Julie and Mark 30/07/2004 - The Town Hall, Venice St Mark's Square, Venice Joanne Dunn How and when did you meet? We met in January 2004 through a work do.…
Written by Paula Jones Last updated: October 11, 2006
Garstang Country Hotel and Golf Club, Garstang, near Preston Lancashire.
How and when did you meet?
We worked together nine years ago but lost touch. We had a chance meeting in the queue waiting to get in a bar three years ago…we’ve been inseparable ever since!
How old are you both?
My husband is 32 and I am 30.
Where, when and how did he (or you!) propose?
Allan was going to propose on Christmas Day 2004 but he just couldn’t keep a secret, so on the 18th December 2004 he proposed whilst laid in bed. We both cried and went engagement ring shopping that afternoon.
Did you have hen and stag celebrations? If so, what did you do?
Allan went to Peurto Banus in Spain on a golfing mini break with 20 lads and had a complete ball apparently, and I went to Dublin for a weekend with 18 girls and had the most fantastic weekend. Lots of vodka, dancing, and misbehaving.
How did your groom help with the wedding planning?
I was very content organising the whole wedding but I left my husband to arrange the honeymoon.
Did you use confetti to plan your wedding? If so, how did the website help you?
I logged on to confetti every single day. It is so addictive. I used the cafe a lot to give and receive advice.
Did you buy any confetti products for your wedding? If so, did you visit a store, buy online or by mail order?
I bought my confetti products online as we do not have a store nearby.
Tell us about your outfit, and where you bought it
I bought my wedding outfit from Halo and Ellis in Preston Lancashire. It is ivory with fine black embroidery and crystals along the bodice and on bustle and train. The front skirt is plain ivory. I had a tiara handmade with Swarovski crystals in clear and jet and the veil had tiny crystals on it. My shoes were by Pink.
Did you have bridesmaids? If so, who did you choose and what did they wear?
I had six bridesmaids, three adults – my elder sisters, Mandy and Lisa, and my best friend, Abigail. The flower girls were my three nieces, Molly, Matilda and Megan. The adult bridesmaids wore beautiful REISS silk dresses in vintage green just below the knee with cream marabou capes and a lovely head dress from Accessorize in vintage green marabou. The flower girls all wore ivory dresses with ivory marabou capes from Monsoon.
Who did your groom choose for his best man and ushers, and what did they wear?
Allan had his best friend, Darren, as best man and four ushers – Micheal, Allan’s brother; Tony and Glen, Allan’s brother-in-laws; and Danny, Allan’s friend. He also had our nephews, Jordan and Freddie, as Pageboys. They all wore black frock coat suits with ivory waistcoats and vintage green scrunch ties, whilst the groom wore the same but ivory scrunch tie.
Did you have a civil or religious ceremony?
We had a civil ceremony which was just perfect and very emotional.
Where did you hold your ceremony and reception?
We held the ceremony and venue together at Garstang Country Hotel and Golf Club in Garstang, near Preston Lancashire. I would recommend them to anyone – the service was second to none.
Did you have any special wedding transport?
As it was all in one venue, we got ready at the hotel.
How many guests did you invite to your wedding, and did you have a separate evening guest list?
We had 72 day guests and in total, 250 evening guests.
Did your reception have a particular theme in terms of colour or style?
I went for a vintage feel to the day with lots of pearls and marabou all in vintage green and cream.
How did you incorporate this in to your table settings?
The tables I wanted to be kept very simple but classy. I bought silver candelabras and draped strings of ivory pearls all over them. Instead of table confetti, I scattered loose pearls on the tables and finished with a few ivory butterflies and marabou feathers. The linen was all vintage green and the chair covers were cream with vintage green sashes.
Did you give your guests favours?
We had made butterfly shortbread biscuits iced in vintage green in clear bags with green ribbon and luggage tags on as place names also.
Describe your flowers (bouquets and table decorations). Who was your florist?
My florist was Eileen at Sunflowers, Preston. My bouquet was cream tightly packed roses impregnated with crystals. Very simple. The adult bridesmaids had green/ivory variety of rose similar to mine and the flower girls had small cream roses with cream marabou feathers inserted. I had no table flowers.
What did you choose to have on your menu? Did you have an outside caterer or did your venue handle the catering?
The venue supplied the menu which was traditional. Soup or melon starter, chicken in white wine sauce or peppercorn sauce and all the trimmings, and the dessert was brandy snap baskets with fruit and ice cream and sticky toffee pudding. Simply delicious.
What did you choose for your wedding cake, and who made it?
My clever Aunty Jennifer made my cake as she used to run her own cake shop. I adapted an idea I saw on the confetti website and I loved it. It had four round layers of fruit, carrot, chocolate chip and chocolate. It was plain ivory iced and had vintage green and black lace ribbon around and black and ivory marabou feathers on the top. We also had a chocolate fountain in the evening which I won in a local competition, co-ordinate.
Did you have any entertainment during the day or evening?
We were let down at the last minute by a Beatles tribute band, but luckily we had Gary Gibson, who is a John Lennon lookalike. He entertained us with half the evening covering Elvis (we had our first dance to his rendition of Love Me Tender), and the second as the Beatles. He was superb and went down a storm.
Did you have a gift list? If so, who did you have your list with?
We had a gift list at Debenhams although we wrote a poem and kindly asked for money. We received a mixture of both which was fantastic.
Where did you spend your first night and honeymoon? Who did you book your honeymoon with?
We spent our first two nights at the golf club then we went to stay at the newly built Hilton in Barbados for one week then joined the Ocean Village cruise for one week around the Caribbean. The most amazing holiday ever. We booked through Ocean Village Direct.
What was your most memorable moment of the day?
The ceremony when we said our vows – it was very emotional. My husband lost both of his parents to cancer in 2005 ten days apart and they were dearly missed, as always.
Did you experience any ‘nightmare’ moments in the run up to your wedding or on the day?
The only nightmare was the tribute band letting us down. Apart from that, it was a well oiled machine!!
Is there anything you would do differently, or any advice you would give to other brides?
I would give your photographer specific shots you want as ours didn’t have any real direction from us. Also try not to get panicked about the little things as it will all turn out ok in the end and you get a fab husband at the end of it all!