Welcome to our first ‘Real-Wedding’ blog, and please say a big hello to Esme & Nick who will be tying the knot here at Easton Grange on 22nd July, just 4 weeks away!
Esme is 29 and an Assistant Producer for a television production company and Nick is Vice President of Marketing Partnerships for a music and entertainment promoter. They live in London, but dreamed of a wedding in the Suffolk countryside; where Esme grew up and so, with just 4 weeks to go, Esme & Nick will telling us how they met and sharing their wedding planning journey plus a few hints about their big day!
Esme: We met around nine years ago, through my friend Georg. Georg is actually Nick’s younger sister! Yep, I’m that girl… I met Georg in my first week at Sheffield University and we’ve been great friends ever since. When I moved to London, Georg and I would go out a lot with friends and sometimes Nick would join us and bring his mates along. One particularly boozy night ended in a Clapham gay bar – and that was the romantic setting for our first kiss! Following that, we went on a couple of dates but kept them a secret – my friendship and Nick’s relationship with Georg is so important, we didn’t want to make things awkward if it wasn’t going to go anywhere. Although Nick tells me he thought I walked like a drunk elephant in heels on our first date, we quickly fell for each other and the rest, as they say, is history.
Nick: This story always makes me laugh. The only point I would change is that I thought Esme walked like a baby giraffe in heels not a drunk elephant as she recounts. I fear that I’ll get a fair amount of stick from my best men having ended up marrying one of my sister’s friends. That said, my sister is one of the most chilled out people I have ever met, so we have always been lucky to have her blessing.
Esme: Our relationship was a slow burner. In fact, I remember Nick telling me quite early on that he would be happy to be single forever! That obviously went down like a lead balloon. Fortunately, he soon came round and after a few months he even started making time for me mid-week! If I was to pinpoint a moment that I knew he was the one, I think it could have been when he met my parents for the first time, at my family home in Suffolk. I am really close to my family and they mean so much to me – Nick knew that so he made such an effort and gave my mum some lovely gifts as a thank you for having us to stay. They couldn’t NOT like him!
Nick: I love that Esme describes this as a “slow burner”! In my mind, it was lightning quick progress! In all seriousness, I think what has been nice is that we developed a great friendship – which of course takes a little time. It became apparent fairly quickly that we liked the same things – food, wine, going out with friends and I think this has always been a great foundation for us.
Esme: Nick and I love to travel and explore new places. We’re lucky to have been to some amazing countries. One highlight, which I will remember forever, was our holiday to Barbados. I never even dreamed that I’d be able to travel to the Caribbean so to be there after all our saving up and to see the incredible turquoise seas from our balcony, was just incredible. I remember us grabbing a couple of beers on our first night and wandering down to the beach in front of our hotel. We sat there, drinking, watching the sun go down. It was the most perfect moment. I remember thinking it would make the most perfect proposal – but it was way too early on in our relationship at that point!
Nick: I can’t believe Esme didn’t go for the drunken night in a Clapham gay bar for this answer. I would have to agree with Es that this was pretty sensational and my favourite moment as well. We went snorkelling with turtles on this trip which was one of the best things we’ve ever done together.
Esme: It was about a week before my birthday and Nick was taking me away for a ‘birthday weekend’. On the day we left, he surprised me at work and we got the train together to Gatwick. I love that about Nick – he is always surprising me with small, thoughtful gestures. At Gatwick, he pulled out a guidebook for the Amalfi Coast. Looking back, I can’t believe I didn’t clock Nick’s proposal plans! He was completely out of character – panicking we would miss our flight (that’s usually my role!) and getting in a tiz about the smallest issues, losing things etc.
As part of the holiday, we went on the most incredible boat trip to Capri, which I still think was one of the best places I’ve ever been. We went on a perfect walk, ate an incredible lunch, and as we were dropped off back at our hotel I said: “I think that might be the best day we ever had together.” On our balcony just 20 minutes later, we toasted the day with a glass of Prosecco, and Nick broke into a little speech. When his voice started to go wobbly I clocked it. He got down on one knee, pulled out the most stunning ring he’d designed himself from scratch, and asked me to be his wife. The rest of the evening was full of tears, (too much) Prosecco, a Michelin-starred meal and video calls to our parents and friends.
Nick: Such a great weekend. I figured if went somewhere with great scenery, great wine and great food I couldn’t mess it up! When Es said after the boat trip that she’d had “the best day ever”, I knew the moment was right.
I think there is a lot of pressure on proposals and doing something creative or new. Ultimately, it’s about doing something personal. I knew Es hadn’t been to Italy before, we both share a love of food and drink (conscious I’m mentioning drinking a lot) and we also like being outdoors and exploring. Having found those things in abundance it was just a bit of thought and planning. In addition, I also figured if this all went catastrophically wrong at least I’d get a weekend break out of it!