On a beautiful September day our real wedding couple Vikki and Nigel were applying the finishing touches ahead of their evening black-tie wedding soiree in the Cotswolds, England. The intimate wedding evening featured stylish attire, including a pair of customised Jimmy Choos, a bright pink bridal clutch and a dapper midnight tuxedo. The couple applied their own twist by ditching the formal first dance, jetting off on a pre-moon and showcase some DIY fabulousness from our creative bride. Photographer Suzie Smith captured the black-tie magic so we can share this wonderful album. Take a peep!
Let’s begin this gorgeous story by sharing how Nigel and Vikki fell in love. Six years ago, Nigel who owns a joinery business, was asked to make the windows for the house Vikki had moved into. Nigel’s wife had sadly passed away, and while they originally met in a professional capacity, Vikki and Nigel became friends, and then eventually more. Then one Saturday evening in December of 2021, having just returned from a few drinks in the pub, the couple sat down to enjoy a relaxed dinner.”We started having hypothetical chats about ‘if you were to marry’ and ‘what would it be like’ transitioned into ‘shall we get married?’ It was perfect! There was no down on one knee, just two people deciding to spend the rest of their lives together!” they say.
We are simply tickled pink with this pink fluffy bridal clutch from Mulberry complete with beautiful pearls, which Vikki paired with black suede customised Jimmy Choos with crystal ankle embellishments and a delicate pearl hairpiece.
To match the feather detail in her glamorous bag, Vikki’s exquisite Jenny Packham wedding dress was adorned with the delightful addition of pearls and feathers! The delicate black waist belt complemented her black bridal shoes to perfection, the classic style was accentuated with a bunch of long-stemmed fluffy white roses.
The groom meanwile wore a midnight blue tuxedo by Zegna, and shoes by Paul Smith. While Nigel’s son opted for a chic black tuxedo. Looking very dapper gentlemen!
The ceremony was held in the venue’s Pink Room, which was followed by a champagne reception in the snooker room. “Nigel has a 25-year-old son named Tom, who lost his mum – Nigel’s wife – in 2016. We wanted to make sure Tom felt part of our special day, so we told him first, of course, that we’d decided to marry, and then I asked if he would walk me in on the day. He was thrilled, and when he greeted me, just before we walked into the ceremony together, he told me I looked beautiful, and that meant the world to me!” says Vikki.
Their favourite ceremony readings were From Beginning to End by Robert Fulghum, and Here’s Tonight Now by Ms Moem. The creative bride Vikki, added a DIY touch with her hand-designed order of service booklets.
As Vikki and Tom entered the Pink Lounge at the Slaughter Manor House, there were quite a few teary eyes. “Nigel walked down to us from the front of the room, where he’d been waiting. He shook Tom’s hand, I gave Tom a kiss on the cheek, and then Nigel and I walked up to the front of the room together to be married. It was very special and significant,” says Vikki.
The overall vibe for the wedding day was black-tie chic. Taking place late in the afternoon, the small but perfectly formed wedding had a sophisticated order of the day. “We were surrounded by love and laughter for our ‘happy ever after,” they say. As it was a second wedding for both, and being a more mature bride and groom, the couple wanted something different and that is exactly how their wedding aesthetic thinking emerged. “Marrying later at 5pm meant that we could really focus on the sophistication and the style of the black-tie wedding” they add.
The Slaughters Manor House is a contemporary country house hotel in the heart of the Cotswolds and the only venue that the couple viewed as it stole their hearts! With having such a small wedding, the venue could accommodate their needs and wishes perfectly. They describe what made the venue ‘the one’: “From the many conversations with the events manager, Emily Kate, to the menu tasting and the actual day itself, they could not have done more for us!”
Instead of having a formal first dance, Vikki asked their singer Andrew, if he could sing On Days Like These which is the theme music from the original 1960s version of the film, The Italian Job. “Nigel didn’t know I had done this, and so when Andrew began to sing it as the third song in his set, it seemed only natural that we should get up and dance to it – so we did!” she says.
When it comes to advice, the couple say: “Think carefully about what you want. It’s your day, no one else’s. Don’t over-complicate things, you don’t need to get stressed. Take moments throughout the day to look, listen and remember. It really does fly by. I actually planned what I called a ‘pre-moon’ for us, six weeks before our big day, just to get away for four nights to focus on us, and have some special time. We had a lovely romantic break in Santorini, and I really recommend it before the wedding draws closer,” says Vikki.
The couple continued the celebrations in Lake Garda in Italy, and stayed at the beautiful Hotel Eala, a five-star hotel on the banks of the lake, which made for a magical honeymoon! A very special thank you to Vikki, Nigel and photographer Suzie Smith for sharing this elegant black-tie wedding day with One Fab Day.
We have lots more inspiration for small weddings to inspire you as well as the best intimate wedding venues if you are still searching for yours.