Those of you who’ve spent any time at all on the English Wedding Blog will know me for my love of letters. I spend my days writing calligraphy, and teaching the art of beautiful lettering to brides and creative folks at my Manchester workshops. Words are most definitely my thing. (Oh! I’m teaching the last class of the year on the 18th of November. You can book here)
Caroline and Sam’s big day is absolutely, 100%, wonderfully and amazingly perfect for the English Wedding Blog – even without the zipwire (which is a total bonus! Love it!) The hand lettering and all the DIY elements are so up my street – the amount of time and hard work that went into styling this wedding paid off wonderfully. The ‘it was always you’ sign; the ceramic tiles, the lettering everywhere… it’s just so inspiring I don’t know where to begin!
“With my husband being a carpenter and myself being a potter we wanted to make as much of the decorations as possible. We wanted to create, rather than buy, our finishing touches. We also wanted our guests to have a relaxed day and get creative themselves. Our theme could be described as a homemade country wedding.
One of my good friends, Georgie Graver, arranged the flowers for us, floristry is a hobby of hers. They were simply amazing and we will forever be in her debt! I talked through my idea of a country garden with lots of seasonal flowers in pastel colours. She bought quite a few, however lots were from the gardens of family and friends. We spent months twinning jars for the flowers and the result was just as I had imagined. My friend also arranged our bouquets, however myself and the bridesmaids attached the ribbon – which made them so much more personal.
Our reception venue was a blank Village Hall, so we decorated everything. My best friend handmade all of our bunting from secondhand material, it took months and months, but was stunning and we will be able to use it forever. My husband and I decorated lots of wooden boards with fun quotes. My friends and I twined all of the jars we used as well as twinning a few balloons! The wood centre pieces were from an old tree in our garden. There were lots of pottery items too.
Almost everything was homemade. From the bridesmaid gifts, to all of the decorations. The table plan was a personal favourite, a wooden board made by my husband and pottery table settings, bringing our two trades together. I loved every minute of it, however it was stressful at times!
Today’s gorgeous images are by Boo Marshall Photography, who is based in Norfolk and travels around the UK to photograph weddings. Discover more from Boo here:
Wedding photographer’s website:
How did you choose your photographer?
We actually left it pretty late in the day to organise a photographer. We contacted a number of professionals, one of which was unavailable but put us through to Boo. As soon as we saw her portfolio we knew she was ideal.
Were you pleased with your wedding photographer? Do tell… we love a brilliant review!
Yes, we were absolutely thrilled with Boo and the pictures she took to capture our special day. We really liked the “in the moment” style of the pictures, which really suited our theme of a relaxed wedding.
Tell us about the moment you saw your wedding photos for the first time?
We actually put it off for a while! We hit a bit of a lull after the big day (we wanted it to last so much longer!) so when the pictures came through it signified the closure of our big day! It took us three evenings to work through the pictures, rationing ourselves to a few each time. There were a lot of “Ahhh”, “Owww” and “Oh no” noises. She captured some great moments.
St Peter’s Church in Sheringham, followed by a reception in Swanton Novers Village Hall.
Can you describe your wedding in fewer than 10 words?
Truly perfect, family and friends, relaxed, homemade, colourful, warm and genuine
Where did you find your suppliers? (Blogs, magazines, recommendations?)
We stumbled across our main caterers (Celebrations Catering and Flipping Pancakes) through internet searches. The rest we did ourselves.
What’s your top tip for saving money?
Enrol anyone that is willing to help out in making decorations and setting up the venue. We have an absolutely amazing network of friends that we couldn’t have asked anymore of. Our Bridesmaids and Best Men truly worked so hard to help us create our wedding.
… and which elements of your wedding are you glad you spent more on?
The photography was a definite cost we were willing to pay for. Such a skill, and we wanted to ensure our day was captured accordingly. We also made our own wedding rings, which were more expensive than shop bought, but an experience we will treasure forever. Definitely something I would recommend.
Where did you buy or source your wedding stationery – or was making it a labour of love?
It was all homemade! Took ages, but definitely worth it.
Did you fall in love with your wedding dress?
Yes, the second dress I tried on, and it just felt like mine.
Wedding dress designer and bridal boutique:
Maggie Sottero and it was from Treasures Bridal Shop, Kings Lynn.
Tell us about your accessories: jewellery, shoes and anything else!
I made my headpiece and the headpieces for the Bridesmaids to match our respective dresses. I scoured the charity shops in North Norfolk to find secondhand pearls and jewels! After a few You Tube tutorials, I pulled them all together! I bought the girls jewellery, however some of it fell apart (very cross!). The Bridesmaids and myself all wore the same pair of gold shoes from Marks and Spencer! I made my veil with my mum and closest friend. It will always be very special to be because of this.
And what did the groom wear?
He actually bought an off the peg suit from Slaters, fit perfect and was such a bargain he also bought the two Best Men the same suit!
Beautiful bridesmaids: what did your best girls wear?
The Bridesmaids all had dresses from Monsoon, which I also managed to get in the sale. They looked stunning and just as good if not better than specially made dresses.
Hair and make-up – did you DIY or hire a professional?
We went DIY! My mother-in-law is a hairdresser so we tag teamed up, I did the plaits and she pinned them up. Slightly time pressured by we wouldn’t have had it any other way! All the girls knew what makeup suited them so we went DIY on the makeup too.
The wedding cake: what kind of cake did you choose and why?
I made the cake, all of the decorations and the clay bride and groom. We had a two tier fruit cake, one for the day (which was very boozy!) and one to save for our first child’s christening (fingers crossed).
I also made the cupcakes with my bridesmaids. They were salted caramel! I love baking and just wanted to create our cakes!
Entertainment: any musical recommendations, surprises or treats?
We didn’t have any entertainment (bands or DJ). We hired the sound system from a local chap who delivered it to the venue and picked it up. It was so loud – just what we wanted! It meant we could play all of the music we liked throughout the day and evening, without a massive price tag. No one noticed that there was no band!
We did do something special after the wedding breakfast. We gave all of our guests a blank piece of pottery and got them to paint it! It was paint you own favour, which we will deliver back to them alongside their thank you cards. Everyone got involved and it was so lovely to see our guests doing something creative.
Words of wisdom: share your best piece of advice for other couples:
TAKE IN EVERY SECOND! It literally goes by in a flash so try to take a few moments alone together to pinch yourselves. Do not let anything worry you, what will be will be and it is your day to enjoy. All guests just want to see you smile 🙂
What’s the best thing about being married?
Saying “My Husband”, it will not get old!
Also there was such a happy buzz across both families following the wedding day. It is your day, but also a happy occasion for everyone. It was a joy to see family and friends retell our day with such fondness.