Our Real Wedding this week features Nicola and Simon. Nicola went to school at St Audries Park and finally returned for her very special wedding. Read her wonderful story…
On May 4th 2013, just over a month ago. Simon and I married at the simply stunning St Audries Park. Having both been married before we wanted something personal, something special and something that would help us celebrate a union that has us permanently smiling inside and out.
The team at St Audries Park were amazing. From our very first contact, to Sam, our Front of House Manager’s seamless organization, to the top-notch food and drink and the staff that could not do enough for you. No wonder they have won the Wedding Ideas Venue of the Year 2013. There will be many more awards to come.
St Audries Park was my boarding school from 1972-1981. I loved every minute of my time there and knew every single pupil. There were only 250 of us and I feel honored to have attended. We had a resident ghost, ‘The Grey Lady’. I was dressed in grey/sliver for the Wedding with a flourish of peacock with a Gatsby twist. The lady in grey.
The staff had found and old desk and chair and we used a large blackboard for the table planner and subject books on each table for doodles and comments. Hilarious to read back! If I had had a chat with my 14 year old self and said that a week before my 50th Birthday I would marry the man of my dreams, here, in front of many of our special friends and family- there is no way I would have believed it! But it did happen on the most glorious sunny day. The classrooms may be derelict and falling down but the money re-invested in the House and grounds make this an amazing venue.
The light everywhere was magical. I never remember a skylight at the top of a grand staircase. Mind you we weren’t allowed to use it until the Sixth Form. As I walked into the Orangery the glass ceiling was just flooded with sunlight upon a sea of smiling faces and a swathe of kingfisher, purple and peacock.
Mr. Manley, Mr. Free and Mr. Tough were key teachers in my time at school. Funny how they were adjectives! Either that or an alternative version of the ‘Mr. Men’. I used to go up to the top of the Tower, above the front door, to shadow Mr. Manley on his Career Advice lessons. I also was a keen member of the St John’s Ambulance. No surprise then that I eventually spent 10 years in Recruitment and became a Nurse.
Esse Quam Videri, the school motto. It has taken me a lifetime to really take it on board. I’m happy to say I’m able to agree with the importance of- to be, rather than to seem to be.
I was wearing a beaten silver bangle with a little dangling heart on the Wedding Day. The heart fell off and I gave it to Simon and he put it in his waistcoat pocket. Later we could not find it. I’d like to hope it fell out in the Old Hall, whilst he was dancing the night away, and that it’s fallen down a crack in the floorboards. I absolutely lost my heart to St Audries.
Everyone here at St Audries Park would like to wish Nicola and Simon a life of success and happiness!
As told by Nicola Goodhew