Linda and James’ Real Life Wedding

Linda and James

20/08/2005 – St. Mary’s Catholic Church, Chislehurst Kent
HSBC Club in Beckenham, Kent

Real life weddings

How and when did you meet?


Our sisters used to work together and they thought we’d get on – we met on 7th September 2002.

How old are you both?

32 and 29.

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

New Year’s Eve 2004 on the rooftop of Coq d’Argent – we just both agreed to book a church!

Did you have hen and stag celebrations?

I went to Dublin with 15 friends and we dressed up as cave girls in homemade outfits and clothes sourced from Ebay. James went to Lingfield Races with all the boys.

Did your groom help you with the wedding planning?

I sourced all the information and then went through it together and agreed on what we both liked… it was a bit of a trial and error situation.

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

Yes – the message boards were a great source of help, information, ideas and a lot of fun.

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

I went to the store in Tottenham Court Road and bought confetti cones, sprinkles, ribbons, and a present for my husband-to-be – an engraved pocket watch.

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

I wore a Hollywood Dreams gown called ‘Carmen,’ in white, which I customised. I had the back made higher and more bustles put in the back of the dress and had more diamante sprinkles put over the skirt. The skirt was organza and the top was duchess satin. I brought it in Bellamore in Bexleyheath. My shoes were from Ivory of Bond Street and my tiara was bespoke by Andrew Prince, which I designed myself.

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

I had 2 bridesmaids – my sister Lucy and James’ sister Francesca. I designed dresses for them on the theme of Doris Day in Calamity Jane, when she goes to the ball; I had them made locally. They wore pink duchess satin dresses, with pink netting wrapped around their shoulders and fixed in round the shoulders to the front of the dress with diamante. The dress was a fishtail cut, with a puddle train, cut higher at the front to show lots of pink netting kicking out underneath. Their shoes were also dyed pink (at Ivory of Bond Street) to match. My 2 page boys had outfits of long tailored breeches/shorts and shirts trimmed in navy silk from Young England of Elizabeth St, W1.

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

James chose his brother Nicholas for his best man and his ushers were his other brother Thomas, cousin Michael, cousin Daniel and friend Andy. They wore their own suits.

Did you have a civil or religious ceremony?


Where did you hold your ceremony?

St. Mary’s Catholic Church, Chislehurst Kent.

Where did you hold your reception?

HSBC Club in Beckenham, Kent.

Did you have any special wedding transport?

We had a Rolls Royce Silver Cloud II and the girls were in a silver cab!

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

We had 145 guests to our day and a further 130 to the evening.

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

Yes – it was white organza and silver with pink. Organza bow-tied chairs, organza ribbons mixed with ivy up the staircase to the venue, organza ribbon on my invitations and menu cards, organza-tied pink heather as my favours, silver writing on invitations, name cards, menus etc, silver sprinkles on tables, silver and white table plan. My flowers were mostly pink, white and green.

How did you incorporate this in to your table settings?

I had white chair covers with organza-tied backs, white linen and napkins, white crockery and silver cutlery. White menu cards (that were in the same style as my invitations,) silver writing on name cards and menus. Sprigs of heather were tied with pink organza and my table pieces were very tall vases, filled with pink white roses with green foliage and trailing ivy. I had silver sparkles sprinkled over the table – and I wrote my best friends’ cards, which were in silver envelopes and left for them at their place setting. We also had white tea lights in frosted tiny glasses. My top table had lots of ivory, roses and pink hydrangeas on. I also did party bags for the children.

Did you give your guests favours?

Tiny sprigs of pink and white heather tied with a pink organza ribbon in loving memory of my Gran.

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

I had a bouquet of Valerie pink roses and diamantes and my bridesmaids had posies of Valerie pink roses and peony garden roses. Buttonholes and handbag corsages were also made with white roses and ivory – they were all from Paule Pryke Flowers, Cynthia Street, N1.

The flowers for the venue were made by James’ mother, Teresa – with the help of two of her friends, Teresa and Cathy. Teresa made 2 huge displays in 2 stone urns either side of the top table, filled with roses, hydrangeas, ivy and foliage. There were tall vases of flowers on all 18 tables and ivy and white organza wrapped around the banisters of the staircase. There were hydrangeas and roses placed in four places around the venue and also flowers in the washrooms. They bought the flowers from a flower market in London the day before the wedding.

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

Our menu consisted of: summer vegetable soup with homemade bread, followed by chicken in a white wine, mushroom and asparagus sauce, with roast and new potatoes and seasonal vegetables. Dessert was a trio of desserts which consisted of a chocolate layered torte, a brandy basket filled with Bailey’s ice cream and Bailey’s sauce and a fruit tart with a coulis, followed by coffee and mints. The venue did all the catering and all homemade food.

What did you choose for your wedding cake?

I had a 3-tiered cake with sugar roses in between each layer and roses on the top. The cake was iced white with a double layer on pink roses in between each layer. White organza ribbon finished the cake off. We had 2 tiers of fruit and one sponge.

Did you have any entertainment during the day or evening?

At the church we had chimney sweeps, who are seen to be lucky and we had a harpist to play during our meal. A DJ was arranged for the evening.

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

Yes – John Lewis.

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

We bought our first home the week before we got married – we completed on 12 August! We decided to spend our first night in our new home; we had not spent a night there until our wedding night. We booked a honeymoon after the wedding and jetted off within a day of booking it to Turtle Beach, Barbados – with Virgin.

What was your most memorable moment of the day?

There are so many, but a funny one was when my pageboy, my nephew John, decided to walk down the aisle on the other side of my brother, who was giving me away, so there were 3 of us walking down the aisle and I had to go practically sideways as my dress was so huge we couldn’t all get down the aisle the same way. All of this, with James watching and smiling at me, was so magical!

Did you experience any ‘nightmare’ moments in the run up to your wedding or on the day?

We changed our date 4 times due to double-bookings and churches etc. – and then when one thing was booked ie. the church, the car wasn’t available… In the end we changed our church, venue, car, harpist, we cancelled our original honeymoon and I had to move my hen weekend date! All of that and buying a house at the same time…

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

Remember the reason you are getting married and don’t lose sight of it; it is so easy to do. Enjoy the planning and don’t take everything to heart too much. I had to remember that, although it was my most important day, it wasn’t necessarily everyone else’s – so that’s when I’d go on the Confetti forum and have Bride Chat – so as not to bore everyone.

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