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
Whilst training to be an educational psychologist I’d returned home from work to find I’d been robbed! I hadn’t met my neighbours because I had recently moved in and chose that moment to introduce myself and found myself chatting and commiserating over a bottle of wine. A few days later I was introduced to Jacob since my neighbour taught in the same school as him. I subsequently got invited to his birthday party and we got on really well, and thus began our friendship. After 4 or 5 months we decided we were really rather good together and our relationship began.
I am 39 years old. Jacob is 30 years old.
On Valentines Day 2004 (Leap Year,) I presented Jacob with a token for a mystery weekend away. I had booked a romantic weekend retreat in the Lake District at a 16th century farmhouse; a living museum with four-poster beds, oak panels, roaring log fires and lashings of red velvet. I had bought our rings and had them engraved on the inside with each others names. I arranged for the landlord to scatter our room with 100s of long-stemmed red roses. When we arrived there had been a light sprinkling of snow and everything glittered as we tip toed up the path. I led him upstairs, eyes closed and guided him into our room. He loved the roses and was very pleased with my romantic gesture but had not really twigged what I was up to. We went out for a gorgeous candlelit meal at a French restaurant. My plan was to wait until the Sunday (29th February) to propose but I was so excited to ask that when we got back I did. We sat by the log fire chatting and I then popped to our room. I had bought a silver arrow and in the head I had written ‘Will you marry me?’ I put the rings in my pocket and hurried downstairs to pop the question. He was a little bemused by the arrow but then unravelled the message. Immediately on reading it he said ‘Of course I will!’ We were both overjoyed and had an unforgettable weekend, excitedly phoning all our family and friends up on the Sunday to tell them the marvelous news.
We had a joint hen and stag weekend. On the Friday night all our friends gathered at ours and we set off for a day of fun and frolics at Alton Towers. Once there we split into the White Knuckle Riders group and the Pamper group. The day was great; one group returned completely chilled and relaxed from their day at the spa; the other group were all wired from the scary rides. We shared our experiences of the day over a fantastic Balti close to home. The next day we had hired a club at the Custard Factory in Birmingham. We had decided on a Monochrome theme. Jacob wore a white suit with black devil horns. I wore a blacken dress with white angel wings. All our guests came in black and white. We had a black and white Ying and Yang cake made for us and every guest brought food for the buffet and wore a black and white outfit. We had black and white balloons, fairy lights and we had printed up lots of black and white posters of photos we had taken over the years together. The posters were given as gifts to guests at the end. We also had some huge 8 foot diameter weather balloons floating on the pond they had in the centre of the complex. Jacob and I DJd for part of the celebrations with our other DJ friends filling in the gaps in between, a great time was had by all.
Jacob helped enormously with the honeymoon: arranging the accommodation, flights, car hire and things to do. He was also great at choosing his outfit. He gave a hand making the table plan and favours. He was invaluable in helping organise the run down of the ceremony and the seating plans for the day; he helped me with my speech too.
The website was invaluable in giving ideas for colour themes, table decorations and lots of other helpful tips and strategies for planning the day.
We visited the store in Birmingham to purchase ribbon, bubbles, tealights etc.
My outfit was an Alfred Angelo number. It had a duchess satin bodice with spaghetti straps with satin buttons running down the back. The bodice was delicately decorated with beads and embroidery. The skirt was A-line and overlaid with chiffon with a 2-3 foot train. The beading found on the bodice was reflected on the dress running in a diagonal line from right hip to left foot. I bought a marabou shrug decorated with a satin bow from Monsoon to put over my shoulders and wore a simple thin gold Alice band with gold wire, crystals and gold beads on it accented with lovely ivory diamond feathers. I carried long stemmed roses to remind Jacob of our engagement weekend.
We had 5 adult bridesmaids. Our Matron of Honour was my sister. They each wore a very pale pink chiffon dress with a dipped skirt (very short train.) The beading on their dresses mirrored mine to keep the theme cohesive. They wore small feather fascinators I had made for them in pink and ivory. They wore ivory satin shoes and carried raw silk dolly bags decorated with tiny pink beads. They wore faux fur shrugs over their shoulders. The girls carried ivory long stemmed roses. Our 4 year old flower girl wore a long ivory tulle dress with pink butterfly wings we had custom made for her. She adored them and looked beautiful. She carried a basket of pink rose petals.
Jacob’s best man was his best friend from school. He wore a pale linen suit with pale pink shirt, pink tie and raw silk ivory waistcoat. He wore 2 pale pink roses as his buttonhole. Our ushers were all partners/fiancés of our bridesmaids. They wore dark suits with ivory silk waistcoats with wing collar shirts and ivory silk cravats. They wore pale pink roses with eucalyptus leaf for buttonholes.
We had a civil ceremony that we were able to tailor and individualise. We had our ushers and bridesmaids proceed before my father and to the sounds of Goldfrapp. We had 3 wonderful readings. The first was from my old neighbour and friend who had introduced us 5 and a half years before; she had written a speech especially for us which was wonderful.
Our ceremony was held at the Falcon Hotel, Bude, Cornwall.
Our reception was held in the same hotel.
I had a pale blue silver lady to ride down to the venue in along the coastal road. The 5 bridesmaids rode down in a vintage silver limousine.
– 50 guests attended the ceremony at midday and then the wedding breakfast. 120 guests were present for the entertainment and buffet in the evening from 5 until 12.30.
We had butterflies everywhere, all the bridesmaids were given wings to match their outfits for the evenings celebration. I donned some wings too! The colour scheme was pale pink and ivory. We also had bubble machines for after the ceremony and during the evening’s festivities.
The name cards were ivory card with pink ribbon and an ivory feather decorating them. We had a pale pink and ivory theme running through the candle holders, napkins, favours and name cards.
We had ivory cone favours decorated with pale pink ribbon and satin rosebuds. We also had cameras for each table for guests to take pictures. A guest at each table was presented with a fairy card one of my pupils had made for us and this meant they could take away the flower arrangement at the end of the night.
Our flowers were minimalist and we chose roses, our favourite flower. I carried a long stemmed pale pink hand-tied bouquet with some eucalyptus leaf. My bridesmaids carried smaller long stemmed hand-tied bouquets with ivory roses. The flower decoration was a cluster of pale pink roses with a feather butterfly sitting on top. We hired several bay trees which we decorated with fairy lights which decorated both the ceremony room and the reception room. Our florist was ‘Christine’s’ at Brooks Nursery in Bude, Cornwall.
We went for traditional fare. We had a choice of starter, main course and afters. We chose tomato and basil soup or pate and toast for starters. We decided on roast beef and all the trimmings or asparagus tips in filo pastry with a selection of vegetables for our main course. For afters we had a cheese and biscuit selection or strawberry pavlova.
We had figures of ourselves and our 2 cats made for the cake toppers. We chose a 3-tiered cake made with a fruit base, chocolate 2nd tier and vanilla top tier. It was simply adorned with pale pink organza ribbon. The icing was ivory. Jacob’s uncle’s partner has a sister who is a professional cake maker; she kindly made our cake for us.
We chose all our favourite tracks and placed them on CD for the ceremony and the wedding breakfast. From 5, one of our friends entertained our guests with an acoustic guitar set of some of our favourite tracks. We had song books printed up so guests could join in if they wanted to. One of our bridesmaids DJd for us at the start of the evening and we had our first dance to Japan’s ‘I second that emotion.’ We then took over and did a bride and groom DJ set and then another of our friends kept us dancing till well passed midnight.
We had our wedding gift list with Argos.
We went to the wonderfully romantic city of Edinburgh for our honeymoon and stayed in an opulent Georgian town house for the duration of our honeymoon.
Setting eyes on Jacob as he waited for me to make my way to the front to join him for the ceremony was an unforgettable moment. It was quite magical! We both laughed and smiled all day. We made sure we took time out to reflect on the happenings of the day and have subsequently been able to record most details about the day. We were determined for the day not to wash over us in a blur and it didn’t.
No nightmare moments at all… textbook stuff. The whole run up and planning stage, the day itself and the honeymoon exceeded our expectations and was perfect in every way. The honeymoon also exceeded our expectations and was perfect in every way.
Give yourself enough time to plan at leisure and without stress. Delegate sensibly and the day will run itself and you won’t have to worry about a thing. Take some time to reflect on the day as it happens with your new husband… that way the day won’t disappear in a blur.
Linda and James 20/08/2005 - St. Mary's Catholic Church, Chislehurst KentHSBC Club in Beckenham, Kent How and when did you...