Inside the star-studded and very emotional wedding of Strictly stars Janette Manrara and Aljaz SkorjanecJanuary 19, 2021
When Strictly Come Dancing stars Janette Manrara and Aljaž Skorjanec tied the knot back in the summer of 2017, the daytime part of the wedding was intimate and very much a family affair.
But the couple were joined by a host of celebrity pals for the star-studded evening reception and the dance floor was filled with stars digging out their very best moves. Now, as part of The OK! VIP Club, you have exclusive access to all the pictures…
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Among these were It Takes Two host Zoë Ball, model Daisy Lowe, singer Louise Redknapp, presenter Frankie Bridge and her husband Wayne, Good Morning Britain’s Susanna Reid, and Strictly judges Darcey Bussell and Craig Revel Horwood.
There were also many Strictly dancers in attendance, including Kevin and Karen Clifton, Katya and Neil Jones, Natalie Lowe, Giovanni Pernice, Gorka Marquez, Oti Mabuse, Anton Du Beke, Chloe Hewitt and AJ Pritchard.
Janette’s wedding dress had been created by Julien Macdonald. The pair became good friends after Janette was partnered with Julien on Strictly in 2013.
The gorgeous silk wedding dress had a detachable overskirt and was embroidered with silk thread, feather-inspired motifs and covered in hand-sewn Swarovski crystals and lustre sequins. ‘‘The dress took more than 150 hours to create," said Julien, "and is one of my favourite couture dresses I’ve ever made."
"Her hair was done in a French twist style, but we kept her fringe down, just how she likes it," he added. Aljaž calmly waited for his bride to arrive in The Brydon Room on the first floor of the Town Hall. Then an instrumental version of A Dream Is A Wish Your Heart Makes started and the bridal party appeared and walked down the aisle.
When asked if anybody present knew if there was any reason Janette and Aljaž should not be married, they both turned round and stared at the guests, which prompted lots of laughter. And, when they were declared man and wife, Janette punched the air, shouting: "We did it!" as guests broke into a round of applause.
After the ceremony, it was time for Janette to do a quick change as she put on a plunging cocktail dress that had also been designed by Julien. Then, guests travelled across London again for the wedding breakfast at Janette and Aljaž’s favourite restaurant, Duck & Waffle. The evening reception was held at the Grade II listed Victorian Bath House in Bishopsgate Churchyard.
Many famous faces from the world of television mixed with Janette and Aljaž’s friends from the world of dance while waiting for the newlyweds to arrive. They twirled around the dancefloor before making their vows.
Janette greeted guests, saying: "Hi everybody, we’re married!" at which point the room erupted to loud cheers and applause. Aljaž added: "I can now say we are Mr and Mrs Skorjanec!" He went on to say he would keep his vows short and sweet, just like his new wife!
Aljaž told the guests that Janette was the most beautiful and important person in his life. He also confessed that he was feeling very nervous and wished he could dance instead of talking.
He turned to Janette and said: "Standing before you tonight is where I want to be. From this day forward, you will never breathe, walk or dance alone. I promise I will always be your Fred if you will be my Ginger. I will try my best to make you smile, I will always carry your bags and visit Disney once every year!"
Janette was up next. Revealing her pet name for Aljaž, she continued : "Bucko, which means pumpkin in Slovene , here I am standing before you and offering my everything for the rest of our lives.
"I couldn’t be in any more vulnerable state but I feel completely safe. I never truly knew what being in love meant but now I fully understand. Therefore now, as Mrs Skorjanec , I promise to trust you always and be loyal.
"I promise to wake you every morning with cuddles and kisses. And I promise to love and cherish you with all my heart and soul, no matter what life may throw at us."
She added: "It must be true love between us if we spend 24 hour s a day, seven days a week and 12 months of a year together. Yet every time you walk into the room I get butterflies in my stomach. Bucko, it is you and I, always. "
As this was a Strictly wedding, there were two first dances. First of all, Janette took to the floor with her dad Luis to Have I Told You Lately That I Love You, before she joined Aljaž to twirl around the floor to Stevie Wonder’s You And I, but this version had been recorded by her dad.
"It was an amazing day," smiledJanette.
"We are just so happy. Everything was perfect. I can’t tell you how happy Aljaž and I went to bed as husband and wife for the first time."
"I was really nervous about giving the speech so I was happy when that was over," admitted the groom.
"It’s hard to pick out highlights when the whole day was beautiful. Janette looked so beautiful. I was fighting back the tears. We are like one person," added Aljaž. "I really have found my other half."
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