07:06 Wednesday 28 November 2012

Second time round

Written byVictoria Walker

Being a second wedding for Heather and Ken Skelton made planning their day a bit easier - they even had a red carpet!

Ken is a probation officer and I am a medical laboratory assistant at UNHS hospital. We met at a Christmas party in December 2007 at the Moat House in Festival Park, Stoke. He came to me and said ‘I remember you from school’ which was a long time ago because I was 46 at the time. He was dressed in a teddy bears outfit and had a wig on. I didn’t recognise him at first and then I realised who it was and we exchanged numbers.

We went out for our first drink together on New Year’s Eve in 2008 and started seeing each other. After nearly three years together we got married in August 2010.

It’s quite strange knowing him from school and not seeing him since we left, then getting together and getting married.

We were on holiday in Dubai a few days before going to the Maldives and Ken asked me if he could buy me a diamond ring — obviously I said yes! Apparently he wanted to ask me to marry him then but was too embarrassed!

We were out together with some friends at Porthill Cricket Club in Wolstanton, after having a few drinks and a dance he plucked up the courage and asked me. When you get to our age there is no point in hanging around. My friends were pleased but my parents were a bit apprehensive at first. They were all very pleased for us though.

I knew what I wanted when it came to the dress. I went to Fairytales in Newcastle-under-Lyme and tried two dresses which I wasn’t sure of. When I tried the third I just knew it was the one. With me being older I wanted a simple ivory dress. I didn’t want it to be too fussy but I wanted to feel a bit special. I felt nice and elegant and I thought it wasn’t over the top for my age, it was lovely. My husband hired his suit from Moss Brothers and that looked nice too. We decided not to have any bridesmaids because I thought that it would be too much really.

Planning was a lot less stressful being the second wedding for both of us and I enjoyed arranging this one actually. We chose Elegance Wedding Services to help and they did most of it, they handled the flower arrangements, the invitations and the general decor which included a red carpet!

At the time there were a few things going on with my step dad, he was really ill and Ken’s dad was really poorly as well. Unfortunately my step dad passed away before the big day and we actually buried him two days before the wedding.

Our ceremony was at a registry office at Slater’s country hotel which is an 18th century farm in Staffordshire’s countryside. It was one venue rather than going to the registry office then going on somewhere for a meal. It went really well. I didn’t want a party because at our age it seemed silly but we had such a lovely day and everyone really enjoyed it.

We had a soul singer called Jeff Ray and he was very good, the children thought he was good fun. He didn’t just stand there and sing, he was out mingling and dancing with everybody, and in-between we had the disco.

The whole thing was just really good we enjoyed picking the songs and the table seating was nice we had round tables and that was all relaxing during the day. It was quite intimate, there were only 40 of us during the day, just family and very close friends that I have known since I was 16. We had a good laugh and in the evening we had about 100 people and that was good fun, everyone was dancing and having a good drink.

Our first dance was to ‘This is it’ by Michael Jackson. I thought the words were quite fitting; it wasn’t something that we’d danced to before or that was on when we met, it was just something we chose. I wanted something a little bit different than the normal song and I didn’t want to be too sloppy. I thought that was quite a good one.

I don’t really like being the centre of attention, but I remember after it was all over I said ‘Aww can I do it all again?’ it was just so lovely.

With Slater’s as the venue you are there for the day and we all stayed overnight, all the family slept there and it was a really great deal.

We all got up the next day and had breakfast and carried the celebrations on which was all captured on film by the photographer Kim Shaw Photography. She did such a great job with the photographs!

Our honeymoon was lovely, we had four days in Miami and then we went on to a Caribbean cruise, then we went back to Miami for a couple more days.

We went on our honeymoon two weeks after the wedding which was nice, as it gave us time to settle down and pack so we weren’t rushing too much. I couldn’t imagine planning a wedding and a big holiday like that, thinking about packing as well

I wanted to concentrate on the wedding and after the excitement of that was over we were just looking forward to the honeymoon.

Our whole day was just so personal and relaxed, it was great. It just goes to show that you don’t have to spend thousands and thousands.

I think ours cost £6,000 in the end, so it’s not a lot of money really nowadays for such a great day. I couldn’t fault anything!

Photography by Kim Shaw Photography.

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