Written by Paula Jones Last updated: October 30, 2006
Bellagio Town Hall, Lake Como, Italy
Hotel Royal Victoria in Varenna, Lake Como
How and when did you meet?
We met at a drinks party for a mutual colleague’s birthday in February 2004.
How old are you both?
26 and 40.
Where, when and how did he (or you!) propose?
Lee proposed on Christmas Eve 2005, in our bedroom! It was meant to be under the tree on Christmas morning, but I saw Lee with my Christmas card, so we exchanged cards, and the one he gave me said “To my darling fiancee” – he knew I’d say yes! Then the lovely ring I’d hinted at was produced and fit perfectly!
Did you have hen and stag celebrations? If so, what did you do?
Yes – I had two – one in Prague with my girl friends, and a much more civilised spa day with family and friends in London. Lee went to The Belfry to play golf, and out in Birmingham.
How did your groom help with the wedding planning?
Not a lot – he was there to calm me down when I became a little fraught, and had a few good ideas along the way – but it was mostly my input.
Did you use confetti to plan your wedding? If so, how did the website help you?
Oh, the Cafe was a life line (especially when work got a little boring!)
Did you buy any confetti products for your wedding? If so, did you visit a store, buy online or by mail order?
Loads of ideas from the Confetti catalogue, and if I could do it all again I’d buy everything in one theme from Confetti! Wish I could have gone to a shop.
Tell us about your outfit, and where you bought it.
Actually I had two dresses – we had a wedding in Italy where I wore Maggie Sottero’s Laila in Champagne, and then a blessing in my home town in Lincolnshire, where I wore a lovely Venus Bridals gown with beading and 11 layers of taffeta!
Did you have bridesmaids? If so, who did you choose and what did they wear?
One bridesmaid – my lovely friend, Beckie, who wore a 3/4 length dress in raspberry. Two flower girls in Lincolnshire – my nieces Olivia (5) and Lara (3) who wore fab dresses from Monsoon.
Who did your groom choose for his best man and ushers, and what did they wear?
We had two best men! Craig – a best friend from the age of 2 for Italy, and Jon – best friend from age 5 for Lincolnshire! Lorna and Jon were witnesses in Italy.
Did you have a civil or religious ceremony?
Civil ceremony, and then a religious (CofE) Blessing.
Where did you hold your ceremony?
Bellagio Town Hall, Lake Como, Italy Old Clee Church, Cleethorpes, Lincolnshire
Where did you hold your reception?
Our evening reception was in the conservatory of the Hotel Royal Victoria in Varenna, Lake Como.
Did you have any special wedding transport?
We had a ferry take us and all our guests to Bellagio, and then to another town after the ceremony for lunch, then back to Varenna.
How many guests did you invite to your wedding, and did you have a separate evening guest list?
24 of us were in Italy, and 100 in Lincolnshire.
Did your reception have a particular theme in terms of colour or style?
In Lincolnshire, my theme was butterflies to match the flower girls dresses. We put them on the place cards (all hand written by my grandfather), on the table plan, as confetti on the tables, and on the centre piece balloons.
How did you incorporate this in to your table settings?
Table confetti, balloons, name cards and table plan
Did you give your guests favours?
We gave our guests Italian sweets in pillow boxes with personalised ribbon round them, and in tuxedo boxes for the male guests.
Describe your flowers (bouquets and table decorations). Who was your florist?
Our flowers were amazing considering everything was organised over the Internet – I had a modern looking bouquet with raspberry roses (to match Beckie’s dress), and Beckie had a similar bouquet with ivory roses.
What did you choose to have on your menu? Did you have an outside caterer or did your venue handle the catering?
We had an amazing five course menu with all fresh local Lake Como products.
What did you choose for your wedding cake, and who made it?
It was a traditional Italian cake – a big heart shaped cake made of lots of cream and profiteroles. In Lincolnshire I had a chocolate three-tiered wedding cake!
Did you have any entertainment during the day or evening?
In Lincolnshire, we had a full 14 piece 50′s band – which went down a storm – everyone was dancing, as there was no unpopular music.
Did you have a gift list? If so, who did you have your list with?
Debenhams did the gift list, and they have been brilliant.
Where did you spend your first night and honeymoon? Who did you book your honeymoon with?
Our first night was spend asleep in our Varenna hotel room – the stress of the build up meant that we had no energy come the night of the wedding! Our honeymoon is in January 2007 in St Lucia, and we booked this through Virgin.
What was your most memorable moment of the day?
Too many to say – but probably one of them was walking through the streets in Italy with locals and tourists alike cheering us on.
Did you experience any ‘nightmare’ moments in the run up to your wedding or on the day?
Um, language barriers! Attempting something pretty adventurous, coping with last minute cancellations, luggage restrictions, etc!
Is there anything you would do differently, or any advice you would give to other brides?
If I did it again, I’d not do so much myself – I made my invitations, and wish I’d just bought them (because I’m not particularly artistic – but I thought I was!), and I’d probably run off and elope rather than involving all the family!