Couple tie knot - 40s style

A COUPLE'S fantasy wedding came true when the clock was turned back more than 60 years.

Jo Rowell and Tony Cox's dreams came true when they were married 1940s style, complete with a World War Two backdrop.

Hartlepool Town Hall Theatre, in Raby Road, was transformed as the pair said their vows in full authentic period gear.

Tony, 45, donned a lieutenant officer's uniform and Jo, 41, wore a stunning white silk dress that she made herself.

More than 100 guests also dressed in keeping with the theme – many ladies donning fur shoulder capes, berets and feather hats.

Bridesmaids Yasmin Reeves, 12, Sophie Cox, 10, and Dawn Hawley, 45, arrived in an authentic staff car, dressed in red silk.

Everyone was kept in check by usher Trevor Bush.

A blackout marked the beginning of the ceremony and the silence was broken by the sounds of Neville Chamberlain announcing war on Germany.

The ceremony also included the sounds of sirens and Lancaster bombers flying overhead.

Spotlights lit up a trench scene in Normandy complete with a silhouette of an American soldier going over the top and glider planes above.

Jo then made an entrance to the sound of Glenn Miller's Moonlight Serenade and the touching ceremony went off without a hitch.

Attention to detail was incredible with each table being called a different Glenn Miller hit and every place name being marked out by a forties pin-up girl brandishing the words "How beautiful is the day that is touched by love".

Tony, who lives in Essex and runs a coach business, is father to Sophie, 10, James, 12, and Richard, 15.

He met Jo at a forties re-enactment dance at the Staincliffe Hotel in Seaton Carew.

He proposed to Jo, a fellow forties enthusiast, at a forties-themed weekend organised by Howarth Traders Association.

Jo, who is a legal secretary, said: "He just appeared behind me on the dance floor with a huge bunch of flowers and all our friends started screaming when he got down on one knee."

The pair intend to live apart until their children leave school but are planning a romantic honeymoon for next April in Niagara Falls, Canada.

Jo, of Rosthwaite Close, Hartlepool, who is mum to Michael, 12, and Jack, 9, said: "The ceremony was my dream come true and I will remember it forever."

Father of the bride Mike Reeves, 63, and best man, Dean Wheeler, 41, were both impressed with the whole occasion.

Mike said: "It was beyond my greatest expectations."

See Wednesday's Mail2 for more coverage of Tony and Jo's wedding