Clare and Alan’s Real Life Wedding

Clare and Alan
Gibside Chapel, Burnhopefield
The Marriott Hotel, Gateshead Clare and Alan's wedding photos

How and when did you meet?

We met in 2001, through mutual friends, at the Baja Beach Club in Newcastle.


How old are you both?
26 & 25.

Where, when and how did he (or you!) propose?
It wasn’t a very romantic proposal but after a night out, he drunkenly asked, “So do you fancy getting engaged?” to which I said, “Yes.” We’d only been together for 3 months.

Did you have hen and stag celebrations?
I had a hen weekend in Amsterdam in April with 12 friends, including my mam and his mam. Alan had a weekend in Magaluf in June with 9 of his friends. The week before the wedding I had a night out in Newcastle and Alan went to the football, then at the end of the night we all met up and went for a curry.

Did your groom help you with the wedding planning?
He let me make most of the decisions but helped out when it came to choosing the photographer and gift list.

Did you use confetti to plan your wedding? If so, how did the website help you?
I used the message boards to get advice from other brides-to-be.

Do you have a confetti web page?
I have, but I only used it a couple of times.

Did you buy any confetti products for your wedding? If so, did you visit a store, buy online or by mail order?
I bought things from the Leeds store and online. We bought table confetti, mini pink candles, pink petals and table trivia for the daytime and silver party poppers, rocket balloons and blow outs for the evening.

Tell us about your outfit, and where you bought it.
I wore a Rosetta Nicolini dress in diamond white called ‘Yvette;’ it had diamonds and crystals down the left side and a crystals down the back. I wore a full-length veil and a silver and diamante tiara, all from Berketex Bridal. My jewellery was from Swarovski, and my garter was my mams when she married my dad 30 years ago.

Did you have bridesmaids? If so, who did you choose and what did they wear?
I had six bridesmaids in total: my three cousins, aged 13 and 10,who wore pink dresses from Next children’s wear and three older bridesmaids: my sister, Lindsey (who had flown over from Australia and whom I hadn’t seen for over two years) and my two good friends, Debbie & Diane. They wore dresses in pale pink with diamantes scattered on the bodice, by Forever Yours.

Who did your groom choose for his best man and ushers, and what did they wear?
Alan chose his friend Gareth for his best man and his two brothers, David & Andrew, as ushers. They all wore grey suits with cream waistcoats and pale pink cravats and handkerchiefs. They were warned against top hats as they are all so tall, and my bridesmaids and I are not!

Did you have a civil or religious ceremony?
We had a Church of England wedding.

Where did you hold your ceremony?
Our ceremony was held at Gibside Chapel in Burnhopefield.

Where did you hold your reception?
At the Marriott Hotel, Gateshead.

Did you have any special wedding transport?
I had a 1930s Badsworth Landaulette and my bridesmaids had a Bramwith Limousine; both cars were in navy and cream. Unfortunately we had to keep the roof up on the cars, as it rained all day. Alan arrived in a navy blue Jaguar Limousine.

How many guests did you invite to your wedding, and did you have a separate evening guest list?
We invited 90 guests to our ceremony and wedding breakfast and there were also an extra 60 or so guests in the evening.

Did your reception have a particular theme in terms of colour or style?
Our theme was pink, feathers and sparkles; however, it was kept very simple.

How did you incorporate this in to your table settings?
We had sparkle confetti and pale pink petals on the table through the day. We decorated our cake table with pink chiffon and pink feathers.

Did you give your guests favours?
We gave our guests little white bags with a pink rose on the front, filled with little pink chocolate hearts.

Describe your flowers (bouquets and table decorations). Who was your florist?
My bouquet was a round posy of dolce vita roses, aqua roses (in ‘Barbie pink’) and stargazer lilies. The aqua roses had diamante centres and the bouquet had a pale pink feather collar. My older bridesmaid carried posies of dolce vita roses and white feathers and my younger bridesmaid carried a single dolce vita rose with a white feather tied around the stem. Mt table centres were a tall vase with three star gazer lilies and feathers, tied together with chiffon ribbon.

What did you choose to have on your menu? Did you have an outside caterer or did your venue handle the catering?
Our venue handled the catering; we had farmhouse pate and toast to start, followed by chicken in a forest mushroom and Brandy napped sauce, and for dessert, strawberries in a shortcake basket, with cream and a passion fruit coulis, followed by coffee, mints and wedding cake. Our vegetarian menu was a starter of melon (it was supposed to be a vegetable terrine but there was an altercation at the venue) and for the main course, pepper stuffed with mediteranean couscous and a feta cheese sauce.

What did you choose for your wedding cake?
We had a traditional fruit cake,in the shape of a heart, with iridescent icing. The bottom two tiers were stacked, with the top tier on its own, on a slanting cake stand. There was a stargazer lily on each tier with a diamante centre and feathers.

Did you have any entertainment during the day or evening?
We had a magician at our evening reception, who went around all of the tables keeping our guests entertained; we also had a disco.

Did you have a gift list? If so, who did you have your list with?
We had two lists: one at Debenhams and one at Next.

Where did you spend your first night and honeymoon? Who did you book your honeymoon with?
Our first night was spent at the Marriott, in the Arabian Suite. Then we flew off to Mexico for our honeymoon.

What was your most memorable moment of the day?
It was all so memorable. however the bit that stands out the most is when I was standing outside of the chapel with my dad and bridesmaids waiting to go inà and then the doors opening. The chapel is round, so all of your guests face you and the alter is facing the door, so when the doors opened, Alan was facing me. I don’t think I’ve ever walked so fast, my dad was holding me back trying to slow me down.

Did you experience any ‘nightmare’ moments in the run up to your wedding or on the day?
We had a couple of nightmares in the run up to the wedding. Our first nightmare was to do with our honeymoon, the hotel we were due to stay in was demolished by a hurricane two weeks before we were due to go, so the week before the wedding, which was supposed to be spent chilling out and doing all of my last minute things, was actually spent going backwards and forwards to the travel agents. We were eventually relocated to a different resort the Thursday before the wedding. The other thing was as it had rained so much in the few days running up to the wedding that the ground was too wet for our cars to drive up to the chapel, as usually wedding cars drive up the mile long avenue leading up to the chapel. And we had also arranged to have drinks served to our guests from a gazebo outside of the chapel after the service, but again as it was raining it wasn’t , so our guests just went straight on to the reception. Not really nightmares, just a shame.

I giggled really badly saying my vows during the rehearsal and worried that I would be the same on the day, but everything turned out ok!

Is there anything you would do differently, or any advice you would give to other brides?
There isn’t anything I would do differently and the only advice I would give to other brides is to try not to stress, enjoy your day after all of the planning and hard work you’ve put into it – you deserve to sit back and relax a bit.

Try not to worry about the weather, it rained all day on my wedding but I live in England, and, I’ve learnt to accept you can’t control the weather.

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