The Bride & Groom
Donna Withers and Nick Bartley, 11th October 2008, Finchcocks Music Museum
Nick proposed to me in a little bar by the sea in Turkey. He asked if I would go shopping with him and as we were on a sailing holiday I thought it was in relation to that but he said he wanted to go shopping for a ring and then he asked if I would marry him. It was totally unexpected and wonderful!
Planning the day
We didn’t start booking things until 9 months before the wedding day, which most suppliers were surprised with but we got everything we wanted. We approached the whole thing asking ourselves “which bits of the weddings we had attended did we remember?”. All the bits we couldn’t remember we left out of ours!
We chose our venue based on the fact that we wanted the ceremony and reception in the same place. As we wanted 100 people for both that made it quite limited. We used the Kent Wedding magazine which lists all the venues in the county and when we found Finchcocks we knew just driving up that it was where we wanted to get married.
The hen and stag nights
The stag night was in Cambridge with go karting followed by a curry.
The hen night was a weekend in York with a boat trip on the river, a lovely meal in the evening and lots of champagne!
I felt quite calm but excited until I put my wedding dress on and then I felt very nervous about saying my vows and not crying in front of everyone but Nick turned out to be more nervous than me! We had beautiful sunshine and blue skies on the day and everyone was outside wearing sunglasses in October and having a great time.
Everything went to plan but if it hadn’t I was given a good piece of advice in that if something went wrong the guests wouldn’t notice as they didn’t know what we had planned.
I chose a cream chiffon strapless dress with beaded detail around the middle and hem and a train. I had a bolero jacket in case it was cold. The bridesmaid dresses were by Dessy and were olive green chiffon tea dresses, which the bridesmaids chose themselves.
The flowers and table decorations
My bouquet was orange roses and gerberas with berries and some foliage. The table decorations were orange roses and grasses in glass vases on mirrored plates with tea lights.
We didn’t have a cake as everyone is always too full after the meal to eat it!
The first dance
We spent ages trying to decide what we wanted and we ended up with Barry White, You’re My First, My Last, My Everything. Quite corny but we could dance to it!
We had a DJ in the evening who was great. He played all the classics to get everyone dancing and was happy to play requests.
The memorable moments
It’s difficult to say, it was such a great day and we loved every minute of it.
We had 4 nights in Mauritius and two and a half weeks in South Africa travelling around.
Try and keep things simple so you don’t get overwhelmed. If you get the venue, food and photographer right, you and your guests will have a wonderful day.
Venue – Finchcocks http://www.finchcocks.co.uk