Nicola & Stuart

The Maiden’s Tower at Leeds Castle

Nicola & Stuart chose The Maiden’s Tower at Leeds Castle for their May wedding, we asked Nicola to share her story with us.

Scroll down the page to see links to all the wedding suppliers and Nicola’s advice for other Brides.

Nicola’s Wedding Story:

It was very important to us that our wedding be a fun day for all our friends and family to enjoy with us and something that we would always remember. Friends and family mean so much to us and so it was really special to share it with them and especially to be able to include our closest friends and family in our bridal party, to have as our witnesses or do readings during our ceremony. It made it all the more personal to involve them all and show them just how important they all are to us. Everyone had a wonderful day and the drinks were flowing until the very end. So many guests stayed the night at the venue which was lovely as it meant everyone could catch up again at breakfast and they were able to make the most of being able to enjoy the grounds and castle the next day.

The Dress.

My dress was actually the bargain of the century and I ended up being the cheapest member of the bridal party! I’d tried on a few by designer Stella York and knew I loved the style of her dresses. I knew I wanted one with a statement back and when I saw my dress for sale on eBay I decided to take a chance. Although it wasn’t a style I’d tried it looked beautiful in the pictures and was the right size. When it arrived I wasn’t disappointed. It was a brand new ex-sample dress complete with tags and hadn’t even been tried on. The original RRP was £1350 and it was up for sale for £250- I offered the seller £200 and they accepted and when it arrived it looked pristine! I also managed to get my wedding shoes from eBay from a bridal store. They had one pair left which happened to be my size and so were selling them for a quarter of the usual price. There are definitely bargains out there if you have the time to spend researching and looking.

The Venue.

We have always loved Leeds Castle. We regularly visit there as a family as it is close to where we live and so it has always been special to us. It was even the first place we took our daughter out for a proper stroll in her pram when she was just two weeks old! We’ve always thought it was a beautiful place to have a Wedding and when we looked around the venue and met the hospitality team there was no other venue that we wanted to consider. It is truly stunning and the team are so accommodating and professional.

The Theme.

We wanted a timeless feel and opted for classic styling that (hopefully) won’t date. Flowers were kept simple but also so they would complement the vintage feel from the lace in the dresses and bunting styling around the venue. Navy was a colour that suited and complemented everyone and their different skin tones and I’m so glad we chose it. It photographed really well, and everyone looked perfect.

The bridesmaids wore beautiful full-length A-line chiffon dresses in Navy with a delicate beaded belt and stunning low back detail. They all looked fantastic! Our two little flower girls (our daughter and our niece) wore beautiful ivory dresses with lace detailing to compliment the lace on my dress. They had gorgeous little capped sleeves and some subtle beading across the waist and finished with a beautiful bow to tie the back. They truly stole the show as I knew they would they were absolutely adorable. They are the very best of friends and loved every minute of getting ready with us girls in the morning and felt like little princesses. There were lots of aaahs as they walked down the aisle ahead of the rest of the bridal party!

The groom and his Ushers all wore Ted Baker suits in Navy that we purchased from Moss Bros styled with a subtle blush tie and matching handkerchief. They all looked very handsome and it’s probably the most fashionable my dad had ever been in his life – especially now beards are in! Stuart’s teenage nephews wore almost identical Ted Baker suits that we hired from Moss Bros and they looked fantastic. It was their first time wearing a suit and they looked so grown up!

The Flowers and Cake.

We wanted something simple and classy but also timeless. Because my dress had quite a lot of lace detailing it was important that the bouquets had a vintage feel and so we opted for gypsophila only for the bridesmaids, flower girls and buttonholes with ivory hydrangeas and gypsophila for the bridal bouquet to make it a little different and special. All the venue flowers were simple and clusters of gypsophila because it looked so delicate and ethereal. It looked beautiful and romantic.

Our cake was delicious! We opted for a fresh and zingy lemon flavoured sponge with white chocolate buttercream. It was so tasty everyone thoroughly enjoyed it and there wasn’t a crumb left. With all that dancing everyone built up an appetite! The cake was decorated with fresh gypsophila to complement and tie in with the rest of the venue flowers and it looked effective.

The Ceremony.

Did you have any personal readings etc?
The ceremony was perfect. The registrar was so lovely, and it was a wonderful friendly warm ceremony. Surprisingly I didn’t feel nervous walking down the aisle at all – I was just excited to see Stuart! It was a lovely moment walking down the aisle with my dad. Our beautiful flower girls were the first to walk down the aisle followed by our bridesmaids and finally me and my dad. Stuart shed a little tear when we arrived at the end of the aisle. He was a little emotional which was really sweet.

The Reception.

The reception was fantastic! Everyone relaxed and enjoyed drinks in the summer sunshine while we had some pictures taken around the castle grounds. Our two-year-old daughter joined us on our photo-shoot, and she loved every minute. I think whizzing around on the golf buggy was the highlight of the day for her! Louisa and Duncan did such a fantastic job with the photography and everyone felt so at ease with them. They felt more like guests than our photographers. There are so many really wonderful pictures for us to choose from we are so glad we chose them. Having Louisa and Duncan working as a team really made the photography and videography seem such a natural part of the day as they work so seamlessly together. The wedding breakfast was beautifully presented and delicious and the speeches were both heartfelt and very funny. Later the party really got started and the dance floor filled after our first dance with our daughter joining us halfway through which was sweet. We also had pictures of our grandparent’s wedding days displayed with a little note about each wedding to remember them by to include them on our big day. We couldn’t have asked for a more perfect day!

Advice for other Brides.

Plan as much as possible as far in advance as you can- you want to feel as stress-free in the run-up to the big day as possible. It means you can enjoy the whole process and hopefully help to keep any nerves in check. Planning in advance also makes it possible to grab some fantastic bargains! The wedding day itself goes so quickly to enjoy every minute!

Photography:

Louisa Dettmer

Louisa Dettmer Wedding Photography

Website & Facebook

Venue:

The Maiden’s Tower at Leeds Castle

Brides Dress:

Stella York style 6335

Accessories:

Blue Nile

Freya Rose

Wedding Rings:

Beaverbrooks

Bridesmaids’ Dresses:

Mori Lee 21557- Alta Costura Maidstone

Flower Girls Dresses

John Lewis

Groomsmen:

Ted Baker

Moss Bros

Stationery:

Tomarty

Flowers:

Leeds Castle

Venue dresser:

Chic Weddings

Videography:

Duncan Dettmer

Louisa Dettmer Wedding Photography

Entertainment:

Discologic