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“Our theme was autumnal leaves, with hints of chocolate and mink plus flashes of burnt orange…” says Nicola of her real wedding.

WHERE: St Andrew’s Church, Hornchurch, Essex

WHEN: September 2009

PHOTOGRAPHER: Whatimage Photography

The proposal

“Neil took me away for my birthday to this beautiful hotel in Bournemouth, with a heartshaped jacuzzi in our room and a Romeo and Juliet-style balcony,” remembers Nicola. “I was enjoying a bath when Neil gave me my birthday card, addressed ‘To my fiancée’. I completely missed the clue, however – I was worried the birthday money I thought would be inside might get wet!”

“I fell in love with a dress I kept seeing in Wedding Ideas. I took the mag with me to all the boutiques…”

The bride’s real wedding outfit

“I fell in love with a Sophia Tolli dress, which I’d seen in Wedding Ideas every month,” explains Nicola of her real wedding gown. “My diamond-white gown included a draped sweetheart bodice covered with Swarovski crystal beading, a lace overlay that gathered on one side of the hip, and a corset back flowing into a chapel-length train,” she adds. Nicola bought her beautiful gown from New Beginnings.

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The groom’s outfit

Neil matched the theme of autumnal colours in a chocolate-brown suit from Couture Pour Homme.

The bridesmaids

Nicola’s three grown-up girls wore floor-length satin dresses in mink, tied with an ivory sash. Find similar designs at Forever Yours. “My youngest cousins, Rachel and Natalie, wore ivory flowergirl dresses from Debenhams and they were as good as gold on the day – my little stars!” she says.

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The flowers

A family member arranged the couple’s flowers, with the bride carrying a teardrop bouquet of cream lilies and roses, plus vibrant orange gerberas used to decorate the venue.

The ceremony

“The atmosphere was fantastic at the church,” says Nicola. “My favourite memory is kissing Neil for the first time as his wife”.

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The reception

“Many of Neil’s family are taxi drivers, so we named the tables after roads in the area,” explains Nicola. “My mum made personalised place mats for each guest and these doubled up as favours,” she adds. Personalised items add a briliant individual touch to any real wedding.

The entertainment

The couple began married life to the sounds and songs of the band Columbia.

The honeymoon

Enjoying a two-week sun-soaked siesta, the newlyweds relaxed at Sandals Grande Antigua Bay.

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