Nicola The Bride:
Alex completely surprised me with an underwater proposal whilst we were on holiday in the Philippines. This was particularly special to both of us as I had struggled for years to become qualified, but Alex helped me overcome my fear and we are now able to travel the world and dive in the most spectacular places!
Unbeknownst to me, our dive master was filming
the whole thing!
With us both living and working in the Middle East (Abu Dhabi) we knew it would be hard to plan a wedding back home, however we in order for us to have everyone we wanted to be with us on our special, it would have to be at home UK. One thing we knew from the start was that we didn’t want to have a traditional wedding, it needed to be fun!
We decided to have a festival themed wedding day, which we named Brostfest. Brost is a merge of our names (Nicola Frost, Alex Brown) which has stuck with us from the beginning of our relationship, so why not celebrate it!
Finding the venue was tricky, we wanted the freedom to bring in our own suppliers, yet have somewhere with fixed facilities and accommodation for our friends and family. We finally found Talton Lodge and House
which had everything we dreamed of. A field for us to fill as we wished, yurts for glamping, a field for camping and a lovely house for those who wished for more comfort.
We took a huge risk having an outdoor wedding, there really was no plan B. Luckily for us the weather gods were on our side and sun shone all day.
Our wedding weekender started on Friday, with guests arriving from all over the world to help us set up and that evening we relaxed with our guests and enjoyed some much needed home cooked food from our parents.
My dress was from a small boutique in Abu Dhabi, after flying home to find a dress I quickly realised that logistically it wasn’t going to work being so far away for fittings. Luckily I found a fantastic little shop who were very relaxed and let me make lots of changes to the dress.
My sister, Lindsay is a hairdresser and she was an absolute superstar on the day and ended up doing EVERYONES hair on the day including the Groom, Bridesmaids and both Mothers and a variety of aunties, I’m surprised she had time to get herself ready!
For accessories I kept it simple with just a handcrafted white rose and gypsophilia headband on the day from a store named LilouMei on Etsy
. Alex surprised me in the morning with yellow diamond earrings, to match my engagement ring so these were the only jewellery I wore for the day.
, based in Warwickshire were the masterminds behind our wildflower bouquets, gypsophila buttonholes for the boys and the flowers for the reception tables.
Our Bridesmaids had the freedom to choose their own dresses, with a brief to keep it white with a festival twist. We paired the dresses with brown ankle boots and flower wreaths for their hair.
I styled the ceremony area myself, the grounds of the house has two fanstastic trees which we decided to marry underneath and spent the day before decorating trees and putting up bunting. On the day we had a fantastic celebrant, Ewan who was in touch with us months ahead to get to know us better and form our ‘story’. We decided to answer Ewan’s questions separately and in secret, so on the day we really had no idea what would come out. This resulted in some hilariously funny moments. We also asked our friends and family members who were speaking at the wedding to keep it to themselves, which was really lovely on the day and made the whole thing less scripted.
After the ceremony we had the fantastic ‘Free to Roam
’ lead all of our guests in a musical procession to the field. This is where we had created Brostfest. Packed with yurts for our guests to stay in and two large tipis for the reception dinner, we filled the field with huge festival style lettering, a bridal themed bouncy castle, Victorian themed games such as coconut shys and high strikers and we added small touches such as pinatas in the trees. We wanted the ‘middle part’ of the day to have something fun for everyone to do.
Music was a large focus of the day and joining Free to Roam during the day, we also had the Folly Brothers
performing in the field. This really created the festival atmosphere and our guests, young and old, got involved in singalongs throughout the afternoon.
For our reception we styled and decorated the onsite tipis ourselves with bunting, pom poms, hessian and gypsophila. Homemade jams were given out as favours and we kept the food simple and rustic with a hog roast served with vegetables, luckily the owners of Talton Lodge, Olivia and Barney are both master chefs – Olivia trained in London under Fergus and Margo Henderson and Barney is a master of cooking with wood, spit roasts etc.
In lieu of a wedding cake, we held ‘The Great Bridal Bakeoff’ and encouraged our guests to get involved. We were astounded by the amount of effort that went in from everyone, and are still laughing at some of the cheekier designs presented. In the end we couldn’t choose just one winner and it was a joint first prize presented by the ‘Dads’.
We tried to stay away from a traditional first dance and brought in the brilliant Hackney Colliery Band
to play the Madness Hit ‘It must be love’. Again, we wanted to include everyone in this, and decided to project the words of the song on to the walls for everyone to sing along to, it was just perfect.
After the first dance, we lit our huge bonfire, opened the gates of the field for the pizza van to drive in to provide late night snacks and our friend, the brilliant DJ Si Forestiero took to the decks to take us through until the small hours of the morning.
All this was captured by our wonderful, talented photographer John Hope