Wedding Party
Wedding Party
A Spring wedding in France with a Pronovias dress and a blush pink colour scheme
A Spring wedding in France with a Pronovias dress and a blush pink colour scheme
A Spring wedding in France with a Pronovias dress and a blush pink colour scheme
A Spring wedding in France with a Pronovias dress and a blush pink colour scheme
The Day After
The Day After
A Spring wedding in France with a Pronovias dress and a blush pink colour scheme
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Nicola & Jack

This is the ridiculously beautiful wedding of Nicola and Jack. You will more than likely recognise Nicola as she was one of our 2014 real brides – her writing style is aces, as is her taste in venues. The French Chateau setting is the stuff made of dreams, as are the white on white florals with a smidgen of glitter and twinkle.

This is timeless glamour at its very finest, soft feminine decor touches combined with a selection of sartorial triumphs. It’s probably a big no no to admit you are jealous of someone else’s wedding but I’m going to come right out and say it – I am.

Nicola’s report is LONG, there’s no denying it but it’s well worth a read folks, perhaps gawp at the lush imagery and then come back later for proper sit down?

I expect muchos pinning action to be occurring this morning, I know we will be!

Nicola The Bride : It feels very surreal to be sat here writing about our wedding. I mean we have actually done it. Kudos to brides gone by who managed to put their feelings in to words so succinctly. It is hard! There are not enough hyperboles in the world to express the high we both felt on the day, or weekend that surrounded it – bloody lush it all was!

Destination Endeavors

For all future destination bridelings out there – we’ve got it good and we’ve got it bad! For me, the good was having to get my squatted and lunged be-hind on a plane nine days before w-day. I’m known for being a bit of a last-minute-Annie so this allowed me a stress-free week in the UK to enjoy nice tasks like finalizing thank you gifts and picking up last minute honeymoon bits and bobs (nothing like stocking up on M&S undies when you don’t live in the UK!)

The bad: sheer volume of things you need to pack and take with you. We avoided hefty international shipping rates by having some things sent to us at our US address (and sent as much as we could directly to France/UK – my Mum and Dad were driving over, so we knew we had space for a car full – and we ended up with exactly that!) We ended up accumulating a lot of stuff… it really didn’t feel like much when I was clicking buy on Etsy!!! My advice to future international brides/grooms – send as much to your destination as possible in advance. Yes it requires quite a lot of lists detailing what is where, but it will be much easier in the long run and girls, you can take a better honeymoon wardrobe!

I am pleased to say everything got checked in and transported well. There were no breakages and amazingly we didn’t forget anything!

The Build-up Is Simply Flabbergasting

When we arrived at the venue on the Friday I was feeling a bit numb. I couldn’t believe it was our turn, it was our wedding weekend – it wouldn’t compute. The chateau looked better than either of us remembered, even though the sky was filled with dense grey clouds and it was spitting rain – the weather had been horrid and the forecast wasn’t looking great.
I booked beauticians to come to the chateau on the Friday afternoon and they turned the big sitting room into a pamper parlor so me and the girls enjoyed manis and pedis while drinking bubbles, it was so lush to be together and chat (screech/yelp/talk in high pitched voices) about what was going to happen over the next few days.

On wedding-Eve we went to a tiny local pub for a few low-key beers. We hadn’t made any formal arrangements as we didn’t want to put anyone under any pressure to come but was totally overwhelmed. We walked in to everyone singing “S/he’s getting married in the morning, Ding Dong the bells are going to Chime” led by my patriotic Welsh Dad who loves a sing song, soo much fun!
I went to sleep being hugely nervous about the weather, unconvinced that if it rained on w-day that I could genuinely be carefree. We see so many weddings (and hear about them on RMW!) where the rain has poured but the bride and groom were completely oblivious – I just tried to prepare myself that if I woke up and it was raining, and we wouldn’t have the ceremony outside under the tree that it wouldn’t matter. Again, the only way to sum up my feelings at this time was numbness. It’s such a crazy feeling!!

The Getting Ready Bit… eeeee is for exciting!!!!

When Saturday morning arrived I leapt out of bed, peeled back the curtains to look outside – it was dry but it wasn’t sunny. I remember thinking, I will take this!!

I made sure I ate one of Daddy’s full English breakfasts that morning. The rents had brought M&S bacon with them and after living in the USA and Australia, you reeeeeeally miss proper bacon! I tried really hard to avoid the French baguette in the interest of having a flat tummy (I was not wearing Spanx!), but I failed! A legitimate French baguette is just too good to pass on, even on your wedding day. Jack’s parents kindly arranged for hampers of fresh baguettes, pain-au -chocolate and croissants to be delivered to the chateau each morning… they arrived warm from coming out of the oven – uh-maz-ing!!!!!!!!

Bridal Beautifying

I put off getting ready for ages. Ange, our fab hairdresser arrived and made a start with the bridesmaids and Mum, while I pranced around avoiding the plates of croissants everywhere. The two things that got me in a tizz on w-day morning was 1) doing my make-up and 2) getting my head piece to stay in my hair (the weather was defo looking like it was going to be dry, so I was all good on that front!).

I was doing my make-up myself. I had done two sessions with MAC (a proper lesson and then a kind of trial) so I knew what I had to do – but hadn’t practiced once. Hmm.. That was an oversight. My make-up goes on better when I have to just get it done. Anyone else find that?! I did it in stages in between getting my hair dried/put in rollers and tried to not overthink it. I used some of the application tips I had been taught in my lesson. The MAC lessons are really good and I would totally recommend one. I didn’t want to look caked and baked when I was stood a foot away from Jack or chatting up close with my friends so I stuck to less is more. Sweetpea had brought individual MAC lashes with her so she put some on the outer corner of my top lashes – bingo, it was the perfect finishing touch I needed. Thank goodness she is such a beauty queen!
My headpiece was a mission. I wore an amazing piece called Caulfield from Stephanie Browne. It is a beautiful hunk of metal love and it was a royal pain in the ass. Even though it’s mega heavy, it’s also mega delicate and I had already broken it once which saw me having to FedEx it to Melbourne to be fixed. There was no way in wedding heaven it would stay fixed in my thin hair using the comb it came with. One of my bridesmaids artfully and amazingly (without any damage) got the headpiece off the comb and wired it on to a silver alice band. Ange concealed bits of the alice band with some sweet little plaits.

I had a mini hair trial back in September with Ange during our one and only visit to France pre-wedding but I didn’t have my hair piece with me. It was alright on the night for me, thanks to Ange being armed with wire, headbands, glue guns, clips, grips etc and a Bridesmaid who is brilliantly crafty. I didn’t have a veil or anything else to wear in my hair – without making that head piece work, I would have felt really “unfinished”. It was without doubt the statement part of my wedding day look. I can’t express how much I loved it. I treat it as a piece of art now!! I would really recommend bridelings have a trial with any hair adornments of your choice prior to the morning of, it sounds like an obvious thing to do in hindsight!

I didn’t have a defined idea for my bridesmaid’s hair. I had a vision of them in delicate hair crowns and wanted them to have free reign to decide on their own hair style, on the day – something that worked with their hair type, their gypsophila crown and complimented the style frock they were wearing – they each consulted with Ange and had fab locks that lasted all day and night.

Bouquets and buttonholes were kept really simple. I love peonies but was very happy to economize on the florals. I really love the romantic look and feel of gypsophila and it complimented the setting and is cheap! The bmaids each carried a small bunch of gypsophila and I had a small but structured posy of bloomy white peonies, tied with a string of gold sequins. Jack, his groomsmen and my Dad had small button holes of gyps. I was really pleased with how the florals turned out. Simple and white!

When the girls were frocked up and ready to roll I gave them their thank you gift. I put together a little of box of glittery goodness. The big maids had a “Love” ring in a little French Macaroon trinket box and my mini-maid had a bracelet with a heart charm, which they all wore on the day. It was a lovely moment and I loved showering them with thanks.

The Sartorial Part

I wore Urizar by Pronovias from the 2013 Fashion Collection. I loved it as soon as I tried it on. I loved the asymmetrical neckline, the flouncy bow on the shoulder, the volumes of tulle godets, the lace appliques and the silhouette from the significant length of the train. The top layer could be removed to reveal a sexier silhouette and was perfect to dance the night away in.

I knew I didn’t want a veil. I tried a few on during my first (and only wedding) dress shopping trip to make sure I was 100%. It confirmed I preferred the idea of wearing something statement on my bonce for a more modern look.

Dress number two needed a belt. The Pronovias ones were gorgeous but soooo expensive!! While on a shopping trip in New York with Mum and Sister we discovered M&J trimmings and bought the embellished applique and ribbon there and Mum used a local Cardiff seamstress to put it all together. It was totally perfect and I achieved the Pronovias look on a smidgen of the price and all the colour tones worked together.

Can I take a quick moment to talk about the Vals? I can’t express how much I fell in love with my gold satin Valentino d’Orsay sparkly bow peep-toes when I first saw them online. I was living in Sydney and couldn’t get my little mitts on them anywhere. Thank goodness for co-Real Bride Sophie who bought them for me from a store in Texas and had them shipped to the UK for me. Thanks again Sophie! I failed to buy heel plugs ahead of w-day (put it on the to-do list bridelings!) so they got all muddy from sinking in to the grass, but I really didn’t care at the time (also, I’ve been able to get them cleaned by a Valentino specialist back in NYC, phewfers!)

The rest of my wedding look was kept quite simple; I wore a pair of Stephanie Browne earrings that had the same rose coloured tones as the headpiece for the day. For the evening, I swapped the dream headpiece and earrings for a pair of chandelier earrings from BHLDN.

On the morning of the wedding my sister gave me my cousin’s blue garter to borrow. I didn’t really have the desire to stick to the something old, new, borrowed and blue tradition but I ended up with all of those things. I actually loved wearing the blue garter all day, flashing it now and then!

I asked my bridesmaids to choose their own blush toned dress. We managed to find a couple in the sale last summer, so it pays off to starting looking early. We ended up with two from Coast and two from J Crew. My gorgeous mini bridesmaid got her dress from Monsoon and her sparkly pumps from John Lewis. Bless her, she was the only one who experienced blisters all day – make sure you pack the blister plasters girls!

My Mum found a perfect gold toned Linea Raffaelli lace and silk dress and wore it with her own pair Valentino shoes – pink glittery, they were discotastic. She looked absolutely hot to trot, Dad is a lucky man!! Dad bought a new grey light wool three piece suit, he looked gorgeous too. I love seeing my Dad all dressed up; he’s a builder, so I am used to seeing him in tatty old jeans, rags to riches Daddy!

I didn’t know what Jack was wearing. I knew he wanted a two-piece suit, but I didn’t have a Scooby-doo about colour/style he had chosen. His tall and slim frame makes for a frustrating shopping challenge but boy did he do well. He wore a light blue Hugo by Hugo Boss suit and ended up having more fittings than me! He bought a few white shirts to account for trial and error (something he is used to accounting for) and is totally chuffed with himself for discovering Hugh and Crye, a Washington based company who offer an innovative approach to men’s tailoring by sizing purely based on body type and build, not by a standardized collar/arm length. They have a luxurious quality and offer an amazing fit, grooms – check them out!! Jack changed his mind last minute and chose tan shoes and belt over black (I’m so pleased he did!), not the ideal last minute shopping experience the day before we flew!!

We bought Jack’s groomsmen navy blue suits from Next and they looked fab. Jack, his boys and my Dad wore blue floral print cotton self-tie bow ties from KnotNowBowTie. Jack has always loved a bow tie and they all looked like dapper gentlemen and complimented my super sassy maids without being too matchy matchy.

I Should Be So Lucky

As soon as I saw my Dad waiting for me in the corridor I felt my heart jump out of my body. He looked so lush. I love a cwtch from my Dad and our cwtch at that moment was just the best. I was now ready to roll!! I was on cloud nine and I just couldn’t wait to see Jack.
The ceremony area looked like a movie scene. We were lucky as the gardeners hadn’t cut the grass for hay so we enjoyed a long mown aisle through wispy grass. We had rows of white wooden chairs with votives of simple white gypsophila hanging off the rows. We didn’t want fussy décor for the ceremony, the natural beauty of the chateau grounds along with a crystal chandelier hanging from a low branch was enough – it looked so romantic.

We didn’t print out ceremony books – it was an environmental decision over a fiscal one. Instead we wrote the order of service on a mirror and propped it up against a tree by the entrance to the aisle and fancied it up with a gorgeously oversized Geronimo balloon that had white, gold, silver and blush pink tassels. It looked gorge! Lou brought down a box of parasols just in case there was any extreme weather conditions. We didn’t need them (luckily) but they looked very cute.

My maids walked down the long aisle before me and Dad to an instrumental version of the Gavin and Stacey theme tune, played by Jack’s best man – Dan. It has such a lovely melody and Jack and I are huge fans of the show.

Walking down the aisle arm-in-arm with my Dad had been one of the wedding moments I was most excited about. The experience didn’t disappoint. When we heard our music start we set off but after about four steps one of my Vals got stuck in the ground and I thought I was going to have to bend over and pull it out like a weed. Luckily with a little wiggle from me and giggle with Dad we continued our precious walk down the aisle together.

I have kind of always known what music I wanted to walk down the aisle to. I am a HUGE Kylie fan – I have been to see her 13 times in multiple countries! During one of her early concerts she played a really slowed down version of “I Should Be So Lucky” (there is an orchestral version of it on Kylie’s “Abbey Road Sessions” album) I asked our supremely talented singer/songwriter friend, Lucy Westhead if she would mind singing it for me. Being an equally huge Kylie fan – this was a dream gig for her. From different continents Lucy and Dan conversed and laid down an acoustic version of I should be so lucky and all I remember on the day was walking down the aisle beaming from ear to ear, singing and smiling at our guests who also had equally huge smiles looking back at me. I remember focusing in on Jack – looking more and more handsome the nearer and nearer I got to him, his eyes were all red, awwww, Jacko!! I could have sworn a cloud delivered me to him. By the time I got to the end of the aisle and was in Jack’s safe hands I was a shaky and smiley mess. Looking back on the photos I don’t appear to have any signs of emotional ruin!!! I was just so happy! Ain’t nobody got time for tears while Lucy is singing Kylie!!!

Our ceremony was officiated by a dear mutual friend, Vicky T. It was sincerely heart-warming and funny in parts, just like her. We knew she would nail it and she did us so proud!!

Our sisters each did a reading. My sister read the lyrics to “I’m in the mood for Love” and Jack’s sister read a quote from Roald Dahl’s adult fiction book called “My Uncle Oswald”. We wrote our own promises for each other, exchanged vows and rings. I managed to find a diamond wedding band from a lush jeweler in Meatpacking called Doyle and Doyle and Jack chose a simple yellow gold band (which he doesn’t wear!)

You might remember that we did the legal part of the marriage in Vegas, so we could tailor and personalize our wedding ceremony as much as we wanted. It was still important to us to acknowledge the declarations we had made to each other in the presence of our loved ones so we printed out the promises and signed them (as you would the register), with our Mums as witnesses. During this time Lucy belted out with heart and gusto Emeli Sandé’s “Next to Me”. If there had been any dry eyes in the house, there wasn’t one left after that, it was such an emotional performance.

Hearing Vicky T say you may kiss your wife was incredible. We hadn’t discussed what kind of smooch we would ‘do”, we wanted it to be natural. It was lush – a proper head holding smooch-a-rama – we kind of forgot that anyone else was there – sorry for the PDA guys!!

Our processional was to a really upbeat song by Architects of Helsinki called “Escapee” – it has an instant beat and we loved walking back up the aisle together as Mr and Mrs, smiling and waving to people. I couldn’t stop pumping my bouquet in to the air on every beat – especially when the trombones kicked in!!

We’re very lucky to have talented and generous friends, and we’re so very grateful to them for doing us the enormous honour of being a part of our wedding ceremony. It made everything feel so personal. We have had so many compliments about the ceremony and to anyone who is thinking of having friends involved over “officials” – follow your heart, we are so pleased we did it the way we wanted. Luce, Dan, Vicky T, Cath and Tessa – you seriously aced it, thanks again with all our hearts.

Bubbles, Quizze Rascals and lots of candles

While everyone nipped around the fence to the poolside for canapés and champagne served in coupes, Jack and I went to have some photos with Jonny and Morgane from M&J Photos. OMG these guys are ridiculously talented and not only are they the most attractive couple ever, they are absolutely the nicest people ever too (sorry for my crushing!). Our guests didn’t even realize they were the photographers as they seamlessly integrated in to the whole weekend. We weren’t too fussed on having many couple or staged photos, but on the day snuck in a few. We love the candid photos M&J got by the pool with everyone eating, drinking and larking around.

One of the nicest surprises was having a champagne tower – we hadn’t even seen it until M&J sent us the photos! Wicked!!

After our photies we walked in to the champagne reception through a manmade tunnel of white rose petals and old school paper confetti. It was so much fun and the pics that M&J got of this moment are actually some of our fav photos from the weekend.

The canapés were a huge success. All the catering was done by a local restaurateur, Joss. Him and his expert team served tomato tartellettes, foie gras brulee, and scallops with a spicy sauce, duck brochettes, smoked salmon and veggie quiche. Champagne and trays of canapés were being walked around constantly but were also available at food stations. We didn’t even know the scallops were going to be prepared and cooked in front of us.

When we walked in to the barn for dinner, the transformation was amazing thanks to Lou and Luminous who installed all the indoor and outdoor lighting. Lou, our planner/new friend from MMIF brought our vision to life impeccably. It was elegant with just the right amount of sparkle (and disco balls). We had tones of fairy lights wrapped around beams and draped along curtains behind the bar. Lighting was really important and we prioritsed it over other décor items like flowers. The tables were pimped up with tea light candles in mercury votives, big blouncy blooms of white hydrangeas and small white picture frames housing the table names. Some of the food courses were being served on big share platters so we didn’t want the tables to be over cluttered.

By the entrance, we had a big table with a blush pink sequin runner, our menu was scribed on a mirror and a table plan written on a large blackboard using a gold chalk pen (Lou has nice writing!!) Jack’s mum handmade us a beautiful guest book and we put a white Instax camera, films and a pen next to a little sign asking people to “snap it, shake it, stick it, sign it”. A brass and glass display box was open to collect any cards.

Jacko loves a pub quiz so we named the tables after pub quiz pun names i.e. Quizee Rascal, Quizneyland etc. We also made up a short pub quiz, including a speech sweepstake and put it on the tables using a clipboard and some really cute white pencils with gold hearts stamped on them, sourced from Etsy. It was really a lovely touch as there was a clear Jack stamp on the day!!

On each place setting we wrapped a white cotton napkin with a piece of gold ribbon and a mini disco ball (most of which got fashioned as earrings, necklaces or bracelets – typical wedding behaviour!). Peeps found their seat by identifying their faces on little cube marshmallows. There’s an awesome British company called Boomf who print Instagram photos on to square marshmallows. Everyone loved their personalized Boomf place names and they were a fun talking point when people looked at each other’s photos – we made sure they were silly and embarrassing ones with a story to be told.

Jacko and I decided to have a table for two, I think they get called sweetheart tables. We wanted to make sure we had us time. It was fab and I would really recommend it. I spent loads of QT with my hubbage and in between courses we floated around and chatted to people. Mum had arranged a personalized tablecloth and napkins to be made for us, which was really sweet. I love a bit of personalization.

Steak, Frites and Silliness

Appetizers was an impressive selection of hot and cold fish, meats, veggies, salads and the most decadent oven-baked camembert cheese served on slate platters so everyone could tuck in and help themselves. Mains was Steak Frites… when in France….!!! With a few different sauces. The red wine jus was out of this freaking world, it made for excellent chip dipping. The frites were served in white paper cones and we had a stamp made that said Nicola and Jack, our wedding date and venue name. Using gold ink, Lou stamped each of the chip cones – it looked really cool. Desserts were a platter of amazingness – unfortunately I MISSED out on eating my dessert – a big whopping huge FAIL and one of my only regrets… desert is hands down my favourite course of any meal, let alone my wedding meal in the capitol country of puddings!! Everyone else enjoyed chocolate fondant, poached pears, macaroons and citron tart… Ooh, I wish I could rewind the clock!

We had a variety of white and red wines available all day/night and the benefit of having a wedding in France is that you don’t have to spend an arm and a leg to get really good quality wine for a really good price. Even our discerning wine friends commented on how tasty it was (phewf, as Jacko and I are not very learned on wine!)

We chose to have the speeches between the entree and dessert to give everyone a bit of a break from eating! Dad had me in tears and fits of laughter – he did an ACE job, even snuck in a few embarrassing stories… thanks Dad!!!

Jacko made a really gorgeous speech wearing a handmade tank top, courtesy of his Mum. It was in homage to his parents getting married in matching tank-tops that his Mum knitted for them back in the 60s.

Jack had two best men and they crafted a standup show more than a speech. They were brilliant and integrated lots of Jacko’s idiosyncrasies that had lots of people laughing, some naff puns that only Jack could find funny and read a lot of messages from people who were unable to be there.

All in all the speeches came in under an hour, which I thought was really long, but according to the sweepstake question on the quiz, it was very expected!!! One of the groomsmen announced the quiz winners and that table had the pleasure of a dirty shot. Sorry guys!

You Make My Dreams Come True

By the time we had finished dinner and speeches we were eager to do the first dance and get the party started. We love Hall and Oates’ “You make my dreams come true” it is nicely upbeat and we defo didn’t want a slow song. We had not practiced any dance moves, we had to wing it. Jacko pulled out every move from his dancing repertoire bag and strung them all together in a mad fashion – he was on fire. It was sooooo much fun but I am sure we looked chaotic!!!!

We hired the most dude of dudes as DJ. Yanis Texier is a local Bordeaux DJ who does a lot of International parties so we knew it wouldn’t be too French (without wanting to sound rude)! He was adorable to deal with, he wore a TUX and had fab equipment and he also had a DISCO BALL! Very important for me!!!

Cocktails! We had a free-flowing full bar all night with two signature cocktails – A Mrs Daniel and Percy Street – named after the London address of the agency where Jack and I met (the agency logo was blue, hence the slush puppy colour!)

We bought some jazzy paper straws in black and white, pink and gold stars and made some cocktail stirrers using kebab skewers and small colored sequin balls. We printed bar menus and had black cocktail napkins with our gold embossed stamp on them dotted around.

When we went outside after sunset, our breathe was taken away. All the candle light twinkling in the courtyard was magical, there was a constant gaggle of people sat outside having a breather, enjoying the balmy night, smoking and drinking jugs of cocktails!

We had a whisky and cigar bar. Jack is finding his whisky feet – so we had a mixture of honey, Welsh and Scottish whiskys. Jack had a fab experience going cigar shopping in NYC. We had our logo embossed in gold on to black matchboxes to add to the party vibe. Lou donated us a gold and glitter Mr & Mrs sign from a previous wedding, which we put on the Whisky and Cigar Bar – it looked fab and was a lovely brucey bonus! We did no DIY for our wedding, my moto was hire and buy… !

I had bought a Barbie Bride and Ken Groom months before the wedding and we had no idea how we would use them until Jack came up with the clever idea of pinning them to the bathroom doors – so much fun!! I didn’t actually see them on the night (how did I not go to the bathroom once…) but they look cute in the photos!!

About 11pm we had Joss’ team set up a Crepe bar and offered a choice of savoury (ham and cheese) or sweet (Nutella…hubba hubba!). My only other regret besides not eating my dessert was not having a Nutella crepe. What was I doing….!?!! But many people had multiple – they were a huge success. We had some larger white napkins with the gold embossed logo on them to wipe away Nutella lips!

Yanis kept people on the dance floor all night. There was more than one conga line (sorry Sophie!! Ha ha!), I had my Kylie Spinning Around moment stood on a chair while everyone danced around me and there were just lots of twirls and big bad moves being displayed. Jack’s brother in law arranged for the last song to be New York, New York by Frank, a wedding classic, so we ended up in the middle of high kicking legs and sloshing around vodkas. It was a fab end to our night!!

Jack and I finally called it a night at 3.30am and left some of the hardcore crew to it, including my Dad. Dan got his guitar out and there were many more hours of sing songs had, skinny dipping in the pool and people sleeping in rooms they really shouldn’t have been in!!! Just before I walked through the door to our bedroom, Jacko stopped me and picked me up to carry me over the threshold in proper old-school-fashion. My bridesmaid Bing had tidied up all the room (from the getting ready mess!) and sprinkled heart confetti over every surface, it was such a surprise and was the perfect end to our perfect day.

What You Looking At Swan?

We had a nice lie in on the Sunday before greeting everyone back at the chateau at 2.30pn for a lunch of roast lamb spit, salads, sausages and an impressive dessert platter. The catering was done by a lovely couple (we found out on the day were fellow Welshies), who own a local French catering company.

There was enough wine, beer and spirits to see people through the day. We couldn’t have been luckier with the weather. It was raining at 2.30pm so we made use of the tents we had hired (and didn’t need to use on w-day). Lou even made the inside of the tents look fab with disco balls hanging from the ceiling, more candles and flowers in votives dotted around the tables.

By about 4pm the sun really come out to play and in true Brit style everyone moved like sheep to the sunny patches around the pool. A chunk of the boys broke out in to a football game while the rest of us laid about and it was a great time for me and Jack to spend time with guests who had travelled an especially long way. Sunday was all about the QT.

We asked M&J to come along to the pool party to get some candid shots and so glad we did. They took some lovely photos of everyone. Jacko and I bought some giant inflatable swans, with the view of having races… but the water was way too cold. We made the most of them though and I love the photos M&J got of us messing about trying to mount them without falling in!
For those staying at the chateau, we crammed in to the largest of living rooms, ordered pizzas, drank the rest of the red wine and chatted in to the early hours – drawing a close on the most unforgettable weekend for Jack and me. When the time came to say goodbye to people, we were emotional. It’s tough saying long haul goodbyes at the best of times, but especially tough after such an immense 3 days with everyone.

My Favourite Bits and Advice

Immediately after saying goodbye to everyone on the Monday I started to freak out. I had been in a surprising state of calm all weekend – nothing did or could have phased me. Even when Lou informed us on the Saturday night that the “O” balloon popped while being pumped up and to let us know that it would probably deflate by the end of the night… I really didn’t give two hoots. I was grateful she told me, but she didn’t need to as I wouldn’t have noticed at all! A lot of brides say that you don’t sweat the small stuff on the day – and it is SO true!!
But I started to stress AFTER!!! Stressy that I hadn’t spent enough time with this person, or that person, and what if everyone who had taken photos got in the way of M&J…

I call it the pedantic wedding sandwich. On the lead up to w-day and the days after – I was concerned about the small stuff and fixated on all the little details. But on the day – I was cool as a cucumber. The first few days of honeymoon I was a pain in Jack’s bum going on about not eating my dessert, or having a crepe and was so hung up on wanting to re-wind the clock to do all the things I think I missed out on. We were planning on tossing a pancake instead of cutting a cake (we didn’t have a cake) – didn’t happen. We had bought giant sparklers for a sparkler send off – didn’t happen…. I didn’t see the Barbie and Ken, I didn’t have a whisky, I hardly drank a drop, I didn’t dance enough with Vicky T, I didn’t feel like I saw my bridesmaids after the ceremony…. The list was getting longer and longer and it was sending me in a tizz whizz.

But I remembered the conversation that Jacko and I had when we got back to our room at 3.30am. We giddily asked each other – “what do you think…” and both of us said at that very moment we wouldn’t change a thing and were just elated that everything went according to “plan”. I asked Jacko what his advice would be, if he had to give it and he said to plan 60% of the day and let the rest happen. I would completely agree with Jack.

It is really surprising how affordable a wedding planner / coordinator is. It was less than 10% of the total wedding cost and was the best thing we invested in! While Lou looked after all the logistics and stuff that makes weddings really stressful – we could spend our time with friends and generally feeling like we were on holiday! We trusted her implicitly and she was a pleasure to have around on the day – we felt like we had really become friends during the 18 month planning period. Thanks so much Lou – you were beyond fantastic.

On reflection, we were both so happy with how much both of our personalities came through in our weekend. From my sparkles and disco balls to Jack’s quizzes and whisky, it was a true reflection of us as individuals and as a couple. Personalizing our day in ways that were meaningful to us was important. The ceremony is hands down my most favourite part. I loved holding Jack’s hands and experiencing it together.

I was worried I’d be an emotional wreck on w-day but I was far too busy smiling and laughing! Reminiscing about the day wells me up in a jiffy but I am so pleased I smiled through the day – I have a very very ugly crying face that my sister constantly reminds me of!! Ha ha! Sisters hey! All our other favourite bits were captured by M&J who we cannot thank enough – they have also filled in many blanks from our day with their beautiful piccies.

That is it folks! Thanks so much for having me over the last year and a bit, I have loved sharing this with you and am thoroughly enjoying life as Mrs. Daniel.

Photography by M and J Photography
Author: Charlotte O’Shea
Purveyor of short shorts. Make-up junkie. Hopes to grow old disgracefully.

29 thoughts on “Nicola & Jack

  1. Ahhhhh wow!!! This looks and sounds like the best wedding ever!!!! I’m a little bit jealous as it sounds so perfect! Well done for creating what looks like will be the best weekend of your lives 🙂
    Just brilliant guys and I loved reading the write up too.

    1. Hi Holly, thanks so much for your lovely words, it will defo be the best weekend of our lives, seeing it again today through the eyes of RMW has brought back so many happy memories. Are you planning your wedding? Or are you like me… maried and still love looking and reading about other weddings? (does this ever go away!?) xx

    2. Thanks so much for your lovely words, Holly. It will defo be the best weekend of our lives, seeing it again today through the eyes of RMW has brought back so many happy memories.

      Are you currently planning your wedding? Or are you like me… married and still love looking and reading about other weddings? (does this ever go away!?) xx

  2. Nicola my lusciousness, no matter how much I see these pics, I never stop loving them! As for that write up, screw the length love, it’s all about the goosebumps and smiles it just gave me and will give so many readers whether they know you like we do or not. ALSO bang on – the swans made it in to the post – best photo ever I love it. Now lets all plan our weddings again and get our squatted and lunged be-hinds to friggin France! Love you millions xxxx

    1. Quite – screw the length, as a planning bride I always liked to read as well as “see” the real weddings. Plus for you girls that have shared your journeys here it’s only right we receive the full report.

      The swans are indeed genius.

      What is this lunging? Is this something I need to do – I want to come to France too!!!! xxx

      1. Ha – ladies…you crack me up. It was awfully long, but yeah, screw it, it was my last hurrah!!!

        I love your love for the swans, our wedding planner Lou has them for her pool in France… maybe we could lunge our way over and pay her and the swans a visit!


  3. This is just magical. Thank you so much for sharing your wedding planning journey – I’ve loved reading about it all so much and you have given me so many tips for my own destination wedding. I love the way your husband is looking at you in the pictures – M&J have captured it perfectly.

    1. Hi Sarah, i am so excited for you and your destination wedding. Where are you going? I am glad my ramblings were of some use. You will really have a fantastic day, as will your guests – everyone is immediately in holiday mood! I have to say, I think M&J got Jack’s handsome side perfectly (PDA!) Good Luck and enjoy your wedding planning xx

  4. OMG Nicola, amazing amazing amazing. What was you worrying about lady. I am smiling away with happiness for you. I absolutely adore your photos, they really are the most romantic ever. I want to do it all over again and steel your venue ha ha. Well done again lady, loved being able to share your start to finish of the most amazing day ever. Love lots xx

    1. Aww, Carly – you little firecracker. I have loved sharing all this with you all (real brides especially!) Can’t wait to see your final post lady xxx

  5. It was such an amazing day and all the beautiful pictures capture all the amazingness of the day and Sunday we all loved every min xx I think I had enough tears for the both of us and I had the ugly crying face!!! There is nothing more special and magical seeing your sister looking so beautiful and happy marrying the love of her life who we all love so dearly!! So proud of my big sister for an amazing day and every single Person loved and enjoyed every minute xxx

    1. Sis-Crushing – love you, Sis. You next, You Next!! Ah! It’s going to be the wedding of the blooming century!! Don’t know what Mum and Dad will do next year without any weddings xxx

  6. Awwwwwwwww HOORAY for Nicola and Jack. You look beautiful 🙂

    This is so lovely Nicola and I’m loving the gold and pink.

    I’m also very jealous of your Mrs Daniel jumper – such a great idea.

    Will have a proper read with a cup of tea and a biscuit later…ekkkkk I’m looking forward to it already.

    Fern x

    1. Fern, you are the sweetest!! Thank you!!!

      OMG – that Mrs Daniel jumper is my fav, is it bad that i convinced myself to change my last name so i could buy it…?! (ok, that is a slight exaggeration!)

      You can customise your own jumpers with loads of fun appliques like lipsticks, elephants, lips, palm trees – have a squiz at Bow and Drape – I may have to make another one…


    1. Awww, George, I couldn’t agree more. We didn’t actually see the venue ourselves before we booked it (our parents did a visit) – it really took our breathe away xx

  7. “Ain’t nobody got time for tears while Lucy is signing Kylie!!” BURST out laughing at my desk!!! I can just hear you saying that Nic Nac!

    Awwwww honey it’s spec-frickin-tacular!!! You know how much I adored your day – just so magical, but reading your write-up really just brought it to life even more. So special. You really are the best. I will miss your blogs so much sweetie. I’ll even forgive the conga lines….ha ha! I promise I’m really not that bad. I’d have definitely got involved had I been there. 😉

    Lets do another NYC weekend very soon lovely girl. Miss you.

    P.S. How did I not know that you had the Gavin and Stacey theme tune in the ceremony??? Erm….GENIUS!!


    1. I say it with a head and shoulder judder too – you know what i’m talking about 🙂

      You would have definitely loved the conga line Soph, promise!!! i am going to miss cavorting on these pages with everyone, it’s been fab.

      Yay to another weekend in NYC!!!

      PS – how did i not tell you that?! It was brilliant!!!!! Gavin and Stace followed by Kylie. Gosh, i am all class aren’t i!?!!

      Can’t wait to yours now sweetie

  8. TOTALLY get the after wedding tizz whizz!!! I thought I was going crazy and really started to feel down and had a bit of a shake from the Husband! He reminded me that it was the best day of our lives and who cares if one of the signs was in the wrong room?! (still bugs me a little… but he had a point)
    Wish I could do it all again, just to relive it all. Best. day. ever.

    1. Aw, Leigh, the tizz whizzes are so awful aren’t they? I really wanted to share that feeling as i hadn’t really heard of others having them, so thank you for making me sound “normal” (ooh – i do dislike that word)

      Jack was v. patient with me for two days and yes – then gave me a bit of a shake too. I had prepared myself (as much as you can) to take it all in and to be as present as i possibly could be – but the occasion is just so overwhelming isn’t it, i think it’s quite a natural feeling. I would rather have been a chilled bean – floating around on my cloud and not stressing on the actual day, at least our honeymoon lasted longer than my tizz whizz!!

      ps sorry to hear about that pesky sign, let’s promise each other to let it go.
      Now i can’t stop thinking of that song from Frozen, and i have never even seen the film!!


  9. Beautiful! Loved reading this. We are getting married in the Dordogne…lots of ideas to steal. ADORE the Mrs Daniel jumper! Where can I find this please? Congratulations of such a beautiful day. Helaina X

    1. So excited for you to be having a wedding in Dordogne too. When is your wedding? You will have the most fantastic day.

      Ohh, my jumper is from a really jazzy company called bow and drape – you do everything online and they have lots of apparel to choose from

      Good luck with your wedding, Helaina, hope I get to see it on RMW!!!

      Nicola xx

      1. Thanks so much – looks fab! My hubby-to-be is actually called Daniel (first name) which made me love your jumper even more.

        Soooo excited for the wedding. We fully fell head over heels in love with Chateau La Durantie before we even drove through the gate, and knew there was nowhere else we could possibly have our big day. Can’t wait for our first trip back to begin planing all the little details. Having read your post, I am also wondering if it may be possible for us to include some inflatable swans..somehow!! 🙂

        Our date is August 2016. Seems forever away, but I am sure it will creep up on us very quickly!
        Hopefully you will see it gracing the pages of RMW in a couple of years! I am thoroughly enjoying reading about all these yummy details in the meantime.

        All the best
        Helaina x

          1. Hey Nicola!
            Where did you get those amazing swans from? We are getting married in Greece next May and I have to steal your swan idea for our pool!
            Thanks hun,
            Gemma x

          2. Hey Nicola!
            Where did you get those amazing swans from? We are getting married in Greece next May and I have to steal your swan idea for our pool!
            Gemma x
            Ps – your wedding looks amaze!!!

  10. Oh Helaina.. Chateau La Durantie is super-duper-fancy!! Wowsas, you guys are going to have the best time ever. I am so envious you’ve got all the planning trip(s) to France ahead of you, it was one of our fav parts – seeing the florist, checking out the local talent (ahem, i mean accom!), the champagne and wine tasting, food tasting – omg the food tasting is actually THE BEST! And when you’re a bride and groom to be, everyone is just extra super nice to you. wah! ok i need to shut up now!

    August 2016 is going to come around so so so quickly, enjoy every single moment. Oh and get yourself a snazzy Mrs jumper 🙂 Good Luck, i know i will still be checking in on RMW in 2080, so i am looking forward to seeing your day already!! xxxx

    1. Ooooh, you are making me très très excité!
      I already wonder what I will do with myself once it is all over. I am sure I will also spend the rest of my life nosing at all the other weddings – could never get bored of it!
      I LOVE your venue also, so many beautiful places in France. And you make a gorrrgeous married couple.
      Well, thank you so much for sharing all the scrumptious inspiration, Mrs Daniel! x

  11. WOW! I’ve been a RMW stalker for several years (since my friend who I was bmaid to back in 2012 intrdocued me), and since I got engaged myself in the summer have been checking back – legitimately – for inspo for our own nuptials. They’re happening rather soon, 1st August next year, and we’re doing the destination thang too. We went for Umbria in the end, but were considering France as my fiance is half-frog 😉 I’ve just got SOOOOO many fab ideas from your posts about prep and the big day write-up itself – so thank you! If our wedding weekend ends up being half as perfect as yours I’ll be a very happy lady 😀 Best of luck with everything! x

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