Written by Paula Jones Last updated: September 26, 2006
Victoria and Bill
Ballyeaston First Presbyterian Church Dunadry Hotel & Country Club, County Antrim
How and when did you meet?
We went to the same school although Bill was a few years older. We started socialising with friends at our local pub and got together from there.
How old are you both?
I’m 27 and Bill is 30.
Where, when and how did he (or you!) propose?
Bill asked my dad for my hand in marriage as we headed away for the weekend, just before Christmas 2003. He had brought the engagement ring with him and I knew it was on the cards, but he got nervous and never asked me! Instead, on Christmas day, we went up to our house that was being built and he got down on one knee and proposed to me in what would now be our bedroom – very sweet and just perfect!
Did you have hen and stag celebrations? If so, what did you do?
Bill is a keen golfer so he headed down to Dundalk to play a round of golf (and enjoy a few bevvies!). I had four hen nights with different groups – I had a family meal and drinks, a hockey night out at a nightclub in Belfast, a night out in Spain with friends and a meal out with work friends. I thought I’m only getting married once so may as well do it properly
How did your groom help with the wedding planning?
To be honest, Bill didn’t get too involved in all the organising, but then, I didn’t want him to see the flowers until the day and I chose the invites as I am mad about Beetles and they were part of the theme.
Did you use confetti to plan your wedding? If so, how did the website help you?
Confetti was fantastic! I was on the message board most days reading all the stories and benefitting from the advice. In return, I did write a report and post my pics and it was great to get a good reaction back. I also used Confetti to look for dresses and shoes – it was invaluable.
Do you have a confetti web page?
Did you buy any confetti products for your wedding? If so, did you visit a store, buy online or by mail order?
Tell us about your outfit, and where you bought it
I wore Alan Hannah, Cannes. It was an ivory tea-length dress with a full skirt – exactly what I was looking for. I also wore a short veil and my shoes were called Heather by Rainbow. I got my dress, veil and shoes in the Bridal Suite in Holywood, Belfast. The staff were fantastic and so enthusiastic. I was just so happy to have found exactly what I was looking for.
you have bridesmaids? If so, who did you choose and what did they wear?
My sister and my best friend were bridesmaids. I was going to buy them dresses but my sister was pregnant and due three months before the wedding so I thought it would be best to get them made nearer the time. I went for tea-length pink taffeta dresses with tulle. I thought they complimented my dress and carried through my 50s/60s theme with their open-toed shoes and hairbands. I also had two flowergirls (Bill’s twin cousins) who were fairy princesses. I got their dresses made also with the same material as the bridesmaids.
Who did your groom choose for his best man and ushers, and what did they wear?
Bill’s best friend, Barry, was best man and his younger brother, Stafford, was a groomsman. Our ushers were Keith and Colin, both good friends of Bill’s who play golf with him. The men wore grey suits with pink ties and pink/silver patterned waistcoats.
Did you have a civil or religious ceremony?
We had a religious ceremony.
Where did you hold your ceremony?
We got married in Ballyeaston First Presbyterian Church.
Where did you hold your reception?
Our reception was held at the Dunadry Hotel & Country Club in County Antrim. The service throughout the whole day was fantastic, I really could not fault it.
Did you have any special wedding transport?
My dad drove me to the church in a white convertible Beetle as I have always loved Beetles. I used to own an old one but when he stopped working I got a new Beetle (called Bertie!!). Bill then drove me from the church to the reception which was nice. The wedding party were transported in a fabulous Pink Chevrolet which tied in with the 50s/60s theme and looked fab. They were so excited as they thought a black Daimler was collecting them.
How many guests did you invite to your wedding, and did you have a separate evening guest list?
We had 115 guests during the day and around another 65 guests in the evening.
Did your reception have a particular theme in terms of colour or style?
I love pink, glitter and sparkle so that was definitely evident. I also love Beetles and the Beatles so I arrived in a Beetle, our guests enjoyed Beetle shaped shortbread and our invites/order of service had us in a pink Beetle on the cover. Our table names were Beatles albums. We walked back down the aisle to ‘All you need is love’ and our first song was ‘In my life’ by the Beatles.
How did you incorporate this in to your table settings?
Our table names were Beatles albums. My great aunt worried how she would get into a Yellow Submarine, not really understanding that it was just the name of the table.
Did you give your guests favours?
I got the ladies Breast Cancer charity pins. They were pink and purple glittery flowers which were lovely. I put them into pink organza bags. The men received pink golf tees with ‘Victoria & Bill 12th August 2006′ on them – they also received golf ball bubble gum.
Describe your flowers (bouquets and table decorations). Who was your florist?
Norma Craig Designers was our florist and did a great job. I wanted chunky, pink, glittery flowers and knew I wanted Hydrangea. So the bouquets were one big hydrangea with sparkly jip around it. I wanted silver buckets as my table centres so had big chunky hydrangea and the jip in the buckets too! It was fab and looked like big buckets of candy floss.
What did you choose to have on your menu? Did you have an outside caterer or did your venue handle the catering?
The Dunadry handled the catering and it was fab. The dessert was the nicest I had ever tasted – toffee and apple streusel with the nicest butterscotch sauce ever!!
What did you choose for your wedding cake, and who made it?
Sarah Jane Cakes made our wedding cakes and it was a pink and white marshmallow creation! We had a layer of malteser, butter sponge and chocolate fudge. Not a bit of fruitcake in sight!
Did you have any entertainment during the day or evening?
Niamh Kavangh and the Classics played in the evening and were fantastic. Niamh won Eurovision in the 90s and sung on the Commitments soundtrack so I knew she would be good and she didn’t disappoint.
Did you have a gift list? If so, who did you have your list with?
We had gift lists with Debenhams and Captain Cook.
Where did you spend your first night and honeymoon? Who did you book your honeymoon with?
We spent our first night in the hotel which was lovely and head to Marbella in Spain for our honeymoon for 16 relaxing days! Pure bliss.
What was your most memorable moment of the day?
I found every moment was special – I loved leaving my parents’ home and seeing about 30 neighbours waiting to wave us off, walking up the aisle and seeing Bill for the first time, and reading out my vows proudly. The speeches, the first dance, the meal…it was all memorable.
Did you experience any ‘nightmare’ moments in the run up to your wedding or on the day?
I was very stressed coming up to the wedding but on the day everything was great. The only problem was that the video man did not come to our house as organised but apart from that, everything went fine.
Is there anything you would do differently, or any advice you would give to other brides?
I didn’t have food in the evening and I really didn’t think it was missed so I would tell any other brides not to worry about this. I wanted to say a speech and was so glad I did – I would advise any other brides who are thinking about it to have one prepared and not tell too many people in case you do get nervous and change your mind. Remember it is you and your husband’s day – people will get involved and give their opinion but in the end it is entirely up to you. Go for what you want, not what people think you should have. I hate fruitcake so that was out, I wanted a short wedding dress and a silver wedding band. There are no rules to say what you should and should not do! Don’t get too disappointed with the weather. Enjoy every minute!