This wedding really reflects the couple and their lives. It’s always a really wonderful way to go about wedding planning and makes everything all the more special in my opinion.
WWW readers Victoria and Jon’s wedding was a fusion of local suppliers and traditions from both Norfolk and Devon. Then there was the country rustic décor with a touch of industrial representing Jon’s career as an Industrial Designer. How brilliant is that? They chose to hold the celebrations at The Barn at Woodlands and it was magical.
There was lighting aplenty, with festoons and fairground signs adding fun alongside balloons and blooms. Victoria looked gorgeous in her lace Maggie Sottero gown while Jon was suited and booted in a navy ensemble.
Thanks goes to the wonderful Fuller Photography for sharing these lovely shots.
THE PROPOSAL | On a deserted Norfolk beach in October 2013. Jon had had my engagement ring made specially by a fabulous jeweller. It is a beautiful oval shaped Ceylon Sapphire with two smaller round cut diamonds either side, set in below gold, so pretty! It blew me away and was so romantic and personal that he had picked each stone and designed the setting with the jeweller. What I also hadn’t realised was that he had also sneakily asked for my dad’s permission before we left to go to the beach which really added to the sentiment of the event and really meant so much to me.
THE VISION | It was really important to us that we married at my family’s local church so we therefore wanted to include as much of Jon’s roots as possible. We also knew we wanted a wedding that reflected the stunning Norfolk countryside so a country barn with original, rustic features was a must. We also wanted to keep things local and seasonal and with Jon’s background in Industrial design there was always going to be an element of this brought into our designs.
THE PLANNING PROCESS | Once we got engaged we knew we wanted to get married as quickly as possible. We spoke to our wedding planner on the same day we got engaged and got the ball rolling really promptly! Within two weeks of getting engaged we had the date, venue and church booked!
THE VENUE | With the help of our wedding planner we found the most amazing barn for our reception – it was not your typical ‘wedding venue’ which really appealed to us. They also did all the catering so all we needed to think about was how we would use the space, how we would decorate it and our entertainment! As we did most of our planning remotely, Emily went and scouted out the venues from the shortlisted few based on her recommendation. We knew instantly that Woodlands Barn would be the best choice for us based on her written report and sketches! The venue didn’t have a website at the time so we made our decision based on our wedding planner’s feedback and some photos she took on her phone! The barn was unique in that it has two barns that we could make use of as well as their lawns. As the weather was fine we were able to use the lawns for our reception drinks and they made a lovely backdrop for some photos. Having two barns also gave us extra possibilities in case of rain (our wedding planner was very keen on contingency planning!!). We were also really lucky that although there were two barns, they were both very different, one was metal and one was very old brick and quite traditional. We wanted to keep the rustic style on display of the brick barn so we just dressed it with flowers and some lighting. The metal barn had marquee lining hung inside and artificial grass on the floor which gave it a completely different feel to the other barn and needed very little else doing to it. Woodlands Barn was set in the grounds of a working farm in the heart of the Norfolk Broads so the setting was just perfect.
THE DRESS & ACCESSORIES | I didn’t want a veil but I did want the dress to have a demure quality about it that made it suitable for the church ceremony but that also translated well into a party frock for the evening! I opted for a fitted bodice that hugged my thighs then gently kicked out, being of petite proportions I knew I wouldn’t be able to carry off anything too huge and full skirted! The accessories were amazing – we added a beautiful lace bolero jacket that covered my arms and a lace train that added extra glamour and tradition for the church ceremony. Once we reached the reception I removed the train so I could move around more easily. I kept the bolero close at hand to pop on once the evening got a little chilly! I loved my dress and the lace was exactly what I had had in my head!
FINDING THE DRESS | It took one day of dress shopping in Norwich and I had found the one! I had a very clear picture in my head of what I wanted and I found exactly that. We went to Pure and they were incredibly helpful and gave me great advice about how to accessorise the dress as well.
GROOM’S ATTIRE | It was important to Jon that he get a bespoke suit tailored for the wedding which he travelled to London for. He chose a blue coloured suit which he accessorised with some brown leather shoes and his wedding day gift from me (a Tag Heuer watch).
THE READINGS & MUSIC | For our readings we chose ‘Us two’ by A.A. Milne, Song of Solomon from The Bible and Jon’s mum read ‘An Apache Wedding Blessing’ which didn’t leave a dry eye in the house! We picked our favourite hymns which had significance to us as a couple and which we felt would be popular with our guests – there is nothing worse than a church full with no-one singing!! We used the local organist who played tunes of his choice for the procession, recession and for during the signing of the register.
For the evening we surprised our guests with a Ceilidh in the reception barn where they were each given a dram of whisky on arrival to! No-one was expecting it so it was lovely to have something unexpected happen during our day. After the ceilidh we had our first dance and more dancing in the main barn. Our wedding planner found a great local band who really brought the party to life and played loads of great tunes that catered for all our guests, young and old!
BEAUTIFUL BRIDESMAIDS | After much debate we ended up with our two adult bridesmaids in the same dresses, to follow the lace theme of my dress they were also very lacy in Navy and came from Whistles. I bought them in the January sales so did manage to get a bargain although some alterations were required from a dressmaker for one of the bridesmaids. Our little flower girl was in a broidery anglaise dress from Monsoon with a navy bolero, she really looked cute and was impeccably behaved! We did let her pick her own dress so we would be sure it would be something she would happily wear on the day.
THE FLOWERS | Our florist was a god send! She worked miracles and really pulled together all the different venues into one cohesive look. She was also super lovely to work with. All the flowers came straight from her own cutting garden so they were beautifully fresh and completely in season! Aside from my bouquet my favourite were the stunning milk churns that we used outside the church porch and then moved to the reception barn – the metal churn worked really well with our industrial theme and the bright flowers just popped! We also had some larger windowsill arrangements in the church that we moved to the reception and used on small tables to add some extra dressing to the barns.
THE CAKE | We opted for a three tiered Victoria sponge cake filled with Jon’s mum’s homemade plum jam. A simple buttercream frosting covered the cake and our wonderful cake maker made us an icing model of us to stand on the top.
YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER | The amazing Karen Fuller from Fuller Photography was just lovely and had loads of patience. Neither of us felt particularly comfortable in front of the camera but she quickly put us at ease and took long shots so we didn’t feel too under pressure! The resulting images are just wonderful and always put a smile on my face!
THE DETAILS & DÉCOR | Jon is an industrial designer so quite obviously there was a lot of this influence in the décor. We also tried to keep things quite unfussy and had a couple of statement details, such as the light-up vintage fairground signs, the big black balloons for table numbers and the patterned napkins. Lights were also a big theme for us so we strung masses of festoon lights above the dance floor in the barn using a couple of nets as the rafters were too far apart (it wasn’t a job for anyone with vertigo! Luckily my dad was an electrician and had no problem with climbing ladders so he sorted the lighting out for us), we also put fairy lights outside on some of the bushes, put tea lights in jam jars suspended from shepherds hooks to light the path between the two barns.
The table numbers were all significant numbers to us, such as birthday dates, bus route numbers, the date of our engagement etc, it was certainly a talking point for each table and broke the ice.
It was important we combined some Devon touches (from Jon’s side) into our very Norfolk wedding. Jon’s sister designed the stationery with an emblem that joined a stem of Norfolk Lavender with a Devon Primrose. We had a keg of local ale from Jon’s parent’s local brewery in Devon that travelled all the way across the country in the back of their car! Jon’s favourite Devonshire food is the famous Hockings Ice Cream so we absolutely had to have this as part of our dessert (offered with clotted cream as is the custom in the West Country!). Unfortunately there were no local distributors of Hockings so Jon and I invested in an industrial cool box and took a trip to Devon specially to buy a few gallons of Hockings for our wedding! It was a nerve wracking trip back making sure the ice cream didn’t melt – the added pressure was doing this over the summer months in preparation for our September day! Quite stressful and not something I would recommend other brides and grooms do!! Out wedding planner made little Hockings signs to stick in each ice cream serving so all our guests knew it was not just any old vanilla ice cream!
THE HONEYMOON | An amazing fortnight spent touring the west coast of the U.S. with a couple of really relaxing resorts thrown in to make sure we did have some luxury and relaxation time!
MEMORABLE MOMENTS | Leaving the house with my dad to go to the church, it was a quiet moment with just the two of us but quite emotional.
ADVICE FOR OTHER COUPLES | Hire a wedding planner!! Their knowledge and skills are invaluable and will make sure you can enjoy the day without worrying about details and timings!
CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE |
Photographer | Karen Fuller of Fuller Photography
Venue and catering | The Barn at Woodlands
Flowers | Constance Rose
Dress | Maggie Sottero From Pure
Wedding Planner | Your Norfolk Wedding
Cake | Celebration cakes by Maria
Make up | Sarah Roberts
Hair | JB Bridal Hair
Such a brilliant celebration.
Victoria and Jon, thanks so much to you both for sharing your really lovely wedding story with us xo Lou