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 9, 2006
photos by Simon Tottman
We met through a mutual friend when we were all at Cambridge together, in the University library in fact!
I’m 23 and Dan’s 25.
He proposed to me on holiday in Venice, after an enormous dinner out (!) in a very chic hotel. It was in St Mark’s Square, just outside Caffe Florian. I cried – obviously – then we were interrupted by an old man selling roses. Dan turned round and said, "Er, no thank you," – the poor man looked stricken – so Dan obviously thought, "If I can’t get her a rose now, when can I get her one?" so said, "All right then," – but then didn’t have any money to pay the old man. I had to buy my own rose!
Our hen/stag celebrations took place on the same night, both in Cambridge. I went for cocktails and dinner with a few friends, and Dan went for a curry with some friends, then we all met up in our favourite pub.
We brought the wedding forward by a year, so ended up planning the whole thing in six weeks. He did everything I asked him to do! He handled all the bookings for the chapel and reception. I used the cafe a lot, and enjoyed reading everyone’s tips and suggestions on the message board.
My outfit consisted of an oyster-coloured silk bodice and skirt from Monsoon.
My two bridesmaids were two of my best friends: one from university and the other from a summer school many moons ago. They wore dusky pink silk dresses, decorated with a pattern of gold sequins, from Hobbs.
The best man was Dan’s best friend from school, Billy. The ushers were his brother Tom, and sister’s boyfriend Jim. They all wore their own suits.
We had a Church of England ceremony, with the 1928 version of the marriage vows.
Jesus College Chapel, Cambridge.
In and around the pavilion in the grounds of Jesus College.
No – I walked the 5 minutes from our house to the chapel.
Because we brought the wedding forward, we scaled everything down and invited about half our guest list to the ceremony and reception. We’re going to have a big reception for everyone on the original guest list next year, on our first anniversary.
Not really – I didn’t want everything to be too ‘matching.’ Various shades of pink featured quite a lot in the flowers and bridesmaids’ dresses. Dan wore a pink shirt!
I used a local florist in Cambridge who were fantastic. I had a hand-tied posy of pink roses and snowberries, and the bridesmaids had wrist corsages of ivory roses. The boys & parents had buttonholes of ivory roses too. On the altar we had two bouquets of lilies and roses.
We just had Champagne and canapes.
We bought a cake from M&S and decorated it with rose petals – very cheap and effective and the cake was lovely.
No, as the reception only lasted a couple of hours. However, lots of our friends ended up coming back to our house afterwards in the afternoon for an impromptu picnic, which was great, as it meant we could finally talk to them!
We spent the first night at Hotel Felix in Cambridge. Great breakfast! We’re going on our honeymoon in December 2006 to Australia.
Walking into the chapel and seeing so many of our friends, all looking so happy! Saying the vows and thinking "I must concentrate; I want to remember every minute of this".
There were inevitably some last minute stresses beforehand because we had to organise it all so quickly. But we kept everything simple so it all went smoothly on the day.
It’s only one day, and it goes so quickly, but it is only meant to be one day – the first day of the rest of your life. Enjoy it, don’t worry about the details, and afterwards, don’t wish you could do it all again – it’s not about the favours or the outfits, it’s just about you and your husband! Believe it!