Written by Paula Jones Last updated: September 26, 2006
Trish and Simon
17/03/2006 – The Oaklands Country House Hotel, Northwich, Cheshire
How and when did you meet?
We met in 1996 when Simon and my ex husband joined a tae-kwon-do club and became friends. We used to go out in a foursome and had loads of days out with all the kids. Then in 2001, Simon divorced his ex-wife and got custody of the kids. We became closer as I helped him out a lot with his kids and in 2002 I divorced my ex and moved in with Simon. We have been together ever since. We both had three kids each when we moved in together and have had one together.
How old are you both?
I’m 33 and Simon is 32.
Where, when and how did he (or you!) propose?
We’d been living together for a month when he proposed one night. He just said everything felt right, but it would be a very long engagement as we’d both only recently divorced.
Did you have hen and stag celebrations? If so, what did you do?
I didn’t want a hen night. Simon had a stag night in as four months before the wedding he had an accident and shattered his left elbow, detaching a nerve. He has limited use of his arm and has no feeling in his left hand so he wanted a quiet night but he aims to make up for that next year!
How did your groom help with the wedding planning?
We planned everything together, as we’d both been married before we knew exactly what we wanted and what we didn’t want. He’s also a Purchasing Manager for a living so is brilliant at getting the right deal.
Did you use confetti to plan your wedding? If so, how did the website help you?
I was constantly on the Confetti website, especially the message boards.
Tell us about your outfit, and where you bought it
I wore a Sacha James dress (D1109). It has a strapless burgundy bodice and toffee coloured skirt. I’d borrowed a tiara from one of my friends and wore an old pair of pink shoes. I’d wanted pink in the wedding but it didn’t fit in with the theme so wore these shoes to get my bit of pink in! My dress was from Dawn Maria Bridal Shop in Northwich, Cheshire. They were really helpful in the shop as I’d told them I wanted something different as it was the second time for both of us but I still wanted a proper wedding dress!
Did you have bridesmaids? If so, who did you choose and what did they wear?
We had Simon’s eldest daughter (14) as chief bridesmaid, his other daughter (11), my daughter (7) and our daughter (2) as bridesmaids. The eldest one wore a burgundy bodice with black beading and a burgundy skirt. The next two wore gold and burgundy dresses and the youngest wore a white dress with burgundy detail on it. All wore dresses supplied by a local business woman who has just started out and was excellent. She lent us the underskirts and hoops for the girls’ dresses.
Who did your groom choose for his best man and ushers, and what did they wear?
Simon had two best men. Both are his close friends so he couldn’t choose between them but one of them didn’t want to do a speech so he just signed the register and left the other one to do the talking! The ushers were my son (12) and Simon’s son (9). Simon, the best men and my eldest son (16) who gave me away, all wore their own black suits, white shirts and burgundy ties. The ushers wore black suits, white shirts and gold ties.
Did you have a civil or religious ceremony?
We had a civil ceremony.
Where did you hold your ceremony?
We held the ceremony at The Oaklands Country House Hotel, Gorstage, Weaverham, Northwich, Cheshire.
Where did you hold your reception?
We held the reception at the same place as the ceremony, in fact it was in the same room! The staff there rearranged everything whilst we were in the gardens having photographs taken.
Did you have any special wedding transport?
Simon’s parents had organised a white limo to take me and the seven kids from our house to the hotel. We’d kept it from the kids so they had no idea until the limo pulled up outside the house. It’s only a 15 minute journey but the kids absolutely loved it.
How many guests did you invite to your wedding, and did you have a separate evening guest list?
We had 34 in total to the ceremony and afternoon reception, and invited a further 70 to the evening. The evening party was in the same room as the ceremony and reception but we had the partition removed for extra space.
Did your reception have a particular theme in terms of colour or style?
We had burgundy and gold balloons on the tables, a burgundy and gold balloon arch and for the evening we had a net of balloons and an exploder – this is a huge balloon filled with 130 balloons, confetti and glitter. Whilst we had our first dance the DJ pressed a button and the exploder exploded all over us. Everyone cheered and it looks fantastic on the video. As I’m a massive football fan, we had mini chocolate footballs on the tables to go with the amazing wedding cake. Simon hates football so everyone who knew him was shocked he’d agreed to it!
How did you incorporate this in to your table settings?
Groups of three balloons on the table, bottles of bubbles, burgundy and gold heart confetti sprinkled on the table and of course the mini chocolate footballs (Woolworths pic’n’mix!).
Did you give your guests favours?
Describe your flowers (bouquets and table decorations). Who was your florist?
My bouquet was teardrop shaped and consisted of burgundy roses and burgundy calla lilies. It looked absolutely stunning against the toffee coloured skirt on my dress. The older two girls had cream roses with burgundy ribbon round the stems, the younger two girls had cream rose pomanders with burgundy ribbon for them to hold. The men all wore a burgundy rose buttonhole. We used a local florist Apple Blossom Florist, Northwich. Extremely helpful, very reasonable price and the flowers were absolutely gorgeous.
What did you choose to have on your menu? Did you have an outside caterer or did your venue handle the catering?
The venue handled the catering. We had a “Sunday Roast” for the sit down meal followed by a gorgeous chocolate truffle dessert. The venue provided alternatives for two guests—one can only eat dairy free and the other gluten free. The evening was the usual buffet – sandwiches, pies, pizza etc.
What did you choose for your wedding cake, and who made it?
We had a totally amazing cake! The bottom two stacked tiers were ivory with gold and burgundy hearts, and then we had a chocolate sponge football! Then finally a burgundy heart shaped tier with a personalised bride and groom on top. The whole cake was sponge as neither of us like fruit cake. The Cake Den in Northwich provided the cake. We tried a few places but most refused to do the football. Denise at The Cake Den wasn’t fazed at all and the end result was perfect. It was definitely a talking point and proved how much Simon loves me as he hates football! He did draw the line though when I asked for Manchester United to be iced on to the football.
Did you have any entertainment during the day or evening?
The entertainment during the day was the best man speech! For the evening we had the venues own disco which played anything from the 60s upwards.
Did you have a gift list? If so, who did you have your list with?
We had a gift list with Argos.
Where did you spend your first night and honeymoon? Who did you book your honeymoon with?
We spent the first night at the hotel. We aren’t having a honeymoon yet but hope to sort one out once we have sorted out babysitting for a weekend at least. But a week would be nice!
What was your most memorable moment of the day?
One was walking down the aisle with my eldest son to see Simon standing, smiling. He’d seen my dress before the day, but hadn’t seen me in it. I’d felt sick up until then but the second I saw him I calmed down. My other memorable moment was having our first dance. We danced to “Don’t Wanna Miss a Thing” by Aerosmith. It’s such a personal song for us and to have the exploder going off halfway through just completed the perfect day.
Did you experience any ‘nightmare’ moments in the run up to your wedding or on the day?
The only nightmare moment was a family dilemma as my brother and his wife had separated, but were coming the wedding together with their kids. I had the job of figuring out who to sit them with who wasn’t going to be funny with her or feel awkward sitting with them. I’d been friends with her for 12 years and I still wanted her there. In the end, things went well. No arguments and fingers crossed they might not be separated for much longer!
Is there anything you would do differently, or any advice you would give to other brides?
The only advice I can give is relax and enjoy your day. We got married at 12 noon and the evening do finished at 1 am but it all went so quick. Also make sure you get lots and lots of photos.