22/07/2006 – Clifton Hampden Church, Oxfordshire
Weston Manor Hotel, Weston On The Green, Oxfordshire
How and when did you meet?
Becci and Mike met in 1995 through their friends, they both used to bump into each other at the Woodmans house (usually on purpose!). We both went our own ways, Becci went Holiday Repping in Europe and Mike went off to Bournemouth University. Four years later they were reunited at Park End in Oxford! Their eyes met across a crowded dance floor and things have never been the same again! Becci remembers Mikes crazy dancing as the turning point in their relationship…
How old are you both?
Becci is 28 years old and Michael is 30 years old.
Where, when and how did he (or you!) propose?
Gorgeously Romantic! We were on holiday in Key West in Florida Septemper ’04. We had just traveled around Orlando visiting Mickey and Minnie and Sea World to visit Shamu, Tampa Bay, Naples, and survived Hurricane Frances in Fort Lauderdale and decided to head down to the Florida Keys before going on a Cruise to Nassau. We had just been out for a romantic dinner at Mangos. Whilst eating our meal two gay pilots next to us were commenting on what a perfect couple we made! After the meal we headed back to our beautiful apartment, where we went out onto the balcony, and Mike got down on one knee and proposed with a Kermit the Frog Ring! All I could do was cry with excitement! It was a wonderful feeling that I will never forget.
Did you have hen and stag celebrations? If so, what did you do?
I went off to an old castle with my family and friends. There were 12 ladies. The theme was pink for the weekend. We had a wonderful weekend full of lots of silly games, picnic in the Arboretum, swimming and pampering. Just what I needed before the big day. And Mike…he celebrated twice! He went of to Val D’Isere with his friends in February for a week, and then had another get together in Birmingham with friends and family and went go karting, watched the world cup, Indian curry, a few bars…..and then they all stayed at a hotel.
How did your groom help with the wedding planning?
Michael took control of the honeymoon, entertainment, suits for the gentlemen and most importantly to him, his speech! He was very strong with his ideas but very calm through the build up to the big day which helped me.
Did you use confetti to plan your wedding? If so, how did the website help you?
I lived on confetti for two years!I brought a lot of things at the shop in Reading and used the site to plan my wedding from start to finish and got lots of tips and advice from the ladies on the forum. Thanks again.
Did you buy any confetti products for your wedding? If so, did you visit a store, buy online or by mail order?
We brought a few things online but brought a lot more at the store in Reading.
Tell us about your outfit, and where you bought it.
I wore a Brides International dress. I saw the dress in the first wedding magazine I brought. Always knowing that was the one for me, but still I had to visit the other 20 shops! I guess its something that has to be done. It is an Italian laced bodice handmade with a ruffled skirt. It is beautiful. I had a small train added to it which worked great.
Did you have bridesmaids? If so, who did you choose and what did they wear?
I had four bridesmaids. My cousin, Alice (9), Mike’s cousin, Jessica (14) and two best friends, Lois and Alison. The three eldest ones wore Dessy dresses 6238 style in a Kiwi green. And my young cousin wore a Debenhams ivory dress and I ordered extra Dessy fabric to make her a sash to go around the middle.
Who did your groom choose for his best man and ushers, and what did they wear?
His best man was his best friend, Lee Coneybear, who did a fantastic job! And his usher was my brother, Gary. We had Mike’s brother as a Master of Ceremonies and his son, Adam, as a Pageboy. The above and our dads all wore brown suits hired by Pronuptia with ivory waistcoasts with kiwi cravats and handkerchiefs to match the bridesmaids. And Mike wore an ivory cravat and handkerchief to match me.
Did you have a civil or religious ceremony?
We had a religious ceremony.
Where did you hold your ceremony?
At Clifton Hampden Church, Oxfordshire.
Where did you hold your reception?
Weston Manor Hotel, Weston On The Green, Oxfordshire.
Did you have any special wedding transport?
Mike has a love for VW cars, as he has had many in his life so far. So his wish was to travel in a VW Camper Van. The colours matched the bridesmaid dresses too. It was fantastic.
How many guests did you invite to your wedding, and did you have a separate evening guest list?
During the day we had 80 guests and in the evening we had 130 guests.
Did your reception have a particular theme in terms of colour or style?
We had our reception in a marquee on the hotel’s grounds. The theme was a summer wedding with greens, browns and ivory.
How did you incorporate this in to your table settings?
We had ivory table cloths, kiwi jelly beans on the tables, tea lights, favours, napkins and the huge table flower displays.
Did you give your guests favours?
Yes, these went down really well. I really like gingerbread men so I chose to give my guests lady, men and children ones all wearing trunks and bikinis in our kiwi theme. Then I made name tags to tie the bags with.
Describe your flowers (bouquets and table decorations). Who was your florist?
We used Daffodils. She is based in Reading/Oxford. Very good florist. I had calla lilies with pearls in the middle, roses, jasmine and bear grass falling into a tear. It was gorgeous. The bridesmaids had roses the same as mine. There were roses for the male party’s buttonholes and Mike had a calla lily with bear grass and twigs.
What did you choose to have on your menu? Did you have an outside caterer or did your venue handle the catering?
The hotel did the daytime catering. We had roasted peppers to start, chicken as a main, and we created our own Eton Mess as a dessert. Followed my Coffee and truffles. In the evening we had a hog roast in the grounds.
What did you choose for your wedding cake, and who made it?
We had a three tiered cake- bottom was carrot cake, middle was chocolate and brandy and then a fruit cake at the top. We did not cut the top tier so we had a spare fruit cake put to the side for us! The cake had pearls on it and had kiwi coloured dots on the sides. A lady in Banbury called Gill Judd made it. Again truly fantastic.
Did you have any entertainment during the day or evening?
We were going to have a Falconry display during the day but the weather was too bad. In the evening we had a disco with a starlight ceiling.
Did you have a gift list? If so, who did you have your list with?
John Lewis very helpful.
Where did you spend your first night and honeymoon? Who did you book your honeymoon with?
We stayed at the hotel on our first night with our other guests – 35 rooms. Then in the morning we were able to have breakfast together. We went to the Maldives for three weeks and booked with Airtours.
What was your most memorable moment of the day?
When it rained at the end of the church service and 80 guests had nowhere to go…so we had our pictures taken in the church… very magical for us. Then in the afternoon/evening the guests—men and ladies—decided to play football out on the lawns.
Did you experience any ‘nightmare’ moments in the run up to your wedding or on the day?
No, I planned and planned for 24 months!
Is there anything you would do differently, or any advice you would give to other brides?
I wouldn’t change a thing. Just enjoy the day. It’s too late in the morning to worry about anything. Everybody says to make sure you take it all in but it is so hard as when the day finally arrives, it just feels extremely surreal.