03/07/2005 – Brentwood Catholic Catherdral of St Mary and St Helens, Essex Orsett Hall, Orsett, Essex
How and when did you meet?
Stephen and I met by phone! We both worked for the same company, but in different countries (Stephen is Irish). We talked through work and got on so well we exchanged numbers and continued our conversations at home. This went on for about six months before we finally decided to meet. Stephen got on a flight and brought a friend and over. To my surprise he gave me a friendship ring that weekend and our feelings were heightened once meeting. I got a flight for the next weekend to Ireland. After about six months of travelling on both parts, Stephen moved here, where we have been happy ever since!
Where, when and how did he (or you!) propose?
Stephen proposed to me via text! (as we meet on the phone he thought it quite apt). I was in a meeting, so I didn’t respond straight away but when I did he said ‘About time, I am outside, come down’. I was presented with some flowers. Stephen then asked my father and both parents were delighted. Stephen took me to buy a ring of my choice – I hand picked the diamond and informed the jeweller how I wanted the ring designed and there it was a few weeks later in platinum – my dream!
Did you have hen and stag celebrations?
Stephen went to Dublin with his friends – and I know they had a great time. He was taken to his friends nightclub in the city and had the VIP treatment. I went to Barcelona with some very close friends. The girls were amazing and organised a limo to take us to the airport and we dressed all in pink with cowboy hats and pink lady T-shirts and had pink bags filled with bits for us all. I also was given a toy puppy, which I learned had to accompany me everywhere! I then had another hen when I got home in a great restaurant for a dinner/dance, that’s were we had all the usual hen night stuff and lots of drink and games, very funny.
Did your groom help you with the wedding planning?
I planned what I wanted and then Stephen helped to short list.
Did you use confetti to plan your wedding? If so, how did the website help you?
Yes I got lots of ideas on how to plan my wedding from songs to table decorations
Did you buy any confetti products for your wedding? If so, did you visit a store, buy online or by mail order?
Yes, I came to London and ordered our stationery from there and bought some other little bits for the big day.
Tell us about your outfit, and where you bought it.
I bought my Maggie Sottero dress in Chelmsford. It was adorned with beads and crystals, it wrapped to one side and had tiny straps – it was very flattering and took my now husband’s breath away – so I choose right! I also had my tiara and necklace handmade to order, so that it complimented my gown perfectly.
Did you have bridesmaids? If so, who did you choose and what did they wear?
Yes I had two bridesmaids, wearing pinking two piece gowns, that wrapped to once side too and they were in soft pink. I also bought them shoes and had them dyed to match the dress and found wraps in the same colour from John Lewis My two little flower girls had gowns in ivory and they came from Debenhams, they looked great and wore little tiaras and carried flower baskets.
Who did your groom choose for his best man and ushers, and what did they wear?
Stephen asked his brother David to be Best Man and he did a fantastic job. He had two ushers and they all wore suits with pink waistcoats and cravats. Stephen was the exception and wore a velvet coat with a handmade silk shirt – he looked just gorgeous!
Did you have a civil or religious ceremony?
Where did you hold your ceremony?
Brentwood Catholic Catherdral of St Mary and St Helens.
Where did you hold your reception?
Did you have any special wedding transport?
We hired two Rolls Royce.
How many guests did you invite to your wedding, and did you have a separate evening guest list?
We had 115 to all day with around another 75 to the evening.
Did your reception have a particular theme in terms of colour or style?
Our theme was pink and we used flowers and and candles to decorate.
How did you incorporate this in to your table settings?
Slim vases with a stargazer lily in each and tealights. The top table had flowers along it that were the same as my bouquet.
Did you give your guests favours?
We gave the ladies glass perfume bottles and the men miniature bottles of Jamesons whiskey. I had party bages given to the children to keep them entertained.
Describe your flowers (bouquets and table decorations). Who was your florist?
I had stargazers, pink roses, white fressias and green foliage.
What did you choose to have on your menu? Did you have an outside caterer or did your venue handle the catering?
Orsett Hall catered for us. We had Pate maison for start, roast chicken with all trimmings, then strawberry and shortbread bases with a gorgeous creamy texture.
What did you choose for your wedding cake?
We decided on a traditional fruit cake and a sponge cutting cake, decorated with ivory icing and flowers to match my bouquet.
Did you have any entertainment during the day or evening?
We had a DJ provided via the hotel, he was great and got everyone dancing all night.
Did you have a gift list? If so, who did you have your list with?
Our gift list was with John Lewis.
Where did you spend your first night and honeymoon? Who did you book your honeymoon with?
Our first night was at Orsett hall, it was very grand and was just fantastic to wake up as Mr & Mrs Gilligan with those fantastic country views. We then spent the next night at Le Meridian at Gatwick airport, before flying to Venice to start our honeymoon in Italy. We went Venice, Rome and Sorrento and have fallen in love with Italy, it was so romantic as we were treated great as ‘Citalia’ organised personal transfers and champagne and chocolate in each hotel we stayed at. It was truly a 5 star honeymoon and was treated like the only just married couple – just how we felt! And as a bonus we went to the Venice film festival and bought ticket to the premier of "once upon a time in Mexico" – and actually met and spoke to Jonny Depp!!
What was your most memorable moment of the day?
Looking down the church and seeing Stephen, then laughing and crying at the same time, while taking our vow’s. It was very emotional and very happy for us both.
Did you experience any ‘nightmare’ moments in the run up to your wedding or on the day?
NO it was perfect!
Is there anything you would do differently, or any advice you would give to other brides?
No we had the wedding we wanted and planned so long for and our advice would be "enjoy it, take time to sit back and drink in the day – its over so quick. And whether your planning and big or small day, the day is truly yours, so be the queen and enjoy your very special day".