Vintage real bride Nicole – with three months to go!

My lovely vintage-loving ladies – today we have our first real bride post on the blog! Nicole is a 33 year old bride from Surrey. She met her husband to be (Colin, 38) at a friend’s birthday back in May 2009. Nicole wants to re-invent the wedding wheel with her hand-made West Country weekend away!

She’ll be getting married at Kilminorth Cottages in Looe on 30th March. On planning her wedding, Nicole says: “We had a few rules when we first started planning, that I wouldn’t turn into a crazy wedding lady and to remember £100 is actually a lot of money. I hear of so many people that get carried away and money means nothing just because they feel they need the latest craze at their wedding. I’m not great about being centre of attention and talking about myself so these are things I’m having to get used to!”

Please give her a warm Under the Vintage Veil welcome as she gives us the lowdown on her planning journey so far!

Nicole and her fiance, Colin – image © Victoria Studios

11th March 2012. That’s when the mayhem started, but all for the right reasons. My gorgeous man Colin proposed at 3pm in the afternoon at a viewpoint of Edinburgh Castle and it was the most romantic thing I’d ever seen. He’d been to see my Grandad a month before to ask to borrow my late Grandma’s ring to propose with – and there, on one knee, opened this little box with a ring I knew instantly was hers.

It was perfect as my grandparents’ love for each other is one that inspires me the most. Married for 63 years, they loved each other dearly, and I always hoped I would find the same true love.

So the next big question was ‘where shall we get married?!’ We somehow knew straight away we didn’t want it to all happen in just one day and not right on our doorstep so we were definitely agreed on a weekend away but it took a while to narrow it down.

I think finding the venue was the hardest part for me, I knew I didn’t want anything too traditional, I wanted something different! We looked into getting married in Italy but quickly realised getting 100 people over there was going to be a logistical nightmare!

We finally narrowed it down to the West Country as living in Surrey it was a decent drive down and far enough to make it a weekend affair. Colin’s sister knew someone who runs a self-catering cottage site in Looe and after looking at her website I had a really good feeling that this might be the one. We booked a couple of days there in April and discussed all our plans with the owners Mark and Jayne. We were going to be their first wedding if we went ahead. As they were still finishing the renovation of the 16 cottages, obtaining a wedding licence was low down on their list of things to do.  It was high risk but I went with my gut and we decided that Kilminorth Cottages was where we were going to get married, on Easter Weekend 2013.  It’s a beautiful site, acres of land to give the wedding a real festival feel.. the only thing we needed to pray for (apart for the licence!) was sunshine.

With the venue arranged it all started to seem more real. We went down to Brighton to find an engagement ring and again I knew I wanted an antique and had great fun trying on all the beautiful rings and falling in love with a 1930s art deco style. Perfect!

As the venue has no indoor area we had to book at marquee. We found World Inspired Tents and fell in love with their giant tipis, and they seemed to be a very popular choice in the West Country. We also had to arrange things like port-a-loos, generators and the bar. I soon found it was hard to get money off the quoted price as these suppliers seemed to be in demand and they knew it!

Next we looked into catering, as it was for Easter weekend we were quite keen to get all the major suppliers booked as people seemed to be booking suppliers over a year in advance! We searched for Hog Roast companies in Cornwall and started to compile a list of companies to compare. We had to use our gut instinct a lot when choosing our suppliers as it was all over email and telephone.

The same went for our photographer, we were scouring websites looking for someone with a bit of an edge, nothing too formal. We booked Victoria Studios who are based down in Newquay and went for a package that included a pre-wed shoot so we could get to meet her before the day. That was one of the best things we did as we went back down to stay at the cottages in October and booked to meet Victoria that weekend as she didn’t disappoint. I’m not naturally at ease in front of a camera and would of worried about the photos everyday if we hadn’t of done that.

I went dress shopping with some of my closest friends and had a wonderful time trying on Jenny Packham’s and designs from the Vintage Wedding Dress Company. I designed our invites and hand made every one. With the dress & bridesmaid found and the invites posted it was time to relax a bit. We made a conscious effort not to mention the ‘W’ word on a daily basis but it does kind of take over your live no matter how hard you try!

Nicole’s gorgeous handmade invites

Now with 12 weeks to go activity is picking up again. We recently got the groom’s three piece suit on order, that will be ready early February, so we now have a best man and the two fathers to dress. I need to speak to the caterer and make sure he is happy to make the ‘cake’ we want. Tables plans, table runners, name places all still to be made. There are so many decisions to make I’ve found keeping a checklist on my phone helps me to focus on what needs doing and when. The nice part is friends and family are starting to get a bit more excited now we are getting close.

Lots of Love until the next time xx

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