Well this wedding was definitely a bit different! For a start nobody actually knew they were attending a wedding (we did of course!). Nikki met us at a wedding fayre that she attended with a friend and contacted us some time later to tell us that her and Alex were planning a birthday party in Dunster near Minehead and could we photograph it. When they came to see us to talk about details they let us in on the secret that they were planning a surprise wedding!!
We travelled down to Dunster the day before and had a look around the stunning Knowle Manor which was where the couple had booked. It was very exciting to see the guests starting to arrive knowing that they had no idea what was about to happen the next day.
We returned the following morning to set up our Photo Booth and to start capturing all the activities that were happening under the guise of an Olympic themed event. We had Laser Clay Pigeon Shooting (Matthews Leisure), Bouncy Castle (Bounce-On) and there was even a beauty room set up for hair and make up pampering. Rachel and Lindsay from Divine had also travelled down from the Midlands to make sure all the ladies who were to play a key part in the later proceedings looked fab!
At 11.30 all the guests were gathered for the opening ceremony and there was a procession into the Palm House where they were all asked to read the words off the TV screen to pledge the oath to the games. I will never forget the faces when the final screen came up announcing that Nikki and Alex were marrying at 2pm.
The next couple of hours were filled with lunch, gifts being handed to the key wedding party members, final touch ups for the ladies and the groomsmen being handed shirts and ties so they all matched the colour scheme and would look smart for the wedding itself. Nikki got into her beautiful dress made by Kate at Dreamy Dresses and then it was downstairs for the ceremony itself. Alex was waiting looking extremely smart in his suit from Albert’s Menswear in Rugby.
It was a really relaxed affair with the sofas having just been arranged so there was enough of an aisle but without making it too formal. The registrars loved the whole relaxed feel too. Lots of emotion as Nikki and Alex said personal vows.
We then had time to make use of the incredible grounds for the photos. The weather could not have been better. Speeches and some fun party games started the evening celebrations and also made for some more great photos especially the human Hungry Hippos!! Even the first dance was a little different, the romantic notes of a ballad started but very quickly became the Grease compilation and all the guests joined in.
It really was an incredible honour to have been part of the planning and the secret. A big thank you from the newly weds to Ruth from Knowle Manor. Enjoy just a few of the many photos. Oh and one more special mention for Alex’s company Striking Shirts as this is where the personalised beer mats, barmen’s shirts and various other pieces came from!