Alexis and James
30/07/2006 – Chartridge Conference Centre, Chesham
How and when did you meet?
We met in a local bar when I was very, very drunk. So drunk in fact that I gave my husband the wrong phone number, and it wasn’t until a month later that we re-met in the same bar, and a more sober me apologised for my previous antics and gave him the correct phone number this time.
How old are you both?
I am 31 and James is 28.
Where, when and how did he (or you!) propose?
We were in Portugal for Euro 2004. I knew that something might happen, but wasn’t sure when. We went to the England Croatia game, and I spent the whole time watching the big screens but it wasn’t until we were in Annabelle’s bar in Albufeira, and England has just had their last penalty saved that James asked me to marry him. What should have been a very sad night for all the English people in the pub turned into a massive party with lots and LOTS of champers. It was perfect!
Did you have hen and stag celebrations? If so, what did you do?
James went to Amsterdam with his three closest friends, and spent their time watching football and getting drunk. They assure me they did nothing else and I believe them. I went to the Hayley Conference Centre in Windsor for a “Girls Weekend.” It was brilliant. There were nine of us and we spent the weekend eating and drinking and playing silly games. The venue gave us a room to have a pajama party in on the Saturday night because we didn’t want to go out clubbing.
How did your groom help with the wedding planning?
He proposed… and he agreed with lots of my decisions. It worked best that way!
Did you use confetti to plan your wedding? If so, how did the website help you?
I used the confetti forum religiously until i got a new job and had to work. I also bought my wedding knickers from confetti and did a little more research in other areas.
Did you buy any confetti products for your wedding? If so, did you visit a store, buy online or by mail order?
As above, bought personalised wedding knickers from the website. They arrived very prompt and are really good quality.
Tell us about your outfit, and where you bought it
My dress was Alfred Angelo from Losners in St. Albans. After about five shops and 20 + dresses I knew this was the one as soon as I put it on and my mum almost welled up. The girls at Losners are brilliant, so helpful and friendly and gave me lots of good advice!
Did you have bridesmaids? If so, who did you choose and what did they wear?
I had two bridesmaids and a flower girl. I bought Dessy outfits for the bridesmaids from Netbride in the US. The week after they arrived (back in January) my chief BM announced she was pregnant, but we still managed to get her into her outfit somehow. They were “lettuce” green ruche top and satin skirt. Perfect for our country wedding. The two BMs were my best friend and my step sister. The flower girl was a friend of the family and her dress came from Debenhams.
Who did your groom choose for his best man and ushers, and what did they wear?
The best man was James, a lifelong friend, and ushers were another very close friend and my step brother. All the groomsmen wore navy blue morning suits (minus the hats) with pale green and white waistcoats to match the bridesmaids and we had green cravats made for them. James wore light gold to compliment the others.
Did you have a civil or religious ceremony?
We had a civil ceremony.
Where did you hold your ceremony?
The whole day was held at the Chartridge Conference Centre, Chesham. It is the most perfect venue for a summer wedding.
Where did you hold your reception?
Did you have any special wedding transport?
As we weren’t traveling from place to place, I hired a limo for myself, bridesmaids, mother and brother (who gave me away) so we all went up together.
How many guests did you invite to your wedding, and did you have a separate evening guest list?
We had 70 to the whole day and an additional 60 in the evening.
Did your reception have a particular theme in terms of colour or style?
The colour scheme was pale green and yellow with bright orange thrown in for good measure. We wanted to keep it as country garden as possible.
How did you incorporate this in to your table settings?
The table centres were goldfish bowls with floating orange gerbera heads. We also had scattered green and yellow petals and the favours were green and yellow.
Did you give your guests favours?
The women got silk fans (green and yellow) and the men got personalised pens.
Describe your flowers (bouquets and table decorations). Who was your florist?
Our florist was Sally from The Flower House, Chesham. She was amazing and so lovely and helpful. My bouquet and the bridesmaids were very light greens with bold orange, and the flower girl had green and yellow petals to throw. Mother had a hair piece made and Mother in law had a Corsage. We also had a specially made archway to get married under and decorated bay trees in the ceremony room (and later the dining room and evening rooms).
What did you choose to have on your menu? Did you have an outside caterer or did your venue handle the catering?
The venue did a spectacular job of the catering. We gave our guests a choice of – chicken liver parfait or vegetable terrine to start, lamb shank with mash, salmon fillet with bubble and squeak or aubergine onion tart for main course, and vanilla brulee or lemon sorbet for dessert. There weren’t any leftovers!
What did you choose for your wedding cake, and who made it?
Our wedding cake was made by the Chesham Bakehouse. It was four tiers of sponge, chocolate sponge and fruit and looked amazing (tasted good too).
Did you have any entertainment during the day or evening?
We had a string quartet during the day, no-strings attached. I have been told that they were brilliant, but I hardly got a chance to listen to them. We had a DJ in the evening who played lots of punk, ska and rock and roll. Everyone was dancing. We also had giant outdoor games such as Jenga and connect 4 and a BBQ for our evening guests.
Did you have a gift list? If so, who did you have your list with?
Our gift list was with John Lewis. They were brilliant.
Where did you spend your first night and honeymoon? Who did you book your honeymoon with?
Our first night was spent at Chartridge, and the following morning someone accidentally set the fire alarm off so we had lots of drama, which was fun. Our honeymoon was to Singapore and the Maldives. It was booked through Tradewinds.
What was your most memorable moment of the day?
Probably the actual process of getting married, followed very closely by my brothers speech.
Did you experience any ‘nightmare’ moments in the run up to your wedding or on the day?
The car was almost half an hour late, which stressed my mum, but as I’d booked it to be 20 minutes early anyway. We weren’t too late getting to the venue! I was too organised to allow for mishaps!
Is there anything you would do differently, or any advice you would give to other brides?
I wouldn’t change anything for the world, and my advice is to let others take control on the day, however much of a control freak you are, and give your venue specific notes on how you want to see things so that there is no confusion! It worked brilliantly!