How wonderful to be headed to the idyllic The Keeper and The Dell in Norfolk today with Hannah and Alex who were wed on the 13th July 2019. Their vision was for a wedding which was rustic, mismatched and meadowy, with personal touches including references to their favourite books and shows. It’s great to hear of touches such as confetti cones made from The Hobbit book, The Amber Spyglass reading and music from the film About Time. It really made their day so personalised and bespoke to them as a couple.
The pole tent marquee was decorated beautifully with dried flowers, stars and hoops hanging from the ceiling and festoon lights. Guests were treated to grazing platters, ice cream and live music come evening, what a great party! I really love the cool mix and match attire worn by Alex and the groomsmen, Hannah’s beautiful flowing gown, the pretty blue bridesmaid dresses and the dried flower bouquet too. Gorgeous.
Emily Tyler Photography has provided both the stunning photographs and film today, which I am so thankful to be sharing with you.
Met at Uni, Hannah was the first person Alex met on his first day in shared halls, we then became good friends and then just after NYE we became a couple. First bonded with a love for Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter and His Dark Materials books.
There isn’t a theme as such as Hannah likes quite mismatched things but some have evolved quite naturally. The fact that we chose dried flowers has meant it’s given it all a meadowy, rustic vibe and Hannah chose colours of dried flowers that would complement the bridesmaid’s blue dresses. We have odd nods to things that we both like e.g. using readings from books/shows we like and using an old copy of The Hobbit to make confetti cones. Hannah enjoys making things and being thrifty so has used up loads of old material she had to make the napkins and some old art supplies her sister had to make the place tags which double up as a little memento.
The Planning Process
Wedding planning was slowed down as we had 9 weddings in 2017 to attend! Planning has been since 2018 but then found out we were pregnant which slowed us down again. Hannah has taken the lead for sure but has been a natural and enjoys trying to make it as sustainable as possible, in terms of costs and reducing waste, while maintaining her style.
The Readings & Music
The processional music is the theme from the film About Time which is one of Hannah’s favourites and the recessional piece is Concerning Hobbits which is one of Alex’s favourites. Alex’s sisters are singing The Water by Johnny Flynn and Laura Marling as they have lovely voices and Olly, Hannah’s brother is accompanying them on guitar. We have two readings – a bit of a joke one from one of Hannah’s oldest friends Jo who is reading a quote from The Rembrandt’s I’ll be there for you as they spent many teenage years watching Friends. The other reading is from His Dark Materials: The Amber Spyglass which we both love and one of the reasons we chose Lyra as the name for our daughter.
Too much! The venue was our biggest cost but because it was already styled in a way we would have chosen anyway we saved on props and decor. We have tried to keep costs down elsewhere e.g. high street dresses and suits, using dried flowers and arranging them ourselves, making our own decorations and cakes, having a sharing style meal instead of 3 courses (which isn’t us anyway) and getting deals on booze. We budgeted for £15,000 but have gone over (mostly due to splashing out a bit on the honeymoon) so are more in the region of 18-20k.
We visited a few locations but loved the idea of so much outdoor space and having a feeling of being in a countryside environment. We had always wanted to be married in Norfolk as it is where Hannah is from and the barn decor reminded Hannah of our home and the outdoor dell area looks like something from the Shire which Alex loved.
Groomsmen & Bridesmaids
Bridesmaids dresses are from ASOS and groomsmen are wearing a mixture of what they already own and some high street pieces. We said we just wanted them to wear navy trousers and a waistcoat but they could pick their shirts.
Your Outfits & Accessories
I am not into trying on loads of dresses so was happy to have a look in Wed2be in Norwich (which I did en route to a camping weekend in Norfolk). Initially I just went in to get an idea of styles I liked and would get something online. The styles I thought I liked- a line, floaty, lacy vibe weren’t actually the ones I liked when on and really liked a more fitted style with a v back and some lace details. I never wanted a veil and used some gold shoes I already had.
Alex likes nice shirts so picked out one from Reiss and got some chinos from M and S. Because it’s summer and he didn’t want to be too warm he got a waistcoat from Walker Slater in London.
Initially we wanted lots of fresh summer flowers but after looking at costs and logistics we started looking at alternatives. Hannah found bouquets of dried flowers for sale and then found a website that provided bunches of dried flowers and grasses that you could use yourself. For less than £50 we got all the flowers and grasses we needed and Hannah made all the bouquets, buttonholes and decorations with enough left over for the tables. Plus, it meant we could keep the bouquets after and reuse all the decorations, meaning no waste, which we loved!
All DIY with contributions from my bridesmaids for hair and make-up help.
Your Photographer & Filmmaker
We loved the look of Emily’s relaxed, candid shots and she seemed like someone who would ‘get us’. We wanted some film footage but didn’t want to be mic’d up and followed all day and Emily offered a highlights reel which seemed perfect for us. She was amazing and fitted right in to the party. We couldn’t be happier with our photos and film!
The Details & Décor
Again, we haven’t needed to do too much as the venue was already decorated in a style we like. Like mentioned earlier, Hannah liked it so much as it reminded her of our flat.
The marquee is where we have added the most decoration and Hannah and her mum made wreaths out of excess branches that had over grown in her parent’s garden. She then used the dried flowers to jazz them up. Using the trimmings from the wheat and grasses, Hannah and her sister made the straw stars.
Table decorations were kept simple with colourful homemade napkins, clay place tags and reused jars to hold the dried flowers in.
We love big sharing platters and feast style meals so wanted something like this for our wedding. Luckily, we found The Norfolk Deli who seemed to deliver the perfect menu for us and were really reasonably priced. They served some canapés, sharing platters of cold meats, salmon, falafel, hummus, breads, cheeses and a mix of salads. They then provided strawberries and raspberry coulis for dessert which was served along side our homemade cakes and ice cream (from The Ronaldoes barrow- Hannah’s favourite) in the evening we had pizza from The Wood Kitchen. Both big pizza fans!
Hannah loves music and really wanted a live band in the evening. We found one, The Jets, that we both really liked and had quite a broad repertoire (mostly within the indie/rock genres but spanned several decades). Hannah made all the playlists for the rest of the day, including a guilty pleasures playlist before the band. We didn’t really want a first dance but we invited everyone on to join us. Seeing as it is the band playing it we picked a song we both like from their repertoire and chose Arctic Monkeys – Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor as it was one of the songs always played when we went out at uni and it should get everyone joining in! And it’s a great song!
We are! Pre baby Alex would have had a long 2-3 week honeymoon in Mauritius or somewhere but we will be taking Lyra with us so have compromised a bit but I think it will be even better now. On the Monday after the wedding we are going glamping to a really secluded spot in Cambridgeshire called Guilden Gate with an outdoor fire pit, wood fired hot tub, hammocks and beds in a converted VW van and then the following week we are going back to Plaka, Crete for a week, where we had our first holiday 9 years ago. The first time we went to Crete, we had just finished uni and slept in our hire car most of the time so this time will be a little different as we will be in a luxury hotel with our own pool!
Advice For Other Couples
Keep costs down where you can – invites, making what you can, getting family to help etc and to enjoy the planning phase as much as you can. By starting planning early, setting a budget and a rough timetable for when things need to be done by has meant it’s not been very stressful.
Credit Where Credit Is Due
We had a very ‘diy’ wedding so making most things ourselves.
Photography & Film
Emily Tyler Photography
High Street Mentioned Above
Hair & Makeup
Hannah & Bridesmaids
The Keeper and The Dell
Oh so lovely.
Hannah and Alex, thank you ever so much for sharing your very romantic and happy celebrations with us xo Lou