Happy Monday everyone, I hope you are all well and happy and have survived yet...
Today’s wedding is a flower filled bonanza and I just love it! Sent to me by one of my favourite wedding photographers Binky Nixon Photography this wedding is beautiful from beginning to end. The amazing blooms supplied by www.thebasementflorist.co.uk are outstanding and a key focus to this gorgeous day. The spring theme is tied together by the stunning bridesmaids dresses, the paper lanterns and all the pretty details in the marquee. This wedding really is an absolute beauty, I know you are gong to love it.
Nicola and Simon were married on 4th July at Hexton Manor ‘It was the first and only venue we visited. I had seen it on Binky’s facebook page before at a previous tie the knot event. We fell in love with the ceremony room because it felt really personal and the original wallpaper, covered in birds, was beautiful. Most walls in our house are covered in wallpaper with birds on so it was like a home from home! We never really wanted a marquee reception, especially when the weather can be so extreme in April, but we wanted to ensure all of our guests were in one room and there was enough space for every one. The marquee was great and we had a heater to keep everyone warm, plus we worked hard to ensure the decorations meant it didn’t feel like a large, white space. We had 110, including us for the ceremony and meal then another 60 in the evening. This was another reason Hexton Manor was so appealing to us as so many venues close to us only allow up to 60 for the ceremony and then limit the evening guests, where as Hexon were very flexible with evening guests. The wedding took about 14 months to plan’
How they met
We met in a bar in the town we both live in 4 years ago. Simon was actually 2 years above me at primary school but it took 20 years for me to realise he was the one!
We booked a week away in the Lake District at a cottage where simon spent most of his childhood on family holidays. We left after work on the Friday night (which was actually Valentine’s Day) so got there very late and in the pitch black. When we planned the trip we had already decided to get up early on the first morning to go on a walk to Simon’s favourite place Now I know why! It was a long, up-hill walk in the pouring rain and I pretty much moaned all the way up! We got lost a few times as he hadn’t been there for 11 years, plus I managed to slip over at one point and got covered in mud, so I am surprised we made it to the top at all. We sat down on a rock to take in the view and simon started to tell me some stories about the times he had spent up there then all of a sudden his tone changed and everything started to sound a bit more serious. I wish I could tell you what he said but it all became a bit of a blurr. All I remember is “i just want this place to be as special to you as it is to me, so i’m going to ask you something…”. Then his hand went inside his very wet Barbour jacket, spun round and got onto one knee and pulled out a beautiful wooden box! At that point all I could do was cover my eyes and cry. A lot!!! Apparently it took about 20 minutes before the tears and hugging stopped, the ring was on my finger and I managed to say yes. Simon’s knee was now very cold and wet! I will never, ever, forget that moment and just how special it was. I’m reminded each time I look at my engagement ring. We then managed to get enough mobile signal to call our parents and tell them the happy news. Simon had already asked my mum and dad’s permission, which I will always be grateful for.
How did you allocate your budget
We wanted 4 things – to be able to afford to invite everyone on our ideal guest list and not feel limited over the cost per head, good food, lots of champagne for after the ceremony and a great band in the evening. This all came first and then we worked out everything else.
How did you choose your photographer
A few years back a friend on Facebook posted a link to their engagement shoot – the photos were so beautiful so I immediately liked Binky’s page and have followed and loved her work ever since. I’ve known I wanted Binky to shoot my wedding before I even knew I was marrying simon!! As soon as we chose our wedding date I contacted Binky with my fingers very tightly crossed to check that she was available!
My dress was by Sheila Harding, the owner of Boa Boutique in Richmond who has recently started her own collection. A friend had recommended Boa because of the huge range of dresses they stocked and during my 1st visit I was describing what I had in mind but just couldn’t find, so after trying on a few more disasters, the assistant went off and came back with a top and a skirt, Sheila and some pieces of lace! We then played around with different looks and said they would create a dress for me to tick all the boxes. It was the quality of the lace and the feeling of the soft silk skirt that sold it to me. I felt amazing but also so comfortable as i just hated stiff corsets and itchy tuille. Over a few appointments we gradually built the dress and lace top from scratch and turned it into something totally bespoke. I got to meet Maureen who made the dress and Emily who made my top a few times during the final appointments, which was really special.
The Suit and Bridesmaids
Simon’s suit was from Gieves & Hawks and shoes from Hackett. He knew he wanted tweed but didn’t want to look like he was in costume and also wanted something he could wear again! We eventually saw the suit one evening after work and fell in love with it. The guys in that store treated us so well and made the whole experience amazing for us and his family when we went to his fittings. I couldn’t recommend them highly enough. The best men & ushers were in suits from Next and ties / shoes from M&S. The bridesmaids wore dresses by Adrienna Pappell at House of Fraser
Theme or Colour Scheme
We had a clash of all kind of themes! The main element we drew from was spring, being easter weekend, and the wallpaper in the ceremony room, which featured on all of our stationary. Neither of us are keen on strict themes or colour schemes so we ended up just using anything we liked the look of in the hope it would all come together on the day.
I wanted ‘spring’ but I didn’t want it to look like spring as everyone knows it. I also don’t really like the traditional floral arrangements so it took me a long time to find a florist that understood the look I was aiming for. Then Noeleen from the basement florist came into my life and I can honestly say that she was one of my favourite parts of the whole wedding process. Working with her was an absolute pleasure and the end result on the day was even better than I could have ever dreamt. I was devastated when we went on honeymoon and I had to say goodbye to my bouquet! She is an absolute star and the first supplier I would recommend to anyone. We collected individual cut glass, brass and porcelain vases from charity shops which brought something extra to the tables, then arranged them on vintage books from Ebay
we had the illuminated s & n letters from vowed & amazed, lanterns from the hanging lantern company and then left it to the flowers to be the stars of the show.
Dan from Kingfisher Caterers was our caterer for the whole day and we received a lot of compliments. The guests had canapés with champagne after the ceremony and then the wedding breakfast was:
Starter – Ham hock terrine with cheese scones
Main – Beef with blue cheese dauphinoise and vegetables
Dessert – Trio of sticky toffee pudding, chocolate tart and eton mess
In the evening Dan provided a variety of mini burgers and fish & chips in cones.
The champagne and wines were provided by Simon’s family and bought on holiday in France – we went wine tasting in the vineyards around Bourdeaux, which was another favourite part of the planning process!!
Neither of us really like cake and never eat it at other weddings, so we chose to have a cheese wheel cake and then use it as part of the evening food with crackers, chutney and other bits in addition to the burgers and fish & chips. We made a few trips to visit toby at the cheese plate to taste various samples as he sourced each cheese to come from a different place we had visited.
We had the vixen quartet for the ceremony and reception drinks. In the evening we booked hipster after finding them on Alive Network. As soon as we heard their sample songs we paid the deposit! They were incredible and have been lucky enough to hear them again at another wedding since ours. Money definitely worth spent where they are concerned!
We also had a photobooth that everyone loved and the photos formed part of our guestbook.
Sarah at Russet & Gray did all of our stationary. She took my vision of using the ceremony wallpaper as part of the design and ran with it, and we were so pleased with the results.
Personal or Handmade Touches
A hard part of our day was not having any grandparents with us sadly they are no longer with us. To honour them we had photos of them hanging on chairs along the aisle and also behind the top table. I also had photos of my Grandparents in a mini frame tied to my bouquet. It caused a few (happy) tears!
The morning of the wedding was so much fun. I had my mum and my best friends around me all being pampered and I will never forget how happy and grateful I was to have them there with me. Then walking down the stairs in my dress and seeing my dad’s reaction was really hard to beat! But walking down the aisle and saying our vows meant the world to me and a moment that I wish I could relive every day.
Advice to other couples
Don’t be nervous! I spent a lot of time worrying about walking down the aisle and saying my vows in front of everyone but it was the best part of the day. Ultimately, that is what you are there for! Every bride seems to fear that part but then when you stand outside the room waiting to go in you just want to burst through those doors and stay there forever. Enjoy that moment while it lasts. I would also recommend to budget for a videographer if you can. The day is such a whirlwind that you forget so many details and things that were said in speeches – we feel lucky to be able to watch our ceremony and the speeches whenever we want and that one day we will be able to show our children.
How quickly time really does go! Everyone says it but you don’t realise just how much until it is your day. Also how little you care about the finer details on the day itself. Things I stressed about during the run up to the day were so insignificant on the day. All that matters is your friends and family have a drink in their hand, food in their stomachs and music to dance to. A wonky tag on the table plan is fine!
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