The Enthusiasts Guide from “Yes” to “I Do”

Host Leah Longbrake is pulling back the veil to bring you honest advice and creative ideas from those in the wedding industry. From the Engagement to the Honeymoon, get all the details you need from wedding and event experts on how to make it your best day ever!

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Real Bride Nicole Fill: Experiencing Weddings In Every Aspect and How She Handled It

Real Bride Nicole Fill: Experiencing Weddings In Every Aspect and How She Handled It

Real Bride Nicole Fill shares her experience being in multiple weddings (including as my Matron of Honor!). We cover a lot of topics: planning her wedding, being a bridesmaid, making a destination wedding a family vacation, giving a toast, having her children in a bridal party, and how she handled being a part of more than one wedding in less than a year.

Get to know Nicole:

Nicole is a born and raised Clevelander. She met her husband when they both worked at Target in 2000. They dated long distance through college and got married in 2007. She's had the honor of being in 7 weddings – flower girl once, bridesmaid 4 times, maid of honor once and matron of honor once. She's also done readings in a few weddings, including a really fun Harry Potter themed one at a friend's wedding in October 2020. Another fun way she's had a chance to be involved with weddings is by baking! Nicole runs a home bakery business making cakeballs and cakepops, called Cakelet Candies. She's made cakeball platters and cakepop displays for several weddings and bridal showers over the last several years, always having so much fun designing unique desserts for the bride and groom's special day.

Follow Nicole on Facebook!





This has been a production of Evergreen Podcasts. A special thank you to Executive Producers David Moss, Gerardo Orlando, Production Director Brigid Coyne and Audio Engineers Eric Koltnow, Sean Rule-Hoffman and Declan Rohrs.

Leah Longbrake:
Hello, and welcome to Weddings Unveiled, the podcast for your wedding planning process. I'm your host, Leah Longbrake. We know how exciting and stressful planning the big day can be and we're here to help, providing you with information and advice from industry insiders, and those with firsthand experience.

Leah Longbrake:
On today's episode, we have a real bride, Nicole Fill. Nicole has been married to her husband, Doug, for 13 years, and has three beautiful children. Today, she'll share with us her experience planning her wedding, including how she handled unexpected drama, as well as her various roles in 10 weddings. Welcome to the show, Nicole.

Nicole Fill:
Thank you, I'm excited to be here.

Leah Longbrake:
So yeah, I was looking at your list, and I counted 10 overall, if you go from flower girl, bridesmaids, Maid of Honor, Matron of Honor, reading in weddings, doing the readings. You've had a wide range of experience.

Nicole Fill:
Yeah, I've had a lot of different fun opportunities.

Leah Longbrake:
Before we get into your wedding planning, I'm a romantic at heart, as I know all of our listeners probably are as well. Tell us how Doug proposed to you.

Nicole Fill:
Sure. We had been dating for about seven years, we were constantly getting questions on when are you going to get married. It was in the spring, we went to, I believe the restaurant is Luca now, it was [Ponte Vecchio 00:01:36] at the time, on the Superior Viaduct, near Ohio City.

Leah Longbrake:
Classic Cleveland spot.

Nicole Fill:
Yes, it was gorgeous. We had a really good dinner, it was the first time I had ever been there. Afterwards, we walked down, out to the edge over by the river, and he got down on one knee and proposed there. It was very beautiful, very pretty.

Leah Longbrake:
So how long between the proposal and the actual wedding?

Nicole Fill:
It was a little more than a year, not quite a year and a half. A little bit more than a year between when he proposed and when we set the actual date was April 28th, 2007, [inaudible 00:02:20] ago.

Leah Longbrake:
Right? When you are going through your planning period, you didn't have Pinterest?

Nicole Fill:
I know! Such a difference from now.

Leah Longbrake:
Let's talk about that first, because when you planned your wedding there was no Pinterest. But since then, you've been in all these other weddings, especially as a Matron of Honor and Maid of Honor, where you have a little bit more of a role than a bridesmaid, I guess technically, helping plan the shower, and bachelorette parties, and all that. What's been the biggest difference you've seen, with the invention of Pinterest in wedding planning?

Nicole Fill:
I think it's great, and it can be awful at the same time. There's so many times when I look at things on Pinterest, or help friends planning their weddings, and there's so many cool finds you can get through there, and just connecting different things together that wasn't available when I was planning my wedding. But, I've had my friends tell me it also can be overwhelming. So you have to learn how to weed through it, and focus on certain aspects that you want to have more detailed, so that you don't just go down this rabbit hole and get so overwhelmed with it.

Nicole Fill:
But, I love looking through Pinterest. My wedding was a long time ago, and it's still so fun to look at all the different ideas. And Etsy, too, that's another site that didn't exist when my wedding was around. I've bought so many things off of Etsy for the other weddings that we've been in, or even my kids have been flower girls and ring bearers in some weddings. We've gotten so much stuff of off Etsy, is another site, too, was fantastic.

Leah Longbrake:
Yeah, that's a great one. So when you were planning your wedding, I think like most brides, the first thing that you did was try to find your venue.

Nicole Fill:
Yes.

Leah Longbrake:
I know there was some drama there, so tell us the story of your venue hunt.

Nicole Fill:
Yes, that was where our wedding drama was around our venue. Yeah, we looked at so many places to start with. I think, one of the first things you do is try to put together a rough guest list, so that you know what size venue you want because that can make a big difference in what is available and what's not.

Nicole Fill:
We were inviting about 150 people, so we had a general size that we were looking for. I mean, I don't know the exact number, but it feels like we looked at at least a dozen venues, we looked at a lot. It's no longer there, but we ended up signing with Five Seasons Sports Club in West Lake, you could see it off of 90 as you were driving West. But, it was a great venue, it was very modern. It was inside a sports club, but they had this whole banquet area, it was gorgeous. Glass windows everywhere, I just fell in love with it, it was really pretty.

Nicole Fill:
So, we signed up there, and moved forward with the rest of our wedding planning. Then, unfortunately about 12 weeks before the wedding, they decided that they were no longer going to do events, they were just going to be a sports complex and do the rest of their business. But, instead of honoring everyone who had signed a contract at that point, and stopping after those people, they picked a date and just said, "Even everybody whose already signed up, as of this date, we're no longer doing events."

Leah Longbrake:
That is crazy.

Nicole Fill:
It was crazy. It was very stressful, 12 weeks before your wedding when you think everything's falling into place, and there's a lot of moving pieces going on, the last thing you want to here is your hall pulled out on you because it's one of the first things that you book, is your hall.

Leah Longbrake:
Had you sent the invites out already?

Nicole Fill:
That's where our saving grace was, and that's where I feel like however many weddings were even that much closer than ours, they would have all printed their wedding invitations. We were four days away, we had it all ...

Leah Longbrake:
Oh my gosh.

Nicole Fill:
All planned out, all ready to go to the printer, we were about four days away from printing off invitations. So we were, luckily, able to put the stop on that, stop everything else, pull back, reassess. They tried to find another venue where they could send all of their wedding to, that were in that 12 week time period, but the hall that they tried to send us to held a maximum of 100 people, and we had 150.

Leah Longbrake:
Oh, yeah.

Nicole Fill:
We were kind of starting back at scratch. But, we ended up really lucking out, and we went to Carrie Cerino's in North Royalton, which also is no longer there.

Leah Longbrake:
They just closed, though.

Nicole Fill:
But, they were fantastic. So they had a room in the front that held about 100 people, and then they had that ballroom in the back, that held 300, or something massive.

Leah Longbrake:
Massive, yeah.

Nicole Fill:
Whereas originally, our 150 party didn't really fit into either of their options.

Leah Longbrake:
Right.

Nicole Fill:
But, we went back to them and we're like, "What would it cost us? How many people do we have to pay for? Do I have to pay for 300 to bring 150?" They were so cool about it, and they were like, "At 12 weeks out, we're not booking a 300 person event, all of those are booked already."

Leah Longbrake:
Right.

Nicole Fill:
So they let us rent the ballroom, and just pay for the number of guests that we had.

Leah Longbrake:
That's wonderful.

Nicole Fill:
They were so great to work with.

Leah Longbrake:
Did you lose out on your deposit from the previous venue? Because I know that's a big worry for most couples planning, is if you lose out.

Nicole Fill:
Right. Yeah, they did give us our deposit back. I know there were a lot of brides who pursued more remediation, because of things like invitations, and even just time, suffering, time inconvenience, that whole side to it, too. We did look into that as well, but the way it was worded to us was the contract that we had signed meant that we had to go through arbitration for anything we wanted to bring up. And, we got a couple of different opinions that all said, "You're going to spend more money on arbitration than you're going to get out of this."

Nicole Fill:
When it came down to it, we were lucky enough to find a really good secondary venue, that I wouldn't want more stress on that day. You just want it to be a happy occasion.

Leah Longbrake:
Right.

Nicole Fill:
We were in a really good place, even though it was stressful at the time. We did end up in a really good spot.

Leah Longbrake:
You didn't have a wedding planner, you were navigating all of this just on your own, with Doug, right?

Nicole Fill:
Yeah. Yeah, just a lot of Googling, and talking to friends and family for [inaudible 00:09:19].

Leah Longbrake:
What advice would you give now for couples that might go through something like that? We're in a time of COVID, where a lot of people had to go through things like this with their venues, with having to be quarantined. I'm sure there's other acts of God, and maybe a death in the family, or like your situation, where the venue decides hey, we're not going to do events anymore. So, what would be your biggest piece of advice?

Nicole Fill:
Yeah, I think just staying focused on the reason you're getting married is to be together, and celebrate with your friends and family. There probably always will be some sort of hiccup, hopefully they're smaller hiccups than larger hiccups. But, there are other options, and other avenues. And, if it doesn't happen exactly the way you planned it at first, it'll happen in a way that will be memorable, and perfect for you guys in the long run.

Leah Longbrake:
Now, you've been a bridesmaid six times.

Nicole Fill:
Yes.

Leah Longbrake:
What's been your overall experience? I'm sure every wedding is obviously going to be different. What's your biggest takeaway with being a bridesmaid?

Nicole Fill:
Oh, that's a great question. Yeah, they're all so different. I think just getting to celebrate that moment with the couple, and being up there with them, and sharing those experiences, and being able to help with anything that can make their day special for them is really fun, and really exciting. They're all different, all six of those would have their own unique answer to it, but overall it's just getting to help them celebrate in a special way.

Leah Longbrake:
Anything that was the most surprising, from having that role?

Nicole Fill:
No, not really. I mean, they were ... Yeah, they're all just so different. Some of them, we've traveled for, and turned into vacations. Those ones were different for different ways, like trying to get a bridesmaid's dress in one piece through five different states with, I don't know, everything exactly how it's supposed to be, whereas the one that's just down the street here, and things like that. They're all just so different and fun.

****Add bridesmaid section from below RE: dealing w/other bridesmaids

Leah Longbrake:
So 2018 into 2019, you had both your brothers' out of state weddings.

Nicole Fill:
Yes.

Leah Longbrake:
And, you were my Matron of Honor.

Nicole Fill:
Yes.

Leah Longbrake:
So, for people that have multi weddings in a year, tell us about your experience with that, and what advice you would give them when it comes to if you have more than one on your hands?

Nicole Fill:
So budget, first. And, just coordinating dates. So I know there were, having three weddings that we were a big part of, which was awesome, in a calendar year, I think the biggest thing for me was just trying to keep the date straight, and seeing if anything would overlap or not. Because they were all so important, that I wanted to do everything in all of them, I didn't want to miss anything. It worked out fine, and it was good. But, I think a lot of communication between what our schedules were, and if anything was going to start to overlap.

Nicole Fill:
I know we had a couple of those, because at one point it looked like yours and my one brother's were going to be very close together.

Leah Longbrake:
Yeah.

Nicole Fill:
But again, it all works out. They were spread out really well, and it worked out okay.

Leah Longbrake:
What's it like being a part of an out of state wedding? Because you've been a part of a few.

Nicole Fill:
Yeah, it's really fun because we turn them all into little vacations, and made road trips out of them before or after, on the way to or from the weddings. Because so much family, at least for the two that I went to, ... The older of my two brothers, it was even out of state for him, so everybody traveling was out of state. So we all were staying in the hotel together, and celebrating, everybody was there together. The younger of my two brothers was very similar, with the exception of they did live in that city. But, only my brother and his wife were the two in that city, so again, everybody's traveling. It was a big vacation, for all of us.

Leah Longbrake:
Yeah.

Nicole Fill:
It almost extended it, in a way, because it wasn't ... A lot of times, it's the night before, you do the rehearsal. Then, the morning of you have all the day's events, and then the morning after you might have a brunch or something like that.

Nicole Fill:
For both of the out of town ones, we had extra days on either side, where it became an even bigger event, or a longer event to celebrate.

Leah Longbrake:
Those are great memories to have.

Nicole Fill:
Definitely. Yeah, I loved them.

Leah Longbrake:
So, I can relate to being in multiple weddings because I, like you, have been in five, six. We have to shell out for the bridesmaid's dress.

Nicole Fill:
Yes.

Leah Longbrake:
I've also been a bridesmaid's consultant, so I've seen through the lenses of other bridesmaids, the pain and the joy of loving or hating the dress, and having to spend the money on it. What were your takeaways when you found out the dresses you'd have to wear in the different weddings? And, I won't be offended if you didn't like the one you wore in mine.

Nicole Fill:
I loved it, it was purple, it was great.

Leah Longbrake:
Did you have a choice? I know I gave you one, but in other weddings, did you get an option? Or, were you pretty much just told, "This is going to be your dress?"

Nicole Fill:
I feel like, from my experience, that has become more of a norm, as times goes on. I think the earlier weddings I was in, it was more typical for my brides to pick one dress, and all of us were in the same dresses. I think, now it's more common ... Both yours and my brother, Garrett and Holly, they went and picked either a couple dresses, or a color. Like, my sister-in-law, Holly, said, "Here's the color, make it floor length, but pick any dress you want." We could pick it to be the style that we felt most comfortable in, wearing ourselves.

Nicole Fill:
I feel like, at least for me, that's been a transition over the years, where I ... Even not the weddings I'm in now, just even hearing friends and family talk about it, I feel like that is so much more normal now than it used to be. I mean, mine was the same, when I got married, all of my bridesmaids wore the same dress. We went to [Catan's 00:16:19], and there were seven bridesmaids, and we tried to find a dress that seven different girls would like. That's just so hard to do, everybody's so different, that I just love the new idea that people seem to be going more towards. Where it's maybe, here's a color, pick the dress that fits you best, and I love that.

Leah Longbrake:
That's so funny you mentioned Catan's, because that's where I had worked as bridesmaids' consultant.

Nicole Fill:
Nice!

Leah Longbrake:
There's many stories, but I remember one bride in particular ... Bridesmaid, I'm sorry, having a total meltdown on me because she hated the dress, she hated the color, she didn't want to be measured.

Nicole Fill:
Oh no.

Leah Longbrake:
It was just a full blown, "I'm not a therapist." I'm 19, 20 years old, and I'm just like, "I don't know what to tell you." Oh yeah.

Leah Longbrake:
A bride melted down on me one time because we didn't have the shade of green she wanted for her bridesmaids, and it was just like, "I don't know what to tell you, the designer, this is what they offer."

Nicole Fill:
Right?

Leah Longbrake:
So don't freak out if they don't have your color.

Nicole Fill:
That's so funny.

Leah Longbrake:
That's a great point you make, about how that has become a trend. It's probably because people are seeing more that it makes your family and friends more comfortable, standing up there.

Nicole Fill:
Yeah, then you'll stand up there with more confidence, I think, and be comfortable. I love that trend.

Leah Longbrake:
Speaking of stand up there and being comfortable, being a Maid of Honor and Matron of Honor, you've had to give the speech.

Nicole Fill:
Yes.

Leah Longbrake:
So were you nervous giving the toast at the weddings?

Nicole Fill:
Yeah, that's got to be the most nervous I've ever been for anything. Yeah, for sure. I mean, everybody has different personalities, but I'm so much of an introvert that speaking in front of all of those people definitely gives me anxiety. Obviously, I was in the position where they were for my best friends, and being nervous doesn't outweigh wanting to do it.

Leah Longbrake:
Really, Googling all those videos of people rapping them, and the different dances, and all that stuff.

Nicole Fill:
There are so many videos out there, I cannot believe the confidence people have to make up rap songs to sing as speeches during weddings, it's amazing.

Leah Longbrake:
What was your process? For people that are listening that might be asked to do that, what do you say? How do you even begin to put out what you want to say?

Nicole Fill:
Put something out?

Leah Longbrake:
Yeah, that's not easy.

Nicole Fill:
I feel like I just had a lot of drafts. You try to keep it to a certain length, and you want it to be fun. But mostly, it was an intro and how we know each other, and then some funny stories, experiences that we've had together that I think everybody would appreciate, and then that toast at the end, wishing well luck. I think, for me, that seemed like a good model for both of them.

Leah Longbrake:
Now, you mentioned your kids have been flower girls and a ring bearer before.

Nicole Fill:
Yes, for both of my brothers. Yes.

Leah Longbrake:
For both of your brothers? How old were the kids for the weddings?

Nicole Fill:
Yeah, they were pretty close, there might have been a birthday in between. But, my son was about 10, I guess, nine, 10 for both of them. Then, my daughters were four and six, we'll say.

Leah Longbrake:
What was it like to wrangle three kids for a wedding?

Nicole Fill:
The nine year old did great. The six year old did great, too. A four year old, three, four year old walking down an aisle, you never know what you're going to get.

Leah Longbrake:
Right.

Nicole Fill:
But, both of my brothers and sister-in-laws were great about it. They have such a good relationship with them that it was comforting to know that, I think no matter what they did, they were going to think it was hilarious anyway.

Nicole Fill:
At the first brother's, they walked down the aisle, and they sat with Doug in the front row. At one point during that wedding, Doug got up to do a reading. The older two sat really nicely, but the little one wasn't having anything to do with that, so she ran up to me. And I ended up holding her for the rest of the ceremony because, before Doug even finished his reading, she fell asleep on my shoulder.

Leah Longbrake:
Oh my gosh!

Nicole Fill:
The whole rest of the night, I was just holding her.

Leah Longbrake:
Aw!

Nicole Fill:
Walked out with her at the end.

Leah Longbrake:
But, that's cute.

Nicole Fill:
It was, it was cute.

Leah Longbrake:
She at least wasn't screaming and wailing, like you see sometimes in weddings.

Nicole Fill:
Yeah, that was more like my other brother's. She didn't scream, but I was standing up there during the ceremony, and again, they were all sitting with Doug in the front. And, she came running up, shortly after the ceremony had started, and she kept running up to me. She's like, "Is this over with yet? Are we done yet?" No, you have to stop.

Nicole Fill:
Back in the corner of the venue, there was a couch, and eventually she just ran off to the couch and started just rolling around, and playing. She was away from us after a while, but again, at the end, everybody just kept commenting how cute it was.

Leah Longbrake:
Right.

Nicole Fill:
I was more stressed out about that than anybody else was.

Leah Longbrake:
Well, I'm sure as a mom, you want it to go perfect.

Nicole Fill:
Exactly.

Leah Longbrake:
Did you have a similar situation with your wedding, with your flower girl and ring bearer?

Nicole Fill:
No, they were really good. We didn't have a ring bearer, but our two nieces were our flower girls. They were very little, too, they were very young. I can't remember exactly how old, but maybe three and six. They did great.

Nicole Fill:
My sister-in-laws' parents came, and they helped out a ton with them during the ceremony. And even in between, like taking pictures, and after the reception they stayed for a bit, and then took them home. I think having them there helped a lot with them.

Leah Longbrake:
That's awesome.

Nicole Fill:
Always find people to help, yeah.

Leah Longbrake:
Yes, delegate, right?

Nicole Fill:
Delegate, yes. Everybody's always willing to help, you've just got to ask.

Leah Longbrake:
If you could go back, would you have an event planner or coordinator? I know it wasn't as big at the time, as it is now. I mean, 10 years later it's obviously more of a thing.

Nicole Fill:
I would definitely consider it. Having never looked into it, I don't know the cost of what that would be, so I think I would weigh that. But, I would definitely look into doing that, I think that would be very helpful.

Leah Longbrake:
Do you think you'd have been able to relax and enjoy your wedding more?

Nicole Fill:
Yeah. Well, especially with the venue canceling on us.

Leah Longbrake:
Oh, yeah.

Nicole Fill:
That would be another person there to help with hiccups like that.

Leah Longbrake:
If you could go back in time, what's one thing that you would do the same, and one thing that you would do completely different?

Nicole Fill:
Oh, that's a good question. I feel like every time someone gets engaged, or gets married, that comes again when you think of it, and I feel like I always have a different answer.

Nicole Fill:
But, I think one common thing that I would change is that I would have us write personalized vows. The pastor went through the whole ceremony and we said the I Dos, but, if I were to do it again, I would have us write personalized vows to read during the ceremony.

Leah Longbrake:
Oh, yeah.

Nicole Fill:
I think that would be that much more special.

Nicole Fill:
Something I would do the same? I don't know, I think there's so many things that I would do again, but they just come back to friends, and family, and having fun. I think the music was great, I love that the reception just turned into a big dance party, and everybody had a lot of fun. I would want those kinds of things replicated.

Leah Longbrake:
Aw, I love that. That's great. I lost my train of thought. When you said having all the fun ... I can cut this part right here, so it's okay. We're not live.

Leah Longbrake:
Oh! With your wedding, ... Well actually, now you have your own side business.

Nicole Fill:
Yes.

Leah Longbrake:
Where you're making delicious bakery, your infamous for your cake pops, and you've made some delicious bakery for weddings and showers. What has been your takeaway with doing that for other people, their special day? And, do you wish you would have done something differently with your bakery at your wedding?

Nicole Fill:
Yeah, it's been really fun to be a part of those. They're also my most stressful orders because you want to make that day very special for that person. But, I was really honored, all the times that I was asked to do cake balls for weddings.

Nicole Fill:
I've done two weddings, and a couple showers. The one wedding was a Hawaiian theme, so we did all of these really pretty Hawaiian flowers on top of the cake balls. Then, the other wedding was a coworker of mine, and she was getting married in Maine, so she asked if we could do lobster buoy shaped cake pops as one of the desserts for the wedding. They turned out great, but the process to package them so that they made it to Maine, outside of my hands, was very tricky. But, they made it, she sent me pictures afterwards and they looked really good, with all the rest of the decorations with it.

Nicole Fill:
It's cool to see them, sitting beside the wedding cake as a favor, or an extra dessert. It's a cool nother touch, and people seem like they like them because they are bite size, and they're small, and you can just pick one up and go, versus a heavier dessert.

Leah Longbrake:
Right.

Nicole Fill:
They're good sides to dessert tables.

Leah Longbrake:
Do you wish you had more of a dessert table at your wedding? Or, do you think you had just the right amount?

Nicole Fill:
If we were to do it again, I would definitely do more of a dessert table. Back when we did it, that really wasn't a thing. We just had a cake, and the hall made some cookies that were put more like family style on the tables, and we had personalized M&Ms.

Leah Longbrake:
That was very at the time, though.

Nicole Fill:
It was very of the time, yes. But yeah, I love the trends now that seem to be more the dessert tables, and all the different options out there. I would definitely jump on that, if we were to do it again.

Leah Longbrake:
Is there a dessert trend that you're so over, and wish would just stop?

Nicole Fill:
You know, I feel like I've overheard the donut walls. But, at the same time, I've never actually been to a wedding that has one. In a way, I feel like I'm overhearing about it, but on the other hand, I'm like, "I really want to go to a wedding that has one of those, to see it."

Leah Longbrake:
Me too! I haven't been yet, either.

Nicole Fill:
No, I really want to see that.

Leah Longbrake:
Another trend I see is the take a shot, and take a seat.

Nicole Fill:
Oh, yeah. Yeah.

Leah Longbrake:
I haven't been to one of those yet, either.

Nicole Fill:
No, I have not either. Yeah. Well, there's some more trends [inaudible 00:28:23].

Leah Longbrake:
We'll have to have one of those trends.

Nicole Fill:
I know!

Leah Longbrake:
We should just build our own donut wall, with a shot, and just experience it ourselves.

Nicole Fill:
Yes.

Leah Longbrake:
We don't have to go to the wedding.

Nicole Fill:
Yeah, we'll just role play. Yeah.

Leah Longbrake:
A fun question for you.

Nicole Fill:
Okay.

Leah Longbrake:
What is your favorite ... I know we love talking all things wedding.

Nicole Fill:
Yes.

Leah Longbrake:
What is your favorite celebrity wedding, of all time?

Nicole Fill:
Oh my gosh.

Leah Longbrake:
This does include the Royals, if you want.

Nicole Fill:
That's a great question. Oh my goodness. I have to say, I don't follow them like you do.

Leah Longbrake:
I know, I'm borderline obsessed.

Nicole Fill:
Well, because I feel like you could be like, "Oh, what about this person?" I'd be like, "Yeah, that's right!" But, nothing is popping into my head.

Leah Longbrake:
Growing up, did you have the obsession with Princess Diana, like a lot of girls did?

Nicole Fill:
I didn't.

Leah Longbrake:
We're in the age group, growing up in '80s and the '90s.

Nicole Fill:
I really didn't. At least, not reality, actual people. I will say, I loved watching wedding movies, like Hallmark movies, all of those. Any Hallmark movie with a wedding, I would watch over and over again.


Cut This part xxxxxxxx Leah Longbrake:
What's your favorite wedding movie, of all time?

Nicole Fill:
Oh, man. I can't even think of a ... I'm so bad at this.

Leah Longbrake:
It's okay.

Nicole Fill:
Doug would tell you, you put me on the spot with music and movies, and my brain just ...

Leah Longbrake:
It shuts off?

Nicole Fill:
I'm dazed. Yeah.

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx


Move to be last Q&A xxxxxx Leah Longbrake:
What is your last piece of advice for brides planning their weddings, having been through the trenches?

Nicole Fill:
I would say, focus on you, focus on what you want. I know it can get hard to start to want to make everybody happy, and that can be tricky. Just keep focused on you're getting married, and that's exciting. While there's all these little details that you can get sucked down, and can maybe become overwhelming and stressful, I think keep thinking back to the reason you're doing it, and what is really important, and what's not. At the end of the day, you're going to have an awesome wedding, you're going to be married to the person that you love and want to get married to, and that's the most important part.

Leah Longbrake:
What's your last piece of advice for those in a wedding party, for the bridesmaids, and Maid and Matrons of Honors?

Nicole Fill:
Yeah, have fun! Those are the most fun moments. Help out where you can. I know as a bride, and having been in those positions, I think any little thing you do to help really is helpful for the bride and the groom, and they appreciate what you can do to help. So just offer to help, and have fun because those memories afterwards are going to be some of your favorites. Xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx



Cut this part xxxxx Leah Longbrake:
Going back, I'll put this in the earlier part, talking about being a bridesmaid.

Nicole Fill:
Okay.

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx


Move this part to earlier spot RE: Bridesmaids Leah Longbrake:
When you were a bridesmaid, did you experience other girls in the party maybe being a diva, or there being a dramatic situation that you had experienced?

Nicole Fill:
Nothing over dramatic. I would say, with almost every wedding I've been in, there's a degree of, when it comes down to maybe hair, or makeup, or even the bachelorette parties and stuff, that there's always some people who are like, "I'm not going to pay to get my hair done, I'm not going to pay to get my makeup done." Or, "I'm not going to go out and spend money on drinks," and stuff like that. I think I've seen a range of how brides react to that. I think it can be a non-issue because some brides are so laid back, and it just is like, "Okay, that's totally fine." But then, other times I've seen where it's like, "I can't believe she wouldn't come to my bachelorette party, even if you don't want to drink."

Leah Longbrake:
Right, part of it.

Nicole Fill:
"She should be here to support me." Yeah. I think, depending on how the brides take it, it can determine how dramatic of an issue that actually becomes or not. But, I think the weddings I've been in, or the friends that have gotten married, or family, those have been really the only things that have sparked drama. Xxxx end of section for above


Cut this section xxxxxxx Leah Longbrake:
Anything that we maybe haven't touched upon that you've experienced, that you want to talk about? I know you mentioned yesterday about the random office girl.

Nicole Fill:
Yeah. No, I think I'll not say that one.

Leah Longbrake:
Okay.

Nicole Fill:
No, just in case anyone ...

Leah Longbrake:
In case, you have to go to work.

Nicole Fill:
Yeah, I'll play that safe. xxxxxxxxxxxx



Leah Longbrake:
Was it hard for you, choosing your guest list for your wedding?

Nicole Fill:
Yeah, that was hard. That was very hard, because you can start to get carried away where suddenly you're inviting people that you just met a couple times, because they're friends with somebody that you are good friends with and you want to invite. Yeah, I think guest lists can be hard to pare down.

Nicole Fill:
I think a couple weddings, recently that I was in, the bride and the groom actually had their heart set on a venue that, maybe, say it had 100 person limit, and then they built their guest list around the venue more than picking a venue based on their guest list. So, I've seen that done both ways, too.

Nicole Fill:
Even within our own families, there's been conversations where it's like, "Okay, what level of family do we invite? Do we go to great aunts and uncles, where do we draw the line?" That can be a hard decision.

Leah Longbrake:
Yeah. Your brothers, one kept it much smaller than the other, right?

Nicole Fill:
Yeah. His was largely based on the venue. So they found this really amazing sculpture garden in New Jersey, and they really wanted to have their wedding there, and there was a max capacity that they could have in there. So his guest list was, I think, largely driven off of the venue that they picked.

Leah Longbrake:
Yeah, one of those, a trend of doing it that way. Yeah.

Nicole Fill:
Right, yeah. It's interesting.

Cut this part xxxxxx Leah Longbrake:
Well, very cool.

Nicole Fill:
Yeah.

Leah Longbrake:
Is there something else that you think I'm missing?

Nicole Fill:
Not that I can think of. This was fun.

Leah Longbrake:
I love it! I feel like I'm um-ing a lot, so I'm going to have to make sure I cut some of that.

Nicole Fill:
Cut out your ums.

Leah Longbrake:
Yeah. It's so easy for me to giggle, and be less um with you, because you're my bestie.

Nicole Fill:
I can totally understand that, yes.

Leah Longbrake:
I know when you're holding back certain things, because you don't. Yeah, everyone was great, not everyone was a diva, wink.

Nicole Fill:
Really? Xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx cut



Leah Longbrake:
Well, thank you so much for being on, Nicole, I really appreciate having you here. You've given great insight into what it's like to be in a wedding, and to plan your own.

Nicole Fill:
Thanks, it was really fun. I can't wait to hear the rest of your episodes, to hear what other people have to say.

Leah Longbrake:
Thanks for listening to Weddings Unveiled. Make sure you subscribe to the show on your favorite podcast app, so you never miss an episode.

Leah Longbrake:
This has been a production of Evergreen Podcasts. A special thank you to Bridget Coin, and audio engineer Sean Rule-Hoffman. Don't forget to enjoy the journey.

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