Written by Paula Jones Last updated: August 8, 2006
Ian and I first meet in 1997 when I was working in a bank. He came in to fix the alarm, we got chatting and he just came out and asked if I would like to go out for a drink. Of course I didn’t say yes straight away but we swapped numbers, Ian saying he would call me in the week to sort out a day to meet up. I thought he would not call, but he did and we went out for a drink with some friends on the Friday night. We got on really well so decided to go out together on our own the following night and the rest, as they say, is history.
30 and 38.
Ian first proposed to me after we had been together for 8 months after England had gone through to the next round of the World Cup. He got down on one knee in front of all his mates at their football club and asked. I did say yes but as we had both had a lot to drink that night, he asked me again four weeks later in a packed restaurant; down on one knee, but this time he had a ring. I said yes again but through tears and the cheers of the other people in the restaurant. We both decided that we would wait until we had saved the money for the wedding before we went ahead, but 10 months later we found out that we were having a baby so put the wedding on hold for a bit longer.
Yes, we both had one a week apart, but in fact Ian ended up having two, one the week before mine and one the week after mine. Ian’s first one was a weekend playing golf in Edinburgh and his other was a night on the town with all those friends that couldn’t make the weekend. Needless to say he was very worse for wear when he came home that night, or should I say morning.
I had a day at a spa with the girls having lots of lovely treatments and being totally pampered. When we came out of the spa there was a limo waiting for us to take us to a restaurant for a really nice meal which Ian had laid on for us, all before heading of for our trip down memory lane. We went to all the old places we all used to go out to when we all first meet and became friends, which was such a cool, fun idea as I really didn’t want a hen night.
Ian was totally hands on with the planning; he came with me to lots of wedding fairs and to all the meetings with the suppliers. We decided on everything together so our wedding day was totally what we both wanted. The only thing that he didn’t have a say in was my dress.
Yes, it was great for tips on planning, speeches, suppliers and, of course, being able to talk to other girls in the same boat as you.
Yes, we put all the details of the wedding on there, but we never got around to adding any pictures.
Yes, we bought some Triva Chocolates to put on the tables, which went down well.
My dress was a Benjamin Roberts ivory dress with a fullish satin A-line skirt with an organza overlay which swept to the left side and had a diamante brooch detail where the organza met. The bodice was covered in lace overlay which had small diamantes and crystals on it to give it that little bit of sparkle, it also had a long train that I had bustled for the evening to make it easier to dance in.
Yes, we had two bridesmaids. I didn’t want younger bridesmaids so I picked my sister and my niece. They both wore a black knee length strapless dress from Coast which had a black organza belt around the middle, but I added a diamante brooch to this once it was tied just to give it a bit of ‘bling!’ They both looked stunning and very elegant.
EIan picked his good friend Martin to be best man and two of his other friends and my nephew to be our ushers. Dougie our usher also did a reading for us at the wedding which was fantastic. All the wedding party wore black Edwardian suits but with frock coats, with black and white waist coats and black cravats, Ian’s waistcoat and cravat was white, to make him stand out from the others.
We had a religious ceremony.
We had the wedding at St Mary’s Church Shephal in Stevenage which is our local church and where all my family have been married and baptised, so it made the service that little bit more special to us.
Our reception was held at Knebworth House in the Manor Barns; the house has fantastic gardens so we decided it was perfect for having our photos taken in and we did get some brilliant ones. Our guests kept coming up to us on the day saying what a wonderful setting we had picked to have the wedding in, which was nice to hear.
We had a family friend’s Rolls Royce Silver Shadow to take myself and the bridesmaids to the church in and then for Ian and I to go to the reception in. Ian went to the church in the best man’s Porsche 4×4 and the ushers and guests who had come the night before went on the coach we had laid on.
We had invited 92 for the day but only 82 came and we had a further 40 for the evening and only 2 didn’t make it due to illness.
We decided to go with black white and silver for our colours. We did get a few funny looks when we told people but on the day after they saw the whole thing the said it was elegant, classic and very cosmopolitan, which is what we were going for.
We kept the table very simple, all white table linen, but apart from the flowers we just added some silver stars and bells confetti to the table, along with the black and white name cards and favours.
Yes, all the ladies were given a black organza bag with a white rosebud pinned to it, filled with 5 micro bath bombs, and when you walked into the room you could smell them. The men were given a black and white tux box which had a travel size aftershave balm and three black and white mints. All the children received a gift bag from Molly Monkey filled with a notepad, colour pencils and bubbles etc.
My bouquet was a hand-tied one, with black baccara roses, cream calla lilies, red calosias rod and hypricum berries, around the edge I had aspidistra leafs. The bridesmaids had a simple hand-tied bouquet of mango calla lilies. Ian’s buttonhole was a black baccara rose and a mango lily; the best man and our oldest son had a simple mango lily; the rest of the wedding party had black baccara roses. Our mums had corsages, mine having a cream calla lily and berries and Ian’s mum having a black baccara rose and berries. For the tables we wanted something very simple but with a ‘wow’ factor, so with Karen, our florist from Mosaic Floral Effects, we came up with a tall vase that sat on a glass mirror base and had five candles around the base. We filled the vase with a small round bouquet of black baccara roses and berries with three long stem mango calla lilies and sanke grass in the middle of the roses and we then had aspidistra leafs around the outside. The top table had the same flowers but with white lilies, but sat in a Champagne cocktail glass. I decided to have just cream lilies in mine and my mum’s and the top table flowers to remember my dad who we lost 2 years ago. All the guests thought they were fantastic and we had more ladies wanting to take them home at the end of the night than we had flowers to give away.
The venue has their own chef, who did all the catering for the day, and they did a fantastic job; the food was really nice. We picked food that was simple and that we both love, so we went for…
Starter – Cream of leek and potato soup.
Main – Roast lamb, with fresh mint sauce or roasted vegetable Wellington with a sweet pepper coulis, with roasted sweet potatoes and a medley of vegetables.
Dessert – Homemade apple pie with old fashioned English custard Coffee and Mints.
For the evening we went for a Tex-Mex buffet, which went down really well.
Ours was a three-tired square rich dark chocolate cake, covered in white chocolate icing. We had the two bigger tiers stacked on top of each other and then had a vase with a single rose in it which the top tier sat on top of. We had black baccara sugar roses on the top and on one side along with silver spring-like twists. I found a picture of our cake online and took it to Lynn at Silver Slipper who made the cake for us and she did a brilliant job; we were really pleased with it.
Yes, we hired a classical guitarist to play while we had our photos taken and he played while we had dinner which added a nice touch. For the evening we hired a DJ who was brill as he had everyone dancing all night.
Yes, we had a small one at Debenhams for those who wanted to buy us a gift, but most of the guests gave us money to put towards our garden fund.
We never went to bed that night. After we left the reception at 1 am we stayed up with some of the guests in the hotel bar until 4am, when we went to our room showered and changed and our car came at 5am to take us to the airport. We spent our honeymoon in Santa Monica, Las Vegas and San Francisco, which we booked through Thomas Cook.
I had two: my first was walking into the church and seeing it full of all our friends and family and, of course, Ian who had the biggest smile on his face. My second was taking a moment to watch the guests and seeing everyone enjoying themselves.
We didn’t have any problems really, apart from having to remake the table plan due to a guest not being able to come at the last minute.
There’s nothing I would do differently, I would just say to all those brides-to-be, enjoy your day and take us much in as possible. The time goes by so fast and don’t worry if things don’t quite go to plan on the day.