We met at university in Liverpool in 2000 and in order to ‘get him’ I took him to a curry house for his birthday… I HATE curry, which we why he realised later that it must have been love!! The night we got together… an all-nighter drinking espresso and watching The Land Before Time and The Neverending Story films and talking about everything!
How old are you both?
Kirsty 29, Ben 30 (Both 29 when we married)
Where, when and how did he (or you!) propose?
In December 2008 in Rome, staying at the SIX star Waldorf Astoria hotel overlooking the entire city. We spent 5 days in Rome absorbing the culture, the sights and the food & wine. On the last night, we returned to the hotel, took a glass of bubbly on to the balcony overlooking the whole city where he got down on one knee and presented me a with a silver ring with the words “Marry Me” engraved on it and popped the question! The full story is at http://www.kirstyandbenswedding.co.uk/ I was actually really surprised, even though everyone said afterwards that it was obvious why he had booked this amazing trip for apparently no reason, it still took my breath away. I later found out the camera sitting on the table was filming the whole event. I haven’t watched it back to this day! He said that I paused for what felt like 5 years before saying “yes”! The reason being that I was dumb struck I think! Yes, absolutely. My Dad’s words were “Are you mad?!”
Did you have hen and stag celebrations? If so, what did you do?
Ben had a night out in Manchester with friends. Kirsty had an afternoon of Pole Dancing, followed by a sophisticated meal for about 20 guests at The Factory in Hinckley with Butlers in the Buff! It was all organised as a surprise by my Maid of Honour.
How did your groom help with the wedding planning?
Did you use confetti to plan your wedding? If so, how did the website help you?
The forums were useful to understand what others were going through, especially when we hit any problems.
Do you have a confetti web page?
No. We have our own wedding website though.
Did you buy any confetti products for your wedding? If so, did you visit a store, buy online or by mail order?
Yes, several bits and pieces for decorations online.
Tell us about your outfit, and where you bought it
It was from Bradgate Brides in Anstey near Leicester. It was by Raylia’s Haute Couture Collection by Sebastian Gregory. A soft latte colour silk dress which was hand beaded all over and an ostrich feather stole completed the 1930s Hollywood look! They asked me to be their Bride of the Month too! I had a bespoke hair piece made by Caroline Mitchell Millinery (Lincoln) which I cannot even describe as it was so unusual. I wore my grandmother’s pearls round my neck and a rather lush (and expensive) pair of drop diamond earrings from Ben. Diane Hassall “Moonbeam” shoes, and undies from “Pour Moi?”. Oh, and a gorgeous Art Deco (esque) cuff bracelet.
Did you have bridesmaids? If so, who did you choose and what did they wear?
Just the one Maid of Honour, my best mate from school, Aggy. I was Chief Bridesmaid for her 5 years ago. I didn’t want loads of bridesmaids as I’ve been one FIVE times before and too many girls I’ve known who have done it just didn’t take it seriously. Plus, Aggy was happy to pay for her own outfit. My other best friend Luisa was a great help to me also, and she did a reading for us in the ceremony. Aggy wore a deep purple satin and chiffon full-length gown by Dessy and a champagne coloured fur stole. I also added a sparkly brooch as her gift, to complete the outfit.
Who did your groom choose for his best man and ushers, and what did they wear?
Just the Best Man (the Maid of Honour’s husband!). Ben was Best Man for him 5 years ago. They wore white tie evening tails suit with Ben in a black tail suit with white Marcella shirt, waistcoat and white bow tie.
Did you have a civil or religious ceremony?
Where did you hold your ceremony?
Fischer’s Baslow Hall, Baslow Derbyshire.
Where did you hold your reception?
Fischer’s Baslow Hall with a Michelin starred meal by Rupert Rowley and his team, for 26 guests, then a big party for about 90 guests the following night at The Factory in Hinckley.
Did you have any special wedding transport?
We hired an Aston Martin Vantage… just for Ben really as I didn’t need transport! He enjoyed driving it for 5 days though.
How many guests did you invite to your wedding, and did you have a separate evening guest list?
26 for the main day, and 90 for the following night.
Did your reception have a particular theme in terms of colour or style?
Extremely sophisticated… some said it was very 1930s Hollywood!!
How did you incorporate this in to your table settings?
Stunning cascading flowers around vintage look candelabras. The table settings were excellent anyway, since Fischer’s is a Michelin Star restaurant.
Did you give your guests favours?
I hand-made 26 cushioned hearts, filled with lavender and embroidered in a vintage manner with buttons and pearls, each with the guests name sewn on, so they doubled as place names too.
Describe your flowers (bouquets and table decorations). Who was your florist?
Darling Buds in Baslow, Derbyshire. I went for floral decorated candelabras, vintage silver bowls and cascading, candlelit sprays for the the ceremony table and fireplace, all in purple anemones, vintage cream roses and fresias, with silvery foliage and berries to complete the winter look.
What did you choose to have on your menu? Did you have an outside caterer or did your venue handle the catering?
We had a Michelin Star 6 course meal cooked by Rupert Rowley and his team of chefs. This is the sole reason we chose the venue… WE LOVE FOOD!! I couldn’t bear to give our guests sub-standard food as I have experienced too many times at weddings.
What did you choose for your wedding cake, and who made it?
Maki’s Cakes. Expensive but stunning. We also had a cake by her for the Saturday party, along with a “cheese” cake which was a gift from our Best Man and Maid of Honour!
Did you have any entertainment during the day or evening?
Frank Sinatra tribute for the wedding day and then a female singer on the Saturday party.
Did you have a gift list? If so, who did you have your list with?
I’m a big believer that wedding gifts lists are a bit selfish, especially when most people have lived together for years before they marry, so we asked for donations to a charity close to our hearts. We raised £1,105.
Where did you spend your first night and honeymoon? Who did you book your honeymoon with?
Well, we had a very long and enjoyable honeymoon, all planned by Ben to my complete surprise! It began with a night in London to watch Dirty Dancing the stage show which was of course brilliant, and even better from the FRONT ROW!!!! (Even Ben pretended to enjoy it!) The next day we jetted off to Rome for 3 nights in the Six Star Rome Cavalieri Hotel and plenty of sightseeing. This was our second visit to Rome after getting engaged there almost exactly one year earlier. We received a complimentary room upgrade and bottle of bubbly from the hotel in honour of our honeymoon, which was much appreciated. Then we collected a hire car and Ben very bravely (driving in Rome is a bit scary!) drove us to Florence for a two night stay, which included a brilliant three hour walking tour of the city with our very own private tour guide. Florence had the heaviest snowfall since the early 1980s while we were there! Of course unlike Britain, nothing closed down; the traffic kept moving, the schools opened as usual and everyone got on with life! (I absolutely love Florence, almost as much as Rome!) We then continued our road trip from Florence up into the Italian Dolomites for a week skiing in Madonna di Campiglio. The snow was amazing and plentiful, and the resort remarkably quiet for the majority of our stay. We skied for six days including Christmas Day and enjoyed a steaming plate of yummy pasta at the top of the mountain for our Christmas dinner! The hotel we stayed in was really excellent and laid on lovely food every night, especially Christmas Eve when we stuffed ourselves with a 6 course meal and more bubbly! Oh, and Ben found his second love: Panettone (Italian Christmas Cake… typical sweet-toothed Lambert!!) After a very active week, we headed back down to Milan for one night, a quick trip round to see the sights, but the main event was the Hotel Train which was to take us overnight through to Spain (near Barcelona). Luckily, despite Ben booking it on a Spanish website and not understanding a word, we found our cabin (with bunk beds!!) and had a reasonably comfortable journey, and a good laugh along the way! We then spent just over a week at the Huddlestone family holiday home where my parents joined us having made the journey in the car with three dogs and a dishwasher (the latter was for the apartment)! We saw in the New Year in style and enjoyed plenty of running on the beach with the doggies! We even managed to make it last a little longer after our flight home was cancelled due to snow at Gatwick airport, so we jumped in the car with Mum & Dad and drove 1000 miles home… but that’s another story…
What was your most memorable moment of the day?
Ben and I dancing cheek to cheek to the wonderful voice of Frank Sinatra (tribute by Morgan Perkins)
Did you experience any “nightmare” moments in the run up to your wedding or on the day?
Only family members being difficult. My biggest worry was getting married in a recession! I was convinced that a supplier might go bust on us! Luckily no one did!
Is there anything you would do differently, or any advice you would give to other brides?
I wouldn’t do anything differently. I don’t regret the amount we spent, and so my advice is have exactly what you want as you will have to live with your decisions forever. Also, do not skimp on photography! (have professionals!) We used Tony Hall to whom all our photos are coprighted.