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Sue and Howard’s Real Life Aberavon Beach Hotel Wedding

19th January 2008 |By | Be the first to comment

When was your wedding?

29th September, 2007

How and when did you meet?

We met in 2004 via Yahoo personals on the internet. I always thought internet dating was only for the desperate and never thought I’d find my future husband on it! Ironically he only lived about a mile from me and our paths should have crossed many times before it actually did. I did chat to him on messenger for several weeks before I agreed to meet him for a drink

How old are you both?

I’ve got a toy boy! I’m 48 and he’s 43.

Where, when and how did he (or you!) propose?

Over the telephone after the rugby team he supports lost..a drunken “Quins lost, I love you, will you marry me”? I did make him ask me again when he was sober just to make sure he was serious.

Did you have hen and stag celebrations? If so, what did you do?

He went on a stag weekend to Torquay to do some bowling, paint balling and clay pigeon shooting. At my age I thought I was far too old to have a hen party so I didn’t bother. Might have a belated one in Ireland in a few weeks time when the girlies are meeting up.

How did your groom help with the wedding planning?

By sorting out the photographer as photography is his other hobby. He also help by keeping out of the way and agreeing with most of things I chose, said or did!! Being two Aquarians with birthdays 2 days apart, we usually end up chosing the same things as we think the same way.. very spooky at times, when I’m thinking of something and he’ll just say exactly what I’m thinking.

Did you use confetti to plan your wedding? If so, how did the website help you?

I used the wedding planner and viewed the web site to get ideas. I’m fairly organised and used to organise events at work so I everything I had to do was done well in advance.

Do you have a confetti web page?

Never got round to sorting this out.

Tell us about your outfit, and where you bought it

I wore a Maggie Sottero dress. Having spent months trawling through web sites on the internet I decided I wanted a red dress as everyone tells me I look good in red. I didn’t want a train as I wanted to be able to jive dance at the reception. On my second visit to a local wedding dress shop, Maid In Heaven in Ashford, Middlesex, I decided as this was the only time I’d ever be able to wear a white dress, and as all the red dress looked liked ball gowns, then it had to be a white dress. It was now a search for something straight and white. I chose Tuscana Vidal from Maggie Sottero. The pictures don’t do this dress justice.. the beads just sparkled as they caught the light. I really wish I could wear it again.

Did you have bridesmaids? If so, who did you choose and what did they wear?

Had my neice as a ring bearer. She wore a white and gold dress from BHS. As we were having a wedding service in a hotel I decided I didn’t need a bridesmaid however I wanted to involve my young neice in the day.

Who did your groom choose for his best man and ushers, and what did they wear?

The best man was Howard’s mate Steve. As we got married in a hotel, we didn’t bother with ushers.

Did you have a civil or religious ceremony?


Where did you hold your ceremony?

Aberavon Beach Hotel, Aberavon, South Wales. Howard comes from Wales, my family come from Cumbria and we live near London, so we wanted somewhere central. I love the beach at Aberavon and wanted a wedding where the service and reception were in the same place and once guests had arrived they didn’t have to travel any further as everything was in the one place.

Where did you hold your reception?

Aberavon Beach Hotel, Aberavon, South Wales. The staff were wonderful, the food was wonderful…. I’ve organised work events in top London hotels, and the service at the Aberavon Beach was the best I’ve ever come across. I couldn’t have asked for anything more.

How many guests did you invite to your wedding, and did you have a separate evening guest list?

107 guests, 6 children and 4 babies. We did not have a separate evening guest list.

Did your reception have a particular theme in terms of colour or style?

Not really. As my invitations had dark red roses on them I wanted a dark red theme.

How did you incorporate this in to your table settings?

I used the same dark red roses on the place settings as I did on the save the day cards, invitations and thank you cards. Florist did red and gold flowers for the table. I also put rose petals on the tables for the evening reception.

Did you give your guests favours?

I gave the ladies candles which were hand made by a very nice lady on Ebay. The men all got ring keys in the shape of rugby balls. Each one depicted their nationality as we had guests from Scotland, Ireland, Wales and England.

Describe your flowers (bouquets and table decorations). Who was your florist?

I had red roses only in my bouquet. Each rose had a crystal in the centre of it which sparkled when the sun light caught them. My friend Lesley did my bouquet, Mia’s posy and the family button holes. Baglan Florist did the table decorations.

What did you choose to have on your menu? Did you have an outside caterer or did your venue handle the catering?

Hotel food was excellent.. couldn’t have asked for anything better. We had melon to start with, turkey, apple pie followed by cheese and biscuits. So much food it would barely fit on the tables!

What did you choose for your wedding cake, and who made it?

I had 2 wedding cakes. My auntie made both and even managed to transport them from Cumbria to Wales without any damage. I had a 2 tier fruit cake with hand made sugar red roses and I also had a rugby pitch chocolate cake.

Did you have any entertainment during the day or evening?

Just a disco in the evening.

Did you have a gift list? If so, who did you have your list with?

Gift list was with John Lewis. We also asked for high street vouchers seeing as we’ve both had our own abodes before we bought a house together plus being an older couple we’d both aquired household items over the years.

Where did you spend your first night and honeymoon? Who did you book your honeymoon with?

We stayed at the Aberavon Beach hotel for the first 2 nights and then flew out to Mauritius on the Monday evening. Honeymoon was through Kuoni booked by Going Places.

What was your most memorable moment of the day?

Bursting in to tears as I walked in to the registry service and again when I tried to make a speech at the end of the wedding breakfast. On honeymoon I read in a book, that women should never make speeches at weddings for that very reason.. we get too emotional.

Did you experience any “nightmare” moments in the run up to your wedding or on the day?

Thank goodness no we didn’t.

Is there anything you would do differently, or any advice you would give to other brides?

Before ordering your special dress, sit down in it in the shop. It wasn’t until about the 3 fitting that I sat down in it to try on some wedding shoes…I was horrified to find parts of my boobs were hanging out of the dress!!! If I’d realised that before I chose that particular dress, I might not have chosen that one!! I was horrified to see some of the wedding photos but some of my friends said “some women pay a small fortune to have boobs like that so don’t worry about it”. “We’re jealous.. wish we had boobs that size instead of being flat chested”.

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