Written by Paula Jones Last updated: September 25, 2006
Katie and Andrew
25/02/2006 – Birmingham Botanical Gardens
How and when did you meet?
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.
How old are you both?
I am 26 and Andy is 30.
Where, when and how did he (or you!) propose?
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.
Did you have hen and stag celebrations? If so, what did you do?
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.
How did your groom help with the wedding planning?
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.
Did you use confetti to plan your wedding? If so, how did the website help you?
We bought a Confetti wedding readings book, which was really useful. I mainly used Confetti for ideas. It was really invaluable.
Did you buy any confetti products for your wedding? If so, did you visit a store, buy online or by mail order?
Wedding readings book and rose petal confetti.
Tell us about your outfit, and where you bought it
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.
Did you have bridesmaids? If so, who did you choose and what did they wear?
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.
Who did your groom choose for his best man and ushers, and what did they wear?
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.
Did you have a civil or religious ceremony?
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.
Where did you hold your ceremony?
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.
Where did you hold your reception?
The Louden Suite at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens.
Did you have any special wedding transport?
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.
How many guests did you invite to your wedding, and did you have a separate evening guest list?
We had a small daytime list of 55, just close friends and family. We had 120 people for our evening party.
Did your reception have a particular theme in terms of colour or style?
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).
How did you incorporate this in to your table settings?
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.
Did you give your guests favours?
We gave every guest (apart from the children) a small envelope which held a lottery ticket for the day.
Describe your flowers (bouquets and table decorations). Who was your florist?
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.
What did you choose to have on your menu? Did you have an outside caterer or did your venue handle the catering?
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!
What did you choose for your wedding cake, and who made it?
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.
Did you have any entertainment during the day or evening?
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.
Did you have a gift list? If so, who did you have your list with?
We asked for money towards our honeymoon.
Where did you spend your first night and honeymoon? Who did you book your honeymoon with?
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.
What was your most memorable moment of the day?
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.
Did you experience any ‘nightmare’ moments in the run up to your wedding or on the day?
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.
Is there anything you would do differently, or any advice you would give to other brides?
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.