us.
My main advice is that, if you can call upon any friends with skills to help with flowers, cakes etc. We had a friend doing the photography, a friend doing the flowers and a friend who made the cake. We saved a lot of money that way and could spend it in other areas.