Nicola Hughes rose to fame on E4's hit show Made in Chelsea, and now the Irish star has married Charlie Tupper after just six weeks of planning their big day.
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Although it’s hard to believe, Nicola Hughes and Charlie Tupper organised their wedding in just six weeks. From the idyllic venue to the breathtaking floral arrangements, the day was perfect from start to finish.
The couple had originally planned to tie the knot in France, but when their venue had to cancel all their August weddings due to the pandemic, former Made In Chelsea star Nicola was determined to make their nuptials happen here instead.
“It was a little hectic but we made it happen in the end! I think it was meant to be,” says Nicola, 31, of their big day, which took place at Botleys Mansion in Surrey on Saturday 21 August in front of 108 guests, including Nicola’s former MIC co-stars Tiffany Watson, who was a bridesmaid, her sister Lucy Watson and Lucy’s fiancé James Dunmore. Model Lottie Moss – half-sister to Kate – also attended the wedding.
The ceremony started just after 4pm, with Nicola being walked down the aisle by her father Des to the sound of Christina Perri’s A Thousand Years on the piano.
And the Irish-born model, who looked beautiful in her Bon Bridé dress, admits seeing Charlie, 32, waiting at the end of the aisle made her “burst into tears”.
Business owner Charlie, meanwhile, smiled, “She looked so beautiful.” Following the ceremony, guests tucked into canapés and drinks whilst being entertained by a singer and pianist, before sitting down to a three-course wedding breakfast consisting of saffron prawns on a bed of tomatoes, slow-cooked beef and an apple and raspberry crumble.
Guests were also treated to an impressive four-tier cake made of carrot, chocolate, lemon and red velvet layers. And after their disappointment over their initial venue cancellation, it’s no wonder Nicola and Charlie wanted to make the most of their day so the party kicked off with an eight-piece band and continued until 3am.
Here, Nicola and Charlie, who have been together for five years and got engaged last September in Ibiza, share their incredibly special day with OK!…
Congratulations, both! The wedding was just beautiful…
Nicola: Thank you! We had the best day, we were so happy.
Was there a particular highlight?
Nicola: We didn’t realise this was going to happen but after the ceremony the venue organisers grabbed us and took us to a room to be alone – there were two glasses of champagne waiting for us. I felt so grateful we had that moment together to take everything in.
Charlie: It was a complete surprise so that was really special.
How does it feel to be husband and wife?
Charlie: Everything feels a lot more special. I have this ring on my finger now and I never wear rings so it feels really weird. We just have so much to look forward to now.
Nicola: That’s it. We’re just really excited to plan our honeymoon and see where we can go, and then we’re going to buy a house and hopefully start a family one day. Obviously that’s something you can’t predict, but in the next year or so we’d love to start a family. Any number would be a blessing, but I’d love to have at least two.
Was it stressful planning a wedding during a pandemic?
Nicola: Well we were actually due to get married in France but because of the pandemic we moved it to the UK and did a really quick turnaround in six weeks. Our wedding in France was going to be a lot smaller, so it was nice we got to have everyone there this way. We wanted a three-day wedding abroad, near a vineyard, but the way it turned out it was so nice and I think it was meant to be.
Charlie: It was a mad dash to get this one booked in but we managed to do it only a week out of our original date in France.
Nicola: We almost didn’t have time to venue hunt. It was the only place we looked at and we were so lucky to find it. We asked everyone to do a lateral flow the morning of the wedding just for the safety of the guests.
Charlie: We only had one person come back with a positive test so sadly she wasn’t able to make it. It’s amazing you planned everything in six weeks!
Nicola: It was hectic and a little stressful [laughs]! But we’re so happy we were able to make it work.
Charlie: When Nicola says, “We,” I actually did very little! It was definitely all Nicola.
Nicola: We went back and forth on whether to wait a few years and just move on with life but we just felt a bit sad that nothing would happen after such a big lead-up to getting married over the last year. I was like, “No, I will make this work”. Luckily I had such a great team of suppliers. It looked beautiful.
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Did you have a wedding planner?
Nicola: No, I decided to take on the task myself. I would advise an on-the-day planner as people were coming up to me all morning of the wedding as we obviously didn’t have a planner to take care of that. It sounds like you were quite a relaxed bride considering, Nicola… Everyone said I was quite chilled but Charlie knows that behind closed doors I was not!
Charlie: It was naturally quite a stressful time anyway, but then having to condense all that planning into a month and a half, it was natural for pressures to get to Nicola sometimes! But once everything was done, I feel like she was actually pretty chilled.
Nicola: I did all my own make-up as I prefer to do that and I didn’t want too many people fussing over me. I wanted to be more relaxed. I did get a blow-dry though, and then I put my hair up myself. The morning of the wedding, I actually felt really chilled. It was only really up until the last second when some of the bridal party were running late. That moment was hectic, trying to get them to the altar on time. In the end, thankfully, we were only 10 minutes late. Charlie said he couldn’t believe how late I was and I said, “Are you joking? It’s only 10 minutes!”
Charlie: It felt like a lifetime. I was so happy the weather wasn’t hotter because I was sweating. I was thinking to myself, “God I really hope she turns up!”
How did you feel when you saw Nicola for the first time, Charlie?
Charlie: You just can’t prepare for something like that. It was amazing. She looked so beautiful.
Nicola: I was quite nervous about my dress because I ask Charlie for advice on everything, even on what to wear, so I was like, “Oh god what if he doesn’t like it?” But he said he was obsessed with it, so that was really nice.
Did you have something old, new, borrowed and blue, Nicola?
My new I considered to be my shoes, dress and veil. My dress was Bon Bridé from Amare Bridal and my veil was from Grace Loves Lace. My shoes were Manolo Blahniks. I’ve always wanted a pair, but they got absolutely ruined! I hope the stains will come out of them, and my dress. My blue, borrowed and old was a beautiful bracelet and a necklace my mum gave me with a blue sapphire.
Were there any tears?
Nicola: I was so overwhelmed before I walked down the aisle because it was a bit of a rush and I’m not really great when I have loads of people looking at me, and then when I saw Charlie I just burst into tears! And he didn’t notice because he was looking straight ahead! I was thinking, “Oh no I’ve probably ruined my make-up and I have tears streaming down my nose!”. Everyone was overwhelmed with emotion, as well as us.
Tiff was your bridesmaid – it’s lovely how you have remained such close friends since appearing together on Made In Chelsea, Nicola…
Nicola: I’m so close to both Tiff and her sister Lucy. I love them to pieces and it was lovely to have Tiff as a bridesmaid. Lucy is getting married this year too. I’m going on Lucy’s hen do soon and then she’s hopefully getting married this summer.
You were also joined by Lottie Moss. How do you know each other?
We did some hilarious pictures together on the day! We actually met through my ex-boyfriend at a charity boxing match. I went with my mum and she was there with Alex [Mytton]. We happened to be at the bar at the same time and I introduced myself and we just got on really well. People might think it’s a strange relationship, but we hit it off straight away.
Tell us about the speeches…
Charlie: I was really nervous before mine, but when I got up there the nerves went as everything came from the heart. But I was holding back the tears. Speaking about Nicola and how excited I am about the future with her, it just got to me.
Nicola: It was adorable. He was choking up. My dad’s speech was very emotional, too.
What song did you pick for your first dance?
Charlie: At Last. It’s such a classic beautiful song.
Nicola: He listens to it all the time. Before he proposed he said, “If we get married this will be our first dance song.”
Charlie: The first dance is always a bit nervy so, two days before, we tried it in our bedroom.
Nicola: Then on the actual day we did a dip and Charlie almost dropped me [laughs]! My dress also got caught in my heel but I just had to go with it.
How did you guys meet?
Nicola: We were kind of part of the same friendship group. I’ve known Charlie since I first moved to London and I always thought he was attractive. Then when I became single I made a move during a night out.
Charlie: I couldn’t believe my luck!
Was there a moment when you realised each other was “The One”?
Charlie: For me there was a definite moment. We went on holiday to Lake Garda last year and I knew how special she was but on that trip something clicked and I knew. The top table at our wedding was called Lake Garda. Our tables were named after special places we’d been to, so we had Ibiza, too, where we got engaged.
Nicola: I can’t pinpoint a specific moment but the last year something changed and I just knew I didn’t see my life without him. There was no other option in my head.
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