Catherine and Ian’s Real Life Wedding


Catherine and Ian

18/12/2004 – Borwick Hall, Borwick, near Carnforth, Lancashire


  Catherine and Ian's wedding photos photography by Martin Crombie

How and when did you meet?

At cricket! My ex played for Ian’s cricket team. We got to know each other well while he was consoling me after our split. Ian also booked a holiday for me in Tenerife and I think he was impressed with a girl who was independent enough to go on holiday alone!

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

He proposed on 3 May 2004 while we were on holiday in Cyprus. We went to Aphrodite’s Rock, where he said (standing up) ‘will you do me a favour… (I thought he was going to ask me to wash his shorts when we got back!!!)… will you be my wife?’ He STILL has never been on bended knee! We bought my beautiful diamond solitaire ring the next day in Protaris.

Did you have hen and stag celebrations?

We had fairly quiet ‘do’s’ as Ian’s brother and his new wife had done the whole big stag/hen thing only a couple of months earlier. I had a raucous night out with the girls in Bolton (meal at a Greek restaurant, then dancing later). Ian went to Bellvue dog track in Manchester and then onto a casino.

Did your groom help you with the wedding planning?

Ian did a lot of the planning. He organised most of the venue details, booked the disco and casino, organised the men’s outfits and was generally very involved. We are both perfectionists so we had a lot of ‘discussions’ about everything!

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

I used the confetti site mainly for the message boards and to look for ideas for table settings, dresses etc.

Do you have a confetti web page?

No, we didn’t have time to set one up. We only decided on the date in September and actually got married in December.

Did you buy any confetti products for your wedding? If so, did you visit a store, buy online or by mail order?

I bought my table cameras from confetti. They were white with silver stars.

Tell us about your outfit, and where you bought it.

I went everywhere looking for a dress I could buy off the peg as we were short on time and I found my dress in a local shop. Fortunately, it was well within budget and fitted perfectly. It was ivory, strapless, lightly beaded and had an asymmetrical swathe across the front. We had a civil ceremony so I didn’t want a train or veil – I had a beautiful silver tiara and silver shoes to match the men’s waistcoats. Ian bought my diamond earrings as a wedding present.

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

My sister in law, Chantelle, was my bridesmaid and Ian’s two daughters, Dominique and Jasmine, were flowergirls. Chantelle wore a stunning black halterneck designer number from Selfridges in Manchester, while the two younger girls wore ivory beaded Jasper Conran dresses and matching cardigans. We all wore silver shoes!

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

Ian’s brother Paul was the best man, while my brother Stephen was the usher. Ian’s son Joshua was a page boy. All the men wore black suits with silver waistcoats and had matching cufflinks.

Did you have a civil or religious ceremony?

A civil ceremony – I was surprised at the amount of input we had into the ceremony, the registrar let us chose almost every part except the legal bit!

Where did you hold your ceremony?

At Borwick Hall in Borwick near Carnforth. It’s a Tudor mansion that is normally used as an outdoor education centre. They have just started to hold weddings there.

Where did you hold your reception?

At Borwick, as above.

Did you have any special wedding transport?

No – Ian used his Mercedes with a ribbon on it for the male party, while I got ready at Borwick and only had to walk about 100 yards from the Gatehouse to the Baronial Hall.

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

We had 60 during the day and 90 at night. We had to have an evening guest list as the hall where we got married only holds 60 people. We were pleased that so many people came, with it being the weekend before Christmas and 50 miles away from where most of our friends and family live.

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

Not really, obviously the Christmas theme was very apparent, so we followed this through in the colours of the flowers and table settings. The main colour theme was deep red and silver.

How did you incorporate this in to your table settings?

Lots of candles and red ‘Grand Prix’ roses made for a very ‘Christmassy’ atmosphere.

Did you give your guests favours?

We had christmas crackers instead of favours.

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

The bouquets were made by Dalton Square florists in Lancaster, who were superb. I insisted on having red ‘Grand Prix’ roses in everything! There were also red tulips and hypericum berries in my bouquet, the top table decoration and the men’s buttonholes. I made the table flowers with the help of Chantelle and my Mum using glass vases, glass pebbles and red roses.

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

We had a lot of choice on the menu – three starters (melon, prawns and soup), three main courses (turkey, beef and salmon) and three puddings (meringue, chocolate torte and christmas pudding). We also had a cheese course as I don’t really have a sweet tooth. The venue did the catering and it was delicious – all home made using local produce.

What did you choose for your wedding cake?

I had a two tier fruit wedding cake made by a friend from work as my wedding present from her.

Did you have any entertainment during the day or evening?

We had quite a lot going on – first the wedding, then a drinks reception in the library (some guests accidentally ‘found’ the liquers that were meant for after the meal and had great fun drinking them all!) then the meal and speeches. After the meal, we had a casino and later an auction of casino prizes in aid of the Motor Neurone Disease society. We also had a disco and and one or two friends did karaoke (much to my horror!) later on in the evening.

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

Our gift list was held at Debenhams.

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

We spent the first and second nights in the Gatehouse at Borwick. On the Monday we went to Keswick in the Lake District and stayed at the Derwentwater Hotel for two nights. Then we came home and it was Christmas and New Year! We will have an overseas honeymoon later in the year, probably a cruise in the Caribbean.

What was your most memorable moment of the day?

There were lots – Ian sent me a wedding present of beautiful diamond earrings to wear, seeing his face as I walked up the aisle and during the service, his speech after the meal which made people cry… and on and on!

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

I would book a honeymoon in the sun well in advance of the wedding! With our work commitments we may now have to wait quite a while. My best advice is to try not to obsess about the small details. Some of the things you think you MUST have turn out to be minor on the day. I really wanted a harpist and we found one who was fantastic, but I was so nervous and busy on the day I can’t remember hearing a note she played!


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