Midweek Mini: Nicola & Jon’s Secret Wedding

Homemade Bride Kate is presiding over this week’s Midweek Mini to tell us all about her friends’ secret wedding…

Being in the wedding business one of the most common things that I hear is how expensive weddings are. I always tell my brides that the only part that is really important is the actual ceremony, the rest of it is all decorative. This could not have been more true for Nicola and Jon .

My friends had been engaged for years and whenever we asked when they were getting married they just keep telling us “We are getting married on Tuesday.” They never actually ever told us which Tuesday. You can imagine my surprise one day, when scrolling through Facebook, that I had a friend’s name come up that I didn’t recognise. I clicked on the profile to see that Nicola and Jon had secretly got married. It was just the two of them. They hadn’t told a soul. They had asked two random people to be their witnesses and yes, for those of you who were wondering, it was a Tuesday!

I asked Nicola what her favourite wedding day memory was and this is what she told me:

I’ve been thinking long and hard about one favourite memory and to be honest I couldn’t think of just one. Although as you know not everyone’s idea of a conventional wedding, I loved every moment of our secret day. From sneaking out of the house so the neighbours wouldn’t see us in our wedding clothes, the ceremony just being us and our lovely little honeymoon in Mid Wales. But I must say that this is my favourite photo. Caught off guard not posed, I think it shows exactly how I was feeling: complete and utter love.



We would love to hear your favourite wedding day memory or moment. Get in touch with us by emailing charlie@cwtchthebride.com

Going Your Own Way: Choosing to Elope

SarahIn the second post in our “Going Your Own Way” series, DIY bride Sarah talks about the options you have when you don’t want to (or can’t) plan a big wedding. This week, we’re focusing on eloping.


Sometimes the idea of a big wedding just doesn’t appeal. Maybe you don’t like being the centre of attention, or much as you’d like to, you just don’t have the cash to spend on 80 of your nearest and dearest. Maybe you have members of your family that you can’t imagine being able to stay in a room together without fighting – it happens more often than you’d think. Add to that all the stress and expense that wedding planning can bring, and some folks decide that it’s just not worth the hassle. But then what are your options?

If you definitely want to get married (not everyone does of course, and that’s A OK too), you could just have a simple registry office ceremony with fewer guests, or disappear to an island and come back betrothed, having told no one beforehand that you were going to do it. Either way, if you want to get married without the fuss, then perhaps choosing to elope will give you the options you’re looking for.

Choosing to elope can seem daunting and scary. Many people are put off the idea because they worry their family and friends might not understand the decision, or might be hurt by not being included in the ceremony. I remember all the way through our wedding planning, telling people over and over again “I would have been happy to elope, but Tzevai didn’t want to”. I also clearly remember nobody really believing me – I was planning a wedding so I must want that wedding, right?

Well, yes and no. I loved our wedding day when it finally came around – but would I have been just as happy with our parents and a small, no fuss ceremony somewhere warm? I think I would have. Eloping has to be something that you choose to do together – I gave up my opinion on it because I wasn’t dead set against having a planned wedding, I just thought it would have been easier (and cheaper! I am the budget bride, after all) for us.

But it can be done, and if you’re both into the idea (or both just really, really anti the idea of planning a big day) then eloping can be a great alternative wedding style to choose :) If you’re really worried about your friends and family then let them in on it, and make it clear that it’s not because you don’t want them there – you just don’t want a fuss. Eloping doesn’t mean that you have to do it alone, so if you want people with you then go for it. It also doesn’t mean that you can’t have the dress, or the suits or decorations if that’s what you want –  it’s still your wedding so if you want those things don’t ever let someone tell you that you can’t have them and still call it eloping.

Our biggest piece of advice would be: do what whatever you can afford that makes you comfortable. If spending thousands of pounds on one day makes you feel slightly green, then it’s okay not to want to do that, but to still want to celebrate your union together. Take it easy, decide what you really can’t live without and then plan your wedding around that, rather than what other people think you should do :)

We asked on Facebook if anyone had any elopement stories they’d like to share, and Cwtch the Bride reader Kelly got in touch. We liked her story so much we asked if we could share it on the blog along with her photos, and luckily for us Kelly said yes! Thanks very much Kelly! :)

Kelly’s Wedding Story


We got married in Gretna Green on Sept 3rd 2012. We didn’t have an engagement and planned the wedding about 2 months before, around the end of July.

We always knew we’d end up getting married but we were never keen on the big white wedding thing. We both love weddings and feel honoured whenever we’re invited to one but the thought of being the centre of attention for the whole day and being shuffled around for photos etc wasn’t our idea of our perfect day. We wanted it to be about us, and our little boy who was 15 months old at the time.


My dress was high street, I didn’t run around the wedding dress shops trying on loads of different types to make sure I got the perfect one, I simply did what I do best and shopped on the Internet! It was from Phase Eight. I’m so glad I got a high street dress as it’s just sat in my wardrobe now.


We only told two friends each, who we also invited along with us and were sworn to secrecy. We drove up to Gretna the day before and returned home the day after. Our day was very relaxed, we didn’t have any professional photographers so we just asked our friends to take some pictures for us. The ceremony was lovely and afterwards we headed to the nearest pub for drinks and a few packets of crisps! After that we headed off to our hotel for a meal. We dined as ‘normal’ guests at the hotel and didn’t have a wedding package. Some of us had a curry, some had lasagne, some had burgers and some ordered from the al a carte!

When our son started to get tired we all went back to our hotel room where we had many bottles of champagne and good conversation with our bestest friends.

The next day we told our parents….it went ok :)

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(all photos © Kelly Brace, with thanks)