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
photos by DMS Photography
We met in a bar having a quiet drink five years ago. He was forced to go out with his aunt as he had not been well and was recovering. I was encouraged to go out with an old friend but had such a complex about myself that I didn’t really want to but was persuaded by my mum. We subsequently ended up in the same bar next to each other and discovered each others story, he was a prison officer in health care, and I am a practice nurse so I guess it really was fate!? And so it began!
It was Christmas Day 2002, under the Christmas tree. All the family knew, including my two teens who helped plan it! Dennis got down on one knee, and my daughter took photos. It was delightful!
I had two main events as I have a lot of different friends. One was in the town were I live, a sedate, sensible meal for 25 of us, then on to a 70’s/80’s disco bar. The next was a theatre/salsa weekend in London with some friends from work which was brilliant.
Dennis spent a few days in Denmark with his brother and he also had a weekend away in Prague with some family and friends.
Together we sat down and planned things at home, but Dennis liked me doing it really. We did a lot of searching on the internet together and he did plenty of driving to fetch and carry things. He actually chose the guys outfits which were really cool and different.
We used the website a lot for ideas and suggestions, and I visited the London shop on my weekend away. It gave me some sort of order of time and planning. I used it for everything really from champagne and cakes to party weekends and honeymoons!
No – I must have missed out on that one?!
I ordered my ‘save the date’ cards online from Confetti. I also bought the wedding readings booklets from the shop and metallic confetti for my invitations. I think my friends bought my hen weekend regalia from Confetti too!!?
It was a made to order dress from Gelen Marina in London, which I bought from a local shop. It’s a ‘Champagne Gold’ colour, made from silk and has a ruched strapless bodice and full skirt. It was quite bohemian and beautifully different!
I had one bridesmaid, my daughter Annie. We had her dress made for her. It was a copper/terracotta silk dupion dress with shoe string straps, a straight skirt and ruched bodice similar to mine. I also had a good friend, Yvonne, as my witness. She wore a cream/gold chiffon three-quarter length dress with shoe string straps, a chiffon shawl and an ivory hat.
Dennis chose his good friend Nigel as his best man. His ushers were his brother David and my cousin Mark, and of course his Dad. They all wore three-quarter length jackets and trousers. The colour was fab, a kind of caramel and the material was lightweight for a summer’s day. Their shirts were gold, and their ties were striped in shades of gold, cream and caramel. They all wore brown shoes.
We had a civil ceremony.
A local hotel in the countryside – The Habrough Hotel, Habrough, Lincs. A fabulous setting and fantastic organisation too.
Our reception was at the same venue.
Yes, I had a vintage Riley by John Fletcher. He is a retired police officer and the car has a classic miniature officer at the front of it! It was lovely to arrive in style and class.
We had about 65 to the day celebrations and an extra 40 at the evening.
I wanted a bit of a mixture. Country garden, tropical and natural. The colours were golds and oranges. We wanted to incorporate our roots as well – half of my family are from Wales and my husband’s are from Ireland. This was reflected in the favours and music. We had a harpist playing on the terrace and an Irish Regimental Bag Piper (my husband’s ex regiment British Army). For the ceremony, we had an English pianist who played our favourite tunes.
We had handmade placecards in gold with cream parchment, tied with raffia.
We gave the ladies favours. We wanted to keep it natural, useful, memorable and a bit different. All the ladies were given heart-shaped bath bombs with rose petals inside. They were tied with rafia, and we attached miniature Welsh lovespoons made to order with our initials engraved on them.
Our florist was very special and very patient! Our flowers were mango Calla lilies, orange gerbera, ‘Leonardis’ roses, ‘Gloriosa’ lilies, rosemary, eucalyptus, grasses and hypericum berries. I had a mixture of these in an informal hand-tied bouquet and my daughter had a smaller version of mine. They were both tied with raffia. The two mums had corsages of ‘Gloriosa’ lilies. My husband and his best man had buttonholes in mango calla lilies, berries and greenery. The ushers had smaller versions of these. The male family guests had ‘Leonardis’ roses and the female family guests had orange gerberas. The table decorations were tall versions of all of the flowers used. For these, I bought lovely vases and attached a label to them. At the end of the reception, these were presented to a special person at that table, to take home and keep as a memento.
On arrival we had Pimms on the terrace. The wedding breakfast started with lobster salad served with aged Balsamic vinegar or ‘waterlily’ of melon. The main course was chicken breast stuffed with savoury rice, served with fresh seasonal vegetables, roast and new potatoes. For dessert we had a choice of chocolate and Cointreau mousse or strawberries and cream.. I bought Amaretti biscuits for the tables and love heart sugar cubes for the coffee. The wines used were Couvee du Seigneur Blanc or Couvee du Seigneur Rouge, and for the toast we had pink champagne. This was free flowing all day!
My son James designed the cake for us. It was a four-tiered cake in chocolate sponge with white chocolate on the outside.
Yes, we had the ‘house’ disco, followed by a band where we re-lived the 70’s through to the present day. It was fantastic, they had everybody up and dancing. The evening ended with our bagpiper giving us some Irish tunes in to the night!
No. We decided do be different again. As we have lived together, we did not need anything for the house. We asked for National Garden Vouchers so we could do something special in our garden to remember the day with.
Our first night was in the luxurious honeymoon suite at the Habrough Hotel, followed by two weeks in the Caribbean. We went to St Lucia and stayed at the Sandals Grande resort. We had a great time.
The moment we set eyes on each other when I walked in, we both cried. Seeing all our family, colleagues and friends have such a fantastic day that nobody wanted to end!
Not a thing, despite the hiccups on the day, everything was just as we both wanted it. We don’t regret anything, nothing was missed and nothing was too much, it was perfect. A beautiful, fun day with attention to detail. Stunning.
Helen and Stephen May 2000 How did you meet? Stephen and I met at work. I joined the company where...