Wedding of the Week: Hannah Vick and Nigel Maeer
05 Mar 2018
An attention to detail and a perfectly planned schedule of entertainment made Hannah Vick and Nigel Maeer's wedding a memorable day for all in attendance
How did you meet?
My (now) husband and I started our journey together in 2009. I’m not sure it was love at first sight but whatever it was, it was definitely in abundance - along with a few birthday drinks. We both live in a small town but surprisingly had never been introduced, but as soon as we had - by mutual friends - something just started growing from there. We are two very different individuals, but opposites definitely attract in our case and since the day we met we have become best friends, soulmates and now husband and wife.
Tell us about the proposal.
We are big walkers so I didn’t think anything of Nigel’s suggestion of making up a picnic and going on a blustery Saturday afternoon walk. Salcombe Regis Beach is really special to us as I think it’s where we both realised (a year or so before the proposal) that we had something amazing together and it was the real deal, 'a moment', some may say. It was everything I had hoped for: laid back, thoughtful and full of emotion. Nigel had asked my dad’s permission which was so important to me coming from a close family and being the only daughter. Another thing which was incredibly special was when my parents came to the house to congratulate us. My dad bought his mother’s engagement ring for me to use as mine; it is a beautiful diamond ring which is deeply treasured. I also later went on to have her wedding ring remoulded as my own wedding ring too… I’m very sentimental. After the proposal it only felt right to get married in the local church in Salcombe Regis too.
What was the theme for the day, and did you have a colour scheme?
We wanted our day to be relaxed, stress-free, fun and didn’t want anything to be too cliché. We went with all sorts of colours – if it didn’t clash then it got the thumbs up.
What venue did you choose and why did you choose it?
Salcombe Regis Church was the easiest decision of the whole thing. It’s just across the valley from our lovely hometown of Sidmouth and it is the most beautiful church in the most stunning setting. We wanted a traditional church wedding as it made saying “I do” so much more real. We had walked passed the church so many times and we had always said how beautiful it was and how much we would like to get married there – and our dreams came true.
Rockbeare Manor was the perfect choice for our wedding reception. It is a newly refurbished manor house set in the Devon countryside. It is simply stunning. It has a long secluded leafy driveway up to the most magnificent building. It is away from the road and is surrounded by nothing but rolling hills. It is quite close to a very small airport and we were incredibly lucky to get a fly by from the Red Arrows on our wedding day – perfect timing just as guests were milling about after the meal.
When did you know when you’d found ‘the’ dress?
I was always a bit of a tomboy growing up with three brothers, so I didn’t have that fairytale image in my head of myself in a wedding dress. The search began with excitement but because I had waited for so long to marry Nigel I felt really relaxed and ready for what was about to begin. I visited about five different bridal shops and tried on about 25 dresses in total. I really loved spending the time with my mum and my bridesmaids, so maybe I was being indecisive to get them all to myself a little longer?!
I didn’t get that immediate 'got to have it' moment with my dress because I loved each and every one, but when I did find the dress I knew it was right because it had all the attributes I was after: it was comfortable, slim fitted, elegant, lacy and I was able to totally transform it with a cathedral length, lace-trimmed veil, which was one of the best bits. Nothing says 'bride' more than a veil, especially when I chose to wear the blusher veil over my face for my dad to lift in the church... the most touching experience.
My dress came from Bridal Emporium which is a very traditional bridal shop in Exeter. The whole experience could not be faulted. The lovely ladies there had a wealth of knowledge and it shows that with time in the industry comes experience and nothing was overlooked with my dress. Each and every stitch was sewn with great care.
What did the bridesmaids wear?
The bridesmaids' dresses were a complete no-brainer for me. I chose light grey multi-way dresses which I hired from Sixpence Wedding boutique. At £50 hire charge per dress, that included cleaning, I snapped them up immediately. All my bridesmaids were different heights, sizes and shapes (and one pregnant) so the 'one size fits all' made the decision even easier. One of the most important things was to make sure all my bridesmaids felt totally comfortable and weren’t under any sort of pressure to diet, put on weight, cover themselves up etc. You hear horror stories that some bridesmaids have to go on crash diets before the day – what is life without cake?!
I also let them wear whatever shoes they wanted because, again, where is the fun in walking down the aisle with your feet squashed into shoes that pinch your feet to death and when you feel terrified of tripping in high heels?
Where did you find your suits?
We didn’t want the usual blue/grey suit for Nigel and his two best men, so we chose a really subtle checked suit from Moss Bros in a grey/blue combo. Matched with brown brogues and knitted blue and maroon bow ties, they looked as dapper as can be. As well as the best men being prominent in the wedding party so were the other important men in my life... the three Vick boys (my brothers) and my dad, who were all suited and booted and 'tied' together with the same ties and bow ties. The boys all looked very dapper on the day after we treated them to a cut throat shave in the morning too.
Tell us about your floral arrangements.
The bridal bouquets and the buttonholes were created by All Things Pretty. We went with flowers that had really muted/blush colours, but we weren’t dead set on what we wanted so we let our florist use her artistic license (blush and lilac vintage amnesia roses, cream and blush fillers, eucalyptus and thistles). Our table flowers were all bought from supermarkets the day before the wedding and arranged in small vases which we found at the tip, put through the dishwasher et voila. We didn’t want any flowers looking to prissy or regimented so we mixed them up and all vases had a little bit of everything in them and each table was different.
Often the aspect that makes a wedding original to the couple is the detail – tell us about the details of the day.
We tried to make each aspect original where we could.
- Our save the dates, Invitations and order of services were all designed and drawn by my artistic brother, Alex (one of the ushers).
- The table plan was a large blackboard we recycled and table names were all places we love, for example Durdle Dor - our walking heaven, Lyme Regis, Salcombe Regis. Each table name was presented in a second hand photoframe containing a couple's shot. Guest names were beautifully written by my dad using his calligraphy, set on luggage tags tied round a few lavender stalks which had been carefully picked and dried from my parents' garden.
- Hula hoops, Jenga, Connect Four and croquet as outdoor activities.
- Hand-tied bags of Roly's Fudge with four of our favourite flavours were available.
- Keeping it Vintage supplied an old fashioned sweet stand which we filled with our favourite sweets for guests to eat.
- Myself and Nigel decorated the fruit cake that was homemade by my mum (Nigel is a dab hand with a piping bag).
- A silent disco – SO FUN.
- Photograph bunting hung along the staircase.
- A re-used picnic hamper was used for guests to place their cards.
- Hand-welded candle holders by Nigel and hand-cut wooden signs to direct guests to the church and Rockbeare
- A 'pimp your prosecco' stand for guests to enjoy.
- A gypsy jazz band arranged by my dad.
- Handmade confetti cones, light-up LOVE letters and a guest book consisting of wooden hearts for people to write on and slot into a frame.
- During his speech Nigel also presented me with an iPad with a video recording of my grandma wishing me a happy wedding day which almost got me crying. She is 93 now, so travelling from Leicester would have been too much for her but the video was spot on.
How did you feel as you walked down the aisle?
Because I have always wanted to marry Nigel from the day we met, I felt nothing but sheer elation as I walked down the aisle towards him. After taking a deep breath before stepping into the church I was overwhelmed by love. There in the church were all the most important people in my life: family, friends, my dad by my side and Nigel waiting – how could I feel anything but happiness?! Before stepping into the church you do get the feeling that you just want to get your head down and get to the front (Benny Hill style – my mum ordered me to slow down). I was worried I would want to scurry quickly to the front but upon entering I had my head held high, shoulders back, looking around absorbing each and every person I could. Perhaps it was having the veil draped over my face? Perhaps it acted as a little barrier, stopping myself feeling over-exposed. As soon as I got to Nigel we grabbed each other's hand as we realised this is it.
How did you make the ceremony personal to you?
We asked my uncle to do a bible reading which he delivered expertly, even giving a short bit of background prior to doing it – you could tell he was a former teacher. My friend, Nicola, also wrote a poem for us, which to this day still takes pride of place on my lounge wall; it was so personal to us and was written with incredible detail, even mentioning Nigel’s beard, our love for walking and the fact that our first holiday was to Greece. My youngest brother then played Jose Gonzalez - Heartbeats while we signed the register; he performed beautifully on his acoustic guitar. After the ceremony we walked out to the church bells ringing; our guests were given confetti cones filled with dried flowers, which were handed out by the best men's two little girls who looked so cute.
What was your most memorable moment?
This was during the church service – the part of the wedding was the most important because it was what made me Nigel’s wife. As soon as he pronounced us as husband and wife everyone in the church cheered and I realised at that moment that life was only going to get better. During the service I did however put the wedding ring on Nigel’s right hand. We only realised it was wrong when the vicar pointed it out – it definitely made everyone laugh and it is something I would totally do, so Nigel wasn’t even that surprised.
I think the second most memorable part of the day was when my new husband and I were in the bridal suite as our guests were being seated. This was the first time we had been properly alone and Nigel did what any good husband would do – helped lift my dress up so I could go to the toilet. Start as you mean to go on.
What was the most challenging aspect of planning this wedding?
The bridesmaids' dresses. At first I wanted to buy different/complimentary coloured dresses for all the bridesmaids but I slowly realised this was a huge task seeing as one was pregnant and they are all different height, sizes, shapes etc. Perhaps keeping to budget was a slight challenge too because of course you want anything and everything, but we reached a point where we were losing sight of what the day was about and we therefore only included things that were really needed.
What was the most important investment for you?
Definitely the food. There is nothing worse than a summer wedding sitting down to a hot roast dinner, Also, Nigel is a bit of a petrol head so he chose a wedding car as a surprise that turned up at my parents’ house to take me to the church – wow, is all I can say.
What song did you choose for your first dance, and why?
James Morrison - I Won't Let You Go. We chose this on the Wednesday before the wedding. We didn’t want anything too cliché and we felt like the words really told our story. It also had plenty of opportunities for Nigel to pick me up and spin me round (and take me by surprise).
Did you have any evening entertainment?
We chose to have a DJ but with the added surprise of a silent disco, the BEST decision of the day.
Tell us about your wedding cake.
Cake tasting at Crafty Cakes was an afternoon of heaven. We decided on a simple four-tiered naked wedding cake, decorated with fresh berries. Each tier was a different flavour: Victoria sponge with raspberry jam, two Victoria sponge swith strawberry jam (classic), and lemon drizzle. My mum then made our second cake which was a fruit cake. This one allowed us to get creative and Nigel, my mum and I spent a hilarious afternoon together hand-piping it.
If you could go back and change anything, what would it be?
Not a single thing.
Did anything go wrong on the day?
Nothing went wrong. It even rained for some of the day and I can honestly say that this did not dampen the mood in any way. Our best men, ushers and bridesmaids were all so good in making the day flow too, so even if something did go wrong we didn’t notice.
Was there anything you wish you’d known before?
I wish I had known how special that moment is once your bridesmaids and mum have gone to the church ahead of you… it just left me and my dad alone. I am incredibly close to my dad so this was the final time we had before I was officially a grown up. I will cherish that time together.
Also, and only a very small thing, but any brides out there wanting to wear a veil – make sure you think about timings for hair, make-up and veil fitting. It was hilarious because my hair and veil were all done and dusted by about 10.30am which left two hours for me to keep my veil intact… I ended up keeping the majority of it in a carried bag held by my side to make sure it didn’t drop in the toilet during my endless visits there. Even now it makes me and my mum laugh.
Where did you go on honeymoon?
We went on a jungle adventure to Borneo. We left the very next day after the wedding and had a week on a jungle tour followed by 10 days at a luxurious hotel in Malaysia. Going straight after the wedding was perfect, we stayed in our wedding bubble for the whole time – we were that lovey dovey couple you always look at and think "get a room".
Do you have any advice for couples in the planning stages?
Don’t sweat the small stuff. No-one will be looking at tiny details on the day. People are there to see you get married and if they really care for you then they certainly wont be picking apart your big day.
Also, make sure that you and your husband spend time together. You can spend so much time going round the room speaking to people forgetting that you have a new husband. So my advice would be to keep the chit chat to a minimum, because ultimately you will want to spend time with your partner and enjoy all the aspects of the day you had planned together.
Steal their style:
Photography: Alex Toze Wedding Photographer, http://www.alextozeweddings.co.uk/donk
LOVE letters and sweet stand: Keeping it Vintage, http://www.keepingitvintage.co.uk/
Cake: Crafty Cakes, https://www.craftycakes.com/
DJ and silent disco: Your Perfect Night, www.yourperfectnight.co.uk
Floristry: All Things Pretty, http://www.allthingsprettyflowers.co.uk/
Gypsy jazz band: Manouche Jazz, http://manouchejazz.co.uk/the-band/
Venue: Rockbeare Manor, www.rockbearemanor.co.uk
Dress: Bridal Emporium, http://www.bridalemporium.co.uk/
Suits: Moss Bros, https://www.moss.co.uk/
Men's groom: Harpers Barber Shop, Sidmouth
Make-up: Liza Hayward
Hair: Rianne Woodford (hairdresser at PRIDE Hair, Newton Poppleford)
Wedding shoes: Rainbow
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