Helen and Graham
05/11/2005 – The Morritt Arms hotel, County Durham
photos by xxxxxxx Photography
How and when did you meet?
My boyfriend at the time introduced us back in 1990. We got together briefly in 1991 but more as friends, became a couple in 1994 but sadly drifted apart in 1996. We got back together in 1999 and have been together ever since. True soul mates always end up together!
How old are you both?
I’m 33 and Graham is 39.
Where, when and how did he (or you!) propose?
I’m still waiting for the official proposal! We planned everything backwards – we moved in together and had a baby, I bought my wedding dress, we then booked the venue. Graham bought me a gorgeous ruby and diamond ring, we got married and now he’s going to do the whole ‘down on one knee’ proposal! At least he knows I’ll say “Yes!”
Did you have hen and stag celebrations?
I went out to our local Italian restaurant with 13 family and friends and Graham went to the pub with the lads.
Did your groom help you with the wedding planning?
He didn’t really! He was happy for me to plan the day, which I thoroughly enjoyed doing!
Did you use confetti to plan your wedding? If so, how did the website help you?
I found the wedding ‘To Do’ list very helpful and the table planner was a god send!
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?
No – most of our wedding stuff came from eBay as we were on a very tight budget and we paid for the wedding ourselves.
Tell us about your outfit, and where you bought it.
It came off eBay! I had it custom made as I was seven months pregnant when we got married. It was made from ivory satin and had silver bead and pearl detail round the neckline, waist and sleeves. The sleeves were full length chiffon and looked amazing! There was a small train and I truly felt like a princess in my gorgeous dress.
Did you have bridesmaids? If so, who did you choose and what did they wear?
My cousin Claire was my matron of honour and she wore a full-length, midnight blue velvet dress. I also had 3 bridesmaids – my Goddaughter Rachael, Graham’s daughter Georgina and my niece Leah who all wore dresses which had blue velvet bodices and ivory skirts.
Who did your groom choose for his best man and ushers, and what did they wear?
The best man was Graham’s best friend Nick. Our 2 sons, Alex and Adam were our Pageboys. The men wore silver grey morning suits and the boys wore navy blue morning suits. All wore dark blue cravats and white wing collar shirts.
Did you have a civil or religious ceremony?
We had a civil ceremony in a gorgeous hotel called The Morritt Arms which is near Barnard Castle in County Durham (about 20 minutes from where we live.)
Where did you hold your ceremony?
The ceremony was held in the Ballroom of the hotel.
Where did you hold your reception?
In the same room as the ceremony.
Did you have any special wedding transport?
I stayed at the hotel the night before the wedding with my Mum and several members of my family who had travelled from around the country to be with us on our wedding day.
How many guests did you invite to your wedding, and did you have a separate evening guest list?
We had a total of 46 immediate family and close friends who attended the ceremony and wedding breakfast and a further 50 friends and work colleagues who joined us in the evening.
Did your reception have a particular theme in terms of colour or style?
The colour scheme was midnight blue, ivory and silver which we thought was ideal for our 5th November wedding. Being Bonfire Night we kept everything quite cosy – the log fires in the hotel were all lit, we served mulled wine after the ceremony and kept everything quite sparkly with the decorations. We also had a firework display in the evening.
How did you incorporate this in to your table settings?
The flowers were blue and cream with ivory church candles in the centre of each arrangement. We also sprinkled silver and blue glitter confetti on the tables.
Did you give your guests favours?
EThe ladies received a silver gel candle in an ivory treasure chest shaped favour box; the men received mint imperials which were wrapped in blue tulle and placed in mini beer tankards and the children received organza goody bags containing a toy and some sweets.
Describe your flowers (bouquets and table decorations). Who was your florist?
The flowers were done for us by a lady called Kim Stone. We used silk flowers and they were blue velvet roses, ivory carnations, lilies, gyp, silver twisted willow, silver pearls and trailing ivy. I carried a shower bouquet which also had ivory marabou feathers in it. All the flowers co-ordinated beautifully and several guests commented on how lovely they all looked.
What did you choose to have on your menu? Did you have an outside caterer or did your venue handle the catering?
We used the hotel caterers and they did a fantastic job. We offered our guests a choice menu: Starter: prawn cocktail or broccoli and stilton soup.
Main: traditional roast chicken or poached salmon with hollandaise sauce, both served with new potatoes, carrots, cauliflower and broccoli.
Dessert: steamed chocolate sponge and custard or strawberry pavlova and ice cream. All followed by coffee and mints.
What did you choose for your wedding cake?
I made our 3-tier wedding cake. I chose a flower/petal design and each tier was a different flavour – fruit, chocolate fudge and lemon curd. All the cakes were stacked on top of each other and covered in marzipan and ivory icing. This was then decorated with silver sugar balls and I hand-made a feather and crystal cake topper.
Did you have any entertainment during the day or evening?
We had a disco in the evening which kept all our guests dancing the night away.
Did you have a gift list? If so, who did you have your list with?
We had a gift list with Argos, but had asked for vouchers so that we could put them towards a couple of larger items. All our guests were very generous.
Where did you spend your first night and honeymoon? Who did you book your honeymoon with?
We spent our wedding night at the venue in the beautiful bridal suite, complete with 4 poster bed. The next day we travelled to the Lake District where we stayed at a fabulous hotel called The Derwentwater Hotel near Keswick. We booked our honeymoon direct with the hotel and they couldn’t have been nicer – they made sure we had a wonderful, memorable honeymoon. We’ll definitely be going back!
What was your most memorable moment of the day?
When the registrar said "I now pronounce you husband and wife." I didn’t stop smiling all day because I had finally married the man I had been in love with for over 11 years.
Did you experience any ‘nightmare’ moments in the run up to your wedding or on the day?
I had a few bad dreams of things which could go wrong, but thanks to all the planning and the wonderful hotel staff, the whole day ran like clock work and we couldn’t have asked for a better wedding day.
Is there anything you would do differently, or any advice you would give to other brides?
I wouldn’t change a single thing about our wedding day – it really was perfect! My advice to other brides is plan, plan and plan some more! We took 2 years to organise our day and it was definitely time well spent.