Real Weddings: a beautiful big white fairytale wedding

13160_10151490001954558_977028914_nYour name… Clare M

Partner’s name… Simon

You ages…We were 24 and 33 when we got married

How did you meet…

So it was 27th Dec 2003, I was at a friend’s house on face-pic! A bloke popped up and said “hello local girl” I thought he was pretty nice looking and without thinking gave him my number (OMG). We text and spoke on the phone over the next month and then I went to see him play a gig in a local pub at the end of January 2004. We never spoke the whole time, I sat with my friend and Simon was with his band, we kept smiling and waving at each other but we were both to nervous and shy to approach the other. Me being only 15 at the time hid at the back and had to leave at 9pm to get last train home. Simon was 24 years old. So forward another few weeks of texting and phoning he asked me out on a date on Valentine’s Day, I of which I moaned about my hatred of anything Valentines, but decided I really wanted to see and finally met him properly… I felt I know him so well by then.

So the day of 14th Feb came, I hadn’t heard from him all day, I waited around for a while and then eventually gave up, he wasn’t interested so decided me and my friend would go and play in the arcades. We walked to my friend’s granddads to get some money, as I was standing in the street, guess who phones me, Simon asking where I was, so I explain what I was doing, he then replied “are you wearing a red and black top??” I was a bit freaked out and said yes. He told me to look up, and what are the chances Simon and my friend’s Granddad lived in the same road! It was very last minute but my friend told me I had no choice and was not going to spend Valentines with a gay man and I had to go out with him. So we had our first date (14th Feb 2004), which was great.  We went to see ‘School of Rock’ and didn’t once stop talking or laughing. While watching the film, Simon took my hand and started to squeeze it in different patterns and I responded by repeating the pattern squeezing his hand back! (This we also did when holding hands saying our vows) Also my cousin turned up in the cinema with his girlfriend, so we had to keep a low profile so he didn’t see us lol.

Engagement story…

It was February 16th 2011 we were on holiday in Florida at Disneyworld.. We had a brilliant day around the park, going on rides and eating mickey mouse ice creams! Then Simon took me for dinner inside Cinderella’s castle. We  had an amazing meal, then after our dinner the waitress cleared our plates.. she came over with a white plate with a silver platter on.. and said “special desert for the lady” I was thinking at this time, I haven’t ordered dessert, and she lifted the lid and my ring was inside a glass slipper surrounded by rose petals. It was all so fast, he quickly said “will you marry me?”. And I managed a yes through the tears. I popped my ring on very quickly.. and just grabbed him hugged and kissed him, and the whole time a Disney photographer had been taking photos!

After the whole event, we went outside, to a warm Florida evening and watched the fireworks! It was the most amazing night of my life.. I wish it could happen all over again.

Wedding date… Saturday 16th Feb 2013

Wedding and reception venue… Offley Place


Wedding party…

Claire – Bestwomen, Ayla – Flowergirl, Massimo – Pageboy

Colour scheme/theme… All white ceremony, with hints of grey/silver in reception – classic, elegant, fairy tale

How did you decide on your colour

I always wanted an elegant wedding with a classy fairytale feel, and Simon suggested having white wedding, and then introducing silver into the reception to give it a slightly different feel and look.

Hen & Stag Do…

 At the end of June 2012, my mum hosted a Bridal Shower for me which about 30-40ladies attended, we went a vintage tea garden party theme and served afternoon tea and the pimms and champagne were flowing. It was a lovely afternoon of chatting, a few silly games and lots of cake. Then 2 weeks before the big day. Me and 22 of my best friends and close family, hired a 1960’s London route master bus and went to a bar in Covent Garden called ‘Roadhouse’. We drank and danced lots. Simon and aobut 10 others went to Manchester for the night had dinner at Hard Rock before heading to a gaming bar they had hired out and played video games all night and drinking lots. Simon was hanging for days after!!

Describe your wedding in 10 words…
romantic, fun, classy, elegant, us, fairytale, dream come true,perfect

Wedding dress story and your outfit…

Ever since I was as young as 3 or 4, I always dreamed of my wedding gown. I knew exactly what I wanted from a very young age, and as soon as we were engaged I was so excited to go and try on dresses. I book my first appointment for a week and a half after Simon proposed. Not knowing what to expect, me and my mum went to shop which was 1min from her house, it was inside a converted old chapel. They were amazing, I could not fault them but my dream dress was not there.  I loved the shop so much and the ladies were fantastic and really helpful. So the search continued, I went to a further 7 bridal shops and a couture bridal gown designer. None of the shops compared to the first one, but in one of them, my mum and sister fell in love with a dress, but I wasn’t so sure, something didn’t feel right! So my mum suggested I took a friend that would be really honest. So one of my best girls came with me, and as soon as I walked out I knew It wasn’t the one by the look on her face. She commented and said the style was right, but it wasn’t the one.

I then booked another appointment for a shop in St Albans, where I found a dress I loved, but the shop assistant was old and couldn’t lace me up properly, and it was a very small shop so I couldn’t get the full effect. I then found out, this shop had a sister shop in Stevenage so I booked to go and try it on again with Simon’s best women. She said it was perfect.. but yet again the shop was just useless; I knew more about the dresses and designers than the shop assistant did. Shocking. So I left a bit deflated, I had found my dress, but the only shops that stocked it were waste of spaces.

Then I remembered the first shop I went to, stocked Ronald Joyce gowns, I phoned them straight away. It was good news, even though they didn’t have my dress as a sample, they said they could still order it for me!! Yippee, I got my dream dress, from my dream shop. I booked an appointment to go and get measured and paid the deposit. I had brought my dream dress Lola by Ronald Joyce.6709_10151489994389558_897206367_n

I always knew I wanted a veil and wanted to wear the blusher over my face when I walked down the aisle.. I fell in love with a 2 tier Cathedral length veil with scattered crystals, but the only issue was I couldn’t wear it all day as it was so long.. so I decided to buy a second veil, a 2tier fingertip length with scattered crystals also, to change into in the evening when my dress
got bustled.  I originally didn’t want a tiara, I wanted a side head band but when I tried some on with my dress they just didn’t look right, so the shop suggested a pretty not to big tiara by Amanda Wyatt and that was that, I brought it then and there.58429_10151489991604558_65573516_n

After that was my jewellery, I brought a very delicate pearl necklace from Tiffany & co and matching ear rings.. and as a surprise the morning of the wedding Simon brought me the matching bracelet from Tiffany’s too, a very lucky bride I was.  I bought some very comfy underwear from fig leaves which held me in place all day, and a underskirt for my dress, with 2 hoops and 8 extra layers of petticoats from Jupon.

Dress – £1,200, Cathedral Veil – £250, Fingertip Veil – £70, Tiara – £80, Necklace – £380, Ear rings – £150, Jupon – £70, Underwear – £60, Alterations – £150, Cleaning & boxing – £150


We went to Moss Bro’s in St Albans Herts, to look for suits.. Simon didn’t like any of the wedding suits to hire.. so decided to buy one. He picked a grey suit, and black accents, and then had a black shirt and black tie! It  suited him I wanted my groom to look like himself. Don’t we all. He had black shoes for the ceremony and photos and then after dinner, he and the best women changed into matching grey converse lol For my dad, his dad and the pageboy, we hired grey suits from Moss Bro’s, with white shirts, a grey waistcoat  with slate grey tie.. they all looked so smart.. and worked really well with the overall day colours! Then they all had a white rose button hole.522682_10151489998699558_1769778828_n

Now Simon didn’t have a bestman; he had a bestwomen.. she of course didn’t wear a suit, Claire wore a platinum grey chiffon dress which was beautiful, I then brought her iron fist shoes for the day and then the same pair of converse for the evening. She had a matching grey pearl necklace and bracelet too. We then had a hair and make up artist come to our house the morning of the wedding to get her ready before they set off for the venue.

Simon’s Suit – £150, Hire Suits – £300, Best women dress – Free.

Bridesmaid dresses… 

I only had 1 flower girl. My niece who was 8 years old, one Saturday last summer, me, my Mum, Sister and my Niece went shopping together. We went to Monsoon, BHS, Debenhams and John Lewis.. in the she Ayla choose her own dress, shoes and cardigan from John Lewis.. is was so pretty and she looked like a little princess. I then brought her a little ivory bow for her hair which had pearls and bling on, and a little cluster of pearl bracelets.

Dress – £70, Cardigan  -£20, Shoes – £20, Hairband – £5, Bracelets – £5


Flowers were very important to me.. I wanted lots of flowers everywhere.. all white. The amazing ladies at The dream wedding company, did all our flowers and all the othe venue décor, they stayed all day, set everything up, moved everything around and ran the day alongside the venue to ensure it was perfect.. they didn’t leave until all the guests had gone at 1am!


DIY projects…

I made all our own stationery for the day, save the dates, invites,  table plan, name cards & menus, signs throughout the venue. Also I made boxes for the all guest’s bedrooms which were filled with personally to each guest of their favourite things, it went down so well. I also made goodie bags for all the children which made their name & table names printed on the front of the bag so easy for the staff to find them during room turn around.

One of the biggest DIY projects, was I made our wedding cake, me and my Mum spend many many many hours on that cake, and it was finished off on the day when the florist added the fresh flowers to the base and topper. And also our candy bar was DIY. I brought all the jars, scoops, tongs and bags myself, and then made the labels for all the jars before buying 60kg
of a selection of 20 different sweets. As something fun I had originally replica Wonka Bars made and hid in each guest napkin, there was 1 golden ticket which the guests had to find, the winner won a box full of wonka sweets I’d brought from Selfridges and ordered online, both films and the book.385955_10151490013454558_661579476_n

Favourite memory from your day…

I can’t pick just one. But the mains ones were saying our wedding vows; it was amazing and it was everything I’d ever dreamed of! Standing outside watching the fireworks with a sparkler in our hands was another favourite moment. Spending time in the morning just me and my Mum, relaxing and chatting before my Dad and all our guests started arriving was lovely and really set me up for the day.

Best place to buy wedding items…

I found a lot of great things on Ebay and Etsy.

If you could change one thing…

I wouldn’t change a single thing. It was everything I’d ever dreamed of, and everything went perfectly.

Your best tip for other Brides…

Have the day you want!! You only do it once, so make it the best day ever.577208_10151490038974558_487271474_n

2 thoughts on “Real Weddings: a beautiful big white fairytale wedding

  1. These are the companies and suppliers Clare and Simon used for their amazing day!

    Photographer – Paul Adams
    Videographer – Daniel Peters Cinematopgher
    DJ – Smile Events
    Hair & Make up – Leigh at Curls, Swirls & Beautiful Girls
    Bestwomen Hair & Make up – Samantha Champion
    Magician – John Bullied
    Caricaturist – Steve Hearn (warble entertainment)
    Photo Booth – Photo booth UK
    Toastmaster – Steve Morey
    Pianist – Exceptional Pianist Ltd
    Charger Plates – Wedding Day Hire
    Chairs – Rose tone
    Linen – Jaspers Hire
    Chocolate Fountain – Chocolate Angels
    Popcorn & Candy Floss Machines – Mr Flossy
    Groom’s Cake – Cakes by Shelly

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