Older Wiser Married: From Melanie at Bellissimo Weddings and Beach Weddings Bournemouth.

older wiser married

For those of you who are regular readers of the blog you will know all about the Older Wiser Married feature. The idea of the feature is for couples who are married to share with you their wedding story and experiences and also the things they would do differently if they could go back and do it again. We also focus on the positives and the things they think really worked, what they have learnt and how their marriage has changed their relationships.

Last time we heard from recently married Emily and Mitch. Today it is the turn of Melanie Kiani from Bellissimo Weddings and Beach Weddings Bournemouth.


Names – Melanie Kiani
Date of wedding – 31st December 2008 (New Years Eve)
Location of wedding and venue – The Italian Villa at Compton Acres, Dorset 
Number of guests – 120 people during the day and another x 50 people joined us to celebrate the wedding and see the New Year in on the evening 
How long did it take to plan – We were planning the wedding for a couple of years – due to a family bereavement the wedding was put off for a year so we were due to marry in 2007

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We wanted to have our wedding on New Year’s Eve as we both felt that its a night which is always a bit of an anti-climax and we thought it would be great for our family and friends to have a great time celebrating with us and also we would have something extra to celebrate on every New Years Eve to follow! We also both love the winter, we are both ski bunnies (well hubby is a boarder) and love the cold weather and we were not worried about having our special day in the winter months.  We wanted something where food and drink could be a key part of the day as it really is a key part of our lives – love eating and drinking so we chose The Italian Villa as we love the good food which Beales Gourmet create.

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Best Decision


 Mum giving me away

“It Must Be Love”

The Food

Being surrounded by a lot of friends and family

The Date

Extending the license at the Villa


Getting ready with my Mum and my sister

Having a folk band

Choosing to have a long honeymoon



Mum giving me away – that was a really special moment, we couldn’t stop giggling

“It Must Be Love” – Having a special arrangement of one of my husband’s favourite songs on the string quartet for walking out of the ceremony together “It Must Be Love” by Madness which the quartet now regularly play on their repertoire

The food being a really key part of the day and plentiful – We had sharing starters and desserts so that our guests had miniature versions of both and had to pass everything around which was a real ice breaker.  The main course was the most delicious beef wellington which was cooked to perfection with lashings of Dauphinoise potatoes

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Being surrounded by a lot of friends and family to help celebrate –  It was expensive to get married on NYE of course and we invited a lot of people but we wouldn’t change the people we had around us

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The date was perfect for us – the weather was sunny but cold – the pond at The Villa as frozen – just the way we like our winter weather!

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Extending the license at the Villa – so we could dance until very early hours – that was a good move!

Transport – My Mum kindly booked a gorgeous Inspector Morse red Jaguar for me to arrive in which was such fun and I adore anything red!

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Getting ready with my Mum and my sister – great to have just the girlies in the house on the morning of the wedding

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Having a folk band – it was such fun and they got everyone up dancing –they were a well known band who busk in Bournemouth and it was a great choice for our wedding

Choosing to have a long honeymoon with hot and cold – We were lucky enough to start our trip skiing in Lake Tahoe and staying in a lodge right on the slopes with a roaring fire.  We then went to Barbados for a short stay before travelling around St Lucia and the Caribbean Islands



What would you change?




Not having a professional video taken


Being a vegetarian at the time


We missed a few key photographs








Not having a professional video taken – I used to think that wedding videos were all cheesy and I really wouldn’t want to have a video reminder of the day but looking back its my biggest regret that we don’t have a cool and contemporary montage or highlights video of key moments of the day because it was so special

Being a vegetarian at the time – I missed out on the beef wellington which everyone raved about – although the butternut squash risotto was great too!

We missed a few key photographs on the day with certain special people – not the fault of the photographer at all but our fault in not thinking enough about it beforehand and the opportunities were missed

New years Eve Wedding 2008 355


In Hindsight what would you spend more on and what would you save on

The video we should have invested money in – a big regret although I think in life you should regret nothing so probably not the right words! We made the decision at the time that we thought were right.

Everything else we were happy with what we spent – we could probably have done with less food in the evening as people were so full from the day that a lot of it went to waste!

What you learnt from your wedding day

That its all about who you surround yourself with who helps you to make the day. The ceremony was such an exciting part of the day for us – my husband was told off by the Registrar for kissing me throughout before he was told he could!  Walking in with Mum was such fun and walking out together we had such an applause you could hardly hear the special music arrangement I had arranged for my husband.

Do you think marriage has change things in your relationship?

No we don’t think it has which is what we wanted but we do still call each other WIFE and HUSBAND and love referring to each other in that way – it just solidifies everything. We make a great team and did before we were married so it just reinforces that.

Any advice you have for other people getting married?

I would advise people to think more about what they want and not try to please too many people – everyone will have on opinion! As we were older getting married we pretty much paid for the whole wedding ourselves so it was our choices of what we felt we really wanted the day to be and we wanted it to be a reflection on what we love – hence the winter wedding as thats very “us”.  On the wedding day it will go in such a blur and so fast you should arrange to meet in secret at particular time – just for 10 mins with a glass of bubbly to take stock of the day before it all runs away with you.  You will hardly get chance to see each other on the day.  Marriage – is a tricky road at times.  Learn the art of compromise at all times and always remember there are three sides to every story – yours, his and the truth which is usually somewhere in the middle.  Remember to enjoy the journey.

How Did your wedding business come about?

I launched my business Bellissimo Weddings in the September of the year I was married – just a few months before that and it came about as I had been looking for a wedding planner to help out on the day with on the day co-ordination and I just felt that there was little choice in the area for couples wanting to have a really high level of service for wedding planning and co-ordination.  Whilst my immediate background before launching the business has been as a lawyer for 18 years – whilst training to be a lawyer I had worked in hospitality, catering, restaurant management and wedding retail and I knew it was something I wanted to come back to and put my years of practice of working under pressure, managing a team, negotiating contracts, working to deadlines and on contracts to good use – you would be surprised how much useful crossover there is in running your own wedding and events planning business and being a partner in a firm of solicitors.

Out of this we have also borne Beach Weddings Bournemouth which was the first venue in England and Wales to be licensed for weddings on sand and we operate there with a small team running approximately 70 weddings during our 5 month wedding season each year and we have recently won two regional awards for best wedding venue in Dorset and the South West and are up for a National Award in January!

www.bellissimo-weddings.co.uk / 01202 533014 / twitter @melbellissimo / www.facebook.com/Bellissimoweddings

www.beachweddingsbournemouth.co.uk / 01202 788271 / twitter @ukbeachwedding / www.facebook.com/beachweddingsbournemouth


Thanks so much to Melanie for sharing her wedding story with us all. Are you married,  Do you think about what you would do differently? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

If you are a wedding supplier or bride who would like to get involved in this new feature then please get in contact I’d love to hear from you. [email protected]



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