Nadine and Mike
24/09/2005 – Horwood House in Little Horwood, Buckinghamshire
photos by David Hughes Photography
How and when did you meet?
We met at work in 2001. It took Mike 2 years to pluck up the courage to ask me out after lots of nervous chats and me dropping some huge hints!
How old are you both?
I’m 24 and Mike is 29.
Where, when and how did he (or you!) propose?
Mike proposed whilst we were on holiday in Nerja, Spain. The holiday was to celebrate our first anniversary and the proposal was a complete surprise. It took place in a garden overlooking the sea, just after lunch. I burst into tears and it took me a good 10 minutes before I even thought to look at the ring Mike still had in his hand – or to say yes! We spent the rest of the day walking round town smiling like loonies!
Did you have hen and stag celebrations?
We had a joint "Hag" celebration as we have a lot of joint friends. We had a picnic in the local park followed by a game of croquet; we then went to London for a meal in Leicester Square, followed by a drunken evening in Shepherd’s Bush.
Did your groom help you with the wedding planning?
Mike really helped loads. We decided on everything together (apart from the dress!) and he had an equal role in ensuring that everything was organised. I was very lucky that he wanted to be involved every step of the way.
Did you use confetti to plan your wedding? If so, how did the website help you?
I used the count down lists to keep on track and used the Cafe practically every day! The ladies on there are great and really know the answers to everything.
Do you have a confetti web page?
No, I kept meaning to do one but never got round to it.
Did you buy any confetti products for your wedding? If so, did you visit a store, buy online or by mail order?
Yes, we visited the store in Birmingham and came out with far more than we went in for! We bought place cards, bubbles, rose petals (which were perfect) and a host of odds and ends.
Tell us about your outfit, and where you bought it.
I wore "Martina" by Maggie Sottero which I bought from "Mignonette" in Luton. I fell in love with it on the first day of trying on dresses and my mum burst into tears when I put it on. It’s a fantastic dress, very simple and elegant. It’s a one-piece dress with a fabulous organza overlay that swishes round when you walk. I really felt like a princess on the day. I can’t thank Mignonette enough – especially when they had to take the dress to pieces to make it long enough for me (I’m 6ft 1"), I can’t recommend them enough.
Did you have bridesmaids? If so, who did you choose and what did they wear?
I had one adult bridesmaid, my close friend Amanda and one flower girl, Mike’s niece Ella. Amanda was brilliant with helping out with the wedding and went above and beyond the call of duty. She wore a red "Elle" dress by Raylia Bridesmaids. Our flower girl wore a dress by Jasper Conran from Debenhams.
Who did your groom choose for his best man and ushers, and what did they wear?
Mike chose his best friend, Christian to be best man and his brother in law, Simon, and two friends, Wyc and Mike, to be ushers. Mike wore a black pinstripe morning coat with matching trousers, an Italian silk, ivory waistcoat and red cravat. The other wore the same but with grey waistcoats.
Did you have a civil or religious ceremony?
We had both! We had a civil ceremony, followed by a church blessing.
Where did you hold your ceremony?
The civil ceremony took place at Horwood House in Little Horwood, Buckinghamshire. The blessing took place in St. Nicholas church in Little Horwood.
Where did you hold your reception?
The wedding breakfast and evening reception took place at Horwood House, after the blessing.
Did you have any special wedding transport?
We hired a burgundy and black, 1930’s Vauxhall Cadet. It’s only one of three known working models of its type in the UK. It was absolutely stunning and I’d happily recommend Brook End Classics to other brides.
How many guests did you invite to your wedding, and did you have a separate evening guest list?
We had approx 80 adults and 10 children to the ceremony and blessing followed by an extra 50 for the evening.
Did your reception have a particular theme in terms of colour or style?
We chose the colour red as our main colour and hearts as a subtle theme from our stationery.
How did you incorporate this in to your table settings?
The tables had vases of red gerbera daisies and bear grass with red and clear crystals threaded on to tie in with my dress and the bridesmaids’ dresses. We used red rose petals and white bougainvillea petals on the tables to add some colour. The garden where Mike proposed was covered in bougainvillea. We hand-painted some tea lights with a heart pattern that matched our stationery, they were lit before we sat down and looked fantastic.
Did you give your guests favours?
The hand-painted tea lights we had made were given to guests. We also put a bowl of our favourite childhood sweets on each table for guests to enjoy.
Describe your flowers (bouquets and table decorations). Who was your florist?
My florist was a lady called Debbie from Flowers for Every Occasion in Milton Keynes. She had some brilliant ideas and the flowers looked incredible on the day. I was so pleased with them. My bouquet was red roses, red gerbera daisies, hyp berries and lime green Kermit. It’s sounds strange but the green really lifts the red and makes it look very striking. I wanted something different, although in a traditional style, which Debbie certainly pulled off. The bridesmaids had the same flowers but in white to contrast the red dresses. The men had red roses in their button holes. The table decorations were gerbera daisies, the top table and ceremony flowers were made to match my bouquet. Amanda (my bridesmaid) and I did the church flowers the day before and used the same flowers as my bouquet but added lots of lilies, which made the church smell fantastic.
What did you choose to have on your menu? Did you have an outside caterer or did your venue handle the catering?
The venue handled the catering. We had a sit down meal with a starter of melon with berries, followed by chicken in a bacon and mushroom sauce. Dessert was a passion fruit tart. We had a hot finger buffet in the evening.
What did you choose for your wedding cake?
We had a wonderful cake by Hockley’s in Northampton. It was 3 tiers: 1 fruit and 2 chocolate, as I don’t like fruit cake! It was simply decorated with red roses surrounding the pillars supporting the cake.
Did you have any entertainment during the day or evening?
We had a disco for the evening and everyone had a good boogie!
Did you have a gift list? If so, who did you have your list with?
We had a guest list with John Lewis.
Where did you spend your first night and honeymoon? Who did you book your honeymoon with?
We spent our first night at Horwood House and had breakfast with lots of guests the following morning. We left for honeymoon on the Sunday and went to Kenya for 2 weeks. We spent the first week on safari visiting some amazing places and the second week relaxing on the coast in Malindi.
What was your most memorable moment of the day?
For me, it has to be seeing Mike’s face as I walked down the aisle – he looked so happy and was welling up, I couldn’t look at him much as I knew I’d start crying! During the ceremony, our 2yr old flower girl Ella (Mike’s niece) decided to see what we were doing sitting at the front and came to hold my hand as we were listening to the registrar. She also announced, when the registrar said we were gathered here today for the marriage of Nadine and Mike, that it was her "Uncle Mikey!" causing us all to laugh. Also, in the evening, after our first dance, we got the DJ to play a song by Mr Scruff – someone we’ve seen live with friends several times. Everyone started cheering and ran on to the dance floor to have a dance with us. Mike says his is seeing me walk down the aisle, wearing my dress and looking beautiful. There were so many things that happened and we have a host of brilliant memories
Did you experience any ‘nightmare’ moments in the run up to your wedding or on the day?
My Mum wasn’t well on the run up to the wedding and had been in hospital several times. She was only discharged on the Friday evening before the wedding on Saturday. The thought of not having my Mum there made any other problems seem minor. Thankfully she made it and enjoyed the day.
Is there anything you would do differently, or any advice you would give to other brides?
Relax! Everyone worries about the tiny things that really don’t matter on the day. We spent ages working out a CD of music to play through the meal – it was never played and it didn’t matter anyway as you couldn’t hear music above the chatter of the guests! There isn’t anything we’d do differently as the day went so well and we were too happy and on too much of a high to worry about little things.