Clare and Gavin’s Real Life Wedding

Clare and Gavin

29/05/2004 – Woodchester Roman Catholic Church, Gloucestershire
Beaudesert Park School, Stroud, Gloucestershire

Clare and Gavin's Wedding photos by Tinsnail Design Photography


How and when did you meet?

We met at work in 1998. After several attempts at asking Gav out, we went to Stratford to watch Shakespeare. Six weeks later we found a flat together.

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

For our fifth anniversary, I took Gav away to a cottage in the Lake District. It was pouring with rain when we arrived and within minutes Gav said he wanted to give me my anniversary gift – I closed my eyes and held out my arms ready for my big pressie! When I opened my eyes he was on one knee, with our dog next to him with a beautiful platinum diamond ring! After several minutes of tears I managed to say yes!

Did you have hen and stag celebrations?

I had three hen nights! One was with eight close friends in a cottage for three nights in the Peak District, one in Cheltenham with a group of 15 friends (a meal then a club) and lastly with my work friends.

Gav was taken to Lithuania on his stag do – I’ve been trying to find out the details but no one will tell!

Did your groom help you with the wedding planning?

I asked his opinion/help on many things but he knew I had so much planned since I was six! He was great at bringing my feet back to the ground in my Bridezilla moments!

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

Yes – great help getting opinions of other brides-to-be on the message board.

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?


Tell us about your outfit, and where you bought it

I went back to the first dress I tried on – a brocade Hildelina Montana dress from Modern Bride at Rackams. It was perfect and best of all I have never seen it on a website or in a magazine … totally individual!

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

I was supposed to have three bridesmaids but my best friend Jenna was sadly away travelling. I had Kate, my play school friend from the age of two, and Liz who I have known since the age of 15. They wore dusky pink tops and skirts finished with a ivory ribbon and ivory rose wrist corsages.

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

Gav had two best men – his brother Dave and his best mate Steve. The ushers were my brother Chris, Gav’s brother in law Steve and a friend, James. They all wore morning suits with dusky pink cravates.

Did you have a civil or religious ceremony?

We had a religious Roman Catholic ceremony.

Where did you hold your ceremony?

We chose Woodchester Roman Catholic Church where my parents were married, I was christened and confirmed and my brother was married in 2003.

Where did you hold your reception?

Our reception was at Beaudesert Park School where my parents first met and had their wedding reception 33 years before us, and where I lived and grew up until my parents retirement in 2001.

Did you have any special wedding transport?

We had a 1930s vintage cadiallac – a fantastic car!

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

95 guests came to the day and meal then an extra 40 came at 8pm for the evening do.

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

Our colours were lavender and dusky pink. A local lavender farm brought into flower 15 beautiful french lavender plants that were perfect on the day!

How did you incorporate this in to your table settings?

Each table had a lavender plant in a painted terracota pot in the centre. Dusky pink rose buds were scattered next to three round dusky pink candles. Bubbles and disposable cameras were also used, and favour boxes with names attached marked each seat.

Did you give your guests favours?

Our favours were in brochade boxes (to match my dress). Everyone had french truffles and mints in their boxes and the ladies also had seed sticks to take home and grow.

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

My bouquet was round and made up of ivory roses and sea lavender surrounded by grasses. The reception venue flowers were done by my friends mum and were a beautiful combination of lilies, roses and much more!

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

We had an outside caterer. We started with loads of amazing canapes and champagne for the guests on arrival. We then sat down for a main course of chicken stuffed with bacon and mozarella and fresh veggies. The puddings were a fruit terrine or chocolate tart.

What did you choose for your wedding cake?

The cake was made for us by my cousin. It was a simple three-tier, round cake with ivory icing and fresh ivory and dusky pink roses between the layers. As a surprise for my parents I had a silver shoe from their cake on the top!

Did you have any entertainment during the day or evening?

We had a jazz band for the outside reception then a DJ for the evening do – the dance floor was never empty!

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

Our gift list was held with John Lewis.

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

Our first night was spent at a nearby hotel – a real treat with a massage in the spa on the Sunday morning! Our honeymoon was to Tanzania for a weeks camping safari then a week on the beach on Zanzibar.

What was your most memorable moment of the day?

Having our dog Petra arrive for the photos – it wouldn’t have been the same without her!

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

Always take your veil for the hair trial – I didn’t and my veil on the day was slightly too far forward – it didn’t spoil it though! Other advice (which was passed to me by friends): when you walk into the church, stop at the top of the aisle before walking down and take all your friends and family in – doing this oddly calmed me down! At least a couple of times during the day, take your groom away from the crowds and sit together for just a couple of moments to absorb it all! And lastly, neither of us were fans of line ups but the two of us greeted all our guests on arrival which meant we didn’t have to worry too much about circulating again for the rest of the day – it allowed us to relax more.

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