I'm always convinced that when I get married, I'll (sorry, we'll) have some bohemian beach affair, but then I see a stunning, minimal, monochrome wedding like this one and I totally change my mind. Everything about Emma and Lynden's wedding day is just achingly stylish and elegant. All of the girls look utterly beautiful in white, with the boys looking dapper in black tie. The styling is just perfect for the magical Narborough Hall Gardens, there's a hallmark of glamour about the whole wedding that just screams Old Hollywood to me and Emma is very much the stunning leading lady. Emma chose Darina Stoda to capture her and Lynden's wedding day and it's wonderful to read that RMW was a source of inspiration and advice to Emma during her wedding planning. There are a few wedding blogs out there these days, but we're not afraid to say it - we have the best readers, the best brides and the best weddings and it makes it really special when things come full circle and we get to feature your big days. So without further ado, let's enjoy Emma and Lynden's beautifully elegant's a dream from start to finish!

Our Story

Emma the Bride: Lynden and I were together 10 years before we got married. We met when we were 18 and 20 and spent our 20’s growing together and travelling all over the world whilst forging successful careers in the property and construction industry. Before getting married we would travel a lot and a few years ago set ourselves a challenge of going to a new country every month and we achieved it. We had so much fun seeing new places and experiencing new places together and every time we went away our friends and family would joke and ask if this would be the trip where we got engaged. After a family trip away at Christmas we returned and spent the weekend in Norfolk, somewhere we have spent countless weekends throughout our relationship. We’d called in at our favourite pub for a couple of drinks and a bite to eat when Lynden took me completely off guard and asked if I would marry him. After lots of ‘Are you joking?’ ‘no but seriously, are you joking’ and lots of tears, the bar staff all went home for the night, locked us in and we drank champagne and danced all night, just the two of us.

The Planning

Then the planning commenced which lets just say was not the easiest of one ever tells you that everyone will have an opinion on how your day should go! We viewed quite a few venues and even considered a wedding abroad but settled on wanting to marry in Norfolk, somewhere where we had such fond memories and hope to have a family home one day. We viewed Narborough Hall Gardens and immediately fell in love with the beautiful house and grounds but also the warmth and passion of everyone that works there. It felt like they were as excited about the day as we were and they were so fantastic during the whole planning process and Lynden and I are notoriously indecisive.

The Styling

When thinking of a colour scheme I knew I didn’t want one, I don’t wear a lot of colour and more often than not I am in head to toe black. We both wanted our day to be classic and elegant and be something that we could look back at in 50 years and still love. I decided that I wanted my six bridesmaids to wear simple long ivory dresses but finding these proved an impossible task so I started to consider having them made. We made appointments with a local seamstress and I sketched out a design of how I wanted the dresses to look. They turned out exactly how I wanted with only one hiccup – 3 days before the wedding I decided that I wanted the dresses to be slightly more tapered at the bottom which meant that unfortunately the girls couldn’t walk. One of my fondest memories of the day was hearing the girls all getting their dresses on whilst I was having my make up finished and hearing them asking my mum for scissors to cut the lining of their dresses to allow them to walk ;) I think all 6 of them look absolutely beautiful and two of them were gorgeously pregnant at the time.

The Flowers

We wanted the flowers to be in keeping with the classic theme so we opted for white and ivory flowers with lots of greens an foliage. My bouquet was huge and heavy but I adored it. The men had simply single rose button holes and Jayne the florist at Narborough Hall Gardens decorated everywhere beautifully with flowers from the gardens. My mum arranged all of our wedding favours which were traditional Italian Bomboniere. The five sugared almonds signify five wishes for the bride and groom: health, wealth, happiness, fertility, and longevity.

The Bride

My search for a dress was long and at times felt like I would never find the one. I tried around 35 dresses on and none of them felt quite right. I visited The Tailors Cat in Cambridge and tried on a selection of their lovely dresses but still didn’t find one that felt right. I tried on a designer I’d never heard of before called Kenneth Winston and liked several features of a few of the dresses I’d seen so I went online when I got home and saw three that I thought I would like to try. I contacted the Tailors Cat who kindly offered to order in these styles so that I could try them. When we were waiting to try them on, my mum spotted one of the three dresses hanging up and said ‘that’s the one’ and it was! I decided to opt for the dress in a traditional white rather than ivory as that is what my mum wore and I am so pleased that I did, I loved how it looked on the day. I wore my Mum’s garter which she wore on her day and a long veil from the Tailors Cat and Jenny Packham heels.

The Groom

Lynden’s search for his outfit was almost as long as mine and he tried on all types of suits before settling on a Hugo Boss tuxedo with a vintage Omega watch. The first time I saw him in it was when we were standing at the altar and I think it’s the most handsome I have ever seen him. His groomsmen also wore tuxedos, from Next.

The Ceremony

We married in the church just a two minute walk from Narborough Hall Gardens and the ceremony was one of our favourite parts of the day. Lynden was nervous about saying his vows in front of our 130 guests so had made me promise not to be late. There are lots of photos of me, my Dad and my bridesmaids running through the church gardens at 13:59! The ceremony was magical and we could not be more grateful to the vicar, Stuart, who offered us so much support, help and guidance on the lead up to the day. One of the readings was spoken by our good friend Kat who read Marriage Advice From 1886, by Jane Wells. Lynden’s brother had chosen this for his wedding 6 years earlier and there is a line in it which reads 'Learn the wisdom of compromise, for it is easier to bend a little than to break’ and this is something which we have tried to live by ever since. Lynden, his brother and Best Man Liam and my Dad all did speeches. All three were fantastic and had everyone in fits of tears and laughter. They set the tone for the rest of the evening perfectly as that is when the party really started.

The Reception

Lynden and I remember looking around the marquee at one point during our wedding breakfast and seeing how happy everyone looked. We had guests that had travelled from all of the world to be there and it was a great moment to see everyone there together having so much fun. We had three bands and a DJ play at the wedding which all sort of happened by accident. The first band, The Baroness and the Bear were playing at the pub where we got engaged and we knew we had to have them play on our big day. The second, we found whilst out for the day at Maltby Street Market in London. We were sat having a glass of wine listening to them play and after they finished I wrote my number on a piece of card and threw it in their guitar case asking them to call me and I’m pleased to say that they did and entertained our guests during the wedding breakfast. We then had a local band called the High Rollers play a real range of music before the DJ carried on until the early hours. The dance floor was full from the moment the music started to right up until the last minute, I think I even remember a few people offering the DJ cash to carry on and Lynden and I ended up crowd surfing at one point.

The Food

For the food we decided to opt for an Italian theme as my Dad and grandparents are Italian. We had antipasti canapes, stuffed ravioli, fillet of beef with salsa verde and rosemary potatoes and our chocolate and hazelnut wedding cake with coffee ice-cream for dessert. During our first dance it is an Italian tradition to wrap the bride and groom up which my family took great pleasure in but it was a really nice touch. I threw my bouquet from the top floor window down to a group of around 30 girls who were all hoping to catch it!

The Photographer

Our photographer Darina was amazing. I originally found her here on Rock My Wedding as I became obsessed with the blog whilst planning the wedding, checking it twice a day to read the new posts. Darina immediately put us at ease and gave us confidence that she would capture our day without making us pose for hours for photographs. Lynden and I wanted to treasure every minute of the day and not worry about having photographs but we knew we would want something to look back on and show our family. Darina did a fabulous job and we couldn’t be happier with the images and think she captured the emotion and excitement of the day perfectly. We decided not to have a videographer but our best friend and groomsman Robing turned up on the day armed with a 35mm video camera and shot us the most magical video which we’ll treasure for ever.

Final Thoughts

I hope that this article is helpful to any brides and grooms reading this. I found RMW to be so so helpful when planning our day. The advice I would give would be don’t sweat the small stuff and play to each others strengths. There were some things which Lynden was clearly better at than me or enjoyed more so work as a team and it’ll be more fun. Enjoy every moment of planning what will be one of your most treasured days and don’t worry, everything will come together on the day!
Fern Godfrey

Written by Fern Godfrey

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