Today’s real bride Melanie has one of those smiles which light up a room – she’s such a stunning bride and the images from her Norfolk wedding to James are wonderful.
I adore a seaside wedding – Melanie’s top tip for other couples is to “Enjoy every second – it’s over in a flash! Do something special away from the crowd – Rob, our photographer, took Jim and I down to the beach and it was lovely to have some alone time with Jim! I really remember that being special.” It most certainly looks like a magical and romantic moment when you see the images!
With thanks to today’s gorgeous real bride and groom Melanie and James. Their wedding report is at the end of today’s feature and includes a handy supplier list for other Norfolk brides and grooms – so do check it out! Thanks also to wedding photographer Rob Dodsworth for sharing his images of their beautiful day. Everyone – enjoy!
Melanie and James: an enchanting Norfolk wedding by the seaside
Our Norfolk wedding report: Melanie and James
Your wedding photographer’s website:
Were you pleased with your wedding photographer?
We were delighted – he was amazing!
The Links Country Park Hotel, West Runton
Can you describe your wedding in a single sentence?
It was one of the best days of our lives – up there with having our daughter(s)
What was your reaction to seeing your wedding photos for the first time?
I cried, they were amazing and they helped to relive the day – which went by so very quickly!
Your wedding style and theme:
We wanted our wedding to be smart, but fun – we chose the colours red and gold as our theme as they are bright and vibrant colours (bit like us). We wanted to bring in elements of our personalities and lives so we did things like name the tables after our fave rock climbs!
Any happy tears on the day?
Yes, twice, when my sister did her reading – it was so beautiful it makes me well up just thinking about it and when my dad paid tribute to my mum during his speech.
How did the two of you meet?
We met at the UEA climbing wall in Norwich. I knew pretty much as soon as I saw Jim that he was my soul mate – I just had a feeling about it and luckily it turned out he felt the same way!
How long did you spend planning your wedding?
We got engaged in August 2011, we had my first and Jim’s second daughter in September 2012 and I started planning the wedding in the December of that year.
Best bit of budget advice?
I did an excel spreadsheet with a list of all the estimated costs on it, then compared it with the actual costs – its important to keep an eye on it as its very easy to get carried away!
Wedding invitations and on the day stationery:
I made all of the invitations and the table names as I’m quite creative and I love doing things like that, it was hard work but it really added a personal touch to our wedding!
Did you fall in love with your wedding dress?
My wedding dress was very important to me! I remember just after getting engaged, one of my friends at work gave me a wedding brochure and I saw my dress in there – I knew right then that would be my wedding dress.
A couple of weeks later we went to the wedding fayre at Dunston Hall and my dress was on the mannequin at the Pure Brides stall – it was even more beautiful than the picture I saw! I made my appointment then and there and my friend (the one who had given me the magazine) came with me to try it on. We both cried when we saw it on, although I was very good and tried on lots of other dresses nothing else came close! I still absolutely love it and I’m trying to work out where I might be able to wear it again!!!
Wedding dress designer and bridal boutique:
Glitz and sparkle: the bride’s accessories:
I had gold sparkly shoes (I love my shoes) I had originally bought some gold heels with red diamante flames going up them but they were too high to walk on with my dress, luckily I also adored the gold sparkly heels I found to wear on the day! I had a matching necklace and tiara in gold and red, my sister gave me some garnet studs and my dad bought me a vintage garnet flower ring to wear on my right hand. I made a wrist cuff in pearl and diamante for my right hand and I had the most sparkly bag ever!
The groom wore:
A black tux with red bowtie
Beautiful bridesmaids: what did you best girls wear?
I had 3 bridesmaids and a maid of honour. My sister, Genevieve was my maid of honour. My step-daughter Olivia wore a mini version of my dress in bright red – I wanted her to feel like a princess and she absolutely loved it! My daughter Ella also wore a pretty red dress although I think she was less impressed. My sister and my sister in law Claire chose their own dresses – I asked that they were bright red but wanted them to feel beautiful and comfortable so they chose their own styles.
Hair and make-up – did you DIY or hire a professional?
I used a professional for both – I wanted to look the best that I could for our special day! My hair was done by Barry of Barry Alan Hair Salon in Norwich (he has since won awards for his work) and my make up artist was the fabulous Emily from Love Moi Makeup (who has also won awards) They were all amazing and they made me look perfect for my big day!
My step-mum Alicia did all of the flowers. She is a brilliant flower arranger and you really couldn’t tell that the flowers were fabric! I was really pleased as it meant I got to keep my bouquet forever! They were so lovely the hotel asked if they could keep some of the table arrangements!
The ceremony was beautiful – I was very nervous walking down the aisle with my dad and I couldn’t look at anyone! Once I got to the table I was fine and I really treasured every moment of saying my vows – it was beautiful!
My sister in law read Yes, I’ll marry you by Pam Ayers and my sister read a piece by Paula Finn
General styling – did your venue need much decoration?
My step-mum was amazing! She did all the table flowers and mirrors, the flowers for my mum’s memorial, the ceremony room, plus all the family/bridesmaids and groomsmen. She also did the chair covers and matching red ties for them – it looked really fantastic when it was done and it’s all thanks to her and my dad!
The wedding cake: traditional or quirky?
I had a traditional white hexagonal cake with sugar craft flowers and diamante which was also made by Alicia
For our first dance, Olivia-Rose (Jim’s oldest daughter) sang ‘At Last’ by Etta James live for us – she was amazing and so brave! We had a disco for the evening. Jim wanted our first dance to be the Happy Mondays but I put my foot down about that one!!! We had Happy Mondays second (and third!)
On the day tips and advice:
Enjoy every second – it’s over in a flash! Do something special away from the crowd – Rob, our photographer, took Jim and I down to the beach and it was lovely to have some alone time with Jim! I really remember that being special
What’s the best thing about being married?
Saying ‘my husband’ to everyone – that’s still not got tired, 4 months on!!!
Quick supplier list for other brides and grooms:
- Dress and Veil Pure Brides, Norwich
- Photography Rob Dodsworth
- Make Up Love Moi Makeup
- Hair Barry Alan Hair Salon
- Nails Cloud Nine Nails
- Shoes Red or Dead