From exciting cities where you can combine partying with sightseeing, to spending your hen do on the beach, the choices are endless. You don't have to stay close to home…
Written by Paula Jones Last updated: September 27, 2006
We originally met at secondary school. Then we lost touch and met again in a nightclub about 11 years after last seeing each other.
Kelly is 31 and David is 32.
Before we actually started dating, we went for a long walk around Windsor Great Park. During the long walk we spoke about everything in our lives – the good and the bad and decided that day that should we ever get together, we would be totally honest with each other – no matter what. Three months after that conversation, David took me back to the spot where we had that conversation and proposed!
We both had two Stag and Hen parties.
In June, I went away with my girly mates to Magaluf and we dressed up as schoolgirls and Dave went away to Benidorm with the lads where the lads dressed Dave in a bikini one night and a Chewbacca costume the next! In July, I had a local hen night in Windsor, where 46 of my friends dressed as angels. Dave spent the day playing golf, then went into a different part of Windsor with the lads and ended his stag night at a local gentlemen’s club.
Dave was instrumental in a lot of the decisions as it was our special day. He did leave the arranging to me though!
The Confetti chat room provided so many great tips. It is a fantastic place to share info and obtain info – this was crucial when I first started planning. I didn’t know where to start!
Yes, we purchased personalised Confetti hearts which looked fabulous on our tables. We also purchased sparkly confetti to dress the tables and candles.
I wore Maggie Sottero Cleo. When I saw it on the web, it really didn’t do the dress justice, in fact I disregarded it! However, when I saw it in Maid in Heaven in High Wycombe, I fell in love with it and it brought a tear to my Mums eye. So I knew it was the one for me! I wore a Richard Designs crystal and diamond veil, and Jon Richard Jewellery from Debenhams. I had two pairs of shoes, one for the day (white leather, diamante, 3.5 inch heels) and 2 inch sparkly mules for the evening. I also bought two handbags!
Yes, I had ten. I know it sounds excessive, but I have a large circle of friends, and to be honest, I could have easily had more! I designed their dresses myself and my sister’s mum-in-law, Pat, made them for me. I bought the material from Southall. I just couldn’t find a pink I liked but Rainbow textiles were brilliant in my quest for the right pink! I got my tiara and all the bridesmaids’ from Susan York tiaras who I found through the confetti forum. Their jewelry was from Claire’s Accessories.
Dave had a large male bridal party. Three best men and five ushers. Dave wore an ivory morning suit, and all the rest of the bridal party wore black morning suits. Pat also made the cravats and waistcoats for the gents. I bought Dave diamond cufflinks and tie pin to co-ordinate with the sparkle on my dress. As pink was the colour of the day, I also bought all members of the male bridal party pink socks from M&S. Their faces were classic when they realised I had even got them pink socks!
Getting married in a church was very important to us. We wanted to get married at the same church as Dave’s parents, but we lived outside of the parish. We attended church every other Sunday for over a year which played havoc with Dave’s Sunday football, but it was certainly worth it! Everyone at church was so friendly!
At St. Peter’s in Staines. A beautiful church that backed onto the River Thames. Our vicar was fabulous and he made our ceremony so special. It was very emotional.
At Princes Club. They erected a marquee overlooking one of their lakes and it looked so wonderful.
Yes, I was transported to the church in a vintage fire engine – a pump escape 1953. This was very special to me as my dad is a retired firefighter and the fire service played a big part in my life growing up. I lived for the first 9 years of my life at Egham Fire Station in one of the Fire Service flats. It was always my dream to be taken to the church in a fire engine.
We had 160 guests to the day and a further 140 to the evening.
Dave and I wanted a very personal unique wedding. Our pink theme was based around a breast cancer pin which we wanted to give as favours. Breast Cancer charities are close to our hearts. We also love Carry On films, so this created our table names. We also wanted fun, so we played bingo, had a bouncy castle and a magician.
We gave each lady guest a Breast Cancer Charity pin to wear, each male guest had a Motor Neuron disease pen and all the children were given gift bags full of goodies to keep them amused!
The flowers were simple. Roses are so romantic, so I had pink roses with diamantes and the bridesmaids had smaller posies with ivory roses and diamantes. My youngest bridesmaid wore an ivory dress, so she had a mini version of my bouquet.
Dave wore a pink rose buttonhole with a diamante to match my bouquet, and the rest of the male bridal party had simple ivory rose buttonholes. The mums had ivory and pink corsages with freesias. Our top table arrangement contained my favourite flower – gerberas! Both my bouquet and our top table arrangement were laid on my nan and uncle’s grave.
Our venue arranged the catering. Dave and I are pretty chilled out and wanted our Wedding Breakfast to reflect this. We had a BBQ and everyone commented on how great the food was!
We wanted pink for our wedding cake to tie in with our theme. We had a simple three tiered design of three different fillings decorated with variants of pink hearts. We had a layer of chocolate, vanilla and caramel cakes and we used the wedding cake for dessert. Alexander Taylor Cakes made our wedding cake.
We played bingo, had a magician, a bouncy castle and a disco – dancing to “Oops up side your head” in a wedding dress can be a challenge!
We didn’t know what gifts we wanted. We wanted the presence of our friends and family more than gifts. We selected www.thevouchershop.co.uk as this offers us a wide selection of shops to buy from.
Our first night together was at Jurys Inn at Heathrow.
Our honeymoon was to Cyprus – we stayed just outside Protaras and it was amazing! We also met another newlywed couple on honeymoon and are now friends with them back home.
Father David saying, “You may now kiss the bride.” That was the moment the day went from being surreal to real! Also walking down the aisle after being pronounced married, I looked outside of the big church doors and saw drops of rain. By the time we reached the door, it literally poured down! We didn’t get any photos outside the church which was a shame, but this was the only rain we had all day!
The day before our wedding, I had discovered that I had sent out day invites to a few evening guests. I was devastated, and spent most of the day before in tears. The marquee could only hold a certain number of tables, so increasing the numbers at such a large stage was a no-no. Dave was a godsend and spoke to them all and explained the situation. Most of them had already realised the mistake as they knew they were invited to the evening. It was very embarrassing and incredibly stressful, but fortunately it worked out ok.
Don’t worry about the weather! I was fretting hugely over this in the lead up to the day, and on the day – I didn’t care – I was in a state of euphoria of being married – the weather didn’t matter!
I have heard brides saying don’t worry about the smaller details. I did, and I am glad I did as this made our day even more personalised to us. Always shop around for the best buy! You will be amazed at some of the savings you can make. One thing I didn’t do is see myself in the mirror. I never looked all day – not once. I didn’t get the chance apart from doing my make up in the morning.
Make sure you prepare a list of what photos you want. I told our photographer I wanted the usual photos and I would think of others on the day. Our photographer didn’t really know what group photos we wanted and we had to keep telling him on the day which did annoy me somewhat. He did produce some great shots though, but I am gutted we didn’t have any friend group shots.
Try and make what you can yourself. We saved loads by making our invites, table plan, place cards and thank you cards! Finally – relax and enjoy your special day. It was amazing! And the best bit, I have a wonderful husband!