Salima and Dan’s Real Life Wedding


Salima and Dan

03/09/2005 – Jesus College Chapel, Cambridge
Pavilion in the grounds of Jesus College


  Salima and Dan's wedding photos photos by Simon Tottman

How and when did you meet?

We met through a mutual friend when we were all at Cambridge together, in the University library in fact!

How old are you both?

I’m 23 and Dan’s 25.

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

He proposed to me on holiday in Venice, after an enormous dinner out (!) in a very chic hotel. It was in St Mark’s Square, just outside Caffe Florian. I cried – obviously – then we were interrupted by an old man selling roses. Dan turned round and said, "Er, no thank you," – the poor man looked stricken – so Dan obviously thought, "If I can’t get her a rose now, when can I get her one?" so said, "All right then," – but then didn’t have any money to pay the old man. I had to buy my own rose!

Did you have hen and stag celebrations?

Our hen/stag celebrations took place on the same night, both in Cambridge. I went for cocktails and dinner with a few friends, and Dan went for a curry with some friends, then we all met up in our favourite pub.

Did your groom help you with the wedding planning?

We brought the wedding forward by a year, so ended up planning the whole thing in six weeks. He did everything I asked him to do! He handled all the bookings for the chapel and reception. I used the cafe a lot, and enjoyed reading everyone’s tips and suggestions on the message board.

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?


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

My outfit consisted of an oyster-coloured silk bodice and skirt from Monsoon.

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

My two bridesmaids were two of my best friends: one from university and the other from a summer school many moons ago. They wore dusky pink silk dresses, decorated with a pattern of gold sequins, from Hobbs.

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

The best man was Dan’s best friend from school, Billy. The ushers were his brother Tom, and sister’s boyfriend Jim. They all wore their own suits.

Did you have a civil or religious ceremony?

We had a Church of England ceremony, with the 1928 version of the marriage vows.

Where did you hold your ceremony?

Jesus College Chapel, Cambridge.

Where did you hold your reception?

In and around the pavilion in the grounds of Jesus College.

Did you have any special wedding transport?

No – I walked the 5 minutes from our house to the chapel.

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

Because we brought the wedding forward, we scaled everything down and invited about half our guest list to the ceremony and reception. We’re going to have a big reception for everyone on the original guest list next year, on our first anniversary.

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

Not really – I didn’t want everything to be too ‘matching.’ Various shades of pink featured quite a lot in the flowers and bridesmaids’ dresses. Dan wore a pink shirt!

Did you give your guests favours?


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

I used a local florist in Cambridge who were fantastic. I had a hand-tied posy of pink roses and snowberries, and the bridesmaids had wrist corsages of ivory roses. The boys & parents had buttonholes of ivory roses too. On the altar we had two bouquets of lilies and roses.

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

We just had Champagne and canapes.

What did you choose for your wedding cake?

We bought a cake from M&S and decorated it with rose petals – very cheap and effective and the cake was lovely.

Did you have any entertainment during the day or evening?

No, as the reception only lasted a couple of hours. However, lots of our friends ended up coming back to our house afterwards in the afternoon for an impromptu picnic, which was great, as it meant we could finally talk to them!

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


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

We spent the first night at Hotel Felix in Cambridge. Great breakfast! We’re going on our honeymoon in December 2006 to Australia.

What was your most memorable moment of the day?

Walking into the chapel and seeing so many of our friends, all looking so happy! Saying the vows and thinking "I must concentrate; I want to remember every minute of this".

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

There were inevitably some last minute stresses beforehand because we had to organise it all so quickly. But we kept everything simple so it all went smoothly on the day.

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

It’s only one day, and it goes so quickly, but it is only meant to be one day – the first day of the rest of your life. Enjoy it, don’t worry about the details, and afterwards, don’t wish you could do it all again – it’s not about the favours or the outfits, it’s just about you and your husband! Believe it!    

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