Claire and James’ Real Life Wedding


Claire and James

28/08/2005 – Risley Hall Hotel, Derbyshire


          Claire and James's photos photos by xxxxxxx Photography

How and when did you meet?

We met via a phone call when we both worked for DHL; I worked in London and James worked at East Midlands airport. One day I called a friend who worked at the East Midlands office, James answered the phone and that was it. Once I heard his voice I was hooked, we met up a month later, and we’ve been together ever since.

How old are you both?

I’m 32, James is 27.

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

On the 5th May 03, we went to our favorite hotel, for a weekend break and James popped the question, using flowers spread over the four-poster bed spelling out ‘marry me’.

Did you have hen and stag celebrations?

Yes, we both did: I had a fab night out in Nottingham, and then a four day break in Prague; James went to Budapest for a few days with his mates.

Did your groom help you with the wedding planning?

He paid! No really he was very good, he booked the honeymoon and sorted the cake, and the suits for the guys.

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

Yes, I was logged onto the cafe everyday getting loads of info from other brides-to-be.

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?

Yes, I bought some chocolate dice online.

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

My dress was Scarlet from Hollywood dreams; I bought it from Caroline Jane in Tamworth.

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

Yes, I had loads – 7 in total: 4 adults, my sister, James’ sister and two friends and 3 flower girls. They all wore dresses from Debenhams.

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

We had a fair few ushers, all best friends of my new husband.

Did you have a civil or religious ceremony?

We had a civil ceremony.

Where did you hold your ceremony?

We had our wedding at Risley Hall Hotel, Derbyshire.

Where did you hold your reception?

As above.

Did you have any special wedding transport?

No, I stayed at the venue the night before.

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

We had 103 guests to the day and a further 40 to the night.

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

Yes, we had a casino theme to the night, lots of fairy lights and dice.

How did you incorporate this in to your table settings?

We put our table centre pieces on the table for the evening reception, we had fairy lights inside the flowers, and lots of chocolate dice everywhere.

Did you give your guests favours?

Yes, we got them chrome bottle stoppers in the shape of a heart.

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

I had a bouquet of rolex roses and ivy, covered in diamante and crystals; the bridesmaids had flower straps on their shoulders of Singapore orchids and ivy; the table decorations were tall candle sticks with ivory roses and trailing ivy. My florist was Chantel, based in Normanton Derby.

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 the catering; we had melon with a fruit compote, then chicken wrapped in bacon, cooked with baby onions and chives in a red wine sauce, and to finish we had a chocolate trifle.

What did you choose for your wedding cake?

A friend’s mother made our cake, which was three tiers of chocolate, sponge and fruit, all covered in ivory icing with shooting stars and hearts coming out of the top.

Did you have any entertainment during the day or evening?

We had a string quartet during the day and a fun casino in the evening.

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

No, we already lived together, so we asked for Debenhams vouchers.

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

Our first night was spent at the venue, and we went on honeymoon 3 days later to Bali. We booked the honeymoon through Virgin holidays.

What was your most memorable moment of the day?

Seeing James at the end of the aisle, waiting for me, and our first dance to the Goo Goo Dolls’ ‘Iris.’

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

I would do nothing differently at all, you just have to remember it’s your day so do what you want and don’t be pushed into anything you don’t want.

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