From a young age, little girls the world over dream of their perfect wedding day, yet few are given the opportunity to live out their childhood wedding fantasy to the T. But Jade Collin, from Kirk Ireton, did just that.
After a Hollywood-style proposal, where fiancée Tom wrote ‘Marry Me?’ in the sand during a weekend away in Whitby, followed by an 18-month engagement, on 27 August 2016, Jade, who works as a finance assistant in Castle Donington, finally tied the knot with friend of 10 years and beau of four, Tom Collin.
The venue had already been picked, long before the prospect of marriage had been conceived, as Jade explains: “I’d visited Breadsall Priory when I was 16 and fell in love with it; I thought at the time that the setting was a beautiful backdrop for a wedding, and I knew that one day I’d want to get married there.”
With this decision already crossed off the couple’s list, Jade’s next wish for her big day was to have her horse, Graciella, by her side. Having spent weeks practising her entrance, using a bed sheet to replicate her dress, the 26 year-old was certain her big day could not go ahead without her stunning grey Belgium Warmblood playing a key role. She said: “I’m a keen equestrian and not being able to include Graciella in my big day would have been a deal breaker for me. If the venue couldn’t allow me to ride in on my horse, then I would’ve had to have looked somewhere else.”
Luckily, the Derbyshire venue accommodated Jade’s somewhat unusual wedding wish without question, and was happy for Jade and Graciella to make use of the centuries-old mounting block, which dates back to when Breadsall Priory was home to Charles Darwin’s grandfather, Erasmus.
The wedding celebrations commenced the day before the ceremony, where both Jade and Tom travelled to Breadsall to enjoy some much needed chill out time. Jade and her bridesmaids opted for a pamper day in the Priory Retreat, spending the day between spa treatments and lounging by the swimming pool. Leaving the girls to their pre-wedding beautification, Tom and his groomsmen played golf in a bid to walk away the pre-wedding day nerves. Tom said: “We had a few rounds and enjoyed a few drinks. It was like the calm before the storm; we wanted to make the most of time to ourselves before the chaos of the big day began.”
When the big day arrived, Jade and Tom watched their Summer of Love wedding unfold. James, the Master of Ceremonies, met both parties to run through the day’s events, while scores of beauticians and florists flocked around the bride, adding finishing touches to hair and makeup and perfecting bouquets.
The ceremony kicked off with a drinks reception before guests were ushered into the grand ceremony room, beautifully styled with pastel tones and fresh roses. Jade said: “I’d decided on a pastel palette colour scheme months before the wedding but had been worrying whether it would come together the way I wanted it to. I was a little bit nervous that I wouldn’t like it, but when I turned the corner into the ceremony room and saw my bridesmaids and Tom looking at me, everything just fell into place; it was just perfect – everything looked breath-taking. For a moment, everything was in slow motion and looking at the expressions on the faces of Tom and all our friends and family was something I’ll never forget for all the right reasons.”
After the ‘I do’s’ were exchanged, the newlyweds caught a lift in a golf buggy towards the main outdoor reception area where guests sipped on cocktails and champagne and tucked into canapes. Jade then made a show-stopping entrance on Graciella, with her elegant ivory lace gown draping over her horse’s back, like something resembling a Disney movie.
Once Jade safely dismounted, James requested that glasses were raised as he introduced the new Mr and Mrs Collin to much cheering and applause. The couple then posed for their wedding snaps around the hotel’s grounds, with the beautiful Graciella by their sides.
Before long, it was time to move indoors to the Pavillion Suite for the wedding breakfast. Soup, steak and a homemade honey almond roulade was served up, but not everyone had the appetite for it, as Tom explains: “The food looked delicious but I just couldn’t eat a bite; I was that nervous about the speech I had to give! The pressure to stand up and do a speech was overwhelming at this point. Everyone tells you that your wedding will be among the best days of your life but I never imagined it would be so intense and emotional.”
With the speeches out of the way, and champagne flowing, the celebrations got into full swing as a further 50 guests arrived to dance the night away with live, local band, Facsimile, playing a selection of indie and rock classics.
They say rain on your wedding day is a good sign, so Jade wasn’t too disappointed when the heavens opened and the evening BBQ buffet needed to be served indoors! Like Tom, after being too excited and nervous to eat much during the day, Jade’s hunger finally kicked in and she devoured a chicken burger before heading back to the dancefloor. Jade said: “The best part of the day, apart from saying my vows to Tom and seeing all my friends and family of course, was when I finally got to eat my chicken burger! I’d been so nervous and excited all day so it wasn’t until the evening that I finally relaxed and realised I was famished!”
Once the band had completed their set, it was time for the DJ to round off the night. Giving each guest a login to select their own music choices, it wasn’t long before Tom was met by the sound of his own band. He said: “I used to be in a band, and Jade had asked the DJ to play one of our songs. Some of my band mates were also at the wedding and as soon as we heard the song, that was it, we couldn’t help but sing and dance along. It’s a great memory from the day. One of many.”
As the night drew to a close, the couple waved goodbye to guests and retired to the bridal suite with Jade still none the wiser about where she would be heading off to on their honeymoon the next day. Little did Jade know that Tom had spent the last few months meticulously organising a romantic week away in Polperro, Cornwall.
Looking back, Tom revealed his highlight of the big day: “Seeing Jade walk down the aisle was the best part. I know it’s cliché but I never usually cry; seeing her looking so beautiful and knowing that we were about to say our marriage vows to one another brought tears to my eyes.”