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Encore Bride Nikki Goodhew, celebrated her 50th birthday on her honeymoon in the Maldives

Encore Bride Nikki Goodhew, celebrated her 50th birthday on her honeymoon in the Maldives

Ageless Provocateurs

As a school girl it seemed insanely impressive to roll “Esse Quam Videri” off the tongue, it was after all, our school motto at St. Audries. We had no real idea what it meant, learning the Latin was enough. As a woman, having been married before and just about to enter her fifties, as I returned to my school to get married, Esse Quam Videri resonated with me on a cellular level.

On the 4th May, 2013 I finally married the man of my dreams. St Audries School had been transformed in to St Audries Park Wedding Venue. A stunning Elizabethan Manor where the Quantock Hill’s meet the Bristol Channel, in Somerset. Think a cross between Mallory Towers & St Trinian’s and a place I called home between the 70’s and early eighties. A Private Boarding School with only 250 girls, I was blessed & privileged to spend a happy decade of my life there.


Imagine therefore the delight to know somewhere so intimately and to get married and for all your guests to sleep over with you? Gone were the dormitories with between 2 and 8 people in wrought iron beds in the days sheets & blankets. In their place, stupendous sumptuous suite’s and a Bridal Room to die for or in my case, cry for! (more on that later).

Never in a million years would my 14 year old self, attending Chapel (every week) in the Orangery, believe that 35 years later I would feel so lucky and so loved and so in love. Nearly five years on, those feelings have intensified, big time.There are have been many times that we have talked about how wonderful it would have been to meet each other earlier. Our paths were set for us to meet when we did, later in life. Besides if things were different we would not have had our five amazing grown kids between us.

Not only was it a magical day for the 4th May it was one of the hottest days of the year, with not a cloud in the sky. The grounds are stunning and we had a job to get our guest’s inside for the Band because it was still so balmy outside. We partied the night away and we were the last to go to bed. How refreshing to be the last not the first to leave your own Wedding. By the time we got to the four poster, the bubbles and the overwhelm of the day overtook me and I cried and cried. Such a special day, such a special place, such a special man.


We flew to the Maldives for our honeymoon. Paradise, took 20 minutes to walk around, it was so stunning it took your breathe away. As if it couldn’t get any better, I celebrated my 50th Birthday there on 10th May with some new found friends that we still see in the UK regularly. She had celebrated her Birthday on our Wedding Day.

From school girl to fabulous fifty femme, I truly stepped into being. I had spent my life up to this time, being someone I felt I should be, being a very effective people pleaser and not really having a clue what was important to me. I “winged it” taking my eighties sales training to heart, I was the original ‘fake it to you make it’. Two fails marriages and a string of opened but not finished, careers, projects and excuses. Back then I was not in touch with my spirituality, or my heart and I had no idea how to spell authenticity, let alone be it.

Yep, I was all seem but never been. Like a lot of women intent on raising children I gave my power and self away by putting them first. I defined myself through my children. I lacked substance. As it happens we all turned out rather good in the end and I certainly wouldn’t change a thing. Reflection is a powerful learning tool and while we have breathe in our bodies, we should always be expanding and growing. Maybe my school drew me back so I could reflect on this final lesson and see the importance of being rather than seeming. I’m so so grateful for this experience and even more so to be able to share it.

This lesson resonates with me so much that I have actually created a one day, face to face program to co-create with one woman called Esse Quam Videri. Delivered in either Exeter or London it is a premium made to measure package. It’s about dropping the should’s & expectation and learning to live the way you are meant to be. This alignment creates action that compels you to live in your illuminated reality with sincerity. It comes from a place that anything is possible when you are in a clear, aligned & higher vibrational space. Please do go to if you would like to know more.

Finally I would like to thank both of my wonderful parents for creating me. For sending me to St Audries and for supporting us in ‘living our dream’ in front of all our guests, on our special day. One incredibly powerful feeling I have that I want to leave you with is this. The experience of being an older Bride meant I saw with so much clarity, how incredible it was to hold close the people you love, around you. To have our children, share in our moment and bear witness to our love and what is possible at any age, was the icing on the cake.

Esse Quam Videri
(to be, rather than to seem)