Your Sussex Wedding - December/January 2023/2024 (Issue 106)

We had buttonholes for the men and wrist corsages for the ladies. One of our flowergirls had a little basket full of flowers, while the other carried a wand. Waking up knowing it’s your wedding day is the most incredible feeling in the world! Everything we’d planned was due to happen in a matter of hours. Our best men, Larry and Daniel, were there helping us get ready and Michael’s sister, Amy, had flown back from Australia to be with us too. Nicholas and Michael met on Tinder during one of the national Covid lockdowns. They chatted online for a while until it was safe to meet up. But even then social distancing restrictions were still in place, so they were forced to resort to a MacDonald’s car park – “Very classy,” laughs Nicholas. “At the time Michael wasn’t openly gay,” Nicholas tells us. “It was all very new to him, and I was his first date. It was all very hush hush, so it was fun sneaking around, meeting up, talking and getting to know each other.” The couple even share the same birthday, and Michael is three hours older than Nicholas! The two found that they were wonderfully in sync and more often than not think the same way. Nicholas purchased a house later that year and the couple spent most of that Christmas break together renovating, painting and doing bits and bobs to the house to bring it up to scratch. Once Nicholas had officially moved in, they both spent much more time together. Before long though, it was on to another project, this time a bungalow and this is where the relationship really started to take off we’re told. “Michael didn’t really leave, and he found the courage to tell his friends and family the truth about his sexuality and who I was,” Nicholas explains. “His experience of coming out and being accepted was a good one. His friends didn’t bat an eyelid and his parents were very welcoming of me.” Michael asked Nicholas to marry him bright and early one December morning, while the couple were still in bed. Nicholas was presented with a beautiful platinum ring with an inset diamond, and the two spent the day with his family. “Everyone was super happy for us,” he says. When Nicholas and Michael went to visit The Milwards Estate, owner Claire opened the door in her welly boots, which made them feel instantly relaxed. “This wasn’t a big corporate venue with no soul, this was her home and you could see she loved it,” Nicholas says. They found the place, calm, natural, open-minded and easy-going and on returning home from their tour, they rang Claire right away to secure their date, 17th June 2023. Join us as Nicholas tells us all about the big day... Our suits were Ted Baker. We both wanted to be in blue but not exactly the same. I went for a lighter, baby blue top half with dark trousers, while Michael opted for a full, dark navy blue suit. My bow tie and Michael’s tie matched along with our pocket squares. We both wear glasses, so we purchased new Ray Bans and had the lenses changed so we could actually see! I also wore my grandfather’s tigers eye gold ring so it felt like he was part of our day. 40