My name is Nicola Halsall and I wanted to tell you my engagement story. I was in Orlando, Florida (Sept 02) with my boyfriend Gary. The holiday had been booked…
Written by Paula Jones Last updated: July 14, 2009
28th March 2009
On Match.com website! Our first date was on Valentine’s Day 2004.
I am 34 and Stuart is 32
He proposed when we were watching TV!
I had a dinner and drinks at home organised by my sisters and my Mum, where I was dressed up as Princess Leia, followed by going to a local bar and nightclub. He went to London for the day with friends.
He helped by staying out of the decision making process!
I really enjoyed reading about other recent weddings for inspiration.
Yes! Favour boxes and little paper cake bags.
I wore a beautiful dark burgundy Benjamin Roberts dress from The Wedding Centre in Marlow. I also wore a pair of huge platform shoes which my Mum has worn on her wedding day in 1974! My hair and make-up were done by C&S Hair & Make-Up Artistry who did an amazing job. I would recommend them to anyone!
My daughter Eloise, who was 18 months at the time. She wore an ivory satin and organza dress from John Lewis and carried a posy of white orchids to match mine.
His best friend Paul was his best man and his ushers were a couple of friends and family members. They all wore black tie as the dress code was Evening Dress.
A religious ceremony at our local Church.
Holy Trinity Church, Bracknell.
The Royal Berkshire Hotel in Ascot. They were fantastic with the preparation and did a great job on the day.
A friend of the family drove us in his 1964 Jaguar Mk2 (an Inspector Morse car!) which was a silvery blue colour and really beautiful.
All guests were invited to the whole event, as it was afternoon-evening. We invited around 60.
Since my dress was a dramatic dark burgundy colour, everything else was white and silver to keep things simple and unfussy. Stuart wore a black dinner suit with ivory bow tie and waistcoat, and the flowers were white orchids.
We had live white orchid plants on the tables (rather than cut flowers) which meant we could keep them after the event, and give some to important guests to take home.
The favours were little white boxes of Jelly Bellys with a silver ribbon knot on top which I added myself to match the invitations I had also made myself.
My florist was Debbie’s Designs in Bracknell. She was fantastic and not only arranged all the flowers and plants, but also set up the tables to make sure everything looked perfect at the venue.
The hotel provided the catering. We had a lovely duck terrine starter, followed by a chicken main course, and most importantly profiteroles with Baileys cream filling for dessert.
It was a tower of rich chocolate cupcakes made by my sister and my Mum. They did an amazing job and the florist finished it off with some carefully placed orchids.
We had a live band for the church service, which was really atmospheric and fun. Lots of the guests said it was the most fun service they had ever been to!
We stayed at the hotel (Royal Berkshire, Ascot) in the honeymoon suite. We had a honeymoon a month or so later in Menorca.
Walking down the aisle with my Dad, my heart feeling as though it was in my mouth!
The evening before the wedding, I had some false eyelashes applied at a local salon, and they turned out to be ridiculously huge and also very uncomfortable. I ended up having them removed (even more uncomfortable!) but then had some really natural looking replacements put on by my make-up artist (Charlotte of C&S Hair & Make-Up Artistry) who really saved the day! In then end they looked really fab.
My only regret was booking a DJ, when I should have booked the band we had at the church to also play some live music at the reception. With hindsight I think this would have given a better atmosphere and been more suitable for us.