Dawn and Arnie’s Real Life Wedding


Dawn and Arnie

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How and when did you meet?

We met in 2002 when I joined the company that Arnie worked for. He offered to take me for a drive in his red BMW Z3 … this has since been sold to pay for the wedding!

How old are you both?

I am 29 and Arnie is 30.

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

Arnie proposed in a cocktail bar at the top of Hancock Tower (98th floor) in Chicago, USA. He had already bought a Tiffany’s ring but refused to go down onto one knee because he said the floor was dirty! (Actually he was embarrassed because lots of Americans were clapping and cheering!)

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

It was a bit of a role reversal – the men went to Milan in August – as most bars were shut for summer, they spent the days shopping. The ladies went to Windsor race course for drinking and gambling. Actually it was highly civilised with all 22 ladies in hats, meal, bars and hotel in Eton.

How did your groom help with the wedding planning?

He and his parents organised most of the parts for the Hindu ceremony. He told me off for having too many spreadsheets if that counts as helping?!

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

I was constantly on confetti and visited the London store – I used it for music ideas for church service, thank you gifts, supplier list to find dress shops and bought wedding insurance.

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

Yes, we bought gifts online and visited the store for table decorations.

Tell us about your outfit, and where you bought it

Barcino dress by Pronovias – pale ivory, strapless with ruffled corset. Very light to wear and easy to dance when bustled. Simple but very elegant. The two large silk flowers add a ‘latino’ touch. I changed into a traditional red Indian dress for the Hindu ceremony, purchased from Simila in Southall. I changed back into the ivory dress for the evening.

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

Two matrons of honour – Clare, my best friend. We grew up together and have been friends for years. Susan is my best friend from university. They wore deep lilac dresses from Monsoon.

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

Two best men – James and Phil – both best mates since university days together. They wore their own suits rather than matching outfits, but changed into traditional indian matching outfits for Hindu ceremony (look like PJs – very comfortable).

Did you have a civil or religious ceremony?

We had two religious ceremonies on the same day – a Christian marriage service at 1.30pm, followed by a Hindu wedding ceremony at 4pm.

Where did you hold your ceremony?

Southlands College, Roehampton University in SW London.

Where did you hold your reception?

Southlands College – as above.

Did you have any special wedding transport?

Silver BMW 7 series – we prefer new, modern cars.

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

260 with no separate evening guests.

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

We specifically wanted the reception to be informal so budget food, no seating plan except top table. The colour theme was deep red and ivory – however the balloons were red and white which matches Arnie’s football club, Southampton.

How did you incorporate this in to your table settings?

Red and ivory table linens. Red and clear glass candle holders. Ivory menus and confetti for tables

Did you give your guests favours?

No – bowls of sweets on tables instead.

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

Flowers by Dovers Flowers in Putney. Table centres were clear glass vases with six ivory roses standing in red crystal stones. Bouquets and buttonholes used ivory and lime green flowers, mainly roses and freesias. Arnie sent a bouquet of red roses to our house the morning of the wedding.

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

We organised an outside caterer – New Asian Tandoori Centre (Roxy) based in Southall. We picked our favourite traditional Indian food – Roxy specialise in Northern Indian food from Punjab such as chana, tandoori roti, saag paneer, lots of chutneys and samosas. They did a light lunch in the afternoon and the evening buffet.

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

Three tiered plain white fruit cake from Marks & Spencer (3 for the price of 2!). We hired a lovely stand and nobody guessed it was a supermarket cake. M&S bar cutting cake as we had lots of guests. A friend also made chocolate cakes for us.

Did you have any entertainment during the day or evening?

Indian dohl players / drummers during the afternoon for the Hindu ceremony. DJ for evening playing 80’s and 90’s pop and some bhangra sessions.

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

John Lewis.

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

First night at K-West in West London. Honeymoon in Muscat, Oman staying at Chedi Hotel – booked through www.traveldesigners.co.uk.

What was your most memorable moment of the day?

Ice cream van arrived for guests at the end of meal – a big success. small kids ate so many they were barred and big kids were seen running to get ice creams.

Did you experience any ‘nightmare’ moments in the run up to your wedding or on the day?
I got the flu the weekend before but just recovered in time. The night before the wedding I had forgotten to ask how to bussle my dress and nobody else knew – solved by a friend whose mum is a dress maker!

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

Definitely have a timetable. Delegate specific tasks to people rather than hoping they will help out on the day.

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