Sarah & Graham's Wedding Story

The Bride & Groom

Sarah & Graham Nickless, 20th July 2012, Burford Bridge Hotel, Dorking, Surrey.

The proposal

I always used to want something extravagant but I’m glad I didn’t. It was simple but very romantic. We went out for dinner for our “first date” anniversary and funnily enough by complete accident ended up sitting at the same table. I thought it was planned at the time! When we came home, I noticed that the bed had been covered with rose petals. I just thought it was something nice to do for our anniversary and when I turned round found that he was standing there with a ring I’d bought myself months before to pretend!!! Obviously I said yes straight away then told him off for not getting down on one knee…he’d actually had the one knee resting on the bed so he said it counted!! I proceeded to tell everyone but wanted to tell my family in person. I completely forgot that my step dad was taking my daughter to a friend’s birthday party the next day so my friends consequently kept telling him congratulations when he didn’t know. Don’t think he was too happy!!! Also, put it on facebook, as you do…completely forgetting my other half hadn’t told his family yet…some of who are on FB. That quickly came off too!!!!

Planning the day

I’d already had some ideas as had been watching wedding tv for months. My friend had got married a year or so before so used her budget spreadsheet. She became my wedding go to person and my bridesmaid. We enjoyed it so much we spoke about becoming wedding planners. I’d been given a scrap book by my children for Mother’s Day so I could put in all my thoughts & ideas and cut outs, that became my wedding dress idea book. I also had a wedding notebook for everything else. These came with me everywhere. I tried to use suppliers that I knew off or came recommended from friends. The most important thing was budget though, I had a rough idea on what I wanted to spend but also said if it was perfect then I was willing to go over budget for. I also tried to make a lot of it myself. I made my invites, sweet table and sourced a lot of stuff online as it was cheaper.

The hen and stag nights

My bridesmaid organised my hen do with a little help from me…she’d probably say I organised it myself!!! I am a bit of a control freak so liked to know what was going on. I ideally wanted to go away for a weekend or week in the sun but knew not a lot of people including me could afford it so settled for a night on the town in London with an overnight stay. It was everything I wanted, nice lunch and cocktail planning with my nearest and dearest and then more turned up at the bar after and that made it. I didn’t even wake up with a hangover.

My husband had 2 stag dos…..the 1st a weekend in Manchester and the 2nd being a day at the races and drinks in London….this is his account….Me and my brother organised a lads weekend away in Manchester. Around 16 of us went up there and the first day was filled with beer, beer and more beer!!! We visited the delights of the curry mile, found a Wetherspoon and ended up in an Indie/Rock club moshing the night away. The second day, we got rid of our hangovers by playing Dodgeball. A fantastic experience and a great laugh. Whether you love sport or hate it everyone can enjoy throwing a ball as hard as you can at your mates! Saturday night was a calmer affair, with a nice meal in a Comedy Club then a few more beers before a visit to a very dodgy club, which was actually under our hotel. Great weekend was had by all and the Friday night is still talked about today.

The venue

We viewed quite a few before looking at the Burford Bridge Hotel, it was also the last one on the list to look at. Straight away I knew it was what I wanted, with the Tithe Barn as well as outdoor space which wasn’t too big that we’d lose the children!

The wedding

I was really worried about the weather leading up to the wedding as we’d had a few off days with rain. I was also worried about getting stressed out over silly things. I didn’t sleep very well even though I didn’t drink a lot the night before but woke up bright and early and was ready to go….I think I was sub consciously feeling nervous even though I didn’t think I was at the time as everything was going well until it seemed we ran out of time…I’d had everyone into my room to have the hair done by my cousin who was brilliant. My bridesmaid forgot her underwear so had to wait for her hubby to drop everything off, her daughter Maisy was also a flower girl so that brought a few testful times especially when she took a liking to the bathroom and wouldn’t come out. Needless to say I was running late…even though I had a time sheet.

I was actually putting on my dress at the time the ceremony was due to start. This started stressing me out especially as I had the hotel staff knocking on my door a couple of times to hurry me up…don’t think they’d tied a lace up wedding dress before! I had to run to the meeting with the registrar which wasn’t a fast run as my garter kept falling down, as I was stressed I kept crying through that and forgot how old I was. I stopped counting at 30!!! Thankfully my husband didn’t think I’d stood him up. And the ceremony went very smoothly. I even managed to get my husbands middle names round the right way…Andrew Allan, not Allan Andrew!!!

We had about 10 minutes of rain just when we went to start the photos so some were taken inside but it cleared to take the rest outside but at that point I was so happy to even care….I even missed out on my sweet table which my lovely bridesmaid set out for me.

Apart from the first few mishaps everything turned out perfect and the venue was amazing.

The outfits

The bridesmaid dresses were a long a-line baby pink dress with a sweet heart neckline with a few detailing folds around the front. All the men including the groom had ¾ length grey suits with pink waistcoat & tie with sweet avalanche roses as the button hole. My husband had a silver grey tie & waistcoat as he didn’t want to wear pink. The rose had more leaves to tell him apart. My dress…oh where do I start. Absolutely lovely. An off white A line dress with sweetheart neckline but quite a few ruffles to give it the fullness I wanted. The ruffles only covered 3/4 of the dress, the rest was like a lace underskirt. This was also the case on the train which was quite long as well. Each ruffle had a little lace rose sewed into it.

Wedding theme/colour scheme

The colour scheme was easy to think of, my favourite colour…Pink!!!! There wasn’t a theme as such as long as everything matched and didn’t look OTT but it turned into a mini football theme. My husband wanted some say so I hinted that we could do the table names as footballers from his favourite team Everton and it just so happened that their away kit at the time of planning was Pink. We also had a table plan done out in football pitch with the formation of the team and the table numbers were in the shape of football shirts with the name & number on the back.

Favourite wedding purchase

This has to be the wedding dress.  I’d gone to several shops and tried on several different styles.  I originally wanted a fairy tale big organza dress with a sweetheart neckline but found that they didn’t suit me….to this day I keep looking at them in shop windows!!  But every shop I went into I always came back to trying on the same dress…Maggie Sottero Sabelle.  I loved it.  It made me feel a million dollars.  I still have it hanging up in my front room.  I will never get rid of it and still sometimes want to put in on.  I only wish I’d hired someone from the shop to come and do me up on the day as I kept coming lose!!!

The transport

I didn’t need transport on the day as I stayed at the hotel the night before. My husband to be stayed at a nearby hotel that was only up the road so came down in a mini cab! But at least he didn’t walk or come by train which he threatened to do!!!! And he arrived nice and early to greet everyone.

The flowers and table decorations

My flowers were a mixture of sweet avalanche roses in a small martini glass on a mirrored base as I didn’t want them too big so people couldn’t talk to each other. I also had small round fish bowl type bowls with a rose head floating in, this was alternated with the same bowl with a tea light in. I also scattered some pink & white crystals around the table….table wasn’t complete without some bling. I didn’t have favours, however as I had quite a few children at the wedding I made them each a goody bag with colouring books, bubbles & toys in to give them something to do.

The food

We had a 4 course sit down meal which included coffee and petit fours at the end. The food was absolutely delicious and when we had our menu tasting we knew straight away what one we’d have. We had tomato & vodka soup to start…dangerous but nothing spilt which is a miracle for me especially when I wear white!!! Lamb and seasoned veg for main which was cooked to a T. Thankfully some people didn’t turn up on the day so we had some spare which weren’t spare for long with some people having 2 dinners. I can’t actually remember the dessert, I think it might have been chocolate brownie. The kids also had their own separate kids menu which they liked as well.

The cake

I wanted something simple but that stood out. I originally went for a 4 tier sponge cake with madeira sponge on the bottom layer, then chocolate, lemon and finally carrot cake with silver edible sparkles scattered on and pink ribbon round each tier with a silver brooch on the knot of the bow on the top tier but the only sparkles that we could get didn’t look as great as we first thought. I had a call from the cake maker on the morning of the wedding telling me this but I trusted her and told her to do what she thought was right and she replaced these with just plain white iced balls and the cake looked absolutely stunning and tasted absolutely beautiful. Not had a cake like it since!!!

The first dance

Our first dance was to Amazed by Lone Star. As a couple we don’t really have “ a song” so I went through some songs and tried to match the lyrics to us and this one matched to a T! Both myself & my husband aren’t the most confident dancers so we didn’t want lessons either, we just did what we felt comfortable with.

The entertainment

This was one of the items we were a bit extravagant on. We wanted guests to be up dancing and having a brilliant time and liking the music so we went for a DJ that I found at a wedding fair. The set up at the fair pulled me in with the artificial flames and starlit cloth etc…I was sold. It also helped that my dad offered to pay as a wedding present to us.

The memorable moments

The most funny moment had to be my bridesmaid forgetting her underwear….not something u can go without really!! Memorable, well the day in itself was as memorable as it could be but my dads speech stands out to me, never been so embarrassed!! But in a good way!! Becoming Mrs Nickless has to be the most favourite & memorable of the day.

The honeymoon

We went to the Dominican Republic for 2 weeks. We hadn’t been on holiday for a few years and we already had 2 children so we wanted some “us” time and that gave us it completely. Except I totally took advantage of the all-inclusive and made myself a bit ill but we had a great time.


You might think that you have everything sorted but something will always put timings out a bit, so the most important piece of advise would be to just go with it, don’t stress and enjoy the day. It all goes so quickly.


Venue – Beverley Luff @ Burford Bridge Hotel, Dorking Surrey - 01306 884561

Brides dress – From This Moment, Ewell, Surrey 0208 393 4049

Grooms suit – Moss Bros Hire, Epsom store 01372 742899

Flowers – Pauline Ouzoun @ Flower House Direct, Wallington, Surrey Mob: 07792 763357

Entertainment – Raindance 0845 0577878