09/07/2005 – North Devon Marquee reception at home
How and when did you meet?
We met on holiday in Ireland eight years ago when we were 16. We were both staying with our aunts – the two aunts are good friends and they introduced us…the rest is history!
Where, when and how did he (or you!) propose?
Sam proposed last year in Belgium. We were there celebrating my grandma’s 80th. Sam got down on one knee in the hotel where we were having grandma’s birthday meal. There were nearly 30 members of my family there…brave man!
Did you have hen and stag celebrations?
Yes, I had mine in London. We went to a local pottery cafe and painted our own pots. I painted a plate with a hen on it, put the date and asked all my friends to sign it. It makes a great momento, it’s now up in my kitchen. We then came back to mine for lunch – everyone made something. Later we all went out in Covent Garden dressed in a tropical theme. It was such a laugh. My bridesmaids also took me on a surprise break to a spa hotel a couple of months before the wedding which was really lovely. My husband and 14 mates went off to Budapest a week before the wedding. Fortunately there were no lasting marks to his face…but how did he get all those bruises elsewhere?!!
Did your groom help you with the wedding planning?
He was pretty good, orgainising the DJ, printing the stationery, writing an excellent speech and generally making me very happy and being supportive!
Did you use confetti to plan your wedding? If so, how did the website help you?
Yes, the message boards were invaluable. I also went to a confetti event, visited the store and used the budget planner.
Did you buy any confetti products for your wedding? If so, did you visit a store, buy online or by mail order?
I didn’t buy any confetti products.
Tell us about your outfit, and where you bought it.
I had a strapless A-line ivory duchess satin gown. It had gold beadwork on the bodice, a low back with buttons all the way down leading onto a long train. The dress was by ‘Venus Bridal’ and I bought it in a bridal shop in Devon. I also had a cathedral length veil with gold detailing around the edges. I bought my tiara from ebay, along with some bridal shoes.
Did you have bridesmaids? If so, who did you choose and what did they wear?
We had four bridesmaids, two best friends from school (24), my cousin(18) and my half sister(7). The older ones wore knee length ivory dresses from Coast, and my sister wore a ivory M&S dress with a gold sash around the middle. She also had a gold tiara. The older ones wore ivory fabric roses in their hair.
Who did your groom choose for his best man and ushers, and what did they wear?
Sam had his best mate from school. Sam wore full morning suit with a gold waistcoat. His bestman wore the same but with a silver waistcoat.
Did you have a civil or religious ceremony?
We had a Church of England ceremony.
Where did you hold your ceremony?
It was in a small church in North Devon.
Where did you hold your reception?
We had a marquee in my mum and step dad’s garden. It was gorgeous. We had ivory lining with gold drapes. All the table flowers were from the garden.
Did you have any special wedding transport?
Yes we had a vintage black Rolls Royce. The owner was a friend of my stepdad’s who has been doing weddings for over 30 years.
How many guests did you invite to your wedding, and did you have a separate evening guest list?
We had 130 guests to the whole thing, no separate evening guests.
Did your reception have a particular theme in terms of colour or style?
The theme was ivory, gold and a splash of pink. I had pink fabric petals scattered on the tables, sweet peas and roses in glass jars decorated with ribbon, the place names were written with a gold pen on white card with a pink flower photograph stuck on. The pink flower photo was a them throughout the wedding and also appeared on the table plan, and invitations.
How did you incorporate this in to your table settings?
See above! We also had disposable cameras and the table were named after places we are going to on our honeymoon.
Did you give your guests favours?
No we didn’t have favours, but we had lovely belgium seashell chocolates with the coffee.
Describe your flowers (bouquets and table decorations). Who was your florist?
My bouquet was made up of white and pink lillies, ivory roses and greenery. We chose the flowers the day before, and my grandma arranged them as well as my bridesmaids who had posies made up of ivory and pink roses. The table flowers were sweetpeas and others from the garden.
What did you choose to have on your menu? Did you have an outside caterer or did your venue handle the catering?
We had bangers and mash. We had caterers who were my mum’s friends daughters. For pudding we had chocolate and raspberry torte, lemon cheese cake, strawberries and cream and creme brulee…amazing. We also had canapees of smoked salmon, crudites and humous, thai prawn wrapped pancakes, pate and stuffed cherry tomatoes which was all home made by the family on the morning of the wedding…we didn’t get married until 4pm.
What did you choose for your wedding cake?
We had three round tiers without pillars. It was baby pink with white polka dots. In between the tiers we had sugar crafted apple blossom. The bottom tier was fruit cake, the middle one had chocolate chunks and we had lemon sponge on top. We cut the cake with a family sword from my husband’s side.
Did you have any entertainment during the day or evening?
We had a DJ in the evening who played from 9.30 until 1am…he was excellent.
Did you have a gift list? If so, who did you have your list with?
Yes at John Lewis, I would recommend them. People also gave us money towards our honeymoon.
Where did you spend your first night and honeymoon? Who did you book your honeymoon with?
In a local hotel, we had a upgrade on the night. When we arrived there was a group of Australian lads in the bar and they all cheered and bought us champagne. As we are going to Oz for our honeymoon we got some good tips, they were so kind.
What was your most memorable moment of the day?
When my bridesmaids had left for the church and my dad came to get me from my room. It was emotional and we both started crying. My husband’s speech was also very special, and our first dance.
Did you experience any ‘nightmare’ moments in the run up to your wedding or on the day?
Yes lots of worry about my friends who live in London, thankfully everyone was all right. We also forgot silly things on the day for example the order of service sheets but they got to the church in the end!
Is there anything you would do differently, or any advice you would give to other brides?
I’d make sure everyone knew exactly what they were doing well in advance as once I was up in my room getting ready I forgot to remind people of certain jobs. Have a guest book, it’s great to read through it. And keep lots of little things from the wedding so you can make a scrap book or keep them in a special box. It really was the best day of my life, so magical and atmospheric I just want to keep hold of those memories forever.