While a winter wedding in the UK isn’t for everyone, Jodie and Nicki used a row of tipi’s and thousands of fairy lights to make their dream wedding day come true!
DWH: Tell us a little more about yourselves
J & N: We both specialise in the care of Older People over here in the UK. We actually met at work! We both enjoy our work, but recognise that it can be both challenging and stressful and so we spend time together watching movies, cooking, going to the gym and date nights to not let it get on top of us. We are keen travellers and love visiting new places and extending our list of holiday destinations. We are currently applying for professional registrations so that we can make use of our Independent Skilled Visas. We plan to relocate to Perth in June 2018 and we are sure that we’ll be adding spending time at the beach to our list of things we do for fun!
DWH: The beaches over in Western Australia are magical! Tell us the love story behind such an adventurous couple!
J & N: As we mentioned, we met at work in 2012, and there was an instant attraction. We had a turbulent start trying to make it all work out but finally ended up together in 2014. We’ve done so much in so little time as we don’t ever want to lose another minute of forever together.
J: Nicki proposed to me first in Septemeber 2015. It was the most magical and romantic of evenings. We were holidaying in the Lake District which is one of our favourite places. We were staying a luxury pod which was situated right in front of a running river bank. Much to my surprise, Nicki had planned a romantic picnic by candlelight outside our pod. She had decorated the cobbled stone wall with fairy lights, tealight candles and laid the picnic table out with champagne, cheeses, cold meats, olives and other delicious treats. We had such a lovely evening gazing up at the stars and listening to the soft sound of the running river together when Nicki said, “Oh, I have forgotten something”, and pulled out a chocolate Kinder egg… and what a surprise it was! As I opened the chocolate egg, I found the little yellow box; expecting it to be a plastic toy, I opened the egg to a beautiful ring! I didn’t hesitate in saying, yes!
DWH: It sounds so romantic! How long did it take for you to start planning your wedding day?
J & N: We immediately starting thinking about wedding plans and decided that we wanted to get married before we moved to Australia (because at the time same-sex marriage wasn’t legalised). We soon fell in love with the idea of a Tipi wedding after visiting lots of venue options.
N: I thought it was unfair for me to get the perfect proposal and for Nicki to miss out on the experience, so I actually set about planning my own confirmation proposal. I booked us into the bridal suite at Castle Bromwich Hall Hotel. I spend the day decorating the hotel room with flowers, candles and champagne with “Marry Me?” spelt out in rose petals.
I told Nicki that we were going to have a meal at the hotel, to sample the menu for our reception. So, off we went. We enjoyed a 3-course meal, and at the end, I handed her a card with the hotel pass inside.
She was very surprised! As we entered the room her face was a picture! I presented the ring that I had handmade for her, and she flung her arms around me! I whispered the words “Will you marry me too?” and she immediately confirmed, Yes!
DWH: How did you go about finding the perfect outfits?
J & N: Nicki went out one and the first dress she tried on was the one! Her Mum and Bridesmaids cried with admiration, and she stepped out of the changing rooms – it’s easy to see why! She tried on plenty more that day, but she said she knew she had found the one from the first fitting.
J: Mine, on the other hand, was a different experience! Over three days, with multiple different family members and friends, each with their own opinions! I thought I’d finally found the one when my mother in law said, “oh no, that colour just won’t go with Nicki’s dress!”. The final shop I went to I tried on, what felt like another hundred dresses, but immediately knew that ‘the one’ was ‘the one’ – it was comfortable, conservative and had a unique vintage lace design. I loved it and so did everyone else!
DWH: How was the rest of the lead up to your wedding day?
J & N: Planning an outdoor wedding for a British winter is not without its challenges!
We were completely reliant on the love, help and support of our family and friends both in the lead-up, and during the day – everyone had a role to play that was more than just ‘turning up’!
We spent months sourcing ideas, buying materials, decorating jars, making bunting, making table runners… There was a lot of laughter, but also a lot of cursing! The biggest challenge was finding little things that cost a little extra money along the way – like, who knew you couldn’t get married outdoors in the UK?!
The day before the wedding we spent the entire day dressing the tipi with thousands of jars, metres of bunding and getting all the table settings together. We were so busy we forgot to pick up our dresses (thankfully, there was a bridesmaid that remembered!).
DWH: It looks like all the hours spent were worth it! How did the big day go?
J & N: There were lots of little things that didn’t quite go to plan, and it was quite stressful!
N: My bridal room was too small, we couldn’t fit the bridal party in! There also wasn’t a phone, and so we couldn’t order room service which meant a missed breakfast! Not a great start.
The celebrants were late, and we had no idea where we would find them, guests saw us in the hotel reception before the ceremony – which we were trying to avoid, and we missed the opportunity to walk down the aisle with our Fathers. Also, despite paying extra for heaters and keeping the fire pits well stocked, the Tipi was actually really chilly, and it meant that some of our guests had to leave a little early.
J: However, the moment I saw Nicki walk through the door at the official legal ceremony will be a moment I will never forget! She looked absolutely stunning! Beaming with smiles and seeing how proud our parents were was beautiful; there wasn’t a dry eye in the room. Exchanging our vows and rings was so special.
J & N: Our mothers were invited to light a candle that represented each of us, and used these two lights to light the even bigger, brighter, stronger, light of our unity candle.
Our friends and family haven’t stopped talking about how special and unique our day was.
DWH: It sounds perfect. Lastly, what does marriage mean to you both?
J & N: Marriage to us is a promise between two people that will last forever, that nothing and no-one can come between. It is about love, honesty, loyalty and commitment – all of these morals and values were included in our personalised wedding vows. It is about having a life partner to share everything with and together.
Photography Christopher Terry Photography | Florist Rooms in Bloom | Food Cart Ray Lewin Butchers Hog Roast | Bar The Gin Tasting Group | Cake Sharon Stinton Boutique Cakes | Toilets Kniftons Mobile Toilets | Lighting Dave Clarke DJ’s | Engagement Rings Marlow Jewellers | Dresses Wendy Sullivan, Ronald Joyce | Bridal Boutique Lula Ann Bridal, Platinum Brides | Venue Castle Bromwich Hall Gardens | Tipis Sami Tipis | Tipi Styling Darby & Joan | Magician Paul Grundal