How is your Easter weekend going? It’s been so lovely taking a few days to relax and enjoy our beach. Don’t forget, I’m inviting all wedding suppliers to apply to join the English Wedding Directory for just £30 this weekend – I’d love to hear from you! Now, if I had to use just one word to describe this wedding, it would be happiness. Everything just radiates joy to me… the fabulous smiles of our beautiful bride and groom Nicola and Joe, the cheery, bright barn venue and the special little touches. It’s all just perfect, and so wonderfully summery too!
“The venue was so stunning we wanted to enhance it rather than transform it. We filled the garden with paper flowers we’d made in our colour scheme, and hung bunting and fairy lights in the barn.
I handmade all the bunting – I think I got to about 100 metres worth by the end! Me and my girlfriends also made about 400 paper tulips to scatter round the venue, we hated the sight of them by the end but wine and snacks got us through and they looked amazing on the day.
Wedding photographer’s website:
We knew we wanted a relaxed style where the photographer captured the moments rather than styled shots. We wanted bright, fun photos that reflected our personalities – we don’t take ourselves too seriously! We trawled through lots of online galleries and both loved Rob’s style. I had a phone conversation with him one lunchtime and we clicked, so we booked him right away.
We couldn’t be happier. Rob blended into our day like a guest and I honestly did forget the camera was there. He was a great laugh, outgoing and put us and our guests at ease. We’ve been to weddings before where the photographers are so conspicuous they almost get in the way of the proceedings, but Rob was the complete opposite. Lots of our guests later commented that they’d never seen a photographer work so hard, and it definitely paid off!
Discover more from Norfolk wedding photographer Rob Dodsworth here:
“We were on our mini moon when Rob sent the first slideshow and we were so excited to watch it. It gave us both goosebumps. It’s hard to express in words but the photos perfectly captured the essence of the day and every time we look at them they transport us back to that moment. There were certain shots we’d asked Rob to try and capture, which he did perfectly. The photo of Joe seeing me for the first time as I was walking down the aisle is worth his fee alone.
Hautbois Hall, Norfolk
Can you describe your wedding in fewer than 10 words?
A relaxed celebration of us with all our friends and family.
Your wedding style or theme:
Relaxed, fun, outdoorsy. A party rather than a formal wedding.
Where did you find your suppliers? (Blogs, magazines, recommendations?)
I read lots of blogs and did a lot of Pinteresting for inspiration, but Instagram was brilliant for finding local suppliers and seeing real life images of their work.
What’s your top tip for saving money?
Don’t be afraid to ask for favours. Our friends and family really wanted to be involved and rallied around us to help with crafting, sourcing decorations etc. It felt like a real team effort and saved us so much stress, time and money.
… and which elements of your wedding are you glad you spent more on?
There were some areas where we didn’t want to cut corners. We spent a considerable chunk of our budget on our venue, but it was so worth it when everything came together on the day. The team at Hautbois Hall went above and beyond and helped create the exact laid back atmosphere we hoped for.
Where did you buy or source your wedding stationery – or was making it a labour of love?
We’d decided early on to avoid the stress and late nights of making our own stationery and when we found Aimee Paints I was so glad we did. I found Aimee on Instagram and fell in love with her style – it was so us. Aimee custom illustrates couples and their venues, so we had a gorgeous stationery set but also a bespoke illustration that we can cherish forever.
Did you fall in love with your wedding dress?
Yes. I didn’t actually enjoy the dress shopping experience until I found the dress. I didn’t really know what style I was looking for or what would suit my shape, but every dress I tried on (and it was a lot!) I just knew was wrong. It’s hard when all the dresses are so beautiful, I felt a lot of pressure to just ‘know’ when I’d found the one and it just wasn’t happening for me. It wasn’t until the last 5 minutes of a 2 hour appointment with a very determined sales assistant, that she just decided to go for something completely different. I tried it on and fell in love; I cried, my mum cried and I knew this was the dress I would get married in.
Wedding dress designer and bridal boutique:
Maggie Sottero, Pure Brides Norwich
Tell us about your accessories: jewellery, shoes and anything else!
My dress was heavily beaded around the bodice and the back, so I didn’t want to over accessorise the dress. My parents bought me some pear drop diamond earrings as my something new (to match the shape of my engagement ring) and I had a simple silver bangle. I clipped my hair back with a beaded slide which I actually found in Debenhams.
And what did the groom wear?
A 3-piece navy suit from Slaters.
Beautiful bridesmaids: what did your best girls wear?
Adrianna Papell from House of Fraser.
Hair and make-up – did you DIY or hire a professional?
I hired hair and make up artists for myself, my mum and my bridesmaids as I wanted a relaxed morning of pampering before the ceremony.
The make up artist was one of the first people I booked as I’d admired her work for so long and just knew I wanted her to do my make up. Further down the line when I contacted her to book a trial I found out she’d actually double booked our date and I was devastated. I found someone else who did a fab job and everything worked out fine, but when you’re planning a wedding one set back does seem like such a big deal.
Describe your wedding flowers. Who arranged them for you? (florist details would be lovely please)
Samantha Powell at The Little Flower Shop. I wanted relaxed posy style, and we had a mix of pastel tones as well as Heather and Thistle to mark my Scottish heritage. I had a tribute Lilly in my bouquet as it was my husband’s late mum’s favourite flower.
The wedding cake: what kind of cake did you choose and why?
We don’t really have a sweet tooth so we had a cake made from tiered cheese which we ordered from The Cheese Shed. We bought crackers, chutneys and grapes and made it part of our evening food. It was delicious and we’d highly recommend!
Entertainment: any musical recommendations, surprises or treats?
My husband is quite musical and I’d made a few hints that Tom Fletcher from McFly’s wedding song/speech was just perfect. I’d even made Joe watch it a few times and gushed through tears at how special it was! Even so, I was so surprised on our wedding day when Joe brought out his guitar and started singing his speech. It was funny, moving and one of the best moments of my life. One of our guests captured the entire song and I often play it back, it takes me right back to that moment.
Words of wisdom: share your best piece of advice for other couples:
Everyone has an opinion but it’s your day and what’s most important is that you do what’s right for you both.
What’s the best thing about being married?
Dear friends of ours wrote in a wedding card ‘everything is just that extra bit special when you’re married’ and it’s so true.