Real Wedding: Nicola & Ben | Ideal Bride Magazine

Real Wedding: Nicola & Ben

Real Wedding

Vintage Travel: Nicola & Ben

Real Wedding

Real Wedding

Vintage Travel: Nicola & Ben

Nicola Smith (32) and Ben Fenton (38) met in Cairo whilst both on the same group tour around Egypt and Jordan in April 2007. Nicola says: " We both got on really well, but as we were both shy it was the usual does he, doesn’t he like me situation.

Thank God for my friend I was travelling with, she got so sick of me looking glum on the flight home that she swapped seats with Ben. As we lived about 250 miles apart, we did the long distance relationship for a year before I moved from the south coast up to Manchester.

In 2010 we decided to quit our jobs and take a year off to travel round the world, a scary decision at the best of times, but even more so when you are that bit older and have grown up responsibilities and commitments. Nine months and several countries later we arrived at the idyllic Blue Lagoon Resort situated on the Yasawa Group of islands off the coast of Fiji.

On the last night of our stay Ben decided we should go for a walk down the beach to watch the sunset, the next thing I knew he was down on one knee popping the question! I was left speechless, and after a long pause said yes, he exclaimed good, because I have organised for a champagne and seafood dinner for 2 on the beach!

We got married in a beautiful barn just outside of Winchester called Clock Barn. Helen and all of her staff were amazing throughout the run up and on the day, it could not have run smoother!

Real Wedding: Nicola & Ben

Real Wedding: Nicola & Ben
Real Wedding: Nicola & Ben

The Theme

As we met travelling and were both passionate travellers (having done a lot of travelling before we met) it seemed fitting that we based the wedding around this. Also, because I love everything vintage I decided to go down the vintage travel route. This theme also allowed us to do all aspects ourselves, as each component was hand made by us.

The guest book/card table had 1920/40s vintage suitcases that I had lined with vintage luggage stamp wrapping paper for the guest’s cards. The guest book had three hearts on the front, the centre of each was 1, the place we met, 2, the place Ben proposed, and 3, the place we were getting married.

We also had a vintage globe, and a personalised please sign our guestbook sign made for us by Button Box Cards. There was also a 1920s style Deco poster by East of India, ‘Drink Champagne and Dance on the table’.

The table plan was a vintage map, with each table being a significant location we had visited together. Each table list was typed in old typewriter font and mounted on a manila luggage tag. The place settings were manila luggage tags by Button Box Cards; each name stamped in vintage typeface and stamped with vintage postmarks.

They were tied with airmail twine. There was no real colour scheme; however, I picked the blue from the airmail twine for the bridesmaid dress, with highlights coming through in the bouquets (which were from ‘The Garden Inn’ in Stockbridge). The airmail theme was also used in the invitations, which were designed specifically for us by Cotton Baked.

For the table centres I had cream Moroccan Lamps with spice scented candles inside, and used vintage map heart shaped table confetti to scatter around the lamp. The table name was made from a vintage luggage trunk sticker stuck onto a manila luggage tag. On the ceremony table I had a stone heart shaped bowl with freeze dried peonies from Shropshire Petals.

We also carried this theme through to the transport; putting on a vintage 1940s, Bedford Coach from Mervyn’s Coaches for all the family to get to the venue from our Winchester based hotel. I travelled in a Rolls Royce Silver Cloud in cream, it was a real treat and Ben even requested a ride out in it before the Wedding Breakfast started.

Real Wedding: Nicola & Ben
Real Wedding: Nicola & Ben

The Brides Outfit

My dress was by Paloma Blanca, I fell in love with the vintage styling and lace detail. I also loved the fact that the designer was based in Vancouver where I lived for one year following University. After trying on countless dresses with my sisters in tow they decided that they knew me better than myself and put me in this dress, once I saw myself in it I didn’t want to take it off.

They have reminded me ever since that they were right! I got the dress from Timeless Bride in Poynton, near Manchester. The owner and manager Michelle was fantastic, she was absolutely amazing throughout the whole process and sent me off with a hug and some wise words to calm my nerves!

My shoes are by Rachel Simpson, the design is called ‘Tilly’, I loved the 1920s styling. My jewellery (necklace, earrings and bracelet) are by a designer called Katherine Swaine. I bought the necklace and earrings and then she designed the bracelet especially to match.

My hair comb was a vintage piece from Etsy. My clutch was a 1920s vintage piece from a supplier I found on Not On The Highstreet. I did my own make up after a bridal make up session at Bobbi Brown, and used the ‘Audrey Hepburn’ look, with thick black eye liner and old Hollywood lipstick.

My Bridesmaid wore a Dessy dress, in the colour Royal, and had complimentary pewter accessories from Not On The High Street. My Flower Girl (Ben’s niece) had a lace dress and shoes from John Lewis, with accessories from Monsoon. All the Groom’s party wore matching suits hired from Moss Bros.

Real Wedding: Nicola & Ben

Real Wedding: Nicola & Ben
Real Wedding: Nicola & Ben

The Entertainment

We decided not to have a cake, and instead focus all our attention on a killer desert: a trio including lemon cheesecake, pavlova topped with fruit and a chocolate tube. One guest exclaimed whilst eating them that each one just got better than the last!

Our Caterers Perks were fantastic, Anna tailored the menu to exactly what we wanted and everything was home cooked by her in the barn kitchen. After the wedding ceremony, we had a mixed selection of canapes, which were delicious.

With the canapes, we had the waiters offering guests either Prosecco or a pint of real ale. It was important for us to make the day about what was special to us, I love a good glass of prosecco and Ben a good pint of real ale. Anna ordered the keg from Otters Brewery especially at our request.

We had pate and Melba toast to start, with a gin and tonic sorbet next to cleanse the palette (we are both lovers of a good G&T!). Then for main course, we had Rump of Lamb Garnished with Fresh Rosemary, Filled Aubergine – for the vegetarians, Fine Green Beans, Leeks in a white sauce with grated cheese and browned, New Potatoes with parsley and butter, Good Red Wine Gravy, Mint Sauce, Red Currant Jelly and Apple and Rosemary Jelly.

With the main meal, we offered guests a white Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand and a red Shiraz from Australia. As we paid no corkage we supplied all of our own wine/fizz and went back to our wine tours in Australia/New Zealand to find inspiration on what we supplier. We had guests taking photos of the wine labels so they could buy them when they got home, we took that as a good sign that they went down well!

Anna was also amazing with respect to some of the special dietary requirements that were needed within the guests; a vegan and gluten free. She took great care in catering especially for their needs from the canapes all the way through to the desserts.

The First Dance

Our first dance was to Frank Sinatra’s ‘I’ve got you under my skin’, as Ben used to play the crooners to me when we first started dating. We didn’t do a choreographed routine, as we were keen to get all the guests up to join in as soon as we could. They were straight off the mark when invited, and even my 80 something Nan and Granddad (they would kill me if I disclosed their real age) were up having a dance.

The Honeymoon

As we have both travelled extensively this was a tricky choice. We finally settled on a five star Safari in Kenya, staying for one week with the Governors Safari group in two locations; Lake Navaisha and Masai Mara. During which we did a walking safari, Balloon Safari and countless game drives with our own guide Isaac.

We saw an amazing collection of animals, and even the rare Black Rhino. We then flew to Zanzibar (a small island off the coast of Tanzania) to spend a week relaxing at a small beach resort called Fumba Beach Lodge."

Ideal Bride Magazine brings you real brides, real weddings & real stories. Delving into every detail of our featured brides weddings. So if your a past, present or future bride and are interested in featuring your wedding and would like more information, get in contact at tracy@idealbridemagazine.co.uk

All images courtesy of mvsphotography.com

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