Inspiration

Voewood in Norfolk is such a beautiful place for a wedding and just so happens to be the first wedding venue I blogged about when I joined Rock My Wedding so it has a very special place in my heart. The house itself is absolutely breathtaking, but they also have the most spectacular gardens and terraces. Stefanie & Donavan took full advantage of the grounds by having a gorgeous outdoor ceremony on the lawn, then partook in some classic garden games with a twist. I also adore the 1950s influence in their attire. Stephanie's short dress from Fur Coat No Knickers is simply perfect for their laid back affair and came in handy for their choreographed dance routine (with glow sticks). Such a gorgeous couple, with a lovely story to share, come take a peek....

The Dress

Stefanie The Bride: I stumbled upon Fur Coat No Knickers after a job interview. I immediately fell for shop’s atmosphere, with its vintage frocks and accessories in the window - I knew I wanted a shorter 50s-style dress and this would be just the place to find it! I tried on their whole collection (12 dresses) and fell in love with my 'Loved Up’ dress, which is both classic and playful, with a beautiful lace top, and a soft, wide tulle skirt. It was the perfect dress for the day, not too traditional and really comfortable - I had no trouble performing the electro-swing dance routine we had prepared for our first dance! 

Hair and Make-up

Amy of Vintage Amy in Norwich did my hair and make-up, and the hair for my mother and the bridesmaids, and what a fabulous job she did! We chose to keep it as natural as possible, and wove some little sprigs of baby’s breath into the design.

Grooms Attire

Donovan The Groom: My suit was a made-to-measure affair from Beggars Run in a beautiful French wool, silk and mohair blend in warm flecked grey. I kept the suit a secret but showed Stefanie the cloth, and she suggested some unusual oxblood shoes from our favourite local shoeshop in Greenwich, Shoe Embassy.

The Venue

We first started looking at venues closer to home in London, but they were all so restrictive and nothing clicked, so, rather out of the blue, I suggested going to look at Voewood, a beautiful Arts and Crafts house in Norfolk, whose owner, Simon Finch, I knew through work.  One foot through the door, or rather into the garden, and the decision was made. Even better, we could take over the house for the whole weekend, and accommodate some our friends and family. It was wonderfully flexible venue, with oodles of character (each room has a distinctive design scheme and there are unusual objects and artworks everywhere) and fabulous gardens.

The Colour Scheme and Stationery

Stefanie The Bride: Some people agonise for weeks over the colour scheme, but we chose to have our beautiful invites screenprinted by Pirrip Press in dark red and pale pink on cream and grey paper, so we decided to keep to the same general scheme on the day. It's a classic and works well with flowers too. We designed and printed the programmes, table plans and all the other on-the-day stationery ourselves.

The Ceremony and Reception

We wanted to put as much of ourselves into the day as possible, so we wrote our own vows and worked hard to find readings that weren't standard fare at weddings. And we were lucky to have some of our friends singing and Donovan’s talented brother, the best man, playing a piece for cello that he wrote especially for the occasion. The weather gods were on our side on the day, so we could have the ceremony and reception outside. We made the flower cones for the aisles from wrapping paper sealed with stickers that we had printed with our monogram (designed by Donovan). The gorgeous flower arrangements and bouquets were by our friend Helen. The rustic assembly of crate, ladder, lantern, boots and camera was a rather inspired last minute decision, and we hung a backdrop of holiday photographs behind the ceremony space. For the reception we opened with bubbles and cakes, mostly made by friends and family, including an amazing hand-painted cake by our friend Susie, and we made our own contribution in the form of some cake pops. Then there were some traditional Dutch party games in the garden, organised by some of our wonderful friends from the Netherlands - an egg and spoon race, ‘koekhappen’ (in which you have to eat a piece of cake hanging from a string while blindfolded, and ‘spijkerpoepen’ (literally ‘pooing nails’, in which you lower a nail suspended behind you into a wine bottle).

Decorations

The table settings were themed around books and paper (Donovan is a rare book dealer), and were designed by us and assembled with help from friends. We had been making small paper flowers from wrapping and tissue paper in spare moments for a couple of months, and these were scattered on the table and used on our favour boxes, which doubled as place holders.  We also had some rubber stamps made with our monogram to print on the favour boxes. The handmade bunting was a generous loan from another friend.

Food

Pat from Back to your Place took us under her wing and made the process exceptionally easy, organising staff and hire as well as the food - a hog roast preceded by a great selection of local starters, including Cromer crab and cockles.

Photographer

We loved Ben’s photos at first sight (and Donovan was a challenging client because he has also photographed weddings himself!), but it wasn’t until we met him to do a pre-wedding shoot on a nippy February day on the Norfolk Coast that we knew he’d be the perfect match - friendly, modest, and not intrusive but he totally came up with the goods.

Written by Lorna Shaw

Brides Gown & Shoes: Fur Coat No Knickers | Hair & Makeup: Flamingo Amy | Grooms Suit: Beggars Run | Grooms Shoes: Shoe Embassy | Venue: Voewood | Caterer: Back To Your Place | Stationery: Pirrip Press | Band: Whirl Gig Music

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