Bride and groom stood on clifftop in front of Raven Hall Hotel

Caroline and Michael were introduced by Michael’s best friend, Martin. ”We met at the Prince of Wales in Tamworth, Staffordshire in June 2000, just before my 18th birthday,” says Caroline. “We went bowling on our first date, then to the fair, then to the pub and then to McDonald’s. Four dates in one! He was a keeper from the beginning, punctual, a gentleman, fun and reliable. We had the same values and wanted the same things, and still do now, almost 22 years on.”

A ‘Red Hot’ proposal

Bride and groom kissing, Bride walking down staircase

Michael proposed on Caroline’s 21st birthday. “We’d been together for three years,” she says. “I was opening my presents and we started listening to a CD he’d bought me, ‘By the Way’ by the Red Hot Chilli Peppers. He reached behind a cushion to pass me what I thought was a jewellery box with earrings in. Then he was on one knee, proposing, as I opened the box to find my solitaire diamond ring. It was magical. Just after he proposed the song playing was ‘The Zephyr Song’ with the lyrics ‘Fly away on my Zephyr… we’ll find a place together’. It was beautiful. And now, this year, we got married, I turn 40 next month, and the Red Hot Chilli Peppers are playing in London on my 40th birthday. We’re going to see them and it means the world to both of us!”

Bridal shops Hull

Bride and groom holding hands smiling at each other during ceremony

“I discovered WED2B during a Google search of bridal shops Hull and saw lots of dresses I loved,” says Caroline.

“At the Hull store I asked for an A-line or princess dress with a buttoned back, lace and sleeves. Breona had been my favourite dress, but the designer had released the next version, Breanna. It was the first dress I tried on, and the only one I needed. It had everything I asked for, plus a long, flowing train, which has given me the most beautiful photographs. I still find it hard to believe it’s me in the pictures. The dress was everything!”

(For similar styles try Claudette, Valeria or Gwen)

A room with a view

The couple booked Raven Hall Hotel, near Scarborough, North Yorkshire. “We’d not long lived in Scarborough and the venue was an easy choice,” says Caroline. “Overlooking beautiful Robin Hood’s Bay, out into the North Sea, it was idyllic looking out over rolling hills. It suited our budget and the staff were first class.”

Raven Hall Hotel near Scarborough

The big day

The couple married on Thursday 14th April 2022. "I got ready at the venue with my maid of honour, and my two daughters, who were my bridesmaids,” says Caroline. “My father walked me down the aisle to Penny Whispers, a local duo, who played 'Little Wing’ by Jimi Hendrix (but sung in the style of The Corr’s version). After the ceremony, the duo also played ‘The Zephyr Song’ by the Red Hot Chilli Peppers. The most special moment was simply facing each other and looking into each other’s eyes. We’d been engaged for 18 years, and at one point thought we’d never get around to marrying. It meant so much to both of us. We both teared up saying our vows and exchanging rings. Having all our friends and family in one place was magical, knowing they’re there just for you. I’ll never forget it.”

Bride and groom smiling at each other signing register

Drinks and dancing

After the ceremony, there was a drinks reception and photographs followed by the wedding breakfast. “The duo played soft music throughout, and the best man and groom made heartfelt speeches,” says Caroline. “Then we went outside for a private photoshoot around the grounds. Later, our first dance was to Jon Allen’s ‘In Your Light’, and then we cut our cake. For our first dance we wanted something different and modern. My husband likes jazz and blues, and Jon Allen had appeared on his Spotify. When he played it to me, I cried and we both felt it was the one. Michael said the lyrics were how he felt about me.”

Bride and groom with entire wedding party stood on clifftop

Warm peaches and pinks

The wedding colour theme was coral. "My nan and my husband’s mum are no longer with us,” says Caroline.

“Between them they liked roses and carnations, and they both liked peach and pink. So, I chose coral, as it was a nice, fresh colour for a spring wedding, and the flowers were peach and pink roses and carnations. These went beautifully with the coral bridesmaids dresses and it was a nice way to remember our loved ones.”

Table seating plan in style of The Breakfast Club

Beautiful blooms and a movie theme

“We had artificial flowers, so that I could keep them,” says Caroline. “The same company also decorated our wedding breakfast room with beautiful white blossom trees and floating tea lights. We also had a lovely wreath along the top table. Our theme was from the 80’s film The Breakfast Club, one of my faves. My maid of honour's sister produced all of the stationery and each table was a different character from the film; criminals, basket cases, princesses, athletes, brains and teachers. And, without my knowledge, my husband tied it all into his speech by explaining how I was like each character of the film. He’d even quoted a part of the film and, of course, I welled up.”

Tables decorated with ivory floral flowers ready for guests to arrive

An 80s disco

“Wedding favours were personalised Love Hearts, a chocolate heart and a personalised jigsaw piece, thanking everyone for being a part of our special day,” says Caroline. “The cake was three-tiers of plain sponge, lemon cake and carrot cake, our favourite flavours. It was decorated with white and coral frills, and had figures of us on the top. Local radio DJ, Paddy Billington, was the DJ for our evening reception, and he was happy to play any requests. Some of these songs were Ozzy Osbourne’s ‘Bark at the Moon’, as requested by our ten year old, and Motley Crue’s ‘Kickstart My Heart’, as requested by our almost 18 year old! However, generally the music was mostly 80s.”

Bride stood with arms around groom outside Raven Hall Hotel

So many happy memories

“My most memorable moment was meeting my husband-to-be at the end of the aisle,” says Caroline. “I had to hug him as soon as I saw him. It was so emotional. And then to read our vows in front of the ones we love, after waiting 18 years, and to have our three beautiful children witnessing it (our thirteen year old son was a groomsman). Then to turn around to everyone with a thumbs up to say we’ve finally done it, felt like we’d achieved so much. I now have the surname of my partner and our three children. We’ve come full circle and I feel complete. Our photographer asked me how I felt after I got ready, and I said,

‘Happy. Looking around the room now, I just feel so happy!’ It made her emotional, as she’d never heard a bride say it like that.”

Bride and groom stood holding hands on clifftop by old walls

My top tips… 

“Have an idea of what features you’d like on your dress, even if you don’t know exactly what dress to go for,” says Caroline. “If possible, have your makeup and hair trials on the same day. Book your wedding in advance, we booked almost two years before and also had the time to book all of the suppliers we needed. Finally, don’t worry on the day, there’s nothing more you can do. Just enjoy it and remember the reason for the day, to marry the one you love, your life partner. That’s the most important thing of all.”

Caroline’s Dream Team 

Photographer: Angela Waites

Venue: Raven Hall Hotel

Bridal shops Hull: WED2B

Wedding Planner: Ben Lambert at Raven Hall 

Florist: Forever to Hold

Band: Penny Whispers 

Hair stylist: Becky Mercedes at Novia 

Make up: Kate Rodgers

Cake: Jeanette’s Sweet Creations

Stationery: Vivid Lion

DJ: Paddy Billington

If you would like your big day to be one of our real weddings please click here to share your story and photos with us and we’ll be in touch. Or click here for more details about WED2B’s Bridal shops Hull