Real Wedding - Nicola & Colin

Real Wedding: Nicola & Colin

This couple wanted a BIG wedding so they could have all of their family and friends celebrating with them. Shabby chic meets a historic monastery with a firework display to finish. 

Real Wedding: Nicola & Colin


The Engagement 

We met in the summer of 2011 and from then on was inseparable. In the Nov of 2013, Colin was turning 30 and I was surprising him with a trip to Rome. However, he had arranged a little surprise of his own. He had asked my mom and dad for their permission to ask me to marry him and took my mom ring shopping to pick the diamond all without my knowledge! Colin knew he was going away for his birthday but didn’t know where and my mom had said see where you go take the ring with you and if you find somewhere you like to do it, do it. That’s exactly what he did! Standing in front of the Trevi Fountain in front of hundreds of people, I closed my eyes to make my wish and when I opened them again he was down on one knee with the ring in his hand. It was amazing! We were engaged for 17 months and got married May 2015.


We really wanted our wedding to be a big celebration with all our family and friends! We wanted the day to represent how much we loved each other and how much we wanted to spend the rest of our lives together! The most important thing to me was that Colin was happy and it radiated from him all day. It truly was the best day of our lives and I’ve never felt so much love as I did on that day not just from Colin but everybody that was there to celebrate with us. 

It’s was quite a big wedding! We had 160 guests to sit down and an extra 50 guests on the night but we had everybody we wanted there. Our theme was a shabby chic style, quite laid back with birdcage centrepieces and rose-pink and cream colour schemes. I found our inspiration from browsing wedding magazines and websites!


We got married at Stanbrook Abbey in Worcester.  It was a stunning venue that had been converted from a convent where the Benedictine nuns lived into an amazing venue. Although it was a civil setting, the original chapel was still there and that’s where the ceremony took place. It had all the vibes of a church wedding with the grand setting but without the religious aspect. The whole day was at the one venue. We moved into a beautiful marquee for the wedding breakfast and then into a different room for the party. The doors opened from the party room to a veranda that leads to an outside seating area and then connected back up to the marquee and we had it all to ourselves.


My wedding dress was from a small shop from where I lived called Elegant Gowns. It was the second dress I tried on and I immediately fell in love with it. My dress was figure hugging but in a good way as I’m quite a curvy girl but my dress extenuated all the right places. It made me feel beautiful, sexy and I knew my future husband would love it.


I had no input into what Colin choose to wear at all. He knew what the colour scheme was and off he went to pick what he wanted for himself and his groomsmen. Needless to say, I was very impressed! He had decided that if he doesn’t get to see my dress then I don’t get to see his suit. This way we both had a nice surprise waiting for us. They were all from a small shop called Dapper Dans.


I found my bridesmaid dresses on the internet from a place Called Ali express. They were coming from China and I wasn’t 100% sure what I was going to get but they were beautiful and a real bargain. We had decided to go for really elegant dresses in a light, subtle pink.


I had both my hair, and my bridesmaid’s hair, done by a family friend who I knew was really handy with some curling tongs.

My make-up artist had been recommended by my wedding venue. Her name was Brook Price and was amazing. I was really pleased with my make-up and she also did all the bridesmaids.


For my bouquet, the bridesmaid’s flowers and the button holes we used a professional shop. They delivered the flowers in the morning and they were stunning.

For the ceremony flowers me, my mom and the bridesmaids made them the night before. My mom picked the flowers from the flower market in the morning and used filled birdcages we had purchased. They were used in the ceremony to line the aisle and then transferred them onto the tables before the wedding breakfast. We did a really good job and it was cheaper than purchasing floral centrepieces.


We had a fairly simple menu of roast beef and turkey carvery – Colin’s favourite! We really wanted to make the most of our wedding cake, which had been included in our wedding package from the venue, so we had this for dessert! It was a lemon, sponge and chocolate cake served with custard.


I designed and made our invitations myself. I also made the centrepieces, table names and numbers and the table plan. I’m quite arty and enjoy doing those types of things, it did save money but that wasn’t the reason I did it myself.


When guests were coming into the venue we had an acoustic duet called Georgia and Prok who were amazing. They sang during the ceremony and at the drinks reception. On the evening we had a live band and then to top the night off we had fireworks to music. We loved having live music throughout our day! The firework display was my special surprise to Colin. We had always both wanted a firework display but I convinced him it was out of our budget just so I could see his face!


We used Jet Photography for our wedding photographs, it was a package we had found on Groupon. Neither of us felt we needed a full wedding photography package as we had really wanted our videographer (family friend) to have most of the attention. Our photographer was with us for 8 hours and she catered to exactly what we needed her to.  Unfortunately, our photographer no longer trades.


Honestly, as beautiful as the day was the one memory I will have forever is how happy Colin was on the day. My bridesmaid said, “You could actually see the amount of love he had for you radiating from him”.


  1. Don’t stress too much, your day will be perfect for you!

2. When you are married try to have 5 minutes on your own together just to compose yourself and really absorb the atmosphere. Enjoy every minute of it because it is over before you know it!

3. I would definitely recommend a videographer as you always have the day to look back on and moments that you may have missed can be replayed forever.



Venue & Ceremony: Stanbrook Abbey   Wedding Dress: Elegant Gowns
Bridesmaid Dresses: Ali express  Groom & Groomsmen: Dapper Dans 
 Flowers: Sarah Kelly’s Flower Room   Make-Up: Brook Price
Entertainment: Georgia and Prok & James Franklyn

Photography: Jet Photography




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