Written by Paula Jones Last updated: September 19, 2007
Sarah and Pete
28/06/2007 – Parley Manor near Christchurch in Dorset
How and when did you meet?
We had known each other through mutual friends for a few years, but finally got together on New Years Eve 2003.
How old are you both?
Sarah – 26, Pete – 28
Where, when and how did he (or you!) propose?
On February 3rd 2006 at the very top of the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona – I had no idea that he had been planning it for months and thought Pete looked a bit green because he was scared of the height!
Did you have hen and stag celebrations? If so, what did you do?
Pete and the boys went to Amsterdam for a few days. Me and the girls had a slightly more tame hen party – we spent the day at a spa chilling out on a Saturday afternoon and went out the following Friday evening for a nice meal.
How did your groom help with the wedding planning?
Pete was very supportive and went along with all of my pink ideas! He sorted the suits and cars and came to numerous wedding exhibitions. More than anything he calmed me down when I got stressed out with wedding planning and started to turn into a bit of a bridezilla!
Did you use confetti to plan your wedding? If so, how did the website help you?
Yes, used the message board for ideas and support, used the budget planner even though we didn’t stick to it and bought a few items in the confetti shop.
Did you buy any confetti products for your wedding? If so, did you visit a store, buy online or by mail order?
Bought the personalised ribbon for my wedding invites from the online shop.
Tell us about your outfit, and where you bought it
A gorgeous Veromia dress bought from Brides of Bournemouth. I saw it in a magazine and knew it was the one – I couldn’t find a shop that had it in stock so ordered it before I had even tried it on! It had a white bodice and skirt made up of about 10 layers of tulle, the top layer had a slight pink tint to it and it had pink petals sewn on. I also had a silver tiara with pink pearls and crystals, silver and diamond jewellery and pale pink sparkly shoes from Faith.
Did you have bridesmaids? If so, who did you choose and what did they wear?
I had 4 bridesmaids – my friends Yoe, Becky and Jordan and my cousin Lauren. They all wore knee length pink dresses from Barri Jay with pink ribbon sashes around the waist. I bought them pink necklaces from Monsoon, my mum made pink headbands and they all wore their own pink shoes. Pete chose Ben for his bestman who we have both been very good friends with for years – it was through Ben that we actually met. For ushers he chose his good friend Andy and our brothers Justin and James. They all wore grey morning suits from Moss Bros with white shirts and pink cravats and waistcoats, as did both of our dads.
Did you have a civil or religious ceremony?
Where did you hold your ceremony?
Parley Manor near Christchurch in Dorset. The ceremony was held in a marquee, with a red carpet down the aisle leading up to a stone temple which we had to stand under during the actual ceremony.
Where did you hold your reception?
Parley Manor near Christchurch in Dorset. They wedding breakfast and evening reception were both held inside a marquee.
Did you have any special wedding transport?
We both arrived in silver S Class Mercedes.
How many guests did you invite to your wedding, and did you have a separate evening guest list?
We had 50 guests for the ceremony and wedding breakfast and roughly 90 for the evening reception.
Did your reception have a particular theme in terms of colour or style?
The theme was an elegant and romantic garden party, and of course pink!
How did you incorporate this in to your table settings?
Our tables had white table cloths with a pale pink table runner, and the chairs had white covers with pink organza bows. The white napkins had 3 shades of pink ribbon tied around them, and every other napkin had a pink flower tucked in the ribbon. Each table had a tall glass vase in the centre with 3 pink flowers in, the vase was stood on top of a round mirror surrounded by several white tealights. The tables were simple but elegant. The reception was held inside a white marquee, the pillars were decorated with white organza and pink flowers.
Did you give your guests favours?
The favours were heart shaped cookies with the guests’ names written on them. Pink heart with white writing for the girls, and white heart with pink writing for the boys. Each cookie was tied in a clear cellophane bag with a ribbon to match the heart colour. These cookies doubled up as placenames.
Describe your flowers (bouquets and table decorations). Who was your florist?
My bouquet was pink peonies and the bridesmaids had white peonies. The women had white rose buttonholes and the men had pink roses. The tables each had a tall glass vase containing three peonies, on the top table we had square vases that we put the bouquets in after the ceremony. The pillars were decorated with pink gerberas. Our florist was Riverside Flowers in Wimborne.
What did you choose to have on your menu? Did you have an outside caterer or did your venue handle the catering?
Our caterers were Manor Catering who work with Parley Manor. We chose to have a sit down buffet which included salmon, roast beef, ham, salads, potatoes, rice and noodles, and 3 different desserts.
What did you choose for your wedding cake, and who made it?
We bought the tiers from M&S and my parents stacked them together a couple of days before. They put pale pink ribbon around the base of each tier and the florist made a rose and beargrass decoration to go on the top.
Did you have any entertainment during the day or evening?
We had a DJ at the evening reception.
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 a hotel in Christchurch and we spent our honeymoon in Kenya – a few days safari and a week and half lazing by the pool. It was booked through First Choice and lots of family and friends contributed to the safari which we booked when we got there.
What was your most memorable moment of the day?
Walking down the aisle and seeing Pete grinning at me! And of course having all our our family and best friends in one place!
Did you experience any ‘nightmare’ moments in the run up to your wedding or on the day?
Loads! My chief bridesmaid lives in Korea at the moment and we shipped her dress to her 4 months before the wedding except it didn’t turn up! 3 weeks before the wedding my mum and I went on a mission to find the exact same material and found a lovely lady who copied the dress exactly and you would never have known….slightly stressful though! Four days before the wedding the florist couldn’t get hold of white peonies for the bridesmaids bouquets and only the day before confirmed that they’d managed to track some down! Two days before the wedding Pete went to pick up the suits and they were completely wrong – wrong colour, wrong style, everything. They had to rush around to find the right suits which thankfully we managed to pick up the day before the wedding! Thank goodness after all that the day went perfectly with no hitches at all – even the rain held out which was amazing as it had been raining non-stop for 2 weeks until the day before!
Is there anything you would do differently, or any advice you would give to other brides?
I wouldn’t do anything differently, the whole day was perfect. The only advice I would give to other brides is to enjoy it and take it all in, as it will be the quickest day of your life!