A theatrical and musical wedding celebration day at Salomons Estate, Kent

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A Science Theatre, sung vows, a Tragic dance routine, portraits in a haunted museum, and David Hasselhoff were all part of Nicola and John’s amazing celebrations! Nicola and John originally met through their mutual love of the theatre, and this was a theme that ran through their whole day.

Phil and I had stayed at a local Premier Inn the night before, and having tested their definition of “unlimited” when it came to breakfast (I think I had one of each thing that was there), we were both raring to go.

We arrived early at Salomon’s Estate, and were shown round and made to feel very welcome by Brandy, one of the venue co-ordinators. Salomons Estate is a unique venue that’s impossible to pigeon-hole. It’s part country house, part theatre, part museum, part pub / restaurant / hotel, and all very beautiful.

The room for Nicola and John’s ceremony was the astonishing Victorian Science Theatre. All round the walls are the old switches and levers that controlled the lights and curtains, at there’s a brooding philharmonic pipe organ at the back. It was there that we met Ross, who practicing the music he was to play on his violin when Nicola walked into the room. The tune seemed familiar, and I asked Ross the name of the composer. “John Legend” was the answer: he was playing a version of “All Of Me”. This is why I’m no good at the music round in a pub quiz.

Phil looked in on Nicola as she was getting ready with her bridesmaids, and Nikki Bird MUA. Unbeknown to the rest of the wedding guests, Nicola and her bridal squad were practising for a special performance later that night. Some of the various moves had been given names as an aide memoire. Much to Phil’s delight he kept hearing chants of “sexy hips, sexy hips, mask, mask” during the rehearsals.

Nicola had chosen a beautiful and alternative blue and white dress, awesome sequinned Irregular Choice shoes, and a rather special personalised veil.

The guests for the ceremony gathered on the stage, and Nicola entered on her dad’s arm, accompanied by her bridesmaids and ring-bearers Harry and Sam. Because John and Nicola had become legally married some time ago it meant that they could have a completely personalised ceremony, led by a charming. erudite, witty, and handsome celebrant. The ceremony included personal vows after the exchange of rings. Nicola, who is an excellent singer, sang the chorus from Boys2Men’ “I Swear” accompanied flashmob-style by her bridesmaids, for hers. This wasn’t to be the last performative surprise of the day!

Afterwards, we made our way across to the Salomons pub and conservatory rooms where guests enjoyed glasses of fizz and mulled wine. We braved the windy outdoor conditions for a few group shots, the list for which contained some interesting titles. The walls were soon echoing with calls for “The Bromley Massive”, "The Badgers”, and my favourite: “The C-Cup Massive”. I wasn’t going to let the story behind this one pass my by, so I asked one of the C-Cups. It turns out that it all stemmed from a mispronunciation of “Sidcup” at some point in the past! Apparently the additional irony being that none of the group are a C cup.

Back inside, a delicious roast dinner was served, with plenty of cake available for dessert. It was then time to head back to the iconic Science Theatre, which had been turned into a party zone, flanked around the edges by various very random celebrity cardboard cutouts. At one point I accidentally backed myself into one while taking a shot. I jumped, turned round, and quickly said sorry, before realising my apology was falling onto Frank N Furter’s cardboard ears.

Lot's of Nicola and John's theatre themed styling was DIY. For example Nicola had taken some of their favourite gin bottles, painted them all so they were themed to some of their favourite musicals, added lights, and used them as amazing table centre pieces. I'm only sad that they didn't invite me round to help them drink all that gin first 😜

There were some great speeches delivered from the theatre’s stage - a heartfelt piece by head bridesmaid, story sharing by Nicola, lots of arm-waving from John, some genuinely funny jokes from Nicola’s dad, and a live sandwich shop DIY demonstration by the best man. You had to be there to fully appreciate it all!

The stage was also the perfect place for the excellent band The Plus Ones to entertain us all with their excellent covers, and it was great fun to photograph such a packed and energetic dance floor. Nicola even joined the band to sing for one song! As always, I made sure I joined in, as did Timothy Dalton’s James Bond, and Knight Rider’s David Hasselhoff! In a side room guests were also entertained by UV face painting from Saira x Jay MUA, a karaoke photo booth, and retro video games courtesy of Gaming 4 Weddings.

Then, back in the theatre, the bridal squads secret performance was revealed, there was an unforgettable rendition by Nicola and company of the dance moves to Steps’ “Tragedy”.

We briefly “spirited” Nicola and John away to the reputedly haunted Salomons Museum room for some flash-lit portraits. We didn't’ see anything unusual, but maybe when Phil comes to edit more photos from that part of the day it’s just possible our camera may have caught something spooky 😜👻

Nicola’s dad joked in his speech that Nicola and John having their legal wedding some time ago, followed by this amazing day at Salomons Estate, means that perhaps Nicola and John’s family and friends can look forward to yet another party in the not too distant future. Given how much fun we all had, I’m sure nobody would argue with this excellent idea!

Thanks to Nicola and John for making The Dignums part of your amazing theatrical day! Here’s a selection from your pictures:

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CREDITS
Venue: Salomons Estate - https://www.salomons-estate.com
Hair and Make Up: Nikki Bird MUA - https://www.instagram.com/nikkibird_mua/
Dress: WED2B - https://www.wed2b.co.uk
Shoes: Irregular Choice - https://www.irregularchoice.com
Cakes: Icing On The Cake UK - http://www.icingonthecakeuk.com
Cake Topper: Pins and Needles - https://pinsandneedlesofficial.co.uk
Entertainment: Gaming For Weddings - https://www.gaming4weddings.com
Karaoke Booth: Party and Event Hire - https://www.partyand event hire.co.uk
Band: The Plus Ones - https://www.theplusones.co.uk

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