Natalie and Matt’s Real Life St Peter & St Paul Alconbury Wedding

Natalie and Matt

May 1999

How did you meet?

We met through our respective companies briefly, but got to know each other via e-mail. Without e-mail, we would never have got together. I was in a relationship at the time, but Matt just knocked me sideways. We were engaged after four weeks.


Describe the marriage proposal.
We discussed marriage one week into our relationship and Matt proposed one evening at his apartment, three weeks later. I didn’t hesitate to answer.

How long did you spend preparing for the day and how was it?
We were engaged in October 1998, but I didn’t start preparing until January 1999. As we had chosen 1 May, I had four months to arrange everything. My chief bridesmaid was in Hong Kong and another was in Costa Rica. This posed problems for having their dresses made. My friend in Costa Rica didn’t arrive until two days before the wedding! So we had to beg a friend of ours to make her dress in a day! I designed and made the wedding invitations and order of service cards. I suppose we did cut quite a few corners, as a friend cooked most of the food for the reception (she is a chef), a relative made the cake, my mother made the Italian confetti favours and did the standing flower arrangements. She also made one of the bridesmaid dresses. Weddings can be very expensive, so I was extremely lucky to have quite a few talented family members and friends – which made the day even more special.

What type of wedding ceremony did you have and where?
It was a traditional church ceremony held at St Peter & St Paul in Alconbury, Cambridgeshire.

Where did you hold your reception and what was it like?
We held our reception in the next village (Gt Stukeley – Home of John Major!) at the village hall. It was very simple, but perfect for what we wanted. I decorated the hall with balloons, ribbons and ivy. My theme was pale green grapes – strangely enough, I am not overly keen on lots of flowers. The wedding cake was covered in hand-made sugar-craft grapes to match. We had a hot and cold buffet – with a very special Malaysian curry and Beef Wellington. There wasn’t much food left.

Thinking back to the ‘big day’ what things did you especially enjoy?
Being in the limousine with my father on the short journey to the church. I had always wondered about that moment. Walking down the aisle with the biggest grin on my face – and seeing my husband-to-be turn round to look at me. My father’s speech, which made me cry. Having all my family and friends around me.

Is there anything you’d change, with hindsight?
Maybe a little more pampering for myself the night before. I was still printing order of service sheets at midnight!

What advice would you give to couples currently planning their wedding?
Book the important things as soon as you can (church/reception/photographer). Don’t get too stressed over who to invite. I felt it was important not to invite too many people. I wanted to be able to speak to every guest at the wedding and I did. If you don’t want presents, ask for vouchers. We did and it worked out perfectly for us.

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