Lisa McConnell and Brett Cole Our wedding day, when it finally arrived, was a beautiful sunny February day. I wasn’t a nervous as I had expected to be, but when…
Written by Paula Jones Last updated: August 9, 2006
We met in 2000 in a really ‘cheesy’ night club and it was fate! I didn’t want to go in there and Dean was in the Army and meant to be on duty but had paid someone to do it for him. Instead of going straight to the bar, the girls decided to take a short cut across the dance floor and I literally bumped into him! He asked me where I was going and to stay and dance with him and his friend, so I did! He told me that night as I was getting into a taxi that he was going to marry me and I thought he was a bit strange! He said he’d call and when I got home the phone was already ringing! Bless.
On the wedding day I was 23 and Dean was 25.
Dean was going to be based in Germany shortly after we met and he asked me to marry him back in 2000 by a text message (ever the romantic) while he was on a coach taking him to an exercise in Cyprus. I thought he was joking but he sent a postcard saying that he hoped the answer was yes!
Oh yes we did! I headed to Cardiff for one night with 24 of my closest girlie mates and family. We dressed in wedding and bridesmaid dresses that we had got from charity shops! It was hilarious. My nan came along as she didn’t want to miss out and stayed out until… 03:30am! What a star! Dean and the boys went to Bristol for the night. They spent the morning go-karting and the afternoon doing what boys do best… drinking beer!
I made the fatal mistake one day of telling Dean that all he had to do was turn up and he took it a little too literally! I really didn’t expect him to get excited about ribbons and name cards so I didn’t mind. I really enjoyed every minute of the planning and was pleased that I could do it all by myself and let Dean know what was planned and to see if he liked it. He liked pretty much all of it so I was pleased! He did sort out the Videographer and made sure the eight groomsmen were organised with their suits. He did a really good job on the bits he helped with so I can’t complain.
I used the message boards a lot! It was great to see other people’s pictures and see what advice they had to offer.
I considered buying a lot but my bill always seemed to be over budget! I did get a lot of ideas about our tables from the brochures which were really good.
I bought my dress from Debenhams. It was exactly what I wanted, looked amazing and cost me half of what I expected to pay. I used the personal shopper and she did a fantastic job so I ended up getting my whole outfit in one fell swoop. My shoes however were my bargain and my something old. They cost me £3.20 from Ebay, were brand new and looked amazing! My advice is to shop around and don’t just settle for what you think you should look at just because everyone else is paying a fortune!
My little sister Danielle was my only bridesmaid as we know so many girls that we would have had to hire a bus to get them all there if we hadn’t limited it. She looked amazing on the day and was such a help in the build up to the day. Considering she is only 13 she did a wonderful job and even did a reading at the church.
Dean chose his best friend and old school pal, Barry. He did a wonderful job and was so nervous about doing his speech but did it brilliantly. He made sure that everyone was having a good time and made sure that he spoke to everyone – he was just amazing.
We had a white church wedding. Dean was much more into having a church wedding than I was originally but once we had met the new parish vicar we were both very keen; he was lovely and very welcoming. We even decided to get Christened before the wedding. On the day the vicar said some very lovely things about us, which was nice because we felt that we really had got to know each other.
All Saints Church, Millbrook, Cornwall.
We hired an entire holiday park for the weekend for our guests. It was like having our own Butlins! The park manager Paul was fantastic and the staff worked so hard to make sure that everyone had a good time. The reception venue looked amazing. The guests arrived on Friday, the bar opened and the party started. The guests stayed in caravans for the whole weekend and it was really wonderful to see everyone in and out of each other’s caravans having cups of tea!
Dean and I wanted a modern car but spotted a beautiful Beauford Convertible in ivory driving to another wedding one day whilst out
We had 175 guests all day and all weekend!
I didn’t really plan a theme but everything I seemed to buy had hearts on it so that ended up being the theme. Our colour scheme was gold and cream.
We had white table cloths and napkins which were dressed with gold heart confetti, gold streamers, wedding cake bubbles and gold paper napkins on the side plates. The favour boxes were white cubes tied with gold ribbon and I made little gold labels which I wrote different messages on. I bought gold cameras for the tables as well.
Yes, little white cube boxes, tied with gold ribbon and lined with gold tissue paper. They were filled with Ferrero Rocher, Jelly Babies, Smarties, Kinder chocolates, Jelly Belly beans and liquorice Allsorts! The guests liked being able to swap them!
I had asked the florist to work her magic as I know nothing about flowers. I told her what my dress was like and left it to her. She did a wonderful job and Danielle and I had hand-tied bouquets which had cream roses, grasses and orchids. I really didn’t know what to expect but when they arrived I was thrilled.
We opted to have two buffets and there was so much food! We had rice and pasta salads, meats, quiches, salads, desserts, and loads of veggie options plus loads more that I can’t even remember!
We bought 3 fruit cakes from Lawson’s and had the hire charge of the stand and knife included all for the bargain price of £75! We got the florist to make some fresh flowers for the top to match..
We had a DJ who was also a friend.
We had one with Debenhams.
We asked for Thomson holiday vouchers and ended up in the Dominican Republic for two weeks, all-inclusive! We stayed at the park with everyone else. They had decorated our caravan and given us lovely frilly bedding and Champagne! We booked our honeymoon the day after the wedding and went the next day!
All of it!
Nothing at all, we didn’t have a single hitch.
Shop around – the word ‘wedding’ puts the price up. Don’t just look at what you think everyone else is looking at. We spent the day before the wedding chatting and greeting our guests. This was a really good idea as it meant that on the day we had time to speak to everyone without 175 people trying to make sure they had said hello. It was lovely to be able to spend time with them before it all got a bit hectic as they had all travelled long distances.Oh and… enjoy it all! I don’t understand why people find it stressful as there are so many worse things that you could be doing.