If you are looking for D.I.Y inspiration then seriously folks – look no further.
Danny and Nic’s homespun garden W-day has a whole heap of purse friendly, original and delicious ideas, it makes me want to jump into literally EVERY image and go join in the fun.
The Perfect Venue
Our wedding took place on Saturday 5th of June 2010 (a random sunny day in one of the rainiest months so far that year) at Thorpe St Andrews church in Norwich and then on to a lovely venue called Amber lodge. After scouring venue after venue across Norfolk and being told time and time again that ‘ no you can’t do that’ and ‘we have a list of our own caterers for you to use’. Amber Lodge near Acle, came as a welcome relief. An old vicarage about 10 minutes drive away from the church, surrounded by the very flat norfolk fields as far as the eyes can see. I cannot recommend this place enough.
Amanda the owner lives and breaths your dream, not hers. She literally let us have run of the whole place the week before, giving me a key to the front door and supplying us with tea coffee and laughter whilst we decorated to our hearts content. She didn’t laugh at our requests for a fire pit, or that we wanted all our family and friends to bring the cakes for the afternoon tea. She didn’t even flinch when we told her that Danny would like to make the starter of soup for the evening meal for 70 people.. even offering us the use of her giant pans!
Danny and I live in a little bungalow with a gorgeously mature, modestly sized garden full of lush budlia, hydrangea and roses all in hues of purples, fushias and dusky pinks. Hopeless romantic that I am, I had envisage gathering up the blooms the evening before, elegantly placing them in vases and job done. Que one of the coldest spring times. I have never known our garden bloom so late.
A lot of finger crossing later I resigned myself on finding alternatives and trawled through the Marks and Spencers flower catalogue for inspiration. I settled on avalanche roses, purple and white stock, white carnations, and deep purple flowers can’t remember the other names. We got the flowers ordered from online flower market www.flowers4florists.com and couldn’t have been more pleased.
Two of my brilliant friends met me at the venue a coupel of days before and helped strip the roses of thorns and trim all the stalks of the flowers. It was like the blind leading the blind, we didn’t have a clue what we were doing! I borrowed, begged and bought a mixture of vintage cut glass vases for the marquee tables and glass bud vases dotted everywhere else. we had passed some beautiful rodedendrum bushes (grow like weeds in Norfolk… literally everywhere!) and so I sent hub2be and best friend armed with the unsharpest scissors ever, they arrived with arms of the stuff for that extra wow factor.
Tea Time Games
Danny’s family have a tradition of getting out the game of ‘pass the pigs’. Basically this entails 2 tiny plastic pigs with a black dot on one side and you get points for how they land. A good game honest!
Early on Danny had made a throw away joke about a giant version of pass the pigs. .. many evenings of sitting together and lovingly layering papier mache… I’m amazed that Danny’s attention span lasted.. but it did.. and so were born ‘piggy’ and ‘wiggy’ a giant perfectly scaled versions of pass the pigs. hehe
From the church we a stopped off at a thatched busstop for some photos and a lot of beeps from passing motorists. When we arrived people were enjoying a glass of Asti (very classy) and we then led everyone into afternoon tea in the little marquee outside.
We had lovingly collected all the china and cake stands ourselves and decorated the marquee with paper pom poms, a true true labour of love over the past year. Then followed a barn dance, some chilling out, a sit down dinner about half 7, a surprise casino and a bit of a disco.
The Bride Bakes
Our cake had two layers, One vanilla and one lemon. It was an american pound cake and made from a recipe that I had found on Martha Stewart. I am not a professional, and although I managed to conquer the intrepid cake dowelling and butter icing thanks to some advice from one of my friends , I didn’t feel confident enough to attempt anything higher or more extravagant. Simple is best!
The cake topper were two ceramic wrens, that I my grandma had given my mum, simple and just right. The flowers were from an orchid on our kitchen window sill, that had weirdly begun to flower (after 2 years!) just before the wedding. .. fate huh?! The cake cutting kind of got forgotten about until about 1.30 in the morning when we decided it would be a good idea… queue Beyonce ‘single lady put a ring on it’ coming on the ipod (total fluke timing) a bit of singing and a very wonky slice of cake being cut.
Rock My Wedding Inspired
I love polaroids and was very sad that I couldn’t get film, as I had envisage a polaroid guestbook. I got hold of a fuji and the guest book was made even more special by inspiration of Rock My Wedding’s very own Charlotte! I remembered seeing pics of her frame game and sent a link to all of my sisters, they came up trumps with a guest book/ photobooth mini marquee.
Everyone loved it, thank you Charlotte!
An Important Must Have
The photography was one of my real ‘must haves’. I think it comes from having such a rubbish memory but I love the way a picture can jog you back into that moment. I’m not a big fan of the traditonal grouped photograph although we did want a couple of whole group shots.
I met Mr Lee Robbins at university when he was just starting and I was just finishing , and we have remained friends since. I have always been knocked down at his abilitiy to capture the moment that no one else can. He is photographer for Jones The Bootmaker and I would literally drag people to the shop to show them his work. I really really wanted him to do our photography as I knew he was exactly the style I was looking for quirky, vintage/modern, relaxed and down right fabulastic.
Lee put a photobook together for us, I knew it would be good, but we were quite literally blown away by not only the images but the way he had put them together to really capture the essence of the day. All the photos sent to RMW are by Lee Robbins.
Entertaining The Guests
Our first dance was the start of the ceildh band, neither of us wanted a soppy first dance, although an impromptu version moon river was sung to us as everyone was leaving… last dance maybe?
If you are ever in Norwich on a saturday, go to Castle Mall and under the stairs is a lady called Karen who runs a stall called fabfudge OMG the best ever fudge. Danny ordered 100 bags thinking we would have some left…. there was none left.
A Labour Of Love
Our wedding was a true labour of love brought together over a period of 10 months. At times I was overwhelmed with inspiration from sites like Rock My Wedding and oncewed.com, but in the end we really felt we made it ours. It really did feel like us, and we definitely couldn’t have done it without our amazing friends and family.
I am just trying to think of a word……
Yup. This wedding was Spectacular.
With huge thanks to Nic, Danny and Lee Robbins for sharing the D.I.Y dream.
Big creative Love