Sarah and Les 26/02/2006 - Lakeside Hotel, Newby Bridge Where, when and how did he (or you!) propose? In a club in Morecambe. How did your groom help with…
Written by Paula Jones Last updated: August 9, 2006
We met via mutual friends. In essence, we were set up!
Ian proposed on the day of my graduation for earning my Masters. We took a walk to my favourite place, the south side of the Thames in front of the Houses of Parliament. He got down on one knee and I said yes before he even finished asking!
Ian had the traditional lads’ night out in London. I had a fabulous hen party including a pole dancing lesson (not as raunchy as it sounds…my mum was there!).
Ian was great, he made lots of phone calls and came with to visit florists and venues. He was mostly there for moral support though – he kept saying the wedding was ‘my day’ since he’d be happy getting married in a register office!
We used confetti’s budget planner a bit, as well as the cafe forums.
We did indeed by confetti products – we bought the personalised heart confetti online and kept visiting the London store to buy decorations.
Well, I actually wound up buying two wedding dresses. The first was bought in Florida last summer, when I was home visiting my mother (I’m American). By January this year I had changed my mind and on my lunch break went to Pronuptia, down the street from my work, and gave the ladies there a heart attack trying to buy a wedding dress to be ready in three weeks. But we prevailed and the dress was incredible – an ivory two-piece with a sweetheart neckline bodice and a lovely train.
We had three bridesmaids, my best friend here (and one of our matchmakers), my best friend from home, and Ian’s sister. Again, we sort of had two dresses for them. The first were ordered online from the US but there was a problem with customs and they never arrived. The second were bought two weeks before the wedding during a mad trip down Oxford Street on a Saturday. They were perfect lilac two pieces (my chief bridesmaid wore a dress in the same material). They were great, as the straps were removable, allowing each one to choose how they felt most comfortable.
Ian had his best friend (and our other matchmaker) as best man and his two childhood friends as ushers, as well as my brother. They all wore traditional morning suits – the groom in a silver waistcoat and the guys in purple ones.
We had a civil ceremony.
Our entire wedding was held at Templeton Estates near Richmond Park in London. It’s a Georgian mansion and we rented the whole thing, meaning we had the ceremony in the library, dinner in another room, drinks in another, and dancing in another. Perfect!
We thought about this a lot, but since we didn’t change venues midway through the day it wasn’t necessary.
We invited about 120 people to the wedding and reception (no separate evening guests).
The theme was purple . . .and more purple, with a bit of silver. One of Ian’s uncles even kindly dyed his hair purple to match! The tables at dinner were named after different shades of purple and our flowers were a variety of purples and white.
Purple names for the tables, silver candle holder centrepieces, purple and silver confetti, purple and silver favour bags, and, oddly, most of the guests were in purple too.
We had the traditional five almonds in organza bags set in the wine glasses for each guest, with a little thank you note inside.
Our florist was very accommodation and let me make changes to our order up until the wedding day. Our flowers were a mix of purples, including lisanthus and veronica, white roses, and silver leaves. We had a huge display in the entrance hall and on the fireplaces. I chose candles instead of flowers for table decorations.
Our venue has an in-house caterer who was fantastic! We had a vegetable tart for starters, chicken in wine sauce and seasonal vegetables for the main (as well a vegan and gluten-free option) and chocolate wedding cake, which our caterer also did, for dessert. It was very tasty!
We went for chocolate cake with white chocolate icing and chocolate flowers.
We had a pianist during cocktails and a DJ in the evening.
We had several gift lists, as my family lives in the USA. Our Allders gift list sadly had to be canceled due to ‘company problems’ so it became a free-for-all.
We spent our first night in the Baileys Hotel in London, where my family was staying, so that we could say goodbye to departing guests the next morning. On the Monday we went to New York City for a wintry honeymoon.
It’s so hard to choose! My aunt sang during the ceremony, which was incredibly touching. But I’d have to say, exchanging rings with Ian was the most memorable. I’d wanted to hold his hand throughout the ceremony but held back, and finally got to.
My advice…take advantage of people who want to help! Delegate some stuff, otherwise you lie awake at night running through things in your head.