It was very much a case of family intervention when it came to Jan and Karl's first date. "Karl's sister was my beautician, plus both our mums knew each other," says the bride. "They conspired to get us to meet, taking Karl to the shop where I worked one weekend to get us talking. Their plan worked – Karl immediately quizzed his mum and sister on how they knew me, and before long we'd organised our first date of coffee and a trip to the cinema."
It was four years later when the groom popped the question. "I'm a huge Disney nut and we'd just arrived at Disneyland Paris for a holiday," continues Jan. "Karl literally proposed in our hotel room the moment we arrived! He didn't want to do it in the park because I'm incredibly shy – he thought I might have run away!"
It took the couple around 10 months to plan their wedding, with Jan doing most of the organising. Here, she tells us more about their special day…
Karl was sceptical about the venue, but upon visiting was taken aback by how good the aesthetics were. It had the rustic look I love, plus we were impressed with the food, as minimalism and tiny portions are not for us!
I tried on four dresses before finding the one, a vintage inspired floaty gown with long sleeves. I'd actually admired it online since getting engaged, and when I described it to the team at the bridal boutique they pulled it out straight away!
My mother-in-law has her own hair salon and has styled my hair for years, so I trusted her completely to make me look picture perfect. I loved my makeup too, opting for smoky eyes, false lashes and a lighter lip.
Karl, his best man Grant and ushers David, Stephen and David all wore three-piece tweed suits from Master Debonair. Karl and Grant then chose bow ties to stand out, while Karl also wore a flat cap to complete his wedding look.
My two bridesmaids Carlie and Laura wanted to wear different styles of dresses on the day. In the end we found a strapless sage green chiffon top and lace skirt with diamante belt, adding straps to the look for Laura's.
We didn't use a florist, as I decided to make my own bouquet! The finished result was a stunning waterfall creation made with paper flowers, ribbon and pearls. It took some time to create but was worth every second.
We made our own decorations for the day. Old glass jars wrapped in books and comics became candle holders, and for centrepieces we piled stacks of books bound in comics and Harry Potter paper, complete with homemade wands!
My aunt baked our wedding cake and it tasted amazing –especially the red velvet flavour. We also wrote a story that was printed on the front, and Karl was kept busy making two caketoppers that looked like us!
We decided on a DJ rather than a wedding band, giving them a list of guest requests we'd asked for with the invitations. They played a mix of alternative, indie, rap metal and a little pop – and our guests were dancing all night.
Our photographer was one of the highlights of our wedding. We chose Pete as he specialises in candid photos with a unique twist to each couple. We gave him pretty much free rein over the images he took of the day.
Your wedding should be unique to you as a couple – and ours certainly was! We even danced back down the aisle as man and wife to Nelly's Hot in Herre, which all our guests loved!
To surprise our guests we decided to hire a Stormtrooper to gate-crash the meal! It was a huge success and all the guests wanted pictures with him. We even had a lightsaber fight!