Emily and Ben met as teenagers and have been together ever since. Isn’t that incredible? The pair currently live in Switzerland and are both from Leicestershire, but chose to get married at Holkham Hall in Norfolk.
It seems to be THE place for stylish Brides to get married. Back in June we all went green eyed over this this gorgeous affair from there too.
I’m sure you lovelies are going to enjoy today’s wedding just as much. Bride Emily is wearing the divine Hepburn by Suzanne Neville which fits her like a glove. ‘The one’ was found at one of our Love Lust Bridal Boutiques, The Stamford Bridal Rooms.
The choice of Bridesmaids dresses confirms my love for neutral coloured gowns. Emily’s girls look amazing in their nude Ted Baker dresses.
And in true British style, the weather gave Emily and Ben four seasons in a day – all of which have been dramatically captured by Katherine Ashdown.
A Place Full Of Memories
Emily The Bride: Ben and I currently live in Zurich, Switzerland. We grew up in Leicestershire (a few villages apart) and met when I was only 14, Ben 15. We have been together ever since! And have enjoyed many adventures along the way.
We decided to get married in north Norfolk as we have enjoyed many holidays there over the years, together and with family and friends. It is a special place for us, with lots of wonderful memories, so it seemed like the perfect choice. The stunning Holkham Hall sits 1-mile away from Holkham Beach (which is often voted the UK’s best beach & our personal favourite), and the hall itself has the most amazing grounds, full of deer, a stunning lake and rolling countryside! I have been visiting the hall since I was a little girl with my family and it is now our favourite picnic spot.
The Perfect Setting
We had our wedding ceremony in the pretty flint stone church (St Withburga Church), positioned on a small hill, overlooking the lake within the grounds of the estate. It was truly magical and we felt so privileged and lucky to get married there. I kept thinking of all the Earl’s and previous aristocrats who would have got married in the church many years ago!
Inside the garden was a little apple orchard, and many vintage looking green houses. It was the perfect setting as we had many children at our wedding, so they were safe to run riot and the parents could just relax! We created a kids area outside with straw bales, games and a tepee. We also had our bar outside under a mini marquee structure so guests were able to enjoy the gardens and drinks outside.
A Flawless Finish
I wanted to look very natural on my wedding day, and to basically, look like ‘ME’, not over-done with makeup or hair. I wanted my make-up to last during the day and to also look flawless in the photos. My photographer, Katherine Ashdown recommended Love Moi Makeup based in Norfolk. Emily, the make-up artist was brilliant! I only had my trail 2 days before the wedding (as I live abroad, timings were often tricky), but it didn’t matter.
I was so pleased with the finished result and I looked just as good (if i say so myself!) at the end of the evening back in the hotel! I didn’t want to take my makeup off!!! I definitely recommend ladies that you invest that extra bit of money and have your makeup done professionally. Totally worth it!
Taking The Hairdresser With Us
Craig (based in is salon in Leicester) used to cut my hair when I was in my teens, and he still does a grand job of my Mum’s hair, so we asked him to join us in Norfolk (with his cute dogs) to do my hair, Mums and Bridesmaids. It was so great having Craig there with us and he did a wonderful job of making us all look our very best.
We had our nails done in the Hoste Arms Spa. The ‘Gels’ looked lovely, very natural and lasted for over 2 weeks without marks. I wore my favourite perfume on the day: Jo Malone Pomegranate Noir. So fresh and summery.
It Ticked All Of The Boxes
I had the loveliest experience buying my dress with my Mum and Bridesmaid from The Stamford Bridal Rooms in Stamford, Lincolnshire. The owner, Aimee was a delight and made the whole process memorable, special and fun! The bridal shop had some stunning dresses. I had an idea of what I liked: sweet heart neckline, lace, figure hugging, slinky, and elegant.
Aimee put me in the Hepburn dress by Suzanne Neville. I loved it immediately and it ticked all the boxes from my wish list! I felt comfortable, elegant and sexy on the day. I wore a sparkling head-piece and a belt in the evening both purchased from The Stamford Bridal Rooms.
Accessories With A Vintage Touch
My shoes were brought online at Rachel Simpson. She has some stunning shoes and I love her vintage designs. I was thrilled with my wedding shoes: a truly romantic pearlised leather peep-toe with beaded French lace trim over blush pink suede. They were super comfy too which is always a bonus with pretty shoes!
Gorgeous Wedding Party
My three gorgeous Bridesmaids wore a Ted Baker dress in a pale pink / nude colour. I loved the lace detail at the top, the butterfly-like v-neck back and the pleated, floaty skirt. I think they all looked gorgeous!
They also wore nude shoes from good old Clarks, which allowed them to dance in comfort all night long!
We hired the Groomsmen morning-suits from Christopher Scotney’s in Leicester. The guys look so handsome and the suits have that timeless quality. They were so fitting and appropriate for our venue too.
Our two gorgeous Godson’s were our Page Boys. They looked so cute in shorts, pale blue shirts and navy blazers.
English Country Wedding
The theme I wanted to create, I suppose, was an ‘English Country Wedding’- As the venue was in a country estate and hidden away in a secret walled garden, I wanted a very elegant, country, vintage style wedding with a relaxed atmosphere, touches of fun and play.
We dressed the marquee & gardens with bunting & pompoms in pale pinks and white, filled jam jars with wild flowers and candles, strung up fairy lights inside and out to create a lovely light in the evening. I hired two gorgeous Bay Trees from The Garden Box and these really added a wow factor to the entrance of our marquee, along with an old vintage looking bike.
My bridesmaid made lots of lovely bunting and cushions too which really added to the décor. We create a kids play area with straw bales and a tepee, plus lots of games to keep them (and some of the grown-ups!) entertained. I actually hired two nannies for the afternoon, to help look after the children. They were fabulous and played some wonderful games, allowing parents to eat and drink in peace!
We used an old suit case to collect cards, and brought a digital camera and mini portable printer for our guest book – we have some great pics alongside people’s comments which is a lovely keep-sake.
I love flowers, and was excited about choosing the different flowers for my bouquet and arrangements with my lovely florist, Victoria Arrowsmith. I wanted a loose, country style of pale pinks, ivory and white. I love peonies and roses, which were the main flowers in the arrangements along with lisianthus, dill, gyp and alchemilla mollis.
The flower arrangements on the tables were on vintage glass cake stands and in vintage crystal vases in different sizes. This worked so well on our long trestle tables, interspersed with candles. Every place setting also had a sprig of lavender on their menu card which looked so pretty and very fitting, being in Norfolk, renowned for its Norfolk Lavender.
I also had pots of lavender and hydrangeas outside the marquee, flowers strung in trees in jam jars and arrangements on the outside furniture. It looked wonderful and I was thrilled with the result.
Overwhelmed With Love
The wedding ceremony was just perfect, very emotional and special for us. We both held it together very well considering Ben’s brothers (best men) were crying the whole way through! I remember walking in and seeing everyone, and looking from side to side, saying “hello”. Ben looked so handsome in his morning suit, I felt very proud of him, overwhelmed with love and excitement for the day ahead and our future together.
We had a singer perform ‘Maybe I’m Amazed’ by Paul McCartney during the signing of the registers which was beautiful.
Full And Rocking Dance Floor
We had string quartet Banquet Music playing during the drinks reception and whilst we ate. They were fabulous! They performed lots of modern songs including Cold Play and Lady Gaga which created a wonderful atmosphere, plus some old classics too. Everyone was raving about them.
In the evening, we had a 5 piece band, including a saxophone player to ‘jazz-up’ the soul tunes! The band was called Quince and we hired them through Silver Dog Music. They were just great from start to end, so professional too. The dance floor was always full and rocking! They really got everyone dancing and staged a fun dance off – girls against boys! Our first dance was ‘Waiting for the Stars to Fall’ by Boy meets Girl. We used to dance to this in our kitchen in London listening to Magic FM! It was upbeat and fun. The dance floor was flooded half way through!
Food Fit For Royalty
Deborah Steward did a fabulous job of the catering at our wedding. Debbie’s husband, Kevin was wonderful too and held the day together for us, making everything run smoothly. We felt so privileged to have them there on the day – they cook for the royal family at Sandringham at their private shooting gatherings, plus other events, so we had full confidents in them!
They served some scrummy canapés during the drinks reception including smoked haddock fish cakes, spiced prawns with dipping sauces, coconut chicken skewers and veggies muffins. They went down a storm! Debbie served up an asparagus pesto tartlet for starter with dressed baby salad leaves, and we offered a choice for the main: BBQ Legs of lamb cooked over charcoal, pan fried fillets of sea bream with Norfolk brown shrimps or BBQ aubergine parcels with red pepper risotto, all served with delicious herby crushed new potatoes and bowls of steaming seasonal vegetables.
It was so scrummy and there were clean plates all round! For desert, we had two choices; summer pudding ice cream with berries, lavender shortbread and fruit coulis or chocolate, hazelnut and raspberry roulade with berries and coulis. Again, both were amazing! Our guests tucked into our cheese platters afterwards with coffee and mints.
Even Better Than I Imagined
In the evening, we served fish finger, chicken and veggie pita-breads which were perfect for soaking up all the alcohol!
Debbie and Kevin’s daughter, Grace Steward baked all the cakes for our Wedding Cake Table – I was totally blown away by the cakes and decoration when I walked in the marquee. It looked so wonderful and just how I had imagined it, but better!
We had a huge victoria sandwich cake for our main wedding cake, surrounded by a lemon-curd cake, chocolate malterser and carrot cake, plus heart shaped rocky roads in milk and white chocolate and many cupcakes decorated with fresh berries. We had bowls of berries on the table too and jugs of cream. Everyone loves cake don’t they, so this was a real winner with our guests!
For our wedding favours, we gave all the ladies a bag of pink jelly sweets, the men some Charbonnel et Walker truffles and the children some sweeties and a book, wrapped up in pink and blue paper. They loved having a present to open on their place setting!
The Perfect End To A Wonderful Day
Special moments for me were sitting in the car with my dad, on the way to the church. It was so nice to have this time with him. Saying our vows in the church was also so special.
Going off with our photographer for photos gave us time to chat, laugh, cuddle and generally see each other as the day goes so fast and you are constantly pulled in different directions. The weather was typically British on the day; we had glorious sunshine, a thunderstorm with lightening then a rainbow! The rainbow was magical and really added to the day. Got some great pics too. It topped off the day a treat!
I also loved our speeches, dancing until the early hours, then coming back to our hotel, sharing a bath together with a cup of tea and chocolate! The perfect end to a wonderful day!
Words Of Wisdom
Be relaxed and let the day flow. If you are relaxed and happy, your guests will be too! I recommend getting in your dress one hour before you leave for the church. My photographer, Katherine Ashdown asked me to do this, and it was well worth it. I had plenty of time to sip champagne with my Mum and Bridesmaids, have a giggle, and keep calm before we left.
Delegate, delegate, delegate on the day! Ask your suppliers to approach a member of your Bridal party on the day if they have questions rather than bothering you.
Dance, dance, and dance! Everyone wants to be near you & the groom on the day, so stay on the dance floor and it will be rocking all night!
She Held The Day Together
Katherine Ashdown was our wonderful wedding photographer – we were so happy to have her there on the day – she was just brilliant! We’d met a year before and spent an afternoon together for an engagement shoot. This was such a great way to get to know Kathy and feel relaxed being ‘models’ infront of the camera!
Kathy really held the day together for Ben and I. She was calm, professional, discreet, energetic and fun to be with. We loved having our photo’s taken, Kathy worked her magic and didn’t miss a trick! The results blew us away! We are thrilled with all of the photographs. Kathy did a wonderful job of capturing our day and all those special moments as the day unfolded – we will treasure them forever.
Bride’s Gown – Hepburn by Suzanne Neville at The Stamford Bridal Rooms
Shoes – Rachel Simpson
Bridemaids – Ted Baker
Bridesmaids shoes – Clarks
Makeup Artist – Love Moi Makeup
Band – Quince at Silverdog Music
String Quartet – Banquet Music
Venue – Holkham Hall
Marquee Hire – Weatherill Events
Catering – Deborah Steward
Cake – Grace Cakes
Florist – Victoria Arrowsmith
Bay Trees – The Garden Box
Accommodation – The Hoste
Photography – Katherine Ashdown
Aren’t the ideas for keeping the children entertained great?
And don’t those cakes look delicious? I’m salivating over Emily’s description of the menu.
Lots of love,