We met in March 2003 on an internet dating web site.
Where, when and how did he (or you!) propose?
We clicked straight away. Richard moved in with me after a few weeks and marriage was talked about very early on! Richard got sent to Iraq in the November and it was during the four months he was away that we started to realise how awful it would be if we didn’t have each other. I was planning on asking him to marry me in February but he beat me to it! It wasn’t the most romantic proposal because he was on the phone in Iraq but it was very special. Then, on my birthday in February there was a knock on the door and he was standing there. I was shocked as he was supposed to be in Iraq but he had been given a week off. He whisked me off to the jewellery quarter and we chose a beautiful engagement ring.
Did you have hen and stag celebrations?
Neither of us really wanted to do anything but my best mate wasn’t going to let me get out of it that easily and so we had a fairly tame girly night in town. Richard had a lads night which ended with us girls heading home for our fellas only to find out they were all in town getting drunk!
Did your groom help you with the wedding planning?
Richard was away for most of the year on tours so I was left to do most of the planning. We got married abroad so it was fairly stress free.
Did you use confetti to plan your wedding? If so, how did the website help you?
I think it was the forum which I used most. The girls on there were all very helpful and gave lots of good advice.
Do you have a confetti web page?
I did start with a confetti web page but unfortunately I ran out of time.
Tell us about your outfit, and where you bought it.
My wedding dress was bought locally in a small bridal shop. I needed something suitable for a beach wedding and the dress I found was perfect – nice and floaty with an open back!
Did you have bridesmaids? If so, who did you choose and what did they wear?
I didn’t have bridesmaids as my best mate is getting married this year and unfortunately couldn’t afford to come with us.
Who did your groom choose for his best man and ushers, and what did they wear?
Richard’s brother and wife came with us and he was our best man. Richard wanted to be comfortable and so he wore cream linen trousers and a white linen shirt with sandals and his brother wore similar.
Did you have a civil or religious ceremony?
We had a civil ceremony in Antigua.
Where did you hold your ceremony?
The ceremony was in a beautiful gazebo in tropical gardens.
Where did you hold your reception?
We had our reception here in the UK a few weekends ago for all our families and friends who couldn’t be with us. It was perfect and I got to wear my dress again. It was quite unusual because it was the first time our families had met and we had been married for over three months!
Did you have any special wedding transport?
We didn’t have any special wedding transport.
How many guests did you invite to your wedding, and did you have a separate evening guest list?
In Antigua there were eight of us all together. At the reception we had about 100 people.
Did your reception have a particular theme in terms of colour or style?
The reception didn’t really have a theme but the cake was beautiful. My mum had it made with the wedding gazebo on the top and lots of shells etc.
Did you give your guests favours?
We didn’t have favours.
Describe your flowers (bouquets and table decorations). Who was your florist?
The flowers on the wedding day were beautiful – I had a pink and white bouquet and a fuchsia in my hair.
What did you choose to have on your menu? Did you have an outside caterer or did your venue handle the catering?
In Antigua we had an evening meal in the resort and at the reception we had an evening buffet which was organised by the hotel.
What did you choose for your wedding cake?
The Antigua wedding cake was arranged by Sandals and it was a plain jam sponge. At the reception back in the UK, my mum’s friend made the cake and it was all done as a surprise for me. Richard hates fruit cake so it was a jam sponge which I am regretting now because we were unable to keep the top layer.
Did you have any entertainment during the day or evening?
On the wedding day, we woke early and had a lovely romantic stroll on the beach. We got married at 11 and then spent the afternoon lazing by the pool sipping cocktails making our own entertainment! At the UK reception we had a disco.
Did you have a gift list? If so, who did you have your list with?
We decided not to have a gift list because we have a home together and already have two of everything. We asked for Currys vouchers so we could buy a new TV. Our guests were very happy to give us vouchers because we were saving for something we wanted.
Where did you spend your first night and honeymoon? Who did you book your honeymoon with?
Our wedding and honeymoon were in Antigua – it all went very smoothly and the resort was pure luxury.
What was your most memorable moment of the day?
The most memorable moment of the day was when I walked to the gazebo and they hid me behind a tree (doesn’t sound very romantic, but trust me it was!). Then the music started (‘This Years Love’ by David Gray) and Richard walked down the path and came to collect me so we could walk down to the gazebo together. He gave my hand a squeeze and told me I looked beautiful and I will never forget how I felt at that moment.
Is there anything you would do differently, or any advice you would give to other brides?
I wouldn’t do anything differently. We had the most amazing wedding and I would definitely recommend getting married abroad. The whole day was just about us and I wasn’t sharing Richard with anyone else. It was a perfect day and I have some amazing memories that I will carry forever!