Charles and Alan’s spectacular wedding brought the Moulin Rouge to Carmarthen. Charles relives their amazing day. Photography by Jason Thomas
We met at the gym just over three years ago and got on well. So well, that last year when we were on holiday in Venice, Alan suddenly dropped to one knee on Renalto Bridge at four in the morning and proposed to me!
When we started thinking about planning our day the drama seemed natural. Moulin Rouge is my favourite film and I knew we could have fun with the theme and importantly get all of our guests involved – and get involved they certainly did!
Our whole theme was Moulin Rouge, right from sending out the red, black and white invites. Our guests said that from the moment they received the ‘spectacular’ invitations their expectations were set. The diamante fleur de lys embellishments carried on through to the rest of the stationery and the cake – and all of the ‘bridal’ party wore them on the day.
We both wore checked jackets and matching waistcoats, cravats and plain chino trousers with wine-coloured suede brogues, and we had the diamante fleur de lys on the back of our jackets. Our bridesmaids, Lyndy, Ellie and Rachal, wore red long dresses and pearl shoes with black and silver murano glass jewellery that we brought back from Venice. Laura-Gene my niece, who was ‘best person’, wore the same dress but in black, with complementary murano glass jewellery.
Our ceremony was held at the Ivy Bush Hotel. All of the songs were sung live by Corrin Casini, who was a finalist on Britain’s Got Talent. She sang the Kathy Kirby song Secret Love as we walked in (for obvious reasons!), then Adele’s Someone Like You and the Ewan McGregor number Come What May as we signed the register, and we walked out to Lady Marmalade.
We wrote our own vows and my niece Claire gave a reading called Because. I’ve never seen so many people laugh and cry so much, and I’ve certainly never been to a wedding where the guests cheer as you walk in. It made us lose our well-choreographed step!
My niece Laura-Gene (who had also organised our ‘fag doo’ in Cardiff a month before!) gave me away, our mutual friend Rosa gave Alan away, and we had four witnesses. We walked down the aisle separately. First the bridesmaids entered one by one at a specific part of the song, followed by Alan and Rosa, then Laura-Gene and me. Our walk was timed for me to reach Alan just as Corrin sang the final line ‘he’s not my secret love anymore’.
Our reception was amazing! We chose Lorenzo’s in Carmarthen as our venue, as it’s where we’ve always met – from when our relationship was a secret, right up to the present day. We knew they’d do us proud – and they certainly did, even providing us with a Moulin Rouge windmill!
We had dancers, actors, singers, a taxi photo booth (a converted hackney cab with props), the windmill – and butlers in the buff! People just stopped in their tracks and the guests were totally unaware of what was going to happen when they came out of the ceremony, but they soon started joining in with the dancers. That morning we had prepared rose petal confetti in white cones with red or black ribbons and a little diamante. Everything had to match.
The strapline from Moulin Rouge was on everything – truth, beauty, freedom and love. All the tables were named following the Moulin Rouge theme, and included Behind Red Curtain, Come What May, Emergency Rehearsal, Lovers Secret Song, Sparkling Diamonds, Truth – with Moulin Rouge as our top table.
We tried to think of every detail; the guests’ choices were even on the back of the menu for those who forget things! Our favours contained personalised chocolates and an acrylic coin with the Welsh dragon and our details on.
Read more about Charles & Alan’s beautiful day in our new issue…
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Stationery: Peachy Impressions, www.peachyimpressions.co.uk
Candy Cart: Debs Treats, @debsweettreats
Photographer: Jason Thomas, @jasonthomasarts
Flowers: Emily at The Lane Floristry, www.thelanefloristry.com, @thelanefloristry
Venue: Lorenzo, Carmarthen, www.mrlorenzo.com
Entertainment/dancers: Jermin Productions, www.jerminproductions.co.uk
Cake: T’isie Teisen, www.tisieteisen.co.uk
Cars: Eternity Wedding Cars, www.pembrokeshireweddingcars.co.uk
Photo booth: Cabtured Photo Booth Hire, @cabturedphotoboothhire