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.
Venue – Narborough Hall Gardens
Bride’s Gown – Katrina By Anoushka G
Boutique – The Tailor’s Cat
Hair & Make-Up – Lizzie Reed Make-up
Florist – Joanne at Narborough Hall
String Quartet – Parisian Swing
Photography – Lifeline Photography
Oh to sail away in a perfectly pea green boat…isn’t that the most perfect end to your wedding day.
All my love Lolly xxx