A black and white ‘winter wonderland’ real wedding with girls in pink dresses with black satin sashes. These were a few of their favourite things…


WHERE: The Great Hall at Mains, Lancashire

WHEN: February 2010

PHOTOGRAPHER: Ashton Photography

The ‘will you go out with me?’

“I sent Melissa flowers every week – sometimes even when she was at the hairdressers – in a bid to get her to go out with me,” laughs Joe

The first date

“When I finally did agree to a date,” laughs Melissa, “instead of taking me out for a meal, Joe took me to a nightclub until the early hours. I completely missed work the next day and then discovered my car had been clamped. I knew this one was going to be trouble…!”

The proposal

“We were on holiday in Cyprus when Joe suddenly dropped to one knee…” says Melissa. “I kept trying to propose before that night but couldn’t find the right place or time (not to mention the courage!),” adds Joe. For more proposal ideas make sure you check out our article on how to get those immortal words right.

Continue reading below…

“I sent Melissa flowers every week – even to her hairdressers – to get her to go out with me!”


The bride’s real wedding outfit

“My pure white, Swarovski scattered silk dress was instant fairytale!” says Melissa. “I found the dress in One & Only Bridal Couture, and could have passed for any princess going! I added an 11-layer underskirt, which gave the dress so much extra shape without the rigidity of a hooped skirt,” explains Melissa of her real wedding gown.

The groom

Looking effortlessly sleek and sophisticated, Joe complemented the black and white theme with a jet-black suit, teamed with a diamond-white shirt and cravat from Dan Kerr Brides. If you’re stuck for real wedding style ideas for the groom make sure you read our wedding day style for the groom article.

The bridesmaids

“I had six bridesmaids and I really wanted them to stand out and feel special against the black and white theme,” says Melissa. “They wore bright fuchsia, full length, fishtail dresses from Jane Norman. We customised their dresses with a black satin band around the waist, and they also wore a black flower in their hair to decorate their classy updos. They all looked gorgeous!”


The transport

“I arrived in a black Rolls-Royce Phantom hired from Brentwood Hire, and the bridesmaids and ushers were treated to a ride in a baby Bentley limo!” says Melissa.

The ceremony

Joe and Melissa became man and wife at The Great Hall at Mains. “Fresh white rose petals were scattered down each side of the aisle with decorative lanterns and lit candles lighting the way. White drapes with twinkling fairylights attached were hung from the chandeliers and draped down the rustic beams, and we even had a huge beautiful fire burning at the end of the aisle,” says Melissa.


The flowers

Neil’s Florist in Fleetwood (01253 773913) arranged the bridal party’s bouquets. Melissa carried a beautiful bloom of white roses with crystals added to each bud.

The cake

“We had a nine-tier stand of black and white cupcakes, which looked amazing,” says Melissa about her real wedding cake. “The bigger cake on the top tier had a really elaborate design, with a huge diamanté decoration.” The cupcakes were created by Langs Bakery (01253 625141)

The theme

“We went for a really classy, black and white ‘winter wonderland’ day,” says Melissa. “We spent a lot of time making sure every tiny little detail matched this theme; we had black and white M&Ms for our candy bar, all the way from the States, and we even treated guests to black and white toiletries!” she adds.

“When the best man stood up to give his speech, the MC started to play Help by the Beatles…!”


The reception detail

“The surrounding gardens were filled with solar-powered lanterns, which looked really gorgeous when the light faded. We found our black and white chair covers and sashes from The Wedding Place, and they also sourced our fabulous ‘crystal trees’ for the centrepieces, which looked really effective with their branches of clear glass baubles and tealights,” explains Melissa.

The entertainment

“Our swing/jazz singer, Howard Wing, is a must for any wedding – he will make your day. Howard also acted as our MC and introduced the whole wedding party to the guests at the wedding breakfast,” explains Joe. “The two mothers came in to Aretha Franklin’s Respect; the bridesmaids came in to Here Come the Girls; the ushers to The Boys Are Back In Town, and the best man to the Beatles’ Help!”

“If we could do it again we’d…”

“… invite more friends. I know it’s expensive but it’s honestly worth having everyone!