Jessica + Joseph by Benjamin Wheeler

We met at a student house party in Manchester in 2009, the least romantic of settings. We introduced ourselves and didn’t leave each other’s side all night.

In his wedding speech, Joe said he left the party and told the lads he had just met the girl he was going to marry.

We live in Liverpool and both run our own companies. I run a bridal brand, Jessica Bennett, and Joe runs a plumbing and heating firm. We were young when we met, 19 and 20, but we’ve never stopped each other from growing into who we want to be. I knew something was going on when Joe had a week of broken sleep. He’d made lovely dinner plans for Saturday, but the night before, he suggested we go for a walk. About 10 minutes in, I turned around and he was down on one knee with the most gorgeous ring I’ve ever seen. He couldn’t wait until Saturday!

With Joe being from Manchester and me from Liverpool, naturally, we opted for a city wedding. Our reception drinks were held in a bar we visit often. We had our own area with a DJ playing above us and the log fires on. The decor was clean with white table linen, neutral stationery and floral arrangements with dark burgundy foliage and white roses. We had a martini bar, a funk and soul band, and a huge disco ball over the dance floor.

Although I’ve been designing and making dresses for brides for the last seven years, I did not know what I wanted for my dress. I work with my Mum, who has been making wedding dresses for the past 40 years, and she was so patient with me. We made toile after toile of styles and ended up choosing a day dress and an evening dress. For the ceremony, I wore a silk crepe backless column dress with a silk mikado bow and train bustle. I made my train detachable so it came off before we sat down for dinner. Then before our first dance, I changed into my evening dress, which was full-on glam. We used a beaded fabric over a nude silk but kept the design simple. This was a halter, bias-cut style with no back and a small puddle train.

A choir sang ‘As’ by George Michael and Mary J Blige as our guests were getting seated before our ceremony and ‘Praise You’ by Fatboy Slim as we walked out. After the ceremony finished, our photographer took us and our bridal party upstairs to have photos and the choir carried on singing just for us. That was amazing. I wish I could bottle that feeling!

photography Benjamin Wheeler / videography James Poole / venue Albert Hall, Manchester / groom’s suit & shirt Paul Smith / bride’s day dress & evening dress Jessica Bennett / bride’s shoes Jimmy Choo / groom’s shoes Gucci / flora Sassflower / bride’s fragrance Gypsy Water by Byredo / groom’s fragrance L’Immensité by Louis Vuitton / groom’s ring Custom-made by Cara Jewellers / bride’s earrings Tilly Thomas Lux / bride’s handbag Yuzefi / hair & makeup Harriet Westcott / catering & beverages Albert Hall, Manchester / grazing table The Graze Spot / stationery Vine in the Wild / bridesmaids’ jumpsuits Jessica Bennett / groomsmen’s suits Mango / lighting Ultra Lighting