Simone and Nick are a little bit super cute. Their classic and oh so beautiful wedding day at Narborough Hall Gardens is the epitome of the perfect traditional English summer wedding with clouds of hydrangea, boys in tails and the peachiest blooms to boot. And let's not forget some swoonworthy images of the pair smooching in the grounds either. Simone opted for an off the shoulder, button down back, lace Pronovias dress to celebrate her big day and boy does it look good with her natural and lush bouquet which I'm currently coveting. The cake is pretty darn sweet too...all the action was captured by Rachel Blackwell Photography.
The Bride's FashionSimone The Bride: This was probably the bit I was most excited about, THE DRESS! Mum had always walked past La Crème Brides in Norwich and stopped in awe at the dresses in the window. Jill and Lucy are the perfect team to help find your dream dress and always made me feel like their only bride. I thought I wanted a slim fit, very understated dress but what I chose was completely different. As soon as I saw an off the shoulder, button down back, lace Pronovias dress in the window I just knew I needed to try it on and when I did, it was the one! I knew I wanted to wear a veil but was also keen to show off the back detail on the dress so went for a two-tiered thin veil with a satin edge. On the day I felt like a true bride. We really wanted the dancefloor full in the evening so I knew I would need to find some comfortable shoes while not compromising on the look. After hearing good reviews I chose a pair of Mimi Satin Peep Toe shoes from Rachel Simpson which I absolutely loved! They did me proud and were the most comfortable shoes I have ever worn. I worked with my hairdresser Charlotte on a pretty up do which wasn’t too structured and one of my bridesmaids Becky did a natural make up look using Bare Minerals. I really wanted the dress to be the star so I chose few accessories. My something borrowed was my mum’s pearl necklace she wore on her wedding day and I wore it as a bracelet and Nick bought me a pair of pearl tear drop earrings from Jenny Packham that I opened on the morning of the wedding. Under my veil I wore a small diamanté headpiece but changed it for a large floral one from Amanda Wyatt when I took my veil off for the evening. I absolutely loved dressing up and felt so comfortable all day that I didn’t want to take my dress off!
The Groom's FashionOriginally Nick was looking for a quite contemporary suit but after trying the more traditional 'tails’, we thought it would stand the test of time better and he wouldn't cringe looking back at our wedding photos in 20 years' time. Because of the style, he decided that it would be highly unlikely he’d wear the suit again so opted to rent rather than buy, but it was difficult to find a supplier that provided a high quality product with an unworn-feel. The other issue was trying to find a slimmer fitting suit as many of the traditional suits on offer were quite boxy and ill-fitting on him. Luckily, Nick discovered Jack Bunneys of Barking who ticked all the boxes. He chose the slim-line Oxford Premium suit in grey with matching waistcoat with a navy tie and pocket square. He also purchased a made-to-measure white shirt, personalised with initial stitching to the cuff, so that he’d have part of the outfit to keep and wear again. Finally, I bought him a pocket watch engraved with 'N & S 15/08/15' to wear on the day and he now says he has a lovely family heirloom to pass on to our children.
The VenueI had always been aware of Narborough Hall Gardens and as soon as we got engaged this was our first port of call! The grounds are simply stunning and it has a real family feel about the place. We both wanted a relaxed feel to the day with plenty for the guests to do and see and Narborough had it all. We also had the option to hire it for the weekend which was perfect for the wedding party and parents to make a celebration of the wedding for more than just the day. What we loved most about the venue was all the different options it offered. It had beautiful gardens for if it was a nice day and everyone could be outside, but the hall itself was simply stunning so in the unfortunate event of rain it would still be beautiful. They also had a marquee overlooking a stunning lake. Once I had seen it, there was nowhere else for us and we booked it straight away. The team worked with us on all aspects and completely got on board with our vision of our day.
Colour SchemeThis was where I really felt we could save some money and being a little bit of a control freak, I could get everything just how I imagined by taking on most of the décor myself. I took inspiration from Pinterest and magazines to create a mood board of our day as well as the colours around the grounds of Narborough. I was keen to get a good mix of both our personalities in the décor and we agreed to go for peach, white and green inspired by the florals and foliage of the venue, with natural materials such as woods and metals. We really wanted a country, rustic feel with a few elegant ‘wedding’ touches. I made use of eBay, Etsy and car boots to find all the little knick knacks I needed to decorate and Nick put his handyman skills to good use with homemade signage. I sourced various props from The Little Lending Company and La Belle Amour, both of which had treasure troves of wonderful accessories to really add to the day. I had an army of bridesmaids and ushers helping put it all together on the Friday thankfully, as it took ages! Although it was a lot of hard work I’m so proud of how it looked on the day and having a blank canvas meant we could create something that was totally about us as a couple. We also now have lots of lovely pieces from the wedding dotted around our home, as little reminders of our amazing day.
FlowersI knew I wanted a very bohemian, relaxed look to the flowers with nothing structured. I was extremely lucky that Narborough is focused around its blooms and they worked with me to achieve exactly the look I wanted. I was even in their workshop the day before chopping and changing as they put them together! I also knew Kim at Starlings who supplied any flowers they didn’t grow in the grounds and worked with her on the overall look. She was able to be very up front with what we could get in August and made alternative suggestions like David Austin Roses instead of Peonies. My bouquet was full of white hydrangeas, peach David Austin roses, gypsophila and lots of foliage cascading down to give it a wild flower look. My bridesmaids had smaller bouquets to match mine and my two flower girls had flower crowns made of gypsophila. The buttonholes were kept simple with peach roses and foliage and a white rose for Nick. To save money we used the bridesmaid bouquets as table arrangements which were placed in vintage glassware and a beautiful top table display spanning the length of the table. We also had a beautiful big arrangement in an urn on a table with our guestbook in the entrance way. I knew exactly what I wanted in the church and was fortunate enough to have my Auntie putting it altogether on the morning of the wedding! We bought the flowers wholesale from Kim at Starlings who helped us work on the design and utilised materials like white tulle and ribbons to emphasise the effect. We also hired two large bay tree planters with hydrangeas for the entranceway.
The Wedding Party FashionWith six bridesmaids and two flower girls, I was set on finding something reasonably priced but suited everyone’s shape and size. I also didn’t want anything traditionally ‘bridesmaid-y.’ My original thoughts were to have different style dresses in the same colour but hit jackpot when I fell in love with a long peach floaty dress from ASOS. All the girls loved them as they were really flattering and we had them altered so they fit perfectly. They all looked stunning! The 2 flower girls looked adorable in white ribbon detail dresses with a bow detail back from Next and flower crowns made from gypsophila. We had bracelets made from Etsy for the bridesmaids and matching necklaces for the flower girls which had their initial, birthstone and a knot for ‘helping us tie the knot.’ The Best Man, four groomsmen and my Dad all wore matching suits to Nick from Jack Bunneys but had grey ties and pocket squares so they were slightly different. I had never seen them all look so smart and they did a fab job on the day!
CeremonyI was set on having the wedding in my home county of Norfolk and opposite Mum and Dad’s house in the little village of Necton is the picturesque All Saints Church. It’s beautiful! We were so lucky to have an amazing Reverend who worked with us all the way, even when faced with many, many tears as we are a family of criers! He gave a wonderful sermon on the day that really engaged all of our guests and we got compliments on how wonderful he was. Nick’s Mum Carol read a beautiful religious passage from The Corinthians, while my Auntie Donna read an emotional poem called ‘The One.’ We wanted to have a really upbeat feel to the ceremony and have as many people singing as loudly as possible! We therefore went for well-known hymns such as Give Me Joy in my Heart and Lord of the Dance. It was a really special part of the day for us and having my dad walk me down the aisle and seeing Nick waiting for me is a moment I’ll always cherish. It was magical.
EntertainmentWe knew was that we wanted something to entertain our guests at every stage of the day! I spoke with Kirsten at Vivace Quartet about an idea to play modern songs in a classical way and it really worked! As the guests arrived at the venue for the drinks reception in the gardens we had them play a variety of pop songs and you could see on the guests faces they were trying to work out the song. We also set up lawn games for everyone to enjoy and the little boat on the lake got plenty of use! (With one outfit fatality when someone fell in!) The evening entertainment was a little trickier as we struggled to find something right for us. Nick and I love our music and to dance and I was adamant that the dancefloor was to be full! When we stumbled across Jeff Dingle we instantly knew he would be perfect. His first set eased the night in perfectly with motown classics that everyone could enjoy. A few guests made comments of how much he looked like Bruno Mars, little did they know that his second set was a Bruno Mars tribute which absolutely filled the dancefloor. It was fantastic! In between sets we decided to save some money and create our own play list that the band played through their equipment. Nick absolutely loved this as he could trawl through his music library and we spent many nights planning our perfect set.
FoodNick and I are massive foodies so I was determined that everyone would be well fed! Narborough have the most fantastic approach to food with everything locally sourced and inspired by seasonal produce which was exactly what we were looking for. When guests arrived after the ceremony we had a drinks reception in the gardens with cocktails in decanters and jam jars with stripy straws. We each chose our favourite cocktail so there was the Bride’s Pimms and the Groom’s Mojitos, as well as beers and soft drinks. We wanted to keep the wedding breakfast simple but delicious and something that everyone would love. We wanted dessert to be a little different and fun so we hired a vintage ice cream cart from a local farm which set up in the gardens. I don’t think it stopped having a queue! Our gorgeous white lace and peony four tiered wedding cake was from the fabulous Katie’s Cake Box and was a mixture of layers of fruit, lemon with lemon curd and Victoria sponge. I can honestly say it was the best cake we’ve ever eaten. Later in the evening we had a Hog Roast for anyone who could fit it in!
PhotographerThis was always going to be a challenge for us! I had a really specific idea of how I wanted our wedding photos to look and how the photographer would fit into the day. I looked at numerous websites and just wasn’t clicking but then stumbled across Rachel and felt relieved! We instantly felt at ease when we met to look at her work and loved her natural style of photography. On the day Rachel completely worked around us in an unobtrusive way, gently guiding with how to get the most of the photography. It was like she was a guest and happened to be taking our picture! The results blew us away, capturing every detail of the day we planned together and we are so grateful to have such beautiful memories of our wedding.
VideographerWhen we first started planning the wedding this was something we ruled out instantly! We thought it was an unnecessary cost and Nick wasn’t too keen on being filmed, it wasn’t until my mum suggested we reconsider that I started to think about it. And thank God we did! Not having a wedding film would have been a huge mistake. I met Gione at a wedding fayre and warmed to him instantly. His work was beautiful and he spoke with such passion and enthusiasm that I was sold right there on the spot. I knew Nick on the other hand would take some convincing! Gione met with us both and instantly put Nick at ease, explaining that we could personalise the service and film only what Nick was comfortable with. On the day we barely noticed we were being filmed, with everything naturally occurring and no forced staging. When Gione sent us the final film we cried and laughed the whole way through. It was truly breath taking and when I want to relive the day, I put the film on and it instantly makes me smile.
Bridal Gown: Pronovias | Bridal Boutique: La Crème Brides | Shoes: Rachel Simpson | Venue: Narborough Hall Gardens | Church Flowers: Sourced from Starlings of Swaffham | Accessories & Props: La Belle Amour | Accessories & Props: The Little Lending Company | Cake: Katie’s Cake Box | Vintage Ice Cream Cart: Dann’s Luxury Norfolk Ice Cream | Bridesmaid Dresses: ASOS | Videographer: Gione Da Silva Images | Groomsmen: Jack Bunneys | Entertainment: Jeff Dingle