How did you meet?
We met in a chat room on the internet. I asked Michael for his phone number and managed to restrain myself until 11am the next day!
Describe the marriage proposal.
I proposed to Michael on stage in front of about 300 people at his works dinner/dance. We had actually bought his engagement ring that afternoon but he said I would never have the guts to propose in front of everyone! What else could I do?
How long did you spend preparing for the day and how was it?
We started preparing about mid-January 2000 and we did most things the wrong way round. We booked the honeymoon first, followed by the reception and finally the church (I am divorced so this wasn’t easy!).
We had a bit of a panic about 4 weeks before the wedding as the lady I had booked the horse and carriage with phoned to say that her horse had
slipped and wrenched it’s leg – disaster! The good news was she had passed my details on to another lady who said she would be able to do it – relief all round
What type of wedding ceremony did you have and where?
We had a church wedding at St. Columba’s Church in Worthing, West Sussex. The day itself was very strange really. I got up at 7.30 and cooked breakfast (yes, me, the bride!) for me, my best friend, Bev, and my two children. By 9.30am (the wedding was at 1pm) I had breakfasted, bathed, and done my hair.
Before I knew it though my prospective in-laws had turned up (my new sister in law was a bridesmaid), followed swiftly by half of my family and then my Matron of Honour. At this point it all became a bit of a blur – albeit an enjoyable blur!
Suddenly it was noon and time for me to leave (I had to travel to meet the horse and carriage). We had time for a few photos outside the house as I left. Peace at last – a few miles to the horse and carriage in jovial spirits with my brother driving, my MoH navigating and my step-dad with me!
After a nice mile and a half trot to the church – with a break on the way as we were early! – we arrived. A mad dash ensued as Michael was still standing outside so was swiftly ushered into the church! Thankfully he didn’t see me. Time for a few more photos outside of church and then…it was time!
We waited at the doorway for the music to start and then we were off – at a slow pace of course! There was a slight panic from me when I nearly burst into tears about a quarter of the way down the aisle. I managed to choke it back though – couldn’t have puffy eyes when my veil was lifted!
Michael looked a picture in his top hat and tails. In fact everyone looked a picture and we had a lovely ceremony which was very relaxed and informal thanks to our vicar (a lady nonetheless!)
Where did you hold your reception and what was it like?
Our reception was at The Berkeley Hotel in Worthing. It was semi-traditional but at the
ame time quite informal. With only 30 guests, it was very personal and everyone was able to mingle without getting too clichy!
After the photos in the church garden everyone piled into the car spaces
available and proceeded to the reception about a mile away. Michael and I left last to allow everyone to get parked and ready for us to arrive at the hotel where they had the red carpet on the stairs waiting. Also waiting for us was the lady who helped organise the reception with a glass of bucks fizz for each of us.
After a wonderful reception where we managed to slip out and across the road to the seafront for a bit of fresh air and peace (!) we were whisked off to Gatwick by a chauffeur driven executive car complete with a bottle of champagne.
All in all it was a very relaxed day which we all enjoyed. We are already saying that we would do it again every year if it wasn’t so expensive!
Is there anything you’d change, with hindsight?
There was quite a gap between getting there and going downstairs for the reception and another big gap between the food and the evening entertainment – other than that I don’t think I would change anything.
What advice would you give to couples currently planning their wedding?
It’s your day so go with what you want and try not to be pressured into something neither of you will feel comfortable with. It’s stressful enough planning a wedding without feeling you have to do something that either or both of you may not feel comfortable with. Be firm but fair and above all – try to relax!