Jessica and Dan met on a night out in Newcastle back in 2011. "For our first date Dan took me out for Nando's," remembers the bride. "Chicken's not the daintiest thing to eat when you don't really know someone, but it must have gone well, as we each left with a smile on our faces – and the realisation we'd met someone special."
The couple had been together for four years when Dan popped the question. "I was told we were going on a secret holiday for my birthday, but Dan wouldn't reveal where!" continues Jessica. "We arrived at Manchester airport and flew to Dubai – then Dan handed me some currency and told me we were off to Thailand! He proposed on the first night of our stay by getting down on one knee on the beach. I burst into happy tears – and instantly said, 'yes'!"
It took the couple around eight months to plan their wedding, with Jessica doing most of the organising. Here, she tells us more about their special day…
St John's overlooks my parent's house, which I grew up in, so there was nowhere else I wanted to tie the knot. It's also a lovely memory for my mam and dad, as they get to see the church every day!
Dan and his groomsmen wore light blue suits from Durham's Suit Culture, with Dan's being a slightly different shade to stand out. They completed the look with grey ties, brown brogues and wore a cream rose as their buttonhole.
The bridesmaids' dresses were a challenge at first, as we struggled to find something for the three youngest that would match the older girls. In the end we bought adult gowns then hired a dressmaker to adjust them to fit!
We fell in love with Beamish Hall the second we visited. It had recently been decorated with a white and grey colour scheme, which was exactly what I'd envisaged for our big day.
We decided to add a curtain of fairylights behind the top table, which really set the room off. Our centrepieces were large twisted branches in tall vases, filled with clear crystals and with extra fairy lights inside.
My hair was styled by a very good friend of the family who's been my hairdresser my entire life. As I'm useless at applying make-up I decided to leave it to a professional! I asked for something not too heavy – and was thrilled with the result.
My mam and I went out for a browse one day and saw a dress on display in a boutique. Jokingly I said, "I'll have that one." We picked a couple of others to try, but when I put on that first gown I knew nothing would compare. So we bought it!
I wanted my bouquet to look wild but classic – and I knew gypsophila would tick those boxes. We also used flowers to decorate the church and our wedding cake – we even added flowers to our dogs' collars when they arrived at the venue!
One piece of advice I'd offer to anyone getting married is to ask a guest to save you some cake! I loved its design – and the fact we had personalised cake toppers of us with our dogs – but I was so busy I never got the chance to eat any!
My dad and I travelled to my wedding in a beautiful Brenchley seven-seater Laundalette. I got emotional on the journey to the church, so I'm pleased we booked them to take us to the reception afterwards so I could appreciate it all!
As well as a magician we hired a company to provide an array of giant games for our guests. There were racing cars, table football, Scalextric and much more and everyone really enjoyed playing them.
I'd seen our photographer's work on a friend's Facebook page. Her photos were stunning and natural, which was exactly the feel we wanted. I'm so happy with our photos and would recommend Amy to anyone.
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