Nicky & Darren's Wedding Story

The Bride & Groom

Darren & Nicky Sanders, 11th February 2010, Cooling, Castle Barn, Rochester, Kent.

The proposal

Nicky explains 'Although working in the same job we did not meet until a work trip to Prague. This was an annual trip and three years later Darren had the ring ready to propose. Unfortunately due to snow our flights were cancelled and he had to hatch a plan B which was to take me to the Cotswolds for Valentines Day where he put the ring in a cracker.'

Planning the day

'Cooling castle Barn made a lot of the arrangements for us, most of the suppliers we used were from their recommended list, friend’s recommendations and also Kent Wedding web site gave details of a lot of local suppliers.'

The hen and stag nights

'Darren and 20 friends went to Prague for the weekend but nearly didn’t make it as they missed their flights due to an accident on the motorway. But Darren says what happens in Prague says in Prague!

I went to a cocktail bar in Soho and then on to a private karaoke bar. The theme was fairies and pink. There were some great outfits and terrible singing!'

The wedding

'We were both really worried about the weather as the forecast was heavy snow in Rochester. But on the morning it was a beautiful blue sky with lots of sun, but as you can imagine freezing cold. We didn’t have time to get nervous as there was a lot to do on the morning!'

The venue

'We had been to a wedding at Cooling Castle Barn before and thought it was a stunning location. It is nice to be able to have the whole day in the same venue and stay there afterwards. We also found that they were very helpful and as they specialise in weddings. They have an internet planner that you can use which I found made planning the wedding a lot easier.'

The transport

'We did not use cars for the day as we both got ready at the venue. We did hire a route master bus to pick all of our evening guests up and drop them home safely so that they could join us in a few drinks!!'

The outfits

'The bridal dress was an ivory satin strapless ball gown dress. It had a semi-cathedral train with rhinestones and a crystal beaded band under the bust, made by Alfred Angelo.

The bridesmaids wore a pink satin and chiffon dress also made by Alfred Angelo. The groom and party wore a Marks and Spencer suit with a tie made to match the bridesmaid’s dresses.'

The flowers and table decorations

'The barn was decorated in ivy and fairy lights by the florist. The tables had seat covers with pink bows that matched the napkin bows and the tables were covered in crystals. The centre pieces were supplied by cooling castle barn. The brides’ bouquet was pink roses with sea grass and crystals. We had M&M’s with our pictures on as our favours that we got from America.'

The cake

'We chose a three tier cake that had pink polka dots all over it. This had a layer of carrot, chocolate and vanilla sponge. Cooling castle barn also supplied a large fruit cake.'

The first dance

'Our first dance was Take That Greatest Day and we didn’t take any lessons!

We chose this song as I had Bought Darren the CD for Valentines Day when he proposed.'

The entertainment

'Cooling Castle Barn supplied a DJ that had a wide range of music.'

The memorable moments

'We did have a minor hiccup of the registrar saying our names wrong but all of our guests found it quite amusing. It was amazing seeing all our close friends and family together enjoying the day with us.'

The honeymoon

'Our family surprised us with a weekend away after the wedding to the hotel we got engaged at in the Cotswolds. After that we had a week in the Maldives.'


'Have an enjoyable day and don’t get too stressed. Let people run around after you as help from friends and family is very important on the day. Also get a good photographer for long lasting memories as the day goes in a flash.'


Venue – Cooling Castle Barn, Rochester, Kent

Brides dress – Bride and Groom, Bromley, Kent

Photography – Helen England photography

Flowers – Freelance designer florist

Grooms suit – Marks and Spencer

Transport – Traditional Transport ltd

Entertainment – Supplied by Cooling Castle Barn