Written by Paula Jones Last updated: January 17, 2010
31 July 2009
We met through some mutual friends and on our first date went to a casino… it was my brother’s idea in case we ran out of things to say or I got shy!
I’m 29 and my husband is 36
He proposed at my parent’s house on Christmas day after dinner, in front of all of my family! He stood up at the end of dinner and said that he wanted to say 3 things… the first was thank you for a lovely day, the second was him asking my parents’ permission to marry me, and the third was JOANNA WILL YOU MARRY ME!!
I went to a big country cottage in Tewkesbury with 18 girls, we had loads of girly fun on a bouncy castle, playing rounders, beauty treatments and lots of drinking and eating! I also had a family hen do with my family, my new family and my bridesmaids – we went for afternoon tea at a posh local country hotel, it was delicious and there was a wedding going on there that day so we sat outside while I dreamt of my wedding day! My husband went to Magaluf for his stag do and all of the boys dressed up head to toe in Burberry one night.. he also went to the dogs for a 2nd local stag do for those who couldn’t make the first one..
Wayne organised the suits, the rings, the band and the transport…. I focused on the girly bits!
The wedding planning tool was really helpful… I also used the online shop for favours, gifts and ideas. The wedding forums were also really good to get other people’s ideas and help on specific problems in the run up to the day.
I used the online shop
I wore my sister’s dress, it was so gorgeous I just had to wear it… She bought it from Ellis Bridals
Yes, 4 – my 2 best friends Emma and Loz, my sister Laura and my now sister in law Anna. They wore gorgeous ivory dresses from Dessy. We also had 3 flower girls who wore ivory dresses to match the bridesmaids from Debenhams
Wayne chose one of his best mates, Lance, to be his best man. His ushers were John Burgess (one of his oldest friends), his brother Dean, and my brother Paul. They all wore dark grey suits with ivory waistcoats, ties and handkerchiefs
St Giles Church Horsted Keynes, where my parents live
Buxted Park Hotel
1930s Beauford, it was gorgeous
100 to the day, another 100 in the evening
Ivory – simple, classic and traditional
We had ivory chocolate hearts in ivory bags, with sparklers for favours. The centre pieces were ivory calla lilies with greenery. We also had table names and place names in ivory card with gold writing
Yes, ivory chocolate hearts and sparklers. The children also got gift packs depending on their age and sex
I had a trailing waterfall shaped bouquet with ivory calla lilies and roses. My bridesmaids had ivory rose bouquets. Our florist was a family friend, Karen Reid
We chose mozzarella and tomato salad followed by chicken wrapped in parma ham with dauphinoise potatoes. We had our amazing wedding cake for dessert – it would have been a shame if it hadn’t been eaten, it was divine!
2 of our very close friends made our wedding cake.. it was chocolate through and through covered in white chocolate icing and garnished with fruit and greenery – it looked and tasted sensational.
We had a cocktail pianist in the day when we were having drinks and canapes. We also had an 8 piece band in the evening.
We had our gift list with Trailfinders – it was amazing as it meant we could really treat ourselves on our honeymoon as our guests contributed towards it.
We spent our first night at Buxted Park Hotel. Then we went to Las Vegas, Hawaii and San Fran for our honeymoon, all booked through Trailfinders.
Our first dance…
Not really, I’ve been planning my wedding day since I was a little girl so it was all ready to go in my head – I just needed to find the right guy!
I would advise other brides to try not to plan too many extra bits on the day… we didn’t realise how quickly time would fly by so tried to cram in quite a few things in the afternoon which all got a bit rushed!