Sally-Ann and Stephen
01/05/2005 – Maidstone Register Office, Kent
Chilston Park, Lenham, Kent
How and when did you meet?
We met in October 1993 during my first term at university. Stephen was in the third year doing the same degree as me. We met a college formal hall and then later in the bar.
Where, when and how did he (or you!) propose?
In my bedroom at my parents’ house on Valentine’s Day 2004. How – drunk!! For brevity apparently.
Did you have hen and stag celebrations?
Yes. The hens spent a weekend in cabins in the Peak District. We went rock climbing then out in Matlock in evening. The stags spent a weekend in Nottingham – go karting, strip club, bars, then golf on the Sunday.
Did your groom help you with the wedding planning?
I delegated the mens’ suits, mens’ presents and honeymoon currency, printing the invites and envelopes. We decided the big things together – venues, honeymoon, wine, menu, invite design, overall budget.
Did you use confetti to plan your wedding? If so, how did the website help you?
I used it for ideas on table decorations, speeches, flowers and contacts for hair. Used shop for table decorations and gifts.
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?
I looked online but bought from the Birmingham store.
Tell us about your outfit, and where you bought it.
I wore a fishtail skirt by Linea Rafaelli, in a cappuccino crushed silk type material. I bought it from Pantiles Bride in Henley-in-Arden – fabulous service. I used their dressmaker to design and make a corset style top to go with the skirt (fabric from Linea Rafaelli) – laced up the back with matching ribbon.
Did you have bridesmaids? If so, who did you choose and what did they wear?
Yes – two. We chose together (mostly they chose) – picked a tea-rose red "Adrianna" dress from Monsoon with matching shoes. We paid half each.
Who did your groom choose for his best man and ushers, and what did they wear?
Stephen asked his best friend to be best man and had my brother and his brother for ushers.
Did you have a civil or religious ceremony?
We had a civil ceremony.
Where did you hold your ceremony?
Maidstone Register Office (Archbishops’ Palace).
Where did you hold your reception?
Chilston Park in Lenham, Kent.
Did you have any special wedding transport?
1935 Austin in a deep red colour.
How many guests did you invite to your wedding, and did you have a separate evening guest list?
48 to ceremony and meal, 100 to evening.
Did your reception have a particular theme in terms of colour or style?
For the colour theme we had the red of the bridesmaid dresses, pale pink generally and cappuccino / browns for the cake. The general theme was our honeymoon destination (South America). The cake was in the shape of suitcases, and the invitations and thank you cards (designed by bridesmaid) were of us running with suitcases.
How did you incorporate this in to your table settings?
Yes – red and pink.
Did you give your guests favours?
Yes – the ladies got a Lush bath bomb in a red (confetti) sachet bag.
Describe your flowers (bouquets and table decorations). Who was your florist?
The flowers were red gerneras, cream freesias, lisianthus and other delicate looking flowers.
What did you choose to have on your menu? Did you have an outside caterer or did your venue handle the catering?
We started with salmon mousse. The main course was fillet steak and we had raspberry syllabub trifle for pudding.
What did you choose for your wedding cake?
It was a chocolate sponge in the shape of three suitcases, made by Doreen Dodds who is a family friend.
Did you have any entertainment during the day or evening?
We had a DJ in the evening, and during the meal we had background CD’s playing swing (Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra, Robbie Williams etc.)
Did you have a gift list? If so, who did you have your list with?
Yes – John Lewis and Debenhams.
Where did you spend your first night and honeymoon? Who did you book your honeymoon with?
We spent our first night at Chilston Park. For our honeymoon we went to South America (Peru, Bolivia and Rio de Janeiro).
What was your most memorable moment of the day?
The speeches – hearing my new husband (!) and giving my own speech. The whole day was totally amazing and two months later I’m still on a high.
Did you experience any ‘nightmare’ moments in the run up to your wedding or on the day?
Two days before I woke with an almighty crick in my neck. Luckily the bridesmaid was a personal trainer and other the bridesmaid’s sister is a physiotherapist, so I was mostly OK on the day. And… I got my period the night before the wedding! Finally, my father stood on and ripped my dress before getting into the register office (not noticeable thank goodness!).
Is there anything you would do differently, or any advice you would give to other brides?
Once it’s the day itself, forget about all the planning and things going wrong, just try and enjoy yourself. Let others worry about things. Something always goes wrong, but it’ll only spoil things if you let it.