Mandy and Darren’s Real Life Wedding


Mandy and Darren

28/10/2005 – Ramada Jarvis Hotel, Bolton



How and when did you meet?

We met 12 years ago on a night out in Bolton.

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

Darren had wanted to get married for a long time and when he had a health scare last year it made me realise how important it was to us both. We discussed it over dinner at home and decided we wanted a big family wedding, it took us 15 months to plan it.

Did you have hen and stag celebrations?

I went to a Las Vegas Casino evening with family and friends from work we had a brilliant time, there was an Elvis tribute and lots of different Casino tables. I hadn’t known what to expect but it was a fantastic night, highly recommended. Darren’s stag night was a lot quieter, they went bowling and then for a curry afterwards.

Did your groom help you with the wedding planning?

He left most of it to me, he was involved in the major decisions and did come to a few wedding fayres but on the whole I did the majority of the planning.

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

I was and still am, obsessed with confetti. I spent hours on the message boards and got lots of advice from the girls on there. I also used the to do list and the table plan.

Do you have a confetti web page?

I started one but never finished it, too much time on the message boards!!

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

I bought quite a few things online including the favour boxes, table trivia, guest book and table confetti.

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

I wore a long dress with a fitted white bodice with silver and blue embroidery, the dress had a full skirt in midnight blue. I’ve had so many comments about the dress as it was different without being over the top, it was absolutely gorgeous and made me feel great.

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

I had my daughter and best friend who wore midnight blue dresses, my friend had hers made and my daughters was from Hillary Morgan. I also had our three nieces as flowergirls, they wore cream dresses with pink bolero jackets, they looked gorgeous.

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

He had his brother as Best Man and my three young nephews as Ushers. They all wore navy blue jackets with blue and grey pin stripe trousers, silver waistcoats and dark blue cravats. Our eight year old son was also in the same outfit, he gave me away.

Did you have a civil or religious ceremony?

We had a civil ceremony.

Where did you hold your ceremony?

The Ramada Jarvis Hotel in Bolton.

Where did you hold your reception?

That was also at the Ramada.

Did you have any special wedding transport?

I didn’t as I stayed at the Hotel the night before. Darren arrived in a blue Rolls Royce which his Mum organised as a surprise.

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

We had 68 during the day and a further 60 came during the evening.

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

The colours were midnight blue and silver with touches of pink to brighten it.

How did you incorporate this in to your table settings?

The favour boxes had silver hearts on and I tied them with pink ribbon for the ladies and blue ribbon for the men. We also had white and silver table crackers, pink flowers and pink and silver on the place cards. We gave each child a present and I wrapped the boys in silver and the girls in pink.

Did you give your guests favours?

Yes, the ladies had five bath pearls in a box and the men five chocolate footballs in the same box. I also made silver and white table crackers for each person and filled them with a mini tube of love hearts, a love motto and a fortune fish. All the children had a bag from Molly Monkey which were brilliant.

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

The flowers were stunning, they were done by my best friend, Allison, who was also a bridesmaid and were commented on by everyone including the registrar. My bouquet was a traditional teardrop shape with pink and cream roses and lillies and lots of greenery, the two older bridesmaids had a smaller version and the flowegirls has small posies of pink roses tied with pink ribbon. The flowers on the ceremony and top table were different shades of pink and cream roses and lillies, they were absolutely stunning. We had bowls of floating candles and pink flowers on the tables.

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 which was yummy, we had tossed prawns and smoked trout salad, Roast sirloin of beef coated with red wine and mushroom sauce with seasonal vegetables and potatoes, Creme Caramel with Chantilly Cream and fresh Fruits, Selection of cheese and biscuits finished off with tea, coffee and mints.

What did you choose for your wedding cake?

My sister had it made for us, it was vanilla and chocolate sponges, three layers stacked and decorated with silver hearts.

Did you have any entertainment during the day or evening?

We had a close up magician to keep everyone entertained during the day and a disco in the evening.

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

We had two, with John Lewis and Argos.

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

We spent our first night at the Ramada and then went on Honeymoon to Disneyland Paris, not very romantic but we took our eight year old son with us and had a great time.

What was your most memorable moment of the day?

My best friend, daughter and myself drinking champagne together as we got into our dresses, seeing all the children dressed up and looking absolutely gorgeous, standing at the top of the aisle and seeing my husband, all the family being together, there were so many it’s hard to pick out any one moment. The whole day was just so special.

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

I made all the invitations and only realised I had not put the date on the evening invitations once they had been sent out. My dress not fitting me until the week before the wedding. The worst thing was I didn’t sleep at all the week before the wedding and was so tired on the day although adrenalin carried me through!

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

The only thing I would change is to have the whole day and night videoed, we had the ceremony and the speeches, but the day went by in such a blur that I wish I had more video footage to watch. I also forgot to put the guest book out which I’m, disappointed about, but other than those two things I wouldn’t change anything. It sounds corny but the whole day was perfect.

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