I’m so pleased to be bringing you WWW readers Nicole and Gary’s magical woodland nuptials today, I think you’re going to love this natural, wildflower and Edwardian inspired wedding, which is frankly magical. All of the beauty took place on the 16th June 2018 at The Keeper and the Dell in Norfolk, a wonderfully rustic venue that was just perfect for their vision of an intimate and outdoor day.
There’s definitely an ethereal feel to this wedding, expertly captured by Daniel Ackerley Photography. Thank you so much for providing these wonderful images Daniel. What beautiful couple’s portraits.
Isn’t Nicole’s vintage Edwardian wedding dress just breathtaking? I really think it sets the tone for the rest of the day, which looks like it was simply a joy. From the wildflowers which look like they’re straight from the meadow, to the hanging baskets in the marquee and the rustic wooden setting of the venue, enjoy the whole celebration folks!
Gary proposed on my 30th Birthday at the peak of Sugar Loaf mountain in the Brecon Beacons. I was also expecting our second child. This was long overdue and I felt that returning to a location for one our first holidays together would be fitting. This was very much something that we shared together and set the tone for the wedding and a celebration of the outdoors that we both adore so much.
Ultimately we dreamed of a wedding that was individual to our style and personality but held true to some key traditions. We loved the idea of an outdoor wedding in a woodland type setting. Something very natural and that captured the essence of English countryside. We also felt that certain venues felt very packaged particularly in terms of location, country manor and estates as an example. Not that there is anything wrong with these but we wanted a little more control over our day.
The Planning Process
Pinterest, Pinterest, Pinterest! We found endless inspiration on here that we used as a basis to form our overall vision. I found it great that I could create private pages for bridal related boards that I could then share with the chosen ones. Along with a private wedding board that only Gary and I could see.
One thing we were sure of is that we knew we would like an intimate wedding and a venue that had an array of spaces combined with beautiful natural surroundings.
We had a fear of losing guests in the great outdoors or amongst the different spaces you tend to find in larger venues and we didn’t want to lose any atmosphere, especially as we weren’t planning on having any evening guests.
We knew it had to be Norfolk due to our love for the county and the time we have spent there whilst on day trips during the early days in our relationship, rollicking round the coast and now spending time there on breaks with our young family.
We didn’t really have one (we thought we did, however early on we discovered our budget and vision didn’t match)
The Keeper and The Dell.
We viewed two venues in Norfolk and it was difficult to make a decision between Hush wedding venue and The Keeper and The Dell – our chosen venue. Both are stunning. We loved the idea of a secluded retreat where children could play and adults relax.
We also loved the idea of being able to camp at the venue that we had selected. We liked the idea of being in one location for the whole day and not fall fowl of moving from locations to celebrate. The venue although relatively small in size enabled us to have a variety of different feels without having to split and isolate the whole party. Original and historic marquee decorated in our style, a court yard with hale bails and tables and chairs to relax and enjoy the surroundings, the dell a perfect setting for guest to assemble and surround us for the moment we became husband and wife and even space to have a beautiful bell tent erected in the Birch Garden, so again we could stay and enjoy the whole day without feeling restraints related to time. Then there was the barn, a welcome relief from the summer heat and comfortable chairs for those who wanted to enjoy familiar home comforts.
This was a very hard decision to make especially with shows like GBBO, the ideas and possibilities are endless! With this in mind, we thought we would do the opposite and keep it simple.
We opted for semi-iced, jam sponges with an array of edible daisies and gypsophila. This was in keeping with the venue and our look, something I think in both paramount in our visions, understated but with a deliberate touch of class.
I sourced an amazing, personal (and very reasonable) cake topper from a wonderful independent shop on Etsy.
The Details & Décor
We hired in some artificial flowers from a great little supplier in Norfolk.
After discussions, Amanda created our hanging conical decorations for the marquee, filled with wildflowers which just looked stunning and tied in with our vision and theme perfectly. We also hired several garlands for the Head Table, ivy for the marquee poles and two antique milk churns which we used for the ceremony and then to decorate the entrance to the marquee after.
We made our table plan, which we hand wrote and hung with wooden pegs on natural twine, draped across a freestanding mirror we purchased.
My cousin handcrafted and designed a personalised wooden guest board for guests to sign which we displayed on an easel with a floral garland.
Chairs covers were made myself from net/lace curtains I purchased off Shpock (for a bargain price of £10), which were cut to size and then tied with hessian bows I put together.
We sourced the table decorations and favours from an array of lovely independent suppliers on Etsy and eBay.
Adult favours: a mix of wildflowers and seeds for bees ‘Let love grow’.
Children: personalised wedding activity books and sweetie tube.
Shelley at The Flower House Norwich instantly understood the kind of bridal flowers I was after – just picked wildflowers, in an array of natural colours. These were mimicked for the bridesmaids and a wand for the flower girl.
The Readings & Music
Entrance/Aisle – Acoustic version of “More than Words” by Extreme played by usher Charlie Knowler (bride’s brother) a song that at times has been very symbolic of our relationship.
Reading: “Love is giving not taking” – Anon
Exit: Dire Straits “Romeo & Juliet”
Outdoor first dance: “The sun is shining down” – JJ grey and Mofro
Your Outfits & Accessories
Bride: Edwardian Lace Sprig Dress from Abigail’s Vintage Bridal. This is the first dress I tried on in the only shop I visited. Abigails selection of vintage wedding gowns had me in awe from the moment I walked in and wondered how I would ever make a decision. I tried on around 10 dresses and this dress was it. Original, unspoilt and almost antique. The delicate, romantic lace along with the natural cut and style was everything I imagined.
Edwardian silk flower grip from Abigails Vintage Bridal. It matched the dress perfectly and tied in with the hair style planned.
Semi DIY Shoes from Ruby Shoo. Although I loved these shoes, the bow that was originally on the shoe just looked horrific when I went for my dress fitting. Abigail being a creative pragmatist, suggested a minor alteration – remove the bow and sow some Edwardian inspired buckles on. Wow! Shoes transformed and one happy bride.
Earrings: Meandcece. My dear friend Claire made the bridesmaids’ and my earrings from sterling silver and sea glass sourced from the Norfolk coast.
In the evening I removed the outer lace layer of my dress and added an Edwardian lace cardigan over my satin slip (due to the quality of the tailoring by Abigail, this could totally be worn as a dress on it’s own!)
Groom: The trousers and shirt were sourced on the high street (Next). Due to the feel of the venue I wanted a relatively simple look with detailing added through accessories. The only exception to the above would be the waistcoast which I felt was key to how I wanted to look. This was sourced from Marc Darcy with shoes from Debenhams.
The bridesmaids’ dresses were from Coast at John Lewis, their shoes from Ruby Shoo and earrings from Meandcece
Flower Girl: Dress from Panache Kids, shoes from Primark and hair grip from Claire’s Accessories
Girly Glam Make-Up Artistry did Bridal hair and make up and the bridesmaids’ make up.
Leigh-anne (my cousin) did the bridesmaids’ hair.
We purchased trousers and shirts for the groomsmen and ushers at the same time as Gary’s from Next and the braces were sourced online.
Page Boys: Panache Kids, shoes and hats from Primark
Daniel Ackerley – easy decision, the guy is a legend.
We had a minimoon in Chelsea, London where we relaxed took in some sights and had a box at the Royal Albert Hall to see one of our favourite bands (Ghost BC).
Aunty Sue falling over and badly bruising her wrist, before any sherbet had been drunk!
Uncle Bob’s shoe breaking and Lolly (Keeper and The Dell) very kindly helped to temporarily mend this for him.
Ripping my dress during the group lunge shot!
Some wonderful and thoughtful speeches from the best man and the father of the bride. We were able to take a moment to reflex on our journey up to that moment. To thank all our friends and family and remember those loved ones who were not there in person but were very much in our hearts.
The sun making a reassuring appearance just as the guests arrived. Tea on bales of hay, dancing our first dance on a beautiful summer afternoon (even if on a hill), impromptu performances on the piano in the bar by talented individuals. Too many to list and not enough for us to remember for a lifetime. I think we would both agree we would do it all again in a heartbeat.
Amazing food from the Oyster Catcher, a beautifully thought out menu executed by true professionals. A ploughman’s sharing platter as a starter to stimulate conversion, some of the best lamb we have ever had, thoughtful vegetarian alternatives and delicate and fresh deserts. It all looked as good as it sounds.
Advice For Other Couples
Ensure you enjoy the day as much as possible. So much effort and planning goes into the day you are so concerned that everything goes to plan. It is over so quickly so try to enjoy it and have faith in the preparation, planning and the people around you.
Credit Where Credit Is Due
Daniel Ackerley Photography
Abigail’s Vintage Bridal
Oyster Catcher Catering
What a magical day! Thank you so much for sharing your woodland fairytale with us Nicole and Gary. Rachel x