But get together they did, indeed they hit it off instantly on that first meet, despite Jonathan’s attempt to impress Jhuliana by singing a cheesy Spanish song he’d learnt
Luckily, when it came to the proposal, he pulled it out the bag, drafting in their 10-month-old daughter, Aurelia, to hold the ring as he popped the question.
The couple knew immediately that they’d tie the knot in London and the hunt for the both venue and photographer went smoothly. “I had walked past Islington Town Hall a couple of times and seen all the happy newlyweds taking pictures outside with their wedding guests; it always put a smile on my face,” explains Jhuliana. “After seeing some of the images Lex had shot there, I was sold.”
For the reception, having visited a handful of venues, the pair fell in love instantly with Lino restaurant – it was the perfect size for their 50 guests and they loved the interiors to boot.
Having studied print design, Jhuliana was in her element when it came to the wedding décor. Plumping for an intimate, personal feel, she sought help from both her daughter, who hand painted the favours – individual succulents in ceramic pots – and her graphic designer brother who designed the table numbers, as well as a friend who offered to construct a prosecco wall, which rapidly became the tableplan and was so successful, it's now available for hire.
A florist friend, meanwhile, was charged with the flowers while a cake designer found via Instagram completed the look.
When Jhuliana stepped into the ivory Sasha dress by Made with Love, she knew instantly it was the one. "Even before stepping out to show my mum, I was sure," she reveals. "I'm petite so short or very puffy dresses just didn't work for my body type. The long train made it look so classy but the lace was unlike any other – it was more like crochet and brought a modern touch."
The bride accessorised with shoes from shoe designer (and former colleague), Sophia Webster. Jonathan, meanwhile, opted for a grey, marl three-piece suit from Next with a black tie while his groomsmen wore grey three-piece suits in a more traditional fabric from Moss Bros, paired with black ties and white pocket squares to match the groom. "Our very talented florist made some gorgeous boutonnieres from preserved hydrangeas," Jhuliana adds.
The couple decided against bridesmaids in favour of casting their daughter as a flower girl, accompanied by Jhuliana cousin's daughter, while her cousin's son and Jonathan's nephew were page boys.
"I looked everywhere for page boy outfits in pastel hues, and was about to give up when I found these gorgeous dusky pink suits," Jhuliana remembers. "The girls wore ivory dresses with crochet detail, which coordinated perfectly with my dress," she adds.
When it came to the entertainment, Jhuliana and Jonathan divided the day into three distinct periods – booking a prosecco van for immediately after the ceremony, hiring a neon sign designed to act as a backdrop for pictures at the reception, and a salsa band for the evening do.
"The prosecco van was perfect the ceremony – it kept our guests busy while they waited for the official wedding pics to be taken and we didn't have to worry about clearing up afterwards.
And although Jonathan had been doubtful about the neon sign, even he started posing in front of it like a pro once we arrived at the reception venue and, finally, the salsa band was a great way to bring some Latin flair to our wedding and everyone had a go at busting out a few moves (encouraged too, of course, by the open bar)," Jhuliana reveals.
On the day, Jonathan says he felt quite relaxed, despite being charged with overseeing the set up, while Jhuliana confesses to 'a mix of stress and anxiety' which melted away once she saw Jonathan.
Among the most memorable moments from the day was the exchange of rings. "Our 18-month-old daughtercried when I put the ring on my husband and our photographer captured it perfectly," Jhuliana giggles. "Everyone was in stiches and we still laugh now whenever we see the picture."
Bride's hair and make-up