When Joanne Clayton and Shaun Pearce got together their wedding was a wonderful gathering of friends and family.
When I was about 15 years old I started to really like him, but he was really into his sports and didn’t notice, so it wasn’t for another four years that anything happened!
We eventually got together at my dad’s 50th birthday party and then ended up dating after that.
I know it sounds a bit sad but we would just go round to each other’s houses and to the cinema. It was bit different to usual dating as we didn’t need to get to know each other; we had already known each other for years!
We were a bit worried at first about it not working out, as our families are close but it turned out all right.
When we got together our mums got really excited and they were saying ‘let’s go out and buy our wedding hats!’
After seven years together Shaun proposed on Christmas day and we had a very quick wedding. I had always said I wanted to get engaged to get married and so we didn’t want to wait.
This meant the planning was pretty full on, but we would go from really stressful months to months of quiet. The most stressful period was the six weeks leading up to the wedding.
I am a bit of a control freak as well, but everything went perfectly.
The night before the wedding I felt a mixture of emotions; excitement and nerves and my stomach was churning.
We got married on September 3 2011. We spoke about November 11 so that it would be 11/11/11, but decided it would be too dark for photos, so September seemed like the best option weather wise and we were really lucky with the weather!
We both wanted our nans to be there so we definitely wanted to get married in the UK.
We got married in St Saviours Church in Hatherton, we wanted to do it there as Shaun’s dad was buried there.
We kept it quite small; there were 65 people at the ceremony, and 200 for the evening reception.
It was a lovely day. Everybody said to me, ‘take it all in’, but it just went so fast, it felt really surreal.
We had quite a traditional set up. The vicar told Shaun he couldn’t look at me when I walked down the aisle, and I wanted him to turn round to give me reassurance!
I got ready at my mum and dad’s house where I was picked up. We used Platinum Wedding Cars in Hednesford and they were really good. We met them at a wedding show in Oak Farm and they made me feel so comfortable.
I was so nervous in the morning. I just wanted to get to the church and see everyone and see Shaun.
As is traditional, my dad walked me down the aisle and passed my right hand over to Shaun to give me away.
We took out the ‘honour and obey’ part of the vows, but apart from that we had all of the traditional vows, hymns and register so that was nice.
I got my dress from The Wedding Parlour in Bridgtown. I went with my mum and sister. I tried a few on, but when I tried on the one I ended up getting, I knew straight away that was the one I wanted. It just felt really nice.
They were really helpful in there; I would recommend it to anyone.
The men hired their suits from Kevin Paul in Hednesford and they were really nice suits.
I bought my make up after a trial in Selfridge’s in Birmingham. I preferred to do it myself as I knew what I wanted. The thing I was most worried about was getting spots! But thankfully I didn’t.
I borrowed my mum’s jewellery for the day, which was my ‘something borrowed’.
Shaun’s aunty did the flowers; she does it as a hobby. Everything I had was quite couture so I wanted to keep the bouquet quite simple yet elegant.
I had white roses, and she put blue gems into the bouquet as my ‘something blue’.
Our photographer was Ray Walker, he was great, I’d recommend him to anyone, he really put you at ease and you barely even noticed he was there.
One of the things I wanted to do was to get things from local shops as much as I could as I preferred to give my money to local businesses.
The only thing I sourced outside of the local area was the favours. We had candles made with peoples’ initials on from North Wales.
We’ve been on many family holidays there and it’s one of our favourite places to go, it’s like a home from home so it felt special.
The reception was held at Cannock Chase Golf Club, and they also provided the food.
We had broccoli and smoked bacon soup to start, a beef main and strawberry cheesecake for dessert.
I didn’t manage to eat much though; the boning of the dress wouldn’t allow it. I think wedding dresses probably work better than gastric bands!
A friend from work made the cake for us, it had three tiers; fruit, Madeira and lemon with a pearlescent shimmer and diamante with roses around each layer.
We made our own compilation of music that was special to us for the meal, and then afterwards we had a DJ.
We had our first dance to Rod Stewart’s ‘Have I Told You Lately’ and we both really like Muse so we ended on their version of ‘Feeling Good’.
It was such a brilliant day. I don’t know where the time has gone since!
Our honeymoon was two weeks in Florida, but it wasn’t like a normal honeymoon as we went with a big group of friends.
Everyone has teased us about it but we wanted to make the most of the holiday and we had a great time.
Photography by Ray Walker.