Joanne and Dominic fell in love after having met online and planned a fabulous, old Hollywood glamour themed celebration at Notley Abbey for April 2016.
About the Couple
Joanne and Dominic met online, but soon realised that they only lived 2 miles apart. After having met in person and gone on several dates they knew very quickly that they’d both met their perfect match.
Dominic proposed during a weekend away in London. It was a beautiful sunny evening and he proposed overlooking St Katherine's Dock. It was a complete surprise and a moment that Joanne will always cherish. Dominic had been secretly researching engagement rings for many months and finally decided to buy Joanne a stunning Cartier Ballerine ring. Needless to say, it was absolutely perfect!
When Joanne embarked on the search for her wedding dress she was convinced that she wanted a lace gown, but after visiting over half a dozen shops and trying on many lace dresses, she didn’t get that 'wow' moment that people describe. A Bridal Gallery in Thame suggested that she try on a design by Justin Alexander - and the rest is history as they say! When Joanne stepped in to the dress it made her glow; she felt so elegant wearing it - like a Hollywood star from the 1940's! Joanne’s chosen design was a mermaid silhouette dress in ivory charmeuse satin with a Sabrina neckline and a pleated cummerbund waist. The cowl back was adorned with pearls and featured diamante at the shoulder. It truly was a dream wedding dress for the bride-to-be and Joanne advises future brides to go wedding dress shopping with an open mind.
Joanne completed her bridal style by wearing a pair of shoes designed by No 1 Jenny Packham and her bridal hair stylist, Kaz Fernando, created an old Hollywood glamour vibe by giving Joanne big, soft curls in her hair.
The Wedding Party
Joanne chose her friend Julie and sister-in-law Sian to be her bridesmaids for the big day. In keeping with the old Hollywood glamour wedding theme, Joanne thought it would be nice for her bridesmaids to wear dresses in a blush tone. They turned to Dessy where they found chiffon, floor length gowns in a blush shade that the girls could wear differently to reflect their personalities. They looked beautiful on the day!
To tie in with the old Hollywood glamour theme and their Jazz/Swing band, Dominic chose a slim black 3-piece suit for the grooms with blush tie and pocket square to match the bridesmaids. Dominic wanted to stand out from the Best Man (his twin brother Damian) so he chose an ivory waistcoat, tie and pocket square. He wanted to make sure Joanne married the right brother! The groomswear was all hired from Domino Formal Hire in Thame.
Choosing The Wedding Venue
Joanne and Dominic discovered Notley Abbey by chance on a country walk and Joanne remembers thinking to herself what a stunning venue Notley Abbey could be for a wedding! When Dominic proposed she immediately thought back to that walk and vision and suggested that they consider it as their chosen wedding venue. Dominic fell in love with Notley Abbey as much as Joanne did. The driveway was stunning and the Abbey has such an incredible history having once been home to Laurence Olivier and Vivien Leigh, who were known for throwing lavish Hollywood style parties and invited exclusive guests such as Marilyn Monroe. The history of Notley Abbey inspired Joanne and Dominic, and offered the perfect backdrop for their old Hollywood glamour themed wedding.
The couple looked at one other wedding venue during their search but were specifically looking for a venue that offered exclusive use and overnight accommodation for themselves and close family members. It was also important to Joanne and Dominic that the venue was weather proof! Getting married at any time of year is a gamble but April is famous for its showers. They wanted to ensure that their chosen wedding venue had good photo opportunities available, whatever the weather. Joanne also wanted to be able to get ready at the venue and walk into the ceremony without getting wet if it rained! Notley Abbey ticked all of their boxes and being able to record every detail of their wedding on the Bijou wedding planner gave them the reassurance that all their wedding plans would come together perfectly on the day. Regular meetings with their wedding planner also gave Joanne and Dominic the chance to talk through their wedding ideas and agree the finer details.