Beacon House Whitstable – A Real Wedding – Nicola & Gareth

Nicola is an old university friend of mine and nothing gives me more pleasure than to showcase her wedding. When I saw her wedding photos for the first time the beauty of the day just radiated Nicola’s personality. She was a very good friend to me when we lived in Lincoln together and seeing her find her soulmate and have the wedding of her dreams makes me very happy.

When did you and your husband meet?

It was my birthday weekend, so Feb 2008!

A usual night out in dogma- but Nic got chatting to a couple of guys (one being Gareth) and I went to join her!! After a few months of chatting over the bar on a sat night whilst I worked (Gareth did actually manage to get the lyrics “working as a waitress in a cocktail bar when I met you …” into his speech!) we swapped numbers and went for a drink.

How long were you together before you got engaged and how long were you engaged for?

Got engaged Christmas 2012 so we had been together about four and a half years. Engaged for another two and a half years- but squeezed in our wonderful little boy Coen in between 😉

How did he propose?

Christmas morning, just the two of us at home, we’d finished opening our pressies but Gareth popped upstairs for another present- it was my beautiful ring. I had no idea and my ring was perfect 🙂

Where did you get married?

The stunning Beacon House in Whitstable. So many people asked why Whitstable?!.. since sharing the photos the question is answered- we fell in love with the idyllic setting and the intimate, laid back wedding it would offer!

How many venues did you visit before you found the one?

It was the third and final one we looked at. I had previously fallen for a beautiful country barn in Norfolk with the opportunity of putting up all our guests, but the sea view and gorgeous seaside town won hands down in the end.

Who went with you to find your wedding dress?

For my first trip I took mum and two of my bridesmaids Nic and Nicky – we did a lot of the ground work to confirm that what I thought I wanted, was what I actually wanted! I went to a couple more try-ons, one with my other beautiful bridesmaid, Laura – found a stunning dress in the blush colour I really wanted but completely over budget! Found my dress with Nic over in Grimsby at an Alfred Angelo trunk sale.

What was the theme of your wedding?

No planned theme, but I guess with the location of our venue we ended up naturally going with a bit of seaside theme- fish and chips was our ‘wedding breakfast’, ice cream for desert and, of course, our wonderful cake made by one of my closest friends. We bought Whitstable postcards to send as thank yous!

What part of the planning was the most exciting for you?

I did love finding my dress and all the fittings. I enjoyed doing all the little details too. Pinterest became a good friend and I now have a big planning void in my life!!

Did you do any DIY projects for your wedding?

Oh yes, loads- pretty much everything- from our invites to the flower arranging (I put together my own bouquet), jam jars, guest book, hair and make-up. There wasn’t much we didn’t do or source ourselves or use the creative talents of friends and family 🙂

How involved was your fiancé?

He was very involved. We chose our colour theme together. Gareth found our beautiful seaside retreat online, he sorted the music- the soundtrack to our day! He also had a big voice when it came to the food!! Gareth sorted his own suit out (a bargain at that!) he did leave me to the finer details, but I feel very much that the wedding was a joint effort and had both our stamp on it!

What was the most stressful part of the wedding planning?

I think the guest list- we wanted a smallish wedding but at the same time didn’t want to miss anybody. We went for immediate family and a few close friends. Some tricky decisions but had some lovely supportive advice on these decisions 

What entertainment did you have?

The beach setting and garden hammock and swing was fab entertainment  for all the little ones throughout the day and in the evening we had a very talented young acoustic musician. The children danced away!

Did everything go to plan on the big day?

It really did- we couldn’t have wished for a more perfect day 🙂 the sun shone and guests were able to sit out on the grass bank and watch us take our vows with the stunning backdrop we had wished for (my Nanna was looking out for us- ‘You are my sunshine’ was her favourite song 🙂

What would you say was untraditional about your wedding?

I guess the venue – I know dad would have liked to walk me down a traditional church aisle, but that wasn’t for us and I think the setting won dad over!

If you had any advice for other brides on their big day what would it be?

Relax and enjoy it goes so quick and don’t sweat the small stuff!! ( I lost my earrings and I had also bought the children buckets, spades and goodies to go in them -but left them in Lincoln!! ) It was only me that noticed they were missing and it really didn’t matter in the grand scheme of things. The important thing is having everyone there- good food, drink and great company!

Where did you go on the honeymoon?

As we had our gorgeous wedding venue as our home for a week we had our honeymoon there in Whitstable. We are also going to France for a family holiday for a week this summer.

Vendors Used 

Photographer: Photography by Kirsty

Flowers: My Grandma!

Dress: Alfred Angelo

Venue: The Beacon House, Whitstable Kent

Caterers: The Seychelles fish and chips, Tankerton

Entertainment: Thomas Ashby

Bridesmaid dress: Billie and Blossom

Groomsmen Suites: groomsmen’s own

#realweddings #wedding


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