What a beautiful winter wedding we have to share with you all today! Tom & Nicci married with us back in December 2016, their day was full of love and lots of DIY touches. From the stationery, to the centrepieces through to the handmade paper crane backdrop, the gorgeous couple certainly put their stamp on the venue… their fury four legged friend even made an appearance! Over to Bride Nicci to tell you about their big day!
Real Wedding at The West Mill Venue, Derbyshire
Bride & Groom: Tom & Nicci
Date: Sunday 11th December 2016
Wedding Style: A DIY winter wedding with a paper crane backdrop & surprise singing waiters.
Photography & Header Image: Pixies in the Cellar
Your Love Story?
We met whilst I was working with Disney in Japan of 2009. Tom was visiting an old school friend ,who was (and still is), a good friend of mine also. His first impression he found me “stand offish” but he soon got used to my dry sense of humour (!) We would occasionally see each other on little get togethers on my visits back to the UK if we were out with friends nut it wasn’t until 2012, when I returned home for good, that Tom realised he actually fancied me a bit and I was worthy of a dinner date. An interesting first date later…. (it wasn’t the greatest of starts) followed by a “well saved” second date, and we were off, on what was to be the start of our little love adventure. We made a visit to Berlin in December 2014 and Tom had planned to propose at the top of the Reichstag Building. He had booked an early morning slot so there would be fewer visitors and he could find a quiet corner…. However, in true Tom style, we were refused entry as he didn’t have the admission e-mail on his phone. We managed to re-book, and a few hours later joined the back of a never ending queue of school children, overly excited at the prospect of not having to sit in a classroom for the day. At this point, Tom could see his plan slipping away, and the thought of him bent on one knee amidst the chaos, wasn’t quite what he had envisioned. He decided to wait, and see what the situation was when we got to the top of the glass dome, and take it from there. He didn’t have to wait long as we were soon met by a NO ENTRY sign to the dome, and before we knew it, ushered back down through the rest of the building. We got some great photos though. It wasn’t until the last night of the trip, we were having dinner at the top of our hotel, watching the fog roll in over the beautiful views of Berlin, that Tom thought would make the perfect backdrop for plan B. We ended up tucked away in a corner of the bar, Tom with a beer, me with a cup of tea (I was ready to go to bed, but Tom insisted we had one more) mid conversation, Tom ended up squeezing into the smallest of gaps between the sofa and table to finally ask me to marry him. It was our version of perfect and we have some happy “before” and “after” memories from that trip.
What was your inspiration and vision for your day?
We both wanted to be very hands on and get stuck in with all of the decor for the wedding. We like a challenge, so set ourselves a budget, and just wanted to make it a special, intimate day that people could enjoy and look back on with some great memories. We wanted it to be very relaxed and have hints of “us” throughout the day. We also couldn’t have the day without our dog, Rodney.
Why did you choose The West Mill Venue?
We always joke about the first time we visited The West Mill as it was a building site, we were renovating our house at the time, and it felt like home from home. I still have visions of Tom making a trip to the loo in a yellow hard hat! We came away, and sat by the fire in The Abbey pub down the road and I said to Tom I didn’t need to look anywhere else. He agreed. We also liked the fact that Andrew and Chrissie were just starting out, and listening to his ideas and hopes for the building made us want to support that. It was the only venue we looked at. Easiest decision we have ever made!
Did you do any DIY projects?
Everything was DIY! The ceremony backdrop was our biggest project, I had many a flight and train journey occupied by crane folding! Trying to lay them out with an ombre effect, with a husband to be who is colour blind, probably wasn’t the easiest task to date. But we survived. The centrepieces were also a joint effort, we had a good production line going between us. I think our conversation was minimal by the end though! We quite enjoyed being creative on a budget. I can’t think of anything we (or family and friends) didn’t make!
As I’m quite petite, and I had no idea what sort of dress I wanted, I did feel a little stressed whilst dress shopping. I felt a sense of calm when I walked into Martin’s shop and ended up with a dress he had chosen for me to try. I went for plain and simple, as I think classic will never really date. My veil ended up being a late addition as I was undecided. But so glad I went with it. In the evening, I added a hint of detail with a subtle, dainty belt and red lip. My wonderful friend and nail technician – Libby – convinced me to have my nails done as I’m not very good at looking after my hands. She did a wonderful job with not having much to work with! I also wanted plain flowers so White roses seemed to be the obvious choice. I felt a single rose added a classic finish to the dress. I also carried a yellow rose in memory of my brother, that was my way of having his presence with me throughout the day. We also wanted a non fussy cake so a naked cake was a no brainer for us!
What was on the Menu?
We provided our own drinks for the Reception and Wedding Breakfast. The wine was homemade by my Dad’s Italian barber, and it went down a treat judging by the dance floor at the end of the night! We also chose the Host a Roast option for our Main. We are SO glad we did this, many people commented what great fun it was to have a twist on the meal. We enjoyed watching everyone get stuck in! The food was absolutely delicious from start to finish.
What was your favourite part of the wedding?
Just seeing everyone, from different parts of our life, in one place having a great time! We had a surprise arranged for us by some friends and families from The Wedding Singers. Who apparently went round to some of our guests during our drinks reception, chatting to them and serving drinks, just generally blending in with the staff. It wasn’t until later, when they popped up at our Wedding Breakfast with guitar in hand ,that they realised it was all an act! They were absolutely fantastic, and having all of your loved ones in one room, crying with laughter is a moment I will never forget.
Can you sum up your wedding day in 3 words?
Full of Love.
Do you have any advice for future brides and grooms?
The day goes by so unbelievably quickly. Just trust that your guests will have a great day no matter what. Everyone is there for you, so enjoy every single moment of it. In the planning process there will always be little things that won’t quite go to plan. Everyone kept asking me in the final weeks before if I was stressed. But I really wasn’t, and I’m so glad I didn’t sweat the small stuff. Tom and I now laugh at the conversations we used to have over the silly things. We didn’t have a care in the world on the day, and it was above and beyond all our expectations. Find yourselves some great photographers, these are the moments you will treasure for many years to come. Still now I look back and think how did I ever plan a Wedding Day?! There were times we had no idea what we were doing, or even where to start, but it ended up being such a great day for us. Even if we looked like we knew what we were doing on the day 🙂
The Dream Team
Photographer: Pixies in the Cellar
Brides’s Fashion: Dress & Veil- Martin Charles Bridal Gallery.
Shoes – Jenny Packham for Debenhams. Earrings – Jon Richard
Hair: Lucie King at Daniel Granger Hairdressing
Make Up: The Bride.
Groom’s Fashion: Suit – Asos Shoes – Bertie Bow Tie – Mrs Bow Tie
Bridesmaid’s Dresses: Little Black Dress Flower girl – Monsoon with a little DIY!
Cake: Emma’s Cakes – Ripley
Flowers: Kerry at Tineke Floral Designs
Stationery: Very much a Hobbycraft/DIY affair!
Band/DJ: Ruby and the Rhythms
Other Entertainment: A huge surprise by the hilarious Wedding Singers