NICOLA + DAVID
Black tie glamour beside the water…
PHOTOGRAPHY BY MARCUS WARD, BIG EYE PHOTOGRAPHY
Big Eye Photography
“We met through Match, only to realise that we had worked together about 20 years earlier for a small marketing agency where I was based in Kensington and David in the Bristol office. We then met again in the summer of 2013 at a French restaurant in Cirencester.
He’d spoken openly to me about his accident and disability, but I had virtually no experience of it. I managed to get tipping his chair over the threshold of the restaurant spectacularly wrong and virtually threw him out of the front – not a great start! The conversation flowed so well though and the evening definitely passed too quickly” smiles Nicola.
The proposal followed two and a half years later at the very same restaurant! “He’d taken a ring to the manager a few days before and arranged for it to be delivered at the end of the meal – he’d chosen a Tiffany dress ring as a temporary choice because he knew he couldn’t go wrong with a little blue box! On the box was an evelope containing a card that read, ‘will you marry me?’. As I opened it, David asked the same question and I couldn’t contain myself, bursting into tears! The manager arrived with Champagne to celebrate.”
“A few weeks later we headed to Hatton Garden for a sparkly day choosing the exact stones for my ring. I also had a matching wedding band made.”
Nicola found her dream ‘Debra’ Maggie Sottero gown at The Wedding Days of Cheltenham. “It ticked all the boxes! I had to think about the skirt of the dress and the train and how these might get in the way of David’s wheelchair. We would also be sitting for the ceremony, so I knew I needed to be comfortable sitting down! I loved the lace bodice embellished with Swarovski crystals and its deep V neckline. The silk and tulle layers in the skirt flowed so beautifully.”
Not usually being a shoe girl, this bride surprised herself when she fell for a glittering pair of Jimmy Choos.
“I insisted on showing them to everyone on the wedding day!” she laughs. “I added an Ivory & Co tiara, Glitzy Secrets earrings and a solitaire diamond necklace gifted me by my gorgeous bridesmaids from The Diamond Store.”
One of Nicola’s oldest friends gifted her a blue crystal bracelet for her something blue, David gave her a Pandora crystal bracelet and her bridesmaid lent her an antique pearl and diamond ring for her right hand, which the bride wore as her something old alongside the Tiffany ring David proposed with.
David looked dapper in a dinner jacket, custom made for him at Brocks, Cirencester. “They tailored every element to specifically suit him and he chose every detail so it really was perfect. He looked amazing – I cried again!” gushes Nicola.
Throughout the planning, the bride was joined by her three bridesmaids who were so fantastic she dubbed them the ‘women of awesome-ness’!
“The wedding was black tie so we wanted elegant evening dresses for the bridesmaids.”
I trawled London stores with them until we finally found the perfect dress in Coast. They were all black with lack sequin spots on the bodice. They teamed their gowns with their own shoes and I gifted them Glitzy Secrets earrings to wear too.”
Jodi Croft, a hair and makeup artist with whom Nicola had worked on styled shoots beforehand, took care of the bridal party’s beauty. “She styled my hair into a low twist at the nape of my neck and applied Lancome foundation, MAC, No 7 and Urban Decay makeup. I used my own L’Oreal nude lipgloss – I don’t suit strong lip colours so we focussed on a dramatic smoky eye look which I loved!”
“We did a first look photoshoot with our fabulous photographer Marcus before the ceremony. Seeing David for the first time was wonderful, he looked absolutely gorgeous!”
“We disappeared off together for photographs in the grounds – it was lovely to have those precious few moments together first.”
A musical medley from the likes of Christina Perri, Tom Odell, Etta James, Nat King Cole and The Beatles played during the couple’s civil ceremony in a marquee at Four Pillars Hotel. The bride’s brother walked her down the aisle, calming her emotions enough for her to make it down without being overwhelmed. “I was completely overawed that I would finally be marrying this incredible man. When I saw David everything fell into place and I was full of smiles.”
Nicola and David chose a glamorous wedding with a black tie theme, featuring lots of glamorous metallic colours. “It all came together once I had designed the stationery,” explains the bride, who runs the luxury handmade stationery company Made by Millie and Me. “The design featured a complicated brocade patterned band in pearlescent folds and Swarovski crystals, using matching envelope liners which are set to be a big trend for 2017!”
They hired in gold chiavari chairs from Event Solutions South and the couple planned the day themselves with the help of their venue’s wedding co-ordinator, Lisa. “I’ve worked on thousands of weddings and am very organised, so I was quite happy knowing that everything would be how I wanted it.
“Two of my friends masterminded everything for me on the day, co-ordinating flower deliveries and décor, with one even taking on the role of Master of Ceremonies!”
Another tried and trusted supplier, the bride had worked with their florist Stephanie Saunders before. “I knew I could trust her with a simple brief of white, metallic and fabulous, and she totally delivered! My bridesmaids and I carried domes of hydrangeas, with mine a little bigger. Steph also used a variety of candelabra, low arrangements and huge floral balls. When illuminated by candlelight, it was breathtaking!”
Friend Natalie Kenyon from Centrepiece Cake Design created their large cake, which featured a rich chocolate sponge, vanilla sponge, fresh raspberry buttercream and a white chocolate ganache covering. Decorated in pearlescent icing in a brocade pattern and with large crystal embellishments and fresh flowers, it was a real showstopper.
Beatles tribute band, All You Need is the Beatles performed three sets. The couple played their own selection of music during the intervals. “The dance floor was packed all night! As David would be in a wheelchair, we struggled to find a song that we could twirl about to. We practised various songs and eventually settled on Ed Sheeran’s ‘Thinking Out Loud’. The first line seemed particularly appropriate. I tried to sit sideways on David’s lap towards the end of the dance and managed to fall backwards! Luckily a bridesmaid rescued me just in time!”
Nicola and David honeymooned in style, choosing two weeks of pure luxury. They booked their Cunard Cruise on the Queen Elizabeth through Disabled Holidays. “We sailed around the West Mediterranean, visiting Spain, Italy, France and Gibraltar.” While there, they enjoyed spa treatments, wine tasting, dancing and sighteeing.
S U P P L I E R S
V E N U E The Four Pillars Hotel, South Cerney
D R E S S Maggie Sottero at Wedding Days of Cheltenham
B R I D E S M A I D D R E S S E S Coast
G R O O M Brocks, Cirencester
A C C E S S O R I E S Ivory & Co, Glitzy Secrets, Tiffany & Co, Jimmy Choo
H A I R A N D M A K E U P Jodi Croft, Face Perfect by Jodi
S T A T I O N E R Y Made by Millie and Me
F L O W E R S Stephanie Saunders Luxury Floral Design
C A K E Natalie Kenyon at Centrepiece Cake Design
E N T E R T A I N M E N T All You Need is the Beatles
H O N E Y M O O N Disabled Holidays