When you keep your loved ones hanging on for 25 years and you’ve worked in the entertainment business, you know you really have to put on something spectacular when it comes to your big day!
Nikki, a former professional dancer who now teaches fitness classes, and Bill, a criminal lawyer and director of a Hull legal firm, have been a couple on and off for so long that their family and friends had all but given up hope of ever seeing them tying the knot. Nikki’s work on cruise ships took her around the world, leading to frequent and long periods of separation from Bill. But love will always find a way and the long-term lovers decided to finally exchange vows and celebrate the union with a whole weekend of festivities.
Zermatt in Switzerland is a place they have both grown to love over the years, as a backdrop to special holidays and somewhere they’ve returned to year after year. It is also where Bill asked Nikki to marry him. So, theming their wedding around their favourite mountain getaway seemed an obvious choice.
Their dance floor featured a bespoke ski chalet theme, complete with mock roaring fireplace, chesterfield sofas, fur throws and skis, unveiled as a surprise ‘reveal’ as the night time party got under way. Their evening buffet – as well as including Swiss cheeses and other delicacies – was served on antique skis, and even their four-tiered cake featured Nikki and Bill figurines whizzing down a ski slope.
Nikki had a clear vision of what she wanted but decided to draw on the expertise of Village Farm Marquees’ event planning service to pull all the details together. She said: “The team of people who helped us to organise it were amazing – from our DJ to our caterers, musicians, florist, videographer, photographer, make-up artist and hairdresser, to the event team who made sure everything and everyone was where they should be – and when.
Above all, it felt like organising a great big party with good friends.”
A weekend to remember
The couple got married at All Saints Church in Hessle, East Yorkshire, followed by a wedding breakfast, evening party and, the following day, a newlyweds party in a marquee in the garden of their Hessle home.
Their wedding and wedding breakfast were chic and classical, with ivory table dressings and drapes, highlighted with rose gold sequins for a little sparkle, and topped off with classical English blooms. Their food, provided by leading East Yorkshire caterers Ceruttis, was a Zermatt-inspired grilled asparagus with griddled prawn starter, followed by lamb with dauphinoise potatoes and a medley of vegetables, and raspberry crème brulee for pudding, served with a Skorppio vodka and lemon sorbet drink.
In the evening, guests enjoyed a Swiss-inspired cheese and fondue buffet, served on a ski-themed display. To drink, there was a selection of red, white and rose wine. Their newlyweds party featured a continental-style buffet featuring hot beef, salmon and Swiss sausage.
“The morning of the wedding was probably the calmest of my life,” explained Nikki. “I had my make-up done at 8.30am, then my hair at 9am, while my mum and dad pottered around and made bacon sarnies for everyone. My bridesmaids and I were actually dressed and ready half an hour early and enjoyed a glass of bucks fizz while we waited for the cars to arrive – it was all just so lovely and relaxed.
“The wedding ceremony was great and all the little touches made it very special – from my Zumba ladies coming along to wave to me as I entered the church, to the beautiful music of our jazz quartet during the photos, and the very emotional serenade from my best friend during the register signing.
“Bill and I made a big entrance to our wedding breakfast in French style, dancing around the tables with all our guests waving their napkins to welcome us in, all to the music of the Gipsy Kings. The atmosphere was wonderful and stayed that way throughout the whole two days.
“We had really poignant moments, including my dad’s emotional speech, offset by moments of absolute comedy.
When our ‘drunken waiters’ appeared, my brother turned to me and whispered in a concerned voice ‘look at that fella staggering all over the place’. I had to say ‘don’t worry, it’s all part of the plan!’”
In the same vein, the couple’s first dance was to ‘I will’ by The Beatles, comically followed by ‘Apache Indian’ by Will Smith and ‘Can’t Touch This’ by MC Hammer. “Everyone knows that Bill can’t dance whereas, given my previous career, I can, which made this selection of songs particularly funny,” added Nikki.
Nikki’s best friend and her husband sang two poignant songs as Nikki and Bill signed the register – ‘End of Time’ from the musical Moulin Rouge, and ‘The Prayer’, most famous from a duet between Celine Dion and Andrea Bocelli. And Bill’s nieces and their husbands treated everyone to a comedy impression of Nikki and Bill – one dressed as an old man with a wheelbarrow and the other one dancing around clad in colourful lycra – to the tune of the Beatles’ ‘When I’m 64’
“It was just magical,” said Nikki. “Above all, it felt like we were surrounded by a room full of love. Like us, so many of the people we care about had waited so long to see us get married, there was a real sense of celebration which made it an extra-special day.
“I couldn’t have even imagined everything going so perfectly,” added Nikki. “I don’t know what else to say, other than that everything was just perfect, all that we could have wished for.”