Mike had been wanting to pop the question to Becki for a long time, but she kept second guessing him and hinting, so he kept postponing it for another day! “It came as a complete surprise when I came home to our flat one evening to find it filled with candles, flowers and photos of our time together,” remembers Becki. “Mike had printed out a photo of each of us, which he had put up on the wall with his question of proposal in speech bubbles. It was incredibly sweet and thoughtful,” she adds. “Because I was so excited, I proceeded to call up everyone I knew and tell them, about four hours later Mike pipes up with ‘can we open the Champagne now?!’”
The bride’s outfit
With a budget to stick to, Becki felt that buying a pre-loved dress would be the best option for her. “I found out about Bliss Studio – a shop that specialises in pre-worn wedding gowns,” she explains. “Luck was definitely on my side – I knew I really wanted a shorter, 1950’s design, and my dress was there waiting for me!” Becki’s big-day look was completed with a fairtrade necklace from Fairtrade Joolz and a birdcage veil from Lily Bella. Not forgetting her wonderful mini Wellington boots from Joules, perfect for exploring their venue’s beautiful gardens.
Our savvy-spending bride found all four of her bridesmaids’ dresses in the Coast sale, however, she did have to search high and low across the UK to find them! “The sales assistant was amazing and phoned up every branch of Coast she could to help us get them!” recalls Becki.
The groom’s outfit
To keep the costs at a minimum, all the men were asked to wear a suit that they already owned.
Following a legal service the day before, Mike and Becki had a humanist ceremony at The Matara Centre. “To incorporate Mike’s Iranian heritage we included the Persian tradition of feeding each other honey – to symbolise sweet love – it raised a few giggles on the day!” remembers Becki.
The couple chose Midlands-based florist Julie Leddington to create their bouquets, buttonholes, flower wands for Becki’s nieces and corsages for the women.
“Mike’s sister is a graphic designer and very kindly designed our online invitations,” remembers Becki. “The week before the wedding, my friend Salli and I went to a craft shop and made the table plan and place names ourselves. We used card luggage tags and glued on small buttons and then using a retro font printed and glued all the names on to the tags. We might have been up until 1am but we were happy with the results!” she laughs.
“We had a mix of vintage, contemporary and retro themes running through the day. I spent the year running up to the wedding collecting teapots and cups and saucers to use as table centres. I then filled them with artificial flowers to reduce the cost. I also bought heart chalkboards to write the table numbers on,” says Becki.
“Our venue was so beautiful, we didn’t need to decorate it all that much,” remembers Becki. “The reception room had beautiful, glittering lights and an incredible domed roof. We also had lots of help from our wonderful friends and family. My dad helped make retro sweet bags for the favours, and Mike’s sister very kindly made our fingerprint guest book, where everyone signed their name,” she adds.
Instead of a traditional sit-down meal, the couple chose a relaxed, buffet-style experience with lots of different choices for guests to try a little bit of everything. This was all catered for by the Matara Centre.
“We contacted Paul James Promotions, who was the DJ at my Mum’s 60th birthday party, and asked him to be at our wedding,” remembers Becki. “Just before the disco started, Mike surprised his brother with a home video of them pretending to be DJs when they were kids – it was so funny and really got the party going!” she adds.
Becki and Mike took a trip to Spain for a friend’s wedding, then travelled on to the Andalucian mountains.