Nicola and Chris do vintage in Derbyshire – part 2

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Did you love Nicola and Chris’s wedding on the blog yesterday? I bet you did… although did I perhaps made you a bit angry when I left you partway through, with our gorgeous bride and groom on the way to their wedding reception?! Hee!

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!

vintage wedding blog derbyshire (19)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 favourite 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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Claire Gould

Claire spends her days writing - either in beautiful calligraphy or online. She lives on the edge of the English Lake District only minutes away from the beach, where she loves to escape and unwind. Claire's calligraphy can be found at Claire launched the English Wedding Blog in November 2009 - it's been a top 10 UK wedding blog ever since, with a regional focus we hope you LOVE.



  • Laura C
    9 years ago

    I am loving the idea of speeches inbetween courses! In fact, I might just steal that idea 😛
    Such a beautiful wedding, everything looks gorgeous and so much fun!

  • Kathryn Louise
    9 years ago

    I was right, exactly the kind of reception I love from the games to how they have decoracted the marquee

  • Hannah Webster
    9 years ago

    Man alive I love the car shots! x

  • Tony sale
    8 years ago

    Gorgeous photo’s you have caught some real moments of fun and happiness here

  • Rhys Wheatley
    8 years ago

    Lovely wedding, the images have a very pleasing feel to them, and those views from the hills are stunning!

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