Sarah and Ian’s Real Life Wedding


Sarah and Ian

19/02/2005 – Templeton Estates, near Richmond Park, London


How and when did you meet?

We met via mutual friends. In essence, we were set up!

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

Ian proposed on the day of my graduation for earning my Masters. We took a walk to my favourite place, the south side of the Thames in front of the Houses of Parliament. He got down on one knee and I said yes before he even finished asking!

Did you have hen and stag celebrations?

Ian had the traditional lads’ night out in London. I had a fabulous hen party including a pole dancing lesson (not as raunchy as it sounds…my mum was there!).

Did your groom help you with the wedding planning?

Ian was great, he made lots of phone calls and came with to visit florists and venues. He was mostly there for moral support though – he kept saying the wedding was ‘my day’ since he’d be happy getting married in a register office!

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

We used confetti’s budget planner a bit, as well as the cafe forums.

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

We did indeed by confetti products – we bought the personalised heart confetti online and kept visiting the London store to buy decorations.

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

Well, I actually wound up buying two wedding dresses. The first was bought in Florida last summer, when I was home visiting my mother (I’m American). By January this year I had changed my mind and on my lunch break went to Pronuptia, down the street from my work, and gave the ladies there a heart attack trying to buy a wedding dress to be ready in three weeks. But we prevailed and the dress was incredible – an ivory two-piece with a sweetheart neckline bodice and a lovely train.

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

We had three bridesmaids, my best friend here (and one of our matchmakers), my best friend from home, and Ian’s sister. Again, we sort of had two dresses for them. The first were ordered online from the US but there was a problem with customs and they never arrived. The second were bought two weeks before the wedding during a mad trip down Oxford Street on a Saturday. They were perfect lilac two pieces (my chief bridesmaid wore a dress in the same material). They were great, as the straps were removable, allowing each one to choose how they felt most comfortable.

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

Ian had his best friend (and our other matchmaker) as best man and his two childhood friends as ushers, as well as my brother. They all wore traditional morning suits – the groom in a silver waistcoat and the guys in purple ones.

Did you have a civil or religious ceremony?

We had a civil ceremony.

Where did you hold your ceremony?

Our entire wedding was held at Templeton Estates near Richmond Park in London. It’s a Georgian mansion and we rented the whole thing, meaning we had the ceremony in the library, dinner in another room, drinks in another, and dancing in another. Perfect!

Did you have any special wedding transport?

We thought about this a lot, but since we didn’t change venues midway through the day it wasn’t necessary.

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

We invited about 120 people to the wedding and reception (no separate evening guests).

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

The theme was purple . . .and more purple, with a bit of silver. One of Ian’s uncles even kindly dyed his hair purple to match! The tables at dinner were named after different shades of purple and our flowers were a variety of purples and white.

How did you incorporate this in to your table settings?

Purple names for the tables, silver candle holder centrepieces, purple and silver confetti, purple and silver favour bags, and, oddly, most of the guests were in purple too.

Did you give your guests favours?

We had the traditional five almonds in organza bags set in the wine glasses for each guest, with a little thank you note inside.

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

Our florist was very accommodation and let me make changes to our order up until the wedding day. Our flowers were a mix of purples, including lisanthus and veronica, white roses, and silver leaves. We had a huge display in the entrance hall and on the fireplaces. I chose candles instead of flowers for table decorations.

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

Our venue has an in-house caterer who was fantastic! We had a vegetable tart for starters, chicken in wine sauce and seasonal vegetables for the main (as well a vegan and gluten-free option) and chocolate wedding cake, which our caterer also did, for dessert. It was very tasty!

What did you choose for your wedding cake?

We went for chocolate cake with white chocolate icing and chocolate flowers.

Did you have any entertainment during the day or evening?

We had a pianist during cocktails and a DJ in the evening.

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

We had several gift lists, as my family lives in the USA. Our Allders gift list sadly had to be canceled due to ‘company problems’ so it became a free-for-all.

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

We spent our first night in the Baileys Hotel in London, where my family was staying, so that we could say goodbye to departing guests the next morning. On the Monday we went to New York City for a wintry honeymoon.

What was your most memorable moment of the day?

It’s so hard to choose! My aunt sang during the ceremony, which was incredibly touching. But I’d have to say, exchanging rings with Ian was the most memorable. I’d wanted to hold his hand throughout the ceremony but held back, and finally got to.

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

My advice…take advantage of people who want to help! Delegate some stuff, otherwise you lie awake at night running through things in your head.

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