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 wedding…it’s a dream from start to finish!
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.
How do you pay homage to your job as a Science teacher? With gorgeous test tube centrepieces of course, and don’t they look fabulous full of pastel pink stems.
All the pink flowers grown and arranged by Narborough Hall Gardens are truly stunning as is the venue its self. So much so Aneliese & Rick got to enjoy a little boat ride in the grounds. They even bought their dog along to join in with the day.
Anaeliese looks absolutely dreamy in her Justin Alexander gown, all that gathered ruching is SO pretty, making a train of dreams. Also her flower girl…. what a cutie.
If you love pastels, and you love pretty, then you’re going to love this classic country wedding.
The first signs of Spring are something that I look forward to every year – so I was always going to love this inspiration shoot from Coco Venues and Katrina Otter Weddings, inspired by early, fresh Spring days.
I just know you’re all going to fall head-over-heels for it too – gorgeous boho-yet-sexy Rue de Seine gowns, gold Isabelle Row accessories, refreshing white blooms and some oh-so pretty hair and make up looks to swoon over.
Right, I’ll stop waffling and let you enjoy the pretty – pin fingers at the ready…
Lee and Bee are one of the sweetest couples that I’ve ever had the pleasure to blog. Their laid back, country garden, summer soiree at Narborough Hall Gardens earlier this year was filled to the brim with artistic touches. Which is fitting really given that Lee and Bee are both artists; in fact they have a joint exhibition at the moment in Cambridge which you really should check out.
When Hannah at Lifeline Photography submitted this peach of a wedding to us she mentioned that Lee and Bee decided to have their portrait shots on the nearby cricket pitch because Bee’s dad is a cricket nut and his speech included all of the times he’d made her play cricket as a little girl.
How gorgeous is that…it actually made me cry a little bit.
And there’s the boat. Just wait until you see the boat…
Narborough Hall Gardens
Bee the Bride:We got married at Narborough Hall Gardens in Narborough, Norfolk. Lee is from King’s Lynn and Norfolk is very close to his heart. We’d visited the gardens on an open day a few years ago and fell in love with the place; it’s so romantic and pretty. The gardens are amazing; they’re huge but still retain a country garden/cottagey feel with lots of intimate secret nooks and crannies and antique chairs dotted about.
We loved that we could have the ceremony and reception at the same place. We got married by the lake; it was so romantic and the reception was in a marquee in the garden. We were so lucky with the weather since it was the hottest day of the year. Maybe not the best with ginger skin but I had a parasol to keep the sun off me.
Sisters Are Doing It For Themselves
My hair and makeup was done by my sister- Lizzie Reed. She’s a freelance makeup artist and is really talented; it was so special to have her create my wedding beauty. I wanted quite a loose, natural updo. I found some antique silver brooches at a flea market and made them into hair pins to adorn my hair.
I felt completely confident in Liz and I will always cherish that morning as we got ready in the Bridal Suite, overlooking the garden. It was a warm hazy morning, we had a huge sash window open with a breeze coming in and bumble bees buzzing around the window; it was so serene and peaceful.
I felt so nervous but Lizzie made me completely relax and I knew she’d work her magic and make me look beautiful! She’s mega talented and knows the best products to use. I had a make up trial and she listened to the style of make up I wanted and got it spot on.
My dress was called ‘Katrina‘ by Anoushka G and it was from The Tailor’s Cat in Cambridge. I didn’t want a big dress; I wanted something that had a vintage look and would go with the country garden feel of the wedding. I knew as soon as I put it on that it was the dress for me; the beading and detail on it was beautiful and it felt so nice on.
Initially I wasn’t going to have a veil and I’d left it quite late when I changed my mind. I thought it would make me feel special and it’s the only time I’d ever get to wear one. So I went from no veil to floor length veil! As it was quite last minute, I was going to buy one online but I’m so glad I didn’t. It needed to be tried on with my dress and the colour and length compliment it perfectly. I bought it from the same boutique as my dress and they were brilliant at guiding me on the right length to choose and rushed the order so I got it in time. My shoes were from Rainbow and were so comfy.
Mint Green And Soft Pink
I had five bridesmaids – so greedy! It was tricky to find a dress that suited all of them, so I compromised in the end with three different styles that complimented each other. They were from Monsoon.
We both wanted lots of colour in the wedding and we both like the same tones but there was no set theme. Lee wore a suit from the high street and the ushers wore the same waistcoat but I changed the buttons on Lee’s so it looked more bespoke. I chose ties in a similar tone to the mint green bridesmaid dresses and the antique roses in their bouquets picked up on the tone of the rose bridesmaid coloured dresses.
Joanne at Narborough Hall did all of our flowers. She mostly uses flowers grown in their cutting garden. I was quite flexible- I specified the general feel and colours of the flowers but on the day was dictated by the flowers in season. I decided to have a huge bouquet. I bought Shepherd’s Crooks and we hung jam jars of sweet peas from them which lined ceremony seats by the lake.
Yes I’ll Marry You My Dear
We had two readings at the ceremony. We asked my sister and Lee’s Mum to choose something, so it had more meaning. My sister chose “yes I’ll marry you my dear” by Pam Ayers which was very cheeky of her! It’s lighthearted and funny so contrasted perfectly with Lee’s Mums who wrote her own reading which was beautiful and very heartfelt; there were lots of tears!
During the drinks reception we had a string quartet called ‘Parisian Swing‘. They’re based in Ely and are very jolly! We’d seen them play in our local and they were brilliant. They play a lot of Django Reinhardt songs. They played as I walked down the aisle and were very accommodating- composing music for when we walked back down the aisle as Mr and Mrs.
In the evening, we had a band and a DJ play but it was such a beautiful evening, everyone ended up staying in the garden. Lee and I had a twilight row on the lake which was pretty special. Nanny was adamant she wasn’t leaving until we did.
Naked Cakes And Norfolk Platters
My Mum made our cakes. She’s the best cake maker I know. I don’t much like icing, so wanted naked cakes. I was happy for Mum to make whatever she liked, as long as they tasted good, I was happy and they were perfect. They looked amazing and were delicious! We had the cake stands made and I painted them.
Narborough took care of the rest of the food. They have a big vegetable garden where a lot of their ingredients are sourced, so the menu is seasonal which we really liked. We choose to have a big buffet with lots of different salads. We then had their ‘Norfolk platter’ in the evening which consisted of home-made breads, pork pies, sausage rolls and a cheeseboard. We decided against favours on the tables but had large sweet jars full of our favourites for people to help themselves to.
We created all the stationery ourselves since we both love making stuff so this was the fun part for us. Lee hand drew our invite, inspired by Victorian posters – I think we were both born in the wrong era. I superglued mini pegs onto paintbrushes to hold little signs and onto wooden skewers to hold the table numbers. We choose a Victorian carnival font. We suspended Chinese lanterns from the marquee with fishing line and I used an antique suitcase Lee bought me years ago for our cards to go in.
A friend lent us the bunting which was homemade and gave a lovely informal/ garden fete feel. We roped family and friends into collecting jam jars and bottles and then I spray painted some with enamel paint and grouped them with antique bottles I already had to go on the tables as the centrepiece. They were all filled with flowers from Narborough’s garden. I made the place name tags with a cutter from Etsy; it was so easy and you can then use whatever card you like.
Remember To Wear Your Garter
Advice….hmmm, remember to wear your garter… I forgot. Oh and SLEEPING PILLS!! I was too excited and nervous the night before and only had 2 hours sleep. Savour it because it will whizz by in a blur.
Our photographer was Hannah at Lifeline Photography. She’s amazing! We knew as soon as we clapped eyes on her website that we’d love what she did and we’re thrilled with our photos! It was a bonus that she was great fun and lovely.
Avid Tennis fans Rebecca And David married in June 2012 – right in the middle of Wimbledon and only four months after they got engaged. They reflected their passion for tennis with an english garden party style affair – think Pimms, croquet on the lawn and afternoon tea.
They married at Narborough Hall Gardens in Norfolk, a beautiful Grade II listed building in the depths of the Norfolk countryside. Rebecca explained that Narborough Hall encapsulated everything they wanted from a venue: Elegance, sophistication, the most gorgeous english country setting and… Tennis courts.
The Spanish designer, Pronovias, designed my dress. Pronovias are known for their beautiful lace and the dress that I chose was made from the most gorgeous vintage lace in a fishtail style. Additionally, I had the whole dress beaded with hundreds of iridescent beads, which gave the most gorgeous shimmer! Funnily enough, parts of the dress were very similar to my grandmother’s dress who got married in 1935.
Even before going wedding dress shopping I knew that I wanted a timeless, elegant lace dress. With that in mind my best friend and I went to the Pronovias store on New Bond Street. Each appointment lasts an hour and right at the end of the appointment (and after trying on 5 other dresses!) I saw a dress hanging up on the rail that I hadn’t noticed before. Although we had run out of time, I quickly unchanged, put the dress on and knew it was the one. I didn’t even leave the fitting room!
A Bit Of Bling
I’m not big on ‘bling’ but as it was for a very special occasion I went to see Gillian Million in Teddington. We spent an hour in her showroom going through the most amazing jewellery, talking about my style, what I liked and getting ideas for what I wanted for the big day. In the end we decided on a beautiful pearl headpiece with matching bracelet and earrings, which went perfectly with my dress. For my neck, Gillian designed the most beautiful Art Deco necklace. She also designed hairclips for my bridesmaids, each different but taking in elements from my jewellery. Gillian makes everything bespoke so you know that no one else will have the same, which is a really lovely touch.
My veil was also from Pronovias. At first I was going to go for a shorter veil but in the end I plumped for a full cathedral length veil with beading at the edging for the dramatic effect!
The last accessory I had was a garter from JL Weddings from Etsy. It came over from the US and was made from gorgeous, reclaimed lace.
Take A Walk On the Wilde Side
My shoes were actually the first thing I bought, even before the dress! I met Harriet Wilde at the Designer Wedding Show in Battersea and fell in love with her peep-toe Marcie shoe. They were a fairly low heel (I am 5’9 so would be a giant in anything too high!) with a gorgeous lace trim on the heel and a net corsage on the front. Unbelievably, they are the most comfortable shoes I have ever owned!
I’m not a hair-up kind of girl so I knew that for the wedding I wanted to have my hair down! I met up with Louise Walsh in Norwich and together we decided on loose curls for a relaxed but glam look with my Gillian Million headpiece. For my make-up I wanted a sun-kissed, natural look with red lips! I love the 1940’s style and while I didn’t want to go all out, I wanted to nod to that era in a little way!
I actually had several florists! I love flowers, which was one of the reasons we picked Narborough Hall as it has award-winning gardens with a stunning array of the most beautiful flowers you will ever see. This fitted in perfectly with the look I was going for – an elegant, sophisticated take on the English country garden. For the barn area of the venue we went for a more rustic-chic look to keep in with the surroundings. The flower arrangements around the venue came from the gardens of Narborough Hall whilst the button-holes, corsages and bouquets came from Arcade Florist in Great Yarmouth. The flowers we used were avalanche roses, hydrangeas (which are my absolute favourite flowers), eucalyptus, bouvardia and gypsophila. We chose flowers that had a delicate scent, which left the most gorgeous smell when we walked past! For the table centrepieces we hired beautiful silver candelabras and antique rose bowls from La Belle Amour and Starlings florists provided the hydrangeas and green fashion roses which Joanne, the owner of Narborough Hall, made in to the most stunning arrangements I have ever seen.
To keep in with our elegance theme, we went for black tie for the groomsmen – there’s nothing more stylish than a man in black tie! As the groomsmen were travelling over from New Zealand and Australia we decided to hire their suits from Moss Bros.
The bridesmaid’s dresses were designed and made by my mum in gorgeous champagne silk. We wanted different styles to reflect the different personalities of the girls but kept the colour scheme the same to bring it all together. They were absolutely stunning!
David joined the groomsmen wearing black tie. He looked the most gorgeous I have ever seen him – like a kiwi James Bond!
Our photographer was the ridiculously talented Katherine Ashdown. We didn’t actually meet Katherine until our engagement shoot (we are based in London rather than Norfolk) a few months before the wedding! But from seeing her incredible work online, chatting with her over the phone, I knew she was going to be perfect. Her shooting style is relaxed and fun and our photos have turned out so much better than we could ever had imagined. We even did a retro style tennis shoot in our wedding outfits, which had a hint of a Ralph Lauren vibe to it!
I also decided to hire a videographer. David didn’t know anything about it, it was part of his wedding gift from me! Needless to say he was quite surprised when the videographer turned up to film his cricket match on the morning of the wedding! After trawling through many websites and blogs I found Nick and Maria Bentley of Studio 1208. They are based in the north of England so we chatted via email and on the phone so they could get a sense of what we were like as a couple and what direction they would go with the film. Nick and Maria are two of the most incredible people I have ever met – funny, cool and so talented. The film they created for us is not only so, so beautiful but is produced like a Hollywood movie! It’s amazing to have a keepsake of our wedding day and we get to see all the details we wouldn’t have had the chance to see otherwise. We were completely lost for words.
Ribbon and String
My amazing mum made our wedding cake. We had 3 layers, each different flavours – raspberry sponge, chocolate and fruit cake. She decorated it herself with fresh hydrangeas, lace ribbon and strings of pearls to tie in with my dress. It was delicious!
Because we had guests travelling over from all over the world we wanted to entertain them with great music and lots of fun things to do. For music we had a string quartet that played before the ceremony and during our afternoon tea sit-down meal, which provided such a lovely atmosphere. I always wanted to walk down the aisle to Des’ree’s ‘Kissing You’ and I got to do it with the very talented Charlie Green signing. Charlie then sang Nina Simone’s ‘Feeling Good’ as we walked back down the aisle as husband and wife! She then sang throughout the afternoon, including a 1940’s set and a group sing-along on the lawn outside the hall with all our guests. It was magical! For the evening we hired a DJ who played some great tunes in the barn.
For our guest book, we had a Polaroid camera and asked people to take a funny picture of themselves, glue it in our book and write us a message. Some of the pictures were so creative and very funny!
And no English summer afternoon would be complete without croquet, so we hired a croquet set from the local Downham Market club, which our guests loved! In the early evening we had a vintage ice cream bicycle serving the most delicious ice cream ever! We also hired a caricaturist but unfortunately his car broke down en route so he never made it!
And of course, our guests could enjoy the breath-taking grounds at Narborough Hall and have a go on the rowing boat on the lake.
Lets Stay Together
Our first dance was Al Green’s ‘Lets Stay Together’. The words of the song felt very fitting for us and we wanted something we could really dance to! We decided to go all out and do a whole routine so David and I spent quite a lot of time on YouTube researching and working out our moves. We ended up only practicing 3 times before the wedding but surprisingly it went really well!
Our favours were a real family affair! Again, I wanted to keep the very English theme so my uncle and aunt made our secret family recipe of ‘Scrumptious Strawberry Jam’ and ‘Whisky Marmalade’. My mum bought the jam jars online and made the covers whilst Sam, my good friend who also happens to be a creative director (lucky me!) designed the labels. They went down a treat and some of our guests have tried to put in orders for more!
Elegant And Sophisticated
The general décor and theme for the day was an elegant, sophisticated English garden party – think Pimms on the lawn, croquet and afternoon tea! We also wanted a tennis theme throughout as both David and I are avid tennis fans so we named our tables after our favourite tennis players and sourced some vintage tennis racquets as decoration. Because the venue was so big, at first it was quite daunting to see how we could pull everything together but I was very lucky to have some amazing help. Being a creative director, Sam, was fantastic at designing all our stationery with a Union Jack and silver fern (for New Zealand) bunting theme. She made everything from our Order of Service to cocktail menus to personalised sweetie bags! My mum designed not only the bridesmaid dresses, but also the most fabulous table plan using lots of different photo frames and fixing them onto a huge framed board. The gorgeous Kelly at La Belle Amour provided us with the most beautiful hand made lace bunting for the marquee, along with the silver candelabras, vintage candle votives and antique rose bowls. We even ordered two heart trees to stand behind the top table!
For the barn area in the evening, we went for a rustic-chic look. We decorated the barn with ivy, willow branches, vintage tennis racquets, pictures of David and I from childhood right through to today, lots of fairy lights and silk lanterns. We used an old fashioned Welsh dresser in the barn as our sweet treats corner! We sourced vintage glass jars and decorated with lace and ribbon and mum even made a “Sweet Treats’ bunting. The sweets included some New Zealand favourites, Pinky and Buzz bars to name just a few!
Then outside the barn we hung fairy lights around the swimming pool and lit the fire pit to create a romantic but fun atmosphere!
Although this sounds a little cliché, what made out wedding unique was marrying David. Seeing him as I walked down the aisle with my dad is something I will never forget. It was, and probably always will be, the most special thing I will ever experience. Our wedding was also very ‘us’. It was both an expression of who we are as a couple but also of the love that we have for each other. The other thing that made our wedding so unique was the people. Having our friends and family all together in one place to celebrate David and I was just the most incredible feeling ever. My sister even wrote us a special poem called ‘Let Our Love be an Enigma’ which made the both of us cry during the ceremony! The main piece of advice I would give brides to be is relax, take it all in and cherish every moment. It is a memory that will stay with you for the rest of your life.
Rebecca is from Norfolk originally and David is a Kiwi so they wanted to provide their guests with a quintessential English manor wedding… a la Downton Abbey. Well, I certainly think they succeeded.
The dress is perfect on Rebecca, David is “James Bonding” it up to the max and the maids and groomsmen all look stunningly turned out. I also love the nod to english sporting heritage, right down to the table names.