There are many things I adore about this sweet cornflower blue wedding today, let me explain why.
Bee and Nick were married on the 12th September 2015 at Mangreen Country House in Norfolk, a property where Bee’s gran and great uncle bought and raised their families in. Isn’t that so special? It doesn’t end there because Bee’s parents held their reception there and Bee wore a stunning dress her mum made for her own wedding back in the 70s. The loveliest and most touching reasons behind a venue choice ever.
The colour scheme was chosen due to their engagement at ‘Little Corn’ whilst travelling and they injected a travel theme into the styling too. With a budget of £5000 they hand crafted much of their day and it looked truly wonderful.
Thanks so much to Eleanor Jane for sharing these gorgeous shots today.
THE PROPOSAL | In 2013 we decided to quit our rat race life in London, and travel around Latin America for 6 months. We blogged about the highs, lows, long bus rides and near death experiences with creepy crawlies here. Nick proposed in our fourth month on the road, by which point it had become clear that the experience would ‘make’ not ‘break’ us (even when we got food poisoning at the same time in Peru, sharing one toilet!) We were on a Nicaraguan ex-pirate island in the middle of the Caribbean Sea called Little Corn, and had just eaten a slap up meal and had a few rather large cocktails. Nick asked me on a secluded beach, watching the stars. Due to being totally secluded (no wifi!) we didn’t tell our friends and family for over 24 hours, which was actually quite fun as we could celebrate in secret.
THE VISION | As our Latin American travelling was a huge part of our relationship, we wanted to tie this into the wedding. There was a lot of vintage maps, polaroid’s from far flung locations, compasses and the like. As we got engaged on Little Corn, cornflower blue was the closest we had to a colour scheme. The main vision though was just to create a relaxed atmosphere as neither of us wanted anything that felt at all stuffy!
THE PLANNING PROCESS | We had 18 months to plan the wedding so could take our time, keep it cheap and doing lots of calling in favours from our talented crafty pals.
BUDGET | Less than £5,ooo
THE VENUE | Mangreen Country House in Norwich, Norfolk. This is a super special place to me and my family; it’s a property that my gran and great uncle bought and raised their families in. My gran has since moved to a converted hayloft in the grounds and I’ve grown up spending all my school holidays there amongst the corn flowers and wild flowers, it’s truly idyllic. As my gran is the grand old age of 96 we wanted to take the wedding to her – to make sure she could be there (and she did, she partied until 11pm at which point she took herself home… to watch Match of the Day!)
THE DRESS & ACCESSORIES | I didn’t want to have the whole ‘picking the dress’ experience or cost, so I decided to wear my mums wedding dress, which she handmade for her big day in 1972. It meant a lot that so much love had gone into every stitch, and it really added to the day. I was extremely privileged to have it altered by Val Hoyle – the Costumer Designer for Emmerdale! That sentence brings me so much Yorkshire pride. My parents also had their reception at Mangreen, so it was the second showing for the dress their – over 40 years later. In terms of accessories I had two pairs of handmade shoes from Etsy, a veil and a razzle dazzle twinkly hair clip that my hairdresser provided on the day.
GROOM’S ATTIRE | Nick wore a midnight blue suit from Moss Bros.
THE READINGS & MUSIC | I walked down the aisle to “Slow Life” by Grizzly Bear and the wedding party partied out to “Hooked on a Feeling” by Blue Swede. There were three readings –
Nicks’ mum Sue Horton read The Owl & The Pussycat.
Our best friend Craig Heathcote read A Lovely Love Story by Edward Monkton.
My older siblings MJ and Jess read Nuptials by John Agard.
BEAUTIFUL BRIDESMAIDS | The ultimate rowdy squad! Maid of Honour: Lol Palmer (who had everyone in floods of tears, then roaring with laughter, during her speech) Bridesmaids: Becca Taylor, Kerry Murphy and Kate Fleming. They are all friends that have supported me though thick and thin from childhood, teens and twenties, I’d be lost without them! My cousin Fiona Pouchard was meant to also be a bridesmaid but was slightly busy giving birth to our god-daughter when the wedding came round!
THE FLOWERS | Hydrangeas, blue roses and various other blue bits and bobs from Elizabeths.
Table flowers were sourced on the morning of the wedding from the reduced bargain buckets at Tesco and beautified by Creative Director Craig Heathcote and Master of Ceremonies Cindy Sharman!
THE CAKE | Lady Bakewell-Park whipped up a beautiful pastel rainbow cake and plethora of melty middle cupcakes.
YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER | Eleanor Jane who is a good friend of mine so I was confident she could capture day and ease our camera shyness. I love her reportage style, capturing magic moments between guests that we totally missed in the blur of the day. She couldn’t have done a better job, and was such a delight to have around on the day – the photographs never felt stressful and didn’t take up too much time either.
THE DETAILS & DÉCOR | Craig Heathcote was the Creative Director (he only agreed to do the job if he got that official title!!) and he really did pull off a spectacular feat. He had a tiny budget, but used it so wisely – investing in the most fairylights you’ve ever seen and various vintage items to create our map/travel inspired reception. He also provided lanterns for the late night party goers to take out and explore the orchard with.
FOOD & DRINK | There was a ‘Yorkshire Afternoon Tea” (scones with all the trimmings plus scotch eggs, pork pies and of course, Yorkshire Tea), then the evening food was a burrito food truck. Arriba! We had a ‘bring a bottle’ open bar, but made sure we provided plenty of wine and Flor de Cana rum to get things going. Oh and a good few kegs of Camden Town Brewery beer.
THE HONEYMOON | We haven’t had our Honeymoon yet, as the travel bug bit again and we moved to Los Angeles less than a week after getting married! A perma-honeymoon… We are going to take one though, we’re heading to Charleston in South Carolina and road tripping around the south in September. Just in time for our anniversary.
MEMORABLE MOMENTS | It’s impossible to chose just one. It was just a perfect mixture of laughter, dancing, feelings and sunshine. It really was the best day of both of our lives.
ADVICE FOR OTHER COUPLES | Don’t stress about the weather. It rained solidly all week before the wedding, and we were woken up to the clattering of pouring rain on the skylight of our hotel! Amazingly, the sun came out and by the afternoon it was unrecognisable. Typical British shenanigans! Don’t give in to last minute pressure to over spend. It felt like we spent more in the last week than they entire 18 months due to panic buying! Our wedding was still super cheap and cheerful though, it’s the people who make it – not the stuff.
CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE |
Photography | Eleanor Jane
Venue | Mangreen Country House
Flowers | Elizabeths
Cake | Lady Bakewell-Park
Hair | Michela Olivieri
Invitation | Matt Mear
Wedding Band | Phil Horton & Tim Barker
Afternoon Tea | William and Naomi Duffield @ Mangreen Country House
Burrito Van | KK Catering
I love the nods to Bee’s name, that tattoo, those shoes and hello ring envy right now.
Thanks so much to Bee and Nick for sharing their lovely wedding story with us xo Lou