Joanne and Mark’s Real Life Wedding

Joanne and Mark

18/02/2006 – Oaks Farm in Shirley.


How and when did you meet?

We met at work, around 7 years ago.

How old are you both?

I am 30 and he is 28.

Where, when and how did he (or you!) propose?

He proposed on Christmas Eve. We went out for a meal and a few drinks in London and he had the ring tucked in his pocket all night. It was funny as he kept checking his pocket to make sure the ring was still there, but he didn’t have enough courage to get down on one knee in public, so he waited until we got home.  It was so obvious he was going to pop the question and I had such fun watching him squirm!  I couldn’t stop crying after he asked me!

Did you have hen and stag celebrations?

I went to Bath for my hen weekend with 8 of my mates. We saw the sights, shopped and ate and drank loads.  I had to walk around with a 3ft blow-up willy -very embarrassing!  Mark went to Brighton with the lads, went to the Dog track and then went drinking.  He out drank all of them and I couldn’t get him off the phone at 4.30am!

Did your groom help you with the wedding planning?

He did everything I told him to – bless!  We organised everything between us really.  He played a major part with the important things such as the venue and photographer and he organised the DJ on his own!

Did you use confetti to plan your wedding? If so, how did the website help you?

The advice sections are fab and the message board is the best place ever.  It’s a great place to get advice from other like minded brides – rather than boring your friends and family to death!

Did you buy any confetti products for your wedding? If so, did you visit a store, buy online or by mail order?

No.I went to the London store and bought in person.

Tell us about your outfit, and where you bought it.

My dress was from the Couture Company. It was an ivory two- piece in Thai silk with a boned, lace-up bodice and a long fish tail skirt, with beautiful silk flowers spread around the dress. No lace or beading in sight!

Did you have bridesmaids? If so, who did you choose and what did they wear?

My two good friends were bridesmaids and were excellent at helping me with my outfit and preparations. They wore Kelsey Rose dresses which we got them to make especially for us in navy.  The dresses looked stunning.

Who did your groom choose for his best man and ushers, and what did they wear?

The men all wore grey suits hired from Pronuptia with silver waistcoats and navy cravats; the groom had a silver cravat.

Did you have a civil or religious ceremony?

Civil ceremony.

Where did you hold your ceremony?

The ceremony was at Oaks Farm in Shirley.

Where did you hold your reception?

The reception was also at Oaks Farm in Shirley, a truly wonderful place.

Did you have any special wedding transport?


How many guests did you invite to your wedding, and did you have a separate evening guest list?

We had approx 60 day guests and only a few extra evening guests.

Did your reception have a particular theme in terms of colour or style?

Everything at the reception was either ivory, navy or silver.

How did you incorporate this in to your table settings?

All the linen was ivory, along with ivory flowers and ivory place cards and menus. The confetti was silver and navy and the favours were ivory and navy.

Did you give your guests favours?

The children had their own navy blue boxes filled with goodies and the ladies had small boxes filled with celebrations chocolates.

Describe your flowers (bouquets and table decorations). Who was your florist?

Dawen Taylor was my florist and my bouquet was very unusual, comprising hyacinths and grape hyacinths in different shades of blue.  This arrangement was mirrored in the flowers on the top table while all the other guest tables had ivory tulips.

What did you choose to have on your menu? Did you have an outside caterer or did your venue handle the catering?

The venue used their own caterers. We had stilton & broccoli soup to start, roast lamb as the main followed by a lemon bavois for dessert.

What did you choose for your wedding cake?

We had a delicious four-tiered square iced cake with different flavoured tiers of chocolate fudge, lemon, and then chocolate with Baileys.

Did you have any entertainment during the day or evening?

We had a string quartet during the day and a disco during the evening.

Did you have a gift list? If so, who did you have your list with?

We mainly got money from our guests but we did get a few gifts from our list held at Peter Jones in London (John Lewis.) It was a great service.

Where did you spend your first night and honeymoon? Who did you book your honeymoon with?

At Oaks Farm they have a cottage onsite that we spent our first night in. They have fully stocked cupboards so you can help yourself to food and drink. We also got ready here.  We then went to Miami for four nights then onto St. Lucia for 14 nights.  We booked with ThomasCook/Virgin and had an amazing time.

What was your most memorable moment of the day?

The actual ceremony was wonderful.  We also took time out to have a few moments on our own. We took a walk up a muddy lane at the back of the farm and it started raining but it didn’t matter. The photographer got some great shots and plans to use them to be featured in magazines/advertising.

Did you experience any ‘nightmare’ moments in the run up to your wedding or on the day?

-Only the odd problem with the groom’s brother’s wife.  This person is very insecure and wasn’t happy that they were not asked to be a bridesmaid. It caused a few problems as after this hurdle was jumped, we then had problems of her moaning at why she wasn’t sat at the top table and that she would not be in any photos, which caused major rows and was so petty.

Is there anything you would do differently, or any advice you would give to other brides?

Definitely pay for someone to video the ceremony professionally.  Our usher did ours but filmed it in night mode, so we all look green!  He also forgot to film the speeches.
Shop around… I got 15% off my dress, saved over £3000 on my honeymoon from my initial quote, got my large 4-tier cake to feed over 100 made and delivered for less than half of what others were paying all because I shopped around.

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