Today’s couple have truly mastered the first dance! A choreographed routine, confetti cannons and the biggest smiles we’ve possibly ever seen on the dancefloor! Welcome to the gloriously happy wedding of Joanne and Lewis…
Even before the dancing begins, Joanne looks unreal in her stunning Stella York gown with lace detailing on the flattering low back, perfectly paired with the lace on the simple and stylish full-length veil. The effect is especially glamorous with her dashing groom by her side, totally tuxed up to the nines! Talk about handsome groomsmen!
We’re also big fans of the pretty foliage, tasteful colour palette and DIY style – our beautiful, blushing bride put her crafty skillz to good use, creating all her table centrepieces and even the arch over the cake herself, complete with neon signage! And, speaking of the cake, kudos for that outstanding topper! Keep your eyes peeled for that one!
Joanne says: We got engaged in Reykjavik in Iceland on the 12th January 2019. I always wanted to see the Northern Lights, it was the number one thing on my bucket list. We decided on a weekend break there and Lewis had booked a surprise private tour in a 4×4 to go out to see the lights, but each night the sky was too cloudy so the tour got cancelled. Luckily he knows how obsessed I am with waterfalls and on our last day we went to Gullfoss Waterfall where he proposed. I was truly in shock that I couldn’t get my words out to say “YES!” for a little while, but when I finally did everyone cheered and it literally began to snow at that moment. It was just perfect!
Our wedding date was 15th August 2021. Originally we had booked 15th August 2020 but of course we had to postpone! We always both knew we wanted a summer wedding but I was adamant we would get married a year after being proposed to, while Lewis wanted to book for 2021 to give us longer to save. Well, he got his own way in the end – thanks COVID!
We got married in a local church to us in South Shields, St Michaels All Angels. I always wanted a big church wedding with the organ and violin playing me down the aisle and Lewis loved the idea of singing a hymn or two!
Our reception was at Derwent Manor Boutique Hotel. It was just completely our vibe. Modern but rustic, a sensational 15ft chandelier and beautiful grounds. There also were enough rooms for pretty much all of our 140 guests to stay over, which was important to us.
We didn’t really have a theme but anything I could possibly DIY was a highlight for me, I felt so overwhelmed seeing all the bits and bobs I made come together on the day.
We pretty much knew straight away that we wanted a lot of greenery for the décor and flowers so thought sage green would work perfectly, with a pop of peach!
I went for a mermaid style wedding dress, which was really not something I thought I would go for! But it’s so true when you are told to try all styles as you do really surprise yourself!
I bought it from a beautiful bridal boutique in Durham called Blue Bow Bridal – an amazing experience with them from start to finish. The dress was by an Australian designer called Stella York and I just wish I could wear it again!
My bridesmaid dresses were purchased online – funnily enough from an Australian website! I went for the multiway style and really recommend them if you have fussy bridesmaids as each one can wear them to their liking and feel confident!
Bridal Makeup was done by Anna of Anna MClean Makeup and our second makeup artist was Gabrielle Walker from Makeup by Gabrielle. Both the bridal and bridesmaids hair was done by Amy Tilson of Amy Hair and Beauty.
We used Campbell Wedding Cars based in South Shields. The wedding car we had was the classic regent and the roof came down for photos, which was perfect.
Our photographer was Scott Carney Photography and I couldn’t recommend him enough. He really added to the fun and laughter of our day, and literally captured the most amazing moments, both comical and emotional. He listened to what we both wanted and completely delivered. Our gallery gave us goosebumps!
Our videographer was Chris Randle. He was great at creating the style video that we both wanted and we were amazed even just by our one minute trailer!
My flowers were from L’Amour Flowers based in Newcastle. I wanted my bouquet to look wild with lots of greenery and to include peach peonies for that pop of peach! My bridesmaids’ bouquets and our mums’ corsages also had a personalised photo locket on them which looked beautiful.
I made all of my own centrepieces, which included flower stands, hoops and candelabras. I even made an arch over our cake with a neon light saying The Pinos – my brother in law helped get the balloons on the arch! I also hired a 7ft light up heart arch from Ents and Events for behind the top table.
I loved looking at the Brides Up North Real Weddings to get more creative with my ideas and to imagine that vibe I wanted for my day.
We had small shots of flavoured gin for all adult guests and goodie bags for the children. Our place names also doubled up as a favour which was silver acrylic – the female ones even hook over a glass!
I was very lucky that my sister made our wedding cake. We had a bottom layer of raspberry and champagne vanilla cake, the middle layer was red velvet and the top one was lemon meringue. She also made a huge carrot cake too!
I wanted something simplistic with pearls but then we had a fun cake topper that said “Each Other’s Pain in the Arse Forever” which is what we always call each other!
We had a menu tasting at Derwent Manor and tried to think of what foods all of our guests would enjoy as well as ourselves! We went for chicken in a cheesy white wine sauce and beef in a red wine jus and both were delicious!
We had an AMAZING band called Soul Street that played two sets with playlists that got everyone up and dancing! Alex Lomas was our incredible wedding breakfast singer who sang all things swing and jazz! Ents and Events also provided us with a fabulous magic mirror and roulette table.
We had a memory table with photos of all of the loved ones that are no longer with us. We also had a super fun seating plan, a game of “Find your face to find your place”. For some we were kind with posed photos, others we were a little bit cheeky!
I have my own business called One Step at a Time Dance, specialising in teaching couples their first wedding dance! This definitely came in handy for us – as you can tell by the photos we had a fab three minutes on the floor with our choreographed dance routine and confetti cannons!
Scott Carney Photography just exceeded all our expectations of what we could have wanted from a photographer in every way. Even after our wedding he has been amazing!
Anna McClen because the makeup seriously looked flawless still at 1am after A LOT of dancing. She got that exact look we wanted for the day and even stepped in, helping out when things got crazy on the wedding morning!
The girls at Blue Bow Bridal were so welcoming and honest, I felt so relaxed throughout my whole experience in the shop. No pushiness for a “Yes to the Dress” and just absolute sweethearts!
We both loved the whole church experience. It just felt so special saying our vows in such a beautiful setting. We also loved the journey in the wedding car from the church to the venue, which might be strange to mention but it was so nice to sit, just the two of us for a whole 45 minutes, talking about our morning of prep and how excited we were for the rest of the day.
Of course the speeches were a highlight and the crazy party we got to experience after so many months of everyone not being able to dance and be around eachother. It was just the best celebration!
We originally had Bali booked for three weeks, visiting Seminyak, Ubud and the Gili Islands. However Indonesia was still closed for international travel so we’ve pushed this back to 2022.
Instead we booked a last minute mini moon to Dubrovnik in Croatia and it really did surprise us! It is so picturesque, with incredible restaurants and bars. We had a relaxing, romantic week together which was just what we needed!
Seriously our top tip would be don’t stress about the small stuff, because on the day it really doesn’t matter! There are always going to be little things that may not go quite to plan and that’s okay!
Also make sure you both enjoy your evening reception without worrying about finding all of your evening guests to say hello. They will find you whether you are on the dancefloor or struggling with your wedding dress in the loo!
Another tip would be to try to stay in that bubble a little longer. If you aren’t dashing off on honeymoon straight away, have another night stay at your venue or somewhere you can relax to take it all in.