Written by Paula Jones Last updated: September 27, 2006
Leah and Paul
How and when did you meet?
Paul and I met over the Internet on Match.com. We met five years ago on August 22nd and our first meeting was in Livingston. It was a gorgeous sunny day and we went for a picnic near the river. It was lovely and romantic.
How old are you both?
Paul is 33 and I am 31.
Where, when and how did he (or you!) propose?
Paul proposed to me at Cameron House Hotel, Loch Lomond on August 7th 2003. I had organised for us to go away for a weekend to celebrate our two year anniversary. We had an idyllic weekend staying in the tower suite which was just magical with its lovely four poster bed, a separate lounge and lovely bathroom with great views over the Loch. The proposal was a complete surprise to me and Paul, who didn’t even have a ring. I think that’s what made it all so perfect as it was a surprise to us both! The moment was perfect. We had just finished one of the best meals that either of us had ever had which was a six course meal chosen by the chef, with a different wine for each course! The setting was stunning as our table was next to the window with lovely views over the Loch, a guitarist was playing fantastic tunes from the shows. Paul just went very quite for a while and then went to speak to the Head Waiter and ordered a bottle of pink champagne. Next thing I know he is down on one knee asking me to marry him. It was terribly romantic and I could not have wished for it to happen any other way. Paul thought that there would never be a more perfect moment and I think clearly the fantastic food and wine had given him the nerve to do it!
Did you have hen and stag celebrations? If so, what did you do?
Paul went for dinner and drinks with his pals in Glasgow and I went for dinner, drinks and salsa dancing in Edinburgh. Neither of us were into have a big bash so it was kept quite low key with just close friends and family.
How did your groom help with the wedding planning?
He turned up! Seriously Paul was great when it came to choosing our venue, which originally we had wanted to be Cameron House where we got engaged, but they were unable to do the date we wanted. Paul’s only criteria were for it to be a Castle and Scottish so we had a wide choice. As we were looking for an Easter wedding, we were offered a lot more venues as we weren’t getting married peak season. Paul was great at keeping me grounded and didn’t let me get too stressed when things were getting too much for me. He was very patient in the month coming up to the wedding as we saw little of each other as we did so much ourselves which is time consuming but worth the effort in the end.
Did you use confetti to plan your wedding? If so, how did the website help you?
I found it really useful as everything was all in the same place. I printed off lots of details of who had to do what and also I based my checklists on Confetti’s. It was great to have everything in black and white and keep it clear in my mind what had to be done when.
Do you have a confetti web page?
Yes, I did. Although as I did a lot of my organising in my lunch hour at work, I was not always able to keep it as up to date as I wanted to.
Did you buy any confetti products for your wedding? If so, did you visit a store, buy online or by mail order?
I bought a lot from the store in Glasgow as it was great to be able to see everything before you bought it. Bubbles, cameras books giving advice, etc. Everything was really good value too. Still wanting to buy the “Just Married” flip-flops for our honeymoon which as of yet we haven’t had!
Tell us about your outfit, and where you bought it
I knew what I wanted for my dress and had decided that my designer was going to be Hollywood Dreams. I went with the picture of the dress I wanted which was called “Leah” so I knew it was the dress for me! I saw the designer on Confetti and from HD’s website I got my nearest stockist which was Eleganza Sposa in Glasgow. Unfortunately the “Leah” dress was last year’s design so I was offered this year’s design instead which was called “Layla”. It has a fitted corset bodice with a massive ballroom skirt. I tried on many other dresses that were similar but still kept on going back to the first dress I tried on. I was lucky that I found it so quickly. I have always loved “Gone with the Wind” style dresses and it was certainly Scarlet O’Hara. I had always dreamed of having a red dress but was never sure if I was brave enough to carry it off but thankfully my mum convinced me to order my gown in red rather than champagne. This was all a big secret from Paul which I found really hard to keep from him as I was never 100% sure what his reaction would be. I was so glad I didn’t stick to tradition and went for something different.
Did you have bridesmaids? If so, who did you choose and what did they wear?
I had five flower girls and one bridesmaid. My flower girls consisted of Paul’s daughter and his niece, my cousin’s daughter, my step-sister’s daughter and my bridesmaid’s daughter. The youngest was 18 months up to the oldest who was nine. They all wore ivory dresses from BHS with full skirts and red capes which my mother and mother-in-law knitted for them all. My bridesmaid who is my best friend, Monica, wore a two piece midnight blue skirt and top. As it was very much a “child friendly” wedding it was great having a bridal party made up of mostly children.
Who did your groom choose for his best man and ushers, and what did they wear?
Paul found it really hard to pick a best man so opted for his best friend, his dad. His ushers were his two old school friends, his brother and my own brother. They all wore kilts for the day with Paul and his dad’s tartan being the family tartan Colquhoun.
Did you have a civil or religious ceremony?
We had an old fashioned traditional religious wedding which Paul chose. It was quite long for a wedding these days but I think it gave us more time to enjoy it all rather than it being over in five minutes flat.
Where did you hold your ceremony?
Our ceremony was held in Airth Castle.
Where did you hold your reception?
Within the ballroom at Airth Castle Hotel.
Did you have any special wedding transport?
As we both stayed the night before our wedding in the hotel we had no special transport.
How many guests did you invite to your wedding, and did you have a separate evening guest list?
There were 102 for the day time and an extra 38 guests joined us for the evening reception.
Did your reception have a particular theme in terms of colour or style?
The theme of the wedding followed the flowers which were the thistle for Scotland and the cream rose for Yorkshire. We made all the order of services ourselves which had gold thistle and roses embossed onto them. Also the colours of the dresses- red, ivory and gold. As it was child friendly, we also booked another room in the hotel for the children to play in which had a bouncy castle, ball pool and Disney videos playing! As our wedding was on Easter Sunday, we had miniature Easter eggs in Easter baskets on the table for the evening.
How did you incorporate this in to your table settings?
Everything was kept very simple-all in ivory with hints of red and gold.
Did you give your guests favours?
The ladies were given a single cream rose which was made from wood with gold ribbon around it.
Describe your flowers (bouquets and table decorations). Who was your florist?
My bouquet was cream roses surrounded by thistles, entwined with grasses which had little crystals threaded onto them. The table decorations were quite simple. The base was a mirrored tile with red votive candle holders on the edge with a red tall vase which had a single cream rose and a thistle with gold painted, twisted twigs around it. As the ceiling was very high in the ballroom, our florist tried to create as much height in our table decorations. My florist was Bijou Flowers. Cara came up with great ideas and always gave practical suggestions.
What did you choose to have on your menu? Did you have an outside caterer or did your venue handle the catering?
Our menu followed very much a Scottish theme with Aberdeen Angus and haggis, etc. The hotel handled all the catering although we had to come up with a children’s menu which was great fun, especially as I did not want nuggets and chips for them!! They all ate it which was a good sign.
What did you choose for your wedding cake, and who made it?
We got our three tiered cake from M&S and had it dressed with fresh flowers from our florist.
Did you have any entertainment during the day or evening?
My cousin sang for us whilst we signed the register. My uncle plays in a string quartet so he organised this for us when we were all having our canapés and getting the photos taken. We had a live band for the evening reception called “Velour Amour” who were absolutely brilliant and there was never an empty dance floor.
Did you have a gift list? If so, who did you have your list with?
Yes, it was with Debenhams in Edinburgh.
Where did you spend your first night and honeymoon? Who did you book your honeymoon with?
We had our first night together in a four poster bed in the turret of the castle. It was so romantic although difficult to get my very large dress up the narrow corridors! Unfortunately we have not had a honeymoon yet but we hope to have it next year.
What was your most memorable moment of the day?
Seeing Paul cry during the ceremony. The day was perfect.
Did you experience any ‘nightmare’ moments in the run up to your wedding or on the day?
Yes! I had organised for all the flower girls to get ready in my mum’s room with my mum, the bridesmaids, and me. In hindsight I should have got their mothers to get them dressed once their hair had been done as I was still not dressed at 2.20pm and my ceremony started at 2pm. Considering my mum and I were up at 5am, it was frustrating to be late due to everyone else! That’s the joy of kids though.
Is there anything you would do differently, or any advice you would give to other brides?
Not have the children all get dressed with me! Be as organised as you can be earlier on in the planning as there is so much to do in the few months before. My advice would be to just enjoy every moment of the day as it passes so quickly.