How did you meet?
We met through music, in our university Chamber Choir. I guess you could say we heard each other before we saw each other! As soon as he turned around and I saw those gorgeous brown eyes, I was a lost cause…
Describe the marriage proposal.
It was a strange and incredible day! Before the day, Andrew kept telling me we were going on a trip. I got really excited because I thought we were going to France. The thirteenth of May 2001 dawned, my 21st birthday, and Andrew was in bed, groaning, I don’t feel well!’. I was really disappointed, and went and sat out in the garden on my own. Andrew’s parents and brother came downstairs, bringing him with them. Suddenly, his father threw a set of car keys on the table in front of me. I was led outside blindfolded, and there it was – my first car!
I was delighted, and Andrew got in and we went for a test drive. He directed me to Langdon Cliffs (the White Cliffs of Dover!). He suggested going for a walk, and I still didn’t get it – on top of a hill on the cliffs, above the port, he spun me around and got down on one knee – I was so shocked I fell down too! I screamed my agreement and rushed off to tell the first unfortunate passer-by I met!
How long did you spend preparing for the day and how was it?
About 15 months! Occasionally fraught, my advice is to get a good ‘team’ behind you and delegate, all my helpers were wonderful!
What type of wedding ceremony did you have and where?
We had a traditional church ceremony in the beautiful St Michael’s church in my hometown of Beccles, Suffolk.
Where did you hold your reception and what was it like?
Our reception was held at a place called Dunston Hall, just South of Norwich. It’s a stunning Victorian mock Tudor mansion, which took everyone’s breath away as they came up the drive! We had the reception in their marquee, which was huge. In the end, it was so perfect, a sunny summer evening, and as the guests arrived, they were served their drinks on the lawn and were able to walk around the grounds. They all loved being outside.
Is there anything you’d change, with hindsight?
There were a few people I’m sorry I didn’t speak to for longer, but you can’t do yourself in over that. You just have to accept that so many people want a piece of you on the day that you can’t spread yourself as thinly as you’d like. Otherwise, I wouldn’t change a thing – it really was a magical day. Guests keep coming up with one phrase – ‘a fairytale wedding’.
What advice would you give to couples currently planning their wedding?
Do what is important to you to make it a day to remember, enjoy it as time flies by and be as organised as possible.
Is there any other detail that you would like to share?
Don’t stress, please! I feel silly about areas where I caused myself unnecessary stress. It is so vital to remember that material details are incidental to the fact that you are marrying this man because you love him and want to spend the rest of your life with him!