Lifestyle Magazine

Nicola and Chris Do Vintage in Derbyshire — Part 2

By Claire

It’s ok — they’re back on Eng­lish Wed­ding blog this morn­ing with more fab­u­lous pics from wed­ding pho­tog­ra­pher Andy Hook, and Nicola’s words are going to make you all tingly — quite pos­si­bly to bring a lit­tle tear to your eye too.


Claire xx

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Fol­low­ing the ser­vice, we did some pic­tures out­side and on a nearby bridge, then headed towards home. We went for some pic­tures on the way with Andy the pho­tog­ra­pher, then arrived back to the guests in my dads open top clas­sic car, which I sat up on the back of with a glass of bub­bles in hand as we drove in! The party was in full swing, the bub­bles and pimms were flow­ing and peo­ple were lov­ing the games!

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The entrance to the recep­tion was very spe­cial! All for­mal­i­ties over and now the cel­e­bra­tions start! It was a last minute idea to sit up on the back of my dad’s clas­sic car (which is new and is his pride and joy!) Every­body really loved the entrance… glass of wine in hand (a famil­iar sight to my friends!!!) We have a lot of bril­liant pic­tures and dad loved the whole thing – after check­ing I hadn’t put a heel through the seat!

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The whole week of prepa­ra­tion was a real fam­ily event. Every­one joined in from build­ing the games and string­ing up bunting to mak­ing the place set­tings and lay­ing out china. It was really great to be able to spend time with fam­ily and friends, all united in the same task! We had some great evenings sat in the gar­den after a hard days work, with fish and chip teas and a glass of wine!

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We wanted to cre­ate an old fash­ioned Eng­lish fete on the lawn, so that peo­ple had some­thing to do in that hia­tus between the ser­vice and wed­ding break­fast that peo­ple usu­ally use to get drunk! In the week lead­ing up the wed­ding, we built a coconut shy and hoop toss, and made sure the lawns were mowed for the bowls and croquet!

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We made old look­ing sign­posts out of bits of wood and white and black­board paint. Most of these signs pointed to the var­i­ous games, but we also made a tall post with arrows point­ing in all direc­tions to sig­nif­i­cant places and the mea­sured dis­tance (home in not­ting hill, the hon­ey­moon loca­tion, the games in the next field etc). We made a wed­ding favours buf­fet of old fash­ioned sweets as well. We were also lucky to have a lot of friends who owned clas­sic cars and were more than happy to park them around the field to add to the 1930’s theme and add a lit­tle inter­est for the boys!

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The theme was influ­en­tial right from the begin­ning! Save the date cards were sent out on old lug­gage tags with aged type­writer font for the text. The invi­ta­tions then fol­lowed as an eight paged old news­pa­per the ‘Ward­low Gazette,’ which gave infor­ma­tion about the day, the party the night before, travel/accommodation sec­tion etc. All was done in an old fash­ioned style, with a good num­ber of funny old fash­ioned adver­tise­ments thrown in, a clas­si­fied adverts sec­tion involv­ing friends and fam­ily mem­bers ser­vices and small arti­cles about spe­cial peo­ple too. It got a bril­liant reception!

On the week of the wed­ding, we were able to cre­ate the per­fect 1930’s back­drop as well, with hav­ing the wed­ding at home and there­fore the time and flex­i­bil­ity to do it! The tent went up on the Wednes­day and so we were then able to fill it with all our props! We emp­tied the house of our old sets of draw­ers, shop coun­ters, jars, bot­tles, suit­cases, type­writ­ers, chests, chairs.. you name it… we brought it to the venue!

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In the table set­ting, each per­son had one of the 130 vin­tage cup and saucers that I had been col­lect­ing over the last year from car boot sales, flea mar­kets and a good pro­por­tion from a lit­tle man on Por­to­bello rd mar­ket! I then dot­ted around the old jars and bot­tles, con­tain­ing plain bunches of sweet peas and babys­breath. The cen­tral flower dec­o­ra­tion on each table was in a vin­tage jug and was made up of ‘meadow type’ flow­ers. Place set­tings were made up of bunches of dried laven­der with lug­gage tags with names on.

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We decided to do speeches between each course to break the speeches up, and so my brother acted as mas­ter of cer­e­mony between each course and said a cou­ple of funny jokes as well as intro­duced each speech.

One high­light of the speeches was my own hus­bands(!) who decided to stand up and sing com­pletely changed lyrics to Sinead O’Connors, Noth­ing Com­pares to You,’… badly! The whole crowd loved it!

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We then handed the mic over to our best friend who sang our first dance, Ella Fitzgerald’s ‘Misty,’ and then a band sang jazz for the first part of the evening, before we swapped to a playlist and danced the night away!

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Bar­rels of local ale and an amaz­ing hog roast kept us fed and watered, until we watched the sun rise sat next to the fire pits that we had dug out­side the tent!

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Nicola’s favorite wed­ding day memories

Chris’s speech really was a high­light! I was hav­ing night­mares over what he was going say and if he would for­get that some elder fam­ily mem­bers may not enjoy the jokes as the young ones would!! My fears were unfounded and he blew every­one away with a very unfor­get­table speech!!

To have our best friend sing the first dance was incred­i­bly spe­cial. It also took some focus off our danc­ing as a lot of our friends had been wait­ing to hear her sing! There is a fab­u­lous video that my friend took of the crowds reac­tion as she sang the finale… mas­sive claps and cheers. A first dance to be remembered!

I was stood talk­ing to friends then went to move but felt my dress had caught. As I had been stood talk­ing, mine and Chris’s pride and joy, Oscar the dog, had curled up in a lit­tle ball on my train and fallen asleep! I picked him up and took him straight to the dance floor with me!

 Wed­ding day advice from the bride

If you opt not to have a DJ (which is often a good idea as I have heard night­mare sto­ries of DJ’s that do not play any­thing you asked for, talk between tracks, bring chil­dren with them through lack of babysit­ter etc) then make sure you have your music playlists done in advance!! We were mak­ing them in a rush the day before and still had to mess around a bit on the wed­ding evening!

Play around with the plan of the day. Chris’s brother lives in Copen­hagen and at his wed­ding we dis­cov­ered the Dan­ish tra­di­tion of speech mak­ing between courses. Limit the time of the speeches but open them to any­one who fan­cies mak­ing one. It means that you do not end up with 2 hours of speeches, and friends and fam­ily that might oth­er­wise not have made one, get the chance. It makes for a really fun and var­ied mealtime!

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Che­quers Out­side Cater­ers, Peak Dis­trict Der­byshire. By far the most pro­fes­sional of all the cater­ers we talked to. Very expe­ri­enced, great menu choices, organ­ised, accom­mo­dat­ing and incred­i­ble qual­ity on the day.

First sight wed­ding videos. We weren’t going to have a video but know these guys as fam­ily friends and the videos that they have cre­ated are absolutely incred­i­ble. We didn’t even know they were there and they cap­tured every sec­ond perfectly.

I found Nicola and Chris’s video on Vimeo on Sat­ur­day — for any­one who missed that lit­tle exclu­sive, this link will take you directly to it on the Eng­lish Wed­ding face­book page!

Huge thanks to York­shire wed­ding pho­tog­ra­pher Andy Hook for the beau­ti­ful pho­tog­ra­phy. There are more pic­tures from Nicola and Chris’s wed­ding on his pho­tog­ra­phy blog — please click the link to see their gallery.

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