Sabina and Saleem June 1999 - How did you meet? We met in the Summer of 1996, when she was over here on a holiday, she came back and we…
Written by Paula Jones Last updated: August 10, 2006
We met at work in Stratford-upon-Avon. I knew the first time I saw Dave that he was the man I was going to marry. Unfortunately he had a girlfriend at the time. Six months and plenty of flirting via email later we went on our first date.
Dave proposed to me on Christmas Day 2002. Two of our friends had recently got engaged and Dave took me into my Mum and Dad’s living room in front of the roaring fire to say that one day our time would come and not to feel too disappointed. He gave me a beautiful bouquet of white roses and lillies (my favourite). Dave then got down on one knee and said that I would make him the happiest man in the world if I would do him the honour of being his wife. I cried and said yes.
I was lucky and had two hen celebrations. My mum and sister surprised me and took me to St Tropez for a long weekend. They didn’t tell me where we were going until we got to the airport. It was bliss – just what I needed – three days relaxing in the sun. We then had a joint celebration with all our friends at Creamfields in Liverpool (we both like dance music). This was also great although as the night progressed and the field got muddier we both wondered whether we had done the right thing…
Dave helped with quite a few things. We chose the reception venue, menu, flowers, stationery, mens suits and rings together and he left me to get on with the rest of it myself.
I found the message boards really useful and got loads of great advice from there.
I ordered a few things online – table confetti, keepsake boxes and disposable cameras.
My dress was strapless with a draped princess skirt and a chapel train. The bodice was heavily embroidered and beaded with silver and crystals. When I first saw it in the shop I wasn’t sure but my mum made me try it on. I fell in love with it and my mum and sister cried! I truly felt like a princess.
I had two bridesmaids – my sister Nicky and Dave’s sister Sarah. They wore dresses in dusky blue and they were very similar to mine – they had a rouched front with scattered crystals across the bodice.
Dave chose Patrick, his best friend from the age of three, as his best man and had his two brothers, John and Stephen, as his ushers. All the men wore grey morning suits with dusky blue cravats and silver waistcoats.
We had a religious ceremony.
Beoloey Church in Worcestershire. It is the church in the village where my parents live and where I always said I would get married. The church is quite small and only holds about 90 people. We filled it.
The reception was held at Studley Castle in Warwickshire. I went to a party there about ten years ago and fell in love with it. It has such character and really has the wow factor as you come up the driveway.
We had two 1930’s Citroens. There are only four in the country and they are beautiful.
We had 70 people to the day reception, we were limited on numbers as this was all that the room could hold. For the evening there were another 50 people guests.
Our colours were silver and blue.
We tried to keep the tables as simple as possible. Other than the flowers, glasses and cutlery there was nothing on the tables.
All our guests received a lucky dip lottery ticket for that night. Nobody won the jackpot!
We had three flowers – white calla lillies, white roses and blue thistles. My bouquet was hand tied with all three flowers, diamontes and some greenery. The bridesmaids carried calla lillies and the buttonholes were thistles (a calla lily for the groom). Ladies corsages were made from roses and thistles. The table arrangements were amazing – two feet tall vases with willow, lillies, roses, thistles and greenery. The flowers were done by a friend and cost a fortune, but they were well worth it and proved to be a talking point of the day.
For our menu we chose Honey roasted barbury duck set on a bed of soused cucumber and spring onion salad with a soy and sesame sauce. We then had a Champagne sorbet. The main course was petite lamb wellington stuffed with rosemary and shallots served with a courgette fritter and dauphinoiss potatoes. For pudding we had a baked lemon tart served with a cinnamon and maple syrup with homemade ice cream and coffee and petite fours. Our venue handled the catering and the food was divine.
Our wedding cake was three tiered, two fruit and one sponge. There were two round tiers with the middle one hexagonal. My aunt made the cake and there wasn’t one single piece left by the end of the night. That may have had something to do with the bottle of brandy she had put in it though…
We had a soloist at the Church whilst we signed the register, she sang Ave Maria and Pie Jesu. While the photographs were being taken and throughout the meal we had a string quartet – they played on the balcony as people entered the castle and just outside the room for the meal. In the evening we had a DJ
We didn’t have a gift list as we have lived together for the last four years and have everything that we needed for our house except a new kitchen. We asked for money and have bought a new kitchen. When it is completed we will send all our guests before and after photos so they could see what their money bought.
We spent our first night at the castle where the majority of our guests stayed. It was really nice the next morning to be able to have breakfast with everybody and talk about the wedding. For our honeymoon we went to San Francisco, Las Vegas, San Diego and Los Angeles. We were away for three weeks and although we came back more exhausted than before the wedding we had an amazing time.
Seeing Dave waiting for me at the bottom of the aisle. I have never been so sure of what I was doing in my life and I have never seen Dave looking as speechless or happy as he did when I got to the bottom. The speeches were another time for tears, I don’t know how my dad managed to hold it together. Three days before the wedding we had to move them to before the meal as he was so nervous. He missed out on a lot of me growing up as he works away and he found it really hard to give me away.
There is nothing I would change, the whole day was amazing. Make sure you take ten minutes away from all the guests with your hubby so that you can catch up on everything that’s gone on – you wouldn’t believe how little you see of each other once your evening guests start to arrive.
Melanie and Gerald 24/07/2004 - St Michael's Church, Betchworth, Surrey A marquee reception in the garden photos by Photo Cafe...